Archive | August 2011

My first attempt at Yasso 800s

One of the things I wanted to incorporate in my training for MCM is speed work.  I’ve hit the track a couple of times and have enjoyed it.  I can’t tell if it’s helping yet because I feel like I’ve already taken more than a few steps backwards in my training (but I’m getting back to it).

A couple of weeks ago I finished reading My Life on the Run by Bart Yasso.  I attended his presentation at the Vancouver USA Marathon and left über motivated.  Seriously, I made a mental list to do all the races that he talked about. I picked up his book looking for another heavy dose of motivation and was not disappointed.  Long story short, read the book.

One chapter that really grabbed my attention is the chapter on Yasso 800s.  In the chapter, Bart explains that part of his training regimen for marathons was to do 800 and 400 meter repeats up to 10 times.  After 3 years of this regimen, he noticed that there was a direct correlation between his average times for the 800 meter repeats and his marathon finish time.  Basically, if your average time for 10 reps of 800 meter repeats is 3 mins, he predicts that you will run a 3 hour marathon.

Um… awesome.

I already know that I want to incorporate more speedwork so that I can pick up the pace a little bit so I’m all about doing some 800 meter repeats.  I’m also hoping that I can boost my confidence a little bit going into MCM.  Obviously, there is more to it for me than just the repeats because I’ve got a whole lot of psychological stuff to get over, but I’ll take what I can get 🙂

Ok, enough babble.  Let’s see how I did.

1. 4:19
2. 4:14
3. 4:05
4. 4:26
5. 4:04
Average: 4:13

Overall, not bad for the first time.  I truly had no expectations and just kind of went for it.

Bart recommends to run 800 with 400 recovery in between 10 times.  Because I’m a lazy person, I set Garmino to beep at every half mile and did a half mile easy, half mile hard, half mile easy, etc.  I only made it 5 times today, but I hope to be up to 10 in a few weeks time.  Also, I had to take a few breaks because, again, me = lazy.

And I would be super happy for a 4:13 marathon finish 🙂

Looking forward to tackling these 800s again.

The City Person’s Guide to Nascar

Saturday was my first real live Nascar Race.  I’m so glad we were able to go and we had an absolute blast.  Here’s a quick recap of the festivities:Bristol Motor Speedway is huge!  It was strange when we first walked in because it was difficult to grasp the scale… until you realize that there is an entire row of semi-trucks in the infield.  HUGE (twss).

Bristol is a little different that other races because it is a short track and is only a half mile around.  From where we were sitting (about half way up) we could watch the entire race and had no blind spots.

When we got there (about a billion hours early) the crews were doing timing checks and other business to the cars.

Even though we had a lot of time to kill, there was plenty to look at.

The Budweiser Clydesdales…Richard Petty walking around and signing autographs…Darryl Worely playing a concert…And I got choked up when he brought troops on stage and they saluted…The drivers were introduced…Then they played Lee Greenwood’s “God Bless the USA” and a guy parachuted onto the track carrying a flag…And of course the National Anthem, complete with fireworks and a flyover…Then… RACE TIME.I can’t even describe how awesome it was when they waved the green flag and all 43 cars hit the gas at the same time.  Ooooh, power.  Overall, the race was pretty clean, except Mark Martin caught on fire…It was an exciting finish with some jockeying for position, but Brad Keslowski ended up winning.

Overall, I’m glad we were able to go to this race.  It was a huge event and spectacle.  I did learn a few things though.

1. You can bring a cooler into the race.  In other words, you can bring your own beer.  And not have to pay their prices.  Oops.

2. Bristol is definitely set up for camping/RV-ing.  We stayed in a hotel, but there were hundreds, if not thousands of RVs parked around the stadium.  Since Bristol is such a small town, I think the best way to experience it is by camping.  Next time we will probably go a race in a bigger town, such as Las Vegas or Phoenix.

3. No one likes Kyle Busch.  Not a lot of people like Jimmie Johnson.  Jeff Gordon splits the crowd.  Everyone like Dale Earnhardt Jr.

4. Ear protection is the most important thing EVER.

Welcome Race Fans

The Hubs and I made a deal for this trip.  Saturday is all things he wants and racing related, but Friday is my day to be a tourist and ridiculous and whatnot.  I gathered some brochures and consulted Google for ideas.  unfortunately we didn’t wake up early enough to head further east for anything Civil War related, so we decided to head to Abingdon, Virginia.  I had grand ideas of seeing all things historical, but it was a million degrees out and we’re crappy tourists so we had lunch then walked around a little bit.  I pretty much love that the sidewalks on Main Street and all the buildings were made out of brick.  I did see the Martha Washington College (now a spa… really?) and read some old signs, so I did my part to learn about history today.I was in the mood to be outdoorsy, so we looked at a map and I found some blue.  Hey, let’s go to the South Holston Lake!  Except we never found it.  Not surprised since lakes are pretty much the ninjas of the water world.  Or maybe we should have turned down one of the roads that said “boat ramp.”  But, on the plus side, we did have a nice drive.  The Hubs made fun of me for taking pictures of hay.We also drove past the race track.  I can’t believe how huge this thing is…Of course, this trip wouldn’t be complete without another example of ‘Merika.  You’re welcome.

