Tuesday, June 30, 2009

The A/C goes on

I turned on the A/C today for the first time this summer. Had hoped to make it through all of June without it on but it was in the low 90's today and I got a late start to the track so when I got home, I was melting. It was needed. It's off now, though; I never run it at night - never. Not needed in Colorado. I do like my ceiling fan above my bed, though at night :)

I do not have pictures of the boys camping and climbing 14er on my computer yet so will post those tomorrow.

I spend the entire day indoors writing for Soul's Newsletter. I won't go into detail but that newsletter and my sense of what it's worth is apparently not on the same sense that Rob's is. And thus, I have not gotten a plan...which I don't understand at all!!! So I've given up on the plan and any future plans from him -- apparently, a plan is considered "above and beyond" what I pay for. Hum. Must be above and beyond all clients because I know they all receive them. Must just be me that it's pointed out to. No, I'm not too bitter right now....can't you tell? I'll keep my mouth shut on everything else that's transpired in the past two days with him, but the no-plan thing had to be addressed since I'm suddenly winging in solo.

And it's not that I can't make my own plan but for two years he has and now suddenly, it had to be drilled into me that it was something "above and beyond" the services he provides. Isn't that what personal training is?

Okay, done venting.

Went to the track for some intervals. Decided I needed some severe punishment - Built up frustrations that need to be released, no better way than in hot temperatures on the track. So I did a series ladder and thought I would do them for stamina (the capability of sustaining prolonged stressful effort. Direct from Wikipedia, folks). Not sure how stamina differs from a regular interval, but I was reading my coaching book and it said those were best for marathon training. Got on McMillian and figured out what I needed and wrote times on business card. Decided the best way to suffer was with the following:
1x400 @ 1:53 (ran 1:45. Opps)
1x800 @ 3:45 (ran 3:39. Opps again)
1x1200 @ 5:35 (ran 5:27. Dern...gotta slow myself)
1x1600 @ 7:30 (ran 7:33. Um, don't really like mile repeats?)
1x1200 @ 5:33 (ran 5:31. Getting better)
1x800 @ 3:43 (ran 3:42. Eureka!)
1x400@ 1:51 (ran 1:42. Dangit)

That was a killer workout....but it was just what I needed!!! I felt great.

Had hoped to get in another run tonight but I worked on Rob's newsletter until almost 8:00 and I had not fed the kids yet and Brendan wanted to go to REI. Normally, I wouldn't even think about going out shopping so late but my fried mind thought a little retail therapy would probably be good for it :). Brendan's been hiking up a storm lately and wanted to get some new hiking boots (trail running shoes, really) and they were having a big sale (I'm all about SALE). I used to work there, LOVED IT, so it's hard to go back in there and actually pay full-price for things; the discount they have is really incredible. Anyway, found him some shoes and I bought some new trail shoes, too (and get this..they have a tad of pink stitching on them. COOL. But not for long if I actually DO wear them on the trails :P). Can't wait to maybe try them out this weekend!!!

Rob calmed down finally (not on the plan, just on working out again) and wanted to meet tomorrow at 5:15 a.m.; he's upping his workout time 15 minutes and cutting each amount of time by 15 minutes so wanted me to workout 5:15 - 6:00. Um, not tomorrow - I am dead tired; I have slept very little the past couple nights and did not get a much-wanted nap due to me writing all day for him, so I emailed him that I couldn't make it tomorrow. I think it's the best for my health to get some sleep!!!!! I'll hit the gym later in the a.m. Not sure what I will run but don't want to do anything too major cuz I want to run strong on Thursday for a tempo run. Which I just haven't been able to hit the mark with lately so this will be important for me. After Thursday, I have not figured out what I will do, but it will come to me :).

In the meantime, through all this Rob mess and no plan, Brian emailed - he is the Cross Country coach at the school I work. He is going to start working with me for Portland. Yea!!!

There's a killer fly swarming around my head....errr!

5 miles run

Monday, June 29, 2009

My own devices...

Picture of last year's Pikes Peak Ascent. Burr!

.... with no plan, I sent out on my own devices to the gym. I'm not really sure what's in my best interest; I scoured several past plans and picked things off of a few things that I could identify. I had no idea if this selective pin the tail on the donkey approach is helpful but I can't help but think that doing ANYTHING has to reap some rewards somewhere. I just didn't know what Rob's long-term plan was so I just threw things together and once I got to the gym, I just threw away what I scribbled down and went with a series of weights that I haven't done in awhile -- I mean, may as well hit some muscle groups that are maybe feeling neglected....if there are any out there remaining untouched; last week I could swear I hit them all.

Anyway, I decided upon a circuit of 7 different things, trying to touch most muscle groups, and finish each set with a 1 mile run at higher then tempo pace. I'm not sure the logic there...just seemed to make sense.

I'm not sure I set the weights hard enough...most likely not. Okay, I'm certain I don't cuz it doesn't hurt as bad as when Rob sets them. But the fear of pulling something and doing some permanent damage was at the forefront of my pea-brain, having done something with the ole glute muscle some-odd weeks ago in the same gym. I'm being ever so cautious. Sorta.

Nevertheless, I was sweating like I was vacationing in the Amazon or somewhere like that. The whole process took me over an hour, which included a good mile warm up. I hit the 1 miles starting at 8:00 and with each one thereafter, increasing the speed by 8 seconds, finishing the last mile in 7:44. I was surprised how good they felt. I mean, really good! I was blissfully happy about this.

I thought about hitting the ground tonight for a 4-5 mile run but decided against it; I want to run some intervals tomorrow at the track early and I'd like my legs to be fresh. It's time to get serious with this speed stuff or I'm never going to get faster for Portland. If I'm running intervals with tired legs, it's never going to happen.

Heat has decided to make it's presence in Denver - hovering around 91 today and called for 94 tomorrow. I'm going to get up and run intervals at 6:00 to avoid the heat -- something I must start doing. I'm not sure what I'm doing for intervals but I'm gonna get on McMillion and maybe come up with a ladder of sorts. Sounds good.

4th of July weekend coming up reminds me of last year when I ran Pikes Peak for my first training run. I'm thinking I'm not running up it for training this year for the race, August 15th. At least not this weekend anyway. I asked Rob for some input on my Pike Peak training but haven't heard anything yet. I have such limited time to get up there, if I decide to, because of my two-week trip to the Midwest soon.... time to get some plans brewing.

4 miles run
1 weight training.

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Week 25 Totals

Week 25 Totals:

Week running mileage: 52
Total mileage for 2009: 878 miles
This week's weight training: 3
Cross training: 2 (cycling class, swimming)

Topping off the week

I could barely move today, not because I was sore from the 19 I did yesterday, but because I was just tired (and no, I did not drink any alcohol last night - though I did go to a retirement party. I drank water). I have so much weighted on my shoulders right now; decisions pulling me in many directions. What to do. Where to go. Things broken. Things not right. They kept me up a lot at night.

I registered for the Park City Marathon, which is the weekend after Pikes Peak Ascent. I hope I'm not making a horrible choice -- but I did it. I will NOT run it for anything other than to get in some mileage. And to get away for a couple days; and to a place I've longed to go for a very long time. And because I was asked. I was asked to go by a running group via some online training I do for them.....I am pretty stoked about that. So my goal is no goal: I will run it in 4 1/2 hours and nothing faster. I will not trash my legs running it hard, I will use it for experience for pacing, for hydration, to try out something other than that powder Accelerate which I have been using and is causing me a lot of function complications,etc. So please, don't expect this big PR or anything of the sorts....it's a 26 mile training run and that's it!! My PR, hopefully, will come in Portland on Oct. 4th!!

'nuff said about that.

I am still tired. I did not get a nap today and got so little even done. Not sure I'm meeting Rob in the a.m. or not; we're having some money discussions going on right now and nothing settled. Trying to figure out a price for my writing vs. his training and well, I owe him and not paying until this is all settled. So it's 10:35 and nothing settled. So I'll just do whatever until it's fixed. If it is. He did send some nice, encouraging (?) words today...he doesn't read my blog but nevertheless, I'll say thank you!

I went for a little swim today. Not as far as I wanted, my head was killing me, but I went and it felt good. I need to start making the weekly swim a priority because I really feel the rewards it provides for tired muscles. And it's a great workout. It's just not easy to get it with everything else.

My neighbor's house painting is done. It's ugly. Actually, it's really pretty for a baby's room...but at least it's toned-down from what it was. I am going to get some of my own paint tomorrow - I have finally found what I want. I hope it doesn't look like crap!

The boys are home from camping/hiking. Ryan took a lot of pictures and I'll try to get them on the blog for tomorrow. No idea what my running week looks like....we'll see where it lands, I guess.

1 swim

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Please don't leave me...

Washington Park where I did some of my long run today

I'm boasting higher than average mileage this week; an attempt to help me learn to run strong through the fatigue of the marathon. Today's 19 unpleasant miles helped land me my high mileage trophy.

