Twenty Six Point Two

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

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Still Thawing

So, yeah, we are still kind of thawing out. The roads are all fine and the sidewalks are good to go with the occasional icy patch. But the lot next to my building that I have to cross when I take Mr. Bloom out is still an ice skating rink. And, frankly, I'm sick of it.

Since the weather and roads were so bad last week, when Friday rolled around and I hadn't seen The KoB since the previous Sunday, I was like... I'm getting the hell out of here and coming up to see you. The weather forecast was snow Friday afternoon and night and then it was supposed to rain all of Saturday. Perfect! The rain will get rid of the ice, right?

It started snowing pretty heavy on my drive to his house and by the time I got to his neighborhood and started to pull into his driveway, I realized...

I found myself saying this all weekend.

His driveway was iced over and since it's straight uphill with no way to get momentum, we had to just leave my car at the bottom of the driveway. No problem, right? Except, that it was blocking the driveway, which meant that his car, which is 4x4 and had no problem with the icy driveway, was blocked in.

Ehhh... No biggie, it's going to rain all day tomorrow anyway and melt the ice, right?

So, we went inside and I watched him run on the treadmill while drinking boxed wine out of a tallboy glass.
 Tami Taylor is my spirit animal
with her enormous wine glasses filled to the top.

Now, The KoB has just moved into his house and so there is only one tv and a dvd player (both of which get moved from the dining room table to the gym depending on where he is). There is no cable and he doesn't have an antennae for his tv, so our only choice is DVDs. Lucky for me, he has about 15 steven seagal straight to dvd movies that he picked up at food lion earlier in the week. Since he had foolishly bragged to me about that purchase, I brought a couple of dvds of my own to watch. 

Saturday morning I fully expected to wake up to rain and slush. Sadly, I woke up to rain that was freezing as soon as it hit the ice. I kept thinking... yeah, okay... it's going to get warmer today and by mid-day the ice will be gone.

But, it never did.

I was starting to get that caged in feeling. My cell phone had died (only a car charger with me) and of course The KoB's phone doesn't have internet (I'm starting to make him sound like the unabomber or something), so when I wanted to know the forecast for tomorrow, I had to call my mom with his phone. 

One distraction was we spent about 30 minutes tredging through the rain and the icy neighborhood to try and find a stray dog's owner.

Finally, around 4pm, we were desperate and tried for the zillionth time of the day to get my car out from the blocking the driveway. Miraculously, The KoB was able to move it up the street a bit and free up his driveway.

 My car, safely on the side of the ROAD 
instead at the bottom of the driveway.

I have never in my life been so happy to go to Food Lion. The truth is, we were down to one Pop Tart and a couple of fake meat burgers. AND NO BEER. We got to food lion and spent over 100 dollars on junk food, dvds, a phone charger, beer, something called frozen dairy dessert that I thought was ice cream, and a magazine. It was glorious.

  almost this glorious.

By the end of the weekend, we had watched bits and pieces of Steven Segal movies while on the treadmill, Into the Wild, the first disc of Rome, most of Die Hard, and Smokey and the Bandit 2.

Sally Field was wayyyyy hotter than Daisy Duke. 
I'm just sayin'.

We were both signed up for a race on Sunday morning (a half for me and a full for The KoB). And it ended up getting cancelled (an hour and 22 minutes before the start of the race) because of the icy conditions.

All-in-all, it was actually a really fun weekend. Sure we could have been productive and put his new doorknobs on or hung up curtain rods and curtains in the bedroom. And it sucked that the weather was so miserable that running was limited to the treadmill. But, sitting around watching crappy movies (and a couple of not crappy ones) made for a pretty fun weekend.

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Greetings from the Iceapocalypse

The parking lot at work this morning.

Let's back up, shall we? Saturday morning, was actually a beautiful winter day. Liz and I met up at Edwin Warner Park for a 10 miler that just couldn't end too soon. I mean, the company was great, the weather was great, but damnnnnnnnn. I just didn't feel like running. But, thanks to an out and back course, we got our planned 10 miles.

As we were finishing we heard what sounded like a dog fight in the bushes. Turns out... it was just Sonofabitch, Jeff, trying to scare us. But, then he legitimately scared us, by telling us that The KoB had left to take his brother to the ER because he had taken a nasty spill on the trail.

Sunglasses added by me.
 I didn't ask for permission to post this pic,
so, I thought I'd censor it a bit.
I'm classy (and artistic) like that.

