Sunday, January 31, 2010

Mulligan likes things that are not his.

Simply put... my dog loves things that are not his. Bath mats. Shoes. Jackets. Coke Cans. Pants. Shirts. The list could go on forever. I don't know if he takes things as a way to get attention, but I do know that he has a lot of fun with things that are not his. He knows that he will get a quick spray of Bitter Apple in the mouth to get it back (he is so stubborn and won't drop anything, so we have to). I have decided to share some pictures with you all of some of his favorite things. The always been favorites and the new favorites (ahem, the coke can). Disclaimer: Yes. My dog does have toys. Lots of toys. I can count about 5 on our floor now and then we have a whole closet full. But for some reason he would much rather play with the "no no toys" than his own.

The bathmat: He has always adored the yellow bathmat. Truth be told, he wouldn't if we had disciplined him as a young little pup but how do you tell a 7 week old cutie no when he is dragging a bathmat bigger than him around the apartment. Now, most mornings my boyfriend does not have a bathmat to stand on when exiting the shower. It can be found on our dog's bed. Where is my bath mat you ask? Shredded. Mully destroyed it months ago and I have been too lazy to buy another one for him to rip up.

The coke can: This is a new favorite this week. My company just moved my branch from one building to another. In the move I decided to take home a bunch of regular coke to Kyle since no one in my office was going to drink it and I knew he would. Kyle pulls some out, drops one, and here comes Mulligan ... running across the living room to pick it up and play with it. After letting him kick it around the living room, bite at it, run with it in his mouth, and taking a few pictures it dawned on me ... what happens if this coke can bursts?! Duh. We would have brown liquid everywhere. So, we had to grab the infamous Bitter Apple and take it away. Honestly, 3 days later I an unsure if that coke has been touched yet. I know Kyle was going to hold off a few days.

Momma's Pants: another fun toy for Mully are my comfy over sized flannel pants ... stolen from Kyle's closet. Many mornings you can find Mulligan chomping on the pull strings. Sure yes, this is another parenting mishap ... I always let him munch on the pull strings of my hooded sweatshirts, but I never thought he would take the love of those and much on any tightening strings. These pants also have holes in many locations from midday snacks and him playing too rough. Of course, my motto seems to be, whatever makes him happy and makes for a good pictures. ....Cue bitter apple, I got the pants back.

Shoes: probably his ultimate favorite. I don't know if he likes the taste of rubber in his mouth or what, but he loves loves loves shoes. His personal favorite are boots. He likes to bite and hop on them while they are still on your feet. He loves my Uggs and Kyle's Timberland's. He also loves flip-flops, my boat shoes, heels, and rain boots. He loves the rain boot - I wish I had a picture that shows all the teeth marks from him going to town. You know, it would be a lot smarter if I would just put the shoes in the closet but I always kick them off by the front door. Of course, bitter apple calms him for a moments time.

Well, I guess that is all for now. Mulligan loves things he is not supposed to love, but he does have his favorite toys as well. But how does a dogs toy make for a good story? I don't think it does ... so I doubt you will ever hear about the tennis ball on a rope. You may hear about his bell ball - but only because my boyfriend will knock down a light at some point or I will crack my head open by being pushed over. But that will all be for another date, if and when it happens. For now you got to learn about 4 things he loves... but shouldn't! :o)

January Recap.

One of my resolutions that I made was to everyday right down what I was thankful for and then I wanted to do a "monthly recap" of the biggest things I am thankful for from the month that just passed. So, let me begin.
  1. The fact that I ran a marathon. I am so thankful for the fact that I have been given the ability to walk, run, skip, everything. ...It is something that people take for granted every day and it was something I realized after I ran, walked, and skipped 26.2 miles.
  2. I am wickedly thankful for my family and office mates/people I work with. My Mom, Dad, Branch Manager, and her fiancee trekked to Orlando with me to watch me run a marathon in 20 degree weather. It really makes you realize that you are loved and there are people who want to support something you really love doing. I also had so many messages of congrats/I am proud of you/you have motivated me to do one messages from people at my company. My co-workers also PUSH me to get out the door at run for a hour during work hours. If I don't it is because I am lazy!
  3. My boyfriend. As much as I complain about him, he does support my running goals and ambitions. He doesn't complain about late dinners anymore and he 100% understands when I want to run an 8am race or hit the gym after work. I think this would be so much harder without him.

