Friday, January 30, 2009

Here's What's on the Grill for the Weekend

Tonight, out to a small town in Slovenia with Sweetie for homemade pasta, homemade wine and various sliced meats. Tomorrow, a leisurely run with Sweetie's running gang that I will add to in the afternoon to make up my 12-miler (this has been the best kick-back rest and reparation week EVER!!!). Sunday, snowshoeing in Slovenia? There is supposed to be snow. Hopefully it will be the light pretty kind and not the evil kind that keeps you from getting your car out of the garage.

What are you up to this weekend, my dears?

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

To Thee We Pray

Well, one never can be too certain what our daily e-mails will unearth. It seems that today, Kari and I decided that we needed to research a bit more about the details of 'relieving' oneself during the marathon. Now, to clear things up, there have been numerous reports of elite marathoners who don't stop, they just 'let it run on the run.' In our research, Kari and I have consulted our new blog friend. Together, we have discovered just about every possibility known to man. There is one thing for certain, we can never be too prepared. To this end, Kari has drafted a prayer that we will begin to recite on a daily basis between now and April 5th.

"Dear God: Please please please make us not have to pee or poop during the marathon.

Love, Kari, rUntoNamAste, and Laura

To this prayer, I add: "In this we pray, oh mighty Atalanta, goddess of Running and Romance!!!"

I have done some research on our Running Goddess, Atalanta - CHECK THIS OUT!

Appearance: A beautiful and muscular young woman. (fitting)
Symbol or Attributes of Atalanta: Golden apples, running sandals (Kari's not so keen on the sandals, but thinks they may be cute)
Atalanta's Strengths: Her speed as a runner, power as a wrestler, (oh my!!) commitment to independence, loyalty.
Atalanta's Weaknesses:Kills suitors who cannot outrun her. (totally digging the suitor slaying part - watch out any males who finish slower than us in Paris!!!)

Please feel free to join us in praying to our new- found Goddess, Atalanta. Every little bit will help.

Was it Overtraining?

I don't know what to call it-- laziness? fatigue? dread? bad attitude? Seasonal Affective Disorder? except that yesterday I did not feel like running. Not even a little bit. Hated the thought! I even rolled my eyes at myself when it came to mind. "OH GAWWWWD, NOT AGAIN!!!!" I felt like I'd just peeled off those stupid running tights. COME ON! I DID EIGHTEEN MILES the other day! GIVE A GIRL A BREAK! Then the voice of Hal Higdon piped in: "Right, missy! THE OTHER DAY. That was LAST week. Let's talk about today, young lady!"
Ok. Fine. I'll run, I'll even take the dog, but I AM NOT GOING TO LIKE IT. Hmmph!

So that's what I did, I ran 2.5 minutes nice and slow, stopping frequently. Physically I felt pretty good, no pain at least, and at some point I even kind of liked it because it was flat and I wasn't in a hurry and I remembered that it finally wasn't raining and that the wind wasn't even blowing. That, and this was the first time I had run this route in a long time, having ditched it for longer, harder routes. It felt kind of subversive to do a little piddly run. Psychologically, what I knew would happen was if I could just get my heart rate up for a little bit, I would remember that running is fun and want to do it the next day. I can't say the effect was immediate. This morning I did not jump out of bed and throw the tights on, but tonight after work I think I will. This week I am going to run shorter and flatter routes to give myself a little rest and repair. I think I need it.

A call for Peanut Butter

For those of you coming to meet us or run with us (Christine comes to mind, Laura, Jewelz), I would like you to bring me peanut butter. I like the tree-hugging kind with two ingredients: peanuts, salt. I know it comes in a glass jar so it weighs more, but look on the bright side: when you take it out you can fill your suitcases with more stuff from Paris!!! I brought a jar back with me at Christmas, but it's not going to last me much longer. I went 5 long years without peanut butter, and now that I have renewed my vows with it, I do not want to risk any more prolonged periods without it.

