It’s Getting Hot in Here

So winter decided to really arrive just a few days before Spring, just to mess with us. My problem? It’s been cold in these parts. Like really, really cold. My other problem? My next half is in New Orleans. I guarantee you it won’t be this cold.

heat

I’ve tried to run hot, here and there, in a maybe vain effort to get used to running in heat. Because I don’t run well in heat. The jury is still out on what race day weather will be. I know it’s going to be quite warm our first few days in NOLA, which will be a welcome change from what we leave behind. It looks like it might cool down a bit on race weekend, but that remains to be seen.

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Today I am joining up with the  Friday Five 2.0  from Fairytales & Fitness and Rachel @ Running on Happy to talk about 5 ways to turn up the heat while running.

Slightly overdress for my runs
Not so much that I’m in danger of getting heatstroke, which is probably impossible considering our weather lately, but enough that I’m warmer than I really want to be.

Granted, I can do that without meaning to — the difference is that where I would unzip something to cool down if I got too hot normally, I just leave it all zipped up and sweat it out.

Dress warmer than I have to on the treadmill, too
With an early March blizzard, I was forced onto my treadmill more than I wanted to be. I didn’t wear my skirts or a tank — nope, I went with tights, sometimes even fleece lined tights, and a tee instead of a tank.

Not every time, but more often than I really wanted to. The workouts were hard enough without overdressing!

Step away from the fan
I have a small fan on my treadmill and it’s always going if I’m running on it. Except when I’m trying to train for a warm race while it’s cold.

Vacation first, race last
When I first started traveling for my half marathons, I was cautious — usually I’d arrive a couple of days before the race and put the vacation portion after the race. I worried about doing too much before the race and not racing well.

As you get more experienced running and racing, while it’s still certainly possible to overdue it before the race, you’re also able to handle more activity before the race.

This is what we did before my Phoenix half, and it worked out well for me. Yes, I was hiking, I was running at elevation — all before my race. But my race went really well and again, I was able to adapt (a little) from our cool Northeast temps to the hot Southwest temps.

What I wanted to do: Hot Yoga
Seriously, there’s a place super-close to my home. But a) no time and b) never do anything new before a race. I may have been doing yoga forever, but I’ve never done hot yoga. and c) no time!

Another nice option would have been hanging out in the sauna at the place where I swim (assuming they fixed it) but see a & b above.

Instead I’m going to settle for an Infrared Wrap again. I highly doubt that it helps in heat acclimation, but it sure feels good and does a body good.

So let me know in the comments:

Have you ever tried to prepare for a hot race?

Any heat acclimation tips for us (it’s too late for me this round, but someone might benefit)?

What was your favorite racecation?

Loving Lately (1): TOLT

Today for Thinking Out Loud I’m simply going to share with you some of the things I’m loving lately. While this may come off as a sales pitch, it’s not meant to be. I love reading about stuff other people love — and as was the case with Wendy’s recommendation below a few paragraphs, sometimes it’s something I end up loving too!

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Pretty nails without a lot of fuss

Essie Treat, Love & Color Polish
I’ve been using it for a couple of weeks now. It’s a lot simpler than regular polish: two coats and you’re done and it kind of looks like your nails are buffed or almost like a french manicure. It’s kind of a translucent, slightly glitterly nail polish (yes, I totally made up glitterly).

It doesn’t dry immediately, but I do it a couple of hours before bed (after changing into my pjs) and it doesn’t smoosh.

It stands up fairly well to a week of housework, too (and I’m not wearing gloves). You can find it here at Target (not an affiliate link).

A weekend at home
Seriously, it’s been so long since I wasn’t driving to my parents on the weekend. Even though this weekend will be super busy getting ready for my racecation, I’m stoked to not have to drive three hours one day.

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No need for a hat, either!

My thermoball
Thanks to Wendy @ Takingthelongwayhome, I bought a North Face Thermoball (Amazon Affiliate link) a couple of years ago. If you run hot, it’s probably not for you, but despite our mild winter (which is kind of hard to type after having 2 feet of snow dumped on you in one day), I have had several occasions to wear my Thermoball this winter.

It’s how I managed a feels like negative numbers 12 mile run last week — Mr. Judy ventured out for a small amount of time to do a chore, and he couldn’t believe I was out there running . . . for hours. Of course, there’s a vast difference between standing out there in that arctic blast and running in it.

