It's a very slow process - two steps forward, one step back - but I'm inching in the right direction. - Rob Reiner

December 30, 2011

The Countdown is On – and Goals for Disney!

I can’t believe it…..after months and months of training my FIRST marathon is almost here.  Only 9 more days to the Walt Disney World Marathon – GULP. 

Jack is cool, calm and collected...he's not worried a bit.

I am nervous.  I have a million things running through my head:  Did I train hard enough, what will the weather be like, what if my plane is delayed and I can’t make it, getting up at 1am for a race is INSANE – I’ll be exhausted before it starts, what if I cramp up, what if I can’t finish, what if I get sick???????…….all these crazy thoughts.  Michael - JUST BREATHE!

So I thought I needed to put together some goals to help calm my nerves.  My A, B, C Goals…..basically what I MUST do, what I would LIKE to do, and what I would LOVE to do. 

Walt Disney World Marathon Goals

A Goals
Finish my first marathon
Have fun and enjoy every step of the experience
Spend quality time with my husband and girlfriends
Pace myself, don’t start too fast

B Goals
Finish in less than 6 hours
Finish with a smile on my face
Get great race pictures
Finish with no new injuries
Finish strong

C Goals
Finish between 5:45 and 5:59 (or below…but not gonna happen)
Do a cartwheel across the finish line – NO this isn’t serious….I couldn’t do a cartwheel without running 26.2, but it would make for a fun picture
Be able to walk the next day

So what do you think?  Any “goals” I should add?  Any advice from your first marathons?  I’m going to give myself an ulcer if I don’t stop stressing about this race.  Help ME J

December 28, 2011

2012 Races and Goals

I have never actually sat down before and developed fitness goals.  I've set a few in my head before, but this is the first time I've put it on "paper".  It's kind of exciting and makes things seems a little more real.  It will be fun to look back at the end of next year and see how I did!

Goals for 2012
Complete first marathon
Complete first Olympic Distance Tri (Hy-vee Triathlon – Take II)
Complete first Half Ironman
Finish a half marathon in under 2:30
Participate in at least one organized event every month
Run at least 13 miles once per month
Run a 5K with an average pace in the 10s
Log 1200 running miles

2012 Tenative Race Schedule
Jan 8 – Walt Disney World Marathon, Orlando, FL (first marathon)
Feb 8 – Buffalo Run 5K Trail Run, Parkville, MO (first trail run)
Mar 4 – Little Rock Half Marathon, Little Rock, AR
Apr 14 – Rock the Parkway Half Marathon, Kansas City, MO ("A" Race - PR??)
May 6 – Flying Pig Half Marathon, Cincinnati, OH (get to see my friend Coy Martinez)
Jun 16 – Topeka Tinman Triathlon, Topeka, KS (Long Course - trial run for the 70.3)
Jul 8 – Kansas City Royals All-Star Game 5K, Kansas City, MO
Jul 15 – Ford Ironman 70.3 Racine, Racine, WI ("A" Race; first 70.3)
Aug 5 – Sunflower to Roses Bike Tour, Overland Park, KS
Sep 2 – Hyvee Triathlon, Des Moines, IA (Olympic Distance - will end up being my first technical olympic)
Oct 20 – Kansas City Half Marathon, Kansas City, MO (this is a maybe race)
Nov ?
Dec ?

I'm sure I'll add a few more races here or there.
Disclaimer:  My goals, as well as race schedule, are all 100% contingent on my shoulder.  I haven’t posted much about it lately, but I still have no idea whether or not I am going to need shoulder surgery.  In everyday life, my shoulder doesn’t cause me much pain, but I still can’t sleep on my left side without pain and it still feels extremely unstable.  Certain movements still cause pain.  I haven’t been in the pool since August, so I don’t really know what to expect.  I kind of put it out of my mind while I focused on marathon training.  I am hoping to have my ART Dr. start working on it after my marathon and see if it helps.  If it doesn’t, that will probably mean surgery and I won’t be able to do any triathlons next year.  If that happens though, I will wait until next fall to have the surgery and continue to bike and run until that point….at least that’s the plan for now.

Have you given any thought to 2012 yet?  Any new goals/races???  Tell me what you are doing.

Oh, and if you read Jim's "conversation" post today, you were probably expecting a rebuttal.  I have decided that if he is going to continue to completely fabricate conversations, I'm just going to ignore him.  Well, that's probably not really true, I just really wanted to put this post out there.......I will actually have a little something for you regarding this ridiculous "PR" beard soon.  Stay tuned...................................

December 27, 2011

Christmas Eve 20 Miler!

Saturday was my LAST long run before Disney!  So, I got up early on Christmas Eve morning and headed out.  Technically I'm supposed to be in taper and was only supposed to do 12 on Saturday and not 20, but I missed a long run when I had a sinus infection and felt like I needed to "make it up" I did.  I honestly think it was a good idea and will help me mentally.  And I still had 15 days of taper....I think that's more than enough. 

