February 25, 2011

Two is company

February has flown by! Let's catch up, shall we?

After Snowpocalypse came Snowmageddon. Seriously, y'all. The snow was measured in FEET. In Arkansas!

We were not amused.

But I ran anyway.

We had a fantastic Valentine's Day, in which I was surprised with a gourmet breakfast in bed, cupcakes and books by the Pioneer Woman!

February was rough because of all the snow, but it had its high points. If I've learned anything at all this month, it's that running is so much better with a buddy. When I first started running last year, Trea ran with me, but he didn't really run with me. We would start together and then I would lose sight of him. So I pretty much run by myself all the time. That's what happens when your average pace is classified by others as a brisk walk.

So a couple of weeks ago, on my first ever attempt at running 6 miles - in this snowy mess - my dear, sweet friend, LB, offered to join me. She is a lifelong runner and is super fast. She's been working at it forever and runs trails too, so she's in wicked good shape. But she shuffled along with me for an hour and 20 minutes, keeping me company, chatting about husbands and laughing at silly dogs. When we got to the Crystal Bridges hill - my nemesis that I always quit and walk - she ran in front of me, cheering and clapping and waving her arms, "Come on! Come on! Run faster! Just get it over with!" And I ran all the way to the top! I would've hugged her if I'd had the strength left. Yes, running is definitely better with a buddy.

The following weekend (last weekend) was another 6-miler for me and 8 miles for Trea. Bless his heart, he offered to run the first 6 of his 8 miles with me. We ran the first part of the half marathon course, and he was so kind to let me pick the pace. I actually ran about a minute per mile faster than I normally do because I felt bad for holding him back. I paid for it a few miles in when I had to stop and walk after a big, giant hill. He wouldn't walk with me, but he made sure to stay in sight and let me catch up. We battled 30-40 mph wind gusts and even some rain the last two miles. I was so glad I had a buddy! The weather was awful, and I know I would've quit if he hadn't been with me. Running with your favorite people is the only way to go for long runs!

I have 7 miles on the schedule for tomorrow. Who's with me??

February 5, 2011


Unless you've been living under a rock, you know that most of America was blanketed with snow this week. Unfortunately, the blizzard did not miss Arkansas. And for those of you who are counting, this makes the third time I've been snowed in. Thanks for nothing, 2011. We got even more snow yesterday and more is on the way, so I may never leave the house again. I haven't left since I got home from work Monday evening. Living in the woods on a giant hill is not convenient during the months of December through February.

4 new inches Friday...in addition to the 7 we got Tuesday.

BUT, I've kept up with my training and haven't missed one single workout. It has been miserable, but I got it all done...running in the garage, biking in the living room and getting creative for strength training. Before the great blizzard hit, we had one glorious 75-degree day last weekend. That was the day of my first ever 5-mile run. I was nervous about running that distance, but I made it and it felt great! Glad I got a good outdoor sunshiney run in before having to spend the next several days stuck in the house praying my pipes wouldn't freeze.

I've run 9 miles so far this week -- all on the treadmill in the garage -- and Trea set up my new bike in the living room so I can cross train. I haven't ridden a bike since I was 13, but Trea found a crazy good deal on a mountain bike for me a few weeks ago. It's been way too cold to ride, so we picked up a bike trainer and now it's parked in the living room. The dogs are not pleased.

I had grand ideas of how riding a bike would be fun and easy and make my sore running legs feel better while I caught up on my Netflix queue. I remembered running in the sweltering heat last summer and getting so envious of the guys on bikes who would zoom by with the wind in their hair. I thought they had it so much easier than runners, covering more ground and getting to feel a breeze. But after pedaling about 5 minutes last night on the easiest gear, I was wishing for the treadmill. Riding a bike is tough! I know it's going to be great cross training; it definitely works an entirely different set of muscles.

And speaking of working different muscles, I decided to try some of the core exercises in the February Runner's World. Being snowed in, I couldn't get to the store to pick up the equipment they called for. So I learned that a giant can of sweet potatoes is just as good as a medicine ball.

Today I have another 5-miler scheduled, and I'm going to try my best to run it outside in the slush. I'm trying to mentally prepare myself for another heavy snow next week and more days on the treadmill. It's not pretty, but it's getting the job done. Snowed-in training week four has been a success!


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