Friday, July 31, 2009

Errrrr.....damn bee

My Michigan long run with Karen as my wingman, via bicycle, wouldn't be complete without incident. Last year, she lost me with about 3 miles to go. It was deathly hot and I was having some stomach issues and popped into the Ottawa Country Road Commission building to use the facilities. She was ahead of me and I couldn't get her attention to let her know I'd be MIA for a few minutes. Upon my return to the path, she was nowhere to be seen and was surveying side streets for me and ended up at the hospital to see if I was there. Ha (it's a very small town!). She didn't find me there, thankfully, but she did find a nurse looking for a lost mental patient. We still laugh over that! Anyway, we eventually found one another, both of us a little panic stricken (I wasn't sure if she knew her way back to the cottage), about a half mile from the cottage.

Today's incident wasn't as catastrophic but nevertheless, something was bound to happen. The night before, we drove the path to mark were the turn around point for 18 miles round trip would be. We got to this state park (Kirk Park) at mile 8.8, which was perfect - I figure the curves of the path vs. the straight aways of the road would more than give me the 9 I needed. I planted a water bottle under some leaves so that I'd have extra water there today. Got to to the park today and I had to pee. Bad. I wandered around some but I could not find a restroom until the very end of my search and it was still aways away and I wanted to get moving so I just popped into the woods to do my business. I was worried about mosquitoes. Wrong insect. Within seconds of doing what I needed to, a big group of bees started swarming around me and one landed on my ankle and decided to attack. Omg, I hadn't even finished when I was in excruciating pain and had to quickly exit, bee in tow. I hobbled back to where Karen was waiting for me and I screamed bloody murder!!! Thankfully, I'm not allergic to bees but man, my ankle was swelling and it hurt like hell!! I had to get out of that place and the bee decided to follow for awhile and I was just screaming at it. $)&)(*$YBF !!!!!

Aside from that little adventure, my run today actually went very well. I was a big question mark starting out; my legs have been feeling tired and achy and I didn't sleep very well last night. I took a couple Tylenol and some Sport Legs before I left and after about a mile, I felt pretty good. My Garmin was totally dead when I went to use it today so I just wore my regular watch but there are 1/4 mile markers on the bike path so as best I could judge, I was averaging about 9:10. I didn't look at too many of them, my goal was just to remain steady and controlled but at a decent clip. I think I was successful. I was a tad worried as we turned around that I was going to slow way down as I fatigued but really, I felt very good and very strong!!!!

We took a detour and head up this gigantic hill. When you crest the hill and turn the corner, you get a beautiful view of Lake Michigan. It looks like you can see the entire lake - which you can't, it just seems like you can. It's so pretty!!!!! It was inspiring to run the final mile along the lake and take it all in. I love this place!!!

Today was the annual softball/water balloon fight in honor of our friends from Paris' birthdays and for my boys birthday. A much smaller crowd today, about half that of last year, but we still had a great time. Ventured downtown, with half of the state Michigan (I think everyone took the day off work today; I have never seen so many people on the beach. Of course, it was one of the nicest days we've had all week), and the kids got their one last fill of Pronto Pups (basically, they are just corn dogs on a stick. They're kinda gross, in my opinion, and I just generally take a bite of someone else's. They even have a sign on their window (it's just a little stand) that reads: Cholesterol conscious people need not stop). Abbey and I then ventured over to the craft show in the park for awhile. I bought a bracelet; no surprise, I love to wear them.

Our friends from Iowa left late this morning so the cottage is quiet now and I am beginning to pack some things for our departure from the cottage tomorrow. I'm sad to be leaving (one more full day here, staying with some friends tomorrow night so that the kids can see the fireworks tomorrow night) but also been gone longer than norm so come Monday, when my flight leaves Chicago, I'll be ready to go home.
Today: 18 miles run
Yesterday: weights + 4 miles run

The infamous 'Pronto Pup' stand. The tall guy in the blue hat is Steve, who lives here, and was the best man in my wedding. He's way cool; a great musician. My kids are behind him - Ryan in the red and Brendan next to him and Abbey in black shorts behind Ryan.

Me with my friend, Karen's, daugther, Carley. Love her!

And one of my dearest friends, Karen, whom spent several days with me in Michigan and whom was my posse in Boston.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

The Motley Crew

Here is a pic of the group of us at the cottage. A good looking group, huh? :)

Today was filled with sun and so we did sun thing like ride bikes into town and hung out at the beach. I am sunburnt. I think a no-sun day is in order tomorrow...either that or I'm wearing my hat; the top of my head is even sunburnt where my part is.

I am achy-sore. I attempted a 13 mile run today but think it was only about 12. I'm calling it 12. I didn't read my schedule before I left to know that I was suppose to run the middle 4 of my 13 miles at race pace. I didn't wear my Garmin so I have no idea but I am positive it wasn't race pace - my legs are tired. I'm running fine and I feel fine but my legs just ache. I feel like all the flesh and meat have been gnawed right off and I'm left with bones. Anyway, I ran a new path today that I never have before - over to Ferrysville. There is a bike path along the Grand River for a ways, which I followed and then it curves out into the farmlands of blueberry bushes. These were really kinda cool; little purpleish-blue berries all plump and ready to pick. This has to be an arduous task, picking berries. When I turned at the half way point to come back, I crossed the street and picked a few. I rubbed them off on my sweat-soaked shirt and ate 'em, praying that I wouldn't have stomach problems later. I didn't. They tasted great!! I tried to pick up the pace some here and think I was successful - until the last two miles. Then I just practically crawled home. Today would have definitely been a good day to wear my Garmin...but I didn't.

In addition to the mileage I've been logging this week, I'm also walking a TON! In order to use the jetski, we have to be 100 yds from the swim beach areasso we are hauling half the cottage well past the beach directly in front of us, which IS swim beach. We're also walking into town at least twice a day, which can be anywhere from a mile to a mile and a half, depending on where you go. Then we walk home. The ole legs are really feeling it.

Tomorrow's a lighter day of running and weight training. I think I'm going to sleep a bit later and head over to the Y for the entire workout.

I have had a slight sore throat for the past few days. I hope that's not an early sign of something serious!

Just before sunset this afternoon, the lake was filled with these beautiful sailboats. Very pretty!

12 miles run

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Greetings from Lake Michigan

I arrived at the lake late Saturday afternoon, just in time to see the sun set as I sat on the steps of our cottage which overlooks the massive body of Lake Michigan directly below. It is beautiful one believes me when I tell them how gorgeous Michigan is and how special this place is to me and my family.
Saturday evening and all day Sunday, we had the place to ourselves; it was cold - very cold, so we just hung out and got a lot reading done (writing for me) and enjoyed the view from the sun porch. We took a walk down on the pier to the lighthouse and we ate at Butch's Burritos, a local favorite. Sunday evening our friends from Iowa came and the house was now busy. 10 in all. I didn't run at all on Sunday; I could feel soreness from the previous day Bix race day and intended to use this day to just recover my legs. I went to the local YMCA here and did some weights. It's a nice facility, probably the only place within a 20 mile radius that I can go workout, as best I can tell, so it's not like I have a lot of choices here. It's certainly not filled with high-end equipment but it has the basics and gets the job done.
Monday I woke up to a bit warmer weather but still pretty cool for Michigan. I hear the Midwest is full of record July low temps. I believe it. I went for a 10 mile easy legs were still sporting some muscle soreness from Saturday. I was pretty tired at the end and also a tad lost. I intended to do 10 miles but think it was more like 11.
Monday afternoon we hung at the beach all day. It was cooler than what we're used to for beach week but I managed to get a little sun regardless. The boys had a great time jet-skiing on our friends jet ski. Another walk to the pier (it's just a little over a mile), Dairy Treat (I did not indulge. At least not in my own...but I did have a few bites of every one else's ;) ) and watched the musical fountain. We laugh so much; just so great to be around such special friends.
Tuesday morning I woke up at 4am to the sound of a big front coming through which was banging my window and my bedroom door. I laid awake for what seems like eternity and finally feel back to sleep, just in time to get up and go for a run. I ended up at the Y for my fun, mostly because I was to do a tempo run and my Garmin's battery is about dead (of course I forgot the charger. I do have chargers for about 7 other devices though!) so wanted to be sure I was on track for tempo since I was having problems with this run all summer. It went well, thought my legs were a little tight. I stretched them a lot before and after. Ran 2 easy=4x10 minutes at 7:52 pace+1 easy. Gave me 9 miles total. I tried to do some weights after and I did okay up until I had to do the 3 sets of 3-ball pushups. I did one set and did them on 1 ball, not 3. Just way too tired from the previous run.
The front that came through during the night and initially called for rain fizzled and it was a sun-filled gorgeous day around 78 degrees. The kids and I walked downtown and got chicken tacos at Butches (this is a habit, apparently) and bought Coast Guard t-shirts. Brendan walked home while Abbey, Ryan and I walked around town and looked in some shops. We went to our favorite pizza place for dinner (I picked off most of the greasy cheese) and got home just in time for our other friends that live in Michigan to arrive.
We now have a house-full of 14 people. The boys have a friend here now and they hit the beach within seconds of his arrival. My friends from Iowa have a daughter that is 10 and our friends from MI had a daughter the same age. Our Iowa friends also have a daughter Abbey's age (a year older really) and their son is close to their age also. So all kids are boding well with one another. We do have a house-full but wow, it's so much fun!
13 easy on my schedule tomorrow. I will get up early before the masses awake so we can all start our beach day early. I can't wait.....I hope I don't get lost again!
Monday: 10 miles run
Tuesday: 9 miles run, weight training

Monday, July 27, 2009

Week 29

Week 29 Total
Weeks running total: 28.13
2009 running total: 1071.42
Weight training this weeek: 3
Cross training: 0
Stellar Bix Performance: 1

Sunday, July 26, 2009

The Bix 7-Miler

Finally! A race, a run, ANY run, where things just came together; from start to finish, the 2009 Bix 7-miler race couldn't have unfolded any better for me.

