The adventures of an unlikely pair. Follow us if you dare....

Thursday, March 31, 2011

Blog frustrations

Ok, so I was going to give you all a birthday update with pictures but I'm seriously getting frustrated at my lack of computer knowledge, lack of a computer and my iphone stinks at taking photos, just saying. So if anyone would like to make a donation to the Lauren's cool Blog fund and buy me a computer and give me a lesson in blogging, I will buy you dinner! Until then, only crappy post to come....

Monday, March 28, 2011

Birthday Weekend and the Countdown

Coming soon to a computer screen near you - Birthday weekend recap and photos (I am waiting for my sisters to email me the photos!).
But for now, the countdown begins for our first Half Marathon: 13 days!!

Monday, March 21, 2011

Long Run Love (or hate) and new training wheels!

Saturday marked our longest distance run yet, 10 whole wonderful, beautiful miles. Honestly, I really did not hate the run, it was surprisingly quite pleasant and enjoyable, but I can’t very well say that I loved it, what kind of crazy would I be? I fully believe that half the battle of physical endurance is mental and so I had completely prepared myself mentally for this run. I knew I had accomplished more than 9 miles before, so what’s a little extra distance, I mean if I’ve gone 9 then I assuredly can go just 1 more. Along with that mental preparation I had spent all day Friday hydrating myself with water and eating good foods. I was excited because we were meeting for an early morning run, and those are my favorite, especially now that the Texas heat has arrived. I got up and had my usual giant spoonful of peanut butter and then proceeded to get my new water belt ready to go. So about this water belt and the love/hate relationship I am having with it… As I mentioned before, the Texas heat is upon us so I knew the smartest thing to do would be to just buckle down and spend the money for one (and they are NOT cheap, nothing apparently is in running! But you know that.) But the first night I wore it, it was just all wrong. I felt the extra weight of the water bottles, it constantly sloshed and jiggled my already jiggly-enough butt and well, I was not a fan!

But I knew it was for my own good so I once again filled up the 3 small bottles and was all set to run. I was also prepared with my new love for GU chomps! I only wish I were the wonderful person who came up with this amazing yet simple little treat. And we were off! I have become well aware of the fact that my body truly just hates the 5K distance, don’t ask me why, it makes no sense to me! But I seriously struggle through those first 3 miles, always! Once I hit mile 4, though, I generally hit my stride and feel strong and ready for more. I do have to say, I was pretty upset with myself on Saturday though because I just couldn’t seem to get a pace and stay there. I felt like my pace was always changing. I did finish strong though and was able to sprint out the last quarter of a mile! I couldn’t believe I still had it in me after all those miles logged!
(I know we are really slow!)

 I then enjoyed my favorite post-long run treat: a Route 44 Cranberry Limeade from Sonic!

And now to shift gears on you (no pun intended actually pun intended!). My wonderful father, who so strongly believes in fitness, was inspired by my blog and the strength and recovery I have gained through running and decided to support my habits by purchasing me a tri bike!

I am so stoked about this new development in my training! As you all know, I am not an impulsive person, yet in a slightly impulsive moment I committed myself to a sprint triathlon in May and was begin to freak out. But this solves many problems. I spent the better part of my morning having my bike fitted to me. It was probably one of the coolest experiences I have ever had. As a KINES major and former trainer, how the body works is very intriguing to me, and even more so how your body works to make other things work. I now have a bike fitted to my needs and I am excited to get out and ride (ok that’s actually a little lie. The truth is, I am terrified to ride! It scares me to death to climb onto that thing! But I was also scared to death to run more than 3 miles not too long ago so I know I have it in me to accomplish this). I’m not sure when I will be able to ride this week but I will try to find the time.
This week though, I am taking the time to remember my wonderful great-grandmother, Mama Rachel. She left this earth on Friday evening and she left us many amazing memories and great times. She lived an unbelievably full life and left such a legacy of what a strong woman really means. So this week I am strong for her and because of her! We love you Mama, thanks for being in our lives and letting us be a part of yours.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

I stand corrected, I truly am Delusional!