My training plan has had me alternating between long runs and shorter runs every other week once I hit 15 miles, so I had done 22 two weeks ago, but only 13 last week.  My 22 miler really took it out of me.  I had been sick and wasn't feeling it after about mile 3.  I had severe calf cramps at 18 that I had to fight for the last 4 miles.  I felt pretty miserable after the run...but when I was finished I still felt confident I could do the 26.2, but I just thought I would barely drag myself to the finish line.  My 20 miler this week was completely different......

I felt great, almost the entire run.  I started out feeling good, and I really felt pretty good overall until about mile 16 or 17, and even then I just started feeling pretty tired, but wasn't overly exhausted.  When I was finished I walked in and said to Jim "I just kicked that 20 miler in the A$$!!"  Pardon the language, but I was pretty excited about it.  I then took Jack for a recovery walk and put in another mile and a half for a total of 21.5 miles for the day!  It was a HUGE Confidence booster!!  I finally feel ready for Disney!

And, my overall pace for the 20 miles was 12:57 per mile, which was over 39 seconds faster per mile than my 22 miler and  even 23 seconds faster than my 19 miler!  And to make things even better, the majority of my "injury" issues seem to have subsided.  My hips and foot are feeling much better. Overall, I'm feeling pretty two weeks of taper and then it's GO time!!

After my run there was lots to do to get ready for Christmas time with family.  We had a GREAT Christmas!  It was awesome to spend time with my family and just have some time to relax and unwind.  I ATE WAY TOO MUCH and need to do some major scaling back on the eating this week. 

I hope everyone had a wonderful Christmas too!  I'll leave you with a few pics.

Me & my beautiful niece

Jack with his new Angry Birds toy

My new running jacket - I love it!!

My awesome cow from Coy Martinez :)

Jim and our grandson Ryder with his new dump truck
If you missed my 2011 Recap, check it out here.

December 23, 2011

2011….A Mostly Great Year!

Although 2011 has brought with it quite a few injuries, I also managed to achieve quite a few accomplishments.  Here's my year in review:

Completed 19 organized events:
*   3 - Half Marathons - Oklahoma City (coldest half marathon EVER), MO' Cowbell (PR), and            Kansas City (another PR)
Me & Madi after OKC....FREEZING!!!!  Sick as a dog here!
Me & Coy after MO' Cowbell....Moooooo!
After the KC Half....Got Milk?

*    1 - 15K - Cerner 15K (first 15K so it was a PR).  During the race I PR'd in the 5K, 10K and 15K points!!  How cool!
Me & Jim after the Cerner 15K

Finish line of my first and fastest 15K

*         2 - 10Ks - Hospital Hill, The Northface Endurance Challenge (PR)

Hospital Hill 10K "Robot" pose
Northface Endurance Challenge - It was super HOT!
*          1 - 4 mile run - Westport 4 Miler
Luck of the Irish!
*          4 - 5Ks - Groundhog Run, Diva Dash, Corporate Challenge, Halloween Hustle
Me & Jim.  Our first underground race.  I was sick as a dog here too.
Before the Diva Dash.  Super excited.
Before the Corporate Challenge 5K.  Look how green everything was.....I miss that!
Pre-race Dance prior to the Halloween Hustle!
*    3 - Sprint Distance Triathlons - Topeka Tinman, WIN for KC Women's Tri (PR from previous year), Jackson County (huge PR from previous year)
Me & my friend Michelle with our race results at Topeka Tinman.  Our first Tri of the season.
Me & Michelle after WIN Tri......after a long rain delay, the day turned out gorgeous.
A group of friends before the Jackson Co Tri.  Future Racine 70.3 training team.
*    2 - Bike Tours - Tour De Lakes, Sunflowers to Roses

*    3 - Virtual Races - Cupcake Half Marathon (Jason @ Cook, Train, Eat, Race), the Jelly         Bean 10K (Run With Jess) , and the I Just Felt Like Running Virtual 5K (Jeff at Detroit Runner)

Trained for my first Olympic Distance Tri (sadly didn’t finish it)
Sad face at packet pick-up for my should have been race

Trained for my first marathon (will complete on Jan 8)

Completed my first ever 50 mile bike ride
The "after" pic....we made it 50 miles!!  It was the hottest day ever - around 100 degrees.

Got to be part of my stepdaughters first race ever (10K) and first half marathon and my stepsons first 5K
Madi & Jim at the Ground Hog 10K
Me & Gage being silly at the Halloween Hustle
All of us the night before OKC Half Marathon.  Who knew it would rain buckets on race day.

Got to meet and run with Coy Martinez of First in Philly

Me & Coy at Mo' Cowbell
Learned how to use Clipless Pedals

It might have taken me a couple of tries to get the hang of it.

Set new 8 PRs over the course of the year (I think)

Ran my fastest mile ever in training

Ran a 10:14 mile....not fast for you, but fast for me!

