Thursday, December 31, 2009

Fresh Start

Yes, I know I've been a bad blogger. Also a bad eater and an inconsistent exerciser. Not unsurprisingly, these things are all related. However, tomorrow is a new day, a new month, a new year, and a new decade. I'm ready for a fresh start, how about you?



Whatever your plans entail, be safe tonight! Happy New Year!! Catch you on the flip side!

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

mid-week ramblings

1) Woke up to this sight - a slighly white Christmas Eve Eve! It's supposed to snow a bit more today...exciting stuff.
2) Is it wrong, when shopping for an upcoming bride/groom, to find something on the registry that you want for yourself? 'Cuz that's what I did. Fear not, got the bride and groom some nice stuff from their registry. But one of the items - anchor hocking mixing bowls that are also oven safe - caught my attention. Could not get it off my mind. We could really use those. Especially for Christmas. So I went back later and bought it for myself!

3) I really need to make a trip to the recycling center. Should have gone on Saturday, but my back was acting up. Thought about going today, but the news is reporting closed icy roads. Cautioning to drive only if necessary. Maybe tomorrow.

4) Ditto for running.

5) I've been looking for a local January race to kick-start 2010. May have found one that will work for me on Jan 17th.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Turning point?

The shortest day of the year is behind us *and* I'm off work starting today until January 4th. Double Yay! I'm counting on this being a turning point...

Today I need to finish my Christmas shopping. But first, an appt with the electrician with regard to getting out backyard onto a timed drip system. The plants haven't been installed yet, but the hardscaping is coming along nicely. I was hoping this would be done by the end of the year, but it looks like it will take a bit longer.

My back has been problematic again. Which means I'm stalled on the push-up challenge and haven't been running. Blah. I'm not stressing over it though. With the days getting longer, my motivation and energy is sure to return, and my back should get better with a few more days rest.

Hope you all are well.!

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

solar powered

I've come to the conclusion that I'm basically solar powered. As the days have become progressively shorter, my motivation and energy has all but disappeared.

Not to fear, the shortest day of the year is coming soon, and it's uphill from that point on, right? Right?!?

The running program that I participate in runs from late Jan to early November. Got an email from Coach asking if he should save me a spot for next year.

Quickly responded YES! I don't always run with the group, but having a training schedule and someone to hold me accountable to it really helps me out.

We start up again on Jan 23th. Until then, let's hope I don't put on another 10 lbs...

P.S. I'm still stalled at Week 4 Day 1 on the pushup challenge. Drat!

Monday, December 14, 2009

Coming up for air

I'm still alive and kicking. Just really busy right now.

* Stuck on Week 4 Day 1 pushups. Just can't seem to break through past that point of the program. Although, I figure being stuck at doing 63 pushups over 5 sets is nothing to be too upset about.
* Had to travel on business this past week and it really threw my schedule off in many ways. Did manage to eek out 1.5 miles on the treadmill and some strength work in the fitness center at the hotel on Thursday.
* Slow progress on Christmas shopping this year. Ditto on Christmas cards. Perhaps this will finally be the year that we truly scale back on the madness. That would be just fine with me.
* Did absolutely NOTHING resembling exercise over the weekend. I think I've mastered laziness at its finest.
* Slow progress on the backyard renovations this week - the weather just wasn't cooperating. Hopefully things will speed up this week.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Enough with Winter already!

At the moment is is 35 deg. Much warmer than a few days ago, but the wind is howling at 25mph with gusts up to 40mph. Kids are on a 2 hr delay due to icy roads. It is supposed to show/rain/sleet later this afternoon. Bleck!

I stayed inside this morning (no way I'm going out running in that mess) and repeated W4D1 pushups. I just didn't think I could move to D2 quite yet. 63 push-ups later, I'm sure that was a wise decision. I'll try D2 on Thursday...

They are making progress on the backyard, but yesterday they attempted to cover some of the aresa they worked on with tarps. Ha! Their efforts were no match for the gusty wind. The tarps are now in a heap over by the fenceline. They are going to have to try harder if they really want that stuff to stay covered.

I'm not a winter person. I'm ready for it to be over. And the sad part is...it hasn't even officially started yet. Sigh...

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Jingle Bell Run for Arthritis

It has been freaking cold here in the high desert of New Mexico. This morning was no exception. It had only warmed up to 24 degrees at the start of the Jingle Bell Run. Brrrrrrr. Freezin' our assets, we were...

I decided to run in a hat, gloves, tights, short sleeves, long sleeves, and a fleece. This turned out to be just right. I was chilly at the start line, but comfy after we got moving. Of course, I was freezing again at the end when we stopped running.

The course consisted of two unequal "loops"; the first loop was long and the second loop was short. They started the runners ahead of the walkers, but I encountered quite a bit of walker traffic on the second loop. I will never understand why walkers always seem to feel the need to walk 6 abreast, leaving little room for the runners on the trail. *shakes head*

Husband told me he was going to run his own pace, so I was on my own this time. No worries, that's what I expected. But WOW, he really kicked some ice out there. His finish time was ~25:30 which was good enough to earn him a 3rd place AG award. Yay!!

I was quite pleased with my finish time of ~29:10 until I realized that the course was short; it measured 3 miles instead of 3.1. Still not a bad time for me, just not as good as I thought, and right on my typical 5K pace.

This was my 4th year running in this event, and it's one I hope to be able to do again next year!

Friday, December 4, 2009

Friday Fodder

While doing my pushups, I spotted my missing exercise log book. Under the speaker! YAY!!!!!!! Clearly this is a sign of good things to come. :-)

Speaking of push ups, not sure how "good" my good form push ups are, but I'm still doing them straight legged. This morning I completed W4 D1 column one. 12+14+11+10+16 = 63 push ups! It was tough, but I did it. Yay me!!

I'm all dressed up with nowhere to go. Running clothes are on, but I'm not heading out until it is above freezing. It was 13 deg when I woke up, with a high expected at 34 deg. Brrrrrr.

I canceled my appt with the trainer for two weeks. Today because of laziness, and next week because of business travel. And guess what? I found out that she's leaving at the end of the month anyway.

I'm *thinking* of putting up the Christmas tree today. Not decorating it quite yet, just putting it up. Guess I should start by taking down the autumn stuff, ya think?

[edited to add: tree is up! and I ran 2.1 miles once it warmed up to 22 deg. brrrrr]

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Fail

Today I evaluated my options for running.

Option A - Early Morning.

I got up, got dressed assuming the early run was a GO, checked out the weather forcast, and stepped outside. Wow. Colder than I imagined. And what is that noise? Like something is hitting the ground. And that feeling on my cheeks. Why...it's snow! Dunno if it's safe to run in that. After all, I am a weather wimp. Back in the house for more coffee instead.

Option B - Lunch Time.

Nice break in my calendar. Surely enough time for a run. But man. Still cloudy and cold out there. Still see occasionaly flakes falling. I decide to go to the post office instead.

Non-Option - Early Afternoon

Wouldn't you know it. The clouds have given way to sunshine. It's warmed up. Quite nice out there at the moment actually. Of course this would happen. Because I have a work meeting and can't go running now. Grrrrrr.

Running today - FAIL!

Guess I'll try again tomorrow...

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

checking in again

Life is still going at me in all directions, but I have hope that things will settle down in a few weeks. Really. Until then, commenting and blogging will be spotty.

* Completed w3 d3 pushups - 10+13+9+9+13=54. Bring on week 4!! Note - I only seem to be able to do them 2x per week, so this is going to take a loooonog time to complete, but I figure forward progress is forward progress.
* Wanted to run this morning, but it's not happening. Booooo.
* Reviewed my splits from Sunday run. 12min miles up a hill, 10 min mile down the hill, 10:30 on the flats. Not bad.
* Jingle Bell 5K on Saturday. I really need to run tomorrow.
* Dogs are at day care while work is going on in the back yard. Took them to a new one yesterday which worked out great. And they gave me the first day free. Woot! Dogs are heading back today.
* I lost/misplaced my exercise tracker notebook, so no totals for November. :-(

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Disconnected

I still have a lot going on and not much time for blogging. I hope things settle down in a few weeks. In short, here's what's up -

* Ran on Thanksgiving and again today. Yay for running!
* Went to the gym a few times. Owie.
* Finished W3 D2 pushups. Should have finished D3, but got behind with the holiday.
* Work is crazy busy. Have to travel next week. Bleh!
* Some of you have Christmas decorations up. I still have autumn decorations up.
* Inlaws have been here since Wed. Stayed longer than expected trying to dodge a storm.
* Backyard demolition in progress as phase 1 of renovation project. What a mess.
* S-T-R-E-S-S-E-D out.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Catching Up

Wow. Suddenly life got really...busy. It seems to be coming at me from all directions. Worked kicked up a notch, we're starting the backyard renovations, the holidays are coming, Son is rushing to meet college application deadlines, things are changing in other aspects of my personal life, in laws are coming for Thanksgiving, etc. All I have time for is a quick update...

