Friday, September 30, 2011

That girl's a pacin' fool!

This morning I went on a bike ride.  I live pretty close to some awesome bike trails so all I have to do is tick off rush hour commuters by riding on the road (we have a bike lane so it's not SO bad) for about a mile, and then I'm on the glorious trail!

And there were a billion people out riding this morning.  Most were riding with friends which made me totally jealous because I need more bike friends!  I was going embarrassingly slow and kept getting passed by dudes in the craziest outfits.  Biker gear is pretty loud. Which brings me to my next point -  I know why so many men like to bike:
It's their one chance to wear polka dots, crazy lightning bolts and arm socks and still look...manly... =)

And I'm no dude, but I'm embracing the crazy gear too!

  And yes...that is what the floor of my bedroom looks like.  Littered with running shoes and workout gear.  I'm a keeper, folks. 

Speaking of new gear I am PUMPED for something to come in the mail...Jenny, over at TheLittleJBird read that I wanted to dress like a pumpkin for a halloween race (probably my half marathon?)...SO SHE IS MAILING ME A PUMPKIN SHIRT SHE RACED IN!  

It's the sisterhood of the traveling pumpkin!!!  To say I am excited to see this bad boy is an understatement.  

Along with costumes and racing, I have another goal....

I have always wanted to be a pacer for a race.  I am actually danged good at keeping a pace when I'm not actually racing and the idea of leading a bunch of people to a PR sounds amazing.  I even emailed the LA marathon about this last year, and they told me they had way cooler pacers than me already. do I get to be a pacer in a race?  

I tweeted this this morning to see if anyone had any ideas on how I get into this club...
Of course, because it's me, my inspirational intentions quickly spiraled into ridiculous aspirations...

and then....

more support...

of course...I wondered if this would be a bit of a jackass move.  And XLMIC assured me it is.  And to do it.  

So here we are....I really want to do this.  Big sign that says "25:00 5k", the whole sha-bang... Hey man, maybe I'd really help someone PR....

So...what do you think?  Funny or d-baggy?  I'll take pics ;-).  

Anyways, here is my weekly recap.  I struggled a lot early in the week due to a lot of pain in my side from my bike crash because another dude's bike (with him on it) landed literally on my side.  Luckily I did not die, and am feeling much better.    Tomorrow I'm going 10+4 at half marathon pace.  Yikes. 

Saturday - 9 + 3 at half marathon pace
Sunday - 30 mile bike ride.  Another crash! 
Monday - 6 miles easy. 
Tuesday  - Warmup / Cooldown + 2 sets of 400/800/2400 @ 3000 pace, 5k pace, half marathon pace...800 meter rest between sets.  I actually did 2.5 sets because I was hurting too much to finish on the track...had to treadmill it and start again.  Tear. 
Wednesday - 4 miles easy. 
Thurday - 7x1600 @ 6:56-ish.  Soooo long!
Friday - 15 mile bike ride. 

Total:  45 biking miles, 40 running miles.    

I'M REALLY EXCITED FOR THE WEEKEND!!!!!  Have a great one :). 

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Setting Goalz2Get what you want. Cute doggy pic.

This is an oddly "motivational speaker-esque" post.  Hope you like it.   If you're not in the mood, that's cool too, I just better not catch you reading Stephen Covey later today....

I've been lucky enough in my job to hire someone to assist me in the stuff I have to do.  And filling this position was primarily my responsibility.  Not unexpectedly, I reviewed a ton of resumes.  Some were ok, some really good, and a couple were so painful to read I had to email the people back and say 'omg in the future please change this, you are making yourself sound insane".

The thing that struck me, is that no one seemed to know what they wanted!  Granted, I was interviewing a bunch of 22 year olds, so that makes sense, but on my end, I had no idea if these "kids" would actually like the job enough to excel in it.  Everyone seemed more in the process of wanting to "find themselves" rather than getting the job we were offering.

We ended up hiring someone who has been interning in my department for months.  (And if he is reading my blog, I hope he'll forgive me for sharing this story).  

Why'd we hire this guy?

Sure, he's a hard worker, a friendly guy, someone we feel like we can trust, but primarily, he wanted it more.
He put in the time of countless months of thankless intern work, and he was always on top of his stuff.   He came to company social events and made friends.  And when the time came to interview, he looked us straight in the eye and told us how much he wanted it and that he wouldn't let us down.

And it felt SO great to tell him that we wanted him to come on board full-time.

What Can I Say, The Dude Knew What He Wanted. 

There's some famous psychology experiment  (I'm taking some liberty with it in my description) where people were given different options of shampoo in a supermarket.  They had the choices of say Pert Plus, Pantene, and Head and Shoulders, and picking what they wanted was an easy choice.
When they were offered 100 choices, the customers got overwhelmed and didn't want to choose.

This, for me, is one of the reasons that running is awesome.  It's easy to define our goals.  

The process to achieve goals is still pretty freaking simple too.  Train hard, and you'll probably run well.  

