Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Mid Week Miscellany aka Bullet List Brain Dump

  • I don't know what I dislike more, running in the hot sun or running solo.  Yesterday my run ended up being both.  Double Ick!  If most of my runs were like that, I'd probably give it up in favor of some other exercise.
  • Packet pickup for Saturday's Tour de Cure ride is this evening from 5-8.  Not exactly convenient...
  • I still have no idea when or where packet pickup is for the 8K that I'm running on Sunday.  That's not good.
  • I joined an 8 week 10,000 steps challenge at work.  The idea is to be part of a team and do a bunch of walking  (hence the steps) for wellness.  But they allow you to convert minutes doing other significant things  (biking, running, etc) to estimated steps as well.  So now I'm converting my running/walking/biking mileage to minutes so that I can convert to steps to enter daily on a site that is tracking them for this challenge.  The the end, they normalize this all back to miles to help people internalize the significance of the steps!   In any event, it's good motivation for me to kick it up a notch for the next 8 weeks.  Accountability is a good thing.
  • There's a guy that we regularly see on the bike trail that we ride that is out there riding with one leg (he doesn't have the other leg).  Every time I see him I feel like a slacker.  It's definitely motivation though.  If he can be out there with one leg, surely I can be out there with a bum knee.
  • I've run enough in my Saucony Kinvara 4s to say with confidence that I like them.  I think I may get another pair in another color.  Because, you know, you can never have too many pairs of running shoes.  Or something like that.

Monday, May 27, 2013

Long Weekend Workouts

Not sure about you, but I was able to enjoy a long weekend.  My weekend technically started on Friday, but I'm counting Thursday evening in there as well.  Just because I like to think of weekends starting the evening prior, don't you?
From Monday's cycling adventure

  • Thu: 4 mile run with Running Partner after work. 1 mile walk with dogs. It was hot!  Seems like we bypassed spring and went straight into summer.
  • Fri: 4.2 mile run with my Friday run buddy.  Also 4.1 miles walking (mostly the nature walk with Son that I blogged about yesterday).
  • Sat: 7.5 mile run with Running Partner.  .3 mile recovery walk.  
  • Sun: 25.0 mile bike ride with Husband.  1 mile walk with dogs.
  • Mon: 19.4 mile bike ride with Husband.  1 mile walk with dogs (the day's not over yet and I may take them out again!).

That's a total of 44.4 miles cycling, 15.2 miles running, 7.4 miles walking.  Not bad, if I do say so myself!

Happy Memorial Day!  Remember that it's the Land of the Free because of the Brave.  My sincere gratitude to those who gave the ultimate sacrifice serving our country.

Sunday, May 26, 2013

Photos from the Bosque

Son & I went on a nature walk in the Bernalillo county Bosque (one of the areas not yet closed for fire danger).  Thought I would share a few photos.
Non-native Salt Cedar.  Came in as an ornamental but is now invasive & destroying the natural habitat.  
Rio Grande River with Sandia Mountains in the distance. 

Charred area from a previous wild fire.  So Sad.

Not sure why this tree is missing some bark.

Tumbleweeds piled up against the brush.  

Thursday, May 23, 2013

TTT: Closures, Garden, Cycling

The bosque in three counties is closed due to fire danger.  This includes Sandoval county, where I normally run.  Bernalillo county (Albuquerque) bosque is not yet closed.  This likely leads to the question, "What is a bosque and why do you care if it's closed?"  The simplest description is that it's the wooded area by the Rio Grande. You can learn more about it here. Remember, I live in the high desert in central New Mexico.  Think hot, dry, sunny, no shade. The bosque is special because it offers a dirt (sand) trail that is partly shaded because of the trees.  For now, I can still plan to do my long runs along the Albuquerque bosque, but I have a feeling that area will be closed soon too. We really need some rain.  Sigh.

My veggie garden is coming along.  Every year I'm amazed that I can get anything to grow in my 18'x24' fenced in plot of dirt that I call a garden.  Of course, I have to water it daily (it's on a drip system) and every year we try to enrich the 'soil' by tilling in some compost.  Having said that, it's still primarily sand and it gets way more sun than most plants can tolerate.  Yet, I have had success getting things to grow!  Tomatoes, chiles, basil, and watermelon seem to do pretty well. Strawberries, cucumbers, cilantro, carrots, not so much.  Through trial and error I've learned what grows well and what does not.  I've adopted the philosophy to keep growing what works, and avoid what doesn't.

