Cough Drops are the New GU

On Friday morning, I woke up with a sore throat and some achiness going on.  After we got back from the quickest Black Friday shopping trip ever, I plopped myself down on the couch and didn’t do much for the next two days.  I even skipped out on the redonk runner’s 4-mile Turkey Trot.  (If you didn’t participate, HURRY, you’ve got a few hours left to squeeze it in there!)  I woke up this morning feeling MUCH better, except for this damn cough.  I’m popping Halls like they’re going out of style.

Anyway, in case you’ve missed it, I’m running the St. Jude half-marathon in Memphis next Saturday and have very much half-assed my training.  I knew today was my last shot at getting in a decent long run so that I went into the half with ONE double-digit run under my belt.  (See, I told you I’ve half-assed it.)  So I threw a handful of cough drops in my jacket pocket and headed out.  Even though the radar looked like this:

I’ve always said that I don’t mind running in the rain, but let me tell ya.  TEN MILES IS A BIT MUCH.  I was drenched and freezing by mile one, but I absolutely refused to cut it short.  It rained on me from the first step to the last, never letting up in the slightest.  It was cold and not enjoyable in the least, but something miraculous happened.  I set a new 10-mile personal best!  I don’t know where that came from or how I pulled it off, but I eeked out this 10 miles 33 seconds faster than I did the last time I ran 10 miles in the spring just a couple of weeks before I PRd the half-marathon distance.  And I NEVER run negative splits, but I negative split the hell out of today’s run.  My fastest miles were miles 6, 8, and 10.

Anybody know what they’re putting in cough drops these days???  Cuz that was my ONLY fuel on this run!

I still in no way think that I’m in a position to PR on Saturday.  I really have no plan to even attempt any specific time goal.  I’m just gonna take this one for what it is, have fun, and enjoy the course and the day.  I got what I needed out of today’s run–just the comfort of knowing that I at least won’t be MISERABLE next weekend.  If I can run 10 on Sunday, 13.1 won’t kill me on Saturday.  But I may load my pockets down with cough drops just in case.

Black Friday in One Hour or Less

5:45 a.m. – Alarm goes off.  Hit snooze button.
5:54 a.m. – Alarm goes off.  Get up.
5:55 – 6:05 a.m. – Brush teeth, try to disguise bedhead, throw on clothes I wore last night.
6:10 a.m. – Leave house.
6:15 a.m. – Arrive at Lowe’s.
6:25 a.m. – Leave Lowe’s the proud new owner of these at approximately half of what the MSRP was.  (And not a Lowe’s over-inflated MSRP to make the discount look larger–I checked lots of other stores and even the Samsung web site.)

6:30 – Arrive at home.
6:35 – Change back into sweats and plant rear end on couch.

Boom.  Done.

Tuesday Night Entertainment

Step 1 – Give the dog a basketball.

Step 2 – Who needs step 2?  Step one is hilarious enough!

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Well, that lasted approximately 10 minutes before she punctured it.  lol  Oh well, it was $4 well spent for 10 minutes of laughs.  Man, I do love that dog.


I’m calling a mulligan on yesterday’s “long” run and erasing it from memory completely.  Since the longest I’ve run is seven miles and have St. Jude coming up in two weeks, I had planned to do nine this weekend, 11 next weekend, and then the half the next weekend.  Well, I set out for nine Saturday afternoon and it sucked.  S-U-C-K-E-D, SUCKED!!!!!!!!!!!  It was almost 70 degrees, which I didn’t realize when I left the house, so I was overdressed and HOT, and holy shit was it windy.  Like 20 MPH sustained winds with 35 MPH gusts.  It wasn’t so bad when they were cross winds, but for the last 3.5 miles as I headed home I was running dead into it.  And every time I met an oncoming car, it nearly blew me off the road.  It wore my butt out.  There was once I looked down and was running at nearly a 12:00 pace.  DOWNHILL.  That was about when I said, “Eff this!” and cut it a mile short to eight and walked home.

So!  This week instead of doing four- and five-mile runs in the evenings like I have been, I think I’ll kick it up to six miles and try for ten or eleven on Saturday.  I’m just gonna completely pretend like yesterday never happened.  I know it’s not indicative of my fitness level because I’ve been running my midweek runs as fast as and faster than I was before I basically sat out the summer.  While I still don’t expect my performance in Memphis to be anything short of laughable, I just don’t want to be miserable for the last five miles.  The next two weeks are all about doing what I can to keep that from happening.  And I’m more than open to any advice on two-week half-marathon training plans.

