Saturday, February 28, 2009

A Day to Rest

I woke up this morning and there was no way I was going to the pool. Amazingly, I'm not very sore but yet no matter how I feel, soreness or not; tiredness or not; I plain and simple need a day off. A day to rejuvenate my body. Maybe it's the afterglow of survival, I am not sure, but I'm glad to be done with that 26er. And I'm glad to have a day off.

Ryan and his group scored an honorable mention at today's World Affairs Challenge out of MANY groups there. Awesome R!!! We celebrated with some chili cheese fries at Spanky's (yum!) - so much for the 'sticking to my eating plan' part of Lent...but I viewed it as a celebration for Ryan and I doubted that half of a Tokyo Joe's chicken/rice bowl was going to be found on Spanky's menu. One must compromise sometimes: White Chicken rice bowl for Chili Cheese Fries. Yeah, that works (there is seriously something wrong with my hair today - egads!).

Abbey and I had a rather comical outing; as we usually do when we venture out on a quick trip somewhere together. My dorkiness shone in full-force. We went to Walgreen's so I could get some things I needed but we got sidetracked by trying on $2 sunglasses, reading glasses with 6" lens in each eye (she vaguely reminded me of my mother); a cocaine drug testing kit (Abbey dared me to get it and keep it on the kitchen counter for all to view when they came over. Oh my...)....but the icing on the humor cake had to do when I had stock-piled my arms with all sorts of crap and got to the checkout without my wallet. Earlier, I was registering for a marathon relay in May (today was the last day for the early-bird registration discount) and apparently left wallet my bed by my laptop. I laughed so hard; Abbey about died of embarrassment - and proclaimed she was never stepping foot in that store again (the woman behind me was in stitches). No worries. The nice young check-out man gladly (gladly???) put my stuff behind the counter and I returned 15 minutes later, wallet in hand, and paid for items (Abbey remained in the car, true to her word!). I won't even start about the adventure to Which Wich and Tokyo Joe's later (yes, I finally got it!)....other than if you've never been to Which Wich before, you're in for a treat, especially with a humor-minded 18-year old. Yeah, I'm a dork. But I have a lot of fun!

A quick side-note to keep in the running theme of the blog, tonight I was cleaning Ryan's fish tank (we're talking a whopping 2 gallon tank here with 2 rapidly growing goldfish) when we transferred the fish from tank to bowl and set the bowl on the kitchen counter. As I picked up the tank, the air tube was apparently underneath the bowl so as tank lifted, so did bowl; fish and water flying mid-air. One fish landed in my running shoe, along with half the water. I'll pray for it's survival (how could they NOT have a heart attack?) and think of him as I slosh in my running shoes tomorrow. How could I not! Maybe he'll be there to help carry me along to my salvation.

I'm heading to bed early tonight and going to run a local 5k over at Cherry Creek Reservoir. It's the end of a series of races and this one runs across the dam road; something that's appealed to me for years ... so it's time. Besides, I was asked to do so to help motivate some young runners. I'm not feeling 100% from yesterdays run, on a few different levels, but I'm excited to see how it goes!

Some days it's good to run, some days it's good to be a spectator.

Friday, February 27, 2009

An Additional Two

26 miles and hanging on. Realizing on Wednesday that I had the day off today, I needed to make a schedule switch-around because running today was going to be a lot easier than tomorrow as Ryan's debut to the World Affairs Challenge (all DU...sitting on bleachers). I'm excited for him though and I know he's going to do great! I was a bit hesitant about today's run as the forecast was calling for cold and snow and I keep trying to adjudge when was best. I decided late last night that adversity in climate is all part of the game. Who can set the perfect weather conditions for the races we run (oh how I wish) so in the same suck-up-and-do-it race lines from Saturday, I decided I'd just go today; it worked well into the schedule, and I'd just deal with the weather accordingly.

It turned out to be an okay day, really, weather-wise. A bit windy and some flurries decided to flare up when I had about 9 miles left. Another 15 degrees warmer would have been ideal, but it wasn't a blizzard, a downpour, or hurricane winds (run in them all before). I'll take it (but my legs were kinda getting cold at the end. Did I just say that? The girl that hates to wear running pants???).

Retracing my 24-miler steps from a couple weeks ago with an additional two miles around the Museum of Nature and Science and a quick jaunt through a neighborhood and that will work for 13. It's so much simpler placing my feet in the same path for a long run because there are places I can get water along this course. Which is crucial for me. Today I side-tracked a street and by doing so, found a 7/11 at the perfect time; aka, my water supply was getting low. My good deed of the day was when two high school girls came up to me when I was reloading my water bottle and asked if I had a spare 20 cents. My heart sunk and I opened my pack and gave the girls the spare $2 that I reserve for cab fare cash (for emergencies....not to bale on a run. Really!) or for an emergency poptart (due to low blood sugar. Really). But it was well worth it; I see these kids daily that never eat lunch (and most of the time no breakfast either). Wish they would have bought something other than donuts...but glad at least they got something for lunch. I was most excited about today's run when I actually saw some crocuses blooming in a yard. A sure sign that spring IS soon going to be here (please hurry!).
I had a few what I think are hydration problems and when I got home, I decided not to play with faith having lived (thankfully) through a crazy concoction of dehydration complications last winter and headed off to the dr. I didn't want a similar repeat. Unfortunately, I was not able to see my regular doctor today so a brief explanation of running related symptoms and a quick urine test and I was told I had no infection. Really? I have the exact same signs of disorder I had last year. So instead of an antibiotic to cure all, I got a lecture on running too much, eating too much protein and overdoing it, in general. Hum. Okay, I'll give myself a couple days to see if my symptoms subside and if not, then I'll head back with more ammunition. I really do not think it's as bad as this "new" doctor claims ... I wish my old doctor was there (though she's not exactly keen about how much I run, but she knows a lot more of my medical history without reading a 5 hour report).
Despite a bladder that felt like it had a 30 lb weight on it and the fact I had to use the "facilities" frequently, I had a great 26-miler. I cranked the pace down to slow plod, evident by my heart rate rarely elevating past 150. That's perfect! I didn't want speed, I wanted endurance and I finished with legs feeling great, very little back pain, no tingling feet and only a minor neck ache. I celebrated by running up the steep (but short) hill at the tail end of my run whereas I generally walk it as a cool-down.
One proud Jill.
If my inners are feeling up to par on Sunday, I plan on doing a little local 5K across the dam road. I'm excited!
26 miles run

Thursday, February 26, 2009

True To Word....

…. I tried not to think about the parachute drill training I was to do today…all day…but it was hard not to. I don’t know why I was so nervous about that (okay, yes I do...we don't need a 5-page phychoanalysis right now though). I seriously hoped Rob would have second thoughts, forget and/or it would be too windy (“No,” he claimed, “the high wind is beneficial for these drills….” Okay, lesson learned: pray for calm winds on parachute days). True to his word, I did 'em. I can’t say they were done with any sort of speed, let along agility; I was a wee bit too concerned about what I was suppose to do. Hum…didn’t I just have this little pep-talk with myself two days ago about "just doing it"? Well, this waist device was intimidating and trying to get it higher than 3" off the ground was proving rather humorous. We switched directions so I could run with a headwind and that helped sail the thingy up; I actually felt a little drag. I am certain the 10 minutes or less I spent fearing this tail behind me did anything worthwhile, but in time as I continue to do it, I will alleviate the anxiety of it and will do it with speed and.... grace! ???? I WILL master it....eventually! Some killer dog decided it wanted to leave the confines of it's secluded, private backyard and found itself a few feet away from us growling. Um...yeah, let's just stir a little MORE fear into my day. Good thing I wasn't driving over a bridge or getting on an airplane to get home; that'd be more anxiety than this mind could handle in one day!