I know...there are a bunch of different training plans out there, different types of shoes, and there are even running skirts and weird five fingered shoes.  But even among different training plans, the concept of getting into shape, a peak, and a taper are the same.  

So how do we apply this simplicity in running to our everyday lives? 

Shiiiiizzzz girl, I don't know.  All I know if that I learned something from my (former) intern this week.  "Decide what your goal is first, and then work hard to make it happen.".

And the result is sort of like a distance race.  You don't always PR, but if you run a smart, focused race, you've got a much better chance of getting it.  And if you don't reach your goal, well...there are probably good snacks waiting for you at the end because at least you gave it all you had.

Ok...thus ends the motivational speech.  Here's your reward!  


Monday, September 26, 2011

Aren't you just doing what you're supposed to be doing?

When I was a kid, my parents weren't much for rewards or hoopla.
You got an A on the test?  "Nice job."

You graduated high school?  "That's exactly what you were supposed to do.  I worked and I supported you, you went to school.  Why would I buy you a present?"

I don't think I was pressured a ton to be perfect, growing up, but the general expectations to work hard, get a good job, and don't expect the world to hand you things were there.  And I am grateful to my parents for that.
I like to think it's given me a realistic, if somewhat cynical view when it comes to the things I spend my time on (running, work, etc.).

I run because I like it (possibly even love it?), and I have the free time and disposable income to do it.  It's healthy and I'm ok at it.  But just like graduating high school, I don't deserve any presents for logging miles.

Running is not a job (unless you're an elite, in which case, hey, give me training advice!).  It's ain't charity work (unless you're like Ali and it is) and  in the grand scheme of difficulties in life, it's not all that hard.  It doesn't make me better than anyone, more determined or more successful.

It's mah hobby.  Kinda like pottery is for someone else.  That might be kind of offensive to a hardcore runner, but I guarantee you there's some old dude that feels just as passionate about makin' his pots as you do about your long run.

Which is why I'd like to present a dictionary of terms.
Why yes, you may call me Mr. Webster! 

He never thought he'd be on a HL blog
Inspiring People (adj., n. adv.):  Extraordinary people who inspire.
Good Examples:  Ghandi, Desmond Tutu, Mother Teresa.
Bad Examples:  You, running 25 miles last week.
Possible Exceptions:  Life changing running that involves losing 100+ pounds.

Busy Day (n.):  A day with a lot of responsibilities to attend to.
Good Examples:  Soldier's day while doing tour of duty in Afghanistan.
Bad Examples:  Trip to Lululemon, spin class, and blogging.

Hills (n.):  An incline you go up or down.  (It's harder to go up.  Very easy to go down.)
Good Examples: Badwater ultramarathon.  Pikes Peak ascent.
Bad Examples:  20 foot incline at mile 8.

Healthy Diet (n.):  A healthy, nutritional way of living.
Good Example:  Whole grains, protein, vegetables, occasional treats.
Bad Example:  Cookies and kale.

Long Run (n.) :  Training run for a marathon.
Good Example:  Running 20 miles.
Bad Example:  Running 20 miles as fast as possible.
Bonus Bad Example:  Predicting marathon time off raced 20 miler.

Elite Athlete (n.):  A top athlete.
Good Examples: Kara Goucher or Shalene Flanagan. 
Bad Examples:  Me, running a 3:35 at Boston. 

Free Time (n.):  Time spent doing activities of your own choice.
Good Examples: Exercising and writing thoughts on the internet.

Chip Time (n.):  Time accurately recorded by an electronic device in a reputable race (see "USATF Sanctioned Course" below).
Good Examples:  "Chip Time xx:xx, Gun Time xx:xx"
Bad Examples:  "I'm pretty sure I crossed the line about 10 seconds sooner than my chip time."

USATF Sanctioned Course (n.):  A course that has been accurately measured to determine that the advertised distance is correct.
Good Example:  "I ran a half marathon.  That's 13.1 miles."
Bad Example:  "My $150 GPS device said the course was .3 miles long.  So my Garmin pace was..."
*Edit from original post :
Here is a very technical article on calibrated courses.     USATF adds 1 meter per km in the measurement.  So yes, you're right,  if you ran a 10k, you possibly ran 10 extra meters.   Or .0062 of a mile extra.

Zebra (n.):  Animal for whom stripes are always in style.  I just figured I should finish my dictionary terms with something that started with a "Z".

Sunday, September 25, 2011

When Unflattering Pants Attack.

Sometime in my early 20s, I started learning the hard way what looks I could and could not pull off.  

For example big prints, baby doll shirts, and skirts longer than knee length are a step away from hideous on my petite yet hippy/booby body.

Sure, I've got insecurities and would prefer to be built like Adriana Lima, but I don't hate my body.   It's functional enough, allows me to run semi decently, and gets the job done.
And barring going all "Heidi Montag" on y'all, there's not a lot I can do about the way I'm built anyways.  In the words of Cait, "Suzy Favor Hamilton never let her boobs get in the way of her running" and I'm not going to either.

