Flashback!

With all this talk of Vegas lately, I’ve been looking back through the photos from our 2008 trip.  D and I went to Vegas and the Grand Canyon for our first anniversary.  I love reliving these memories, and I’m so ready to make some new ones! 

If this picture doesn’t SCREAM “Vegas!” what does?

I swear, we stood for hours just watching the fountains at the Bellagio.  They were dancing the classical music.  BEAUTIFUL!
Yeah, the picture is a little fuzzy, but so was our vision by this point.
The photo that everyone who has ever been to Vegas has taken.
We live in a city named Paris, so this photo and the next are hanging on our wall at home.
I want to see the real one some day too!
The Strip
No photo ever taken in the history of cameras could possibly do justice to the Grand Canyon.
Breathtaking
*Siiiiiiiiigh*
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The Final Countdown

Exactly one week from today, at exactly this time, I will be standing in corral 16 at the start line of my first marathon.

I’m about to lose my gord.

A few thoughts…

  • I seriously think the people at weather.com are intentionally trying to screw with me.  One day it shows an 80% chance of rain, the next day 0%.  Come on, dudes.  Not cool at all.  (Sorry for the false alarm, Amanda!)  They’ve pushed the rain up to Monday now. 
  • I ran my last “long” run yesterday.  It was 9 miles, and it was the worst run I’ve had in a while.  The wind beat the living crap out of me and I just felt really tired.  Not surprising following Thanksgiving, but not a good confidence booster going into the final stretch.
  • Everyone keeps telling me to trust my training.  Well, I missed a lot of my training because of my knee, so that’s really not good advice for me.  If I have to put my trust in that, I’m screwed.  I’m better off putting my trust in my hard-headedness.
  • I’m looking forward to meeting Julie, Amanda, and Mel!
  • My bib number is 16272.  Nothing about that number jumps out at me as being good luck.  627 used to be the first three numbers of my phone number, but that’s all I got.
  • I’m bummed about the post-race concert.  The headliner is Bret Michaels, and I was pretty stoked about seeing him.  But I recently found out that I won’t get to.  He will be on stage from 11:00 am to 12:15 pm, so IF I can finish in 5:15 I MIGHT get to see him walk offstage.
  • This last pair of Mizuno Wave Rider 13s that I bought feel weird.  I can’t place exactly what’s different about them, but something just seems off.  I thought maybe it was just because they weren’t broke in good, but they’ve got about 50 miles on them now.  I’ve run the last couple of weeks of training runs in them (but had to change out of them halfway through my 20-miler last week), but they won’t be coming to Vegas with me.  I’ll be taking my last pair of MWR13s that have about 250 miles on them.  I stick with what I know works.
  • Speaking of sticking with what works, I’ve already scoped out Dominos Pizza locations.  I’ve had my best long runs the morning after chowing down on their Pacific Veggie pizza.  I will be having a private pizza party for one in my hotel room Saturday night while everyone else goes out.  Hey, I might have to turn in early, but I’m not about to ruin everyone else’s fun!  We’ll be in Vegas for Pete’s sake! 
  • I haven’t started packing yet, but I have my list of stuff to pack made out.  I’m terrified I’m gonna forget something important.
  • I’m putting the finishing touches on my playlist this weekend.

So here we go.  Seven days and less than 10 miles are now all that stand between me and the start line.  Ready or not…

Learning to be Truly Thankful

I have so, so many things to be thankful for this year.  Way too many to list here.  2010 has been a blessed year, but we’ll save that for the year-end review.

Thanksgiving is especially sentimental for me this year.  As some of you may remember, I was baptized into the Church in May.  The baptism was following a sermon on what?  Yep.  Giving thanks.  Not forgetting God during the good times. 

We are so quick to go to God when we need something but don’t always remember Him when things are going smoothly.  We take things for granted.  We forget that He is our ultimate provider and that without Him we would have and would be nothing.

I believe everything happens for a reason, and I believe with all my heart that I was meant to go to church that morning after not having stepped foot in one in the better part of 10 years.  I was meant to hear that sermon because, believe me, it couldn’t have affected me more if the hand of God had come through that ceiling and smacked me upside the head.  I HAD forgotten God.  I WAS taking everything for granted.  I WAS one of those people that was all, “Why, God, why???”  when things would go bad and then when things would settle down I returned to my conceited mindset that I was in control.  That sermon was exactly the one that I needed to hear to get me on track.

I’ve learned a lot of things in the past few months.  Seriously.  A LOT.  I didn’t realize how much I didn’t know until I started learning a smidgen of it.  But one of the things that I have learned is how to truly be thankful.  I am thankful for my happy days and sad days, days with trials and days without.  Each and every one is a blessing straight from God.

I Thessalonians 5:16-18 – Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, in everything give thanks, for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.

HAPPY THANKSGIVING, EVERYBODY!!!

Ignorance Abounds

I’ve been meaning to show this to you guys for about a week, but I kept forgetting about it!  Jill’s post today just reminded me.

