Tuesday, March 31, 2009

The Atlanta ING half marathon

I got home late last night from a little trip down South where I went to run the ING Atlanta half marathon. That was just one exclamation point part of a beautifully written weekend where I also attended a two-day running coach certification class and visited one of my oldest and bestest friends who came to watch me race in Atlanta and then took me back to Alabama for a great 22-hour, flash-back-to-the-past girly-fest. But back to the race, as this blog entry pertains to running and not necessarily power-shopping for pink attire and my weekend over-indulgence-of-way-too-many-fat-ridden-calories.

The race could not have unfolded better!!!

My hotel was right smack at start of the race start-line. Sweet!!! I woke up in a bit of a sleep-induced fog. I hadn't been sleeping well and I took one (I swear, only ONE) Tylenol PM before I went to bed and I'm not sure if my morning funk was the affects from the pill or the fact that I was just dead tired from the crazy weekend where I had not slept that well...but I was tired and I was concerned. Usually, I am on such an adrenaline/endorphin high that it doesn't even matter if I get an hour of sleep before a race, I'm up and raring to go. There was not a microwave in the hotel so I tried to make some hot water in the coffee pot; I needed some tea and I needed my oatmeal....preferably hot for both. Well, in what had to be the most comical tea/oatmeal making experience ever (this little coffee pot turned hot pot was not working as well as I wanted it to and I had water from one end of the hotel to the other), I managed to get both, though only about half of what I wanted out of each and by the time I actually was able to half eat half drink my luke-warm oatmeal mixed with peanut butter, it was about 20 minutes before the start and I was concerned...I can have stomach problems and knew that this was not adequate time for my food to settle before I started running. And I was feeling it as I lined up.

For whatever reason I keep getting placed in the corral with the elite runners. Happened last year which caused me a lot of anxiety and it happened again this year ....but I knew the ropes now and knew I could move back with no consequences. Still....I have yet to figure out why they place me in a corral with 99% male athletes from Kenya having no more than 4% body fat. One look at me and it's obvious I don't belong there.

It's dark at the start and it's a bit cool...probably hovering around 48ish. At least it's not raining, yet I have no idea if it's going to warm quickly. I place myself behind the first corral but there is no one here monitoring corral numbers like there are in #1 and as I look around, there are corral numbers ranging from 2-10. And the runners' bodies showed. Oh boy. I handed Lisa my coat and in I went with about 5 minutes to the start. As I look around, I see the 3:50 marathon group off to the side, slightly ahead of me. I compute what half of a 3:50time is and figure that if I wanted to run faster than a 1:50 half, I was going to need to stay ahead of them. Somehow. Firing of the gun and off we go.

It's crowded....very crowded. The start of the race is in the heart of downtown and you turn a few sharp turns in the first mile....though I never do find this mile marker and I have no idea of my pace. I'm trying to get into my own race but it's just crowded and as soon as you get into a comfortable stride, then you have to navigate your way around people and position yourself again. It's a huge battle and I have thoughts that Boston will be exactly like this. By mile 2, you disembark the high rises for a the 5-points area and my calf starts to tighten up. I also notice my watch and am averaging about an 8:15 pace. Too slow...but the crowded are still thick and I decide not to take off yet, just try to stayed controlled yet quick. Mile 3 I hit at 7:56...much better. Right after mile 3, you come up upon MLK's birth house and that brings a kinda tingle down your spine. Mile 4is an 8:02 pace but it's also a lot uphill. Mile 5 is around these gorgeous antebellum homes....I hit it with a 7:26. Opps. I just decided that my time was what it was going to be....I could not run any faster to keep a consistent pace to the end so I decided to run hard yet tried to remain controlled. Push but don’t over-extend. Feel a wonderful hurt. I had some annoying right calf tugging, left knee throbbing, and inevitable stomach tension but I did not let it bother me; I looked forward, pushed hard, listened to my iPod, and looked at this drop-dead gorgeous course. Mile 10 was the first time I actually looked at my watch and tried to compute an overall-finish time but my mind wasn’t functioning enough to do simple math and I thought I’d just continue on my unknown finish-time path, and when I crossed, I crossed with whatever I was given. But I did look around and got a warm fuzzy feeling when I realized that I (me!) was surrounded by “guys” with a few of us girls sprinkled in the mix. I was no-longer a mid-pack runner and it gave me the strength to pick up my pace and run stronger than I ever had to the end (7:19 mile - yes!). That is always how I want to finish my races: fatigued but strong.

I crossed the finish line, stopped my watch, got my medal, a post-race banana, mini cinnamon raisin bagel, and some Gatorade and happily munched my gourmet meal as I wandered around the finish-line melee looking for my friend. Suddenly, I realized something. I had fun! I had a great time! Even though I pushed hard and the race hurt in various degrees and levels, I didn't have a start-line panic attack, I didn't dwell on fear, possible lack of preparedness, potential bonking, or other people's progress. I didn't obsess about my pace or my time or even where I’d finish. I was too busy thinking that now was my moment, now was the time to push hard yet remain controlled, now was my time to see what I had and shine. What a immense emotion!!! Now if I can just hold this feeling, cup it carefully in my hand the way I used to catch fireflies as a child, Boston in three weeks is going to go well. It's funny how you can train for other aspects of running, but you can't train joy. It blinks and disappears; elusive as that firefly, but when you have it ...you are a different runner.

Just like the way I pick up shells when I walk on the beach (as if taking something fragile and portable will suffice as a symbol of the magnitude of the ocean), I will store Atlanta's race memories in my mind and when I need to escape or find my way, I will run this past weekend’s half marathon steps in my head and relive that incredible day. Race day was a gift from God, showing me what happens when I learn to trust, learn to quit striving, and relax my way into being me. A true self has to be inhabited, not coerced. I am a new girl and I ran like one: 1:44:11. Not bad, for an ordinary runner......and, that's a PR (Personal Record) baby!!!!!

Week 13 Totals

Week 13
This week running mileage: 22 miles
Total mileage for 2009: 463 miles
This week weight training: 2
This week cross training: 0

I'm back!!!!!

Hola. I know I’ve been absent for a few days with my blog; I’ve been on a little trip to 4 states and 3 times zones in as many days and have had very limited time nor means to adaquately access the internet. But I wanted to let you know I was still alive and I did do a little documentation of each day so here ya’ go:

Thursday 03/26:
I’m currently am sitting in a bar in the Atlanta airport sharing a table and a beer with a guy from St. Louis; he is in the family business for the past 152 years of jail and prison construction. I’m serious. Isn’t it really cool the diversity of professions you encounter that never even crossed your thoughts before? Dennis’ company develops software for jails and prisons…small world. Anyway, I made it safely on the Atlanta ground by the mysteries of the powers that be, one of those unexplained cosmic phenomenal events…because most flights out today were cancelled and as I looked out my airplane window covered with ice and snow, I was praying like I never prayed before that my remains would not be sprawled clear across the DIA runways. I need a drink….and I’m not kidding!!!!!

