Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Turkey Trot Challenge

Gauntlet has been thrown and I picked it up.... it's ON for the Turkey Trot Challenge 2009. The Turkey Trot is an annual race here in DeLand on Thanksgiving morning where you can run a 5k or a 10 miler and thus earn the rights to pig out on the Thanksgiving feasts later on.
For the past few years, we have had a few people do this race, most do the 5k, and then met up in the parking lot afterwards to enjoy some snacks and beverages whilst waiting for the 10 milers to finish, watch the awards and so on.
This year, I'm going to try to improve my 5k PR, which isn't really setting the bar too high, all I have to do is come in somewhere below 28:28. Yeah. I know, I'm no speedster. But this fall, I have my speedy friend Mary Ann kicking my ass. She helped me put together a training plan and is going to make me do speed workouts once a week after I get a little bit of base built up. So fun times ahead. And because misery loves company, I'm doing my very best to try to get as many of my friends as possible to sign up for this too :)

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Ed Gaw Open Water Challenge

Despite a bit of Googling, I can't seem to find a link to the open water swim I did yesterday. It was held in Amelia Island, just north of Jacksonville, FL and featured a mile swim for the sane and a 5k swim for the crazies. The race was originally scheduled for May, but postponed due to dangerous surf and ocean conditions.
I haven't exactly been training for the past month as I got somewhat busy with the whole wedding/traveling to Iceland thing, so my fitness level leaves a little bit to be desired.
But, unlike running, I don't seem to ever completely lose my swim fitness so I figured I could make the mile. Since I had already paid my monies, had the opportunity to travel to the race with two great swim buddies (Cameron and Debbie) and a free place to stay, I figured why the hell not, would just treat it as a nice open water workout.

We cruised up on Friday and spent the afternoon sitting by the pool at Cameron's friend house, sipping adult beverages along with deep and meaningful conversations.
Then a quick dinner at an Irish pub, early to bed and a crack of dawn early wake up call to get ready. At the race we signed in, got our swim caps and t shirts, donned swim suits, sunscreen and body glide and then boarded a bus to take us to the respective swim starts. I can tell you that being stuffed in a school bus with about 50 other grown ups of various ages, clad in nothing but speedos was quite the experience.
Once we got off the bus we walked to the beach and took our places on the beach. The gun went off and we ran into the nice and flat ocean. Pretty soon I settled into my stroke and started cruising. There was one buoy that we rounded at start and then nothing until he buoy to be rounded into the finish. They did park a boat close by that one so we had something to sight off, but with the sun glaring it was hard to see. I felt like I was swimming like a drunken sailor, zig zagging all over. Half expected to end up around the Bahamas. For much of the swim I kind of played tag with a guy wearing triathlon shorts and top. When we finally got close to the orange buoy, I saw a small pack of swimmers and figured I could catch them and maybe even drop the tri guy too. I caught the small fish, but the tri guy had something left in the tank too and beat me.

All in all it was a great race and it's good to be swimming again. Debbie did great and came in 2nd overall for the mile, and I think Cameron and Coach Bay did well too. I scored first place in my age group, it helps a lot when there are only 2 other competitors of that age!
I don't think the results have been posted anywhere, waiting on an e-mail with the times so I know what to beat next year!

Friday, July 17, 2009

Go Crocs, you can do it!!

During my morning scan of the interwebs I saw something about the Crocs shoe company going bankrupt.  I did some further digging and they aren't exactly tits up yet, but they aren't doing so hot either.  I love those shoes, they are just made for people like me: slightly fashion challenged and completely duck footed.   They work wonderfully to soothe tired and achy feet after long workouts or races.  Not that I'm doing too many of either of those right now, but I am working on it, cut me a little slack here!!
I used to be a hater, but when I went with a friend to shop for a pair for her mother, I by accident stuck my foot in one and there was no going back after that.
Came home with the original shape in winter camo, as seen up here to the left. I then later added a pair of flippie-floppies that I use for swim workouts, and it's probably thanks to those little guys that I'm not riddled with pool fungus and have much fewer wipeouts on the wet pool deck. And yes, since you asked, I don't for one minute hesitate to wear men's Crocs if needed, because I can't cram my plammers into the dainty little girly shoes.  

So, from one fragile little start up to another: chin up dear Crocs, hunker down and weather this storm, just whatever you do don't quit making these awesome, ugly-ass shoes.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

And I ran, I ran so far away...

Or I would have, if I was being chased by a flock of seagulls!

But in all reality I only went about 2.5 miles or so, ever so slowly.  But it's good to be back jogging (with a soft j), working on working off some of the extra junk in the trunk I brought back home from Iceland, the jiggling must stop!!
This weekend I am going to meet up with my speedster friend Mary Ann who is going to help me work out a workout plan.  That's a funny sentence, say that five times fast - work out a workout plan!
Then the torture will begin, in the Florida heat and humidity, but this time damn-it-all-to-hell, this time I am GOING TO STICK TO THE PLAN.   I want to run 5k's this winter for speed, I want to do at least a half marathon, probably do the 15k gate river run (need another pint glass for the collection) and do speed workouts with my fabulous business partner and lovely husband.  
I'm too broke at the moment to do full on triathlons, so damn expensive to enter, so I think right now is the best time ever to focus on running.

And I am going to need all the help I can get - send me all your motivational strategies!

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Beer, beer, beer, I like beer.

I do, I do, I do.
It makes me wish I lived in Colorado, so I could take advantage of all the awesome microbreweries out there. I favor darker beer - from medium ambers to full on stouts and just about anything in between.
I'm no snob though, so I'll on occasion go for a nice pale ale or lager, provided those are served ice cold and in good company.

One of my favorite frugal blogs, Wise Bread, has this brilliant post on 21 uses of beer. Check it out and let me know if anyone decides to try tip # 16: making a beersickle. I'm not sure if I would like frozen beer, but I will stay open minded about that one until someone else tells me it's awful.
Now that I've embraced my inner baker and decided to forgo artificial breads that don't go bad even if you leave them in your fridge for a month whilst you pop home to Iceland - even those that have "natural" in their names - I'll for sure be trying the beer bread recipe, yum yum.

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Run free lifestyle is over

And so is the hiatus from the blog and my other online duties....  damn it's been a long time.
I am now a married woman and have issue #1 of the Blue Skies Magazine out (and issue #2 breathing down my neck).
In the past few weeks I've been flung all over the world, spent time with my family, caught up with friends I haven't seen in years and finally arrived back in Florida.  Jet-lagged as hell, with a to-do list a mile long.
Towards the top half of that list is getting back in shape, running biking and swimming.  Won't be easy, but I'm fiercely motivated to work off the extra pounds piled on by eating the insanely yummy hot dogs and chocolate in Iceland.

I'm not really in the inspired mood at the moment, as I sit here and enter names and addresses into our subscription database, but I will leave you with this very cute post from one of the blogs I follow - Tall girl Running.  Although I've never squeezed out a kid, I can somewhat relate - the very same thoughts go through my mind every time I'm toeing the start line at an event that takes more than half an hour :)

That's it for now. See you in a bit, because I'm back :)