Became a Blogger

So glad I started blogging and got to know all of you!!

Got to watch my husband cross the finish line of the Boston marathon and back to back marathons
Jim almost to the finish line at Boston.  What an awesome experience.
Jim right after finishing the KC marathon - his first marathon in two days.

Jim, Me, Madi and Nate right after the Des Moines Marathon.  That makes #2
Ran, biked and swam a lot of miles.  I didn’t really start tracking this really well until about about March or so.  Bummer I don’t have exact mileage to share, but I know it was my highest mileage year to date.

I look forward to an EVEN BETTER 2012!!

December 21, 2011

Merry Christmas!!

Jim, Jack & I Wish you ALL a very Merry Christmas. 

I know many of you have seen this picture already.  I guess that's the problem when you have a spouse who blogs too.

Many people have asked if that's really our kitchen or did we super impose this image somehow.  Yes, that is really our kitchen and it is a real photo.  Jack has mad skills!!

We look forward to sharing more stories with you in 2012!  Hope everyone has a wonderful New Year!

December 19, 2011

ART Makes Me Cry

I wish I could tell you that I had recently seen the works of Michelangelo on the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel or Leonardo da Vinci’s Mona Lisa in person and its beauty brought me to tears, but that is not the kind of “art” I’m talking about.  I am talking about ART – active release technique.  I’ve talked about it in my blog quite a bit over the last few months; it’s a specialized form of chiropractic medicine.  Although, very, very different from traditional chiropractic manipulation.

After reading about ART several times in blogs, I searched out an ART Dr. in my area for some pain I was having in both hips.  I have to say he has done wonders for me.  When I first went in I could barely walk, much less run without pain.  My hips felt locked up and out of place.  Now, for the most part I have limited hip pain.  It still comes on occasionally – like after a 22 mile run, but it doesn’t bother me day to day.  About a month ago, I remember saying to the Dr., “You know this ART stuff is not so bad.  I had heard so many times how painful it is supposed to be, but it really doesn’t hurt that bad”.  He just smiled and said, “Well sometimes it just depends on what area of the body you are working on, but also some people just have a higher tolerance for pain”.  I decided then and there that I must just be exceptionally tough.  I’m not saying it doesn’t hurt – trust me it’s not a pleasant experience, it’s just that the pain was tolerable.  And he was right, there were areas that were a little more painful, like when he worked on the adhesion in my abdomen, and he worked on my calves a few times too.  Sometimes I would have to hold my breath a few times to get through it, but it was ok.

So last week when I developed some very sudden foot pain, I called him up and asked if he thought he could help.  Well yes, of course, he was actually very good with foot pain.  So I made an appointment and went in after work on Thursday night.  My visit started with Mark, the “motion counselor” – not sure if that’s his technical title or not.  Anyway, Mark provides you some specific stretches and exercises for the area that is hurting, and also hooks you up to some giant electrodes.  I have had this done on my hip several times now, and it’s also not very pleasant – I knew the foot was going to be bad.  So he slaps one very large electrode over the heel of my right foot, and then puts a couple others in the general area and cranks up the juice.  Immediately my foot begins to tingle – it’s that pins and needles feeling you get when your foot is asleep, and then my toes start involuntarily spasming.  My big toe is waving like it has just been crowned the next Miss “Toe Jam” America.  The rest of my piggies are also doing a little dance of their own.  Let me tell you – when your body parts are moving involuntarily – it is not a fun time.  This lasts for about 10 minutes and then finally I am done and ready to see the Dr… I’m glad that’s over.

Dr. Black works on my hip for a few minutes first…ah not so bad.  Then he does a little work on the calf…hurts but I’m getting through it just fine.  Then he starts in on my foot.  HOLY crap – that hurts!  I begin to breathe in and out like I’m in labor.  Before I know it I’m yelling out “OHHHHH Kelly Clarkson” like Steve Carrell in the 40 Year Old Virgin.  Then I say a few other choice words, and he just responds, “ahhhh… we see the real you come out”.  I’m thinking no, this is not the real me, this is the holy batman I’m about to give birth through my foot me.  Before I know it, out of nowhere the tears go streaming down my face.  I am crying…..involuntarily crying….I can’t stop it.  It sucks.  I can’t remember being in this much pain before.  Poor Dr. Black, just looks at me and says “I’m sorry, I know this hurts, but I have to do it if you want to get better.  If it makes you feel better my ex-wife used to have major foot problems, and every time I worked on her feet she always cried.”  Hmmmm, I am thinking to myself, there’s probably a reason that “wife” was preceded by “ex” in that previous statement. 

Anyway, this torture goes on for about 15 minutes (might have been less, but it seemed like forever) and it’s finally over.  I just knew I wasn’t going to be able to stand up, but to my surprise when I put weight on my foot it actually felt better.  I was able to run 5 miles on it the next morning.  I have continued to stretch, exercise, ice, and heat the foot, and it has improved some.  I go back for even more torture tonight.  Wish me luck!

