Monday, November 28, 2011

I've Got Nothin'

Why is it that at times I can think of a million different blog topics and then at other times I got nothin'?!  As in the past, when I can't think of something good to write about, I just write a bunch of slop.  Yeah fun slop!  :)

1) Swimming a lot makes me tired.  I think I sometimes underestimate how tired swimming can make me.  I mean it's not like running where you are taking lots of pounding right?  All I know is, when my alarm went off yesterday morning it felt like I was GLUED to my bed.  So tired.  And sore.  I like!  Getting in shape!  :)

2) Oscar and I want to see the Muppet movie.  We planned on seeing it yesterday but that didn't happen because we slept in and then I didn't get my training done until too late.  (totally worth it for the extra sleep).  We'll eventually get there but in the mean time we had some very important discussions about who the best muppet of all time is.  (if you want to talk politics or world finances, our dinner table is not the place to be)  CLEARLY, the best muppet of all time is this guy:

I mean seriously.  How could you NOT vote for Animal??!!??!!  Oscar claims Rolf is the best.  Lame. 

3) Yesterday on the trainer I watched (among other things) the movie Bridesmaids (very funny and really good for trainer rides) and an episode of Law and Order UK.  Yep, that's right, Law and Order with the Brits!  It's kind of funny because they wear wigs in the courtroom and call the judge "My Lord".  Pretty cool if you ask me.

4) Also cool is this video.  I like this song (Manifesto) by the City Harmonic but what I think is especially awesome is that the singer (Elias Dummer) sings through about 75% of the Lord's Prayer without taking a breath!  Now that is some serious lung capacity!  If you don't want to watch the whole video advance to about 3:08 in and he goes until about 3:33 without breathing.  I bet he can swim a whole 50 under water without coming up for air.  :)

Hope everyone has a great week! 

Friday, November 25, 2011

Double Days

Recently I've be doing several days a week of either double swims or double runs.  I like!  Although prior to about 2 weeks ago I had never done a double swim, I have done double run days in my life but not since this...

Bonus points for anyone that can identify me!  ;)
In high school we did double runs for just 2-3 weeks before the cross country season started in the fall.  And in college I did double run days 4-5 days a week pretty much year round.  But then I didn't do another double run for...oh...10 years.  :) 

My observations on double days thus far:

*Although I don't always feel better on the 2nd run/swim of the day, I almost always perform better (ie: swim/run faster with less effort).

*You get funny looks from the lifeguards at the pool when you show up for the 2nd time in a day.  You...again?  :)

*Double days seem to generate a large volume of laundry...even larger than normal.

*I CANNOT put on an already wet bathing suit.  I just can't do it. 

*I can re-wear running shorts no problem.  :)

*Double days are an easy way to really rack up the mileage/yardage!

I have yet to see a double bike day.  I have to say, I won't be too sad if I never do.  :)

Hope everyone had an awesome Thanksgiving.  So, soo, sooo very much to be thankful for!  :)

Thursday, November 17, 2011

One Of Those Weeks

Ever have one of those weeks?  You know, when nothing seems to go right? 

My week started out like that.  Woke up on Monday morning feeling blah.  Not awful but not right.  Marathon hangover?  (actually, that would be marathon spectator hangover)  I made it through the day okay with lots of extra rest and thought "perhaps I dodged a bullet!"  Except when I woke up on Tuesday, I felt much worse.  BLAH.  Definitely coming down with the plague.

Tuesday I did even less than on Monday including skipping all my training.  Trust me when I say, that pretty much NEVER happens.  But I wanted to try to nip this bug in the bud.  Other than going to teach my class and doing a little computer work, I laid in bed ALL DAY LONG.