When I woke at 6:00am this morning with only a trace of snow on the ground, schools were already closed and businesses delayed. The storm was moving quickly and going to dump hard; I knew I had to get out of Denver fast before the storm hit and my 3:41 departure time was not going to make the cut-off of soon to be inevitable canceling of flights. I do not want to miss my class; I needed to get out of Denver quick. I understand that weather is unpredictable and the logistics of changing countless flights is a nightmare in these situations, but please PLEASE, can’t the airlines just be consistent in what they tell a person? Each and every single 8 phone calls I placed landed me with a different explanation of the procedures to get on an earlier flight. This is their profession, this is their job…for heaven’s sake – all need to be on the same page!! Okay, off my soap-box. Somehow that 10:55 flight I mentioned I’d be on in the previous blog was booked solid, then it wasn’t, then it was …you see the pattern. Finally, in an attempt to get me on a flight from Denver to Salt Lake to Atlanta, one very sympathetic woman took pity on my soul (finally!) and somehow got me on the 10:55 direct Denver to Atlanta flight that was now delayed to 1:15. En route to DIA, I was in awe over the amount of snow on the roads and as I nervously picked at my finger nails, I thought there was no way in heck that any plane could possibly take off in this mess and what a waste of time this little excursion was. I was clearly mistaken because oh yeah baby….we took off. Words can’t even express the fear I felt, I won’t even try to explain!

I landed in once piece; miracles do happen. All I can say in summary of today’s little expedition is this: if you take a girl that has a lot of anxiety just to walk on an airplane in perfectly normal conditions and you throw snow, ice, and wind into the mix….I deserved a drink when I landed!

Friday 03/27
Today was day 1 of 2 of my RRCA (Road Runners Club of America) coaching certification class. I am very excited!! Today’s topics: Physiology (Rules of Overload & Specificity; Work Capacity; Energy Systems; Training Adaptations), Nutrition (How Much to Eat; When to Eat; What to Eat), Injury Prevention (Understanding Prevention; Injury Prevention; Injury Treatment), and Psychology and injury. There are about 35 people in my class and the vast majority is incredible, established runners. I have met some wonderful people and absorbed their amazing stories and careers. Evening plans consisted of a gathering of those of us doing the marathon or half to meet after class and head downtown to pick up our race packets, a little expo browsing and then off to a great dinner It was really fun meeting new people and listening to all their running stories. Wow…incredible stories! I thought I ran a lot……

Saturday 03/28
Day 2 of my class and today’s topic is The Art of Coaching (Training Cycles), Training Progressions (Base Building, Sharpening, and Tapering), and Race planning and recovery. Intermixed throughout the day, we did a few hand-on exercises where we had a “client” and had to design a proper training program that realistically met his needs. It was really great! I learned so much about running and I am excited to put my new sills to use.

Managed to make my way downtown from the seminar hotel to meet my dear Alabama friend, Lisa, who came to watch my race (and share some girly time together). What an ordeal trying to use the train but somehow I figured it out with the help of a local homeless man who showed me my way (with some of my spare change). It was great to see Lisa; I hadn’t seen her since last year at the race. We checked into the hotel (the Omni – very SWEET!) and had a little carbo loading dinner at McCormick and Schmidt’s and enjoyed an evening of catching up and getting my race stuff together for the next day. Lisa gave me a necklace she got for me when she was in Greece (she just returned days before); it’s the Greek Goddess, Athena whose strengths are: Rational, intelligent, a powerful defender in war but also a potent peacemaker. Yeah……I can see that in meJ.
It has been pretty much raining non-stop since I landed in Atlanta but finally tonight it was stopping. I hope that tomorrow brings dry skies, I don’t relish the thought of 13.1 rain-soaked miles that I lived through in StG but of course, I’d rather it rain than 80 degrees.

I finally landed in my heavily mattress and down comforter…there is NOTHING better on earth than a down-filled blanket – ahhhhhh!

Sunday 03/29- RACE DAY! I’ll blog on this separate tomorrowbut to give you a peek: I had the race of my life!! Okay, maybe not "life", that was St. George, but I had a great run and it couldn't have unfolded any better!

Monday 03/30:
I am now sitting in the Nashville airport, having slept in 3 time zones and 4 states in as many days, dead tired, enduring yet another delay in flight to get me back home to Denver. I am tired, y’all (a little southern hospitality, being in the South and all!). I am tired and I just wanna go home. But this extra airport time where I have nothing to do other than focusing on my writing (okay, I do have a few Runner’s World I could get caught up on or a great book I started like 3 months ago and am currently on page 55 of 855)

I am sore and stiff, though maybe not particularly as bad as I could be? In order of aching rankings: my quads, my right bicep (only my right), my calves (mostly right again. Hum…..???), my left knee and finally, my ab muscles. Ouch!

I am tired, y’all and I just wanna go home right now and be in the comforts of my own environment but what a fabulous 4-days I’ve endured and I can’t even imagine, even in my overly-tired current daze, that I’d do one thing differently. It’s been a whirlwind trip which will go down in my memory bank as one of the best of the best of memories and I will frequent these days often when I need that little escape to visit somewhere special.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

A Wee Bit of Panic...

Yesterday's legs-on-fire have become today's legs-o-marshmallows. And worse, as I tried to treadmill run today at a measly 8:00 pace fore a mere 4 1/2 minutes, I was gaging. Severely. Hum...what's going on???? Oh, just a minor BLIZZARD that's suppose to hit Denver tomorrow - the same day I need to fly to Atlanta. I have one word for you: Anxiety! Anxiety translates as stress to our mind and body, and stress is not unlike taking a regular dose of poison due to an excessive production of adrenaline-like hormones. Oh yeah, I have anxiety. I have stress. Let's see what I found on some website definition of the symptoms -

Physiological reactions to fear and stress include:
-Muscle tension; tremors (no tremors, but definitely muscle tension)
-Heavy, labored breathing (oh yeah, I almost died on the treadmill)
-Heart palpitations; chest pain (not currently, but most definitely have in the past)
-Abdominal and intestinal discomfort (started about a week ago and progressively getting worse with each day)
-Sweating, weakness, dizziness, prickly sensations, dry mouth, flushed or pale face (no sweat but most everything everything else. Was very dizzy today getting off the floor doing whatever weights I was doing and commented to Rob that I thought my heart rate was low. Prickly sensation? My numb feet, duh! Dry mouth? I've drank about 3 gallons of water today...but that could also be, in part, to my decongestant. Pale face? I always look pale...especially in winter).

I have called Delta twice today trying to convince them that my anxiety over this weather was going to pull the rug right under me; I needed to get on an earlier flight before the heart of the storm came and buried me inside DIA for the night and missing my class on Friday morning. I tried to explain that I really shouldn't be drinking before my big race on Sunday but their unwilling to move me to an earlier flight was going to cause me to be a life member of AA. Oh, I can get on another flight...for $50 with-in changing my flight 3-hours before - and not until. Do they have no heart? No compassion? No empathy or sympathy? Okay, whatever....I'll pay what it takes but I WILL be on that 10:55a.m. flight instead of scheduled 3:41p.m. time. I don't care...I'll skimp in other ways. Who needs food anyway?

Okay, so I have barely packed...because, believe it or not, that's also causing me a little anxiety since the predicted weather while I am there is crap! I can't fit everything for 5 days in a carry-on with weather conditions calling for rain and sun, 40 degrees to 70 degrees;trying to figure out what to wear is causing me to empty my entire closet trying to find something that is appropriate. errrrrrrr....I do not want to check in my bags; what a major pain!!!! So I need to go and at least organize the 10 piles of clothes I have and weed out at least half. I may be MIA for a few days...or longer, depending on the status of Atlanta bound plane touch-down.....or not!

I need a drink.........

A great picture of the freak 2006 snowstorm at DIA. Yeah...now can you see my anxiety?

weight training: 1

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Believe in me....

My legs are on fire; they are screaming to run.....I wish this weekend was Boston; I'd be flying.

