Day 224: Who Doesn't Love Being Called Gorgeous?

“Horsies!”

Rest day! I think I’m going to like running in the evenings, although it was a little hard for me to “settle down” last night, shut my trap and GO TO SLEEP. I’m sure Mr. T noticed.

T Junior is napping right now and we’re gonna hit the library when he wakes up. He’s been asking to go to “Stowy Time” all day. This morning we went to an outlet mall where they have a carousel. So we did that and then I found another pair of running capris at Marshalls. I only have one pair and I wear them all the time, which means I wash them all the time, and I’m afraid they’re going to just, plain wear out.

Next to the mall’s parking lot was a construction site filled with excavators and bulldozers just working their little mechanical hearts out. So I pulled my trusty blue Odyssey up alongside the site and rolled one window down so T Junior could get the full effect of the “trackors.” We sat there for a while and watched them push gravel and scoop dirt. It was great!

Then I got lazy and decided to get us McDonald’s for lunch, but I changed my mind. Haha! Win! We came home instead. Mac & Cheese with a chicken hot dog for T Junior (basically, his favorite) and my favorite for me. My favorite lately has been a soup and sandwich: two pieces of high fiber bread, light mayo spread thin, two tomato slices, 1-2 pieces of deli meat (today it was pastrami), yellow mustard, two thin slices of pickle, two thin slices of sharp cheddar and some thinly sliced red onion. YUM! With a cup of tomato soup. Way better than my usual #8 (Southern Chicken Sandwich) at MickeyD’s.

The other day I received the Gorgeous Blogger Award from new bloggy friend Robyn. She made me smile. So, thanks again Robyn! And, I know I’ve said it before, but the bloggy/runner community is just so awesome. Love you guys! Okay, okay, enough mush. Now, my 6 random facts (that I admit I didn’t have much time to think about so these will be really random):

-I once interviewed country singer Clint Black for a freelancing gig I was doing. I did the interview on my cell phone during my lunch hour at my desk on the 7th floor in the building of my old corporate “day” job. He kept appologizing to ME for the connection and having to do the interview on his cell phone. (Oh, and that dude can TALK. I was barely able to get the questions in.)

-I finally picked a writing genre and I’m going to stick with it. I swear! I’ve always adored children’s picture books (I couldn’t wait to have a kid of my own to read to), and that was the genre I wanted to do when this whole “have to write a book” thing started. So, I’m going to focus on children’s picture books. And, guess what? Big surprise, I’m blogging about it here if you’re interested. No more genre-ADD.

-I read lots of books at one time. For example, right now, I’m reading The Book Thief (Markus Zusak), Bitter is the New Black (Jen Lancaster), Sole Sisters (Jennifer Lin and Susan Warner), On Writing Well (William Zinsser) and How to be Popular (Meg Cabot). I just pick them up and put them down. It all depends on what mood I’m in.

-My all-time favorite movie is: You’ve Got Mail. People say it’s cheesy and contradictory (Meg Ryan’s shop is closing because of the “big, bad Fox Books” chain, yet she drinks Starbuck’s coffee), but I don’t care. I just adore this movie. It’s like an old, soft sweatshirt.

-Since I started running again, my skin has been breaking out more. It’s like I’m back in junior high. Ick. I got Proactiv, which has worked for me in the past, but it seems to be making my skin so dry this time!

-I have a bad habit of picking my fingernails, so they are really short. I don’t realize I’m doing it until after the damage is done.

Okay, so those last couple were weird, but I guess I’d appreciate any advice on those two matters.

There are so many GORGEOUS bloggers out there, but I will pass this along to Zoë, who I’m pretty sure was one of my first Virtual Running Buddies, if not THE first. She’s so inspiring to me, always encouraging and she’s a great real-life running buddy, too. Thanks, Zoë!

Day 223: You're a Winner & I'm a Runner

Thank you so much to everyone who entered my Nuun Giveaway! I really love this stuff and it’s so great that I get to share a product I love with you! The winner is…

Barefoot Angie B…who said she’s looking for some hydration options other than “Hatorade” this year. LOL! Perfect! Congrats, Angie! Please send me your address: kerrie (at) sanitydepartment (dot) com.

