Monday, December 31, 2012

Ringing in the New Year...

with bronchitis! Oh what fun!

I knew I shouldn't have done my long run on Saturday! But I'm STUBBORN! I don't like for things to slow me down. Mother Nature, you might slow me down, but I won't go down without a fight! I did skip out on my run this morning since the coughing has gotten worse & I have a lot more congestion in my chest.

I was looking out my kitchen window this morning and saw my training partner, Ruthie, running by herself. I so badly wanted to be out there with her! I know how lonely it can be when running by yourself. One of the other girls left on a cruise yesterday and the other hasn't run in over a week because she's had out of town family here for the holidays. Once school is back in session, maybe there will be some sense of normalcy..back to a routine...back to running at 5am...UGH!

So this lovely bronchitis has me spending my last two days of Winter Break on the couch doing as little as possible. Any other time, I would LOVE this! But it's different when you're forced to do it. I probably won't even make it to midnight to ring in the New Year. At least I found a clinic opened in town & got some good meds and antibiotics. Hopefully I'll be up & running in no time!

Happy New Year! Start the new year off on the right foot....or left! Just START!

Saturday, December 29, 2012 ain't got no alibi...

What an ugly run! I was hoping for 11 miles, but it just didn't happen. I did make it to 10, but I honestly don't know how. I do have an alibi! Because of Mother Nature's roller coaster ride, I'm developing another sinus infection with lots of coughing & some chest congestion. Yesterday I felt like a Mac truck had run over me! I had chills & body aches. I spent the majority of the day with the vaporizer, resting, and drinking lots of hot tea & water. I even had a date with Dr. Teal in the hopes that the body aches would go his Epsom salts! Took some nighttime generic sinus pills & prescription cough syrup...slept like a baby!

Woke up feeling a lot better, so I decided to get my long run over with. It was cold & windy! My buff came in quite handy today. I didn't care how goofy I looked in it...was trying to keep from breathing in the cold air directly. With about 3 miles to go, it began spitting snow. I was beginning to think I was seeing things from the sinus meds, but Ruthie confirmed the snow. Ruthie started a little earlier than me, so I had to finish up the last 2 miles on my own...I decided to hit the golf course. Big mistake! I was slow, my legs didn't want to move, it was hilly, and I was having to dodge puddles from yesterday's rain.

I just kept telling myself..."Make it to 10! Make it to 10! It doesn't matter about your time!" Does time matter on a long run? I just wanted to hang on. Isn't it more about endurance?

So 10 miles it was! Ugly as it may have been! A run is a run...

Chocolate milk, Neti pot, hot tea, soak with Dr. Teal, roll out with the Y foam roller, and more cough syrup...COMPLETE! Now enjoying couch time while watching snow flurries & a movie in my compression socks. Taking down Christmas decorations later...sad...don't want it to end!

The Ugly 10-Miler by nikerunner75 at Garmin Connect - Details

Untitled by nikerunner75 at Garmin Connect - Details

Thursday, December 27, 2012

Taking the Christmas Gifts for a Test Run

I have to say...Santa was pretty darn good to me!

I received my very first pair of Mizunos...Wave Rider 16. I don't know that I'd say I had a "brilliant" run as they describe, but they weren't bad for the first time wearing them. They're going to take a little getting used to...I've been nothing but a Nike girl. I sort of feel like I'm cheating on my Nikes. I felt like I needed to try something different, especially with my training.

Santa did hear my pleas for a water bottle with a neoprene sleeve! This morning was the perfect morning to try it was pretty cold...and my hand never got cold from holding it! Another plus that my running buddies will appreciate is that this bottle doesn't squirt spontaneously, it's not a quickshot like my Nathan bottle. This new bottle is made by Amphipod...I think I'm going to like it much better.

My mother-in-law got me (with the help of my husband) a new Nike beanie & thermal head/earband and Swiftwick socks.

I also asked for a buff like they wear on Survivor, but a cuter design. I wanted something that I could wear around my neck or pull up on part of my face...for really cold mornings. I believe you can wear the buff 12 different ways...haven't mastered them all yet. I wore the buff and Nike beanie this morning. I pulled the buff up over my nose at times...I'm sure I looked like a bandit or something.

Once I got back from my run, I tried out my new foam roller. It's not just any 'ol foam's called the Y roller. I say it looks like a torture device. I must admit that it felt pretty good rolling out my calf muscles.

Forgot to mention that we got a dusting of snow late Christmas night & early the day after. There's talks of freezing rain over the next two mornings. Hopefully it won't interfere with my long run on Saturday.

