Saturday, December 22, 2012

Cold Weather Running

Met my running partner Friday morning for a 3 mile run.  It was cold and windy....24deg with a 18degF windchill factor.  As soon as I got out of the car she exclaimed, "What the H3LL were we thinking?!?"

I'll be honest, that's getting pretty close to my lower limit.  I usually won't go out if the temp/windchill is below 15deg.  What about you?  How cold is too cold for you?

Of course, as is usually the case, running was way better than not running
And when we were done we decided to meet again the next day, same time same place. So I guess it wasn't THAT bad.

Friday, December 14, 2012

Guess What I Did Today?!?

It's been roughly 7 weeks since my last run, but as of today I am cleared to try easy running. I thought I might aim for 1.5 miles, but ended up doing 2.0 and then walking a half mile cool down. My knee felt okay the entire time.  Woot!

I didn't go far, and I didn't go fast, but I got out there and it was fantastic.

Turned out to be a nice morning for it also.  It rained last night and the cloud cover kept the temperature warmer than usual for this time of year.

What a great way to kick off my weekend!

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

White Tea and Yoga

Hard to believe that I would blog about either one of these topics, much less both at once, but here we go!

White Tea - I've had and on/off relationship with tea where I go through phases of consistent tea drinking and then give tit p entirely.  When my kids were home at Thanksgiving, they were interested in sampling the various loose leaf teas that we have at home.  And this got me more interested in teas as well.  I decided to add to my collection and stumbled apon a discover that maybe you already knew, but white tea is especially good for your health, even more so than green tea!  And I had never even heard of white tea.  So I have one new white tea already and two more on the way.  I'm going to try to consume 3-4 cups of white tea per day at least 5 times per week for about 3 months and then report back on any positive effects that I notice.  Have any of you tried white tea?  What benefits did you notice?

Yoga - I'm actually on day 6 of my recommitment to yoga (via Kate Perry's Namaste Yoga DVDs - a collection of ~22 minutes episodes).  So far so good; I've done it every day for the past 6 days!  I'm actually really enjoying this particular yoga series and the length is just perfect for me even if the episodes are a bit challenging for my yoga-challenged self.  If I can continue to do this every day, that would rock.  However, just like the tea experiment, I'm actually just hoping to accomplish it 5 times per week for 3 months and report back on any positive effects that I notice. 
After Thoughts: 
  1. I figured at least one of you will wonder why it is that my goals to do something 5 times per week rather than every day?  Because it's something I think I can be successful at, whereas I'm almost certain that something will come up to keep me from doing it every single day, and when I start to feel like I'm failing, I tend to quit.  So I'm trying to set myself up for succses so that I will continue!  Also, by doing it for 3 months, it gives me something to focus on during the winter months. :-)
  2. And just because it's too exciting not to mention, I'm going to attempt my first run-walk post knee injections on Friday morning. T-3 days and counting!
  3. You can look up the health benefits of white tea yourself, but what caught my attention was the anti-bacterial/anti-viral properties and abundance of antioxidants

Saturday, December 8, 2012

Jingle Bell Run Spectator Summary

I ended up as a spectator while Husband ran the 5K.  He had a good race with a strong finish and I suspect an age group placing (I don't think there was anyone over 50 ahead of him, but I could be wrong).  He didn't want to stick around for awards though.  For the record, if it ever looks like *I* am going to place in my age group, I *will* stick around, but to each his own.

It was a beautiful day!  I took some photos with my phone.

The race was at a local park

There was a category to walk with a dog, but these folks actually brought a piglet!

This was at mile 1.  See the guy running in a Christmas Tree costume?!  Hahaha

Husband (in black & grey)  finishing strong and with good running form.

Our local chapter raised about $26.5K for the Arthritis Foundation.through this event this year.  I really wish I would have been able to run, but spectating was still fun.  I'm hoping for next year.

Friday, December 7, 2012

Namaste Yoga

I've decided to try to recommit to yoga and instead of doing long sessions less often, I will aim for shorter (20-25min) sessions more often.

The month got off to a bad start with my back spasm issues, but things are looking up now and yesterday I decided that I felt well enough to give it a go.

What I know about myself is that I need some sort of video or DVD to follow along with.  I wanted to try something different from what I've tried in the past and settled on Kate Potter's Namaste Yoga.  I've actually ordered the full Season 1 DVD set (13 episodes, each is about 22-24 minutes long - PERFECT) and found a few episodes online to follow along with while I wait for my DVDs to arrive.

I have sort of a love-hate relationship with yoga.  For one thing, I pretty much suck at it.  But it does make me feel better afterwards and I know that if I stick with it I will see improvements in flexibility and strength. I've failed in the past trying to do classes - travel time and the rigid schedule make it difficult and feeling like I have two left feet in a class full of graceful students doesn't help my motivation one bit.  I've also failed with longer DVD workouts, I seem to have a lot of trouble making time for them.  But these shorter sessions seem just right from a time perspective.

So far I'm two for two, but the real test will probably be whether or not I'm still doing it a few weeks from now.

I could use some yoga motivation.  If you are a yoga fan, please tell me about your favorite yoga classes, poses, style, DVDs, etc. If you aren't a yoga fan, if you have ideas on how to stick with it anyway, I'd be happy to hear about that as well.

p.s. From a knee perspective, I'm cleared to try easy running again one week from today!  Yippee!!

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Chiropractic Therapy

One the positive side, this latest back spasm issue is distracting me from the boredom of letting the injections heal my knee.  I can think of several alternatives that I would have preferred as distractions, but in life you get what you get.

In my adult life, I've been to three different chiropractors.  I really didn't like the first one very much, more of a traditional high impact chiropractic practice that was a little bit scary.  Really like the second one though, he did something more akin to ART and everything was low impact. I always felt better after seeing him and nothing he did was scary. Unfortunately, he has retired and is no longer in practice.  I then switched to someone who is somewhat in between in methods.  She is mostly low impact, not the same as my favorite chiropractor, but much better than the first one.

I had been going monthly for maintenance, but had to cancel my last appointment and simply forgot to follow up later.  With my favorite chiropractor, I never would forget to go.  Since I'm sort of ambivalent toward this one's particular methods, it had't been a priority for me to go.  As it turns out, I hadn't been to the chiropractor for several months when my back spasms hit.  Perhaps not getting regular adjustments may have been a contributing factor.

