Monday, April 30, 2012

Seattle RnR Training Week #6

This week was pathetic and I was tempted to not even post this training recap, because there's hardly ANYTHING to say besides what you already know.  I got a big fat F- on my cross-training this week.  I did complete my training runs and it was a cut-back week, so I guess if my goal was to rest I totally dominated that, but that wasn't exactly my goal...

I won't totally blame myself, I have some excuses.  Are you surprised?!

Monday - After a 4:00am wake-up call (for the second day in a row!) and a day FULL of flying, I was exhausted.  I also found out my hotel didn't have a gym.  Holiday Inn Express FAIL.  I did walk a LOT at both the Chicago and the Philly airports - those airports are huge.  So that's some cross-training?

Tuesday - An amazing 10.5 mile sight-seeing run through Philly.  This became my accidental long run for the week.

Wednesday - Fail again.  I technically could have gotten up early to work out but 7:00am is still 4:00am Pacific time remember?  So I slept.  And then I rode a plane all day long again.  Except I didn't have to walk very much to get to my gate in Chicago.  And the Seattle airport's not that big.  So I really pretty much did nothing.  I did get peed on by a pigeon though.

Thursday - 2.4 miles at Girls On The Run practice, then came home and did 2.6 more miles at home.  Not very exciting or energetic either.

Friday - Okay now here's when the ENTIRE blame lies on me.  I have NO good excuse except that it's been go-go-go nonstop business for 3+ weeks and when my long busy day was FINALLY over the only thing I could think about involved my couch, some trashy tv (Revenge anyone?!), and this:

Beer Win (Pyramid Apricot Ale rocks) but Cross-Training Fail

Saturday - 7.35 hilly tempo miles in 1:01 even (Average Pace: 8:18).  My mantra was Go Hard & Go Hills.
Later - 9 holes of golf.

Elevation Gain of 354 feet.  Not bad not bad!

You can see where the hills are in the splits: 8:40, 8:36, 7:46, 8:24, 8:06, 8:33, 8:26, 7:12 (.35)

Sunday - 9 holes of golf (but I didn't carry a bag and rode some of the time, so not as much of a workout)
50 minutes of tennis (I won 6-1, 6-0, thanks for asking!)

Total running miles: 22.85

Okay, so I completely failed this week, although I guess I did have quite a variety of cross-training type activities on the weekend!  I don't like to plan out my exact workouts but maybe that's what I need to do to make it happen.  So let's try it this week and see if that helps:

Here's the tentative plan for next week:
Monday - Cycle Class
Tuesday - Track Tuesday - make it happen!  8 x 400's + Strength
Wednesday - Probably rest - Wednesdays are too busy
Thursday - 8 miles + Strength
Friday - Swim
Saturday - 20 miles - ugh, I'm already dreading it
Sunday - Yoga

That seems unlikely I'm actually going to do all that.  But that's the dream.  Let's do this Ricole.

How were your workouts this week?  WIN or FAIL like me?  Do you have any tricks to make myself cross-train and strength-train?  I seem to have no problem whatsoever getting my runs in, shocker.  

Sunday, April 29, 2012

Sunday Flashback: 2010 Couer d'Alene Half Marathon

So you all know about Sunday Flashback by now.  Where we last left off I had recovered from my stress fracture turned full fracture and ran my first big race back: the 2010 Atlanta Half Marathon.  I had some more shin scares (these continue on pretty much until now!) but was able to run the Couer D'Alene Half Marathon with Rachael two months later in May - her first half marathon!  I was so happy to get to share that with her.  And here's the recap (it's much shorter than some of the others)!

I did the Couer D'Alene Half Marathon with Rachael this morning and it was great!  Perfect weather, perfect race, this felt great especially after the mini injury I had a few weeks ago [more shin issues].  Felt tight the first 3 miles and was a little worried (I was really worried I wouldn't be able to maintain that pace the whole time and was going to be walking later!), but then I hit my stride and just got in the zone. :-) 

And then we finished!
Total Time: 1:54:41     Average Pace: 8:42
Splits: 8:27, 8:36, 8:37, 8:41, 8:44, 8:50, 8:59, 8:49, 8:47, 8:51, 8:48, 8:41, 8:17

Didn't Rachael DOMINATE her first half?   So proud of Rachael!

