Sunday, April 28, 2013

Unconventional Training Entries

I keep track of my workouts in my trusty rusty notebook.  I was flipping through it to see how the month was shaping up and noticed that I had some unusual entries.  Theses that will show up in my monthly summary.  They are activities that I thought were worth tracking, but it's not necessarily obvious how they link to training:

  • Dog intervals - That's what I call it when I end up taking the dogs for a run/walk.  I consider this to be a form of speed work because it's essentially a fartlek run. We sprint when we run, with periods of walking in between.  The distances end up determined mostly by the dogs.  BTW, this is actually a good exercise for the dogs too (The inserted image is about dog intervals on a treadmill.  We run outside, but the benefit to the dogs remains).
  • Painting - I spent several hours painting a section of the interior of the house. I consider this to be a form of upper body exercise.The part I was painting required using brushes, not a roller, and took a long time given the actual dimensions of the walls.  I definitely feel it in my arms afterwards.
  • Yard Work/Gardening - Right now I'm working out the kinks in the irrigation system. In a few weeks I will be planing my veggie garden.  Then there will be weeding. I consider this to be a form of lower body exercise because it requires a lot of squatting.  
Do you log any unconventional training activities as workouts?

Saturday, April 27, 2013

Saturday Stuff

Looking over this past week, my running plus fitness walking mileage isn't bad.
  • Sun:  1.0 walk
  • Mon: 1.5 walk + chiro appt with focus on IT band/knee issues
  • Tue: 4.8 run, 0.5 walk
  • Wed: 1.5 walk
  • Thu: 3.4 run, 1.0 walk
  • Fri: 3.5 run, 2.8 walk 
  • Sat: 7.7 run, 0.5 walk
That adds up to 19.4 miles running plus 8.8 miles fitness walking for a grand total of 28.2 miles by feet. Woohoo!!  Not a bad week.  And of course, the best part is that my knee is behaving.  I think walking, stretching, and having the chiro work on my IT band is helping.  Plus running only on dirt and avoiding hills.  It isn't a recipe for fast racing, but it does seem to be a combination that is keeping me running without pain.

Side note, sometimes I find running to be, at best, calorie neutral. Why?  Well, here's an example. This morning my running partner and I ended up on the topic of baking while we were running.  I ended up stopping at the store for some blueberries and the next thing I know I'm making over-sized blueberry muffins with a cinnamon crumb topping.  I wouldn't doubt it if I undid the caloric benefit from running by consuming a few muffins. Oh well.  What can I say? I like baking!

How was the past week for you?  And are you baking anything yummy?

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Mid week miscellany

Mostly non-running related.
  • Son is finishing his junior year at Cal in Berkeley. He landed a software engineering internship in Seattle over the summer. At this point, we are hoping he comes home to visit for a week before he starts his job. Planning to visit him there one weekend this summer as well. I'm happy that he's doing well, but I really miss him. 
  •  Daughter is finishing her freshman year at UNM in Albuquerque. She'll be back home this summer.  She's focusing in on what she wants to do for a career and needs to change her major. We had a very good talk last Friday, and now she's got an appointment for academic advisement this afternoon to explore a new option. I'm really proud of her for working through this.  It's tough (and can be discouraging) when you start college a bit unsure of what you want to do with your life.

  • This weekend I need to check our irrigation system.  Every year we start the growing season with lots of irrigation issues that need to be fixed, so this is not a fun chore.  But it will be time to plant our veggie garden in a few weeks when the threat of frost has past.  For now, I have Green Chile Bobblehead watching over my little tomato plants on the window sill while they wait to be transplanted to the garden.  
  • My running partner and I had a really slow run after work yesterday.  No I mean REALLY slow.  It took us almost as long as it did for the entire 10K, but we only covered 4.8 miles.  Granted, it was really windy last night (30+mph).  But still...   
  • Have I mentioned that I despise spring?  Allergies are kicking my butt, and I am so over the stupid wind.  
  • I'm a huge fan of our AAA baseball team, the Isotopes. I spent all winter counting down to opening day. We've been to three games so far.  Going again next Thursday.  Woot!
  • I'm fairly certain that this recent round of knee issues has been IT band related rather than my normal knee arthritis. That's a good thing.  I've been doing a lot of rolling and am back in my old running shoes (Kinvara 2s).  I'm going to try the Kinvara 4s when they come out.   