Trying out Christmas Running Gear by nikerunner75 at Garmin Connect - Details

Untitled by nikerunner75 at Garmin Connect - Details

Monday, December 24, 2012

Then One Foggy Christmas Eve... (literally)

Ruthie, my training partner, came to say... "Jennifer, with your feet so fast...won't you run speedwork with us?"

Ruthie's son came home for Christmas & they were planning to do speedwork. I was thinking maybe they were doing 400s. I've done fartleks & some 400s...I hate speedwork as much as I hate hills! NOOOOO...not 400s! They were doing a 2 mile warm-up, 4x800s, with 400s recovery in between, and a one mile cool down. I've never done 800s (running as hard & fast as you can for half a mile). I didn't feel so fast the last two 800s, but I survived! Maybe Santa will find my lungs on the route & return them tonight.

Oh, I forgot to mention our lovely friend Mother Nature! On Saturday, it was 20 degrees. Today, I ran in shorts & t-shirt...also tried out my new Pro Compression them! They are forecasting snow for Christmas night into Wednesday morning...3-5 inches possible. Crazy, unpredictable weather in Tennessee!

Merry Christmas to each & everyone! May your RUNS be merry & bright!

Speedwork by nikerunner75 at Garmin Connect - Details

Untitled by nikerunner75 at Garmin Connect - Details

Saturday, December 22, 2012

Double Digits of Death!

So I survived the Mayan Apocalypse, but I barely survived today's long run! I'm just now sitting down for the day/evening to blog & chill out...I am beyond pooped!

My training partner, Ruthie, and I started out at 6:45. I believe this was the coldest morning so far. After about a mile, I had to come back to the house for my thicker hands/fingertips were so cold they almost felt like they were burning (if that even makes since). After 4 miles, we meet up with our running buddy, Beth.

As we're running out of the comes Beth's dog, Sophie...she's gotten through the electric fence for the second day in a row! We decide to run the small block with Sophie in tow, then try to get her put up. All the other dogs in the cove were out. Needless to say...the word TREAT did NOT phase her! Finally, after about 5 minutes or so, the state trooper across the street was able to catch her.

Once we started back up, it was like starting all over! Burning, cold hands again. And now sweaty & cold. After about 8 miles, everything from the waist down felt like lead & ached. I was regretting that I didn't try out my new Pro Compression socks...I've never worn them before...(note to self--wear compression socks on long runs, no matter how tight my running tights may be). I did wear them for the rest of the day for part of my recovery.

We made it 10 miles, but nothing about it was easy or fun. Well, I take that back...there was no wind...unlike yesterday...that did make it somewhat easier. Hopefully I'll be able to move tomorrow & not wishing that the Mayans were correct!

On a good note, my husband brought me another "run happy". Better than cupcakes! He said he was proud of me for making it to 10 miles & sticking with it. I am proud to say I've found my niche...I AM a RUNNER!

Now, for my 2nd date of the day with Dr. Teal!

Ugh! Double Digits of Death! by nikerunner75 at Garmin Connect - Details

Untitled by nikerunner75 at Garmin Connect - Details

Friday, December 21, 2012

It's the End of the World as We Know It...

And I feel FINE...

Ok, so the end of the world hasn't happened yet. I thought I'd celebrate being alive with a short run...4 miles. And man was it blustery! Mother Nature strikes again! Temps around 30 with a windchill of 15 at 7am and 20+mph wind gusts. My running buddy, Beth, and I decided to run the golf course for some hills & the hope that the trees might block some of the wind. We kept it short since my long run is tomorrow...going for 10 again...and we were tired of fighting with Mother Nature.

Even though it was windy, I was glad to get out. Since our Christmas party on Wednesday, I've eaten nothing but JUNK! Some of my students gave me homemade goodies that I've been snacking on. Wednesday evening my husband & I went to the Rendevous in Memphis for a cheese plate with sausage & ribs. Then we went to the casinos...I had a free night. On the way home yesterday, we stopped at Cracker Barrel...cinnamon streusel French toast...YUM! 'Tis the season to eat & run!

Now to enjoy the creature comforts after a cold & windy run...
Neti pot...check!
Green tea with honey...check!
Jingle Jammies & cozy socks...double check!

It's the End of the World as We Know It... by nikerunner75 at Garmin Connect - Details

Untitled by nikerunner75 at Garmin Connect - Details

Monday, December 17, 2012

Mother Nature! Make up your freakin' mind!

