Twenty Six Point Two

run, rest, eat, bitch, buy things, cross-train, blog, repeat.

Monday, September 29, 2014


Saturday morning I had to get up at 4:00am because I had to get out of my place before 6am. Thanks to the Nashville Women's Half:
The Red Star marks the spot where you
are just fucked if you live there. 
I live there.

Lucky for you, in line with keeping my blood pressure down and because I've been trying to remember to pop my Holy Basil pills you aren't going to get a long diatribe about how much I hate that fucking race and it's all male pacers (couldn't resist to bring that up, again, obvs).

The purple streets were closing at 6am and so, I made sure to leave at approximately 5:52 to beat them. And I JUST DID. I was meeting Melissa at Percy Warner at 6:30. So, I ended up sitting in the parking lot at the park for 20 minutes because heaven forbid if I actually get out and run or walk any before she got there. Nope, I'll just sit in my car and web surf on my phone, thanks.

Originally, I wanted to run my new relay leg at the park which is mostly roads and easily navigable. But, thankfully Coach Bitch offered to run the long road leg BECAUSE SHE IS IN HELLA BETTER SHAPE THAN ME and there is no way in hell I can figure out what the leg I'm going to be running is from this description:

Leg 2: The Tennessean
Distance: 5.4 miles
Start at Scott Hollow Pavilion. Turn Right onto Talley Bluff Rd, turn left onto the Red trail, travel on the red trail to Bumblebee Hollow. Run around Tornado Ridge on the Rd. Turn left onto the red trail and run up Basswood Hollow. Turn left on the 11.2 heading back to Gum Ridge. Finish at Scott Hollow Pavilion. This leg is 4 miles of road with 1.4 miles of trail and a good tough hill. 
View Map - *New Course Design!

The only words I understand in that is... RED TRAIL. (And good, tough hill. Thanks, Coach!). So, I opted to just run the 5.8 and some of the boulevard to get 8 miles with Melissa.

Holy shit people... the 5.8 ACTUALLY FELT FINE. Like, sure 3 mile hill felt like death, but I never once considered stopping to walk and by the end of the run, I actually WANTED to run more. (But, I totes didn't).

To me... being able to run at Percy Warner Park without trying to hurl yourself off the top of the 9 mile hill overlook means I am BACK. Even if it was just 5.8. I think my head and body have finally realized.... "yeah, okay, so we are a runner again. FINE. We'll cooperate".

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Last Week in Review

So, you already know how the Tempo Run went last week:

The other items on the agenda included a track workout of 4x800s at 8:00 pace. Saturday morning, The KoB met me and we ran over to Rose Park to get these done. OH MY GOD. I hate being so whiny and complainy, but christ... nothing is feeling easy. I feel like my first couple of workouts a couple of weeks ago were fine (I was probably just delusional) but now it's like everything feels like shit. Total, utter shit. And isn't that the complete opposite of how this is supposed to work? Isn't it supposed to get easier as you go along?

Anyway, at least I did the fucking thing.

The other significant run of the week, was supposed to be a long run with the last 3 miles a progression run. That run didn't happen.

But... THIS DID.

The Run Bitches and The Sonsabitches met up on Saturday night for some dinner, drinks, and some karaoke!
Bitches in the Men's bathroom at The Hermitage Hotel.

SoBs are too cool for poses.

I mighta been born just plain white trash...
but Fancy was my name!

It was SUCH a fun night. The KoB and I stayed out later than I have in a LONG ASS TIME. But it was so worth it. 

Monday, September 22, 2014

Same Workout, Different Weeks

So, in my quest to get back into shape and HOPEFULLY have a shot at a 10 mile PR in November, Coach has been sprinkling in some baby workouts.

A couple of weeks ago, I did a 3 mile tempo run. It wasn't easy, by any means, but it also wasn't that terrible. I did it at Centennial park and just ran around the measured mile loop that I have there. I know all the quarters and was able to easily keep on pace.

No big deal, just cruising through my baby workouts.

Last week, I was given the same workout. Instead of going to the park, I decided to hijack The KoB and I's Wednesday night run and run it on the road. I knew it would be a little tougher, but I just expected it to be tough at the end, because there's a hill to climb. The first 1.5 was pretty much all downhill.
We started the tempo and from the first step... things didn't feel well. I started to freak out a little, because, this was the beginning of the tempo and it was downhill. Yet, it felt like shit. What was the last part of the tempo going to feel like going uphill?

Not looking good.

By the time we turned around, I was pretty convinced that I was going to either die trying to continue on with the tempo run, or I would end up slowing down to a 13:50 pace or something. We climbed up the hill and it felt like I was crawling. When we got to the top of it, I tried to speed up to make up for time and when we finished, I was pretty close to throwing up all over the road.

It was practically this by the end.