So, Lisa mentioned in the comments the other day that I have won a lot of giveways lately. I have! I don’t know where the lucky streak is coming from. I should buy a Lotto ticket or something. I’m not trying to rub it in, I’m just sayin’…enter giveaways! You just never know when it might be your lucky day!

DAY 223
Thursday is normally a rest day, but I’ve been thinking a lot about my schedule and it needs to change. I need Friday to be a rest day so that I can tackle Long Run Saturdays in the mornings.

I can’t work out at lunch on Thursdays, though. I’ve mentioned before that I call an elderly woman through a local Phone Buddy service to chat with her once a week during my lunch hour. Before I get on the phone, though, I eat quickly at my desk and catch up on my Virtual Running Buddies!

I was doing that today when a co-worker walked by. “It must be old lady day…” he said.

I nodded. “Yep.”

“…’Cause it’s gorgeous out and you’re not running.>”

I laughed on the outside, but I beamed inside. I don’t think he knew what a HUGE compliment that was.

I am a runner.

Sometimes I forget.

Anyway, this newly rearranged schedule means I need to run in the evenings on Thursdays. I’m not a big fan of running at night. For some reason, evening dark is scarier than morning dark. But I haven’t had a lot of luck on my morning runs anyway, so what the heck, right?

Since it’s been staying light out longer after work, I decided to go after picking up T Junior from day care. I was only scheduled for 3 miles, which is manageable with the BOB. We came home, I changed into my running clothes (and new hat from Amanda – I LOVE it!) and got a snack for my kiddo. Then I bundled him up and out we went…

…to stand out on the sidewalk FOREVER and wait for my Garmin to find a satellite. I had to turn it off and then on again, and FINALLY it connected.

We headed out on the first 1.25-mile town loop, which is mostly straight and on sidewalks — better for BOBs. I felt good for running with the jogging stroller. As we approached the house, T Junior yelled, “Daddy’s Car!”

Woohoo!

We crossed the street, parked in the garage and I dropped him off with Mr. T. Then I went on my second loop…now with the ability to swing my arms. Yay! I was feeling good, but for some reason, I stopped at 2.7 miles instead of 3. Not sure why I did that. Guess, I thought I was done after two loops, forgetting they didn’t add up to 3 miles.

Oh well. I did strength tonight, too. Same abs/arms/thighs routine as last night, just without the curtsies and the lunges because I forgot them.

Added on 2/26: I forgot to post my running times:
2/25/10 – 2.7 Miles – 26:41
Average pace: 9:53
Mile 1: 10:29 (with the BOB)
Mile 2: 9:47 (without the BOB)
.7 miles: 9:08 pace

COMING UP:
1. A big Thank You to Robyn at Ramblings of a Wannabe Writer and Runner. She sent me the Gorgeous Blogger Award! I need to list six things about me, so I will give it some thought and post them tomorrow. Thanks, Robyn, for being a great bloggy friend!
2. One of these days I’ll get to post another review! I have a bunch, but they’re all stacked up in a long line worse than Disneyland’s Space Mountain (always the longest wait, don’t you think?).

Days 221-222: Elliptical Adventures & More

DAY 221
I am addicted to adventure. Well, small adventures anyway. It’s not likely I’ll be trying out for Amazing Race any time soon.

So when bloggy friend and Virtual Running Buddy, Lisa (Lisa Runs? Wait…What?) encouraged me to give the elliptical machine a try, I knew it would at least make for a good blog post if nothing else. Lisa has been injured and the elliptical is one of the ways she is staying in shape while waiting to heal. She raves about it. So does my long-time friend, Nicole, on Facebook.

It’s just that the elliptical machine has always scared me. It’s got those crazy poles that fly seemingly uncontrollably back and forth right in front of your face! But I was feeling inspired by Lisa and Nicole, I decided to give the elliptical a try Tuesday on my lunch hour — cross training day — at the Secret Gym.

The nice thing about the Secret Gym is that it is small. My lunch hour starts earlier than most of the working world, so I am usually the first one in the gym and a lot of the times, the only one. Occasionally, there are a couple of other women I see in there on a regularish basis. One of them, a blonde who is probably in her mid- to late-50s, uses the elliptical every time.

