How far have I come? How far to go?

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Saturday, November 12, 2011

They had a thing where you could print out your official time! Mine was 2:51:50. :)

Friday, November 11, 2011


In case you need reminding, my goal is to finish in 3:08. Feeling pretty decent about that. Come back tomorrow afternoon to find out whether or not I succeeded!

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Testing out posting via text message from my (non-smart) phone. I plan to let everyone know my time ASAP after the half on Saturday! How does it look?

Thursday, October 27, 2011


Remember that time that I ran in the Germantown 5K? Want to see what it looked like? Here are the long-awaited photos!

In other news, I completed my scheduled 12 miles yesterday. Guess what? It's hard to run 12 miles. It went okay, not as well as I had hoped, but only 3 minutes over my goal time. 16 days until the half!

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Miss Lynn vs. The Weather

I'm scheduled to do my last long run (12 mi.) before the Nashville Half Marathon this coming Wednesday. Unfortunately, this is the current weather forecast for Wednesday:

Now, I'm not scared of getting a little wet--but thunderstorms are another matter. Which leads me to the classic training dilemma: Do I risk the 30% chance and stick with my training plan, which calls for 4 miles tomorrow and 12 on Wednesday? Or do I switch the days, knowing that the weather will be better tomorrow, but only two rest days after my last seven decreases the chances of my reaching my goal (which is to finish the 12 in 2:45).

I can see the pros and cons of both choices. What would you do if it were you?

Saturday, October 22, 2011

7 Up

What a different six weeks make. On September 10, I did my first really legit training run for next month's Nashville Half. It was seven miles. In a burst of ambition, I planned a route that I had not run before, which in hindsight was probably a mistake. On the way out, the mile between 2.5 and 3.5 is a steady uphill. According to Minnie (if I'm reading her correctly, which is by no means a certainty), the rise is about 200 feet. Add to this the fact that the weather was 85° and sunny that day, and the result was a pretty miserable and discouraging outing.

With the race now only three weeks (!) away, yesterday was time for me to run seven again--this time as an "easy" week, between last week's 10 and next's 12 (last long run before the race). The temp was about 25° cooler (still sunny), which made a huge difference. The six intervening weeks of training may also have helped. In any case, I finished eight minutes faster than in September, from 1:42 to 1:38 (13:26 pace). I will confess to cheating a teeny bit on my intervals on the way home, but DANGIT those hills are killer.

Monday, October 10, 2011


Our pastor taught on the topic of perseverance yesterday afternoon, and I was thinking about it during my 4 miles this morning. Which was apropos, because it was not my best short run. I felt fine after Saturday's 5K (and subsequent ambling around the Germantown Street Festival/Oktoberfest/Farmer's Market), and was not really stiff or sore at all yesterday. But for some reason I just wasn't at my best this morning, and the ups-and-downs of my hilly route took it right out of me. After about 3 miles, my knees and leg muscles were getting sore, so I abbreviated a couple of my running intervals (still kept my walking to one minute at a time, though).

It's easy to feel discouraged after a disappointing run like today's. That's part of the territory after you've been running a while, and have progressed to the point where you are setting goals to improve your speed, distance, and endurance. At the beginning, I didn't worry about those things--rather, any run was a counted a success by the mere fact of having completed it! And sometimes, that measure of running success still applies: it's not always fun, it's hardly ever easy, and sometimes it asks more than you can give. But continuing to stick with it in spite of those things is a victory in itself.

Saturday, October 8, 2011

5K results

I had a great time this morning with my Team KG teammate, LoJo. We ran/walked the whole 5K together, which I have never done with a partner in any other race before. It was really fun!

But, the big question is, did we meet my goal of finishing the 5K in under 40 minutes?

With LoJo's superior speed beside me, we almost couldn't help it! We *killed* it with an official time of 38:09. Photos coming soon.

Five weeks from today is the Nashville Half Marathon!

3.1 before 40

My goal for the Germantown 5K is to finish under 40 minutes. I came pretty close back in August, and I have since broken this time in training runs. I covered the first 3.1 miles of the 9 I did last Wednesday in 38:59. But race day can bring anything . . . it's possible, but certainly not a sure thing.