So I'm back again.  I've had appoints for Tuesday, Wednesday, and then again later today.  On Tuesday, she sent me to a physical therapist for electro-stimulation and heat for my back as well as percussive therapy after the adjustment.  I really didn't like how that stuff felt, but I do think it helped.  Yesterday, I just got an adjustment.  This morning my husband commented that I was standing up and walking with 'almost normal' posture.  That's quite an improvement from where I've been all week, so I think the chiropractic adjustments have helped.  

This afternoon I believe she wants to talk to me about setting up an appointment for getting therapeutic massage sometime next week as well.  I think that's a good idea as well.

I think I want to continue seeing a chiropractor on an ongoing basis, but she may not be the right one for me. I hate the thought of starting over with someone new though.  And with so many different chiropractors out there, it's not that easy to find the 'right' one.

How many of you have seen chiropractors?  Have you had good experiences, bad, or a mixed bag?

Oh, and to get closer to topic.  Husband is running a 5K on Saturday.  I'm thinking of either signing up to walk the 5K or signing up for the 2.5K walk that is happening at the same venue. Alternatively, I may just go and be a cheerleader for him.  It all depends on how I feel Saturday morning.  Whatever I do will likely involve race day registration.

Sunday, December 2, 2012

November by the numbers

Numbers for November
  • Knee injections: 3
  • Young adult children home for Thanksgiving: 2
  • Miles walked: 18.7
  • Miles run: 7.6
  • Pounds gained:  nada
  • Very low activity this month due to forced rest while getting the series of injections. That's all part of the healing process though.  I'm now past the worst of it and should be able to try easy running in about two weeks.
  • It was nice having both kids home for Thanksgiving.  They'll both be home for winter break as well.
Plans for December
  • Ease back into running in mid-December.  If I could get even something as small as 10 miles of running total this month, it would rock.  
  • Keep eating at bay.  Remember that maintaining weight is about calories in vs calories out and right now my calories out isn't as high as usual.
  • Start walking more now the the knee isn't a limiting factor.  I'd like to average at least 10 miles per week fitness walking (purposeful brisk walking, not casual walking).
  • Unfortunately, started the month off with back spasms.  If it isn't one thing it's another, geez!  Hopefully in another week or so all of this nonsense will be behind me and I'll be back to a normal routine.  
  • Try adding in yoga.  Long sessions have never worked well for me, but maybe 2-3 days per week for 20mins at a time would be a good goal.

Friday, November 23, 2012

Injections and insights

Well, it's the day after Thanksgiving.  While some of you were out for black Friday shopping, I was at the orthopedic office receiving my third and final injection. Admit it, you're jealous, aren't you?  ;-)

Now I wait.  I can try running again in three weeks.  From past experience, it takes 5-6 weeks before running is okay though.  Also, in 6 weeks, if my knee is pain-free, this will have been considered a success and I'll have another 6-9 months before needing to head back for another round.  If, however, I'm still having knee pain, I need to go back and try something else.  It's worked well for me in the past, and the condition with my knee is progressing very slowly. I have confidence that it will be successful again.

My husband went for a run this afternoon and my son (home for the holiday weekend) went yesterday.  I suggested to my husband that he ask our son if he wanted to join him when he went out.  "I'm not a social runner" was his reply.  I realized that we are really different in that regard. In contrast to him, I am *totally* a social runner.  I would never pass up an opportunity to run with someone vs. running alone.  In fact, these days I actually find that I have a hard time getting motivated for a run when I don't have someone to run with.

How about you?  Are you a social runner or not?

I found it interesting that my son mentioned something about how running releases "happy chemicals" in your brain (he was relaying conversations he's had some somebody studying cognitive-neuroscience or something like that).  That's something I know all too well, and I've been missing those "happy chemicals" for a few weeks already.  *sigh*

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Knee Update

Well, I had my appt with the orthopedic on Friday.  The good news is that the situation with my knee is progressing slowly.  It seems like the injections will work for me for quite some time (not at all close to needing surgery, for example).  The injections require insurance pre-authorization, which they were able to get by phone while I was there, so I was able to get started right away.  Two more appts one week a part and I'll be done for another 9-10 months or so.

The less good news is that I can't run during this time.  I need to wait at least 3 weeks after the last injection. From past experience, running may be uncomfortable until 6 weeks past the last injection.  But all-in-all, this really isn't a bad time to take a break anyway.

Not sure how much blogging I will do. I find that when I'm not running, I'm not all that interested in blogging. But I do expect to be back in full force when I'm back on the trail.

Sunday, November 4, 2012

October Summary


  • One 10K race resulting in one 10K PR
  • Zero cycling.  Oops.
  • 23.5 miles fitness walking
  • 47.4 miles running
  • One early voting ballot completed
  • One post-running-group-season surprise baby shower attended. 
  • Meant to do a half-century in November, but haven't been on my bike since August so obviously it didn't happen
  • Happy that the 10K resulted in a personal best.  
  • I essentially stopped running for the remainder of October after the 10K race.  This is because I'm having problems with my knee and I'm trying not to make it worse.   
  • I'm only counting walking as "fitness walking" if it is at a brisk pace.  Any walking at a leisurely pace isn't getting included in my numbers at the moment.  This is mostly because my running is down and I'm more conscious of the walking that gets my heart rate up.  When my running goes back up again, I'll be more lax in what I include in the walking numbers.
  • Transitioning back to work after 8 weeks off was not a lot of fun.
  • Appt with the orthopedic this coming Friday.  Hoping to set up another series of Euflexxa injections beginning sometime around Thanksgiving.
  • Not sure how much running I can do over this next month, goal is to get in a decent amount of fitness walking, 1-2 miles each day at a brisk pace.  As it turns out, my dogs are great fitness walking partners; they never turn down the opportunity for a walk and are quite happy with a brisk pace. 
  • While I'm trying very hard to "do the right thing" and not run on a bad knee, I'm finding the lack of running is having a negative impact on my overall mood and stress level.  I ended up running easy on Friday and Saturday and it helped my mood a lot.  So maybe I need some short easy runs just to stay sane.  I hope I'm not the *only* one who feels like I'm teetering on the edge of sanity when I can't run.
[After Thought:  I've been trying to learn more about the physiology behind how running affects mood.  Apparently there is some research that it can affect levels of neurotransmitters such as dopamine, setotonin, and noraepinephine.  Interesting.  Very interesting indeed]

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Duke City 10K Race Report

The Good

  • Ran this race with my two favorite runners: my running partner & my husband.
  • Started and finished the race next to my running partner.  
  • The technical long sleeve shirt is pretty nice.
  • For once, I didn't go out too fast or slow down too much over time.  Ran fairly steady.
  • My Garmin says I ran a 9:44 pace.  
  • Husband did better than he expected this morning.
  • Finished 10 of 40 in my Age Group.
  • By all counts, a achieved a 10K PR!  So did my running partner!

