Running, Sweating and A Whole Lot of Sunflowers. 

Hey, Sunny!
 Before I launch in to Colby’s Week in Running, Riding and All Things Drunk Otis, I want to give a super huge THANK YOU SHOUT OUT to three of the baddest ass bloggers on WordPress.
 

Thank you, Awesome Bloggers for donating to My Ride. Your support means the world to me- just as much as the Pan Mass Challenge itself. And I am quite certain that if when  we meet up, our friendship will transcend Bloggerville and head straight to Real Life. I’m also quite certain that we would TEAR SHIT UP in person. Or minimally laugh our faces off. Grazie Mille, Ladies! Muuuuahhhh! 

Wait. Where were we? Oh yeah. Wrapping up Week 6 of Hanson Marathon Method. You know what that means, Poodles?!?! I AM A THIRD OF THE WAY DONE! snow white SNL
 Monday: 6 miles. Easy run. And we know how “easy” Easy Runs are. Yeah. They’re bullshit. They’re hard when your legs are tired. And you legs are always  tired. 

Tuesday: 7 miles. Intervals. 4 x 1200, 400 recovery with a 3 mile warm up/cool down. I’m digging the Sufferfest. They’re tough. Especially when you actually run them at your prescribed pace. YES! And before work. YESYES! 

Wednesday: And on what seemed like the 743rd day of running, SHE RESTED. And went on a date with her Other Half. Happiness. Thank you, Sweet Little Baby Jesus. Thank you. Dinner, drinks, delicious grub and thousands of sunflowers. So fantastic. Only I may have had one too many cocktails on Tempo Run Eve. 

  

   

    

Happy lil’ guy , isnt he?
    
Date Night Selfie
   

Thursday: Tempo Run. 9 miles total with warm up/cool down. It was supposed to be at Ass O’Clock in the morning, but instead it was after a very long day at work. Damn you, Cocktails. Damn you. After riding the struggle bus for half of it, I hopped off and finished strong. A for effort. D- for overindulging. 

Friday: 6 miles. Easy run. This was the toughest run of the week. Why? Because many aspects of my Real Life week sucked. Stress City. I wanted to lay on the couch and take a nap. Instead I ran. I totally surprised myself.  

Hey, Lady. Is it Happy Hour yet?
 Saturday: I was supposed to run 10 miles.  Didn’t happen. Instead? 50 miles. Bike. Last major PMC training ride which kicks off The Most Wonderful Week of the Year:  PMC WEEK!!!! Next weeks recap will be blogged in Wellfleet. Paws up. On the beach. I will be exhausted and quite possibly, tipsy. The post will be wrought with typos and strings of profanities. IT WILL BE EPIC!!! 

Sunday: 7 miles. Easy run. It was hot. And I was tired. After my run, I took a quick spin on my whip. You know, because that’s what you do when you’re exhausted. I needed to make sure a last minute dérailleur adjustment was all good. The verdict: My ride shifts like buttah. PMC, HERE I COME! 10 miles on the bike.  

Drunk Otis fetched the NYTimes. #dropit
 Miles Run: 35.

Miles Ridden: 60.

Number of photos taken of sunflowers: 103. 

Number of flip-flops eaten by Drunk Otis: 2. 

What is the one thing you look most forward to each year? If given the choice to RUN everywhere or RIDE everywhere, what would you choose? What’s your favorite flower? 

Running, Riding and Just Plain Tuckered. 

Another week of torture Hansons Marathon Method in the books. Which is another week of training I have survived. Yippee! THANK YOU, SWEET BABY JESUS! twerkkidWhy so dramatic? Because the Pan-Massachusetts Challenge is a mere 11 days away and my fundraising has hit an unfortunate lull. Which stresses me out. I’m also juggling marathon training with riding and am slightly frazzled. This PMC, a ~200 mile, two-day cycling extravaganza geared towards raising money for cancer research, will be my 11th consecutive one. And one I haven’t trained nearly enough for. Come on legs! It’s all good though. Riding 200 miles is nothing compared to what a cancer patient endures. And honestly? I dodged a very real cancer scare this year. I have my health, while many do not. This year I am riding for Hope. For Beyond Cancer. I’m officially excited. :-) 

 Shifting gears (See what I just did right there?), here’s how Colby’s Week in Marathon Training went. 5 weeks of Official Training down! I may have just put down my iPad and did the running man with Drunk Otis in my living room, whist Phil Liggett yelled about a descent during Stage 16 of the Tour de France in the background.  I will say Evil Beagle was not impressed. Here’s what went down!

Monday: 6 miles. Easy. Ok. So I finally am getting it. Hansons Method is geared towards training you for the second half of the marathon. You know, where the magic happens. Or, where the wheels fly off of you goddamn bus.  The Method to the Hansons Marathon training madness has a lot to do with these “Easy” runs. You are fatigued. Chronically.  These runs, which seemed easy at first, are not. They’re run slower than your marathon pace and take a decent amount of time. At least for me. These runs make you stronger. They’re not “junk” miles at all. They’re important in developing slow-twich muscle fibers, which to a marathoner are incredibly important. The more you use them, the more they develop. I hate these runs. But I need them.