Please do not think that since I am addressing this to EVERYONE who reads our blog that you, personally, are off the hook. The more peanut butter, the merrier. No Skippy please. Thank you.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

We'll Meet You There

Just got news today that a good friend of ours from our exchange student days in Belgium will be making the trip to Paris to cheer us on from the sides. I can't believe how this marathon training has brought so many of us back together! Even more impressive is the number of people we have 'met' through this blog. All I am going to say is this: if you have ever dreamed of going to Paris, this is the time to do it! Yes, Kari and I are going to turn ourselves inside out going the distance, but the festivities surrounding this marathon are going to be monumental, for sure. We are going to have one heck of a time, and it really shouldn't be missed! I can't wait to meet some of my fellow Parisian marathoners, share some good times and fun with our families, and gather around some great food and drink with friends I haven't seen in nearly 20 years. I might just run faster because of it!

Monday, January 26, 2009

18 miles!

Actually, it was 18.7 (remember my mental trick of doubling a route I already know? I did that). I was supposed to do 17 but the idea of running a new route for that long wasn't appealing. It was better to run my 9-miler, stop home, go potty, drink water, and do the whole thing again. I was feeling a little down at one point (in Via Battisti if you must know) when ALICE COOPER came into my head (I know. I couldn't believe it either) singing "...18 and I don't know what I want!!!" over and over and over with an albino snake around his neck, and that's what got me home. So I guess that's my new POWER SONG until further notice.

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Thank God I'm Married

I found the following quote in Runner's World Magazine....

"Single female runners might want to hide their competitive streak as the global finance crisis deepens. ... A Canadian study has found that in times of economic trouble, men are less attracted to women who are career oriented, athletic, and outgoing and more attracted to stereotypical vulnerable, pure and benevolent women."


My Own Podium Celebration

For those of you who have followed our blog, you know that I have decided to stop racing in preparation for the marathon. The truth is, I am too competitive to trust myself not to get hurt. If you look back to my posts following my 10k trail race, you will remember that I hurt myself at that race (an injury that still haunts me on my long runs.) SOOOOOO....I decided to hold my own podium celebration following today's long run. I RAN A HALF MARATHON TODAY, in the solitude of my own basement. There was no finish line to thrust myself across, there were no throngs of encouraging people, there was no one throwing wet sponges at me or offering me bananas and orange slices...but alas, I still imagined that there were. SO, as I stepped of that horrible DREADmill, I decided to pat myself on the back by presenting myself with a medal for finishing my first half-marathon. (please note, the medal is actually a North American Pleasure Driving Championship Medal I won a few years ago with my horse...but you get the idea.) I really wanted to photoshop this picture into a thought bubble coming off another picture of myself, but I am just not that, this is what you get.

I was trying to finish today's long run in the same time as last week's long run (2hours and 1 minute, but I'm happy with my 2 hours and 8 minutes. It is still a faster average pace, and the last mile was hard, so I'm happy)

I went for the whole ice bath today, not just an ice bucket. It was almost harder than the 13.1 miles, but I hope the benefits pay off. (I'm still cold)

I'll be skiing tomorrow in the Western New York cold - I look forward to this form of cross training. The skiing has been amazing this year.
More later folks. Thanks for reading - your posts mean more than you can imagine.

Friday, January 23, 2009

Only in Trieste post number 86423

I was having a few doubts about whether it was really safe to run to work. Then I saw this picture. Yes, this is the stretch I was worried about... But see that guy there walking his DONKEY on the side of the road? A much bigger target, and yet he seems to be fine. I guess if A MAN AND HIS DONKEY can walk on this stretch of road, so can I!

What are you up to this weekend?

Here's what I'm doing: Tonight I'm making Christine's veggie dish again (Don't think I'm not creative, though, I use different veggies every time...) then watching Desperate Housewives (last season dubbed into Italian, of course, although they show two episodes at at time, which means it's intense) and hitting the sack. Tomorrow morning Sweetie and I are meeting a group that he runs with on Saturday mornings (when I am usually giving an English lesson, but Walter is skiing for two weeks so I'm free) in Basovizza, which is one of the villages that make up Trieste (Great place. Lots of trails to run on and it's just on the border with Slovenia, so runs are usually international, which makes you feel like you ran even further!), then out for groceries and bread in Slovenia (cheaper than Italy and you can find things like sour cream ("kisla smetana"if you ever come to these parts), then home and who knows. On Sunday I will do my long run, which should be 17 miles, but I may up it to 18 miles by doing my 9 mile route twice. Again, more distance, but psychologically easier for some reason. Then an ICE BATH . We were hoping to get a nice walk in the mountains in there somewhere, but that may have to be for next week.