The Bad

  • My running partner had to stop and use the port-a-potties about 2 miles in.  It took awhile for her to catch back up to me, but she did.  I didn't like running those middle miles without her.  
  • It was really crowded at the beginning.
  • It was pretty crowded in the middle too.  For part of it we were running on a narrow path and I had to go off the path and run on dirt to get around some folks that were blocking in front of me.  
  • My running group had a relay team doing the full marathon, but we didn't see any of them.  
  • My official time seems messed up.  I stopped my Garmin at 01:01:20, but I was fairly sure it was closer to 01:01:15 when I crossed the line (I didn't stop to turn it off right away).  My running partner, who started and finished next to me has an official time of 01:01:16, mine is listed at 01:01:32?!?!  Only thing I can figure is that my chip didn't register when we crossed the start line and hers did.  16 sec is about how long it took from gun to start. For what it's worth, I'm recording it as 01:01:16 on my sidebar, because I know how fast I ran and if I want to aim for a *new* PB after today, that is the time I need to beat, not 01:01:32!

The Ugly

  • My mood.  I went from elated to have a PB to ticked off that my official time seems messed up. For some reason those 16 extra seconds are *really* bug me and I'm having a hard time shaking it.

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Change of seasons

This weekend it got cold enough that we decided it was time to hook up the furnace.  Strange thing living here in NM, at least in our house, we need to decide if we want the cooler hooked up or the furnace.  Can't have both.  I also needed to pull out my winter running gear.  It was 32 deg at the start of  my run Saturday morning.

This coming weekend is the Duke City Marathon.  They also have a half marathon, 10K, and 5K.  I'm running the 10K.  Several folks in our running group are doing the marathon relay.  We have a couple running the half.  I don't think anyone is doing the full this year.  This race signifies the end of our running group's season.  We'll take a break as a group and reconvene at the end of February.  Some of us run during the winter, some don't.

I'd like to keep running, but my knee has been bothering me enough that I think I'll take a break starting after the race until I've completed the series of injections and get the clear to run again.  Maybe this time I'll keep some momentum alive with walking and swimming.  Or not.  Guess time will tell.

But as for this week, I've still got a few more training runs.  Packet pick-up Saturday.  And going after a 10K PR on Sunday.

Sunday, October 7, 2012

My 15 Sec of Fame

While I was in Italy, I got several emails from friends asking if I had seen the latest issue of our local fitness magazine; apparently my photo was in it. Well, someone saved one for me.

My 15 sec of fame consists of a "see-me-orange" shirt with crazy arm warmers and a totally cheesy pose while everyone else is beaming sincere smiles.

Because, you know, I'm classy like that.

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Sept Tally


  • 15 Travel Days
  • 40.5 miles run
  • 67.1 miles walked
  • 1 race (15K)
  • 11 days ill
  • 0 days working


  • Overall, a great month except for getting sick.  
  • I got some decent running volume in given that I was gone half the month. I also did a *lot* of walking.  I didn't even capture it all!


  • Sabbatical is over and I'm back to work.  I need to transition back to work and get reengaged in meaningful projects.
  • One thing that may not be evident from the numbers is that my knee is bothering me again.  It's been about 10 months since I got injections, that's not bad.  Going back to the orthopedic on Nov 9th and hope to get started on injections again by about Thanksgiving.  The plan between now and then is to run until/unless my knee bothers me too much.  It seems to be okay on flat dirt surfaces, so that's what I'm running on.
  • Planning to sign up for Duke City 10K this weekend. The race in in about 2.5 weeks.

Monday, October 1, 2012

Hot Choc 15K Race Report


I explained my poor excuse for race prep in this post as well as gave estimates for finish times.  In summary, I didn't train properly for this race due to a trip to Italy and also was recovering slowly from some sort of upper respiratory ick. The plan was to start at the beginning, run to the finish, and consume chocolate.  A plan so easy, even *I* couldn't mess it up.


Husband has also been recovering from the ick, but he was about 4 days behind me on it.  He wasn't sure if he was going to run or sit it out.  He decided to run, in retrospect, probably not the best decision.  We met my running partner on this side of town so she could carpool with us.  We got the the site early enough to watch the 5K runners start.  We were also able to find all of our friends who were running and bid them well wishes.  Since we were all running, nobody had a camera.  But trust me, we were able to meet up with everyone intended.  Yay.

The plan was for my running partner and I to run together.  With the caveat that it was okay to split up if someone was feeling really good and really wanted to speed up or really sluggish and needed to fall back. We work well as a team, but always give each other an out.

Miles 1-4:

I was feeling really good and we were running strong, with a pace of ~10min/mi.  At that point, it almost felt like we might be able to keep that up throughout the race, but I guess it was too good to be true.

Miles 5-7:

Reality started to set in.  It became clear that we couldn't keep up that pace for the full duration of the race, and we slowed down to a pace closer to 10:30ish.  This was still good, as it was our original target pace for the race knowing that we weren't going to be training correctly.

Oh, the hot chocolate RV was near the 5 mile point with music blaring and lots of cheering going on.  I appreciated that.

Miles 8-9.4:

This is where the wheels fell off the bus, at least for me.  I told my running partner to go on without me.  I slowed down quite a bit to a more comfortable pace.  During this time, I made friends with another lady on the course that seemed to be running my same pace so we ran together from there.

About a half mile from the finish line, I saw Husband.  I asked him how he did and he responded that he hadn't finished yet. What?!?  Rut roh!  I guess he started having problems at the 10K point due to the bronchitis(?) or whatever that he was getting over and started walking.

However, he felt good enough to run with me and my new friend at our slowed pace so we ended up finishing together. I was the last of my run friends to finish, so they were all cheering for us at the finish line.  That's one of the benefits of having fast friends! The kicker, my official finish time ended up being 01:38:01, essentially my original target time!  Woot!