As usual, I walked in the gym on Tuesday and the lights switched. I turned on the ceiling fan and set down my big green gym bag. I put my phone, my water bottle and a book on the elliptical, and stepped up onto the machine.

At first, I felt a bad getting on the machine. I didn’t know if the Elliptical Lady would be there or not, but if she did show up, I knew I’d be on “her” machine. Then, I figured we all pay for the little gym, so I am entitled to use whatever piece of machinery I want. She doesn’t own the elliptical. It doesn’t have her name on it.

It took me about 5 minutes to figure out how to turn it on, but I got it set on intervals and then put the resistance on 10 (which what I think Lisa told me to do). I started to move my feet and tried desperately to hold onto the crazy poles. It took me about 3 seconds to figure out reading my book was not going to happen. I needed a magazine. Something that could stay open on its own.

I got off the machine and found a trashy tabloid dated the beginning of February. Even though it was a few weeks old, I learned tons. For example, did you know celebrities are just like us? They go grocery shopping and feed parking meters, too! And, I also am glad I found out that Jessica’s Simpson’s boobs are looking bigger lately. I was wondering about that.

Soon I was engrossed in whether or not George Clooney looks better with or without a beard (without, duh) and started to get the hang of the elliptical. It was a little dicey every time I had to let go of the poles to turn the page of the magazine, but otherwise I really liked it. (Hold on to the middle handle for page-flipping or checking your text messages or getting a sip of water.) I felt like I sweated a lot and had a great workout, but didn’t have the impact on my knees and ankles that I usually feel a little after running.

I was about half way done with my 30-minute workout when I saw Elliptical Lady get out of her car in the parking lot. Crap!

She’s a fast changer and was in the gym in no time at all. I heard her behind me lifting some weights on the weight machine and wondered if she was swearing at me under her breath. From what I could hear, she didn’t seem very dedicated on the weights and I could sense she was killing time while waiting for me to get off the elliptical.

I tried to ignore her back there and I concentrated on a critique of Tina Fey’s Golden Globe gown (too young for her, said critics – What? What-ever!).

I was really huffing and puffing toward the end of my workout, and when I finally got off the elliptical my legs were wobbly. Elliptical Lady was probably laughing at me in her head. Stupid girl. That’s what you get for stealing my machine.

I’m glad I tried something new, though. I was a little bummed that I couldn’t figure out how to see my “results” from the elliptical machine, especially since I took the time to enter my age and weight, and all that.

But I really like switching things up. Thanks, Lisa and Nicole for inspiring me!

Trying new things in your workout routine is also good for weightloss, if that’s a goal for you. If you haven’t already, you should check out three posts on RunnerDude’s blog:
Sprint & Lift
Running, Resistance Training & Weight Loss
So How Many Calories Do I Need?

DAY 222
Surprise! My arms were sore from the elliptical on Wednesday morning. Really?

Wednesday’s schedule called for strength and a 2-miler, treadmill-style. At lunch, I walked out into the parking lot with a co-worker. “Sunshine,” I said before driving the 60 seconds it takes to the Secret Gym.

When I got into the bathroom to change, I saw that I had a text from Mel (Tall Mom on the Run) saying her and Amanda (5 Miles 2 Empty) were headed toward my office in 15-20 minutes.

The message was from 15 minutes earlier!

Ack! I quickly texted back that I was at the gym, but then I thought, It’s a quick drive back, I’ll just return to the office and run to meet them. I texted Mel again: “let me drive back – b there in a sec.”

I finished getting dressed, ran to my car and found a spot back at the office. The sun was gone. I sprinted upstairs and exchanged my gym bag for a pair of sunglasses. I was wearing my new BondiBand, but I really could have used a baseball hat in case of rain. That’s why the sunglasses.

I flew out the front of my building and took off across the plank bridge toward Mel’s office wondering where they were since I hadn’t heard back from them. I held my phone because I hadn’t planned on running outside and didn’t have any pockets in the outfit I was wearing. I was lucky as it was that I had my Moeben sleeves in my gym bag. I would’ve been freezing without them. But the pocket is just a teeny bit too small for my big “texting” phone.