Push ups: I had to repeat the exhaustion test three times because each time the dogs started rough housing and pushed me over. They can be laying there all still, and as soon as they see me on the floor it becomes PLAYTIME!! Anyway, don't know how many I can do, but I got to 16 on my third attempt and that is good enough to move on to week three in column 1. So Week 3, here I come!

New Trainer: She asked me what I had been doing all week. I told her about the push up challenge. I assumed she would work my lower body and give the upper body a rest. But NOOOOO. She thought upper body was a good idea. And she likes to do things in reps of 15. And increase the weights along the way. Holy moly! I dunno if this is going to work out or not, but I'll stick with her until end of the year at least.

Running: Haven't done much of that. Ran two miles last Sunday. Nothing during the week. Then some of my running buddies decided on Friday that a trail run would be fun on Saturday. Sounded good to me. I dragged my lazy self out the door on a chilly morning and 'ran' 5 miles. It was tough. I had to stop three times; fitness loss happens so quickly! But it was also amazing; I realized that I have missed being out there soooooo much. I hope we can do it again this coming Saturday. :-)

Monday, November 16, 2009

Back. Sort of.

I think I'm mostly over my funk. The short story is that I've had issues with my back and then a pulled calf muscle and have been hobbling around for a few weeks unable to do much of anything. This on top of some other life stress and my attitude wasn't pretty. :-(

However, I was able to run yesterday for the first time in several weeks. Sure, it was only a measly 2 miles, but Everything Must Begin at the Beginning. It was sure nice to be outside moving my body again.

Got a bit behind on the Push Up challenge, but no worries, I'm back at it now. Today I completed W2 D3 column 1 (5+7+5+5+8=30). I'm due for an exhaustion test in the next day or so. Hopefullly I can do enough to progress to week 3 (min 16), otherwise, I'll be repeating a few days of W2, but in a different column. How are you all doing with it?!?!

Husband & I are signed up for the Jingle Bell Run for Arthritis on December 5th which is about 2.5 weeks out. God willing, I'll be feeling well enough to run the 5K.

I'm not expecting to be able to catch up on your blogs for at least another week. Sorry about that!

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Time Out

For a variety of reasons, I've become a grump recently. I think it is best if I take a short bloggy break until I get back to my happy place again. I'm putting myself in a Time Out until my attitude turns around.

(Keep doing those push ups - the challenge is still on!)


funny pictures of cats with captions
see more Lolcats and funny pictures

Friday, November 6, 2009

Strength in Numbers

Wow. I've been super busy this week, hence the lack of blog post or time to link properly to participants list. But I will get that done.

Speaking of which, the push up challenge participants list is growing! YAY!! So far, I have Regina, Staci, Tall-Mom, JBMommy, Eliza, Shannon, Lily on the Road, Laura, Renee, Rookie on the Run, JoLynn, Red Bike, Celmore, Karen, & The Happy Runner all in. I hope that a few that are still tentative will decide to join as well.

I completed W1 D3 this morning. Knowing that so many others are joining really motivated me to get through it today. Together we can do this!!

Also had the first session with the new Trainer as well. Not sure what to think. Her approach is really different. I'll try to keep and open mind and give it a few more weeks, but I really miss my old Trainer already. BoooooHoooo.

Best wishes to all the B2B bloggers participants. Go get 'em!!

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

More on Push up Challenge

I'm excited that several ladies are in with me for the push up challenge: Regina, Staci, Tall-Mom, JBMommy, Eliza, Shannon. Several others are tentative.

Some details/thoughts:

* The plan can be found at hundredpushups.com/challenge.html

* Don't worry about which column you are in or if you need to repeat days or weeks. This is about getting stronger, not about how fast you get to the end.

* Do whatever style push ups you are most comfortable with. I've done it both ways - 'real' pushups and alternate 'knee' push ups. Personally, I want to challenge myself to do 'real' ones this time because it requires more core strength and I am motivated to improve my core.

* For the record, despite having done this in the past, my initial pushup test was pathetic. Guess that's what happens when you neglect pushups for several months. All the more room for improvement, right?

* Don't be intimidated by the challenge name. If you remain in column 1 for the duration, you probably won't get to 100 consecutive pushups by the end. Who cares?! I'll be thrilled if I can do as well as my girl Michelle who did 51 at the end of the challenge recently. (Yay Michelle!)

* I'm particularly excited about the ladies joining, but any male readers are welcome to join us too.

* Let's motivate each other by posting about our progress and leaving encouraging comments to others. We can do this!!!

(Hopefully I'll have time to edit this post later with appropriate links to the fabulous women mentioned.)

p.s. Today I completed week 1, day 2 (column 1): 3, 4, 2, 3, 4 = 16 pushups. Great way to start a Wednesday. :-)

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

She Runs!

Finally trusted my back enough to go for a run this morning. I decided to do a two mile tempo run just for the heck of it.

The weather was 45 deg, sunny, no wind. Normally, for a run like this, I would likely start with a jacket or long sleeves over a sleeveless or short sleeve shirt. I warm up fairly quickly, shedding the outer layer. This leaves my poor arms to the mercy of the brutal high desert sun.

Not today!

Instead, it was a perfect opportunity to test out the new sleeves courtesy one of Amanda's give-aways. These sleeves are light weight and soft, made from bamboo fibers - perfect for using as sun protection. I declined the top layer and just went with a short sleeve shirt and the sleeves. They provided a little warmth, but still let the cool air through.

A bonus - I got to be all matchy-matchy with the hat I wore today.



The only downside is that the size Small is not quite right for me. It's a tight squeeze on my biceps. I probably would do better with Medium. Having said that, I think Small would work well for many/most runner women; I just don't have a very typical runner's physique. Anyway, I'm hoping after wearing them a few times, the elastic will give a little bit and they will be more comfortable.

Oh, and the run was surprisingly good. I'm sure my splits are not consistent, but I completed 2 miles in 20:34 - right in my tempo window.


Thanks again, Amanda. Moeben sleeves are a great product!! My skin & I thank you. :-)

Monday, November 2, 2009

October Tally & Push Ups

OCTOBER TALLY

Stats
* 59.3 miles by foot
* 10 strength/stretching sessions
* 1 race, Duke City half Marathon, PB for that course

Thoughts
* Lost well over a week due to back spasms/pain. Blah.
* I'm convinced that I need to train on pavement or switch to trail races.

Plans
* Renewed focus on full body strength, including another round of the 100 push ups plan.
* Develop a 'maintenance' plan to get me through the next few months. I'm lost without a plan.

PUSH-UPS

Round Three
* The first time I did this plan, I did 'real' pushups, but only made it to week 3.
* The second time I followed the plan, I did 'alternative' pushups and made it into week 5. This set me up nicely for the Dash-Spash-Push event (which permitted alternative pushups for women).
* This is my third attempt and I'm going with 'real' pushups again even if I don't make it as far in the program. It's just a much better exercise overall. Day 1 complete...
* Who's in with me?!? Any takers?

Friday, October 30, 2009

Not much to report

Today would have been my first appt with the new trainer, but I had to cancel due to the issues with my back - which is better but still not good. I'm going to the chiropractor today and I hope that will help some. I think I may try yoga later today as well.

I guess this is why I haven't posted all week. I'm tired of talking about my back and in a few sentences, I've already run out of things to say.

In other news, "Operation Landscape Renovation" - in which we attempt to transform a poorly maintained back yard into a pleasant outdoor living space - is starting to become real. Yesterday we received initial plans from the landscape designer. Exciting stuff!

Have a great weekend folks!

Monday, October 26, 2009

Five Quick Things

1) Back spasms finally stopped this morning. Now my back is just sore and tight. I can stand up tall and move around better. Yay. I might even go into to the office tomorrow.

2) Lisa laid up + laptop + internet + credit card = dangerous. Four new CDs, some dog toys, jeans for my daughter, and race photos are on their way. Yet another reason it's good that my back is doing better...

3) My main running training parter, the one who got me through the long runs leading to Duke City, finished MCM yesterday at just a bit over 5 hours. I'm really happy for him.

4) Running group agreed that we do need an end of season celebration. We are celebrating on Thursday with PIE!! That's my kind of celebration. Wooot!