As I've grown older, I know pretty much what is going to work for me.  Wrap dresses, pencil skirts and straight leg jeans?  Yeah dude.  I got that down.  Anything that doesn't make me look fat, short, or like a child is cool.  Nike Tempos?  Yeah those too.  They make anyone look sexxy.

Flares?  Anthony thinks flared pants are cute, and they've been on trend for fall (I work in fashion retail, I'm not just massively shallow, I swear), so when I was at Target last night, I decided to try on huge belled flares.  They felt really great on so I was excited to see how they looked...

Why hello short 'n stocky!
Yeeahhh...I'm crossing the giant flares off the list.  Yeah yeah...I know it could be worse (I am not trying to promote eating disorders here, they just ain't doin' it for me), but I am most certainly not buying these bad boys.  Glad I didn't live in the 70s.   Although disco might have been fun....and jogging headbands....

What styles can you rock?  What doesn't work with your body type? 

Alright, after all that fashion talk, it's time for a delicious recipe!  
This recipe is from "I Like You, Hospitality Under the Influence" by Amy Sedaris.
The book is hilarious, and she is awesome.

This is a very simple and tasty recipe.  One of my go-to recipes!

Carrot Cake:
2 cups flour
2 cups sugar
2 teaspoons baking soda
2 teaspoons baking power
3 cups grated carrots  (this takes forever to 30 minutes!)
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1 teaspoon salt
1 and a half cups oil
4 eggs

Mix oil and eggs, add carrots.  Mix dry ingredients and add to carrot mixture.  Pour into cake pan or cupcake tin (makes about 20 cupcakes!).  Bake at 350 degrees for 15-20 minutes if cupcakes, 30-35 if a cake!

Cream Cheese Frosting!  (makes twice as much as you half if you don't want much frosting)
8 oz. package cream cheese
1 stick of unsalted butter
2 teaspoons vanilla
1 box confectioners sugar
nuts for topping (if desired!)


If you're curious what I ran this weekend:
Saturday:  9 miles easy, 3 at half marathon goal pace (7:15).
Sunday:  30 mile bike ride.  Crashed again but this time into another dude on the ride.  It was like a 2 mph though, thank god.  I have a giant tire mark on my ribs.  That's cool though, battle scars!

Friday, September 23, 2011

Straight Talk to Brad Pitt

Time for hard hitting news you're used to getting from me:
A few days back, Brad Pitt called his marriage to Jen Aniston "boring" in an interview for Parade Magazine!  This ticked me off, because I'm team Aniston, yo. 
Pitt said, “I spent the ’90s trying to hide out, trying to duck the full celebrity cacophony. . . . I started to get sick of myself sitting on a couch, holding a joint, hiding out. It started feeling pathetic. It became very clear to me that I was intent on trying to find a movie about an interesting life, but I wasn’t living an interesting life myself.”

 “I think that my marriage [to actress Jennifer Aniston] had something to do with it. Trying to pretend the marriage was something that it wasn’t.”

1)  Brad, you're pretty (or at least used to be), but your mama taught you better! 
2) Angelina is exciting and all ....but...she also made out with her brother at an awards uh yeah...creeeeeeepy...
3)  Let's get Angelina, Brad, and Jen to run a 10k.   I'm betting on my girl Jen unless Angelina gets all tomb raider on Jen and takes her down. 

4) This marriage ended like a gazillion years ago.  Time to move on to the hot couples of today like Pippa and Harry!  

Happy Friday!!

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Running while sick? 6x1600 fa sho.

First of all, here is our Nuun team video from Hood To Coast!  
It's a great video!
I'm not in it, but it's probably because I got into a dirty dirty brawl with the videographer when he was in our van.   What can I say, he said ice cream sucks, and I'll defend the honor of McDonald's Cones and Haagen Daaz to the death!

In other news...let's talk more!

I've been kind of sick all week with a minor cold.  But on my half-ass marathon training plan (that I started around weeks 5-7ish), I was supposed to do some repeat miles.  Not the normal repeats I do where I kill myself with three really fast ones with minimal rest and then workout called for 6x1600 at 10k pace with an 800 meter jog in-between.

I don't really know what my 10k pace is anymore (calculating from my 5k makes it too fast and calculating from a mediocre PR is too slow), but I'm gonna say somewhere around 7 min miles as an estimate.

I gave some thought into postponing the workout because of the sickness...I didn't want to make myself more sick or just have a terrible workout.   Of course, I decided to throw caution to the wind  and give it a try anyways.  I can usually perform ok while I'm sick.
After a 1.5 mile warmup to the track, I got my booty in gear and started running:


Mile 2:  6:59.  Meh...not too bad.  Do I really have 4 more of these?

Mile 3:  6:59.  Holy crap this is boring.  Maybe I'll estimate mile 4 on the way back and just finish up on my gym treadmill.
I ate a Gu because I hadn't eaten much before running.

Huge big dude who walks on the track every morning and random sprinter dude join me on the track.  The huge big dude says good morning to random sprinter dude and this makes me jealous.  I've always tried to strike up a conversion with the huge big dude but he never wants to talk to me.   What the heck, yo.  

