Thursday, April 30, 2009

And about running

Had a good run Tuesday thanks to a run buddy and a pace bunny. Plan was 12 min warm up, 9 min 10:30 pace, 8 min 10:20 pace, 12 min cool down. Pace bunny put us at 12 min 10:55, 9 min 10:30, 8 min 10:15, 12 min 10:45. Mission accomplished.

Yesterday I was scheduled for 2 miles easy as a warm up to cross traininng. I wasn't in the mood for cross training. I decided on a route that took me up a hill. That's not necessarily easy, but I did keep my pace in check (12:20). It was just one of those days when I needed to conquer the hill. An analogy to life, hills aren't fun when we're faced with them, but they do make us stronger.

As explained in my last post, my blogging may be hit and miss and comments few and far between for the next few weeks - I've got some hills to conquer.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

MIA - An explanation

My father's health has deteriorated significantly. I spoke with him briefly this afternoon and he's asked to see me. Will be travelling later next week.

Family history is complicated. I really don't want to get into the details, but just know that this is not an easy time for me on more levels than are evident on the surface.

Prayers appreciated - I need guidance and peace.

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Training update

Thursday evening, I ran with one of my new run buddies. There are actually two new people in the group that run a pace similar to mine. Only one was there on Thursday. We did 4 miles in about 41:40 which works out to a 10:25 pace. It was a good partnership. I was trying to move a bit faster, the run buddy was trying to run without stopping. We pushed each other along and it was a win-win.

Friday morning I had an appt with Trainer. Lately he's been working my upper body hard. In a way that causes sore muscles (in a good way) the next day. Friday was no exception. Owie my arms!

Saturday morning I was scheduled to run six with my run buddies. The plan was to run 4 miles easy, then pick it up for the last two miles and run those at a 10:20-10:30 pace. We agreed that if anyone couldn't keep up for the last two miles, the others could leave them behind at that point. We also planned to walk about a half mile afterwards as a cool down.

Let's just didn't quite go as planned.

I'll start with the good stuff. I'm very happy with my 'easy' pace for miles 1-4. Those came in at about 11:15 average. If that's my new easy pace, I'll take it! Plus it was awesome having *two* run buddies during that time. And I'd be remiss not to mention that I was running without pain; that's always a good thing.

Now the not so good stuff. When it came time to pick up the pace, one of the run biddies did a great job and surged on ahead. The other stayed back and was just going to maintain an easy pace. As for me, I tried to pick up the pace, but to no avail. I hit the target pace for about a half mile, but was really struggling. Not fun.

So I changed strategy. I slowed down so the other run buddy could catch up. We decided to make the final mile enjoyable and took a walk break when we hit a shady spot. There was no shade on the trail and it was taking a toll on both of us. Next week, she wants to show me a different loop with some trees. Sounds good to me!

Here's what Garmin says:

mile 1 - 11:01
mile 2 - 11:15
mile 3 - 11:12
mile 4 - 11:26
mile 5 - 11:03 (half mile at 10:20, the other half at 11:25)
mile 6 - 13:33 (includes walk break)

Today is a scheduled rest day, although I might do some yoga later this afternoon. I could use the stretch.

Enjoy the rest of your weekend folks!!

Friday, April 24, 2009

Quick Catch Up Post

My internet has been up and down and down some more lately. We've been trouble shooting, think we've figured it out, and hope to have it working this weekend. Until then, a short post.

* I seem to have a run buddy in my run club for now - someone who runs a pace close to mine. Happy happy! Makes it so much more enjoyable.

* Son's traffic court date was yesterday. He showed the receipt that we had it fixed the day after the citation. They inspected the vehicle, dismissed the citation, and excused us from court. In the end, a good result - no fine or ticket on his record.

* My car search is progressing. I'm narrowing down to a few vehicles and feel less overwhelmed. None are "perfect" and meet all my criterica, but a few are close. Hope to finalize on this soon.

* Taking the early May 10K off my race calendar was a good decision. My outlook changed for the better almost immediately. The Dash-Splash-Push was good for me too. Definately low pressure, high fun. Get this - I've discovered new local Splash & Dash race series. Not sure if any of the events are going to work with my schedule, but it sure sounds like a lot of fun to me.