Tuesday: Intervals. 5 x 1000, 400 recovery. 7.5 miles with warm up and cool down. I’m starting to dig these damn intervals. See text below. 

  

Wednesday: Thou shalt keep the Rest Day holy. I did a big fat NOTHING. Drunk Otis and the crew were THRILLED

Drunk Otis, Evil Beagle & Leon James
 Thursday: Tempo run. 8.5 miles total. Before work on a new route and I NAILED IT. I really think it was because of my new Janji Kenya shorts. Seriously. How awesome are these? They’re cute, don’t ride up AND provide a Kenyan with a year of water. Saving the world, looking cute while nailing my pace all before 7:30am? PRICELESS. 

#runforanother
 Friday: Here’s where I pulled the old, “Bend and Ride.” I was supposed to run an easy 7 miles. Instead, I rode 30 miles. Because Pan Mass Challenge. 
One of the many reasons for riding.
 Saturday: I was supposed to run an easy 6, instead I ran an easy 7 miles. Definitely not easy. Quads may have quietly wept. I had every intention of running outside, but the moment I closed the door behind me the heaven’s opened up and a lightning bolt cracked across the sky. Shook fist skyward. Grabbed keys. Ran 7 miserable miles on the Dreadmill. Yuck.

Sunday: Long run. 12 miles. It is here, Poodles, that I was reminded how bad running in the high 90s with oppressive humidity is. Even though I had Endurolytes and drank enough Skratch Labs to choke a pig, I still refilled my bottle THREE TIMES and still completely came UNDONE. Awful. Just awful. I followed it up with an ice cold shower, an insane amount of liquids and a nap. I am not made for running in that shit. Camel, I am not.

Total number of miles run: 41.

Total number of miles ridden: 30.

Total number of dollars I need to raise in 11 days:  $1,930. (!!!)

Help a Cancer-Fighting-Blogger-Friend out! To donate to my ride, click HERE! I will give you a big ass shout out and a big old virtual hug! :-) 

 

Running, Retesting, and Laughing My Head Off. 

Disney PixarExciting week here in Colbyville! Big. Stuff. The Cliff Notes:

  • I nailed my runs. BOOM. *drops ipad*
  • I went and had my InsideTracker retest!!! And now am impatiently waiting for the results. Stay tuned. Maybe I can ditch the AARP card. And then get carded when I buy champagne to celebrate my optimal new results. A girl can dream, People. A girl can dream. 
  • I saw Kevin Hart perform and haven’t laughed that hard in forever. Funny. Shit.

    Now for the deets. Here’s how Hansons Marathon Method training went this week. It’s getting REAL.

    Monday: 6 “easy” miles. We’ve talked about “easy.”  They’re not. They’re imperative to this training program. They provide a “gentle” overload of volume so you’re body is constantly tuckered. You’re perpetually uncomfortable. It’s sadistic, really. But I love them. 

     Tuesday: 6 X 800, 400 recovery.  Warm up. Cool down. Ice cold shower. Early morning intervals. 7. 5 miles total. I punched those intervals right in their sweaty FACE.

    YAAAAASSSS!
    YAAAAASSSS!
    Wednesday:  I kept the Rest Day Holy. I had my InsideTracker retest! GULP! Stay tuned! As I was walking out of my appointment, Tina texted me about an oppressively humid run. She was none too pleased with the air quality. I told her what I was doing. Here is our actual exchange:

     She kills me. There it s. The Day in the Life of Colby and Tina. Love my girl. But she does need a nap.

    Thursday: 6 mile early morning tempo run. 8.5 miles total. NAILED IT. Gotta admit. I felt FIERCE after this one. Pace totally on fleek. I’m starting to think I can actually do this. Oh. Hi, Confidence. I’m Colby. Nice to meet you. YES.

     Friday: Easy 6 miles. I snuck them in just before My Other Half and I went on a date. Dinner at our favorite vegan restaurant, and then off to see Kevin Hart perform before a sold out crowd. What a comedian. That dude may be small, but he’s the biggest performer I’ve ever seen. Total presence. He was a riot. We were belly laughing. Heads thrown back, tears crawling down our cheeks, laughing from our toes. To laugh like that? The best thing in the world. We felt so ALIVE. I haven’t laughed like that in a long time. Nor had he. Such a great night with My Guy.

    Saturday: Easy 8 miles. With a hangover. No Bueno.

     Sunday: Easy 8 miles. Or, a running adventure around a beautiful little lake! My Other Half, His Two Quarters, Leon James, Evil Beagle, Drunk Otis and I, all went to the lake My Guy spent his childhood summers on for the weekend. Total zoo. But FUN. Got my run in, my tan on and Drunk Otis went swimming. We all had a blast. Hot summer fun!

