Saturday, April 28, 2012
My friend and I met up in Nashville to do the Country Music Half Marathon. She loves country music, and this is her favorite race. I tolerate some country music in small doses, but - as everyone knows - I'm a complete bling ho' and it's always more fun to race with a buddy.
The hotel offers a shuttle from the airport. I called, and a nice man picked me up. We got to chatting, and I just adored his Tennessee accent. I told him about my trip to North Carolina and how the honeyed words of the state trooper were so delightful that they took the sting out of being pulled over for speeding.
We got on so well that I even convinced him to go through the Arby's drive through so I could grab lunch! hee hee hee Every time I've seen him since, he's referred to me as "Speedy"! I told him that I'm only fast in my car!
After the expo, we visited the Grand Ol' Opry. Keith Urban just played there, and I recognized a few of the artists scheduled to appear in coming weeks. It was fun to wander around, soaking up the atmosphere.
And then in case that wasn't enough culture, we visited Cooter's Garage. YES! THAT Cooter! WA ha ha ha!
We raced today. Up at 4. Out the door at 5. Stuck in traffic at 6. Race started at 7. I crossed the start line at about 7:40. There were a bejillion hills, and they all seemed to be going up! I really struggled - this wasn't my best race. Nashville is an attractive town, and much of the race meandered through neighborhoods, where people set up tents in their yards, tables filled with goodies, and leisurely sipped drinks whilst watching us shuffle past. There were 30,000+ runners, and I was definitely near the back by the time I finished at 3:58.
It was way too hot for me. The temperature broke 80 before I finished, and it was intensely sunny. A woman near me keeled over and complained of "heart trouble". I couldn't see any medics or police nearby, so I jogged back to some Team in Training coaches I'd seen a few blocks back and told them what happened. They were great about calling the race people and running back with me to stay with her. I hope she was ok.
Despite my difficulties, there were some fun moments. A woman was "pole dancing" with a stop sign until a female police offier escorted her away from the course. Little kids cheerfully offered to turn their garden hoses on us, and a charity organization HULA HOOPED their way through a half marathon! The ladies - literally - walked and hula hooped - the entire way! Amazing.
I'm gimpy with blood blisters. My friend finished faster and with no adverse effects, so she's going to the concert this evening without me. I'm cooked! I'm in the hotel, watching "return of the King" on the telly, icing joints, despairing over my sunburn and admiring the newest addition to my bling collection.
(Mine's in the center - SWEET!)
13.1 miles, 29000 steps, 3087 calories burned, four new blisters - and one gorgeous medal!
Tuesday, September 06, 2011
My spark buddy Beth and I signed up to do the Virginia Beach 1/2 marathon relay this past weekend. You can check out her blog here:
And yes, the cheesy grinned moron on her background page is none other than moi. All I can say in my defense is that it was quite warm, I'd just worked hard, and I'm wearing my first new bling in ages! WOOT!
As many of you know, I destroyed my knee at the beginning of the year, came to America for surgery and have been lingering ever since. After almost a year on the sidelines, it felt absolutely brilliant to get back into it. So the saga begins ...
On Saturday, I rented a car and drove to Virginia Beach. Sadly, the whole rest of the world decided to drive, too. Not wanting to miss the fun, Mother Nature opened up the skies, only encouraging more poor form from frustrated motorists. The three-hour drive took over seven hours, including my accident. Yes, I rear-ended someone. ... and not in a good way. Bad Cat! He wasn't hurt, thank goodness. I have some cuts and bruises, including one on my forehead that I can't quite explain. We were in gridlocked traffic. I wasn't going fast, and somehow, I managed to do a real number on the car - a craptacular little Chevy malibu with uncomfortable seats and awful wheel alignment. Oh, and now a bashed in front fender. Oops.
I found the hotel, the expo, Beth and her DH, put the accident behind me, and focused on my first race since the God-awful nightmare in Walt Disneyworld in January. This was my first ever relay, and it was definitely an experience.
3 a.m. Wake up
4 a.m. Ready to go. The shuttles begin running at 4 and end at 6. decide not to wait until last minute.
4:10 a.m. Head out to shuttle. Discover that drivers have no clue where they're supposed to be going or that they're supposed to be - in fact - shuttles. Sit on super ultra "nipplingly" cold air-conditioned bus, wishing the nice lady bus driver wasn't menopausal until 4:50, when the drivers finally figure out where they're going.