I have been blessed with a curse called a Type-A Personality. I’ve tried ignoring it; I’ve tried avoiding it; I’ve even tried changing it, none of which has worked. I cannot hide from it any more so now I’ve just decided to embrace it! By embracing this thing I am really and truly letting IT embrace ME. The joys of a type-A would be that I’m hard working; I’m self-motivated, I’m organized, outgoing and determined. The downside is that I over commit, I wear myself out and I am way too hard on myself when I have to admit I need a break. I always have good intention, that’s never the problem, but sometimes I just dream way too BIG!! I have to reign myself back in many times and give myself a good stern talking to just to remind myself that I was not made to do EVERYTHING and it really is ok if I can’t do something or just have to say no. With that being said, I once again have taken to the internet to look for runs to fill in the gaps in our year and that was a mistake of monumental proportion!!! I have definitely filled in the gaps. I might just be a little bit nuts but I figured that I’m young and all I can do is at least try. Another big positive is now I can become a part of the Half Fanatics Running club sooner than I thought. (more on that later) So here is the new and improved, updated and fully developed, goals and all included 2011 Event Calendar:
January 15: Hot Chocolate 5K – personal best of 35:18
January 23: Too Cold to Hold 15K – first 15K ever 1:49:34 (my best race still to date!)
February 26: Cowtown 10K – 1:14:36
April 10: Big D Half Marathon (part of our 4 Seasons Challenge event 1) – will be our first half marathon ever! My goal here is to finish in 3 hours or less
April 17: Warrior Dash 5K – my goal is to have fun!
May 1: McKinney Tri Sprint Triathlon – will be our first triathlon ever! My goal is to simply finish
May 7th: White Rock Centennial Half Marathon – Lisa will be in WI doing the Cheesiest Half so I might be on my own for this one. My goal will be to take 2 minutes off my first finishing time.
June 12th: Wounded Warrior Half Marathon – my goal is to finish in 2:45 or less. *After completing this half marathon we will qualify for our Half Fanatics membership! There are many different levels and this will put us into the entry level for having completed 3 half marathons within 90 days)
August 14: The Hottest Half (4 Seasons Challenge event 2) – my goal here is to finish in 2:30 or less (really since it’s August in Texas, I’ll be happy with any finish)
October 9: Tyler Rose Half Marathon (4 Seasons Challenge event 3) - my goal is to finish in 2:15 or less
November 20: Route 66 Half Marathon in Tulsa – my goal here, since the weather should be nice will be a 2:05 finish or less
December 4: Dallas White Rock (we will either do the Half Marathon or the Relay, we haven’t decided yet)
January 28, 2012: The Texas Half (last of our 4 Seasons Challenge) – my goal here at this point in my training will be to be running under 11:00 min miles consistently
February 25-26, 2012: The Cowtown Challenge (10K on Saturday and the Half Marathon on Sunday) – my goal is to complete both days
March 2012: Rock ‘N Roll Half Marathon (or possibly Marathon, we will see how this year continues to play out)
Stay tuned, but for now I’m off and running….

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Up and Coming

I have recently taken to perusing the internet for insight to other women that blog about running. My mission was two-fold, or maybe three. First, I would really like to get my blog “out there” as one might say, meaning, since it’s already technically public by definition, make it better known. I would like for my blog to not only be cathartic for me but also an inspiration for other people, not just my friends and family. Secondly, I would like to meet new people and more importantly learn from other runners and share in their joys and pains and successes. And what I would loosely consider my third reason would be that I might just need a back up career and I’ve heard people get paid to blog… who knew right? I say loosely because I am not completely delusional and realize this is an extreme long shot and not everyone can have their life and their blog become a movie (referencing “Julie and Julia” here) but I have found that there are companies who will ask bloggers to try products and review them while providing them with the product. I have also noticed that there are people who have travel and race fees paid for if they will blog about the event and provide hype and excitement and generate good rapport for that particular event. But mainly my purpose is to absorb and consume the knowledge that is available from other people just like me. One other thing I noticed while viewing other blogs is that most people have posted a race calendar to show upcoming events they will be participating in. I like that idea but because I am so technologically challenged and don’t want to mess with the layout of my blog for fear it would disappear into thin air, I’ll just put my event calendar in this post.
January 15: Hot Chocolate 5K – personal best of 35:18
January 23: Too Cold to Hold 15K – first 15K ever 1:49:34 (my best race still to date!)
February 26: Cowtown 10K – 1:14:36
April 10: Big D Half Marathon (part of our 4 Seasons Challenge)  – will be our first half marathon ever!
April 17: Warrior Dash 5K
May 1: McKinney Tri Sprint Triathlon – will be our first triathlon ever!
August 14: The Hottest Half (4 Seasons Challenge)
October 9: Tyler Rose Half Marathon (4 Seasons Challenge)
November 20: Route 66 Half Marathon in Tulsa
January 28, 2012: The Texas Half (last of our 4 Seasons Challenge)
February 25-26, 2012: The Cowtown Challenge (10K on Saturday and the Half Marathon on Sunday)
I am sure that as we continue our training we will fill in the gaps along the way but this is the list as it looks at the moment. I am so excited to continue on this journey and I am beyond words excited about our first half marathon. One of the things on my “Bucket list” was to run a half marathon before I turned 25, and even though it won’t technically be BEFORE (I turn 25 on March 25th) it is close enough for me to call it a HUGE accomplishment. Thanks for following our journey!