5) Biscochitos are quite possibly the best cookie ever invented. Good thing I only have a few left. Or maybe that's a bad thing, because I don't think anyone else in the house has been eating them. Ooops.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Owie. :-{

I am super thrilled to have won Moeben Arm Sleeves from Amanda at Run to the Finish. As strong as the sun is here where I live, I can imagine putting them to good use even in the summer. And of course, it's a great addition for fall running. They arrived in the mail yesterday. Woot!

Sadly, I haven't been able to try them out because...

Yesterday as I was collecting laundry from the kids' bathroom, my back went into spasms. Not sure how many of you have ever experienced back spasms, but they are excruciating. Oh.my.gosh. The pain. It took me down. Literally. Took me down to the floor. :-{

I'm guessing it's fallout from the half-marathon last weekend. But whatever caused it, it was a huge ordeal to get up out of bed this morning and into the kitchen. I can barely move without it acting up. Hopefully the muscles will calm down in a few days. And maybe next weekend I'll have a post about the sleeves in action. With photos even.

But for now: no half-century, no running. Instead, I'm wearing a heat pack, shuffling around like an old lady, trying to find a comfortable position to sit, and feeling sorry for myself. Blah.

-----

Several questions on my last post about whether I could follow my Trainer to his new gym. Sure, it's within the realm of possibility, but it's not feasible. It is farther away (significantly) and I'd have to join a 2nd gym (no pool there). I'm going to try to be open minded about the new Trainer for at least a few weeks. If it doesn't seem like it's working out, I'll figure out a new plan at that time.

Friday, October 23, 2009

Uggh.

Husband has been working out weekly with a specific Personal Trainer for well over two years. Last year, he talked me into working with the Trainer 2-3 times per month as well.

It's been a good match. He listened to my goals. He helped me through injury. He was encouraging. He was pleasant to work with. I felt that my customized strength/stretching program was appropriately challenging. We saw progress. You can literally actually see the results in comparing my recent race photos to those from a few years ago. Better posture, more muscle definition, etc.

Imagine my surprise when he announced that today was his last day at the gym. Whoah! Didn't see that coming...

I realize that he decision to leave isn't about me, but I still feel abandoned! Sure, he's giving my paperwork to another trainer and tells me I'll be in good hands. But the reality is that she may or may not be a good fit for me. Then I'm not sure what I'll do.

I hope your Friday is off to a better start than mine was. Enjoy the weekend, folks!

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Random-ish Thoughts

1) I'm taking this week off for recovery. And by off, I mean off. Nothing more than foam rolling, stretching, and a little ab work. Feeling better day-by-day.

2) Husband & I are seriously considering signing up for a half-century ride that's happening on Sunday. Un-trained. Will probably decide one way or the other on Friday. While it seems spur of the moment, it really isn't. We talked about it before the half-marathon and decided to wait to see how we felt afterwards. It's not a race, just a ride. A challenging ride, but just a ride nonetheless. Stay tuned to see if we do this or not...

3) I was reviewing an annotated graph of my splits with a friend of mine, and he said "you know, based on this graph, I'd have to say that you're neither Slow nor Steady. " Which actually made me laugh. But he's right. So it's now gone from my comment signature.

4) I don't mention my kids too much on my blog because they've asked me not to. Having said that, I still feel the need to mention that this is college application season and I'm experiencing a lot of emotion about Son looking to go away to school next year.

5) Puppy is growing like a weed. He's as tall as Bandit now, but skinnier. And he's not done growing. Having both dogs is a lot of fun, though. Good stuff.

6) I picked up a second pair of those Saucony Triumph 5 shoes from ebay. They arrived yesterday. Wonder whether I should put them in rotation with the other pair or just save them for when the other pair is retired? Thoughts?

7) Had car drama earlier this week with the old Explorer that Son drives. Blah. Got repairs done to get it into a safe driving condition, but there is more work that needs to be done on it in the next few weeks. Unscheduled/unplanned repairs = no fun.

8) The scale and I are not on speaking terms. And that's all I have to say about that.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Race Photos

The photos are posted! The photos are posted! WoooHoooo!!

I went straight to the on course photos and already picked out the one I like best. I'll definately be buying one of Husband & I to add to my collection. And yes, I was all kinds of happy at this point in the race.



I was almost afraid to look at the finish photos. I expected a scowl. I clearly remember *not* being a Happy Finisher, yet I look pretty darn happy in my finish photos. This one's not bad actually. What do you make of that??

This post brought to you by the letter W

WONDERFUL

Several months ago, the kind people at POM Wonderful sent me samples of their 100% pomegranate juice which they describe as "a little bit sweet, a little bit tart and a whole lotta healthy." I rather liked the taste and when my samples were gone, I picked some up at the local Costco. My favorite way to enjoy it has actually been in the evening...somewhat of a replacement to a glass of red wine while I've been training.

A few weeks ago, they sent a few more flavors to try. First up was POM Kiwi which they describe as "slightly sweet, slightly tart". It was interesting and pleasant, and definately gets thumbs up from me. Next was POM Nectarine which quite honestly, I didn't enjoy.

For me, the straight up pomegranate juice is the best of the bunch. Thanks, POM for sending samples!

WOBBLY

I've still got a wobble in my walk. The pain in my left side is mostly gone, but I'm having all kinds of trouble on the right side, including my IT Band (I think). Taking the Stick with me to work today. Also doing some serious stretching. May need to visit the chiropractor soon as well.

WHAT?!?

Got an email from coach today reminding us that practices have come to an end, congratulating everyone on their races, wishing us well, etc. I replied back that I think an end-of-season celebration is in order. It just doesn't feel right to end without one last meet up.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Duke City '09 - Longer Version

[Updated with official results]

The Good
1) From strictly a numbers perspective, I'm showing improvement year on year on this course.

2007 - 02:36:58
2008 - 02:29:07
2009 - 02:25:14 (45 of 78 F40-44, 403 of 641 females, 885 of 1199 finishers, age grade 49% which makes me a mid-pack runner. wow. when did that happen?)

2) Husband signed up for the race and ran with me. He finished about 10ft in front of me because I just couldn't kick it at the end, but otherwise he was pretty much right there with me the entire way. Here is one of the pictures that my friend took at about the 7 mile mark. Husband is just a few steps ahead to my left. [You should recognize me from what I'm wearing based on your suggestions before the race.]

3) I have awesome running friends (that includes you all!) and a great coach. Really appreciated all the support.

Coach was running the race as well. This photo was taken by the same person at basically the same spot on the course, just a different angle. Notice how nobody else is really in the picture running in either direction? That's because he's freaking fast! He took 2nd overall at a time of 1:17:15 a 5:54 pace!!.


He passed us well before we got to the 5 mile marker (he was probably 8.5 miles into the race). He spotted me in the crowd coming the other direction, reached out his arm to give me a high five as we crossed paths, and shouted at me "Good job, Lisa, keep going!"

He's running in 2nd position in the race and he takes time to tell *me* that I'm doing a good job?!? How incredible is that!?

4) Couldn't have asked for better weather. It was about 48deg when we arrived at the race venue. Maybe 50deg when the race started. It warmed up when the sun came up and I was out of my long sleeves before the 2mile marker. It never got too hot and it wasn't windy. Just a lovely day for running.

5) Despite a lot of pain all over my body, my knee never bothered me one bit. Considering where I was a year ago, that is incredible!

The Bad

1) Didn't not achieve my primary objective, which was to finish strong and uninjured. Before the race, I was explaining to Husband that I've felt amazing after my recent training runs. I really didn't care too much about how long it took to get to the finish line, I just wanted to be able to run 13.1 miles and feel amazing.

He then asked what pace I expected to run at. I told him that I expected to finish right around an 11min/mi pace because that's been fairly comfortable in training. I thought it was within my grasp to finish at 2:20:00, and I expected to finish closer to 02:25:00 and I was fairly certain that even if I had a bad day it would be under 02:30:00. I also expected to go out too fast and have to slow down a bit in the the race.

I had an amazing race up to about the 8 mile marker. Then my body really started to hurt. Not in a good way and not in a way that I've experienced in training. I'm convinced that the difference is that I mostly run on dirt trails and this race was on pavement. My hips hurt. My ankles hurt. My shins hurt. My low back hurt. Every step was miserable.

2) It's a minor point, but I missed the 02:20:00-02:25:00 window by 22 seconds. I wasn't limited by my cardio-fitness level, I was limited by pain, and I gave up. I stopped having fun and started taking frequent walk breaks somewhere around the 11 mile marker. At that point, I just wanted it to be over.