Friday, October 7, 2011

My Coach

It is long past time that I should pay homage to my coach, running inspiration and bestie, KG.

One of the main reasons I got back into running after a failed previous attempt was because of her great example. She set her mind on completing the Country Music Half Marathon for the first time in 2008, and she has never looked back.

For the past few years, she has also been running for Team in Training, raising money for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society. She's pretty much a hero.

AND besides running, we do lots of other fun things together. Many of which involve yummy food. Which in turn, necessitates more running.

And sometimes we do awesome things like getting up early to attend grocery store Grand Openings. Where we are sometimes accosted by giant bottles of dancing chocolate milk.

Sadly, our KG has had a little bit of a medical situation recently, which necessitates her sitting out of tomorrow's 5K. Rather than have her registration fee go to waste, I will be stepping in for her. So if you see me run by, be sure to shout, "Go, KG!"

Wednesday, October 5, 2011


More details later, but just a quick update to say that I will now be participating in the Germantown 5K this coming Saturday! Now, off to do 9 miles in preparation for next month's half marathon.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011


It may surprise you to know that I am not always as smart as I look.

Or perhaps that will not surprise you.

Yesterday's running plan was to do 4 miles of neighborhood with some pretty major hills. My goal was to complete all my 5/1 intervals, but because of the ups and downs, I wasn't too concerned about overall pace. However, on the way back, I saw that I had the possibility of completing the first 3.1 miles in under 40 minutes--something I've been wanting to do ever since I almost did in the Tomato 5K in August. So I picked up the pace a bit and kept checking Minnie to see my progress. When she hit the magical 3.1, I pressed the "lap" button, so I would be able to have a record of my exact time.

EXCEPT. I didn't press the "lap" button. I pressed the "start/stop" button.

I realized my mistake after I kept going up an interminably long hill, towards the top of which I couldn't believe my interval was not yet up. And then I realized that the accrued time still read "39:24" and distance was at 3.1, even though I had by now run beyond that. So I cussed, pressed "start/stop" AGAIN, and *then* hit "lap."

Hitting "lap" turned out to be my second mistake. Apparently when running intervals, "lap" indicates the athlete's wish to switch to the alternate interval (in my case, running or walking). So in hitting the button, I effectively screwed up my intervals for the remainder of the run.


It was still great weather for a good run, and I guess now I know not to be so cavalier with my mid-run button pushing.

Monday, September 26, 2011

All the runnin' ladies (all the runnin' ladies)

(That title makes a lot more sense if you can see me singing and dancing it.)

Ever since my first experience as a race spectator, I have been hooked. But I never really realized how much of a difference it made to see people out cheering until I completed my first half marathon this past April. Anytime you have to do something hard, having people who love and support you around just makes it a little easier. So, since I had two friends running in it, I had lots of motivation to go cheer for the Women's Half Marathon here in Nashville last Saturday.

My friend the Wiz and I stationed ourselves at about the 9.5 mile mark, just off the (in)famous circle at Demonbreun and Music Row.

The official title of this public work of art is, "Musica." Most Nashvillians simply call it, "The Naked Statue."

There were a lot of FANCY running outfits.

I was waiting to see my friend Stephanie and snap a great photo of her. Missions 50% accomplished.

The picture-taking went better a few minutes later when Aparna came by.

Congratulations to all the awesome ladies (and gentlemen--who knew?) who were out there on Saturday! I was so inspired that I went right home and ran 4 miles in 52 minutes . . . slow, but on target to meet my goal in November!

Friday, September 23, 2011


I have been very negligent in providing an update on the 3.1 miles I most recently added to my tally. However, my friend and fellow Warrior Emily is way more on top of things than I, so you can read her synopsis of our experience HERE.

To Emily's observations, I would add the following of my own:
  • It was really fun! I actually enjoyed the climbing obstacles a lot more than I would have expected--partly, I think, because I was surprised that I could actually do them all.
  • However, in spite of this, I would most likely not sign up for Warrior Dash again in the future. My feeling going in was that in order to absorb the true "Warrior Experience," I should participate in all of the challenges--including the final slog-through-the-mud-pit one. Which was really gross. Actually, the pit itself was not so terrible (although I did keep finding other people's abandoned socks down at the bottom), but trudging around afterward to get a "shower" (no joke, a dude with a fire hose) and making our way back to the car in mud-saturated attire was not an experience I'm anxious to repeat.
  • 3.1 miles may not be a long distance, but after all that climbing over stuff, I was REAL TIRED.