That is until around 9:00 pm at night I got a call from O.  He was driving home from a late night at school (varsity letter ceremony) and this happened:

GULP!  He is NOT HURT.  Nor was the other driver.  So that is all that matters.  I thanked God over and over for that!  But our car?  Totalled.  And so Wednesday was a mess of insurance (State Farm has been awesome) and getting a rental car and because they determined the car was totalled, buying a new car.  As luck would have it, we JUST paid off this car ( the last payment was this month) and were looking forward to a few years of no car payments.  But that was not meant to be.  I'm not complaining though - my husband is in one piece and that's all I care about! 

Luckily today things started looking up!  :)  I woke up feeling much better and got back to training and a day of work at the hospital.  O too got back to work and after work, bought us a new car!  He doesn't mess around!  :)  Although neither of us are picky with cars.  We don't care about color or special features of if the seats heat or not - we care only about durability/reliability and price.  And the new VW dealership in town was looking for some business!  Our very first car was a VW (first thing we bought together as a married couple) and that car lasted us for 7+ years (of LOTS of driving) so we are going back!  And we are totally living the high life because for the FIRST TIME EVER (out of 4 cars we've had) we got a car with power windows!!!!  (I think this is only because they simply don't make VW Jettas without power windows anymore :).

And so goes life.  All is well and God is good!  And tomorrow is Friday!  :)  Have a great weekend everyone!!!!  :)

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Harrisburg Marathon

Today Oscar ran the Harrisburg Marathon while I cheered.  I think we both had a lot of fun, but maybe me more so than him after roughly mile 23.  :)  He didn't quite hit his goal time of 3:10.  No cramping this time (as in the last 2 marathons he's run) but this time nausea and throwing up for the last couple miles!  Hey, it must run in the family!  Good news is, he is making progress.  I'm sure much slower progress than he'd like but isn't that true for all of us?  Either way, I was so, so proud of him.  One thing is for sure, he finished what he started as he always does.  And I think that says a lot.

The race starts and finishes on a little island in the middle of the Susquehanna River.

Ready to go the day before the race!
My favorite spectator.  :)

18 miles into the race the runners go through a little park, around a little lake.

Race day was beautiful and perfect for running!

It's still fall in Harrisburg.
Clearly I cannot take pictures and cheer at the same time.  :)
I spent the day cheering with my friend (and former MAO teammate) Lindsay and her pup Lilly.  Lilly was highly entertaining all morning long.  :)
Huge congrats to all the racers and especially to Oscar.  Persistance and hard work go a long way.  I know you'll conquer your marathon dreams babe! 

Friday, November 11, 2011

A Marathoning We Go

Time to marathon!  No, not me (although I really wish it was me...I want to run a marathon soooooo bad!), but instead, Oscar!  It's time for him to put all the training miles to good use this weekend at the Harrisburg Marathon.  His goal is to break 3:10.  My goal is to cheer like crazy!  I can't wait!

Oscar is the one on the right.  My teammate Jason is on the left.
My first week back to training went well!  Of course it's not over yet but because I knew we'd be going away this weekend, I front loaded the week and all the big workouts have already been completed.  We had some great weather earlier in the week and I was able to get outside for my long ride and a few longer runs.  Last night the weather turned a bit and I finished up my hill repeats in the cold and windy/rainy darkness.  Yep, winter is upon us.  This morning it snowed but I was warm and cozy on my trainer sweating away.  IT'S GREAT TO BE BACK!

Happy 11-11-11 everyone and HUGE THANKS to all the veterans out there!  And happy weekend too!  Marathon reports to follow!

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Let's Get This Party Started!

Finally!  No more boring posts about the off season.  Now I can write boring posts about training again!  Because in my inbox plan #1 of the 2012 season arrived!  YAHOOOOOOOOO!

As per the usual, Dirk surprised me.  That man always has something up his sleeve!  Missing was the HUGE bike volume that I'm used to and in replacement, huge running and swimming volume!  (can Dirk hear my prayers to God somehow??...kidding!)