Have a great weekend!

p.s. I've started reading in French again (at bedtime) to prepare for Paris. I'm reading Un Amour de Swann not because I'm a big Proust fan (although I am becoming one, I must say. I have to read pages more than once sometimes, but he's funny!) but because 1) I have the book (rummage sale find, I think) 2) I hadn't read it before (I did read the one that everyone has read with the Madeleine, Du Côté de chez Swann) and 3) it's in French. Let's hope by the time April rolls around I will be able to speak again...

Yesterday I felt Gross

But today...

I FEEL GREAT!! First, it's Friday. Let's take a moment to celebrate in anticipation of the wonderful upcoming weekend....(Ohmmmm). Second, I slept great last night (unlike the night before which was disturbed by Fondu/whitewine/party overload. Third, I got up early and ran. Fourth, I got a personal best on my 7.1 run (the one with the big hill in the middle): 1:09:03 (note that the time is closer to 1:09 than 1:10, which I only point out because it is in my favor!). It was even faster than the first time I ran it with Marzio (the 1:10 that almost killed me, remember? I shudder when I think of the noises my lungs made that time). Here's how I tackled the hill: I thought of it as speed work and decided to run as fast as I could for 100 steps, take a one minute break, then repeat until I was all the way up. It took four times to get to the top. Then, I just kept going, counting 100 steps and repeating, and not letting my mind think of anything else, just numbers (it's therapeutic actually).

That, and I never looked at my watch. Not even once. Not until I finished. It's going to be a great day!

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Donations are Coming In

A very quick post, but certainly deserving of more!! Thanks to all of you who purchased shirts as a donation to Polio Plus. As of right now, there are no more stateside (that may change in time), and your efforts helped add $250 toward our fundraising goal.

AND, as I opended the mail today, I found two lovely checks. Mary and Vicky (you know who you are!)- THANK YOU! There are generous people in this world, I assure you!

Our Cookie Lee fundraising event helped add close to $150 toward our goal, too.

We'll keep running - you keep doing what you are doing.

I Can't Stress this Enough...

Note that today's run was slightly shorter than yesterday's. Proper marathon training requires that you recognize the difference between a.m. and p.m. when setting your alarm clock. This is especially important if you plan on getting up and running in the morning.

Do as I say, please, not as I do!

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Obama is a Runner, too

Here are my running idols for today:

Dean K. (see previous post) and Obama.

Does Michelle run, do you think?

P.s. Notice how I resisted the temptation to talk about Michelle's yellow dress?

Unlimited Miles Ahead

So I've been thinking about what happened this weekend when I got past the psychological block of 16 miles, a distance that means only ten miles more and you've got a marathon. Ten miles is a long distance, for sure, but it's definitely less than 16, and for some reason, the marathon became mentally do-able all of a sudden once I remembered that. The surprising thing for me is that when I started training for this, my first marathon, part of me wondered whether or not I really had all those miles in me while the other part of me was sure that I could be a super dooper ultra marathoner one day and that it is my destiny to run far.

I love reading Dean Karnaze's blog. He is the guy that ran 50 marathons in 50 days in 50 states. One time he said that while he was doing those marathons day after day, he felt stronger after each one instead of the other way around. I swear I understand what he means now. The more miles you put in, the more you've got. There's no limit where all of a sudden you run out of them. This is helpful information that I will take with me into week 8. I'm feeling really strong and optimistic. Yeah.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

I'm Right There With Ya!!!! YAH HOO!!!

(2hrs 01 minutes) :)

Following my run, I sent my hubby outside to fill the 5-gallon bucket with snow (something we have plenty of.) I then put that (bucket and all) into the tub, moved a chair in from the kitchen and set the timer for 20 minutes. I sunk my left ankle deep into that arctic water and put my computer on my lap and looked for people on-line to talk me through the next 20 minutes of ice-bath. I assured QueenB that it was simply preventative medicine, as I have taken to caring for my Achilles tendon in that sort of way. She was SUCH A HELP and got me through the 20 minutes (even as her daughter climbed the stairs in roller blades - maybe she will need an ice bath of her own) and I digress - that's dedication and I appreciate it. From there, I headed to the living room floor for a series of stretches - helped by my kids and husband. Then, I hit as cold of a shower as I could stand. After about 5 minutes, I went as hot as I could go. I feel good, I feel empowered, I feel amazed that my body is holding up (except for one black toenail, a small blister, and a mildly sore left foot that has certainly felt much much worse.) ***over 24 hours later and a great day of skiing, I am happy to say that there is zero pain, soreness, agony in my foot or any other part of my body. Yah for the ice bath***