Mile 4:  6:52.  I was getting tired.  I also got really confused by my splits and thought I was running way slow.  Turns out, I can't add and ran way under.

I just thought this was funny.
No relevance to blog post really...

Mile 6:  6:55 Woo hoo!  Finally done.  That was tiring, but not too awful beyond being boring.  I'm pretty sure I deserve a medal for running 34 laps!

Of course...later on today, I started feeling more sick....oh regrets!

Here's my weekly recap!  

Thursday - 18 mile bike
Friday - 9 miles
Saturday - 3 miles
Sunday - 9 miles
Monday - 7 miles (4x1200 at 6:27 pace, 1.5% incline)
Tuesday - 5 miles
Wednesday - 20 mile bike
Thursday - 12 miles (6x1600, 800 m jog in between, 6:57, 6:59, 6:59, 6:52, 6:59, 6:55)
45 Running Miles, 38 Biking Miles - really happy with my increasing mileage!

Surely after this 45 mile week, breaking Paula Radcliffe's changed marathon world record can't be far off.   After it's ONLY a 2:17.

Do you run or workout when you're sick?  
Does it make you worse / better?  
Have you ever raced while you were sick? 

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Top Blog Posts. You (didn't) ask, I answered.

Along the way of my illustrious blogging career, I've been tagged by good friends like Cait, Terzah, Rachael, and other freaking awesome girls in their posts.

Usually, the posts included either a Q & A portion, or a "top blog posts" portion.  Because I bring "disorganized" to a whole new crappy standard when it comes to my blog, I never answered a dang one.


Most Controversial Post:  Probably either "My Two Cents On Blogging Popularity" and one random one where I was bagging on Lululemon.   It's weird because I'm not sure how I feel about either post now.  Sometimes I take a side when I post and roll with it.  It's the internet, no one can really hold me to these opinions, right? ;-)

Most Helpful Post:  Hah!  Helpful?  Ah're readin' the wrong blog.  Let's say the Chile Rellano recipe post because it's freaking delicious.

Post that didn't get the attention it deserved:  ALL OF MY POSTS DON'T GET THE ATTENTION THEY DESERVE!!!!

uhh...sorry.  Ego got in the way.  
Maybe the one about William and Kate's Wedding.  It was kind of funny and I spent a long time on it.

Post I am most proud of:  Either the Boston Marathon one, or my 5k PR.  Just because they were good races, and good races always make for good posts :).

For the Q and A portion, I'm kind of going to copy Sarah and AR who made up questions because no one asked them stuff.  Because no one ever asks me anything either.  However, if you have real questions about me, I would be SUPER flattered to answer, just ask (it's cool if you don't).

n3000278_30909849_4156.jpg (604×453)What's with the blog name?  
Despite the fact that she lives with my mom now, I own a mini rex rabbit named Fiver.  When I was a kid, I always wanted a rabbit.  When I graduated college, I thought "no one can tell me what to do" and I drove to a farm in Livingston, Texas, and brought one back.  And now my poor mom takes care of her.
Bottom line, I like rabbits.  If your ears were 40% the length of your body, I'd find you adorable too.

What celebrity did you have a crush on in high school? 
Rob Thomas of Matchbox20.  And every other singer in a band.

What are your running goals?  
Since I'll never be a pro, I guess I just want to have fun.  And hopefully PR my face off.   I think goal one is more achievable.
In all seriousness, I'd like to continue to improve, but I'm having a hard time balancing training with my working and personal life.   I love running though, so it's hard to ignore it and not give it a lot of time and effort.

Pie or Cake?
Pie.  The kind with a crumb topping.  Peach, Apple, or Cherry preferred.

Which Backstreet Boy Was your Favorite?
Brian Littrell.  Without question.

Ain't nothin' but a hearrtttachhheee!  

Best Piece of Running Advice?  
Listen to your body, know your limits, and keep it simple, yo.

Anything you'd like to know about me?  
Have you been asked any weird/fun /random questions on your blog (or in real life) lately? 

Monday, September 19, 2011

Fall TV Lineup and the California Insomniac.


My name is Margot and I'm an insomniac.  Actually, I have no idea what the medical definition of insomnia is, but let's just say that for me, every night is more like 8 separate cat naps.
And I ain't no cat. 

At first it was kinda was like every night felt longer!   I got the fun of waking up and falling asleep several times.  But, friends...the time has come to try to figure out how the freak to sleep better.

Here's why:  I went to San Francisco this weekend.  Anthony and I went to go check out the Exploratorium, because...we're dorks who like that kind of stuff.

A brief moment of being awake. 
About a half hour into it I started feeling weird and told him I needed to sit down.  Before I knew it, I was sleeping on his shoulder while he played Angry Birds and hundreds of families were hanging out right next to us.   Later that day, I fell asleep in a Chinese Restaurant, waking up to the waiter saying "oooh she's very sleepy?". 

