Reading, reading, reading

I registered for an online, independent study course a week or so ago. There are 9 required books. NINE! Thank goodness all but three are available at the library. :)

I certainly hope they get better than this first one, though. I've been reading it for several days and have barely made it past the introduction. Everytime I go to read it on my shuttle ride home, my eyes lose their focus.

And yeah, I totally do that embarrassing head nod thing.

On another note, I submitted my application for clinical practice (aka student teaching) tonight. I'm excited and scared and nervous and excited.

I'll find out my placement in early December.

Until then, I have to finish this course and another two, take the Praxis II AND finish my e-portfolio.



Inner Dialogue

Last night I went for nearly a 10 mile run. Here is a brief dialogue I had with myself while running.

Wow! This is probably ones of my best runs!
You've only gone halfway. It's way too early to make that conclusion.
Yeah, that's probably true.

A couple more miles down the road...

Seriously this has been such a great run!
You've still got a few miles to go. Again, it's still too early to say that.
What am I saying? That's not very positive encouragement. I should be saying, "Way to go! Keep up the good work! This run really is going great so far, isn't it?"
Okay, okay. You're right. That's probably better. "Keep it up!"

Several more times throughout the run I had to remind myself of this dialogue. Even though it was a pretty great run, I had I hard time accepting that, I guess. :)

Anyone else have weird, fun, interesting dialogues with themselves when they run?


5FF - Food

It's been awhile since I've done a Five Favorites for Friday.
  1. Smell? Subway in the morning. It's a little piece of heaven in the morning when I walk by. I always end up slowing my pace just a bit and taking in a deep breath. I might even close my eyes. I hope no one notices. That would just be embarrassing.
  2. Comfort food? Grilled cheese with tomato soup. Nothing too spectacular. Sometimes, I'll go all crazy and throw in some goldfish crackers. Yum.
  3. Delivery? Jimmy John's. Hands down. They are so fast and so yummy. We have been ordering them way.too.often lately.
  4. Grill? Several times throughout the summer, my family will have grilled pizzas for dinner. Once we even did this is February for Jeff's birthday. I love this because everyone can make their own and get the exact toppings they want.
  5. Candy? M&Ms. Just about any variety. Today, I'm snacking on pretzel, but I also really love peanut. Plain are probably my least favorite, but I'd probably not turn them down. Of course there's not much candy I would ever turn down, so this favorite is in constant flux.


I have never, ever

gone running in just a sports bra.
Let alone taken my shirt off mid-run.

But it was really HOT today and so.much.sweat was dripping into my eyes.

I finally broke down just after mile 3 to take off my shirt, roll it just so, and wrap it around my head.

I know. Super sexy.

But it really helped with keeping the sweat out of my eyes.
And even the slightest breeze, like when crossing over the Lake street bridge, felt just heavenly over my already sweaty skin.

Overall, my run today was 5 miles. I probably walked a good half of the distance.

A couple of notes:
  • Never run in the super heat without a hat or bandanna or something to help with the sweaty forehead syndrome. This can only result in a repeat of this evening's run.
  • I'm pretty sure I prefer energy chews over energy gels. They were much easier to eat and a lot less messy.
  • My new socks were super comfy!
  • Sweating profusely does not guarantee I won't feel the urge to pee.
  • Even with doing a LOT of walking, I was able to maintain a sub-12:00 min/mi pace. Yay me!
My next run is a 5K Wednesday evening. I imagine it will be pretty near to the same conditions as tonight's run.

Wish me luck!

Gotta Wear Shades

I walked across the street today to grab something for lunch. It was super bright and sunny out, and I, naturally, had left my sunglasses at my desk.

Ultimate bummer.

Many people are complaining about the weather right now.

It's hot.
It's humid.

I actually love this weather.
The sun.
The heat.
The sweat dripping from every pore.

Oh, wait! Scratch that last one.

BUT I'm willing to pay the price of sweat and humidity in order to enjoy the sunshine and the heat.

If I'd had my sunglasses, I'd have totally sat outside to enjoy my turkey wrap.
Instead I returned to my desk and put on my sweater. Damn A/C.


Saturday's run

Ok, so I just looked at the calendar and realized that my half marathon is in just 3 weeks from yesterday. Yikes! Will I be ready??

Yesterday, I donned my ifitness running belt, grabbed my water bottle, and hit the trails for an easy 6.5 miler. I brought my phone with me and even set it to record my run, but I made the decision to not worry about time or distance (I'd already mapped out my distance, so I had a general idea of where to go for my 6.5 miles). I just wanted to enjoy the run.

