Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Logic vs. Heart

Husband reminded me that on Sunday, 11-Feb, there will be a little local race called the Sweetheart Run. They have both a 5K and a 10K course. I have to make a decision, enter the 5K or the 10K?

He says "Do whatever you want. I'll run too."

Now, if I let Logic rule my decision, it would clearly be the 10K. What was supposed to be my first 10K turned into a snowy 8K. Also, a 10K is more aligned with my goal of doing an Olympic distance triathlon.

On the other hand...

Husband and I entered this as a team last year and ran the 5K. It was my first chip-timed event. Ever. Yeah, I'm THAT new at this. While Logic tells me to run the 10K, Heart suggests that I run the 5K to see just how much I've improved in a year's time. And I can probably keep up and run with Husband for about half the 5K distance...how cool would that be?!?! Afterall, it *is* called the Sweetheart Run.

Decisions, decisions, decisions...

What do you think?? Should I follow Logic or Heart on this one??

Saturday, January 27, 2007

Saturday Ramblings

This morning I was planning a bike/run brick and actually looking forward to it.

Woke up to what the weather report calls areas of dense morning fog. Or as I described it "Hey! Where did all the houses in our neighborhood go?!" Definately not safe conditions for an early morning bike/run brick.

Plan B. Wait for fog to lift, and go for an abbreviated bike ride, skipping the run. I just don't have all day for this, and the later I get started, the shorter my available workout window becomes.

The weather eventually cleared up, and I decided to ride on the bike path along the Rio Grande.

As stupid as this sounds, this is a new discovery for me. I've lived in this area for about 17 years, and until someone talked to me about it this week, I was completely oblivious to the fact that this city has a network of bike paths. Apparently *everyone* knew about this, but nobody bothered to clue me in. Or maybe I'm just a moron.

Anyway, I drove to a parking area, unloaded my bike, and had a really enjoyable ride. I really wish I hadn't been pressed for time, I could have continued on for another hour and would have enjoyed every moment of it.

After coming home, I found a map to the bike paths and can't get over how brilliant the whole network is! I actually can't wait for my next long ride. :)

Changing subjects...

I haven't updated on progress with dog because I am not sure what to say.

I'm exhausted.

I worked from home all week so that he would have some consistency in training. He's having a hard time ignoring the cats.

Last night, I had just had enough. Husband took over with the dog. That turned out to be a good thing for all of us.

The dog has a lot of potential and good qualities, but he simply must be able to coexist peacefully with our cats if he is going to live here. That point isn't negotiable. The big question is whether he can learn this fact and act on it before I completely run out of patience.

Friday, January 26, 2007

"An Easy Six"

Pool is still closed. As a result, Wednesday's scheduled swim turned into "sleep in", but today's scheduled swim turned into an adhoc "run with co-workers".

Normally I run alone. At my own pace, my own trail, my own distance. But yesterday afternoon, I was invited to run with some colleagues who had travelled in for work training and since the pool was down, I figured it was better than sleeping in again.

New trail. In the dark. With people I have never run with. Sure, why not?

So who are these people who have invited me to an early morning run? I found myself in the company of an multi-year ironman triathlete who also qualified for Kona in 2006, a woman who maintained an 8min mile pace at the Boston Marathon, and a local marathon runner (and new triathlete) who completed marathons this past Dec and Jan with paces around 10:15mi/mi.

They decided this morning to go out for an easy six.

Let me just say that their idea of an easy six and my idea of an easy six don't quite line up. I should have seen that coming, ya' think?

(Take a look at my sidebar again to get a notion of my inexperience and lack of blinding speed.)

So we got started and I look down at my Garmin and we've at about a 9:45min/mi pace. Holy Smokes!!

Let's put this into perspective. When I do 'speed work' I try to maintain about an 8min mile pace for short distances. This is difficult, but doable for me. My fastest stand-alone 5K was at a 9:15min/mile pace. This was also difficult for me. My body thinks this is 'running hard'. My idea of an easy run is somewhere in the 12:00-13:00min/mile range. And six-seven miles is 'long' for me.

Being the generous people that they are, they slowed down when they realized that while they were staying aerobic and having a nice conversation, my breathing was a bit more labored and I was starting to fall back.

In the end, it was all good. I think we averaged an 11:30min/mi pace overall - faster than I would have run on my own, but not too fast.

Monday, January 22, 2007

Aye Carumba!

I won't bore you with the details of what I did or didn't do this weekend per my training plan or how much snow we did or didn't get this weekend or even mention that the Bears are going to the Superbowl. I won't do any of that.

Instead, I will rant a bit about the dog we have taken out on a trial basis. Somehow, I managed to bring a dog home without adopting him. We are truly trying him out. Maybe because I have such a concern about how a dog will interact with our cats and/or maybe I just seemed particularly trustworthy. Whatever it was, I came home with a dog on Saturday, he could be ours, but he isn't ours at hte moment.


Okay, it isn't that bad. There are some good things and some bad things.


