Archive for September, 2013

First off – y’all – WHY didn’t anyone tell me I hadn’t raced since May?!?!  What the heck?!

Second – before I get to the race recap – you have to check this video out – all the way to the end please. I’m sharing it because its been inspiring the hell out of me for the past few weeks. I have been following Laura’s blog for awhile and watching her chase the 140.6 dream. This is hands down – THE BEST FINISH LINE VIDEO I HAVE EVER SEEN! Girlfriend went ballstowall HARD for 10 hours and 34 minutes. Let that sink in for a minute. 10 hours and 34 minutes of your hardest training effort.

And then – joy. Pure joy. Friends, that is a champion. It’s what it’s about.  Like I said – inspiring the hell out of me lately. I encourage you to read her full recap if that’s something that interests you. I will also add, that if you view the post-race thank you video at the bottom – the first 4 minutes – it’s like she wrote that part of my story too though our endings are our own.

Also – you will totally miss the dude who did the 26.2 mile run portion in a Wonder Woman bikini if you don’t watch the video all the way to the end. So there’s that. You’re welcome.

Back to Hudy.  8.7 miles are NOT 140.6 miles. Actually – it wasn’t 8.7 miles either. My Garmin said it was 9.1 miles – as did a few other Garmins around me. Garmin corroboration – it’s a real thing. Not sure what was up with the extra bit, but a 0.4 miles is more than a tangent difference…just sayin’ Hudy.

I did NO prep for this run, and in fact, kinda forgot about it. Shhhhh!  I’ve been kinda distracted busy lately. I might have mentioned that like 50,000,000,000 times. When I went to bed (late) on Friday night, I wasn’t sure I was going to do the run. When I woke up at 6:20 on Saturday morning and it was gray, and drizzling, and cold, I was sure I wasn’t going to do the run. I turned off the alarm and went back to bed. Except that after 40 minutes of trying to convince myself otherwise, I had to pee.

And here is why my bladder’s an asshole.

If I hadn’t had to pee, I wouldn’t have checked Facebook on my way back to bed. And if I hadn’t checked Facebook, I wouldn’t have found out Maine was already on her way to the start line. You know how I love to race with my girls!!! PLUS, I hadn’t seen Maine in awhile. So at 7:10, I went from peaceful, sleepy with pictures of a movie and coffee in my sugarplum head to hunting down the Bodyglide like a mad person and cussing out a twist tie because it wouldn’t get. on. my. shoe. for the chip timer. Trying to make an 8am start time.

At 7:35, I was barreling towards the ballpark (it started at Moerlein Lager House) – realizing I was driving ON THE RACE COURSE – and that I hadn’t eaten or had anything to drink. For a 14k run.

LEAST PREPARED RACE EVER.

I shoveled a handful of “emergency almonds” I keep in the car down my gullet and washed them down with a swig from a water bottle that had been in the car for a few days. Blech! Then I walked into a crowd of 4,000 people – looking for 1 of them- with about 5 minutes to spare. (I kid you not – I actually did have spare time. Apparently there is a time vortex in my car now.) Peeps, I SWEAR THIS NEXT PART IS TRUE – I took a deep breath, did a quick hip opener, walked down the line of people and said to myself “If I were Maine, I would be right about here” – then I stopped and looked to my left and BOOM! THERE SHE WAS! What are the odds of that?! Like, 1 in 4000? Okay, that’s not real math, but it’s not likely regardless. So we chatted – she was doing the 7k with her dad (who kicks both our running asses) – and then split up as we crossed the start.

In the few minutes of calm I did find on my way to the race, I did do some useful thinking. I knew I hadn’t done anything over 4 in 3-weeks and that my last 8-miler sucked badly. Entertaining the thought of a PR would be ridiculous and even trying to insert some speed intervals would be stupid. All I needed to do was just get through the distance. So I started thinking to myself that all I wanted was a solid execution. A quality run. Work my weak spots. Push my strong spots. Do my best with the rest.  Do my work.

So that’s what I did.

