March 29, 2002

Sob, sob, sob. Just got back from the dentist. Need $3100 worth of work. Fun fun! A bridge and a crown. I feel like an old man. Yeesh. This is not going to be pleasant. But oh well. Nothing else to be done. At least I don’t have to worry about it until after London when I have the first of five appointments to get my mouth all straightened out.

March 28, 2002

Well, as it turns out, I didn’t run yesterday. I had a niggling pain in my left leg (lower calf-ish shin-ish area) and knee, so after seeking advice on the Runner’s World forums, I decided it’d be best to rest and ice instead. Which I did, and my leg feels better now. Am going to ice some more, and possibly run 5 tomorrow morning. See how I’m feeling.

Kristina and I are going to the Crescent City Classic 10K expo at lunchtime today. I’m excited! Fun! I really need to find a shirt for the marathon (I know, I know, I’m supposed to train with it, but I will. I’ve never had real problems with shirts before, so I’m not too concerned about it.)
.: posted by pam m 

Just got back from the Crescent City Classic expo. Fun! It was big and we got lots of free stuff. Two sport water bottles, a wrist pocket thingy, a nice t-shirt, some Dr. Tichenor’s (hmmm.) Anyway, it was fun. Aaaand, I got all the things I’ll need for the marathon, so no more stressing! A nice (hmmm) orange coolmax t-shirt and a fanny pack (god i hate calling it that, and i suppose it’s even more obscene to the Brits reading this. forgive me.) to keep my camera and gels in. And then I got the gels I’ll need. All at a good price. Woo hoo!
.: posted by pam m 

Nervous, nervous, nervous. I have a dentist’s appointment tomorrow morning. I am going to get yelled at, quite rightly. Over two years ago (January 2000) I got a root canal, but I never went back to get the crown for it. So I have a little “tooth nub” at the back of my mouth (I’m disgusting) that needs to be crowned. Blech. Well, at least I’ll have nice clean teeth for the 10K on Saturday. Hmmph. I hope this dentist is nice. He’s new, which is another thing. I love my dentist back home. He’s very nice. Eeeeep! Of course, I should remember, this is nothing next to what Mike Henry’s going through, so I should just suck it up and deal with it like a grown-up!
.: posted by pam m 

March 26, 2002

A nice run yesterday afternoon. Nice especially because Kristina ran the whole five miles with me, which is always a treat. Especially since she wasn’t moaning and complaining about how much she hates running. Ha ha. It’s hard enough for me to stay in a positive frame of mind while running without her constant bitching. But that was temporary, thank goodness. Anyway, we walked the first quarter mile of each loop of the park, for a total of .75 miles walking, 4.5 miles running. My knees and left shin were sore for the first loop, but after I was warmed up, I felt fine. Today I’m pretty sore, though. I should have iced my knees after the run. I know I need to work on some quad-strengthening exercises, but I wonder if the taper isn’t the time to do so. I think just a bit of work with the ol’ exercise ball for the next couple of weeks should be okay.

Yesterday I ordered American flag tattoos for Chris and I to wear for the marathon. We’re going to be so patriotic, me certainly more than I am in day-to-day life, but I suppose that makes sense. I’m really excited for the Crescent City Classic expo, there are supposed to be 100 exhibitors, so I should be able to find a nice, inexpensive-ish shirt for the marathon. Keeping my fingers crossed. Kristina and I are going Thursday during lunch. Woo hoo!

Tomorrow afternoon is an 8 miler, my last midweek 8 miler before the marathon. (Two weekends from now, I have a “long run” of 8 miles, but that’s different, especially since the midweek runs that week are – woo hoo! – 3, 5, and 3. Love the taper!)
.: posted by pam m 

T-shirt design pretty much completed. I’m happy with them. Here’s what’s fun about them: Chris always runs to my right, so we decided to have t-shirts that only made sense when we were standing (or running) together, him to my right. So in the graphic below, the half to the left of the red line will be on my shirt, and the half to the right will be on his. Kind of like a puzzle. And our names will be on the front.


Front: (of Chris’s, duh)

March 25, 2002

Mmmmm, a lovely weekend!

