Saturday, July 31, 2010

July Tally & Return to Pool

July by the Numbers
  • Miles by Feet - 74.5
  • Trips up the hill - 20
  • Yards Swam - 2750 (see below)
  • Ab workouts - 4 (more on that later in a separate post)
  • Injections received - 3
  • Rest Days - 5
Thoughts
  • Seventy-four point five miles walked, including twenty trips up and down the same hill. I'm either crazy or stubborn (or both!)
  • I don't recommend swimming for anyone trying to lose weight. Swimming makes me hungry. Crazy hungry. I'll-eat-anything-I-can-find hungry.
  • My idea of returning to normal activity and the orthopedic's idea of the same are two different things. When he said I could return to normal activity next week, he did not mean running. I'm not cleared to start running (or do any other strenuous activities involving my knee) until the 15th of Aug. Even then I need to start out short and easy until mid-September. There's no rushing the healing process. Sigh.
Plans for August
  • Keep swimming.
  • Keep walking.
  • START RUNNING!!
  • Send Son off to College
The Return to the Pool

I had been thinking about swimming all week. Then the orthopedic guy burst my bubble by telling me that I couldn't start running again next week after all. That's the nudge I needed to bite the bullet, re-join the gym, and get back to the pool.

I intended to swim 1600 Friday afternoon, but quickly learned that one loses significant swim fitness from taking a year off. My 200 yd "warm-up" wiped me out. Who knew?!? I made it to 1000 before calling it a day.

Not one to be so easily defeated, I returned to the pool Saturday morning. I asked a guy who was clearly counting laps if I could share his lane.

"I'm swimming a mile, " he said smugly.

"Me too," I quickly retorted.

And just like that, I had committed myself to go 1750 (yes, I know there's technically 1760 yds in a mile but 1750 is close enough for me). And so that's what I did. Booyah!

Friday, July 30, 2010

Friday Five - High Desert Edition

I live in the high desert of central New Mexico. When most people think of the desert southwest, they think of the low desert (Phoenix) and saguaros and such. That's not what it's like here. We're up a mile above sea level! So not only is it different from where most of you live, it's different from what you might imagine. Today I looked for five photos from my camera to share a little bit of my world with you.

I took this first one just the other day as I was coming down the hill. This is what my neighborhood looks like. Most of the houses are one story with flat roofs. The primary plant that you see naturally growing is sagebrush. The "soil" is sand. The mountains are the Sandias. Sometime I'll share a photo from sunset in winter when they turn pink.


From first glance, I'm sure all you see is brown. But there is color in the desert, I promise! This next self-portrait was taken in front of my house the day before we left for our vacation in NYC. Hummingbirds love trumpet vines, I don't have to put up a feeder to attract them.


I took this next photo out of the passenger's window of my car. I promise, I wasn't taking photos while driving, my car was stopped!


As I mentioned earlier, you won't find saguaros here. That doesn't mean we don't have cactus plants, just not that type. This particular cactus is growing near the fence line of our back yard. I think it's interesting how the blossoms are two different colors, yellow and pink.


And I couldn't resist adding this one in. The roadrunner is our state bird. I see them daily running across the road. Somehow a roadrunner found it's way to the roof of our house one day this spring. They can't really fly, so it seemed odd that he was up there. It's a neat photo though, don't you think?


Now you know a little more about my world. In a bit I will be off to get my third and final shot in my left knee. WooooHoooo!

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Three Things Thursday

1) I'm posting this at 3:15am. When I have a lot on my mind, I wake up in the middle of the night unable to sleep. On my mind right now is my Son's imminent departure for college. He leaves in a little over 3 weeks. We need to decide who he wants to go with him and book our flights. I'm going to talk with him about that tomorrow. On the one hand, I hope he wants me to go with him so that I can see where he'll be living. On the other hand, I kinda hope he wants his dad to take him so that I can shed my farewell tears in the privacy of my own home. Sigh.

2) I've walked 72.5 miles so far this month including 18 trips up and down the hill. Do you have any idea how freaking long it takes to walk that many miles? Three days to go before I close the books on July. Even though I can start running again (knock on wood) in August, I think I will continue walking on my cross-train days. It's growing on me.

3) I'm officially out of the Chile Harvest Triathlon. Mixed emotions about this, but I believe it was the right decision. Maybe next year. Oddly, shortly after getting that taken care of, I received an email about the Patriot Tri in mid-September. That's the one I didn't do last year because it was a few days after my dad died and I was an emotional and physical mess on race day. Now I need to decide whether to add this one into the mix or just concentrate on the HM in October. Hmmmmmmmm. Stay tuned.

Monday, July 26, 2010

Monday Musings

If you follow me on Facebook, you know that I've been sick for the past few days. Stupid strep throat. In retrospect, sharing a water bottle with my daughter (who also ended up diagnosed with strep a few days earlier) was not such a good idea. Sleeping, drinking water/tea, & taking meds is pretty much all that I've done since Saturday evening.