I’m pretty happy with this one – especially in the context. Garmin says I was pulling a steady 10:30-11/mm with 2 sub-10/mm surges after mile 6.  Not fast, but I wanted steady, not fast. Told myself that I would run to the 5k marker, then 3:1 interval to hold off a bonk since I had no sugar in my bloodstream.  At the 5k mark, I felt good still and decided to push on without the intervals to the halfway point – which would be after a long, slow incline (my kryptonite) – so I would get my real work in there. Stuck that incline like a champ! At the half-way (4.5 by my count), I opted for the intervals but didn’t stick to a 3:1, skipping the rest breaks when I felt stronger.  With the quality run I was getting in, I can’t help but wonder how much better it would’ve gone if I’d had something reasonable to eat before the race, or if there had been some Gatorade on the course (there was only water).  I was happy to see the downhill turn onto Eggleston, especially since my head had been running numbers since the 6-mile marker and I could not figure out how the heck we were only at mile 6? By my figuring, we were further down the road than that. Also, because I always pick up speed going down Eggleston. 🙂

Finish was solid. Overall, good run. Not my best, but far FAR from my worst.

The course itself was ugly. Least attractive course I have ever run. But – this is where we live – this is our city – these are parts of our city too. Parts with lots of history that should not be ignored. I have a favorite graffiti art wall near Beekman hill that I want to photograph, except that it’s not a great idea to get out of my car with an expensive camera there. We got to run past that, so it was nice to see it on foot. You do see the city in a different way when you’re running than you’ll ever experience from your car.

While I still had adrenaline going, I walked back to the finish to cheer people as they came in – something that always inspires me. Its one kind of inspiring to see someone finish first, like Laura, but its another kind of inspiring to go watch the “back of the pack” come in. I know a lot of people watching a race don’t give it any thought, but those people coming in last – for their own goals, they are working so damn hard! Most of them will never see a winners medal – but just getting over that finish line – it’s a victory. It’s a win. For me, they are champions too. I’m not an “everyone gets a trophy type” – I believe in winners – but Just once I’d like to see a race figure out a way to honor the last person across the line too – for sticking with it. Having heart.

The after party was much better organized than the last time I did this run, but still crowded and uncomfortable. The cold didn’t help – when you’re wet and cold and you stop running – you get REALLY COLD, REALLY FAST. Just like I hadn’t prepped any other thing, I didn’t have a jacket – or even long sleeves. So I was freezing my ass off in short order – the big tents helped keep us out of the wind but once I found a few friends that were wandering outside the tent, I needed to finish up and go get warm again.

On to the next one…

Considering the Power Play 5k on October 19th. That was my 5k PR last year – also not a pretty run with the bus terminal and smell of asphalt but the final up-hill is between GABP and US Bank Arena and that’s fun to push. It also comes with a ticket to the Cyclones season opener, which is my second love to baseball.

Also, can’t help but consider that even if I had dropped to a slow walk for all of another 4 miles at Hudy, I would’ve PR’d a 13.1. Kinda has me thinking about Monumental Half Marathon on 11/2 or Mason Half Marathon on 11/3. I could be very well prepped for either with 5 weeks to do it.

There’s also a 5k for diabetes research on 11/2 that the girls want to do – so…another opportunity to nail a sub-10/mm before end of season might be hard to pass up.

Peeps, I am telling you – home improvement…just those two words – while generally exciting – this week, they make me need a nap. And if I’m being perfectly honest with you – I’m barely doing any of the work. The husband – he’s exhausting me just watching him get shiz done. When I ran out of staycation week, there was still a lot to be done and then I got BUSY! He pulled the short straw on this one and I owe him BIG! BIG! BIG!  The house is almost all yellow-ed up!

When you hear a really loud HALLELUJAH!! next weekend – it’ll be because the housepainting is finished.

I am not religious at all – agnostic heart, I have. But some things, they warrant really loud Hallelujahs even if it’s just the wind listening. Then duck, cause lightening.

Friends, some day I will tell you my story of this house. That is not this day.

This day is about –

Crap. What is it about? I got some stuff to catch you up on. And some stuff to tell you all about. So it’s kind of a catching up while catching what’s coming maneuver. Somewhere, Ryan Hanigan just cocked his head to the right and went, ‘WHAT?’ and he had no idea why. Sorry, Ryan. I’m abusing my baseball catching words again.