It's the middle of December, and it's warm enough to wear shorts at 5 am! Just last week I was bundled up & my water froze in less than an hour. There are still frogs in my koi pond! Mother Nature, you're taking us on one wild roller coaster ride. I'm surprised my sinuses aren't screwed up more. Thank goodness for the Neti Pot!

I decided to throw a little speedwork into my run today...which I absolutely loathe. I did some fartleks within the 5 miles. I think my lungs are still on the route somewhere! I have to admit, it wasn't so bad...and I was pleased with my times. I guess now that I've built up my mileage some, I've got to start doing more speedwork.

My ugly sweater from the Ugly Sweater Run got another wear out of it today. Some of us teachers decided to have Tacky Sweater Day. My students got a kick out of it. (See previous post from the Ugly Sweater Run)

Countdown to Christmas Break= 1 1/2 more days!

Christmas Break=

Half-Marathon is 2 months from today's date...Feb. 17! I CAN do this!

Running shorts in the middle of December??? by nikerunner75 at Garmin Connect - Details

Untitled by nikerunner75 at Garmin Connect - Details

Saturday, December 15, 2012

Rewarded Sweetly...

My sweet husband brought me cupcakes as a reward for hitting the 10 mile mark. I think I just gained back all the calories I burned off this morning, but it was SOOOOO worth it! I just ate one called hot chocolate...they told him to heat it in the microwave...all I can say is-- HEAVEN in a cupcake wrapper! I have a red velvet cheesecake cupcake still calling my name...I may have to save it for tomorrow. I haven't eaten this kind of junk in a while! Oh well, 'tis the season for running!

Double Digits!

In the words of Sheldon Cooper..."BAZINGA!" I did it! I finally made it to 10 miles!

I can do this! I think I can...I think I can. The half-marathon is still two months away. Now the goal is to remain injury & illness-free.

I really wasn't sure if I'd make it 10 miles...rain in the forecast, gusty winds, & my training partner was dropping back to 8. I was scared I'd be tempted to stop whenever she did. We ran into some sprinkles/drizzle along the way & and very brutal winds. I finished up the last 3 miles on my own. I was afraid if I turned back with my partner & saw the house, I'd want to stop. Plus, I'm stubborn! I said I was going for I went for it. The last 3 miles were lonely & I could tell I was starting to drag. Mother Nature's brutal force kicked my butt, but I can say I did it!

I must thank the makers of Dr. Teal's Epsom salts & foaming bath soak, as well as The Stick!

Double Digits, Baby! by nikerunner75 at Garmin Connect - Details

Untitled by nikerunner75 at Garmin Connect - Details

Friday, December 14, 2012

Meteor Showers, Hills, and a Ninja Cat...Oh My!

What a great morning to view the meteor showers! I had almost forgotten about the showers. We were headed down toward "the Delphus" of our dreaded hills, when I saw the brightest streak shoot across the sky. Amazing!

On the way back up, I spot the cat I've called "Ninja Cat". This is the third time seeing him/her. It crouches down in the ditch & tries to sneak up on us like a ninja. It has tried swatting at my legs since I'm always closest to it. Then it tries to run with us. It is the cutest thing. I may not say this if it ever gets my leg!

What adventures are in store for me on my long run in the morning? Hoping to make it 10 miles. We shall see...

Great Run for Meteor Showers! by nikerunner75 at Garmin Connect - Details

Great Run for Meteor Showers! by nikerunner75 at Garmin Connect - Details

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Yep! It's definitely beginning to feel like December!

The past two days have been quite cold...below 30 degrees with windchills around 20! Usually it's not this cold, this early...makes me wonder what our West Tennessee winter is going to be like over the next few months. Last year, we had a fairly mild winter...I don't think it ever got below 20 degrees.

Yesterday's run wasn't that bad. I got warm, except for my fingertips...and I even wore 2 pairs of gloves. I finally had to leave my water bottle on a curb after the first mile or two. Eventually my fingers thawed out. SANTA? Do you hear me? I NEED that neoprene-sleeved water bottle!!! I even hinted around to "Santa" last night about how cold, almost a burning cold feeling, my fingertips the hopes that maybe I'd get an early "sympathy" gift. Santa didn't hear my "cries"!

So this morning, I took my bottle down to where I meet one of my "sole sisters", but decided to leave it on the curb. It was colder out this morning...I definitely didn't want cold fingers again. I wound up running farther...unintentionally, and when I got back to my water I tried to take a drink only to find that my Nuun had become a frozen slushie!