    Oh, Beehave.

    Drunk Otis, sober.
    Total number of miles run: 44

    Total number of finger nails I have chewed off waiting for my InsideTracker results: 3

    Total number of times I laughed so hard I almost peed my pants: 2

    When’s the last time you laughed, I mean BELLY LAUGHED at something? Who’s your favorite comedian? Lake, pool or ocean? GO! 

    The Ultimate Retest

    Well slap on a tourniquet and find me a vein!  It’s Retest Time!  And I’m freaking out.Dying

    • Remember that time I found out I was really 60.3 years old according to InsideTracker’s InnerAge measurement, which looks at your chronoclogical age vs. key biomarkers then tells you how old you really are? In my case, I was 17-point-freaking-3 years OLDER than I actually am. Yes. Hello, AARP Card.
    • Remember that time I was feeling completely “off” and decided to be proactive about my health and took InsideTracker’s Ultimate Test, examining a whole slew of biomarkers that could possibly be contributing to my overall “Meh-ness”?
    • Remember that time I had a horrible cancer scare, and decided to GET IT TOGETHER, and be the healthiest, best Colby I could be? Let’s face it. I dodged a bullet. I would be crazy not to.

    Yeah. I remember it. I remember it all. The stress. The insomnia. The results.  If you don’t remember, please, read my original review, In Search of Optimal Health. My InsideTracker Review HERE. It was eye-opening.

     InsideTracker is a personalized health analytics company who’s platform tracks and analyzes key biochemical and physiological markers in your blood. And let me tell you: Blood Don’t Lie. Once your blood is analyzed, their platform analyzes your results with jazzy algorithms and a massive scientific database to determine your optimal range. You wind up with personalized optimal zones for each marker. When markers are not optimal? They provide you with science-driven nutritional and lifestyle interventions all geared towards improving performance, vitality and overall health. Totally empowering.

    Since receiving the results from my original Ultimate Test, I have implemented many of the nutritional and lifestyle recommendations into my daily life. I honestly have. Which is why I am chomping at the bit here. There were 3 particular biomarkers that needed serious work:

    1. Vitamin D. Bone Health and Energy. My level was in the weeds.
    2. hsCRP. The high sensitivity C-Reactive Protein (hsCRP) test measures CRP,  a marker of inflammation throughout the body. I don’t even want to discuss how high mine was. I would venture to say that it was high because I hadn’t slept soundly and continuously in MONTHS. Insomnia is NOT a friend. Relive my angst, HERE.
    3. Cortisol. When you hear “cortisol,” think stress. Your body releases this hormone in response to stress- physical, emotional. Mine was obscenely high. Health concerns + Insomnia = STRESS. No surprise that my cortisol levels were crazy high. A cancer scare will do that to you.

    Then there was InnerAge. {Sigh.}

    InnerAgeI wish I could tell you that my real name ISN’T Nicole. And that it was sent to that poor, old, broad by mistake. Alas, it is I. What was driving this? Several things. My OBNOXIOUS hsCRP levels, my non-existent vitamin D levels and glucose levels that, while not officially “high” were higher than normal (for me). Thanks, High Cortisol Level. You’re a peach. My liver values were, shock of all shocks, optimal. Cheers!

    Ouch.
    I had my blood drawn yesterday. I’m already obsessing over the results. Patience, Grasshopper. I will say this:

    • I have been sleeping 7-8 hours a night. 
    • I am less achy. 
    • I am running tons of miles lately, and am recovering really well. KNOCK ON WOOD, PEOPLE.
    • I have lost 5 pounds. Bonus!
    • I feel leaner. 
    • I have clearer skin. 
    • I feel much brighter. 

    And now, the wait. Cross you paws. And call me Benjamin Button. 

    To definitely be continued…

    How many hours of sleep do you get per night? Do you take any supplements? How old do you feel

    The Art of Racing in the Rain…

    A rainy mile at the 2015 Boston Marathon
    A rainy mile at the 2015 Boston Marathon

    …is a really good book, but that isn’t what this post is about.

    Nope. Today I’m talking about what to do when you train for a race – maybe even a really big race, say, maybe even The Boston Marathon, and wake up on race day to find that Mother Nature has decided to rain on your parade.

    Kurt Cobain said it best – Nature is a whore.

    I have run in the rain plenty of times, but it is totally different when you are racing in the rain –especially a distance race, like a half or a marathon. Or a 110 mile bike ride like Day 1 of the Pan Mass Challenge (that would be PMC 2014).

    You can’t just change plans. Wait for it to stop. Immediately schedule a rest day.

