Sunday, May 31, 2009

Week 22 Totals

Week 22 Totals
Week running mileage: 45
Total mileage for 2009: 718 miles
This week's weight training: 2
Cross training: 0

Finally, I could use the watch

With my irrational behavior to put my Garmin on Ebay, Dennis came over to the track on Friday for about 10 minutes and was able to get my watch at least back to the "start / stop" function I had it on the week before. Somehow, I had it switched to two functions instead of 3 and thus, my pace wasn't showing. He fixed it and I *think* he set it so that I couldn't accidentally change it again. But I'm not certain on that. We're going to try to get together one night this week for a longer Garmin lesson...but until then, I was able to get in a tempo run this morning using my watch to guide my pace!! YES!!! FINALLY!!!!!! I've only been wanting/needing to do this for well over a year now! I was surprised the other day when Rob told me something in the lines of he's been giving me a pace for my tempo runs for the past year. Yeah, well, how the heck does he think I really knew what my pace was? He gave me an Nike iPod attachment last year that I wore on my shoe and it was suppose to calculate my pace. Countless times I recalibrated that thing when I couldn't get it to spit out the correct pace; I finally gave it back to him when the last straw with that thing showed my mileage in a 10K I did to be 4.5 miles. Now, I may have ran up on a curb once, but I certainly did not cheat 1.7 miles out of that race....if I had, I wouldn't have been dead at the end like I was. So I gave it back, thanked him for his effort, and he told me he'd replace it and get me a new one (as others have had success with this little device). But he never did; and he never got a Garmin watch for me to use, like he said he would after I failed to gage my pace with a little half marathon in Georgetown. He often forgets sides-notes of things he's going to do. I's not his responsibility really (but maybe in a sense), but I was a little taken-back that he thought I was actually running the pace he asked me to for the past year. I can give it a whole-hearted educated guess as to the pace I run but that's about it. So it was nice to wear my new gadget today and visually SEE what I was running. No, I don't want to become a slave to it but I also need to start training correctly (slowing my long run down and increasing my tempo run). And it's not only pace, it's correct mileage. The majority of the paths I run do not have mile markers. Most of time, it's a guesstimate according to my overall finish time with what I thought my pace was.

Anyway, I had a 10-mile tempo run with the middle 6 miles being at marathon race pace (which is currently 8:30). I did it. Not pretty and I certainly have room for improvement. I ran 2 slowish miles (though as I look back, I probably ran it too fast) to begin. Somehow, my watch was set to auto-stop and it was stopping every other second; I couldn't get an overall time to display. I nervously stopped my watch and remarkably hit the right combination of buttons to get the auto pause turned off. I was so worried I was going to screw it up and get it stuck in GPS mode again...which I did one day last week and was ready to throw the thing across the track because I couldn't figure out how to get it back (I still don't know how I did, to tell you the truth). At mile 3, I picked up the pace and did a mile at my 8:30 pace. Felt good and strong, not that sore from yesterday aside from very tight calf muscles (and this profound ache in my left glute. I mean, wow, what is that???? I had trouble sitting in Dennis' hard leather seats yesterday to and from Mt. Evans). Took some Sport Beans and water and set off again to the boat launch area where there is a restroom and water. Did my business and refilled my water bottle and set back. This was a perfect course because I hit the restroom at 5.25 miles - perfect.

I decided on the way back that I'd stick on the main road and get off the trails. It's harder to get a consistent pace when you are trail running because the terrain is uneven and you are turning your ankles more frequently. I wanted something solid and smooth so I stuck to the road. Which is fine, but not as fun as the trail, and the road is bombarded with cyclists.

I left a little late today, 8:30, and it was warming up quickly but I maintained my pace (though at points, I'd looked down and was going speeds. Once a 7:45. Opps). I felt great. For once, I felt like I was ready to finally get on a fall marathon training schedule. I have felt a sense of dread since I got back from Boston, I mean's the same routine over and over. But after yesterday and today's stellar runs, I finally feel ready!!!

One more week of work. Yes!!

10 miles run

Saturday, May 30, 2009

Mt. Evans Training Run #1

Echo Lake, start of our early morning run to Mt. Evans

It was a gorgeous day, through and through. The day was mostly sunny; the temps in the low 40's; there was no wind; and most importantly, I felt good!