I just didn't really have it today. And that's okay, that was the purpose... sort of. At the time, when I was hurting, I wasn't thinking this. Now I am.

I was really down about today upon my finish. Yet I think I also predetermined that it was a poor run before I even started running, actually. I was dreading the run and therefore decided I just wanted to punish myself in my misery and be overly miserable. I think I somehow figured that if I ran poorly enough by hurting so much, I would crave the good I once had and that would help plant me back in the right frame of mind; the frame of mind I've been longing for and haven't been quite able to reach. I've felt very alone upon my return, especially in the past couple weeks, and I have not been dealing well with that.

I think it worked....eventually. I came home, took an ice bath and sent out a few email to some runners for their feedback for an article I'm writing. I got an email back from the CC coach and he said a few things to me that made me sit back and do some thinking. He also told me he sensed my frustration and would try to help me get back my motivation. His words got me thinking and maybe I needed that run to put things in perspective for me.

Everything cannot constantly be easy otherwise we take it for granted and we lose the fight to work hard. I lost that fight and upon my return from Boston, just haven't wanted it enough to get out there and I've been afraid for weeks....scared it's going to leave me.

One time, not that long ago, when I had the insurance to help pay for the luxuries of both a physical and massage therapist, I went regularly ... both for my bothersome ailments and for the sanctity of my well-being; both people really could speak to me on a level that helped plant me in the right direction -- especially Charlie, the massage therapist, whom really has this uncanny way to worm your entire life out of you; find a solution to all your woes; and then make your legs feel heavenly...all in the course of 60 minutes. I'd walk out of there with my head back on straight and feeling light on my feet. But I haven't had his magic touch, both on my legs and my brain since before I went to St. George and I miss it. On many levels. I think it's time for a couple Charlie sessions before I go back to work this fall....I think he can help me with my glute pain and my head pain. I'll have to see what I can come up with.

Please running, don't leave me!

19 miles run

Friday, June 26, 2009

A camping weekend

My friend, Elaine, said she'd love to see a post about lack of motivation and sucky life. Oh the things I could discuss about my life right now.....

Instead, I'll write about my workouts.

5:30 a.m. for weight/core training. I don't mind the hour, I just got to bed late and I was tired. I forgot to eat anything before I went; who really is thinking at that hour. I took a stomach-nauseating antibiotic before I headed out, which really causes me some issues when I do not take with food, so I was feeling a bit light-headed when I was there. Did a series of weight training circuits followed by how many ever minutes it took to complete circuit with the same amount of time run on the treadmill. I felt good running, which is surprising since I've logged quite a few miles this week!!

Seriously considered bagging cycling class, which I begged to put on my plan; I was just so tired. Rob told me to go. I went. It went fine, I actually love that class but I just lacked the motivation. There ya' go Elaine, I lacked the motivation (amongst other motivations I'm lacking )!!! :). I must have sweat-ed out about a gallon cycling and have felt the affects all day, despite trying to constantly drink water! I hope this doesn't come back to bite me tomorrow!

Got home from cycling and dealt with paint issues for a good solid 3-hours, which I won't go into simply because the story is so nuts (and btw, Easter egg is not that much better, in my opinion, but I think this is what it's going to be!!) but suffice it to say, I think I have the correct color for the exterior of my house now. I hope!!!!

My boys are camping this weekend up near Aspen; they were thrilled!!! I've become such a wimp. When I look back at the countless camping trips I used to go on, I cringe that I've become such a victim to luxury. I can't help it now.....I am not going camping!!! The smell of camp-fire in my hair? Gross!

Long run scheduled for tomorrow. Then I may call it a week and be done. Btw, my salsa-filled shoe from the other day, which has been outside drying since yesterday morning, is anything BUT dry; it keeps raining every afternoon and I keep forgetting it's out there.

3 miles run
weight training: 1
Cycling class: 1

Thursday, June 25, 2009

All in a day....

I really am not a snooty person; I like people (most), but I do feel life is too short, having lost too many close to me at an early age, so am selective of those I let close to me. We don't need to dredge into that business but I have to clarify the neighbor's paint house thing. I am NOT friends with this neighbor, due to ethical reasons which I also won't delve into other than he's not a nice person to his wife (though he has been more than friendly when our mutually shared fence fell over not once but twice). In the matter of an hour yesterday, his entire house was painted bright, baby blue. I am not complaining about the color, it's actually quite beautiful -- if you live in a place like Seaside, Florida where brilliant pastel colored houses merrily adorn the shoreline. But I don't (though I wouldn't mind a second home there. LOVE the beach!), I live in Colorado. Colorado is the gateway to the West; it's semi-arid, it's dusty, and we live in muted earth-toned houses to match our climate. It's just the way it is; I didn't set the rules. So when I came home from wherever I was for 2 hours and see my neighbor's house looking like the Easter egg that belongs in Seaside, I kinda freaked. I didn't solely go to the HOA office to file a complaint; I was simply there for the exact same purpose - that being to find a house color for myself. I was being a good girl and getting approval of my house color unlike my unlawful neighbor whom did not. So while there going over paint colors, I matter-of-factly told the manager of the HOA (okay, there's like one guy that works there....but there are committee members in each section of our subdivision who overlook everything you do to your property to make sure it's up to code. An okay thing, really, so that things don't get dumpy) I expressed my concerns over my neighbor. That's how that all came about...but I will admit, I probably would have made a special trip down there when all was finished because really, it's a major eyesore amongst all others. So this morning there is commotion yet again going on in the driveway and I hear the committee chair discussing new colors. I go for a run (a story in itself to follow) and take off my sunglasses to get a peek at the new colors and upon my return, they are already spraying the new color on. I later left for several hours and okay....I will say that I only saw it for a brief minute due to excess rain going on outside, but I will say this: if this new periwinkle-purple color is going to be the new choice, the finale is no better than the original. OMG, can't these people see that this is just hideous??!!?? Errrrr.

I woke up early today in an attempt to get in my run before the heat started setting in. But here's a rundown of the major delay of said event: I had some paint samples for my new house color and while transferring them to the garage via the laundry room, the lid came off of one of them and the entire green paint contents landed on me, whatever clothes I had on and tiled laundry room floor. I won't go into clean up details other than it took awhile. Next, I simply go to get some water out of my faucet and the entire handle breaks off. Like snap, it's broken off. And I bought this MOEN faucet a few years ago; it's not like it's some cheap thing. I had to maneuver a knife in it to move the part up and down to get water, which took some time to figure out by my lonesome (picture of snapped faucet handle with knife along side...if you want to get a drink or any other million things you do daily with water in your kitchen) but did not figure out right away! Next, get into a discussion of paint colors for house way longer than I wanted. Top morning catastrophes off by landing a pint of salsa from top shelf of refrigerator onto hardwood floor, spewing contents as far as 5' away, including the majority of it on my right running shoe, which was on my foot. Of course, I have no water due to broken faucet handle and thus I'm running back and forth from the hallway bathroom to the kitchen to clean up this little nightmare. It was everywhere.

Now it's 9:00 and I'm looking at the thermometer on my windowsill that is linked to the device on my front porch that tells me outside temperature. A life-saver for any runner guessing how many layers they need, or not. I knew it was getting late so I am getting frantic to get going for my run; it was a tempo run and I knew I'd have problems in the heat if I waited longer.

I now have one running shoe on and one that is soaking salsa off in my bathroom sink. I'm left without a shoe to run. I have a pair of half-size-too-big-same-style-shoes. If you've followed though the months, you'll know that I have all-together changed shoe brands -- after being a die-hard loyal Asics wearer for years but foot numbness with the new version of old shoes caused me to switch to Saucony since late April. But with the new shoes came much pain in finding the correct size so I am left with one pair that is a half size too big (but have held onto them for when I do downhill running .... ). Without even thinking of changing both shoes to the larger size, I put the larger on on the right foot and I head out the door for my run at now 9:40, because the day wouldn't be complete if I couldn't find my Garmin watch nor my good running sunglasses and search for about 20 minutes for both (found watch eventually in my car, no luck yet on the glasses) with one shoe larger than the other...and it's about 80 degrees.

It didn't take long before I knew my tempo run was going to go nowhere; it was too hot and I was too tired. I did the 15 min warm up and then did about 8 minutes at tempo instead of the 20 on my plan, and instead went back to warm-up pace and cut short my 45 minutes of tempo to 44 minutes of slowness. Figured I'd just reattempt the same workout this evening if I felt up to it.