My migrating body tumor has possbily landed in my feet by causing them a great deal of numbness in runs longer than a few miles and thus tingling in my feet afterwards. I also think this continuous tiredness is mono. Okay, maybe not... but man, I just can't seem to get over this tiredness!!! Off to bed to try to rev up for tomorrow's schedule change: 26 miles long run!!!
And for sure the picture is not of me, if only because I never got the thing that high off the ground :/

Weight training: 1
Ridiculous parachute training: 1

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

In The Name of Sacrifice

Turn it up!! It's always sweet when your legs do what they're suppose to do; especially after coming off a not so great previous day. I procrastinated my run tonight as long as I could. My intentions were go to over to my favorite park and run after work but the wind was nuts with gusts up to 43 mph (according to the radio) so I knew I'd have a better run on the treadmill. Yuck. I did everything under the sun around the house until it was time, I had to go or else I'd be running at midnight. Nothing more motivating than treadmill running while watching 'The Biggest Loser'....I feel sorry for the people that get voted off; I know it's reality t.v. but they all need help and I want them all to succeed!! I had a great run: 7 miles at an 8:27 pace. I could still feel a bit of soreness in my quads but it's beginning to leave (albeit slowly).

For several days, in anticipation of Lent, I pondered the theme of sacrifice. I grew up thinking that Lent meant giving up something you like for 40 days… like chocolate, teasing, watching too much t.v., stuff like that. I have had variations on this theme over my adult years, giving up things like caffeine or alcohol. It's never easy, but it seemed much more like fodder for humorous complaining than a spiritual exercise of self-denial. So this year I decided to do something a little different, but still in the arena of sacrifice: I'm going to do things that will make me a better runner. I'm going to follow my diet a lot better; I'm going to ice bath my legs after every long and/or hard run or whenever they are sore days later; stretch a little more and after each run (did I really say that??); I'm going to try harder to get more sleep; I'm going to abate pre-race jitters by just going out there and do it and not worry about every detail; I'm going to not bite off head's around me before Atlanta and Boston; and I'm not going to eat any evil saltine crackers at work. I've tried to come up with other ideas to make these 40 days the very best for my running; if you have any other suggestions that will be helpful, please let me know. I gave my trainer ample time to give me his list but he has not replied so I'll take that as a sign he wants no changes. Okay.... I'll remember that when he's giving me the evil glare while negotiating our next plan. Ha!

I lied on yesterday's blog. Twice. 1) I am off work this Friday and thus, do not have a solid 5 weeks of work before I have a day off. When Ryan told me this morning he was off school Friday, I took this as a sign I'd better go look at my schedule because I took a lot of time off when they were.... and yep, I have this Friday off. Yahoo! 2) I misquoted Dennis when he asked me how I would manage the next 5 weeks without a day off...he actually asked me, how I would manage "one" week without a day off. Yeah.... I am spoiled!

Brendan got some pictures from his Mt. Sherman climb this past weekend, have to share; they are incredible!! You rock, B!

7 miles run

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

A Rough Day For Da Legs

I felt fine going into my 4x2-mile intervals at an 8:00 pace today but something was nagging at me and that something was right. I did 'em, but they weren't pretty; my legs were tied and did not want to run. My quads still hurt and my right bicep aches. I guess I really ran hard on Saturday; I am not fully recovered. My bicep? Something I did yesterday at weight training that wasn't even training was holding onto the bar for eternity; I felt in then and feel it now! I did one 2miler at the prescribed pace with about 4 stops along the way to stretch my legs and that was about all I could manage to squeeze out. The next one I ran was at 8:19 with a with the elevation starting at +1 but soon found itself at -2. I told myself I was training for the downhills in Boston. Sounded good....but honestly, I couldn't run at a flat elevation, I was hurting. 3rd was same pace with no elevation drop. I took this small feat of progress...though I am certain it made very little difference. 4th one, I ran a mile and then I was done, my legs did not want to move. Okay....listen to your body is my mantra (ha! I WISH! I am a lot better in the body listening category but sometimes that little annoying voice of 'more is better' likes to chime in. I learned the hard way last summer that he is not a welcome visitor!) and I stopped and walked (even at a slow pace!) the last mile. I ventured over to the stretching machines; I think it was a sore day because the contraptions were busy and I had to do some stretching the old fashioned way .... but ahhhhhh, it felt so good!

There's been a bunch of coyote attacks in Denver parks this past week....eeks. I have a long run this weekend and like to run through these parts. I need to head out early, too, before most people are out so I'm a bit worried (Ryan has his World Affairs Challenge at DU in the early afternoon. It's an all day academic event where teams present their research on a global event. SOOO proud of him; he's worked super hard on it all year!). I see coyote at the state park at my house all the time and they never have bothered me; not even one time when I was out alone on some isolated, far back from civiliztion trail and came head-on to three. They stared at me like I could be their next lunch but they backed off and I cautiously continued on). But I need to get in a 26er in somehow.

Have a couple writing projects and a resume to get out for a training signing off 'til tomorrow.

8 miles run

Monday, February 23, 2009

Speed and Agility, ME?

Do our bodies naturally know it's Monday by sending our brain some sort of signals that tells us to be sluggish all day because you know you have a long week ahead? I'm not sure but I felt the Monday blahs. I think, in reality, it's because I have 5 full weeks of school .. solid in no days off...until spring break! Dennis asked me, "How will you survive?" I'm not sure but somehow I'll grin and bare it :). Anyway, I feel the beginning of the end of the year starting to approach and when it starts, it slams me so quickly in the face that I don't even have time to come up for air. I feel's starting and I know I will be suffocating, as usual, as soon as spring break is over. Especially since Abbey is graduating. BTW, she survived her freshman retreat but she was so overly exhausted that she didn't even go to school today. Hum, I must becoming lax in my old age or it may be that it's her senior year and I'm no longer as worried about her grades? When she came downstairs and announced she didn't feel good, I didn't even bat an eyelash when I said: then don't go to school. She didn't even question my sanity but instantly got a smile on her face then hesitated for a brief minute because, after all, she WAS having a good hair day and hated to waste it by being home all day. Home won over hair. I wonder if I am running a fever!!!

Met Rob for some weight training. Everything new. New and me aren't the best of friends: it takes me awhile to learn and I spend way too much time thinking. My friend, Kathy Toole, should have been there video taping, she's always posting the best 'funniest moments' videos on facebook and I'm sure I would be right up there in rankings! Reverse woodchops? Please, my left arm would not move. Hanging abs? They cut the circulation off my arm pits. Not sure if arm pits have circulation but if so, mine no longer do! My skin was turning bright red. The funniest thing, by far, had to be me doing some ladder thingys for speed and agility where I had to run in and out of this ladder. Sideways, double steps, triple, zig zag? I can't recall. I am not coordinated. I tried Salsa class once, much to my protest, as my friend pulled me off a weight machine and drug me to class with her. It wasn't pretty; somehow I managed to find myself in the complete opposite direction going one way while everyone else was going another; my running shoes constantly squeaking on the floor. I laughed so hard I almost cracked a rib! These drills sort of reminded me of that class. I did a lot of counting and praying my foot would not land on the white ladder. Rob insisted I do them faster. Huh? Faster and concentrating do not play well together. I tried, but I realized that I need to do these things numerous times, like a football player makes a play over and over until he knows it inside and out and it becomes second nature, before I can "do them" without thinking about them.