When it started to lightly rain, I grabbed a plastic doggie bag out of one of the pet-friendly trash cans along the plank bridge. I put my phone in it and continued on.

I felt pretty good and I was excited to see some bloggy friends. The only weird thing was that I didn’t have my Garmin on. It was sitting at home on my mantle (out of T Junior’s reach). So strange to run without it now.

I never saw Amanda and Mel. But I did see this.

An ominous cloud threatened and then opened up when I was still about 10 minutes from work. I needed windsheild wipers on my glasses! I felt like a drowned rat when I walked into the lobby of the office.

Soaked!

But the worst part was that my hair got wet! “I have Tonya Harding bangs,” I whined to my office mate.

I’d just sat back down at my desk when Amanda texted me and said she’d be stopping by. Yay! Somehow, she liked the name I suggested for her Garmin (G. Money) and I won a prize! She gave me a cute DryFit Nike baseball hat in white and a bottle of wash for running wear. Can’t wait to try both of them out! Thanks, Amanda!

Since I didn’t get my strength training done at lunch, that meant I had to do it at home. I got out the exercise ball and did three sets of 30 crunches on it. On the first set, T Junior screamed out the numbers with me before getting bored and playing, instead, in his Thomas tent. I was resting for a minute after my second set and he ran over to me, pushed me in the stomach and yelled, “ONE! TWO! ONE! TWO!” I guess I have a trainer in…well, training.

After he went to bed, though, I did arms, legs and thighs/glutes. First, a continuous circuit for arms: three sets of 15 lifts — bicep curls, two-arm tricep extensions, shoulder presses and upright rows. Next, curtsy squats and lunges. Again, I did them continuously: 3 sets of 10 curtsies and 3 sets of 12 lunges. Then, continuous leg lift circuits: 3 sets of 15 glute kick-backs, “dog peeing on a fire hydrant” lifts (not sure what they’re called) and outer thigh lifts.

So, I got in about 2.5 miles and had quite the adventure again Wednesday. I love it. I’m addicted.

COMING UP: I have no idea.

Only a few hours left to enter the Nuun Giveaway. I will announce the winner tomorrow evening.

Days 219-220: The Day I Realized I'm Not a Morning Running Person

DAY 219
Sunday was a rest day. I took T Junior for a walk in the sun in the morning. I didn’t wear my Garmin or anything. We just went out to enjoy the sunshine on a little stroll around the neighborhood. And T Junior actually left his sunglasses on! Then Mr. T joined us at the little park near our house.

T Junior loooves to swing all of a sudden. Just a few days ago he would cry if I put him in the swing.

Now, he cries when I take him out.

Yeah, we’ve reached the tantrum stage. I guess I knew it was coming. He is almost 2. Is it bad that I laugh when he does this?

DAY 220
I couldn’t wait for the Olympics to start, but now that they’re on, I can’t wait till they are over. NBC shows all the good stuff past 10 p.m., so like everyone, I’ve been staying up too late and then hating life in the morning.

Still, I managed to get out from under the electric blanket on Monday morning (after hitting the snooze button at 6:15). On the training schedule was a 5-miler.

Monday’s run was really tough. I had to talk myself out of quitting numerous times.

It was cold (although, I feel like a wimp saying that when some of you run in much colder temps). At 5 minutes to 7, I was happy that it was clear and already light out, but going from the warmth of my living room into the 30-degree weather made it hard for me to adjust my breathing. I felt like I had to sneeze for the first mile and my eyes were watering so bad I could barely see. The cold stung my wet cheeks, and I jogged in and out of cul-de-sacs with one eye shut and one lid blinking madly.

Even though my route is mostly flat, my legs felt heavy like I was running uphill the entire time. I never made it out of the 11-minute pace. I willed my feet to turn over faster. But they wouldn’t.

The first time I wanted to quit was at about .15 miles into the run. I realized that I did two things wrong before I even left my house: stay-cool pants and no music.

What was I thinking?

First, it was cold out. In my mind at 6:30 a.m., long pants meant warmth. I forgot they have that moisture-wicking stay-cool technology. And, second, I didn’t feel like hassling with my Zune. I was running late. I had to be home by 8, so I just wanted to get out the door. In hindsight, I probably would have finished my run faster with those two things.