Race day tomorrow.  Boogity boogity boogity.

Tennessee Adventures

Ok, I’m never taking a redeye flight again.  I always have these grand ideas and they end up SUCKING.  Only 3 hours of sleep on the plane to Houston, then maybe an hour of sleep on the floor of the airport (no one tell me how disgusting that is… I know), then a little bit of restless sleep on the way to Knoxville.  BUT, we survived.

We rented a car and had a 2 hour drive to Bristol.

The Beast

Yup, a black Crown Vic.  So we can look like undercover cops and/or mobsters.  I was really hoping that we’d end up with a Prius or similar so that we could roll up to the race looking completely out of place.

Speaking of cars…SMART CAR WITH A TRAILER! SMART CAR WITH A TRAILER! I CAN’T BELIEVE ITS A FREAKING SMART CAR WITH A TRAILER!

On the way to Knoxville, we stopped for another piece of Americana.My first Waffle House experience.  I ordered 3 eggs, a biscuit, and hash browns.  I really made things difficult for the poor guys… I requested egg whites only.  In my defense, I wouldn’t have done such a silly thing had it not been on the menu.  They were over at the deep fryer discussing why I would have ordered such a thing.

Final stop for the day – Bristol, Tennessee.  Right now we’re hanging out in the motel in the AC since it’s at least a billion degrees outside.

Airport bars

You know what’s awesome about airports?  The stalls in the bathroom are really wide.  I’m sure it’s because people usually have tons of luggage with them, but it makes me feel fancy.

The Hubs and I are sitting in a lovely bar in PDX called the Laurelwood Public House and Brewery enjoying a lovely sleep aid beer.  I cannot confirm if we are eating beer battered french fries dipped in BBQ sauce.

Eventually I'll learn how to take real pictures.

The Hubs and I are headed to Bristol, Tennessee for a big ol’ slice of Americana, AKA Nascar.  I’m also being promised a Waffle House and real BBQ.  This is shaping up to be a redneck and calorie filled weekend and I love it!

The 2 downsides of our lovely vacation?

1. I CAN’T RUN HOOD TO COAST!  Everyone and their mom is running and talking about it and getting excited and ahhhhh I’m so jealous.  Next year… it shall be mine.

2. It seriously broke my heart leaving my little puppy behind with my folks.  I know they will take amazing care of him but it’s still hard.  You might not realize how much I love my dog, since I hardly ever talk about him (what font do I use to convey sarcasm?).

We did some good quality time with Leland at the dog park before leaving tonight.  He made some friends and even stood up for himself when “they tried to tell him who was boss.”

Leland's new best friend, Ein.

Also worth mentioning – this is my first ever post from an airport AND from a bar.  I feel like I’ve just joined an elite club 🙂

 

Tuesday

I have absolutely no title for tonight’s post.  I could call it “Random Things” but I should probably save that title for the next time I have diarrhea of the brain on my keyboard.

Up first – my dog is so freaking adorable.  The heat this weekend really took it out of him.Next – I freaking rocked at the gym tonight.  I’m currently following the New Rules of Lifting for Women plan and have really stepped it up in the weight department.  I’m almost done with Stage 1 (YES!) and I’m really excited to move on to some new moves.  Stage 1 is really long and I’m getting a little bored, but I know that I have a new butt-kicking stage just around the corner.  Anyhoo, here’s some proof of my awesomeness tonight, including sloppily written commentary.Wow, that’s impossible to read due to size and crappy writing.  I’ll translate: seated rows, 3 sets of 8 reps at 90 lbs, 105 lbs, and 120 lbs!  Um, yeah.

Also – I think my Nike Free 3.0s have died.  I know I broke up with them for running, but I like to keep them on the side for regular workouts (does that make me a bad person?).

Dang, my hair looks good after a workout...

Yup, there is a finger sized hole right where my pinkie toe sits.  Looks like these babies are about to get donated to make a running track.

And finally – tomorrow night the Hubs and I are taking the red-eye out to Knoxville, then driving up to Bristol, Tennessee, for the Irwin Tools Night Race!  I promised to take the Hubs to whatever race he wanted as an anniversary/birthday/thanks-for-getting-out-of-the-military-so-we-can-be-together present and he picked Bristol since it is a half mile track (and also to thwart my Hood to Coast dreams!).

Woooo they're making a left turn!

Boogity boogity boogity, let’s go racing boys.

Country Fried Friday

I pretty much loved yesterday.  Work was quiet and I got some things done (but I was mostly looking forward to the after work festivities).

First up – my first acupuncture appointment.  I added getting acupuncture to my list of “25 things to do while I’m 25,” so I’m excited that I was able to cross it off my list.  Because of my back problems and calf problems, I was also excited to try something new to get some relief.