I walked to my starting point and stopped to stretch. I've been pretty terrible about stretching and my shins have really been protesting, so I decided I really need to be better about stretching after my warm-up and then again after the workout.

I started out a little on the slow side but was feeling pretty good.

Not too long after crossing the first bridge and heading back north along the river, I started to feel pretty tired. I needed a pick-me-up. I brought a couple gel packs with me, but my tummy always tends to feel a little nauseous and the thought of having any kind of gel really turns my stomach. I tried to just keep pushing through but eventually decided I should just give it a try.

I figured I'd walk a little ways before the next trash can, so I could open the packet, eat it, and get to the trash can just in time to start running again.

Not so.

My hands had gotten so super sweaty that I couldn't get my Hammer Gel packet to open. I even tried ripping it with my teeth. I still hadn't opened it by the time I reached the trash can and had to stand there for what seemed like a very long time still struggling with it. I finally got it opened and ate it. I tried the Apple Cinnamon, and it was actually pretty tasty. Didn't upset my stomach at all. Yay!

This all happened at just under 4 miles, and it gave me the perfect boost to finish out my run. Double yay!

I did have a couple physical problems during the race. The normal shin pain that kind of comes and goes. A little numbing in my right arm. A few pebbles in my shoes.  Shoes rubbing my ankles raw.

Maybe I should run with headphones just to distract me from dwelling on all these minor problems. I also think I should probably incorporate some running on the treadmill because that tends to help with the shin pain.

After my run, I got in a longer-than-usual cool down. It felt great to just walk several blocks after running. After getting home and stretching and showering, I spent some time icing my shins. I think this was really smart, because today, they are not really bothering me so much. Sweet.

All in all, this was a great run for me. I'm not sure I could have gone on for another 1.5 miles (next week's long distance), but I felt pretty good at the end of this one.

Later in the afternoon, we made a run to the Scuba Center in Edina, which happened to be across the street from Marathon Sports, so while Jeff paid at the Scuba Center I stopped into the running store. I got a new (my first) handheld water bottle.
amphipod Hydraform Handheld Thermal-Lite
I'm pretty excited to try it out. I think it will be so much better than just running with my water bottle in my hand.

I also got some new non-cotton running socks.
asics intensity™ low cut
I really hope that these will help a lot with the problems I've been having with the shoes rubbing my ankles raw. It's happened to me on several runs now, and it's getting very annoying.

I also picked up some Clif Shot Bloks (orange) and some Gu Chomps (blueberry pomegranate) to try out. I think that I might be more mentally able to stomach these than the gel packs. I'll let you know!

Tomorrow, I'm scheduled for a 5 mile run. I plan on bringing my running gear to work with me and just running home after work. It's about 5.4 miles, so that should be perfect for a nice warm-up and cool-down! I'm very excited!


Whiz Bang Days 10K

4220 W301026 (that's me)1:04:5410:27

Lots of family and friends ran the race, too!
Very strong finish!
My new iFitness race belt worked great!
No rain!
Small t-shirt fits again!
I only walked for about 30 seconds at mile 5!

Detailed recap:
Yesterday, I joined my family and a few friends for the 27th Annual Whiz Bang Days race in Robbinsdale. No, we haven't been doing it for that long; it was our first year ever. We all signed up for the 10K. It had been years since I have run that far. Well, years I think that any of us had run that far.

I thought I was mentally and physically prepared for this race, but in reality, I really wasn't so much. The week leading up to it, I logged more than 65 miles of biking and running. The previous week I'd only done 45. I think I may have pushed myself a little too much. It also didn't help that I did this workout on Thursday, and my glutes were pretty much killing me. Note to self: do NOT try incorporating a new weight training routine in my workout schedule just two days before a race!

My last race I biked 8 miles to the race, ran the 5K, and then biked back home. I had every intention of making this race a duathlon as well, but the weather was forecasted for thunderstorms all morning. I didn't want to ride and run and ride again in a downpour, so I reserved the HourCar and got to leave an hour later.

It only ended up sprinkling. A. Very. Little. What a waste of $45. Lame.

Here's me and my family right before the race started. Don't we look all happy and ready to go?
Marna, Dad, Treva, Selena, Me
I mentioned running with some friends, too.
Dave and his nephew Spencer
When we were lining up to go, my family started very near to the end of the pack. We all knew we wanted to start off slow, but I think this was a huge mistake for me. Next time, I'm definitely starting more in the middle or even the front. That way I won't feel quite so defeated right from the get go.