My legs just never warmed up. After 2.5 miles, I stopped to stretch thinking that might help. That didn’t work, but my hands got really hot and then I was stuck carrying my gloves because the fleece I was wearing does not have zippered pockets and I could not get the gloves to squish in my iFitness belt with my phone.

My other problem was that I wanted to run some hill repeats. There’s a significant hill in my neighborhood, but at the top of it is the bus stop for the junior high school (I think that’s how old the kids are). I didn’t feel like running past judgmental teenagers over and over again, especially with all the jiggling I was feeling back there.

Luckily, I sort of know when that bus picks up because in the past I’m just finishing up my early morning run when it blasts by. This morning, running later than usual, I thought, Oh, they’ll be gone by the time I get to the hill.

Guess what? That’s the same spot for the high school bus and the middle school bus and some other bus. Why so many busses?!

Up the hill

So I ran five hills with random kids either at the top or the bottom of the stupid hill. The weirdest look I got was from one kid’s mom, who was driving her son to the bus stop. Probably so he didn’t have to walk up that brutal hill.

Actually, I’m not sure where this hill rates on the brutality scale. It’s about 1/10 of a mile long, and I don’t know the elevation. I can’t figure it out on my Garmin, but it looks to be a 10% grade, I think.

Down the hill

I switched over to hills when I was just shy of 4 miles. I did 5 hill repeats, resting for 30 seconds at the bottom. I couldn’t remember if I was supposed to walk down after running up or if I was supposed to run. I walked down once and then decided jogging down would be better faster.

After I was finished with the hills, I felt warmed up and knew I could run more, but it was almost 8, so I headed home and didn’t quite make my scheduled 5 miles.

4.36 Miles – 2/22/10 – 48:43
Average pace: 11:10
Mile 1: 11:13
Mile 2: 11:04
Mile 3: 11:07
Mile 4: 11:17 (hills, but not bad, eh?)
.36 miles: 11:02 pace

Before I hopped in the shower, I did 80 crunches on Mr. Bouncy. After I was done, T Junior leaned on the exercise ball and yelled, “One. Two. Ten!” I wanted to do arms, too, and some leg exercises, but I ran out of time because we were headed to story time.

So, what did I learn Monday?

1. I need to run to music.
2. I don’t run well early in the morning. Especially when it’s cold.
3. There are a lot of school busses in my neighborhood.
4. Even though hills are tough, I like them.
 
What did you learn this week?
 
COMING UP: Elliptical adventures, more reviews, Nuun Giveaway winner! That reminds me, don’t forget to enter my Nuun Giveaway before Wednesday is over!

BodyGlide Review (Or: Why I Can Wear a Running Skirt Now)

Recently, BodyGlide sent me two products to test: Original Anti-Chafe Balm and Liquified Powder.

ORIGINAL ANTI-CHAFE BALM REVIEW
I’ll start with their Original Anti-Chafe Balm. Here’s what their Web site says about it:

“BODYGLIDE Anti-Chafe balm is the recognized leader for comfort. It helps prevent and relieve hot spots on feet, and chafed, chapped and cracked skin from head to toe; good during and after activity. It penetrates the skin and creates an invisible, comfortable barrier against friction and moisture – without clogging pores or trapping perspiration; feels ‘dry’ to the touch.”

I was highly skeptical of this product, even though I’d heard great things about it. Highly skeptical. I’ve never been able to wear the shorty short-shorts or, more recently, running skirts without getting some chafing. I tried a BodyGlide competitor and it didn’t go well. After that 3-mile run, I had red raw inner thighs. They were almost bleeding and it took a few days until the pain went away. Finally, they scabbed over. So, again: I was skeptical.

I have big, squishy inner thighs. I’ve always had them — even when I was swimming, running and playing soccer in high school.

But I actually first used BodyGlide near my armpits on the Million+ Inch Run. I was wearing my Champion sports bra and it comes up a little too high under my armpits, so I put some BG under the seams. Worked great! No chafing there after 16.3 miles!