This is a quote from our local pathetic excuse for a newspaper:

“Despite the rainy, cool weather Saturday 109 people registered to run or walk in a 5K marathon that was the culmination of the Mayors’ Health Challenge here in Henry County. Tory Daughrity, Healthy Henry County co-chairman, said those who participated in both the pre- and post-health screenings for the event had lost a combined total of 181 pounds. Kazumi Kitamoto was the overall male winner in the marathon while Becky Cate was the overall female winner. Rick Horiuchi took the overall male masters title while Sharon Renfro was the overall female masters winner.”

Seriously???  A 5K marathon???

Wow!!!  I’m a marathoner already and didn’t even know it!!!

Nervous Nelly

I am so glad that I have Thanksgiving to distract me from the fact that I have MY FIRST MARATHON IN 11 DAYS!!!!!

Am I ready?  I don’t know, but I guess I’ll find out!

Am I excited?  Ummm… YEAH!

Am I nervous?  UNBELIEVEABLY so.

But I’m as ready as I’ll ever be, so I’m just ready to do this thang.

I ran last night after two days of rest following my 20-miler Saturday.  I expected to still feel sluggish, and I sat out with all intents of just taking on an easy 5 miles.  The legs (even the knee!) felt really good!  Without even trying, that was my second fastest 5-mile run ever.

Maybe it was the nerves; maybe it was the bangin’ play list I’m putting together; or maybe it was the fact that I had some pretty ferocious winds at my back for part of the run.  Whatever.  I’ll take it any way I can get it.

I hope you all have a glorious Thanksgiving!

Flyin’ Solo

So the MRI confirmed it.  M has a tibial stress fracture and a small meniscal tear.

I swear, I couldn’t be more upset if it were my own leg.  😦

So this first-time marathoner will officially be making her maiden voyage solo.  Guess I’d better be making me one heck of a playlist!!!

My 20-miler was today.  It went pretty well.  My ONLY goal for today was to get in the distance and to keep the knee as happy as possible.  I succeeded at both.  The time was not impressive, but considering all the walking (mostly for the knee’s sake–see goal #2) and the time that I spent coming back by the house for a pit stop and to change shoes (breaking in a new pair), I can’t be too upset about the finish time.  Yes, I include all my stops in my time.  Once I hit that start button with my first step, I don’t hit stop until I’m done.

I did find myself feeling sluggish though.  When I got up into the double digits I was like, “UGH!  Why are my legs so DEAD???  I’ve run these distances before!!!”

Then it hit me.

Until this week, the most I had run in a 7-day period was 30 miles.  It was at about that mark that my knee started acting up and I started cutting out midweek runs.  At the end of 20 miles today, that put my 7-day total for this week at 46 miles.  No freakin’ wonder my legs were like lead!  It was because I messed with my schedule last weekend and ran on Sunday instead of Saturday.  Sunday’s 15, Wednesday’s 5, Thursday’s 6, and Saturday’s 20 added up without me realizing it.  I was just so excited to be able to run at at manageable pain level again that I just RAN and didn’t do the math!  Oh well, it all worked out.

All aboard the taper train!!! 

Here a Gimp, There a Gimp…

Seriously.  WHAT is with this epidemic of injuries???  This is my first year that I’ve really been into running and socializing within the running community… Is it always like this?  Is it all coming to a head now because most everybody is at the peak of their training season in the fall?

I don’t follow just a whole lot of blogs, but a very high percentage of the ones I do read are (or have been) dealing with injuries!

I think Ethan was first with his hip/leg/knee issue.  (He hasn’t posted since about a month before he was supposed to run Chicago.  Does anybody know if he was able to or not?)

Molly was unsure for a while whether or not her hamstring was going to let her complete her marathon.

Julie’s guts started falling out when she ran.

Kate’s leg kept her from toeing the line at Malibu.

Beth had to withdraw from Denver when she suffered a femoral neck stress fracture THE WEEK BEFORE THE RACE when she went “balls out” on a tempo run.

Jen did battle with a bruised tibia as well as an angry IT band during the last few weeks of her training but was ultimately able to rock the MCM.

Tricia has been dealing with her knee issues for some time but gritted her teeth through delirium-inducing pain and completed San Antonio anyway.

Same goes for Chris and his sub-4:00 at the OBM marathon despite his knee pain.

Jamoosh still isn’t fully recovered from foot surgery, and now his knee is “jacked” too.  Yep.  Jacked.  That’s the official diagnosis.

Julie, Sherry, and I have all been babying our knees for the past few weeks.

And now Amanda’s knee hurts too!

I’m sure there are more that I’m just not thinking of right now.

But the one that I am the most upset about…

My Vegas Running Buddy, is sidelined.  She KILLED a 20-miler Sunday but had some knee pain with clicking afterwards.  She rested it a couple of days, but then when she tried to test it out and run again Wednesday the knee pain was far overshadowed by lower leg pain. 

She saw her sports doctor yesterday, and he ordered an MRI for today.  But just from physical examination he suspects a tear in the meniscus and a stress fracture.  ONE of those would be enough to do a person in.  We’re hoping for the best, but right now it’s pretty hard to be optimistic given the circumstances.