Uh yeah...I got a problem folks.  Any ideas on what's wrong?  Essentially I can't sleep longer than a couple hours at a time.  Yeah, I drink a lot of caffeine, but I always have so I don't think that's causing the problem.   I also don't feel like becoming dependent on Tylenol PM, does help.  So a sista out, por favor.

Any suggestions how I can start sleeping more and avoid going insane?  

Luckily, the less I sleep, the more time I have for things like...


I've seen a ton of ads for the Playboy Club, The New Girl, and Pan AM.  I ain't too sure about any of these cats....

The New Girl, is the new comedy starring Zoey Deschanel, who I love, but more in a way that I want to be friends with her because she seems fun.  Other than being in of Almost Famous (best movie ever), I'm not sure what she's done besides be the object of every dude's desire (including Anthony's).
I saw the pilot of The New was cute, but just cute...we'll see....

The Playboy Club just looks gross (and I found The Girls Next Door pretty entertaining!).  

...and Pan AM....sigh....I have such high hopes for this show!  I secretly want to be a 60s stewardess.  But mostly just for the cute outfits.  I don't actually want to wait on anyone.
Anyways...if it's half as good as Mad Men that would be awesome, but the reviews haven't been so great.   Hopefully they are wrong and it's awesome!

What are you looking forward to watching this Fall?  Are you excited about any of the new shows?  

Friday, September 16, 2011

F Yeah Friday, Boston Edition!

Holla and happy Friday!  I haven't done an F yeah Friday in a while, but I'm bringing it back!  It's a collection of all things awesome in the week.   Here are mine.

1) Feeling like your feet move ok. 
After a couple weeks of a very odd workout schedule and little effort, I have decided I'd ease back into working out.  My running confidence has been super low lately, and I've been the lack of more elegant words: "chubs and slow", so I figured I'd go to the track and see what a 1:35 half marathon pace even feels like.

Turn out, half marathon goal pace doesn't feel bad, if you run it for 5 miles.  It's probably a lot harder if longer...
3.5 miles in warmup and cooldown.  5 miles on track at 7:12, 7:13, 7:13, 7:12, 7:06 (oopsy...little quick on that last one...I think my brain decided to want to run under 36) = 35:56.  This was a little bit of a confidence booster simply because I know this would have felt hard in the past but it doesn't anymore.

2)  Poorly Written Popular Literature
I'm off to San Francisco this weekend!  I can no longer call it "San Fran" as Roserunner informed me that it's "way not cool" to call it that.   I'm pretty excited.  And I'm actually excited to get on a plane too.  Mostly because I want to continue reading the Hunger Games on my Kindle.  
I know someone's not going to appreciate this, but The Hunger Games remind me of Twilight only with less "omg Edward":  Poorly written but I can't stop turning the page.

Team Jacob, yo.  Taylor Lautner's got it goin' on. 

3)  Boston Registration
It looks like the registration is going smoothly and lots of my blogger friends are gettin' in.  Honestly, I was expecting much more of a drama show of the registration.  I'm really excited for everyone who is going to run it.
I gotta admit, as someone who thought I would only run Boston once, making Boston harder to get into...makes me want to do it...mostly because I probably won't be allowed!

You cannn't always gettt whatcha wannnttt. 

My "BQ" is the 3:35:16 I ran in Boston this last year.  So I'm in the general pool.  And it'll probably be full before I could register.  But that's cool.

Groucho Marx said it best (and I'm paraphrasing):  "I would never want to be a member of a club that would accept me as a member".  


But anyways, congrats to all that were accepted into Boston, and I hope that some in the "BQ but not by more than 5 minutes" are able to register.  It was an amazing experience, and I would recommend it to anyone crazy enough to want to run a marathon and qualify.

What was awesome about your week?  

Did you register for Boston (or are you planning to)??

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Next Race Steps! (Blogger Ragnar, half marathons, and duathlons)

I'm watching an ABC special on models and the dangers they deal with in their life of sex, drugs, and rock and roll at Fashion Week.  Luckily, during my stint as a 5'3" very successful model, I have managed to avoid such pressures.  Possibly because my modeling has been mostly confined to  What a shame...what a shame...

Besides modeling, I've been trying to figure out what the heck is next for me on the race side...
Honestly, I don't feel like ever racing again at the moment, but I know the bug will bite soon enough, so I gotta be ready!

So here's what's on the docket.  Some other random stuff might show up too (like Houston 10 for Texas, Big Sur Marathon, and random winter 5ks).

1)  LA Rock and Roll 13.1.  October 30th.  
Goals:  Get a kickbutt pumpkin costume and run a 1:35.
I feel like a 1:35 sounds SO fast right now, just thinkin' about it!

Hey Margot...didn't you run a 1:33 at Fontana?  Why wouldn't a 1:35 be achievable?
Uhhh that 1:33 was running down a mountain.  Unfortunately I can't roll down the mountain for this one!

Anyways, I gotta get "training" for this bad boy!  Long runs?  Please suggest training plans that worked for you!

2)  San Diego Duathlon.  November 13th.  
Goals:  Finish.  Don't get a flat!  Try mah best!  I think that means running not much higher than 7 minute miles and biking around 20 mph.  Possibly overly ambitious goals?
Why:  I'm to scared to do a tri so I duathlon is a good place to start!