The next time I used it was Friday. I wanted to wear my new pink plaid RunningSkirt. The original BodyGlide comes in a deoderant stick-type container. It has no scent and goes on clear. But it doesn’t go on quite as smooth as deoderant. BG is stickier and tends to crumble a little at the edges of its container, but I just took those crumbly pieces and rubbed them in to my inner thighs.

After I put the BG and my skirt on, I was still skeptical. My thighs felt sticky. How is this going to make my thighs not rub?

But after running for a few minutes, I could tell the BodyGlide was going to work! In fact, the farther I ran, the less sticky my thighs became! I finished my 3-miler chafe-free and happy.

Still, I knew I needed to give the BG a longer test. So, on Saturday, I decided to wear my skirt for 8 miles. That’s a long time for thighs to be rubbing together, but that’s how confident I was.

I really slathered the stuff on thick on Saturday morning. I rubbed the stuff in all over my thighs and anywhere else that I’ve had rubbing or chafing before. I was really pushing the stick of BG pretty hard and the top of the stick broke off and tumbled to the floor. I picked it up and stuck it back in, and continued putting it on,  but it fell out again. One more time, I stuck it back in the container. Luckily, it didn’t have too much fuzz on it or anything. (I may have been applying it too forcefully.) I ended up taking the crumbly pieces and rubbing them into my thighs and in between my toes. When I finally felt like I’d covered every possible area that could get chafed, I put on my skirt and left for my run.

I actually wanted to bring the stick of BG with me in case I needed to re-apply, but I forgot it. I guess this will be the ultimate test.

My thighs definitely felt sticky again when I started running, but soon that went away and everything was smooth. I had no chafing pain at all while I was running 8 miles (1 hour and 25 minutes) in the sunshine. I was sweaty, too. My toes did not get any new blisters! (More on that in a minute.)

However, I noticed later on Saturday that my thighs did get a little red. Even though I didn’t feel pain, I guess they rubbed a little. But I still don’t have pain, just a little red. I probably could’ve reapplied the BG just for good measure. Still, I love this stuff.

I have FOUR running skirts and now I’m excited that I will get to wear them all this spring and summer!

What I Like:
-No painful chafing burns!
-Compact container for portability (although, they have different sizes you can purchase)
-No scent
-Goes on clear

What I Don’t Mind:
-Feels sticky at first
-Felt like I put on a lot

What I Don’t Like:
-Crumbly


LIQUIFIED POWDER REVIEW
The company also sent me a tube of their Liquified Powder. Here’s what their Web site says about it:

“BODYGLIDE Liquified Powder, is a technically advanced cream that transforms into an evenly disbursed, effective, yet dry and protective skin lubricant. It helps reduce rubbing and friction that cause skin irritation. helps maintain optimal skin comfort by creating a silky smooth barrier against friction and moisture, while permitting skin to breath; feels ‘dry’ to the touch.”

I have only used this lotion-type product on two long runs on my toes because that seemed to be the best fit for it. You rub it in like lotion. It has a really pleasant smell — almost a peppermint scent, but very light. One run was six miles and it seemed to work. But, most significantly, I used it on my 16-miler. It worked for a while — about the first half of my run — and then I probably would’ve needed to reapply it. My feet were plenty wet and sweaty and my toes rubbed. I have quite a few blisters. So, I would not recommend this product on your feet for long, long runs. But, I’d be interested to see how it works on other areas on the body.

What I Like:
-Feels silky when I put it on
-Smells refreshing

What I Don’t Like:
-Sort of messy; it can leave a white powdery residue on clothes and around nails (washes off easily, though)
-Doesn’t go the distance I need it to go; only seemed to last about 8 miles

I really, really love the original BodyGlide balm. I’m so glad it lived up to my expectations!

Days 214-216: Then vs. Now

DAY 214:
I didn’t feel like going to the Secret Gym on Tuesday. I didn’t feel like doing much at all, really. But then I thought I’ll go swimming tonight instead!

Oh, I couldn’t wait. I was so excited. I think I was on a swim team by the time I was 6 and I continued throughout high school. But since I left California and went to college, I haven’t had the opportunity to do much swimming. For starters, we don’t all have pools here in Washington state. In Cali, everyone has a pool. Here, not so much.