To just keep the day in the same rhythm as it started, I went to the the zoo about 2:00 with my 18 and two almost 14-year-olds this afternoon when inclement weather baptized us, (forget that I had a writing deadline come and gone .. and oh well, time to be a mom for a couple hours). Mind you, my kids, being 18 almost 14 and 14 have not been to the zoo in like 5 or 6 years due to the fact they are a wee-bit old and it's not like we didn't practically live there when they were tiny. But zoo was today's vote and thus zoo we went. Get in the car, go run a couple quick errands and I look in the sky and asked if anyone has bothered to check weather forecast, it looks a tad stormy. Negative. Reluctantly, we continue on zoo-bound quest after heavy protests when I suggested otherwise. Stormed about 10 minutes later, of course, so popped into Cherry Creek Mall to wait-out rain; total sanctuary for us girlies but a death sentence for B and R. They both managed to entertain themselves with food until the sun shone again and we could make our way down Colorado Blvd with the majority of Denver traffic. Get to zoo, were there an hour, before I inhaled half of Ryan's disgusting grape-flavored cotton candy just cuz it was there, when it starts to downpour. Stand under a tree waiting to see if it will stop...no, so run from tree cover to tree cover in an attempt to stay somewhat dry. Failed. Decided we were wet enough, may as well just tap off the remaining section as drowned rats. Get to car, shed soaked layers, and turn on heat full-blast, which fogged up the windows. Get on Colorado Blvd to Leetsdale, which took oh...30 minutes to go maybe, 4 miles? Get on Leetsdale and low-and-behold, an hour later, we have covered another 4 miles. Who knew that side streets off of Leetsdale flooded and thus traffic police were out dealing with that and traffic on Leetsdale. Get home 1 hour 45 minutes after leaving the zoo to find that my neighbor's new house color is anything but appealing.

Decide I DID need to run later because it's my therapy and the day I had, I needed a lot of it. Hopped on my treadmill about 8:45 p.m. and didn't do the exact workout as the day's earlier attempt, but I did manage to crank out a mile warm up followed by 3.5 miles at 8:30 marathon pace.

I'll call that a day!!!

8 miles run.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

The Painted House

Wednesday 5:30 am workout this morning. A lot of leg work today and that actually went better than a few weeks ago when I did leg work and did something with my glute. So I was a bit hesitant with the lunges thingy; they did hurt my knee when doing them but we kept tweaking them so that they felt slightly better. Glute ouchy the entire time but I think that this is just what it is and not really going away. I am not certain if it's a pulled muscle or that Piriformis Syndrome that I mentioned a few weeks ago; the two are hard to distinguish as best I can tell. Either way, it seems to want to stick around awhile.

My sinuses/ear seem to be better today. I am majorly stoked that I am not taking major decongestants when I go to bed lately; that HAS to be making my running a tad happier!! And I felt that tonight when I ran 7 miles. My legs started out feeling really tired and I felt every step. I kept telling myself that if I could just finish this workout, then I could go home an take an ice bath; I was actually craving it, like a kid (or me?) craves candy! I truly believe that ice bath has really helped heal my aches and pains. It must have been the antidote that my legs needed because suddenly, they were feeling much better and we (my legs and I) picked up the pace and ran home a little harder. I stopped at the gas station on the way home and bought a bag of ice; seems my little freezer isn't cannot make enough ice cubes to get the water temp to "cold" for my ice baths so thought of this ice-buying idea as I hopped into my car to head home. It was heaven. It never gets easier getting into a cold bath but once you're in, it really DOES feel good. I swear, it's very healing! One more tough run tomorrow then off for a bit before log run. I may try to go to cycling class on Friday morning but Rob mentioned something about working out again on Friday. Hum. I think I'm in full marathon training mode right now; landed there without even really knowing...but DO need to be!

I have caused a major uproar in the neighborhood; I filed a complaint with the HOA against my neighbor's new paint color. OMG! It's is bright, bright, bright baby blue! I wouldn't be surprised if it's not glowing in the dark right now! Anyway, while on a mad search for a paint color # to make the HOA happy, I was in the office today and told the guy working there that I was not happy with the obnoxious color I was going to have to live next to and what the ramifications were for not getting their color approved. I went to get my haircut and upon my return, Abbey ran out to the garage as I pulled in and told me that there was big drama going on next door. I looked out and there were a slew of HOA officials standing in the driveway so I quickly closed the garage door (chicken for sure) and Abbey filled me in on what was going on. I don't think they are going to repaint but no one with any sort of association to the HOA was happy. Good think I don't really like those neighbors anyway; I stay away from them as much as possible. Will be interesting to see how that all pans out. In the meantime, I will make sure my paint chip is an approved HOA color :)!!

7 miles run
Weight training: 1

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

2 workouts, 2 good

First workout: 6x400 hill repeats. They went well. I think I short-changed the first two as my times were indicative of being so so I took the hill a bit further down and I think I may have hit it closer. I didn't have my watch so wasn't sure on the exact distance but it had to be close. Up and down x 6. I got kinda a later start than I wanted but knew the workout wasn't too long so it was fine. Followed hills with 10 accelerated 30M starts/sprints. Those are kinda funny...but also kinda fun. I know there's a purpose behind them but I don't understand how they are helping my speed with a marathon. Will investigate that further. When I have time. Time? I thought I'd be heavily into my 3rd book of the summer....I have yet to even start one. Soon! Ended that workout with 4 sets of 20 ab rockers. ugh.

Second workout was just for 4 easy miles. No problem. But I got a really late start because my neighbor stopped by and I talked to her for way too long; she is on the convenient control board and I am trying to paint my house. What a pain. But I will be a good girl and go get the actual color number for my paint chip cuz that's what they want. Had a huge discussion about how there are some butt-ugly colored houses in my neighborhood and got the, "they were not approved by the board..." answer. Well, if they aren't even going to mandate you go through the HOA then why the heck are they concerned about what # my paint chip is? And, btw, my neighbor is painting his house Easter egg blue. I will be the first to admit I hate my house color since day one it was painted (a VERY long story) but pastel blue is not the ticket. Yeah, the convenient chicks got on their case tonight. At least I was only faulting a chip # vs. an entire house color they did not like! :)
About the soon-to-be color of my house.

Had lunch today with a friend, Jennifer, whom I had not seen in ages. Literally, at least a couple years. I LOVE summer and summer lunches with friends. Went to Panera Bread and I think half my neighborhood was there. The funny (okay, maybe not so much) thing was that a group from the PTCO was there having a pow-wow meeting for the upcoming year. I couldn't go to that meeting cuz I already had "plans." Who knew we'd all be at the same restaurant :/.

My ear is once again super-clogged but at least no pain. My ankle had some weird ache in it today. And, of course, my left glute is still annoying.

9 miles run

Monday, June 22, 2009

Feeling a Little Better

Yesterday, I seriously wondered if I was doomed; I felt so miserable. Today I feel slightly better; my ear is not throbbing nor my head. The ear is still a little clogged and I have a lot of ringing inside but I feel that it's on the mend. I hope. I got some half way decent sleep last night which I think helped this whole mess. So fingers crossed, prayers said, and hopes are high.

I got up early and met Rob for some weights. Didn't do a whole lot because I was still kinda sore from Mt. Evans but he stretched my legs and that felt great! 2nd workout for the day called for 4 easy miles. I waited until the end of the day, the last drop of daylight, because it was warm today. Summer has finally arrived!! With a vengeance. And that's okay, it just causes a little more planning with the workouts. I felt good running - for once. Felt good with the diet today, too.

Better ears, better sinuses, slept better, ate better, ran well, good workout = better disposition and a little more motivation.

My friend Jonathan ran a 188-mile relay in Utah last weekend and he sent me this picture that he saw on one of the vans; I had to laugh. He obvisiously knows me well!!!

4 miles run

Week 24 Totals

Week 24 Totals
Week running mileage: 34
Total mileage for 2009: 826 miles
This week's weight training: 2
Cross training: 0
Pain in the butt: 1/2

Sunday, June 21, 2009

A Not So Happy Mt. Evans Ascent

Dennis and I ontop of a cloud-covered Mt. Evans

I've sat here for a day in distress, pondering what to say to you about Mt. Evans so I'm going to write most of what I had sent to Rob; it was fitting. I wanted to write about good news, but it's with a heavy heart that yet again, I cannot. I got to the top a solid half hour after I crossed the same line last year. It's really not about the awful time, it's more that I just plain and simply did not have the strength to do the mountain this year.

I could blame it on the ears or the fact that this antibiotic has left my stomach is a huge knot or that I consumed 33,000 calories yesterday to combat the queasiness my stomach felt from the medicine and thus I felt like lead or that my iPod had a malfunction and I had to listen to my own wheeze for 3 1/2 hours or the stress I'm under or the crappy weather...or whatever. But basically what it came down to was that I didn't have it. I didn't have that determination to keep moving like I talked about in my last blog.