I think that this is my problem in the marathon and racing in general: I spend way too much time thinking and not enough time just doing. The one time I didn't overly think about running while running was in St. George. And it landed me in Boston. I hope I can get my mind back there again... it's not that simple as uttering the mere words but man, it's a sweet place to be!!!!

btw, the picture isn't me. Ha

Weight training: 1

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Week 8 Totals

Week 8 Totals:
This week running mileage: 27 miles
Total mileage for 2009: 289 miles
This week weight training: 2
This week cross training: 1 swim

Owie... quads are killing me. Maybe not post-marathon kill but yeah, major ouch!! I managed to make it to the pool for a quick swim. No mile today and not even close in my 1-lap-under-water-holding-my-breath quest; but it felt good to get in the water and stretch my achy legs. As my favorite book of all times, Brain Training for Runners, states you should not wish pain away but welcome it as in indication of all the hard training you have done. Mentally tough runners accept pain - to the point of welcoming and embracing it and this enables them to run harder.

"Most people run a race to see who is the fastest, I run a race to see who has the must guts." - Steve Prefontaine

Steve's primary goal was to prove to himself that he could tolerate great pain in every race. He did not vaguely fear the pain before racing and deal with it during the race, as most runners do. Instead he consciously anticipated it and sought it out, and afterward used it to rate his performance.

Oh yeah baby, I must have performed well!!

If you're a head case runner as I am or mentally strong and want to become even tougher, the simplest way to achieve a greater habituation to suffering is to run as hard as you can in breakthrough workouts (not EVERY workout, Elaine (ahem) :) ) and tune-up races, according to my little book. So I will take my quad pain as a sign that I am getting mentally stronger. It all sounds good anyway.

I'm gonna go do a little quad stretching tonight and pray no household catastrophes develope in the next three hours so I can find my pillow before 10:00. THAT would be a wonderful treat to my aching legs.
Cross train - 1 swim

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Suck it up and DO IT

I ended up running the 10-mile race today - after an internal tug-of-war deciding whether or not my head cold would ALLOW me to run 10 miles or not.

My daughter, Abbey (now 18 *gasp*) is a senior at Regis Jesuit Catholic H.S. which is just a couple miles from my house. As part of the academic regiment, students are also required to participate in a variety of clubs and activities; supposedly to broaden their horizons on some level. One group that she is involved is a member of leadership link crew and she had to spend the weekend at the school as the freshmen had a retreat (bonding fest). I'm not sure why this weekend event turned into quite the dramatic ordeal, but it did and everyone in the house heard for at least the past two weeks how much she dreaded the upcoming weekend. I mean, MAJOR drama! Finally yesterday, I'd had enough of the relentless complaining and I told her that there was nothing she could do about it; she had to go and it was time to just suck it up and do it (what a sympathetic mom, huh?)!

I thought about that statement and Abbey doing something today that she really didn't relish as I stood on the start line of the race. No, I didn't feel that great but I wasn't running a fever or enduring some life-threatening illness (that I am aware of anyway...I still question if there's a roaming tumor somewhere in my body); I was blessed to be here!! Truly blessed. Just suck it up and do it, Jill, you have no valid reasons not to. So I did. And I had a great race!

It was a balmy 18 degrees when I woke this morning and I compensated by bringing enough attire to clothe a third world country. I do NOT like to be cold...but worse, I do not like to be hot while running. And I, of all people, know that Colorado warms up quickly and so does my body when I run. Aka, I was way overdressed (thought so at the start, knew so by step 5). Usually when I run a race, I don't put my iPod on until awhile after the start; I generally enjoy the conversations of those around me and just take it all in. This is fine in marathon; not so much in a very small local 10-mile race. No one was really speaking and I wasn't particularly enjoying the rasping of people's breathing. I thought I had my iPod all ready to go but when I hit the start button, nothing happened. Err. I took the entire thing off my waist so I could get some tunes going and not focus on my own wheeze; I even managed to make a "playlist" on the thing last night....something I had been aching to do for the past year. Or so. I fumbled with this crazy thing for well longer than the normal technology functioning person would and before I knew it, I was at mile 1 at a 7:37. A wee-bit too fast. But I was feeling good. Mile 2 was downhill and I hit it at 7:22. Hum. I need to slow down. Mile 3 was 7:36....and this pace was with a pretty major uphill. I just need to maintain and not screw it up by continuing with this pace. I didn't have a particular end-time in mind but I knew if I played my cards right, I could run around an 8:00 minute per mile average(1:20). By mile 4 I was melting and seriously wondered if I should stop and shed some layers. No time, no place; I just needed to focus and keep moving. After mile 5, the course becomes a hodge-podge of continuous rolling hills and switchbacks galore. It's very pretty, though, with the foothills as your backdrop, so it gives you a little lift. And unlike last time I ran this, the winds were not a major hindering factor. Thank you Running Gods! I definitely slowed, to around 8:15's, for the middle miles though it really didn't feel that slow. My quads were starting to ache; weight training on Wednesday was rearing it's head and I did not feel the strength I normally do on the endless ups; I kept praying for the next downhill to arrive so my quads would stop complaining. I was passed a lot in this section and that's okay....I was feeling strong and pushed my legs as best I could. When I got to the last mile, I dug down deep; I paid attention to my body and re-committed myself to the last mile. I hunkered down and took off. As I did, I heard a guy behind me try to follow me; he lost quickly (yes). I focused on some people in front of me and I managed to passed several. With a half mile or so to go, I focused on the guy in the black shorts and he became the next to pass. And I did, right at the end, and crossed the finish line happy and breathless at 1:19. My last mile was a 7:52. This last mile surge was, by far, the highlight of my entire race!! That I had the strength inside me at the end to give it one last push; that's what racing means to me!!

If you recall that miserable January 10-mile race attempt post-cut week and how my legs were just along for the ride and my body could no longer run 10-miles at a respectable pace than I could go perform open heart surgery, today's legs felt alive and strong. Not fresh, as I had done a lot of running and I was still feeling the effects of Wednesday's leg weight training, but in comparison to a month ago, head cold and all, I managed to shave off about 7 minutes from last month. THIS sets the measuring stick for my 2009 season and I'm very excited to see where the ball lands this year. I don't think I'm going to manage a half marathon PR in Atlanta next month but I think I can knock some time off from last year's race (I hope! If I don't get my head twisted before like I can easily do). I think it's going to be a great year!

My friends all managed to shave off a some time from a month ago, too. I'm so proud of you guys, you rock!! We went to lunch afterwards and walked around Morrison. It was a day to celebrate....

Brendan went with a group snowshoeing today up Mt. Sherman, summit 14,036'. This actually was quite the adventure for him and when he returned home today, he was beaming!! He's climbed a couple 14er's before but never in winter and never in snowshoes. He did not make it to the actual summit, coming only about 300' from the top when he experienced a lot of light-headedness, but wow...I am super proud of him!!! Way to go Brendan! He's exhausted but grinning from ear to ear.....just like his mom!
I am grateful to be shuffling along in ordinary miles, grateful that I have the honor of joining the race, any race (head cold or not), grateful that I am not deficient in endurance or stamina, grateful that running empowers me and grateful that I am part of this legacy; it's something worthy of passing on.