5:00 a.m. Arrive. No racers. Volunteers milling confusedly. No one know the bag check is. People, "bag check" is a FLEET of UPS trucks that collect our things and drive them to the finish line. They're fairly hard to miss. Find bag check. I'm the first person to check my bag. This has never happened to me before.
5:15 a.m. Find shuttle to relay point. The relay shuttles are supposed to run until 6, but they just cram us all into one shuttle and go.
5:30 a.m - Still going.
5:45 a.m. - Still going. The driver asks us if we know where the drop off is. Since we're only supposed to have traveled seven miles, I'm concerned that we've been tootling hither and yon for almost 30 minutes. Eventually, our driver decides that we should be on some military base, a decision the armed sentry most vigorously protests.
"Sir! You MUST leave these premises!'
"But I'm here for the race."
"Sir! There is no race here. You MUST leave the premises!"
"I've got the people for the race."
"Sir! Turn around!"
"So this isn't where we should go for the race?"
Yikes. Eventually, mensa member bus driver realised that he should not have driven through the cones blocking the road, the police office standing at the intersection blocking aforementioned road, and police cruiser blocking the same said road, to access a secure military facility. Give this man a gold star.
5:50 a.m.We were dropped off at the correct place and had a long walk to the relay point. A lot of smart people nipped into the McDonalds for coffee, breakfast, and a place to sit. Stupidly, I walked all the way to the place and sat on the ground for three hours until it was my turn to race.
This is the tricky part of relaying. I was fired up to race when I got up, but by 9 o'clock, my hips were whinging, my knee wanted me to reconsider, my tummy was ready for I don't even know what - lunch, I guess. The sun was up full, it was warm, and NOW it was time to race.
Well, once they announced that the first Hot Tottie team member was on her way in, I revved right up. Beth looked great. I could tell she was tired, but the cheerleaders on the side of the road gave her a warm welcome, and she finished strong. She averaged 30 seconds faster per mile than she'd expected, and we were in great shape for the second leg.
I have only recently started walking again. The most I'd trained was six miles, and at a 21:00 minute per mile pace, so I was worried. I did the first two miles in under thirty minutes, but the knee was screaming, so I slowed down and just enjoyed it as a walk. I ended up averaging 17:30 per mile, so it was still a big improvement over my training pace.
Along the way, I saw Elvis, Beaker from the Muppets, a Super Family, a devil, and other odd assortments of fun runners. I saw an older man struggling a bit and walked a few miles with him. He looked to be about 70 and we got to chatting. He does the big Goofy race at Disney every year and is their race administrator for Facebook. I told him my story about how I was treated, and he was incensed. Hopefully that will never happen to anyone else. I met several people doing their very first race and many wonderful charity racers.
"Fitty" and her DH were waiting for me at the finish line. I trudged through the end of race tents and then back to the hotel. Being part of the Rock N Roll race series, we had a concert on the beach to look forward to in the evening, including headliner Bret Michaels
Whilst waiting for Beth, I chatted up a nice man who gave me VIP passes for the concert! Sweet! Unfortunately, getting up so early doesn't leave much in reserve for evening entertainment, and after an hour or so, Beth was cooked, and I wasn't keen to sit there by myself. Luckily for me, my hotel was a mere five blocks from the concert, so of COURSE I could hear it clearly. I sat in the outdoor hotel hot tub, watched the stars, and listened to Bret Michaels wail away. Great show, and a sweet ending to the weekend.
Stay tuned, because the Hot Totties are reuniting in January at Walt Disneyworld to do the Chip and Dale marathon relay. I can't wait!
Tuesday, August 16, 2011
So I've been at Cat's Pretend Fat Farm for three days now. I'm eating on plan, walking in the morning, knee-habbing, doing a fitness video in the afternoon, and then walking again in the evening before easing my muscles in the hot tub and heading for the showers. I had envisioned creating 3500-calorie deficits Biggest Lower style, but that (I realise now) is insane!
Ok, so maybe I'd get voted off if we were competing, but I'm still pleased with my efforts.
Saturday: I created a 2782 calorie deficit.
Sunday: 3107 deficit
Monday: 2259 calorie deficit
That should be good for 2+ pounds so far, although the scale isn't showing it ...yet. I'm will dial back the intensity a little for the rest of the week, because the bum knee was starting to really feel the impact, but I'm still shooting for 2000 -calorie defiicts daily.
