Wednesday, December 31, 2008

December Tally & Year in Review

But First

Resting my freshly pedicured toesies on Bandit. :-)

December Tally

The Digits
Ran 35.7 miles
Cycled 14.0 miles
Went to the gym 14 times (breakdown: 12 core, 12 lower body/PT, 10 upper body)
One race, Jingle Bell 5K with 3rd place AG award

Eased back into running after finishing up PT with a fresh perspective. I'm not going to measure success by mileage or speed - it's all about being healthy, staying injury-free, and having fun.

Plans for Jan
New month, new year, new handy-dandy notebook!
Fun local 5K next weekend.
Start back up with Coach and running group at the end of January.
Meet with Trainer Guy a few times and take my gym sessions up a notch.

Year in Review (50 words or less)

From a fitness perspective, 2008 was the year of

Thirteen events, Joining a Running Group, Finding a Trainer, three AG Placings, one DNF, three PRs (HM, 10K, sprint tri), one First (metric century), Finding a Coach, one Injured Knee, Becoming the Gym Queen, & Gaining a Fresh Perspective. Always Interesting, Never Boring, Life is Good.

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Tuesday Training

I had an extra long appt with Trainer Guy at the gym this morning. He spent 90mins with me instead of the usual 50mins because he had no clients in the time slot after mine. I always appreciate the time spent working with him. He's good at correcting form and explaining what we're trying to accomplish with each exercise or stretch.

One interesting new thing being added into my routine - one legged squats. Have you ever done those? Aye-yi-yi! I'm definately going to be feeling those tomorrow. Guess I'm a glutton for punishment because I set up a follow-on appt with him for next Friday (the 9th) to work with him again.

Came home to find an email from Coach that started off like this:

"I hope you all enjoyed your holidays, but now it's time to get to work..."

Holy smokes, he sounds serious! Good thing I'm not slacking off *too* much.

With today's workout behind me, Daughter, her friend, and I are going to get pedicures this afternoon. Girl time! Besides, I think I deserve some pampering after the gym torture this morning.

Wow. It's hard to believe that tomorrow is the last day of the year. Time sure flies, doesn't it?

Monday, December 29, 2008

Establishing a rhythm

I know everyone is anxiously awaiting the reveal of my 2009 tentative schedule, but that's going to have to wait a few more days because I'm still working on it. Don't hold your breath if you are looking for news of going long. I won't be racking up excessive mileage, but I do plan to have an injury-free year and loads of fun.

Anyway, I feel like I'm in a training rhythm again. I did a 4 miles easy solo run on Saturday. Husband and I ran 3.5 miles easy together on Sunday. The first two were with Bandit. That was fun. Knee is still holding out, so that's good news.

This morning I did upper body, core, and stretching at the gym. Unlike last week, it was basically empty. Maybe everyone is back to work? Whatever the reason, it gave me opportunity to snap another Gym Queen photo.

This is my last week of knee rehab. I'm ready to move on to some new exercises. I was able to establish an appt with Trainer Guy tomorrow morning with focus on lower body. Exciting stuff.

On the way home, I tossed a registration in the mail for Husband & I to do a local 5K on the 11th. That one is definately just going to be for fun. It is also aimed at keeping my running legs "tuned up" during the winter months.

For the record, I'm planning to return to the pool as well as cycle commuting in February. Probably won't do much of either of those in Jan, nor have I done much of it in December. But it was a conscious choice, not an oversight.

I'm feeling good about all of this. 2009 is going to be a good year. :-)

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Looking Forward

I sincerely hope everyone had a blessed Christmas, celebrating in a way that gave them joy and peace. Ours was laid back and quite pleasant.

Never made it out for my Christmas run, but that's okay, I was spending time with my family making memories instead.

Husband & I did go to the gym in the morning on the 26th which was busier than I expected once again. For the record, let me just say that lunges are the gift that keeps on giving. Owie.

Anyway, with Christmas behind us and the New Year just around the corner, it seems fitting to look back at the year that was and look forward to the year that comes.

But before I get to ahead of myself, let me back up to Christmas Eve Eve (or Dec 23rd as it is commonly known). For it was on this day that I decided to stop in to see Coach and wish him a Merry Christmas. I left him with some gingerbread pancake/muffin mix, and he left me with some food for thought.

First we discussed the state of my knee and what I've been doing these last few months to rehab it. Then he handed me a race calendar and asked me to take my goals to the next level. What races to I want to do and why? Which are my A races? Which can we train through? Which ones are just for fun? Which ones do I want to really want to test myself at?

So much to think about.

He said that I don't need to lay out my whole schedule right now, and it's even okay to add some at the last minute, but I really need to think about this so I don't sabotage myself.

I never thought of it that way.

So that's what I'm going to do over the next few days. Lay out a tentative calendar and send it to him before the end of the year.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

What's Wrong with this Picture?

Not exactly the kind of weather that puts a little jingle in your jolly, especially here in the high desert. My fear is that it will rain all day, and we'll end up with icy roads again in the morning. Ick.

I made it into the gym this morning for some treadmill running, knee rehab exercises, core work, & stretching. I was surprised at how many people were there compared to a normal workday morning. Apparently folks were taking advantage of some time off work by getting to the gym. I guess that's a good thing, but it reminds me to expect the new year resolutionists to take over for a little while.

Merry almost-Christmas everyone. Try to stay warm, stay safe, and enjoy time with friends and family. :-)

Sunday, December 21, 2008

NB 1062 Shoe Review

Almost a full two months ago, the good people at New Balance Harrisburg sent me a pair of 1062s to try out - this is a neutal cushion shoe, for someone (like me!) who does not pronate.

The shoe is good looking, in my opinion, and I was particularly thrilled to get a pair with orange trim.

I haven't put too many miles on them yet since I'm building up slowly after knee injury, but I definately appreciate the cushion in these shoes. It's quite noticable when running on the road (less pounding) and good for someone like me who is coming off of an injury.

Not sure if you can tell from the photo, but the laces are made in a way that keeps them secure when tied. I hate having to stop and tie my shoes during a run, so I found that to be a neat feature.

I've found these to be stiffer than my Nikes. Not sure if I like that or not.

Although I haven't weighed them, they also feel heavier.

The biggest issue for me is a narrower toe box that doesn't fit my foot quite right, but we're all made differently so it might not be a problem for you.

As with most shoes, I'm planning to replace the insoles with something with better arch support.

All-in-all, I'd rate this as a well made neutral cushion training shoe, definately worth giving a try if you don't pronate and could use the extra cushioning.

On an separate note, found this Elmo hat in the closet. I think it was from when my daughter was in early elemetary school. Surprisingly, it fit me, so I wore it on my run today. It made me smile. :-)

Friday, December 19, 2008


The Good
- I'm officially off work for two weeks beginning Monday.
- I beat all the boys from my work team at Wii Boxing at a holiday party and thusly earned the title of "Wii Boxing Queen" for an afternoon.
- Appliance repair guy is coming to look at our non-functional oven this afternoon

The Bad
- Appliance repair guy needs to come look at our non-functional oven this afternoon.
- Still not done with Christmas shopping.

The Ugly
- Bandit was up until 1am in crazed-dog-mode. Very uncharacteristic behavior; could NOT get him to settle down and sleep. Concerned that he got into some candy or something. Hope he's okay.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Winter Blahs

Yesterday I managed to salvage a whopping 1.8 HBBC points for my pathetic lazy self. It's not much, but better than scoring another big fat goose egg. This was accomplished by 10mins of stretching and strategically parking 0.75 miles from the office so I had 1.5 miles of unavoidable walking round trip.

