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!