I've run this race I think about 8 times, I can't remember exactly because most of it was in my high school/college years. The last time I raced it was in 1997 where I ran 67:44, according to the website results (I'm sure I have this time written down, in a log book which is probably in my attic); it was the same year I was training for my very first marathon and learned to drastically slow my pace down so that I could run farther. This year I crossed in 54:40 (7:50 pace) and I am certain that is by far, the fastest time to report on this course from this chick!

And another bragging right comment: I landed 11th place of 477 in my age group division.

But the thing is, what means more to me than my killer age group placement, is the fact that I lined up at the start line with minimal nervousness and finished the race feeling incredible. And not incredible because I just placed well, because it was hours post-race that I even knew what my official time was due to operator error of my watch at the start and only guessing at what my finish time was, I felt incredible because I ran smart and never died at the end, like I am notorious for doing.

THAT is my feat! I don't care about PR's or age group wins - sure, they are nice and they bring a special smile to my face (and I'm sure one also to my highly competitive trainer, Rob) but the fact that I could run strong up all those infamous hills and still have enough left at the end to run a sub 7 minute mile (okay, it was mostly downhill.....still...). I could have run the course in 11 minute miles and probably had the same affect but I didn't, I ran a 7:50 pace and didn't die. That is what this game is all about for me!

This race is as legendary to Midwest runners as the Boston Marathon is to all marathoners. Elite runners, alike, come from all over to run the Bix. Joan Benoit and Bill Rodgers used to be the winning favorites in their days, now taken over by elite Kenyan runners. This year, Mebrahtom Keflezighi won the men's division. He is a very famous/elite runner. In celebration of it's 35th anniversary, USA Track & Field awarded Bix 7 the honor of hosting the 2009 American National 7 Mile Championships. There are thousands of running events in the United States, yet only six National Championships. It was an honor to join the elite American runners as they pursued their quest for the 2012 Olympic Games.

I mistakenly did not pack my regular watch in the bag that I was bringing to Iowa and only had my Garmin watch to wear. I did NOT want to wear it but in the end, I am glad because it was only at mile 1 that split times were called and had I not had a watch at all, I'd never have pulled back my pace. Maybe splits were called at other mile markers and I did not hear them due to my excessively loud iPod (will I be deaf at age 50? I sometimes wonder). I also have not learned enough about my Garmin watch yet to realize that the thing shuts itself off after being inactive for x-amount of time after it's ready to go. I have no idea what this x factor is and so about 10 minutes before the start of the race, while I was dutifully lined up ready to run, I set the watch so that it was all ready for me to just hit the ‘start’ button when I crossed the start line. Apparently, this unknown x number is about 9 minutes and 50 seconds; when the gun went off, I hit ‘start’ only to find, about half way up the grueling Brady St. hill, that my watch was back on regular watch mode and was never started. Err. So I figured I’d reset the thing and hit ‘start’ at mile 1.

Cross under Palmer Chiropractor college bridge where fans are so thick, they produce a roar almost in comparison to the Wellesley College girls in Boston. This race reminds me so much of Boston in terms of local camaraderie and crowd support. The town is abuzz for weeks on end in preparation for said event; they host the Bix jazz festival (the entire weekend events, including race, are in honor of Bix Beiderbecke, a famous jazz musician in his day whom was born in Davenport) and street fest where vendors come from afar with food galore and crafts from wonderful artists. It’s an all-weekend event alrighty! But also the crowds that line the street during the race are incredible. Never is there an entire spot anywhere along the course where there is one open area – and along the easy to access areas, people are lined several deep. They are all enthusiastically cheering you on in the mid-pack just as they are the first elite runner out there. The locals love this race; they will plan for days in advanced and make a big tail-gating party out of it. I can’t even tell you how many times I smelled various BBQs going on in someone’s yard while running. These things are very emotional to me; how people come together to cheer those of us on that pour our guts out on that brutal course. I miss it dearly and am proud to say I was born and raised here.

Just before mile 1, the hills crests and you get a nice reprieve from the first arduous. The Twinkie man and truck (Hostess is a local business; you wouldn’t believe all the Hostess sugary-cake products that were available at the expo and post race party - ironic, huh!?!) have the street blocked where you need to make a turn into Kirkwood Blvd, which is great – no one can get lost by going straight (he is at the turn onto McClellon Blvd., too). Right as you turn the tight corner, you run about 200’ and you are at mile 1. Someone reading splits says I ran about 9:30.

I also realized at mile 1 when I when go to hit that ‘start’ button, that the previous 9:50 shut-off time is just an random number and that yet again, my watch was not ready and has turned itselfl back to regular watch mode. I quickly had to reset it again and just hit that little start button about 10 or so seconds, however long it took to reset it, after I crossed the first mile. I thought of Dennis and how this would have drove him crazy. Ha. It was rather annoying and I was in disbelief but really, there wasn’t anything I could do about it. I’ve learned a lesson, I guess: my watch is not to be ready to ‘start’ until about 1 minute before official starting time.

This 9:30 first mile time would have normally set me in a tail spinning I-need-to-make-up-for-lost-time sprint but I remained calm and tried to get in a comfortable yet strong pace -- not under a 7:30. I can probably thank extremely large crowds (that truly never thin as in most races) for holding my pace back - the last thing I wanted to do was start weaving; but I really knew that for me to do well in the end, I needed to conserve here.

The next two miles are a nice, steady downhill and I desperately tried to keep my pace under control. I also knew that since this is an out and back course, these nice down hills were going to be uphill at miles 4-6, right when things got toughest. I also started sweating a lot along this section and decided I’d try to run along the left side of the street where shade from large trees were providing a little reprieve. I am not used to this humidity even though the locals were all in heaven that it was “cold.” Yes, it was “nice” for Iowa this time of year but I can really feel the humidity and I was sweating quicker than normal and feeling the heat. I got water at every stop, except for the first one, and I poured half of it on me to try to keep a little cooler.

Mile 3 is the is the big turn up McClellon Blvd where the richest of the rich in Davenport live; these houses are old and huge and overlook the Mississippi River. For a house to “overlook” a river, it must be perched up high on a bank so yes, it is here that we climb yet again another hill. This hill comes in a couple sections, just like the Newton Hills in Boston, and just as steep though shorter in length. A nice turn-around point with a view of the river and back up the hills. I am in awe at how well my back and glute are feeling as I tackle these beasts. But I know that miles from 4-6 is where I have faltered in past years so I am being cautious.

I might add that I did not become obsessed with my watch and my pace - just like my victorious Boston qualifier in St. George. I looked at my time and my pace, periodically, but never did I think I had to push harder because I was going too slow or whatnot. Something to be said about that, for sure!!!

Mile 4 hits at the end of a downhill and you turn a corner here and head back up Kirkwood Blvd. and the start of two miles of up hills. There are sections of these two miles that are definitely steeper than others but as much as I worried about these two uphill miles, they were not as demoralizing as I feared and I felt incredible! In fact, when I could see Brady St, the street that started the race, I was stunned I had reached this point already. I crossed over to the other side of the divided street, ran a bit on the shaded side, and turned onto Brady street for the final mile.

The final mile WAS downhill and I tried to pick up the pace here and see what I had left in me. At one point I looked at my watch and it said I was doing a 6:47. Wow! For this chick, that’s incredible this late in the game – even with a nice decent. The course levels out at the bottom of Brady St. and you turn the final corner (no Twinkie man here ) to the final push of about 600M to the finish. They even had signs at about every 1/8 of a mile to guide you along.