Dennis picked me up at the wee-hours of 5:30. Welcome to summer mountain running: very early morning departures to beat the heat and because it takes awhile to transport us to any mountain destination. That's okay, I actually like it, but last night I got like3-hours of sleep and I was really tired. Tea had a lot before the run (and caught up to me by mile 6 when I had to pee like a racehorse. I had to find a rock in the snow; I was well above tree-line :/). We got there early, par for the course when Dennis drives. Met a girl, Diann, in the parking lot who asked us if she could tag along; she was running the Mt. Evans race in a few weeks and had never done it so doing some training. Soon, the rest of the prostate group running showed up. Because some of us are slower than others (that would be me), the faster 3 (Pete, Jeff and Craig) took one car up to Summit Lake and dropped it off while the rest of us (Andre, Dennis, me and our new friend, Diann) took off for the 9 miles 2300 elevation gain up.

I was breathing hard within seconds. Dennis and Andre took off, Diann hung by my side. I told her we all did our own thing and encouraged her to go her own pace. It was quickly evident this was tougher than she thought and by mile 1, she fell behind me. The first 3 miles, I think, are the toughest on the lower 9 miles of this course (the last 5 are a whole different can of worms...those last 5 can take almost as long as the first 9; the are so steep! Dennis' Garmin data: ). I know last year I didn't walk at all until just after mile 4, aside from a quick jaunt to the side at mile 3 ,where there is a small visitor center, to take a couple pictures - but this year I was walking a tiny bit right before mile 3. Just after I crossed mile 3, I see the faster guys coming back down with the other car. I was hoping to get to mile 4 before I saw them so I was convinced that at least Craig and Pete would be passing me before I reached the top. And I was fine with that.

Miles 4-6 are on the back side of the mountain and I don't particularly like this portion. I don't know why, other than it's less scenic and also steep. I have to do a lot of walking here. At a couple points, I got slightly discouraged because I couldn't go more than 200 yards between walks. But I made them brief, just enough to get a little air, and then got moving. I think the altitude was bothering me a bit here, too. Just before mile 6, there is turn-off outlook point and the view here is just intoxicating! Mile 6, I had the guys drop off more water for me so when I saw the marker, I wasn't really out of the water I was carrying and I thought I could make it the remaining 3 without changing bottles. So I ran past the extra water but I hadn't gone far when I realized that I was kinda low on the h20 reserves and I had to pee badly. There was a rock near the mile sign and I just had to hope that no one was coming. It was either that or run up 3 or down 3 to the nearest port-a-potty. Did my business and refilled water and off I went.

Mile 6 I seemed to get a second-wind and I just put my head down and pushed. Around 6.5, you get the first of two reprieves on this road and you get a nice quarter mile-ish flat section. Your quads almost don't know what to do because they haven't been doing much, unlike my calves which were screaming! It felt great here and the little feeling of dread from 4-6 is erased and I felt alive again! Mile 7 is a little steep and I had to walk some. There's this bend in the mountain here and you can see a good mile in front of you. I could see Andre and Dennis, barely. You know those documentaries shown on Mt. Everest where the guy at the camp has a telescope on the climbers and the climbers look like little ants against this massive mountain? Yea, that's what Andre and Dennis looked like. But it didn't take long before I was in their spot as I hit mile 8. I looked back to where I was when I viewed the ants and I didn't see a sole behind me. I was shocked. I couldn't believe that I was going to be able to finish without the faster guys passing me. Just about mile 8.5, the road hits the second of the reprieves an actually goes DOWNHILL for about a quarter mile. It actually HURT my left knee and my quads didn't particularly enjoy it either, I think they thought they had the day off. This downhill section of the road is really in poor shape; lots of holes and waves and rocks. But it also takes you directly into the parking lot of Summit Lake (still lots of snow up here. I need to get up there in late summer so see what the now snow-covered lake looks like thawed) and the car. 1:53. That's either 2 minutes or 7 minutes better than last year. I'm having a brain cramp and know I was 5 minutes from 2-hours finishing but I don't remember which side of 2-hours it was and I can't find my journal that has it written down. Either way, that's great because I know I walked a little more from last year and yet my time is faster (one way or the other). Dennis and Andre were at the car eating a bagel. Dennis said he hadn't been there but 10 minutes so that felt good :).

Lots of cars up at Summit Lake; lots of skiers up for a last run. Not sure if they take their skis up to the summit of the mountain or if they hike it up somehow. Took some pictures and about 20 minutes (20 minutes!!! I couldn't believe they weren't right on my heels as I came running in!) Pete showed up followed by Craig about a minute later and Jeff about 20 minutes later. Jeff's had a bad foot problem lately and has it in a sort of brace so this performance from him was great. We sat at the top for a bit until the now-behind-the-clouds-sun was causing us to be cold and we headed back down to Echo Lake.