Now don't misunderstand, the word "huge" is all relative, not only to each individual but also to each individual at any given time of the year.  But that aside, I was pretty darn pumped to see not just double runs (ie: 2 runs on 1 day) but also double swims!  I might not be so excited about this when I actually have to do it, but the thought of it right now is pretty jazzy in my mind!  I haven't done a double run day since college ( 10 years ago) and I have NEVER done a double swim day.  FUN FUN challenges and most certainly something to look forward to!

HERE.  WE.  GO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

And in other exciting news, the state cross country meet was a huge success yesterday for O's teams.  The girls finished 8th and the boys a very close 4th place (only 20 points from winning).  It was a fun day of running around (or shall I say sprinting like mad, trying to follow O around the course to cheer - I think I might actually be sore today from it!) and watching some great racing.  Pennsylvania has some serious running talent and it was fun to watch some future super stars in action!

One of the rare moments Oscar stood still long enough to catch a photo.  Congrats Coach Shutt!

Mt. Lebanon girls getting ready to roll.

The state course is TOUGH.  This is a bugger of a hill 1.5 miles in that starts to separate the field out.

One of my very best friends, roommates and teammates from college is a high school coach in Western PA also.  Great to see her again!

Hope everyone has a great week.  I know I sure will with plenty of training to keep me busy and happy!  :)

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

More Off Season

Off season continues to roll along.  I can't say that I'm super antsy to get rolling with "real" training yet but I can feel it coming on.  I'm starting to run out of things to keep myself busy.  I mean seriously - I cleaned BEHIND THE FRIDGE (as in move the entire refrigerator and clean underneath) the other day.  Who does that?  (okay, don't answer all probably clean behind the fridge every week... :)

I've also got all the "appointments" done - you know, the ones that you put off all season because there is no possible way to have enough time to do them when training hard - car appointment, eye appointment, vet appointment, dentist appointment (yuck).

And I've turned into super spectator as of recent as well.  During my last blog I was at the district high school cross country championships to root on Oscar's teams as they ran for a chance to qualify for the state meet.  Both his boys and girls teams made it which was exciting (but also expected as they've been running well all year).  I really enjoyed watching the races.  Three sisters from North Hills went 1-2-4 in the girls race to help their team to victory (O's team was 2nd place).  I positioned myself on the homestretch to see if the sisters would race each other all the way to the line or they would finish "together."  Can you guess?  They definitely fought tooth and nail for the victory.  I have to say, I probably would have duked it out with my own sister too.  :) 

They aren't triplets (they are each a year apart) but they certainly do look like it!
In the boys race I was truly inspired by a kid from North Allegheny (a cross country powerhouse in both the district and state).  I remembered from last year that he took the race out hard and built up a nice lead at 1.5 miles.  He eventually got passed and finished in the 5-10 place range.  This year he is a senior and he went with the same strategy - take it out hard and keep pushing!  At one mile he had a relatively sizeable lead.  When I saw them again at 2 miles he was in 3rd place.  Oh no - not again!  He was not to be denied though.  He clawed his way back up to the lead pack of 3 and with 200 to go he gave it everything.  I watched his face and could tell he was in a place he probably hasn't gone to before (ie: he was in a world of hurt) but he did it!  Even though I've never met the kid in my life, I felt immense pride in him for not giving up when he got caught and dropped.  One tough bugger.

The conditions were horrendous - this photo doesn't do justice to the amount of mud on the course!
Anyway, I suppose since I can't be racing myself right now, watching others take it to themselves is the next best thing!  So this upcoming weekend I'll be driving out to Hershey, PA (yes, where the chocolate is made - the whole town smells like chocolate bars!) to watch O's team at the state championships.  And then the weekend after that, it's back to Harrisburg to watch O run his marathon!  YAHOOOOO!

And because of all this talk of high school cross country, I dug up a picture of my freshman year in high school when my team won the state championship.  I'll let you guess which one I am...  :)

I can't believe this was in 1993!  :)