Playing Catch-Up

There’s been scraping, painting, crafting yoga classes, teaching yoga classes, homework for teacher training, etc.  – things to be done. Which means I’ve missed a lot of other stuff, namely running group meets, and time to write. When push comes to shove, I can run on my own odd times, so running group obligations have to shift for a bit.  I miss my running group. BADLY. Hopefully, I’ll be able to join up with them again starting next week.  BUT – while I’ve missed out on some runs – some other things have happened. First off, I made a new running friend – who can meet on one of my flex days and also likes to work out in the pre-dawn hours. We’ve got a little pace differential to work on, but I enjoy her company. Pace differentials don’t matter so much when you enjoy someone’s company – and also when they know about coyotes. Apparently, we were accompanied by coyotes at 5:30 the other morning. Me = clueless. She made sure we weren’t dinner. I got educated. A friend that will run with you at 5:30 in the morning AND not feed you to coyotes – gold I tell ya. They are gold!

Also, changed up my training plan (again). Ramming my shoulder into the ground a few weeks ago really threw any weight training (& quite a few yoga moves) right out the window. I had to figure out something though. The husband and I – we started meeting with a trainer once a week. A dude who is really enthusiastic, trained in gymnastics & martial arts, and perfectly willing to kick both our asses every Sunday morning. It’s been awhile since I’ve worked with a trainer building a program around just me ( & Eric) – and I have to say, it’s very, very nice. Also, last week we met him up at Burnet Woods to work out outside. It was GLORIOUS! The next best thing to a run outside is a full body workout outside. Y’all, Mother Nature provides plenty of obstacles.

Also, 5-6 weeks later, I can finally get a sports bra shirt on and off, and put the car in reverse again without wincing or needing help.  Do not, if you can help it, ram your shoulder into the ground at full speed. It is not a good idea.

I nailed down teaching two more regular yoga classes – Tuesday evenings and every other Sunday at Move Your Body Fitness in Erlanger. It’s a brand spanking new studio and so I got to pick times that work well for me. The place officially opens 9/28, but I taught my first class there for the “soft opening” just today. No one showed up – which is typical of a new studio – so no worries there. Rather than bail entirely, I pulled my mat over to the big windows and worked through my class there so people could see something going on in the business. Yoga-fy and they will come! I know it!  Really, please come!

Playing Catch Me if You Can

Tomorrow night (Weds), I’ll be heading over to Cincy Ballet’s Kaplan New Works. As I mentioned before, it’s that time of year again. Ballet season if firing up – and there is no better way to fire up than Kaplan. Friends, I know there are those of you that are going to roll your eyes at the mention of ballet – but this ain’t your grandmother’s ballet. Kaplan programs are sensual eye feasts. Unexpected musical twists. Risqué choreography. They are powerful, sexual, visceral pieces.  Especially with Cincy Ballet kicking off their 50th anniversary season – WHOA! THIS SHOW IS GOING TO BE GOOD!

I had the privilege of attending a preview night last week – and to be honest, I was hoping they’d choose the Johnny Cash Man in Black piece to showcase since I’m a JC fan – but they didn’t. They showcased a world premiere by Val Caniparoli called Caprice. Sometimes it’s a good thing when you don’t get what you want. First off, there’s another thing akin to the “chin thing” I wrote about last year – the girls, they just can’t stop kissing Patrick. And then there was this flippy thing – that in all my years of ballet, I would have to go slow-mo on it to even begin to figure out what was happening. Do not blink. You do not want to miss the flippy thing. It will catch your breath in your chest and hold it. That doesn’t even touch the music – 9 Paganini violin “caprices” performed live via 2 CCM graduate students onstage. If you are not familiar with Paganini caprices, they are technical violin on steroids. Extremely difficult to play and listening to them makes my heart ache. (Did I mention I took violin once upon a time too?)  I CAN NOT WAIT TO SEE THIS SHOW! Dear boys (or girls, I don’t judge), if you’re looking for some brownie points on date night with the girl – Kaplan new works runs through 9/22 – there are several after party events – and you can get tickets here.

Since we couldn’t take pictures at the preview – there were already 5 separate camera tripods set up for promo shots – I’ll flip you some of the shots from ballet day at GABP. In case you were wondering, I saw principal dancer Amador (he threw out the first pitch) after the preview – he wears his Reds ballcap around the dance studio.