And as a bonus - I placed 3rd in my age group! :)

10 miles run

Friday, February 20, 2009

Am I really considering bagging a race?

I do not feel well; I have a horrible head cold. I am seriously considering not running the race tomorrow but we'll see how I feel in the morning. I'll go to the race and watch my friends but I may not run. Ugh. I feel miserable. I will say, though, that all body parts that were finding ailments in my body this week ARE feeling much better (head, neck, back and knee. Okay, back is about 82% better...but I'll gladly take that over where it was) but I just feel blah overall. I could place blame on some (ahem!) that knew they were sick and breathed in my direction never-the-less, but I'll behave and not mention names of a certain trainer!!! Or certain household children!!! Maybe it was meant to be. At least it's not Boston!

My favorite boots have a hole in them so I have opted to fore go my book club (aka, I think I was fired :( ) tonight and do a bit of retail therapy by returning my boots and hopefully landing a new pair. Maybe I'll eat a few carbs....just in case I am feeling better tomorrow!

Happy Weekend

Zero training today.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

A State of Fuzz

I actually was a good girl today and went and saw the athletic trainer, Elise, as promised (to her AND my knee!). Elise used to work with my physical therapist years ago; one of those fun small-world stories. And I trust her fully, which is a pretty difficult task for me, for reasons I shouldn't get into right now. Anyway, we talked in length about my on-again/off-again knee pain and she rambled off all sorts of possibilities and scenarios but highly stressed to get an x-ray of it. Um...not right now; she doesn't understand how the outcome of that visual could potentially land me a great deal of anxiety and that's not a good place for my mind to be pre-Boston; I'll unfortunately have enough of that with all properly functioning body parts....let's not throw in a "Ms Parker, your knee is screwed and you'll need extensive reconstructive surgery immediately followed by 6-8 months of post-op, non-running physical therapy in order for you to have about a 10% chance of running in the future ...." Yeah....denial!! I figure if I can keep running on it, pain or no pain, then x-ray needed. Right now. I'll certainly consider an x-ray if it gets to the point where it's hindering my run but in the meantime, she untrasounded it and suggested I come back a couple times next week and we'll bump up the sound machine to a 7. Okay...sure, sounds good. Does my knee currently feel better? I will be quite honest and say I feel no change. Bummer.

I had a 'crash-course on using powerschool' (the program our school district uses for student identification) pow-wow power meetings early this morning that left my brain a tangled mess. I will admit that computers and me are not happy companions and I spent way too much time writing down information and thus miss half of what it is I need to do and compensated by keeping the instructor well past class time asking questions I'm sure she was rolling her eyes my 18-year old enjoys doing when I ask one of those questions that, apparently, any 5-year old could answer. Come mid-afternoon, I found myself in a hazy afternoon slump and thoughts of a post-work nap were screaming! If I could have laid my head down on my desk at 2:00, I have no doubt I would have instantly passed out. By the time I eventually found myself home after ultrasound knee therapy, I headed straight for my bed and before I knew it, I had slept about an hour and a half. Eeeks. Usually if I have a nap, it's a power related and lasts about 15 minutes. I must have been really tired; I even had dreams. I hope I don't have sleep problems tonight!!!!

In a sleep-induced fuzzy state of mind post-nap, I somehow managed to find my treadmill and *gulp* managed to crank out 8 miles at an 8:34 pace. This was no easy task: my head was foggy, I was hungry (but knew I couldn't eat before that long of a run), my legs are very tight after leg weights yesterday and I'll be honest and just say outright that I hate the treadmill. I plopped my iPod on, cranked up the soundwaves 10 octaves higher than is considered "safe" and I watched (not listened) to mindless t.v. And then, to put icing on the proverbial cake and to I'm certain my friend Shari's (one and the same honorable nominee in yesterday's blog) delight, I watched an entire episode of 'The Office' without my headphone blaring a little ABBA in my ears. Yes, it was funny (but I'm not sure I have an Office addiction - thankfully) and it certainly helped pass a half hour of treadmill boredom!!

I look forward to tomorrow's day off running (it's book club day...I have net to read an entire book with this club I managed to worm myself into! I wonder how long until I am fired from this one like I was from my last! Sorry guys. I have good intentions just not enough time! I do enjoy the food and wine, though....and of course your good company!).

I still think I have a cold...and my tumor is floating around inside, landing today at my neck! Err.

8 Miles run

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Love, Save the Empty

No correlation of title to blog post; I just love that song and thus the title was formed.

Back to work today and it was nuts!! Those kids are so wound up after a 5-day crazy monkeys. For a what's normally a typical calm Wednesday, it felt like a double shot of Monday!

Brendan started wrestling today. I wish middle school wrestling were more than a few weeks running but it's middle school...and It's probably best I don't get started in the politics of middle school sports....other than it's sad! Anyway, I'm excited for Brendan and hope he learns this year that being "nice" isn't the name of the game!! As the girly-girl that I am, I was thinking that I would really not enjoy one thing about wrestling since it's such a smelly, sort of gay-ish, male contact sport. But I love it! I truly get into it and am hollering for Brendan to "flip 'em" and other two one-syllable words of 'go get ums.' I am excited for the season (aside from yet another thing to cram into my day...)

Leg weight training tonight; went okay. I think. I can't really tell; I just do what I'm told...and I don't complain (really...all those "comments" are not complaints; they're just voices...small-talk. Information. Whatever). I jinxed my left knee because 1) I saw the trainer at school today and she asked me when I was coming in to ultra-sound my knee. I told her it was doing well and no need. She told me to come in tomorrow anyway. So my knee heard that and 2) when I went in to do weights tonight, it instantly hurt! And it still hurts. And I did ice it.

Rob told me that he didn't read on my blogs that I have a here's the official announcement: I have a cold! I think. I was so stuffed up today and so many kids told me that I didn't sound like me. That's a big clue. I took some nasal stuff when I got home before I worked out and that helped. Some. I just think that maybe, in addition to my cold, it's this extremely frustrating sinus thing I can't shake!!! Ever.

On the plus side: I think my pool-induced brain tumor has left the left side of my head; my aching back is about 53% better; I got my mattress flipped (so I hope tonight my back will be fully healed); I didn't die doing a 5:27 for treadmill sprints; and I'm off to bed before midnight. Yep, all good pluses!

2 miles treadmill sprints
Weight training: legs

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Fellow Runners of the Day Awards

I have tried to post this blog for the past two hours now....every time I try to add a picture, it locks up. Not sure what's up with that but we're going picture-less tonight. Sorry. What I started to say (but will condense now due to the time), was that I have reconnected with my former Alabamian neighbor, a fellow running addict, Shari. What a sweetheart,she's runner award #1 of the day!! We never got to run much together when we shared mutual land borders due to physical constraints of either me being pregnant with twins or their hellacious birth and recovery from birth, but we talked often of our common addiction. She's an amazing runner with her desire and her drive! THAT we share. She posted a FB comment to me today and I wanted to share it with y'all:
Shari Williams Crowe wrote: Hey, Jill - tried to post to your blog but wasn't successful. So here's what I wanted to say . . . I so enjoyed reading this, Jill! If everyone read your blog, more people would run. It is hard to explain the sheer joy of having a good run, where mind, body, and soul all feel good at the end. I think you may capture it here, though . . . and through that maybe you will convince more people to run. The world would be a happier place if everyone had some endorphins on board.
Okay, that's it! That's why I keep blogging each day; I hope to inspire those that don't run to run. Or maybe it's not running, per say, that you desire but maybe some other sort of activity that you are struggling to get going, had once but lost, continue to do but can't get past a certain plateau...I want to help by writing down my experiences because I have learned in my bagillion years of running that there is no other high than to physically get out there every day and challenge yourself to reach your goals. Or challenge yourself to find those goals! Thanks Shari, you're awesome and I can't wait to see you next month whether it's dusting me in the Atlanta half or having a few cervezas at Bandito. I look forward, too, to our continue running (and non-running) stories; it's been a blast the past few weeks!