I took a Gu at miles 6 and 10, and that seemed to really help.  I was so surprised at how fast we ran - this is not how fast I've been training at ALL!  Overall this was really a great race - it was extremely flat, ran along the beautiful Coeur D'Alene lake and saw some gorgeous mansion/castle homes.  We should definitely do it again next year!  The race overall was pretty small, so it was definitely a race you would want to do with someone else, especially if you were planning on doing the full marathon.  The "expo" included a bounce house and the packet pick-up and that was pretty much it.  After worrying about the predicted terrible weather all week it actually stayed dry for the entire race. 

Afterwards we had an absolutely fabulous brunch and went walking on the boardwalk picking out all the yachts we will own when we're rich and famous.  Righhtttt.  

What a fabulous batch of best friends!

The whole weekend was just a blast.  I love Couer D'Alene.  We should move here!  We went golfing twice, virtual golfing once, to a delicious brunch, a delicious bbq, had a camp fire, ran the race, played cards, walked the boardwalk and pretended to look at $600,000 yachts, shopped for the 80's party next weekend, drove about 12 hours (should have been 9 but the traffic both ways was baaaaaaad).  Overall, GREAT holiday 3-day weekend! 

See - much shorter race report than normal!  I still love Couer D'Alene and kind of want to move there.  Don't worry, there's not that many more of these race recaps!  You're getting close to the end!  :-)

Happy Sunday!  What are you up to today?  Doing anything fun?

Saturday, April 28, 2012

I Want To Be A Part Of It - New York, New York

These vagabond shoes... are longing to stray...

Okay, so after getting some of the best news EVER on Tuesday in the form of a Nuun Hood to Coast team announcement, I was pretty much walking on air.  I had just ran the Mt. Si Relay with a group of fabulous blogging ladies, was exploring Philly, one of my new favorite cities, and now I was going to get to run my favorite race of all time with my favorite hydration company of all time?  Seriously, I was feeling on top of the world.

I'm a little nervous (or intimidated?) about the whole thing though because I probably have one of the smaller blogs out there (hello 3 readers!  I mean Mom, Dad, and Husband!) and I'm probably one of the slower people picked as well.  So hopefully I don't let anyone down blog-reach-wise or speed-wise.  I will try my hardest I promise!  And that starts with trying my hardest to NOT get injured before Hood to Coast time rolls around. 

Who wants to see this bad boy again?

Anyway, despite all that, I'm still totally walking on air, SO happy to be picked, despite perhaps at times worrying that maybe they chose the wrong gal.  But back to my point of all this: being that the world definitely doesn't want you to get TOO on top of the world.

Example #1: On Wednesday (after the Nuun announcement Tuesday) I was enjoying a delicious last meal in Philly: a pretzel cheesesteak.  Yep, you read that right.  I had a big presentation right after lunch, did I forget to mention that?  Anyway, if you don't know me, I LOVE soft pretzels.  Like I want to eat everything out of them, I want my hamburgers on soft pretzel bread, etc.  Anyway, so this delicious dish was a dream come true, until it exploded all over me.  Imagine cheesesteak goo all down my arms and on my pants.  Yep.  And remember how I had a presentation about 10 minutes later?!


Example #2:  As I'm sitting there trying to figure out the best method to salvage my work outfit before my presentation (of course I also had no napkins), I feel something disgusting and wet land on my arm.  And I look up, and I see that a pigeon just peed on me.  A PIGEON.  A PIGEON PEED ON ME.  RIGHT BEFORE MY PRESENTATION.  And remember that I am already covered with cheesesteak, which looks kind of like vomit by the way.

Example #3:  After I tried my best to clean myself up, and gave my presentation (it was fine, thanks for asking), I finally figured out how to log in to my NYC Marathon account (thanks twitter friends for helping me out, I'm an idiot), and it was a big fat NO.  No NYC Marathon for Ricole this year. 

But I'm not going to let this get me down!  That pretzel cheesesteak was amazing and totally worth it.  That pigeon situation was hilarious, although it definitely solidified my already blossoming hatred of pigeons.  And honestly, NYC was a blessing in a disguise.  I won't lie, I really wanted in.  I won't pretend that I didn't.  I really want JMan and I to go there for a trip and this seemed the perfect opportunity.  But do I really want to train for another marathon this year?  I'm not sure yet, ask me on June 24th.  But regardless of how this training cycle goes, I'm kind of relieved to not have that pressure to do another full this year.

So I won't be a part of it - New York New York... this year anyway.  

Cooper hopes you're having a great weekend!  What fun things are you doing?  How far did you run today?  Did YOU get in to NYC?  I haven't heard of anyone getting in via the lottery yet. 