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A 720-degree windup, done a couple feet in the air.

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Amador getting serious.

Reds tickets fell into my lap for 9/23 – and I’m thinking about going again on 9/27 for the last Reds social media night of the season. Actually, I’m trying to talk the husband into going to that whole series to get my fill of baseball (between that and playoffs, of course) before the season closes. Thinking about volunteering at Redsfest this year.

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Chapman caught for Amador.

This weekend is the Hudy 7k/14k – which is sold out. I’m registered for the 14k. I’ve been so busy this Summer that I’ve barely been doing any racing, so it’ll be interesting to dive into the masses with this one and see how I’m doing. Knowing that I’ll get to see most of my running pack at this run makes me really happy to go do it – ready or not with the legs.

Finally – I’ve got a trip to Lexington coming up first weekend in October where I’m sure I’ll be taking LOTS of photos. I’ll have loads to share with you after that and I’m SO. DANG. EXCITED. about it that every time I get on 75-S and see the sign to Lexington, I swear my car wants to go that way! There will be bourbon and horses and donuts and running and LOTS AND LOTS of good things.  I need to keep part of it under wraps until I get back, but trust me peeps – this is some good stuff coming.

So that’s what I got. Good things, peeps. Good things. Also, I’ll share with you – from the Reds website – if you haven’t seen the video of Amador styling the Reds starting rotation, it’s pretty funny.  Also, video of his pitch, complete with 720-degree windup.

So, it’s no big secret around these woods that I’m a Reds fan. And while I’m not into the fawning routine, it’s also no secret that I’m a Sam LeCure fan – in my own words “One of the nicest guys in baseball that I’ve never met.”  His interviews are always funny and interesting, he keeps a positive social media presence with his #5things on Twitter (@mrLeCure) and he does good work with his Movember fundraising.

Last Friday, Sam put up the following on Twitter:

“expanding my twitter-ness, want to follow 1 new person I know nothing about each week, started today, pick every Friday. catch my eye”

And so I thought to myself –

Well, there were a few thoughts I thought to myself – all big brain, organic interest, overthinking all the things – type things.  Sorry, my brain can’t help itself.

Thankfully, I’ve learned to chuck most of that crap straight out the window. Overthinking =/= fun.  All of that overthinking crap ended up in two questions:

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FWIW – the Star-Spangled Banner was already finished playing.

#1 – Yeah. It would be cool if Sam followed me on Twitter. Easy peasy there.

#2 – Well crap. Why would Sam follow me on Twitter? No, really – Why WOULD Sam follow me? THANKS FOR THE EXISTENTIAL CRISIS SAM!

Luckily, I had a whole week of stay-cation and a coupla Reds games to figure myself out. So, Sam, here’s a list of 10 reasons why you ( & maybe a few other tweeps) should follow me on Twitter, in no particular order:

  • When you said ‘catch my eye’ on Twitter, I pictured what it would be like if you actually yelled ‘Catch!’ and tossed an eyeball at me. I didn’t drop it. I shrieked and did a spider-might-be-on-me dance, but I didn’t drop your eyeball. People need friends who don’t drop their eyeballs.

 

  • I can do 140-characters on lots of topics that aren’t about baseball (or eyeballs). I’m a bit nerdy in a friendly way. The con to that – I probably will use all 140 characters.

 

  • I think I have a pretty good grasp on being a fan. What it means to me: I enjoy going to games and rooting for the team, but I don’t take it too seriously.  There isn’t a bad day at the ballpark that is spent with my husband or a good friend sipping on a Shocktop and noshing on something from the Smokehouse. It’s nice when we win, it stinks when we lose – but at the end of a day, what I really like to see is a good game where everyone tried their best.  Sometimes you play as hard as you can, and the other guy still gets a handle on ya.

 

  • I love my husband. The man is a freaking ball of awesome all the time – even when he screws things up, it is awesomely spectacular! Why am I telling you that? Because it makes me uncomfortable when I see fans going all stalker meltdown on a player. I won’t be doing that.  Y’all have people of significance in your life – that should be respected. Married women flrting with players is unbecoming. Just my opinion.
  • Also, my husband does this to Beltran:
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“I scruncha your Beltran!”