Post Race:

Much chocolate consumed.

Husband wasn't feeling very well, so we sat and rested for a bit.  After resting, we
met up with all of our run group friends and did a little post race shopping. They had women's shirts, but I liked this grey long-sleeve men's technical shirt and got it in a size small.

I now also have the jacket (very nice) as well as the brown and white running hats (technical). I'll be sporting the hot chocolate race stuff for awhile it seems.  What can I say, it was a fun race.


I would definitely like to do this again if they come back to Albuquerque, this time training properly!  The race was fun, the promotional event during the summer was fun, the SWAG (jacket and hat) was great, the finishers mug of chocolate was yummy.  I wasn't a huge fan of the course; I counted 31 turns over the 15K route, but it must have been marked well because nobody got lost.

Overall, I'm pleased.

Saturday, September 29, 2012

Mission Accomplished

Official Time:  01:38:01.  Much chocolate consumed at finish line.

(Check my previous post to understand where that fit within my estimates.  Race report later.  Too exhausted now).

Friday, September 28, 2012

The Plan

Hot Choc 15K is tomorrow.  Let's review the situation.  My last LONG run was over three weeks ago.  I didn't run the entire time we were in Italy.  I'm still getting over whatever upper respiratory virus decided to infect my body.  I AM feeling well enough to run now and I even tested it out with a few short runs.  My legs are good.  My breathing, not so much.

So here's the plan:
  • Start at the beginning
  • Put one foot in front of the other until reaching the finish line
  • Consume chocolate
So simple, even *I* shouldn't be able to mess it up, right?!?

Here are some estimated finish times.  Under the circumstances, I honestly don't have any time goals, this is just a range of times that seem to be within the realm of possibility.
  • Our original target time:  ~01:38:00
  • Most likely time given the circumstances: ~01:50:00
  • If a miracle occurs, and I feel fantastic tomorrow: ~01:30:00
Husband picked up our packets for us yesterday.  We were one of the first 1000 to sign up, so we got a hat in addition to the jacket.  

I already had the brown hat from the promotional event that they did a few months ago and asked him to see if he could get the white hat instead.  And as you can see, he did.  SCORE!

Here's hoping 3610 is a lucky number for getting to the finish line without coughing up a lung.  Hot Chocolate Run, here I come!!

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Yeah, so THAT didn't happen

Remember the 7 miles I said I was going to run today?  Well, the ick that I caught while I was in Italy has worked it's way from my throat to my sinuses and now to my lungs.  Maybe if I feel better tomorrow I will try a 4 mile run.  Or maybe I'll just show up Saturday and let the 15K be the first I've run in 3 weeks.  Or maybe I'll be too sick to show up.  At this point, I really have no idea what's going to happen. *sigh*

Here are a few photos from Rome.  I was feeling miserable while we were there, so I really wasn't able to enjoy it as much as I should/could have.  Still, we did a fair bit of walking and saw a lot of stuff.

Crazy traffic near the Vittoria Emmanuel Memorial

The Roman Colosseum

Michelangelo's Peita at St. Mark's Basilica

P.S. - Sorry that I haven't been commenting on many of your blogs lately.  I promise to be back to reading and commenting more regularly when I am back to running more regularly.  

Monday, September 24, 2012

Back (what, you didn't know I was gone?)

Was on a little adventure to Italy for 12 days.  Here are just a few photos from the first two parts of our journey, Venice and Florence.  Will post some from Rome later; I just haven't sorted through those yet.
Italy is all about fashion, even the pigeons are pretty

Colorful houses of Burano

Flower pots on a window sill

The Duomo

Ponte Vecchio

The view from our hotel room in Venice

Ended up getting some sort of upper respiratory infection when I was in Rome, and still feel kind of icky.  Mark ended up getting it too.  The running plan is to try to do 7 miles tomorrow.  Then maybe 3 or 4 on Thursday.  The 15K is on Saturday.  It's going to be "interesting"

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Under Trained

At this point I am resigning myself to the fact that I will be going into the Hot Chocolate 15K under trained.   I was hoping to have a chance for a long run over the weekend. . It didn't happen, and it's not going to happen before the race at the end of the month either. I have completed a few runs though, just nothing over the 4-5 mile range.  And while I expect to do a lot of walking over the next few weeks, there's no running in my short term future.

What is it that they say?  Better under trained than over trained?  I sure hope that turns out to be true!

Friday, September 7, 2012

Running Update and a Few Photos from Kauai

Running:  Over the past week and a half, I've run only 4 times.  Three runs in the 4-5 mile range and one that was cut short at 1.5 miles due to knee pain.  My knee was really bothering me in Kauai, I wonder if there might be some relation to the lower altitude, higher air pressure?  Feels better now that we're home and back at a mile above sea level.  I've also been having some back issues.  I have a short run planned today and hope that the whole body cooperates.

Photos:  Thought I would share a few photos from our trip to the beautiful island of Kauai. We stayed on the north shore, which is the most scenic part of the island but also the wettest. I'm already trying to figure out when we might be able to return.

Sunset the night we arrived

Flip Flops on the beach

Tunnels Beach - awesome snorkeling

Sailboat off Pu'u Poa beach

A sign in Hanalei

My fav photo - Husband at 'Anini Beach

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

August Tally

  • Walk - 29.9 miles
  • Run - 49.9 miles
  • Bike - 85.0 miles
  • Swim - 2800 meters
  • Events - 2 ("Accidental" 5K, Reverse Sprint Triathlon) 
  • Trips - 2 (Indianapolis/Toledo & Kauai)

  • Given that I was out of town for about two weeks, these numbers are pretty good.
  • Had a blast at the Live.Love.Tri, it's by far my favorite event.  Also, getting an AG award at an "accidental" 5K was a pleasant surprise.


  • One more trip planned, probably won't be able to run at all during this next one
  • Hot Chocolate 15K at end of month.  Training for this is going to be "interesting"

Monday, August 27, 2012

Live.Love.Tri Race Report


This is my second year doing this all-women triathlon.  It's a reverse sprint with a serpentine pool swim at the end.  The run is hilly and partly off road.  The bike is also hilly.  It's a local race, taking place about 10 miles from my house.  A few posts back, I wrote "I think the run will be slower and the swim and be roughly the same.  If I'm going to see improvement anywhere, it would be on the bike..."