Saturday, April 20, 2013

Reflections from an under-trained 10K

This morning I ran the 10K race at Albuquerque Half Marathon's.  I went in horribly under-trained as my knee has been bothering me, and I didn't expect it to go very well.

Actually, I started with a goal of not having it be a personal worst, but that wasn't much of a goal. My running partner and I and decided to make this a training run in which we would try to hit a 10:30 pace, which gave us 1:05:00 as a target. I've been running most of my training runs at about an 11:15 pace lately, so that seemed a bit aggressive under the circumstances.

Look!  They put our names on the bibs.  Cool.
But, of course, sometimes things go better than expected.  Thanks to a cooperating knee, the excitement of the other runners, a nice flat course, and a beautiful calm morning, we ended up running much closer to a 10:00 pace.  My finish time ended up being 1:02:17, about a 10:02 average pace.  She was about 9 seconds in front of me.  Husband finished in 53-something.  I know that I was 5th in my AG (F45-49), but I don't know how many people there were.  All-in-all, I am quite pleased.

The photo from her phone!
I got to briefly meet a fellow blogger. (Just) Trying is for Little Girls was running the half-marathon in her quest for the 50 states.  I really hoped to have time to chat before the race, but wasn't able to locate her until a few minutes before her race started, so our meet-up ended up being only about 30 seconds long. She has photo evidence of the meet-up on her phone.  Hopefully she'll post it on her race report.  For now, you'll just have to take my word for it.  

Updated:  Added the photo from her phone.  Hope she doesn't mind!  My number is on my leg because I wanted to take off the long sleeves before my race started.  The car was too far away to stash it there, so I ended up running with it tied around my waist. 

Also, the results are posted and I now know that I was 5 of 8 women in my age group.  99 of 184 overall runners for the 10K

One more update:  I saw a friend/colleague who ran in Boston last week at the finish line cheering us and others on like he often does.  For some reason though, he had decided to go back to his hotel and clean up right after his race ended on Monday and wasn't hanging around the finish line  when the explosions happened. Anyway, he said that he plans on running Boston again next year if he can get in because he won't let terror win.  I'm not sure I would be so brave.   

Next up for me is Run for the Zoo 10K in two weeks.

Thursday, April 18, 2013

TTT - Feelings, Failures, & Fears

FEELINGS:  I still have so many feelings about what happened on Monday, but find that I'm not able to state them eloquently. So I won't even try. But believe me, it's been heavy on my mind all week.

FAILURES:  My plan to get up early and run on Mon & Wed before work was only a partial success. Monday went well. But things fell apart on Wednesday. It wasn't my fault though! Husband was having trouble sleeping and decided to turn off the alarm in the bedroom and sleep on the couch with an alarm set on his mobile device. He intended to come in and set the alarm for me in the morning, but forgot. Most of the time I end up waking up before the alarm anyway, but not yesterday. I ended up oversleeping. Oh well.

FEARS:  I am so not prepared for the 10K on Saturday! At this point, I'm afraid it will end up being a personal worst. Why? Well, In addition to not being in 10K racing shape, I have a concern that my knee will act up and I'll end up needing to walk a sizable portion since this course is entirely road running. Sigh.  In the grand scheme of things, I realize that how fast or slow I cover the 10K distance on Saturday isn't important.  But right now that doesn't seem to stop me from fretting over it.

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

light shines in the darkness

I'm still having a hard time wrapping my head around what happened yesterday in Boston. 