Onto another topic. Back in December I decided to set some twenty.ten running and working out goals. So, how did I do? ...Ehh okay, not the best, but it could have been a lot worse. But I am not going to beat myself up over it... this was only month one. I didn't run the 60 miles I had hoped to (I ran 44.49) but that was the highest miles ever for me - so that is an accomplishment. I have started to work in cross training - not as much as I want to - but I have started to. Spin class, rocks. Do it. Love it. Embrace it. (I go on Thursdays at LA Fitness in Buckhead ... join me!) ...I have not done hill training, I slept through my first 10k of the year -- but I needed the sleep more than the miles TRUST ME -- but I have tried to work on pace. ...Runners World just has put me at a slower than I would like pace. I will just have to have a little more dedication next month. And well... now that my office is fully moved into our new space, I will be able to get out for some mid-day runs!

I am not going to look at January as a failure because I have not stuck to my resolutions, but a milestone because I ran my first ever marathon. :) :) :) ....February will be better! I can feel it!

Monday, January 25, 2010

Welcome to me :o)

Once upon a time I was a small little thing (that's me to the right when I first came home to 3450 Miller Dr.) ... but this is my life a year later. Now I am not that small, I grew into those paws of mine and I love my family, my apartment, my bed, and my tennis balls! =)
I was given the name Mulligan Lackashore Shanahan-Vines ... however, I am often called "Mull" or "Mully" or "Bug" or "Bugga" or "cuddle bug" or "lovebug". We don't know quite what I am, but those details do not matter... I just know that I am awesome!
My family is horrible at disciplining me. It is because I am so freaking cute. This is the story of my life and my menacing ways. I hope you enjoy reading about how I terrorize my parents life, love to eat walls, and could munch on tennis balls and bones all day long. Oh and I love to sleep and snore too ... but those stories are no fun!

My apologies - not gonna happen.

I have had a rough Monday. Evidently my post on Cross Training has sparked quite a controversy on Twitter & Dailymile. Please know that I did not mean to gripe or bitch or complain. I was stating the fact that I have never embraced Cross Training - I would rather be lazy and watch trashy reality TV than hit the elliptical ... it was like my AA meeting, admitting the truth to learn to cope with it. I wanted to research Cross Training so I could understand it more and learn the benefits and learn what is and is not more beneficial. It was more me gaining and understanding and sharing it with the running community that follows me, especially since a lot of newbies do and we're in the same boat.

I am sorry if my blog posts are not always 100% sunshine & roses, great miles put in today cheerleader like. I am sorry if I have a bad 5k I admit that I had a bad 5k. I like brutal honesty. Writing is my medium to get things off my chest. Especially since I have a boyfriend who would rather play video games than hit the pavement with me and does not understand why in the world I would want to run 5+ miles in one run. Up until this morning I thought I had a lot of supportive running people following me on Dailymile & Twitter. ...which, I know for a fact I do. But there are obviously some out there that I annoy.

