Tuesday, May 31, 2011

a visit from murphy

a few hours before our memorial day cookout, i heard the fridge making a noise. it has made this noise a few times before, but i'd ignored it. this time, i looked down the crack between the fridge and counter and spotted a little water. hmmm...

i started to pull the fridge out from the wall to investigate and the floodgates opened. water was spraying everywhere; i yelled out the backdoor for josh.

it was a stressful 10 minutes. i'm swimming on the kitchen floor, praying i won't be electrocuted, trying to aim the water into a bucket. josh is outside fighting a seized up valve on our water main (thanks local water system) and running inside every few minutes to dump out my bucket just before it overflows. three gallons of water later (that we know of) he gets the water shut off. he complains about having to go to home depot all dirty (uhh, it's home depot? full of dirty construction men?) but he goes anyway. i mopped up the water but apparently it got under the living room flooring as that was buckling and warping tuesday morning. excellent.

- do i have a spare box of living room flooring? nope.
- is the store i purchased it from (4+ yrs ago) still in business? nope.
- is the living room floor the same as the dining rm, hallways and master bdrm? yes.
- wouldn't i just love to redo it all again if i can't find something that matches? um. no.

tuesday morning, now an expert at identifying wet, warping flooring, i noticed the foyer floor was having issues as we were rushing out the door to work. apparently a water jug had sprung a leak (not sure how) for who-knows-how-long.

i don't know why the water jug was in the foyer, but it was. i'm deeply saddened, as this was the only part of the original house i'd planned to leave intact (this house has been an almost-5-year-rehab project). josh on the other hand hated the parkay so he probably planted the leaky jug there...

our next house is going to have cement floors

Monday, May 30, 2011

sony giveaway winners

happy memorial day!

thanks to all those who serve(d) and protect the freedoms we enjoy everyday. 

our freedoms don't come free, but i do have those two sony w-series mp3 players to give to two lucky winners (chosen by random.org):

congrats winners! email your mailing address (to lindsay at chasingthekenyans dot com); your personal information will not be sold or used in a manner other than to mail you your mp3 player. you have until thursday 6/2 to claim your prize before a new winner(s) is chosen. thanks to all for entering!

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

the face on the milk carton

have you seen this cooling mechanism?
also answers to "sweat"
last seen: summer 2009

typically comprised of water, minerals and odorant chemicals.
may taste salty.

if you have any information regarding the whereabouts of my perspiration
please call 1-800-not-sweaty.

tuesday (5/24) pm run: 6.35mi / 9:04 avg pace / 89* degrees, 45% humidity

and in case you didn't already figure it out -- absolutely 0% sweating. what's up, self?

after running for almost an hour in 89* sunshine

Sunday, May 22, 2011

yoga research

research confirms that drinking gives you the same benefits yoga does!

savasana - position of total relaxation.

balasana - position that brings the sensation of peace and calm.

setu bandha sarvangasana - this position calms the brain and heals tired legs.

marjayasana - position stimulates the midriff area and the spinal column.

halasana - excellent for back pain and insomnia.

dolphin - excellent for the shoulder area, thorax, legs, and arms.

salambhasana - great exercise to stimulate the lumbar area, legs, and arms.

ananda balasana - this position is great for massaging the hip area.

malasana - this position, for ankles and back muscles.

Saturday, May 21, 2011

saturday savings

*as always, i do not get any benefit, profit, perk, special treatment, moolah, freebies, brand new cars or all-inclusive vacations should you choose to use any of these coupons. they are just deals that i found and am sharing for the greater good.*

indianapolis monumental marathon
for some reason i get a lot of blog hits for the indianapolis monumental marathon (nov 5th). the weekend festivities include a 5k, half-marathon and full marathon. i haven't run it, but i do have a coupon code:

enter "LoveGB" at registration to get $5 off, expires 6/1

[disclaimer: i got this coupon code in my race packet from the green bay marathon]

rudy project
use code "CLOTHING" for 50% off all cycling/triathlon apparel at e-rudy.com, not valid on sale items, expires 5/31

[disclaimer: i got this coupon code in an email from rudy project]

nuun tablets
this week i learned that active.com has it's own version of groupon for athletes like us. one of the current deals is four (4) tubes of nuun tablets for only $17 (normally $37). click here to buy; deal ends 5/25.

i personally have no idea how nuun works or tastes.