I had such a crazy afternoon after work yet I even managed to squeak in a 10 minute nap before I headed over to Brendan's wrestling match. He lost 9-10 but man, he looked great! Had he about 30 more seconds on the clock, I'm certain he could have won. His attitude towards the whole "exercise" thing is still lacking ... but hopefully I can kick his butt a bit and get him back on track. After wrestling and dinner I popped downstairs for a little treadmill interval work. I know, what happened to my new friend, the track? I already got a text from Rob asking the same thing. I think one must remember that springtime in the Rockies can easily mean snow as much as it can me 80 degrees and quickly, winter has returned to Denver – and I didn’t want to run in the cold wind tonight. Plus, it was dark. Plus, I wanted to be done and walk up my stairs, not drive home 10 minutes from the track (I have a lot to do to get ready for Atlanta). Okay, not great excuses but it really was windy and dark and that was enough to call up a visit to my old treadmill friend.

Tonight's workout was simple: 6x400@1:50, 1:40,1:55, 1:35, 1:50, 1:40. They went great. Better than great! It left my mind wondering if I could run at mile at that 1:40 (6:40 per mile) pace. I went back upstairs when the 400’s were said and done and did my mommy duties of lunches, laundry and such but that questionable mile-time-wonder was eating at me; it’s actually been a planted seed since from a few weeks ago when Maureen, a local running coach, told me that she’d love to see my one mile time and to use that to gauge my speed progress. I ran this little theory by Rob but he didn’t seem too excited to jump on the wagon and plop me at the 1-mile start line. He had his reasons. Yet the desire to know continued to grow in me; I even asked (begged) Dennis a few weeks ago to organized the group for a little one-miler get together (he had an excuse for every option I presented. Hum…does any male want to protest this little quest of mine?).

I couldn't help it, I had to test it (Rob's going to freak - sorry!). I went back downstairs post-lunch packing and did it: I set the treadmill to a 6:25 pace and I ran. 3/4 of a mile at this pace and I was feeling fabulous; my breathing was controlled, my stride was smooth...I had to see if I do more. I upped the pace to a 6:18 the last quarter and I finished my mile feeling very strong!! Elated! I KNOW I could run it faster, I know I can! I am beginning to believe in myself. And that's a good place for my mind to be!!

3 miles run

Monday, March 23, 2009

This is How it's Got to Be!

I'm running so well right not that I'm actually a little scared. Like something is amiss because this just isn't typical. Aside from my feet going numb on about every run, even the 3 I did tonight, all is in place; but most important, my legs are feeling really good. REALLY GOOD. I don't think they've felt this good since I finished running St. George last October! And I'm not kidding about that. Balance in my running is a slippery, elusive thing. When you have a patch of well-aligned existence with everything humming along nicely, it's smart to stop and notice how you got here, with the hopes that maybe you can stay longer. So I find it's wise to notice the components of your good fortune. What did I eat (pretty dang well...though I notice that last week I could not each as much due to pre-Atlanta jitters....evident by my lower weight today!)? How long did I sleep (I shouldn't answer that...I don't want to hear the answer)? How did I hydrate (better than average, thank you)? What has my week been like (pretty good...not getting as much done as I wish but I'm making small steps forward)? What's my state of mind (always questionable - ha!)? Am I ice-bathing regularly (not as much as I wish but not bad)? Am I stretching before each run (pretty much, yes!)? I wonder if perhaps the key to my balance right now is that I am okay with who and where I am for the moment - the striving, apologetic part of me has gone on vacation and I hope she settles there awhile (forever?). I find myself a much happier person. I need to take a close look at what I am doing right and keep doing them so that I can continue to run well and be happy.
I don't quote scripture often but it reminds me of Philippians 4:9; "Continue to do those things which you have learned; and the God of peace shall be with you".
In one of my previous blogs, maybe even the last one...I'm not certain, I mentioned getting a much-needed nap now and then. Today was one and I slept hard! I went and worked with Marie after school today at the rec center and I half contemplated doing some cycling after she left but I knew this week was for tapering (and eating more salt and drinking more water!!!) so instead came home and got some thinking and writing done! Sometimes, I will admit, I write while lying in my bed and that can be dangerous. If I am tired. And I was. So guess what? I fell asleep at like 5:30ish. Woke up at 6:00 and I was so groggy and I couldn't even focus on getting up and apparently, I dozed off again and next thing I knew, it was 6:23. I was to meet Rob at 6:30. I wasn't dressed to work out. I jumped out of my bed, changed, and somehow managed to lift some weights in the nap-induced-fog I was in. I felt good and glad I got up and did it and afterwards, Rob and I talked about Atlanta. Goals, expectations, course, etc. etc. Made me nervous. I can't even believe how little I have engulfed my mind in this race....though I can certainly feel it with my ever so sensitive stomach. I want to do well, of course I do, but the half marathon is a difficult race for me; it must be run fast but not too fast...and that's a trick I always seem to never master. Rob asked me what I wanted to get out of the race and I said, "the same thing I want to get out of every race; to run hard yet feel great." That's what it's all about! So I'll be doing a little thinking over the next couple days over whether or not to have a goal time in mind but one thing is certain, I am looking forward to it - whatever it brings!

After weight training, I came home and got the boys some dinner then hit the treadmill for 3 miles at a 7:41 pace. Felt great. Though my stupid feet just seem to tingle .... this is really driving me nuts trying to figure out!!

My weight is down some and my body fat, too. Yes...

weight training: 1
3 miles run

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Week 12

This week running mileage: 37 miles
Total mileage for 2009: 441 miles
This week weight training: 2
This week cross training: 1 cycling

Springtime in the Rockies

It's now legitimately springtime, Happy Spring To All!! I for one am glad that winter is "officially" over....though in the Rockies, spring will not permanently arrive for quite some time. Still, it is in the air and I noticed it yesterday with budding and flowering trees; visually and sinus-y. My sinus allergies are in full-bloom now and so until like November when all outside living is dormant, I will be suffering! I need to get to an allergiet and see if I just can't get a shot and get this guck taken care of! I think my sleep is suffering immensely with all this crud in the air, too. Still......... I'm glad that soon I'll be able to shed the 4 layers of clothing I run in for something light and less restrictinging! And to trade my boots for my flip-flops....I must own a couple dozen :).

It's been strange not writing for a couple days....Funny how when you don't do something in your routine for a bit, you appreciate it with greater reverence. (It is Lent, after all...). I've missed writing, I have no valid excuse other than I just got really busy, but I'm glad to be back.

Friday I didn't do a thing. And I actually ENJOYED it. Usually, I'm so achy to get out and run or do some sort of exercise to the point of when I'm not, I feel I am going through withdraws; like I'll go to bed feeling anxious for not getting that needle-in-my-vein rush in true addict form. But I didn't feel that on Friday, not one little bit. I enjoyed my off day and relished in the fact I has a bit more time to tackle some things that have been lagging in my craziness. Abbey went down to Tucson this weekend with her dad for a little Rockies spring training camp watching and a little college tour...I enjoyed getting her ready for her trip and loading her up on snacks. Not sure she apprecaited the road trip healthy foods I prepared, she told me that road trips were meant to fill up on gas station junk-food snacks. ugh.