Sadly, I opted once again to skip the gym this morning which really isn't like me. I generally look forward to starting my day with a workout. I think maybe I have a case of the dreaded Winter Blahs. I'm guessing it has something to do with grey cloudy skies and icy sidewalks. I'm ready for the sun to come back any day now.

On a brighter note, behold the most excellent Gym Queen handy-dandy notebook for recording my workouts in 2009.

Isn't it perfect?!?

I'm so ready for 2009. Bring it on!

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Lazy Bones

Yesterday's exercise? Nothing. I can't even claim cross-training from snowman building or driveway shovelling b/c the kids took care of that. I had a lot of work to do, and was able to do it from home, but my work involves sitting on my rear staring at a computer screen. And that's what I did. All.Freaking.Day.

This morning? Looked outside and decided that I didn't want to find out if the roads were icy on the way to and early trip to the gym. I'm perfectly happy to hang out at home waiting for the sun to come up so I can clean up some icy spots in the driveway before someone hurts themself. Lame excuse? Maybe.

Perhaps I'll get up off my rear and do something later this evening. Or not.

There's always tomorrow, right?

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

The children were nestled

all snug in their beds
as visions of a snow day
danced in their heads


Sunday, December 14, 2008

Happy Thoughts

* Car problems happened yesterday *after* my run, when the weather was nice, and I wasn't in a hurry to get anywhere.

* Spent a lazy morning with Husband before he left for a business trip (yes, played hooky from church).

* Had lovely shopping afternoon with Daughter before weather turned icky. Winter is heading our way.

* Discovered a 5K on Jan 11 with a starting line within 6 miles of my house *and* a new spring time sprint triathlon within 12 miles of my house. Excellent options!

* Cats doing better after dentals with extractions on Friday. Cats with dental issues = hissed off. Cats on pain meds = floppy. Cats today = playful.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Saturday turn of events

Got up early this morning
Met running group at trail head.
Nice slow run with friends.
Fun stuff.
Got in the car to head home
Car won't start.
Oh crud.
Called Husband.
He came to look at it, it's not the battery.
Called AAA for a tow.
Got towed to pep boys
Walked to a local eating establishment for some food.
Walked back.
Waited some more
Car needs new fuel pump & fuel filter
Due for an oil change so do that too.
Called Husband for a ride home
Rescued and brought home.
Maybe car will be ready later.
Or not
Maybe tomorrow.

Friday, December 12, 2008

Fun facts

Jingle Bell race results finally posted. Looks like I was 3 of 15 women 40-49. Some of them were walking, but whatever. Also finished 43rd overall of 122 total. I found that to be particularly cool because I happen to be 43 yrs old. Yeah. I'm a dork like that.

You know how sometimes you pick someone out to try to beat? Well, I happened to be chasing after a couple of kids (ages 7 and 10). Sad, huh? I finally caught them right around the 3 mile marker. For the record, I did shout out to them "Good job, girls!" as I trudged on by. Looking at the final results, it seems I beat them by a whopping 3 seconds. LOL.

This morning I did weights and other strength work. I included lunges and wall squats, things that aren't normally on my schedule. Wow. I'm feeling it now. But it's all good. I'm happy that I was able to do strength work three times this week.

Not sure about the rest of you, but I keep track of my workouts in a handy dandy notebook. Since the year is almost over, I will be needing a new one soon. To my delight, I found something today for 2009. It's pink *and* it has a crown on it. OH.MY.GOSH. I can't believe how perfect that is!! It's the little things that make me happy.

Enjoy your weekend everyone!

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Thoughtful Thursday

I pretty much suck at wordless Wednesday. It's been less than 12 hrs and I can't stand having a post with almost no words. LOL.

I enjoyed looking at the photos side by side. The expressings are genuine. I like it. They both look more mature this year. I find it amusing that the kids chose basically the same color shirts for the photo year to year. Funny!

Yesterday was rough due to lack of sleep, but I slept well last night and feel energized this mornings.

Great comments about the Christmas stress situation. It has a lot to do with trying to meet the expectations of others. I have decided not to do cookies. I'm skipping an exchange party that had me stressed out. I'm cutting way down on cards. I put up only the decorations that I wanted and put the rest back into the closet. We did gift boxes for four orphans in Mexico several weeks ago and that felt meaninful. A lot of this other stuff is just stuff. I feel better now.

I've done fairly well with my workouts so far this week. Monday - strength. Tuesday - run. Wednesday - strength. And as soon as I get up off my rear, I'm heading off for a run.

Have a good day!

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

"Almost Wordless" Wednesday

2008 Christmas Card Photo:

2007 Christmas Card Photo:

Tis the Season to be Stressed

Preface: I'm writing this post at 2:30am Wednesday. I woke up and couldn't get back to sleep. Ugh! I'm going to try to go back to bed at 3:00am. I'm not sure how I'm going to feel at 5:30am when it's time to get up, but I'm fairly certain it won't be pretty.

The few weeks before Christmas are always stressful for me. There's something fundamentally wrong with that, but I haven't figured out how to avoid it. It's actually the reason why I found myself unable to sleep.

As of last night, Christmas gifts to the out-of-state relatives have been ordered. Hopefully the gifts will arrive to their destinations on time. Yay for internet shopping.

"Take 1" at a Christmas card photo occured yesterday. "Take 2" will be today. Then we pick one and. I still need to get stamps. Maybe tomorrow I can sign and address the cards and get them ready for photo insertion on Friday so they can get in the mail on Saturday.

Shopping for Husband is going okay. Shopping for the kids, not so much.

I'm seriously thinking about *not* baking Christmas cookies this year. I'm also unmotivated to get the rest of the decorations up.

Maybe I'm turning into the Grinch, but it just seems like we make this time of year way more complicated than it needs to be.


Sunday, December 7, 2008

Looking Forward.

Thanks everyone for the comments on my last post. I'm thrilled beyond words to have been able to run the whole 5K without knee pain. That was just huge for me. The AG award was like icing on the cake. I still take the award with pride, but also with the understanding that it was a small field and many faster runners were doing a local Jingle Bell Triathlon this weekend instead.

Knowing that my knee is truly improving, I'm ready to plan for 2009. As I mentioned in a previous post, before I choose which races to do, I wanted to go through a process to figure out why I am doing this and what I wanted to achieve. After that, it will be easier to figure out which races (the when and how).

□ A: Be healthy
□ A: Have fun
□ A: Injury free
□ B: Be faster
□ C: Go farther (or farthest to date)

□ A: Min training: Strength* 2x per week, swim 1x per week, run 2x week, cycle 1x week, rest 1x week
□ A: tbd-Something about strategic eating
□ B: Target training: Strength 3x per week, swim 2x per week, run 3x per week, cycle 2x per week, rest 1x week
□ B: Average 1 event per month
□ B: Decent Race photos (yes, I’m vain like that!)
□ C: Get weight back under 120lbs and maintain

* Strength sessions include quad work to prevent PFS flare-up, core, & upper body. I may add in circuit training like we did in class last week.

