Friday, February 28, 2014

Friday Five

1) School is kicking my butt.  I am so glad I dropped the second class, it's hard enough to keep up with life and one single graduate class. You name it, I'm behind in it. My opinion swings from one end to another lately about whether taking classes is even a good use of my time or not.  Sometimes I think the benefit isn't worth the sacrifice.  At other times, I think maybe I should pursue a Masters Degree rather than just a professional certificate.  In reality, I just need to take it one step at a time.  Right now, I need to focus on getting through this class successfully and figuring out how to juggle my life priorities.

2) My training plan called for a long run of 8 miles for this weekend.  I did it this morning. 8.1 miles was my total distance employing a 3:00 run - 0:45 walk interval from beginning to end.  My knee feels good.  I think this means the half is on!  However, I don't think I'm going to be able to do the Albuquerque Half because that's the week I'm scheduled for oral surgery. I have a consultation with the surgeon on Monday, will see what he says about recovery. Worst case, that just means I will plan on doing the half at the run for the zoo two weeks later.

3) It's been a full calendar month today since my mom died.  Yesterday I was going through old phone messages and happened across one from her.  A few weeks ago, hearing her voice would have made me cry. But yesterday it made me smile. I still miss talking to her, but I think I'm starting to move past the overwhelming grief phase. Happy memories are beginning to emerge again. In the words of  Dr. Seuss "Don't cry because it's over, smile because it happened."

4) Don't hate me, but our weather has been quite pleasant lately with several days with highs around 60.  I think I might wear sandals today because Daughter and I are supposed to get pedicures.  I don't quite know why the nasty polar vortex hasn't managed to dip down far enough to affect us in central New Mexico, but I'm not complaining.

5) I'm just about to head out to drop off my car for 50,000 mile service plus a repair.  The driver side read window has decided that it doesn't want to be rolled up.  This is the problem with electronic everything - when the electronics act up, you can't do simple things like roll up your window.  I guess it's a good thing that our weather has been pleasant.  Image driving a car with a window down in nasty winter weather.  No thank you!  I hope they are able to resolve it today.

Have a good weekend everyone!!

Monday, February 24, 2014

BUI - Blogging Under the Influence

Fair warning - I had a dental appointment this morning in which I needed to be "medicated."  The medication hasn't yet worn off.  I'm really not able to think clearly, but yet here I am. So if my thoughts seem a little discombobulated, it's because I'm blogging under the influence. Just to be safe, I promise to refrain from CUI (commenting under the influence).

Let me start with my dental tale of woe.  A tooth that fractured a long time ago, was crowned, then had a root canal and was re-crowned, had it's crown come off and was crowned for a third time is giving me grief again.  I thought the crown was loose, but actually my tooth is about to separate from the roots. Nice, huh? I guess if it wasn't a root canal tooth, I would have felt pain long before it got this bad.  But whatever. At this point, it is what it is.

What needs to happen next is that I will have the adjoining teeth prepped for crowns.  A few weeks later, I will visit an oral surgeon to have the bad tooth and it's remaining roots extracted.  Then I will have the two crowns and a middle 'fake tooth' bridge installed as one permanent piece. The dentist wants to do it the day of the extraction so that the gums heal around the new fake tooth.
Oh, and the reason I'm medicated is that I'm a nervous dental patient as it is; today he was hoping to be able to save the tooth but it became clear that that isn't going to happen. The idea of having the extraction is about to send me off the deep end.  The dentist and oral surgeon are trying to figure out how to work it out so I can have the extraction and permanent bridge installation happen back-to-back.

The oral surgeon wants to knock me out (yes, please!), but the dentist needs me to be able to follow instructions (bite down, etc) when he does the installation.  In any event, all of this will probably not happen until April.  Hopefully my tooth won't break off between now and then! I'm chewing on the other side to try to keep that from happening.

But you probably don't care so much about all of that.  This weekend I managed my 3 mile run with MM. I blogged about that on Friday.  I did a 6 mile run on Saturday at an easy pace.  That went well.  Sunday I did a 2 mile hill/interval run whereby I was either running uphill or running hard during my running segments.  So far my knee is good with all of that.  Next weekend is an 8 mile run attempt.  If I can find time to get a mid week run in before that, it will be a good thing.  It won't happen today.  I'm still a little wobbly from the meds. It probably won't happen Wednesday because I have class.  Maybe Tuesday?  or Thursday?  We'll see.