1) Dog is proving to be an incredibly fast learner on the leash. He's getting in some good miles (I should strap the Garmin to him!) and quickly figured out that we decide where and how fast we are walking. Smart dog.

2) Dog likes the toys we got for him and hasn't chewed or shown signs of thinking about chewing our stuff.

3) Dog loves people..or....as it turns out, he particularly loves me. This shows up in the not so good list too - and I seriously think he has me confused with someone else. Not that I'm not worthy of his love, but I haven't earned it either. Anyway, being attentive to a human means he will work hard to 'learn the rules' and should make someone a good pet.

4) Dog spent the day with me in my home office (today I was able to work from home all day) and was happy and well behaved. I think this is related to #2 above.

Not so good:

1) Dog isn't cohabitating well with our cats. Most concerning, he seems to be hunting one of our cats. We're trying to nip this in the bud, but we realize that while we had three dogs that did great with cats, some dogs just have a high prey instinct when around cats and really need to remain separated for the safety of all parties.

2) Dog seems to have separation anxiety. This is coupled with him loving me just a little too much. He isn't 'happy' with anyone else in our family. I left him at home with Husband and Son this evening while Daughter and I were at women's group at church. Apparently he was lonely and uneasy the whole time I was gone. I came home and he was notably excited and happy. Now that I'm sitting on the couch, he's laying content at my feet. Anyone else leaves the room, he just lays here. If I get up, he follows. It's nice to be loved, but this might be just a little over-the-top.

3) Dog is a 70+ lb bundle of puppy energy. First thing Husband said was "I hope he doesn't get any bigger". Yikes! I failed to notice just how big he was. And if I'm not mistaken, he's still getting some of his adult teeth in. He might not be full grown yet. Oops.

Not sure how long we have to decide if we want to adopt him or if he needs to be returned to his rightful owners. But if I'm delinquent in posting in the next few days, its probably because I'm trying to redirect a large puppy's energy so he can live successfully in our house or am bummed out about taking him back. Its a coin toss right now...

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Conspiracy Theory

Ever feel like everything is conspiring against you?

First there is the bathroom scale, who obviously is in cahoots with the dishwasher. My theory: Dishwasher was tired of washing pots and pans and such from all the holiday goodies and decided to put an end to that by convincing Scale to produce higher and higher number until I finally stopped making the holiday goodies so that Dishwasher could take it easy.

Next, the Pool at the gym. First it was closed due to pump failure. Then the pump was fixed, but the heater wasnt working. Now the whole thing is closed down due to electrical failure. I showed up bright and early for a 6am 2500m swim workout, found the pool closed, grumbled, came home, grumbled some more, then proceeded to fill up time with a functional core and upper body strength workout. My theory: The Weights, Physioball, & Elastic Bands have been feeling left out. Week after week they appear on my schedule, but often sit in the corner untouched. Unsure how to get my attention, they somehow got in contact with Pool, who has been seeing a lot of me lately, and simply wanted a break.

A warning to Bike, Running Shoes, & Alarm Clock - don't even think about it! I'm keeping close eye on you...

Saturday, January 13, 2007

How much is that doggy in the window?

Yesterday I did my ride and run workout that was supposed to be today with intentions of doing my swim workout from yesterday today.

This morning, however, I did not get my swim. Instead, I went across town to a dog shelter to look at a specific dog per the request of my husband.

I guess we're officially in the market for a new dog. If you've followed my blog for a while, you might recall that we said goodbye to the last of our three old dogs this past November. I really miss Charky, Bosco, and Boots. It was hard watching each of them get old and frail at the end of their lives (at ages 14, 16, and 13 respectively). I wasn't sure I wanted to go through that again, but time heals all wounds and now we're ready to look for another furry friend.

It's not easy finding a new pet. For us, the dog can't be too big or too small; 40-60lbs would be good. It has to get along with our two cats. One cat would like to play with a non-agressive dog, the other just wants to establish boundaries and just keep her distance. A young dog would be great (7-24mo); we'd prefer no babies or older adults. In my mind, a running partner would be awesome. Most of all, it has to be an affectionate and friendly animal.

Well, that particular dog didn't seem like it would work out, nor did the other few dogs we looked at. I eventually became overwhelmed and gave up for the day. It broke my heart to leave empty handed, not knowing the fate of the dogs we passed up.


Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Running Accels

I'm doing well with my training plan this weeks as far as sticking to my workouts, but encountered some trouble with my afternoon run. I was supposed to do some speedwork - running 16x100 accels (starting slower and ending fast). I compared the output on my garmin to my last run of similar distance where I basically tried to hold a steady pace....there is no discernable difference!!! I think the problem for me might be that 100 is just too short a distance to do a decent job of increasing speed....maybe next time I should try 200s?

Or should I just not be concerned what my Garmin says?

The photo has nothing to do with running accels, but I believe the person for whom it is intended will understand :)

Monday, January 8, 2007

Tag! You're It!

I was tagged by RunBubbaRun.