□ A: Good running form – not sure how to measure this, but relates to injury-free.
□ A: Finish at least two 10Ks
□ A: Finish at least two 5Ks
□ B: 10K PR and break an hour. Personal Best is 1:02:19 at Run for Zoo May 2008
□ B: 5K PR and break 28:30. Personal Best is 28:48 at Chips-n-Salsa 2006
□ C: only if knee permits - half-marathon PR and break 02:15:00. Personal Best is 2:21:36 at Unser 2008
□ C: Trail race – any finish time, any distance. I really want to try this out. J

□ A: Finish one cycling event such as Albuquerque Century (metric)

□ C: tbd-something about stroke count reduction

□ A: Finish 2 sprint triathlons
□ B: Sprint distance PR at least one of the following : Jay Benson, Socorro, and/or Patriot
□ C: Finish 1 Oly triathlon

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Jingle Bell 5K Race Report

Husand & I headed off to Balloon Fiesta Park this morning for the Jingle Bell 5K. This is the 3rd year that we've done this race, so we knew what to expect with regard to the course. It starts off with a run up a hill, then down the hill, then a track around the park.

I was looking forward to the run, but really wasn't sure what to expect from myself. I have been building up slowly trying to protect my knee. I've done a few 8R-2W intervals, but no continuous running since Duke City back in early October.

The plan for the morning: Don't push it too hard, but put in good effort. Try to find a pace that could be maintained for a 10K (even thought it's a 5K). If any knee pain occurs, walk.

And off we went.

Here's a breakdown of my split paces (and the elevation chart):
1: 10:33, up the hill +143ft
2: 9:14, down the hill -153ft
3: 10:01, mostly flat
0.1: 8:00, mostly flat & booking it to the finish

I am happy to report that my knee didn't hurt the entire time. YAY!

I was pleased with my finish time - 30:38 (9:52 min/mi). This was much better than I expected given the circumstances.

We hung around for a while waiting for awards. Husband was antsy to leave, but since it was a relatively small field, I thought his finish time (26-something) might have been good enough for an AG award.

I wasn't quite right.

We were both surprised when *I* was the one called to the podium - 3rd place F40-49.

What a way to end the season.

Friday, December 5, 2008

Knowledge is Power


The second day of our Corporate Athlete class started with a module on nutrition. It was presented in a way that explained what happens as food is digested (mostly from a blood sugar/insulin perspective).

For the first time, I think I finally UNDERSTAND why eating several small meals is important. Why pairing protein with carbs is important. And why skipping meals or going to long without food can cause you to gain weight.

I know that none of this is new news to anyone, but it's one thing just to be told something and something all together different to understand.

With this new understanding, I came to the realization that I have destructive eating patterns. I need to eat strategically.

The worst for me has been in the afternoon. I don't eat a nutrtious snack within 3-4 hrs of lunch, my blood sugar drops, my body thinks I'm starving, and I end up binging before/during/after dinner.

I don't always eat a balanced breakfast either. Sometimes I exercise early without breakfast, send my blood sugar plummeting, and end up binging afterwards.

I made a commitment to myself to fix my nutrition effective immediately. And yesterday afternoon went fairly well even with a holiday concert/dinner.

I'll be focussing on this for a while as I try to develop new habits. I'll be taking some snacks to work to keep in my desk. And setting time based reminders to nudge me to eat. Wish me well!

Random Thoughts

We did yoga yesterday, I didn't care for it.

I did my PT quad sets and core this morning and feel good about that.

Husband & I are running Jingle Bell 5K tomorrow. Yikes. I feel totally unprepared, this is definately just going to be a fun run for me.

I stopped back at Marshalls. To my delight, I found a jacket in my size just like the light blue one, but in more of turquoise color. Score!

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Thoughts on Corporate Athlete

So far, this Corporate Athlete class has been interesting.

We've talked about maximizing performance by being fully engaged on a physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual level. We've talked about the benefits of interval training. We've talked about aerobic training. We've talked about the stories we tell ourselves about why we can't do something. We've talked about barriers to success and breakthroughs.

I think anyone that reads my blog would get something out of the class if they had the opportunity to take it.

Tomorrow we talk about action plans and nutrition and something else that I can't remember

The class also includes some physical activity. Today we were given those stretchy bands and were led through a series of 8 or so exercises. The idea is that we could take these with us on vacation, to the office, to a soccer game, or whatever and be able to do some resistance training - no excuses. Definately gave me something to think about. Maybe I'll take my band into my office and do some of those exercises when I'm stuck in phone meetings.

Next up was a circuit workout. One minute each - as many as you can - pushups, crunches, lunges, tricep dips, & wall squats. I think I was the only lady in the class to attempt "real" pushups. That was a confidence boost.

Then we were given the opportunity to go through the circuit a second time. This was optional. I'd guess that half the class opted out. And out of maybe 10 ladies, only 2 of us continued onto the second set. All those negative self-images from earlier in the week? I squelched them (at least temporarily) by sticking through the entire workout. It was tough, but satisfying.

Tomorrow we're doing yoga during class. Ick. Yoga is not my favorite.

Take care everyone!

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Commuter Chronicles

The plan this morning was cycle comute to work, do upper body strength at the fitness center.

Packed my pannier bags the night before. Planned my strategy for cycling clothes - it's a little tricky, 30s for the ride in, upper 50s for the ride home. Figured out how much time I needed, when I should leave, and set the alarm.

Got up. Geared up. Pumped up the tires.

Meanwhile, son is out in the driveway fiddling with the car. Will not start. Stopped to talk with him about it a bit, then decided no worries, take my car, I'm cycling in.

Got off a little later than planned. Things are good. Then I think. Hmmmm. I don't think I have my toiletries. Better stop to check. Nope . Definately don't have those. Okay, turn around.

Back home. Laid my bike down at the end of the driveway (it's gravel and it was faster than walking it back up to the house) grabbed my toiletries bag out of my gym bag, bungeed it to the rack. Pick up the bike...walk it back up the street.


What the font?

When I laid it down, my rear light rotated inward and was hitting the tire. But I had trouble muscling it back out. Had to get the multi-use tool out of the bag to loosen it up, adjust, tighten.

Time check. Oh wow. I'm WAY behind schedule now.

Plan B. I'll head to the other fitness center at work. It will cut 2 miles off my commute. No time for upper body now.

Arrive, stretch, head in for a shower, change clothes. Walk to the hair dryer area. No dryer anywhere to be found. I presume someone stole it.

Crud. Arrive at office a few minutes late with wet hair. Just lovely.

[Edited to add: Rest of the day went okay. Got a few comments on my hair - it dries wavy and I normally blow dry it straight. after work, we got the the car jump started and took it in to PepBoys. It's back with a new battery and Son should have no problems tomorrow. Cycle commuting is always interesting, sometimes it goes well, sometimes you have to improvise]

Monday, December 1, 2008

Monday Miscellany

Today started off with a decent workout:
* 2W-8R-2W-8R-2W for a total of 1.9 miles in 22 mins.
* Stretches (hamstrings, calves, quads, arms, IT band, etc)
* 30 reps each of my PT quad sets (30x12=360 reps total - lotsa quad stuff)
* 3x25 bicycle crunches (ouch - those really hurt)

Tomorrow I am planning to cycle commute plus do my upper body strength routine.

Wed & Thu I'm in full day class called "The Corporate Athlete - Training for Maximum Performance." The idea is that we can learn from athletic training to perform well in all areas of our lives. The company is paying for the class *and* paying me to take it. Sweet deal, huh?

Also, Daughter starts driving school classes Wednesday evening. Yikes.

Our Christmas tree goes up this evening. Not sure if I posted about it last year, but the tree fell over in the middle of December causing my favorite glass ornaments to be smashed to bits. Very sad. I bought some new ones after Christmas when they were on sale. Anyway, I have a weird feeling about the tree this year. I keep thinking - "these are not my ornaments". We'll see how I feel this year when the tree goes up.