Monday, March 14, 2011

The Water Stop Adventure

This weekend in McKinney, Lisa and I decided to volunteer at an area 5K (and I must add that there was also a 15K race, but will come to this point later on) and help run a water stop. We figured that we’ve been by our fair share of water stops and doused many a volunteer with water as we have passed, so why not spend a Saturday morning giving back to our local community; sounds so wonderful doesn’t it? Well, let’s just say that we apparently are not cut out for the whole “volunteer” business. We’ve been told that what happened was like an episode of “I love Lucy”, and I would have to say I would agree. Forty-eight hours removed from the event and you can see the hilarity of the situation, but at the time it was just pure horror!
We started off our day with an overly excited and much disorganized meeting with all the volunteers but eventually ended up with a very nice couple who are new to the area to manage Water Stop #2! We all worked together and filled our mini Dixie cups (really? Mini Dixie cups for water on a race course? If I was handed a mini Dixie cup I’d probably throw it right back in someone’s face!) and are all prepared when we see the lead runner whiz by, and he really did whiz by! We are doing a great job of passing out water, avoiding the slash backs and keeping our trash picked up despite all the wind. It felt so good to watch all these people sweating as they passed us by and knowing that I had the day off from running. Eventually what we think is the last group of people (Key point here!) have come and gone and we find ourselves just sitting around waiting. So we all decide to be proactive and clean up and take the table and water jugs back to the starting point for the guy in charge. Now pay attention because timing is important right here: We dump the remaining cups of water out and throw those away. We are folding the table up because this guy has his truck ready to go. We have two big orange Gatorade buckets that still have water so we proceed to dump those out…. The table is half way into the truck and the last of the water has literally JUST been dumped into the grass when we see the bike leader of the 15K come around the corner yelling at us to get the water set back up. Let’s just pause and let that sink in for a minute because that’s what the water was doing in the grass as we were all dumbfounded and speechless staring blanking at Mark who is still yelling at us to get the water because there are 150 runners on mile 5 getting ready to pass us….This is about the time where you would hear the little bell ding and you hear the words, “want to get away?” pop up on the screen right? I only wish!
First of all, we had no idea that the 15K was starting after the 5K, or rather that they would be coming behind the 5K runners, we should have known, given we didn’t see some of the people we knew who were running in the 15K. We also knew the bike would be leading the 15K and still hadn’t seen that either, obviously we were not thinking clearly. In our defense, it wasn’t explained to us at all!! I must give kudos to the guy who had the truck, he was a quick thinker and he threw the jug in the back of his truck and took off – he found a guy out working on his yard and filled them up with a water hose and then was back within about 7 minutes! In the mean time, the guy on the bike had called another water stop to bring water and had gone to get a small jug of Gatorade that is set out for our running club on Saturday mornings. He brings the small jug back and the spout isn’t working so we are desperately trying to get the lid off and it won’t come undone…meanwhile, people are passing and asking for water, we felt so badly!!!
We finally recover, and have cups of water and are back on track of passing them out. We only missed about 5 people asking for water, so at least that wasn’t too terrible. But then we encounter the problem of running out of mini Dixie cups!!! Because they were MINI, lots of people were taking two, and I can’t blame them, however, we didn’t have enough for everyone to take two! So I did the unthinkable…. I dug in the trash and pulled out all those cups we had originally dumped out and we began reusing those. In our defense, we decided that if we were running a 15K and were on mile 5, we would not care if we were reusing a cup from the trash or even a cup that someone else had already used, we would just like some water. I’m not sure how many of the trash cups we actually gave out but we did have enough cups and we did successfully finish our water stop duties. On an even funnier side note, we apparently looked like a lemonade stand because we had two guys stop and ask how much the lemonade was…I’m not sure if it was the three ladies running the water stop or the true thought of lemonade that made them stop but it was amusing and they took free water instead.
So what have I learned from the water stop experience?
Number 1: Running races in McKinney is very unorganized and I probably will just stick with bigger events.
Number 2: NEVER assume! And if you think it’s over, it’s probably not!
Number 3: I’m probably more suited to actually run the races than I am for volunteering at the races. I don’t think I can officially say I will never volunteer ever again, but I can say I won’t be doing it any time soon, and by soon I mean like the next 10 years!
So with that, I will be running now and I will remember to thank the wonderful water stop helpers for all their hard work and dedication and try my absolute best not to toss my water on them! Off and running…