The Ugly

1) The splits graph says it all. You can see where I started to slow down due to pain at mile 9. You can also see where I gave up on the race at mile 11.

2) It's the morning after, and I still feel like I've been hit by a truck. So my opinion of the experience is mostly unchanged. If I'm going to train for long-ish races on pavement, I'm going to need to do more training on pavement. I'm thinking 80% trails, 20% pavement would be a good mix. Otherwise, I really need to rethink whether or not I should be doing half marathon races on pavement at all.

Final Thoughts

While some of you define success by the numbers, and pour everything you've got out on the course on race day, I am truly seeking something different. Pain-free and joyful running. Feeling good at the end of the race. Knowing that the course didn't beat me (or beat me up).

I know it's out there. And I'm still seeking it...

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Duke City '09 - Short Version

I did achieve a personal best for this course, my garmin says 2:25:22. The weather was great. The first half of the race was amazing. Husband ran with me, which was awesome. I saw several friends out on the course. In many ways, it was a great experience.

However, in the end, I was not the Happy Finisher that I wanted to be. I did not finish strong. It was not pain-free. All that pounding on the pavement really got to me. I felt like the course chewed me up and spit me out. That is disappointing, because finishing strong and uninjured was my primary goal.

What went wrong? I think it comes down to one thing. I run mostly on dirt trails because it's easier on my body, but the race is on pavement and I should have trained more on pavement to prepare my body. Lesson learned for next time.

Longer version tomorrow. Right now I think a nap is in order...

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Decisions, decisions...

Weather forcast predicts that it will be ~45 deg when the race starts on Sunday. High for the day is expected to be 74deg. It should be sunny and no wind. I expect it to be chilly at the start, but warm up quickly as the sun comes up over the mountains.

With that in mind, my plan is to wear shorts, with a sleeveless shirt under long sleeves. And a hat. And probably cheap gloves for the start. I'll also bring my fuel belt so that I have my own accelerade handy to drink when I need it.

One of the ladies from the run club who isn't running will be near the turn point. I can toss the long sleeves to her at that point.

I need you to help me choose which sleeveless and which shorts! Everything else has been determined. I've got it narrowed down to three choices.

Note: The grey shirt doesn't show up well in the photos, so keep in mind that it's the one I'm wearing in my profile pic.

Option 1 - Grey on top and bottom:


Option 2 - Grey on top, Orange on bottom:


Option 3 - Orange on top, grey on bottom:



What do you think? Which should I wear?

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Looking Forward

Ran 3 miles easy with my running group yesterday evening. There will be five of us running on Sunday. One running the marathon, four running the half. The marathon runner has already qualified for Boston; he's shooting for a PR and hoping to finish in the top ten of the race. Coach is one of the half runner; he's aiming to be in the top three (hoping to win, I think). While I may not be anywhere near the fastest of the bunch, I plan on having the most fun. :-)

When this race is over, I'm going to ease off on running for a few months (not quit, just ease off) and re-focus on whole body strength. I've already added in more time on my core with a goal of four times per week this month. Next week, I'm going to start some new lower body exercises. And then next month, I'm getting back to push-ups.

I'm also planning to spend more time with some leash training work with my dogs. At the moment, I can walk one or the other fairly well, but putting them together is a disaster. With less running on my schedule, I'll have more time for walking the dogs. With some consistent training, I think I should be able to walk them together in a month or so.

Packet pick-up in two days! And a some point I should figure out what exactly I'm going to wear on race day...

Monday, October 12, 2009

Goals

I can't believe Duke City is almost here. I can honestly say that my main goal is to be a Happy Finisher. The race will be a resounding success if I finish strong and uninjured at whatever ever time it take me to complete the course. And I think my training this time around has set me up for that. I've been feeling good after most of my recent runs. It's a completely different experience for me than same time last year.

Having said that, I do have a few additional time goals for the race so I’ve laid them out in tiered fashion:

* Primary Goal - Be a Happy Finisher and cross the finish line uninjured and feeling strong at the end at whatever time it takes me to complete the course.
* Icing on the Cake - Prove that Third Time’s a Charm and be a Happy Finisher with a time under 2:29:07 for a course PR
* Stretch Goal - Unleash my Inner Rabbit and be a Happy Finisher with anything under 2:21:36 for a half marathon distance PR.

Six days, one hour, and fifteen minutes to go. But who's counting?

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Feeling Good

Husband & I ran 7 miles in 77 minutes on the trail this morning. What kind of pace is that? It's faster than my prescribed easy pace. It's slower than my tempo pace. Maybe it's steady state?

Whatever it was, I felt good the whole way. I believe that I'm ready for the half next weekend. Speaking of which, here are a few things that I think have helped me get to this point:

* Saucony shoes with SofSole inserts - These are the shoes that I picked out after winning an onlineshoes.com gift certificate and I already had the sofsoles, they just didn't fit correctly in my other shoes. This combination seems to be a winner for me. I plan to replicate the setup in a second pair of shoes.

* 7-8 lbs less weight to carry around - Sure, I was hoping to be down a full 11 lbs, but 7-8 isn't too bad. It makes a difference in how my clothes fit, it makes a difference in my self-image, and I think it's making a physical difference with my running.

* Stretching and Strengthening - I learned with my knee injury last year how important it is for me to pay attention to this aspect of my training. I've been keeping up with it and I'm running without pain this time around. That's a very good thing.

Next post will include my goals for the race. Meanwhile, good luck to everyone racing this weekend!

Friday, October 9, 2009

Fiesta Friday

Today is Fall Break for the kids, no school. I thought they might want to go to Balloon Fiesta this morning, but they would rather sleep in. With any luck, the balloons will come our way...

Court went well for Son. He was polite and respectful and the judge gave him a deferral. As long as he doesn't get any further citations in the next 3 month, this one will be dropped.

No sleeping in for me. I'm up early for my 7am appt with the Trainer. And I think I'll try to get into the chiropractor afterwards. I have a bit of minor discomfort in my low back and I'd like to try to work that out before it gets bad.

I was supposed to run 4 easy yesterday. I've mostly been running those types of runs on my own, but I thought I'd meet with the running group for a change. Well, they ended up cancelling. D'oh! I still could have run on my own, but I just wasn't feeling it. I'm planning on 7 easy tomorrow which will be my third run of the week anyway.

I've been thinking about my goals for Duke City. Stay tuned for an upcoming post on that.

Have a great weekend everyone!

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Ramblings

  • I'm taking Thursday off work. I need to attend traffic court with my minor-for-another-three-months son in the afternoon and decided to ask for the morning off to take care of some other personal business. It will be nice not to work, but it's not exactly a vacation day.
  • Got another nice note from Coach. He thinks I'm going to have a good race. I'm cautiously optimistic
  • My sister's birthday is tomorrow. I started making a b'day gift way back in August and never finished it. Now it is going to be late. I hate that about myself.
  • Received the flu shot today. Now my arm hurts. Ouch.
  • It's Balloon Fiesta week in Albuquerque. Yes, it's awesome to see so many hot air balloons up in the sky at once, but being my 19th year of Fiesta I'm kind of getting tired of all the traffic and such...
  • We've had a healthy dose of autumn weather. I love autumn. It is my favorite seaon of them all!

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Time to Taper

Tonight was the final push. A longish run of 9 miles. I had arranged to run this with a guy from my running group who runs just a little bit faster than I do, but had a similar run on his schedule for today.

Both of us needed to get off work early to meet up so we could finish before it got dark. The weather was perfect. And we chose a running location that's mostly flat.

I had been a bit apprehensive about the run all day, but in the end I couldn't be more pleased with how this turned out. 9 miles at an average pace of 10:44. My fastest long run yet. I felt good at the end and 'sprinted' across my imaginary finish line.

Duke City is 11.5 days away as I write this. With this run in the books, it is officially time to taper.

Bring it on!!

Monday, October 5, 2009

"Easy Four"

My schedule called for an "Easy Four" and this is how it played out (in half mile increments):


I find the splits by half mile more interesting this morning than the mile splits because it shows that I did a fairly good job keeping an even pace except for the first half mile which was down hill and the half mile after the turn point (no clue why that one was faster).

Despite lack of speed work, my easy runs seems to be naturally speeding up. It feels like I'm putting in the same effort, but somehow my legs are carrying me at a faster pace. Wild, huh?

That's all for now. Enjoy your day, folks!

editted to add - just got this note from Coach, which sums things up nicely - "We just need to stay focussed now, you have two weeks left and you can do this!"