Packet Pickup

Packet pickup was the day before at REI.  Last year I was in the first wave, that time they seemed to assign waves by sign-up date. I was curious what wave I'd end up in this time, thinking that they may have re-thought that strategy.

The swag bag included a very cute purple technical t shirt with the logo.  It's a women's cut and it fits great. I rarely wear race t-shirts ever again, I loved the technical tshirt from last year and it looks like this is the same brand, so I'll definitely be wearing it.Woot!  They also had some other merchandise for sale, I ended up buying a long sleeve cotton hooded tshirt.  Looked like it would be great to lounge around in.

I was assigned #640, wave 6 of 8.  Uggh.  I wished that I would have been in an earlier wave.  However, they were starting by age group and I'm no spring chicken, so wave 6 it was.

I went home, gathered my stuff and got ready for the next morning.  Then I loaded my bike up in the car and tried to get a good night's rest.

Race Morning

I arrived at the race site at 5:45 and racked my bike in the dark. They had assigned racks by number as well. Mine was not on an aisle, which was a little disappointing.
I found my friends and we chatted for a bit.  Got body marked, chipped, and waited for our respective waves for the start.

It was chilly when the first wave went off, but got warmer as the sun came up.  They wouldn't let us back into transition, or I would have dropped off my arm warmers.  I had been wearing them when it was cooler, but was fairly certain I wouldn't need them with the wave 6 start.

Run (2012 - 32:39, 2011 - 31:13)

I am very familiar with the run course and it is not one of my favorites.  It's hilly and partly off road and it basically sucks. Last year I did more hill training for it.  My knee doesn't seem very happy with hills these days, so I haven't trained hills very much.  As a result, I was expecting a slower run time and that is what happened.

It didn't take long to overheat from the arm warmers, so took them off and just carried them.

 My average pace was ~10:32 min/mi, pretty much what I expected under the circumstances.  Age group placing, 19 of 34 on the run.

T1 (2012 -1:08, 2011 - 1:28)

Last year I felt like I took too long in transition.  This year I tried to speed things up and managed to make up some time here.  For example, I don't run with sunglasses, but I wear them when I cycle.  I decided to put them up on my hat while I was running and then push them down on my face coming into T1 to save some time.

Bike (2012 - 42:15, 2011 - 44:00)

This is where I expected to see improvement, and I did.  I passed a lot of women on the bike, but most weren't in my age group.  I felt strong.  I don't think I've realized my full potential on the bike yet, I hope to see even more improvement next year.

Can you spot me in this photo?  Hahahah.  My safety cone orange shirt makes me visible from far away. That's actually the point, so cars can see me.

One thing that I'd like to mention:  the police out on the road were awesome.  I tried to thank each and every one of them.  They had traffic stopped for us at intersections, round-a-bouts, etc and I felt very safe out on the road.

My calculations had this as a 10.5 mile (hilly) course, so my pace was something like 14.8 mph.  Age group placing, 14 of 34 on the bike.

T2  (2012 - 1:40, 2011 - 1:15)

Made an error in T2 that cost me some time.  It was a reverse tri with a pool swim last.  I usually wear a tri top for something like this, but decided to go with a technical t over a bra top this year. In T2, I needed to rack my bike, remove helmet and sunglasses.  Remove shoes and socks.  Remove tshirt. Grab cap and goggles.  Only I forgot to take off the shirt!  I realized this as I was entering the pool building.  For a moment, I considered swimming in the shirt, but I had the number pinned on using pins only at the top.  I was sure that the number would flip up and cause me all kinds of problems, so I had to take off the shirt, run back to my bike, toss the shirt, turn around, and head back to the pool.  I think that debacle cost me something like 30-40 seconds based on proximity of my bike to the pool and the speed at which I thought was moving. Oh well.

Swim (2012 - 10:05, 2011 - 9:51)

This is where being in the 6th wave was most problematic.  It's a serpentine swim, meaning up and back in each lane, under the rope to the next lane, and so on making your way from one end of the pool to the other.

I'm a stronger swimmer than runner or cyclist and found that there was nowhere to swim!  I passed ladies every time I was at the wall.  It seemed too dangerous to pass in the middle of the lane with people going both directions and risk of head on collision. It was incredibly frustrating.  Every time I got past someone, there was someone else in my way.  Eventually made it to the other side and climbed out. Collected a hug from my husband and my finishers necklace and waited for my friend to finish.

Age group placing, 10 of 34 for the swim.

Post Race Thoughts

My overall time was 01:27:47, a whopping one second faster than last year. Hahahaha! It would have been at least 30 seconds faster, if not for my T2 error. Overall I'm pleased with my performance, given my lack-luster training for it.  Overall age group placing:  14 of 34.

This race is a ton of fun and one that I hope to do again next year.  I did email the race directors to thank them.  My only constructive criticism is that if there is *anything* they can think of to reduce congestion in the pool, it would be a welcome change.

Thursday, August 23, 2012

We are T-2 days from Live.Love.Tri. I'm getting nervous/excited. This morning I did an easy 2 mile run, followed by an easy 8 mile bike.  I've been thinking about going to the pool as well, but haven't gotten past the thinking about it stage.

I have also been thinking about what I might wear and have come up with the following

Black mini-dots bra top, black sugoi tri shorts, florescent orange top (to be removed after the bike for the swim), chocolate hat for the run, and  funky animal print arm warmers *if* I need them, which I'll decide that morning.

The photo shows my running shoes.  Of course I'll also have my bike, bike shoes, helmet, & sunglasses (not pictured).  And swim cap/goggles.

Packet pick-up is tomorrow afternoon.  Last year I was in the first wave.  I think it was determined by order of signing up, not by age groups or run pace.  I signed up fairly early again this year, we'll see which wave I end up in, that may be the deciding factor on the arm warmers.  Later waves will be warmer as the sun get stronger. The race starts at 7. There are 8 total waves, each starting 5 minutes apart, so that last wave will be at 7:40.

Transition opens at 5am.  I'm going to try to be there at about 5:30.  Eek.  That sounds early.  

What am I forgetting?!?!?!