The whole mountain was in a cloud. Some guy announced at the start that they would determine by mile 6 if the summit was safe enough to get to and if not, then the race would end at mile 9. I started and within the first mile, prayed for the mile 9 closure. I was really dizzy whenever I tried to run and I basically determined that I'd just run/walk to mile 9 and if the race wasn't closed (it wasn't), I'd quit anyway, and that was feat enough. But I got to mile 9 and stood around for about 4 minutes thinking that whomever decided to not close this thing was insane and therefore said a few expletives and decided I'd never forgive myself if I quit. I've never DNF and I knew I could walk the rest of this thing and still make the cut off and that was better than not finishing. I didn't want to go but onward I went. My hands were freezing and my head was pounding and I couldn't see more than 10 feet in front of me. I was scared every time a car came by and I had to move off to the side that I was going to lose my balance and fall off the entire mountain because I was having some major vertigo problems.

My ear really caused some challenges for me for sure but what I should have done was tried to be stronger and not let it influence me. I let it control me and I wasn't strong enough to fight it. And that's why my heart is heavy.

I basically walked almost all the last 5.5 miles and finished at 3:28ish. I didn't really look. I didn't really care. Everyone but Dennis went down to the bottom already; it was snowing lightly at the top and everyone was cold. I felt horrible that they all had to wait forever for me at the bottom (we carpooled from Idaho Springs) but they were all nice about it and we all went to lunch after and as much as I wanted to drink myself into oblivion, I didn't. It was a nice diversion to the sour mood that was starting to consume me.

Last night I went out with some dear friends whom have wanted to take me out to celebrate Boston with me since my return but could never seem to with crazy schedules. I had a great time; it was good to laugh and eat food I'd never eat otherwise (I had fish - deep fried, and strawberry shortcake. My stomach is not really agreeing today) and just not think about running and what was next and how to pick myself back up and get motivated again. I woke up this morning with my ear just about as bad as it was the day I went to the doctor with my spirit in about the same shape. My stomach is so upset and queasy - I have no idea what's going on. It's 9:30 p.m. and I'm going to go to bed and wake up feeling a whole lot better, both physically (my inner thighs and my neck are muy sore-o today) and mentally, get this ear thing fixed and a little tougher with get my training!!

My friends Janet and Jane with myself

Friday, June 19, 2009

"well your life/health is never dull -"

A direct quote from my dear friend and loyal blog reader in Iowa, Meg. She certainly knows me well! Love ya, Meg!!!! (sorry about your kitty :(. Will write you email here shortly).

I woke up in a total daze; I couldn't find my footing getting out of bed and my ears were ringing loudly. I knew it was the start to a miserable day. My stomach was in a knot all night and kept me half awake gurgling. Lack of sleep and I seem to be forming a pretty strong bond, but it's more like a nasty fly that won't seem to leave you alone kinda bond, not a loving kitten sitting on your lap bond; but last night was a totally different experience. I've been on so many flipping antibiotics, some even pretty powerful, but none that messed up my stomach like his before. I woke up feeling queasy beyond belief and combated that first with a piece of toast. Didn't do it so 5 pieces of toast with peanut butter later along with a poptart; a banana; several chunks of watermelon; two pieces of, frantically searched for and found in some child's room, chocolate; and someones left-over popcorn from last night, left me feeling nauseous like the little guy in The Very Hungry Caterpillar. This put me in a foul mood and set me off on a tangent to my trainer, who has been pretty absent lately, and a few calls to the sprinkler guy who seems to have a 6th sense to show up whenever I am not at home and never when I AM at home, despite me telling him countless times when I WILL be at home. He's a great guy...both of them are great guys (trainer, sprinkler) but honestly....err. Made a few other phone calls and decided I needed to sweat off some of the tension brewing inside and to see if my ears could stand me running. This was 11:30. It was 82 degrees.

I sometimes seem to run better when I tense and stressed. Seriously! You get me to the start line of a race happy and healthy and feeling great and I can have so many problems that it's not even funny (Big Sur). You get me lined up stressed and full of pressure, I thrive (St. George). I can't even count how many meltdowns I had the weeks leading up to St. George and how bad my back hurt the night before and well, I ran the race of my life (maybe that's an indication I will run well in Portland; I already feel the pressure and tension starting to brew). I ran well today, too. But it was 3 miles, not 26 and if I had to run 26 today, I would have failed miserably. But I needed to unwind the tightness brewing and I needed to reset my internal chiropractor. I think the run served those purposes to a small degree but more importantly, I found that despite consuming my daily 1500 calories all before 8:45 a.m., I could run okay with the ear problem (though I'll be quite honest, I was just outside talking to my friend, Jane, as she dropped off my boys from a golfing day and I was feeling rather dizzy. Maybe it was the heat/antibiotic cocktail.).

Sprinkler guy has come and gone and yet another broken pipe somewhere (in other words: lots more money. Those sprinklers have issues every single summer. REALLY!!! I have made his mortgage payment a time or two over the course of the past few years!). No word from trainer man, as I don't expect to either (really, the whole rant started as an "I'm really stressed over Mt. Evans and haven't heard from you about it all week"....which lead to one thing and then another. You know how sometimes you can yell at your kids for something they just did and before you are done, you've listed the things that they've done since childbirth that have been unsettling? It was kinda like that).

So I'll plan for a run up Mt. Evans tomorrow, despite not really wanting to, and see where I land at the top. And I'll pray I have as happy an outcome to the Hungry Caterpillar with my incessant morning feast and turn into a big, beautiful butterfly like this little guy did.

3 mile run

Thursday, June 18, 2009

A Sinus Infection Turned Ear Infection

So the pressure I was feeling in my ear yesterday turned into pain today. I ignored it and decided to run anyway. I looked for my watch for about an hour....literally....before I decided to go out without it (I later found it in the laundry room; right were I keep all my other running paraphernalia :) ) so I couldn't tell you exactly what pace I was doing but since I got a late start and it was really warming up; my ear hurt; and I was feeling dizzy, I don't think I actually made it anywhere close to the 8 minute mile I was suppose to. I mean...I could barely do 3 at that pace on Tuesday, I'm sure I wasn't going to do 6 today. I tried to push the pace a little but after about 3 miles, I gave up and drank half of Brendan's water (he was on his bike along with me. Love those run/bike times together). I ran a bit further and then decided to turn around and head home. Had enough. I did some yard work and then pondered the idea of going to the doctor. With screwed up beyond belief Cobra insurance right now, I really couldn't afford to go to my regular doctor. I'm sure she's wondering where the heck I am; I think I was ready to rent space next to her office last year, I had that many "issues." I know she was on speed-dial and that I am NOT kidding about. I went up to the Urgent Care facility near my house and $210 later, found out I have not only a sinus infection (that I could almost guarantee) but I also have an ear infection. Okay, the grand total of this little visit was also for the antibiotic, steroid nasal stuff, ear drop thingy, some major decongestant, and some sinus wash....the latter of which I probably have tried as I've tried almost all washes out there. But we'll give this a shot. So Dr. NoPersonalityNorSenseOfHumorWhatsoever told me that the antibiotic may or may not kick in by Saturday. Normally, they take about 48 hours to clear out the mess in there but I may get "lucky" and it clears before. Well, that may cause a slight problem going and running 4000' up Mt. Evans on Saturday morning!!??!!?? He said I'll have no problems going up, it's coming down where I could potentially rupture my eardrum. Um....that doesn't sound good. I've never had a ruptured eardrum; for that matter, I've never had an ear infection. I always thought they hurt like hell...this is just a little annoying. And my balance is a little wacked. I was hoping I could just put some ear-plugs in there for the trip down but I know this thing is internal and they aren't going to work. Still, I may try anyway - ha. Okay, so we'll see what tomorrow brings and hope for a little relief from the antibiotic! Geez, I'd just spent mega time trying to organize the carpool for Saturday morning up to the start of the race. Even called "Avid", as Dennis calls my avid cyclist friend, Josh, who is going "just to watch and help you out." A man after my heart - no other purpose other than to help and watch!!!! Turns out, Avid may not be able to help by driving as the prostate crew seems to be growing in number (how, I'm not really sure).

Okay, so I'm going to go to bed and get lots of sleep (hahaha, that'd be a first) so that my antibiotic will be happier and do it's job better (that's what the Doc said anyway). I'll claim I did 7 miles today but really, the last few was really more of a pathetic run/walk thingy.

