From aaronpass:

Snapped this photo out of my window at work today. In my personal opinion, this is what is happening:

January 27th, 2010. The man closest to the camera is the mob boss, Big Stu, he is big like his name.

Big Stu grew up in crime. Son to Franky II, one of the most notorious criminals of the 1920’s. As a boy he stole. As an adolescent, he made sure his Dad’s associates paid the money they owed. And at the age of 15, he killed for the first time. In 1964, he took over the family business.

To Big Stu’s right, Uncle Jimmy. His one and only right hand man. Anything he needs, Jimmy is there to get it done. Big Stu is explaining that next time they want to kill a man, they need to use a different building, this one is too close to the pigs. The next five on the ledge are the boys. Bobby, Franky, Pete, Dave, and Jerry. They kidnapped Paul, a local tailor that takes care of the clothes for Big Stu’s crew. Big Stu got word that Paul did a suit for a rival mob boss. That was the end of Paul The Tailor.

Lastly, the man in the back. That’s Little Rich, he is short, has a high-pitch voice and doesn’t fit in too well with the rest of the boys. Big Stu told him to back off the ledge as he is not ready to be part of “this side” of the business yet. No one else actually knows, Little Rich’s name is actually Robert Dyrse, an undercover police informant. He has been gathering evidence on Big Stu’s gang for about two years now, and witnessing this murder is just enough to put Big Stu and his entire crew behind bars.

Too bad for Little Rich, Big Stu has known this all along and when they go back inside, it will be the last door Little Rich ever passes through.

I do like to let my imagination run wild from time to time….

My running partner is a genius.

Ahhh! Whose idea was it to run 8 miles again? Oh, yeah… mine.

Aaron and I set out for 7 miles on this cold, blustery day, and sure enough we hit a groove about a mile in. We both felt good still after 2.5 miles, so I said, “Do you want to run 8 miles? I mean, we might as well.” Done.

My left knee started hurting about halfway through and never got much better. I stopped to walk and massage it a few times, but it felt like it was grinding the whole time — ick. I hope this will get better with some rest and short, easy runs.

Navigating the stairs up and down my three-level townhouse on my worn-out legs is exciting, especially since my bedroom is on the third floor. I’ve settled on a wide-legged hobbling strategy, much like a crab walks. Now I’m all cozied up in my bed, contemplating never leaving it, let alone tackling those stairs again.

Also, my belly is full of tuna casserole (my fave), which I smartly assembled prior to the run, then popped in the oven immediately upon returning. Yum, yum, yum. After running 8 miles, it’s never tasted better.

EDIT: It’s not even funny how fast I was able to upload this run to my new laptop. Not. Even. Funny.

My new bundle of joy: 15" MacBook Pro.

A laptop that actually:

– takes less than 5 minutes to turn on
– doesn’t quit Safari and close all my windows for no reason
– doesn’t freeze when I try to listen to music or watch a video on YouTube
– doesn’t freak out when I upload my runs to Nike+
– does a million other amazing things that my poor, old iBook G4 will only ever dream of.

And it came with a free printer that also scans and faxes. What?

Time to do 7 miles today. Yoga on Friday was relaxing, but a little slow for me. I’ll try a more advanced class next time. Yesterday’s rain/doom/gloom, laptop excitement and minor car accident* squashed all plans for doing 5 miles.

I’ll let you know how it goes today!

*I was a passenger, it wasn’t my car, some crazy older lady rear-ended us. No one was hurt. Very odd situation.

Run, run, drink, fail

Monday: 3 miles, 31 minutes, 10:20 pace. Big sweaty times at the gym.

Tuesday: 3.85 miles, 40 minutes, 10:23 pace. My first successful tempo run — 15 minutes at 10:42 pace, 15 minutes at 9:40 pace, 10 minutes at 10:42 pace. My right leg started to feel weird near the end, like I tied my shoe too tightly.

Wednesday: Quarterly bonus day at work! We had a party in the afternoon, and by “a party,” I mean quite a bit of food and booze at a swanky lounge downtown. Yum!

Today: 3 miles, 31 minutes, 10:20 pace. I wanted this run to be over the minute it started. My right shin and knee hurt, both legs felt like lead, etc. I blame the food. And the free booze (I had a bit).

Tomorrow: Executive decision: 5 miles (per training plan) will be postponed until Saturday; beginner yoga class will happen instead. Hopefully the shin/knee situation will resolve itself in the midst of a down dog.

On an unrelated note: Sauteed asparagus is so good. Fresh red bell pepper dipped in roasted red pepper hummus is so good. My dinner = so good.

After the 6-miler on Saturday, we were both STARVING and an errand happened to take us by Krispy Kreme. I insisted we stop so I could get a classic KK glazed doughnut, since I hadn’t had one in forever and they are so delicious.