Monday, August 20, 2012

Monday Miscellany

We're two weeks into sabbatical now and back home for a bit.  We've crammed a lot of fun into the first two weeks.  At this rate, I'm going to need a vacation just to rest when it's time to go back to work!

One bummer, though, is that both of my dogs ended up with Kennel Cough after this last trip to the kennel.  I'm going to try to do something different next time we go, having a pet sitter come several times a day so I can leave them at home.  I think if they can eat their own food, keep taking vitamin supplements, not have the stress of the kennel, etc it will be better for them.  Plus, I don't want them getting sick again and I don't want to infect other dogs if they aren't totally over this by the time we leave again.  Sigh.

My Sprint Tri is this coming Saturday!  Over the weekend, I had a nice long run (8 miles = long run for me right now) with my running partner.  Then on Sunday morning before church, we ran and biked the course.  She just bought a road bike and it was her first time out on it.  My neighbor was also there (actually, she's the one who suggested this) and she is on a relatively new road bike as well.   I felt like I was bringing up the rear while we were running, but I was clearly the leader on the bike. Sometimes I forget how far I've come.

I haven't been swimming much.  In my defense, I've been travelling.  But I really need to get into the pool a few times this week just to maintain confidence.  At this point, the swim will be what the swim will be.  It's the last part of the tri (it's a reverse), I'm going to try to treat it as a cool down.  

I'm not sure if I can better my overall time from last year on this course, but I'd like to.  I think the run will be slower and the swim will be roughly the same.  If I'm going to see improvement anywhere, it would be on the bike, but I'm really unsure how that will play out.  No matter what, I hope it's fun!!

Saturday, August 11, 2012

The accidental 5K

So...We're in Indianapolis for a few days, came to see the DCI finals (drum corp).  I vaguely remembered that when I was searching for things to do in the area a few weeks ago that I saw a 5k. My recollection was that it was on Sunday, the day we are leaving, but I decided to do a quick search online anyway. Low and behold, I discovered that the race was on Saturday and only a block away from our hotel!  We had packed our running clothes anyway, so we quickly decided to sign up online Friday morning.

I hadn't packed my Garmin and was a little nervous about that, but figured running "naked" for a change wouldn't hurt me.  Turns out it didn't help.  Without it, I had no idea if I was running to fast or too slow or just right. The altitude in Indianapolis is much lower than central New Mexico, so running by feel wasn't working out for me either.

I ended up finishing in 28:42, a 9:14 pace.  That's slower than I was hoping, but still good enough for an age group award, 3rd f45-49, 142 overall out of 302 runners.  Not bad for an accidental 5k!

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Tri Training progress (plus winner)

Cycling is going mostly okay.  I rode three times so far this week, short 8.0 mi ride on Sunday, longer 28.0 mi ride on Monday, and medium 14.0 mi, but hilly ride on Wednesday.  Our sabbatical has started and it's nice to be out riding during weekday mornings when the trails aren't as crowded as they are during the weekend.

I have been getting to the pool, not as often as I had hoped, but I am getting there.  I'm fairly confident that I can get through the swim at the upcoming tri without incident, it just won't be fast.  I wish there was something I could do to make swimming laps not so boring.  Back and forth and back and forth.  Uggh.

I've also been doing okay with my running/walking.  So far have run twice this week.  Once on a flat surface, and once on the hilly course for the event.  And I've added an extra 1-2 mi fitness walk every day.

Next week I have a bike/run brick planned.  Ick.  I know I need to do it, but still.  Ick.

Winner:  The winner of my Planet Gear giveaway is....Ronalee.  Congratulations!  I will forward your email to the folks and Planet Gear and they should be contacting you shortly

Saturday, August 4, 2012

SYTO Virtual 5K

My running partner and I decided to run a hilly trail route this morning in preparation for the upcoming women's sprint triathlon in a few weeks.

We actually ran the course twice, one the 'easier way' (two shorter uphills and one long downhill) and once the 'harder way' (in reverse with two shorter downhills and a loooooong uphill).The high today was 91deg.  .

For the purposes of the SYTO 5K, I'm counting the first pass which took us 35:02, about 11:29min/mi.  On race day for the tri, I hope to do this closer to 31 mins, however this was actually a good pace for me for a training run.  And I definitely sweated my thorns off.

At this point, we're planning to run this again on Tuesday.  And then maybe once more before race day.  

Overall, I appreciated having this virtual race today to motivate me to get out and run this route today!  Much Thanks to The Boring Runner!

Oh, and if you haven't already, check my last post for details about a Planet Gear giveaway that I have open until end of day Monday, Aug 6th.

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

July Tally and Give-Away!


  • 178.4 miles by seat
  • 118 miles by feet (74.5 miles running, 43.5 miles walking)
  • 2400 meters swimming
  • 1 race (5K)


  • I'm quite pleased with the month of July overall.  I got some good cycling in, plenty of time on my feet running and walking, and finally got into the pool.  Plus I ran my 2nd fastest 5K ever.  Good stuff!


  • Keep on keepin' on!  This was a good training month for me; I want August to be equally good.
  • Be prepared for Sprint Triathlon near the end of the month. 
  • Keep building base toward September 15K chocolate run.  
  • Run hills and make a decision about early September 10K trail race.
  • Enjoy Sabbatical! Make every day count.


  • The kind people at PlanetGear.Com have offered to award one reader of my blog with a $25 gift certificate to be used on their site.
  • What is PlanetGear.Com, you ask?  They're an online store aimed at active women that takes on four brands each week and sells items at up to 70% off.  
  • It's a members-only site.  You need to sign up to view their sales.  Members can also choose to be notified each week when sales start to know what brands are coming in the upcoming week's sale.
  • I happy to think this concept is fantastic!  I've joined their site myself, but haven't actually purchased anything yet.  I've seen a few clothing items that I was interested in, but they were sold out in the size/color that I wanted before I could order.  I saw a duffle bag that I thought would be useful for my upcoming triathlon, but I waited too long and then the sale was over. Next time a sales starts, I'm going to check it out early on.  Things seem to go fast.
  • Want to win?!  Here's how
    • Visit their website, blog, or facebook site and leave me a comment on this post telling me what you think about their business concept.  If you don't have a blog, you're welcome to enter, but make sure I have a way to get back with you if you win; I'll need to supply an email address for the winner to PlanetGear.Com.
    • Leave your comment by end of day August 6th.  I'll choose one person who comments at random on August 7th.  