[disclaimer: i heard about this deal from karen]

giveaway reminder
don't forget to enter the sony w-series mp3 giveaway! just leave a comment on that post and you too could run wireless.

Friday, May 20, 2011

summary of training - green bay marathon

just for kicks, a review of my "training" (vs nyc stats):

# of weeks in training plan - 17 (nyc: 24, i think)

# of runs - 82 (nyc: 145)

miles - 528.19 (nyc: 1,114.29)

average mpw - 32.62 (nyc: 48.21)

highest weekly mileage - 44.41 (nyc: 68.16)

runs missed due to injury sickness - 5 (the flu-plague)

runs skipped due to laziness - 26

# runs of 15 miles or more - a whopping 3: 19 early feb, 17 mid-march, 19 early april (nyc: 11)

hours of running - roughly 78 (nyc: 164)

average pace - 9:03 (nyc: 9:00)

races - 3 (an 8k dnf, 5k pr, and another 5k)

pr's - 1

quality workouts - um. like 3... maybe.

and since i've been enlightening you lately with my best "how-(not)-to's"...

number of miles on the shoes i wore on race day - 1,152.18
(green mizuno's first run: 11/14/09)

green bay was not their first rodeo

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

product review + giveaway: sony w-series mp3 player

although the completely revamped sony walkman has popped up throughout the blogosphere recently, i can't help but think of the original walkman. i didn't have a real walkman, but i did have a few discman's. i remember when i upgraded to the super cool, "no-skip" version. i would use it when i "ran" and by ran i mean maybe a mile. i don't think it had skipping problems until after i dropped it 50-bajillion times and then it may have had a few issues (can you blame it?).

thankfully, technology has evolved and sony now offers a cordless mp3 player, the w-series. it looks a lot like a bluetooth (or as my old boss would say, a bluetoob) so it can make you look important but you won't be able to take calls on the run.

key features
  • cordless
  • water-resistant (to an extent of course)
  • quick to charge (takes 3 minutes to get about 90 minutes of action)
  • only $49.99 (originally 59.95 but currently on sale)

how'd it work for me?
i prefer to run without music when running outside, but i need entertainment when running/exercising indoors. i first used the 'w' on a 10-mile treadmill run. i had difficulties getting it to stay in place and after texting with morgan i tried her backwards method. i guess my head is shaped funny because the backwards method worked after a few attempts.

the second and third trials were both 5-mile treadmill runs, along with some abs and weight-lifting. i had no trouble with the w-series on either of these two runs and can admit it was probably user error on the first run.

the on/off and volume up/down controls are very easy to use and the sound quality was good as well. i really enjoyed not having a headphone cord flap against my arm/torso during a run or having to untangle myself from any weight equipment.

sony provided me with two w-series mp3 players to giveaway.

to enter
leave a comment below and tell me what your first (or favorite) cassette tape was.
- mine was the free willy soundtrack. jason james richter was such a hottie.

for 4 bonus entries: tweet "i want to run to the beat with @sony's w-series mp3 player #ctkrocktherun" (if you don't include the #ctkrocktherun, i won't know you tweeted)

if you hosted your own sony giveaway (ahem morgan, aron, kevin, jess, and others) - spread the word to your readers and have them tell me you sent them! if your 'referral' wins, you'll win a special personalized prize-pack from me.

disclaimer & fine print
sony sent me a w-series mp3 player for review.
sony also sent me two additional w-series mp3 players to giveaway.
the special prize-pack(s) for referrers will be provided by funds from the ctk bank (aka myself).

there will be two (2) winners chosen via random drawing.
you do not have to be a resident of the united states to enter.
giveaway ends friday, may 27th.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

touch the tundra: cellcom green bay marathon

in january of 2010, diana planted a seed in my never-logical, marathon-crazed brain. she offered up her guest bedroom and invited me to run the green bay marathon with her in 2011; it would be her first. what kind of runner-friend would turn down the invitation to celebrate someone's first marathon? unfortunately she spent the last few months leading up to race day battling the boot and had to switch to the half-marathon, but she still finished valiantly and will one day run her own 26.2!