7 miles run

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Week 23 Totals

Week 23 Totals
Week running mileage: 42
Total mileage for 2009: 792 miles
This week's weight training: 2
Cross training: 1, swim
Pain in the butt: 3/4

My ears are clogged

Errrrrr! I am not sure if this is a cold coming on or delayed-onset-Mt. Evans-training from last weekend, but yuck. It's way annoying and very uncomfortable! I just hope it's not a cold and will dog me for the Mt. Evans Ascent this weekend. 14.5 miles, 4000' climb. Last year was my first attempt at this monster and I only did it because I had registered for the Pikes Peak Ascent in August, which is an 8000' climb in 13 miles. Mt. Evans scared me more than Pikes Peak because I knew I'd be walking a lot of Pikes Peak and could do just that when it got tough. Mt. Evans isn't like that - you run! But I also learned in my training runs up there that there's no way this chick can run that entire thing. I run with a group of guys...almost all guys...and I am by far, the slowest of the group because these guys are well....guys, and they all rock. But when I look at the statistic of those female finishers, I am pretty well up there in the rankings so even though I must walk some, I am ahead of many females and I am well ahead of the cut-off times posted at mile 9 and at the top. I finished last year at 2:57. Combining the two training times I have run at Mt. Evans this year, I don't think I will run that fast and I'm not sure why as I should be stronger than last year but what it comes down to is determination; you have to push past the burning calves and the lack of air. You have to dig deep when the wind is stronger than you've ever endured and there's nothing to breathe which makes you dizzy and light-headed. And you hate about every second of it; it hurts. Not marathon-fatigue hurt, it's a lung-sucking, calf-burning hurt. But when you reach the top and you look out across the tops of the Colorado Rockies, the smile on your face is wider than ever. There's nothing like it - an adrenaline rush for sure!!! But I am pretty nervous and these clogged ears aren't helping the situation! I am worried about the pressure on them as I climb higher in altitude.

Didn't run today but did some weight training. At 5:30 a.m. Had more shoulder issues today but in the rear at the Infraspinatus muscle and then later in the front at the Pectoralis Minor (I think Minor). Rubbing helped the back muscle and ice helped the front so I'm hoping it's all good :)

While combing the internet today for some writing, I came across this video. Amazing! (I have spent way too much time trying to link the video to my blog but it won't happen. Sorry, you'll have to copy and paste).

weight training: 1

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

2 workouts, 1 good and 1 not so much

A short post as it's almost 10:00 and I have weight training at the bewitching hour of 5:30 a.m. I actually don't mind getting up then, it's just hard to make your body actually function at anything more than reading or exploring the internet. Which is what I normally do at 5:30.

I misread my plan for today. Whine loud enough that you haven't gotten a plan to follow for two weeks, finally get one, and then don't even read it right. I thought the first of my two workouts today called for a 5 mile tempo run at an 8 min pace. I couldn't do it. Made it to mile 3 and then I had a slight uphill and kinda couldn't get back into the groove again. I'm not sure why I couldn't maintain, the last 10K I ran well under 8, but I couldn't. I won't even try to speculate why...I just couldn't. I ran the last two mile in about a 10 minute mile and I was okay with that. Later, as I went to do workout #2 and pulled up my plan to see what was next, I realized I was suppose to do the mileage above at an 8:30 pace. Yeah, I think I could have done that. Oh well. Workout #2 called for 6x800's at 3:30. I did those on the treadmill because yet another storm came through and it was crazy windy and rainy. Those went just fine but then I always feel that intervals on a treadmill always are more productive than those on the track. I need to get back out on the track. Anyway, whenever I do 800's I can't help but think about those Yasso's and how I really don't believe I can run a 3:30 marathon, based on experience, yet I have no problem running 3:30 for my 800's. Maybe the track would prove to me I am wrong but really...every program has it's proven and failed results. We are all an experiment of one. Thank, Jeff, for reminding me of that from time to time.

The highlight of my day was going over to meet Dimity, a woman who has written for RW and I whom I have followed and admired for years. What a small-world story to finally have met her. She is genuine and real and I immensely enjoyed our conversation. Abbey is going to do some babysitting for her. She is also going to go see the massage therapist where I workout; she's having some icky back and glute pain. I am envious; I could uses a little glute massage about now. My glute's not getting worse but it's also not making any forward progress for the past couple days. Anyway, what an honor to meet her; she is the one that gave me the Women's Health article to do. THANKS!

Talked to Brian, the CC coach at school about my marathon and some speed work; he says he's in. That's good, I need someone to watch me run some speed work.

10 miles run.

Monday, June 15, 2009

15 days of June and as many of rain

I feel the humidity everyday I run; we've had so much rain that humidity has crept into this state and I'm dripping profusely as I head outdoors. It's definitely not like the South or Mid-West where I have lived in both, but 15 consecutive days of rain and storms has left some dampness in the air. Meanwhile, I try to drink more water as I fear dehydration problems starting to develop; last week, I had a horrible stomach cramp the last four miles of my long run and I'm sure it was because I was dehydrated due to the sweat I was producing. I have learned to read the various symptoms of my dehydration, stomach cramping being top of the list. This massive rain has also left some serious weeds which, in turn, has caused my recently controlled allergies to resurface with a vengeance. I fear it's going to play havoc with my intervals. Again.

I saw yet another tornado today; it was far off in the distance and seen as I was driving down Parker Road to the south. Honestly, this thing was HUGE!! Yet it was pretty far away (sorry, didn't have my camera and I knew a picture with my cell wasn't going to produce anything other than a spec so I have no evidence to show ya) and not moving in my direction. I was headed to Costco and was so surprised how dark it was all around me. Crazy weather!!!!

I didn't run today, though, so no bodily water-loss but instead did some weight training. I feel my back muscles starting to get sore. A couple runs planned for tomorrow; we'll see how that goes. I'm actually getting pretty nervous about Mt. Evans....if I didn't have so much fun with the training runs, I'd probably never signed up for this thing. I'm worried about the weather; I'm worried about everyone having to wait for me to finish; I'm worried about doing worse than I did last year; I'm worried about the thin air and how last year I was so dizzy at the top......these are valid worries, unlike many that I had in Boston. Mostly, though, I just suddenly feel like I don't want to race anymore. I really don't want to do Pikes Peak and I really don't want to do Portland. And what that boils down to is that I feel like I'm not making any progress and THAT is what I'm worried about.

weight training:1

Sunday, June 14, 2009

To the Top of Mt. Evans

Diann, Jeff, Matt, Pete, Me, Dennis

And it's to the top we go! 6 of us today and we were all over the mountain at different time. Didn't help the fact that I refused to drive my car up there; I'm sorry, but there's some serious cliffs up there and not much road and zero guard rails. Um, no way. So this is what transpired: Two vehicles. Vehicle One,Pete, drops Matt and Jeff at mile 8 and drives to the top. Vehicle Two, Dennis, drops Diann and I off at Summit Lake at mile 9 and drives to the top. Dennis leaves vehicle 2 at the top and hops in vehicle 1 and Dennis and Pete drive back down. I have key for vehicle 2 since I'll probably be at the summit first. Or I thought I had key but actually, I left it in the car. Panic attack. Okay, I'll flag down vehicle 2 and get the other key from Dennis. Diann quickly drops and I run alone after about the first quarter mile. It's steep here...very steep but somehow I manage to run the entire mile. Celebrate by taking a very short walk break. Mile 11 has a very brief downhill - sweet! But then it gets steep again. See Dennis and Pete about mile 12.5 and remember to flag them, a miracle because I really wasn't doing a whole lot of thinking. Pete's so funny...I think he thought I had something seriously wrong with me. No, just forgot the key. Actually, I was feeling a LOT better this time around then I was on the lower 9 we did two weeks prior. It's incredibly windy so I decide it's better to just walk on the steep, into-the-wind, sections and then run as much as I can on the steep wind-at-my-back portions. I could breathe better this week, too. Dennis went past Summit Lake and drops off Pete at mile 7 and then drives back and parks at Summit Lake at mile 9 and then heads up the mountain - finally. So ya see, we were all over that mountain today!! I felt bad for Dennis being so behind after playing chauffeur but really, in the end, he wasn't that far behind Pete. I got to the top about 5 minutes before Diann and she about 5 minutes before Matt. Matt had no gloves; his hands HAD to be freezing...mine were just taking them off for a couple minutes to get his picture. Tons of Mountain Goats up near the restrooms and they weren't moving, they were just hanging out and not really caring who was around taking pictures. It was a really good run today, just the little kick in the butt I've been needing. I need to get up at 5a.m to go workout tomorrow so going to cut this short. But will add a few pictures to punctuate a really great day with a exclamation point!

6 miles run

Jeff had a little issue with vertigo and the steep cliffs with no guardrail. :)

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Trilogy Saturday

I started my day yanking out the garage sale stuff, I'm going to give it a few hours today and see if we'll prosper. Not that I've done a lot of garage sales before buy from my experience, Saturdays are pretty lame. I left Brendan to man the compound while I went to work out. He wanted to earn some money and I swear, that kid is so self-sufficient and could probably survive on his own better than most 30-year-olds I know. He's a great kid; has a great spirit; huge heart; very funny; quite the imagination! Not that I'm biased or anything - but having twins, you can easily view personalities on a continuous basis and I can tell you that Ryan is as individual as any and is built with his own unique qualities (which I adore), but self-sufficiency is not one. Ha. So I left Brendan in charge and he did a great job!