I crossed the finish line with the clock reading gun time of 55:30. I knew I started a bit back after the gun but I was not really sure how far back – thinking about 30 seconds. I was in awe.

I was suppose to meet my posse afterwards at 9:30 at the grain elevators across the street from the post-race festivities so didn't have time to linger much but wow, I couldn't believe the amount of food and drinks available. I thought of my friend, Tim, who said the worst thing about the Boston Marathon was tiny amount of post-race food they give you afterwards (I will admit, it was lame). Here, there were hundreds of tables lined up with everything. And I mean EVERYTHING (including those notorious Twinkies - ha). I grabbed a couple things, a Diet Coke, half a Michelob Ultra (it was 9:30 in the morning after all, and I had a 6 hour drive up North to Michigan yet - could not indulge too much) and exited the post race party to find my ride outta there. I was kinda sad that it was all over!

I thank the good ole Quad Cities for putting on a fabulous race; I am honored to run your race and I hope I'll be back in the very near future to race it again!

I had some logistical problems meeting my crew afterwards as they were late and could not find me so we had to quickly scurry out of town, therefore I was not able to get some pictures from the race. I did, though, have a great time with my Iowa friend in my whirlwind 2-day visit and will post those at the bottom!
I am one very happy running girl right now! :)

Meg and her beautiful, Victorian House in Des Moines

Me, wandering the antique stores in Walnut

Dinner in Iowa City (clockwise, starting with me); me, Meg, Kathie, Karen
The banners that line the lampposts in Davenport; reminded me of similar at the Boston Marathon

Out on a Friday night with old classmates: Kathie, Me, Bob Anderson, Karen

Friday, July 24, 2009

From One End of Iowa to the Other

My dear friend, Meg, picked me up on Omaha (the very western part of Iowa) on Wednesday morning where we headed East to Des Moines, where she lives; about 2-hours away. Along the way, we stopped at a little town called Walnut which is full of antique stores and we browsed around and had lunch of Iowa bbq pork sandwichs - which I thought I'd hate but actually was pretty good.

The drive across I-80 is actually very pretty here; hilly and full of old farm houses and barns. Very Iowa-y!!! I love it.

The weather's been incredibly nice here - which is such a rarity for late July!

Thursday morning, Meg and I ran a couple miles together in the morning then she returned home and I ventured further onto a street with gorgeous, big, old houses and trees that canopied the entire street. Even my Garmin was having problems finding a satellite; the trees were that thick. I did about 3 miles of marathon race pace here and actually ran pretty well. The street isn't too hilly and I felt I was able to maintain a good pace. It felt good to finally get in a little speed without feeling I was dying - and the change in scenery certainly helped!

A good nap Thursday afternoon and then Meg was gracious enough to keep moving me East where I met up with some other girlfriends, Karen and Kathie, in Iowa City for dinner. The 4 of us go really far back - I think Meg and I were in 3rd grade together and Kathie not too far behind that. Anyway, we laughed at old memories and spent a great couple hours together. The restaurant was really neat; very quaint. Karen's son just graduated from college and is going to medical school at Univ. of Iowa so we got a tour of his new condo they just bought for him (makes no sense to rent for 8 years).

Around 8pm last night, I moved my stuff from Meg's car to Karen's and Meg went back to Des Moines (miss ya, Meg!!) and I rode to Bettendorf, the very eastern part of Iowa, with the others. Had a quick drink with the girls at Kathie's restaurant/bar and got home about 10:45 where I just crashed hard.

Up early this morning, before a peep was stirring in the house, and went to the Bettendorf Y where I did some weights. The sweetheart at the front desk let me in for free and was generous enough to even give me a free towel so I could shower afterwards. Having packed back in Colorado quickly for this trip, I didn't really prepare enough workout clothes so wore what I grossly sweated in the day before. Ick. Weights went well but they were not exactly what was on my plan due to equipment challenges, but I compensated with what I thought would work best. Spent a great deal of time stretching my glute, which is really bothering me on this trip, and my hamstrings which seem to be OVERLY tight!!!

I'm now sitting in Karen's office while she works and I'm getting caught up on a million writing things that needed addressed and a few client emails. Off to go pick up my race packet for the bix 7-miler tomorrow. I'm excited (i.e. nervous); I have not run this race since 1997. It's hilly and normally hot and humid but tomorrow's calling for cooler temps. Let's hope. The hills though....they are still there.

6.5 miles run
1 weight training

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

I Love my Iowa Roots

And so it's 10:20pm the night before my 5:00am house departure to catch my 7:00am flight. And I'm still packing. The weather is all over the map while I am gone and thus, I am packing half my closet. I wish I had more shoes. If you saw my closet, you'd be appalled at just how many I DO have - especially flip flops from J.Crew!

I started my day meeting a new running client, Ann, at the track. She's running a marathon in Utah in just a few weeks and needs a few tweaking and such. She's awesome and I'm excited to work with her.

Came home and did about 50 loads of laundry to get ready for the trip. Got to the park to run my tempo run a little late but it was a lot cooler today so that was good - but man, it is HUMID!!! We had a lot of rain last night; if you happen to ever run over at Cherry Creek State Park, you'd be amazed at how fast the creek was running. Normally, it's dry as a bone right now but there were places along the road where the water was almost running over. I ran a couple miles at an easy pace followed by 6x6 minutes tempo run and then a couple miles cool down. The tempos were tough and I was running them a bit faster but it was a lot of gradual downhill, too. When I got to the level area and even a bit uphill, I had to really dig deep inside to keep the pace. I felt a lot more encouraged today with my temp running - maybe this slight rest break between sets, as Brian suggested, is the ticket. Not sure it's benefits vs one continuous tempo at that pace but if nothing else, it mentally helps. The last 6 minuter was cut to 4:20 when I came off the gravel trail and hit solid mud. I slide about 5 feet and once again felt a tug on my annoying glute. But I think I actually stretched it this time around vs. Sunday when I pulled it too far. A good run today - even if it was grossly humid. I wonder if the Running Gods are acclimating me to the brutal Midwest humidity I'm soon to face (though I hear it's very nice there right now. Go figure).

I'm excited about my couple days with the bestest-best Iowa girlfriends ever. I'm excited to run the BIX and I'm excited to go do nothing in Michigan but run and go to the beach!

First stop: Omaha Airport where my wonderful friend, Meg, will pick me up and we'll do whatever (maybe antique shop and lunch) to our drive to Des Moines, where she lives.

9 miles run

Monday, July 20, 2009

The day before the day before vacation

I am so far behind getting stuff packed! I leave on Wednesday morning at 7:10a.m. so really only have tomorrow to get my act together. The kids are not leaving until Friday so I need to make sure their stuff is all ready to go, too. And try to instill in them that they are NOT to wear the clothes I have set aside for them before they leave :).

Met Rob for some weight training this morning. It was tough. But I did it, I think :). I was happy that my weight is not going up and best of all, my bodyfat is slightly decreasing. This was good new, mostly because it sort of inspired me to try not to trash it while I am gone. I'm going to try hard to come back from vacation 2 lbs lighter and bodyfat maintained; I told Rob to write it down so I'd be more accountable.

Brendan and I went over to where Rob's day job is at United and he took Brendan flying in the 777 simulator for his birthday. Brendan has always wanted to be a pilot. One trip to San Diego, when he was 4, planted this thought in his head and never once has he steered away from this passionate dream of his - except a very brief 2-week period where he wanted to be a truck driver. I'm glad that idea didn't last long ;). Anyway, Brendan had the best time and could probably spend the entire day in there. I'll try to post an official picture from Brendan in the sim but I didn't have time to download it tonight.

Ran about 4 easy miles tonight and with the 1.73 I did this morning with Rob, I got in 5.73.

1 weight training.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Week 28

Week 28 Totals:
Week running mileage: 52.29
Total mileage for 2009: 1043.29 miles
This week's weight training: 2
hiked 8 miles

Yes, I CAN run a 12 min/mile

Ugh. My long runs (and tempo runs. All runs?) are just not going well right now. I left for my run at 5:38a.m. with the thermometer showing 73 degrees; I knew I was doomed.

I started my beginning pace to around 9:20 - 9:40, like I was suppose to, hoping it would help give me the energy I needed at the end of my intended 22 miler. Not only no, but hell no. At one time, when sweat was constantly dripping off my eyebrow and into my eye, I looked at my watch and I was doing a 12 minute mile. I didn't think one COULD run a 12 minute mile; I thought you'd be walking at that point. Okay, granted I was going up a hill but really, I was struggling by then and apparently you can run a 12 minute mile. Egads.

It was 82 degrees when I got in my car.

