marathoner452: (Default)

I helped prepare and serve lunch at a church soup kitchen this morning. All the other volunteers were older ladies from my church, so my ability to lift heavy objects and stir mac ‘n’ cheese came in handy.

We served about 80 meals. I’m glad I did it, especially the working on the serving line part, but some of my fellow volunteers’ comments bothered me. There seemed to be an “us and them” attitude, that somehow we were better. I don’t believe that, especially not after my experiences at Emergency Communities in New Orleans.

I know the Westminster is different than New Orleans in many ways, but that still gives you no right to judge people.

marathoner452: (Jackson Square)

“But New Orleans, though beautiful and desperately alive, was desperately fragile. There was something forever savage and primitive there, something that threatened the exotic and sophisticated life both from within and without. Not an inch of those wooden streets nor a brick of the crowded Spanish houses had not been bought from the fierce wilderness that forever surrounded the city, ready to engulf it…New Orleans seemed at all times like a dream in the imagination of her striving populace, a dream held intact at every second by a tenacious, though unconscious, collective will.”

marathoner452: (Default)

What I didn’t realize was that my monthly automatic payments weren’t being withdrawn from my account because I was paying off a bunch extra every month. Turns out that’s the reason why my checkbook hasn’t been balancing. I was so far ahead that even if I had stopped making payments period they wouldn’t have tried to automatically withdraw anything for another 16 months.

So I went ahead and paid it off. Now my car is mine!

marathoner452: (Default)

I want to thank all my 43Things friends for encouraging me to give blood. I put it on my list because I worked for the Red Cross last year and because it was something I wanted to do but could never quite get up the nerve for. You all gave me so many cheers I couldn’t back down, not that I wanted to anyway.

They took such good care of me. The woman doing my interview wanted to know all about subbing and my time in New Orleans, and the woman who took my blood had a great sense of humor. My mom came along for moral support and to donate. (She was unable to because of low iron but will “iron dope” and try again on Friday.) It didn’t hurt nearly as much as I thought it would, and this is coming from my who hid behind plants in the doctor’s office as a kid to try and avoid getting a shot. I have now earned the purple bandage on my arm and my t-shirt. I have a ton of blood donation shirts from my parents, so it’s exciting to have one of my own now. :-)

I already scheduled my next appointment. March 5th, same location. I’ll be eligible about a month before that though, so I might not be able to wait that long.

I’m going to go eat my cookies now.

praxis

Dec. 1st, 2006 01:45 am
marathoner452: (Default)

I just signed up to take all three PRAXIS I tests on January 13th, 2007. Results are being submitted to the University of New Orleans for their Teach Greater New Orleans practitioner teacher program, the LA Department of Education, and the MD Department of Education.

I still need to sign up for the PRAXIS II Elementary Content test, but I can’t take any more tests on the January date and I’ll be down in New Orleans on the next date (March 3rd). I’ll have to arrange to take it while I’m there, but at least I’m signed up for the first three tests.

marathoner452: (racing legs)

Short version-NCR Trail Marathon this morning in 4:28.

Long version-There is no room for inflated egos in the marathon world. Your training can be fantastic and you can still fall apart on race day, but the important thing is that you finish if at all possible. Once you give up one time I imagine it’s much easier not to finish the next time.

I ran the first 1/2 pretty much on pace for a 4 hour marathon. I hit 10 miles in 1:32 and went through halfway in 2:01ish. Then the wheels started to fall off. Actually, they were falling off a while before that, but until things really got bad I was in denial. After about mile 16 I accepted the inevitable. I felt queasy, my hips were tightening up, and pretty much everything hurt. It was a combination of being sick the past two weeks, driving 17 hours roundtrip to Rhode Island a few days ago, and setting too ambitious of a marathon goal. 4 hours sounded good on paper, but I just didn’t have the training going into marathon season to back it up.

The great thing was, I still had a good time. I walked 5 minutes a mile and ran when I could. It was a beautiful day. My mom, my coach, and two of my friends (one with her husband and a baby on the way) came out to cheer me on. I finished under 4:30. I ran through the finish line. When all is said and done, I still ran 26.2 miles, which is something more than 99% of the population will never do. Given that I wanted to drop out of the race about a dozen times, that’s an accomplishment.

I’m switching my focus to 5ks for awhile to work on my speed. I’ll miss 20 mile long runs, though, I have to admit. I think they’re more fun than the marathon.

marathoner452: (Default)

I just completed the 5th course in the series, Leadership and Influence. Next up: Developing and Managing Volunteers. I think this next one will be a little more relevant for me; as interesting as all the theories on effective leadership strategies are, I don’t have too many places to apply them in my life right now. I’ll file what I learned in that course away for future reference.

21 miles

Nov. 6th, 2006 12:47 am
marathoner452: (Default)

I ran 21 miles yesterday on the NCR Trail. I’ve had better runs. I was just really sleepy for some reason. For the first few miles it felt like I was lugging rocks up a mountain even though I was really just carrying my fuel pack (water and gels) on the pancake-flat trail. Then my left foot decided to rebel. See, I snapped something in my left big toe last fall when I tripped over my purse. I stubbornly ran a 4:14 marathon 2 weeks after that, and it hadn’t given me problems until 2 weeks ago with my 20. Yesterday it kept cramping up unless I wiggled it around every few minutes, and I had to stop at mile 12 and stretch it out.