So, on Tuesday, I looked up the public swim time at the local high school’s pool and it worked with my schedule. Woohoo!

Then I got blindsided at work and I ended up having to take work home with me. I knew that swimming wasn’t going to happen.

But since I can’t will not work during my couple hours with T Junior on Tuesdays, I decided to multi-task. I would spend time with my son while getting my cross training in.

We went for a walk. It was still light out at 5 p.m. Hooray! But it wasn’t warm. I bundled him up, put him in the BOB and off we went for a 30-minute jaunt around the neighborhood. Spring is coming and I can’t wait. Here’s evidence of the unseasonably warm weather.

This is early for these trees.

Can you spot the moon in this one? T Junior pointed it out to me. Hint: it’s a sliver.

DAY 215:
After my disappointingly difficult run on Monday, I was really itching to get out and prove to myself that I could still run. Monday was so discouraging. I thought I’d gotten faster and, for some reason, I just couldn’t get my legs into gear. Not that 11-minute miles are bad, I just thought I’d improved. Plus, sometimes I get really hung up on time when I know it shouldn’t matter. It’s just that I’ve been running since July and I feel like I should be able to go fast!

I’ve actually been wondering a lot about this. When I joined the cross country team in high school, I had not previously been a long distance runner. I was fit — swimming, soccer and track — but I did not really consider myself a runner. So why did it only take me a few weeks to get so fast? I could run three miles in 23-25 minutes. My fastest was 21-something. So why is it taking me so long to get faster now?

I can’t think of anything special that we did then that I don’t do now. Fartleks – check. Distance – check. Maybe because I was running in a group. Maybe it was the hill repeats that I need to start doing before Mercer Island gets too close. Why is it taking me so long to get back to where I was? Please don’t say it’s because I’m 17 years older.

Anyway, it was so sunny outside my office window on Wednesday that I decided to run outside at lunch instead of heading to the gym for a treadmill and strength workout. I anticipated good weather and brought my Garmin with me.

Thank goodness I had an oversize t-shirt and my black Moeben running sleeves that Mr. T got me for Christmas. I didn’t really feel like wearing my tight capris and tight Champion shirt in front of my coworkers.

I clipped my iFitness belt underneath my over my baggy Washington State Football shirt (this didn’t always used to be oversized, by the way), and stashed my Zune, then I grabbed my sunglasses out of my purse and I was off.

I took the route that Mel and I discovered last fall and then went down a road that leads to her office. I wondered if I’d see her and then thought I should’ve texted her before my run to see if she wanted to meet up. Planning FAIL! Every runner I saw in the distance, I wondered if it was her, but as they got closer I’d think Nope. Not tall enough.

For some reason, I was running fast. I hadn’t planned on it, I just was. Every time I looked at my watch, my pace was in the nines! The first half of the run, I was heading into the wind, so I felt like I had to push even harder. Perhaps that is why I ran faster. On the way back, I had the wind’s help, so that could’ve contributed to my 9:20 pace on the last mile. Dude!

3.16 Miles – 2/17/10 – 30:26
Average pace: 9:38
Mile 1: 9:59
Mile 2: 9:40
Mile 3: 9:20
.16 miles: 8:56 pace

DAY 216:
Thursday was a rest day. T Junior and I went out to sushi for a friend’s birthday. It was fun, but bedtime came faster than I wanted.

I received the Sunshine Award from both TMB from Racing with Babes and Sarah from Brunette on the Run. Thanks for the sun ladies! I’m not sure who has/hasn’t been tagged because I haven’t had a lot of time left over in my days for blog-reading recently. I’m supposed to pass it on to 12 friends. Let’s see, who could use some rays…

Penny at Plannet Ynnep Running
Lifestudent at Marathon Leap
Lisa at Lisa Runs? Wait…What?
Amanda at 5Miles 2 Empty
Zoë at Run, Zoë, Run
Mel at Tall Mom on the Run
Marlene at Mission to a(nother) Marathon
Robin at Running Circles Around Turtles
Mel at 2nd Chances
Allie at Running Fool
Ewa at Running Bunny
Robyn at Ramblings of a Wanna Be Writer and Runner