Have a great weekend everyone. I hope to catch up with you all soon - I'm having blog withdrawl!

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Dash-Splash-Push Race Report

Hubby and I stopped over at the JCC on Saturday for packet pickup. Packet consisted of a technical t (nice!), race number, 2 week pass to the JCC, and some info on personal training.

While picking up the packet, I learned a few things about the event:
1) That it was a smaller field than expected, so they would have everyone start at one time, vs two waves. No problem.
2) Due to the recent inclement weather, the pushups would be inside in the gym instead of outside by the pool. I guess I always expected them to be inside, but I was glad to find out that we weren't going to be doing them outside in the cold after getting out of the water.

Spent a little time planning what to bring/wear and packed up my new Turtle Club bag. Isn't it the cutest thing? One of the ladies in my run club made these for the returning members from last year. How could that not put a smile on my face? I just love it!

Fast forward to this morning. Arrived at the JCC at about 7:20, got body marked, and made my way to transition area. I had been wondering what transition would look like for such an event. As it turns out, there were rows of chairs eached marked with a race number. Here's mine all set to go.

There was a quick athlete's meeting to explain the run course, etc. We congregated in the parking lot and started with a count of "3-2-1 Go!"

The run course was mostly off road on some dirt along side of an arroyo. The out portion was uphill toward the mountains. Aye carumba! I had been expecting a flat course, but instead we had an uphill climb for about one mile. I was able to pass a few fellow back-of-the-packers who stopped to walk the uphill portion. Thank you, hill repeats.

What comes up must come down, so that meant downhill after we turned. Ahhhh. Much nicer. Then we ran through the the parking lot and around a grassy field and were done.

I don't know how well I did with capturing splits with my watch, but my watch says 30:22 for the run. Bleh. I was hoping for something closer to 29:00. Oh well.

Off with the jacket, race number, hat, shoes, socks. On with the swim cap and goggles. And over to the pool. My watch says :38 for transition. Really?!? That surprises me in a good way. It felt slower because I struggled a little with my swim cap and shoes.

Hopped in the pool and started making my way up and back and over as directed. Passed one person in the first lane. Passed another in lane three. Passed one more in lane five. Sweet!

My watch says 6:39 for the 300yd swim. This works out to 2:13 per 100. Not great, but not too shabby either. I'm happy with my swim.

At this point the time was stopped. My watch says 37:47, but the official time should be a little less because I stopped my watch after I got out of the water whereas they stopped it when I touched the ladder. In any event, I put in a good effort and was exhausted and breathing pretty hard when I was done.

But I wasn't quite done yet. Still had to get over to the push-up station. We had to 15 minutes from swim exit to do our pushups, otherwise the pushups wouldn't count. That was enough time to gather my belongings, put on some sweat pants, put on shoes and socks, and use the rest room.

The pushup station was a bit intimidating because we had to stand in line, watching others as they did their pushups. There were two lines. I picked a line that several women in it. And watched as they cranked out pushups. One lady did over 60! Holy smokes! As for me, I only managed 26 before collapsing. Oh well. That's not as many as I hoped for, but respectable enough not to be embarrassing.

Each pushup is worth 2 seconds, so those 26 pushups bought me 52 seconds, bringing my finish time down to 36:55 by my watch.

All in all, I'd have to say that this was a fun little event to mix things up and get re-energized. I'll definately consider doing this one again if they have it next year!

Enjoy the rest of your weekend, folks!

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Thinking out loud

You all had a lot of good comments to my last post (and I thank you!).

I think Vickie nailed it when she said "Maybe what you need a break from is competition. You still want to be fit and healthy, meaning you still want to exercise, but maybe the stress of everyday life and trying to fit in workouts to meet your goals is too much right now. Maybe a scaled back approach would work best for a while."

This car issue is consuming a lot of my attention and energy. When I figure out what I want to get and actually buy it, I will probably feel a lot less stressed. I'd love to be able to buy the first thing that met my criteria, but since I wasn't in the market for a new car until recently, I haven't figure out what my criteria are! I need a few weeks to figure that out and then which cars meet my needs. So this distraction isn't going away for awhile.

Meanwhile, the pressure of shooting for a 10K PR in early May is too much for me right now. And thinking of anything beyond that make me want to curl up in the fetal position.