If you want something to make you laugh, check out the pic from my last blog post.  Hysterical. :)

Frisky Reindeer & HBBC Updates

Last weekend I had my first ever 22 mile run and it really took it out of me!  I have been having foot pain, IT band pain, you name it, it hurts on me right now.  So, luckily this weekend my long run was only 13 miles.  Who knew I would ever get to the place where I could put 13 miles and "only" in the same sentence.  That feels pretty good.

Anyway, I was just running around my neighborhood on Saturday, and as I was approaching the 1 mile mark on my my run I came across a couple of reindeer in some random person's front yard that apparently got a little frisky overnight.  I couldn't help but laugh and take a picture.  I was hoping I wouldn't get caught taking the picture so they didn't think it was me who re-arranged their poor reindeer.  And although I thought it was pretty hilarious, I was also hoping that they didn't have any kids.  I wouldn't want to be the parents who had to explain this situation.

This is my last real training week before Disney.  I have a 20 mile run on Saturday (Christmas Eve) and then it's taper time.  This time, in 3 weeks, I'll be (hopefully) posting my race report and will be able to officially say I'm a marathoner!

HBBC Update:

Last week I earned quite a few points since I started my week with a 22 miler!  Of course, I didn't run as much with the pain in my foot, so I biked alot more instead.  My week looked something like this:

Miles Run/Walked:  31 Miles = 31 points
Miles Biked:  42 miles = 14 points
Hours Spent Weight Training: 1 hour 20 minutes = 5 points
Days I got in 7 fruits/veggies: 4 days = 4 points

Points Total = 54!  Woot, Woot!

I've gotten a total of 194 points so far, which seems like alot, but I'm in the advanced group and there are some people who are earning like 80 points a way I can compete with them.  Plus this is my final week of hard training and then I move in to taper mode so my points will go down significantly.  That's ok though, I've had a great time doing this and it's helped keep me accountable and focused on eating better!

December 15, 2011

If I Were a Race Horse I Would Have Been Put Down by Now

“If I were a race horse I would have been put down by now”, I texted my friend Coy of First in Philly.  If you know much about race horses, this is a sad but true statement.  Unfortunately when they become injured or can’t perform well anymore many times they are put to rest.  If they are lucky they find a nice home and someone to take care of them.  But, if they were habitually injured they’d be glue for sure!

Soapy Horse (stolen from my friend Coy's FB page). Thanks Coy!

I feel like an injured race horse.  Luckily for me no one is trying to put me out of my misery.  Maybe they should….not literally….but sometimes I wonder if it’s time to hang up the racing dreams.  But I really just can’t imagine doing that at all.  Plus I have delusions of living out the Dreamer story (injured race horse returns to former glory).  I can see the headlines now, "Habitually injured runner and triathlete Michael Weatherly breaks world record", or something like that!

My body drives me crazy. It literally revolts against me.  I get over one injury only to have a new one creep up out of nowhere.  Every time I make forward strides, something strikes and pushes me back again, but I keep moving forward.  I don’t stop.  I just try something else.

As most of you know I’ve been battling a hip injury for the last several months, but I’ve been a woman on a mission.  I have been going to ART (active release technique) therapy 1 to 2 times a week for two months, I have been eating better and losing weight, I have been stretching daily, I have been working out my core daily and I have seen HUGE improvements.  After my 22 miler, my left hip was a little sore, but it’s kind of worked itself out over the last few days.  Things have been going great…….

Then……out of the blue……LITERALLY.  I am walking across my bathroom floor when all of a sudden I have the most awful, burning, painful, cramping feeling in my right arch/heel.  OUCH!  Maybe it’s just a cramp………nope, still there an hour later, and another hour later, and the next morning.  When I wake up Wednesday morning I can’t put any weight on that foot.  It feels like someone sliced it open, pulled out the nerve and poured acid inside.  So many of you are automatically thinking plantar fascitis right?  That’s the same thing I thought when I had this two years ago.  Turned out to be Tarsal Tunnel syndrome; it’s just like carpal tunnel, but it’s in your foot.  You have a nerve that runs from you ankle into your heel which can get pretty inflamed.  When this developed the last time I had 3 cortisone injections in my foot (not fun) which didn’t help at all.  I ended up in a boot for 6 weeks and in tennis shoes and orthotics only for several months after that.  It finally healed and hasn’t given me any problems, until now! 

Seriously????  It’s 3 weeks til Disney.  I will say this came on much more suddenly than last time, so I’m hoping it’s just some kind of weird flare up that will go away as quickly as it came on.  And even as I’m writing this post, it has already improved some.  But, I took action right away.  I iced it immediately, took some ibuprofen, massaged it on the tennis ball and have been stretching my foot and calf every few hours for the last few days.  Tonight I go see my ART Dr. to see what he can do for me.