I’ve found them at a good price at 6pm.com, too.

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These toasty tights saved my knees!

My toasty tights
These toasty tights are perfect for cold, windy days; they’re from Skirtsports (I’m an ambassador, but I don’t make any money if you purchase through my link). I’m pretty sure they also saved me from a bloody knee when I fell last week — although even they couldn’t save me from a bruise, but really, I’m fine (the bruise I got on my finger on the treadmill yesterday actually hurts more).

These tights are a bit stiffer and more compressive around the middle than the normal Skirtsports tights, but I got them in my regular size (small) and that’s been fine for me. They also have a pocket on each leg, which I love.

They have heavier panels on the areas that tend to take a direct hit from the wind, although I find that sometimes my hamstrings and thighs get pretty cold. And that’s where the toasty cheeks skirt comes in (which is not the skirt pictured above, by the way).

180 Wind Gloves
I don’t feel the need to wear two pairs of gloves with these on, even on the coldest days; and I’ve never felt the need for hand warmers, either. You can find them here (not an affiliate link).

I got them on sale a few years back, and they’ve become my go-to cold weather running gloves.

Trader Joe’s Organic Ginger Turmeric Tea
No caffeine and full of anti-inflammatory ingredients. Does it help with the aches and pains? Who knows. But it’s very soothing. You can also buy it on Amazon here (Affiliate link).

Adding dark chocolate covered crystallized ginger to my overnight oats
One of these days I’m going to write a post on the benefits of ginger. I’ve actually got it started.

I’ve been adding a little ginger to my overnight oats for a long time. It already has some chocolate chips in it (of course). And I have some dark chocolate crystallized ginger on hand. So one day I decided to chop it up and add it also. The chocolate just melts into the overnight oats, making them even more chocolatey (another made up word that should totally be in the dictionary!).

I’m not sure I’ll continue with it, but I’ve done it a couple of times now and I do like it.

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You can still run Utah with me
And maybe meet a few of your favorite bloggers. I don’t have any more entries up for grabs, but code crj15 will get you 15% off your race entry (register here).

Come for the mostly downhill Boston Qualifier course, finish for the 10th anniversary jacket. Don’t forget to let me know if you do register — I’d love to meet you! It’s gonna be a party.

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Bandit doubles as a laptop shelf

No news is good news
Not so much going on in Bandit-world. There’s a chance he could be getting a new furry friend in a month or so. Not a dog. That’s all I’m saying right now.

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Lola mugging for a treat at the vet; notice her underbite

Talk to me. Tell me in the comments:

What are you loving lately?

What is the weirdest ingredient you’ve ever put into oats?

What’s your favorite cold weather clothing item?

I’m linking up with Amanda at Running with Spoons for her:

Thursdays are for thinking out loud

We have nothing to fear . . .

. . . but fear itself

Or do we?

fear

Striking the balance in training
Running is such a simple sport: one foot in front of another, at whatever pace you want. Except every runner knows it isn’t really as simple as it appears to the non-runner, even when it doesn’t appear simple to the non-runner.

There are a lot of runners out there who run because they simply love to run. They don’t care about their pace and they don’t care if they race or not. I’d like to say running really is simple for them, but even for the non-racing runner, it’s still not simple.

The truth is that runners are prone to injury. Running is good for you, no doubt about it, although you will never be able to convince the non-runner. Our ancestors may have run on a regular basis, but they didn’t generally run marathons every week, and they certainly didn’t pound the pavement.

So let’s all agree: it’s the rare runner that doesn’t end up on the injured list at some point in their life.

Injuries are not only a physical question, which is the most important thing, of course, but also a question of your mind. If you’re thinking: “I’m not going to make it”, “I can’t cope”, “It hurts”, “It’s never going to get better”, then it won’t.
— Luis Suarez

Once you’ve been injured, there’s always a little doubt in the back of your mind: is that little ache my injury returning, or worse yet, a new injury? Should I slow down, run less, run fewer days so I can keep running injury free?

Is the payoff worth it?
I hear it a lot: the point of racing is to have fun. I agree; what’s the point of doing things that aren’t fun? Of doing things that can injure you that aren’t fun?

So some runners play it safe. It’s not that they don’t race hard, but they’re afraid of injury, and maybe they don’t push themselves as hard as they are capable of. I’m quite sure I have fallen into this category on more than one occasion.