Friday night, went to the mall to try to find a nice outfit for dinner on Saturday night. No luck. I hate the mall. But whatever, got home, went to bed early, woke up at 5:15 a.m. to go to the north shore to meet Chris for our last long run. Driving to the north shore involves crossing Lake Pontchartrain on the Causeway, a 24 mile long bridge (the longest in the world, or used to be) which can be very dull. Speed limit 55, strictly enforced. No scenery, and when you can see the other side and think you must be only 2 miles from it, there are really eight. It’s really odd, especially when you think in term of running distances. There, laid out ahead of me, is a distance two miles longer than a 10K, but it only looks like a short jaunt. Hmmm. Yeah, we’ll see how that feels this weekend at the Crescent City Classic 10K.

So I meet Chris at our friend Teresa’s sister Larissa’s house at about 6:45 a.m., and we head over to Tammany Trace. After getting turned around a few times, we finally find the place we wanted to start. There’s a parking lot, a caboose turned into a ranger’s office (the trail used to be a railway line), bathrooms, water fountains, even a little playground. And best of all, a very helpful and friendly park ranger.

So at around 7:30 (a bit later than we had hoped) we started out, carrying in our Camelbaks Gatorade, gels, band-aids, ibuprofin, and a lone electrolyte capsule I had left over from the previous long run with Cilla. The trail extended (supposedly) for 10+ miles to the south, and 4.5 miles to the north. We decided to run south first, for 4.5 miles where there was supposed to be another trailhead where we could get water, use the bathroom, stretch, etc. Well, about 3.5 miles out, the trail was interrupted by construction that we could not get around, unfortunately. So we turned around and headed back to where the car was. On the way, we saw a bunny. The Easter bunny, maybe.

Got back to where we started, stretched some, filled up the water, used the restrooms, then headed north on the trail, towards Abita Springs. Abita has a locally famous brewery and we had planned to meet up with Teresa, Larissa, and Rebecca (Chris’s wife) for lunch at their brewpub after the run. It’s a cute little town, and that morning, there was a city-wide garage sale, parts of which were on either side of the trail, which runs right through the middle of town. We had to dodge families and people just standing in the middle of the trail, but that’s okay. We passed by the brewpub, only mildly tempted to stop right then and there for a pint and a burger.

Four and a half miles into this leg of the run, the trail ends. There is a big metal gate that says, “Trail Closed.” Beyond that was a series of tire ruts and a gravel path that Chris insisted we continue on. I didn’t want to, but acquiesed. Until we approached two mean-looking dogs that started barking at us. As a child, I had a irrational terror of dogs, which I’m basically over, but still…running from mean dogs is scary. But we made it back onto the legitimate trail without incident.

Back to the car, a bit over 16 miles into the run. Stopped and stretched, and headed out for the last four miles. Two miles out, two miles in. Actually, because of some extra running we’d done, we only had to do 3.5 more miles. It was getting hot, the sun was directly overhead, so the shade had all but disappeared. Everything felt fine, but weariness was setting in. I was eagerly looking for the last quarter-mile marker, so I could sprint in, so I was happy when Chris spotted it and we picked up the pace. But oh no. That was only the second-to-last quarter mile marker, so we really sprinted in the last half mile. Ah well!

We instituted 2 minute walking breaks every mile, which worked really well. I never got worn out, and thanks to the Camelbak, I never got dehydrated, either. Even with the walking breaks, we averaged an impressive 13:20 pace, with the last mile coming in under 12 minutes, thanks to our sprint.

A fantastic run, and I feel very confident about the marathon now. Another 6.2 miles after what we ran? No problem! It took us 4:30 or so, approximately, so I have complete confidence about finishing in under 6 hours, though of course, my only real goal is to finish.

Rest of the weekend was great…fancy dinner Saturday night, brunch with one of my oldest and dearest friends (back on the North Shore) on Sunday, and an Oscars party on Sunday night. Kristina and I made appetizers and had a few people over. For the first time, I lost the pool! Kristina won by 3 points. If only I hadn’t gone out on a limb and chosen Lord of the Rings for Best Picture. I did guess the most categories, at least. But she got the chocolate bunny we had as a prize.