Luckily, for him, it wasn't an important day or anything like his daughter's first birthday party or anything. OH WAIT, YES IT WAS.
The smartest, most beautiful, and perfect 1 year old on the planet.

Thankfully, he didn't break anything, but he did get some stitches and percocets.

After an eventful morning of forgetting things and driving back to my house twice to get them, it was time to head to The KoB's brother and sister-in-laws house for our darling little niece's 1st Birthday Party. Full disclosure: I heard there was going to be a ratio of about 1:1 kids to adults and frankly, I was nervous about that. Don't get me wrong.... I LOVE kids, but... more like... in a situation, where there are 4 adults to every kid. Groups of kids terrify me.

This was what I expected.
Especially with no booze.

I am happy to report, that I discovered that when you have a large group of kids, they all just hang out with each other and don't bother the adults. Lesson learned.... either have 1 kid or 6 kids.

Another lesson learned: It's impossible to take good photos
with a zillion kids around. 

On Sunday, there was a Striders Long Run planned, but with single digit temps, I easily bailed on the run and opted to stay in bed a little longer. IF ONLY I HAD KNOWN OF WHAT WAS TO COME!

Sunday night, with still freezing temps, I did manage to get out and run a quick 6 miles around the 'hood. Not nearly close to the back-2-back longish runs that I wanted to do. But, better than nothing, right?

Monday morning I awoke to the Iceapocalypse:

This was actually taken on Tuesday, not Monday.
That's ice. Not snow.

It's day 3 and I'm finally not the only one at work (the joys of living 1 block from your office, when all your co-workers live 30 minutes away). But, the sidewalks are still impossibly coated with ice. I'm not sure when I'm going to get to run again. The temperatures aren't slated to warm up till the weekend. UGH. This is not boding well for my upping my mileage plan.

I walked to CVS yesterday and snagged the last carton of eggs and the next to last loaf of bread. I'm actually surprised that there were any left, but I guess Vandy kids either don't have access to a stove to cook eggs or they just consider it peasant food. 

I also took a helper to work with me....

Turns out, Mr. Bloom isn't that adept at
preparing tax returns.

He did secure the area and make sure it was safe though.

All-in-all, it's been kind of fun. We haven't had this type of storm/weather in a LONG time. And it's easy for me to say it's been fun, because I live within walking distance of work, stores, restaurants. Otherwise, yes... it would SUCK. And it does suck that I can't run. I did see a guy running in the parking garage here at work on Monday... So, maybe I'll try that if things don't thaw out on the sidewalks soon.

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Pants. Pants. Pants. Pants.

It's winter. Which means about 50% of my runs are done with something covering my legs. And for every winter that I've been running, that means one of two looks:

Running Tights: if I'm feeling skinny and have a long enough shirt to wear with them. Which, I have no pictures of. I guess I don't feel skinny enough to wear just tights that often.

Or... the ugly looking... tights with running shorts over them:

 Run Bitch!
Also, after 2 years, I still can't believe Melissa
forgot to wear her Bitch shirt to a Bitch Race.

Well, as you know, this is the Year of Vain Amy, so I am actively trying to shed some weight that was gained late last fall, and that means feeling pretty gross in all of my clothing. Particularly, my running tights that are creating a lovely muffin top with my too-tight-for now running tops.

Last week, I was perusing Running Warehouse's Sale section and came across these pants:

Nike Women's Thermal Pant.

I was intrigued. They are still fitted, but they aren't skin tight.
And, they look decent in the butt, too!

The main selling point for me is that they also come in lengths. So, I was able to get a SHORT length for my petite short ass legs. AND they are currently on sale from Running Warehouse for $48.88 (and use code FB15D for an additional 15% off).

So far, I LOVE THEM. Such a great alternative to tights. I think I'll probably order a couple more pairs and fully retire the shorts over tights look. The best thing is that on REALLY cold days, I'll be able to layer my running tights under these for two layers of warmth.

Anybody else rocking the shorts over tights look? Am I the only one that does that?

Monday, February 9, 2015

Deluded. So Freaking Deluded.

So, Saturday went spectacularly awful. I ran a hilly half marathon. And I died at about mile 6.

I could blame the time of day:11am is a WEIRD time to run.

I could blame the unexpected warm temperatures: Sunny and 60 degrees in February? Bliss! But, also pretty brutal.

