Wednesday, March 28, 2012

I have come here to chew bubble gum and kick ass... and I'm all out of bubblegum.

I finally got out of the office at a normal time tonight.  I even got half a lunch break.  Yippee! 

Since, as I expected, I didn't make it to the gym this morning, I did pack my gym bag this morning and tossed it in the car with the intention of going after work.  And not only did I go, my planned easy two or three miles turned into a kick ass three miles at 0:35:55 or just under a 12 minute mile average. 

I wanted to run the first mile without stopping and I was incredibly thirsty so I figured I'd take a quick break for a drink of Nuun then.  But there was a good song on the iPod a little before the mile mark so I decided I'd run until the end of that song and then take my break.  Then I still felt pretty good so I decided I'd run to the 1.5 mile mark.  And another good song came on and I knew that by the time it ended I'd be almost to two miles so that was that.  I actually ran those first two miles just a smidge over 22 minutes.  I walked a lap (1/12th of a mile, there is an indoor track) and then finished the last mile in about 13 minutes. 

I was tempted to see just how fast I could run that last mile -- meaning, not take a water break -- but I was really, really, really thirsty.  And I needed chapstick.  I think I could've pulled it off if I'd had chapstick.

It is entirely possible that my Nike+ is so out of calibration that I didn't really do a full three miles.  But I'll take it anyways.

the CilleyGirl

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Huh? What?

My work is infringing on my running life.

I did six days (of work, that is) last week and didn't work on Sunday only because my boss didn't get his part of the equation done.  But last night I was at work until almost ten and tonight I was there almost until eight.  And track workout tonight was at 6:30.  No, I didn't make it.  I'm going to give getting up early for the gym tomorrow a shot but I'm fairly certain that tomorrow will be another long day -- by the way, I'm not getting a lunch in the middle of all that.  Yesterday I had a banana, a mini peanut butter cup, and three slices of pizza.  Today I had a smoothiefor breakfast and then the last four pieces of the pizza for lunch (my secretary snagged a slice last night).  Thankfully fast food sounded all kinds of awful tonight so I didn't add insult to injury.  Instead I had two pieces of cod, one piece of salmon, and some potato chips. 

Some how in all the MCM excitement I also missed that I have to maintain a 14:00 minute mile pace to avoid being swept.  So that's now my C goal:  Don't get swept.  The B goal is better than my Eugene time of 6:26:43.  The A goal is under six hours.  McMillan says that translates to a 13:54 pace.  Yark!

I am running fairly easily in the low twelves when I first start out but my stamina isn't there yet.  I have to get those base miles in!  My goal this week is to run at least twice during the week before Saturday's long run.  Tonight was supposed to be one of those runs.  Keeping my finger's crossed that I'll get it in tomorrow.  Even if it's only two or three really slow miles.  Just get 'er done!

I'm off to watch the last few minutes of Storage Wars -- shh, don't tell anyone I watch this -- before I head to bed and then start this all over again.

the CilleyGirl

Thursday, March 22, 2012


Everybody else has done their Shamrock post, I guess I should get mine done!

Especially since mine is the only one where Kim's breast takes center stage.

Donna, me, Ronda, Jules, Kim, and Kim's Breast.
Which needs its own website, dontcha think?

So, the race.

The Good:

It's done for another year.  Ugh.  This race was long and painful.  The farthest I've run since the end of October, and I definitely wasn't ready for it.  Particularly since I'd done something odd to my Achilles earlier in the week.  During the race, it alternated between being very loose (which feels really ookey) and very stiff.  But not painful.  No, the pain was saved for my ankles and my ass.  Julie and I stuck together for this race -- or I never would've finished, as she motivated me with visions of hot Marines and big ass bottle opener medals -- and ended up running at least two thirds of the main Terwilliger hill.  Which was cool but promptly sprained my right butt cheek that proceeded to give me grief through the rest of the race.  I also should've Gu'd that second time as I hit a wall around mile six that just would not go away.

But despite it all, and probably despite me and my whiny sprained ass and throbbing ankles, we came damn close to our A goal of 2:09.  I ran my first Shamrock 15K in 2010 at 2:09:18 so we had decided our A goal would be 2:09.  Last year sucked as I ran it in 2:17 and change; our B goal was 2:15.  We both finished at 2:11:42.  I think that's right on the seconds.  If I had been in just slightly better conditioning, I know we would've met our A goal. 