6.2 miles completed out of 40! Next up is the Nashville Half Marathon on November 12--which means lots of training for the next 7+ weeks. So far I am up to 8 miles on my weekly "long" runs.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

I did algebra today.

(Who said I'd never use it again?)

After my 8-mile training run, I wanted to figure out what ratio of running/walking I should plan on for the half in November. I did today's run at 5 min run/1 min walk intervals, which seemed to work out fairly well--I was tired without being completely spent, and I was able to maintain the intervals for the entire distance, even running on the uphills! I would love to be able to cut 30 minutes off my previous finishing time of 3:40 (I would also love not to have a meltdown at mile 11), which requires an average pace of 14:30/mile. So, using my average pacing for today's intervals, I devised the following equation:

13.5R + 17.5W = 14.5 (R+W)

where R is the distance spent running at an average pace of 13:30/mile, and W is the distance walking at an average pace of 17:30/mile. The second equation is:

R + W = 13.1

to indicate the total distance of the race.

Solution: R = 9.825, W = 3.275

which means that to finish the half marathon in 3:10, I need to run about 9.8 miles and walk 3.3. Multiplied by my average paces, this would put my intervals at 5 min running/2 min walking.

Nerdiest blog post ever? Extremely likely. But I do enjoy knowing that my goal time is within reach if I can continue to maintain my current pacing, AND even allows for an additional minute of walking per interval (those 60 seconds sure do fly by)!

Friday, September 9, 2011


It hit me last weekend that Warrior Dash is/was only two weeks away. GULP! And I don't feel like I've been training nearly hard enough for it. Unfortunately, the realization of the fact that I needed to get out there and log some miles happened to correspond with a wet snap here in Middle TN. By Monday afternoon, I gave up waiting for the rain to stop and decided to get out there.

Pre-run. Dry and happy.

Post-run. Does the term "drowned rat" mean anything to you?

It wasn't a long run, or a particularly hard run, but it was wet. And thankfully, it was done! 8 days 'til Warrior Dash, and then training starts in earnest for the Nashville Half Marathon!

Tuesday, August 30, 2011


I wrote previously about my journey to identify myself as an "athlete." But I didn't delve in that post into another significant factor to my identity as a "non-athlete," which is my unique physiology.

I have had trouble since adolescence with cracking and pain in my knees, although teasing about how I walked and ran "like a duck" began in elementary school. General consensus was that I was too lazy to point my feet forward. It wasn't until I consulted with a sports podiatrist in high school that anyone ever pointed out that my feet and knees simply didn't go in the same direction. When my knees point forward (as they should), my feet naturally splay out at about a 30 degree angle (relative to straight ahead). If I turn my feet to point forward (which looks "normal" and makes other people more at ease), my knees point inward--alignment not conducive to walking or running, hence the years of discomfort and noise.

With this as my starting point, it's little wonder that I thought of myself as incapable of doing anything vaguely athletic. After all, my body wasn't built right for physical activity. And more than simply physical pain, running gave me plenty of the emotional variety, as well, as invariably someone pointed out how spastic I looked when attempting it.

How to run in a body so obviously not equipped for running? After I was inspired to try and start running in the spring of 2007, co-workers assured me that I would be fine with the "right" running shoes. I went to a fancy (i.e. "elitist") running store, and was equipped with a pair of fancy (i.e. "really stinkin' expensive") shoes. After all that expert advice and all those dollars, I should have been golden right? Right! Especially if by "golden," you mean "mega-dosing ibuprofen and ice after every run, none longer than three miles"! Yeah, I hurt.

But somehow, the aching and swelling didn't phase me. I told myself that I was a novice runner, with congenital knee problems, and conventional wisdom said that running is just hard on the human body, irrespective of the level of experience. I took the pain in stride (HA! Get it? See what I did there? Running pun! Ahem.)