March 22, 2002

Nothing to report. Long run tomorrow morning. A bit nervous, but optimistic. I’m so glad it’s the last long run! I probably shouldn’t be thinking that way. Now I’m getting a little nervous of the taper. What if I eat too much and turn into a big slug? (Back into, I mean.) Well, it’s not as if I won’t be running at all so I’ll be okay.

My mom called. She and Jack (her man-friend) are coming in tomorrow night to take me to (a very belated birthday) dinner at the Grill Room, the absolute fanciest restaurant in New Orleans. And that’s saying a lot. Woo hoo!

March 21, 2002

Bad run this morning. Terrible! Why? Who knows. Can’t blame it on the heat this time, it’s cooled off considerably. Sheesh. I just couldn’t get warmed up, or something. The whole time I felt really awkward. Plus, my left leg was hurting a little, and I could feel myself landing on it strangely. No idea why. But no matter how hard I tried, I couldn’t make it not land weird. Sheesh. So I went twice around the park, for only 3.5 miles, instead of 3 times, for the scheduled five miles. And I walked some of it. Too much of it. Maybe 1/2-3/4 of a mile.

Aaaaand, Kristina has the flu, which I am trying very hard not to catch. Wouldn’t that suck, two days before my last long run? I don’t think I will, though. (As if positive thinking will keep me from catching it. Hmmm. Worth a try!) I never get sick, aside from the occasional cold, so I should be okay. And I’m washing my hands constantly at home and not getting near her. I suppose that’s all I can do.

Last night we watched Zoolander. Dang, that’s a funny movie! Oooh, and the Oscars are Sunday night. Yay! Must fill out my ballot. Ren, Gary, and Alicia are coming over for a party. We’re going to make hors d’oevres. I’m going to wear my fancy red dress from the 2000 New Year’s party. Woo hoo! Best of all, I always win (ok, sometimes tie with Chris) the Oscars game. Woo hoo! Kristina said I couldn’t help pick out the prize this year, since I’ll probably end up with it. Last year I won a package of Oscar Meyer weiners. ha ha!

March 20, 2002 is up! But I have some changes to make before I send out an announcement e-mail. Going to make a different index page so I can put other stuff on the site, not just running stuff. Anyway, that’s not important.

Ran 8 miles last night. Well, okay, ran 7, walked 1. The walking was in the middle. Not sure why, but I just needed to. Oh well. No big deal. My radio abruptly ran out of batteries (no fading, just completely stopped) about halfway along the path, which was a pain. Grrr.

5 miles tomorrow morning, then 18-20 with Chris on Saturday at the Tammany Trace. I’m excited about that. Plus, we’re all having lunch at the Abita Brewpub afterwards (a whole crew is coming in from BR to shop while Chris and I run.)
.: posted by pam m 

oh wait, i know why i couldn’t run the whole eight miles yesterday. it was *#@$% hot! a nice heat wave for the last day of winter. and today it’s rainy. yay. bring on the springtime. hmmph.

March 19, 2002

Eight miler this afternoon, so nothing of consequence to post yet.

Except that I’ve just registered a domain name, so my site will be ad-free and under a real domain. It’ll be Sounds weird but it’s a nickname. Silly! I can’t wait until it’s up. I opted not to get anything running-related so that I can use it for other stuff too.

Will post later about run…

March 18, 2002

Hmmm…where should I begin about this weekend? Perhaps with the story of the best long run ever?

A couple of weeks ago, after posting to the Dead Runner’s Society mailing list about running in Austin, I got an email from this runner who lives there, Cilla. I had given her some advice about London when she and her husband went over Christmas, so we had already emailed a few times. She offered to show me where to do my long run, and said she would run some of it with me. I’d never have asked anyone to run the entire 18 miles with me, especially such an experienced runner such as Cilla, because I know to go that slow could be torturous, if you’re used to faster paces (thank you Chris! you’re the best!)

So I called Cilla on Friday afternoon, when we got into Austin, and we arranged to meet at our hotel. She was going to show me a 7 mile loop that I could do twice, and then I could add on another 4 miles. I had hoped that she would do the first seven miles with me, and later she said that’s what she had planned to do. But she ran the whole thing with me! All 18 miles! All 4+ hours! It was such a great run, and Cilla is really amazing. We talked the whole time, and she gave me some really good advice. (Which reminds me: I need to get some Succeed electrolyte capsules before the marathon.) We talked about everything, about running, and books, and family, and travelling, etc, etc.