I do not want this to be another Hyvee Triathlon where 1 week from the event I get sidelined.  I can’t mentally deal with that.

Rest assured however, that I will be running the Disney Marathon.  Some way, somehow, it will happen!  Thanks alot for all of the great comments on my last post about my 22 miler by the way.  They are seriously so encouraging!

I can’t tell you how frustrating it is to work so hard only to be habitually injured.  I feel like a whiner and a complainer and that’s totally not my style.  I ask myself all the time, am I just not tough enough???  Are these just minor things that other people just deal with, or am I just “special” in that I’m constantly developing some ridiculous new pain and injury.  My ART Doc and I are trying to get to the bottom of this mystery.

OK, on a positive note.  I lost another 1.4 pounds at Weight Watchers and reached my goal weight this week!  (well I came within 2 pounds of my goal weight, which is all that is required by Weight Watchers to get back to Lifetime status).  This means I get reimbursed for the 10 remaining weeks of our At Work Series!  Woot!  Money in the Bank!  That’s a total of 12.2 pounds overall!

December 12, 2011

22 Miles and I Lived to Tell the Tale!

Last weekend I was supposed to run 21 miles as part of my Disney Marathon training.  After battling a sinus infection for a week, I just wasn’t up for the task.  I cut it short and did 15 miles – which felt like a million.  The previous week was a recovery week from the 19 miler I had done the week before… I hadn’t done a really long run in 3 weeks!!  But I knew with Disney just 4 weeks away, I had to get in a good quality long run this weekend.

I know a lot of marathon training plans don’t take you over 20 miles, but I knew for me that mentally I had to get past 20.  6 more miles is a ton!!  4 more miles, well that just seems more “doable”.  However, jumping from 19 to 22 was a lot – especially when I hadn’t done a long run in 3 weeks.  I was determined to get out there and get it done though.

So yesterday I set out for a 22 miler!  It was chilly, but the sun was shining.  I started about 7:30 in the morning.  It was about 30 degrees, but with winds of about 12 mph, the wind chill was around 23 degrees.  I had frost built up on my shoulders by about mile 5.  As I’ve mentioned before I do a run/walk technique and it works pretty well for me.  I run 3 minutes and walk 1.  I knew those last few miles would be difficult, so I told myself that once I got to mile 18 I could change it to a 2 minute run/2 minute walk. 

By mile 10, I really wasn’t feeling it.  I was tired, and drained.  I still am not totally over my sinus infection, but I kept pushing.  I did two 11 mile loops, and when I finally reached 11 miles, I thought, holy crap I have to do this again!!  I was really starting to tire by mile 16, but kept pushing myself to keep that 3 to 1 ratio.  A 3 minute run might not sound like a lot, and it’s not at mile 5, but by mile 16 it seems like forever.  I finally made it to 18, and just about that time my left calf started cramping so badly I could hardly stand on it.  I tried over and over to stretch it out, but it just wasn’t helping.  My 2/2 ratio was kind of out of the window.  I did the best I could, but I really kind of hobbled and limped my way through those last 4 miles, although still running some!  It was pretty miserable.  But I got through them…I really had no choice – I was 4 miles from home.  I have had the calf cramping issue before and it’s always in that same calf.  I’m not really sure what causes it.  I was hydrating and using sport beans, and even ate a granola bar during my run.  I am just super hopeful it doesn’t happen on race day. 

I ended up averaging a 13:30 pace -  I was doing a little better than that, but my 15 minute miles from 18-22 really hurt my overall average.  Anyway, in case you were counting that means it took me almost 5 hours!  4 hours and 59 minutes to be exact.  That is a LONG time.  I’m serious, you fast runners just have no idea how lucky you are.  All I kept thinking was this would have only taken Jim like 3 hours and it took me 5!!

At the end of the day though I made it and even walked hobbled another mile with Jack as recovery for a total of 23 miles and I know that had it been race day I would have finished.  I would have limped to the finish, but I still would have finished!  Only 4 weeks til Disney!!

Today I feel ok though.  Better than I thought I would and I'm pretty happy about that.


December 07, 2011

What UP Wednesday!

What’s Up……

·        It’s FREEZING!!  This morning it was about 11 degrees with wind chills of about 4 or 5 degrees.  I headed out for a 7 mile run, but decided just to do 5.  I think that was plenty.  This picture doesn’t do the cold justice….my eyelashes were literally frozen, and I had ice crystals on my head and gloves.

I'm Sexy and I know it!  (Yes this is a hot look, if you are a Ninja!) 
·       I purchased this new Brook Baraclava (the headgear).  It helped keep my head warm and toasty this morning, but I can’t really get used to running with something over my mouth and nose – I kept lowering below my mouth to breathe.
·       Cold weather running sucks… means 2 pairs of socks, 2 pairs of pants, 2 shirts & a jacket, 2 pairs of gloves and something on your head, face and neck!  That has to add like 5 pounds to your body when running.
·       Speaking of pounds, yesterday was weigh in day at Weight Watchers – I have lost 10.8 pounds to date!!  (That’s 7 weeks if you’ve been counting)  Woot!  Woot!
·       I have to run 22 miles this weekend.  That’s a lot of miles!  Only 5 weeks til Disney!
·       It’s only 3 weekends til Christmas and I still haven’t finished decorating my tree (sigh).