Evidently I am a "negative" person and "complain too much" about bad runs and not being in the mood to run. You know what, if I do in fact annoy you ... I challenge you to unfollow me on Twitter & Dailymile. I challenge you to stop following this blog. You know I created this blog to document my training for my first half marathon with Team in Training and it evolved to my quest to learn to love running. You have to understand that I am a lazy bone who happens to like running. You have to understand that my job required 8+ hours A DAY of my time and most weekends, so if I don't feel like running because I am exhausted... I don't feel like running. If I have a bad run, I want to vent, I want on outlet of supportive runners who understand where I am coming from and where I am at that moment in time. I like to think that I tell people they have awesome runs and great races, that they're rockstars, that I envy their pace, and that they too will have off days but there will be great days to come. I don't want the people following me who tell me I am pessimistic and hate something and am constantly negative. Up until last week I hadn't had a bad run in WEEKS, I hadn't felt so discouraged in a while. I was coming off an awesome Monday run and a great spin class. I was amped up about ING in March. Knowing that I had 13.1 miles to run and it hurt to do 3 was discouraging. Sorry I wanted to vent - to the 13 or so people who told me an off day is normal and happens to the best of us and that the next run will be so much better thank you. you rock. i love you and your positive encouragement. But to everyone who sent me DM's or Private Messages after my cross training blog -- leave and don't track my training or follow me on twitter, I am not making you have an interest in my running life (the good and the bad). This is my account on my life and my want to learn to live, breathe, and love running.

I follow a blogger named Denise who got rude comments about how she BQ'd (Boston Qualified) and said "BQ" too many times in a blog post. Like her, I want to rise about it all and put it behind me.

So, I am sorry for the rant. That is all I will apologize for, I will not apologize for having a bad running day or disliking cross training because I don't understand the point of it. I will not apologize for wanting to learn as much as I can about running and wanting to learn about the advantages of cross training. And please if you want to try and tear me down and want to tell me I am negative, keep your opinions to yourself. I am self conscious enough and I don't need you tearing me down.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

...cross training...why?

Everyone knows that I have a love hate relationship with cross training. I have no problem lacing up my shoes and hitting the pavement, but when my run schedule says "Rest/XT" ... I like to chose the rest option and watch reruns of the Jersey Shore on MTV or Frank the Entertainer's Basement of Love on VH1. When training for both Nike & Disney I did very very very little training other than running. Now that I am training for ING in March I decided to incorporate cross training and see how it helps me on race day and in general. ...I call this more of an experiment than anything...

First things first. What is cross training? Mr. Hal Higdon explains it as: It is any other form of aerobic activity that allows you to use slightly different muscles while resting (usually) after your long run. He says the best cross training activities are swimming, walking, and cycling. He also says to combine two different cross training activities (example: swimming and cycling)

My research began on both Twitter (follow me: @bamabarbie06) as well as googling the obvious "cross training" ... "cross training for running" ... "cross training marathon" ... etc ...

I stumbled across this marathon training page and they had a whole section on cross training that was literally screaming "barbie! read me!" According to them cross training is good because it (1) prevents burn out (2) can serve as an injury prevention measure (3) increases upper body strength *which helps as you go UP hills* .... types of good cross training are: (1) cycling and spin (2) swimming (3) indoor rowing (4) elliptical trainer (5) stair climbers.
Runners World also had an article back in '06 that explained the 4 keys to cross training... which made a lot of sense. What I thought was the most interesting was that you should pick workouts that are closest in terms of running such as water running, spinning, elliptical, and ski machines.
Cool Running (Twitter: @coolrunning) had a "mix it up" article and they hit the nose on the head. I want to incorporate cross training to improve my running, increase my speed, and build my endurance. They mentioned that for runners who want to improve all that fun stuff the best activities are: biking, weigh training, soccer, water running, stair climbing, aerobic dance, walking, and swimming.
And lastly, Livestrong gives us cross training newbies 5 things that we need to know... and they also really answered my question about WHY?! Long story short: Cross training gives runners an alternative way to strengthen and prepare the body.

...what I did read from every site was to not over due it. does that mean I should have more than 1 official rest day. Or is it okay to have just 1 and make that the day before my long run?!