So - Kari, I applaud you! Nice job. AND, if you will allow me to, I applaud myself. (mostly because I kicked the arse out of that 12-mile run that was originally going to be split into 2 6-mile runs. I hit the 6 mile mark and felt great, then the 4 and said EASY, then the 2 and said 'what kind of fool would stop now?) YEAH BABY!!!


I took an ice bath! The good thing, of course, is that we're in Europe, and as you all know, Europeans don't do ice. So let's just say it was a really really really cold bath. I finished the 16-miler (yeah yeah yeah!!! Wooo hooo!) in 2 hours 54 (I didn't say I did it fast, I just said I did it) and, to tell you the truth, I actually looked forward to sitting in cold water. My everything hurt, and I'm not exaggerating.

So I filled it up (faucet on cold as possible), hopped in and sat down (Yipes! The water came up just past my belly-button), and sat there for 15 minutes (moment of silence for maximum reflection). But I didn't stop there, oh no I did not! I dunked my head in that cold water and washed my hair, too.

How hardcore is that? HEAR ME ROAR!

But the best part is, about an hour later, when the shivers passed and I could feel my feet again... Miracle of all miracles.... NOTHING HURT! and still doesn't. Wow. It's the magic bullet for reals!

Friday, January 16, 2009

Here's What's in the Kettle for the Weekend

Long run: 16 miles.

I'll split this up psychologically into two runs-- my 7.1 miler and my 9 miler. I've decided I will also think about the marathon in the same way, probably by splitting it into two 10-milers and a measly six-miler. Easy peasy!! What could be simpler?

It's supposed to rain on Sunday and be in the 40s F (take that, Wisconsinites, in your pjs all day enjoying the -20s!!). That's a great excuse to get the fatty out of the way tomorrow and spend all of Sunday sitting in some Osmizza sipping Terrano...

Sounds like a plan... What are you doing this weekend?

Great Training Week

What an excellent week of training! I feel euphoric. I got up early this morning and did my third 7.1 miler of the week, which I feel incredibly happy about (here's where I pat myself on the back. Good job, Karoline. Pat pat). I'm excited about my 16-miler tomorrow (or Sunday, depends on plans with Sweetie) and generally I feel like maybe I will actually be able to do this thing. What clinched it was last week's long run, because it wasn't a big deal. It was fine, felt like any other run, which set off some kind of moment de clarté-- hey, this plan is working! Correspondence with fellow Paris Marathoner Minken has also helped me get into the marathon mind. He is using the Paris Marathon as training for the Prague marathon. I like that idea-- that it's just one marathon of many. I want to be one of those people who runs marathons to train for other marathons. Yeah, I'm going to be like that, too. Thanks.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Carribean Beans and Greens

This is from Christine (you may know her as Queen B. Yes, she MAKES HER OWN HONEY WITH HER OWN REAL BEES!!!), who was also an exchange student with us in Belgium. She is our official nutritionist.

1 cup diced onion
1 garlic clove
1 TBS vegetable oil
½ tsp dried thyme
½ tsp ground allspice
½ tsp salt
4 cups lightly packed, chopped collard greens
1 TBS water or as needed
1 ½ Cup cooked black beans (15.5 oz can, rinsed and drained)
3 TBS orange juice
Flour tortillas as needed

In a nonreactive soup pot or skillet, sauté the onions and garlic in the oil for about 10 minutes, until translucent, stirring often. Add the thyme allspice, salt, collard greens and water. Cover and cook on medium heat, adding more water if necessary to prevent sticking, until the greens are tender, about 5-10 minutes.
Push the greens to the sides of the pot, add the beans to the center, and mash them well with a potato masher. Add the orange juice, stir everything together and remove from heat.
Warm the tortillas. Place a generous ½ cup filling on the bottom half of each tortilla, roll it up and serve immediately.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

I need a personal assistant!