    Nope, you have to put on your big girl (waterproof) underwear and suck it up. For 2, 3, 4, 5, maybe more hours. Ugh. Fortunately, before the torrent that was the Boston Marathon 2015, I googled every tip I could on racing in the rain, tried most out during that wet and windy race, and now I’m gonna share them with you.

    1. Don’t Panic. This should be Rule #1 for everything that doesn’t involve locusts or a mushroom cloud. Seriously, don’t panic. It’s rain. It probably will not improve your performance, but neither will freaking out. So take a deep breath, reassess and move forward.

    2. Train in the rain. If you do a fair bit of racing, you will eventually have to run in the rain. And if you take your run indoors on a treadmill every time it rains, you will be even more freaked out if you have ugly conditions on raceday. Training in all kinds of weather will train you to race in all kinds of weather. It’s worth a little discomfort during the training cycle to be prepared. I can’t tell you how many of us in Boston’s Athlete’s Village consoled each other pre-race with “Don’t worry – you certainly trained in worse!” (for those outside of the northeast, it was a cold, snowy, icy, endless winter. And yes, we did indeed train in worse.)

    3. Dress appropriately. Cannot be stressed enough. Cotton is not your friend. I repeat: Do Not Wear Cotton. Or anything that absorbs. Wear something with wicking properties. If it is cool and you need layers, make sure they are light and close-fitting – loose layers will only weigh you down once they get wet. Wear a hat or a visor with a brim to keep the rain off your face. If it is cold, wear tech gloves. If you have friends or family rooting you on somewhere on the course and it is cold, give them an extra hat, jacket and pair of gloves to switch into when you see them. If you have room in your pockets, at least put an extra pair of gloves in a ziploc and switch to the dry ones halfway through. Had I been able to swap out for dry gloves, jacket, etc. during Boston, I would have been a lot more comfortable and am pretty sure that I would have been able to finish with a faster time. Numb extremeties and a shivering body will not enhance your performance. Trust me.

    4. Stay dry as long as you can. You really do not want to start the race wet. Wear something waterproof with a hood over your clothes to the start and ditch them at the last possible second. You can get a disposable rain poncho at most drug stores – pick one up at the first sign that race day could be rainy. Or pick up a garbage bag and shower cap – will work just as well. Bring an extra pair of shoes and socks to change into for the start, or if you can’t manage that, wear plastic bags over your sneakers until the start. You may also want to wear a garbage bag with armholes for the first part of the race. I did not do that for Boston because I thought I would feel claustrophobic. If I could do it over, I would start with a garbage bag over my clothes and just rip it off once I got hot. The longer you can stay dry, the better. Trust me.

    5. Grease up like a pig at a county fair. You already know to use Glide for races to avoid chafing – goes double for rainy races. In addition to putting Glide on so-called “problem areas,” cover your feet with glide or aquaphor before putting on socks. I did this for Boston and despite running with soaking wet feet for almost the entire marathon, I emerged without one blister. Seriously – it was a Christmas miracle in April. If it is cold, cover all exposed skin (legs, arms) with aquaphor. It will repel the water and help keep you warm.

    6. Adjust your expectations. Especially if it is windy. Rain won’t always slow you down, but a headwind will. You can try to draft with a group to help with the effects of the wind. Didn’t really work for me in Boston, because the wind was coming from multiple directions, but if it is just a headwind, drafting could help. Rain might slow you down and make things slippery. Be careful. A wipe out is never fun. You may be in PR shape but not have PR weather. It’s OK. Run the best you can run safely and keep a reasonable goal in mind.

    7. But don’t give up. Many people had PR’s at Boston this year. Depending on the timing of their start, lots of people missed the worst of the wind, and the cool temps counteracted the slippery rain conditions, leading them to super fast PR times. I didn’t PR, but I also lost close to 10 minutes when my hands were so numb that I couldn’t get my gloves off to reach my Gu Chompers and a lovely volunteer had to help me deglove, rip open my Chompers, watch me eat them and then re-glove me. (God Bless Him – I’m not sure that was covered in the volunteer handbook.) Had I not lost the 10 minutes, I would have PR’d by around 5 minutes. No reason to give up on a PR just because it is raining. Go out and try your hardest despite what the meteorologists say. Just don’t beat yourself up if the conditions lead to a less than stellar race. You can’t control everything.

    8. Hydrate. Just because you are wet on the outside doesn’t mean you are hydrated on the inside. Make sure to drink enough water regardless of how hard it is raining.

    9. Pack dry clothes for the finish. Get out of your wet clothes and into dry ones as fast as you can. Including socks and sneakers. Even in relatively mild weather, you will feel very uncomfortable if you are still wet after cooling down after the race. And in cold weather, it can be downright dangerous. Once you stop, you need to get dry and warm as soon as possible. Once you are warm and dry, you can fully appreciate what a badass you are for running the distance in the rain.

    10. Thank the volunteers. They likely were out there in the elements before you got there and stayed long after you passed them. Amazing. Make sure you let them know how much they are appreciated.