I felt okay when I started. Not great but not bad. I decided to park at the corner of Parker and Quincy at the parking lot to a shopping center and run through CC park toward downtown. A slightly different route than the normal downtown route because I knew I had access to one more gas station to get water upon my return. That was one of the wisest choices I've made in awhile. But by the time I turned around at mile 11 and stopped to refuel at my favorite Conoco car wash, I was starting to have some problems - that being my stomach was bothering me some and worse, things going into it were not wanting to be there.

My glute was also starting to bother me....I kept wondering how I'm going to run 26 miles with this annoyance at an 8:30 pace. With about 7 miles left, I was running along side the paved path on the dirt and I tripped over a rock. Same rock that twisted my ankle badly about 3 weeks before St. George. I'm going with a pick ax and shovel upon my vacation return and digging that suck up one can for all! I didn't fall to the ground but I stumbled and kinda fell forward and in doing so, my glute know, the annoying one, decided to scream. Loudly!!! ERRRRRR! Walk, stretch, start back up running. But I'm running so slow, yeah.....that 12 minute/mile up a hill, that it didn't matter if I was walking or running; I was exerting about as much energy doing either one. I cut my run short by a mile by not running down by the lake as I had done earlier so I finished my run, practically crawling, with 21 miles.

I keep hoping that this problem is just the heat. I'm scaling back my running next week, which bodes well with my vacation travel to: Omaha (flying), one end of Iowa to the other (via car. Thanks, Meg :)), Chicago (car), and then to the cottage on Lake Michigan in Grand Haven. Once in Grand Haven, I plan to rack up my mileage one more time; I think it's what I need and I think it will help keep my eating/drinking/training honest while I am there. That will be my highest mileage week for my Portland training; Brian thought it would work well. We'll see.

But no matter what, upon my return, if it's hot and I have a long run scheduled, I'm either 1) getting up and out the door by 430 am or 2) heading to the mountains where it's a good 15 degrees cooler. I have a boatload of races coming up immediately after I return, one after another - 3 weekends in a row... plus one in Davenport, the Bix 7-miler, while I am gone. I am excited but it's going to be a challenge to get in that dreaded long run in.

On the plus side of things: I got a new water bottle at REI and used it today - I LOVE it!!! It is double insulated and therefore keeps my water colder longer and the neatest thing is that the mouth piece doesn't pop up like most, it twists and it keeps the water inside and not constantly dripping down my leg.

Nice, huh?

21 miles run

I'm going to bed!!

Saturday, July 18, 2009

A Return to the Living

Thursday's arduous hike/mt. run reared it's ugly head on Friday when I woke with a major headache and legs that wouldn't move. I wasn't really "sore" but I was stiffer that a board and the mere thought of trying to go run 6 hilly miles was proving to be impossible. I missed my run and I missed my beloved cycling class - which I am really bummed about the cycling class because it's the last one I can attend for awhile and I only went to one the entire summer. That was not what I wanted. But I have found this whole Portland training really isn't want I wanted so I guess the cycling class fits in perfectly with the rest of my training.

Around noon yesterday, I thought I may go run my hills in the evening but when evening came and the last shred of sunlight left to actually run was still sporting a high temperature of 85 degrees, I knew I couldn't go. And that was probably for the legs were not loosening up.

Since my training was tanked yesterday, my diet may as well join in also and just make it one, big seriously bad day. I consumed about 2000 more calories than normal (that may be a slight stretch...but I seriously doubt it). I couldn't help it, I had no ambition to do anything other than just do nothing.

Today was a new day. Well, about 88% new. I woke up tired, as I just really cannot sleep later than 530am anymore. I guess that's good come August when I'm back to work but geez...can't I just sleep til 6 one day? So my tired body decided not to eat anything before I ran. I never do that but I guess the excess food intake yesterday made me not even in the least bit hungry. I wasn't running too far anyway.

Rob said to run from my house to the top of Smoky Hill Rd via Orchard Rd. I've run this route many times, many, but not in a quite awhile so the change of scenery was nice. There's a killer hill at the tail end of this course and there's a couple pretty bad ones a very good hill workout. In training for my first marathon ever (almost 12 years ago. egads), I ran this course numerous times and my goal was to almost make the 3.07 miles in under 30 minutes. Most of the time I did...but barely. Today I ran it in 27:10 - and that's after I had to pause early on to fix my watch. But it's never really about the time for me, unlike most I know that me, it's about the "feel" and today, these hills felt great. If I complete a run feeling as well as I did today, I call it a success.

Yesterday was a failure.
Today was a success.

It's amazing what fresh legs can do! For the body, spirit and the mind.

A really nice day today, a small reprieve from the heat. Tried to conquer more painting but not making a slew of progress. Eventually It'll get there.

A very long 'long run' planned for tomorrow; it'll be the last one for awhile - praying I thrive.

6.14 miles run
234' elevation difference

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Past the Beaten Path

End of our hike on Devils Hole trail

When I finished school in June, I vowed I would spend more time with my kids and take advantage of the gift I have been given to live in such a fruitful place like Colorado and all it has to offer. Summer whips by me so fast that before I even catch my breathe from the past school year, it's time to start back up again.

This whole house painting thing really tanked a few weeks of my summer away and I can't believe that next week marks the start of my annual trip to the Midwest. Upon it's return, so ends my summer and it's back to work. I dread it.

Anyway, the boys (especially Brendan) have caught the 14er bug; hiking to the top of 'em has become a new obsession. I promised I'd do one with them this summer. Not sure why I did that, other than it was one of those things to spend more time with them cuz hiking those things really take a beating on me..but I wanted to go. They attempted to climb Mt. Evans a couple weeks ago with their dad but the weather was really bad and and they never made the summit so without thinking, I opened my mouth and I said we'd try for it this week. One night last week, a group of us girls went out to Baker Street Grill to celebrate June birthdays. I was mentioning the hike to my friend, Marianne, and she said she's like to go. We planned it for today. I totally forgot about it...really. I thought about it on and off throughout the week but as of yesterday, I had put it in the back of my mind and not until Marianne sent me a FB post asking if we were still in did I remember.

It was close to the last thing I wanted to do today, but I knew I wasn't going to have time when I returned from vacation so now really was the only time. So we loaded up the car, picked up my friend Marianne and her son, Andrew, and set off for Summit Lake to climb to the top of Mt. Evans.

When we got to the road to the trail, it was closed.

Plan B involved a quick detour to the Forest Service office and a new trail was devised and we ended up hiking this trail near Mt. Evans called Devil's Hole. Not sure where the devil or the hole into play -- it was just a gorgeous trail - though difficult. 4.3 miles (one way), about 2000' elevation gain, rocks that killed the bottom of my feet, a very struggling Ryan who could not make the last mile, pretty warm temperatures, me doing a little trail running to catch the group ahead, taking in the serenity of the reward at the end, a little more trail running to get back to Ryan, some great one-on-one conversation with Ryan without constant interruptions, an arduous decline down....and 4 1/2 hours later we returned to the car. A little 4:30pm lunch in Idaho Springs, indulging in way too many calories, and we returned home a little after 6pm.

Before our little off-road adventure this afternoon, I headed to the park for a tempo run. Still struggling with the pace this but feeling slightly better about it. I learned a lot of things on my tempo today, for which I will post tomorrow since today's hike has already taken up way too much blog space.

I had a great day.....but I am exhausted!!!!

My glute did not bother me much while hiking. I felt it but it behaved slightly better than it has pre-massage. The funny thing is, Charlie only massaged my left leg and glute and maybe it's psychosomatic, but my left calf really felt great hiking today whereas my right was really tight. Hum. I'm thinking I'm going to try to get a massage every other week upon my return from vacation before my Portland Marathon.
7 miles run
9 miles hiked

Me - and beautiful blue skies

Ryan and Brendan crossing a stream
Andrew, Marianne, Brendan, Me; top of Devils Hole trail

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

And I Got the Massage

As I stated I would in my last post, I went to see Charlie, the massage therapist, over my annoying glute pain today. It wasn't getting better - some days it felt good running, others not. Some days it felt good after running, others not. Who knew when it was going to crop up and doing weight training was excruciating and I had to make the call.

I love Charlie; he's like a long lost friend that you can just see after some time not and just feel so comfortable around. We talked a little first about things that has developed since I saw him last October (though I have run into him at the studio from time to time...but that's not the same); We have a connection and that's not easy for me to say because I generally don't connect well with people that aren't really close to me. He just has this way to speaking to me in a very caring way; he's genuinely concerned and listens with his whole heart. He tells me straight-forward what he thinks and what I should do but does so in a manner which I can just tell, it pure. I'm not just "another client." I miss him ... and he said he really missed me and they weren't just words...he meant it.