The Bad:

It was cold, it was wet.  We got snowed on a smidge.  There was an overwhelm of humanity.  While I did like the course change in terms of the overall route, I DID NOT like that the 5K runners finished next to the 15K runners, and the bulk of them -- and there were an awfully lot of them -- finished exactly when we did.  I couldn't breathe, I was worried I was going to hyperventilate or vomit or both, and there were hundreds of lunkhead 5Kers swarming our finish line area.  So that you had about five feet of space across the finish line and then, wall of 5K humanity.  Who all apparently didn't get the memo that you have to run the 15K to get the medal.   It took us forever to find the people with the medals -- after that, they better have not run out of medals.  And this medal was HUGE and heavy.  Literally the size of my hand.  Not just the palm.  My hand

The Best:

Hanging out with friends.  Seems like I'd just see the Fly Girl last month or something but there she was again!  She went back to the expo with me so I could pick up my shirt -- a lovely long sleeve green this year that is very comfortable -- and we made the rounds.  We scored a fabulous big gym bag from Lifewise Health that also had the Shamrock logo on it.  Sadly, they were all out of the Camelback bottles they had been handing out earlier and we were too honest to go steal the big towels they were also giving away (you got a bag or a towel) until they were all out.  Next year, less honesty.

We had time to kill after the expo since we were already on the same side of the river as our restaurant for dinner so we made our way over to the Lloyd Center Mall for pre-race traditional tots.   We were also working out whether her boyfriend was really her boyfriend, plus why the dress code du jour seemed to be hooker in training for so many of the young girls at Lloyd Center.  Wonder of wonders, we found a Titanic display table at Barnes and Noble where RR picked up a couple more Titanic books -- amazingly, she doesn't yet have them all -- and I decided on the 1,000 Places to See Before You Die in the U.S. and Canada book.  Because I like checklists and goals.

We had a great dinner at Old Spaghetti Factory, now in its second year of being the pre-Shamrock dinner destination for all the cool girls.  Mmm, cheesy bread and jumbo crab ravioli.  (The ravioli was jumbo, pretty sure the crab was just average yet tasty.)   We also had a nummy post-race breakfast at a mom and pop place near my house that may now also become a Shamrock tradition.  Next time, we try the cake that is eight inches tall and has five layers of inch thick frosting.

And next year, I am making Shamrock my bitch.   Sub-two for sure.  Jules, are you with me?  What am I saying, of course you are!  And RR has already said she's coming back to the dark side.  Viva las chiquitas!

the CilleyGirl

Friday, March 16, 2012

The good, the bad, the blah. And MCM!

Happy Friday!  So happy that it is almost the weekend.  Particularly so because I'm not working tomorrow.   If you've been wondering why I haven't posted since last Thursday, it's because I've been working since last Thursday.   That's the blah.

The bad?  Tuesday I went to track practice even though I really didn't want to so of course I promptly strained my achilles doing lunges.  Which I hate.  Lunges, that is.  Although to be honest I don't really like straining my achilles either.  Okay, I hate straining my achilles.  Especially when Sunday is Shamrock and I'm running a 15K.  I also have been coming down with a head cold that keeps hinting it is going to migrate into my ample bosom. 

And now for the good.  Last night I took a hot bath and a big dose of NyQuil and I'm feeling better.  I'm planning to sleep in tomorrow and hopefully that will push me even farther down the road to recovery.  Did I mention I don't have to work tomorrow?  Plus I have friends coming in to town -- the Fly Girl and everyone's favorite imaginary friend Kim (whom I love even if she is a big smelly DAWG) -- for Shamrock and we're all getting together (with those of us already cool enough to live in PDX) for a pre-race dinner and most likely a post-race brekkie. 

But wait, there is even better!  Marine Corps Marathon!  Come on, like I wasn't going to mention it?  I've been having fun planning out some of the details.  Ideally, I'll fly in to D.C. on the Friday before the race, and I've got my hotel booked.  I was originally going to stay with a friend the whole time I was in D.C. but realized that (a) it was kind of rude to invite myself for a week and (b) I'm going to be keeping somewhat odd hours through race day.  So after consulting said friend (plus that pink bitch *snerk*) I found a hotel with discounted MCM rates close to a Metro stop and the Pentagon where the race begins.  After the race, then I'll invade my friend's. 

The top things I want to do in D.C. are tour the White House, go to the National Archives to see the Declaration of Independence, etc. -- did I ever mention that one of my ancestors was a signatory? -- and the Smithsonian.  For the Smithsonian, I'm thinking the American History museum (the pop culture exhibit is a must), Air and Space (everyone recommends this one, plus I grew up with Boeing practically in my backyard), and Natural History (rocks!  gems!  dinosaurs!).  I'd like to do one of those sightseeing bus tours that lets you on and off at various places, to see the monuments up close that I'll be running past on race day.