    Any good racing in the rain stories? My toughest rainy day adventures were Pan Mass Challenge 2014 and Boston Marathon 2015. Here’s to hoping for better weather for PMC 2015 and Boston 2016…

    Running, Riding and Celebrating with Drunk Otis! 

    It’s been a long week, Poodles. Between running my legs off, stressing about NOT riding as much as I should be with the Pan Mass Challenge a mere 26 days away and drinking like a FIEND this past weekend with Drunk Otis, I’m pretty spent. I’ve got no one to blame. I know. I totally did it to myself. 

    AND I’D DO IT AGAIN.  

    I slacked slightly this past week. In my defense, I will say it was for a good reason. As has been the case for the past 10 years, the PMC is sneaking up on me. So instead of completing ALL of my Hansons Marathon Method approved runs,  I substituted one of my “easy” runs for a ride. There. I said it. I can not tell a lie. Christ. It’s not like I sat on my ass and guzzled delicious beers, pita chips and sriracha hummus while watching the last season of Entourage on Netflix or anything. Note: I did that AFTER my ride

    AND I’D DO IT AGAIN. 

    Here’s how Colby’s Week in Running went: 

    It’s a sign!
     Monday: 6 “easy” miles. On trails. With Drunk Otis! Before I launch into our trail run, let me state for the record that none of these miles were/are “easy.” Sure. I wasn’t running at break neck speed, but on tired legs ANY speed faster than “crawl” is fast. Cumulative fatigue is real. I will admit, it’s either getting better for me or I am becoming the David Blaine of running. Total voodoo mind trick shit right here. Pain? What pain? Who’s the endurance artist now, Blaine?!?! As for the actual run with Drunk Otis, it was EPIC. He had a blast running intervals with the local girls high school cross country team. He may have even scored a gig as their mascot. Such a ham. 

    Tuesday: 7 miles. INTERVALS. Just when I think I couldn’t possibly sweat more, Tuesday rolls around and I float off of the goddamn slip and slide treadmill. 8 x 600. Plus warm up. Plus cool down. Plus an ice cold shower. 

    Wednesday: Rest effen day. No words. Just laziness.  

     Thursday: 6 miles. If someone didn’t eat garbage, dead critters and/or a Mavic cycling sock (cross your paws) and was up all night out on the lawn, I would have been able to do my tempo run before work as planned. Yeah. I’m looking at YOU, Drunk Otis. Instead, I switched my tempo run to Friday and ran 6 after work. And it SUCKED. Drunk Otis is now back to himself. The sock however, is still MIA. To be continued… 

    Rub my belly.
     Friday: 8 miles. The dreaded Tempo Run on my day off. It was awful. I was able to keep my target pace for 4 of the 6 tempo miles. The last two were 20 seconds slower. I couldn’t get out of my own way. My warm up mile was too fast and my cool down mile was too slow. Nothing about this run was just right. Gah. 

    Saturday: 44 miles on the 4th of July! No running. Cycling! Frankly, after the tempo sufferfest, I needed a change of pace. My Other Half and I had a great ride. It’s our 4th of July Tradition. I love it. And of course we cruised down Liberty St. #murica  

    #murica
      
    Photobombed by Mater.
     Sunday: 10 miles. Gorgeous day. Great run. Nailed my pace. The ride did me good. Legs were tuckered, but the day was so beautiful I didn’t even notice. Until I stopped. And plopped myself poolside with a fresh, delicious mojito and ate like it was my job. Drunk Otis even spent the day rolling around in his kiddie pool, totally nonplussed by the fireworks. That was until he peed in it. Then shamefully flipped it over, mortified.  

    *hiccup*
     AND HE’D DO IT AGAIN. :-)

    Total miles run: 37. 

    Total miles ridden: 44

    Total number of mojitos consumed: 4

    Do you stick to your training program like glue or do you mix it up from time to time? What’s your favorite poolside drink? Does your dog pee in kiddie pools, or is it just mine? 

    Running, Half-Marathoning and Galloping with Drunk Otis

    Inside Out Disney PixarAnother week of Hansons Marathon Method Training in the books! BOOM! POW! HOORAY!  I ran a lot. A real, whole heck of a lot of miles. What I really “ran” was the gamut of emotions that comes with getting way the hell out of your comfort zone. Doubt. Anxiety. Angst. Discomfort. Fear. The whole kit and emotional caboodle. I am pleased to report that although last week’s training left me stressed, I neither cried nor threw in the goddamn towel. Instead I used to it wipe the sweat from my GIANT SATISFIED SMILING FACE

    I am noticing that with each passing week, my confidence creeps up ever so slightly. This whole Colby’s Marathon Training Weekly Recap thing is good. It’s keeping me honest and holding me accountable. Bear with me, Poodles! Here’s how the EPIC week went:

    Monday: 6 miles. Easy pace. Except it was 91 degrees. Not so easy, now. Is it? Ick. 