The two groups departed at Echo Lake and said we'd see them in two weeks for the climb from Summit Lake to the top (the hardest part). I was so cold, donning 4 layers of clothing wasn't helping, so I cranked Dennis' heat on full-blast all the way to Idaho Springs. I think Dennis was about to melt. We went into town and had a quick bite to eat and headed home to Denver. It was 78 degrees when I crawled out of the car, still wearing 4 layers of shirts (one of them my fleece North Face jacket); if any of the neighbors saw me, I'm sure they questioned my sanity. Well...I'm sure most question it when I wear normal weather appropriate clothing :).

It was a great run and as much as I feel I have lost a lot of glute muscle strength over this time last year, I had a great day. A smile a mile wide!

I don't think I'll be overly sore tomorrow, at least I hope not and so far not too stiff, though I have been doing a lot of sitting as all I've basically done all day is sit here and type; I have a lot of writing due by tomorrow evening and I wanted to get the bulk of it done today so that tomorrow, I can actually try to clean my pity house!! I hope my legs are good enough for a medium run tomorrow!

9 miles run

Friday, May 29, 2009

My watch; My demise

Despite all the bells and whistles currently at my disposal with my new Garmin, tomorrow I will head out to the Mt. Evans training run in my super-simple Nike cuff watch that features little more than time/date/chron.

And that's okay. Who needs a pace when you walk most of the way up this mountain side anyway!

Never the less, I wanted some watch time in so I took it to the track to tonight to do some moderate intervals. Just for fun. Just to test it some more. Some Garmin and me time. Silly me, didn't think I could screw up the watch again, having worked about 3-hours on it the other night. What was I thinking? I hit just the right combination of buttons and touched the bezel a few too many times, apparently, so that I couldn't even get my pace to display. What was going to be a series of 6x1200's turned into a mile, 200, 220, 800, 400, 395, ... and so forth and so forth. An hour later, I opted to remove the entire thing from my wrist and just run a mile, followed by some push-ups and sit-ups. Just as I was leaving, Dennis text me and asked me if I was still at the track. Yes. He popped by for a few minutes but I was starving and freezing and had not packed one iota for tomorrow's climb so he fixed my watch and asked if I wanted to go run a lap with it. NO! Thanks, though. We decided we'd just take it tomorrow and if we had time after our climb tomorrow, we'd play with it. I need to remember to look for the instruction manual. It's somewhere in the disaster of a house. Man, what a pit! I don't think it's ever been this bad....thank God for the weekends! Even better, thank God I'm off work in a week!

The boys have a "formal attire" cast party tonight for the play they just finished up last week. The play was Mulan, and they did an incredible job! Despite the fact both my boys will proudly adorn a shirt stained with whatever food quasi-consumed but now spilled on it for an entire day, they were super stoked about their new duds tonight and looked ever so handsome. Sigh.
Okay, time to sign off and get my stuff together for tomorrow. I think we're running about 9 mile with an elevation gain of 2250' from Echo Lake to Summit Lake. There's a cut-off time of 2.5 hours. Last year I had at least a half hour in training and about 40 minutes in the actual my one and only goal is to make it by the cut-off.

I'm gonna call tonight's distance about 5 miles. Give or take.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

The Difference in a Day

I feel so much better today; no agonizing glutes and quad muscles. What a difference a day of rest can make (hear that, Elaine? :) ). I could not meet Rob for weights tonight because Ryan had a choir concert at 7:15 and he couldn't get in me in earlier. I look forward to summer when I can hopefully get away from that 6:30 queue I somehow managed to unknowingly slid into. I hope to get my training done early in the morning before the heat of the day starts up. Anyway, journeyed over to 24-hour to do my own weights. I forget what the cable fly is but I did what I thought it might be (though I'm certain it was not) and able to do the rest: a circuit of about 5 different weights followed by 5 minutes of bike intervals. I can still feel my butt muscles but nothing compared to yesterday!! That soaking ice-bath certainly helped and I vow to do them with every run that takes a lot out of my legs. My knee didn't bother me at all on the bike today either. All around good exercise day!

Ryan's choir concert was great today - a little long but some good songs.

7 days left of work!!

Mt. Evans training run on Saturday morning. Thinking of going to Breckenridge after the run, still not sure. John was taking the boys to New Mexico but now is now, the boys can't go because of a cast party for the play at the clubhouse tomorrow night.

Weights: 1

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Things I learned running 15.5 today:

1) that the gnat population is not confined to areas around water; they are everywhere in the park.

