Wednesday, October 31, 2007

So Ends Another Month

The Stats:
- Ran 61.8 miles
- Biked 44 miles
- didn't Swim at all
- Completed 2 upper body strength workouts at the Gym
- Completed 1 half marathon

- This was my highest running volume month EVER, despite a few weeks of total slackage and borderline burn-out. Makes me wonder what I could do in November if I really put my mind to it...
- All my bike mileage was from a single adventure with Husband, and I loved every minute of it.
- I'm happy. And that is most important of all. :)

November Outlook:
- Running with Bandit on Sunday.
- Planning to get back into the gym habit.
- Might do a Turkey trot of some sort.
- Fitness for fitness sake and pure enjoyment, not because of training for an event.

Monday, October 29, 2007


1) How much slack do you have on the leash?

Well, when I run with el Bandito (Spanish for Bandit) I use a hands-free leash system that connects to my waist with a lunge buster that helps tremendously if he decides he wants dash off suddenly after a bunny or whatnot.

2) Have you thought about bringing water for him?

Yes. I will bring a bowl and fill it with water from bottles after the race so Bandit can re-hydrate.

3) What's the sudden obsession with running skirts?

Dunno. I didn't have said obsession when I started and then suddenly I did a few weeks ago. But now that I do, surely you can't blame me for wanting to look cute?!?!

4) Have you lost interest in triathlon? All you talk about now is running, and you haven't mentioned any triathlon goals for 2008.

No, I haven't lost interest in triathlon. I'm not a hardcore athlete that trains/races through the whole year. I'm in it for fun and nothing more. My triathlon season probably starts back up in May. In the mean time, I don't want to sit on my rear eating ice cream everyday, so please indulge me as I focus a bit more on running for now. Life is short. I want to live it to the fullest and am still exploring different ways to do that. :)

5) How do you feel about your baby turning 14 and being out of state on her birthday this weekend?

Okay, nobody actually asked me this question, but I wanted to work this in somehow because it is on my mind. It bothers me more than it does her. It's weird, and I'm not happy about it. :(

Sunday, October 28, 2007

Skirt Obsession & Doggie Dash Training

I returned the odd-colored gym girl skirt and decided to shop around some more. They had an all black one that was clearly too big and kinda boring from a color perspective, but WAY on sale. I decided to take that (and still got $$ back with the exchange) and altered it when I got home. I too the waist in a full 2" by adding a pleat. I think it turned out cute and fits well now! I ran in it today and I felt awesome.

This afternoon, I've been obsessing over the skirts at I want to order something 'fun' and can't decide between choctreuse, chocqua, and navy/white (or the and light blue). I think I'm going with Chocqua and if it fits well, will put some other color on my Christmas list. :)

Obsessed? Maybe. Not sure why, but I think I need to abandon shorts in favor of skirts. I just do. Today I was thinking that I could potentially even swim in one and do a pool swim sprint tri entirely in a skirt...

Training for the Doggie Dash w/ Bandit is going not so well. Part of the concern has been leash training with him with distractions. I'm concerned about keeping him in control when surrounded with a bunch of running human/dog pairs. The other concern is my knees which haven't been the same after the half-marathon. I've openly reconsidered the race, but Husband thinks I'll be fine if I'm okay with starting at the back and walking as much as needed to keep Bandit under control and the knees in check. I really want to give it a go, so I just need to ultra-conservative on my approach to the event, and I think it will turn out okay.

Thursday, October 25, 2007


When I decided to take a break, I truly did NOT mean for it to mean sleeping in, eating cake (for breakfast), and slacking off (completely), yet that is exactly what I have been doing. Trying to get serious now. Game face on.

1) I've decided to enter the 5K Doggie Dash (with Bandit) that happens 10am Sunday 04Nov. I must give a shoutout to Cindy for pointing this opportunity out to me. I love the idea of this race. It's something fun that I can't take too seriously because I'll have doggy in tow. Money goes to AHA and you should know by now that I'm an animal lover. I'll be home alone most of that weekend and need something to do anyway. Also, I don't want to compete in the RR Duathlon (5K run, 25K, bike 5K run) that same day because I need to pick my son up at 3am that morning.

2) I've decided to return the running skirt that I bought last week becuase the colors of this particular skirt (purplish blue and pink) are all wrong for me. Trust me on this. But I'm going to order something online that should be a better match for my color palette/taste (hopefully brown!!).

