Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Remaining Focussed

Had a 5 miler on tap yesterday after work. Coach reminded me to remain focussed on building endurance (vs speed) and remaining uninjured going into the Duke City. By my own definition, success is finishing strong, uninjured, and happy at whatever time it takes for me to complete the course.

With all of that in mind, my goal for this particular run was to achieve a negative split at the end even though the last mile is uphill. I wanted to practice finishing strong.

I ended up running a little over 5 miles. I did manage to run that last mile somewhat faster (and with a nice pick-up for the final bit). Not too shabby.

Edited to add elevation info: I feel even better about that last mile with the elevation profile in mind. Not sure if I was smiling then, but I am now. :-)

Looking ahead, the next week of my training schedule is scaring me. 5 miles again Thursday, 12 on Saturday, then 4 on Monday and 9 on Tuesday. Yikes! After that it gets much more reasonable as we wind down toward the race.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Just call me Suzie Homemaker

I mentioned the Linus quilts in my last post. I ended up completing 6 of them last weekend, as planned. Usually, I like to take more time and piece the tops, but the local linus chapter sent a message to long-time 'blanketeers' indicating that they are short on blankets, so I figured quick and easy was the way to go. Here is a photo of two of the six that I made this weekend:

While I was rooting around my fabric stash, I found some upholstery fabric that I had purchased to re-cover a glider rocker. I ended up giving the glider rocker away to a family in need before I re-covered it. Well, the bar stools in the kitchen have been in sorry shape for some time, so I am using the fabric for that. The one on the left is the one I finished yesterday evening. The one on the right is still in the 'before' stage:

I also found some motivation to start cleaning up the garage. We had purchased some plastic containers to put on shelves and get things organized, but they were still stacked up on the floor taking up space. It had been bugging me, but not enough for me to find time to do anything about it until this weekend. Behold garage shelving with containers to organize stuff:

Where does that leave me with training? Um. Let's just say I needed a couple 'rest' days and leave it at that.

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Saturday 7

1 - One tough lower body workout with Trainer yesterday. We have several new pieces of new equipment in the gym and I learned how to use

2 - Two sore legs due to #1 above and #7 below. Yeah, so maybe not the brightest idea to focus on new lower body exercies with the Trainer the day before my longish run. Ow. Ow. Ow. Ow. Ow.

3 - Three weeks to go before Duke City. I'm excited and nervous all at the same time.

4 - Four quick & easy blankets made for Project Linus this weekend so far. See if you don't know what this is all about. I'll do two more tomorrow and turn them in on Monday.

5 - Five cucumbers sliced for Gurken Salat to take to Oktoberfest party this evening. Yummmmy

6 - Monday is the end of the Sixth week of school for my kids. Can you believe that?!? Six weeks of this school year already over...

7 - Seven mile run this morning. Not pretty. But got it done.

Friday, September 25, 2009

Tale of Two Runs

In celebration of Fall and Running, RunningLaur gave us the option to complete a virtual 5K or a virtual 5 miler. Being the overachiever that I am (or maybe just because it corresponded nicely to my training) I did both.

The 5K happened Tuesday as part of my 4 mile run with a negative split at the end. Backing out the first .9 miles (no way I'm not counting that sweet split at the end) my 5K time was 31:15, an average 10:05 pace - awesome tempo pace. I'm quite pleased with that one

The 5 miler happened Thursday as of my 6 mile easy run (executed as Plan B after bailing when it was dark and cold and early). I hit the 5 mile mark in 59:05, a pace of 11:49 - once again spot on for my target pace for an easy run. FYI, mile 6 was about 12:10 on that uphill climb back home.

So there you have it, a 5K in 31:15 and a 5 miler in 59:05.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Plan B

Set the alarm for stupid o'clock so I could get in a 6 miler before work.

Dutifully got up when the alarm went off and checked the weather. 44 deg.

Hmmmm. So let me get this straight. It's dark, *and* early, *and* cold?!?!