Friday, February 21, 2014

Galloway pace stuff

This week's "long run" was actually prescribed as a fairly short run, but with a Magic Mile.  Since this is a Galloway thing, I wasn't sure whether the Magic Mile was supposed to include walk breaks or not.  So I did a hybrid - skipping my first and third break, but taking the second one.

Looking at his website now, I think the MM was supposed to be a continuous mile, oops.  I guess I'll try it again in a few weeks.

The good news is that today's MM time of 9:47 aligns to the 3:1 ratio that I am using, although I've modified it to be 2:15-0:45.   I think if I were to run continuously for my MM, I'd be at the 4:1 ratio on the chart. When that happens, I will probably do 3:00 - 0:45.  The 45sec walk breaks seems to work well for me.

Next weekend I am up for an 8 mile run.  If my knee does okay for that, I'm fairly certain that my half marathon attempt will be on.  If my knee doesn't hold up though, I'll probably abandon the half marathon quest for now.

Friday, February 14, 2014

Long Run Friday

snazzy new shoes
This morning I strapped on my new shoes and decided to go for my "long run" for the week. Shoes are the same Kinvara 4 that I've been wearing, just a new pair in a new color because my old ones are starting to break down.

I realize that the weather is really cruddy in most parts of the country, but we're actually enjoying some pretty nice weather for February. It was 50 and sunny for my run this morning.  I was dressed in capris and a long sleeve shirt (mostly to protect my arms from the sun). Crazy for Feb!

My training plan has 6.5 for the long run this week, and that's exactly what I did.  I stuck with the 2:15-0:45 interval that I mentioned in a previous post.  I think this interval works well for me.  I'm not breaking any personal speed records, but I'm moving faster than I would have expected given all the walking.  My overall average pace was 11:45 for the run including the walking.  Right now I really don't care about my pace, I'm just trying to work up the distance and protect my knee.

shadow at mid point
What really isn't working so well is the whole running solo thing.  I ran with music for the first time in a long time. I had one ear bud in and one ear bud out.  I've recently bought some new albums, so this kept me somewhat entertained, but it really isn't the same as running with a partner.

To keep myself from bailing on the distance, I did an out and back route.  Once I hit the mid point, I had no option other than completing the distance to get back home.
It was a fairly flat route with lots of sand, which is nice on my joints, that I can run straight from home.  There was a little too much sun though, I won't be able to run this route when it gets warmer.  When that happens, I'll need to drive to a path that has shade.  It's going to be hard to get motivated to do that by myself.

But for now I'm just taking it one day at a time.  

Happy Friday and Happy Valentines Day.  Remember to be kind to others and to yourself!

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

A look back

Tomorrow, day before Valentine's Day, is my birthday.  It will be the beginning of my final year in my 40s. This makes me think about what I might want to accomplish in this upcoming year before achieving age 50. Before figuring that out, I thought I would look back at what my forties have brought so far. Wow. Here's a list of five things in each of three categories (family, fitness, career) that quickly came to mind:

  • Watched my kids grow up before my eyes.  At age 40, they were 11 and 13. Both were in middle school. One was newly a teen. At age 49, they are 20 and 22.  Both are in college.  One is graduating this year! The other is engaged!
  • Experienced the loss of both my father (2009) and my mother (2014).
  • Celebrated a 20th wedding anniversary, and am now preparing to celebrate a 25th.
  • Lots of family vacations throughout, but started vacationing just with Husband more frequently as the kids have gotten older.
  • Experienced the loss of one old dog and then another and then another. Eventually added a new cat to the family, then a new dog, and another dog. One cat was constant throughout this period.
  • Learned to swim!
  • Bought a bike.  And then another bike.
  • Became a triathlete, runner, and cyclist.  
  • Completed over 75 run/cycle/tri events thus far after having completed fewer than five in the entire decade prior.
  • Became a part of the community of weekend athletes. Started Blogging. Joined a run group. Made new friends.
  • Worked in the same organization in the company, but held different positions and gained new skills.  
  • Received some fairly significant recognition at work; also won an iPad in a work-sponsored contest.
  • Traveled outside the US a handful of times for work.
  • Taught classes/workshops at work and now am taking graduate classes for myself.
  • Enjoyed two sabbaticals, a benefit we get every 7 years.