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Tuesday Thoughts

  • My favorite summer Olympic sport is swimming.  Love it.  Even if the results have been spoiled before I get to watch it on TV.  Having said that, the women's cycling Sunday morning was pretty cool to watch as well. Not usually a fan of bike races, but I really enjoyed watching that one.
  • Have I mentioned my sabbatical* on this blog?  No?  Well it starts next Monday. To say I'm excited would be an understatement. This may be the longest workweek ever. 
  • Project "Rock the Silver" is progressing rather well so far. Of course I only have about an inch of new growth so far, ask me again near the end of the calendar year and see how I feel!  At this point, I'm much more bothered by the faded/brassy color growing out than by the salt & pepper growing in. 
  • My running partner is on board with the idea of doing a hilly trail 10K in early September in the foothills of the Sandias here in Albuquerque.  I need to see how my knee holds up to some hill running before I sign up, but this sounds like something fun to me! 
  • My baby girl is on a roadtrip to New Orleans. I'm both excited for her and a bit nervous. She's been staying in touch often so that I know she's okay (whew!).  A few weeks after she gets back, she will be moving on campus for her freshman year of college.  The empty nest begins... 
*We get an extra contiguous 8 weeks off work every 7 years in additon to our normal accrued vacation. How cool is that?!?!

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Workout Woes

I have a sprint tri coming in up 5(?) weeks and really need to start including swimming and cycling in my routine more regularly. Unfortunately, I a hard time hitting my intended workouts during the middle of the week due to poor planning on my  part combined with bad weather.

I *know* this time of year we are prone to afternoon thundershowers.  I really should plan to do as much as possible in the morning, but I hoped to do a few things in the evening Tuesday-Thursday and the weather just got in the way.

And just for the record, lately I've been walking my dogs almost every day in the morning.  I count this in my workouts, but it isn't always planned.  But that's why there is so much walking in the mix.

Here's how my actual workouts compared to the plan:

  • Sunday: 800 m swim, Actual: 800 m swim :-)
  • Monday: 2 mi walk, Actual: 2 mi walk :-)
  • Tuesday: 3.1 mi hill run/ 800 m swim, Actual: 1.5 mi walk :-(
  • Wednesday: 2 mi hill walk/8 mi bike, Actual: 2 mi hill walk :-(
  • Thursday: 3.1 mi hill run, Actual: 2 mi hill walk :-(
  • Friday: 2 mi run/2 mi walk/800 m swim, Actual: 2.4 mi run / 2.5 mi walk /800 m swim :-)
  • Saturday: 7.8 mi run, Actual: 7.6 mi run / 1 mi walk :-)
  • Sunday: 3 mi run, Actual: 4 mi run / 1 mi walk / 8.1 mi bike :-)

What, if anything, did I learn?  For one thing, I really need to plan on doing more in the morning.  This week, I'm still hoping for an evening run on Tuesday with my running partner, but I'll plan on morning running on Thursday even if that means I'm running alone.  I'm also going to *try* to get up early and do some short (8-10) mi bike rides on Mon & Wed.   It always sounds like a good idea until the alarm goes off, though.

[updated Monday morning to add: I actually did it! Got up early for a short bike ride this AM. That actually wasn't too bad. Worst part was hauling my butt out of bed when the alarm went off.]

How was your workout week?

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Two down, thirteen to go

As I mentioned near the end of Friday's post, I bought a 15 visit punch card pass for the pool.  It now has a grand total of two punches so I have thirteen to go.  Yes, that means I've already been back to the pool.  Went on Sunday afternoon.  It was much more crowded than I expected, but I still managed to get a lane to myself.  Also did another timed 400 at 8:46.  Nice!

Monday was not such a good day.  Husband is out of town on business. No problem.  I took a long meeting from home and intended on going into the office.  Only my car wouldn't start!  Dang it!  Of course this happens when I'm home alone.  I contacted a work colleague who is also a friend and he offered to come by later in the afternoon and try to jump start it.  So I ended up working from home instead of going to the office.

He was able to get it jump started.  I left it running for a while, then drove it around a little, then went over to his house to turn it off and see if it would start again.  Again, wouldn't start.  Jumped it again and this time I went over to the battery store.  I told them what happened.  They checked the battery and it was low, but they weren't sure if maybe it just hadn't charged enough.  They suggested that they jump start it again (using their little booster pack thing) and I leave it running for another hour.  They would check it one more time and if still low, I definitely need a new battery.

Only this time they couldn't get it started.  I could have called my friend and had him jump start it for the third time, but he'd have to drive over to where I was.  Also, it was starting to rain.  I just decided to get a new battery and at least that way I could get my car running and get home and rule out the battery itself as the problem.  I may not have actually needed a new battery, but there are worst things than having a new battery that you don't need.  At least the battery itself should last for another 3-6 years.

Anyway, with all this hoopla, I did not get a chance to do much else Monday evening.  Assuming I don't have car troubles today and the weather holds out, I am planning to meet my friend near the pool for a run/swim.  And no matter what happens today, I *will* go back to the pool on Friday.

Oh, and I have a give-away planned for sometime over the next week.  Stay tuned!  

Friday, July 20, 2012

Week so far

I took Monday as a rest day after the 5K race / 28 mi bike ride on Sunday.

On Tuesday, our running group met up with the Hot Chocolate folks.  They were still in the area promoting the race and sponsored a "fun run" Tuesday.  If these guys come to your area doing the same, seek them out!  They served up chocolate smoothies, had music, and gave away two free entries to the race, & gave away about a half-dozen hats.  It was a lot of fun!!  They took this photo of the those of us who stuck around afterwards.

Is my yellow shirt bright enough?  Ha!

Then on Wednesday, we ran again.   At that time my running partner & I devised the following plan for the rest of the week:

Plan A:  Swim Thursday evening, Long Run Friday morning, Short Run Saturday morning.

Looks good, right?  But she texted me Thursday afternoon to say that she couldn't meet to swim that day after all. Could we swim Friday after running instead?   Resulting in:

Plan B: Rest Thursday, Long Run Friday morning followed by Short Swim, Short Run Saturday morning.

Okay, that seemed reasonable.  After all, we *are* training for a triathlon (which is only 6 weeks away, eek!) so a run-swim workout makes a lot of sense.