Twitter has a HUGE running community. After running Disney I realized that I really do have an amazingly awesome running twitter family. They are more than supportive and informative and have been instrumental in my running. So I though they would be a great resource. I presented them with the question "In your opinion, what's the point of cross training and what is your favorite cross training activity". is what I gathered & it supported my Internet research..
@sketch678 - I think it's to strengthen some of your support muscles. His fave: Spin Class & Indoor Rowing.
@TCRunner288 - Cross Training prevents overuse injuries and keeps me mentally fresh for runs.
@bonniegartley - she does yoga (for strength training) or the stationary bike.
@rwrodgers - I think the point is variety maybe? He does yoga.

So. The purpose? ...I guess I have gathered that it is there to supplement your running. It helps strengthen other muscles in your body which will ultimately help prevent injuries. Not put you in a bubble so you will never get hurts, but it will help prevent injuries. It also helps you not get burnt out... switching it up gives you variety so you don't get tired of the pavement all the time. It also helps build muscles that help you on race day. Like, who would have thought that upper body strength helps on the up and up of hills. Also, other cardiovascular activities help build your endurance which will keep you moving towards the finish on race day. And that's the point right?

....needless to say, I think my plan of spin classes, elliptical workouts, and swimming are going to be effective. There have been a few classes at LA Fitness that I have been wanting to add into my training (especially since I do my runs mid day) that I may give a whirl. Anything to help build endurance and better my race day potential. What I wasn't thrilled to read came from The Kenyan Way - Pilates evidently will greatly improve your performance. If only it wasn't so boring... but if it helps maybe I will go every other Sunday... maybe.

Now lets just hope my poor muscles can make it through this week! :o)

Happy Running all! Have a great week!!

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Next on schedule - ING Half.

So I cranked out Disney and now I am onto training for my 2nd half marathon ING Atlanta. It feels so weird to be gearing up for a race so close to home, but it is also pretty cool to know that I can just hop on the MARTA get to the start and then get home. will probably be a little more difficult than that, but who knows. Maybe I should do a test run the weekend before. ANYWAY - ING is a little under 9 weeks away and I took 1 week off from Disney. Learned to walk again - saw the most amazing sports massage guy Tony - sat on my couch and watched reality TV and really did nothing.

Monday I started in full swing to actually train and get ready for the 13.1 miles. Actually... the week that I was doing nothing I pulled a schedule off Runner's World. You have to understand that actually training for a race is a new concept for me. I am the runner/person who semi trains, never really does more than 6 miles and then gets to the starting line thinking WTF Barbie?! So this time, I am going to try my best to take this as serious as possible.

And here is my schedule and plan:
run the scheduled amount. They have Monday as my "easy day" so I think this will be my favorite day of the week! :o) ...there is one Monday that is a "rest or cross training" day and I think I will make that Monday an Elliptical day.
Tuesday: Is scheduled rest of cross training. I have chose the later and I am going to do a 1 hour spin class every Tuesday night. I did my first one yesterday. It was a butt kicker, I have never sweated so much in my life, I need to bring a bigger water next time, but I also left and was pretty much hooked. Rock on. **now lets just hope it really does help. ha**
Wednesday: The mid week is either a tempo run or speed work day. The miles increase from Monday - but that is fine ... that is so what I need.
Thursday: This is also an "easy run" day - I think I may to this run on the dreaded treadmill to work on pace; however, they have me scheduled for a 12:47 pace and that kills me of slowness. But, I think I will do it on the treadmill and then do like 30 minutes of swimming on top of it. ...there is one day that has a "rest or cross training day" and I will make that an elliptical day.
Friday: MY DAY OF REST! :o)
Saturday: Dun Dun Dun ... dreaded long run day. ....I think I am going to try and get a few of those long runs in at Stone Mountain because I do need hill training and hills are my friend.
Sunday: Another rest or cross training day ... again I have chose the later. I know for sure I am going to do 30 minutes of swimming but I will either combine it with 30 minutes on the Elliptical or 1 hr of Pilates. ...maybe I will switch it up week to week.