Why is it exactly that I wanted to do this run in the morning? Seems a whole lot more sensible to run after work when it's not dark, not early, and not cold.

Plan B it is.

Back to bed. Ahhhhhh.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009


I achieved the elusive negative split on my 4 mile run this evening - quite an accomplishment for this queen of the ever slowing pace.

The graph is just too pretty not to share.

And that's all I have to say about that. :-)

Monday, September 21, 2009

Monday Miscellany

* Ran 4 miles nice and easy this morning. It was a beautiful autumn-like day. It was refreshing. ahhhhhh

* I changed out the stock insoles in my Saucony running shoes (courtesy of the giveaway from Wes) with sofsole custom inserts - the kind you heat up and mold to your feed - and I'm enjoying these shoes even more than before. Thanks again, Wes and

* I'm in much better spirits than last week. Healing is happening. Although I find that certain songs make me weepy. Had to skip several on my ipod this morning.

* Life with puppy in the family is going really well.

* My sister completed her first half marathon this weekend. Yay, sis!

* I (re)discovered Grape Crush this summer while on vacation and now I'm hooked. Weird because I've never been a soda drinker. Limiting myself to 3 per week and trying to savor them - nice and cold - and in bottles not cans.

* I've dropped 7 lbs total and now I'm stuck. I guess I should just be happy that I didn't gain week with the stress of the past few weeks.

That's all for now. Happy Monday - now there's an oxymoron if I've ever heard one!!

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Easing Back into It

Well, Thursday's group run was cancelled due to weather. Then I was a slug on Friday and did nothing at all that resembled exercise. This morning I was scheduled for a 10 mile run.

Got up, got ready, got to the meeting place on time, but somehow managed to leave my hydration at home on the kitchen counter. D'oh!

Without hydration, I decided to cut it short and do only 5 miles instead. Coach thought that was fine, given that I haven't run in 10 days or so, but also mentioned that the next two weeks are the most important. Translation - easing back into it is okay for today, but no more slacking off; Duke City is in one month.

Oh, and thx for the reminders. I did get us signed up Thursday evening. WoooHooo!!!

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Thursday Thoughts

I went on a 27 mile bike ride yesterday. Midway through the ride, I stopped and sat under a tree for a bit. It was a beautiful day to be outside.

I haven't run since last Tuesday. I find it interesting that I've chosen to cycle during this time. Perhaps it is because I can go farther on my bike, allowing me more of an escape.

I thought about running this morning, but it was raining. I stayed home and played with the dogs instead. I'll run with the group this evening assuming it doesn't get cancelled for thunder storms.

Today I am going back in to work. If I really needed to, I could take another day off. We've finished up everything that needed to be done right away and I'm feeling better, so I really do think it's time to get back to a more normal routine.

Duke City (the half marathon I've been training for) is in one month and I haven't signed up yet. I hope I remember to take care of that tonight. The registration fee goes up after tomorrow.

Oh, and puppy's name is Stymie. I think. At least that is what I put on his tag. It took us a month to settle on Bandit's name, so it is quite possible that it might change. But Stymie seems to suit him at the moment.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009


In the midst of the yucky stuff, I actually do have something to smile about.

Our family recently adopted a 5 month old puppy who was found along with his siblings in a construction yard under two tons of lumber.

Here he is with Daughter on the day we brought him home. Is that not the cutest little face?!?!

Things are going well. He's highly tolerant of our cats and gets along well with our older dog, Bandit. He's already crate trained and knows some basic commands. We haven't had any accidents in the house, but he definately needs to be supervised to keep him out of mischeif

By the looks of his feet, he's going to be a big boy. It's going to be quite an adventure!!

Monday, September 14, 2009

Need Sleep

Is it weird that on Friday, I went for a 19 mile bike ride right in the middle of all the chaos? Well, weird or not, that's what I did. I hopped on my bike with red puffy eyes and tears and told folks that I needed get out and clear my head. When I came back, I took care of the remaining paperwork that needed to be done that day.