What’s New in YOUR World?

December 04, 2011

From Bustin' Bootie to Feeling Puny!!

Well if you read my post last week you know I was bustin' some bootie in the workout department - logging my most running miles in a single week ever and racking up 55 points in the Holiday Bootie Buster Challenge.

Sick as a Dog!

Unfortunately that came crashing down this past week when I came down with a sinus infection and cold.  Last Saturday I had a long run of only 10 miles (recovery week), but during my run I noticed my throat was really sore  -  I hoped it was just the cold air I was breathing in.  After I got home, showered, stretched, etc I realized I was getting sick - CRAP!  Saturday for the most part I felt ok, it was just that my throat was on fire.  By Sunday, I knew I was coming down with something, but I decided I would still try to get in a bike ride on my trainer.  As the day progressed I felt worse and worse.  I tried to still do "something" most days whether it be a 2 or 3 mile walk/run or a few miles on the bike, but I didn't have much energy to dedicate to training, but so close to my first marathon I knew I had to keep doing something.  Finally on Thursday I broke down and went to the Dr. where I found out I had a sinus infection (and cold), but I was given a Zpak antibiotic (yea!!!!).  By Friday I was feeling much better and yesterday I was feeling ok enough to go for a 15 mile run.  I was supposed to do 21.....but knew there was no way I could do my longest run to date feeling the way I was.

That missed 21 miler is going to hurt my training schedule a bit, but that's ok, I'm going to make it work - so 21 miles this weekend.  I am hopeful to feel back to 100% so I can have a good running week overall.  I really need it.

Anyway, in spite of the illness I still managed to rack up a few points this week in the HBBC!

Miles Walked/Ran - 17 miles = 17 points (1 point for each mile)
Miles Bike - 27 Miles = 9 points (1 point for each 3 miles biked)
Hours Strength Training - 1 hour and 20 minutes= 4 points (1 point for every 20 minutes)
Eating 7 servings of Fruits/Veggies = 4 points (1 point for each day you reach 7 servings)

Total Points: 34

I will say, being sick and knowing my points would be down helped me to focus on my eating my fruits and veggies a little more to get my points up.  I'm sure it helps since I was sick anyway.

November 26, 2011

Bustin' Some Bootie!

A few weeks ago I signed up for Amanda's Holiday Bootie Buster Challenge.  It started last Saturday.  It's pretty easy really, just track how many miles you walk, run, or bike or time spent doing weights or cardio.  You get points for pretty much everything you do and then you can stay in shape over the holidays and compete against others for some great prizes.  You can still sign up - just click on the link above.

It happens to be a bonus for me that I'm in the late stages of marathon training right yeah...I can earn quite a few points.  And it didn't hurt that I had my first ever 19 mile run the day after the challenge began.

Last week stacked up like this:

Miles Walked/Ran - 45 miles = 45 points (1 point for each mile)
Miles Bike - 21 Miles = 7 points (1 point for each 3 miles biked)
Hours Strength Training - 1 hour = 3 points (1 point for every 20 minutes)

Total Points - 55 - Woot!!  Woot!!

You can also get points for 7 servings of fruits and veggies everyday.  I didn't really track this but doubt (sadly) that I met that most days.  So this week I have something new to focus on.

Hope you are all staying fit and active through the Holidays!  I know I ate enough this weekend for 3 people.....NOT GOOD!!  I wish I could say I feel fat and happy, but really I just feel fat!

What are you doing to stay in shape this holiday season????

November 21, 2011

19 Miles: Just a Walk in the Park!

 I wish!! 

Well, the weather this weekend just plain sucked.  I was planning to run 19 miles on Saturday, but I had to make a decision…….

Saturday’s weather was warm – about 65 degrees, but it was 25 to 30 mph winds, with occasional gusts in the 40s.  I knew I would be miserable and exhausted running in those conditions, but my alternative was….

Sunday – Major cold front.  Temperatures would be around 32 with 12 to 15 mph winds – so wind chills were in the low 20s.

Neither option was great, but at the end of the day I decided to opt for Sunday.  While colder and still somewhat windy I knew I could bundle up and stay warm – there was nothing I could do to stay out of the winds on Saturday.  I took Jack for a short walk on Saturday, and it was miserable, it didn’t matter which way you were walking the wind surrounded you can just about knocked you off your feet – I was glad with my final decision.

