Monthly Archives: September 2009

Get with the progrum

Now that the 5K is over, I’m starting on a 10K training progrum (yeah, I know it’s progrAm, but my friend says progrUm and I think it’s hilarious)

Anyway, my schedule is modeled after Hal Higdon’s and looks something like this:

Monday—  Run.  2.5-3 miles

Tuesday— Cross-training 30-45 mins

Wednesday—  Run 2 miles + strength exercises (although I reserve the right to incorporate strength into my Tuesday workouts)

Thursday—  REST!!

Friday— Cross-train 40-60 mins

Sat OR Sun— Long run.  Starts at 3 miles and progresses to 6 miles.  Alternate day is “stretch and strengthen” which I plan to use for Pilates.

I have various options for cross-training– elliptical/bike at the gym, FitTv workouts, walking.   For “strength” I’m going to try to alternate between weights at the gym, FitTv sculpting workouts and probably some old-fashioned squats/lunges/crunches, etc.  Hopefully the variety will help me from getting bored.

Tonight’s scheduled 2.5 mile run* turned into a mile run outside + 2.5 on the treadmill + 1 mile walk home.   I planned to run my usual 2.5 mile route outside, but the wind and the cold was causing havoc on my lungs and I had to move my workout indoors.

My only concern about this progrum is the weather. I need to get used to running outside in the cold… or get more accustomed to the treadmill.  It wasn’t so bad tonight, but when I have to start running 4-5 miles on it, I’m going to get BO-red.

If anyone has any good cross-training or stretching/strength workouts to suggest, send them my way.  I’m sure I’ll need ’em!


* don’t worry: I don’t plan on updating you on EVERY workout for the next 8 weeks!

5K #4: It’s funny how goals change

I ran my fourth 5K this morning.  As you might recall, I set some pre-race goals.   My ultimate goal was to finish in under 34 minutes (there, I said it!), but if that didn’t happen, I wanted to beat my previous time, run the whole thing without walking, try to maintain an even pace and to finish strong, with a smile on my face.

When I passed the halfway point, I felt great. I wasn’t tired at all and I was firmly in the middle of the pack.  The clock said just over 16 mins, so I thought “hell, I might even beat my time goal.”

When I got to the two-mile point, I was hurting.  I realized I probably started off too fast and decided to let go of my time goal.  I told myself that as long as I finished strong and didn’t walk, the race would be a success.

At 2.5 miles, I was really starting to doubt the “finishing with a smile” goal.   But I trucked on.
As I rounded the corner at Mile 3, I looked up and saw the race clock.  I’m not exactly sure what the number was, but it was 33:50-something.  HOLY CRAP!  I knew I probably couldn’t get there before it turned 34, but I was determined to get as close as possible.
I kicked into an all-out sprint and finished in 34:23 (11:05 pace).   Not quite my goal time, but a LOT better than I expected, and a full minute faster than last time.
  • Finish in under 34 minutes– FAIL
  • Finish faster than last time–  CHECK
  • Finish strong– CHECK
  • Finish with a smile– DOUBTFUL. My “sprint face’ doesn’t leave room for a smile.
  • Maintain a somewhat even pace–  FAIL. I don’t know what my splits were, but there’s no way it was even.
Overall, I’m happy with my performance.  It counts as a personal best and it’s almost TWO minutes faster than my first 5K back in April.
Even though I didn’t make my time goal, I’m still toying with the idea of getting a watch or something to help me with my pace.  I’m not sure when I’ll do another 5K (I’m gonna try my hand–legs?– at a longer distance), but it would’ve helped tremendously to know before the *end* where I was on the clock.


Some other random observations about the race:

  • This was a Women’s Fitness race, which meant–obviously– that only women participated.  The atmosphere wasn’t much different from other races, but it was kinda nice to see all the ladies out there supporting one another.  There were a group of girls who had “This is my first 5K” shirts on.  Everyone was cheering them on, it was great!
  • They had a group warm-up session before the race. I’ve never seen this before and I assume it was part of the Women’s Fitness aspect.  An instructor from one of the local fitness centers led the racers in a series of aerobic warm-ups and stretches.  Kinda weird, but kinda fun.  I hope they post pictures on the web site, cuz I’m sure it was quite a sight!
  • The race was fairly well-run, but the volunteers at the mile markers didn’t have stopwatches and weren’t giving times. I guess they assume that everyone has fancy timekeeping equipment,  but since I’m still living in the running dark ages, I had no clue until the end.   Also, the start was a little confusing because the bullhorn ran out of batteries (?) and so the race director had to yell out instructions.  Not a huge deal, just some confusion.
  • The weather was fine.  It was kinda foggy/misty, but luckily it didn’t rain.   I made the mistake of walking through the grass on my way to pick up my packet so my feet were wet for the whole race, but I didn’t notice once we got going.
  • I’m sure this happens to everyone, but I wish they’d figure out a better way to mark the miles.   As I was about to hit the half-way point (it’s a two-loop course),  I ran past the 3 mile marker.  Now of course I know that it’s a 2-loop course.  And of course I know that there’s no way I’ve run 3 miles in a mere 4 songs on my iPod (again with the high-tech timing methods), but for a half a second I thought “Wow–that was fast.”   It kinda killed my mojo for a second.   I can’t imagine what it must be like to run a marathon and see all the half-marathoners finishing and knowing you still have another 13.1 miles to go!
  • And, finally– I’m disappointed in the t-shirts. Obviously, I didn’t run for the shirt, but I was hoping to get a cute tee from a women’s race.  They’ve been doing it for years, so I’m sure they’re sick of getting pink shirts made, but this is a weird burnt orange color. My favorite race tee is from the Twin Cities Twosome.  It’s kelly green and I love it.