Saturday morning was consumed with gathering info for the death certificate, writing the obituary, and arranging to have it published Sunday morning. In the late afternoon, I went to packet pickup for the Patriot. I got everything ready for the race the next morning unsure whether I would choose to do it or not.

Then I couldn't sleep. Even though I was exhausted, my mind just wouldn't stop. When the alarm went off, I realized that I had neither the energy nor the motivation to do the event. I was soooo tired. Went back to bed and eventually got some rest.

Last night was better, managed some sleep despite a few disturbances from our new puppy. I'll post more on him later.

This morning I found out that the Splash & Dash for next weekend has been cancelled. In the grand scheme of things, I know that it's really not a big deal, but right now, it's just such a huge disappointment to me.

Things are mostly worked out, but we still need to finalize some things. Waiting to hear back from the funeral home. Waiting to hear back from the cemetary. I'm not so good with waiting. It makes me anxious. And I still feel exhausted.

I hope to be back to a more normal routine by Wed or Thu. Whatever I choose to do until then will just be for me. Whether that means I hop on my bike or run or swim or take a much needed nap.

This experience is another reminder not to take races and training too seriously. Enjoy life. Celebrate your good health. And hug the ones you love.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Working through it

My sister and I have known for many months that our father’s time was short. What neither of us knew was how much it would affect us emotionally when it happened.

As it turns out, we make a good team. She was the stoic one making the difficult decisions in the beginning while I was breaking down. It began to get easier for me, and we worked together on decisions regarding the handling of his remains. Then her emotions kicked in. I took the lead and wrote the obituary.

There is more to be done in the coming days and weeks. We will each do what we can when we can and lean on each other when we can't. There will be no need to apologize for what either of us did or didn’t or could or couldn’t do. In the end, it will all be okay.

At this point, I am emotionally and physically exhausted. I'm unsure whether I will choose to participate in the Patriot Tri tomorrow or not. And that is okay too.

Please know that you've helped tremendously simply by letting me know that you care. Thank you.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

For every thing there is a season....

I got the first call while I was at work this morning. Dad hasn't been doing well since April, but this today was different. He was tired of fighting. He didn't want to do this anymore. He was asking if they could just give him something to make him comfortable. They tried to give him oxygen and he took off the mask. They were asking for the family to say it was okay. I didn't know what to say. Called my sister. She talked with the nurse. Satisfied that he was alert and well aware of what he was asking, she told them we were okay with it. We wanted to respect his wishes. I couldn't just sit there in my office crying. I packed up and left. Didn't tell anyone why I was leaving. I wondered if it was normal to start the greiving process while someone was still alive. I cried. Then I just waited. About eight hours after the first call, came the second. Dad had passed away. Now they want to know what to do with the body. Again, I don't know what to say. I called my sister. She says she'll take care of it. And she'll call me back later. I'm sick of crying. My eyes hurt. My head hurts. Everything about this just sucks.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Tuesday Two-fer

I've been running without a schedule from coach for the first week of this month (guess the whole getting married thing took priority for the past few weeks), so I was basing it off what I've been doing in August.

Tuesday, I went out for a 5 mile run. When I came home, I realized that coach had emailed my schedule Monday evening - i just hadn't seen it yet. Five miles isn't exactly what I was supposed to do, but close enough.

In my last post I mentioned wanting to switch out my front tire. I did go out to Performance Monday afternoon and picked up a new tire for the front. I also got some ultra gatorskins for my commuter bike. When I got home, I promptl put the fresh tire on front. Then I decided to clean and lube the chain. And clean up the bike in general. I'll work on the commuter some other time.

Why mention this? Well, Tuesday evening is when the running group meets. I had already run in the morning, but I wanted to test out the new tire, etc. I hopped on and rode over to the meeting spot. Chatted a bit, then rode home. It was only 10.0 miles round trip, but every little bit helps my confidence that much more.