One thing that struck me, though, was the heroism shown even in those first moments after the explosions. I'm fairly sure my first instict would be to run away, but yet there were so many brave men and women who headed immediately into the chaos, thinking only of getting to those in need.  Many more offered their help over the next several hours and continue today.  Incredible stories of heroism and kindness rising out of such a senseless act of tragedy. 

I offer a heart felt THANK YOU to the heros of the day (police, national guard, bystanders, volunteers, medical personnel, etc.) for their acts of kindness and bravery. 

The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness can never extinguish it - John 1:5 (NLT) 

Sunday, April 14, 2013

Best laid plans

often go awry.

Without going into too much of a rant, let me just say that I'm really tired of two things right now: scheduling my runs around others & the freaking wind.

I've been planning my running schedule so that it works out better with others.  Generally, this means planning to run in the afternoon which is when the wind is at it's worst.  Too often that results in us cancelling due to excessive wind (and sand-blasting and allergies and general ickyness).  I'm so over that.

Given past performance with weather conditions such as those in the forecast for the first half of the week, I just know I need to do something different.

The new plan is that I will *really* try to run solo in the morning before work (at least on Monday & Wednesday) before work before the wind gets too bad.

Disadvantages:  No running partner, colder running temps, earlier wake-up (coldest part of the day is right after the sun comes up, so temps will be close to the lows listed in the weather forecast)

Advantages:  Less wind, Can run from home (vs. drive to meet somewhere), less rushing after work.

Wish me luck!  I'll need it when the alarm goes off...

[Updated:  Thanks for the well-wishes.  Day 1 was a success!!!]

Sunday, April 7, 2013

Confidence Builder

Just a brief update.

I've been rolling.  And I decided to switch back to my old running shoes (just to eliminate another variable).  Ended up doing a run/walk with a friend Friday evening, and then a 7 mile run with my running partner Saturday morning.

Guess what?!  No Knee Pain.

Both efforts were quite slow, but getting through them without knee pain resulted in a huge boost to my confidence. Oh, and I still plan to make the cupcakes. ;-p

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Freaking Knee

If you've followed my blog for awhile, you know that I have a recurring problem with my left knee.  To be more exact, I have an ongoing problem with my left knee and get periodic relief from it thanks to Euflexxa injections.  The underlying problem is never going away, so it is inevitable that the pain will return again and again.

It was bothering me in PHX.  I thought maybe it was due to spending more time on my feet than usual.  I've been in a bit of denial, but to be honest, it's bothering me again.  I have NOT been spending that much time on my feet. If anything, my training is way behind schedule.

I haven't decided what I'm going to do. 
  • I could go back to the orthopedic doc now and request that she starts the injections, and that would force me into an 8-12 week break from running. 
  • I could go back to the orthopedic doc now and see if she has some other suggestion besides the injections.
  • I could continue to scale back my running and wait until I get past one or both of the 10Ks on my schedule and THEN go see the orthopedic doc.
  • I could make a couple dozen death by oreo cupcakes and eat them all in one sitting.  I'm not sure what effect that would have on my knee, but I'd be happy for a little while until the sugar coma kicks in...

[Update:  Husband suggests that I roll my IT Band to rule that out as the cause vs. my 'regular' knee issue.  Sounds like a good plan.  I'll try that first.]

Monday, April 1, 2013

March Recap

Tempo Twist shorts from Nike Outlet

  • 92.4 miles by feet (59.5 running, 32.9 walking)
  • 22.0 miles by seat
  • 1 purchase from Nike outlet
  • 2 sick days
  • 2 travel days
  • 3 spring training baseball games
  • 1 "fun run" event


  • March was better than February in many regards, but my running is not going as well as I would like.
  • Looks like it will be warm enough to run in shorts after work today.  Hoping to give those new shorts a test run.
  • Went for a bike ride on Easter that ended with me walking my bike the final half mile due to a flat.  I was too lazy to fix it given that I was so close to home when I realized that the tire was flat.


  • Keep training for 10Ks in April & early May.
  • Get out on bike more often.
  • Try to smile and enjoy life.