Foto Friday: Wedding Crasher

This photo isn’t high-quality, but the back story is priceless.  Top 5 night for sure.

It was taken at a wedding (obviously).  Although I’d grown up with the bride, she and I had drifted apart after high school, so I wasn’t surprised that I wasn’t invited to the wedding.  But my friend was.  And her boyfriend wasn’t going, so I decided to crash the wedding.

And CRASH I did… I got a little tipsy on accident. Okay, a lot.    The official terminology for my state of inebriation is “wedding wine drunk.”   It was a fantastic time!

In this picture, I was  pretending to catch the bouquet while my friend took the picture.  Apparently the bride was not amused.  Ooops!   I still can’t look at this without laughing.

Catching_bouquetHappy Friday, y’all!

Proof that my friends are awesomer than I am

Friend #1 ( Yesterday, via IM):  Hey, did you know that Cross Canadian Ragweed is playing here in a couple months?

Friend #2 (Today, via email):  Air Supply is coming to Indy.  Tickets are CHEAP.

See…  my friends not only know my obscure quirky really *cool* taste in music, they also know that I’m always down for a live show!

Trust in Your Training

I’m running a 5K on Saturday.  It will be my fourth.   The first one I just wanted to finish.  The second two I ran with very little preparation and on the heels of trips/vacations, so i didn’t expect much.   This one I’ve actually trained for.

I have a time goal in mind, but I’m too modest, shy, scared, f-ing petrified to put it in writing just yet.  I do have some other goals though:

  • Finish faster than last time
  • NO WALKING (you’ll remember that last time I started to quickly and had to take a short walk break)
  • Finish strong
  • Finish with a smile
  • Maintain a somewhat even pace

WHEN I meet my time goal I’m buying myself a fancy running watch.  My current system of adding up the song times on my iPod just isn’t cutting it.  But I’m not sure I’m ready to invest in a Garmin– not yet anyway!!   IF I meet my other goals, I’ll buy a new pair of running pants.

I *know* I can do this.   I’ve run this course before.  I’ve trained*.   I’m ready.    My motto for this race is “trust in your training.”     In the 4 weeks leading up to this race I’ve averaged about 10 miles a week and I’ve increased my long run to a little over 4 miles.

Now  I just have to get out there and DO IT!!   (And pray for good weather and “race adrenaline”).

* My “training” thus far has been pretty much self-directed.  Starting Monday, I’m going to follow an actual 10K training plan. I’m excited about it because there are dedicated days for Cross-Training, which I think will help with my overall fitness and with fighting boredom.  Stay tuned for more.


I have a pair of Cardinals tickets to sell.

Game: Sun, October 4 at 1:15.  It’s the last game of the regular season against the Brewers.

Seats: Section 148, Row 25.   See below for the view you’d get (from the Busch Stadium Web site).

Price: Face value is $89/ticket.  I’m willing to sell them for less.

Contact: email me at cari [underscore] rich [at] yahoo [dot] com if you’re interested…. and you know you are!!


Back to regularly scheduled programming shortly….

Foto Friday: New York, New York

These pictures were taken on my first trip to NYC in March 2002, almost 6 months to the day after 9/11/01.   (and, yes, were taken with a film camera!)

We landed in New York the day that President Bush declared war and the mood in the City was understandably somber.   Although it was a work trip, we managed to hop a subway and go down to Ground Zero one afternoon.

Ground Zero: big open hole

Ground Zero: big open hole

A memorial wall near the site

A memorial wall near the site

memorial plaque for those who lost their lives

memorial plaque for those who lost their lives

close up of some of the photos/notes left by visitors

close up of some of the photos/notes left by visitors

Eight years later, these events are starting to feel like “history” to some of us.  Let’s not forget what it felt like then, in hopes that we never have to go through it again.

I dusted off my old Tribute to Heroes CD this morning.  I still like this Alan Jackson song.  The part about watching I Love Lucy re-runs gets me every time.  I don’t know why, but that’s the saddest part for me.