    Tuesday: 7 miles. Intervals. Sweaty, god-forsaken intervals on the treadmill. 8 x 600m (7:57 pace), with warm up and cool down. I almost threw up. Instead I forgot where I was and belted out Prodigy’s ‘Firestarter’ at the TOP OF MY LUNGS during my last one. As you can see by the text exchange between my Beloved and I, I was foul-mouthed and salty from the start. See actual text below. This love note was sent with one interval to go. 

    LOML
    Now that’s love. That text was followed by this exchange in the ladies Locker Room.  #truestory.  For the record, I did not direct my Salty Pirate Speak at Little Miss No Antiperspirant.  I laughed. Right in her absurdly dry face.

    Wednesday: {Cue trumpets.} REST DAY. Ahhhhhh. And what did I do? Absolute zero. Well, zero running. I weeded, mulched, edged beds, gardened, walked Our Zoo, then planted my ass on the couch and binge watched Botched on Bravo. Don’t judge. It was my rest day. I can zone out on over-filler-inflated lips and deflated breast implants if I want to.

    Thursday: Tempo Run, 8 miles total. The Dreaded Tempo Run executed at Zero Dark Bullshit. My first early morning tempo run before work. This is what caused me the anxiety. And? I did it. I can’t believe it. I lived to tell. Relive the glory HERE. I still need to work out eating super early in the morning, before running, so I can avoid feeling like a busted can of biscuits after EATING ALL THINGS upon finishing. Because I am starving.  Baby steps, Colby. Baby steps. 

    Even Drunk Otis was smiling.
    Even Drunk Otis was smiling.
    Friday: 6 miles. Easy. Legs were tired. But basically a non event. Wasn’t that nice?

    Saturday: 6 miles WITH DRUNK OTIS! Drunk Otis and I hit the road this time, instead of his beloved trails. I am pleased to report that he is GREAT running on leash. It was unseasonably cool out, which is why I even brought the Brown One to begin with. So many businesses around town leave dog bowls outside, it’s awesome. There’s water at every corner. It would be awesome-er if Drunk Otis actually drank from a public dog bowl. He’s a germ-o-phobe. Perhaps even a snob. He’ll splash in it. Dump it over himself. Or even take a sip from a putrid puddle teaming with giardia. But drink from a fancy ceramic bowl with paw prints hand painted on it? NOPE. Not gonna do it. He will instead pick up a dead squirrel along the route, and carry it in his mouth for a few strides. You know, just cuz. He’s a mess. But I love him.

    Courtesy of Suze @ Suzlyfe
    Drunk Otis. Courtesy of Suze @ Suzlyfe
    Sunday: 13.1 miles. It was supposed to be 10 miles, at an “easy” pace. Instead it was 13.1 hilly miles as fast as my tired legs would allow. It was the (Formerly) Dreaded Fairfield Half Marathon. I say Formerly because for the first time in 7 years it was not a half marathon run on the surface of the sun. It was actually cool out. The torrential rain cleared, and cool temps and humidity rolled in. I’d take that weather any day. I did not miss the sun. As a result, I had a kick ass race. My fastest in 7 years of running it. And I’m 7 years older. And ran it on dead tired legs. I actually teared up as I finished. Got a little mushy even. All week long this training program intimidated me- especially knowing I had this race on Sunday. My legs hated me yesterday. But they didn’t quit. To have run well made ME well up. A qualifying time for Boston seems a million miles away. Or maybe just a couple of hundred thousand this week. :-)Fairfield Half

    Do you run a particular race every year and regret it every time? Do you pre-register for races, giving ZERO care to the weather? Do you ever run with your pup?

    Run Where I Live: Connecticut!

    hello kitty tour bus

    Photo: http://connecticutexplorer.blogspot.com
    Split Rock. Photo: http://connecticutexplorer.blogspot.com

    We’re busting out the Hello Kitty Tour Bus and hopping on board the Run Where I Live Blogging World Tour hosted by the lovely Danielle at Live, Run, Grow!  Grazie mille, Daniella! Though Tina and I both live in Connecticut, we live on opposite ends of the Connecticut Shoreline.  And though Tina and I both are runners, she does NOT enjoy running trails. She’s a city gal. She prefers pavement to dirt. And she’ll tellyou herself- bugs, snakes, and prickers ain’t her bag. Like at all. That being said, I’m going to cover one of my favorite running spots in Connecticut- Westwoods Trails.

    I am lucky to live within running distance to the Westwoods trail system which is chock full of trails- 39 trails on 1,200 acres! All for the running! Or hiking. Or even mountain biking. It’s the largest recreational area for hiking in Guilford, Connecticut. And it’s gorgeous. I have blogged a few times about running in Westwoods up in here.  So when asked to join the Run Where I Live World Tour, it was a no brainer. Westwoods would be my place of choice.  It’s a total gem.