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Twelve

This morning I completed my twelve mile run in 2:24:00 which is exactly 12:00min/mi. McMillan says my long run pace should be between 11:40 and 12:40. Looking strictly at the summary pace, I was well within the window.

Of course, my real pace is never that consistent. I ran the first six miles with Husband. Garmin says the pace for those 6 was 11:07. That's actually too fast for a long run for me. But I felt good and at the time it really didn't seem too fast. It felt just right.

That begs the question - What happened? Nothing really happened other than Husband only ran 6 with me, and I ran the final 6 solo. Garmin shows that I began slowing down immediately when our paths departed. This seems to be a trend for me. If I'm running with someone and we're doing different distances, as soon as I'm running solo I slow down. I'm not sure why, but I do.

Anyway, the second half must have been closer to 13 min/mile for my average to have been 12. And 13 is too slow. So while on paper, it looks like I was running in the window, in reality, I was too fast at first and then too slow. Never really hitting my pace target at all.

Bigger question - How do I feel? I actually feel pretty good. Sure, I'm experiencing a bit soreness in my legs, but I think it is normal soreness from being on my feet for nearly 2.5 hrs. Nothing hurts in a 'something is wrong' kind of way. And if I had to have run another 1.1 miles today, I'm sure I could have done it.

I'm ready to trust my training. Tomorrow rest. Monday 4. Tuesday 9. That's the final push. Then it will be taper time...

Friday, October 2, 2009

September Tally

Numbers
* Ran: 55.0 miles
* Cycled: 89.1 miles
* Strength: 3 sessions
* Races: 0 - 1 DNS, 1 cancelled


Thoughts
* It is what it is. My dad's death took a much larger toll on me emotionally and physically than I had expected. I'm feeling better now.

Plans for October
* Enjoy life - "Today is a gift, that's why they call it the present"
* Finish strong and uninjured at Duke City.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Could it be?

This morning I got up a half hour early (which is much more reasonable than stupid o'clock) so that I could do my 5 mile run before work.

The plan was 5 miles easy and I was out there running to dawn's early light. The sun didn't fully pop up over the mountains until I was almost back home

Everything about this morning was perfect. It was a cool 51 degrees, slight breeze. I felt the air on my face, listened to the rustling of the leaves along the ditch bank, and realized just how good it is to be alive.

None of the stresses of daily life were out on the trail with me this morning. No pressure to hit a particular pace. No pain, no worries. It was peaceful.

I chose to wear my fuel belt for a change just to practice with it again. I barely noticed that it was there. And I never felt the need to reach down for the nuun I was carrying. I also never felt compelled to check my Garmin for pace.

This run, on this morning, was about moving and living and breathing and enjoying every bit of the experience. The kind of running that I enjoy most.

What's amazing is that my pace was a full 40sec per mile faster than a similar run last week *and* 10sec/mile faster overall than my run Tuesday (when I powered up the hill at the end).

Could it be that things are finally coming together?

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Remaining Focussed

Had a 5 miler on tap yesterday after work. Coach reminded me to remain focussed on building endurance (vs speed) and remaining uninjured going into the Duke City. By my own definition, success is finishing strong, uninjured, and happy at whatever time it takes for me to complete the course.

With all of that in mind, my goal for this particular run was to achieve a negative split at the end even though the last mile is uphill. I wanted to practice finishing strong.

I ended up running a little over 5 miles. I did manage to run that last mile somewhat faster (and with a nice pick-up for the final bit). Not too shabby.


Edited to add elevation info: I feel even better about that last mile with the elevation profile in mind. Not sure if I was smiling then, but I am now. :-)



Looking ahead, the next week of my training schedule is scaring me. 5 miles again Thursday, 12 on Saturday, then 4 on Monday and 9 on Tuesday. Yikes! After that it gets much more reasonable as we wind down toward the race.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Just call me Suzie Homemaker

I mentioned the Linus quilts in my last post. I ended up completing 6 of them last weekend, as planned. Usually, I like to take more time and piece the tops, but the local linus chapter sent a message to long-time 'blanketeers' indicating that they are short on blankets, so I figured quick and easy was the way to go. Here is a photo of two of the six that I made this weekend:

While I was rooting around my fabric stash, I found some upholstery fabric that I had purchased to re-cover a glider rocker. I ended up giving the glider rocker away to a family in need before I re-covered it. Well, the bar stools in the kitchen have been in sorry shape for some time, so I am using the fabric for that. The one on the left is the one I finished yesterday evening. The one on the right is still in the 'before' stage:


I also found some motivation to start cleaning up the garage. We had purchased some plastic containers to put on shelves and get things organized, but they were still stacked up on the floor taking up space. It had been bugging me, but not enough for me to find time to do anything about it until this weekend. Behold garage shelving with containers to organize stuff:


Where does that leave me with training? Um. Let's just say I needed a couple 'rest' days and leave it at that.

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Saturday 7

1 - One tough lower body workout with Trainer yesterday. We have several new pieces of new equipment in the gym and I learned how to use all.of.it

2 - Two sore legs due to #1 above and #7 below. Yeah, so maybe not the brightest idea to focus on new lower body exercies with the Trainer the day before my longish run. Ow. Ow. Ow. Ow. Ow.

3 - Three weeks to go before Duke City. I'm excited and nervous all at the same time.

4 - Four quick & easy blankets made for Project Linus this weekend so far. See www.projectlinus.org if you don't know what this is all about. I'll do two more tomorrow and turn them in on Monday.

5 - Five cucumbers sliced for Gurken Salat to take to Oktoberfest party this evening. Yummmmy

6 - Monday is the end of the Sixth week of school for my kids. Can you believe that?!? Six weeks of this school year already over...

7 - Seven mile run this morning. Not pretty. But got it done.

Friday, September 25, 2009

Tale of Two Runs

In celebration of Fall and Running, RunningLaur gave us the option to complete a virtual 5K or a virtual 5 miler. Being the overachiever that I am (or maybe just because it corresponded nicely to my training) I did both.

The 5K happened Tuesday as part of my 4 mile run with a negative split at the end. Backing out the first .9 miles (no way I'm not counting that sweet split at the end) my 5K time was 31:15, an average 10:05 pace - awesome tempo pace. I'm quite pleased with that one

The 5 miler happened Thursday as of my 6 mile easy run (executed as Plan B after bailing when it was dark and cold and early). I hit the 5 mile mark in 59:05, a pace of 11:49 - once again spot on for my target pace for an easy run. FYI, mile 6 was about 12:10 on that uphill climb back home.

So there you have it, a 5K in 31:15 and a 5 miler in 59:05.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Plan B

Set the alarm for stupid o'clock so I could get in a 6 miler before work.

Dutifully got up when the alarm went off and checked the weather. 44 deg.

Hmmmm. So let me get this straight. It's dark, *and* early, *and* cold?!?!

Why is it exactly that I wanted to do this run in the morning? Seems a whole lot more sensible to run after work when it's not dark, not early, and not cold.

Plan B it is.

Back to bed. Ahhhhhh.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Shazam!

I achieved the elusive negative split on my 4 mile run this evening - quite an accomplishment for this queen of the ever slowing pace.

The graph is just too pretty not to share.


And that's all I have to say about that. :-)

Monday, September 21, 2009

Monday Miscellany

* Ran 4 miles nice and easy this morning. It was a beautiful autumn-like day. It was refreshing. ahhhhhh

* I changed out the stock insoles in my Saucony running shoes (courtesy of the giveaway from Wes) with sofsole custom inserts - the kind you heat up and mold to your feed - and I'm enjoying these shoes even more than before. Thanks again, Wes and onlineshoes.com.

* I'm in much better spirits than last week. Healing is happening. Although I find that certain songs make me weepy. Had to skip several on my ipod this morning.

* Life with puppy in the family is going really well.

* My sister completed her first half marathon this weekend. Yay, sis!

* I (re)discovered Grape Crush this summer while on vacation and now I'm hooked. Weird because I've never been a soda drinker. Limiting myself to 3 per week and trying to savor them - nice and cold - and in bottles not cans.

* I've dropped 7 lbs total and now I'm stuck. I guess I should just be happy that I didn't gain week with the stress of the past few weeks.

That's all for now. Happy Monday - now there's an oxymoron if I've ever heard one!!

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Easing Back into It

Well, Thursday's group run was cancelled due to weather. Then I was a slug on Friday and did nothing at all that resembled exercise. This morning I was scheduled for a 10 mile run.

Got up, got ready, got to the meeting place on time, but somehow managed to leave my hydration at home on the kitchen counter. D'oh!