It was a pretty challenging run for me. The trail is (by New Orleans standards) pretty hilly, and I think we ran at a slightly faster pace than I’m used to. But I kept up, and aside from the first few miles, we didn’t take timed walking breaks. Generally, we walked on the uphills, and that was about it. The trail is beautiful, it goes over little bridges, under big bridges, next to the lakes, and some creeks and most of it is made of dirt, so it’s easy on the legs. RunTex had coolers of Powerade set up, so I was able to keep a bottle of that for extra liquid.

All in all, it was a wonderful run. And Cilla said I was a good runner.  I can’t say enough good things about her. 

One long run left!

Oh yeah, and I didn’t do my 5 miler this morning. Tummy was upset from weekend. Drove to park and everything. Couldn’t run. Oh well. I’ll make it up. Maybe run extra tomorrow!
.: posted by pam m 

Now I’ll talk about the rest of the weekend. It was really fun, I don’t think I’ve ever giggled so much as I did on the drives there and back. We brought Mad Libs with us and filled in the blanks with dirty words. Ha ha! Okay, juvenile, but it certainly made the time go by faster. Which was a good thing, because on the way there, we were detoured two hours out of the way. The entire westbound I-10 was diverted onto a two lane highway with nothing but scary woods on either side of it. No grocery stores, no gas stations, nothing. And with no warning whatsoever. Thank goodness we had a full tank of gas, otherwise we would have been in big trouble. Yeesh.

It was cool to see my brother’s films on big screens. Both the music video and the short film went over well. The music video was the second one shown in a 90 minutes showcase of some really terrible videos for terrible songs. Sheesh. The short film on Saturday got laughs in the right places, and we started a round of applause at the end. Tee hee!

Drank some pints of beer at a very authentic pub on Saturday afternoon (but after I ate and rehydrated) which probably wasn’t the best idea, but it was fun and no harm done. All in all, it was fun, and I hope that I can get back to Austin one day to run again. It just made me realize that I have to get out of New Orleans!

March 14, 2002

Fairly difficult 5.25 miles this morning. Guess I was still tired from Tuesday. I suppose speeding up so much at the end probably didn’t help. Anyway, I got through it in 1:09, slower than usual because I walked a little. However, considering I wanted to quit after the first loop, I’m happy that I finished the whole thing, no matter how long it took me.

We’re leaving for Austin this afternoon. Can’t wait! Actually, we’ll stay in Houston tonight with Mike and Debbie and Christian and then head to Austin in the morning. Apparently, the Holiday Inn we’re staying at has a health club, or at least some treadmills. Not that I’m going to use them, but still. And I think there are Jacuzzis in every room. Could be nice, post-run.

March 13, 2002

Good 8 miler last night. Finished in 1:42, two minutes faster than the last two 8 milers. It’s fun, 3-4 miles into the run, to calculate the quarter mile splits and figure out how long it’s going to take to finish. Then trying to beat that time. I ran my last quarter mile last night in 2:33, probably my fastest pace ever! I felt like I was flying, but geez, that’s still over a 10 minute mile. What must it feel like to run an 8 minute mile? Goodness! Well, anyway, it’s really nice to know that I can finish such a long run with that kind of kick. I wonder if this indicates that I’d be better at 10Ks than marathons? Well, that’s something to think about after London, not before.

The first couple of miles of the run were really tough. It’s weird how much easier it gets. My left leg was kind of achy when I started, but about 30-45 minutes into the run, it didn’t hurt at all, and I was running normally. Anyway, only two more 8 milers to go! Hard to believe. Five miles tomorrow morning, then Kristina and I are off to Austin after work, then I have 18 miles in Austin. I’m definitely nervous about that, but excited too. I can’t wait to go to RunTex, the running store there. It’s practically legendary. Woo!

March 11, 2002

Part One: Saturday’s Long Run

Saturday, Chris and I ran our scheduled 16 mile run. It went significantly better than the one the week before. I was far better prepared, but it was still a learning experience.