One more run before my long run on Saturday. Unfortunately they'll be back-to-back days since we had rain on Monday. Hopefully I'll have enough energy for my long run...going for 10! Keeping fingers crossed that the rain holds off.

Ice...Ice Baby...Too Cold...Too Cold! by nikerunner75 at Garmin Connect - Details

Untitled by nikerunner75 at Garmin Connect - Details

Saturday, December 8, 2012

The Ugly Sweater Run

A hot mess is all I can say!

I drove through torrential downpours to get to Memphis. I was starting to worry that I wouldn't get to display my "ugliness". I got there early to pick up my packet and get a 3 mile run in before the start. Luckily I just got sprinkled on a few times during the first run...which I did in my normal running clothes. I wasn't about to run more than I had to in that heavy sweater vest! Keep in mind we've had an unseasonably warm December so was in the 60s.

Not only was my ugly sweater & attire a hot mess, but I felt it! Let's just say Christmas sweaters aren't made for runners!

Since I had plans to do some Christmas shopping afterwards, I decided to go by a friend's house to shower. I had to stop at my favorite running store...Breakaway Running...since it was on the way. Of course I went in there with all my "ugly" garb on! They started taking pics to post on their running page & even poured me a Sam Adams Winter Lager in one of their Breakaway pint glasses.

After that, I went by Chick-fil-A to pick up lunch for my friend & myself. The drive-thru line was ridiculous, so I decided to go in...boy did I get some strange looks!

Run at Shelby Farms followed by the Ugly Sweater Run by nikerunner75 at Garmin Connect - Details

Untitled by nikerunner75 at Garmin Connect - Details

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Run streak...How do they do it?

Thank goodness tomorrow is Friday! I AM EXHAUSTED! I don't know if it's work & winding down the semester or running more days & increasing my mileage...maybe BOTH! I ran Monday, Wednesday, today (Thursday), and will run Saturday.

How are people doing the Run Streak challenge that Runner's World has going on??? Two days in a row has worn me out. I was able to speed up some & squeeze in 5 miles, whereas I usually get no more than 4-4.5 miles in. My calves are SCREAMING! It doesn't help that I stand on concrete all day long. I'd love to participate in the challenge, but I just can't commit & I don't see how my tired body would make it. I wish these people would share just half their energy with me.

On another running note, my long run on Saturday won't be as long...backing off just a little. If the rain holds off, I'm running the Ugly Sweater Run ( in Memphis. I plan to run 2-4 miles before the 5k at Shelby Farms (great forget you're even in the city). Ugly sweater...check. Christmas tutu...check. Candy cane striped knee socks with fur...check. Reindeer antlers...check. Oh, did I mention? The temps have been in the 70s!!! The high for Monday will be 47!!! Gotta love Mother Nature!

Another Day...Another Run... by nikerunner75 at Garmin Connect - Details

Untitled by nikerunner75 at Garmin Connect - Details

Saturday, December 1, 2012

Longest run to date...

Yay for me! The longest I'd ever run was 8 I ran 9!!! I must admit, after seeing pictures on Facebook of the St. Jude Marathon weekend, it makes me a little envious. I'm starting to get excited thinking about my first half-marathon in February. I never thought I'd be a runner or even enjoy it...and to run 9 miles?? I can do this!

Thank goodness for "sole sisters"! If it wasn't for them, I don't know that I would've stuck with running. I've been training with & planning to run the half with this lady that I jokingly call "old woman". I mean this in the most loving, "old woman", if you're reading this you are truly my inspiration & I just hope I'm still going strong when I hit your "mark"! Anyhow, "old woman" has a son a few years younger than me...I forget how many half-marathons & full marathons she's run, but it's impressive! If it hadn't been for her, a little RynoPower, and some Gu, I probably wouldn't have made it to 9 miles. She can kick butt up the hills & put me to shame! She kept telling me to think about what I was going to eat for breakfast afterwards...kind of funny because we haven't been to the grocery store! All I had to look forward to were crappy, frozen blueberry pancakes and chocolate milk.

The best part was the stretching! I found my 10 Minute Solution Yoga on YouTube!!! Why didn't I think to look there before now? I have so missed doing this yoga! Then I had another little treat...I found out that one of my student's mother, who is my massage girl, was set up at our local holiday mart doing chair massages. I even convinced her to do a little work on my calves...BONUS!

What's in store for me next Saturday? The Ugly Sweater Run!

New Braggin' Rights...9 miles! by nikerunner75 at Garmin Connect - Details

Untitled by nikerunner75 at Garmin Connect - Details