If you want to conquer fear, don’t sit home and think about it. Go out and get busy.
— Dale Carnegie

Their thought process is that they don’t want to leave it all on the pavement and then be unable to run due to injury. And there is nothing wrong with that.

Of course, some runners — again, no doubt including me — ignore the warning signs that fear can give us, and push too hard and then, of course, it’s no longer fun.

The case for pushing yourself
Every time I lace up and go out for a long run, often on my own, good or bad, there’s a certain satisfaction in knowing that I am able to run 5, 8, 10, 12 miles. As I ran my 12 mile long run last weekend I thought to myself this is a long way. And it is (although maybe not to the marathoner or ultra runner).

In this particular training cycle, I have worked with Rachel @ Runningonhappy and she has pushed me to run harder than I have in a few years. I won’t say it isn’t scary at times. The last time I did run this hard, working with an online running community, I felt strong, I felt ready . . . and neither of my halfs went well (one due to unseasonable heat, which of course is beyond anyone’s control); the other due to injury, yes.

The same runners who are content to err on the side of caution often also say that they run to challenge themselves. Or that they have learned through running that they are capable of hard things.

You don’t know how hard you can go until you try to go hard. Yes, it’s scary. Yes, sometimes you will fail. Yes, you may even injure yourself and not be able to run for a while.

Unless you try to do something beyond what you have already mastered, you will never grow.
— Ralph Waldo Emerson

You may also surprise yourself. You may just give yourself a little burst of confidence. You may grow as a runner.

There is no right or wrong way to train . . .
. . . only the right or wrong way to train for you. I hope I’ve given you some food for thought today. I’m not necessarily looking to change the way you train, but I hope today, at some point, you’ll think about it, and decide if it’s serving you well.

There is a fine line between letting fear paralyze you, and ignoring its warning signs and pushing too hard. It’s a difficult line to run.

Do you think you push to hard? Or do you think you let fear hold you back?

I’m linking up with with MCM Mama Runs, Marcia’s Healthy Slice, and My No Guilt Life for the Tuesdays on the Run linkup.

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This week I am also joining up with Running on Happy, Suzlyfe, Crazy Running Girl, and Coach Debbie Runs each week for the Coaches’ Corner linkup

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Roaring in: 3/6-12 Weekly Wrap

Indeed

Well, March is certainly marching in with plenty of wind (apparently there isn’t much truth to the whole in like a lion, out like a lamb rhyme, according to this article from farmer’s almanac). If my half is windy, I’ll be well prepared. What I won’t be prepared for is the heat. Because snow is in the air again, and as I write this, I’m trying to psych myself up for what will probably be my coldest run of this season (yeah, I thought that happened last week).

There was snow on the ground when we visited my parents (but not up here — no, that’s waiting for next Tuesday and my tempo run).

I’m joining up with the Weekly Wrap from Holly @ Hohoruns and Tricia @ Misssipppiddlin and really wishing I can siphon off just a little bit of their heat so NOLA doesn’t wring me out!

WeeklyWrap

Workouts update

  • Monday: Dogwalk, Iron Strength Glutes Blaster, Pilates Total Body
  • Tuesday: 6 miles (4 @ tempo)
  • Wednesday: Dogwalk, 7 miles easy
  • Thursday:  Dogwalk, Iron Strength Abbreviated
  • Friday: 5 miles speed intervals
  • Saturday: Working on my parents’ house, up and down lots of stairs
  • Sunday: 12 Mile LSD

Mileage: 30 (+1.5)

JY = Jasyoga
TM = Treadmill
YFR = Yoga for Runners*
WU = warmup
CD = cooldown
SB = Stationary Bike
YFPR = Yoga for Pain Relief
YTU = Yoga Tune Up Lower Body*

*Disclaimer: Amazon affiliate links; I will make a small amount of money if you buy through these links

Running updates 

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I actually didn’t get rained on . . . much

Tuesday


And, again, what a difference a week makes. I’m not sure why, but I struggled more with this run (the same one I did last week, on the same path) — I was just tired and it was hard to push through it.

The wind didn’t help, but in the end it wasn’t as bad as I the forecast made it out to be. My warmup and cooldown were a lot slower than the previous week. I only had one mile that I couldn’t hit the right pace — which I didn’t even realize while I was running it — but that always makes me mad.