If I manage to post everything that is running (pun intended) through my head right now, it will be a miracle - that's the God's honest truth. Let me start by saying that if I laughed 10 times today about this blog (and all the side-bar conversations and e-mails) I probably laughed 1,000 times! Between deciding to join skype yesterday (thanks Kari for the wake-up chat!- eye boogers and all); my inadvertent call to Italy (thanks Kari for declining that one - my bad); our e-mails and posts about our post-marathon party plans (note-to-self: order the champagne fountain and arrange for cake-cutting ceremony); the new "followers" joining in on our plans (thanks Minken for helping us prioritize and re-focus. We are training for a marathon - seriously!); the phone calls to Roots to finalize the opening ceremony attire, warm-up attire, event attire, and post-marathon attire (ok - I made that one up. There were no phone calls, just hypothetical e-mails between the two of us); research about proper pre-marathon dietary requirements (thanks Christine for the green leafy vegetable/crockpot recipe); contact from the Rotary District Governor confirming that we are still alive and well and raising money for PolioPlus (thanks, Mike, for assuring us that the district is going to help us meet our goal - phew); Kari's banter about foreigners living in foreign countries and the struggles of fluency in the language (I'm supposed to be reading 1984 in French??? Can't I just stick with Le Petit Prince???); oh gosh... the list goes on and on....

In any case, it is probably worth mentioning that my training has been great this week. I am in a 'gear-up' week, which means I am really looking forward to my 12 mile run on Saturday. (I'm not fibbing about that. I am really anxious to get that milestone behind me and be able to replace 10 with 12 as the longest distance I have ever run) It will be quite close to the half-way point for me, and that makes me very proud. My short runs this week were a breeze to pump out, even though I decided to just run casual and calm - don't push it (save something for Saturday). Kari is a few weeks ahead of me as far as mileage goes, but I know that we are both sticking to our plans and we will each be ready to run this thing on April 5th. I think that we are both to the point where we are so committed to training that it has become a part of our subconscious (allowing us to focus our attention on so many other things - see previous paragraph).

You keep reading and we'll keep running (among many many other things.)

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

I know it's early, but we need to get organized

I wonder what we're going to feel like that day. I can hardly imagine it. Let's split the day up into three parts (just to keep it simple).

Part One: The Marathon itself: sweat here, dodge there, pass pass pass and yada yada yada...

Part Two: Lunch.

I have in mind a kind of totally V.I.P. lunch at some fancy place with all of our sweaty running clothes still on. Champagne buckets full of ice, and water bottles wrapped in cloth napkins poured by tuxedo-wearing waiters. I don't know what you have in mind but that's my vision for the post-marathon meal (and we are ladies who lunch, right?). I can already overhear the women at the next table whispering about us in awe: "ohhh là là. Quelles femmes sensationnelles! Simone De Beauvoir serait très fière!!!"

Part Three: THE PARTY.

I imagine us wearing our first and second-place medals throughout the day (I mean it doesn't matter who comes in first, we're both winners, right?) with, I don't know, matching tops and jeans (I think we'll want to wear flats after 26 miles, but you can talk me into anything, I'm game...). We should get there early to form the receiving line along with all of our runner/blogger friends in our virtual running club so that we may be congratulated properly by the plebs. Then comes the bubbly. I can hardly wait!

Anything you would like to add?

Let's Make a Plan

If you're planning on running in Paris and you want to meet up, let us know by either adding us on Facebook, or emailing... We're pretty interested in an after party (a sit-down affair, of course, with ice).

Actually, if you're not running you should meet us, too. Obviously. :)


Thanks, Sweeties!