2) that the gnat population has risen x150 since I was there a few days ago.

3) that my glutes are very sore from yesterday.

4) that my quads are also sore.

5) that sore glutes, sore quads and a bum knee make for a very difficult long run.

6) that the two basic functions I know how to do on my new watch, start and stop, are awesome.

7) that I CAN go a pathetic 10:15-10:30 pace at times with sore glutes and quads.

8) that it's okay (to a point) I run with soreness; one of my goals is to learn to run through the "hurt" of a marathon.

9) that my right foot is larger than my left foot and the 4th edition of various sized new shoes is actually too small for my righty.

10) that I'm going to have to get new larger shoes for long runs.

11) that 69 degrees with overcast skies is much cooler than 69 degrees and sun.

12) that there are a lot of bikers in the park at 5:00pm as they are traveling home from work, I presume.

13) that a little Rihanna goes a long way with achy muscles.

14) that thoughts of an ice-bath mid way through run is a sure sign that your body is sore.

15) that it takes longer to dig a pebble out of your shoe than it would be to take entire shoe off, dump it out, and reapply shoe.

16) that I still can get a little sun on my shoulders when I run at 4:00; despite it being mostly overcast.

I love it when I learn something new on a run! Even if it wasn't the greatest of runs, I learned a lot. Knowledge is power.

15.5 miles run

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

talks and weights

Going back to work after 4 days off is tough and today ranked way up there. Seems odd to roam the halls and the classrooms with the Seniors gone....I miss them.

Here it is 11:30 and I am just starting to write my blog - it's going to be short.

I came home from work and fell asleep hard as I laid on my bed deciding which of the many things to tackle first. Guess that nap took care of that decision.

Met with Rob tonight to talk about my running goals for this fall. It was good, hopefully productive; insightful on my end and I hope his. I still want a fall marathon PR and feel a new sense of motivation and purpose now. Have not committed to a marathon yet, waiting on a couple of things to pan out first on Portland. If that doesn't work out, I'll find one around the same time-frame. I have taken a few things off my plate for the summer and am seriously thinking that Ragbrai is not going to work with my chronic knee problem. I can't imagine riding 75 miles with this knee. I do, though, think it may workout to do the Bix run while back in Iowa; it's gotta be like 9 years ago that I ran it last....and possibly longer! Anyway, after a lengthy talk, where my posture sitting in a chair that long was anything but proper, I lifted some weights, emphasising my glutes....need 'em to get up Mt. Evans this weekend as we head off for our first training run up the thing. I think there's a lot of snow up there but I'm excited to get back in the mountains. Love summer trail running!!

weight training: 1

Monday, May 25, 2009

Week 21

Weeks 21 Totals
Week running mileage: 33
Total mileage for 2009: 673 miles
This week's weight training: 2
Cross training: 0

Not as I had hoped...

I'm not sure what I really expected out of today's race but it certainly didn't go as well as I wanted it to. Though a little bit of me inside wonders if I didn't already know this days ago as I had made a comment to Elaine that I wasn't feeling it.

I'd had an incredible 10-miler in February. PR'd my half marathon in Atlanta. Ran a pretty strong race in Boston. I went into Boulder thinking that I had no reason why I couldn't run faster than my 48:13 time last year. But I was filled with some clouded uncertainties. I'm going to be openly honest here and state some things that may have contributed to my dimise: My weight is up a from last year's race; I have a slight feeling of pressure on my bladder again (not a good sign); I'm having some intestinal problems (related to my bladder?); I've over-indulged in too many graduation parties (admittedly: sugar. Not too much alcohol, thankfully); and really what I think the main problem was/is is that I have not been focused with my training. I don't think I've come up with excuses, I think it's been more of a 'time-out' situation where I've just had so much on my plate (and there's nothing wrong with that) that I haven't devoted myself to getting faster and stronger. I can look at this now and say this is the case but at the time, I never thought it was a problem.

I left the stadium of Boulder and went to my car to get my coat; it had gotten pretty cold and there were a few sprinkles starting. I walked back to the expo for a bit and talked to a guy on 'Strands' for awhile; I had used this program to monitor Sarah's Eugene marathon but I really couldn't figure it out, though admittedly have not spent much time with it at all. It's funny that I have followers since I have not done a thing with it. But it looks like a really cool program and once I get it all figured out, would like to use it to link my workouts with those that are interested, along with my trainer. I headed back to my car; I didn't want to meet up with the guys and listen to their grand finish times and I didn't want to be social; I was actually kinda emotional about the whole experience. I'm certain Dennis will post on the prostate website and I'll read up about it there; there are several in the group that ran. I stopped at the grocery store in Longmount on the way home and got some chocolate milk and aimlessly wondered around awhile, not looking at anything at all other than deep in my own thoughts. I called my aunt when I downed my chocolate milk, she lives up North and so I thought I'd stop and see her. I haven't seen her since I returned from Boston so it was really nice to sit and talk for a couple hours about something other than Boulder.