The forecast also said rain, but for the most part it stayed dry while I was running. In a twisted way, I was a little bummed about that. You never know what race day will give you, so a little rain training might have been good (in a bad way?). I do know that if it’s a windy race, I am so prepared. I’ve been “enjoying” a lot of very windy runs lately.

Well, I did it and I didn’t die, so there’s that.

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A great day to run and my heart just wasn’t really in it

Wednesday


It was a really beautiful day for running, although a little windy (what else is new?). Yet I just couldn’t enjoy this run. My butt was killing me, my legs were tired, one hip was protesting, I was hungry because I got started later than I’d planned to — yes, I ate a snack, but I was running through lunch.

No matter how hard I tried to distract myself, to think of my injured friends who would love to be running, this run was just hard. I didn’t want to run 7 miles. I had to rush home to meet a new pet sitter (and hopefully shower first).

I think the fact that I was rushing around all day long trying to get everything done just made this run feel harder than it should have. Well, again, it’s done!

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Didn’t even know this little guy was there

Friday


This was a really tough speed workout for me: a reverse ladder starting out with 1600m, then 2 x 800m, then the schedule said 2 x 400m (but 5 miles, and that didn’t add up, so I did 4 x 400m because apparently I’m a glutton for punishment).

I’ve been struggling with pace all week, and this run was no different. I didn’t meet most of the paces, not until the 400m (no walking — I figure you can do anything for quarter of a mile).

There was also the little fact that we were leaving a few hours afterwards to go to my parents and I needed to get stuff together. I had thought this workout would go well, because you get to walk in between intervals to recover and I usually do well with that sort of workout. I did my best, and I was glad I ran it this day after the birthday dessert I consumed that night (see Weekly Favorites below).

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Way too cold to take photos outside! Saved by Thermoball

Sunday


As I was running my last really long long run, I thought the story would be the cold. I wrote last week that it was my coldest long run of the winter; oh, never tempt the running Gods, because it was even colder today.

That is, of course, until I got to mile 8.5, tripped, and went flying. This is only the secondthird time I’ve fallen on a run — third, because the only other time it happened it happened twice on the same run.

I’ve now discovered what those gazillion winter layers are good for — to protect you when you fall! I was very lucky; nothing is hurt, not even really scraped. My lip, palms and knees took the brunt of it, but nothing was twisted or really hurt and even better there wasn’t even anyone around to see it.

So other than the extreme cold, and the fall, it was a decent run. Not as good as last week; I was tired and my hamstrings were protesting for whatever reason — still, when all is said and done, I ran 12 miles at what I used to consider race pace. Without really trying to. Which is not to say it was exactly easy, did I mention the wind?

Does this predict a PR for me in my upcoming half? I know I’ve worked hard and I’ve had some pretty good runs. I also know that the weather is unlikely to be what I consider to be optimal (which lately seems to be anything below 10F). There’s cobblestones to contend with.

That is exactly why I have goals that have nothing to do with a PR. One of my goals for this race would be to beat my best time from a hot race. I also know that if the race doesn’t go as I want, all the work I’ve been doing the past couple of months is not wasted. It takes time to really see the benefits of hard training.

Not that any of that means I won’t be trying my best!

We’ll see what race day brings.

Run easy, race hard.–Judy Litt

I came up with that mantra for today!

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Second great dessert in two weeks

Favorites of the week
But first, dessert, as the saying goes. Seriously, we took my parents out for my mom’s 89th birthday (not pictured, because she hates it, my sister and her husband). I didn’t order dessert, because the description for the Chocolate Peanut butter mousse was so deceiving — I’m so glad my mom did and we shared it because it was totally awesome.

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Happy Birthday to my lovely Mom!

We spent the night with my parents in their apartment after dinner and then went down to the house to continue working on it.

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Happy pre-birthday to you, too, Dad

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I shared on Facebook, on my personal page, that we brought home this bench from my parents’ house. It’s been a hard time; it’s sad and depressing going through your loved ones’ things, and it’s bittersweet to have this bench in my home. It’s rather like my thoughts of Chester — but I will try to use it as a reminder of happier times.

 

And that’s a wrap 

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This week I am also linking up with the Sunday Fitness & Food Linkup brought to you by Ilka @ Ilka’s Blog and Angela @ Marathons & Motivation.