My running partner & I went for a bike ride on Monday.  The wind wasn't too bad when we started, but got worse and worse and our ride went on.  I wouldn't have gone out if I had known how much the wind would pick up (30mph-ish with gusts at about 40mph), but since we were already out there, we had no choice but to keep riding to get back to the cars.  It wasn't a lot of fun, but it was good training!

Do you find your favorite running trails often closed during certain times of the year?  Are you growing veggies?  What are your feelings about biking on windy days?

Monday, May 20, 2013

Catching Up

Thursday evening, I met my running partner at a hill route that we sometimes do.  It was crazy hot, sunny, and generally miserable.  Hard to believe that we were shivering while running two weeks ago on a cold race morning; summer seems to have arrived with a vengeance.

Normally, I do my long run (long being relative) on Saturday morning, but that wasn't going to work this week. I ended up doing my long run (long is relative, for me it is 7 miles) Friday morning.  I was meeting a friend for a 3.5 mile run, so I decided to arrive ahead of her and run 3.5 miles before she showed up, then the 3.5 with her to achieve my 7. Mission accomplished.  This was also my second run in the new Kinvaras and so far I'm quite pleased.

Later that day, I met Daughter for lunch while she was on her break from work.  I'm happy to have her home for the summer.  It's nice to be able to spend more time with her.

Husband  & I went for a 28 mile bike ride Saturday morning.  It turned out to be a really nice morning, slightly overcast, not too windy, perfect temperature.  It was also the best I've felt on a bike ride in a long time.  Good stuff.

Later that afternoon, we picked up Son from the airport.  He's only home with us for a week in between school (in CA) and his summer internship (in WA).  It's nice to have him home for a week.  It's a short visit, but I'll take what I can get.

About the only thing I did Sunday on the fitness front is choose my race for the double weekend.  It will be the flat 8K.

How was your weekend?  Get your workouts in?

Thursday, May 16, 2013

TTT - New Helmet, Double Weekend, New Shoes

New Helmet - So here's the story.  I have a older helmet that was a grey-green color.  I decided at some point last year that I wanted a pearl white helmet.  I don't even remember exactly why.  Husband decided to help me out by spray painting my helmet with a pearl white paint.  Nice thought, but it turned out sort of a mint green.  It probably needs multiple coats of paint.  Fast forward to this weekend, and somehow he suggested that I look at helmets at REI.  Lo and behold, I found one that is pearl white with some greenish flowers.  It's girly, but not too girly, and will look good with my bike.  Score!

Double Weekend? - Tour de Cure is in 16 days; we are doing the quarter century.  The day after Tour de Cure there are two running events that I've been looking at and are seriously contemplating:  a flat 8K and a hilly 10K.  At this point, I'm leaning toward the flat 8K.  If I sign up for one of those running events, it will be only the second time that I've done a double-event weekend.  Stay tuned!

New Shoes - My friend (and former running coach) opened a new running store on this side of town.  Stopped by on Monday to pick up a pair of the new Kinvara 4.  Haven't tried them out yet other than in the store, but I'm excited to have them.  For what it's worth, this black-pink color combo isn't one that I would normally choose, but it's what he had and I like it better than I expected.  However, If it turns out that I *love* them, I will buy a second pair in another color online.

Thursday, May 9, 2013

Thursday Three


Since I signed up for the in August and mentioned that more cycling was one of my plans for this month, Husband went ahead and signed us up to ride in the Tour de Cure which is in 4 weeks.  We're only doing the quarter century distance, but it will get us out on the bikes.  Should be fun.

In addition, I met my running partner at the trail head for an easy cycling path (aka - flat) after work on Monday and we went for a ride.  We didn't go particularly fast or far, but we rode and that's a good first step. I enjoyed it; she enjoyed it; I think there is more of this in our future.


I was feeling either brave or stupid earlier this week and went ahead and planted my veggie garden.  It's a fenced-in 18'x24' area.  About one half is planted from seed, the other half from plants.  Anyway, checked on the little tomato transplants yesterday and the leaves are turning white.  I'm fairly certain that's sunburn!  I realized now that I skipped a step.  These little tomatoes were raised indoors and I forgot to 'harden' them by putting them outside in a partly sunny area for a few days before sticking them out in the sunny garden.  I hope they survive.