Friday, April 27, 2012

Give Me Liberty, or Give Me Cheesesteaks!

This post could also be titled Philadelphia Part II (after yesterday's Part I post).  I took SO many pictures in just one day, it's ridiculous.  I apologize but I have to post them.  If you're sick of Philly pics - come back tomorrow!

So I really did love Philly - I could see myself living there.  I've been to Washington D.C. many times for work and love D.C., and it reminded me of being there - so much history!  So unfortunately I really only had that one long running tour and then one measly lunch break to see the city, but I saw as much as I could!  I was also very open to suggestions - twitter is the best for getting random travel advice!

Thanks @bentehoule!  I did this on my running tour. 

Sights seen included:

1) The Hard Rock Cafe, which granted isn't much of a sight, but check out that huge guitar!

2) Some statues of famous people who aren't really that famous since I'd never heard of them:

3) Really old famous buildings:

4) The Old City Hall, where the U.S. Supreme Court met between 1791 and 1800 (thank you sign for actually teaching me something!):

The Old City Hall from the outside.  It doesn't really look over 200 years old!

And where the actual Supreme Court met on the inside:

5) And finally, what you've all been waiting for: The Liberty Bell!  My phone camera was acting up so you only get the side without the crack. 

Since it was my lunch break I stopped to get some actual lunch.  And I do what my tweet friends tell me too.  Thanks @MarshallOram!

Done.  I ate a famous Philly Cheesesteak from a street cart.  And it was good.  And totally healthy. 

@Sallaboutme told me to go to some place called Reading Terminal Market.  Lucky for me I happened upon it by accident!  What are the chances of that?

And it did NOT disappoint.  Too bad I had just eaten that cheesesteak!  It was ridiculous - every kind of food you've ever wanted, people watching central, all kinds of interesting things to look at, pretty much Pike Place on steroids, and much more eating centered.  I HIGHLY recommend it. 

Although I had already eaten lunch I managed to force myself to choke down some ice cream.  Ha.  They had a PBJ flavor that I was really excited about and I seriously nearly cried when I ordered it and they were sold out.  So I drowned my sorrows in some Egg Nog (very timely, but I love me some egg nog) and Peanut Butter Swirl. 

And as if I couldn't eat anymore, then I had to follow Shawna's advice. 

Okay, so I didn't eat at Pat's or Gino's, but that's some advice for you fellow travelers!  But I did have a Philly soft pretzel:

And my lunch break tour was over!  So sad.  I need to go back to Philly for a real trip sometime.  Seriously, look at that view:

Finally - go enter to win a Danskin Triathlon entry from Running, Loving, Living!  I STILL somehow haven't done a triathlon and it's totally on my list so I really hope I win!

Have you ever been to Philly?  Have any advice for anyone who goes there?  HAPPY FRIDAY!  What fun weekend plans do you have?  I have been going nonstop and am so happy to spend the weekend at home.  

Thursday, April 26, 2012

A Virtual Running Tour of Philadelphia

Remember when I gave you an extremely helpful and informative virtual tour of Vancouver, British Columbia?  Well since that was so useful I decided to do it again.

In West Philadelphia born and raised, on the playground is where I spent most of my days... Chillin' out maxin' relaxin' all cool and all shooting some b-ball outside of the school...  Anyone?  No?

Never mind.

Anyway, I was in Philly for work and haven't been here since I was 2 years old (and therefore don't really remember it!) so I was in desperate need of a tour.  But what better way to see the sights than by RUNNING?  Sight-seeing via running is seriously one of my favorite things to do.  I even got to meet up with Tina, one of my fellow Singapore adventurers from last summer.

There's my lovely group of dominant dorm-mates on our last day in Singapore.  Gitt, Tina, & Evan - some of the best people I know!

10 miles.  That's the number of miles it takes to see Philly via running!  Although I'm sure I missed some things, I feel like I saw nearly everything!  It started out with a 2 mile run from my hotel to the real Rocky steps at the Philadelphia Art Museum, where I would meet up with Tina.  

Isn't it just so fitting that on the day my Rocky-themed Nuun Hood to Coast Team application made the cut I also visited the REAL Rocky steps / Rocky statue??!!??!!

The Philadelphia Art Museum - a seriously gorgeous building.  Apparently there's a Van Gogh exhibition right now.  I didn't go in, no time and art's not really my thing.  Don't gasp in shock!

On the way to the Museum I saw a bunch of amazing and very old churches:

After I met up with Tina we ran along the Delaware River, which had a very lovely path next to it complete with gazebos and some impressive crew teams practicing on it:

That's Tina and her precious dog Bodhi.