To play Junior Psychoanalyst with myself for a moment, and with the benefit of four years' hindsight, I suspect I still harbored vestiges of the idea that I was not truly an athlete, and so the constant pain I was in as a result of running merely served to reinforce that. As if I "deserved" to hurt for trying to do something I really couldn't.

In spite of the difficulty and pain, I completed my first 5K in June 2007. Then life intervened, as it so often does. I underwent a personal and professional situation that left me reeling, grappling with my sense of identity and self-worth. During this time, running did not make it to the top of my "to do" list. When I started to come out on the other side of this crisis a few months later, I tried to get back into running--but I just couldn't. It hurt too much. The physical pain in my knees, on top of the still-fresh emotional and mental wounds, was more than I could take on.

What turned things around? How did I ever get from that point to this one? Stay tuned for more . . .

Sunday, August 14, 2011

3.1 miles COMPLETE!

The Tomato 5K went great! The weather was beautiful, a welcome break from the normal mid-August humidity.

Emily and I are ready to go!

We have our shoes on and EVERYTHING!

Okay, okay, enough stalling . . . I'm sure you're wondering if I met my sub-44 goal for the race? How does 40:34 sound to you? :)

Next stop Warrior Dash!

Thursday, August 11, 2011

46 hours . . .

In about 46 hours from right now, I hope to be closing in on the finish of the first 3.1 miles of my 40! I'm feel ing good and looking forward to it. I'll try to remember to take some photos on the day to share here after the fact!

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Mater 5K Training Update

Remember in that earlier post when I said that the 4 a.m. training thing was not happening for me this summer? Well, this morning I actually got my bottom (and the rest of me) out of bed and Minnie (acquaintances call her Garmin) and I hit the road a little after 5 to get 3+ miles in before work at 6. Here are the results:

(Sorry for the blurry photo; my phone doesn't take good pictures.)

3.24 miles in just over 44 minutes! I am feeling good about the possibility of reaching my target of finishing the Tomato Arts 5K next Saturday in under 44. Yay!

Friday, August 5, 2011

My new toy

Here it is! "It" being the fancy GPS that my friends got for my birthday. (Okay, that's really just a picture; the real thing actually exists in three dimensions!)

My friend "The Wiz" and I took ourselves and Garmin out for a spin yesterday morning at 6:15.
The temperature was "only" 80 degrees, but so humid that you could see it in the air.

I'd like to say that Garmin made the run easier. In fact, I will say it: "The Garmin made the run easier!" No, that's a lie. But in spite of the less-than-ideal conditions, it was encouraging to be able consistently to track our progress over the three miles that we ran. I usually have no idea how I'm doing while a run is going on, but the Garmin allows for constant monitoring. This may not ultimately be a good thing, but for now, it's a nice change from the anxiety of wondering.

Unfortunately, in spite of the gadgetry, my pace was not quite where it will need to be to finish under 44 minutes for the Tomato Art Fest 5K in just over a week. But according to the current weather forecast, it looks like it may be cooler that morning than it has been recently, so a sub-44 finish is still a possibility! Here's hoping! My goal is to get at least one 3+ mile run in before TAF, and at least one shorter run, too.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

This is REALLY. HAPPENING. (yikes)

Yesterday was my birthday! Which means that "40 before 40" has officially begun! Eeeek!

I'm a little daunted by the task I've set out for myself. Partly because it is SO STINKIN' HOT here in middle Tennessee at the moment as to make training runs almost unimaginable.

BUT. A group of my very sweet and ever-supportive friends chipped in for my birthday and got me a really swanky Garmin GPS/heart monitor/calorie calculating watch! It is super fancy. I think it might also do your taxes. So I feel pretty legit and prepared to conquer the open road! Once I figure out how to work it, that is.

My first 40B40 event is the 5K that kicks off the East Nashville Tomato Art Fest. My goal is to finish under 44 minutes, which I think is achievable but going to take some effort as the course is quite hilly. Only 12 days to go!

Monday, July 18, 2011

Yeah, and . . . so what?

