Wednesday, July 23, 2014


I can't believe that I haven't introduced Duncan!

We don't know his story before we got him, but I'm happy we did. He hasn't warmed up to us completely, although he's friendly and sweet, just not really cuddly yet. But he LOVES Valentino. He's like Tino's little brother. He follows him around, likes to be right next to him ALL THE TIME. 

After Winston died, Valentino was clearly lonely. He and Dubs were besties, and Tino had never been without him. Aaron and I started talking about bringing on a friend. I ended up at Petsmart by myself one day. BIG mistake. Well, not really -- that's how we ended up with Duncan. Valentino was NOT happy with the new cat at first. We learned that he indeed can hiss and growl. Luckily after a week, he was okay with Duncan. Now they play and wrestle, although sometimes I think Tino isn't playing.

Duncan is still jumpy around us (more Aaron than me though), and he doesn't 100% trust us yet. It appears he was a stray/feral and abused in some manner, but he's relaxing. He has Tino so he's happy. He's starting to seek out attention from us more, which is appreciated. (And yes, he clearly eats his feelings.)

There are a couple of odd things about Duncan. One is that his ear was cropped to identify him as neutered. That's common in trap-neuter-release programs, less common for shelters and rescues, but not uncommon. There's also this "bad leg." We're not sure if there's nerve damage or what. When I took him to the vet, the nail was super-long, so that was part of it. He still doesn't seem to have as much control over it. That is getting better, though, so we're just keeping an eye on it for now. It doesn't affect his ability to run, jump and play; he just slides and slips occasionally.

We've had him for just over five weeks now, and we're all settling in. Duncan still doesn't feel like OUR cat yet, but he will! I'm enjoying getting to know him.

NFIM Training - Week 2

I was closer to a model student this week!

Goal: 37 miles, no workouts, 12-mile long run
Reality: 37.13 miles, no workouts, 12-mile long run

I was a little overzealous at the beginning of the week because of the rally last weekend. I intended to get in all 37 miles in five straight days. That involved a couple of double days, and Coach was getting a little concerned. I reworked my week:

Monday: 5-mile trail run (58:45)
Tuesday: 5-mile run split between neighborhood and trail (51:50); 2.63 w/ 5k training group
Wednesday: 5 miles to/from the gym (48:40) + strength-training; 4 miles w/ FF HM group (38:53)
Thursday: off
Friday: 12-mile long run (2:02)
Saturday: off Sunday: 3.5-mile run (36:20)

Friday's long run was tough! We ran from the house to Kent and around campus. Hilly! But we were rewarded with grilled cheese sandwiches so that's good. Then we headed out for rally times. Sunday's post-rally run was tough and slow, but ultimately a good idea.

I am aiming to be on target again this week, but I might end up a little over with my mileage. Not too much though (depends on Friday and Saturday and how much I run with the half-marathon group). I'm slightly concerned about Sunday's 14 miles, but I know I'll be okay. I'm running that from the Towpath so I'll get a break from hills during my long run.

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

NFIM Training - Week 1

I have a marathon training plan! And last week was my first week "following" it. I use quotes because I technically overdid it.

Week 1

Goal: 35 miles, no workouts, 10-mile long run
Reality: 38.5 miles, 1 workout and 1 race, 13.1-mile long run

On Tuesday, I did six quarter-mile repeats (1:57, 1:55, 1:56, 1:55, 1:57, 1:50 -- pretty consistent, eh?), and I did a 5k on Sunday (25:48, which is a new PR). Friday's long run ended up being a little longer than prescribed, partly because I wanted to run to the end of the Freedom Trail.

My long run was slow (13.1 in 2:14). I felt okay, but I couldn't seem to push through and drop the pace much. I think it was a negative-split, though, and I know the last few miles were a little quicker. I ran in the neighborhood to the Bike & Hike/Freedom Trail, which I took to the Portage County line. And then I turned around and went home. It's a much hillier route than I usually do for long runs, so it's not surprising that I was tired.

I promised my coach I'd be on point this week. I didn't tell him that I'd already considered doing a longer run than scheduled. Since he kind of almost reprimanded me (I got a pass because this is Week 1), I'll do my best not to screw up this week.

Week 2's goals are 37 miles with a 12-mile long run. We're going to a scooter rally on Friday, so hitting 37 miles seems rather tricky. Lots of miles in five days. I did a 5-mile trail run last night and then another 5 miles (2.25 on trails) this morning. I have my 5k training group tonight, so I'll get a mile there. I might try to get some extra as well. I'm planning 8 miles tomorrow (4 before work and 4 at the pub run). That leaves me with 6 on Thursday (ugh -- probably should aim to get in a few extra miles tonight) and 12 on Friday with Saturday and Sunday off.

This week is VOLUME, I guess. I am feeling tired though. Over 77 miles in July thus far.

Review: Summer House with Swimming Pool

Summer House with Swimming Pool
Summer House with Swimming Pool by Herman Koch

My rating: 0 of 5 stars

I tried to read this book, but the protagonist is utterly unlikable. I don't need to read about how much doctors don't care, and the idea of moving forward with this book is painful. I am an adult, and I read for fun, not punishment.