3) I'm thinking about buying a Brooks Nightlife cap to get me through the dark running hours that are facing me for the next several months - it's bright yellow with splices of reflective stuff plus a blinking light. What do y'all think?? Good investment or waste of $$ ?

4) Our half-mary photos are available. I like a few of the ones of Husband & I running side-by-side. I think I might order a few 5x7s because looking at these pics just makes me happy. If I could figure out how to show them to you, I would, but I can't, so you'll have to trust me on this too.

[edited - if you want to go to the trouble to see the photos, you can go to and enter bib#1206. The ones I like the most are 0041 and 0042.]

Okay, so there you have it. For the short term, I need to put a training schedule together for Bandit and I. I think we'll do 2 miles tomorrow...

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

This and That


Official time was based on crossing the start mat (not gun time), so my official finish was 2:36:58 for a pace of 11:59 min/mi. I'll take that as a Personal Best for this distance even though is it actually a negligible improvement.


Naproxin has been my friend. Knee pain is not making me happy.


I think I want to give the half-marathon distance another go at the Fiesta de Albuquerque in April. I don't feel like I've done it 'gracefully' yet; I still need to conquer those last three miles.

I'm toying with the idea of the MS-150 in August. I like the idea of a LONG bike ride that isn't a race.

Beyond that, I'm not sure.


I'll probably do something for fun, but I'm not sure what that might be (yet).

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Duke City Half-Mary Finisher!


"We must all suffer one of two things: the pain of discipline or the pain of regret or disappointment" - Jim Rohn

...for me today, it was the pain of discipline.


Yesterday morning, Husband went downtown to get our packets. I *heart* the brown long sleeve t-shirt that we got. It's totally my color.

I agonized last night over the weather forcast. Yesterday it was pretty nice...80deg when we spent the afternoon at Wilson Stadium watching the 5A schools compete in Pageant of the Bands. It was hard to believe that the weather forcast for today could come true. But when I woke up in the morning and heard the wind howling, I knew that they were right...a cold front/storm had moved in.

I decided to wear my favorite running shorts underneath a pair of capri length athletic pants and a sleeveless shirt underneath a long sleeve one with the thumb hole thing, no gloves. Also my yellow hat. Stepped outside to test my attire in the crisp morning air, and it seemed okay. I loaded up my fuel belt with Accelerade and 3 gels. Used a race belt for my number, and strapped my Garmin on my wrist.

We arrived at the race venue early enough to search the crowd for familiar faces and watch the full Marathon start, but it was a good 5 degrees cooler downtown that it had been at home and the wind had picked up. We ended up taking cover inside a building instead. At 15mins before the scheduled start, we braved the cold air and made our way to the start line.

The race started pretty much on time. I was happy about that. I started my Garmin when the gun went off, not when we crossed the mat. I'm not sure if they used the start mat or gun time as official time. I noted that it took about 48 seconds for us to get to the start mat, in case that matters.


My Garmin made a weird beeeeep. I looked down. Lost satellite connection...something about hitting I did. Maybe I shouldn't have? My Garmin was basically just a watch for the rest of the race, so I was blind to my pace. Drat!! Guess we're just gonna' run on feel today.

Took our first walk break after the 1st aid station (mile 2?). By then I was feeling fairly comfortable, not cold anymore.

Took our next walk break after the 3rd aid station (mile 4?). I took a little extra time to take a gel and take off my long sleeve shirt and tie it around my waist. I was feeling pretty good, but had no idea what pace we were doing.

We stopped for walk breaks at the next two aid stations (miles 5, 6?). The aid stations offered water and gatorade. Sometimes I took water, other times I just used it as a reminder to drink some of my accelerade.

I hit the lap button on my Garmin at the turn point, and looked at the elapsed time for the first time: 1:15:45. I was convinced that was better than my half-point time at Chips-n-Salsa. I was happy and smiled. I looked up and noticed a race photographer. It will be interesting to see how that photo turned out (assuming they took one).

I started paying attention to elapsed time on my watch at the next several mile markers.

17 minutes later, we had gone another 1.5 miles. I tried doing the math in my head and figured that we were running something under 12 min/mile up to this point.

I started hitting the lap button at every mile marker. The next two miles were 12:38, 12:13.