So, how can I scale things back?

How about...doing the 5K instead, possibly with Daughter (almost convinced her). Yeah, that sounds better.

Oh, and I've had a run buddy the last two times I've run with group. That was nice. To top it off, I didn't bring my Garmin to my run on Tuesday. Less data + a run buddy = less pressure + more fun.

Final thought - even though the Dash-Splash-Push is just days away, I haven't been in the water for a few weeks, my back is still iffy, and my push-up progress is stalled - I'm not stressed at all about the event.

Why is that?

Maybe because it's a quirky little event and never seemed like something to take too seriously.

That's what I need in my life. Fun events that I don't take too seriously. Clearly, that's what keeps me happy.

Monday, April 13, 2009

anxious and confused and overwhelmed and unhappy...

My vehicle (which broke down twice within a week) is back in my possession, and I can tell something is still wrong with it. I have very little confidence that it won't break down again and am almost afraid to drive it.

I want this vehicle out of my life.

I've been doing some research and test driving various makes and models. Maybe it's just me, but this whole car buying process is making me anxious and confused and overwhelmed and unhappy.

I'm hoping for a fairy tale ending where I drive my vehicle to some dealer in the next few weeks, leave it with them, drive home in something new and reliable, and feel good about the whole situation.

But my reality has me driving my unreliable vehicle, hoping it doesn't break down again, while I try to make some sense out of the information that I have on the cars I'm interested in.

Meanwhile, my back is still not quite right.

I was scheduled to swim today, but i didn't feel like getting up early nor do I think that will be the best thing for my back. Instead, I managed to rau two miles on the treadmill. It was okay - not great.

Dash-Splash-Push is on Sunday. I had really been looking forward to it, but now I'm feeling fairly indifferent about it. Run for the Zoo is about three weeks out. I was hoping to PR, but instead I'm horribly under trained. Bleh.

This whole runing and multi-sport thing started out as something fun that made me happy and kept me healthy. But lately, it's just another aspect of my life that leaves me feeling anxious and confused and overwhelmed and unhappy.

Talked to Coach today and he thinks I need a break.

He might be right. Need to do some soul searching...

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Back Progress

My back was feeling much much better by Wednesday, but still not 100%. I went to the gym Thursday and did some strength work, being careful to guard my back and tried running one mile on the treadmill.

The running experiment was disappointing, my back felt worse and worse and the little test run went on. Conclusion - the Sore No More is awesome with regard to pain management, but it isn't solving the root cause of the problem. I need to be careful not to re-injure my back. It needs more time to heal.

On Friday, I had an appt with Trainer guy. He spent the whole time "torturing" me with stretches and exercises that were aimed at improving my back. While I'll admit that I felt much better after leaving, the experience was right up there with the first time he came after me with that evil foam roller. Yeeeouch!

I also went to the chiropractor. I didn't go earlier in the week because my car died AGAIN and spent most of the week in the shop.

So my plan for today is 4-6 miles EASY - a run/walk is okay. Unfortunately, it is currently rainy, windy, and cold. At the moment, it is not inspiring me to get up off my rear and get running.

Edit to add - Well, I did it. I got out and "ran" 4.25 miles easy in the rain. 6 miles 11:10 min/mi pace was on my schedule, but that wasn't going to happen. Figured it was better to under-do than over-do

mile 1 - 12:00
mile 2 - 12:33
mile 3 - 12:20
mile 4 - 12:30
last .25 - 10:19

Mood - Discouraged.

Friday, April 10, 2009

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

"Sore No More"

[Thanks for the well wishes. And sorry for being such a grump for the last few posts. I try to keep a positive outlook, but sometimes life gets the best of me.]

Sometime last year or the year before, Husband & I found samples of Sore No More in our race packets. We held onto them for some time, and both tried it out for muscle pain of some sort or the other. Liked it well enough to buy an 8 oz pump bottle.

I had forgotten all about it until yesterday when I was doing the my-back-is-killing-me walk past the counter where the Sore No More was sitting. I decided to massage some into my back.

Either it is coincidence or this stuff is nothing short of amazing. By lunch time I felt good enough to pop in my Ultimate Stretch Yoa DVD and do set 1 (lots of gentle back stretches which also seemed to help). And this morning I'm standing up straight and will be heading into work shortly.