Yesterday I had an awesome 22 mile run. I am in awe right now that my legs feel great and I am running strong, partly because of the fact I am not sleeping well and don't understand how I can continue to keep cranking out the mileage on so little sleep. I've decided if my body refuses to get the required sleep at night then I'm just going to make it with a nap during the day. At least on the weekends, and I had a brief one yesterday. The morning's run start was already 45 degrees at 6:45a.m. and it progressively got warmer with each step. Yes, I can feel springtime and the quick warmth it brings. I ran my favorite long run trail but instead of turning North at the country club, I veered South and ran over at Washington Park for a while as a little change. You always find runner's here - always - so it's fun to get a little pick-me-up by engaging with your own breed. I filled my water bottle at the fire station at the park, thinking I would have enough for the 9 miles home and would not have to stop at the car wash to refill again. Apparently my sense of properly gauging my water intake was in winter hibernation because as warmed quickly, exponential consumption of water cause me to go without the last few miles...and this is something I need to really be careful with so I don't end up with serious hydration issues like I did last year. I had some annoying lower back pain and general tiredness after I left Wash Park, which seems to be the norm lately with these long runs, but after I downed an Aleve/GU/Sport Legs concoction, I felt a lot better and ran strong to the end. It was 68 degrees, according to my car, at 10:38 when I was driving back home. Yeah....spring has sprung in Colorado and I am flying high right now. I want to linger here... somehow... if I can... for as long as I can!

Today it's suppose to reach the mid-70 and tomorrow snow predicted. Welcome to springtime in the Colorado Rockies!

22 miles run

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Salad Night

Tonight was the montly salad party that a group of girls in my neighborhood do; just a way to get the girls together and catch up. We all bring ingredients to make a salad...and Anne-Marie brings dessert because she's an incredible baker (I can't bake a thing... and I am not proud of my cooking either). I was this month's hostess. Which is ironic because 1) I rarely ever go and 2) the last time I hosted was, as I just found out, 8 years ago when my friend, Pat, turned 50. 8?? Really?? Cuz I'd have sworn it was 5. Anyway, my dear friend, Shari, told me that there was an opening in March and asked if I'd host. Uh...I really hesitated because my crazy life seems to be all over the map and I hated to commit to actually organizing my house enough to have company. Ha. But then I thought that it needed a good deep cleaning so I said sure, I'd do it. Turns out it was a crazy night trying to get organized! I got home from work a bit later than I wanted. Headed to the big hill for 6 miles of hill repeats. It was warm and I was sweating BIG time! Got home, threw on a t-shirt and headed over to watch Brendan wrestle. Bummer for B...he got pinned within seconds :(. He was very sad and my heart just hurt so much for him. Got home, cleaned more, and by 6:00 realized there was no way I was going to get a shower before everyone came in a half hour. So yeah...gross. I did what I had to do and made myself presentable and had a really nice time hosting the girls for the evening. I ate way too many of Anne-Marie's oatmeal cookies and chocolate cake....oh well. I'm running 22 on Saturday, I'll work it off. I did NOT, though, have any alcohol! Saving that for April 20th!

Hills were okay but not going as smooth as they were last time I ran them, which was well over a month ago I think. I need to do them more regularly! My glutes and my pects are killing me from weights and the bike yesterday...which is interesting that the bike would cause the old glutes to be so sore since I rode less and not as fast as last week's cycling. Hum.

Okay, I'm way tired and I still have dishes to do before I go to bed! But before I sign off though, I want to say a BIG GOOD LUCK to all the prostates doing the Moab half marathon this weekend. I will be thinking of you guys every mile and wish I were there with you! I can't wait to hear all about the weekend!!!!! Run well!

6 miles run

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Week 11

I forgot to add up last weeks total....

Week 11 Totals:
This week running mileage: 39 miles
Total mileage for 2009: 404 miles
This week weight training: 2
This week cross training: 1 cycling

Lord Of The Dance

So last night, in celebration of the happiest Irish holiday alive, I wanted to pay tribute by watching at least the finale of my 'Lord of the Dance' DVD. I got it a few years ago when I actually went to see them perform downtown. It was incredible!! I'll admit it, I'm not ashamed and I'd gladly go again and again if they ever found their way to Denver or vicinity (I'm not even certain they tour any longer??). It's fine athleticism at its best; I think they are amazing!!! So when I finally located the DVD, which was no easy task, I was saddened to open up an empty case. I'm certain Abbey had something to do with this as she despises this DVD - I wouldn't be surprised to find it in a landfill somewhere. No worries, that's what YouTube is for and so I thought I'd post a little of the finale for you. God, I love it (okay, Michael is a little annoyingly into himself...but wouldn't we all be with his talent? Maybe not but still....)! So if you have a spare 8 minutes, watch away!

Went over to the rec center after work today and rode the exercise bike for 11 miles. My butt was killing me again and never really did go numb like last time so I got to feel it the entire time. Different bike with a different seat, which may be the reason. Who knows. Had a good bike workout but I did not go as fast as I did last week; I was with Marie and wanted to at least carry a half a conversation with her. After Marie left, I did some weights. I know...weights on my own?? I was a good girl and did exactly as prescribed on my revised-this-morning-by-Rob plan but I really cannot do those UH pull-ups on my own. I'm not sure what 'UH' stands for but basically, you sit knees up and cross footed on a weight bench and pull your entire body up until your chin reaches the bar. Like a chin-up but you're sitting. Apparently, great for the core.... though I feel it more in my biceps (which actually look pretty amazing while performing these, or attempting to perform thesel)...though I will admit that yes, I can see where there is core strength in this. The rest of the weights I did fine and I walked away feeling great, despite the fact I was so dead-tired when I walked in. I tried to explain this phenomena to Marie when she uses the 'I can't workout because I'm too tired' excuse. Exercise is better than taking a nap when you're tired!!! I know, I'm ALWAYS tired! Ha.

Okay, an early blog entry for me today - yes! Off to clean my house; a houseful of neighbors over tomorrow for our monthly salad party....which I attend about 3 a year and host about once every 8 years (and that's not a lie...I had to verify the last time I hosted with my neighbor as we celebrated her 50th b-day and she confirmed she will be 58 next month. Egads!!! Oh well, I had a great margarita party last May and they all came along with 50 others so I think I can have a good party-hostess).

Cross train: 1 bike

Weights: 1

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Welcome Back, Track

I've officially inducted myself to the 2009 track season; I went over to the high school and ran intervals over at the track. I had been running them on the treadmill during winter and not because it's been too cold out to do them; I'll run outside in 0 degrees with no problem, but repeatedly running around a 400 M circle in the dark is another story. So the treadmill and I have been pretty intimate this winter and I am one actually relieved to be rid of it for awhile. So with temps on the 70's today and prolonged daylight savings sunshine, I thought tonight would be an ideal night to give the track a try.

One thing nice about the treadmill, I will admit, is that you can set a specific pace on the thingy and off you go, taking all the guess-work out of the unknown pace....and cranking out intervals at a much too fast pace - which I am notoriously famous for doing. So not only is it good for my lungs to get the fresh air, my mind to concentrate at the task at hand and not flipping aimlessly through treadmill wasteland television; the track also helps me gauge my pace more accurately by my own little self!

I don't own a snazzy Garmin watch to tell me my pace; I do it the old fashioned way by mathematically computing what a 7:15 pace per mile is and dividing by 4 to give me what I need to be hitting each quarter at. Normally this function isn't too much of a challenge but today I was off on my last quarter and spent way too much time readjusting figures in my head and thus, I hit the first one too fast (imagine) but managed to land the next several right where I needed to be. But I was really struggling with air and struggling to get my mind off the task at hand; which is where I need to be to do these without dying. I was also having some stomach problems before I even started, which carried over to the run. But in the end, I finally DID finish them all, with #5 and 6 being a bit too fast and #7 and #8 making concessions by running a bit too slow. I also determined it's a huge bonus to have a coach or a running partner or a friend there helping you with these because your mind is not operating at anywhere near close to a normal capacity and a little help is what this chick needs!!!!!!

A very Happy Irish Day to ya all and I hope the traditional day's luck was with you! I think on my list of things to do in my life, I'm going to take Irish Step Dancing lessons! I'm certain I'll be kicked out of class by day 2 since I do not have an ounce of coordination (remember Salsa Dancing class, Karen???); but I don't care, I LOVE IT!