My first mile was 11:30. Yikes! I tried to increase my pace a bit at each mile marker, but I don't think I increased as much as I wanted. This is where the mental preparation wasn't quite with me. When I thought about picking it up a tad, I would say to myself, "No, just wait until the next mile marker. Keep it steady right now." OR "No way will you be able to keep that faster pace for another X miles. Better keep it a bit more gradual." Not sure if it would have made a difference.

Selena, Dad and I started off together. Selena is 15, and while naturally pretty athletic, she hadn't really done any running to prepare for the race. She made it with us just over a mile before she had to stop and walk. My dad stopped at the same time to do a little stretching. I kept on trekking along.

My dad did catch up to me just after the first turn around and ran with me for a short while until he needed to stop and stretch his hammies. Again. Poor guy.

Needless to say, I ran most of this race by myself, which is actually great for me. That's mostly how I train, and when I'm running side-by-side with someone, I'm generally too tempted to talk, and that just takes too much energy. :)

Despite my slow pace (or perhaps because of it), I didn't stop to walk at all until mile 5. I walked briskly for maybe 30 seconds. I probably didn't really need to physically. It was more of a mental breather, I think. Shortly after that, I knew the end was in sight, and I really picked up my pace. The last bend was probably the only time in the race that I was actually running closer to my normal pace.

This is where it became fun!

I started passing runners ahead of me.

I passed the two ladies pushing jogging strollers.
I passed the woman finishing the 5K with her young (my guess was 4yo) daughter.
I passed a woman with hot pink shorts on.

I could feel those jogging strollers catching up with me again, and I just couldn't allow that, so I kicked it up again.

I was running STRONG!

And there was my dailymile friend (who'd finished well before me) near the end encouraging me to run hard and give it my all.

I pushed it and I pushed it.

There was a woman in a neon green top ahead of me. I tried my damnedest to pull ahead of her, but the finishing corral beat me to it. As we were walking to get our tags pulled, I thanked her for setting a pace and helping me to finish hard. I think she thought I was a little nuts.

Even though, I think my overall performance for this race was a little dismal (missing my goal time by nearly 3 min), I love how I was able to really kick it out in the end and finish as strong as I did. That felt incredible.

My dad had to walk the last little bit. Something happened to his calf around mile 5.

Treva passed Selena along the way somewhere near the end, but as the finish line approached, Selena was not about to let her mom win.

The orange speck in the foreground was the finish line. The little weasel, Selena, totally budged in front of her mom just steps before entering the corral.

A couple things I really loved about this race.

The route (see below).
With two turn around points, and everyone I knew running at such different paces, it was fun to see other runners I knew running in the opposite direction. All in all, there were 8 other runners that I could high five and exchange encouraging words with as I ran the race. It was a great boost to me to be able to see such support out on the race.

View Whiz Bang Days 10K in a larger map

My new iFitness Ultimate Race Belt.
This worked just great. (Full review is forthcoming, I promise). It was nice to have my phone with me. It's what provided the above map. I also love the race toggles. No need to worry about getting my race number pinned just right.

A couple things I really did not love about this race.

There was only ONE water stop, and it was somewhat early on in the race. There was nothing in the 2nd half. The half with all the hills.

The gnats. I didn't really notice them much while I was running, but they must have noticed me. Their bites drew blood, as I finished with blood streaking down one arm. They wouldn't stop biting me as I ate my banana and bread and drank my bottle of water. I finally had to go to the restroom and wash off my salty sweat. That seemed to help quite a bit.

Next race: Wednesday, July 20th - Torchlight 5K in downtown Mpls


Hola Arepa Food Truck

I didn't have time this morning to make grab anything for lunch. Plus I was feeling a little adventurous, so I decided to try out this foodtruck phenomenon. My boss and I walked over to Marquette Ave and the first one we came to was Hola Arepa.

The Chicken-Avocado Salad Arepa caught my eye, so we decided it would be a good place to stop. Plus, they accept credit cards, which was good for me since I had no cash.

Anyway, you may be wondering what an arepa is. Well, at least we were. From their menu: It's a cornmeal patty cooked on a griddle, split & filled with deliciousness.

They weren't lying! The chicken-avocado salad arepa really hit the spot and was oh, so tasty! And filling.

My only recommendation would be to try and find a place to cop a squat (do not look this up on urban dictionary. gross. I mean it in the Pretty Woman sense of simply taking a seat) nearby and eat outside. The salsa I added to the arepa and the mayo in the chicken salad made it a little bit messy by the time I'd walked the 4 1/2 blocks back to work to eat at my desk.

chicken-avocado salad arepa with cucumber lavendar lemonade
Like I mentioned, I was feeling a bit adventurous, so I also ordered the cucumber-lavendar lemonade. I'm not sure how I feel about this. It's definitely different. Not sure I'm too crazy about the flavor combination. Oddly, though, as the ice all melted and I've been nursing it for the past two hours, it's actually kind of grown on me. Still not sure I'd order it again, though.