You folks had a lot to say about my whining yesterday. Wow. Thanks for all the feedback. You've given me a lot to think about. Here's where my head is at after digesting all your comments:

1) I probably need to look at weight *and* body fat. I know for certain that I have gained muscle in the past year. I'm fairly sure I've also gained fat in the midsection. But my target weight is probably not correc because muscle weighs more than fat.

2) I like the idea of writing down what I eat, but I don't actually want to do that. Today I did think about everything that's gone in my mouth and asked myself - "If I had to write it down, how would I feel about it later?" It affected my choices. Good stuff.

3) I'm a middle-aged multi-sport athlete that also does weight training. I shouldn't expect to be super-skinny like my stick-figure teens or the super-tiny runner-women. I need to embrace my body for what it is, "rock what I got", and (like a fine wine) just keep getting better with age. Sound more reasonable?

With that, this Gym Queen signs out!

Sunday, November 30, 2008

November Tally & a bit of whining

Part 1: November Tally

November Totals
* Run/Walk: 14.7 miles
* Swim: 3900yds
* Cycling: 95.0 miles
* Strength Sessions: 17 (detail: 17 quad sets for PT, 8 core, 9 upper body)
* Races: nada

Thoughts Looking Back
* I dedicated this month to knee rehab and followed through with it by doing rehab strength stuff 4 times per week. I do believe that the Gym Queen tiara was well earned! And it's paid off with improvement in my knee. Boooyah!
* I feel okay about my Swim & Run/Walk volume.
* I'm quite pleased that I got back out on the bike. Actually planned to ride today and bring the total over a hundred miles for the month, but it's too windy for my liking so I bagged it. Yes, I'm a weather wimp.

Thoughts Looking Forward
* Jingle Bell 5K is this coming Saturday. That will be interesting.
* I've drafted goals for 2009 and will share in a separate post
* I need to lose weight.


Part 2 - "It's my Blog and I'll Whine if I Want to"

It doesn't help my self esteem one bit that the ladies in my running group are teeny tiny little things. Four of them (not one...not two...not three...but FOUR) wear a women's size extra small. Did you catch that? Small is too big for them, they need EXTRA small. Sigh.

And then there's the fact that I live with a family of stick people. I've uploaded a picture of Daughter (It doesn't seem possible that there's room for all of her organs inside that tiny waist of hers, but the doctors say she's perfectly healthy with all parts accounted for.) and I from Thanksgiving.

Son is 4 inches taller and even thinner than his sister. And Husband is tall and thin too. Bastages!

Then there's me, resembling the Pillsbury Doughboy. I'm approximately 10-12 lbs over my target weight...all in the midsection.

If I had hips, I think I'd be actually be well proportioned. But without hips to balance things out, I'm just pudgy.

Here's a photo of Son & I making apple pie earlier this week. I realize it's not the most flattering photo, but it does demonstrate my body shape (and his tall thin-ness). Wide shoulders, narrow hips, no waist. See? I'm not making this stuff up.

I know that I need to stop whining about it and do something.

The problem is that I have no idea where to start. I get that it's a matter of calories in vs. calories out, but I've never been successful at losing weight. So any suggestions would be appreciated.

Friday, November 28, 2008

Back to our regularly scheduled programming

This morning I got up and went to the pool for a swim to start off my day. 100, 200,300,200,100 for 900 yds total. Followed by stretching in the hot tub afterwards (my favorite part!).

I came home and promptly had a piece of pumpkin pie for breakfast. D'oh!

The weather doesn't look too promising for a bike ride today, but maybe things will change for the better later this afternoon. [Updated: We made it out for a short 14.2 mile ride at lunch time. Boooyah!!]

Tomorrow is Run Group day and based on my recent interval success, I just might be able to do my pseudo-run/walk thing with them this time. That would rock.

Enjoy the rest of your Holiday weekend folks!

Thursday, November 27, 2008

A Little Boy's Thanksgiving Sentiment

I like pumpkin pie and cranberry sauce,
And I tell you roast turkey with dressing is "boss".

So you'll not be surprised, I am sure, when I say
That I greet the approach of Thanksgiving Day.

We have one Thanksgiving a year, so I find;

'Twould be better to have one a week, to my mind;
For our blessings are ours each week and each day,
Which we ought to acknowledge in some fitting way.

But the big folks have fixed it, and fixed it their way,
For things must all be as the big folks say;

So we'll just have to do as we always have done,
With one day each year for Thanksgiving fun.

John Edward Everett
(Smith Center: ___. 1912)
Page 34

I appreciate the sentiments of this poem about giving thanks on a regular basis. I know that I really have a lot to be thankful for.

This morning, Husband & I went to the gym as planned. Got everything done including another set of pseudo run intervals, this time a bit longer: W5-R7-W3-R7-W3-R7-W3. Knee still feels okay, so that is good.

The bike fit yesterday was really interesting. She made a lot of adjustment: moved my cleats, raised the seat, moved the seat back, did something with the grips. It should be better now, with less force on my knee. I can't wait to try it out!

Sincere wishes for a Happy Thanksgiving and safe travels if you find yourself out on the road.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008


My PT happens to also do professional bike fits. My final PT appt today involves a bike fit from a PT perspective. How cool is that?!?

No Turkey Trot or Hobbler Gobbler or other such Thanksgiving Day race for me this year. I'd be sad, except that the weather is supposed to be cruddy anyway. We *will* be going to the fitness center at work though, which is about the only gym that I know will be open on the holiday. And I *will* complete my entire workout.

My psuedo-run intervals yesterday consisted of 5W-7R-3W-7R-3W. A total of 1.92 miles in 25mins. Sigh. I'm doing what has been prescribed because I want my knee fully recovered for next year, but this is bordering what I would describe as "painfully slow" progression. Anyway, knee did fine, but hips are a bit sore. Need to stretch and roll them out later today.

I was right about needing an extra 30-45mins to complete my full workout yesterday. But I only made it there about 15 mins early. So didn't quite get it all done.

Hoping to be able to leave work at about 2:30pm today so I can come home and begin preparing the gluttonous feast. After the over-eating that is soon to follow, I am going to do something about my ever expanding waistline. I'm serious this time.

Husband and I have been hoping to go for a bike ride on Friday, but the weather report calls for snow and rain. Of course, today is supposed to be beautiful. Not Fair!

Monday, November 24, 2008

Thoughts from the nightstand

Sunday afternoon I went on an 18mil bike ride with my running-friend-gone-cyclist. We had beautiful weather, really couldn't have asked for a better day, and were both excited about doing it again this next coming weekend. Then I looked at the weather forcast which doesn't look so promising for the holiday weekend. Bleh!

Today I had an early morning PT appt. It was actually my second to last one. Can you believe it? I am so almost done with that! Yesssssssss. We talked about the progression of exercises that I will need to do for the next 6 weeks. Assuming I stick with it, by mid-Jan I should be back to my old running self (emphasis on old...hahahah). Meanwhile, I'm building up slowly and remaining diligent to the PT stuff.

I have a lot on my workout schedule for tomorrow. Upper body, core, pseudo-run intervals, and my PT exercises. I think I'm going to have to get to the gym 30-45mins earlier than usual to fit it all in. Not happy about the thought of an extra early morning.

I guess I should call it a night instead of blog reading/commenting. YAWN!!

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Sat Morning Follies

Yesterday I was able to do my 5 min walk/run interval thing, which is sort of like running, but I'm definately not able to run with my group yet. So, this morning I intended to meet my running friends on bike again since that worked fairly well last time.