9 miles interval run

Monday, March 16, 2009

To Elaine...

My calves are so tight today, I can feel then tighten with every step. I think the hills got me yesterday....I am amazed how quickly I got out of hill shape. Hills on the plan for Wednesday. Not sure there'll be enough time to build into the plan for Boston but anything I can do will help.

Spring has returned to Denver and I like it! My allergies haven't even been nearly as bad today as they have the past few days, which is odd. But I'm GRATEFUL!

Weight training with Rob and 5 minutes of speed work on the treadmill, but my left knee was really bothering me so I had to slow it down a little to get my knee used to the fact it was running. Felt better then. I was totally having a hard time breathing, too.

I had a note on my blog from my St. George friend, Elaine (Hi Elaine) and she said she was seriously considering "enjoying" the Boston marathon and not racing it after reading about my 7K ordeal yesterday. I am 5 weeks away from Boston and I have yet to form any sort of strategy (yet I am getting pretty nervous). I need to tap into some previous Boston marathoner's minds and pick their brains but I think my strategy is just going to be to do whatever I can do in Boston and that's how it will be. It's my first Boston marathon (I have never even been to Boston before), I want to savor every minute while and do a lot of fun things before, my 46th birthday is the day before (there's no better birthday present alive - not even one of those agility ladders, Rob!!) and I really don't want to be so wound-up tense, like I tend to get pre-marathon. I had hoped more in my running group would be joining me in Boston and I wish Rob could see me cross the Boston finish line as he's one that has been pivotal in my success, but no matter what....I will be running Boston 5 weeks from today with Elaine somewhere on the course and THAT has me very excited. I can't wait to see you in Boston, Elaine (I hope our hotels are somewhat close!), and who cares how you or I run - we DID it together in St. George, we're running together in Boston and even though we many not be side by side during the 26.2 miles, you will be by my side in spirit and I will think of you every mile as I know we are out there together. Thanks, Elaine, for being there all these pre-Boston weeks with me! Can't wait to see you and you are going to do awesome in Boston, no matter how you run!

Elaine and I after Boston qualifying; St. George Marathon, October 4, 2008
weight training: 1

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Today: The Runnin' Of The Green 7K

It was a GORGEOUS day in Denver and no better way to pay tribute than to run my favorite "fun" race of the year: The Runnin' of the Green Lucky 7K. I love this race for the sheer fun-ness and GREEN-ness of it. I love everything Irish.
At the starting area was a melee of green attire clad costumed folks, no one was doing the usual nervous warm-up hop, scrambling for a place to pee, or checking a sports watch obsessively. People were laughing, comparing costumes, and seeing who was more green. It felt less like a race and more like a family reunion--with all the crazy relatives present. In what turned out to most likely my fault, we got to the race very late today and ended up parking about 3/4 of a mile from the start. I knew the mammoth entrants of this race was high (it had to be well over 7000) and that parking can be a major issue but I didn't have any idea we'd be so short on time by leaving an hour and 15 minutes beforehand. I still had to register Ryan and Brendan, who were uncommitted to running this race until last night, and I needed to use the mile-long port-a-potty. I regrettably did not bring all the stuff I needed for the race with me with me when we left the car to registered the boys so with 15 minutes until start, I gave the boys stick instructions on where to meet me after (this was giving me such anxiety, I can't even tell you. What if I missed one? How would they EVER find me in this crowd? Would they know to ask someone for a cell phone to call their dad?), and off I ran back to the car to unload and pick up. I really had to pick up the pace on the way back to the start, there were literally no runners on the streets around me, and as I got closer to the start, I heard the announcer call the 1-minute to start warning. I thought I was late for the St. George marathon with about 4 minutes to the gun....by the time I crawled under the yellow tape to hold out runners from spectators, I had about 15 second. THAT is cutting it close. And I was exhausted! I managed to position myself up near the front of the pack but it didn't matter, there were hoards of people filtering in from everywhere and it was literally taking minutes to "run." As I made the first turn, about 300 meters after the start, I realized that I have not hit the right button on my watch and started it...and not only that, I didn't even have it ready to "hit." So I dinked around with my watch some and by the time I got it going, I decided today was not a day to RACE; today was a day to run hard but my legs were not fresh, I was out of breath before I even started, and there way too many people to get uptight about a great race time. I decided I'd just use the race as type of tempo type run and try to run about 8-minute miles, a comfortable yet somewhat challenging pace, and just absorb those around me. The course is very hilly and after Friday's run, my legs just didn't want to run up them hills strong and after hill number two, I was grateful that I had this quick change of let's-not-race-it-heart. I saw Brendan when I was just past mile 3 and he had not quite hit mile 2 and at about 3.5 miles, my neighbor Jim came up behind me and easily passed. I smiled, I was happy he was running well and I was not in the least bit upset with my obviously slower than his performance. The official finish line clock had me at a 33:22 ... which I was shocked because this pace still had me about a 1:20 faster than last year and around a 7:40 pace. I couldn't believe it. But I'll gladly take it!

The masses after the race were just unbelievable and yet somehow I saw a guy, Jay, from the prostate running group and I went and talked to him for a bit. Dennis managed to find us, too, but by now the crowds were swarming and I was getting nervous about meeting the boys; I knew Ryan was going to really have problems if I didn't find him. I went back to the finish area and after about 10 minutes of frantically searching, I found Ryan trying to exit with the swarms off to the side of the exit gate. Thank God!! I got him and we eventually found Brendan in the designated meeting spot (one I was certain Ryan would never find but confident Brendan would). Ryan finished in around 43:00 and Brendan in 49:00. I am super proud!!! That course was definitely challenging and both of the boys are not what you call in 7k running condition.

Miraculously, I found my friend Jim and a group of other runners and we converged over near the beer tent (how convenient). Jim's wife, Jane, and daughter, Katie, came down and we all enjoyed a few beers (aside from Katie who is only 12 :) ) and soon, I look over and I see John and Abbey; he had brought her down unbeknown to me. A few more beers and over to lunch at Wahoos (and a margarita....and by now, I'm so tired I want to go to bed!) - I had a really great time!! Lots of laughs with great friends and no disappointment in my mid-race decision to "enjoy" the race; a perfect day!

I shared my adventure today with a dear Iowan friend who told me: Sounds like you had fun today! Isn't it great to sometimes go with the flow and not let 'have to's' to be in control? Life can be so much more enjoyable.......... Yes, I must agree. Some races are run to have a good time, not a faster time. Not all, but some.

I admit I can have such pre-race nerves where my stomach hurts so much I can't even eat anything solid for days before (the nervousness is exponentially increased according to the number of miles run, most times). I vow to call a truce between my warring internal parties of needing to perform at every race and let my hair down more often. Remind me that I need to go on more adventures.

6 miles run (4.35 race; another 1.65 pre-race "warm-up" :) )

Below are pic from the day:

Brendan, Michelle's sister-in-law, Michelle, me, Ryan

Me, Ryan and Brendan

Me and Jim having a post-celebratory Irish beer!

