Monday, August 31, 2009

Tempo Run

This morning I did my very first tempo run at my goal marathon pace. It was awesome!!!! I wasn't sure I was going to end up doing a tempo run because it was so humid this morning, but i just went with the flow this morning. I'm still a little tight and sore after Saturday's 16 mile run, but it felt great to stretch my legs and just let go this morning. How good was it? Here it is:

4.16 miles
average pace 9:06 per mile
mile 1 8:41
mile 2 9:08
mile 3 8:33
mile 4 8:33

That's it for this morning. Time to practice for last time before my audition tomorrow (have I mentioned I'm in total freak out mode??). Oh, and I finally got my fundraising video uploaded to YouTube!! You can check it out at:

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

The bow is the boss

I noticed something written across the top of several of my excerpts this morning: "the bow is the boss." It's funny how backwards that seems to me, but when you really think about it, it's true. The only way I can go faster is for the bow to move faster. So, what does that I mean for my poor fingers on my right hand? Well let's just say there isn't any smoke yet, but we're pretty darn close. They have to move lightening fast to keep up with the bow, because the only way for things to sound right is if the finger is going down before the bow moves.

I'm currently in full freak out mode over my audition. Every time I play something I'm analyzing how I can make it better, or if it was good enough for an audition. Searching for perfection is exhausting. And there are only 7 days left before I play it all in front of a giant black screen. Yeah, I'm freaking out when I think about it, but I'm working on focusing on what I'm doing one excerpt at a time. I can't freak out while I'm playing!! Hopefully my runs will help calm me down some. At the very least I'll wear myself out so that I'll at least sleep well (we're running 16 miles on Saturday). Oh, and I guess i should mention I dropped out of the second audition (can you imagine how much more I would be freaking out if I had 2 auditions right now?). I'm okay with it. I would rather doing really well on one then do two really bad auditions. However, there are only 7 days left...

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Pumpkin Butter!!!!

I've found a new pre run favorite - pumpkin butter!!!! So good!!! I think I needed a break from peanut butter. My 8 mile run on Wednesday was my best run so far all week. It's gotten hotter and even more humid here in Atlanta, and I've been struggling with it. But wonderful pumpkin butter got me through it. Oh, I love just about anything pumpkin. Pumpkin granola bars, pumpkin bread, pumpkin chocolate chip cookies.... Makes me hungry just thinking about it. Actually it reminds me that I need to start planning food for my fundraiser next week. It's a Sage Sak Soiree.

Cute aren't they!! I'm so excited about it. Mom took me back to a festival last fall where she and my sister discovered Sage Saks. I just feel in love with prints and fabrics. I love color!! I was so excied when I found out that Lynn did fundraisers with the bags too. Now I just need to come up with some fun and yummy treats to eat at the party =).

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Fundraising fun

I thought I would share a little video I put together for my fundraising. Hope you enjoy it!!


I feel incredibly stressed out and tired. What in the world was I thinking?? It's hard enough training for a marathon as a violinist, but I signed up for 2 auditions that are the first week in September. What was I thinking??

It's hard being a violinist and a runner at the same time. Playing the violin is so physically demanding. Everything is moving a thousand miles a minute in so many different directions all at the same time (I tell my students that they are going to be really good at multi-tasking when they grow up). Usually I practice 3-4 hours a day 5-6 days a week. Throw in another 3-4 hours of teaching 4 days a week and that's a lot of violin playing. Then there are rehearsals, and my own private lesson (yes, after 2 music degrees I still take private lessons). It's exhausting!! Some days my fingers are so tired when I'm done playing that I can't move them any more. And sometimes I'm so tired and frustrated because I need to practice more that everything just to a halt because I cannot physically take it any more. Getting ready for an audition, and I hate to say this, is even worse. Everything has to be perfect every time you play it. Every note has to be perfectly in tune, in the right rhythm, which has to be exact to the smallest subdivision of the beat, and if you're just a fraction off you can kiss all of your dreams and work good-bye. I usually spend at least 2 months doing this for each audition. That's hundreds of hours of practicing that for an audition that last less than 5 minutes. My teacher calls it the 100 yard dash. Great, I run marathons. I use to sprint all of the time. I loved it!! You feel like you're just flying at top speed and nothing can stop you. I don't feel like that in an audition. Now I've had some pretty good auditions, but not recently. I don't know if it's being so tired from training (our 16 mile run happens 3 days before my 1st audition of the week. I was so wiped out from running 14 miles Saturday after overheating that I slept most of the afternoon. I can't do that after the 16 miler.), or from trying to be the perfect daughter (I do a lot to take care of my parents), or from millions of other things that only I seem to be able to do, whether it's at work or else where. I feel like I'm failing at a lot of things all at the same time.