Re-post: Carich gets political

I’ve tried my hardest to stay out of the recent debate about Obama’s planned speech to school children.   I’ve read the transcript and have some opinions on the subject, but a) I don’t have kids, so it’s not that important to me and b) I kinda like to keep my facebooking/blogging about fun stuff.

However, this post over at Nicole’s blog made me think about some of the things I’ve said previously about the subject, so I’m re-posting them here.

The bottom line is this:  Don’t be a lemming.  Inform yourself and make the best choices for you and your family based on your own beliefs/values.

Politics and Baseball— I introduce my uneasiness of politics becoming a spectator sport.

Election Fever— some thoughts before the Presidential election where I expand on some of my pet peeves regarding political debate/discourse. (still relevant, even post-election)


Oh, and regardless of where you stand on the issue, can we agree to stop comparing elected officials to Nazi’s?  Please?   It’s not only disrespectful to whomever the insult is being directed towards, it’s offensive to the millions of people who were truly victims of the Nazis.  Thankyouverymuch.

Foto Friday: Automotive FAIL!

They say a picture is worth a thousand words.

Getting tire fixed in Grand Rapids

True, but blog posts are supposed to be concise…. So, here’s the story, in 500 words or less:

On the way to Minnesota for vacation last month my “check tire pressure” light turned on.  I got off at the next exit, checked my tire pressure, aired up the tires for good measure and proceeded to drive the ~700 miles to my destination.  We continued to monitor the tire pressure, but everything looked fine, so we didn’t worry about it much.  I had my brakes replaced a few days before and figured the light was just a malfunction and carried on with vacation.

By the time we were ready to head back home I had all but forgotten about my tire issue.  We got on the road and prepared for the 12-hour trek.   About an hour into our journey, we stopped to re-fuel on healthy stuff like powdered donuts and chocolate milk.

I got behind the wheel, Ryan climbed in the back seat with his pillow and blanked and Jo assumed donut duty in the passenger seat.   A couple miles after our first pit stop, I heard a noise.

Ryan:  What was that?

Me:  I dunno

Ryan:  I think it might be your muffler or something.

Me:  Oh, I doubt it. I’m sure there’s just something in the trunk.  Do you think I should pull over?

Ryan:  Uh…yeah.

Me (rolling down the window and sticking my head out):  Maybe there’s a helicopter* flying over or something.

Ryan: No, you need to pull over… NOW!

I pulled over and Ryan got out of the car to check things out. Sure enough, I had a flat tire.  And over 600 miles to drive.   CRAP!

We had to unload ALL of our stuff on the side of the road so that we could get out the jack and the spare tire (ironically called… a donut! )– All of our luggage and vacation supplies for THREE people plus some random stuff,  including my boyfriend’s “artwork” that’s been riding around in my trunk for months.

While Ryan was working on changing the tire, lots of nice Minnesotans stopped to ask us if we needed help.  “No,” we’d say. “We’ve got it.”   

We asked one woman if there was a tire shop in Grand Rapids or if we’d need to go further down the road.  She told us that there were two in town, so we started re-packing our gear back in the trunk.

Just as we were getting ready to leave, the nice woman came back (she had been going the opposite direction).  She said she knew a guy who would help us out.    We followed her to the tire shop where we had to unload all of our stuff yet again, where they quickly changed the tire and sent us on our merry way.

you can't see the "velvet Elvis" artwork because it's hiding behind the muted abstract print

You can't see the "velvet Elvis" artwork because it's hiding behind the muted abstract print

An hour later and only $35 poorer, we were back on the road.  A big shout out to my brother for not only knowing how to change a flat but also for asking them to put on a used tire.

* We couldn’t stop laughing about this afterwards. There aren’t any airports, air bases, or anything else in that part of Minnesota to make me think there was a  helicopter flying overhead. So naturally that was the first thing I thought of. Naturally.

Random Ramblings on Running

“What?” you say. ANOTHER post about running? So soon?

Yeah. Sorry, but I don’t have a whole lot going on these days. And I have some of my BEST blog ideas while I’m running.

I sometimes wish I had a handheld recorder or something to record all of my highly insightful observations. But then I’d be that girl… the one who is running along talking to herself. (which, I suppose isn’t sooo much worse than being the girl who runs along singing to herself, but I digress).

Here are the various blog posts I thought about writing today while I was on the treadmill at the gym:

My love/hate relationship with the treadmill

Google Maps of my various running routes

A collection of my favorite running blogs (thanks for the suggestions last week!)

Setting the record straight: I don’t love to run, but I do it anyway

My running related goals for the week/month/year

ISO:  Equally slow running buddy

Running ThuRsdays– I’d write about running every Thursday.  I thought the R part was clever at the time!

But, hey, Top Chef is on and I’ve lost all my creativity and wit*.  Suffice it to say that the running is going pretty well and this probably won’t be the last post you read about the subject.

*assuming I had any to begin with–  Exhibit A: see the last bullet!