Feeling a tad over the top on the blob-scale due to lack of self-control from whatever stress I decided to conjure up for the week, I headed over to 24-hour today to attack a little of the damage I'd done. With high ambitions but not as equally high energy, I set my sights first for the treadmill. My goal: 6 miles with the middle 4 being at marathon race pace (did I really say 8:26 in yesterday's blog?? Hum). Okay, I can do it! Run the first mile at 10:00. And it wasn't feeling all that niffty and I suddenly think 8:26 is really going to hurt. But that's the target: run through the hurt. Keep running. Don't stop. Don't slow down. Time to get in there and show my mind it's not going to crack when the going gets a little tough. I can run a 8:20 pace (I up the pace some on a treadmill to compensate for the fact that the treadmill does a little of the work for you. there's nothing scientific or even documented on this idea of mine; nope, I came up with that one all on my own); I can run a 10K at a 7:46 pace this shouldn't be so bad. Wrong. I won't say it was ugly but it certainly wasn't agreeable! I stopped after a mile, got some water, a 10 second break, and hopped back on. Repeat next mile like last, 10-second break and all and vow that after this 3rd mile, I will not stop. I didn't. I kept telling myself it was the last two miles of the marathon and there was no way I was stopping so close to the end of a marathon. A little self-coaching isn't my strong suit but I'm taking baby-steps in this whole mental prep work. Finished 4th tempo mile and then ran the last mile at a 10:30 cool-down pace. End of round 1. I think the difficulty with my tempo run today was the fact that my abs are incredibly sore ... from weight training 2 days ago. Pathetic (yesterday, trying to cought was sheer agony. And it's not like I did anything different, it's just that I haven't done any ab work in a couple weeks and I lost it that quickly). Round 2: weights. Not a lot cuz I really don't have a weight plan today and the last time I went to the gym on my own and did some lifting (with a plan), I ended up doing something pretty major. Least we forgot - the ol glute muscle pull. So I did some hammers, some squat presses, dead lifts, hamstring pushups, and some calf raises. Figured those were good for Mt. Evans climb tomorrow. Round 2 finished. Round 3: Swim. I have been to the pool a grand total of 1 time since my return from Boston. Once. I am convinced that swimming is key to get the muscles some good stretching and especially ones that are sore or tired. Mine were both. I only swam 3/4 of a mile and I swam slow! It felt good and I vowed to swim once a week from now until my marathon. After all, I bought new pink goggles the other day and it's time to put them to good use. Round 3 complete. A trilogy: a series or group of three individually complete yet closely related in theme. My theme being a stronger marathon this fall. Yes, my trilogy today is serving my stronger marathon goal. I showered and went home and wrapped up the garage sale. Some still annoying glute pain, which I am now convinced that it's never going away. Ever. And so I'll learn to suck it up and live with it (and stretch it a lot in between)

6 miles run
1 weight training
1 cross train (swim)

Friday, June 12, 2009

Garage Sale! Even sold some running shoes

I'm not certain if it was the prep for the garage sale and the garage sale itself or the fact that I had 4 beers last night but yeah....I'm tired!!! The sale was profitable and plan to do a little more tomorrow morning; the proceeds are much-needed right now so anything is helpful. I need to paint the exterior of my house. Thankfully, my brother is skillful in many areas and offered to help out with this process. After said sale, I went around the neighborhood and looked at paint colors. I have always admired an acquaintance's house so with paper samples in hand, marched up her driveway and tried to match. Good thing I didn't go with what I "thought" was the color because man, I was way off. I'm excited for the change, it's a VERY long story how the color of my house is the current ugly blue color it is; I've never ever liked it. The boys will have to earn their keep and paint the trim for me this summer...will keep 'em busy. So the garage sale was my physical activity for the day; I had thought about going to the pool to swim laps, even as late at 9:00 tonight but I just couldn't do it. I'm sooo tired. I love the no-pressure-to-get-everything-done-during-the-weekend of the summer. Ate WAY too much food today and too much unhealthy food. Time to get back on track tomorrow! Plan to do some weights and a short tempo run tomorrow, Mt. Evans top 6 miles on Sunday morning....the steepest (albeit hardest) part of the course, which will complete my week's training. This lingering glute "issue" makes me rethink, again, what really IS the problem with it. *sigh* It's nothing major, like it was last week, but it's there and I feel it. Also on the ailment list this week is some throbbing in my left ankle, the result of spraining it too many times in my past (last was just before StG when I twisted it on a rock). I'm not sure why this throb reoccurs from time to time but I guess the el glute muscle was feeling alone and needed company. There's a couple guys in the group that have some pretty significant ankle injuries right now and Dennis told me they need to suck it up so I won't complain to him about my ankle. But next time Dennis complains about his calf, I'll suggest his remedy. Oh, and may I just add that we have had about 2 solid weeks of daily rain. Not a constant 2-week rain but every afternoon, we are having some pretty nasty rain showers (and more predicted through Monday). I can really feel the humidity in the air (sorry all my Mid-west and South friends, it's not even close to what you guys have so I am not complaining in the least. It's just that I feel it more than I ever have).

Thursday, June 11, 2009

An easier way to prepare...

.....for a garage sale is to have a few cocktails. I mean, the whole process is just exhausting!!! And Abbey and I have way too many clothes. Okay, mostly me but the last time we did this thing, it was her. At least we are getting rid of them.

I slept horribly again last not and got up early to go workout. Got there a few minutes early but Rob wasn't there yet. Hum. Anyway, he finally got there and in I went and many core exercises, my abs are yes, hurting!!! I seriously need to build some ab muscles back up. I had some right shoulder pain doing whatever shoulder exercise I was doing and so Rob iced it and it was better. Only documenting that now cuz if I have it again later, I want to remember exactly which day it started. Seems like my ailments in my old age like to come creep up again and again. Came home, told Brendan we needed to go workout (I needed to do intervals; he needed to just do anything!) and we'd go in a half hour; he said okay. Got on my laptop and before I knew it, I fell asleep and woke up an hour later. I mean, I don't think I was on my computer more than a few minutes. Decided it was too late to go to the gym; I had to meet a friend for lunch and I had a boatload of garage sale stuff to do!!! To the basement I go, time to do some intervals. I have no idea what to do; week 2 of "no plan" and me winging this stuff on my own...which isn't a problem but that's not what I signed up for. I rambled off some stuff I thought I'd try to do this week and I got no response on it. So when I trudged to the basement for some speed, I was quasi-thinking 800's but I didn't know what pace to run them and was having a brain-cloud trying to figure it out and so I opted for 1600's instead. Quick half mile warm up then set the treadmill to 1% incline; figure this makes up some for the fact that the treadmill does a little of the work for you. Trying to do each a little quicker than the previous, I did 703, 6:58, 6:53, 6:44. I will admit that between 3 and 4, I had to go to the bathroom so I got a little bit longer of a break but really, all felt very good. I worked hard but is was one of those good-hards!!! A little glute pain during some weight training and a little more with intervals.

And it looks like I AM in the 2nd team formed from the running group for the Colorado Relay in September. I hope I don't injure myself, the thing is run in approx 24-hours. And it's 3 weeks before Portland. :/

I'm exhausted after dragging all the stuff out to the garage and still have more to do in the morning so off to bed I go!!

6 miles run, 4x1-mile intervals.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Surprisingly good feeling legs

I met Dennis at the dog park today, with his two dogs for a quick 5 mile run (only one person I'd ever do that for, Dennis. Okay...maybe more than one but you certainly take #1 slot of those I run with their dogs...beings I'm not exactly a dog-lover. They just scare me). Dennis and his wife were taking their daughter, Brittany, up to UNC to tour the campus where she is attending school in the fall - so he had the morning off work. I couldn't believe that my legs weren't trashed and in fact, they felt really well!! It felt great to run slowly, stopping briefly here and there for Lucy and Levi to play with the other dogs in the park. I couldn't go fast, but at least I could run and that was a big + !! In the past week, my legs have finally felt back to feeling strong since my return from Boston. That was 7 weeks ago....

I combated the boys "we have nothing to do" comments by having them haul half the basement upstairs - we're doing a garage sale, with the rest of the neighborhood, on Friday. That kept them busy. I let them go play golf this afternoon, which they absolutely LOVE. They ended up playing with another twosome their age that they just met there so that worked out great.

And since many asked via email, no there are no "problems" in Iowa with the lawyer....he's basically just incompetent and sends the wrong papers so I spend way too much time trying to figure out what the heck he wants because nothing is making sense and come to find out, he just sent the wrong stuff. Not the first time!!! And if you saw the misspelled words in his letters - I mean, blogs and email do not count for spelling but a letter from a lawyer?? Really! Anyway, that whole ordeal should be closed by early July. Or so they say... we'll see.

5 miles run

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

1st day off school with a celebratory 19 miler

With an email arrival just moments before I went to bed last night that left me a little agitated and my head spinning, I woke up to my first full day of summer break with about 2 1/2 hours of sleep. Exhausted, fuzzy, groggy, testy, and snappy, I decided I needed to go for a long run; my head needed some major harmony and organization.