Abbey and me

Running friends

My green hair-do

Saturday, March 14, 2009

A Walk in the Park

And I mean that literally, I went for a walk at the park today with some friends and their DOGS! I don't really like dogs and I really don't like walking dogs over at the dog park portion of the dog park where dogs in all shapes and sizes are allowed to roam freely without a leash. Aka, the jump all over you....all of them. And there's a creek that runs along side of the path and the dogs all run in the creek and then come out and jump on you with muddy paws. But I really enjoyed the walk, the conversations, and even yes, the dogs. It was a great day to do nothing and rest my achy legs from yesterday's run for tomorrow's 7K race. My favorite races of all races is The Runnin of the Green, being Irish and all....but more so because it's just a lot of fun. Lots of people, lots of Irish activities (step dancing...something I would LOVE to learn to do - if I had an ounce of coordination) and leprechauns galore. I'll be sure to take lots of green pictures to share tomorrow. Anyway, my legs are pretty stiff today so we'll see how well they actually perform tomorrow. I did a little digging through the pages of the Bolder Boulder qualifications and realized today that with that little 5K I did a couple weeks ago, I placed 3 positions higher than last year and don't really think I can place any higher than that! So that's yet another perk that that little 5K provided me! I'll gladly take my 'BB' wave in the Bolder Boulder (to clarify: this race has about 55,000 runners and they way the race is run is by about 30 different wave starts. If you want to be in one of the front waves, you must qualify by running a previous race, at any distance, and which wave is determined by submitted qualified time. I'm not certain how many qualified waves there are but it's customary for those in the running community to be placed as well as possible....so it's an honor to bump up 3 waves from my position last year! :) ).

My allergies are in full-bloom. Ick! My nose will not stop dripping and my eyes are constantly watering. Despite taking allergy medicine. Welcome to springtime in the Rockies!!!

I had a great talk on FB tonight with one of my dearest friends from college, Lisa, who now lives in Australia. What a story her life is! She's going to be home this summer and going to do a couple days of Ragbrai (the Register's Annual Great Bike Race Across Iowa; it's a VERY well-known ride and even Lance Armstrong did it a couple years ago :) ). We're going to try to coordinate our days of riding together...which is really good because I've been latching on to a guy on FB that I've never met through a mutual friend in an attempt to dump my "bag" of gear and a place to stay at nights and he's probably wonder what in the heck he's gotten himself into (no fear, Ross, I will still be there by your side in full-force Rabgrai annoyance! Ha). Anyway, was great chatting with her for awhile. I miss her!

1 3ish mile walk

Friday, March 13, 2009

The Lake Was Like Glass

It's pretty rare that you see Cherry Creek Lake looking like a piece of glass, especially in March when the winds cause major white-caps on this little body of water; what a treat today when there was not even a ripple in sight while on my run. Funny, because I felt the wind when running North but it certainly wasn't unmanageable and certainly nothing like I've endured since Dallas (which was the starting point of relentless wind-induced runs since).
I got a later start than I had hoped but I never-the-less ended before sunset; though at end-point and a few miles before, I was freezing (man, when that sun begins to go down in Denver, it gets cold FAST - no matter what time of the year it is!). I had a great run; my legs felt fresh (despite Rob thinking I had trashed them by going a mere 3.5 mph over what he wanted me to on my bike Wednesday. Hum)!!! There is nothing like the feeling of fresh legs; I have not been in this place for some time and what a glorious place to be. I don't know what my overall pace was but I started at about an 8:30 based on knowing the first mile marker, certainly slowed considerbly somewhere after 5, yet I finished the last mile of my 18ish mile run at about an 8:10 ... that is one of those things that marks my run "successful" - one that I finish strong!
It was one of those beautiful afternoons, sunny outside and sunny on the inside, that feels so good that it sticks in the laminated pages of your memory album and doesn't even need a caption.
The boys are skiing tomorrow for probably the last day of the season; and I had no lunch food for them to take. So I ventured off to the grocery store and what a sight to be seen I was!! I had taken a very long bath upon return from my run and put on my pajamas - at like 8:00 and when I went to the store 2 1/2 hours later, in the same pajamas, my hair totally mangled from getting it wet though not washing it or drying it, my socks and crocs on feet (please!!! I hate crocs, too, but I only own them for convenience...how nice is it to just slap 'em on and out you go for a quick errand!!). I did manage to throw on my winter coat to hide at least the holes in my t-shirt. I apologized to the check out lady who looked perplexed as if I recently wandered off from a mental institution. My daughter would have been appalled (she's up in Boulder right now at the Regis girls' state basketball tournament - GO RAIDERS!! The boys play tomorrow. Yeah, Regis rocks in basketball) !!!!!
18 miles run

Thursday, March 12, 2009

I Need Some New Songs...

I listened to my iPod for way too long on my NM roadtrip and I'm really sick of some of the songs. After I removed the ones that I no longer wanted, I'm down to basically a handful. My daughter would absolutely call me every dorky name in the planet if she knew; she's constantly telling me that on one ever puts one song they like on their iPod and repeatedly play it until you can't stand it anymore. But I'm a little challenged in this area .... but more than that, I need upbeat, FUN songs that will get me moving for Boston. Anyone have any thoughts?? I'm desperate!

My body surprisingly isn't too terribly sore after my 15 mile bike ride yesterday....though I did get a lashing for the 18.5 mph average vs. the 15 I was suppose to do. I'm having a little back pain and my inner-thighs tight but overall, I feel good. And my legs are ready to run 18 after work tomorrow. Did some weights with Rob and felt pretty good. I'm going to try harder not to protest all my weight training. :)

Weights: 1

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

One Heck-a-va Workout

So it's not news that my legs weren't functioning very well last week; I'll chalk it up to stress, over-training (me?), and whatever else I can come up with at the time. I apologize to the those that I apparently freaked out when they thought I did some serious leg damage ... weeks before Boston. My legs do this from time to time. I think that this blog can help me go back and look at the components to see if it can help reveal why and how I got there so try not to land there so much. So it's with great pleasure to say that my legs DO want to work this week and are feeling really good (aside from some knee pain....no fear, I'm currently filling my bath with ICE water to go soak it. Will this ice-soaking process never get any easier??? I shiver just thinking about it).

My plan called for 5 miles tempo at 7:45 and 15 miles on the bike at 15 mph. Yes, that's right...the bike! After much whining, I finally got my way and got some cycling on le plan - I have a great fear that if I end up doing a couple days of the 'The Register's Annual Great Bicycle Ride Across Iowa' (aka: RABGRAI) this summer, I'm going to die. And I'm not kidding about that! I haven't rode my bike in I can't tell you how long. I have been to cycling class (and what a workout THAT is) from time to time and regularly go in the summer when I am off work but the couple days that fit into my schedule to ride in Iowa this summer are about 75 miles .... each... day. So it's time to get a little training in.

So my run first. It went well, but there is no 7:45 on the treadmill; you either get a 7:41 or a 7:47. I opted for 7:41. Maybe not the wisest choice; I really didn't enjoy it that much and was tiring fast but I hung in there (with a couple stops to stretch. And one bathroom break. Perfectly legitimate reasons to for a short break). I also wore new shoes. Day one of new shoes; that always messes my run up - my feet go numb. But since my feet seem to be experiencing some illogical, mysterious numbness anyway, I figured let's just try out some new shoes and hope something works to make my feet alive before Atlanta. The last mile, I picked up the pace. I ran the first 800 of that mile in 7:13 and the final 800 in 7:00. I was sweat-n big time which ironically always makes me feel refreshed; like I just conquered something major.

A quick refill of the water bottle and I headed over to the bike. I have no earthly idea if I can ride 15 miles in an hour; I've never planted my bottom on those exercise bikes at the gym before. 5 minutes on the seat and I'm experiencing biker's-butt - ouch. I should have worn my bike shorts. But it got better, after it went numb a half hour later. I was stoked to see that I was averaging about 18.5 mph and low and behold, I finished a bit before my hour scheduled ride. But what a workout and I was drenched! A few chinups and dips and 2 hours after I walked into the gym, I finally left....feeling great! Sweat-soaked attire and all, after my workout I popped into Tokyo Joe's and got some teriyaki sauce and then to Sunflower Market for some produce.