I think the biggest part of my frustration comes from my second audition. It took them a month to decide on a date, which ended up being the same week as the other big audition in town (they should have known about it!!), plus they don't have any place to hold the audition yet. It's so frustrating. On top of that the music is hard to read and I just can't seem to get it big enough to read the chicken scratch that hand written manuscripts are. The first audition has these nice laid out excerpts from movements or acts. The second audition, well it looks like they couldn't decide what to do, so instead of excerpts we have whole movements to learn. I don't have the time or sanity to learn all of this stuff, and I'm very quickly loosing it :(

I have a lot to get done before my lesson Monday evening. I never feel like I get where I want to each week. If I could just take care of myself I think things would be easier. We had a great lesson at church today on balance. Balance between serving others and taking care of ourselves. Balance between being a hostess & just being with the people you're serving (the story of Mary & Martha from Luke 10). Balance. I don't have a lot of balance at the moment. I feel like I serve everyone except me. I need to stop and breathe and find balance. How? I don't know. For right now I'm turning the air conditioning down and launching myself into endless hours of scales, arpeggios, orchestral excerpts, and concerto movements. Maybe taking a few breathes and going through things one step at a time will help. The pressure to always be perfect is hard, and draining. And there are still over 2 weeks to go...

Tuesday, August 11, 2009


This post originally started out as something very different, but I couldn't get over what happened this morning. Sometimes I feel like I forget why I run. This morning was one of those runs. I got to caught up in everything that seemed to be going wrong. I will not trouble you with my whining, it's enough to say even I felt bad about it, but I think I may have come up with a solution for one of the issues. Tomorrow's 8 mile run will tell the tale of my latest experiment (my violin students will tell you that I love to experiment).

What made the difference? Well I started reading the Caringbridge website of a friend's nephew. See Daniel was diagnosed with neuroblastoma back in June and was having surgery to remove the tumor this morning. And while I was reading that his wish was to go visit his Aunt Becky every week it hit me, this is why I run. It's not just to be in shape, or to have time to myself and try and stay sane, it's to be a part of something bigger, to make a difference. See Daniel doesn't care that his hair is falling out, or that his body sometimes violently objects to what he has to go through, he just wants to be a kid. Or take our team honored hero Kate. She's only seven and just finished her last round of chemo July 1st. They didn't ask to have cancer. Who would? But they fight anyway. Or Uncle Clyde and Ryan who both lost their battles with cancer. Ryan was starting a new chapter in his life after winning the Metropolitan Opera Competition in 2007 and getting a chance to perform with the Met Opera. Who knew he only had a year left. So much promise lost because of cancer.

This is my I run. To make a difference. To fight the only way I know how, because deep down inside I worry about who might be next. Every five minutes someone is diagnosed with a blood cancer. That doesn't even count all of the other cancers. What would life be like if cancer no longer existed? Daniel and Kate's fight would be over for good! That's why I run!! And let's face it 26.2 miles doesn't hurt nearly as much as going through chemo.

You can help!! Go to all donations are 100% tax deductible and 75% of you gift goes directly towards making a difference in the lives of those battling cancer!