After I was on my way, I noticed a goat head (see bottom of post for more info) in my front tire. I took it out and listened for leaking air. It sounded fine. I continued on my way but quickly noticed that I was going slower and slower. Stopped again and felt the tire. Very squishy.

Drat! I was going to have to change the tube.

I was closer to home than the meeting spot and it was only about 28 deg out (brrrr), so I decided to put a little air in and turn around so I could fix it at home where it was warm. This meant I would definately not make it to the meeting spot on time.

So...I grabbed my cell phone, searched for running friends phone number, and hit sent. I really couldn't hear very well because I had just stopped at the side of the road to make the call and still had my helmet on.

"Hi. This is FirstName"

"Hey, my front tire is soft after I pulled out a goat head, I'm going to have to replace the tube and won't make it on time"

"Who is this?"


"This is FirstName LastName. Who are you trying to call?"

Ooooops!! I accidently selected SWTriGal from my contact list, same first name as who I was trying to call. She happens to be in AZ getting ready to do IronMan tomorrow. I imagine she was very confused about why I had called to tell her about my flat tire.

"Oh sorry! Called the wrong FirstName. Sorry about that. Hey, Good luck at IronMan tomorrow."

"Thanks. And sorry about your tire"

Hahahahaha. What a moron I am. At least it makes for a funny story. :-)

After that little mishap, I successfully dialed the correct number to let the group know that I would be late due to the flat and not to wait for me.

Made it home, fixed my flat, and then Husband graciously dropped me off at the meeting point.

I was able find the running group out on the trail. We met up in the parking lot after their run to chat for a bit. Then I rode home. It ended up being a bit shorter ride than last week because of the late start and catching a ride to the meeting spot, but 14 miles is better than nothing.

Edited to add: A goat head is a type of nasty thorn that is prevalent in NM. I always ride with goo in my tires, but sometimes that's just not enough for these little beasts

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Thursday Tidbits part 2

I survived the caffeine-free day without biting off too many heads. Best news is that the results of my stress test were fine. Since the arrythmia is asymptomatic and everything else is normal, I'm pretty much good to go for now.

The fourth folder fourth photo bloggy tag directed me to a photo from 11/06/2006 of a NM sunset. Usually I miss the vibrant colors by the time I grab my camera, but I captured it fairly well that time.

Thursday Tidbits

Decided to skip the gym this morning. Yep, I'm being a slacker. My excuse? I have an early work meeting, and didn't feel like getting up a half hour earlier so that I could make time for the gym. Plus, I have a stress test this afternoon which involves a treadmill, so I think I'll count that as my exercise for the day. And because of the stress test, I can't have coffee (or tea or chocolate or anything with caffiene) which doesn't make for the most pleasant version of me. It's probably best that I avoid direct human contact as much as possible.

Speaking of which, the stress test is the last of a series of tests to understand my recently diagnosed heart arrythmia. I've had a couple of EKGs, an echo cardiogram, some bloodwork, & a 24 hour holter monitor already. Today I meet again with the cardiologist after the stress test. I don't think he's going to want to do anything at this point because I'm not having any symptoms other than the arrythmia itself and all my bloodwork looks good, but we'll see.

Moving along to a more upbeat (pun intended) subject, Marshalls. Do you have one of these near you? We just had one open nearby a few months ago. I had never been to one before, but I've discovered that it is dangerously addicting. I've been heading straight for the athletic wear in search of bargains. That jacket I was wearing in the cycle picture from this weekend was one of my Marshall finds. $12 for a Reebok playdry jacket. Score!! It's super comfortable and keeps the wind from getting though. What's not to love about that?!? Except for the minor detail that I didn't exactly *need* a new jacket...

Tuesday, November 18, 2008


THIS - At the gym, some random guy made a comment while I was doing upper body weight stuff that I was "solid." My initial reaction was "thanks" but as I thought about it more, I'm really not sure what it meant or why he felt compelled to share. Mentioned it to one of my co-workers. He laughed. His wife is from England and he says that "solid" means "dense" and is more of an insult. I also mentioned it to Husband and he laughed saying it was something he's used to decribe our dog. Bandit is "solid." Great. I'm solid like the dog. LOL. So...still not quite sure what to make of that. Hopefully the guy will keep his comments to himself in the future! Creepy!

THAT - I was actually able to do something that resembled running today. As prescribed by my PT, I included the following workout on the treadmill (while being mindful of my knee position): 5 mins walk, 5 mins easy run, 5 mins walk, 5 mins easy run, 5 mins walk. I experienced no knee pain, so I get to repeat on Thursday. It's a slow and steady comeback - just my style.

Monday, November 17, 2008


The convenience decision was a good one. I found myself standing outside the door of the gym with pool at 8am Sunday waiting for it to open so I could get in a quick swim before church. Wouldn't have been able to do that at the aquatic center. 900yds accomplished!

On Saturday, one of my tiny runner friends who lives close to me, mentioned that she wants to start cycling again. After church, I gave her a call to see how serious she was about it. To my delight, she was willing to meet up for a 15 mile loop. Adding on the miles to/from our meeting spot, I got in a total of 19.6 miles. And she's interested in doing it again next weekend. Sweet!

I came home all pumped up and spent some time working on my 2009 fitness goals. Then I signed up Husband & I for the Jingle Bell 5K that's less that 3 weeks away. Hopefully I'm running by then, if not, I guess that will be the day that I start. Heheheh.

This morning, my shoulders are a bit sore from swimming. My left hamstring feels tight and needs to be stretched. And my well let's just say it's been awhile since I've spent that much time on the saddle. But most importantly, my knee feels fine. Woot!

After a month of knee-induced slothfulness, I feel like I'm almost back. How cool is that?!?!?

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Turtles Unite!

Remember a few weeks ago when I mentioned that I have organized the running group (Turtles) to start running again on Saturdays during the off season?

Well today was the kick-off run. Excellent, right?

One tiny little problem - I'm still NOT RUNNING!!

I decided not to let that one minor detail stop me and showed up at the meeting place looking like this (yes, I do realize that I look like a dork with my helmet over a hat, but it was about 30deg when I left my house and I'll take warmth over a fashion statement any day):

I figured that I'd simply hop on my bike, ride over to the meeting spot, ride on the bike trail while they were running, join them again after their run, then ride home for a total of ~23 miles. Then come home and do my PT excercises and my push-ups. Brilliant!

So about that plan.

While it didn't seem like much when I planned it, apparently when you've done basically ZERO cardio for a month, 23 miles turns out to be rather exhausting. Who knew?!?!

I suppose the first clue might have been that I had to remove the race number STILL ON MY BIKE from mid-September. Ooops, has it really been THAT long since I rode my bike?

So now after eating an apple, two hot dogs, a bowl of frosted flakes, and a bowl of cocoa wheats (yes, I also realize that I'm eating like crap today), all I feel like doing is taking a nap.

Oh, and the PT stuff and push-ups? Ummmm. I'll get to those later this afternoon (Or tomorrow).

Thursday, November 13, 2008

What's on my Mind


Coach keeps reminding me to write up my goals for next year and he'd like them by the end of the month if possible.

When I first thought of goals for next year, I was focussed on WHAT. I want another shot at the half marathon distance, I want to do a couple of 5Ks, 2 sprint triathlons, etc. Next, I started thinking about WHEN. I want to put one event on my calendar each month. Then I started thinking about HOW. I want to run a 10K under an hour, I'd like at least one of my races to be on a trail, I want a half marathon PR, etc. Finally, I started thinking about WHY. I want to be healthy. I want to be injury-free. I want to have fun.