Today I got up ultra early to run my now favorite 7.1 mile route. Sweetie was still sleeping when I left and when I got back, and still in the sack when I returned from taking Luna out. I'm telling you this not to make Sweetie look bad-- the sun didn't get up for me either (Strange. Did she set the alarm for p.m. instead of a.m. like I sometimes do?). I was happy about the fact that I got my workout done without him even noticing. See, all last week our conversations went something like this... 7:30p.m. Hi! Hi! How was your day? Fine, How was your day? Fine, Going for a run? Yeah, be back in an hour, can you start dinner please? Yeah, ok. Peck. bye. So today when my back was feeling kind of stiff at 5:30 and I was wide awake, I thought that I could roll over and try to sleep or just get up and get out there and get it all done before anything else. I had my clothes all laid out for me just in case (I do that the night before because looking for running clothes and shoes and socks gives me too much time to change my mind). It was hard at first. My achilles was still mad at me for Sunday's mountain hike but eventually forgave me (sort of) after about 30 minutes. Then I started to feel REALLY GOOD and realized that I have so much more energy than I have had in a long time, and that when you run you really live out your day in the best way. Then I started feeling guilty about feeling so good and wondered how bored our Sweeties must get with us talking about how great it is to get up and run at 5:30, how excellent it was running that long distance record of 14 miles on Saturday, blah blah blah, but, Sweeties, forgive us, we can't help it. This is such an exciting time and there are so many possibilities for pushing ourselves in ways we didn't think possible. It's like being a kid again.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Shaking What My Momma Gave Me

Let's give the Hula-Hoop a Shot
(look at that serious face. Remember it because that's what it's going to look at on April 5th)

Beck Workin Up a Sweat!

Don't knock it until you try it, folks. It'll get you into a sweat faster than running a 6-minute mile.

Cross Training

Beck said that the wii provided quite a work out and I had to check it out. I decided to trade my 7 mile run for a 70 minute bike ride in her living room just to watch and observe the wii in action (are you happy now, Mr. A.Chilles Tendon?), As I sat, reclined in the seat, deciding whether to set the program at interval, weight loss, endurance, or manual, Becky was deciding whether to balance ball, hula hoop, ski jump, box, do yoga, run, or bowl.

This freaking piece of technology is a miracle, I tell you. If it succeeds in getting the youth of the world off their keisters and actually doing something physical, it may be the invention of the decade. I pedaled my way to a brisk 16 miles as I watched Beck DO IT ALL! The hula hoop sucked me in, though. I have to admit that my cross-training days have now taken on a whole new meaning.....check out the photos.

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Friday, January 9, 2009

I Fought the Bora and the Bora Won

(Kari - your following post makes me think this is what we will be looking like for the next few weeks. BRRRR.... -laura-)
(Laura- or a mix between this and the frozen snot scene in Dumb and Dumber. What do you think?? - Kari-)
I did it, though. I ran with her, in spite of her. She helped me by giving me a swift kick in the butt as I was going up that hill, then, on the way down the hill over by the hospital she was saying "Come on! Fall forward! I'll keep you up! Trust me!" Her bitter chill snuck up my jacket and stung my spine at one point and by the end of my second 7-miler in as many days I had figured out that the rear-end may also be considered an extremity to add an extra layer to when she's around. She went up my nose only when I let her (I had my new hoody with face mask on) and every time she did she made it run (if your nose runs and your feet smell you are built upside down). She made me go slower than usual so that we would have just that much together, surely, and that's fine. She was with me the whole time, and I thank her for the company.

I definitely won't miss her tonight though! She is a total PITA if you want to know the truth.

We're Not Worthy!

Laura and Kari would like to send a profound and heartfelt runner's wave to our fellow bloggers: Minken, Simon, Rahul and rUntoNamAste whom we will faithfully (and literally) follow before and during the Paris Marathon, as well as our followers, especially the vocal ones: Beck, Badhippy, Keb, and Kris.


Thursday, January 8, 2009


I hope all of our faithful followers will stick with me as I attempt to re-design our blog. Kari and I both agree that we need a bit on inspiration in the form of a different layout. I am forced to abort my original attempt, as the little one is demanding my attention (darn sick kids - I think it is harder taking care of them than running a marathon - time will tell.)

OK - I think we are done constructing now - enjoy!!

Audience Poll: Which Pants are Jiggle Proof?