Today is scheduled as rest or cross training. I think I'm actually going to rest. Tomorrow is another run day, and Friday (also scheduled as rest or cross training) I'm planning to work with the Trainer and go for a bike ride with a friend. I'll rest again on Saturday, as the Patriot is Sunday morning.

p.s. Is it just me, or was it really weird to have Monday off and then start the week on a Tuesday? I was confused all day...

Monday, September 7, 2009

Labor Day Bike Ride

Got to spend this morning with my favorite riding partner. What a great way to enjoy a day off work.

But before I get too far ahead of myself, guess who had to deal with a flat front tire before even leaving the house?! You guessed it. The flat saga continues. This time the front of my LeMond.

I replaced the tube and would have been happier to replace the tire as well, but I don't have any more on hand. I'm thinking about making a trip over to Performance this afternoon so that I can get a fresh tire on front before the race next weekend.

It was a beautiful day and we rode from our house to the Bosque trail and down to a nice shady rest spot. Had a snack, then turned around and rode back home.

Bike computer says it was 27.6 miles round trip. Add that to the 15.5 on Friday and I've already ridden more in the first week of September than I did in the entire month of August.

Sure, it's probably too little too late, but still a confidence booster for the Patriot which is now 6 days away (Eeek!)

Happy Labor Day!!

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Fun Stuff

Friday I cycled to the gym, had a good upper body workout with the Trainer, and cycled home. But before heading home, I did a few hill repeats on my bike. I didn't put in a lot of distance, but the hills were tough and I felt that it was a good workout overall.

Saturday morning, I was scheduled to run long. Broke it down into three segments. First was chasing Husband & Bandit up and down a hill (2 miles). Short break to get the dog put back in the house and then Husband & I were off for a trail run (5.5 miles). That was enough for him, but I wanted some more distance on my legs, so I added one extra out and back (2.0 miles). When it was all said and done, I had gone 9.5 miles. Not bad.

The big excitement for the day was Coach's wedding. We got cleaned up and made it down town for a very New Mexican wedding (mariachi band and everything). The dinner reception was much later, so we had a few hours to rest at home before heading out for the evening festivities.

The beautiful bride, groom,and wedding party at the reception. I love the colors she chose!

Husband & I - bet you didn't know we cleaned up so well, did you?!?

This last photo has all the members of my running group. Most of us have never seen each other in anything other than sweaty running clothes. It was wild to see everyone all dressed up!

Not sure why (we really didn't stay at the reception very late) but I totally slept in this morning. Not going to worry about it too much though. Still hoping for a bike ride with Husband tomorrow since we have the day off.
Enjoy the rest of your weekend, folks!

Thursday, September 3, 2009


I am now 10 days out from the Patriot Sprint Tri. The web site describes the course as follows:

"Seeded serpentine style swim + 14 mile hilly bike ride + 5K hilly run. Run is partially on dirt roads."

For a short event, it's actually a tough little course. I would think that it would be wise for someone training for this to do a lot of hill work.

So....what has my week looked like from a workout perspective?

* Sunday - swim
* Monday - swim
* Tuesday - run (flat 4.1 mi)
* Wednesday - skipped bike ride (would have been hilly)
* Thursday - run (flat 5.2 mii)

Yeah. I'm not the role model for training wisely for this event. One might even go so far as to say that I'm going into it unprepared.

As such, I'm predicting that my experience with this race is going to SUCK.

If you are predicting anything else, I suggest you go back to the top of this post, re-read the course description and my pitiful training thus far. If you still predict something else, it may be wise for you to have your head examined.

What's on deck?

* Friday I truly hope that I find my self doing the cycle to the gym and back thing and then add a stand-alone bike loop on top of that. That will at least give me some hill practice.
* Long run Saturday.
* Swim Sunday
* Longish bike ride with Husband Monday (weather permitting).