Opening day for the Pikes Peak registration was today. I internally fought about registering for the full or the ascent but came to terms with the fact that I'm safer, in many aspects, to just do Ascent. 8000' up in 13 miles - that'll work for me. For this year. And I'm in!

Off work today at 1:30, got my kitchen cleaned, some laundry done, landed an awesome deal on some of my fancy-smancy expensive shampoo, a good run, a nice bike ride, got in the Pikes Peak Ascent, used my $25 gift certificate from winning that 5K a couple weeks ago, the boys had a great CSAP day (so they say), Abbey's spirit slightly lifted...... I'll call the day a good one!

5 miles run
15 miles bike

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

It Feels Like a Monday

Though it's Tuesday.

I feel overwhelmed with too much to do. I feel the pressure of Atlanta looming. I feel so sad for Abbey as this college thing is not going as well as we all hoped. I have anxiety over changing my running shoes so close to Atlanta. I have some writing to do that I have not done. I have rescheduled Wednesday dinner with my friend, Paula, 3 weeks in a row now (next week, Paula!!). I can't get motivated to clean my house. I don't know whether to register tomorrow for the full Pikes Peak Marathon or just the half. My feet are going numb again running and that's concerning me. My body fat is up. My weight is up. And I know both are not going to be where I want them to be before Atlanta and I have serious doubts they will be there by Boston. I can't seem to stop eating. Winter is back in Denver.

B won his wresting "match" today - woohoo, Brendan, way to go! He won 10 - 3....though I couldn't even tell you one thing he did to earn those points other than he "looked" like he was stronger. I'm not sure how one learns about wrestling, especially middle school where there's not a lot of feedback. Brendan told me that he did get a warning that he was "stalling" and would lose some points if he didn't get moving. So he did. I guess.

My legs are feeling a little better. Last week I seriously wondered if I'd ever run normal again. I did some weights with Rob tonight, some ladders, and a mile at 7:35. Felt good. Came home, ate a handful of crackers (hey....crackers COULD be on my schedule [I haven't officially received it yet]- even though they never ever ever ever have been. yeah, right), and popped back on the treadmill at home for an additional 3 miles. SLOW miles! But my legs felt really good and maybe that was the little pick-me-up I needed....though my feet are sitting here being numb - err!

CSAP's this week through Thursday - meaning I am off work at 1:30. Yes, a hard life I live. Sorry, Dennis, you know I gotta rub it in. And I know you'll have a unruly comment about it tomorrow. Just remember, that's why you make the big bucks; you actually go to work a lot! I have an 18-miler scheduled for Friday which I'm half tempted to move to Thursday since I have more daylight running time and as it's predicted to snow on Friday... but I won't. A St. Patty's 7K on Sunday. LOVE that race, the Irish and all inside me. It's also a Bolder Boulder qualifier ... and I feel the pressure of that, too! I ran well last year and well, yeah....no comment right now. I'll think about this more tomorrow and comment more on it. Gotta get off this thing and attend to some other deadlines.

4 miles run

Monday, March 9, 2009

Week 10 Totals:

Week 10 Totals:
This week running mileage: 31 miles
Total mileage for 2009: 365 miles
This week weight training: 2
This week cross training: 0
Speed and Agility: 2

A Couple Lost Days

I've been in New Mexico for a couple days for John's father's funeral. A sad event, as to be expected; he was a well-loved man. The service was amazing; I was deeply touched.

Ran about 6 miles on Sunday morning. It was a breathtakingly gorgeous morning and I hit the trail that I used to run which has the Sangre de Cristo mountains to the east and the series of volcanoes to the west. It is amazing country; I always feel different when I run down here, like the ancient Spirits of the Southwest are giving me a little extra lift, a little extra zest. I feel their presence and can understand the power of their magic. I had a miserable marathon here many eons ago but that had nothing to do with my spirit; it had everything to do with my sprained ankle! Sunday's run was filled with fresh air, blue skies, flowering trees (my allergies were severely stuffing me up) singing birds, and balloons were in the horizon. The day befit the occasion for Al's funeral.

I consumed about a million too many calories; I know it's customary to bring food to the family of a lost love one but I have learned over the course of 2 days eating about every sugar-related consumable out there, that I will never bring any edible item with sugar in it when a friend is in need. I not only gained weight in 2 days, I also feel like crap! Back to plan tomorrow; I can't wait!!!

I am super tired. I-25 hangover is consuming me!!

6 Mile run on Sunday
4 Mile run on Monday

Friday, March 6, 2009

Lost in the DTC

Tonight, the girls and I went out to the Comedy Works over in the DTC; we got severely turned around while navigating our way out and laughed as much at that as we did the show. Great show; just want I needed. It was also a night for visiting the Irish establishments as I met a friend downtown today at Kate Mullens - a very cool new place that is actually four bars in one and then later tonight we had dinner at Slattery's (which also hosts a Saturday running club). Oh, and I managed to also visit the Mexican culture, too, when I had lunch with my aunt at Senor Del Sol.

Prior to restaurant and bar hoping, I did squeak in a 12-miler over at the state park. Before I begin to whine about my never-ceasing stiffness in my legs, let me just say that this is the first time that I can remember in ages that the lake was sooth as glass. No white-caps like last time there, not even the slightest ripple. Its calmness was so peaceful and relaxing. Now, if my legs just would function like they're suppose to; they're as tight as cello strings....and have been for a few days. Err. I found this picture online of the reservoir; the view is practically identical. I'm very blessed to look at this view everyday!

Heading to New Mexico in the morning so may not blog for a couple days; will see if I can somehow get Internet access.

Happy weekend!

12 miles run

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Grateful for the 4 I finally got

I guess when there's not much to report, forget to blogging about it becomes on the back burner and before you know it, it's past your bedtime and you haven't done it yet. Tonight's one of those. I did manage to run about 4 treadmill miles at about 8:00 pace. I tried a 7:35, which was on my plan, but it wasn't happening. My legs are tighter than cello strings!!!!!! I need a massage - but I don't think it's going to happen. I was so rushed after work today to get everything done I needed to that squeezing in my run was proving difficult so I think a lot of the pace thing was because I couldn't focus nor get into a zone. Every step felt forced and forced steps equate to a difficult run. I had to get Ryan to a choir concert at Grandview but had not fed any of the other young 'um's so I rushed home after dropping him off to get them dinner and a run on the treadmill and back to Grandview all sweaty and smelly for 2 solid hours of middle school choir. I manage to make a protein shake as I literally had keys in hand while turning on the blender. But I was thankful to have something to do (drink my shake - which was so thick it wouldn't even budge from the blender. I was too rushed to get more water to thin it out, which actually was a contradiction to the "hurry" because I spent more time getting it out of the blender than had if I just put more water it in so it would have poured easier) because, as one of my high schoolers in attendance said afterwards, "It was nice but my God it was long!!!! I agree, Dani. I was grateful for my molassis-consistency protein shake to placate me for an hour. A quick grocery store after the concert to get snacks for tomorrow's post-concert party, a juice stop run for Ryan, a great conversation with an Iowa friend and before I knew it, I've broken one of my Lent sacrifices: getting to bed earlier. But that's okay (well, not really.... but not much I can do about it now), I also didn't eat the best today either. Two sacrifices shot! In one day. Well, we could actually say three since I didn't ice bath my legs either.