I must finally be feeling better because I'm starting to get a bit stir crazy and bored. In my boredom, one of the things that I decided to do was look back at posts last July.

Did you know that it was roughly this time last year that I tried out Saucony Progrid Triumph 5 running shoes courtesy of a giveaway from onlineshoes.com from Wes's blog? Wow. How awesome that was! I ended up switching to these shoes and I couldn't be happier.

I was also sporting a broken/smashed finger. Don't miss that one bit! What is it with me and stupid injuries in the summer? Last year smashed/broken finger. This year scraped/broken elbow.

My running mileage in July 2009 was 55.7 miles with my long run at 7.0 miles. I've exceeded that mileage total already this month walking hills, but it's obviously not the same as running. And the long stuff isn't happening for me right now. However, somehow I am reassured by looking at those numbers. I don't think I'm too far off actually.

My post reading was interrupted by the postal carrier ringing the doorbell. I appreciate our postal carrier driving up to the house to deliver a box at the doorstep instead of leaving a slip and making me go pick it up myself at the post office. But I don't understand why she puts the rest of the mail in the box (I have a long driveway) rather than bring it up as well. Anyway, the package was a box with a few interesting products from American Nutrition to try out and review. Will post a review in about a week once I've had ample opportunity to try them out.

I also decided to make a word cloud. It made me smile so I posted it on my sidebar. Oh, and I made a few slight changes to the blog layout.

That's all I've got for now. Stay healthy!

Sunday, July 25, 2010

So close, and yet so far

Received my second of three Euflexxa injections on Friday. On August 2nd, I can resume whatever activities I wish including running, however it might not be until early September that the full benefits of treatment are realized.

I was signed up for a local Sprint Tri on Aug 7th. I haven't been able to train for it. I have debated whether or not to show up and try to have fun or cancel my registration. It seems unlikely that I can go in unprepared and finish this with a smile, so I sent an email to the race director this morning asking if I can give up my spot so that someone else can participate. The race is likely to sell out, so I am fairly certain he will either give me a refund or forward my registration to next year.

The following weekend is the Rio Grande half-marathon. Earlier in the year I had wanted to participate in this event and aim for a time goal. That's obviously not happening. Instead, I am participating as a volunteer. I'm actually looking forward to being on the other side; it should be fun.

My plan is to begin running in early August. Starting off slow and easy to test the knee. If all goes well, I'm jumping straight into half marathon training for a race in mid October. As long as my goal is to finish upright, smiling, and wanting to do it again, this should be do-able. I won't take crossing the finish line for granted after several months of down time.

Looking at my sidebar I notice how empty it is of race results. Oddly, I'm okay with that. My return to run training will coincide with my son's departure for college. Something tells me that I'll need it then way more than I need it now anyway.

Friday, July 23, 2010

Friday Follies - Back from NYC Edition

Wow. Five days, four nights in the Big Apple. What an experience. I took 175 photos with my brand new Panasonic Lumix DMC- ZRI camera (love it!) and uploaded about 30 of them to facebook - find me there to see them. For the blog, one photo and a few thoughts from the trip



1) There was a lovely path with lots of other runners along the Hudson river just steps from our hotel. I wasn't able to run, but took a nice stroll one night as the sun was setting.

2) New Yorkers get a bad rap. I expected rudeness, but experienced nothing but kindness.

3) The subway was convenient for getting around, but it was unbearably hot in the tunnels while waiting for the trains.

4) Blue Men Group was the highlight of the trip. And Son was chosen as an audience volunteer to participate in the show. How cool is that?!?

5) Holy smokes there were a LOT of people everywhere. Especially Times Square at night. Aye Carumba.

6) Gelato = best sweet treat ever. Why, oh why, don't they have that where I live?

7) It was cool how every neighborhood was different and unique. So much diversity on one little island.

8) Embassy Suites Hotel rocks for a family of four. Huge room, bedroom for us, kids slept on the couch bed in the other room. Breakfast buffet included with made to order omelets.

9) Two words to describe the financial district = Concrete canyons.

10) One of these days I'll learn. Bringing exercise clothes on vacation does nothing but waste space in my luggage. No worries though, we walked all over Manhattan!

Have a great weekend folks. Time for me to tackle a mountain of laundry...

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Looking forward

I may not be there yet, but I'm closer than I was yesterday. ~Author Unknown

I realized yesterday that if I can walk 6.2 miles over the next 2 days, I will be 0.1 miles over my May monthly miles by feet on July 15th. Now if that's not some motivation to get out there and keep moving forward, I don't know what is!

I get my first of three Euflexxa injections the morning of the 16th. That comes with some planned downtime, so the numbers won't go up too much after that.

Essentially, this is the base I have built for myself for when I come out on the other side in August ready to run. Will it be enough? Time will tell. Right now the plan is to run Duke City HM again in mid-Oct. That means when I start running, I'm headed straight into half marathon training. Yeeehah!

Crazy? Perhaps. Determined? Absolutely!