For many people, the thought of completing 40 "event" miles in one calendar year may hardly seem blog-worthy. Heck, for some it barely merits a passing mention in casual conversation. For naturally athletic, dedicated runners, 40 might be a number of miles to complete in a single event, not over a year's time.

But this blog is not about any of those people.

I was always good in school, with a single exception: gym class. While skills in math and reading came easily, the speed, agility and coordination needed to excel in athletics were completely lacking. By the time I was in second grade, the delineation was crystal clear: academics and the arts were my things; sports were not. With few exceptions, my Phys Ed teachers established the primary goal of their classes to be the encouragement of excellence. Those of us lacking ability were tolerated, scored a passing grade, and forgotten.

It wasn't until college and after that I first encountered friends who participated in sports for sheer enjoyment. Some of these people were gifted athletes, but many were not--they just had fun and didn't compare their performances to anyone else. I was surprised that these academically-gifted individuals also thought of themselves as players of sports, even if they didn't happen to be very good.
My concept of "athlete" was expanding--but still, that label certainly did not apply to me.

Fast forward to 2006, when my friend Diane came with her running team to Nashville for the Country Music Half and Marathon. She was doing the half, but most of her teammates had trained for the full course. I had never been to any kind of race before, so I was interested to see what it would be like and to go watch Diane cross the finish line.

Being a complete novice, I grossly underestimated the scale of the event (I believe that year there were about 25,000 participants), and drove around so long looking for a parking spot that I missed Diane's finish. But we finally found each other, and headed over to the marathon finish line to cheer on her friends.

My mind was blown by what I saw. Far from fulfilling my preconceived notions of what marathoners looked like, here were runners of every description: tall and short, young and old, slim and large, graceful and, well, NOT. Runners with smiles on their faces as they crossed, and those who looked like they wanted to puke (and a couple poor souls who actually did). All of whom ran 26.2 miles. It was exhilarating, moving, and humbling. My concept of "athlete" was forever changed.

That next January (2007), I bought my first pair of running shoes and started training for my first 5K. I was a runner--at least for a little while. More in a future post about starting, quitting, and how I eventually came back three years later.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Summer Training

Last year, when I was gearing up for the 2010 Tomato Art Festival 5K, I was pretty disciplined about getting up early to train before going to work. Since I rise at 5 a.m. to be at work at 6, this meant getting up at the ungodly hour of 4:00 in order to drag my slow self 3.1 miles (+ warmup). But I did it, and in about three months went from not being able to run even a quarter of a mile to finishing the 5K in 48:12. Hardly a speed record, but certainly faster than standing still.

I have not been similarly motivated for the super-early mornings this time around. The main difficulty is that I simply love to sleep. And though I know that I'll have more energy and increased productivity during the day if I get up and run first thing, these benefits are not particularly compelling when that alarm goes off at 4.

Also, there is the issue of the summer weather in Nashville, which is not exactly conducive to exercise. And in spite of prevailing folk wisdom, I contend that "it" is both the heat AND the humidity! The coolest time of the day is typically just before sunrise, but this also tends to be the most humid as the sun hasn't yet burned off the dew from the previous night.

Yesterday, however, I had the day off from work and so got to sleep until the positively decadent hour of 5:45 to prepare and head out about an hour later. At that point, the overnight humidity had dropped some, and the temp was still in the 70s (albeit upper).

The result was that in my first "official" training run for this year's Tomato 5K, I completed 3.23 miles in just under 45 minutes. My goal is to finish this year's race under 45, or even (dare I hope?) under 44. The course is much hillier than the part of my neighborhood where I was yesterday, but I also still have a month to prepare and maybe shave off a little more time!

Monday, July 4, 2011

The countdown begins . . .

Four weeks from today will be my 39th birthday, so it seems like the time to "go public" with the little project I've been kicking around for the past nine months or so. My plan is to "run" (AKA jog, amble, walk, crawl) 40 miles in running events in the 365 days before I turn 40 on August 1, 2012.

I'll be posting more in the coming weeks and months about what brought me to start this journey, where I've come to this point, and the actual events themselves! The first race I am registered for is the 5K for the East Nashville Tomato Arts Festival on August 13, 2011. I'm also signed up for the Nashville Half Marathon on November 12.