Anyway...the emotional mumbo-jumbo aside, he dug deep into my glute - I told him to dig it all out and I didn't care how much I cried. He dug and I was brave, I didn't cry but man it hurt. We talked a little about some stretches and exercises to do and to make sure I stretch (ahem) at least 5 minutes before I workout or run. Told me to give it a week and see how it is and call him if I need more digging. He was concerned over my financial situation and instead of telling me I needed more and more, he told me to see how it went. I hope it is the magic cure!! Before I got to bed, I'm going to stetch the darn thing for a solid 10 minutes. I wonder if there's a way to stretch my glute and ice my knee simutaneously?

Charlie also massage my entire left leg and I'm telling you honestly, I can feel a world of difference between the two legs; I should have let him massage my other leg, too :).

Did some leg weight training this morning and I felt zero energy. Everything was difficult and I think I had to drop down in most, if not all, of my weight. Not sure why. My knee was killing me doing 3-way lunges and my glute was killing me doing leg kickbacks and leg extensions. UGH. I just had nothing to give today. Ran about a mile after my weight training at a 8:30 pace and that was it for the running today. Felt kinda odd not to run today but I was also relieved; I needed a break.
Boys and I hiking Mt. Evans tomorrow. Guess I can't get enough of that darn mountain, huh???!!!?? I wish I weren't hiking/climbing it but I promised them I'd try to get them up it sometime this summer and well, summer is running out for me since I'll soon be gone for almost two weeks. We aren't hiking the road...oh no, we're going up sheer rock faces. Brendan said it's a difficult, thought short, climb. I'm all for the short part. 7ish mile run before we leave so better close and get my hiking gear backed and my glute stretched and off to bed!!!
weight training: 1
1 mile run

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Eight 800's

I'm currently sitting in a bath filled with ice; my legs feel heavy, I'm hoping the ice bath performs it magic like it likes to do.

Went to the track this morning to do 8x800's. I will say it out loud right now: I am not a fan of Yasso's 800's. Most everyone in my running world knows this about me. It's not because I don't think they are worthwhile, because they are; but I think they *can potentially* give you a false sense of confidence. Yasso claims that if you can run 10 800's at a certain pace/minute (4 minutes, for instance) than you can run a marathon in that time in hours for a marathon (4 hours). I'm sure it works for some. I also know it does not for others. And while the 800's are certainly great for speed work, I would never tell my clients or running friends that if they ran consistent 10x800's they will produce that time in a marathon. If I believed this, then I'd be cranking out a 3:27 marathon and well...I'm too wise to believe that.

So I went to the track today not to Yasso's 800's but to do 800 intervals. I'm all for speed work, despite how much I really don't enjoy it. Who enjoys that much pain? Ha. But they do feel good when you're done...that sense of accomplishment having completed something very arduous.

Did 5 of them at the track then the middle school track I was on was overrun with some camp and the high school track was occupied with football players so I decided to go home and ran the last 3 on my treadmill. 3:31, 3:25, 3:25, 3:27, 3:30, 3:31, 3:31, 3:31. Them were tough, I definitely felt them. And I felt my glute running them :(. I decided it was time to go get it massaged and hope he can just dig in there deep and undo the knot that's just causing me so much grief. This afternoon, when I was trying to do some sitting and writing, I couldn't. I find the only relief I can get is to lie on my stomach and get all pressure off of the glute. Of course, I can't stay in this position for long as it causes my back to ache....

Met Dennis tonight at the park for a very, very easy 4 miles. It was actually 5 miles but we walked and talked at least a mile. He's been out of town for awhile so it was nice to get caught up. Dennis is still having some pretty bad hip pain ... I think he needs to go see a sports doctor since this thing has been lingering for the past 9 months. But he won't.

Out of the ice bath and feeling refreshed :).

10 miles run

Monday, July 13, 2009

First Day Back...

After my high mileage last week, I was uncertain, as was Rob, how my legs were going to fare. Or my body. I hit the road tonight for an easy 5 miles and I have to say, I felt really good. A little knee pain at the start, but that's pretty par for the course, and it worked it's way out eventually ..which is also usually the norm. I didn't wear my Garmin; I just wore my regular watch so I had no idea my pace -- and that was the idea. I just wanted to run, time-free, and have no constraints. I think it was slow -- but controlled. It felt great. I'd like to try another high-mileage week again when I return from vacation. Maybe.

Did some weight training with Rob in the morning and that went well. I think we're on better "terms" with one another after that mile Friday. I even got a plan today :). Of course, I marked it all up with revisions but we discussed it and came to a happy (I hope) compromise.

My niece, Sarah, had her baby today. Leah. Congrats Sarah and Brian!

I'm trying to get myself into a sense of calmness and not let the small things stress me out and build to where I explode. I'm trying not to let people's insensitive antics bother me and I'm trying to not take things so personally. I'm going to try to focus on bettering myself with some writing projects I've been too afraid to pursue and getting to know more runners that I am not associated with here so as to learn more about people and their ideas that aren't tainted by knowing them. It's a huge project for me and one I'm sure will come with challenges and obstacles but I need to make some changes and these are my goals!

My glute pain seems less severe today and yesterday; maybe I ran the pain out of it!!??!! I felt it again running today and upon my return, sitting. So it's not totally gone by any means but maybe it's giving me a slight reprieve after the agony it caused on my long run Saturday.

Sent Rob a glip from McMillan training website about depleting your body of nourishment (in particular, carbs) before a long run so you can train it to run better when you have used up all your glycogen reserves in a marathon. I wasn't so interested in "trying" it right now as I was just curious about his thoughts on it...but it was on my new plan to try it on Sunday. Um, no thanks. Not right now...too many obstacles in the way with vacation and countless races going on this fall to start messing with something that even stated "would take time to adjust." So I turned my carb-depleted 17 mile long run on Sunday to a carb-enriched 24-mile long run :).

6 mile run total (really, 6.15 with the running I did at weight training today :) )

1 weight training

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Week 27

Week 27 Totals:
Week running mileage: 61
Total mileage for 2009: 991 miles
This week's weight training: 2
1 3/4-mile swim
biked 20 miles
hiked 2 miles
Ran 6:31 timed mile :)

Saturday, July 11, 2009

21 Makes 61

Sporting some heavy and pretty sore legs from the already 39 miles run this week, I sent off at 7a.m. on my long run -- a bit too late in the morning for the heat that was already brewing. I was surprised I could even run; doubt on how I was going to finish 21 miles was fairly prominent.

Brian suggested to me last week that I slow my long run down to a 9:37 pace. I tried. Really, I did. The first 5 miles I averaged 9:11. Okay, that's not 9:37 but I am really trying. This whole "race pace" mixed into the long run is still tugging at me to at least try. So I tried. I quickly failed. I ran about 2 miles at an 8:40 and I decided to just give up on that idea this round; just the ability to finish 21 miles on my over-run legs was going to be feat enough. Let's not throw in some tempo-ish pace in there, maintaining a 9:37 was going to be challenging enough. So I just ran slow. Long and slow, nothing more.

Only slow turned into REALLY slow as soon as the sun came up and warmed quickly. Drink!! Drink!!!! Drink!!!!! I think I did a good job for the fluid intake; better than normal. But I was sweating like crazy (when I finished, my car thermometer read 83. yikes) and I developed the infamous stomach cramping around mile 16 which I equate mostly to being dehydrated. I was about a half mile from the Cherry Creek Whole Foods and decided to take a small break there and regroup.

Walked around in the cool air inside W.F. and filled up my bottle with water and Cytomax and decided to walk through the farmer's market directly across the street from W.F. I need to remember this cute market; there were tons of fun things going on there - along with the great-looking fresh fruits and veggies. Yummy.

I picked the trail back up on the other side of the market. It was getting really hot and this part of the course has the least amount of shade and just to throw salt in the wound, it's also a fairly decent gradual incline. Triple whammy. But there's nothing you can do about it so suck it up and go. I had to take 2 small walking breaks just to get the sweat off, but I also drank like crazy and I think this was helping. I gave up on the water and stuck only to the Cytomax, trying to get in electrolytes that I was sweating out. I definitely slowed my pace here, to almost a 10:00 - and that's okay, it was better to be safe and run slow then to screw something up by trying to push it. Not sure I could have pushed it even if my life depended on it.

I had a more than average glute pain and stopped a couple times to stretch it. It is NOT getting better and wow, did I feel it later in the day as I "sat" in the car running errands. Sitting and certain moves really seem to exacerbate the pain but today I got a lot of it just running. I do think I need to go and seek some massage therapy...I just don't want to spend the $$!! Err. On the plus side, I think my knee is happy (er). I probably just jinked that!

My 21 miles today gave me an all-time post collegiate PR mileage of 61 for the week. Wow. I'm not certain I've even run 50 more than a dozen times in all my marathon training. But I felt good overall with the mileage and learned that sometimes you gotta push yourself a little harder than the normal hard - just to see what you're made of. Maybe just to make you a little stronger. Mentally, emotionally, along with physically. I think I passed the test.