I was getting warm. I told husband that I wanted to stop at the next mile marker to take off my pants so I could just run in shorts. I also needed another gel. With an extra long walk break, that next mile clocked in at 13:29.

Then I don't really know what happened. My ankles started to hurt. My lower back started to hurt. My knees started to hurt. My hips started to hurt. I hadn't had any pain up to this point and suddenly everything seemed to hurt. Every step sent pain shooting through my body. It hurt so much, I was fighting back tears. To add insult to injury, the wind picked back up. Noticing that I no longer had a happy face, Husband suggested another walk break. That seemed like a good idea. I put my long sleeve shirt back on. It seemed like everyone passed me while I hobbled and limp/walked. 13:30 min later, another mile was behind us.

I noticed a woman with a really cute running skirt who also happened to be walking. I shouted "hey, cute running skirt!" to her. She smiled and said "thanks"

Volunteers tried to be helpful and were telling us "One mile to go"...then "a half mile to go." I shouted "That's too far! I'm so done with running!!" The cute skirt lady came up beside me and said "Come on, you can do it. You're almost there."

That last half mile took forever. Cute skirt lady started counting down the blocks. Husband was a few steps ahead and kept looking back to make sure I was still moving forward.

And then finally we were done.


I'm blessed - I'm extremely grateful that Husband ran this with me today. Having him there with me this morning was awesome.

It's a wash - On Friday, I told Cindy that I'd either run this one faster or slower than Chips-n-Salsa and either way was okay with me. Instead, it was almost exactly the same! According to my watch, I ended up finishing a mere 15secs faster than my last half-marathon. It will be interesting to see what the official time is.

I hurt...a lot - I'm happy to have finished, but my body hurts all over. The aches and pains in my joints/low back make me wonder if this distance is simply more than my body can safely handle. I remain in awe of all of you who are somehow able to run farther distances.

I think I need a break - I don't have anthing else on my race calendar right now, and I really don't know what I want to do next. Nothing's jumping out at me. I think I'll take some time to figure it out.

Friday, October 19, 2007

Half-Mary a'comin'

I haven't done anything since Monday. Nada. Zip. My next plan run happens to be 13.1 miles on Sunday morning. I wish I could get pyched up for it, but I guess I'm looking at it as just another run.

I hope to see Cindy there. Consider leaving her some comment love, she's facing her first full Marathon at the same venue!! Go Cindy Go!!

This morning we went out for a little 'retail therapy'. I'm pleased to have found a gym-girl skirt on sale. I've toyed with the idea of wearing it on Sunday, but I probably ought to make sure I like running in it before committing to wear it for 13.1 miles. I probably should stick with my favorite running shorts.

Scratch that. Looks like tights may be in order...I just now looked at the weather forcast for Sunday. It's gonna be chilly and they're saying winds 25-35 MPH. Yikes!!

Hey Cindy, you might get to test those new gloves out sooner than you thought. Now I'm wishing I had bought some. :(

P.S. Thanks for all the supportive comments on my last post. You folks make it hard for me to sulk around for too long. :)

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

What goes up must come down

Sorry in advance, this is mostly a venting post for my own mental health. Skip it if you want to read about training or PRs or were looking for light reading. I'll try to keep it brief in case you go ahead and read on...

After having an awesome day on Monday, things seem to have gone downhill fast.

#1) I got a call that my dad has been in the hospital for a few weeks with some complications after getting a flu or something like that. Neither my sister or I are on great terms with our dad. Realizing that some day (soon or in the future) we are going to be forced to make some decisions on his behalf really shook things up.

#2) I received an anonymous note complaining about Bandit's barking during the day while we're at work. We've had him since January and nobody has said anything to us before. I know the recent balloon fiesta really freaked him out. Should I assume this is a new issue? Has it been going on for months? I want to take care of the problem, but since the note-writer didn't have the kahunas to let him/herself be known, I don't know who to ask for more info or to find out if what we try to do to rectify the situation is sufficient. Sigh. I've re-enlisted in-home trainers and they come again next Thursday morning.

#3) Remember when I mentioned work stress for the past few weeks? Whaat I didn't mention is that we're going through layoffs in my department. People have been finding out their status as of this week. My group seems to have been one of the hardest hit. I didn't lose my job, but several of my coworkers did. It hasn't been fun.