The run went ok, I finished and that’s was the most important part.  I took my time – that’s for sure, and ended up averaging a 13:20 per mile pace.  Yes that’s SLOW.  It took me 4 hours and 14 minutes to do 19 miles.  Seriously, you fast runners don’t know how lucky you are.  Jim ran a marathon on Sunday too and finished nearly an hour ahead of me.  But that’s ok, my goal time for my marathon is around a 13 minute pace so I guess 13:20 for a training run is not too bad – especially considering the weather conditions.  I mean I was bundled from head to toe wearing two pairs of pants, a thermal compression top and fleece jacket, gloves and a warm winter hat.  Plus I had my camelback and food with me.  That’s a lot of extra weight to carry around on a run. 

As I mentioned in my previous post I decided to try out eating while on the run this week.  So I purchased some Cliff Mojo Bars (basically a trail mix bar – good carbs and some protein), Fig Newtons Strawberry Minis (good carbs, small and easy to eat), and some candy orange slices (got these for the pure sugar – 3 of those little babies is 130 calories so it was easy to get calories in).  I also brought along my GU Chomps.  I pulled the trail mix bar into tiny pieces and put everything in zip lock baggies.  I decided to eat every 2 miles – I would have 1 orange slice, 1 piece of trail mix bar, and 2 mini fig newtons and some Gatorade.  I would take a 2 minute walk break to eat.  Then at miles 5, 9, 13, and 17, I would eat a GU Chomp.  Mile 2 came and I tried to get my goodies out of my pack.  It was more difficult than I thought.  Trying to fumble the pack with my gloved hands proved impossible, so I had to remove my gloves and then pull out three separate zip locks.  Already, I realized this wasn’t going to be an easy process and I was going to have to come up with something more efficient for my next run.  My 2 minutes passed very quickly and when it was time to run again I still have the fig newtons and the orange slice to down – which I did while running.  Mile 4 was much of the same thing – fumbling to get everything open and in my mouth.  By mile 5 was time for my GU chomp, but I was feeling full….I didn’t want it.  Mile 6 came and I still wasn’t ready for more.  I just drank some Gatorade and kept moving.  About mile 7 I finally had a GU, and by mile 8 I ate again.  I don’t know exactly how many miles apart I was eating, but it was definitely more than 2.  That’s what the training runs are for – to figure all this stuff out.

The good news is that the food was very helpful.  I didn’t get all crampy and miserable at the end of my run and the food didn’t upset my stomach in the least.  I was tired of course at the end of 19 miles, but I felt ok.  After my 17 miler I didn’t think I could walk another step.  After my nineteen miles I was READY to be done, but know I could have done more if needed.  That felt good.  All in all it was successful, and I just need to keep working at it to determine what’s going to work for me on marathon day. I am pretty sore today, but nothing too bad.


Jim at 50 after 40!! (that’s my husband).  He set a PR at the Route 66 marathon in Tulsa!  It wasn’t the PR he was hoping for, but I think he’s pretty AMAZING!  He is the most consistent runner I have ever seen.  He put in some hard work on a hard course.  Way to go Sweetie!

Ryan my co-worker – remember the co-worker I interviewed a few months back after his first Ironman?  Well, he did IM Arizona yesterday finishing in 9 hours and 14 minutes!!!!!  He took almost 30 minutes off his finish time.  AMAZING!  I haven’t heard yet, but I think that should mean he earned a spot in Kona!

Just a cute picture of Jack as a puppy for no real reason at all.

November 17, 2011

Three Things Thursday X 2 + 1

I got my new Brooks yesterday!! Can I just say that I LOVE them!!  They are so amazingly comfortable.  I took them out for their first trial run this morning.  I was conservative and only ran 1 mile in them.  I can definitely say that they work different muscles – almost immediately I could feel my calves, and about half mile in I could feel my hamstrings really working.  I will definitely have to transition into the slowly.  But overall, I am really happy with the purchase. It felt so weird when I took them off and started running in my normal running shoes.

  • Winter is here!  I am not ready for this weather yet.  It was 25 degrees this morning.  When I came home from my run I had ice crystals on my gloves…..not used to that one!  Brrrr……..

  • My Breaking Dawn midnight movie buddy had to cancel on me, but have no fear I ended up changing my plans and I’m going to an 8pm pre-screening tonight.  I am however going all by myself.  But I’ll be surrounded by literally thousands of other fans so it will still be fun!

  • My pace times are actually decreasing instead of increasing.  This is very frustrating.  I suppose it’s a combination of running with pain and the colder weather.  Jim informs me his times get slower in the winter too.  I am struggling to maintain around a 13 minute mile pace – even on my shorter runs.  Just a few months ago I was hovering around 11:30… sucks!  I did a “speed” run yesterday and my average pace was around 11:50 – I was doing those around 10:30 not that long ago.  Arghh……

  • I do think my new Dr. is seriously on to something.  He discovered a very tender spot in my abdomen – tender as in, when he applies pressure I can hardly stand up from the pain.  It’s weird because I never even knew the pain was there.  He thinks I might have an adhesion.  I am having a few other medical tests done just to rule out other causes, but he’s still kind of working on it.  For sure I have very tight rectus abdominus and psosas muscles.  I did a little internet research on issues that can be caused by these muscles being tight – first thing mentioned for the rectus abdominus muscle is shoulder instability – what!!  Crazy right?  It’s amazing how interconnected our bodies are.  The Psoas causes pain in the hip flexors.  So anyway, still working on strengthening my core and going to ART a few times a week.  I am not seeing over night improvement, but I didn’t expect to – I am however seeing some improvement so that’s encouraging.