After a few days (it smarts to write that) of not running I went out last night for my first run since I’ve been home. I got new running pants I was eager to try out (did I mention how much I heart TJ Maxx??), those loose kind. I actually had a pair that I got the last time I went to the US, but they blew off my porch during a wind storm (you may know the BORA if you’ve been to these parts: freezing wind from Siberia or some other cold place that cracks your bones when it blows) because I hadn’t secured them with what we call clothes pins (doh!). Well with these new ones, what I immediately noticed was the freedom they gave parts of me that I didn’t know existed to jiggle (it was more like jiggle, BOOM. Jiggle, BOOM. Jiggle, BOOM). Ouch! So, although every step of my 7.1 run kind of hurt (The vacation eating and drinking did its part to add to the jiggle factor too, plus I never go this long in between runs), I finished three minutes faster than the last three times I’ve done this one. If you’ll remember the first time I did this route with my friend Marzio, I was sucking wind like I had some kind of asthma during a steep and prolonged incline at about the half-way mark. This time, I had so much more energy to tackle that hill, maybe because of those forced days off, that I ran up it like butter. I didn’t check my watch once because in my head I just wanted to take it nice and easy so that I wouldn’t overdo it and not want to run the next day, plus it was freezing rain and I didn’t want to slip. So when I got home and checked my watch, I couldn’t believe it. I didn’t know that a fast time could correlate with a run that didn’t feel particularly good or fast. Isn’t that weird? I mean, good weird.

As I was logging my workouts and feeling guilty about not getting a long run in this weekend I reminded myself that blogging really does keep you honest. I am behind on my mileage, so that means I have to work extra hard this week, but that’s okay. I promise to do my best, but not to overdo it. I’m so happy with my drive to run. I love it and don’t want it ever to become a chore that I dread. I feel strong and injury free and want to keep it that way. Today there is Bora and it’s much colder than yesterday but I’ll get my butt out there again this afternoon, take it nice and easy and remember to hang the new pants out on the clothesline with extra clothes pins!

I Got Heckled!!!

I was heckled yesterday by four 16-year-olds!!! What the heck is that? I ran my fanny off for five LONG miles, on the treadmill (I might add.) I posted a remarkable time, thank you! I am a sweater - when I tell you that I sweat, I mean it. So, when I come downstairs to find a nice place to cool down and relax a bit before jumping in the shower, you can imagine my frustration when these former students of mine began questioning me about why I was so sweaty. HELLO??? I JUST RAN FARTHER THAN YOU COULD WALK! When they found out that I ran 5 miles, they said "Oh, is that all? I could sprint that! Besides, running on the treadmill doesn't count! It's soooo easy!" I was about ready to throw down! Don't disrespect me! I could take em' - I really think I could!

I love being a teacher, but I hate that I have to live high-school each and every day. These kids exhaust me! Imagine how much better I would run if I didn't have all of my energy drained by them BEFORE my workouts.

So, I'm home today with a sick kid. I think I'll rest all day and think about what needs to be done in preparation for our trip. My husband finally applied for his passport - one less thing to hassle him about (poor guy.) Maybe I'll cruise the internet for music stuff for him to do while in I go -

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

New for 2009!

So here’s my New Year’s Resolution: run to work. And since all good New Year’s Resolutions require hardcore shopping, here’s what I acquired in order to meet this ambitious and noteworthy goal.

Underarmour face mask/head sleeve/gator in festive white--I guess this is to help make you look like someone actually fighting the cold instead of preparing to commit crime, but Sweetie has already started calling me Schummy because it makes me look like a Formula One Driver when I have it on. I wore it to help me unpack and think it is the perfect accessory for running to work. Good job!

Camelback backpack with 3-liter water bladder. Tried it last night. IT LEAKS! Phooey! Called Dick’s Sporting Goods last night to complain, stated that I live in Italy, this thing leaks, what can we do about, it. Answer “no problem. Just bring it back with the receipt...” So I guess I’ll have to patch it up with gum in the meantime or just throw a water bottle back there and unscrew the top like in the old days... but really, who drinks 3-liters while running to work? A. It’s not that far, and 2. Three liters is a lot of water, more than I typically sweat out, so NO BIG DEAL. The backpack is perfect for what I will need to get ready for the BEST WORK DAY after the Brisk UPHILL run from my house to work. Here’s what I will put in there: Microfiber towel for dabbing the sweat off my brow upon arrival, cell phone (to call for help if I break my butt in the woods, another reason I can live without the 3-liters of wa-wa. P.s. Did you know that 911 in Italy is 118?), pants, shirt, sweater. I will leave the hairdryer at work for when I dunk my head in the sink in the ladies room, and in case the clothes are still wet when it’s time to run back home at the end of the day.