#4) Our microwave died. This wouldn't be such a big dea, but with issues 1-3, this is just really bad timing to have to deal with this.

Something to ponder - I wonder if running/biking/swimming makes me happy simply because it temporarily distracts me from the reality of life?!?! Has anyone else ever felt like that??

Sunday, October 14, 2007

Taper Schmaper

Saturday afternoon, I went 7.2miles with Hubby. He went further, but I'm not sure how much. He literaly runs circles around me when he tries to run 'with' me because can't match my slow pace. It must be funny to watch.

This morning, I went 8.5 miles total. I was happy to have the company of Shytrigirl for 3 of those miles. We were also escorted by some black dog for a couple miles(frustrating!!). My morning run ended with a 2 mile stretch up a hill and back. It sure is a lot easier to do that hill at the beginning of a run than it is at the end.

Add that to the 3 miles on Friday and I've covered about 18miles in the past 3 days. With a half-marathon one week out, I'm pretty sure that I'm violating all of the rules of tapering, but I really don't care. For my own sake, I needed to run more than I needed to taper. And you know what? I'm feeling a lot less stressed now. :)

One last random topic. A few of you have commented on the new photos that I put up. Thanks!! Once I got past how disgusing my body looks, I decided that I actually like that photo on the bike at Elephant Man. I don't recall seeing the photographer; so I think the smile was just an honest expression of how I was feeling at the time...happily enjoying such a beautiful morning. I do this stuff simply because I can, not because I'm any good at it. And when I'm out there, I feel alive beyond words. That photo is on my blog to remind me of the real point whenever I'm beating myself up about something as pointless as the length of time at which it takes me to traverse the course. :)

Friday, October 12, 2007


Today I did get outside to run, but only three-ish miles. This morning I felt like I needed to divert some of my pent up negative energy (aka anxiety from work stress).

I decided to run two miles 'fast' (5K pace), trying to hold a pace or negative split, and then run easy coming home. And I was determined to do this outside and enjoy the scenery and fresh air.

Mr. Garmin says that I was mostly successful. Not sure why I slowed down on that second half mile segment, maybe because I had to cross the road?!? Anyway, I did what I set out to do which is a confidence builder in and of itself.

What's not so great is that I realized just how much I *don't* like running 'fast' (5K pace). That was supposed to be my 5K pace. After several months of longer slower runs, I don't think I could hold it up that pace for an entire 5K; at least I don't think I'd *want* to. On the other hand, that easy segment at the end was considerably more enjoyable.

This leaves me feeling like Goldilocks when it comes to running. A 5K is too short and fast. A half-marathon seems too long . So what (if any) distance is just right? Or is it just a matter of not being quite prepared again? Sigh.

I need to figure this out so that I know what I want to do next...

Thursday, October 11, 2007

One step at a time...

This morning I did get to the gym for my upper body strength workout and while I was there I added 20mins on the dreadmill just to get some more running into my schedule. I brought my shuffle and tried to mix it up a bit by changing the dreadmill speed up or down when different songs came on so I could run to the rhythm. That was enough of a distraction to keep me moving for step at a time

I have found my job to be incredibly stressful for the past few weeks and today was no exception. To be perfectly honest, I don't handle stress very well and often let it get the best of me. I've had a few sleepless nights this week and that really needs to change. I'm looking forward to a longer run OUTSIDE tomorrow to clear my head. I intend to enjoy the moment for what it is and let my stress step at a time

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Whole Lotta Nuttin'

That pretty much sums up my training week so far. Also describes how much Apple Pie is remaining.

On Monday, It was really cold in the morning so attempted to run on the treadmill at the fitness center at work. I wanted to do 4 miles, but it was sooooo incredibly boring that I just couldn't take it and quit at 2. I have no idea why anyone would enjoy running on a treadmill, and I applaud those of you who don't enjoy it but have the willpower to do it anyway.

On Tuesday, I felt stuck at home until about 9:15 because my dog would not go outside and he needed to be outside because the cleaning people (who come every 2 weeks) were coming later that afternoon. Why wouldn't he go outside? Well, we have this little event known as the International Balloon Fiesta going on this week. There are somewhere near a thousand balloons registered. That's a whole lotta' balloons. Apparently, Bandit is TERRIFIED by the big scary balloon invasion and on Tuesday they were touching down all over our neighborhood.