  • I have 19 miles on tap for Saturday!!  This will take me approximately 4 hours+.  I will be experimenting with eating actual solid food while on the run.  Since I am a slow runner and my marathon will take me between 5 and ½ and 6 hours I knew I wouldn’t be able to make it on gels alone, so I figure I better start getting it figured out now.  It’s only 8 more weeks til marathon time! Do any of you eat during a long run?  I know it’s not common, but I’m going to be out there a long time.  I totally bonked on my 17 miler and almost couldn’t make it in the door.  After I got some food in me I felt much better.  I’m hopeful this will help me finish a little stronger this week.

  • Weight loss update.  I've been doing Weight Watchers 3 weeks now and I'm down 6 pounds!  Woot!  It's not a ton of weight, but I'm going in the right direction!

November 14, 2011

Barefoot by Nature??

So, as most of you who follow my blog know – I’ve been pretty unlucky in the injury arena.  I’ve had my fair share of injuries, as I know many of you have as well.  Injuries tend to make us branch out and try new things.  I am pretty willing to try just about anything at this point to see if I can improve my current situation and make sure I get to Disney for my marathon in January

Last week I had ART (active release therapy) done twice.  I also had a wonderful/painful massage on Friday.  I go to a VERY good massage therapist.  I asked her to work on my hip and she did.  I was literally bruised within an hour of the massage with about 15 bright red bruises around the top of my left hip, and a few more on the right.  I should note that I bruise pretty easily.  She spent 30 full minutes on just the hip, hip flexors, and psoas muscle.  During my run on Saturday I had very little pain in my hips and it was so wonderful.  By Sunday, the pain was back, but not quite as intense.  I am seeing some improvement.  I was encouraged by the fact that some of the things I am doing are beginning to help.

I have also started reading the book Born to Run – which is awesome by the way.  It’s not at all what I expected.  It’s a lot of really exciting running stories kind of pieced together.  I’m a little further than half way through the book, and I know at some point that talk more in depth about minimalist/barefoot running, but they have barely touched on it at this point.  However, that said I have been doing a little reading and thinking of my own about the whole minimalist thing. 

My husband Jim very adamantly thinks the minimalist running thing is a fad, and maybe it is.  I guess only time will tell if it is a fad that goes away in a few years, or if it is a fad that keeps going and becomes more of a movement.  Do I think that all running shoe companies have gotten on board to make sure they don’t get lost in the dust – yes I do, but is there something to the whole concept?  I don’t know.  I know I ordered my first pair of minimalist shoes this weekend – the new Brooks Pure Cadence.  I tried them on at Dick’s and they felt AWESOME.  Instantly AWESOME.  I figure even if I don’t like them for running, I think they are super cute and will be a great addition to my shoe collection if nothing else.

Brooks Pure Cadence - a minimalist stability shoe

Anyway, this morning – just for an experiment I decided to try barefoot running.  I only had a 3 mile recovery run on the schedule so it would be the perfect time to try.  I decided to run the first mile in my shoes to warm-up – which I did and my hip was hurting pretty good this morning.  After the first mile, I took my shoes off and ran in just my socks (while carrying one shoe in each hand – I’m sure I looked a little ridiculous).  I decided to see if I could run a half mile….I didn’t want to do anything too crazy to start out.  I ran a half mile just fine and you know what I felt GREAT.  Within 2 strides I had zero pain in my hip – ZERO!!  I’m serious.  It was not what I expected at all.  I figured without the cushion of the shoe my hip pain would be worse.  I thought well it might help my form in the long run, but it’s going to hurt bad, but it didn’t.  Maybe it was all in my head.  After a half mile I put my shoes back on and ran another half mile – my hip was hurting again.  Then I decided to try another half mile barefoot again.  Same response – no pain in my hip.  I ran the last half mile with shoes on – pain in the hip again.

So am I a barefoot runner convert?  No.  It was however a great experiment.  I seriously can’t wait to get my new shoes though and see how they impact the pain level.  Like I said, I’m willing to try new things at this point.  Isn’t that what the endurance world is really all about?  There are so many different things out there – different ways to eat – Paleo, Vegetarian, Raw foods, etc.  Many of us are Garmin addicts, but some never even wear a watch.  I think you keep experimenting until you find what works for you.  And what works for you may not work for someone else and that’s ok.