Saturday, April 28, 2007

How many miles did you run today??

Todd and I ran 13.1. Yes indeed - Country Music City Half Marathon day.

Now that I have done this three times, I feel that I am expert enough to share with you, my three readers, the ultimate half marathon race day preparation and execution plan (should you ever be inclined to run one).

1. Find a good training schedule. I use this one from Your Ultimate Half-Marathon Training Plan. I like this one because it has three different plans based on your level (beginner, intermediate, expert). Also, it provides much required rest days.

2. Team up with a running buddy for the long runs. Ideally, this person will be slightly better than you are and very dependable. In my case, this is my dear husband Todd (no, you cannot borrow him). Running for two and a half hours by yourself is just not that exciting - not even when watching VH1.

3. On the day before the race, eat a good pasta meal. We chose to eat ours at the Old Spaghetti Factory in downtown Nashville. This is conveniently located within walking distance of the Convention Center where you pick up your race number, timing chip, and t-shirt.

4. Get all your stuff together the night before. Put your race clothes on top of your dresser so that you can just throw them on when you get up, pin your number to your shirt, attach your chip to your shoe, get all your snacks together. This way you can maximize your sleep in the morning and you won't have to lie awake all night thinking about all the stuff you need to bring.

5. Don't snooze. Get up when the alarm goes off so that you don't have to feel stressed. Give yourself enough time to eat a nutritious breakfast, e.g. oatmeal with rasins and soy milk. You shouldn't eat any new foods around race time, since you don't know how your body is going to react to it.

6. Be prepared for the portapotties. These are so disgusting! Todd almost fainted when we had to stand outside of some for a while as our corral moved up to the start line. Anyway, bring Purell and Charmin To Go. You can never be too prepared for this.

7. Bring a heat wrap blanket. If you're like me and cannot stand to be cold, wrapping yourself in a bright orange heat wrap blanket before the race will keep you nice and toasty until it's time to run. This is also good for keeping out pesky rain.

8. Lie, I mean, be optimistic about your predicted finish time when you sign up. You don't want to get stuck in one of the corrals at the back (we made this mistake once again this year and did not get to start until 30 minutes after gun time). Plus, you may have to weave around walkers who were also very optimistic when they signed up.

9. Have your friends cheer you on. Seeing a familiar face in the crowd of spectators makes all the difference in the world. This year my awesome friend Katie came out and it gave us a boost that lasted for miles!

10. Watch the salt. Running -> sweating -> sodium depletion. Eat salty food like pretzels before and after the race and don't drink unless you're thirsty.

11. Bring dry clothes and comfy shoes. Change into these after the race. Make sure that the shirt is large enough to serve as a dressing room. Getting the sports bra off while wearing a shirt is a little bit more challenging than with a normal bra, but it is definitely possible.

12. Refuel. Tiramisu works great.

The race was awesome. We didn't achieve any PRs, but we ran the whole way and finished strong. Now my knees hurt, I can barely move, and I'm ready to crawl into bed... But I can guarantee you that I'll be doing it again next year.

If we don't go for the 26.2.

Friday, April 20, 2007

Clean bathroom!!!!

Friday fun at the Green's: clean the master bathroom...

We haven't deep cleaned it since we moved in - disgusting. Now it's so sparkly clean that I don't even want to use it. It's so exciting!

We have two bags of trash and two bags for Goodwill (the cleaning included the linen closet).

Unfortunately Todd spilled some of the CLR on the floor, so I'm feeling slightly naseous right now. I should probably go stand on the deck for a minute. Or faint...

Sunday, April 15, 2007

Things are crazy again...

I forced myself to have an "easy" month while my parents were here (miss you guys!) and now I am paying the price. It was worth it though... Taking a break now and then is very much required.

One thing I am still focused on though is making sure that I don't skimp on exercise and sleep. One disappointing thing right now is that my knee has decided to start acting up two weeks before the 1/2 marathon. I was only able to run 3 miles today (should have done 12...) and then I had to jump onto the elliptical. Fun! I am going to be super careful the next 12 days and hope for the best. At least I got an 11 mile run in a couple of weeks ago. Close enough.

Music recommendation of the week: Christina Aguilera's Back to Basics. I got the CD for Easter (and an iPod speaker - thanks baby!) and haven't stopped listening to it.

Easter was fun. Went to church and actually talked to some people. In the afternoon we did the traditional Easter lunch at Joanne's. Rebecka had fun playing with all her little friends and I kicked some serious ass playing Apples to Apples and Taboo. As I say, don't play if you don't think you can win... ;)

One more thing: I had a new tiramisu experience the other night. Todd went and picked up tiramisu from the Cheesecake Factory and it was just fabulous. It brought us to a conversation about what our favorite desserts are (mine is kind of obvious). Todd didn't really have one - until he figured out the right answer: "You are my favorite dessert..." And he scores!

Alright - back to work.

Thursday, April 05, 2007

Procrastinating evening thoughts

I am listening to VH1 Soul radio. It's nice to be able to listen to a steady stream of good music for free. What a concept! I'm becoming a regular Vh1 watcher. I watch it when I run in the little gym in the basement of my WI hotel. They always show the same videos. I don't really care because they're good.

I had a weak moment this evening and went to the vending machine... To my great delight, they had little bags of Swedish Fish. After I devoured it all, I looked at the label. Did you know that 56 grams of Swedish Fish have 41 grams of sugar? That sure doesn't leave room for much else... Sure enough - the first three ingredients are: SUGAR, INVERT SUGAR (what the heck!?!), CORN SYRUP. Awesome. Pretty much opposite of the Abs Diet. Oh well - tomorrow is a new day.

I love Black Eyed Peas... They're singing right now. Yay!

OK - procrastination must stop. Now.

I was kind...

...approximately 95% of the time today. It felt good.

Wednesday, April 04, 2007

"Change is the watchword of progression"

This is the "fortune" that I got tonight in the fortune cookie that came with my highly depressing dinner from "Super Buffet."

The phrase intrigued me, so I went online to find out more. The origin of the phrase lies with Ella Wheeler Wilcox, American poet, writer, and journalist. Never heard of her. Probably never will hear of her again.

I am a big fan of change. Especially when it comes to church. All the churches I have attended in the past 12 years or so have been boring when it comes to music. So I have tried to institute change. With more and less success. Sometimes I just get tired. Why does it have to be so hard to get people to embrace fun music. I don't get it...

Anyway, back to Ella Wheeler Wilcox. She has some other quotes... I found one that I really like:

So many gods, so many creeds--
So many paths that wind and wind
While just the art of being kind
Is all the sad world needs.

Isn't it so awesome!?!?!? That is all the world needs. Just a little kindness. I'm not very good at that sometimes. Maybe I'll make tomorrow a kind day. The kind of day where everybody gets a smile whether I like them or not. The kind of day when I write nice emails instead of short and demanding emails. The kind of day when I encourage instead of push down. I think it's a plan.

On another note - my parents went back to Sweden today. It's sad. My mom tried to bring large containers of toothpaste through security. I told her it wouldn't work. She said she could use her smiling powers to get it through. I said it doesn't work like that here. I was right.

So I did something kind: I went to the airport store and bought her some toothpaste. Now she can have clean teeth all the way to Sweden.