In April!
Can you tell which race I'm most excited about?
Here's why.  My team rocks!
We've got Skinny Runner, Pam, Nicole The Haute Running Mama, Once Upon A Lime, ChaCha.

I really just blog to get friends who run :).
Plus, Hood To Coast was such a blast, this has gotta be too.

Each leg averages something like 35 miles a piece.   I am definitely claiming one of the shorter ones!  The race goes from LA to San Diego...hopefully we'll meet movie stars on the way!

But...running is not the biggest challenge.  Naming our team is!
So help a sista out and help us think of a name for our Ultra Ragnar!  

Any suggestions?  Ahem, I think there's a Skinny Runner shirt for the winning idea AND I'll send ya some Gu!  

Soooo...that's what I've got on the schedule so far...What's on your schedule?  
What races are you most excited (or nervous) about doing?  

Here's a Weekly Recap:
Thursday 2 mile beach run
Friday 6 mile "tempo" at 7:30 pace
Saturday 5 miles moderate
Sunday  9 miles easy
Monday  5 miles easy
Tuesday 4 miles easy, 2 at 6:40 pace
Wednesday 20 bike miles

32 running miles, 20 biking miles.  Ok...I know I haven't upped mileage as I said I would, but I was on vacation!  This week is for real ;-).

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

The travelers guide to running (and food!)

First things first: Whole Foods is doing a $10 for $20 Living Social Deal.  Get it !

If there's one thing I spend my money and time on these days, it's travel (not running unfortunately!).    With a BF in Seattle, one brother and mom on the east coast, and friends all over the freaking place (who are all getting married), it's just gotta happen.

Plus I might just be a little bit restless by nature.

The Traveling Runners Guide To:
Keepin' yo bags:  If you're switching airlines and traveling internationally, I give your bags about a 50% chance of getting lost.  At least those have been my odds. So try to stay on the same airline, if possible.

Packing:  Sadly, not everyone in the world is as addicted to running as I am (#3rdworldproblems), so if your stuff gets lost, it can be hard to replace things, depending on where you're going.  Pack shoes and sports bras (or any woman specific stuff) in your carry on.   I know it's kind of gross, but if you're running out of space, stuff the sports bra / socks / shirt in your shoes.

Random Countries / Cities:  This is one of my favorite parts of running.  You can experience the world so much differently while running and I think it's a cool way to see a new area. Just remember, if the area looks sketchy, it is probably not worth risking it.  Or at least ditch the headphones.  That way no one will steal your ipod.

Chillaxing:  I'm pretty anal about working out.  If you're reading this blog and don't know me in real life, you probably are too.   Chances are, you're not going to have the worlds best workout week while traveling due to weird food / bad sleep / different weather.  Have a kick-butt week of working out before you travel and use the travel time as a "step back" week.

Scheduling Working Out While On Vacation: I know everyone says "get up early and workout", but honestly, that's the last thing I want to do while on vacation.  I wanna sleep in, yo.   So if you're like me, just be open to running at weird times of day.  If everyone decides to watch tv mid-afternoon, that's your chance to go do your thing.

Caring What Other People Think:  I've run in Buenos Aires (where no one runs for fun that I could find), in my socks in a park (because I had no shoes), and done stair stepping on an offshore Oil Rig in the Gulf of Mexico.   I'm sure everyone thought I was insane.  And I'm cool with that.   I think you gotta be.

The Traveling Eaters Guide to....
Water:  The TSA doesn't want you to bring more than 3 oz of fluid through security.  Bring an empty water bottle through security.  Refill when you're through.  If you're constantly thirsty like me, it saves $$ in bottled water.

Drinks on the Flight:  I hate to advocate being a pain in the butt for any service person, but I'm going to.  Ask for the whole can if you want.  Ask for two drinks when they come by.  Whatever, it's your party.  Just be polite.

Schedule layovers in the south:  If you love Mexican food and fried stuff like me.  I know it sounds ridiculous to do this, but since it doesn't snow as much there will be fewer chances of delays too.  Favorite airports for food:  Austin and Memphis.  Relatively small airports with breakfast tacos, cobbler, and BBQ galore.

Snacks:  Just bring a few.  Nuts, apples, dried fruit, Clif Bars, whatever that doesn't melt.  Your super hungry self will thank you.

Airlines:  Jet Blue still gives free snacks.  Virgin America has a pretty good selection but you gotta pay.  IMO the newer the airline, the better the food!

Any travel tips you wanna share? 

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Oooh Mexico. (It sounds so sweet with the sun sinking low.)

Greetings, amigos!  I am back from the land of the palm trees, green-blue water, and humidity.   

This was our view from the deck at Tulum.  Beaut-i-ful.

Tulum's claim to fame is having Mayan ruins on the ocean.  The history geek in me loves this.  

The iguanas love it as well (they were everywhere!).