    IMG_0637
    Bimbler’s Bash Trail Race in Westwoods. That’s me!

    The ownership of the land is a combination of Connecticut State Forest, Guilford Land Conservation Trust (GLCT),  the Town of Guilford, and private ownership. All trails are maintained by the Westwoods Trails Committee of GLCT. And maintained they are. The first trails in Westwoods were blazed in 1966 and have grown ever since.  What I love about Westwoods is that it is absolutely beautiful-  caves, water falls, carved rock sculptures and rock formations pepper many of the trails. There are also salt and fresh water marshes and even a lake.  It’s so pretty.

    Don’t let all that beauty fool you or lull you into a false sense of security. The trails ain’t easy. Many are quite technical, but really well marked and maintained. They are perfect for running. And racing. Back in April, I ran a trail race here, The Bimbler’s Bash. Relive the glory, HERE. If you recall, it was the day after my birthday. {Read: I ran it hungover.} When I run here, I do not feel like I’m in Guilford, CT. In fact, forget Guilford, I don’t feel like I’m even in Connecticut. Even though I can pick up a trail head a stone’s throw from the center of town, I feel like I’m running in some beautiful far away place. If you do find yourself with your trail shoes on the Connecticut Shoreline this summer, check out Westwoods. It does not disappoint. See what I mean? :-)

    Lost Lake. I found it! Westwoods, Guilford, CT.
    Lost Lake. I found it! Westwoods, Guilford, CT.

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    From Westwoods in Guilford, Connecticut and on to New York City! Head over to Kellie at Will Run For Ears and see where to run in The Big Apple! 

    Want to join the Run Where I Live world tour, or visit the cities we’re “running in”? Check out Danielle’s complete link-up list HERE

    Running is Evil. And I’m Starving. 

    running is evil

    Today was a MAJOR day for me. I learned three things:

    1. I despise getting out of bed at Half-Past-Ass-O’Clock in the morning to do a tempo run before a long day at work. Gah. Double Gah. 
    2. I need to wake up even EARLIER than Half-Past-Ass to actually EAT something before undergoing such a heroic effort. Maybe I should just eat right before I go to “bed.” I might as well have been running in the middle of the goddamn night anyways. 
    3. The bunny population in my neighborhood has experienced exponential growth. It was a long winter. Even for bunnies.  
      Throw some Hokas on her and call her Colby.
       

    Yup. 3 Truths. I learned ’em this “morning” whilst sticking to my Hanson’s Marathon Training Plan. To be honest, one I knew. One was sort of a surprise. And the third was MIND BLOWING. 

    Transitioning from Night Owl to Early Bird is going to take some getting used to. This is how the next 16 Thursday’s will be for me. So SUCK IT UP, BUTTERCUP.  Have goal, will wake up early. It’s not waking up at an ungodly hour, it’s waking up and RUNNING HARD. I felt like a baby giraffe. Limbs akimbo. Thankfully {insert sarcasm here}, my Hansons Method Training plan calls for a 1 to 3 mile warm up and cool down. On top of a 6 mile hard effort. At Zero Dark Bullshit. Before a long day at my lab bench. Brutal. BUT. In the spirit of Lemons Make Lemonade With A Shit Load of Sugar, once I was three or so miles in, I LOVED IT. Really loved it. I felt ALIVE! When everyone else was WASTING THE DAY.  I’m being dramatic. It was 5:55am. 
     

    Here’s the surprise.  I was flat out starving towards the end of this insanity. Rungry, rungry runner. I could barely string a few strides together, let alone chew something beforehand. That needs to change. I can get away with waking up, running an easy 5 with just a bottle of Skratch Labs, but over 8 with a big effort for 6? Yeah. Not happening for me. Not with all of this “cumulative fatigue” business. Cumulative HUNGER is more like it. Oh, I ran it all. (With negative splits I might add. WHO AM I?!?!) But my recovery miles were a blur. A Hypoglycemic Zombie Blur.  

     

    And the mind blowing part?!?! HOLY BUNNIES. I saw at least a dozen bunnies. A DOZEN. A few of those floozies looked like they were doing the hop of shame. Tramps. They were everywhere. Or so it seemed. Maybe it was just one really fast Bunny who was up far to early banging out her tempo run. :-)

    What kind of runner are you: Early Bird or Night Owl? What’s your early morning pre-run ritual? Whatcha eatin’? 

    Running, Riding, Racing. And a Cookie.

    anchormanhoorayAnother week in the books! Before I launch into Colby’s Week In Review, I’d like to take a quick second to say Happy Father’s Day to all of the Daddio’s out there! Dads are special folks. Especially My Other Half. Who is a kind man, a hard worker and a wonderful, loving father.  Muaaahhhh! Love fest complete.