Let’s get the conversation started:

How’s your running going? 

Do you feel like you lost an hour last night (I don’t!)?

Do you trip over your own feet (and are glad when no one witnesses it?

5 Ways to Hydrate in a Race

hydrate

There are a surprising number of ways to hydrate during a race. Maybe relying on the water stops works for you; maybe they’ve let you down in the past. Today I’m sharing some of the ways I’ve hydrated in races (and one way I’ve yet to try).

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Today I am joining up with the  Friday Five 2.0  from Fairytales & Fitness and Rachel @ Running on Happy to talk about 5 reasons I love racing.

Rely on water stops
There’s the obvious choice: simply rely on the water stops. When you’re BOTP, however, you can’t always expect that water will be waiting for you. Sometimes you can’t expect it if you’re fast!

Some of my best races have been races where I did choose to rely on water stops. For most races that are 55F or more, I usually have at least one alternative handy.

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That handheld bottle in my left hand helped in a miserable race

Use a handheld water bottle
I know, I know, you’re thinking you would hate to ever have to hold a water bottle in your hand. That’s what I thought, too, until I won a small handheld water bottle one day and then tried it.

Those little handheld bottles have helped me get through more than one race when the water stops, for whatever reason, were out of water or cups. Most have a small pocket, which allows you to carry keys or gels, too.

There’s no getting around the fact that it can alter your gait, and yes, it can be a little tiring for your arms. The good news is that it gets lighter as you drink your water.

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Love Amphipod products

Use a fuel belt
I used a fuel belt in the beginning for quite a few races. I settled one from Amphipod, similar to this one (Amazon Affiliate link), and I loved the fact that it was easily customizable.

I could carry four 10 ounce water bottles and have pockets for my fuel and phone, too. It was comforting to know I could carry all my own water (and not have to worry about fighting over to a water stop in large races) and be able to drink when I was thirsty.

Eventually, however, I got tired of the bouncing and the fact that it would cause chafing on my back.

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The small ones fit in my pockets — my go-to way to carry water in a race

Flipbelt water bottles
This is my current method of choice to carry a little water with me in a longer race. As you can see, I have tried a lot of different methods, and they all have their pros and cons. this past training cycle (spring 2017) I’ve been experimenting with drinking more water on the run.

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I don’t like large belts around my middle, but it is a good way to carry water!

I love the fact that the 6 ounce Flipbelt water bottle (Amazon Affiliate link) will fit into a pocket, whether that pocket is on a coat, a skirt, tights or capris. I’m covered if I get thirsty between water stops and I can also have the volunteers refill my water bottles, although be aware that sometimes they aren’t really prepared for that and you might lose more time than you’d like.

Use a hydration pack
I haven’t yet tried a hydration pack. I know that people seem to really like them and it sounds appealing to have your hands free and more water at your disposal.

I worry about tearing up my pretty running clothes. I know fuel belts used to do that.

So let me know in the comments:

Do you use a hydration pack? Does it rough up your running clothes?

What’s your preferred way to hydrate in a race?

Have you ever weighed yourself before & after a run to determine your hydration needs ?

Putting on your oxygen mask: TOLT

I sit down here at my computer, with no freakin’ clue what I’m going to be Thinking Out Loud about today. A smart blogger would probably just move on to polishing her Friday post, which is about 75% written. I never claimed to be a smart blogger.

My blog is stuck
I would love to grow the blog more, although I won’t be getting up to any shenanigans to do so. I guess I’m just not a shenanigans type of girl.

If someone offers me something to give away — something I like or believe in — I’m all too happy to pass that on to you. But not too many companies will look at a blog my size and offer me stuff. Obviously a few have, and I’ve also reached out on my own.

I won’t be buying you gift cards on my own dime to give away, either. I want to attract people who either get something out of my blog or feel a connection to me. I know I love building connections with other bloggers!

I’m not quite sure why my blog remains where it is. New people stop by. People still follow it. Yet it seems stuck. Maybe it’s because I am usually fairly busy during the day — the time most bloggers are stuck at work (and therefore blogging), or the fact that I’m not a night person, another prime blogging time, or the fact that I’m busy with my furkids and parents (or the fact I write about the furkids and the parents), or even the fact that I’m still self hosted.

Anyone with constructive insights, I’m all ears.