We finished with about a 15 second pace increase from the previous week. So, not a failure really, at all. I was pretty defeated though. I mean, it felt 100x worse than the previous week. Even the downhill part. WHY?

The KoB made a great point. He said that it's tougher to do a tempo when you don't really have any idea what pace you're going at any given time. When I run at Centennial, there are two bonuses: 1. I know what I'm running every quarter of a mile and can adjust accordingly and 2. Checking my pace every quarter of a mile gives me something else to focus on. 

I have really been thinking about this a lot. In past training cycles, I have been so concerned with getting my workouts done by the numbers, but, I haven't really been taking into consideration, the mental benefits of workouts. I need to train my brain, that I'm not going to be able to focus on my pace for every quarter of mile during races. Hell, I'll be lucky if there are mile markers to focus on. Training my brain to be able find somewhere else to go during races could be very valuable for me. 

Physically, I feel like I am a really tough and can gut my way through a lot of physical pain. But, mentally in races... I am so fragile and weak. Any little thing can set me off and get me down and make me want to quit on my goal. And, I'm starting to think that my past training has only made that worse. 

All this to say, I think doing these tempo runs on the roads is going to make a HUGE difference for me. As much as I crave the soothing rhythm of a flat, well marked loop for workouts, I think it's time to start thinking about training my brain just as much as I think about training my body.

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Random Going-Ons

A couple of weekends ago, The KoB and I made our first "longish" trip in his corvette.

Remember her?

We drove to Red Boiling Springs for a car show that my dad always goes to. It was a little warm out (at that time, there were still some A/C issues with the car) and it was supposed to rain, so we didn't ride without the t-tops, but it was still glorious. The KoB didn't enter his corvette (though, he should have, because he would have won 3rd place!!), but my dad entered his '56 and my uncle entered his '58 (? I actually have no idea) truck.

My dad won a First Place Trophy!

My Uncle also won first place in his division!
Trust me, this IS his excited face.

It was fun. 

Then this past weekend, I spent pretty much all weekend cleaning out my old bedroom and closet in my parents house. They are moving soon, so the plan was to just go in there and bag everything up for either the trash or goodwill.

Haha. Haha. Haha.

Well, that's all well and good, but once I started going through things, then it was like... ohhhhhh, I HAD FORGOTTEN ABOUT THIS, I can't throw it away!!!! So, I ended up bringing a bunch of shit home with me, that now I need to sort through and pack away. Ugh.

It was also pretty distracting, because I kept finding things and then sending my friends pics of them. Like, for instance, I had my friend, Pony's Admission Ticket for the MCAT in 2002 and I had a certificate of honor thing that was made out to my friend Dustin. Um. Why?

Also, I found my Fan Fiction Stories that I had written in middle school. I WROTE FAN FICTION, YOU GUYS! You'll never guess for what.... Gone With the Wind. Yup. Serious. My BFF, Stephanie and I were obsessed with Gone with the Wind and we both wrote stories about what happened after the final scene of the movie. I can't believe I just admitted that on the internet. 

Speaking of writing, my favorite thing to find was all my college papers. I was an English minor, and I saved all my notes/papers, etc from those classes. I actually miss writing papers about books. Some of my favorites papers were about Macbeth, The Moviegoer, and Hills Like White Elephants (I analyzed the shit out of that Hemingway story). University of South Carolina (Go Cocks!) had some GREAT English teachers.

This REALLY cracked me up.

I sent this gem of a picture to my best friend Stephanie.

Circa 1993.
We were in this drama program where "classes" were
held in some lady's basement. 
I'm not sure why Miss Australia there is wearing a red kimono.
Clearly, there were some artistic/creative licenses being taken.

Anyway, it was kinda fun to be taken back to my elementary, middle school, high school, and college years. I had a serious obsession with the band Oasis and have an entire box filled with magazines where there are articles about them, stickers, all their UK Single CDs, pictures of them printed out from the internet. I mean... it's a little creepy to look back on.

The Oasis of my High School years.
I was pretty sure I'd have the last name Gallagher at some point.
Ultimately, I think I dodged a bullet.

One thing is super clear: I was such a freaking dork. I mean... oasis memorabilia, stamp collections, Gone With the Wind FAN FICTION, I have a shadow box with ribbons and awards and certificates from high school (who hangs that shit up in their room? Weirdo), FFA Jacket, VHS tapes with SNL episodes and music videos recorded on them. RIDICULOUS. 

All, I can say is... While I am still pretty damn dorky... at least I recognize that now. And if anyone needs a English paper written... call me.

Monday, September 15, 2014

Week 9 Training

I finally feel like I can say I'm officially "training" and not just "trying to get my bearings." In the grand scheme of things... it honestly didn't take that long. And now looking back at all my bitching and moaning and navel gazing, I kinda just wanna be like... Ummm... overreact, much?

 Make room for the pity party!