Pam Does Virginia

Last Thursday I hopped on a plane headed to Virginia to see my bestest bud Michele!  We had been tossing around the notion of me making a trip up for a visit for a little while now, and when we began looking at dates that I could come and realized that one of the possibilities was the weekend of the Richmond Marathon that she JUST SO HAPPENED to already be registered for, I was all over it!

I landed in Charlottesville (how convenient to have an airport two miles from your house!) an hour and a half later than planned, (Thanks for sucking as always, US Airways.) just in time to get back to her house before her son got home from school.  Thursday evening was a relaxing, low-key evening consisting of Thai food (sweet, delicious, drool-worthy Thai food) and an elementary school chorus Veteran’s Day presentation.  And did I mention the Thai food?

On Friday, the plan was to be in Richmond around lunchtime.  Once we FINALLY got out of the city (traffic in C’ville was NUTS!), things were smooth sailing.  We were able to check into the hotel way earlier than the scheduled check-in time, walk to the Omni Hotel, and take advantage of the free shuttle to the expo.  Michele collected her bib, shirt, and goody bag (bib #12312!  Seriously, could you handpick a luckier sounding bib number???), and then we headed in.  Even though I wasn’t running, man, I love me an expo.  This one wasn’t bad.  It was a far cry from an RnR event expo, but hey, what can you expect.  I still spent more at this one than I have ever spent at an expo before.  Although that’s really not saying much.  I do love to look at everything at expos but I rarely buy much.  I added to my collection of Sweaty Bands, bought another sticker for my bib display album thingie, and bought a pair of sunglasses to replace the ones that I bought at the CMM expo in April that I broke a couple of months ago.  After that it was back to the hotel to pick up the vehicle and head to dinner.

Dinner was a great time in itself!  Huge thanks to G and T for organizing a fabulous bloggy meetup/pasta party!!!  And what does every good little blogger do when presented with the opportunity?  That’s right, kids.  We take pictures!

That’s me, Jen, and T (Where did G go???) on the left.  I don’t know any of the other lovely ladies, but I’m sure they are all equally FABULOUS!  If any of them are you, speak up!)

Jen, G, and me

Me and Michele

And me & T

And I carb loaded with the best of them.  Because, hey, spectating is hard work too!  So with bellies full of pasta and beer (oh wait, that was just me?  oh yeah…), we all began calling it a night and going our separate ways.  There was sleep to be had and miles to be run early the next morning!

Saturday morning, J and I escorted Michele to her corral.

BRRRRRRR!!!! Thank goodness for Starbucks!

When it got close to time for the start, we wished her luck and headed to the start line to see everyone off.  After the half began, we headed to the starting corrals for the full and tried to connect with some of the other girls, but we had no luck.  Too many people, too little time.

Have any of you ever stuck around the starting area after a big race takes off?  Man, it’s like a wasteland!  It’s eerily quiet with clothes EVERYWHERE!!!  I resisted the urge to “shop” through them, but J couldn’t resist.  LOL  He snagged a long-sleeve race shirt for the half that someone had discarded.

So for the next two hours and change, it was me and a 10-year-old boy.  Luckily we had the foresight to toss his football into my backpack before we left the room that morning, so that gave us plenty to do.  Between the start and finish areas was a big park (Capital Square, I think?) with big grassy areas perfect for throwing and punting the football to each other, having long-throw contests, and rolling down hills blindfolded.  (Okay, that last part was just J, and I SWEAR he did it by choice!  CPS, I did NOT blindfold the kid and push him down a hill, I promise!)

Capital Square

When it was about time for people to start finishing, we made our way to the finish line.  About the time we came within earshot of the announcer, the first female finisher was crossing the finish line.  We stood there cheering people on, chatting with other spectators, and trying to find the best vantage point.  We ended up on the second floor of a parking garage with a PERFECT view!  We stood there eagerly watching for Michele to come zooming down the finishing stretch.  It was so exciting to be able to see a friend finishing strong!  We were yelling like crazy, but she never heard us because we were right across the street from the announcer’s speaker, which was quite loud.

2:06 baby!  You rock!!!!