Isn’t this a great plan? Let’s start next week. I briefly wanted to start today but thought better of it even before I went to bed. I love the idea of being one of those people who runs to work! Saturday I will test out the route with Sweetie (and take notes because there are a bunch of shortcuts that will keep me off the streets).

I tried the idea out, by the way, on my neighbors, who shot each other nervous looks that said “This girl is PAZZA!” Which reminds me that it’s better to be a woman of action than words, so forget I said anything until next week. OK? And if I don’t actually run to work, at least know that in my heart I am very, very green!

Cross Training

Ok... I wasn't that good. But that's what an 11-hour layover can do to you. If it happens to you, though, I really hope it's in Munich...

Good Girl!

So I did manage to bang out some miles while on vacation (wearing the tanktop that makes me feel dangerously fast and the shorts that make me look incredibly silly, but who cares, I wasn't going to see anyone on that boat ever again, and I have nothing to hide from you, dear readers, TAKE ME AS I AM!). Oh how I miss the sun, the gentle breeze, facial sweat that doesn't freeze...

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Can I hear a Whoop Whoop???

Check out my milestone! - Laura's Milestone!

Not only did I have a great 3-mile run today, but look what I found when I synched my ipod!!!

Sunday, January 4, 2009

I'm Back

Phyoo. I'm finally back in those freezing Wisconsin temperatures. Good thing, too. That sun and sea and awesome food get tiring after a few days (oh who am I kidding?! My SOUL IS CRYING!!!)

Quick update. I ran and ate as much as I could. There was a running deck on the ship which I used when I wasn't afraid of being blown overboard and on the last day we did a 1-mile walk for the cure with a bunch of nice and interesting and altruistic people on same. There was a treadmill for the other times, which I'm starting to like, since I never use one of those at home. It gives you lots of information that the snowy streets can't give you plus you can go really really fast on it!

I didn't get any really long runs in. My max was a 1.15.00 which was outside and probably about 7 miles. I feel great, though, so I will just call this a step-back week. I haven't even checked my training schedule, but I am assuming that the week I was gone was an increase week and this one would be a step back, so I am just going to switch them. This week I will do a 13-miler (Ugh. Jet lag. Ugh!) We fly back today. Chicago-Munich, 11-hour layover (Mmm Beer and sausages and I can walk around the airport a bunch of times for cross training), then home to Trieste. It's going to be a long 21 hours. 

GOT THE ROAD TO PARIS BUTTONS! I love them. I want to cover my coat with them! 

Thanks, Laura, for keeping things up while I was gone. Things should go towards normal this week. You kick asphalt!! (thanks Psychobabble...)

Thanks to our donators! You kick asphalt, too! 

Also, thanks for Yoda! I'm going to take him on the plane with me today. The young one who does flips...  

Saturday, January 3, 2009

New Running Chip - New Personal Record

Quick and to the point today - had to replace my running chip in my shoe because the battery was getting low. For a small $20.00, you just replace the whole thing and away you go. I guess it lasts approximately 100 miles - because that is just about how far I've run since I first started using it.

Today, my husband convinced me to run on the treadmill - frown. Usually, I don't mind the treadmill, but with a scary 10 miles hunting me down, I was sure I would be BORED on that stupid gerbil wheel. He was the voice of reason, though, as he said that I have too much invested into this trip to Europe and the marathon to slip on some snow or ice out there in the western New York weather. He was and is right. Thank you, hon, for loading up my ipod with new and exciting music to keep me moving today. It was a great mix, really. As I put one foot in front of the other, my 10 miles became 7, then 5, then 2 then 400 The longest I've run so far - and here to tell about it. I think we are looking at another step-back week next week - always seem harder than the step-forward weeks - very strange. As I am reading other people's blogs, they seem to comment on the same phenomenon - don't quite know what that is all about.

I'm heading off skiing tomorrow - cross training, for sure! I get to be the ski club chaperone at work - as far as I am concerned, this is the best perk of the job!!! I think I'll take my camera and get some pictures of the slopes!!!

You keep reading and we'll keep running! (I assume Kari has been running, although she's been on a cruise for the past week. Let's hope we hear from her soon, her silence on the blog is beginning to get me a bit down....)