Darn it! WHY is the question I should have started with first. Without really knowing WHY, the rest of it really doesn't make sense, does it? So now, I'm starting over with my goals. But this time, I think I'm going to come up with something that makes sense.


No, not that kind! Had an early morning meeting, so my gym time was abbreviated today. The sessions was a bit rushed, but I still managed to cover some important basics. Note to self, a short workout is better than a missed workout.

Upper body strength (4 exercises, 3x10 reps each)
Lower body sets for PT (6 exercises, 2x10 reps each)
Lower body Stretches (4 x each side x 30-40sec each)
Core (3x20 bicycle crunches)

The steppy things are one of my least favorite PT exercises (Boring!). But I have to really concentrate on my knee alignment, so it's probably worthwhile.


If I'm going to be serious about swimming since it's on my approved list for aerobic exercise, I need to decide (once again) where to swim.

The two leading options are rejoin my old gym (which is more expensive, but has better hours and is closer) or buying another pass for the aquatic center (which is cheaper, but less convenient). Decisions, decisions.

I'm leaning toward joining my old gym because if it's more convenient, I'll probably actually find myself in a lane swimming more often. Plus I could potentially start doing Zumba again.

Updated: Decision made! I rejoined my old gym this morning and got in a 1200yd swim.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Knee Rehab Learnings

I got a lot of questions about the knee taping from my last post, so I've put together a list of things I've learned during knee rehab.

* When the patella experiences forces which push it off center and against the sides of the groove it causes pain, inflammation, and roughening of the underside of the patella. This is bad

* Ice is your friend.

* There are many potential causes for PFS. One of my issues is a weak VMO. Specific quad strengthening exercises have been prescribed, so I've been diligent about becoming a gym queen. Ha!

* PFS is an overuse/overload injury. It is strongly recommended to reduce knee activity during treatment. I've been nudging my PT about safe aerobic activity. She recently suggested swimming. Watch this space.

* Some of my exercises require a concerted effort on my part to keep my knee joint properly aligned with my foot to retrain my muscles. Until this becomes second nature, running has a real risk of undoing progress. That would be bad.

* Knee taping is controversial. Studies suggest that it provides short term relief to some PFS patients by helping with patella positioning. I wasn't one of them. No more sharpei knee for me.

* The Euflexxa injections were aimed at fixing some of the roughening damage. PT mentioned today that my knee is noticably less crunchy now. This is good.

There you have it - almost as if I know what I'm talking about.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Sharpei knee

Yesterday, I had another interesting PT session. This time she applied tape to my knee and suggested that I try to leave it on for 2 days. She mentioned that if it bothered me too much, it was okay to take it off.

It looked all wrinkly when it was taped. Hence the title of this post. Sexy huh?

The tape was limiting my motion. I had trouble with stairs, several of my exercises, putting on socks, etc. I don't know if that was intended or not (and will ask next time).

After about 25 hrs I liberated my knee from its sharpei-ness.

I'm thinking Sharpy knee will be more fun. Now just where did I leave my marker????

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Saturday Strength

This morning Husband & I went to the Fitness Center in his work building. That one is a nicer & newer than the one I usually go to, but no Ab Roller (boo hoo). After finishing my upper body work and the quad sets in the main gym, I went into the aerobics room for some floor work and stretching.

Nobody else was in there with me, so I snapped a pic. This particular place always makes me think of of Romper Room.
So many toys! Physio balls, medicine balls, mats, steps, stretchy bands, small dumbells, foam blocks, etc.

Completed everything on my schedule except push-ups. Not sure exactly what went wrong there, but I just wasn't feeling it and quit during my first set. Those will just have to wait until next time.

Friday, November 7, 2008

Short Update

Good Stuff

* Push-up count on Thursday was 15, 10, 8. That was tough. My goal is to get to 20, 15, 10 by the end of the month. I can't slack off if I want to get there.
* Re-organized the running group to start running together again on Saturdays during the off-season starting next week. Yay!
* Got the flu shot. Last year they ran out before I got one, and I got a nasty flu.
* I've been enjoying my return to the gym. Wearing my Gym Queen Tiara with pride and upped the weights on a few of my upper body exercises. Boooyah!!
* Yesterday I tried out that ab roller thing. It kept my head/neck supported so that I was working my abs vs. straining my neck.
* Wednesday's PT session was particulary good. We did a lot of quad work, and it's revealing some things to work on to help my knee.
* Received my final Euflexxa injection. As far as the Doc is concerned, I may run again beginning next week as long as I "proceed with caution"

Not-so-Good Stuff

* PT suggests that I refrain from running for a few more weeks in favor of cycling. That's all well and good, but I don't want to cycle, I want to run!
* My swim punch-card expired today with four unused punches.

Monday, November 3, 2008

Monday Miscellany

Today started today with a trip to the gym for upper body, stretching, my PT exercises, lots of stretching, core, and finally pushups (14, 10, 7 - Woot!).

No Gym Queen photo today. It was a bit more crowded and I didn't want to be the crazy lady taking photos of herself. LOL. However, I did sneak in one. Anyone ever use this contraption before? I don't know what it is called, but it helps with crunches.

After the gym, I headed off for a PT appt. We focussed on some specific quad exercise and a few more stretches. I'll be adding those into my regular routine starting tomorrow. She also used also used electrical current on my knee, which I really didn't like at all.

Today happens to be Daughter's 15th birthday. They sure grow up quickly. We'll be heading out for a Birthday Celebration dinner soon.

Last thought. Does exercising my right to vote count as cross-training? ;-)

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Out with the Old, In with the New

October Tally

* 50.5 miles running
* 2000 yds swimming
* 4 gym sessions focussed on upper body, core, and pushup
* 1 race - Duke City HM

Thoughts Looking Back

I felt like I lost control of my workout plans due to a lot of "stuff" in October - stupid knee, doctors appts, tile work, etc. Blah!

Looking Forward

New month, new mindset - I'm regaining control. Primary focus is knee rehab, but I'm also going to be serious about strength work and my general well-being.

Began the day with an early morning trip to the fitness center at work. It was EMPTY so I was Queen of the Gym today. I worked upper body & core, did the PT stuff for my knee, and finished off with a 3 sets of push-ups (12, 8, 5) like a woman on a mission. Ha!

Thursday, October 30, 2008


I expected some soreness the day after my return to the gym because I hadn't been there for several weeks. Boy-o-boy was I right on that. Gotta' hate it when it hurts to life the arms up to brush hair. LOL. I went back again today and did a little better on the push-up front (10, 8, 5).

I don't think my arms will be too sore tomorrow. Which is good because...

The PT exercises are targetting the vastus medialis which is weak on my left leg and is contributing to the knee tracking issue. The initial strengthening exercises that I was given from PT didn't seem like they were too bad...until the next day. Today my muscle was quivering when I did the exercises. At least I know the correct muscle is being worked!

And it's a good thing I don't have PT tomorrow because...

Went in for my 2nd Euflexxa injection today. Each time this causes a bit of pain and swelling for about 24-48hrs. I don't think it hurts as much as it did last week at this time, but it's definately sore. Only one more injection to go.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

PT and Other Stuff

Had my first PT appt this afternoon. I have two friends that are PTs, one is a runner, the other is a triathlete. As luck would have it, I got scheduled with the triathlete friend PT without even knowing it. Oh, happy day! Somebody who understands!!