My other fellow runner of the day goes to my current neighbor, Jim Clawson. I was talking to his wife on the phone when I said I had to go; it was getting late, the sun was going to set soon and I still had to get in my hill repeats (I know, it's not a Wednesday so don't look for me on the hills tomorrow. Schedule change). She said: Oh, Jim hasn't run yet, he can go with you. Well, that turned into me calling him a few choice names when he was trying numerous excuses not but he finally caved and met me at the top of the hill. I'm not certain Jim's ever done hill repeats so he was a bit skeptical - but what a man!!!...he ran with me, despite his ever increasing speed (obvious by him kicking my butt at the 10-miler in January). I can't speak more than a few brief words within the first few steps so it's not like we had a chatty conversation, but it was great to run with him up those hills. They weren't easy, the winds were howling in seriously gale-force, and I was wheezing hard by the last one (this actually kinda scared me). But I managed to keep my time consistent and I did feel good and strong tonight. Jim definitely pushed me harder than my normal solo attempt up those hills , evident by my 171 hr on the last two (usually around 168)...a great workout - thanks Jim! Next week same route or 'The Vista' hills?

A non-running related comment, but inline with following your passions: Brendan was in the backyard today when he saw Air Force One take off from Buckley Air Force base as Obama left the Natural History museum after signing the new bill. He was thrilled beyond belief - this kid has had an obsession about flying for about the past 9 of his 13 years of life! I have no doubt that someday he will follow this dream; he talks constantly about flying! He took a quick picture with his cell phone but you can't even see the dot of the plane. I will play around with it and see if I can get it enlarged some and share if I can.

Thanks guys!!

Back to work tomorrow...been off for 5 days and done nothing much at all....ahhhh. Felt great!

6 miles run

Monday, February 16, 2009

Weights, Movies, and Martinis

It's late; I went to the movies with my dear friend, Marianne, and her husband. They are the sweetest people - thanks for letting me be that 3rd wheel tonight! I needed it. Badly. We went to see 'The Reader' - a very amazing movie. Very profound; the type of movie I used to drive all over the city to go see but have not done in awhile. I highly recommend it. Having no dinner beforehand, I indulged in way too much poporn at the movies and then, even worse(??) went over to the Elephant Bar and had the best (and I mean best) raspberry lemon martini. Yum. Prior to the highlight of my social calendar in probably months, I went and did some weights with Rob (he's back in town). I felt good pretty good going in but the weights were heavier tonight and ....uh....yeah, tough. But I think I hung in there (aside from the incline press...I have such weak arms). A few minutes on the treadmill at 7:30 pace and I was done.

A more moderate mileage week due to a 10-mile race on Saturday. I'm feeling pretty good physically...mentally, I seem to be not quite there.

I'm tired. Off to bed. Another day off work tomorrow....yes! I got some much-needed house cleaning done today...thank God! It needed it. (omg, the t.v. was on when I got home and as I sit [lie] here in my bed typing, there is an infomercial on for a body-shaper contraption that "instantly takes 20 lbs off you." Hum.... maybe that's ticket to my bodyfat! :)

not enough running to even warrent a comment
weight training - 1

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Week 7 Totals

Week 7 Totals:
This week running mileage: 44 miles
Total mileage for 2009: 262 miles
This week weight training: 3
This week cross training: 1 swim

38 Minutes Per Mile

I am surprisingly NOT sore today. Okay, a tad bit in the quads and glutes, maybe in the calves if I go to stretch them.... but I can walk down the stairs with ease (aka, not slow and not sideways) and I'm not cringing with each step. THIS is a good sign. I hope. I still did not sleep much last night; I'm not quit sure why my body seems to want to wake up so early each day, despite what time I go to sleep ... but I think it's time to adjust accordingly (aka, go to bed earlier). Okay, I get it already! Enough. That's my goal this week! I managed to find my way this morning to the gym to swim some laps. I really wasn't relishing in excitement over this; I was actually a little on the side of 'dread', but I knew my body would reap the rewards with a good, stretching swim. And burn a few calories along with it. So I went. Something is off with the pool today, it was murky and I scrunched my nose at it. But in I went and I was right, it DID feel good and 38 minutes later, I finished my 1-mile swim (this included 12 laps of only kicking, 20 laps of only arm pulls, and 2 laps of "trying" to hold my breath an entire length. I can no longer do this 1-whole-lap-under-water-breath-holding-thingy but I'm practicing each time I'm at the pool in an attempt to expand my lung capacity. Well, it sounds good anyway...I'm just shocked that I could once do over one length some-odd years ago while in my collegiate days and now I am on the verge of a total black-out by doing 3/4 of a lap. Egads!!). My back is still bothering me a little. err.
The day started off very cold this morning in the Mile High City (especially since the batteries died overnight in my thermostat and it was a brisk 56 degrees in my house when I woke. Burr) but right now, it's a sunny 49 (outside, inside it's a nice 66 thanks to my rush to the store for more double A's) and am still singing my weeks' victory song!

Cross train - 1 mile swim

Saturday, February 14, 2009

24 and Feeling Good

I woke up this morning with just barely enough sleep to function in a normal day; add a 24-miler in there and I wondered how I was going to fare on my run. I've also been fighting this sinus thingy for oh....about a year now (comes and occasionally, for short periods, goes...) and today it just seemed exceptionally stuffy (I've been to my dr. countless times over this and each time she's diagnosed it as an "infection" yet 8 antibiotics over the course of a year later, it's no better than when I first went in; I'm convinced it's something more chronic. Anyone have any clues? Aside from sinus surgery....which really isn't an option right now!).

I ran my favorite "long" run trail: Kennedy Park (225/Parker Road) towards downtown (via the Cherry Creek trail). I love this trail; it mainly follows the creek and as a land-locked, semi-arid state that Colorado is, any type of water nearby is always welcoming - especially on a very long run. I love how water has that magnetic pull (run the Big Sur marathon if you feel the's breathtaking!!!...though very difficult)! What I like most about this trail is the diversity of views along the way. The "parts" of this trail change every few miles .... from suburbia USA to vast openness to slightly industrial (thankfully, this section is short), a park with a small lake and lots of geese (and their droppings...ick) to Cherry Creek mall (high-end shopping at it's finest!) to Denver Country Club all the way to Confluence park where you can watch kayakers navigate down an obstacle course and one amazing REI store (LOVE REI...even worked there a few years ago)! Today, I ran to the Denver Country Club and then proceeded North; I did not want to follow the creek anymore than the DCC 8 miles because, though the trail along the creek has it's rewards, it's also downhill out ... therefore uphill back; I wasn't in the mood to run 12 uphills miles after just running 12 down. By going North, I get a variety of hills, both up and down, and I think that's better Boston training than one continuous 12-mile up, no matter how gradual. I've run bits and pieces of the northern areas before but have never put them together in one full swoop. I welcomed the freshness. Sometimes the same course, particularly on a very long run, can become stale. I've run the park near my house endless times that I could probably tell you every crack in the sidewalk, every protruding rock on every dirt trail, every inch of topography change throughout the entire park. Not that this is necessarily a bad thing, it's just that on a very long run, it takes the surprise out of what lies ahead and can sometimes provoke a sense of dread, particularly if you aren't feeling that well.