...Now wish me luck. My goal for ING is to run at least a 2:30 ... if I could get below amazing but it is going to be one step at a time. I just really hope that I can stick with the training and not be a slacker and then continue the habits on spin classes post race and keep swimming. After all, I gotta use that gym membership!

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Change of Heart.

So. On Sunday I was swearing off 26.2 miles - everyone was telling me congrats and welcome to the marathon club and that I was a marathoner! ...I was laying in bed wanting to cry and die all at the same time. I had never been in so much pain in my life. Everyone kept telling me the cliche saying of "the pain is temporary but the pride is forever" ... I was hearing blah blah blah. Well I went home to Atlanta, soaked in Epsom salt, loved on frozen peas and corn, and rested my poor little (err.. long) legs.

So here I am, Wednesday after the race and sure it still is painful to walk depending on the surface - my right knee and both hamstrings are in pain so I scheduled a 4:15 sports massage for tomorrow afternoon ... but other than that I feel fine and I am more excited about finishing a marathon than I am about finishing college. (Sorry mom and dad, but thanks for all the school you paid for!) So, I am going to let myself be a marathoner.

Don't get the wrong idea though... I am not going to dive in head first and do another. I don't think 2010 is going to be the year of the marathon. Nor do I think I will do another full in this calendar year. I think I am going to focus on perfecting my 10k and getting to the point that the 10k is my 5k (no longer a real challenge) and spend my time running half marathons. I think I will do some 5ks for fun with friends and try to PR, but I really do want to focus on distance and building up mileage. There are three more half's I want to do this year and then hit 2011 and see where I am running wise. I want to focus more on pace and endurance and taking training seriously before I attempt another 26.2 ... I want to become a "smart runner".

So Disney, thanks ... it was a great time, I think it would have been easier if I had actually put in the miles and trained. And 26.2 .... I will be back, just give me a year or so and I will come after you with a vengeance! :o) I am going to be a card holding member of the marathon club, I will start swiping it again in a year or so. But for now, I am just going to enjoy the running and get to a point where training for a marathon will be second nature.

Next on the schedule? A 10k at the end of January, followed by another 10k in Febuary, and then ING in March. I want to finish ING in 2:30 which is quicker than Nike and my half split at Disney so wish me luck! :o)

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Oh Disney. Thanks for 26.2.

Firts things first. I am officially a marathoner. Booya. 26.2 in one morning. Completed by me. Rock on. And the make the weekend even better... my Alabama Crimson Tide were titled the National Champions. I guess us Nick Saban followers accomplish greatness. :o)

Where to even begin. Let me start with the truth of I did not really train for this event. I took on the slacker training program, yet again. ugh. Going into 26.2 I had run 13.1 in October, but since then I don't think my miles hit more than 6. Whoops?! Onto the race -- The race was absolutely freezing - so cold people had ice forming on them where they were sweating and the water stops were pretty icy on the ground (I wonder if anyone took sponges at mile 17? I sure as hell didn't). So much for sunny Florida. I don't know the exact temps of the start, but I think it was in the 20's somewhere and it never really warmed up. Well, I never fully warmed up. The race starts with fireworks which, honestly, was pretty bad ass. I cannot tell you too much about the mile markers because well I was in so much of a trance that I was just trying to finish and get out of the cold. But I will tell you that running through the parks is pretty freaking awesome. And Disney is not as flat as you would think, or maybe it's just the exit ramps they have you run up - but I was not hill trained for this and that was a downfall for me. ...I guess it is back to running parking garages for me. HA!