  • If I saw you at Krogers, I would probably stop you and ask for help. Why? Because I am short and Krogers always has the good almonds on the top shelf. Going all spider-monkey on a grocery shelf just isn’t dignified. (at least not if anyone’s looking). I need more tall people in my life, Sam. To hand me things from tall places.

 

  • I’m a runner. Runners have lots of good qualities about them – perseverance, commitment. We know when to hold ’em and when to fold ’em in oncoming traffic. The ability to talk ourselves up really steep hills and talk to ourselves through lots & lots of miles. Sure, everywhere we drive we’ll annoy you with saying ‘I’ve run this’ for the 52,232,548 time – but also, if you run out of gas, you can always look at your runner buddy and say ‘you can run for gas right? it’s only 10 miles away’ – and stupidly, we’ll probably say ‘sure’.

 

  •  I know I don’t know jack squat about how to pitch 90mph. I won’t try to tell you how to do it.
  • Also, if you ever have a really bad day on the mound, go replay Game 3 of this season.  April 4th vs Angels.  There have been lots of examples of your excellence, but I like that one. You are badass, my friend. And we all need friends that remind us of our badassery once in awhile on a bad day.

 

  • I thought out most of this list while scraping paint off my house. I do that – stuff that gets me stinky-dirty. You seem like a guy that would appreciate a person willing to get stinky-dirty in the name of home improvement.

 

  • This has got to be one of the best player interviews I’ve ever read.  If this is who you are, then we would get along just fine – except for the whole Pabst thing. (Do they even sell Pabst in Cincinnati?) We home brew. I’ll be honest in saying its made me a bit beer snobby.  But you do seem like the kind of guy it would be fun to have over for a beer.  So what are you doing Saturday? No seriously – what are you doing Saturday? We need help painting the house since I scraped the paint off of it.
  • Also, I would not tell all of Twitter or FB that you were over at my house having a beer. People need to have some R&R time. Mainly, me. Who wants to be tweeting schtuff when they could be having a beer with Sam LeCure?
  • I am the youngest of 8 siblings also. Which means, I know what that means at a dinner table. If you come over for beers, I’m sure to have food too – and we can race to see who gets to seconds faster. Wouldn’t that be fun?

 

  • On my birthday last year, I met Dusty Baker & Gary Matthews. They were out having dinner and everyone around me kept saying ‘isn’t that Dusty Baker?’ and I kept saying ‘no – but that is’ and pointing to the back of a guy’s head. After dinner, they came over to us and were REALLY NICE spending a few minutes talking and letting pics be taken. Gary Matthews sat down next to me, and I asked him if a ring he had on was a World Series ring. He said ‘No, honey, that’s a loser’s ring. Put out your hand – ’cause it’ll be heavier than you think. That’s a winner’s ring.’ And then this happened: 20120903_211207 Gary Matthews  told me I could put his ring on and post pics to FB. HOW COOL IS THAT? My husband didn’t think to get Gary or Dusty in the picture, but I’ll show you my thumb so you can be sure that’s actually me in the photo. Also, this story has no relevance to this list at all – except that if you were a baseball fan and that happened to you, wouldn’t you tell that story every chance you got? *nods yes*
  • Also, if you ever need a good lookout, I know what Dusty looks like from the back of his head.

 

  • I’m the kind of friend that wouldn’t tell you you were over 10 reasons on a list that started out as “10 reasons…”.

 

  • I’m working on learning how to take good pictures – a gorgeous weather day at GABP is a great place to practice my skills. I got a pretty good batch on 8/25. Among them were these.  I promise any bad ones of your butt will die with me. (Again, I promise I’m not a stalker – it’s just if I get good at capturing your fastball, then I can get probably get a good cheetah pic at the zoo or catch some great pics of my friends doing criteria races or Ironman competitions.)

 

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Dear Xavier Paul, I am so sorry. But isn’t this a great picture of Sam? #pleasedontholditagainstme

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Words of wisdom for the FNG Reynolds on his debut. Who wouldn’t like this #63 guy?

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100% badassery.

So, Sam, that’s what I got for now. But if you don’t get to me this week, I understand – hope you know it’s all in good fun. 🙂

 

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