The DCC neighborhood is lined with those old-gold-money houses where they just take your breath away with their grandeur (to drive through them at Christmas is just incredible!! Enormous wealth can buy spectacular light displays!) . To Cheeseman park, known for it's popularity for non-heterosexual crowds (ha) but has this beautiful awning thingy with marble-like pillars which looking through them, you can see the downtown skyline. Onward to City Park, which has this really cool triage of statues enclosed in a circle each connected to one another by a road. It's really very pretty.... I wish the picture did it justice. Up to 23rd street where I ended my first 12-miles at about an 8:55ish average pace. That's good for this old bod (the goal wasn't to go fast, just steady). I stopped and took some pictures (more), Sport Legs, Aleve, nose-blow, Gu, water, readjusting of body adornments, a quick look at the zoo...and 15 minutes later, I'm back at it.

Dennis met me when I had about 7 miles left; it was great to see him! I just tried to maintain an effort that was comfortable, yet challenging. Meaning, I didn't really want to necessarily engage in a lengthy conversation (as evident by my lack of words...which sometimes, I can take up just a wee bit too much O2). This, I learned in my personal training class, is about 80% of my max hr (where you can give someone your address, but you cannot give them directions to your house! Great analogy!). Or maybe, too, I was just getting a little tired; 18 miles can do that. In a marathon, this is about the point where I really don't strike up a conversation with fellow runners; the once easy banter of conversation stills into trudging silence. Conversation or not, sometimes it's just good to have someone's presence there, just knowing they're beside you, there for you, guiding you. It makes me that much more stronger - physically and mentally. With about 3 miles left, I picked up the pace to about an 8:30...which, after 21 miles, is generally unthinkable for me. I felt strong and I felt encouraged! Dennis does that to me; he makes me want to be a faster, stronger runner because I know he can push my limits and constantly encourages me with uplifting words (if only he'd stop looking at his watch 300 times per mile!! Ha).

The amazing thing throughout the entire run today was that I felt great. Not only great, I just felt like I could continue running for eternity.... well, aside from some annoying lower back pain. And considering how uncertain I would react to the day when I started out, I was overly happy with my performance! My, they were not slowly seeping in quad fatigue, no calf tightening and no failing gluteus maximus (ass); I felt strong and confidence was swarming in my head. With about 4 miles remaining, the sun FINALLY revealed itself after a very overcast, chilly morning and began to warm me inside and out. I thought right then that if I can remain healthy (okay, aside from this sinus thing....and my annoying back), I most definitely think I can tackle a 50K in 2009! I am getting stronger. What a wonderful thing our bodies can do to our mind-set (and a few supporting words from those around us :))!

Today, I enjoyed the simple pleasure of running, breathing hard and soaking in the outside! I choose to be present and aware. We all need to grab fistfuls of life the way a toddler eats cake...recalling the glee in simply finding a portion on our plate, and plunge into it, with great, sticky handfuls of sweet abandon. That's what running does for me!

Happy Valentine's Day, too...whether your heart is full or healing, may we all experience a fresh and abiding awareness of the love in our lives. As for me, I'll be eating pizza with my kids and drinking lots of water.

24 miles run

Friday, February 13, 2009

Rest and Carbs Call for a Movie

Abbey and I are off to the movies.....I am going to truly miss her so much when she ventures off to college this fall *sigh* (hopefully she'll hear something soon!!!). I have a rest day today, YES! I am tired and I am sore so today's breather is probably much needed; though I feel a little restless, like I have missed some big event by not running or like my head hasn't been fully de-clutterd by pounding out a few miles. A mindless chick-flick movie should do the trick. And though my eating plan does not call for popcorn, I think Rob must have forgotten, in his Hawaiian-clogged mind, that carbs are a runner's best friend before a long run. Well, maybe not but that's the story I'm going to stick with when I indulge in a couple handfuls.

24 miler, here I come!

0 miles run
0 weight training
0 cross training

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Weights and Tired Legs

Went to the gym today to do a series of circuit weights. Times 4. I feel myself getting stronger in the gym, and it's apparent by my physical appearance...but I still do not enjoy weight training. And I'm not sure I ever will. My soul needs to be outdoors where I can breath the fresh air, shake out my bad mood or celebrate the great day. Lifting weights in a suffocating gym with the smell of sweat will never do what running does for me....but I DO know it's a necessity to be the runner I want to be. So I do it. I try not to complain (though how can you not sometimes). Today I felt good and strong and was happy that I managed to do them without shaking constantly. Afterwards, which took close to an hour to complete, I was to do a 20 minute tempo run. I got on the treadmill (I was at the gym already, why not just stay and get it done!) and my legs would not move. Monday's weight training of glutes and hamstrings, Tuesday's long/hard intervals, Wednesday's hill repeats....oh my, my quads, calves, hamstrings AND my left heel were hurting. I ran about 10 minutes at about an 8:10 pace but I could not move another step after that. I walked the next 10 minutes and I felt successful at that!!! Tomorrow is a rest day in preparation of 24 miles(gulp) on Saturday! One more day of work and then I'm off for four days...woohooo!

2 miles run
weights - lots

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

The Hills are Alive

This picture isn't of me, though I wish it were, ...I just like it :)

Today's workout called for 6 miles of hill repeats. Preparation for the hills in Boston, I presume (somewhere, there must be an elevation map of Boston??? Why can't I find it? Because I haven't looked??). There's a hill in my neighborhood that is approximately a half mile long. Probably not quite, but pretty darn close. We'll call it close enough. When I finally managed to drag myself away from my computer and some deadlines, I ventured over to the infamous Piney Creek Hill and ran the beast. Down then up. Down then up. 6 times.
I have a love-hate relationship with hills. I really don't like running up them, but I really am good at 'em....meaning, I manage to keep my pace pretty strong with the added pleasure of keeping my times consistent (albeit SLOW). It wasn't always this way; I have my physical therapist to thank for her work in analyzing which of my muscles were most weak and the old glutes and quads won the weakness test (big time). Thus, I've spent countless hours working on 'em. Never would have made it up Mt. Evans and Pikes Peak this past summer had I not (yet not quite ready for them in Big Sur). As a result, I now actually don't run down hills well; though I do like how they are "easier" then their antonym.

But no matter what, whether it's part of a race or just some personal torture in my neighborhood on an average, unassuming Wednesday, I want to be fit for running, in life. They often come, be it in a race or in everyday living, when we least expect them and I want to be ready!

So from now until Boston, look for me at the top of Norfolk and Crestline or the bottom of Mobile and Orchard every Wednesday as I prepare to be "ready."