We started out running at about 8 a.m., so I got enough sleep the night before. It was overcast, but slightly warmer than the previous long run, so the occasional light showers were welcome. We decided to implement walking breaks from the very beginning of the run, in a 12:2 ratio. In addition, instead of running the 6.5-6.5-4 loops (total: 17 miles), we decided to run as if each 12:2 split was one mile (though I suspect it may have been slightly more.) So we meandered down side streets, I took Chris past two of the apartments I lived in during college (university), and we had a grand old time. We went through the Garden District, a lovely area with beautiful houses, big and small.

The first loop was probably 9 miles, and it went off without a hitch. We made it back to the car to rehydrate, stretch, use the bathroom, take gels, etc, and then headed off for the second loop. This loop was not so great for me. Though I drank plenty of water before we headed off again, it just wasn’t enough. About 3 miles into this loop, I started feeling dehydrated (chills, tickly feeling in my chest and arms, just funny overall) and we stopped at this gymnasium that had water fountains and bathrooms. (It wasn’t open when we passed it the weekend before, so we weren’t able to partake in it’s oasis-ness. It was truly heaven to find!) After this break, and plenty of water (but no gels) I felt somewhat better. But a few miles after this, the sun started to come out, and it started to get pretty humid. I started to get dehydrated again, and I just couldn’t run the 12:2s as planned. So we walked when I felt funny, and when I cooled down, we ran. Finally we made it back to the car after running for 3:45, which is what we were shooting for.

I learned a lot from this run, mainly (again) the importance of hydration. (Not that I didn’t already know this or anything.) But I’m used to running past water fountains during my runs, which the lakes in Baton Rouge don’t have. So I had to go miles (5 or 6 at a time) without water. At least during the marathon, there will be water breaks every mile. (We were thinking, though – hope they don’t run out of water by the time we get to them!) So hydration shouldn’t be a problem. We are going to walk through the water stops, which will function as our planned walking breaks. Should be good. And unless England has a freak heat wave in April, it should be cooler and less humid. I hope. Also, my shirt, which had a sort of high neck, got really hot, so a v-neck shirt is definitely in order for the marathon.

All in all, a really good run, though. I felt good afterwards and there was no real lingering stiffness, thanks to my new fail-proof recovery system. Soak feet in cold water, spray down legs with cold water at the same time, take some ibuprofen, take a nap. Woo! So, on to Sunday’s race…
.: posted by pam m 

Part Two: Sunday’s 5K Race, The 25th Annual Lakeside Hospital Scrub Shirt Classic

I had been looking forward to this race for a while, for several reasons. First, we get scrub shirts instead of t-shirts; second, there is lots of good food afterwards; and third, it takes place at the hospital where I was born. So in spite of the fact that I had to leave Baton Rouge at 10 p.m. on Saturday night to drive back to New Orleans, I was excited about this race.

Because this was Kristina’s first 5K since October and one of the few times she’s run since January, I didn’t expect to PR this race. Not to mention the fact that I ran 16-17 miles the day before! I expected my legs to be heavy and sluggish, and I would have been happy with a time of under 40 minutes. My previous PR was 37:01, and to run faster would require 12 minute miles, and I just didn’t think I had it in me.

But it was colder outside than my last race, and I seem to have gotten faster since then, as well. We hit the first mile split at 12:01. But it didn’t feel too fast! So we kept going. Mile two, 11:46. Eeps! We’re getting faster! We start to close in on some people ahead of us. Kristina starts whining about not wanting to go faster. Never mind that she used to be the one that pushed me during races, now she won’t let me push her. Regardless, we press on. Thirty-four minutes on my watch, and the finish line is well within sight. Could this be another PR? Kristina sprints slightly ahead of me, and crosses the finish line in 36:10. The man at the finish line yells to me, “You’re not going to let her beat you, are you?” and I yell back, “but I’m letting her win!” It was funny. I cross at 36:11. A new PR, by 50 seconds! Woo hoo! We got our medals (love medals!) and headed to the food. Mmmmm. Smoothies, pizza, chicken, bagels, yum yum yum.

Quads slightly sore afterwards, but nothing major. Today, I feel fine. I’m getting better at this running thing! I’m using the 5K in place of one of my 5 milers this week, since I raced it. Next run, an 8 miler tomorrow afternoon. And this weekend…18 miles in Austin!