21 miles run

Friday, July 10, 2009

That Illustrious Mile - Finally

Today was the day, it finally arrived. Rob met me at the track to do a timed mile to see what I was made of. Not that HE wanted to see what I was made of, was ME that wanted to see what I was made of. And I had asked him a few months ago to go with me.

One thing lead to another and another and well, the mile never materialized back in May when I wanted to start this little experiment. Not exactly. Or not exactly the way I envisioned it would. I went to the track then with Rob supposedly in tow but in the end, it never panned out where he could make it so I ended up running it solo. Sort of. It was hot, it was windy and it was windy and and it was hot. And I was in a foul mood. And my sinuses were killng me. I ran it, but with only half my heart and my spirit in it. I ran a 6:53ish (probably much worse than that - I think I stopped my watch a little short of the mile mark). And I was bummed. I instantly decided that mile didn't count due to the barriers restricting my attempt. Dennis told me to go ahead and use it; my time could only go down from there later.

And down it went.

I was to meet Rob at 5:30. That's a.m. I got there at 5:00. Again, a.m. Well, probably more like 5:05. I extensively stretched my glutes and hamstrings, which are tight as heck, and then I ran 3/4 of a mile slowly. Stretched a little more. Drank lots of water (to the point I had to pee really bad at the start of my mile so had to make a quick porta-potty stop); ate half of my peanut butter toast.

Rob got there a little after the set time. We talked a bit but I just wanted to go and get it done. I woke up at the bewitching hour of 4:00 (yes, a.m.) and laid there wide awake, surprised at how nervous I was; adrenaline was filing every fiber. I knew I'd run today better than that failed 6:53 attempt but I had no idea how well. And I had no time prediction other than to run faster that last time. I ran the mile back in my youth and I had speed and I had strategy then; something my 46 year old body lacks both of these days. So I just took off and ran.

First quarter was too fast: 1:31. There's nothing like your trainer there along the sidelines with two stopwatches in hand to pump up the blood flow and leg turnover. I knew I had to slightly slow it down so I did. My legs felt good, despite a heavy running week, and I tried to focus on controlled breathing and a composed stride. I also had a good song blaring on my iPod (I had no idea Rob was yelling for me). The 3rd quarter is always the toughest because you are tired and yet only barely half done; the end is not in sight yet so it seems like you still have a lot left to run. It was my slowest split. I tried to pick up the pace on my last quarter but time confirms that I didn't even though my legs thought I did. I felt like I pushed my hardest, but not in a I'm-going-to-puke way.

Finished time: 6:31.

I can't tell you the exact emotion I felt when I was done. Relief for sure - it wasn't easy. Disappointed? A tad, but not really. Jubilant? A tad, but not really. A good combination of both, I guess. I am thrilled that I ran better and more importantly, felt better than last time. But though I can honestly say I had no specific time goal in mind when I took off, I think I can run a bit faster. Especially if I go back to my strategy-ridden mile days and learn to slow that first quarter down so I have more for the 3rd (endorphins will generally carry you through the last quarter. Generally. But not if you take off too fast. Like I am notorious for). But the goal here is to improve so if there's an emotion I feel it is that I feel encouraged that my once melancholy disposition about my progress is beginning to lift and I am happy that the work I am doing is paying off. I physically see changes in my body and suddenly, I'm seeing changes in my mood. I can't say I'm 100% "there" for Portland, but today's mile certainly helped turn the dial up. And for that, I am emotionally "elated."

I count today's mile as my official first timed mile and the goal is to only improve so a hefty road ahead of me to get faster. Rob asked me if I wanted to repeat this beast in two weeks. Um, no. Maybe once a month but definitely not two weeks. And not so much because it's painful, but because I don't think you can mark progress every two weeks. I am highly motivated. At least for my training (the actual Portland race is another story).
Thanks, Rob, for being there.

August's mile goal: 6:26. I think I can do it!

Ran 4 miles very, very slow after my quickie mile so added up mileage today was 6 miles total.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Confidence Boosting Tempo

It's no secret to the runners in my world that I am frustrated with my training. I can't pinpoint exactly why but it's a combination of several things but mostly it's just #'s that not adding up to get me the 3:40 marathon I am training for. This is mostly due to a poor 10K performance in Boulder which if I slide my 49:08 time (okay, I forget the exact seconds here and too lazy to go look it up but it was below 15 so I'll split the difference) down the column of my Team Oregon Training Guide, I'll be lucky to run a 3:49:48 marathon. And I generally do not run the marathon as fast as these little guide things predict as I am NOT a natural marathoner - my body type is built more for speed, despite how much I hate speed work. Add to a crappy Boulder time and the fact my tempo runs have been pathetic, at best.... my confidence going into Portland and landing myself at that magic PR number is, let me just say it out loud, sucks! Add this whole mess with my trainer and lack of any specific plans and well, I'm just not a fun person to be around.

I need to turn that around.

Brian, the CC coach told me last week: You need to be prepared that if Portland does not work the way you want it, be prepared for plan B. He suggested plan B was to PR at Boston in April. My suggestion for plan B was to PR in Austin in February. I'm thinking maybe he's right. I'm not sure and I really don't want to think about it; I want to train hard and get that in Portland!! It's not that he doesn't have confidence in my abilities, he does, he just wants me to fight like heck for it now. And so I'm trying.

Left to my own devices yet again for my training this week, I am doing what I preach over and over to clients not to do: over run. I am building my mileage this week to a level I never have; I want to overload my body and then rest it. I'm also going to be on vacation here soon so want to ramp up the long runs and get a couple under my belt before I leave because when I return, time will be zipping by, especially since I start back to school almost instantly. Anyway, my friend that I used to run with in Alabama, whom now lives in Kansas was reading my blog and said, "Sounds like you've taken my general philosophy of marathon training to heart: if you don't constantly feel like your just one day away from an overtraining injury, you're not training hard enough." Jeff, I still have the email you sent me post-Big Sur where you discussed this philosophy...along with some very kind words about Big Sur. I reread it from time to time :).

So with extremely tired legs this morning, I bopped over to the Highline Canal because the surface there is dirt and this was going to fare better on my legs. Plus it's shady, and since summer instantaneously hit Denver after a prolonged spring, this is crucial. But it's also a little hilly. Not bad but definitely not flat. Anyway, I wanted 10 miles and I wanted the middle part at tempo. "A tempo run teaches your body to adapt to an increased intensity. By tempo running, you can accumulate a fairly high volume of relatively intense work that improves both the aerobic and lactate-threshold systems." I pulled that quote off some website, not sure which. But that's the culprit that's been hounding my mind: teaching my body to adapt to increased intensity.

I started my run with two miles easy. And I made sure it really WAS easy - at about 9:20 pace. Picked up the next 2.75 miles at an avg of 7:52. Not exactly 7:45 like I wanted but it was a lot closer than it's been in past tempo attempts. Had to stop and tie my shoe (great excuse) got some water and sport beans and set off again. Ran next mile at 7:58 but it was kinda hilly and then the following mile at 7:46 - which is where I had hoped all miles were. Ran the last 4 miles at a very slow pace - something around 10:00. And that was okay with me. I felt a lot better today about my tempo run than I have since my Boston return, even though I didn't hit the target exactly, it was close and that has lifted my confidence with my abilities..... slightly. Hey, I'll take all steps, baby or not, to feel better about this little crusade I'm on.

I'm suppose to meet Rob at 5:30 a.m. tomorrow to attempt to do yet another timed mile. I think I need to get there at 5:10 and run and stretch so my legs are tight as cello strings like they currently are.

9.75 miles run

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Trip pics and Wed workout

I fell asleep easily and slept hard last night, not waking many times like normal, but I was wide awake at 4:14 a.m. today. Had to workout at 5:30 so that was fine, I just wish I could sleep longer. Had a small chat with Rob about this plan thing; I think he and I are on two different planets about what I want - which just floors me and I won't say anything more about it. This whole thing is NOT going as I wanted and it's no wonder I am left frustrated and confused and upset!

Lifted weights with 1/2 mile run at 7:00ish pace at end of each circuit, felt good, came home, iced my knee, made a cake for book club this afternoon, went for an 8 mile run when it was way too hot, took a very fast shower, went to lunch with past co-workers (thanks, guys...great to see you after all this time), went to the mall (hey, lunch was next to the mall - gotta take advantage) and scored a great deal on some cute Steve Madden sandals, came home and crashed until well past book club time, went to book club late -- which is okay since I didn't read the book (again), got home a bit ago and now I need to head across town for a friend's birthday. I'm exhausted - again. And I had a nap today.