I also picked up this ridiculously amazing Hostess-cupcake-like doughnut-cake thing. Yes, it was chocolate, and yes, it was filled with creme just like a Hostess cupcake. Even Aaron, who doesn’t really like chocolate things and doesn’t really like creme, thought it was sent from heaven. So, so good.

(The old-fashioned doughnut was Aaron’s. Also delicious. To be clear, I ate a glazed doughnut in addition to the Hostess doughnut. I’m not sorry.)

We grabbed dinner and drinks at Cafe Venus and the Mars Bar since Aaron had heard its mac and cheese was the bomb. It was. There were at least three types of cheese in the mix, plus melted mozzerella on top, plus golden, buttery, crispy breadcrumbs. Perfection.

(I also had a fabulous spinach salad with roasted red peppers, curried walnuts and mustard-tahini dressing for good measure.)

Nothing like running 6 miles to make me feel entitled to all this yummyness : )

6 miles, baby! This was the farthest I’ve ever run… and it was amazing.

Aaron and I ran along the Burke-Gilman Trail to Wallingford (nearly to my old apartment/the I-5 overpass) and back on a pleasant, partly sunny Saturday afternoon. We kept a comfortable, steady pace (10:29 average) — easy enough to chat, per Hal Higdon’s instructions — and we ran the entire time.

Just to recap: a) this was the farthest I’ve ever run; b) this was the first time that I’ve run for more than an hour; and c) we ran the entire time.

My legs felt a bit wobbly afterward, but the run felt amazingly good. Outdoor runs are far superior to treadmill runs for so many reasons, including fresh air, interesting scenery, cool breezes and a sense of going somewhere. I’ll look forward to these Saturday runs, even though they’ll be long — 7 miles for the next two Saturdays.

Not that the distance is a bad thing. I felt like I could have run 10 miles… or more. Conquering a new distance makes the 15K, half-marathon and marathon seem less intimidating.

I ran 20.5 miles this past week, including 10 miles in two days (Friday and Saturday). This is nuts. For the first time, I feel like a runner.

And it feels awesome.

4 miles on a Friday night

Guess what? Not a lot of people go to the gym on Friday night! It was the emptiest I’d ever seen it. Probably because, you know, people have social lives and stuff. So I hear.

4 miles on the treadmill in 39:54 (9:58 pace). I got SO HOT while running because the gym doesn’t have air conditioning, just fans, and I get overheated and red/purple-faced very easily. It’s extremely attractive.

I had to stop a few times just to cool down and drink some water, which was frustrating because endurance-wise, I felt fine. Since there weren’t many people around, I was also able to move a fan so that it pointed directly at me, and that helped a lot for the rest of the run.

Hal Higdon said to do this run “fast,” but I just went the fastest I could. It was still faster than my last “easy” run (10:37 pace), so I think it counts. Yup.

6 miles to do today. This will be the farthest I’ve EVER run. Whoa.

I may or may not have just finished crying a bit after reading a first-marathon story. I tear up every time I read one of these. Las Vegas 2011, baby.

3 miles, plus rest

Last night I did 3 easy miles on the treadmill (31:53, 10:37 pace) per the training plan.

Today I get to REST!! I am so excited. I’m not used to this much running — 10.6 miles so far this week, and going to add 10 more over Friday and Saturday.

I developed a blister Tuesday night while doing intervals, and I was worried that it would make last night’s 3 miles suck. I stuck a huge bandage on that mother to cushion it and it was completely fine. Woo-hoo!

It would have been really easy to use that (and lingering soreness from step class) as an excuse to take the night off, but I feel better and stronger today for having run anyway. The trick is knowing what kind of pain you can push through and what kind demands rest so you don’t get injured. This is especially true when you’re doing something like, say, jumping straight into week 5 of an 8-week training plan.

I’m gonna do my best to listen to my body and make the right decisions. I’m loving my gym and the new routine of working with a plan, and I don’t want to have to give that up anytime soon.

In case that training plan explanation wasn’t vivid enough for you, here’s a super-crappy pic of my printout. I’ll be highlighting completed workouts as I go along.

P.S. For Sunday, I’m pretty sure that by “Rest,” Hal Higdon did not mean “eat doughnuts and brownies, watch football, then nap for four hours.” Not that I… know anyone who did that or anything…

Two runs, an ass-kicking and a training plan

Monday (day off from work)

– 3.1 mile run to Fremont Bridge and back, 29:36
– Athletic Step Interval class at the gym — my first-ever step class, combined with strength and ab intervals (a delightful ass-kicking)


– 7 x 400 speed intervals on the treadmill; total of 4.5 miles in 50 minutes

I tweaked a Hal Higdon 5K training plan to fit my limited time frame (from 8 weeks to 4 weeks until the V-Day 5K) and moved the days around slightly since the race lands on a Saturday instead of a Sunday.

If you check out the plan, I jumped into Week 5 with the 7 x 400, having done 3 miles yesterday and the rest working out quite well for my schedule.

Hopefully this’ll help me earn a new PR… perhaps under 28:30? We shall see!