The first night Anthony and I were in Mexico, we cabbed into Tulum and got some Mexican food.  The food was delicious, but downtown was pretty sketchy with lots of police patrolling with lights on and automatic weapons.  Do not fear, we were able to consume tortillas safely.   Delicious delicious tortillas.  Totally worth it.

This smoothie on the right is possibly the most delicious combination of mango, cranberry, and yogurt possible.  En Serio.

After Tulum, we were excited to get into an air conditioned hotel (So Cal has left me with no heat tolerance) and rode the 2 hours back to Cancun.

We went Jet Skiing and Snorkeling.  This was the coolest part of the vacation, but I have no pictures.  Yeah, I am an awesome blogger, I know.   I've never been snorkeling before though and seeing all the gorgeous fish swimming in the ocean was amazing!  I kept trying to dive to the bottom to catch them, but sadly the fish were faster than me and did not want to play :).

And then...the wedding....
Hard to see in this picture, but her dress was perrrrfect!

As was the view from the reception:

And another modelesque couple....

Due to a surprise wind gust, I ended up catching the garter during the reception.   Yeah..not the bouquet, the garter. 
Apparently, I am a single man ready for marriage!  

I did manage to run a bit while in Mexico.  My most notable run was when I ran down the Cancun strip about an hour before the wedding.  I was cutting it close already, got lost, and ended up sprinting the last two miles down the strip.  It was sweat-tastic for sure.  Humidity, you schooled me.  

And here I am, back in So Cal, mosquito bitten, (semi-)tanned, and relaxed.   Vacation, you were wonderful, but I'd like to spend more time with you.  Don't be a stranger, ya hear? 

Way down need a reason to move...

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

I might end up somewhere in Mexicoooo...

For this blog entry, I was all excited to post a recipe.  Because I haven't posted one in eons.  My lack of posting is not because I'm not cookin'. Girl's gotta eat.  It's because everything I make is either too simple or doesn't taste good enough to post.

Tonight was an attempt at being the (half) Greek girl I am.  I wanted to make Dolmades! (Stuffed Grape Leaves).  

After hunting down a can of grape leaves, buying herbs like fresh mint, and calling my brother for advice, I was ready to go.  Unfortunately, this recipe posting will have to wait.  

What it should look like: 
What mine looked like:

Uhhh yeah.  I'm gonna have to take a rain check on posting that recipe.  Clearly rolling a grape leaf ain't as easy as it looks.  

Instead, I'm gonna tell you what's next.  And why my posts might be less frequent (but more awesome!) this week.  


SPRING BREAK 2011!!!!!!!!

Ant'nee and I are taking a little vacation which includes a good friend from college's destination wedding on Saturday.  

It's gonna be a lot like this:

Or possibly not.  We're spending our first day / night in Tulum, Mexico, which is a smaller beach town with Mayan ruins.   Then we'll go to an all inclusive in Cancun where we can hang out with other Americans, pay American prices, and feel exactly like we never left the states!  

Jokin' aside, I'm really looking forward to sleeping in and sitting around the beautiful beach.  While I tend to like more out of the way and active vacations, I think drinking a Mojito on the beach is just what the doctor ordered for this Bunny and her hardworkin' dude.  

I'm sure this place has a fitness center so I'll be trying to build mileage as promised!  No idea if that will work or not!  I didn't set up any guest bloggers because I am lazy, but I will try to write you unless we get kidnapped.   If you don't see a blog entry for 10 days, contact your local congressman. 

And remember, in Cancun, you can be whoever you want to be and what happens there stays there (and on the blog).  For this week, I'm a 21 year old college cheerleader named Tina.   I'll letcha know how that all goes ;).  

To entertain you in the meantime, the lovely SkinnyRunner is back from her long time away!   I'm pumped - my morning reading is back!
If she isn't providing you with enough celeb goss., check out this US Weekly Subscription $30 deal l! 

Here's my weekly recap (more like 10 days).  
Saturday:  7.1 and 6.2 mile hilly relay legs at HTC, 1 mile "cooldown"
Sunday:  Completely Off
Monday:  4 miles easy
Tuesday:  11x200 at 41 seconds, 200m rest.  3 miles of warmup and cooldown
Wednesday:  15 mile bike ride
Thursday:  5 miles easy
Friday:  50 minutes on boring fitness equipment (elliptical!)
Saturday:  Attempted 5k race.  Failure.  ran about 9 miles total.
Sunday :  30 mile group bike ride.
Monday:  10 miles easy with friend in LA.

Total For 10 Days:  48 miles running, 45 miles biking.  Sort of a random mix.  Will return from Mexico with focus!

Hasta La Vista!  

Sunday, September 4, 2011

The anatomy of a 5k DNF. Run More Run Faster?

Happy Labor Day weekend!  The days go by slow but the weeks go by fast.

I really went big or went home running-wise this weekend.
Well...I went home that is.  

I DNF'd a 5k on Saturday. is it possible to DNF a 3 mile race?  It's possible.  Here's the story.

Saturday morning, I woke up around 6 AM, ready for the 5k that I'd signed up for a few weeks back.  I was exhausted from the week, other random life stuff (whine whine), but I figured, time to run this and just see what I could do.