Gearing Up and Weighing In

No, that is not Emz’s treadmill reading from this morning!  That is my weight as of last night.  I hear all you guys talking about how much weight you have gained and lost during taper and the race, so I just want to see what happens with mine over the next three weeks!  Before beginning marathon training, mine hovered in the 128-133 range.  Since training began, it’s been more in the 133-138 range.  140 is my scary number.  I’ve come close a time or two, but I haven’t hit it yet!  I’m sure things will return more to normal once the race is behind me.

The race…

Up to this point, I’ve been filled with a mixture of fear, excitement, dread, and awe about my upcoming RnR Vegas marathon.  Now that it’s just a little over two weeks ago (gasp!!!) most of that mixture is gone.  Now I’m just left with a severe case of insomnia and butterflies.  (Okay, I can’t really blame the race for the insomnia.  That’s been going on for quite a while.  I thought the new mattress would help.  It has not.)

I asked for your opinions on my long runs last week, and I took the advice you gave.  I ran 15 miles on Sunday.  While there was much stretching and quite a bit of walking, I completed the 15 miles at well under the Vegas cutoff pace.  As things are now, I don’t care if it takes me every second of that 5:30 to finish.  I just want to finish, and if I have to stop and stretch 4,000 times during that 26.2 miles to get ‘er done, that’s exactly what I’ll do.  It held up pretty well during the 15 but I was hurting pretty badly afterwards.  I rested it Monday and Tuesday and by last night I was able to run 5 miles relatively pain free.  I’ve been experimenting more with a pain relief regimen, and I’ve come up with a combination that seems to be keeping me moving:  LOTS of foam rolling, ibuprofen (low doses several times a day), Biofreeze, elevation, and alternating ice and heat.  As I said I ran 5 last night, and it’s not killing me this morning, so that’s improvement.  It actually feels like I may be able to run again tonight.  If I can, this will be the first time I”ve been able to run two days in a row in WEEKS.

So since I took your advice and ran 15 last weekend, you know what that means…. 20 MILES THIS WEEKEND.  I think I’m almost as nervous about that as I am the race itself!

Ways to Tick Me off on a Tuesday

  1. Snore real loud so you wake me up before my alarm clock goes off.
  2. If you’re a tile bathroom floor, be cold under my bare feet.
  3. If you’re a dog, take you’re time looking for that perfect spot to pee when I let you outside where it’s pouring rain.
  4. Again, if you’re a dog, wait until I’m JUST about to walk out the door to go to work and then decide you didn’t finish your business and ask to go back outside so we have to go through the whole drying off process again.
  5. Bright-light me with your high beams.
  6. Look at me like I’ve grown horns when I tell you to do something that you should be doing anyway.
  7. Call me and ask me how to do something that I’ve told you before how to do.  (And this is someone who has more seniority and a bigger paycheck than I have.)
  8. Come into my office as a customer, think you know more about my profession than I do, and then argue with me when I tell you you’re wrong.
  9. Be perky.
  10. Bill me for an x-ray you didn’t perform.
  11. Don’t return my call.
  12. Come in 30 seconds before closing time to mail 12 packages.
  13. Call my cell phone from an unknown number and then don’t say anything when I answer.
  14. Leave the door to your computer room open and then get mad because a dog goes in there.

That’s all I’ve got for now, but it’s still early.

Have a nice day.

Patience

If you’ve been reading this blog for more than like 15 seconds, you already know by now that patience is NOT a virtue that I possess.

D and I decided a few months ago that we need a new bedroom suite.  Trouble is, we have expensive taste.  The cost of the furniture plus the cost of a new mattress and box springs was gonna be… well, astronomical.  So we decided to put it on hold because there were things that we want/need worse than a bedroom.

But while we were in Destin a couple of months ago, we wandered into a sleep store and just started browsing (and laying on) their mattresses.  When I laid on the Tempurpedic Cloud Supreme, I knew I would never sleep soundly again until I owned that little piece of Heaven.  That lit the fire of desire again.  There were no longer things that I wanted/needed more than a bedroom.  So we started shopping again.  A few weeks ago, we came across a HECK of a deal on that mattress.  I’m talking about a CRAZY, INSANE STEAL of a deal.  We couldn’t pass it up.  So for three weeks we have been looking at this monstrosity of a box containing our new mattress and box springs.  We can’t use it because it’s a king and we currently have a queen bed.  We’ve been looking at furniture again, but we just can’t find what we really want, and the stuff we find that we DO like is out of our price range.

But, as I mentioned, we are not the patient kind.  Looking at that box every day, knowing what’s in that box, knowing that a good night’s sleep was SO CLOSE, was driving us crazy!

So, what is one to do?

One goes to amazon.com and buys the cheapest king-sized bed frame one can find, that’s what.  Who says it’s not classy to put a >$3,000 mattress on a <$100 frame and use mismatched sheets and blankets because you don't own a king-sized comforter set?  You call it tacky, but I'll be sleeping like a drunk baby, so I win.