The boys had a half day of school but yeah, I was done. Finished. Completed. Discharged. Abbey was sound asleep, as is norm for her 18-year old body so after the boys got off to school, I relished the quited sanctuary of my surroundings. When was the last time I was alone (sorta) in my house. I looked around and thought what a dump it was and how I should get my butt going to clean it...but I didn't, I crawled back to the cozy confines of my bed and I laid there and did nothing. NOTHING for a good solid 15 minutes. I pretended I was meditating and visualized myself in seclusion somewhere on a beach sipping a margarita. Or a Corona with lime. Mental visualization is so powerful in running, it can literally change the outcome of a run or race by merely seeing yourself succeed. Or so I learned in my coaching class. I have to admit that I have tried this approach in moderation and have NOT had the favorable outcome claimed. Boston for instance. For me, when I start visualizing how I can PR or run well, something inside clicks that tells my mind I now have to work that much harder and suddenly, my physical body aborts and I'm left with one hell of a tangled mess. But I vow to spend some of my summer time reading some mental preparation books that I have longed to read and have been collecting dust during the school year such as Brain Training for Runners by Matt Fitzgerald, Running and Being by Dr. Geroge Sheehan, and the one that's been staring at me since I went to listen to his seminar in Boston and HAD to buy his book, The Competitive Edge . Dr.by Dr. Jeffrey Brown. Dr. Brown is the sports psychologist for the Boston Marathon as well as NYC and Chicago. I mean, who knew that there were sports psychologists for a marathon!!??!! He gave a speech on how to tackle the mental aspects of marathoning and wow...this was right up my alley since yeah, I have many. Mental issues that is. He used a lot of visualization also and one little exercise he had us do was to close our eyes and visualizing ourselves crossing the finish line of the Boston Marathon. I was all over it...I closed my eyes and I saw myself running down Boylston Street. He had us sit there closed-eyed for about 30 seconds. Then we all opened our eyes and he asked us to raise our hands if when we visualized ourselves crossing the finish line if we saw ourselves as the one running or if we saw ourselves crossing as viewed from someone on the sidelines. I was a sideline girl; I saw myself crossing as someone was watching me, seeing my entire body crossing verses the other way where you yourself was the person that was actually doing the crossing (does that make sense? I'm not explaining it with elegance the way he did). Anyway, the class was about half and half. He said, "if you visualize yourself as crossing as then you are more likely to be successful." I won't spoil the clincher of which view was more victorious as I don't want to interfere with the progress of your own mental demons. But if you really want to know, email me and I'll tell ya'. Anyway, I found Jeffrey Brown to be absolutely fascinating and especially loved learning the fact that "obsessors" in life are also very superstitious. Yeah....that'd be me. And he said that wasn't a bad thing, it's just the way you handle it. I LOVED this. I had to buy his book, it was only $10 (I think Karen bought me this...I think I managed to not have any cash with me on hand at the time. How convenient), I had him autograph it and I asked if I could have his personal email and a commitment for life-time therapy via email. I'm not sure he found the humor in this! Anyway...that was a major side-track note but that is one book I've had sitting on my nightstand looked at the cover almost daily since my return from Boston but have not had a chance to even read one page. Another book I'm going to read, for once, is my monthly book club book - it'd sure be nice to go to book club and give an education opinion based on the book, which I rarely have time to read, vs. my own experiences....which, really, seem a little more dramatic than most of the book club books. Maybe I should write my own. But that's another story...

Back to my tired state of physical and mental body. I set out to do my long run about 11:15. I know....I thought the same thing, this is way too late. But really, the temps were only in the mid 60's and it was a little overcast so I thought I was safe. I was dealing with the lawyer in Iowa and my brother and the sprinkler guy and the spring break 8th grade DC trip customer service guy and one fairly long phone conversation from Kathryn, Big Sur Marathon-ee, whom I have not spoken to in literally months (she just quit her coaching job....wow!! I am floored. You gotta know her I guess; she put her whole life into it...guess it just was too consuming) and so I just wasn't moving very quickly. The clouds broke early (and I have a sunburn on my back to prove it) and it was WAY humid for this semi-arid state and when I got to the Conoco station to restock my water bottle, I was dripping profusely. I knew I needed to drink like crazy or I was going to have issues. Hahaha....stomach issues were exactly what I DID end up with the last 5 miles and by the final mile, I was walking/running. So much for "running through the pain and fatigue" - I was DONE! I ran the entire 19 miles on the Cherry Creek trail that takes me downtown. It follows the Cherry Creek creek and I love the water; all the rain we've recently had (thus the high humidity) has left the creek really muddy and flowing very fast! Come late July, it will be a mere trickle.

While en route on my journey today, I got 4 phone calls from my boys trying to organize golfing/swimming/friends over/over at friends.....and one stating that we had no "good" food in the house and could I please stop at the store on the way home. Welcome to summer break!!!

Some glute pain about mile 15 of my run. Iced bathed upon return and have stretched it a lot today; it is feeling better - though I can still "feel" it.

Found out that one mr. trainer does not follow my blog regularly. Hum...I find that disheartening. Sad. Very unfortunate because I always thought that one could learn a lot about someones running when they write a running blog and the one that is training your running doesn't even take the time to read. But what do I know....

I'm way excited that I may have scored transportation while in Iowa this summer (and even more excited that it's mid-June and I'm already working out details before the day before I leave :)). Okay, this is complicated so I won't go into details because as my friend, Bob, said (when I was seeing if he'd be my taxi service in Davenport), "that made my head hurt. I need a beer." Ha.

19 miles run.

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Week 22 Totals

Week 22 Totals
Week running mileage: 32
Total mileage for 2009: 750 miles
This week's weight training: 1
Cross training: 0
One major pain in the butt: 1

And that'd be a tornado, yessiree...

Seen from my backyard deck
So I came home from my 10 mile tempo run (more below) and my legs were tired and heavy so I indulged in a little ice bath therapy; it really does feel sooo good after you get past that initial shock. Sat in the ice for a bit longer than normal as I was on my laptop (don't ask) and got caught up in some stuff I was doing. Got out of ice bath, took a shower and while in the shower, I noticed it got a lot colder. Not the water but the surrounding air. When I got out of the shower, the window in the bathroom was open and the wind was loudly banging the shutters; a big storm had come in. Abbey starts screaming that there's tornado warnings and a tornado was spotted in south-center Arapahoe County. That's very close! I got dressed, go downstairs, go outside and Abbey starts freaking: Isn't that a funnel cloud? Sure enough!!! It was off to the east of us but not moving in our direction, thankfully. We watched it for awhile; it was lightly raining but also hailing some. And it was cold. The thing got really wide before it finally went back into the clouds.....probably lingered around for at least 20 minutes (and yes, this picture was taken by me from my deck). I heard it touched down over near Southlands. Wild! When it started hailing, I scrambled to get the garage picked up so I could get Abbey's car in; but the hail never got that big that it would have done any damage. But who knows when that stuff starts!
Prior to this crazy weather day, lounged around the house some and got a lot of writing done and then headed down to the park for a run. I was surprised how sore my quads were and my calves and shins were really tight and achy. Still, I felt pretty good; not too sore for a run and really wanted to test my glute muscle. Since the weather called for cool temps all day, I didn't feel the urgency to get out really early so I sent Dennis an email to see if he wanted to meet up for a bit. He only wanted to go 7 at the park and I wanted to do more but we met for a few miles and he helped me get my watch from altitude to pace...and maybe, just MAYBE, I'll know how to do that myself now. But I wouldn't count on that. Ha. A goal for the week after school is to get that thing functioning in my brain!! We ran the first two miles slow, getting the stiffness out of my legs and then picked up the 3rd mile to an 8:19 pace avg (thanks, watch!). Dennis and his dog, Lucy, turned around and went back and I continued on with my tempo run. Ran about another mile at tempo before I had to stop and go to the bathroom. When I came out, I saw BSG - Dennis would laugh. I had a minor stomachache so I walked through the boat launch area - and wow...that place was hopping today and then slowly ran until I got to the 5 mile mark and decided it was time to shine, no stopping, no slowing...3 solid miles at tempo pace (8:30) and see what I had. The first mile was mostly uphill for the first 3/4 then a gradual down. I hit mile 1 at 8:19. Mile 2 was mostly flat with a little downhill and I ran that 8:18. I was getting tired but I didn't want to slow....one of my goals is to learn to push through the hurt and fatigue of the marathon and so I just focused and thought of this last mile being the end of Boston and I remembered back to the last stretch of Boston down Boylston Street and how special that moment was for me. I thought about how tired I'd be the last mile in Portland pretended Rob was there helping me along and telling me not to stop. This last mile is relatively flat with a slight uphill at the end. Finished in 8:13. Happy happy. I sauntered slowly back to my car; I felt great to finally .. and I mean FINALLY get a decent run in!