We met Friday early morning for the long run and both had remembered to bring our swim stuff.  About two miles into our run, she said that she just wasn't feeling the run today, could we possibly cut it short?  I figured that would work, we could just push the long run out until tomorrow.  So that left us with a new plan:

Plan C:  Rest Thursday, Short Run Friday morning followed by Short Swim, Long Run Saturday morning.  

We ended up cutting our run short at 5 miles which was fine with me.  The big question was, would we actually get to the pool and swim this time?!?  By golly, yes we did! I'm happy to say that I managed an 8:50 400 even though it was my first time in the pool since December.  I've always thought that the phrase "it's just like riding a bike" is a bit deceiving (bike riding isn't so easy when you take a long break), instead it should be "it's just like swimming laps."  

While I was there, I bought a 15 visit punch pass (good for 3 months) to try to FORCE myself to get to the pool.  After all, I need to be my money's worth, right??  

Now the only question is: will we actually do the long run tomorrow or will be be onto Plan D?  Guess I need to wait until tomorrow morning to find out...

[updated to add:  Yes, we *did* do our long run on Saturday morning.  Plan C for the win!]

Sunday, July 15, 2012

WDF 5K Race Report and Mid-Month Tally

Women's Distance Festival 5K Race Report

Today I ran the local WDF 5K.  This is one of my favorite events in the area.  I love seeing all the women encouraging each other plus we get a technical t, chocolates, and a flower at the finish line and it's a flat, fast course (most races in this area are hilly).  Last year I had my all time Personal Best 5K on this course.  I really didn't think I was in shape for a PR this year, but I hoped it would be close (and much faster than the 5K I ran in May).
Registration Tent

Start time was 7am, and since I hadn't gone to packet pickup the day before, I needed to arrive at the site early enough to get that taken care of.  Luckily, it's a relatively small race, so there wasn't much of a  line at the registration tent when I arrived at 6:30am.    

Cute shirt!
I had a small panic attack when I realized that they had me registered as a walker.  Um. Can I change that, please?  No problem! Since the race wasn't chip timed anyway, all they needed to do was cross out the "W" that was next to my name in the racers list and on my bib.  Low tech, for the win!  

Oh, and the hot chocolate race van/motor home was there (trust me even though my photo didn't turn out well, it's the hot chocolate race van). They were there to serve up some hot chocolate icee thing after the 5K and register folks for their 5K/15K at end of September. Got to see the jacket that come in their race bag. They seem like a fun crew. Can't wait to run that one.

Neither my running partner nor I were feeling very confident about a fast race today and decided that our target today was to get in under 30min. That seemed doable to me.  We figured our best race plan was to start out at a reasonable pace and then kick it in and go as fast as we could when we were half a mile from the finish line.  Of course, that plan went out the window when the gun went off.  I checked my Garmin a quarter mile in and we were running WAY too fast.
My post-race happy face

At the 2 mile marker, I told her that the new goal was to get in under 28 mins.  I guess that's all the motivation she needed because she sped up  from there and I couldn't catch up.  She crossed the line at 27:15 (yay, her!).  I, on the other hand, just barely missed this new on-the-fly-goal and crossed at 28:01 (approx a 9:02 mi/mi overall pace).  Turns out to be my second fastest 5K ever, so I'm quite happy with my time, just not over-the-top-thrilled like she is with hers. 

I may be slightly crazy, because I figured it was a good idea to do a 28 mile bike ride afterwards with husband.  ;-)

Mid-Month Tally

July seems to be shaping up to be a great month for me:

  • Walking: 20.0 mi
  • Running: 38.9 mi
  • Cycling: 162.8 mi (yeah, baby!)
  • Swimming: nada (swimming mojo has gone missing)
  • Races: one 5K

There are 16 days left in the month, but only two more weekends and no holidays, so I don't expect the back-half of the month to be able to match the front half.

Thursday, July 12, 2012

TTT - Slacker, Race Ready, Transitions

Slacker - That's how I feel compared to last week!  Of course, I had a long 5 day weekend last week whereas I'm working today, but still, I feel like a  total slacker with my workouts.  It didn't help that it was pouring down rain yesterday after work when I had been contemplating a bike ride (which didn't happen, because of course I might just melt in the rain).

Race Ready -  That's how I hope to be on Sunday!  I'm not really all that confident, as I haven't been doing much speed work lately, but I have a 5K on Sunday and I'm hoping to do well.  Not necessarily a PR, but in the ballpark.  It's an all women's race which should be fun no matter what. 

Transitions - I have made the decision to grow in my grey (or silver as I prefer to call it) hair.  I don't want to be coloring it forever, and now just seems like the right time to rock the silver.  I was trying to calculate how long this would take.  Get this:  the longest hair in my current style (shoulder length bob) is 13 inches.  Assuming my hair grows a half inch per month and I don't change hair styles, it will take 26 months to complete this process.  Yikes!  That's a long time.  Um.  I have a feeling the color transition over the next few years is going to be "interesting."

Sunday, July 8, 2012

So Far

This is what I had planned as of Tuesday.  Wanted to check in on how I'm doing so far.
  • Bike ride Wednesday ~28-32 miles - I ended up riding 31.4 total, but it wasn't quite the bike experience I had hoped for.  You can read more about our cycling woes that day in a previous post.  
  • Long run Thursday 7.8 miles (weird distance, but that's how far the route is, so that's the plan) - Ran 7.8 per the plan.  I was exhausted afterwards for some reason, but otherwise it was a good run.
  • Easy run Friday 3.5 miles - Ended up running closer to 3 miles, but walked 2 so it's in the ballpark of the plan
  • Bike ride Friday ~30-38 miles depends on how things go Wednesday. - Rode 32 miles and no flats this time!  Yay!
  • tbd Saturday (If I was smart, I'd plan to swim!) - Ended up meeting one of my running friends for a 5 mile run.  Still no swimming, so I guess that means that I'm not smart!
  • Bike ride Sunday ~30+ miles hopefully - TBD.  I'm writing this early in the morning, but at this point we are still planning to go out. [updated:  We went out this morning for 34.6 miles on bike.  Yay!]
In summary, I'd say, so far so good!  Also, it's worth noting that I've ridden my bike nearly as much this week so far as I did all of June.  [updated: Adding in today's ride, I've surpassed June's bike total in the first 8 days of July.]