First off, she confirmed that my left knee is tracking incorrectly. That was reassuring - a second opinion of the diagnosis. Then, she did some diagnostics to identify muscle imbalances that are causing it. That means we know what to work on to fix it. Yay!

I go back 2x per week starting next week. Between now and then, I have some stretches to do 4x per day and strengthening 2x per day. That should keep me busy.

And another milestone today - I went back to the gym for the first time in several weeks. Oh boy, I'm going to be sore tomorrow! One thing that struck me is how far back my push-ups regressed. I could only do 8, 8, then 5. Eeek!

A few of you kind souls have commented on my arms (bless you!). Since that's really the only part of my body that I'm happy with, I'm highly motivated to getting back to three sets of ~15-20 push-ups three times a week. I'll work that in with my knee exercises and make it a priority over the next month.

Talked to Run Coach today for the first time since Duke City. He was very encouraging. We talked a little about goals for next year, and he thinks it's good to start with 5K/10K and hold off to see how my knee does before going too far down the path of another half-marathon.

That's it for now. Hope everyone is doing well!!

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Day Dreaming

With Duke City behind me, restricted activities for 3-4 weeks, I've been daydreaming about what I might do next.

This was actually prompted by Husband declaring a run goal of his own this week. He has announced that he doesn't want to run long, he wants to focus on a faster 5K. Cool, I think this is the first time he's had a goal other than "run to be healthy."

Of course this begs the question...what about me? What are my goals? For the most part, I haven't nailed down my own goals, but I've started thinking.

One big unknown is whether or not knee rehab will be successful.

If not, I think I can still do 5K runs, maybe 10Ks. My knee seems to be good up to about 5-6 miles. I could certainly join his quest for a faster 5K. There are lots of local 5Ks over the course of the year that we could sign up for. That would be fun.

However, if knee rehab works well, I think I'd like another attempt at the half-marathon distance. Maybe Unser this spring. I'm also intrigued by the Squash blossom half marathon in Gallup in September, a trail run.

On the triathlon front, I'm fairly certain that I'll stick to sprints again next year.

What about you? What are your goals/plans for next year? Have you figured them out yet or are you still daydreaming as well?

Friday, October 24, 2008

We interupt this training program...

...for a heavy dose of life.

Remember the mammo appt? I got called back because they found somthing abnormal. This was done at a different place than my past mammos and they didn't have access to my old films. It turns out that all they discovered was the same small benign mass/nodule that I've known about for 8-9 years and nothing more. However, it took another visit to radiology for diagnostic mammo and ultrasound to determine this. Yeah, that was a bit stressful.

We've also been in the thick of our tile project and have been "camping out" in the great room while our bedroom and office are in shambles. Wouldn't be such a big deal if my knee wasn't giving me trouble, but it's been difficult to get up off the mattress on the floor. Today *should* be the last day of this nonsense so we can start putting the house back together.

Because of the tiling project, I've been taking Bandit to daycare to get him out of the house while the contractors are here. When dropping him off on Tuesday, he lifted his leg to pee on something and there was blood! Poor dog. Vet thinks it's just a UTI, so he's on antibiotics now. If it comes back after antibiotics, he'll get more tests looking for something more serious.

As for the knee, I started Euflexxa treatment yesterday. I opted to skip cortisone, but accepted the sodium hyaluronate. I'll receive it over 3 injections spaced one week apart. There is clinical evidence that this makes an improvement over the long term; however, today my knee is slightly swollen and painful from the first injection as expected, but it does make me wonder if I made the right decision. Time will tell. Anyway, I'm on restricted actvities for the next 3-4 weeks. I'm also starting PT on Monday.

That's been my week. No training, but lots of life stuff.

Best wishes to everyone racing this weekend!!

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Turtle Photos

Me with a couple of speedy turtles after the race. I've mentioned before that these super tiny women make me feel HUGE.

More turtles. This must have been shortly after I left. I hung out with those two ladies for 45mins or so and then they walked off one direction and we went the other way. Based on the background, it seems they found others from our group right away and we did not. It's a real bummer that I missed this photo opportunity.

You can check out the official photos of Husband & I if you search for Duke City Marathon 2008, and find the place to click for photos, and enter bib 1218. I tried to include the link but was having trouble.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Duke City - Longer Version


I was excited when we got up Sunday morning. I’ve been very conservative with my training since the return to running hoping to preserve my knee. Until treatment is completed successfully, it isn’t a matter of *if* my knee will start hurting again, but *when*. My last few training runs were pain free. How many more miles would it be before the pain returned? That was the big unknown.

It was chilly when we arrived at the convention center, so we stayed inside as long as possible. Husband made a comment about how the race was going to suck; he’s never been a big fan of half marathons. When it was time to start, we ventured outside and soon we were on our way.

Miles 1-5

It was crowded at the start, but it started to thin out a bit by 1.5 miles. I found a pace that seemed maintainable and started picking people off in the crowd one by one. I felt invincible. The first time I looked at my Garmin was at 4 miles – 40:26 – holy smokes! I was well under my target pace of 10:30min/mi and feeling good. I was all smiles. This is the run I had trained for, and it was playing out better than I had imagined.

Miles 6-7

Shortly after mile 5, my smile was gone. Husband turned to me and asked “Are you okay?” No. I was not okay. Out of nowhere, my Stupid knee started hurting. How bad would it get? How fast would it go downhill? I slowed down a bit and started running on the dirt along the side of the bike path thinking that might help.

They had cameras at the turn around. I took another glance at my watch at the halfway point and smiled for the cameras because I had gone 6.55 miles in 1:07: 38. I'm very pleased with the 1st half of my race. I believed that I had it in me to PR if the knee didn’t get much worse.

Miles 8-11

Okay, so much for a PR, my knee was hurting a lot and I was going to have to deal with it. I started taking walk breaks and watched people that I had picked off earlier pass me back. Bleck!
The marathoners had started 45 mins ahead of the half, and it was during this stretch that we watched the lead marathon runners zooming by. I was hoping Coach would be the first one that I saw, but instead we saw some bushy haired barefoot guy. Coach was several minutes behind him. Then another barefoot guy; this one wearing a skirt!! What is up with that?!?!?

I told husband he could go on ahead. He said he was in no hurry and stayed with me. One of the Turtle Club members caught up with us. We ran together for a while. She was on track for a huge PR and quite pleased with her race. She rocked it, too.

Miles 12-13.1

My knee was ticked off and so was I. Walking hurt. I said something to Husband like "This definately isn't the finish I was hoping for" He then reminded me that he had predicted the race would suck; that made me laugh.

When we were rounded the last corner to the finish, Coach saw us and shouted for me to finish strong, so I gave it my best shot. I crossed the finish line with a scowl shouting something like “Freaking Knee!” Ummm, yeah, that probably didn’t make for a good finish photo.


I hobbled over to two running group members who had both had awesome races and were in good spirits. I should have a photo from that soon. Husband looked for food and was hoping to find massage tables.

Not-So-Happy Thoughts

* My main goal to finish without knee pain did not happen.
* It's frustrating that I’m back to limping when I walk.
* I’m probably done with running for the rest of the month.
* Those last two miles really sucked.

Happy Thoughts

* Husband ran with me even though he doesn’t like half-marathons. We crossed the finish line together. Husband rocks.
* My race got off to a great start. I had an amazing run for the 5 miles that my knee felt good.
* I achieved two of my three time goals despite a mediocre middle and a cruddy finish.
* I made new running friends through my running group...with turtles on the shirts!
* Other than my knee, I feel good.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Duke City - Short Version

Based on the goals I posted earlier in the week, I'd have to say that I'm a Not-So-Happy Finisher with Bunny Chaser and Second Chance bonus points.