We made our way back to the hotel and left Richmond shortly after.  But not before stopping off at the Cheesecake Factory for lunch.  Helloooooooooo pumpkin pecan cheesecake.  Because spectating burns calories too!

But if spectating didn’t burn them off, surely the next day did.  Charlottesville is only a couple of hours away from Washington DC, and I had never been, so Michele took me!  She’s been several times, so she’s got it all down pat.  This small-town girl would have been lost as last year’s Easter egg just trying to figure out the Metro.  So we went, and we walked, and we walked, and we walked some more, and along the way I got to see SO MANY things!

But all good things must come to an end.  Sunday was my last day in Virginia.  On Monday I had to fly back home to reality.  Job, laundry, dog hair, bills, responsibility, blah, blah, BLAH!!!!!!!  But it was fun while it lasted.  And it’ll be fun again.  The next time Virginia and I meet.  (<——-foreshadowing)

Fyrne Lake 10K Trail Race Report

Several months ago I registered for a 10k that was scheduled for this morning.  During my last 10K, I missed my goal time by a stinking 34 seconds.  I viewed this as my rematch.  I knew that it was a trail run, but because I believed what was on the web site, I thought I may just have a shot at that PR.

From the web site:  “This is a beginner friendly trail run located in the beautiful Fyrne Lake Farms. This course has very little technical terrain. Most of the course is flat or downhill.” 
Let me just say this.  LIES!!!!!  ALL LIES, I TELL YOU!!!!  ALL LIES!!!!!!!
I realize that a lot of the technicality of today’s run wasn’t anyone’s fault.  It rained Thursday and Friday before the race, and dirt + rain = mud any way you wanna look at it.  Also fallen leaves + rain = slickness.  But the part about flat and downhill?  Yeah, that’s where the lies come in.
Uh-huh.  Flat my lily white ass.
At least they got the “beautiful” part right.  Because it. was. BEAUTIFUL.  I wish I had taken my camera because looking over the bluff with the trees all changing colors… it was breathtaking.
Anyway, I think it goes without saying that I didn’t come anywhere CLOSE to what I would have run had this been a road race.  Given that this was my first trail run EVER, I’ll take what I got and go with it.  I’m really not sure that I’ll be participating in anymore trail races though.  It obviously takes someone much more coordinated than I to be able to navigate trails successfully.  If there was a hole or a loose rock or a hidden puddle on that course, you can bet it was me that found it.  I can definitely see the appeal of training on trails, but I don’t think I have any interest in racing one again.  I’m just an asphalt kind of gal.
Next up:  St. Jude Half Marathon!

Let’s Talk About Moi

The fabulous Kim recently tagged me in her “Tell Me About Yourself” post, and I decided to play along for a change.  Yeah, I usually blow these things off, but let’s face it, I’m struggling for blog topics at the moment.  Good timing, Kim!
Now let’s get down to business!
1.   I got my first job when I was 14 years old.  My parents owned a video store, and I worked there as a clerk.  From there I went to car hop, then to bank teller, to medical transcriptionist (with a little bit of legal transcription for fun and for extra $$$), and then to the ol’ P.O.
2.   My first car was a Dodge Shadow when I was 16.  Then an Altima, a Corvette, a Tahoe, and now an H3.  I missed the memo about making more practical purchases as you get older.
3.   There are certain words and phrases that are like fingernails on a chalkboard to me.  Thankfully they are usually short-lived in the popular “slang,” but the latest and greatest is the one that nearly puts me over the edge every time I hear it:  “Awesomesauce.”  Easily the most obnoxious word EVER uttered in the English language.
4.   I hate technology.  Until I learn how to use it, that is.  I always resist the change, but then when I finally conform, I’m a total nerd about it.  That being said, I just installed the Garmin Training Center software.  (Yeah, I’ve had my 305 for almost two years, and I’m just now installing the software..)  Now that I have all this new data at my fingertips, be prepared to see lots of pictures like this:
5.   I battle insomnia something fierce.  The older I get, the worse it gets.
6.   November is my absolute favorite month of the year.  It’s cool but not freezing cold.  There are two paid government holidays.  More family time.  And the holiday season is starting but without the full-blown craziness of December.
7.   I am a HUGE St. Louis Cardinals fan and have absolutely been on Cloud 9 since last Friday night.  World champs, baby!!!  Got squirrel?