No, this is not a paid endorsement. I'm just a pleased customer; this worked wonders on my back pain. Apparently, you can get three "free" sample packets for $1 shipping. Go check out the website if you are interested.

Anyway, my outlook has changed from yesterday. I now think it will be only a matter of a few days before I'm back at it in full force.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

The best laid plans...

Dash-Splash-Push is in Twelve Days. 3 Mile run, 300 Yd swim, all the consecutive competitive judged pushups one can muster. Four weeks later, I'm hoping for a PR at the Run For the Zoo 10K.

This is supposed to be my peak training week, with one week "taper" which mostly means that I wouldn't be moving on to week 6 of the push-up challenge (would hang onto whatever day I got to previously and repeat) and wouldn't be doing hills or speed work the Thursday before the race. Up until now, I'd say my training has been going well for Dash-Splash-Push, but not quite as well for positioning myself for a 10K PR four weeks later.

Until this weekend, that is. At that point everything began to unravel.

From my last post, you see that I missed my long run this weekend. I also didn't start my pushups for the week. Nor did I swim.

No cause for panic. Stuff happens, right?

Sure, but yesterday morning I started having back spasms. Ever have those? To say they suck is an understatement. I could barely move. My assumption is that this is related to pushing that darn car. I knew I needed to use my legs, but at some point, I probably strained my back.

I stayed home from work. Called into a few very important meetings, but otherwise spent the day stretching, using ice, ibuprophen, moist heat, and whatever tricks I could find to try to get my back to calm down. This was so that I could do simple thing, you know, like getting up to go to the bathroom. Nice, huh?

Today my back is better (no spasms), but not good (hurts like crazy). I'm going to work from home again and might try going to the chiropractor.

There is no way I can run or swim or do pushups or go to the gym. And in fact, I'm wondering how long it will take to be able to do any of that stuff without back pain. I sure hope it's less than twelve days.


Sunday, April 5, 2009

Things That Make Me GRUMPY

funny pictures of cats with captions
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1) Going to the gym to sign up Daughter only to find out that she left her required ID at home.

2) Having keys made for two vehicles then discovering that the keys don't work.

3) Making another trip out to have keys remade

4) Having the car die while driving home from having keys remade

5) Pushing the car down the street and up the driveway after it died

6) Missing my Sat morning run to get car repaired

7) Being greeted with "Weren't you just in here?"

8) Crazy windy weather preventing me from making up my run in the afternoon

9) Being told that my Car was ready to be picked up - when it wasn't

10) Waiting at the shop after Son dropped me off on the way to pick up his Prom date - only to find out they couldn't finish all of the repairs and I have to bring it back in next weekend.

11) Paying for car repairs

12) Waiting up for Son to come home

13) Son missing curfew by an hour and fifteen minutes and not answering his phone

14) Not sleeping well.

15) Grounding Son in the morning - this is not what we wanted to do after all the excitment surrounding prom, but he was very clear on the agreement about when to be home and simply didn't think it was a big deal to be late - not acceptable.

I am due to start Week 1 D1 pushups, but I think I'll postpone that until tomorrow. I was also thinking of making up my run from yesterday today, but at the moment I think I'd be better off with a nap instead. Maybe after some rest I'll wake up HAPPY.

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Three for Thursday

Short post about three things on my mind.

First is that I actually make it through Week 4 pushups. Un-freaking-believable if you ask me. Week 5 starts for me on Sunday. It looks tough though, but the really scary week is week 6. Eek.

Second is that we did a 1 mile warm up then 8x20sec hill sprints, followed by 1.75 mile cool down today. I was secretly looking forward to the hill sprints all week. Oh my gosh, those were tough!
Here's where it is interesting to me. While I'm usually (as in I can't remember the last time when I wasn't) the last one in our group to come in on runs, I found myself solidly middle of the pack on the hill sprints. Interesting, no?

Third is that Daughter has asked for a gym membership. Taking her tomorrow (after lunch and pedicures) to get her signed up. We pay month to month, so it won't be a big deal if she decides it's not for her. But at the moment I am thrilled that she's interested in the possibiliity of becoming the Gym Princess.