The Not-So-Happy part is due to knee pain that started shortly after mile 5.

The graph from my Garmin says it all - the race started off really well for me with a fairly consistent pace for the first 5 miles. However, it went downhill fast once my knee started acting up. By the end, my knee was hurting even while I walked, and I was walking a lot.

Longer version later...

Friday, October 17, 2008

Turtle Tidbits

Last night was the last group run with my running group for 2008. Most of them will be there Sunday, but it was sad to say goodbye at the end of the run.

I don't think I've mentioned this before, but the group is called the Turtle Club. I think that may hve been what drew me to the group. That an the fact that we're being coached by an awesome athlete and really nice person.

As it turns out, there are really only two of us that qualify as turtles, but the name stuck anyway.

I'm thrilled that our group shirts have a turtle logo. I'll be wearing one of them (a white sleeveless) one under a long sleeve shirt at the race on Sunday. I expect to take off the long sleeves and tie it around my waist at some point during the race. I hope the turtle shows up in some race photos.

Coach started taking registrations for next year and I've already signed on to secure my spot. Now to figure out what to do with myself without the structure of the group during the off season...

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Setting Goals

I can't believe Duke City is almost here. It's time to evaluate my goals for the race. After an Injured Runner DNF at Chips-n-Salsa, I can honestly say that my main goal is to be a Happy Finisher. If my knee holds up for 13.1 miles and nothing else goes wrong, I will consider it a resounding success.

Having said that, there will be bonus points added to my happy meter for various finish scenarios, but it's only bonus points.

Inner Rabbit Bonus: Finish with anything under 2:21:36 for a half marathon PR.
Second Chance Bonus: Achieve the goal I set last time and finish under 2:30.
Bunny Chaser Bonus: Anything under 2:36:58 for a course PR

Sunday, October 12, 2008

If at first you don't succeed...

"The important thing is not being afraid to take a chance. Remember, the greatest failure is to not try." - Debbie Fields

I found a photo that a friend sent me from start of the Nike Human Race 10K back on 31-Aug. That was the Sunday before Chips-n-Salsa. I was running with pain from the start of this 10K, I think you can see it on my face. My knee was swollen and needed to be iced after the race. Even though I took an entire week of rest afterwards, it wasn't enough recovery. I DNF'd the Chips-n-Salsa half-marathon the following weekend and ended up taking three more weeks off running due to knee pain.

Today, a week prior to another half-marathon attempt, I ran along most of the same course as that Nike race. No pain this time. If I had a photo, you'd see a smile. I forgot to start my Garmin until we hit the first mile marker (d'oh!), but I captured the remaining 5.8 miles at an overall pace of 10:26. Rather amazing, as I thought I was doing 11min miles the whole way.

I definately feel better this time around. Will my knee hold up for a 13.1 finish on Sunday? Can't wait to find out. :-)

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Knee news


"Patello-Femoral Syndrome - a condition caused by the patella not tracking properly. The patella normally rides in a groove on the femur. The patella is really a fulcrum - it gives leverage to the quadriceps. The quads are so named because they consist of four muscles. With PFS, you get an imbalance in these muscles - usually the lateral or outside muscle over-powers the inner medial muscle - and this pulls the patella out of it's normal groove. When the patella doesn't track properly in it's groove, it causes pain under the patella."

Suggested Treatment:

* Physical therapy to balance the quad muscles and realign knee tracking.
* Cortisone injections.


It's okay to run as long as it doesn't hurt. Don't be surprised if pain returns with running because the underlying condition is still present until treatment is completed.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Regaining Confidence

Yesterday evening I did some structured speed work for the first time since injuring the knee. This was mostly a confidence building exercise. Workout plan was 4.5 miles total broken up as .75 mile warm up, 3x8min fast-steady with 2 min walk rest in between, .75 mile cool down.

My Garmin tells me that the fast paces were 8:45min/mi and the warm up/cool down was 11:28min/mi. I was actually shooting for ~9:15 for the fast paces so I guess I got a little over zealous. The knee held up well which gave me some much needed confidence for the upcoming half marathon.

My appt with the orthopedic is later this morning. I made the appt a month ago when it was swollen, sore, and making crunching noises; this is the soonest they could see me. Frustrating!! I thought about cancelling, but I think I'll take the opportunity to at least tell them what *was* going on and see if they have any insight.

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Weekend Highlights

Friday afternoon dermatology appt was interesting. He had me change out my shampoo, conditioner, soap, lotion, sunscreen to some super hypoallergenic stuff that you can't just pick up at the local store. My laundry detergent was on the approved list, but I had to remove the oxyclean. It's only been a few days and my skin is noticably better. Yay! Once the dry rashy itchy stuff is all cleared up, we'll try to figure out which of these products is/are the culprit.

Son's marching band performance was awesome Friday night, and was even better at the competition Saturday afternoon. It brought tears to my eyes. We had to leave before awards due to our hectic schedule for the day. What a bummer because they took first place in their division. Woot! Moving onto another competition next weekend.

Dropped off Daughter at her friends house so they could get all dolled up for Homecoming dance at friend's school. She must be studying in the school of Marcy bathroom shots, because this is the photo she sent to me when they were all ready to go. She's the one in the middle.

Son had rushed from Band competition back to school to prepare for the first show of the comedy troupe and that is where we went next. Parts of the show were quite funny, some parts I didn't "get" (guess it's a sign of my age). One of the sketches that they performed was written by him. He seemed to really enjoy it and was comforable on stage. Next performance is in January.

Our church is leaving the rented space and going portable for the foreseeable future. We'll be meeting in an elementary school. This means unloading before the service and reloading after the service into a large trailer. It's going to be "interesting." We had a practice portable service today and it seemed to go pretty well.

Admittedly, taking a nap wasn't on my schedule, but I was exhausted this afternoon and did just that. It was probably a good thing, because things are slowing down for me anytime soon...

Friday, October 3, 2008

Reflections from a Nine Mile Run

I feel so blessed to live in a place where I can head out my door and enjoy a peaceful, serene run.

Before I hit mile one, I'm out on the trail, following the ditch bank, and encountering everything that this rural residential village in New Mexico has to offer.

I grew up in Toledo, Ohio. It's a lot different there than it is here. Lots of houses. Tall trees and grass. Grey skies. More traffic. People are always seem to be in a hurry.

I wasn't a runner back then, but even if I was. I surely wouldn't find myself face-to-face with a llama out on a run, that's for sure.

I love running on the ditch bank. For one thing, the sand is nicer to my body than pavement. But I also enjoy watching the changes during the seasons.

The ditch doesn't always have water in it, but it does this time of year. It was a treat to find ducks swimming in it today.

When we first moved out here it was culture shock in many ways. My first impressions of New Mexico were blue skies that went on forever and the friendliest people I have ever met.

It took a while to get accustomed to the sand and gravel and lack of grass, but it quickly grew on me.

It seems like I always have to stop at least once on my long runs to let a horse go by. Today was no exception. In fact, I had to stop twice.

Not that it mattered that much to me. I'm never one to pass up the opportunity for a walk break especially if I happen to find a shady spot.

We don't get much color in the autumn, most plants and the leaves on the native trees turn yellow. I do miss the rich colors of autumn leaves back home.

I can't think of any activity that's better for both my mind and body than running. And what a great place to live for doing just that.