All in all, it was a great experience. The guy taking our orders was very personable and answered all our questions with a smile. When you order, he gives you a playing card as your order number (I was 9 of Hearts), which I thought was a very clever idea.

Great job, Hola Arepa! I'll definitely come back. :)


Phew! It's O-V-E-R!

Well, I'm shocked. Awed. Amazed.


I did it. I completed my SCUBA training and am now a certified PADI Open Water Diver.

We did two dives on Saturday and two dives today. All four dives were in Square Lake near Stillwater. Visibility was only so-so. Maybe 6-8 feet. Apparently it's normally much better. Oh well.

Dive 1 was simply an orientation dive. There a little diamond-shaped course that we were supposed to follow. I had some buoyancy issues (getting to the bottom and staying down). And then my fins came off a couple times. I was totally able to keep calm and put them back on and adjust them without a hitch. I did get to see some fish, though. That was pretty neat. And all the plant life that's so annoying when swimming? It's kinda pretty when diving.

Dive 2 was mostly done out at a platform. We did a couple exercises to get out there. Tired diver tows. Snorkel/regulator exchanges. Once we got to the platform and descended, panic started to set in. I felt claustrophobic. I knew I was getting air, but I didn't feel like I was. It's an adjustment switching from nose breathing to mouth breathing with something in my mouth. I just wanted to get that thing out of my mouth. I did manage to remain calm, though. When the instructor came by, I signaled that I needed to go up. One of the other instructors ascended with me and talked me down out of my panic. I descended again and completed all the exercises. Fin pivot. Regulator recovery and clearing. Flooding and clearing my mask. Alternate air exchange and ascent.

I was so proud of myself for working through my anxiety and having a successful first two dives. I was really excited to go back today. I familiarized myself with the remaining exercises and discussed with Jeff the best way to accomplish them.

Dive 3 was back out at the platform. Before getting in the water, though, we reviewed the basics of using a compass. This time our descent had to be without holding onto the line, but using it as a visual reference. The panic/claustrophobia did begin to set in a little once at the platform, but I successfully worked through it. We had to do another flood/clear of my mask. This time was not as successful as the day before. I ended up taking in water and had to cough my way through it before I could clear my mask. In the end, I was successful though. We did another fin pivot exercise while on the platform and then a controlled emergency ascent. I had to repeat this exercise, because I forgot to do some basic preparation before heading to the surface. My second attempt was flawless. We returned to shore with a surface swim using compass navigation.

Dive 4 was the final dive for the certification. This time our descent was supposed to be without a visual reference. I wasn't quite able to descend perfectly straight down. Good thing everything is done in the buddy system, so Jeff stayed near me, and we made it to the platform A-OK. We were supposed to do a complete mask removal and replacement. I was unable to psych myself into doing this exercise. Fail. We did a hovering exercise and practiced a safety stop (hovering at about 15 ft for 3 min) before getting to the surface. I really was apprehensive that I would be successful at these exercises, but I did surprising well. We surface swam back to shore and then did a little more navigation work. Many of the others in the class swam out to find a sunken boat; I had to work with the instructor on mask removal and replacement.

Check out my super cute SCUBA hair
as I work on disassembling my scuba unit.

I'm still not 100% comfortable being underwater, and there are a few skills that I definitely need to improve on, but I'm certified and can now practice whenever we feel like renting tanks of air.

We already have most of the gear (yeah, that's now confident Jeff was that I would pass. Best. Husband. Ever). Including full face masks with communication units. I got the one in emerald (lower right) and Jeff got the white. These will be great because I won't actually have a regulator in my mouth and will be able to breathe more naturally through both my nose and mouth. The extra bonus is that Jeff and I will be able to actually talk with each other. I'm kind of excited to get in the water with this baby.

My next dive will probably be at SeaLife Minnesota (an aquarium at the Mall of America). Jeff scheduled us to go on July 17th, but I want a little more time to work on buoyancy and simply get more comfortable being submerged in water first. He'll do this first dive with a different buddy while I observe from the top of the tank. Luckily, we have access to a deep, 14' pool across the street on campus for me to practice in, so I can feel more comfortable and prepare for Scuba with the Sharks.

I'm excited!


Related Posts with Thumbnails