6 miles run

Tuesday, February 10, 2009


...I smell! I mean, I really smell yucky. Today was intervals - hard and long. That equates to sweat! I went over to the gym because, in addition to intervals, I also had some weight training. The entire workout today lasted just a tad over 2-hours. Egads. Who has time? Oh me, I guess, when I said to Rob, "No, I don't have a busy schedule this week." He took that comment to heart, I guess; I have a very busy workout week! I grabbed Brendan and we headed over to 24-hour (I love that place) and I got on the treadmill; there is nothing more distracting to the pain at hand than watching a tv planted 12" from your head set right in your treadmill with closed caption rolling as your iPod is blaring in your ears. Way fun! My hamstrings were REALLY tight from whatever weight training I did yesterday. Major ouch. I stretched after every 1200 but man, they were not loosening up at all. Calves a bit tight, too, but nothing like the ole hamies. My plan was to do 8x1200's at 7:20 AND a boatload of upper body weights. Um...bringing a 13-year old to the gym for an hour, max, is about all I'm going to get (I do applaud him for getting in an awesome workout!!!) so I stopped the treadmill after 5 of the 12's (figuring I'd catch the last 3 at home on my treadmill. I know, not how you run intervals...but sometimes modifications are a necessity and today was one) and did the weights. I fixed dinner, packed lunches for tomorrow, and the devoted soul I am, popped back on the treadmill for the final 3. But man, I smelled so bad from the workout earlier.... ick. No sense in a shower, still had more sweat to beat out of me. I thought my hams were going to scream by running again but they actually felt a lot better this round. Maybe that's my ticket: run hard for 45 minutes before every scheduled run so that your tighter-than-cello-string-hamstrings can feel better? I dunno. Time to hit the shower (yes!) and off to bed....I can't wait for my pillow!
9 miles run; 8x1200's at 7:19 (last one at 7:08)

Monday, February 9, 2009

Officially in Boston Groove

10 weeks to Boston! I pretty much blew last week off with my training due to my class/test (and as a consequence, sabotaged my body fat due to sitting in a chair for 30 hours...egads!) and so now I'm officially focusing my mind on the major task at hand: Boston. I love this video from YouTube; it depicts everything I have dreamed of for so many years (yet never had the drive until a couple years ago to actually pursue) and the sacrifices I have made to get there. I fear Boston, as I do most anything that is a challenge for me. I don't particularly enjoy running the marathon; my mission is the desire to conqure the test.... and I enjoy the training. The race itself: it's hard on my mind, emotions, body, sole and occasionally spirit. Yet I will continue to do it until I get it right; until I mitigate the fear of it, and run it without having a nervous breakdown weeks beforehand (indicative by wanting to vomit most of what I eat and snapping at everyone around me [I apologize in know who you all are]); and that I run it well (or until my knees won't allow it). I will have a blast at Boston, I am sure, but I want to run well and whenever I want to run well, I get very stressed. I want to come home from that race with a big smile on my face (not the sorrow I felt from Big Sur). I want to qualify for Boston '10 at Boston '09; just in case I desire to run it again. (I really don't want the pressure of running another marathon in '09 strictly to Boston Qualify; THAT is really, turly, not a good place for my head to be). If I do another in 09, it's going to be for the experience alone and quite possibly.... to have fun??). I'd love to PR at it (but know that it's a much harder course than St. George and the crowds will also dictate a lot of my first few mile pace, if not all? I have no's the fear of the "unknown"). As the video states: I would rather be at the start line of Boston than the finish line of any other marathon. It's time to get my head on straight, get my training going strong, get my nutrition in order, and pray for no injuries!

Met Rob for weight training and a couple miles of tempo run. I felt good, it was short so not too demanding; it's just hard to really focus on the task at hand when someone is standing there monitoring. Thankfully, I brought my iPod so I could not think about him there and focus on my running. A busy week of intervals, hills, and a long, long run.

And so I begin...

3 miles temp run

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Week 6 Totals

Week 6 Totals:
This week running mileage: 32 miles
Total mileage for 2009: 218 miles
This week weight training: 2
This week cross training: 0

Brain Dead

Thanks for whomever made a comment on yesterday's blog! I am done with class #2 in my trilogy of needed certifications. This class about did me in; I am beat! I was so stressed about the practical exam, where I had to pick a card and perform an exercise from the card for a client. Then a modification and a progression to that exercise. Then I had to name all the working major muscles of that exercise and modifications, 3 stretches for that muscles and an exercise and progression to that exercise to the opposing muscles of the main exercise. Yeah, I had to know all my muscle names. It was grueling! In all my stress, I think I did well on that :). Now the written, I'm not so sure. I guess I'll know in a few weeks. It was harder than I thought; lots of those "trick questions"- blah!

I came home from class and became a vegetable. I came to the conclusion there is no way I could go back to school as a professional student, even part-time. Not with working 1 almost full-time job, numerous part-time jobs, training for Boston, and having 3 kids to attend to. My house looked like a tornado it when I returned home last night! And I'm not kidding. Brendan was pretty much home alone today for about ... oh....7 or so hours. Mommy-guilt was a mile high! I eventually managed to peel myself off my bed and went for a run. My head was throbbing but I had to go; it was a necessity for my well-being. There's nothing more therapeutic than a good run, even when you're dog-tired! Sitting in a hard plastic chair for the majority of 10 hours for the past 3 days was killing me - and egads, my knee on Friday was about ready to pop out of it's knee-cap; it hurt incredibly bad! Just from sitting in a chair. I guess bending a bad knee all day is not a good thing. Anyway, as tired as I was, I knew I'd feel a lot better with a run so I changed and managed a very good 8:35 pace for 5 miles tonight on my treadmill. I hate that thing...but I had to go.

Off to bed. Looking forward to getting my "life" back to some sort of normalcy. Whatever that is!

5 miles run.

Saturday, February 7, 2009

Class day #2

Taking a study break; I'm exhausted and not processing much info. Test tomorrow. I had a mini-anxiety attack and tears were flowing; the major muscles and their opposing muscles and the 3 exercises I need to perform, in front of the class, caused me some stress. I'm so tired. I can't wait for this to be all over and I can get back on the road ... RUNNING! No exercise whatsoever today, but I looked at about 500 exercises and stretches and all the muscles that are used and well....that outta count for about a marathon! Cuz I feel like I ran a marathon! Done with test earlier than thought tomorrow and that's good cuz I plan to come home and go run for about 5 hours!!!!!

Friday, February 6, 2009

Class day #1

I am brain-dead. Literally, I can't even think. I am really struggling with kinesiology: major muscle groups, their opposing muscles and their actions. I mean, seriously...there's a LOT of information! I went up to my instructor during a break, text and workbooks in tow, and had him explain some things to me. He told me that 95% of the class would find this section the hardest and all were struggling. That didn't really ease my mind but I felt a tad better when he said it wouldn't be on the practical part of the test so thankfully, I don't have to get up in front of 50 people and make a complete a$$ out of myself by not knowing anything. My instructor was a bit taken back when he knew I had a trainer and yet didn't know these muscles groups. He said, "I always explain what muscle is being worked and it's opposing muscle, you should be well advanced in the class by having a trainer telling you this with each exercise." Hum...nope, never heard that from my trainer before. But I'll be certain to fill him in.

I slept horrible last night; probably anxious over my class, but I got up early regardless and ran a nice 11 miles. It was a "Red Flag Warning" according to KBCO (isn't Red Flag warning indicative of beaches? Last I knew, Colorado was land-locked. But I may be wrong on both accounts: the red flag locale and that Colorado borders no major bodies of water. I'm too tired to remember) so a wee-bit windy running today. Gusts up to 50 mph.... just as bad as Dallas though today's shorter duration didn't seem so bad. Plus, I was just putzing along at a leisurely pace. Had some left knee pains today and dogged me ALL day at class. Wish I had ice for it at class, it was really agonizing at one point. Errr!