standing at the feet of giants

i arrived in dairyland on friday to cloudy and cold weather, but the sun came out for the race on sunday along with it's friend windy. as usual i forgot warm pre-race clothes (i packed for 4 days in just a backpack) so we went shopping at kohl's on race-eve where diana found this sweet bedazzled gem.

people paid $30 for this? i felt like $6 was steep.
the "look amazing" tag perfectly describes this shirt.
i'm still confused as to why the front is shorter than the back.

i also picked up the latest development in running gear - gardening gloves ($3). i ended up wearing them the majority of the race thanks to the insane winds.

wait, let's back it up. it is very important that i mention diana gave me a private kettlebell lesson on friday. remember kids- don't try new things right before a race. i woke saturday with a sore back (from having bad form in the beginning) and super sore hamstrings. at the expo on saturday, i was walking as though i had already run the marathon.

note: my form is not good here. it is not a reflection of my kb instructor.
extra note: this was a re-enactment photo taken the day *after* the marathon.

when the factory whistle sounded the start of the marathon, i walked a few paces to the start line and then began to run. hello hamstrings! still sore. still aching. i twinged a little with every step for the next 20 or so miles.

diana's hubby was an expert spectator!
(that sweatshirt looks even sexier from the side/back)

the first half of the race was mostly residential, but there were great crowds of spectators! i assumed it would be sparse due to the logistics of parking on neighborhood streets but i was pleasantly surprised to see many spectators. as always, thank you spectators for cheering on your loved one(s) and a few thousand complete strangers. the second half was more industrial and then along a bike path so spectators were fewer and further between. there was a good crowd at most of the mile markers though; every little boost helped.

mile 1 (8:49) - sore hammy's from the first step. saw the best sign of the day: "this wind blows".
mile 2 (8:48) - the wind blew my hat off and i had to back track for it.
mile 3 (8:24) - ditched the bedazzled sweatshirt without regret.
mile 4 (8:30) - apparently this mile was long, i figured my garmin was off due to chasing after my hat.
mile 5 (8:39) - had to chase my hat again.
mile 6 (9:57) - pit stop to go #2... yes, stellar start to the marathon. high-fived some kids with my gardening gloves.
mile 7 (8:44) - motivated by the "10k alleluia" group and their phil 4:13 banner. big crowd of spectators, music, chalk-cheers on the pavement. took a gu roctane.
mile 8, 9 and 10 (8:39, 8:51, 8:56) - ran behind some guys in ironman gear. used them to block the wind. one could have used some longer shorts.
mile 11 (8:35) - the half-marathoners split off and headed back to lambeau field. i crossed a 4-lane highway with the marathoners while the winds gusted to 30mph, causing my left leg to kick my right leg.
mile 12 (8:47) -  uneventful. slight incline.
mile 13 (8:34) - another gu roctane; half split - 1:56:55
mile 14 (10:04) - another pit stop... another #2...
mile 15 (8:41) - tail wind! already having to tell myself to "make it hurt and push harder".
mile 16 (8:49) - crossed the fox river. waaaayyy exposed on the bridge. have to hold onto hat and try to not be blown into traffic by the gusting winds from the left. gusting winds also made it hard to breathe - i felt like i was choking/suffocating at times.

miles 17 thru 21 (9:21, 9:40, 9:16, 9:26, 9:18) - on paved path along the river.
  • lovely headwind now, 25-35mph with gusts up to 50mph. more feeling suffocated. turned hat around so it wouldn't blow off anymore.
  • somewhere in here i quit noticing the aches from my hamstrings.
  • saw a sign that said: "listen to my body? if i listened to my body i would be lying in bed right now eating a danish and reading the paper."
  • i talked myself out of ever running a marathon again.
mile 22 (10:56) - huge gust of wind that literally had me running in place. i had to turn around and run backwards for a few steps just so i could breathe.
mile 23 (9:09) - i'd been running the math in my head throughout the race, and was pretty sure i could still run a sub-4 if i held on for these last few miles. i chatted a little with a woman who was wearing her boston jacket (she ran a 3:43 there last month).  6 days is more hardcore than 30...
mile 24 (9:34) - repeated to myself "the harder you run, the faster you're done".
mile 25 (9:09) - so ready to run through a tunnel of champions, ready for a victory lap around lambeau field, ready to be done.
mile 26 (8:12) - technically garmin reached 26.2 after only a few steps on the tundra, but i know i don't run the tangents, plus i had to chase after my hat a few times. i really picked it up for my lap around the field, threw my arms up in the air for a photographer (i'm sure i managed to look awkward), and fought hard against one last headwind as i ran back out the tunnel.
mile 26.5 (7:14 pace) - i sprinted from the tunnel to the finish line, a kick finish is my absolutely favorite part of any race.