A little spoiler alert
I’ll be writing about this in my weekly wrap, too, but different folks read different posts. Last week the running was so good. Hard, but good. It’s my peak week this week, with my half just two long runs away.

I wouldn’t say I’m struggling, but it definitely started off feeling a lot harder this week. The wind? March is definitely blowing in. I’m so over wind, but wind ain’t done with me. The cumulative time and miles of training hard? Juggling all that training and the demands of everyone else around me?

Don’tcha hate when that happens?
I took out my credit card and put it in a coat pocket after my tempo run on Tuesday. When I got to the store, it wasn’t there. Or anywhere else that I could see (luckily I had more credit cards with me).

I ransacked my bag, my coat, and my car when I got home. Twice. I couldn’t find it. I informed Mr. Judy when he got home, and he had the typical male reaction, to which I naturally reacted with such grownup attitude (not — we all have  our breaking points).

Then he went to look in my car and found it immediately. He thought I’d blow up at him again — I was just super grateful that he found it — I think that is a male vs female thing (in general).

Putting on my oxygen tank
You know what they say about oxygen tanks on planes. I’ve been trying to practice a little more self care lately. It can be hard to squeeze in, but it really is so important.

Here’s what I’ve been doing:

  • Try to use my footspa at least once per week (really shooting for twice)
  • Moisturizing my hands more often
  • Trying to use my massage chair a few times a week
  • Meditate daily
  • Do my nails (because pretty nails do make me smile)

Some things take only a couple of minutes; some things about 10-20 minutes. Don’t tell me you’re too busy to take a couple of minutes a day for you. You don’t have to do what I do — do what’s soothing to you.
uvmraffle

You can still run Utah with me
And maybe meet a few of your favorite bloggers. I don’t have any more entries up for grabs, but code crj15 will get you 15% off your race entry (register here).

Come for the mostly downhill Boston Qualifier course, finish for the 10th anniversary jacket. Don’t forget to let me know if you do register — I’d love to meet you! It’s gonna be a party.

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He’s a little camera shy

He loves me, he really loves me
One day Bandit was trying to jump into my lap, and I tried to help him up — the same exact maneuver that got Mr. Judy nipped the day we met Bandit. He didn’t nip me, but he sure let out a yelp and ran away. Later I made sure to pick him up a different way — he’s not super fond of being picked up, but he’s okay once you get him up.

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Look very closely for the Bandit photobomb.He loves hanging out there, looking out the Bay window.

Then during our “adult conversation” on Tuesday, I accidentally stepped on Bandit’s foot. Another yelp. And then he proceeded to climb into my lap when I sat down to check him out and try to lick me. Don’t you just love that about dogs?

Do something to hurt a cat and they’ll run away and hide. Hurt a dog, and they’re likely to try to cuddle up with you (if you have a good, established relationship). Don’t get me wrong, I love both cats and dogs pretty equally — dogs need a purr, for instance.

Talk to me. Tell me in the comments:

Cats, dogs, or both?

Is there anywhere in your life you feel stuck right now?

How do you show yourself a little love?

I’m linking up with Amanda at Running with Spoons for her:

Thursdays are for thinking out loud

ZOOMA Annapolis Half Marathon Race Recap 5/30/15

I signed up for ZOOMA Annapolis pretty much on a whim. I’d run a half the beginning of May, and it went so well that I felt I might as well do another one. Soon. I actually wanted to do Shipyard Maine (which I would go on to run in 2016), but the race sells out early, and it was a week after the race I’d run at the beginning of the month — so I couldn’t do that.

I lived in MD for one year after graduating college, and two of my high school buddies still live down there. Somehow I sweet talked Mr. Judy into it.

The weather
Hot and humid. It was 72 at the start (and would go up into the 80s by the time I was done). Unfortunately there isn’t a lot of shade on the first half of the course, and none on the bridge, which you cross twice.

At least I was dressed for it! Except I’d ditch the compression sleeves if I had it to do over again. I wouldn’t change anything else — at least not how I was dressed.

Race Plan
Annapolis is hilly, but hey, the half I’d run the beginning of May was hilly, too. And unseasonably hot. That first May half was a surprising PR and I really enjoyed it. Looking back at the elevation chart now, I know I’ve gone on to run far hillier halfs. Maybe it was the heat and humidity that made them seem so hard.