Good night....

11 miles run

Thursday, February 5, 2009


Today was a day where I was forced to look at my limitations. Like other past times I learned I am not super-woman, today that fact was reiterated. Sadly, I did not run. Plan or no plan, sacrifices had to be made in order to fit everything in. I had to prioritize and running lost. This class is consuming all my time but around 10:00 tonight, I totally lost interest in my book. I came home from work in a total panic and frantically reread everything over, eliminating the sections I felt were not as important. My daughter said, "gee mom, you need to learn to 'skim' " and gave me some tips. I tried this tactic but it wasn't helping....I figure I either know it or I don't.

I also think I am getting a cold. Probably brought on by the stress of this class! And germy kids at school. I was dragging all day!

I did go lift some weights tonight with Rob and remarkably felt strong, considering I didn't feel good all day. My breathing, on the other hand, on the treadmill felt a little forced, erratic almost, just not really I tried to detain my mind from my wheeze. I think I just have issues running without my iPod. I've become so dependant on it. An addiction. A crutch.

Met a guy on Facebook that lives in Denver and has run the Boston mararthon a few times; he's offered his Boston tips and tactics..... something I NEED to start storing. I'm unfortunately feeling the Boston anxiety (more so, the Atlanta half I'm doing in March. I ran so well last year and that always messes me up when I run the same race again! More on that topic later).

A balmy 68 in the Mile High city today. Nice!

Weights - 1

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Last Night Opps

I looked at my plan last night (which I was reminded that I have not posted on my calendar....sorry. Just too busy. Next week for sure) and realized that I was suppose to do 8x1200's and here I only did 5. I thought 5 was a lot so I'm not sure I could have managed 8; I was so strapped for time that there was no way I could get it in even if I knew 8 was on my plan (which I honestly thought was only 5). I've just decided this week is going to be one of those weeks where "just enough" is going to have to be "good enough." I cannot study 4 hours at night AND get in a couple hour run AND get my kids dinner AND pack lunches AND .... Sacrifices are going to have to be made this week, in every arena, including my running. Unfortunately. Next week will be the comeback and I'll run hard and hopefully well.

I did manage to squeak in a 6-miler while Brendan was at boxing this afternoon. It was 66 degrees when I left at 4:45; early spring has once again returned to the Rockies and I, for one, am a happy-camper. Snow predicted this weekend - of course. A good run, strong run, about 8:20 I think... at least at first. I watched the sun set over the mountains tonight; it never ceases to take my breath away!

Back to the books (won't you be glad next week when my class is over and no more whining about studying? You should read all the complaining I've done with it on Facebook :P). There's no way I'm going to get my weight training in today; two times this week is going to just have to suffice. Maybe I'll do 4 next week to make up! I heard my trainer (though not from him directly) is out of town next week so I guess I'm left to my own devices. And that's okay...I just tend to get carried away sometimes. One thing's certain: I need to hit the pool and get these muscles stretched!

Oh and good-ish news on John's dad: he's making steady progress and is able to get up a little and trying to speak, though it's very mumbled. The doctors seem very encouraged. Thanks for those that have asked.

6 miles run

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

10:30's the Goal

Though I'm not going to quite make it. That's okay; I'm feeling pretty good right now. Which, considering I never felt very well today, this is miracle. Studying tonight was my main focus; I am so far behind and I cannot even possibly imagine how I'm going to pass this test (I also got the luxury of spending an hour on the phone with Sprint because my cell phone wasn't getting email. I found I could do the phone thing AND read my textbook AND iron some clothes for school tomorrow..all at once; I love to solve many problems all at once!). I admit it, this stuff is way harder than I imagined. Maybe not so much the subject matter itself, but all the terminology is way too much to memorize. E-gads!!!!!!! I took a picture of my textbook, my workbook, my notes and my pink binder (of course it's pink!) just to prove that I am being studious. Wish I were further along being studious but I'll get there.

I intended to get up and run my intervals this morning and then do weights tonight. I didn't quite make it (it must be a day for "just not quite making it"??). I just couldn't get up this morning, my head was pounding. I surprised myself tonight while heavily into my textbook reading about body fat (how appropriate since I had a minor meltdown last night when I had mine tested :P ) and seriously thought I was going to have to bag the entire day of running....I didn't know how I was going to fit it in. But skipping a run just isn't me and major guilt set in and so eventually, I hopped on my treadmill and ran some intervals. My schedule called for 5x1200's at a 5:30 (7:22 per mile pace); I was fearful I was going to die. Yesterday, I had a horrible run and never loosened up, fought ever single step. Today, just the opposite. I bumped the treadmill up to a 7:18 pace and maintained all feeling good. Good breathing, good stride, in a good zone, no headache, no knee pain, iPod blasting. Took the last 1200 and upped it to a 1600 an ran the thing at 7:03. Yeah baby!!!! Didn't get in my weights but will do that tomorrow.

7 minutes late so signing off...

6 miles intervals

Monday, February 2, 2009

Late again..

I vow tomorrow to be in bed, asleep, by 10:30. It's gotta help. So here's my short blog tonight... 4 miles at about 8:30 pace. Weight training w/rob this evening. Feeling frustrated with my lack of progress. John's dad in the hospital with an apparent stroke; he's in New Mexico with his mom. His dad is alert but cannot speak; this is progress over yesterday when he wasn't aware of surroundings. I have a huge test on Sunday and am not making much progress studying; life is interfering. I need to go to bed so tomorrow can start a new day.

4 miles run

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Week 5 Totals

Week 5 Totals:
This week running mileage: 46 miles
Total mileage for 2009: 186 miles
This week weight training: 4
This week cross training: 2

Super Bowl Sunday

Not much time to write; I'm super bowl tired! I don't watch much football (any at all is a lot for me) but I was kinda rooting for my Alma Mater's quarterback, Kurt Warner. I watched bits and pieces at home while I was studying and then at a friend's party. Didn't stay too long, but long enough to eat non-healthy foods and thus, my day's diet was pretty much shot. Back on track tomorrow. Sorry for the loss, Kurt.

Had a great 5 mile run with friends over at my favorite park (see yesterday's blog). Crisp air this morning, not as warm as yesterday but it felt great. Went and had coffee (I don't drink coffee so I had a protein shake :) ) afterwards; how relaxing to sit and just talk about upcoming races and allow them to help ease the Boston tension I'm starting to feel. Yes, already. 11 weeks to Boston. Subtract 3 weeks of a taper and that leaves 8 weeks of training. That leaves about 4 or 5 more long runs. That's where my anxiety is starting to creep up into my lungs. I can feel it. I know I have some's just......

Also ran 5 miles at 8:40 pace on the treadmill this evening. Watched The Office while on the beast and I have to honestly say that I may be the only person in my circle of those I know that has never watched an entire episode. It was really funny. I hope I don't become addicted.

I realized today while reading my trainer's newsletter something about him and something about me. He speaks from his head. I speak from my heart. I run from my heart, he tries to teach me to run from my head. It's a concept I will discuss more when I have time...but I need to go to bed, the 5am alarm comes awfully early when it's after 11:00. A big thanks to him, though, for allowing my article in his newsletter. You can read it on his website:

Happy February (I am one glad person that January is over!)

10 miles run