Stubbornly persist, and you will find that the limits of your stubbornness go well beyond the stubbornness of your limits. ~Robert Brault

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Saturday Seven

No, not seven miles, seven random things:

1) As of the morning of July 10th, I have logged 32 miles of fitness walking which includes 12 trips up the hill. It's growing on me, but I miss running.

2) I'm getting really bored with that hill. Need to find a new one to climb.

3) I *so* love Marshall's. I recently picked up 2 pairs ($9 each) of Layer 8 shorts that are designed just like Nike Pacer shorts except that they are missing the rear pocket for an Ipod. One is grey with yellow trim, the other is black with pink trim. Score!

4) I also found really soft microfiber twin xl sheets in brown and khaki for Son to take to college. I'm sure that's not as exciting to most of you as the shorts, but it's something he needs for the dorm room and the price was perfect. Score again!

5) I also love Headsweats hats. The only time that I don't wear them when walking or running (or gardening) is when it's too cold. I picked up two new ones recently: lime green and white with pink trim.

6) Last night we went to the Zoo for a summer concert. It was a perfect night to sit out and listen to music. We had never heard of the artist, Carrie Rodriguez, but were pleasantly surprised to find out that we really enjoyed her music. I think I might pick up her latest CD.

7) Five days until my first Euflexxa injection. Not that I'm counting or anything...

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Three Things Thursday

Yet another reason I'm anxious to get on with knee treatment...I'm running out of things to say.

1) Still walking and walking and walking and walking: 21.75 miles in the first 7 days of July. After dinner last night, I had the opportunity to walk up the hill with my son. While we were heading that way, I mentioned that I've seen a two runners recently run a bit further up to the very top and then disappear I have no idea where they go. We decided to climb up there and check it out. It's just a big sandy plateau up there. I'm still not sure why they go up there or where they go after that! It's not obvious that it connects to anything. Maybe they go down the other side and connect to another road/trail and make it a loop instead of an out and back? Oh well, at least now I've been up there.

2) I am enjoying gardening wayyyyy more than I ever expected. I'm out there every day tending to the plants, weeding, harvesting veggies, and sometimes just observing progress. I am so glad we decided to fence in an area for it when we did our landscape remodel. Before this year, I was doing container gardening which was not nearly as much fun. Pretty much everything in the garden is doing well, except for the strawberries. The strawberries have really been struggling. Over the past few days, I tore out some of the dead/dying plants and replaced them with new plants. That by itself would be the definition of insanity - doing the same thing and expecting a different result. I also attached some netting to the fence on that side of the garden to give them filtered instead of direct sun for at least part of the day. When instructions say to give plants full sunlight, they don't mean 15hrs of the intense, cloudless sky, high UV, scorching sun of the desert southwest. From my past experience with container gardening, strawberries did better in partial sun. It's worth a try anyway. If this doesn't work, I'll give up on strawberries entirely and plant something else there next year.

3) While parts of the country are struggling with insane crazy hot temps, it's actually been quite nice here. Highs this week around 85-90 and lows 60-65. The big temp swing during the day brought to us by virtue of cloudless skies and high altitude (nothing to trap the heat when the sun goes down) makes for quite pleasant mornings and evenings.

Saturday, July 3, 2010

Off to a Good Start

With the cortisone shot now kicking in, my knee is feeling a bit better and July is off to a good start.

Thursday evening I took the dogs up the hill. I then dropped off Bandit at home and took Stymie out for another mile.

Friday morning the dogs went up the hill with me again. I dropped them both off afterwards and went for a 1.5 mile easy run. I wasn't wearing my Garmin, so I'm not sure how fast I was going, but I'm sure it wasn't very fast. I was pleased that my knee felt "okay" and considered going for a longer run Saturday morning.

Saturday morning came, and I decided that I'd be better off walking the dogs than trying to go for a longer easy run. Anytime that I've tried running multiple days in a row, it has not turned out well. Instead, I took the dogs up the hill, dropped off Bandit, watered Stymie, and went back out with Stymie to traverse the hill a second time.*

(*For the record, I'm not playing favorites with the dogs. Bandit is older and gets tired after the 2 mile hill climb. Stymie, on the other hand, has the boundless energy that one might expect from a large 15mo old puppy).

So for anyone keeping score, here's how it adds up: We're three days into July. Already I've traveled 10.5 miles on my feet, including 4 trips up the hill and one short 1.5 mile easy run. I'm quite pleased.

Enjoy your weekend, everyone. In honor of Independence Day, I'll leave you with the following thought: “What is the essence of America? Finding and maintaining that perfect, delicate balance between freedom “to” and freedom “from.” ~ Marilyn vos Savant

Thursday, July 1, 2010

June Tally

The Numbers

On my feet: 58.0 mi
On my seat: 9.3 mi
Races: Nada

Thoughts


Being injured sucks. Being "double" injured sucks doubly. Focussing on what you CAN do rather than what you CANNOT - priceless.

Plans for July

Keep walking hills. Receive treatment for knee. Reconcile race schedule.