brain activity immediately upon finishing: man i am so going to do a couple marathons in the fall.

post-race "packer" m&m's from diana!

in the end, i think the headwinds were a blessing. sure they slowed me down, but i was undertrained for this marathon and they helped hold me back. perhaps i would have injured myself or caused another bout of nausea/vertigo had i continued at a stronger pace. my legs are already feeling normal again, though i'm still scheduling a two-hour massage (like you need an excuse to do that).

green bay marathon - 3:57:59 / 9:04 avg pace

10 down, 41 to go! who's hosting me next? :)

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

riding in cars with strangers (and free coconut water)

7:00am - pack bag to runmute home.

(7:30am-5:00pm - play words with friends work)

5:25pm - check weather.com; forecast shows storms at 8pm and later.

6:00pm - start run.

6:30pm - thunder in the distance.

6:40pm - duck into an atm booth to check weather map on phone. decide you can make it home.

6:50pm - it begins to hail. did you know it could hail when it's 87 degrees out? it can. it kind of stings, but at least it cools you down a little.

7:00pm - hail turns into a heavy dumping of rain with a few spare hail bombs for good measure.

7:05pm - dart across the street assuming two cars will give you the right of way in an attempt to get to some trees for shelter. attempt to turn phone off before it shorts from water damage.

7:10pm - white jeep pulls up and offers a ride home. *consider being kidnapped after taking a ride from a stranger*. briefly consider your other option of standing in the pouring rain/hail/thunder with a dead phone.

7:11pm - accept ride from stranger-man (sorry mom, i know you taught me better). tell yourself it's safe because there are two kids in the car. try not to scare the little boy in the backseat next to you and apologize for getting the seat all wet.

tuesday (5/10) runmute: 6.38miles / 8:57 avg pace / 87 degrees and stormy

to the man and kids in the white jeep - thanks for the (safe) ride home. it's nice to know there's still a little kindness in this world.

free coconut water
get a free sample of PHENOM coconut water simply by commenting on one of their blog articles by sunday, may 15th. i haven't tried it just yet but i will be soon!

Monday, May 9, 2011

swamp rabbit 5k

back in january, i mentioned i was gearing up to make a grand return to the marathon.

it will be a return but it won't be grand, at least not in the sense i was originally hoping for. i followed my m.o. and slogged my way through another 16-week "training" "plan". provided i survive, this will be marathon #10. it will be marathon #8 that i did not properly train for. common sense might suggest i stick to half-marathons and shorter, but what's the fun in that?

so yes, i have a little 26.2-mile jaunt coming up next weekend. it could have been a throwdown with marlene, but she actually trained. even if you tied her legs together she'd still beat me.

marlene is accepting donations to cure her club arm
so yes, this is technically taper time. however, if you don't train, you don't have to taper*. it is also a good idea to run a hard 5k a week before a marathon**.

friday evening i ran the ghs swamp rabbit 5k. it's a crowded race with 4,000+ participants, but it's only $6 and includes a t-shirt. i bumped into my former (i'm not allowed to say "old") cross-country coach from high school before the race and we stashed our t-shirts under a tree. is it not runner code to not steal from other runners? apparently some still need to learn this rule as our shirts were gone when i went back for them. another rule people should learn is "don't line up at the front with your small children". would you put your child out in front of a wildebeest stampede? i didn't think so. let's apply this same common sense to human stampedes, shall we?

do you see me?
the race organizers delayed the race a few minutes because the traffic was awful, giving me time to run to the porta-potty instead of potentially peeing on myself mid-race. this also served as my "warm up", to which my coach shook her head in dismay.