View all my reviews

Monday, July 07, 2014

Almost Time...

I officially have less than 16 weeks until that silly marathon. My "coach" wants me doing a 14-week plan because my base is pretty solid. I'm not going to go through some boring recaps, but I barely 100 miles each for May and June (but I *did* hit 100). And I've been back in the gym a little more regularly. It's a good start.

Last week's training:

Monday: 4-mile trail run w/ a friend
Tuesday: 6 miles at the track (four 800s w/ 4:30 recovery)
Wednesday: upper body & abs + 1-mile walk; 3-mile run w/ group
Thursday: lower body; 3 quick miles before training group
Friday: off
Saturday: 13.4 miles
Sunday: 3.1 miles to the gym; full-body strength; 1-mile walk

So 34.5 miles for the week with a long run. I'm probably doing too many 3-milers, but I do kinda like them.

This week's tentative plan (for at least 30 miles):

Monday: trail run (4 miles)
Tuesday: track workout (6ish miles)
Wednesday: strength + easy run (3 miles)
Thursday: off
Friday: long run (10-12 miles)
Saturday: easy run (distance TBD)
Sunday: 5k race

Looking at that, I should probably boost the distance on Wednesday and really aim for at least 5 on Saturday. We have the half-marathon and 5k training groups that morning, and I know I'll be coaching the 5k group. Plus I want to be relatively rested for the 5k because my friend thinks I could place in my age group, so I don't want to screw that up :)

Friday, July 04, 2014

Review: Sisterland

Sisterland by Curtis Sittenfeld

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

This was really hard to rate. I flew through the second half just to finish it. The protagonist is both boring and terrible. The storyline is interesting. I wanted to give it two stars, but I'd have trouble finishing a two-star book. I *did* want to see how this book ended.

View all my reviews

Monday, June 23, 2014

Review: Running Away: A Memoir

Running Away: A Memoir
Running Away: A Memoir by Robert Andrew Powell

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Some people found this book really depressing, but I didn't. I think you need to be a runner to "get" this book. Otherwise, how do you know how significant it is to qualify for Boston? A non-runner would have so much trouble identifying with the author. Aside from running, I have nothing in common with him. His actions are largely selfish, his motivations kind of embarrassed me (I can't imagine being driven to do something because my dad did - especially at almost 40 years old).

But I found his journey impressive. He worked hard to improve. What did he say? Running is practicing not to quit? Something like that. And it's true.

View all my reviews

Review: We Were Liars

We Were Liars
We Were Liars by E. Lockhart

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

A quick read. A mystery. It is best to not read anything about the book. I even thought the book's description was a little too much. I think it's best to just go through Cadence's journey with her - you don't want to know too much.

View all my reviews

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Cleveland Half-Marathon

The Cleveland half-marathon is done, so now I need to figure out what I'm doing for my full. But that's another story.

Sunday was the Cleveland half-marathon. The weather was perfect, and a a ton of people from the training group and beyond were there. My intention was to run with people from the group. I failed.

The first four to five miles were with a small group, but I lost them when I ran over to say hi to friends who were running about a minute per mile faster. When I tried to drop back, I couldn't find them. I couldn't hang with my friends as they sped up more, so I ended up running most of the race by myself. (I did catch one of the dudes at the end on the uphill portion of the Shoreway.)

I actually ended up PRing by 30 seconds or so (2:03:13, officially), but it was a lonely race.

It also gave me confidence that I just might have a sub-2 in me before marathon trainng so if the weather looks good, I'm going to go for it in June. And then I'll start training for the marathon. With my work schedule, it's gonna be tricky!

Monday, May 12, 2014

PR plans*

My training has kind of sucked lately, but I suppose that's okay -- marathon training is coming up so maybe it's better I get in a good rest.

HOWEVER, I am thinking about trying to sub-2 again before marathon training. Not sure how that's gonna work out since I am not running much (I'm at 36 miles thus far in May so way off normal pace) or running at a sub-2 pace.

There's nothing much to recap so I won't bother. Last week's long run was 8 miles (Cleveland HM is Sunday!). I ran out with a couple of people for the first 4 miles and then I ran the last 4 at sub-2 pace (under 9:09). I didn't feel great, but I was running on 4 hours of sleep and fueled by beer and tiki drinks from Friday night's girls' night out. Let's look at that as encouraging, okay?

I did find a half-marathon in June that I am strongly considering doing. It's not very expensive, and it's a small race. I like those things.

Also, I have made plans to run the 5k Memorial Day weekend in Marietta. I hope to PR even though there's that pesky "not running fast" thing I like to do. I will probably run that race in the Newtons so I should get a few more runs in with those.

In Winston news: It is very hard to not having him around. We all miss him. Valentino is confused and a little needy. I'm trying to play with him a lot. I'm also making a very concerted effort to get his weight down. I miss him so much.

* So funny that I'm not talking about "public relations"!