Sunday, February 9, 2014

PPP: Progress, Plans, Problems


  • It might not seem like much, but I did a test run with a 2:15/0:45 interval instead of a 2/1 and it went well.  I was planning on working my way closer to something like a 3/1 interval, but after reading some stuff on Galloway's site it seems like a :45 walk break should be sufficient.  So I'll go with this for awhile and see how it feels.  It's the same percentage running/walking, just with more frequent, but shorter, walk breaks.
  • I also hit my total mileage goal for the week, although not quite exactly as scheduled.  Good enough for me though.


  • This weekend I realized that there is another alternative for a local half-marathon: NMBPS Run for the Zoo. The race I had been targeting, the Albuquerque half marathon is on 19-Apr, and this one is a few weeks later on 04-May.  This may be the perfect solution to my rocky start at half-marathon training - push it out a few weeks!  Otherwise, I'll probably plan to run the 10K at Run for the Zoo.  I don't need to take action on this right now, but I will need to make up my mind in the next month or so for sure.
  • I'm really struggling to find motivation without my usual running partners (two of them have now moved away!).  It seems like I'm going to have to do my long runs solo.  Ugggggggh.

Friday, February 7, 2014

Snowball Shuffle - a week late

Medal Earned!
When I joined the Winter Miles challenge, I also pre-ordered a finishers medal for the Snowball Shuffle virtual 8K. The virtual race itself was last week, but that didn't happen for me.  I did, however, earn my medal this morning.  Since I didn't have to report back my time (due to being late), I wasn't paying all the close of attention to my overall pace, but given that I am still doing a 2:1 run:walk and wasn't really pushing it, I'm guessing it ended up something like a 13:30 pace which puts it in the 66-67 minute range.  That sounds about right.

I'm fairly certain that I will not be entering the Sweetheart Race for this weekend.  After this morning's run, I'm confident that I am not really in race shape.  And I don't really want to pay two entry fees (for both me and Husband) for a training run.  This virtual race, albeit a week late, is good enough for me to feel back at it.  As for Sunday, I think I'll simply run solo before or after church instead.

Looking at my training schedule, next weekend I'm scheduled for 6.5 miles. As long as I can do that, my half marathon training is recoverable.  Right now it's more about the distance than speed, so that's going to be my focus.

Thursday, February 6, 2014

Jan Look Back

  • 30.4 miles by feet (running and intentional fitness walking)
  • 185 minutes bike trainer
  • 2 days fence work
  • 1 celebration of son's 22nd b'day
  • 2 kids off and back to school (empty nest again)
  • Many emotions and decisions and actions related to having a elderly parent clearly in her last days
  • 1 trip out of town for Mom's memorial service 
  • Graduate classes started
  • Bible study started
  • New job assignment at work
  • Several special moments with daughter

  • More stress than I like and not enough fitness.  
  • Some joy, some sadness.  
  • Glad to put the month behind me.
  • Refocus on half-marathon training plan.
  • Enjoy upcoming birthday.
  • Plan for spring break vacation.
  • Stay caught up in class.
  • Be awesome!

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Back, Decisions, & Snow

Hope you are all well.  I should be catching up on my blog reading/commenting in the next few days.Thanks for the kind comments on my last few posts.  I'm back home now and trying to re-establish some semblance of normalcy.  I'm also way behind in my training, but I'm okay with that.  It just wasn't the most important thing for me over the past week and a half or so.

There are two decisions that I'm currently mulling over that need action soon:
  • To drop or not to drop:  I'm fairly certain the answer is to drop one of my classes.  I'm probably going to do that today.  Two classes right now is just too much.  It's stressing me out and this going back to school thing is something I'm doing to better myself, not to stress myself out. [updated to add: I made the decision to drop one and executed that decision.  Feel less stressed already!]
  • To race or not to race:  This coming weekend is the Sweetheart run.  A few months ago, I was planning on doing it no matter what.  Now I'm not so sure.  However, I'm leaning toward doing it, not so much as a race, but as a run and symbol to myself that I'm back in the game.
Saw my share of snow while in OH this past weekend, but we've had a very mild winter in central NM. Woke up this morning to some cold white stuff on the ground.  I took this photo early before the sun came up.  Bandit didn't know quite what to do.  I think it's funny how he's walking gingerly in it.