All things considered, I’ve been very lucky with my marathon training. I ramped up very quickly and other than sore muscles I haven’t had any problems. And hopefully by the time I’m done tapering/icing/popping anti-inflammatories this won’t a problem either.

So here’s to 3 1/2 hour runs, blueberry pancakes and Milky Way tarts. And here’s to still having enough energy afterwards to spend two hours at my brother’s last marching band competition of the season.

20 miles

Oct. 21st, 2006 07:28 pm
marathoner452: (life is good)

20 miles this morning starting at 8:30 at mile 0 on the NCR Trail.

Gels at miles 4, 8, 12, 16. Gel at 16 was caffeinated, hence I ran 9:16, 9:18, 9:06 for the last 3 miles for a final run time of 3:19:41/9:59 pace. I have never, so far as I can remember, run that far that fast without being in a race. I never felt tired, and I actually could have run farther. Definitely bodes well for race day.

Celebrated afterwards with blueberry pancakes and orange juice at Bagel Works and coconut custard from Snickerdoodles where my sister works.

Marathon is 11/25. Goal is under 4 hours/9:09 pace. 5k next weekend, 21 miles the weekend after that, then taper…just 5 weeks to go!

18 miles

Oct. 14th, 2006 07:53 pm
marathoner452: (Default)

That was what they must call the “runner’s high.” I haven’t felt that before, at least not that intensely. It was like I was in some kind of trance. From about miles 5-11 anyway. Then I kinda came back down to earth when my body figured out I’d been running for 2 hours. Then at mile 15 I took a gel with some Gatorade and caught a second/third/fourth wind. I ran 10:30 average pace for the run but 10:00 and 9:00 for the last 2 miles. In the last mile I ran past two women about my age and one of them said something to the tune of “Look at her go, that’s impressive.” Nice little ego boost there.

Then I stretched and went to Bagel Works to chill out, read, and eat a honey granola bagel. I went to Snickerdoodles for the requisite enormous post-long-run pastry, a 4 inch tall Milky Way Tart with chocolate mousse and chocolate shavings and carmel in a chocolate tart. I just didn’t want that run to end.

I credit that to gels at miles 5, 10, and 15 and having a good attitude going into the run. I don’t know how people listen to music while they run. They miss out on so much, like birds and the running river, the idiosyncrasies of fellow runners, and mental toughness.

The only thing I would have done differently today was water instead of Gatorade with the gels because all that sugar made my stomach kinda touchy.

marathoner452: (think outside the box)

Did you know that the strength of a hurricane is dependent not just on the warmth of the ocean/Gulf water but on the depth of that warm water? Therefore, if a storm tracks over a deep warm current, a pocket of particularly hot water, or shallow water, it can explode into a catastrophic storm very quickly. Especially if the storm is moving slowly.

Basically, over most of the ocean/Gulf there’s a relatively thin (up to 100 meters) layer of warm water on top of much cooler water. In shallow water this layer extends all the way down to the bottom. It’s very difficult and expensive to measure the depth of this layer on a regular enough basis to greatly improve the accuracy of storm forecasts.

There’s your meteorology lesson for the day. Hopefully hurricane season will continue to be quiet and you won’t need to know all that.

marathoner452: (racing legs)

Some days you have it, some days you just don’t. Ran the first 5.5 miles at an easy pace (10-10:30), then was supposed to pick it up to marathon pace (9:10) for the rest of the race. Well, that didn’t happen. Ran 5 miles at 9-9:20 pace, then just lost it and jogged it in for a finish around 2:10. Not a bad race by any measure, but not my best effort either.

I did get to meet and talk with a bunch of other marathoners-in-training, which is always fun. Long runs/races are boring when you just do them by yourself. Turns out the woman I was running with ran her first marathon last spring in DC in 4:40, ran the Annapolis 10 Miler at the end of August (great race), and is training towards/tapering for Baltimore in 2 weeks. Great fun.

Next up: 6×800 in 4:00 or less with 400 recovery in 2 days.

marathoner452: (Default)

Finished the 4th course, Effective Communication, today. Next up: Leadership and Influence.

marathoner452: (racing legs)

I ran the 5th edition of the Run to Remember in Baltimore this morning. I would have kinda liked it if we would have gotten carnations to throw at the policemen (and women) by the Baltimore WTC like we did the first year, but it was still a very good run. The bagpipes playing Amazing Grace were amazing too-I just love bagpipes, and that song reminds me of my 3 weeks down in New Orleans with the Red Cross back in March. The kitchen manager walked through where we were loading up our hot meals for the day playing that song on his bagpipes.

You can’t beat the finish on top of Federal Hill either.


If I had run a 5k PR (under 24:28) I would have placed in my age group.  As it is, I finished 517 out of 800-something and ran more than 30 miles this week.
marathoner452: (Default)

Given that most of my friends live at least an hour away and I spend most of my time running or reading, it’s a push for me to go do something with friends even once a month. But I’m always glad when I do, so I’m going to work on bumping that up to twice a month plus getting involved with some volunteering stuff that’ll get me out of the house.

Red Cross orientation is Monday night. Book club meets at the library Monday night. Running group starts meeting again in a couple of weeks. And I’m directing a half marathon at the end of September. Hey, maybe this won’t be so hard after all.

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