We turned around after a bit and headed out to see Tina's school and my very first sighting of an Ivy League school - Penn!  Very prestigious. 

Did you know Penn is one of the oldest universities in the US?  It was founded in freaking 1740!

One of the older buildings on campus - College Hall - built in 1873!

After running about 6 miles together, we sadly parted ways (Move to Seattle Tina!) and I headed back for home.   I was having such a good time that I kept running a bit until I happened upon the famous Love Statue. 

And 10.5 miles in 1:39 (Average Pace: 9:24) was done before I knew it!  I felt great the whole time.  With Tina I felt like we were running pretty fast, but the pace is all over the place thanks to many stop lights, picture stops (clearly), and Bodhi squirrel-stalking.  My running coach (if I had one!) would probably be mad at me for running so far but I promise to take it easy the rest of the week.

There is seriously no better way to see a city than by running it.  I saw even more famous sights, including the Liberty Bell, on my lunch break, but I'll recap those tomorrow since this post is more than long enough!

Anyway, this sadly means there was no Track Tuesday workout this week - my legs just weren't up to it after Sunday's relay and let's be honest, I'd rather do a 10 miler sight-seeing with a friend any day.  Go visit Denise at RunDMT for your motivation this week!  She's a rock star and pumped out  4x400's.  Link up your speedwork post here so you can motivate and be motivated by others!

Did you get your speedwork in this week?  Brag about it!  Do you love to sight-see via running?  Where have you done that at and what did you see? 

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

My Cat is a Sociopath

Sidebar:  I MADE THE NUUN HOOD TO COAST TEAM!!!  But you probably knew that already if you read my 7,000 tweets or 200 Facebook posts about it yesterday.  I wanted to thank JMan again for his stellar video-ing skills and for being awesome in general.  And I wanted to thank all of you for commenting and being the best 3 readers in the world!  :-)  I'm still in Philly so I promise to talk about this more but there's no time now.

Now back to our regularly scheduled programming...

I recently finished reading (and watching) We Need to Talk About Kevin, which is a harrowing and terrifying book about a boy responsible for killing 9 of his peers in a school shooting. It's told from the mother's point of view, and what I found so interesting is the conflict between whether Kevin was born a sociopath, or whether his mother's repulsion of him from a young age (because of these sociopathic behaviors) caused it, or both. Anyway, a really interesting read that left me disturbed and thinking about it for weeks.  If you need birth control or are thinking of having a baby, read this! You will NEVER want to have a baby after this, for fear it will be like Kevin.  READ IT!  I highly recommend it, though it is quite long and a little slow in the beginning.


After reading it, I saw the movie.  It was okay.  Like always, read the book instead.  That boy in the movie was extremely disturbing though - he did a good job.  After both reading and watching, I reflected on my own life and realized something terrifying: my cat is a sociopath.

I have many reasons to believe this, including the fact that he likes to bite me for no reason whatsoever, often after I have been petting him and otherwise showing him love.  He shows no remorse for these types of actions, and in fact, I fear that he ENJOYS dominating me and leaving me in a state of fear.  I am often especially fearful when he puts his face near my face.  I have had nightmares of him clawing my eyes out.  


He shows no love or loyalty. If you can't pet him or give him treats he care nothing for you.  As soon as he's done getting what he wants he bites you!  How rude. 

He terrorizes and bullies those around him.  Here he is stalking poor Cooper.  Poor sweet Cooper is definitely a sensitive pup, and perhaps he suffers the most because of the cat's acts of terrorism.  Cooper is often hiding and is in a constant state of anxiety.  The cat will run up and bat Cooper on the nose and then run away, enticing Cooper to chase him.  

He has no feelings.

He is sneaky.  Here he is trying to get into my backpack.  Please ignore the incredible mess around it.

This is what happens after he gets in my backpack.  I get to work and find my lunch has been half eaten by the evil cat. 

He steals socks, adding to the already horrendous problem of lacking matching socks.

He's not allowed in our bedroom because JMan is allergic to cats, but whenever he sneaks in, he heads STRAIGHT to JMan's pillow to lay on it.  He NEVER lays on my pillow, oh no, he KNOWS what he's doing.  Sociopath central.

Is your cat plotting to kill you?
These are my results after taking the quiz.  83% is a pretty freaking good chance.

Do you have an evil cat?  Or a regular cat?  Or no cat?!  What pets do you have or want to have?