    On to Colby’s 3rd Week of Marathon Training! Note: I’m trying to be all peppy and shit about this, so as to keep my proverbial ‘marathon-ball’ rolling. These posts are purely self-serving. They are keeping my ass on track. They are holding me accountable. And they are keeping my honest. Please humor me and read them. Cheer or heckle, if you’d like. I’ve just gotta put them out there.  I’ve got a goal, dammit. And if I don’t achieve it, at least I can’t say I DIDN’T FREAKING TRY. It’s that damn Hanson Method. It’s got me all really running. Who am I?

    Monday: 5.5 miles at the prescribed pace in the pouring rain. It was supposed to be 6 miles. But it started thundering and I screamed and ran straight home. I hate running in thunder and lightning. Snow? Sleet? Hail? Pouring rain? All fine. But Thunder and it’s nasty sister, Lightning? Game. Over.

    Tuesday: 7 miles. INTERVALS. They’re not getting easier, but I am- dare I say- starting to enjoy them?? 12 x 400, 400 recovery. For what seemed like an eternity. But I did them. YES. And I have the sweaty mean mug to prove it. 

    Game face.

    Wednesday: Rest. Sweet Baby Jesus. Rest. And rest I did. I firmly planted my tired ass on the couch and binged on documentaries on Netflix. One of which was The Queen of Versailles. Totally engaging. I started watching it thinking it was merely going to be an extension of the Real Housewives Franchise,  but it quickly took a turn going from ‘Reality Series’ to ‘Shit Just Got Real.’ I couldn’t look away. Watch it if you haven’t. Sadly, one of the daughters in the documentary was recently found deceased which is what prompted me to watch it in the first place. The whole story is totally tragic yet, totally worth your time. 

    Thursday: 6 pleasant miles. At the prescribed pace. I could have run all night. It was actually cool out. The storms broke that awful humidity, and my legs were feeling moderately “fresh.” Go figure.

    Friday: 6 trail miles with My Other Half AND DRUNK OTIS!  This was our first foray together into the woods, as a little trail running family. And? Drunk Otis ain’t so drunk on the trails. He’s Sober Otis, Cover Dog for Field and Stream magazine. I couldn’t believe it. He’s a natural. He’s also quite big on the No Man Left Behind concept. He waited patiently for his sweaty human, showing her which way to go with the biggest, slobberiest smile. Such a good dog. He was made for this.  And when we busted around the corner, startling a deer? He stood like a statue and POINTED. He didn’t chase. He didn’t go off of the trail. He didn’t leave our sides. He freaking POINTED. We couldn’t believe it. Of course he swam in every puddle, stream and thimble full of water he could find, but that was AOK with us. So proud of our New Boy. Great kick off to the weekend. 

    Drunk Otis, Cover Dog.

    Saturday: I was supposed to run 6, but instead rode 47 miles with my girl, Carly! Such a great day. One that ended at a delicious new cookie shop in town, Red Rooster Gourmet Cookies. Fresh and Delicious.   

    Cookie Monsters.
     I may or may not have yelled: COME ON! GET OUT OF THE SADDLE, CARLY. WE’RE GETTING COOOOOOOKIES!!!!!!! During our last climb. On the top of my lungs. Like a Crazy Person. Christ, we could almost smell the cookies from there. Talk about incentive. Those cookies tasted like heaven. If heaven was made out of buttery goodness. After the cookie stop, we headed back, picked up The Boys, who had been out shreddin’ the gnar, and refueled properly. That is, with beer and lobstah rolls. Such a perfect day with friends. 

    Stony Creek Brewery. Cheers!
    Sunday: I was supposed to run 8 miles, but instead raced 5. In the rain. On very tired legs. I woke up. Listened to the thunder, then promptly fell back asleep. I’m so not racing in this weather. (See Monday.)  Woke up again. Texted Tina. She agreed. Bullshit. Listened to rain drops. Drank coffee. Reassessed my legs. Meh. They’re moving. Gun goes off in 35 minutes. COME ON! YOU’RE DROPPING ME OFF.   

    Super Janji!
    I throw on brand new Janji singlet, grab a banana and a bottle of Skratch Labs and jump in Other Half’s car. Make it to the start area with 4 minutes to spare. Hear announcer. Run wildly. Score an open porta-potty. 3 minutes. Dash to the start. Wind up next to my friend whom I was supposed to meet an hour ago. What are the odds? We hug. I’m off. It sounds frenzied, but honestly, it was the calmest start EVER. I should always be running late. I didn’t even THINK about running. Or having to pee. Or not drinking enough. I JUST RAN. And considering that I felt like a broken down barnacle barge? I had a decent race. YAHOO! 

    Miles Run: Just shy of 30.

    Miles Ridden: 47.

    Cookies Consumed: 1.5

    Have you ever dashed to a starting line, and made it in the nick of time?Do you draw the line at thunder and lightning? If you were granted one day of Netfix Binge, what would you watch?