I was really looking forward to running through the castle, but running up to Epcot and through Epcot in the dark was pretty magical. I loved Animal Kingdom, but then again that has always been a favorite for me. Hollywood Studios was nothing I remembered it being but I thought it was pretty much awesome, but that was the same for a lot of the parks. A lot of the race was access roads - more roads and less parks - which made for quite a challenge because the roads were so tight and there were so many runners and not a lot of spectators ... but it was manageable. I don't know why, but I had so so so much more energy in the parks than I did on the access roads. I saw my branch manager and her fiancee at mile 12 or so and they claim I was still looking good (I will see the pictures and decided). I never saw my family but they said they saw me ... I think they stayed in the car the whole time. HA. I hit mile 13 at a total high and by mile 15 I was starting to feel the pain. I must hit the pavement harder on my right side because by mile 20 my ankle, knee, hamstrings, and hip were killing me. I hit the wall around mile 22 ... but I wanted my Mickey so I just kept trucking. I am not going to lie, I pretty much walked the majority of the last 6 miles ... my body felt like it was shutting down and no matter how many times I stopped to stretch and try and work the kinks out I just could not get back in the groove. Running on the boardwalk was pretty, but cold. The resorts are amazing to run through as well, but I was honestly thinking. WHERE IS THE BIG EPCOT BALL?! I saw the Epcot Christmas Tree and I knew I was almost there, but just knowing wasn't enough to get me running - but I trotted and trotted and trotted.

As the lame person I am... I signed up to track myself and get messages of mile markers and I don't think the program worked as well as Disney hoped (seeing my mom didn't get any texts until I got to mile 10). But here were my times according to the race tracker. Mile 5: 59:58 Mile 10: 2:03:27 Half Split (13.1): 2:44:11 Mile 20: 4:21:07 Finish: 5:53:21 --- my dad told me that he had hoped I would finish in 5:30, but my legs were like bricks of pain and I didn't meet my 5 hour time goal, but I knew I had to be done in 6. Just call me a back of the pack runner. I have no pride!

I did set some marathon goals and to be honest, I am unsure if I met the 5k (I think I did) or 10k goal ... but I know for a face I was hitting 13.1 at about 5 minutes quicker than what I had planned. I do not know if I am hooked on this 26.2 thing - around mile 15 I was pretty much over the whole situation, so I may stick to half marathons and leave the full's to those crazy runners. ...or I will ease into another full. Get a few more 10ks and half's under my belt. ING Atlanta is next in March. As my marathon goals say ... I have to do active recovery and get in the groove for 13.1 in a little over a month. Oi Vey. ...most importantly, I was able to cross off 1 race on my marathon bucket list.

Time to bronze my Brooks - they have done 1 half and 1 full. I am never throwing those bad boys away. Never. Needless to say, I am headed for a good rub down this weekend at at Atlanta spa and this week will consist of some rest, a little walking, maybe some light light running, and a few good swims. Next week starts 2010 work out resolutions... hello spin class ... if my legs will move!

Thanks so much to EVERYONE who encouraged me, sent their well wishes, and encouraging texts during the race. I really could not have done this without you. I love you all!! :o)

Saturday, January 2, 2010

Disney Marathon Goals - race and recovery.

I think it is good to have goals. I have listed out my 2010 goals and now I want to get in the mindset of Disney World Domination.

So here are my hopes and dreams about the actual race.
  • In 33 minutes I want to have run 3.2 miles (5k)
  • In 1 hour and 15 minutes, I want to have run 6.1 miles (10k)
  • at mile 13.1 be at 2 hours and 54 seconds. That is the time that I finished my half marathon (Nike) in. ...ideally I would like to beat that since there won't be any killer hills, but due to my lack of training, I want to be realistic.
  • Finish the race in 5 hours. ...if I can do it in less, that would be phenomenal ... but I want to be done in 5 hours.
  • Personal: get lost of pictures on course. I have my mom, dad, branch manager, and her fiancee cheering me on.

Post race goals:

  • not stop running after the race - do the recovery miles. I have a full marathon recovery plan thanks to team in training.
  • start incorporating the cross training, spin classes, swimming, etc... into my weekly work out routine.

This will probably be my last post until my race report. SO! Happy New Year! Wish me luck! Thanks for all the love!