This is how it goes

1. Find the nearest book.
2. Name the book & the author.
3. Turn to page 123.
4. Go to the fifth sentence on the page. Copy out the next three sentences and post to your blog.
5. Tag three more folks.

The nearest book is Pathway to God's Plan, by Lenya Heitzig and Penny Pierce-Rose. It is a study on Ruth & Ester. I'm heading out the door to facilitate discussion from this book and it is within arms length at the moment.

The first four sentences on p 123 were questions...I count the fifth one as an answer that I had written in. Here are the three after that:

"As I was walking in the Sandia Mountains one spring day, I stumbled across a cluster of fragrant flowers thriving among the rocks and weeks, unnoticed and untended. I breathed in their sweet scent. It made me think about some of the women attending our women's Bible study who live beautiful and fragrant lives but often go unnoticed."

So now ShyTriGirl, Chad, & RunLiaRun, consider yourselves tagged and let us know what you're reading!

Sunday, January 7, 2007

New Shoes - Paolo Nutini

If you have your sound on, you will notice that i have added a song to my blog - New Shoes by Paolo Nutini. For some reason, this song reminds me of the mental transformation that happens when I put on my running shoes.

Anyway, doesn't this song just make you want to get out and run?!?!?

If I could make a few lyrical changes as suggested in red, the song would go like this:

woke up cold one tuesday,
i'm looking tired and feeling quite sick,
i felt like there was something missing
in my day-to-day life,
so i quickly opened the wardrobe,
pulled out some shorts and a t-shirt that seemed clean,
topped it off with a pair of old shoes,
that were ripped around the seams,
and i thought these shoes just don't suit me.


hey, i put some new shoes on,
and suddenly everything is right,
i said, hey, i put some new shoes on
and everybody's smiling, it so inviting,
oh, short on money, but long on time,
slowly strolling in the sweet sunshine,
and i'm running late, and i dont need an excuse,
'cause i'm wearing my runnin' shoes.

woke up late one thursday,
and i'm seeing stars as i'm rubbing my eyes,
and i felt like there were two days missing,
as i focused on the time,
and i made my way to the kitchen,
but i had to stop from the shock of what i found,
a room full of all my friends bloggin' round and round,
and i thought..
hello new shoes, b'bye blues!


take me wondering through these streets,
where bright lights and angels meet,
stone to stone they take me on,
im runnin' to the break of dawn. (x2)

(chorus (x2))

take me wondering through these streets

Friday, January 5, 2007


Still can't run or cycle outside due to snow and icy on the roads, so this morning I opened my newest Spinervals - Big Gear Strength and hopped on the bike trainer.

Now, I realize that I am a below average cyclist, but this one is REALLY hard. He lost me in the middle when he had us hop off the bikes and start doing lunges. I simply couldn't keep up and maybe got half the lunges in. I was happy to get back on the bike after that.

These things used to discourage me, but I know that if I keep at it, I will get stronger and be able to keep up. :)

I intended to head to the pool after that, but discovered my rear passenger tire to be completely flat. Bummer! Put some air in and went to get my tire repaired. An hour and a half later, I'm home, but now I have work and other obligations. Blah!

If I'm lucky, maybe I can get some core/strength work in later this afternoon.

Thursday, January 4, 2007

Oh good! I'm not the only one!

"Friendship is born at that moment when one person says to another: What! You too? I thought I was the only one." - C.S. Lewis

About this time last year, I created a blog to track my progress toward my first sprint triathlon. It was so boring, and nobody read it, and I was sure nobody would want to read it...so I deleted it after a few months. Several months later (after the Triathlon), I decided to start blogging again because I simply needed an outlet.

My friends and family are supportive, but they really can't relate to latest run or swim or cycling attempt. I might as well be speaking a foreign language if I mention aerobars, a pull bouy, 200 core, or an LSD run. To them, a training schedule is what baseball teams have during the spring and gel is something you put in your hair.

And so, I just wanted to stop and say THANK YOU to those that occasionally read and give supportive comments on my blog. I really appreciate it. It is good to know that I am not alone in this new language that I speak and in my goals and aspirations. I'm feeling sane again.


Monday, January 1, 2007

Tenacity pays off

Tenacity (n): persistent determination
Synonyms: doggedness, perseverance, persistence, persistency, tenaciousness, pertinacity

That was insane! It was cold. The course was uneven. My ankles hurt. My back hurt. My hips hurt.

I told Husband to come back at about 50min after the race started and try to get some photos of me finishing. He waited and waited. He walked out to look for me. He walked back thinking maybe he missed me. And waited some more.

I was slow. In fact, I was slower than slow. I hiked part of it and only went a tiny bit slower than when I tried to run. But I got it done.

Are you ready for the best part? I placed first in my age group and came home with a medal.

Don't even think about bursting my bubble by asking just how many females 40-49 got up on a cold snowy New Years Day morning to do such a foolish thing. I was out there, I finished the course, and nobody in my age group finished before me. We'll just leave it at that.

Now I'm ready for a nap.