I'm feeling really positive and planning to finish the final four days strong. The 40-lb mark is still 8.6 pounds away, and my goal is to get there by the end of the month.
Thanks vey much for your support. It is such a blessing to have sparkpeople all over the world cheering each other's successes and helping each other through life's difficulties.
On my way to one pound at a time!
Saturday, August 13, 2011
As many of you know, I'm currently recovering from multiple surgeries in June and looking for a job. Yesterday, at 4:17, I was offered a job in Washington, DC.
Don't celebrate just yet. I'm in Philadelphia, alone, no car, can't drive, and I need to be in Washington on Monday. The company said they would arrange my work papers next week, so I set that aside and got busy finding immediately available furnished housing and trying to figure out how to get there.
At 6 o'clock, I was on the phone with a corporate housing company when the line beeped. The company.
I'm really proud of myself for immediately embracing the opportunity and trying to make it work after COB Friday, but I'm less proud of how I handled the let down.
Carmine's Pizza. Five slices.
Then I baked some cookies.
I finally got a hold of myself and binned the rest of the pizza and all but three cookies. (I'd already eaten those.) I went out and walked until dark, hoping to either burn off calories or barf up the pizza, or both.
I burned 3600 calories yesterday, but I still undid a week's worth of weight loss efforts according to the scale this morning. + =
So it got me to thinking. I'm here in a nice house, alone, with no one to answer to. The house has a lovely screened in porch with a hot tub, a treadmill, and a nice entertainment system. I keep watching shows like "Heavy" and wishing I could set my life on hold and just focus on weight loss.
Duh. I currently have no life, so what's stopping me? My goal for this week is to eat 1200 - 1400 calories and stay 100% on plan. I also plan to work out as though I'm at a fat farm - at least three hours a day every day, plus two hours of knee-hab. I don't need to pay thousands of dollars to go to a fat farm. I need to quit pitying myself and take advantage of what's available to me here.
So ... this week was a bust, and I let me teammates down big time. But wait for next week's weigh in -- it's going to rock!
Monday, August 08, 2011
I'm celebrating four years of sparking today. I know! It's crazy!
So, here it is --
I'm doing well, thank you for asking. After regaining most of the weight I'd lost over the first three years, I got super serious after my knee surgery, and have 24 lbs. in the past 5 1/2 weeks. I hit my first 10% goal this weekend and am pushing to make my next one by the end of September.
The crutches are history, although I'm still stylin' a full leg brace. I'm a sexy beast all right. I went from doing seven half marathons last year to being unable to walk to the post box and back, but I'm slowly working up. I attempted three miles yesterday but paid for it later on. So, it's healing slowly, but I'm still really excited about my progress and anxious to keep losing weight and building my mileage.
This is long overdue. My friend and I saw the final Harry Potter movie in IMAX 3D.
My friend is taking on He Who Must Not Be Named But Who'd Better Mind His Ps and Qs. There's nothing like a pair of party favour glasses and a plastic wand to make a girl feel invincible!
Before the movie, the movie folks rolled in a cart filled with various confections and assorted bonbons, playing the HP theme music, and in a passable English accent, "Anything from the trolley?" Brilliant! One chocolate please!
Chatting with our friendly trolleyman Robert, he kindly showed us his dual loyalties!
(Special thanks to Robert for allowing me to share this with you.)
Check out the gorgeous scarf - a present from the ever fabulous NIGHTSKYSTAR!
He also has a tattoo, which he displayed along with a little leg
That's what I'm talkin' about, ladies -- and I think he's single!
Even though she gets short shrift in the films, in honour of Tonks, I "did" my hair. This is my first hair colour experience, so I was a bit on the conservative side. I wish now that I'd done even more!
And finally --
This knee surgery has really set me back. I have been "knee-habbing" six hours a day for six weeks now and I've just started to test it on short walks. Yesterday, I tried to walk three miles at a 20 minute per mile pace. By the second mile, I thought I was on a death march! I eventually finished with a 20:40 mile pace, but it's a far cry from what I could do a few months ago. I'm going to keep losing weight, exercising, taking care of the knee, and I hope to race for the first time in almost a year when I relay with 50FITNFUN at the VA Beach Rock n Roll 1/2 next month.
Wish us luck!
Thanks to everyone for four fabulous years!
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