10 miles run

Saturday, June 6, 2009

Come run Georgetown to Silver Plume with me

A drop-dead gorgeous day for a little 7 mile trail run from Georgetown to Idaho Springs this morning. I didn't run particularly well; I had a few minor issues here and there and decided just not to push it; I didn't particularly want to mess up something that could hinder my newly registered for Portland Marathon... and I was still experiencing a little glute pain, especially when I sit (i.e., the car ride to the mts.) so didn't feel like forcing something that hurt too much later.

Catching my breath proved to be a constant struggle from the beginning where the road climbs about 800' in the first two miles. Bad calf tightening early so I stopped to stretch those and to loosen my shoelaces when my arches started cramping. We were still on the road from Georgetown to Guanella Pass and I was walking a lot; it's so steep. Dennis took off and unlike last year where he constantly turned back to see if I was still there, he just climbed and climbed, waiting for me at around each mile. He's becoming a great hill climber. When he was waiting for me at about mile 2, I told him I was having problems with the altitude today and feeling really light-headed. I hadn't been eating much the past couple days (as not to gain 50 lbs. in my exercise-hiatus where I spent a lot of time stretching my glute muscle). I stopped here and took a Tylenol and took the picture to the left. Gorgeous view here of the city of Georgetown and the valley it lies in.

About mile 2.5, you can either stay on the Guenalla Pass Road or you can hang a right and hit the jeep tail...and the jeep trail is what we took. It's really rocky here and you really have to be careful with your footing. I continued with my run/walk combination; my legs were still not loosening up and felt it smart to just nudge along at a snail's pace. Reached the top at about mile 3.5 and elevation 10,100' - we've climbed about 1600' in this time. I can feel the thin air; it's really bothering me more than usual at this altitude. We start running down finally; it feels so good. I start following Dennis' footsteps but the rocks are protruding everywhere and I'm afraid I'm not going to see one with him directly in front of me so I veer off to the right and run along the end of the trail.

We get to this area where there's a fireplace and a large chimney; I guess you could camp here but there's really no level place to pitch a tent. I don't think it's designed for camping, not really sure why this chimney is here. But it is. This is Dennis next to it. We hopped off the trail and ran up this knoll where you could see down onto the highway and to the tiny, cute little town of Silver Plume which was our destination.

We started down again and hit the single lane trail. This section is actually really cool and the most fun part of the run; the trees are thick and the rocks are less cumbersome so not as much negotiating around them. You do, though, need to still constantly watch your footing as there are a lot of large tree roots. Dennis ran in front of me and wasn't that far ahead but there are points/fingers along the trail where you can take a side detour trail and as I followed the main trail, I didn't see him anymore and I thought maybe he took one of these side routes. I took this one for just about a minute before I realized that most likely this was not the correct trail so got back on the main one and started calling Dennis' name. No sound. A little panicky, I continued to run on and again, stopped to call his name. Still no answer. Okay....don't worry, Jill. I finally found him stopped a couple minutes later and let him know never to let me out of his sight again :).

We reached Silver Plum at mile 7 and wandered around a bit. A very interesting little town now; almost a ghost town but at one time was a silver mining town< The Town of Silver Plume>. I believe there are about 190 residents with a few of these Victorian homes sprinkled throughout. There is one convenient-type store there right off the highway, which is hit or miss if it's open (There are no set hours; sometimes open, most times not) so last year when it was not open, we walked back to the "other" road in town and found this charming little bakery. Right there in the middle of this ghost town was this bakery with the best smelling bread and home-made stuff. The little town store was closed today so we walked back to see if the bakery was open and it was. Last year we were there, it was a lot warmer and I guzzled some kool-aid; hit the spot. No Kool-aid found today and not needed as it wasn't as hot but I got some water and ate a couple bites of Dennis' cookie. Yum. The place is for-sale; I hope whomever buys it keeps it operating; it's a wonderful hidden treasure for sure.

As we left town, we stopped at the stream which runs smack through the center of town; it was flowing faster and higher than I've seen it in awhile- most definitely higher than last year as I sat higher on this rock. We stuck our toes in it last year but I refused today - too cold but I did put my hand in and yeah...fresh snow melt IS cold!

We left town exiting via the "residential" street instead of the main street and couldn't help but laugh at this house with hot pink trim; Dennis said it matched my hat so had to have a picture. Yes, a house that matched my soul! It's a pretty cool town; I took a ton of pictures just because,as a photographer (which I don't claim), you could do a lot of damage here.

We ended up running the side bike path along the highway on the way back, due to time and due to the fact I don't think I could muster up the strength to do the strenuous route back that we just took. I was tired and my legs were wobbly. It's only about 3 miles back to Georgetown, all downhill, on the bike path so a lot quicker for sure. The Georgetown Loop railroad was moving up the mountain as we headed down <Georgetown Loop Railroad.> We ended the 10.5 mile run (though Dennis' watch said 8.5....we're not sure who was off but I never once stopped my watch and Dennis must have stopped and restarted about a couple dozen times!); split a nice turkey sandwich with a Bud Light w/lime at a great stop in Georgetown. It was so relaxing to sit outside this little cafe in town and toast to the beginning of trail running season. It's so short-lived so we need to soak it up while we can. I forgot how much a 16oz beer can leave you a little wobbly in altitude, especially as light-headed as I already was. THAT was fun :).

A perfect day!
10.5 miles run

Friday, June 5, 2009

I finally made the committment

I've been dragging my feet, I admit it. I haven't been feeling that great with my running upon my Boston return; I haven't felt the energy to jump back into another marathon; financial concerns; the stress of trying to PR; finding the right race; going alone; etc. Portland's been tugging at me for the past few weeks after my new kindred spirited friend, Sarah of marathon moms (an amazing writer whom I've admired from afar as she and her partner, Dimity, started writing a blog for Runner's World..and wow, I actually KNOW them now. Sorta. Dimity just moved to Denver from C.S. and Abbey is going to babysit for her in a couple weeks) first planted the seed of doing Portland Marathon. She gathered a group of her running pals and had them email me their experiences having run the marathon before and the consensus was that it was a very nice course and a great marathon. Still....I continued to drag my feet, trying to see if my legs, mind, and body were going to feel better. After I ran Mt. Evans last weekend, I got a little kick forward and thought it was time to seriously start thinking so that I could get going with an official training program. Sarah told me today that it might help mitigate my anxiety if I thought of it as coming out to meet her. Yes, that helped; thanks, Sarah! I can't wait to meet ya' (and I pray I'm not a big basket case!).

Okay.... as my friend Meg said: Run Jill Run!!!

No athletic activity today; heading up to the mountains in the early morning to do some trail running!
he morning to do some trail running!

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Piriformis Syndrome no more?

Okay, I don't think I have this syndrome - or if I did have it, I stretched about 60% of it out; today I feel so much better. Not perfect but definitely on the mend. After talking to the sports trainer at school, she pretty much determined what happened was that I did a lot of glute work last week, which I never fully recovered from and thus had some pain while sitting in the car en route to Mt. Evans. The serious climb of Mt. Evans reused some of the already sore glutes and then the killer to this entire thing was over-ambitious weight training of the glutes again this past Monday. By yesterday afternoon, I seriously thought my running was dead for a long time because I just couldn't even sit or bend over with being in sheer agony.

Feeling very blobish, I decided I had to test out the ole glutes and go for a run. I headed down to the park and ran about 7 miles. I had a great first 3 1/2 miles and all body parts were feeling great. On the turn-around back, my glute started aching ever so slightly and that may be because this was slightly uphill. I slowed my pace, walked and took some water, and then ran the rest of the way home. Felt good and more importantly, I am fairly certain that I can run!!!! I am not doing any weight training (and had a major melt-down with R today over the frustrations that have been mounting!) for a couple days and even then, I seriously need to cut the amount of glute work back.

I decided the reason why I can't commit to a specific fall marathon is that once I do, it's final. It puts an end-mark on what I'm not really sure I want to end...and not really sure I want to start. I did talk briefly to a guy on FB that said he ran Portland twice and it had nice crowd support and was a nice PR course Portland Marathon . I'm edging closer....I need to make a decision soon.

Had some great conversations with Josh Tepilinisky, the art teacher who is an avid cyclist; Dan Cornell, the computer technology teacher; and Brian Manley, the auto teacher and CC coach. All are teachers at school and all are doing Mt. Evans. Well, Josh is going to be the go-to person, i.e. he's offered to take his truck with our supplies and meet us at the top and take us back down so that we don't have to wait for the insane back-of-the-pickup-ride-down thrill-ride we got last year as 10 of us piled into the back of this guy's pickup to the 14.5 mile start. I seriously had major leg cramping going on because whatever position my legs were in were stuck that way because there was absolutely no place to move them. There is nothing more terrifying than being unstrapped in the back of a pickup which is hovering way too close to the edge of sheer several thousand feet cliffs. Yeah! I'm enclosing a picture of me in the truck from last year.....wish it weren't so close-up so you could see how packed-in we were!!! Anyway, a great conversation with the guys about altitude training and how it's really not as "important" as it first claimed to be.

Off to bed. I am pooped!!

7 miles run