Daniel Enfinger


Monday, August 3, 2009

Running lessons

Oh the things I learned this morning on my run. Let me count them =). I decided to go ahead and get my long run for the week out of my way since I’m off to D.C to visit family and friends this weekend. So, I got up at 5:45am to run my 8 miles. I learned a lot this morning. For instance:

  1. You can’t see fog in the dark. A slight problem because it was really dark, and I apparently was running to fast in the fog I couldn’t see.
  2. Apparently Cardiac Hill is easier to run up after you have run up the hill on Jett Road (I can’t believe I just said that Cardiac hill was easy. What am I thinking…)
  3. My favorite flavor of Nuun is citrus fruit (check it out at

Now the rest of the day is for taking my car out to get the sunroof fixed (grrr, storms + rotting tree branch = hole in wallet), and practicing for auditions, which I have to say is going really well. Only problem is that I’m not going to be able to practice for 5 days and I have a lesson a week from Tuesday. I can do this!!!! Oh, and I’m really trying not to go running in my new shoes. It’s so hard!!!! I could tell on my run this morning how badly I need the higher arch supports. It just means my runs after I start using them are going to be wonderful!!

Sunday, August 2, 2009

It's Recommitment Time!!!!

Ahh, can there really only be 2 more months of training?? Where has all of the time gone? Saturday we finally started getting into the meat of your training by doing our first event evaluation. What's that you ask. Well, some races have a time deadline that you have to finish by. Usually they set a time for everyone to get half way through the course and if you end up past that magical time then they sweep you up and drive you to the finish. Nike is one of those races. We have 6 hours to complete the race before the course closes, so Saturday we needed to time our 12 mile run (almost 1/2 of the race distance) so our coach would start to get an idea of when we might finish and to make sure we can finish before the course closes. Now Nike is nice in the fact that it offers an early start time for those who think they need longer than 6 hours to finish. Fortunately for me I don't need it. I finished my 12 mile run in about 2 hours! I'm hoping to finish the marathon in close to 4 hours, so I'm really happy about my run. Of course there were many other things that were great about the run besides the time. First off, I didn't have to walk (I waited for the person I was running with that's all really), which is really good considering how gross it was outside. How gross? Well it was about 73 degrees with 90% humidity when we started and it didn't get any better the longer we were out. In fact it got hotter out! Got to love the sun (which I do, especially since it has been raining for days here in Atlanta). Now I have never been a great hot weather runner. I love it when the weather is in the 40s or even 30s because I have a tendency to overheat easily. So, running 12 miles in 2 hours made me feel like I had won a race. Seriously!! It was a tremendous feeling. And since our coach had asked me to stay with the middle of the pack I wasn't running too fast, so I got to the finish with more left in the tank.

After our run I went over to my favorite running store The Big Peach Running Co for some new shoes and help with an orthotic problem. See I've inherited lovely high arches that like to collapse from my parents (got to love genetics), and even though I started using orthotics in my shoes (a fancy word for arch supports) I have never gotten the miles that I should out of my shoes. Never fear!!! The awesome staff at BPRC have stepped it up again. I love how they actually listen to what I'm saying! Now I have another pair of Muzino Wave Nirvanas with new orthotics with a higher arch. I loved them so much I thought about going for another run to try them out (happiness makes you think silly things sometimes). By the time I got home I was getting pretty stiff, and I want to save my new shoes so that they are still pretty fresh for the marathon. I'll probably start breaking them in around the end of the month. I defiantly want to get my 20 mile run in with them, but how can you pass on new shoes during the tax free weekend with a Team in Training discount on top of that? Must use restraint!!!!

It's also the magical time of the training season know as recommitment. A time that Team in Training sets aside for participants to evaluate where they are in their fundraising and training and make a decision of whether to continue or not. For me there is no decision needed. With training going well and almost $1300 raised (they ask for 25% of your goal, I'm at 32%) I'm filling out my race application and travel information and going full throttle towards the finish line!!!! I can't wait. Is it October yet?!!! Oh and just for fun, here's a picture from our GTS (group training run) Saturday. It was our co-captain Carol's birthday (she's a leukemia & brain cancer survivor!!!).