Here's some pictures from our trip to Glenwood. Might I just say that Brendan, who seems to fixate on whatever activity he has last accomplished, now wants to buy a raft and go for the summer down the entire 1) Mississippi River (omg, yuck! Not my choice but .... ) and 2) the Colorado River, including the Grand Canyon, which has like a 10-year waiting list to go down it. All the power to him!!

I am late for friend's party so going to close and head out. Will try to write more details of trip and life and running tomorrow.

Biking down the canyon

Me, Ryan and Brenda; biking down the canyon (yes, Meg, no helmet. Left that accidently (?) in Denver)

Brendan on his bike
Ryan on his bike, going across I-70 via this fenced bridge

Boys getting ready to go rafting (me being there for pre-rafting support)

Boys in front, rafting down the Colorado

Rafting down Glenwood Canyon

More rafting down the canyon

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

On a mini vacation

MIA yesteday due to a little trip in the mountains to Glenwood Canyon. This will be condensed tonight, too, as I am dead tired and need to get up at the crack of dawn to workout. But here's a brief run down:

Monday: Worked out in the a.m. with Rob and then got home and crashed for about an hour. Finally got up and did a 6.25 mile run. Would have gone further but I really needed to get up to the canyon so we could take advantage of everything we wanted to do. Got to Glenwood mid-afternoon and boys and I decided to hike a few miles up to Hanging Lake. It's a pretty rugged trail with lots of sharp boulders. We never made it to the top as we were w/o water and we wanted to get to the hotel.

Get to hotel and there was a big room mix-up and that took awhile to straighten out but when it was, we scored big time on the room and got a two bedroom place that had a common bathroom in the middle. We stayed at the Hotel Colorado which was built in the late 1800's and wow, it's just an incredible, old building with amazing architecture. Hung out a bit and then walked across the highway, via a pretty cool foot-bridge and ate at the Italian Underground. It's been years..YEARS since we have been to Glenwood but we always end up eating at this really cute Italian place. Thankfully, they had roasted chicken ... suddenly, I feel so guilty whenever I eat what I'm not suppose to. I'm making some progress on my weight and bf, I don't want to kill it in one dinner. After dinner, boys go and play miniature golf while I go for a 3 mile run. I know, something is wrong with me. Seriously. But I'm trying to get my mileage way up this week and then recover next week. Get back to hotel and it's about 9:15; I take an ice bath to cool off from the run. I love having the two rooms, I went to bed at 10:30 cuz I was dead tired from the lack-of-sleep week I had just had.

Woke up today at like 4:30 - of course! No sense in sleeping in later, or so my body seems to think!!! I intended to go to the high school track to do some intervals but my head was pounding. I mean, bad! I didn't have any Tylenol in my purse but did have some in the car. I was too tired to go get it so I just laid there awhile and thought of some writing stuff. By the time I felt like going, it was too late; we had reservations to be dropped off at the top f the canyon with our bikes at 8:30.

We had a GREAT bike ride down the canyon - about 20 miles. Drop-dead gorgeous views and a stellar blue skies. I have some great pictures of our ride which I will download and post tomorrow. Got back from the ride and the boys were itching to go rafting. Okay, I've been rafting several times and I really don't care for it. It's fun but my butt always hurts and usually, I'm freezing (though today I wouldn't be). I went and inquired if the boys could go without me and they could so we discussed if this was what they really wanted to do since they also had a list of going to the waterslides at the hot springs pool or up to this adventure park where you can bungee jump into the river. They chose rafting. They had a blast! So much so, that Brendan now wants to buy a raft. That child becomes fixated on whatever his latest adventure is.

I took advantage of the hot springs pool to swim some laps. This is a huge pool which is heated by the naturally occurring hot springs which are located right next to the pool. Hot springs are fueled by sulfur so the water is super warm and super gross tasting. My swim was comical - it's so hard to make your legs move in water that is well into the 80's and trying to keep your mouth shut so that disgusting water doesn't get in it was almost impossible. I swam about 2/3 of a mile and called it quits and read awhile until I had to shower and get the boys from rafting.

Load up on some snacks and head outta town about 4:45. I'm so flipping tired so decide to overload on Diet Coke; consuming about 3 since I left the pool. It's working. I pretty much gave up on the stuff awhile ago so when I do consume one, it seem to do it's trick of keeping me half awake!! Stopped and got dinner in Dillion and HAD to venture over to the Coach outlet store and scored a great deal on a red patent leather purse!!! Yes. But I love my purple one so much that I'm not sure I'd use the red one so it may go back. We'll see in a couple days.

Get home, unpack and I still want to do my intervals; I gotta get them in so as not to disrupt and I end up rearranging the rest of the week. So off to the track I go at 8:30 pm. 4x1200's at 1:45/400M. They were hard but amazing, I felt pretty good -- considering how tired I was and considering how much biking and swimming I had already done today.

A GREAT trip!! Would have loved to stay one more day up there ... but also good to be home. The neighbor boys made a lot of progress on the house trim painting while I was gone. Yea!!!

Will download pictures and post tomorrow.

Mon: 9.25 miles run; 1 weight training; 1 hike
Tues: 5 miles run; 20 miles biking; 3/4 mile swim

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Week 26

Week 26 Totals:
Week running mileage: 42
Total mileage for 2009: 930 miles
This week's weight training: 2
1 1-mile swim


I woke up bright and early (despite having no desire nor reason to. I just wake up early. Period) at 6 a.m. to socked in fog. Weird. Don't see that often in Colorado in the summer. Anyway, seriously thought about going for a swim but decided instead to tackle more.... painting!!!! It'll never end. But with the help of the neighbor, Abbey's small contribution and myself putting in about 4 hours today, progress is happening. I'd say we have many days left before it's totally done. Do I like it? Yes....but it's not the green I thought it was - it has a little too much brown in it. Oh well.

So my exercise today was painting. And that's a tough workout. Ha.

My glute pain is better today but it's still there. Did stretch it a lot this morning .

My boys attempted to climb Mt. Evans this morning but the weather was bad and they only made it a mile into the hike. Brendan wants to try again on our way to Glenwood Springs tomorrow. I'm thinking maybe not.

I think today's high was 70 degrees. NICE! Almost too cool but made for painting awesome. Tomorrow: 95. Glad I'll be in the cooler mts. for two nights. Don't think Abbey wants to go :(.

My S key was sticking yesterday so when I reread my blog from yesterday, I was appalled at my typos. Obviously, I was too tired to care. Eating slightly better today.

Saturday, July 4, 2009

Happy Birthday, America

I'm really tired and there's a lot of fireworks banging around outside my window. I wonder how long I'll be up listening to 'em.

House is now green. ish.

My brother came over about 6:45 this morning with sprayer to conquer the house. Got all prepped, I'm delaying my run so that I can get everything in place before I left. Sprayer won't work. argh. Go to Home Depot and rent sprayer. Get paint on house (finally) and I'm a little freaked - it look like army green. I wait around awhile and it's not drying darker. My brother's ignoring my insidious whining about the color. Decide I'd better go for a run and leave him alone.

Run -- Brian suggested this as my run: 2 miles "E" pace + 20 minutes at "T" pace (or 40 minutes at adjusted "T" pace, which is 8:00 per mile) + 1 hour "E" pace.

To clarify: E=easy (9:37). T=tempo.

I easily did this workout the other day on my treadmill with the T being 7:43 - since I was only going 20 at tempo instead of 40. I know, I can barely wrap my brain around it - I don't fully expect anyone else to. Anyway, point being: I have so much trouble maintaining a steady, stamina pace of 8:00 outdoors. My problem today with such pace is that I had to start it on a hill. A loooong hill. When I reached the top, I wasn't even near an 8 minute/mile. So I regrouped at the top of the hill and picked up the pace. Easily maintained for 20 minutes, since I was moving downhill but then the hill started back up and it continued for well over a mile. ugh. Struggle again. Decide to get the "T" up and just pick up the pace a little overall. Ran about 9:10 overall. It was not too hot today but man, it was humid!!!! Tried the "Cytomax only" approach to getting in nutrients while running and sweating (and also long distance runs) per Brian's suggestion. Not a problem .. that much; I just prefer water sometime. I think that Cytomax, or any of those electrolytes, really (except for Gatorade, which I just can't even take because it cramps up my stomach instantly) just leave a horrible aftertaste in my mouth. But Brian was almost certain that I did not get enough nutrition in my stomach during Boston and the reason I "bonked" was that I had not consumed enough during the race. Speculated this all along because I know what I normally put in me and what I actually DID put in at Boston and the two weren't even close. Anyway, time to start playing so I don't have a repeat.

Got home from run and entire house was painted...and the best part - it wasn't army green, it actually DRIED! Yes! My brother did this entire house in like 3 1/2 hour. I'm in awe. Lot and lots and lots of trim to paint but I'm bringing in my neighbor's son as reinforcements; he and his friend are coming over tomorrow to paint. Score! I spend a great deal of the remaining part of the day doing guess what??? Touching up paint and painting trim. I do lead an exciting life!