Yesterday afternoon I took my cats to the vet.  The older one has lost a bit of weight and has flaky skin. They needed to take blood to see if they can determine what is wrong with him.  He went all pyscho kitty on me when they did this.  He ended up in a little kitty straight jacket with a vet tech holding him down while the vet tried to get the blood sample  Vet said this extreme reaction was most likely another sign that he isn't feeling well.  Expecting results this morning.  Leading suspect is a thyroid problem, but we'll see. [Update:  His test results all came back normal.  Which I guess is good, but it also means that we don't know what's causing the weight loss, etc.  Hmmmm]

Sunday, May 5, 2013

Run for the Zoo 10K - short version

Not sure if I'm going to write a more coherent race report or not.  This is pretty much just a brain dump.
  • It was overcast, cold, and windy at the start.  This is May, right? It felt more like March.
    Running partner and I shivering at the start
  • We lined up with the 10min/mi group, but ended up getting boxed in at the beginning of the race.  Took a lot of jockeying for position just to pull off a 10:30 for the first mile.  After that, we were able to run at a pace of our choosing.
  • My running partner and I were averaging just under 10:00 min/mi for miles 2-5.
  • Then the wheels fell off the bus for me.  I think part of it is mental.  But I just felt like I ran out of steam during that last mile. Had to let her go on up ahead. 
I'm not kidding when I say the wheels fell off at mile 6 
  • At least I had enough energy to pick up the pace for the final stretch once the finish line was in sight.
  • Not going to be happy with my 10K performance until I can master that last mile.  More long runs!  I'm going to keep trying until I get it right. 
  • Will probably do it again next year, but will line up with the 9s just to get a better start.
  • It's worth noting that my knee did not bother me at all.  Yay!
  • Went into the zoo for about 45 mins afterwards.  Got to see the baby rhino (that I love!) and a new baby giraffe.  
  • Got a photo of peacock strutting his stuff for us.  Loved it!
    Pretty Peacock. How cool is that?!?!
  • Official time:  1:03:02.  26 of 57 women 45-49.  Not sure about my overall placement, but the zoo site says that the 'average' time for the 5K was 01:05:00 for women and 00:57:00 for men, so I'm guessing somewhere near the middle, which is a good enough place for me.
  • My Garmin measured this course a little long and has my avg pace calculated at 10:03 (vs 10:02 at the race 2 weeks ago).   Maybe I should consider it to be a more a comparable race performance than it appears based solely on the finish time?

Friday, May 3, 2013

Friday Five

  1. SOLD OUT:  The Run for the Zoo is sold out! I've been registered for quite some time, so it's no big deal to me.  However, this is a large, popular event in Albuquerque and I'm sure there are some folks who waited too long and will now be disappointed.  Events hardly ever sell out here.
  2. UNDIE RUN:  Last night, Daughter joined Husband & I for an Isotopes Game on a chilly evening  It was great to have her there.  She had to leave early though because she was participating in an Undie Run at 9pm.  I had never heard of this before and had to look it up.  Let me just say, whoever thought this up is brilliant.  They are apparently popular at college campuses.  The students run in their underwear, after stripping off new or gently used clothing to be donated to a local homeless shelter.  It's perfect for college kids needing to to blow off steam on a Thursday night the week before finals!  And apparently, it was quite a success despite being a rather chilly evening. 
  3. SHORT RUN:  This morning I met with a friend for what should have been a 5 mile run.  She started feeling nauseous at about 2 miles in, so we turned early and walked for a bit.  I wasn't too surprised, because she told me she wasn't feeling well the day before either.  At least we got out there.
  4. TRI TRAINING:  Now that I've signed up for the, I'm getting serious about putting a triathlon focused training plan together. Stay tuned!
  5. HALF-N-HALF HAIR:  It has been 49 weeks since I last colored my hair.  I still have over a year to go before the grey is fully grown in given my current hair style (shoulder length bob).  This is a long, painstaking, process.  Right now is probably the worst stage, half-n-half hair.  Bleh.

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

April Summary

  • 96.2 miles by feet (55.6 running, 40.6 walking)
  • 25.4 miles by seat
  • 8 hrs painting (aka upper body)
  • 4 hrs yard/garden work (aka lower body)
  • 3 dog interval runs (aka fartleks)
  • 10 workouts involving hills
  • 2 chiro appt for IT band
  • 1 race (10K)
  • Better month than March, but way behind on cycling compared to where I wanted to be.  Last year I was more disciplined about mid week cycling.  I need to get that back.
  • Seem to be managing my knee fairly well.  Must continue that. 
  • Yesterday I ran with some different people.  I helped them go a bit farther than they would have otherwise and they helped me go a bit faster than I would have otherwise.  It was a win-win.  
Plans for May
  • Run for Zoo 10K this coming weekend
  • Figure out June races. I have two 10Ks on my watch list, but haven't signed up for either (yet).
  • Decide whether to do Live.Love.Tri in August or not.  Sign up if decide that it's a go.   (This particular item is now a done deal, I signed up last night.  Woot!)
  • More time on bike!
  • Continue to be smart about knee.