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Cowtown 2011

This past weekend was our much anticipated Fort Worth trip to run the Cowtown 10K race. But that anticipation was soon erased by the lovely DFW traffic on a Friday afternoon. From McKinney to Fort Worth in traffic was more than enough to raise Lisa’s blood pressure to an unhealthy point, according to the people at the UNT health and science booth at the expo. Once we finally arrived at the expo, we quickly proceeded to pick up our race packets and I must say that it was very well organized for the volume of people that were expected to run. But I do have one question: why in the world do they ask for your t-shirt size when you register if they aren’t even going to have any of your size available when you get there? Not that I really care, I hate wearing t-shirts but I just found it odd.
Next we were off to find food and drinks…We ended up at Rockfish for fish tacos and a drink before venturing out to the other local and interesting looking places. The first stop seemed much more appealing on the outside and wound up being way overpriced for a drink. Moving on from there we ended up at the most intriguing dive I have to say I have ever been to. It was a dump and a hole in the wall if there ever was one but it was the best time we had all night, in my opinion. I mean what’s not interesting about a bar called ‘Ye Olde Bull and Bush’?
From there we decided to call it a night, after all, the real reason we were in Fort Worth was to actually run. Getting to our hotel, I must say, was an adventure in and of itself. And let’s just say that what happens in the blue mustang stays in the blue mustang. Once we arrived at our hotel (that did NOT have bugs) we pretty much just all crashed.

Bright and early Saturday morning we were up and at the starting line for our race that started at 7:00am. The weather was great and it was the perfect amount of people, I was ready to go. My goal was to finish in anything under 1:15. We started the run with two big hills, so not cool! From there we ended up in an old neighborhood with lots of beautiful old houses and I realized just how cool Fort Worth really is. Mile 1 and 2 went by so easily, I was feeling good. But half way thru mile 2 we headed out onto this path that I did not like at all. And to make things worse I had forgotten to eat my peanut butter that morning and had only had a banana and I was seriously regretting that. The rest of the race was just a struggle for me and by the time I hit mile 5 my body was shutting down. You know the feeling, rubbery legs, dry mouth, body tingles and you don’t have any idea how you are actually moving forward…that’s the one! Lisa was having a good day and she took off and finished strong a minute before us. But Michelle and I struggled on and even had to walk a few yards in that last mile. But we both still finished under our goal time! I finished at 1:14.35, and despite the fact that it was a bad day for me I still felt good about that. I kept going and I finished.
 Four months ago I would have never imagined that I would be in this position finishing yet another run with my friends. I would have never dreamed that I would look back and realize that I just ran for over an hour non-stop. I would have never dreamed that I would have a full year ahead of me with so much promise and potential. And I would have never imagined just how strong I would be.

With Cowtown 2011 in the books I can now look forward to my month of intense training, my own version of March Madness, and the year ahead of me, and us. I have now added a new goal to the end of this year and that is the Cowtown Challenge. Next year I will attempt 2 days of back to back running, the 10K on the first day and the Half Marathon the next. It’s just one, make that two more reason to keep running!