I am lying flat on my stomach on my bedroom floor as I type this; it's the only way I can currently type. Sitting exacerbates my glute pain -- which seem to be increasing getting worse. Or so it seems. Here's what makes it hurt: sitting or running for a prolonged period of time. Hum - that does pose a little problem in my life!! Going to try to be super good girl and do all the exercises Chris gave me. I'm giving it a week and if not better, seeking Charlie's magic.

Elaine (my friend and client - love ya, Elaine!) ran a stellar 5K last night at midnight in Seattle; her first ever 5K. She loves speed. Dennis having more health problem; I'm hoping his week vacation in TX with NO running will serve him back to health.

Had the best week of eating and got my weight down but today was a different day and was not a good eating day. Back to the program tomorrow!

I hear no more firework - this could be a good sign. A few more glute stretches and I'm off to bed. Happy Birthday, America!

12 mile run

Friday, July 3, 2009

Illegal in Centennial

My neighbors and good friends, the Clawsons, always have a big block party with a ton of food tapped off with a ton of fireworks the night before the 4th. It'll run until the police arrive and tell them it's illegal. There were about 50 of us this year; the thing is progressively getting larger. 2 cops came by at 10:40 an said to stop. Perfect - I needed to go home and write this up quick and get to bed.

Ran this morning with the cross country girls again; their plan was 45 minutes. New group of girls with a smaller group of guys. Ended up running over at CC park. Most of the group wanted to go run on the trails on the woods but some woman came out of the wooded area and said the mosquito's were awful so two of the girls and I ran on the trail and the rest of them braved wooded-trails. One of the veteran girls had a good clip going, about 8:15 and the other girl was suffering. I asked them what their official plan was from Mr. Manley and they said it was 45 minutes of LSD. Okay, time to slow this puppy down. It was nice to run through the park with them and shared lots of fun stories. The girls finished 5 miles, I met them all at the car, took two of them home, and then returned back to the park to finish up 3 more miles so I'd have the 8 I wanted. Glute was annoying again but I think a lot of that has to do with all the up and down on the ladder and crawling all over the roof - all day - painting.

My brother dropped off some ladders and the paint sprayer so tomorrow is the big day to paint my house. Yes, we are painting this entire thing ourselves. I spent the my fun-filled day prepping house to paint - ugh. A few days getting this thing ready and I'm really sick of it already. ugh. I asked my neighbor's son and his friend to come over and paint my trim on Sunday!!!!

Went with my friend, Renee, for pre-festivities dinner and one (ONE) beer tonight. Very Nice!

8 miles run

Thursday, July 2, 2009


By the time I took a shower tonight, at 9:35 p.m., I was smelling and FELT really nasty! I mean, super gross!!!!!

I ran 3 easy mile with some of the girls on Brian's cross country team this morning. Not that it was hard, by any means, but it was warm and humid (we're getting rain again. I wonder if it can get as humid as my beloved Iowa? Nah!!! It's still so nice in the afternoons) so I was sweating. There were 4 girls today running and one of them, bless her heart, had never run before and always was in the back of the group. I ran with her. She is going to be a senior so my heart even tugged tighter for her - I'm all about the underdog.

Brian and I met for brunch at LePeep today and we talked a lot of about Portland and PR'n. He has a pretty precise plan for marathon training and getting faster and I learned a ton! He's not too thrilled with the 14 week plan and really doesn't necessarily think it's adaquate to PR but we're going to give it a shot. He said I had a great base so it was fine to skip phase 1 and would have to cut some of phase 2 out. He has 4 phases and phase 3 is "the most demanding, introducing some longer threshold training into marathon-pace workouts. This is where you will become adept at holding your goal race-pace for extended periods." Great, this is what I need. Anyway, I love the phase plan and am excited to give it a try. Nice talk with him!! I may run with the group tomorrow but not sure; if I do, I'll run 5 miles before as I want to get in 8 easy.

Got back on the old roofy and scrapped more and more paint. Think I done about what I can or can reach anyway. My brother is going to bring down his extension ladder tomorrow and on Saturday, we'll be painting away. I think I need two more gallons of paint, I think I miscalculated. I'm a little ticked at the paint store where I got it, they told me they'd price match, which they did, but did not give me the sale price of Home Depot. Oh's better quality paint. Anyway, sweated up there all afternoon, even though the weather was cooler.

By now, I'm getting pretty grimy. But I still wanted to do a tempo run so I put off a shower.

Brendan was suppose to make up a boxing camp session with Rob at 6:30 so I thought I'd do my tempo run then. Brian told me I should do a: 2 mile easy=20 minutes at 7:43+2 mile easy. I figured I had JUST enough time to squeeze that in while Brendan worked out. Well, of course, Brendan was out riding his bike and it started raining and his bike skid and he went down with it and skinned up his back pretty bad. This was about 10 minutes before we were suppose to leave. So I go over to tell Rob that he can't make it; figured I'd either take up Brendan's time slot for weight training or I'd just go do my tempo run, as proposed. Rob said I could just do it then. I smell like the trash and it only intensified doing weight training and on the bike where I sweated profusely - again. I don't think I've ever sweated that much working out there before; not sure what was up with that. yuck!

So I still have yet to do my tempo run and I got to so at 8:30, I pop on the treadmill and do above tempo workout. I actually felt really great!!!!

But man, having sweat 4 times in the same clothes is about as disgusting as I have EVER been! YUCK!!!!

I took a shower at 9:45 tonight for the first time all day - nothing felt better!!!!

Am I still upset over the plan thing? I'm over it, but my eyes have been opened and mouth left with a sour taste.

Gonna go up to Glenwood on Monday-Tuesday for a little bike riding down the canyon; hanging at the hot springs pool; rafting. Got a really good deal at the Colorado Hotel, this way cool old hotel up there. Will be fun!!

10 miles run

weights: 1

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

In Check

I went to the pool tonight at 8:30 and swam a mile - intended to do some weight training but when I got there, I had no idea what to do so I just decided to go swim instead. I'm not sure there is anything that could have been more liberating for all the *%&# that happened all week; it felt GREAT!!! At one point, I even thought I may consider joining this masters swim team that meets at DU. I'm certain tomorrow I'll wake up and renig on that thought but tonight's swim was honestly one of the best workouts I've had, mentally, in a very long time!

One mile swim, check.

Got a late start for a run this morning (is this becoming a bad habit? If so, I need to break it soon; the temps are starting to soar!) so struggled a bit. My legs were sorer than I thought so I just did 3 easy and left it at that. Kinda disappointed but oh well. I'm thinking.....well, I really don't know what I'm thinking. Gonna figure this plan thing out hopefully soon.

3 mile run, check.

Went to see Chris, my old physical therapist (whom somewhere turned psychotherapist- she was a lifesaver to my sorry mental state upon return from the Big Sur Marathon) to get my glute "annoyance" looked at. I have to say that it's better than it was but sometimes, it can be quite bothersome. I mean, bad. Brian, CC coach, told me he had the same thing once upon a time, and went to massage therapy to get it worked out. So I figured Chris was my first stop before expensive m.t. was thrown back into my life. She stretched my piriformas and my hamstrings (and told me, ahem, she has never seen tighter hamstrings on anyone - um, I guess I need to stretch more :P). She gave me some piriformas stretches to do and told me to try all these for a minimum of 1-minute each and I should see considerably more comfort in the glute. If not, then go seek m.t. but she didn't think it was a necessity. That's good...though I do love Charlie's magic on my achy legs and would kill for that touch every now and then; it's probably good I don't start going regularly because it is expensive's also addictive. I know I had withdrawals when I had to give it up due to insurance. The best part of seeing Chris today, though, was that she tested my muscle groups and she was ecstatic to see how much progress I have gained since I last saw her (back in October I believe - with a knee swollen the size of a grapefruit upon my St. George Marathon finish). She was beaming with excitement and said she'd email Rob. I told her if she'd seen me run up Mt. Evans last weekend, she wouldn't be thinking my glute and hip flexor muscles were a "5" (strongest). She laughed. Ahhhh, I miss her.

Physical Therapy glute pain checked, check.

Ordered 8 gallons of green-ish house paint, check.

Scrapped paint off house all afternoon, check.

Fell asleep from 4:30 - 6:22, check.

Received an email from Rob that wasn't callous, check.

Excited to run and chat Portland with Brian tomorrow, check.

Still bitter over the whole plan thing, check.

Loaded boys' camping/hiking pictures on computer to share with you, check (below).
Ryan and Brendan, Maroon Bells (near Aspen)

Hiking to Mt. Sherman, elevation 14, 036'

Campsite at Maroon Bells - NICE!

3 mile run

1 mile swim