But, I think most likely is that I am just still not in any kind of shape, endurance-wise. During and after the race, all I could think about was how I've been doing the work and my endurance just isn't coming back. Wahhhhh. Whine. Blah. Woe is Me.

But, this morning, as I started to write this post about how disappointing and frustrating it is to get back into shape, I was looking back through my log and um. Well. The evidence is there. And it's not supporting my argument. Stupid Log.

Let's break it down:

I've had the following mileage weeks since Dec 1:
38, 40, 39, 48, 40, 50, 37, 45, 26, 38, 37 for an average of 39 miles a week. 


Now, should an average of 39 miles a week garner a half marathon race performance of DYING at mile 6 or 7? No way. I think being out of shape was ONE factor, but based on how awful I felt after the race (couldn't drive home, thought I was going to puke and die for about an hour after the race, and I almost had a serious blackout and had to sit down in the tub in the middle of my shower. FUN TIMES) I don't think it's the reason I died so early. I think likely my nutrition was fucked.

But, does an average of 39 miles a week mean that I should be easily knocking out 15 mile long runs? Also, No way.

The data doesn't lie. And neither does DNA. I'm not an "athlete." I can't just run 3 days a week and get into shape or even stay in shape. I have to put in a ton of freaking work and miles to get anywhere in my running. So, yes... I am running most days a week again. And that's great and an awesome step to building a base, again. But, I'm not running the type of mileage that FOR ME garners much of an endurance base.

Ugh. So, what does that mean? Well, the simple answer is that, I just need to run more miles and more often. And stop complaining to everyone that I'm working so hard and not getting any of my endurance back. It's not rocket science.

But, I'm considering a different tactic.  So, I'm running a marathon in about... 4 weeks. BWHAHAHWHAHAHAHAHAHAH. And my main concern has been building my long run up to a respectable distance. Because, DUH. That's what you do, right?

But, I think... for a couple of these 4 weeks, at least, I'm going to try a different tactic. I'm going to try to beef up my overall mileage and scale back my long run mileage.

For instance of instead of a week looking like this:

M: 6 miles
T: 5 miles
W: 3 miles
Th: 8 miles
F: 3 miles
Sa: 15 miles
Su: Off

Maybe, I'll try this:

M: 6 miles
T: 7 miles
W: am: 6 miles pm: 6 miles
Th: 9 miles
F: Off?
Sa: 10 miles
Su: 10 miles

I think back-to-back mid-length long runs would be a HUGE gain for me right now. I also think that two-a-days will help, as well.

So, while it sucks to realize that maybe I haven't been working as hard as I thought I was (or as hard as it feels like), at least I've actually realized that um... I'm not doing what I really need to be doing. And the next step... is to fix it.

Thursday, February 5, 2015

Well, shit. I actually do care what people think.

I used to run for fun and didn't give a shit about my time.

 It was bliss.

Then I ran to improve my times and gave all the shits about my time.

A fairly accurate representation.

Then I burned out and didn't give a shit about running.


Now I enjoy running again and don't give a shit about my time.

 Full circle.

But, it's almost like... you can't go home again, ya know? I've been running without a watch mostly and so, I just log my runs at 10 minute mile runs. Which, I'm fine with. But, in reality... some (or ya know, ALL) of those runs are probably slower than that. And, I'm still fine with that. I really don't care what my time is.

But, apparently, I do still care what other people think about my time. Because one of my biggest issues lately is I've signed up for some races and while I just want to run these as training runs and because my friends are running them. I still know that I will inevitably feel bad, when after the race, we are all standing around and someone asks me the...

How'd you do?

And I'll reply truthfully with a... oh, I just ran it as a training run.

And then I know they'll see my name in the results with a time that is probably like 30 minutes over my PR time and they'll think... MY GOD. WHAT THE FUCK HAPPENED TO HER?

And I realize, OF COURSE no one else really cares that much about my time. I know they don't. And most people won't even notice my name with a 2:15 Half Time written next to it.

But, then again... OF COURSE people care. People who don't like me or people who think I'm slow or people who are competitive with me.


And then I think... well, what if I were coming off a physical injury... How would that scenario play out?

Hey, Amy, How'd you do?

Oh, ya know, I'm just getting back after a broken femur, so, I was just jogging the race.

And they'd be all.. Ohhhhhhh... GOOD FOR YOU! WOW! YOU ARE AWESOME!

But, I didn't have a broken femur. I had a broken spirit. And no one gives a shit about your broken spirit.

Buck up, buttercup. You can still run with a broken spirit.