Without hydration, I decided to cut it short and do only 5 miles instead. Coach thought that was fine, given that I haven't run in 10 days or so, but also mentioned that the next two weeks are the most important. Translation - easing back into it is okay for today, but no more slacking off; Duke City is in one month.

Oh, and thx for the reminders. I did get us signed up Thursday evening. WoooHooo!!!

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Thursday Thoughts

I went on a 27 mile bike ride yesterday. Midway through the ride, I stopped and sat under a tree for a bit. It was a beautiful day to be outside.

I haven't run since last Tuesday. I find it interesting that I've chosen to cycle during this time. Perhaps it is because I can go farther on my bike, allowing me more of an escape.

I thought about running this morning, but it was raining. I stayed home and played with the dogs instead. I'll run with the group this evening assuming it doesn't get cancelled for thunder storms.

Today I am going back in to work. If I really needed to, I could take another day off. We've finished up everything that needed to be done right away and I'm feeling better, so I really do think it's time to get back to a more normal routine.

Duke City (the half marathon I've been training for) is in one month and I haven't signed up yet. I hope I remember to take care of that tonight. The registration fee goes up after tomorrow.

Oh, and puppy's name is Stymie. I think. At least that is what I put on his tag. It took us a month to settle on Bandit's name, so it is quite possible that it might change. But Stymie seems to suit him at the moment.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Puppy

In the midst of the yucky stuff, I actually do have something to smile about.

Our family recently adopted a 5 month old puppy who was found along with his siblings in a construction yard under two tons of lumber.

Here he is with Daughter on the day we brought him home. Is that not the cutest little face?!?!


Things are going well. He's highly tolerant of our cats and gets along well with our older dog, Bandit. He's already crate trained and knows some basic commands. We haven't had any accidents in the house, but he definately needs to be supervised to keep him out of mischeif


By the looks of his feet, he's going to be a big boy. It's going to be quite an adventure!!

Monday, September 14, 2009

Need Sleep

Is it weird that on Friday, I went for a 19 mile bike ride right in the middle of all the chaos? Well, weird or not, that's what I did. I hopped on my bike with red puffy eyes and tears and told folks that I needed get out and clear my head. When I came back, I took care of the remaining paperwork that needed to be done that day.

Saturday morning was consumed with gathering info for the death certificate, writing the obituary, and arranging to have it published Sunday morning. In the late afternoon, I went to packet pickup for the Patriot. I got everything ready for the race the next morning unsure whether I would choose to do it or not.

Then I couldn't sleep. Even though I was exhausted, my mind just wouldn't stop. When the alarm went off, I realized that I had neither the energy nor the motivation to do the event. I was soooo tired. Went back to bed and eventually got some rest.

Last night was better, managed some sleep despite a few disturbances from our new puppy. I'll post more on him later.

This morning I found out that the Splash & Dash for next weekend has been cancelled. In the grand scheme of things, I know that it's really not a big deal, but right now, it's just such a huge disappointment to me.

Things are mostly worked out, but we still need to finalize some things. Waiting to hear back from the funeral home. Waiting to hear back from the cemetary. I'm not so good with waiting. It makes me anxious. And I still feel exhausted.

I hope to be back to a more normal routine by Wed or Thu. Whatever I choose to do until then will just be for me. Whether that means I hop on my bike or run or swim or take a much needed nap.

This experience is another reminder not to take races and training too seriously. Enjoy life. Celebrate your good health. And hug the ones you love.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Working through it

My sister and I have known for many months that our father’s time was short. What neither of us knew was how much it would affect us emotionally when it happened.

As it turns out, we make a good team. She was the stoic one making the difficult decisions in the beginning while I was breaking down. It began to get easier for me, and we worked together on decisions regarding the handling of his remains. Then her emotions kicked in. I took the lead and wrote the obituary.

There is more to be done in the coming days and weeks. We will each do what we can when we can and lean on each other when we can't. There will be no need to apologize for what either of us did or didn’t or could or couldn’t do. In the end, it will all be okay.

At this point, I am emotionally and physically exhausted. I'm unsure whether I will choose to participate in the Patriot Tri tomorrow or not. And that is okay too.

Please know that you've helped tremendously simply by letting me know that you care. Thank you.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

For every thing there is a season....

I got the first call while I was at work this morning. Dad hasn't been doing well since April, but this today was different. He was tired of fighting. He didn't want to do this anymore. He was asking if they could just give him something to make him comfortable. They tried to give him oxygen and he took off the mask. They were asking for the family to say it was okay. I didn't know what to say. Called my sister. She talked with the nurse. Satisfied that he was alert and well aware of what he was asking, she told them we were okay with it. We wanted to respect his wishes. I couldn't just sit there in my office crying. I packed up and left. Didn't tell anyone why I was leaving. I wondered if it was normal to start the greiving process while someone was still alive. I cried. Then I just waited. About eight hours after the first call, came the second. Dad had passed away. Now they want to know what to do with the body. Again, I don't know what to say. I called my sister. She says she'll take care of it. And she'll call me back later. I'm sick of crying. My eyes hurt. My head hurts. Everything about this just sucks.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Tuesday Two-fer

I've been running without a schedule from coach for the first week of this month (guess the whole getting married thing took priority for the past few weeks), so I was basing it off what I've been doing in August.

Tuesday, I went out for a 5 mile run. When I came home, I realized that coach had emailed my schedule Monday evening - i just hadn't seen it yet. Five miles isn't exactly what I was supposed to do, but close enough.

In my last post I mentioned wanting to switch out my front tire. I did go out to Performance Monday afternoon and picked up a new tire for the front. I also got some ultra gatorskins for my commuter bike. When I got home, I promptl put the fresh tire on front. Then I decided to clean and lube the chain. And clean up the bike in general. I'll work on the commuter some other time.

Why mention this? Well, Tuesday evening is when the running group meets. I had already run in the morning, but I wanted to test out the new tire, etc. I hopped on and rode over to the meeting spot. Chatted a bit, then rode home. It was only 10.0 miles round trip, but every little bit helps my confidence that much more.

Today is scheduled as rest or cross training. I think I'm actually going to rest. Tomorrow is another run day, and Friday (also scheduled as rest or cross training) I'm planning to work with the Trainer and go for a bike ride with a friend. I'll rest again on Saturday, as the Patriot is Sunday morning.

p.s. Is it just me, or was it really weird to have Monday off and then start the week on a Tuesday? I was confused all day...

Monday, September 7, 2009

Labor Day Bike Ride

Got to spend this morning with my favorite riding partner. What a great way to enjoy a day off work.

But before I get too far ahead of myself, guess who had to deal with a flat front tire before even leaving the house?! You guessed it. The flat saga continues. This time the front of my LeMond.

I replaced the tube and would have been happier to replace the tire as well, but I don't have any more on hand. I'm thinking about making a trip over to Performance this afternoon so that I can get a fresh tire on front before the race next weekend.

It was a beautiful day and we rode from our house to the Bosque trail and down to a nice shady rest spot. Had a snack, then turned around and rode back home.


Bike computer says it was 27.6 miles round trip. Add that to the 15.5 on Friday and I've already ridden more in the first week of September than I did in the entire month of August.

Sure, it's probably too little too late, but still a confidence booster for the Patriot which is now 6 days away (Eeek!)

Happy Labor Day!!

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Fun Stuff

Friday I cycled to the gym, had a good upper body workout with the Trainer, and cycled home. But before heading home, I did a few hill repeats on my bike. I didn't put in a lot of distance, but the hills were tough and I felt that it was a good workout overall.

Saturday morning, I was scheduled to run long. Broke it down into three segments. First was chasing Husband & Bandit up and down a hill (2 miles). Short break to get the dog put back in the house and then Husband & I were off for a trail run (5.5 miles). That was enough for him, but I wanted some more distance on my legs, so I added one extra out and back (2.0 miles). When it was all said and done, I had gone 9.5 miles. Not bad.

The big excitement for the day was Coach's wedding. We got cleaned up and made it down town for a very New Mexican wedding (mariachi band and everything). The dinner reception was much later, so we had a few hours to rest at home before heading out for the evening festivities.

The beautiful bride, groom,and wedding party at the reception. I love the colors she chose!

Husband & I - bet you didn't know we cleaned up so well, did you?!?


This last photo has all the members of my running group. Most of us have never seen each other in anything other than sweaty running clothes. It was wild to see everyone all dressed up!

Not sure why (we really didn't stay at the reception very late) but I totally slept in this morning. Not going to worry about it too much though. Still hoping for a bike ride with Husband tomorrow since we have the day off.
Enjoy the rest of your weekend, folks!