random people at the race
i haven't done speedwork since my last 5k, so i knew i probably wouldn't pr. i was hoping to at least go sub-21 again, and i did with a 20:54-ish. this course was hillier than the last - the first mile had two short inclines (i wouldn't call them hills), mile two was a roller coaster (the most painful mile in any 5k in my opinion) and mile three was mostly flat. my legs were beat up from mile two, and my right quad is still a little sore today. perhaps that is also due to the 0-mile cooldown i did afterward. yep, no warmup and no cooldown*** - i am a textbook example of how not to train and race.

note: i am not the man in black

friday (3/6) race: 3.1 miles / 20:54 (avg pace 6:38) / 72*
6th overall/1st age group

the award was an authentic railroad spike
(the "swamp rabbit trail" is part of the rails-to-trails project)

*, **, *** please consult your physician before following any ctk training advice

all four race photos from the greenville news
the artwork and railroad spike © ctk 2011

Friday, May 6, 2011

product review: zensah sports bra

i'm not normally a gambler, but i'm willing to bet most of you have either a) heard of zensah's compression socks/sleeves or b) haven't heard of zensah at all (probably because you're not on twitter, as that's where i discovered zensah because people tweet about it all the time).

birdrunner: i could perch on this branch all day in my @zensah leg sleeves

in addition to compression gear (men and women), zensah also sells sports bras. i haven't tried the leg sleeves, but i did receive a zensah sports bra to review. sorry men, this probably doesn't interest you, so here's a random review i found on the men's compression shorts and another on compression socks to keep you occupied.

to be honest, i don't shop often for running gear (or in general). i still wear sports bras from 1998/10th grade... (now that i think about it, i have been holding on to a lot of my clothes from the late-90's).

the difference in support is quite obvious between my old "hanes sport" cotton sports bras and the new zensah one. two things i really liked about the zensah bra are the soft fabric and fun variety of color choices. it's also seamless to prevent chafing, and so far it hasn't rubbed me the wrong way.

based on my bra size, i fell right on the border of the s/m and m/l sizes. since i'd rather err on the side of too-much support rather than too-little, i chose a small and the girls have been well-supported by that decision. it's very comfortable and i've even worn it when i had no intentions of working out.

with pj's to a bridal brunch
(aka, zensah = formal wear)

i've been a fan of the champion c9 sports bras, and to me zensah is a step above them. they're both made of a similar material, but zensah gives me a tighter fit and more support. i don't want to be suffocated by my sports bra, but i do want things to stay in place.

now the real test will be in 13+ years (for some reason zensah did not want to wait that long for a product review) -- will this bra still be in the rotation like my old cotton sports bras?

[*disclaimer: zensah sent me this sports bra to review. the opinions of it are my own.]

shop zensah for your compression or sports bra needs. "runnersrule10" gets you 10% off your order (worked as of 5/4).

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

move your body

check your pulse if that does not make you want to get up and move!

this may or may not have been my workout for monday... although it did motivate me to hop right out of bed this morning for a short, easy run with cooperating bowels. oh the things to celebrate in life!
(maybe after 9473058 more takes i will get these moves down for the first ctk dance video)

tuesday (5/3) am run: 4.05 miles / 9:25 avg pace / 68 degrees / 5 runners spotted!!

Sunday, May 1, 2011

april 2011

april 2011
total mileage: 138.93
time spent running: 20hrs 27min
days off: 11
avg temp: 65.38
trip of the month: boston (hey i never said they had to be exotic trips!) 
finally a new 5k pr!

it seems i've started a cookie-of-the-month in the ctk kitchen. i bought a 2lb container of oats awhile ago and what better way to (slowly) use them up than baking cookies. josh was away on a work trip for most of the month and his apples were begging to be baked. i can't eat raw apples because the protein is similar to birch pollen and makes my throat itchy (oral allergy syndrome). cooking changes those proteins so i can eat apple goods comfortably. in other words, apple pie = healthy.

anyway. this time i made apple oatmeal cookies. i subbed the shortening with canola oil and diced two apples (instead of just 1c). mine came out flat, i think my baking powder is past it's prime. flat just means less calories, right?

a legally blind south carolina woman won the flying pig marathon this weekend. pretty cool.