I was really nervous for the needles; even though everyone told me different, I was still picturing being stabbed repeatedly.  I’m thankful to report that there was no pain and I just felt a tap when he inserted needles.  (Everyone please say duh now).  I had trouble relaxing on the table, but I think that will come from time.  I really enjoyed feeling all the sensations that came along with the treatment.  I could feel a dull hand cramp after he inserted the needle and he said it’s the energy starting to move.

What I didn’t expect was the cupping treatment on my upper back.  Cupping is an “ancient medical treatment that relies upon creating a local suction to mobilise blood flow in order to promote healing.”  It kind of freaked me out at first because of the suction, but as I relaxed, it started to feel good and I really hope that it got the good blood flowing to start to heal my back.  And I have some super cool hickies on my upper back now – they freak the Hubs out, so all the more reason to do the treatment again 🙂

After my treatment, I met my mom at her office and we headed off to the main course of the day: Toby Keith’s Locked N Loaded tour!  First – dinner.

In keeping with the country theme of the day, we went to Billygan’s Roadhouse for dinner.  oh yeah, beer in mason jars and huge portions of everything.  I’m proud to announce that I actually ate a sensible dinner (minus the 400 dinner rolls that I started with).

The concert was at the Sleep Country Ampitheatre – I really liked it!  We had reserved seats thanks to Groupon, but there was also a large lawn section in the back that looked like a blast.  I definitely will go to more concerts at this venue.

We got there toward the end of the first act and I’m a little bummed I didn’t get to hear more.  His name was JT Hodges and I liked his sound.

Next up was Eric Church – not at all what I was expecting.  Live he had a totally different energy than how he sounds on the radio.  I will definitely go see him again.

Obviously trying to take a picture of this lady's head and his poster got in the way.

And then of course – TOBY.  The only other time I have seen Toby Keith live was about 3 days after I met the Hubs.  Interested to compare how much my life has changed 🙂 

My only complaint about the concert?  I felt like I was at a giant Ford truck commercial that happened to have some music and cowboy hats.  But I guess that’s the way these things are going. 

Some random thoughts:

Yes, I cried during “American Soldier.” This is to be expected.

Marine wives/fiances/girlfriends: Putting the Ooh in Ooh-rah.

Yes, I yelled really loud every time he repeated the line “…Semper Fi tattooed on his left arm.”  The Hubs doesn’t have a USMC tattoo, but in my dreams he does. (shameful)

Yes, my mother and I had tons of fun imagining what was going on with the two Bubbas standing around their Hummer after the show.

Yes, I need to break in my cowboy boots so I can wear them next time (granted, I say this every time)

Yes, I love the part of me that is a total country girl.And finally – something only seen at a country concert:

Three Things Thursday: The WTF Edition

If today were a person, it would be a very moody person.  Lots of ups and downs.  Seriously, everything that happened today was either awesome or super crappy.  I am left asking WTF?!?!?!?

WTF #1: Had a pretty awesome run today along the waterfront.  Set out to do 5 miles with the middle 3 at a fast tempo.  Ended up with 4.5 miles with miles 2 and 3 at 9:30 and 8:58, respectively.  Um, that rocks.  A couple of weeks ago I was struggling so bad and tonight I pulled a sub 9 mile!  I was feeling so awesome.  And then I ran past a bench of punk ass teenagers and one of the guys felt it was necessary to comment on my appearance/body.  Seriously?  WTF!?!?!?  Why even say anything?  If you don’t find my sweaty self visually appealing, just keep it to yourself.  At least I was running you lazy jerk.

WTF #2: Oh taco salad Thursday, you are a magical day.  You know what makes taco salad Thursday even better?  Having also had a taco salad Wednesday night.  Oh yes.  So much goodness.  Well, kind of.  I received the following message from my stomach today: “WTF?!?!?!?!  Feed me real food you jerk!  You want me to go along with all your crazy plans but you can’t feed me a freaking salad?  Eat something healthy!  Mexican food only once a week!”  Oops.

WTF #3: This one is totally directed at me and my failure to recognize true greatness when I was presented with evidence of said greatness.  I refused to believe, but I eventually came around.  What finally brought me to the inevitable conclusion? Orange chicken.  From Trader Joes.  I finally understand the awesome power that is Trader Joes.  No, I don’t know WTF is wrong with me and why it took me so long.  I apologize and it will not happen again.

Lots of fun tomorrow – my first acupuncture appointment and a Toby Keith concert 🙂  Its going to be amazeballs.

Terwilliger

Tonight was going to be a hill workout.  And I mean one… big… hill.

Ladies and gentlemen, meet Terwilliger.  Its simple – run up the giant hill, get a drink of water by the Chart House restaurant at the top, then go back down.

And you know what?  I made that hill my biatch.  Obviously took a little longer going up than coming down, but once I got warmed up I charged up that sucker like there was a frozen yogurt store on top.

6.1 miles in 1:01:23.

It feels so good to get my confidence back.

(And no, I can’t explain those 2 spikes at the beginning.  Garmino must have been throwing a temper tantrum.)

Monday morning kick in the butt

Go forth and be awesome.