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Unprepared

I am now 10 days out from the Patriot Sprint Tri. The web site describes the course as follows:

"Seeded serpentine style swim + 14 mile hilly bike ride + 5K hilly run. Run is partially on dirt roads."

For a short event, it's actually a tough little course. I would think that it would be wise for someone training for this to do a lot of hill work.

So....what has my week looked like from a workout perspective?

* Sunday - swim
* Monday - swim
* Tuesday - run (flat 4.1 mi)
* Wednesday - skipped bike ride (would have been hilly)
* Thursday - run (flat 5.2 mii)

Yeah. I'm not the role model for training wisely for this event. One might even go so far as to say that I'm going into it unprepared.

As such, I'm predicting that my experience with this race is going to SUCK.

If you are predicting anything else, I suggest you go back to the top of this post, re-read the course description and my pitiful training thus far. If you still predict something else, it may be wise for you to have your head examined.

What's on deck?

* Friday I truly hope that I find my self doing the cycle to the gym and back thing and then add a stand-alone bike loop on top of that. That will at least give me some hill practice.
* Long run Saturday.
* Swim Sunday
* Longish bike ride with Husband Monday (weather permitting).

Monday, August 31, 2009

August Tally

Numbers
* 66.8 miles running
* 31.5 miles by bike
* 6800 meters swimming
* 6 strength sessions at the gym
* No races.

Thoughts
* Half-Marathon training going well. Big confidence boost from this weekend's 9 mile run.
* Triathlon training, not so much. It's that darn bike (and my aversion to it)

Plans
* Show up and *try* to have fun at Patriot in 2 weeks (Eeek!!)
* Show up and have fun at final splash & dash in series in 3 weeks
* Continue progress with Half-Marathon training

Other Tidbits
* On Saturday, Husband & I celebrated 24th anniversary of our first date. Yes, it is very cool that he remembers. But thinking about how long we've known each other and how much life has changed since then sure makes me feel old!!
* I'm sporting a new hair color as of Friday. A darker chocolate brown. It's a fairly drastic change from the highlights, but I like it. I hope it doesn't fade too quickly.

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Mood: Accomplished

Nine miles in the half marathon bank! Woot!

I am extremely grateful for CJ from my running group who stuck with me for 7.5 miles this morning. He definately pulled me along at a faster pace than I would have done on my own.

With it graphed it by half mile increments you can see how much I slowed down for the final 1.5 miles that I ran solo. Yes, I'm blaming part of this on gravity, but without a doubt having someone to run with is a big help.

Despite my very slow finish, I'm pleased as punch for pushing through to the end.

Some Numbers:
- Overall average pace for the entire 9 miles was 11:13.
- Average pace for the 7.5 miles that I ran with a partner was 10:55. Woot!

Have a great weekend everyone!

Friday, August 28, 2009

Five Things Friday

1) Thanks for the well wishes. I'm feeling better today. Much much better.

2) Got my Lemond all fixed up yesterday so I could attempt cycling to the fitness center for my Trainer appt. When preparing to change the tube, I noticed that the rear tread was worn. So I replaced the tire as well. Now I have a bright blue tire in back and a faded one in front. So much for symmetry! Anyway, everything went as planned this morning. Phew!

3) I was beginning to come back to life yesterday and actually snuck in a 4 mile easy run. Life is good.

4) I'm pleased to report that the scale says that I have lost a total of 5.0 lbs since starting my latest weight loss adventure. I waited a few days before posting this to be sure that it was true. Apparently it is. That's roughly a pound a week. If I keep that up I just *might* be at my goal weight for Duke City.

5) I'm scared witless of the bike portion of Patriot, which is now less than 2.5 weeks away. Eek!

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Thursday Tidbits

Feeling better. Still a bit under the weather, but I think the rest has been good for me.

While I haven't been running, I have been analyzing my running. Decided to look at the elevation profile for my usual route. Aha!! It's downhill from my house to the ditch bank and uphill on the way home.

There you have it. My new excuse for I head out too fast and end up sucking air on the way back in. Gravity.

That's my story and I'm sticking to it.

I also got tired of looking at my poor pitiful bike with the flat tire. Moved it out in the garage so I wouldn't have to look at it. Ha!

Quickly decided that wasn't such a good plan and brought it back in the house. D'oh!

This morning I flipped it upside down and realized that the rear tire tread is really worn. Seems that replacing both the tube and the tire is in order. Haven't done it yet, but everything (pump, tube, tire) is in the house waiting for me to take action.

Haven't been doing much more than sleeping, so that's all I've got for now. Enjoy your day, folks!

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

In which I justify two unscheduled rest days...

Woke up yesterday with the crazy early alarm clock, but just didn't have the energy to run. Couldn't put my finger on it, but I just felt off.

No worries. I figured I could run after work on my own or possibly even meet up with the run group and run with them.

As the day progressed, I started to expererience general body aches. Then a cough. And a sore throat.

Uh oh. I think I'm coming down with something.

By mid afternoon, I was feeling miserable. A co-worker suggested that I go home before infecting everyone.

Sounded good to me.

Side Rant: Before heading home, I needed to stop at GoodYear again. The rear passenger-side tire was low. They found a large staple in it; probably from the recycling center. Gahh!! Enough with the flat tires already!! End of Rand.

When I arrived home, I decided I wasn't going to run. Taking a rest day seemed more prudent. I had no appetite or dinner and went to bed early. Feeling Bleh, I asked Husband not to set the alarm for me, I would just wake up whenever.

Fast forward to this morning. I'm feeling better, but not great. Schedule calls for cycle commuting. That's sooooo not going to happen.

I hope to be back on track tomorrow.

Monday, August 24, 2009

Patriot Prep

I'm trying to get excited about the upcoming Patriot Tri (3 weeks out) in addition to the half marathon that I'm running in October. My only goals at Patriot are to better my time from last year and have fun. Should be doable since I did this race with a bum knee the weekend after DNFing at Chips-n-Salsa and walked a good deal of the run portion.

Swam Sunday morning before church and again today before work. On Sunday the swim went well and I was able to share with someone who swam "narrow." Today's swim was not so good as I was sharing with someone who swam "wide." I got kicked twice, hit once. Tried to chalk it up to good triathlon training, but it wasn't a lot of fun.

Got my commuter bike all fixed up and am actually considering commuting again on Wed to the gym and to work. Still haven't touched my LeMond though. I brought it in the house and it's just sitting there all pitiful on a flat rear tire. I'd like to have it ready to ride on Friday.

I'm scheduled to run Tuesday, Thursday, & Saturday. Five miles easy tomorrow, a Tempo run Thursday, and then nine on Saturday. As always, these are the workouts I'm most looking forward to this week.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Eight Weeks 'til Duke City

This time last year, I ran my last long run in preparation for Chips-n-Salsa Half Marathon and began experiencing pain in my left knee.

When race day came two weeks later, I DNF'd. It was disappointing to end up at urgent care rather than the finish line. I eventually learned that I was experiencing PFS (PatellaFemoral Syndrome) in my left knee which required several months of treatment.

There are days when I question whether I'll ever be able to run that far without the same problems. I certainly hope for a different outcome this year when I attempt the half marathon at Duke City, but you never really know. Without a doubt, I will walk away if I need to, but until then I'm giving it my best shot.

Couldn't help but smile as Toby Lightman's "Don't Let Go" came on my ipod while out on the trail this morning:

"Don't question me about what I need
I'll fill you in
When I'm ready for it
If you don't let me take my time
Nothing's gonna feel right
I won't forget to tell you when
I'm gonna tell you when it's over
but it's *not* over yet.."


Seven miles accomplished, no pain. My training schedule calls for nine miles next weekend.

"You'll be the first to know when I'm done
Hate to say but I've just begun
Don't lay low
Boy you better keep listening cause
I'm gonna tell you when it's over
but it's *not* over yet..."

Friday, August 21, 2009

FLAT-tastic Friday

Got up stupid early again this morning so that I could cycle to the gym for my appt with the Trainer. After that, I planned to cycle home, quick shower, and off to the chiropractor for an adjustment. This afternoon I have plans to meet the kids at Staples after school for school supply shopping (my role is supplying payment, they will do the shopping before I get there).

I wanted to ride in on my LeMond Versailles (carbon road bike) because it is lighter and fits me better. Since I didn't need to carry a change of clothes, computer, etc I didn't need to ride up on my commuter bike. I was however, planning to carry a small backpack with my cell phone, gym shoes, hat to cover helmet head, and lock.