So, now the pity party is officially over. (For today, at least). And I'm finally feeling inspired. To be completely honest, I'm more nervous about the Bitches Annual Relay coming up in a month, than I am about the 10 miler. We have changed things up this year. Normally, I run the trail leg. Which is like 8 miles of run hard, while trying not to trip, but admittedly, no one is going to see if you powerhike up this steep hill, or if you end up powerhiking up the steps, because YOUR LEGS ARE JELLO at that point.

This year, I'm running the first leg which is like 8-9 miles of the 11.2 loop. So, basically... you have to run hard the whole time, because it's mostly roads. Fuuuuuuck. This wouldn't be too big of a deal, because ya know.. it's a relay. it's supposed to be fun. But, I've been very vocal about wanting to go sub 4:00 this year. Melissa ran the leg at an 8:29 pace last year!!!!!!!! Which is just like.... WHOA. Seriously. In order for us to go Sub 4:00, as a team, we need to shave less than 3 minutes off our times from last year. So, yeah, I need to be at LEAST as fast as Melissa was last year. Hopefully a little faster. I AM GOING TO DIE.

In other news... it looks like I will end 2014 without a marathon finish.

It's an alternate world called...

And, I'm fine with that. I am kind of sick of the marathon training for a specific time. I've already decided that next year is going to be the year of the marathon and I might even get back onto the ultra horse. I miss running races for "fun." Not to say that I don't want to do well at them, I do... and probably next fall, I'll train for a "fast" marathon. But for now... I am enjoying being able to look at a calendar of races and be like... I can run that race, and I can run that race, and hell.. I can run that race! Instead of being like... Okay... PICK ONE race that will define your whole season. Ugh. 
Well, that was a tangent... ANYWAY... back to the week.

I'm still only running 8-10 miles as my long runs, but I finally pushed over the 35 miles a week threshold. So, that feels good. I also did a tempo run of 3 miles averaging about 8:10 pace. One thing I thought of while pushing through that workout, was how I need to start doing my tempo runs on the roads... instead of on the track or on the flat 1 mile loop at Centennial Park. Sure, it's easy to track my times there, and I typically don't have to stop for intersections, cars, etc... BUT, it's TOO flat. Harden up!

Monday, September 8, 2014

I actually did a workout, y'all!

Last week, I got my first real workout assignment from Coach:

4x800s at 8:00 pace with 400 recovery jogs.

This was referred to as a "cobweb shaker" and I was instructed not to freak out if these felt particularly awful.

I enlisted The KoB to run this workout with me. We have been rather lazy lately with our evening runs.

 Me on Wednesday nights for the past couple of months.

We ran straight over to the track and it was only as we were finishing up our warm up that I realized... AWWWWW Fuck! 800s are my least favorite workout distance. Blarg.

I found myself constantly checking in with myself during these intervals. 
How do my legs feel? They feel okay. Huh. Weird.
How does my chest feel? It feels okay. Huh. Weird.
How do I feel generally? Pretty dang good. Huh. Weird.

I fully expected to be huffing and puffing and dying my way through all but the first one. But, I was pleasantly surprised that I felt pretty dang good until the last 100 meters of the last one.

This is pretty much what they looked like.

I've already downgraded my personal expectations for The 10 miler. But, with 9 weeks to go, I am feeling pretty good that I will at least be able to PR there. My current PR is 1:19 which is just under 8:00 pace. Let's do this!

Friday, September 5, 2014

Your Weekly Non-Running Post

So, last Thursday, Mr. Bloom and I both had appointments to get groomed.

Where he went from this shaggy, hairy mess of a dog:


To this:

Who is this adorable young pup?

I barely recognized him. It's ridiculous how out of hand I let his coat get. 

And my before and afters kinda suck, because I somehow got one of those amazing well-lit before shots and then the after looks like crap. But, I assure you... my after in person looks MUCH better.

So, yeah, of course, the before has to be the
best my hair as EVER looked.

After. I got highlights and a trim!
First time EVER getting my hair highlighted.
To be completely honest, I can barely tell that there are highlights even there. Which for a first timer, is a good thing. Eventually, I might try to go a little lighter. Baby steps.
I've had a really busy, crappy, stressful week. I'm starting to think that maybe I'm overdramatizing my stress and in turn making my life more miserable than it has to be. I'm an accountant for chrissakes! I'm not performing life saving procedures here. Things can WAIT. Well... some things... I guess the IRS is pretty firm on their deadlines. 

Ever take a BOX of work home for the night?
I did on Wednesday night.

I have a bad habit of getting overwhelmed easily and spending too much time freaking out, instead of just coming up with an attack plan to get after things. That's something I'm going to try to work on. This also applies to my running. I get overwhelmed when I get behind in my weekly schedule, and instead I should just just forget about it and MOVE ON. 

Happy Friday, folks!