Turns out not much.

My friend Laura and I got to the park in Irvine where the 5k was and I warmed up a bit.  The race was taking place in some giant asphalt field.  Sort of like an airport runway.   I didn't feel great..didn't feel terrible either.  I figured shooting for sub 20 was a little ambitious, but that I would go out and try.  As we were on the line, the race director announced that the race was more like 2.95 miles...or really knows.

This baffled me.  If you're organizing a 5k in a park with plenty of space and you know the course is short, why not just make it a little longer.

Also, the course wasn't chip timed but had prize money for the winners.  Weird stuff.

Before I knew it we were off.  I remember looking at my watch about 4:30 into the race and thinking "man...I feel like I've run at least over a mile".   As we approached the mile mark, I saw the clock tick to 6:42 for the first split.  Some dude pushing a stroller passed me, and I was already way off goal pace.  Right around then, I just didn't feel like running anymore.

I quit a race and wasn't even hurt.   I just felt slow.  My feet felt heavy and pushing through 13 more minutes was not my idea of fun.

Logically I could excuse this in saying that since my body was physically pretty broken down from little sleep and the relay last week, and there was no need to push through.  But really, I was just being lazy and a tad prideful in not wanting to finish a "bad" 5k.   I don't feel that bad about it though.  Stuff happens and sometimes you're just not up for life's challenges.

After deciding to leave the race, I pulled off the course, and jogged back to the start of the race just in time to see the first racers finish.  I saw the first woman.  She was on the heels of a couple really fast dudes.  Graceful and long legged with a ridiculously fast stride, she finished around 16:00.  Daannnggg.   

Watching her, I felt jealousy.  I wished I could be that girl, right up there with the fast dudes, kicking butt, looking great.  And I know I'll never be at her level.  Which sometimes makes me think..."why even bother?".   Which is a dumb thought.  If you don't do something because you can't be the best, no one would ever do anything.

Then I thought, how can we realize our full potential?  What are we capable of, running-wise?

To improve, maybe I need to just run more in addition to my increased intensity workouts.  My 25-30 miles a week I put in is pretty ridiculously low.  And probably the reason I take forever to recover from races.  That night, I spent some time Googling terms like "Does running more mileage help you get faster?".

And honestly, I don't know.  I've never run more than about 40 miles a week.   It seems counter-intuitive to me that putting some more 9 minute miles would really benefit anything besides being able to eat more cookies and not gain weight.   But maybe I'm wrong.  Maybe there is a real benefit to just getting out there and putting in the time needed to excel.  And where do you get the time to put in those miles?  Sigh.

So...I think I may give up this 5k chasing for a bit and start building more of a base.   More time to run long and relaxed outside and get my body more used to running.   Less time to beat myself up over short distance races.    The sub 20 5k dream isn't over, just on the back burner for a bit.

What works for you, running-wise?  More miles?  More intensity?   Have you ever DNF'd a race? 

Friday, September 2, 2011

When you're not ready for a race. ARE YOU READY FOR SOME FOOTBALL?

Times they are a changing....

Wherever you are, you're probably seeing the first signs of fall.  Cooler nights, kids going back to school, etc.

Or if you live in Southern California, you might be seeing advertisements for fall clothes that will allow us to pretend things are changing here too.  The So. Cal. wardrobe consists of shorts and a hoodie year round.   The times I realize the most that weather actually exists in the rest of the country is when I watch the Today Show and Al Roker is all bundled up, broadcasting from New York.  Today Show weather man, you are my season indicator.

Something else indicates Fall and it involves these fine young men.

Oh hai football.  I've missed you!  

It is too bad Matt Saracen, Tim Riggins, and Vince Howard aren't coming back for another season.
Friday Night Lights may not be real (sadly), but who doesn't like a little college football (starting tomorrow!) on a Saturday mornin?

While these men are scrambling on the field tomorrow, I'll be running a 5k.  

I think....

I signed up for this 5k tomorrow as part of an Schwaggle and it was like 12 bucks.  But I'm feeling mentally and physically off.  I think my offness is excusable since I ran a long relay / had major sleep deprivation from exhaustionville last week.  

I'm tempted to not show up.  Or at least to give myself permission to not finish if my time starts sucking.  Maybe if I go through the 2-mile in over 13:30 I can stop?  I hate posting sub-par times.  Give me permission to quit, damnit. 

I think my dreams of breaking 20 are all but impossible this week.

I know this is no way to approach a race.   "If you don't feel like finishing you don't have to...just allow yourself to suck!".  But...unless I get a deathly illness between now and tonight, I'll be gutting through this thing.  

What do you do when you're not feeling mentally or physically ready to race?  Do you scratch and not even show up?  Do you take it easier?  Do you do your best to prepare and run all-out anyways?

I know what Matt Saracen would do.   He'd give it his all, and then continue being completely awesome in every aspect of his life.

I'll let-cha know if I end up being able to run my race up to Friday Night Lights standards.  Hopefully, I can make coach proud.