Got everything ready, went out to check the tires. Needed to add air in the front. No problem. Also needed to add air to the back. Problem! As I'm pumping it up, I hear that ol' familiar sound of a puncture "SSsssssssssssss" Well crud. I didn't have time to change the tube, and especially don't have time to deal with the rear tire, so I aborted plan A and decided to ride on my commuter instead.

Transfered my stuff into the pannier bag (that's where I keep the tools and stuff on the commuter, so I couldn't just carry the backpack). Put the LeMond away. Got the commuter. Checked the tires. Everything seemed good to go.

I was maybe halfway there, and not quite to the base of the monster hill that I need to climb when I noticed my speed dropping dramatically. What the heck?! Stopped and checked the tires again. Seemed okay. Pressed on.

Just as I reached the base of the hill, my bike started shaking like crazy. Okay, something is not right. Checked the tires again. Front is totally flat. Tried adding air. Again with the "SSssssssssss" sound. Crud. Need to change the tube. Well, that's just wonderful.

Flipped the bike over. Took off the wheel. Took off the tire. Removed the offending tube. Put in a new tube. Put tire back on. Added air. No "Ssssssss" sound this time, but the small PocketRocket Pump that I was carrying would not make a good connection with the valve stem. I had a hard time getting the pressure up to anything reasonable to ride on. What a piece of crap pump.

Called Husband to see if he could bail me out. No luck. He had cycle commuted as well and was already showered, changed, and in his office. He wasn't going to be much help.

Tried some more and finally got it to the point where it wasn't totally flat, but it was still squishy. It seemed like that was as good as it was going to get. I decided to put the wheel back on and head home cautiously.


Got home and found the pressure to be somewhere in the range of 40-60 PSI. That is way to freaking low for a road bike. Pumped the tire to a more reasonable 110 PSI using the floor pump in my garage. Checked for leaks. Everything seems okay. Except of course, that my LeMond still has a flat rear that needs to be resolved.

Texted Husband to let him know that I made it home safely and oh by the way I HATE BIKES AND ALL THINGS HAVING TO DO WITH BIKES. Emailed trainer to apologize for being a no-show. Then took a shower and got dressed.

Determined to turn this morning around, I hopped in the car with the idea that I would stop at the bike store on the way home from the chiropractor and pick up a better frame pump for my commuter bike along with a few slime tubes.

However, as I'm pulling out of the garage, a warning light turned on in the car. "WARNING! Tire Pressure Too Low!"

Get out of the car and check the tires. Sure enough, the front driver side tire is flat. You've got to be freaking kidding me!!! Aarrrrrrgggggghhhhh!!

Turn on the compressor that we keep in the garage. Add air to flat tire. Check tire pressure on other tires. Decide all is well. Get back in car. New plan, head to GoodYear to have them fix my car tire. Then to bike store. Sigh. Oh yeah, and call the chiropractor and apologize for being a no-show.

It is now 12:45 local time. I'm happy to say that I'm finally back home with a repaired car tire, new pump, and some tubes. Still have some work ahead of me with the bikes. Leaving that for some other time.

Confidence for the bike portion of Patriot? Not so good at the moment....

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Mind vs. Body

Mind: "That's the alarm. Time to rise and shine! Got a run to do!!"

Body: "What the heck?!? Who in their right mind gets up this early. Just hit the button already. I need some sleep."

Mind: "Not doing it. Let's go. Otherwise we're stuck running in the heat this evening. That will be worse than getting up now"

Body: "Gah..."

Mind: "Let's see what's on the schedule today...ah...tempo run."

Body: "Um, excuse me?!?! Have you forgotten that yesterday was supposed to be a rest day and instead we lugged ourself, bike, rack, pannier bag, computer, change of clothes, and lunch up that freaking hill. I'm still sore from that nonsense. No way I'm doing a tempo run today!! "

Mind: "Good point. How about we compromise on a 5 mile easy run?"

Body: "That's more reasonable. As long as you keep any crazy ideas about going fast out of the equation, I'll get us through 5 miles so you have confidence for the long run this weekend. Deal?"

Mind: "Deal"

....after the run....

Body: "Okay. That wasn't so bad. Felt good actually."

Mind: "That was awesome! I'm thinking this week's long run will go much better than last time. I'm happy!!"

Body: "Now, about your plans for tomorrow...."

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

1-2-3-4-5 in words and pictures

One (1) Bandit Barrier Installed - aka Cargo Partition. Bandit is probably going to dislike it at first, but confining him to the back will make driving easier and safer. One bummer is that the cargo roller cover conflicts with the partition. So I can have one or the other installed, but not both. Luckily, both are fairly easy to put in and take out.



Two (2) Cute Shoes - Love. Them. Purchased for Upcoming Wedding. Buying a new pair of shoes was more fun than finding a dress to wear.



Three (3) and a Half Weeks until Patriot Sprint Tri - Eek. I've been neglecting my bike since June. I plan to cycle commute tomorrow barring unforseen circumstances. Really. I mean it this time.


Fourth (4) Pair of Nike Zoom Vomero +3 - Retired the red ones and put my last pair (blue) into rotation with the Saucony shoes. They don't make this model any more. Sigh. I hate it when they do that. May do a last quick check on the internet for any I can grab up online. Otherwise, it's back to the drawing board when these need to be retired.


Five (5) Miles Completed on Mondaycorrection TUESDAY- This was a great run in that I felt awesome! I've graphed it out in 1/2 mile increments to show how consistent the splits were. I'm still starting off a tad bit too fast, I need to work on that. Also, the slow segment in the middle is where I stopped to mess with my ipod. I keep saying that I need to create a running playlist but haven't taken the time to do it...yet!


Monday, August 17, 2009

Monday Miscellany

Talked to Coach and he agrees with 3 days a week running. It worked for me before. That's the new plan for now.

Went to the pool Sunday morning as well as this morning. Both times I had a good swim. Today I augmented with upper body afterwards. Good stuff.

The glute/hip/back/knee issue is a lot better than it was on Saturday morning. Good thing, as I have high hopes for a successful 5 mile easy run tomorrow morning before work.

Everything seems to be coming together except for one little detail...cycling. I've had no luck finding someone to team with me at Patriot either. Gah! I guess I just need to hunker down and cycle commute at least one day this week. That will get me started. Targetting Wednesday since I nixed my run that day. I'll just take it one day at a time after that.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Good-Bad-Ugly

The Good

* Got up and met with the run group for my long run as planned.

The Bad

* Was experiencing tight/sore glutes Friday. Did some stretching, but didn't get all the tightness worked out.
* It was bad Saturday morning before I left the house. This didn't bode well for the upcoming run...

The Ugly

* Anyone want to guess where in my run I really started having trouble? Tight glutes led to a sore back and then knee pain. I know better than to run with an injury/issue. I should have postponed the run a day and spent more time loosening up. *sigh*


Plan B

* I don't think my body can handle running 4 days a week without injury/issues. Switching back to 3 days a week of running. Will move Wed easy run to Tuesday. Doing Tuesday Temp/Steady run on Thursday. Skipping Thursday speedwork all together. Backfill with more cross-training. My body should like that.

Friday, August 14, 2009

Progress to Plan

Thursday morning I made it to the pool to find (gasp) FOUR EMPTY LANES! I have never had this happen before. Usually I need to share a lane. What a treat to not only have my own lane but to pick which of 4 empty ones to choose. Had a good swim of 1000 m, then soaked in the hot tub for a bit. That always loosens me up. Afterwards, I did my upper body strength work in the gym. Swim + gym = SUCCESS.

Thursday evening, I met up with the running group for speedwork. The plan was 1 mile warm-up, then 12x (1min FAST + 1 min WALK), then a cool-down (which I walked). I was quite pleased that most of my fast segments were at a pace south of 8 min/mi. Not all though, those last few were particularly challenging. Speedwork = SUCCESS.

This morning the plan was cycle to gym, work out with Trainer, cycle to home with maybe an extra loop. Woke up to drizzling rain. Bailed on plan to cycle anywhere. Cycling plan = FAIL.

[Side note, why does the weather forcast say 30% chance of rain when it's raining right now and has been for the past few hours? By default doesn't that make it 100% chance of rain? I do not understand weather forcasts]

Drove to the gym instead and did lower body work with the Trainer. Then went upstairs for some serious stretching. Trainer appt = SUCCESS.

Tomorrow is supposed to be cloudy, no rain. I'm hoping that equates to good running weather for my long run. I wasn't being sarcastic when I said that 7 miles is a fun distance to run. I'm really looking forward to it!!