I planned to either start at a 12:30 mm pace and just hold it, or shoot for negative splits. I wanted to finish pain free and feeling like I could still run. Spoiler alert: I didn’t meet any of my goals.

So how’d that work for me?

  • Mile 1:   12:19
  • Mile 2:   12:39
  • Mile 3:   12:43
  • Mile 4:   12:38
  • Mile 5:   14:30
  • Mile 6:   13:25
  • Mile 7:    14:11
  • Mile 8:    13:53
  • Mile 9:    13:46
  • Mile 10:  13:57
  • Mile 11:   14:29
  • Mile 12:   14:34
  • Mile 13:   15:22
  • Last .29: 13:46

I can’t really give you a mile by mile synopsis; it’s been too long and I didn’t take good enough notes. Aside from one half with an injury (and the one I walked with a friend), I don’t think I’ve ever seen a 15 minute mile on my splits. And I hope I never do again!

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Almost everyone takes this photo

What I Saw/Felt
It’s a couple of years in the mirror now, and my notes are kind of bare boned. I remember I lined up with a woman who ran about my pace, was also trying to do a half in every state, and was about my age.

I hadn’t yet started this blog — in fact, I’d start it (also almost on a whim) a couple of weeks after this race. Which definitely sucks — so many bloggers I’m now friendly with routinely run this race. I, of course, knew no one.

I didn’t even meet Sean Astin, one of the lone men running the race (that hobbit was much faster than me). I reached out to him with a blog post in mind afterwards, but I never heard back.

We arrived early and parking was a breeze. Unfortunately I woke up not feeling well — nothing dire, just feeling a slight temperature and general fatique. I’m sure it didn’t help, but that’s really not what made the race so miserable nor do I think it really effected my performance. It was just unfortunate.

Basically I remember the first half of the race going fairly well. Running near the water in downtown Annapolis was very pretty. I remember I ran all the way across the bridge without any problems . . . the first time. I thanked God for my small handheld water bottle more than once; they ran out of cups at mile 6 and water at mile 10.

I do remember being afraid at one point that I wasn’t running the right course; the 10k and half runners are together until the bridge (where the 10k runners turn around — smart people!). And the bibs are different colors for the half and 10k. No doubt it was just the fact that I was BOTP.

On the other side of the bridge is where the hills really started. Not much shade. By the time we got back to the bridge for the second time, the wheels hadn’t just come off, I don’t even know where they went. I mostly walked across the bridge. And I didn’t pick it up much after that, either.

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You’ll notice no one is running in this photo

I totally “pulled” it together at the finish line, when I knew my photo was being taken. I did not really feel like smiling. At all. Oddly enough, I never cramped at all. No doubt because I was so slow.

bzooma1
Thankful I didn’t die
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Meeting Dimity was one of the highlights of this race

Was the race well run?
Yes and no. I have run several hot races now that have run out of water and/or cups for this BOTP runner. And it really kills my race. RDs, please, I’m begging you, cups aren’t that expensive!

Packet pickup was easy except . . . there was only one entrance into the host hotel. And it’s on a Friday and the traffic backs up really quickly. There wasn’t a whole lot of direction about parking, either, as I seem to recall.

On the plus side, parking wasn’t difficult at the start and there was still all the promised food, wine, etc. at the end, even for BOTPers like me. I don’t know about the yoga . . . much as I love my yoga, I definitely had no interest in it after the race.

Would I have felt differently about this race had I already been blogging and met up with some of my blogger friends? Maybe. If it had been a less humid day? Absolutely.

What I learned
Of course you learn something from every race. I learned that I need to start out a lot slower for a race this difficult (and humid). In retrospect, I think if I had started to do Galloway by this race it might have gone a little better for me. I definitely learned that I can push through hard things. I definitely didn’t run the race I wanted, but I did finish.

In the end, between this race and the cancellation of ZOOMA Cape Cod last summer (well, technically it wasn’t canceled it was changed into a yoga retreat), I have no interest in running ZOOMA races in the future.

My advice to you if you’re considering ZOOMA Annapolis? Do the 10k. I am not kidding. Unless you truly enjoy hot races.

Half #10

State #8

3:02:18

Tor-box

I’m linking up with with MCM Mama Runs, Marcia’s Healthy Slice, and My No Guilt Life for the Tuesdays on the Run linkup.