After D.C. and all it has to offer, we've been talking about invading the next set of friends in Pennsylvania.  Wine country!  Amish too?  Mmm, pie.  Amish-made pie even.  Then up to New York.  This may be where a bunch of us will meet up, being as it should be the weekend and all.  And last but definitely not least, I hope to descend on Rhode Island and all surrounding areas to finally meet in person a good friend I've known online for almost 20 years now. 

I haven't plotted out the New York/New England part of the trip yet as I've been focused on D.C. and, you know, it's still over six months away.  But in New York I'd like to go to the Met for sure, which is why I'm so far not planning to visit any of the Smithsonian art museums.  I also want to do the Staten Island Ferry ride and see the Statue of Liberty up close and personal.  Oh, and of course a trip back to Ground Zero.  My first and only trip to NYC I was there on the third anniversary of the attacks and actually visited Ground Zero on September 11.   For New England, we've been having such weird weather this year that I might still be able to catch the end of leaf peepah season.  For other stuff, I'll let my friend flam make the suggestions.  Definitely lobster though.  And there's something called  clam cake that I'd like to try.

Cheers (keep clam!!),
the CilleyGirl

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Coincidence? I think not!

Hello my cilley fwends.  Did you miss me?  Of course you did!

Vacation in Idaho (no, you da HO!) was good but I am glad to be home.  Not family stuff or anything.  I just missed sleeping on mattresses thicker than four inches and pillows thicker than an inch that aren't as old I am or having to choose between oxygen and spending time with my dad (he's a heavy smoker living in a tiny trailer).  I came home and fondled my bed for a good five minutes, I missed it so.

But are you ready for the big news?  Are you?  Are you sure?

Okay, here goes...

I.  AM.  IN.

Thanks to a fortuitous convergence of events, I am running the 2012 Marine Corps Marathon.  Y'all, this event sold out in less than three hours.  But I got in early and got a spot.  And here's why.

I was about seven months behind on reading magazines and since I was subscribing to five or six, this was becoming a problem.  There's not a lot to do in Idaho with the grandparents so I decided I'd take a bunch of the magazines with me to get caught up.  Incentive for reading would be not having to lug them back to Portland with me, and let me tell you after carrying a bag of a half dozen through the Portland and Boise airports, I had incentive coming out the ying yang.

One of the mags I subscribe to is Health and out of the ones like it that I read -- Women's Health, Fitness, Self, and Shape -- I'd say I like it and Shape the best.  Even if I do snicker at all the "eat grains, eat grains, EAT GRAINS, FOR THE LOVE OF GOD EAT GRAINS WE'VE GOT FARM SUBSIDY PAYMNTS TO MAKE THEY'RE GOOD FOR YOU" messages.  So anyhow, on this trip my only regular internet access was through my phone but I did have twitter, facebook, etc.

By Tuesday, I'm getting really sick of reading fitness magazines.  Really sick.  Hang myself with resistance bands while bashing in my skull with kettlebells sick.  I was also ready to head back to civilization.  I'm reading my last issue of Health and see that they tweet (who doesn't, right?) so I open up my twitter feed to see if they are worth following.  And that's when I see it.

A tweet from Runner's World.  To the effect of:  Want to register early for MCM?  Click here.

And hell yes I want to register early.  Registration was set to open at 3:00 p.m. eastern time on Wednesday, making it 1:00 p.m. Boise time.  I'd be back in the airport waiting for my flight home so at least I'd have a 4G connection but I was worried I'd have problems trying to sign up for the race through my phone.  So I click.

Turns out that MCM is the Runner's World challenge for 2012.  Sign up for their challenge program on Tuesday and you get registered for MCM right then and there.

It wasn't cheap, $349.  The race entry fee was just under $100 and that was included.  But it comes with a training plan and you know me, I like to do my own thing.  And that's when I saw it.

Pre.  Race.  VIP.  Bathroom.  Area.


Ooh, and a post race massage, I just noticed that.  Cool! 

I've been telling myself that if I got into MCM that I can't fuck around any more.  I have to train seriously and focus on getting myself healthy.  I still have my original marathon goal of coming in under six hours.  If I eat right and train right, I can do that.  And get my medal handled to me by an actual Marine.*

So I've decided to take a page from Miss Vi's book and break up the eight or so months between now and race day into a series of monthly challenges.   For March, it is to start eating normal portions.  If I end up at Burger King for whatever reason, that means one sandwich, one side, one drink. 

What a long strange trip it will be!

the CilleyGirl

*Just really hoping my Marine's name isn't something like Arlene.  I want a hot, buff, MALE Marine.