So, yeah, it's going to suck for awhile. My ego is going to take a hit. HEY, DOES THAT INJURY COUNT????? But, it's a small price to pay to actually have the joy of running back in my life.

But man, I really, really wished I just didn't give a fuck what people thought.

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

New Age Group, Bitches! Weekend Review

Saturday Morning:

I met Liz at 6:15 to get in 3 miles before the Nashville Striders Group 14 miler. I had been fighting a cold since Wednesday and I was unsure how that was going to affect me on the run.

I am happy to report that the cold didn't really bother me, but, my lack of fitness sure as hell did! I struggled hard for the last 2 miles or so. Sheesh. I managed to get in 16 miles. My early March marathon is likely to be a sufferfest. But, I don't care. I'm going to cross a state off the list and have a blast on a trip with friends. I haven't ran a marathon since December 2013. Ready or not... it's time.

Saturday Day:

The KoB finally moved into his house. So, I got to ride shotgun in a U-Haul and instead of helping too much, I basically blew my nose every 2 minutes and offered unsolicited suggestions of how I thought the U-Haul should be loaded.


Saturday Evening:

The Bitches and Sonsabitches got together for dinner. We went to a new french place. Meh. The highlight was that it was right next door to a Dairy Queen, so guess where we went for dessert?

See that strawberry sundae I'm eating?
Only 260 calories, bitches.
Sunday Morning:

My birthday! I turned 35 and crossed over into a new age group. The KoB and I cleaned and straightened his house up a bit, but it was pouring rain all day and just kind of blah.

Eventually we headed to my parents house for dinner and dessert. It was a good birthday. Nice to spend the morning/day with The KoB and my pup, Leo. And then spend the evening with my family, too.

The KoB and I don't really do "gifts," but he thoughtfully surprised me with a print of my ole college stomping grounds:

 Go Cocks!!!!!

and a smaller print of a red panda (inside joke):

Totes adorbs.

It was unexpected and super thoughtful and I cannot wait to frame and hang them up!

It's hard to believe that I've been living for 35 years. My life might not be what I had imagined it would be, but man, it is just right.

Monday, February 2, 2015

January 2015 Review

As a sign that I am REALLY COMMITTED to this Year of Vain Amy, I've decided to do monthly wrap-ups on my progress.

My main goal for the year, as you know, is to get in the BEST SHAPE OF MY LIFE. Which first of all... means losing weight.

Me, in 2014.
Man, I miss that year.

So, I took the first step on Dec 30th and stood on the scale and was horrified. But, I started counting calories and I committed to losing weight and getting into shape. And as of Jan.30th, I weighed.... 

Ugh. I am pretty disappointed. BUT, this isn't my first rodeo with losing weight, so, I know that if I just keep sticking with it, the pounds will start to fall off. And, if I'm really looking on the bright side of things... at least I didn't gain any weight, right? It's the YEAR of vain Amy, not the month. It's going to be okay. 

As far as the keeping up with my skin care regime, that's going better. I managed to go through the whole process most days and nights (although, I did skip a few nights and just wiped my makeup off instead). And my skin is looking better. It's dry as the fucking mojave desert, but it's less splotchy.

My reading wasn't quite up to par this month. I finished one book:

Which put me at a measly 19 pages per day count. (My goal is 25 pages a day). My main problem is that I've started watching Gossip Girl from the first episode on Netflix and so, most of my free time lately has been consumed with watching that. It's a sickness. But, I'm not embarrassed by my enjoyment of a lame, teeny bopper show. I'm going to try to limit myself on the number of episodes I watch a day, so that I can commit more time to getting some quality reading done. I'm about 1/3 of the way through a book right now and I've got a bunch of others on my "to read" list.
I tried to shoot some video with my GoPro this month, but upon uploading it to my computer, I realized that it had been set to photo. So, instead of 5 minutes of video, I ended up with 200 photos. FAIL. 

But my biggest fail of the month came with the music resolution. I'm still on the Podcast train. And, honestly, I'm just going to completely give up on this resolution to spend more time listening to music. It's dumb. However, I am starting to run out of back episodes of my favorite Podcasts to listen to... so if anyone has any suggestions... feel free to let me know! My favorite shows are RadioLab, Here's the Thing, Invisibilia, Serial (the first 4 episodes, at least), and This American Life. RECOMMEND AWAY.
January wasn't the best month of RESULTS for my resolutions. But, surprisingly, I still feel good about the progress and about moving forward.