Then there was today. I would have liked to bike to work. Instead, I had to drop off my car at the shop to have a tire repaired and do some other work. And this evening, I'm attending an event at Daughter's school.

Mabe the tides will turn tomorrow. Thursday is my scheduled strength workout at the gym. I'll probably go ahead and do that, and/or if I'm feeling brave I may give that treadmill another attempt.

On Friday, I really MUST run. I have a half-marathon in less than 2 weeks and at this rate I'm not going to be in any better position for it than last time. :(

Sunday, October 7, 2007

Still Slow

I did my longish slow run Saturday instead of the usual Sunday morning before church because I was expecting to need to pick son up very early this morning* when he returned from a Band competition in Denver. After that, I knew I'd want to 'sleep in' and my long run just wasn't going to happen . Very Early as in he called at 3:45am asking me to be there in a half hour. Yikes!

If anyone was concerned that my earlier run this week might be an indication that I've lost rights to tuse my slow-n-steady moniker, the answer is a resounding NO. First 3 miles came in around 11:30 (which is what I was aiming at); Next three about 12:15 (a little slower, not bad); final 3 around 14:00 (mostly wogging - walking/jogging). Not exactly the confidence builder I was hoping for. Oh well.

Today was going to be a Sunday afternoon bike ride, but it was too windy for my taste and I had the overwhelming urge to make home-made apple pie. Hmmm. Skipped ride for apple pie. Wonder if that has anything to do with my ever-expanding mid-section? Nahhhhhhh....

Friday, October 5, 2007

Battle of the Bulge

Some people decide to pick-up a healthy lifestyle so that they can lose weight. Good thing that wasn't MY motivation. I currently weigh more than I ever have before (with the exception of when I was pregnant). What is up with that? It's mostly in my mid-section. I have some serious tummy flab going on.

My daughter has been tracking her weight and height since the beginning of the year. She is now a half inch taller than me and weighs a full 24pounds less. There is a 6 inch difference in our waist measurments. I was whining about this to her, and she mustered up all her teenage wisdom and said "Mom, you've had two kids and you're OLD. You look good for your age. I hope I look as good as you do when I'm old". Thanks, dear.

Old me and my tummy flab better get our act together, because Husband and I are now signed up for the Duke City half-marathon on 21-Oct. Bring it on!!

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

A Running Experiment

The Plan:
Run "Fast" for a mile (think 5K pace), being careful not to go out too fast and burn out. Walk a quarter mile. Run "Fast" for a quarter mile trying to duplicate the pace from the first mile. Walk a quarter mile. Run "FastFast" for the final quarter mile.
The Results:
Not bad! First mile average was 9:56min/mi, and I did a reasonable job guarding against going out too fast. First quarter mile was 9:49 - pretty good pace match. Final quarter mile was 8:38. For me, that is really good.
(Note: Pay no attention to that little leftover .01 mile, I just didn't hit my stop button on time!!)
The Purpose:
I have done a lot of long slow runs and hadn't done anything resembling speedwork for months. I wanted to reassure myself that I can, in fact, pull off something faster than an 11:30 if I really try. I also wanted to see if I could replicate a pace by feel. Finally, I wanted to see how fast I could run (all out) for a short distance.
The Conclusion:
I think it was a success. I might try this again in a few weeks.

Monday, October 1, 2007

Keeping me Honest

In the spirit of keeping me honest, here are my stats for September. At some point, I'm going to graph this to give a better picture of my progress over the year. :)

Run: 48.5 miles

Bike: 190 miles

Swim: 9000 meters

Other: 5 gym workouts - upper body strength

Races: a half-mary and an Oly tri

Thoughts: 1) Adding the upper body strength has been interesting, but it came at the cost of swim or run time. I'll continue for at least another month before deciding if that stays or goes. 2) I really feel like I need to run more, but I'm not sure how to fit that in. 3) I'm happy about those races. I had fun. 4) Fall is here! Bike commuting will become a test of will-power in colder dark mornings. How much do I want it? Guess I'll find out soon!!

October Outlook: May or may not do another half-marathon in about 3 weeks. I'm leaving this to Husband's whim. I want to keep working on my run base and will target 9-10miles for the next few Sundays. No other races planned. I don't do well without a goal; this could be interesting.