12 mile run tomorrow morning (I have the day off. Dennis was right when he asked how I'd handle a full week of work. I still haven't :) )....not sure where I will run but it will come to me in the morning. Somewhere close as I'm meeting my aunt for lunch downtown and a friend after lunch for some mall browsing/shopping.

4 miles run

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

One Ripped Parachute

Yeah, another parachute training day, in gale-force winds. Apparently my pray-for-no-winds-on-parachute-workout-days did little good; it did the opposite. Maybe that's a sign that I just need to accept the fact that parachutes are going to be part of my routine? Okay, I cave. I think by the time I actually felt the beneficial drag of this contraction around my waist, I crossed the line and was done. So I'm not certain what I'm currently doing is providing me much in terms of becoming speedier so I was kinda wondering about all this when I may have heard Rob say something about "intervals" with this thing over at the track in the future.....I think I'm going to pretend I didn't hear that comment. As a bonus to my deafness, I may have broke the thing ... as I was running the parachute got caught on a retaining wall and yep, I managed to yank the puppy off and got a nice ole rip in it! I have a feeling that's not going to deter my interval track work. All in all, I am getting a little more comfortable with it.

74 today in Denver.... gotta love it!!

Some weight training, which I felt super weak, and a tab bit of treadmill running, which about killed me. Just not all together today. Pulled a muscle in my back around my shoulder blade today; I worked on it as best as my body would allow me to - I looked like a pretzel! But it is feeling better. My sinuses on the other hand are in full-force allergy season. I think. And last but not least, Abbey came home from day 2 of golf and asked is she could quit. Why am I not surprised?? Uh, no!!

1 ish mile run
Weight training: 1
Ripped Parachute training: 1

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

In Like A Lion

The beginning of March in Denver is true to the old weather proverb: it has come in like a lion. Not in term of harsh cold but in lines of wind (though I can't help but wonder if February's brutal winds weren't envious of March's title; I certainly ran through my share of fast flowing February air). March's roar was certainly being heard loud and clear as I made my trek across the trails at Cherry Creek this afternoon, wind blowing dust everywhere - including my eyes, which without half a cup of dirt just blown into them, are already killing me with pre-allergy season upon us (will I ever persevere this sinus stuff??? Please???). A relaxed run at about a 8:50 pace....though I'm certain I ran harder the first half than the second. Which seems to be a habit I'd love to break. I guess I feel so good when I start out yet can't seem to maintain. Even in races. Unfortunately. My legs are still feeling stiff from God only knows what. I've determined it's just a combination of so many things and when my mileage builds up to around the 50 miles per week range, my body does not go forward without incident in some way. This will be a good recovery from last weeks' week.

Another record setting high in Denver today - I could certainly get used to this!! Abbey decided to go out for the golf team at Regis. Her golfing portfolio consists of an trip to the golfing range with Brendan once last summer and maybe a few rounds of miniature golf when she was little. This sudden interest came as a bit of a bewilderment but hey, go for it, Abbey! Brendan's into week two of wrestling and loves it (I pray it brings him the inspiration to get motivated to workout again) and Ryan has a choir concert upon us this week. Both the boys have expressed an interest in running the St. Patrick's Day Runnin of the Green 7K in a week and a half. I suggested they get outdoors and get a tab bit of running in beforehand; but no one's listening. I'll bite my tongue....or I'll try.

If the old saying is true, March will go out like a lamb - I would really appreciate it if it does!! Especially in Atlanta on the 29th!

BTW, I just learned that the "In like a Lion, Out Like a Lamb" phrase apparently has its origins with the constellations Leo, the Lion, and Aries, the ram or lamb. It has to do with the relative positions of these constellations in the sky at the beginning and end of the month. Originally, it had nothing to do with the actual weather! Who knew!!!

(If you wondered why my text is in italics today..... it's cuz of the wiiiiind :) )

8:30 and I'm done with lunches, done with some ironing, blogged, and chicken thawing for tomorrow's dinner....wow, this is a first!

7 Miles Run

Monday, March 2, 2009

In Memory....

John's father passed away last night; we're all pretty sad, of course. He had a stroke on Super Bowl Sunday and never fully recovered. A second stroke caused his death last night. My heart is heavy..... I think we've all been there and know how tough it is. It's part of life, but we don't have to like it. He was one of the greatest guys out there: loyal, never said a mean word about anyone, never ever complained and was compassionate and caring to the core. He was also one of the most intelligent people I've ever met and I enjoyed his stories and memories; I look forward to reading memoirs about his travels as a missionary child in China to the Navy in WWII to his life at Princeton and then his days as a minister. He will be truly missed. The only picture I can find on my laptop of Al is one from about 2 1/2 years ago (my how Brendan has changed - thankfully) at his home in Albuquerque.

So to you, Al and John I say:
There are those that will lead us and protect us each step of the way. From beginning to end, for each moment forever each day; such a gift has been given, it can never be taken away. Though the body in passing must leave us, there is one to remain to receive us....there are those in this life who are friends from our heavenly home. He is so in my heart, he is here and can never be gone. You will never be alone, he will always be in your heart!

It was a gorgeous, sunny 73 today in Denver....who can complain. I spent a great deal of the morning contacting people about John's father and then I managed to get to Costo - which has been on my list of 'to do's' for about a month. Wish I could have said I spent the day outdoors but after the store, laundry was screaming to be sorted, I had about 10 loads sitting on my bedroom floor. But I did open my window and enjoyed the fresh air!! Another great day here tomorrow...but I am back to work. I'll head to my favorite trail after work for a good head de-clogging run. Weights tonight with Rob and some of those FUN ladders. I'm not sure my speed is picking up any but I do feel a little more comfortable.

One tired girl headed to bed. G'Night

Weight training: 1
Speed and agility:1

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Week 9 Totals

Week 9 Totals:
This week running mileage: 45 miles
Total mileage for 2009: 334 miles
This week weight training: 2
This week cross training: 0
Speed and Agility: 2

A Little Tribute to a Local 5K

I ended up racing the little 5K that was held over at my favorite running place; it was held on the dam road that connects the west side of the lake to the east side and sits up so high that you can see the entire front range and downtown Denver. It's pretty awesome. It's closed to runners and cyclists so I thought it a special treat to have it closed off for this little race.

I really don't enjoy running 5K's because they flat out HURT. You have to run them hard but how hard is always the question. I typically take off too fast in any race. Adrenaline or anxiety or both and wham....I'm always at the first mile sooner than I want. In almost every race. But in the shorter race, if you hit it sooner than you want, you don't really have time to slow because the race is almost over. I hit mile 1 in a 6:56. Yeah...definitely too fast. But I wasn't sure if I could keep that pace...though I was hurting. But could I hurt just a little longer? I hit mile 2 at 7:10 and I was really feeling it here. Mile 3 slowed even more but I happily finished at 22:32 (7:16 average pace). My lungs were killing me (I definitely need more tempo running workouts). It's gotta be at least pre-twin era before I ever ran under 23 minutes for a 5K. Next time, I hope I can manage under 22. :)

This was a very small race and so I knew I had a chance of placing well. And I did: I cranked an official 2nd place in my age group and 9th female overall. Woohooo! I got a medal and a gift certificate to a local running store here in town and.....I won a pair of running sunglasses in a drawing! Wow! I never win anything. So in the long-run, I actually MADE money on this little local race and I wanted to pay homage to it by sharing some pictures of those that made the race possible - a huge thanks to all!!!!!
I'm tired and my legs are feeling it. I look forward to a little less running this week (I hope) and maybe hitting more cross training. I cannot believe Boston is only 7 weeks away *gulp*. I'm gonna go and hit an ice bath...as promised!
4 miles run