When I returned home, it was close to 1:30 and I knew my friend, Jonathan just finished the LA marathon (9 days ago, he ran the Ogden marathon. Crazy, huh? :) ) so I ran a bubble bath and talked to him awhile. He told me all about his race and how it didn't pan out the way he hoped either and it felt so good to talk to someone about running right then and there who had just lived my experience. He actually pulled off to the side for awhile to talk to me, telling me how nice it was to talk to me because his family didn't truly understand his passion. I understood fully what he was telling me. My friends are super supportive of my running, telling me all the time that I am out there doing what so little can....I understand this, I do, but I also know what I'm capable of and it's all relative to the performance I know I can do. I could tell them I ran a 2:55 marathon or a 4:55 marathon and to them, it's just a number with no meaning associated with it; they are happy for me no matter what. It's only a few souls that fully understand. And that's perfectly okay but sometimes, you just need to talk to someone that knows. Jonathan is driving back to Utah tomorrow after his hard LA run today, I do not envy him :)

So out of the tub and doing some writing and the phone rings and it's Rob. It was good to hear his voice :). We talked briefly about what some of my problems in Boulder were also and we both concurred that it's just a matter of focus right now. I let too many constraints interfere with my "plan" and discussed getting together tomorrow to discuss what I need to do to regroup and reach my goals. He seems to think that it's going to be difficult for me to up my mileage, which I have been pretty adamant I do here soon, and do the leg strength training I need to get stronger. I know he knows what he's talking about but I seriously think that needs some serious negotiations because I know people that do both and I'm ready to get in there and prove it. I've approached the track coach at school, who's run an astonishing 10 Leadville 100-milers (in a row) and knows a thing or two about marathoning, and asked him if he could help give me some guidance, in particular, to watch me run. To run with me. Which has become increasingly important to me lately which Rob won't provide. Brian told me, " I feel that I can help you, as you are extremely intrinsically motivated, and I'd love to help guide that energy." This is very exciting news for me!!

Nothing like a bad run to put things in perspective and make you that much more motivated to persevere! I will; I am already eating better today :). And hey, my 49:22 time finished about 9th in my age group out of 452. Not bad, eh?

8 miles run (warm up was well over a mile and I ran to my car after. Hey, ever speck run counts!!)

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Bolder Boulder in 7 hours

I must keep this short; I need to get up 1n less than 5 hours and running in 7. Busy day!

I took my Garmin watch this morning and read the manual, watched some Youtube videos on the thing and started playing. Somehow, I got the thing in GPS mode and for the life of me couldn't get it it out. I have absolutely no idea what combination of buttons I pushed but I managed to get it back to the start screen about an hour later. I took it and ran up to the track so I could monitor it's pace along with it's distance. I learned I cannot run a 10:30 minute pace...which is what my Team Oregon Pacing book says I should for a long run. Probably that's my problem in not running strong in a marathon, I'm running my long run too fast. Anyway, I did get a lot of the very basics learned with my watch but I cannot figure out how to get splits per mile so I'm going to not use it tomorrow. Which is a bummer because I was really looking forward to it to keep my pace where it needs to be. Err. Hopefully I can play with it more this week and get some more kinks worked out.

Race details tomorrow!!

3 miles run

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Running Coach and Cupcakes

As promised, here's the much-talked-about-cupcakes-at-graduation-party picture. I did say they were colorful, right? They were a huge success, everyone commented about their originality. I sent the last friends in attendance home with 4 cupcakes, leaving 4 of these little pretties for me to devour at breakfast this morning. I have been on a sugar up and down all day (I hate that!!) indicative by taking 2 naps. Some of the excessive napping, I believe, also has to do with the conclusion of graduation festivities and the crazy past two weeks. I went to a couple graduation parties today and I did not, repeat did NOT, eat anything bad for me...I'm so sick of all the garbage I've consumed the past 3 days lingering inside me and I couldn't even look at the chocolate fountain at one party. Alright, I did look at it, it was gorgeous actually, but I did not indulge.
To keep in the lines of running, since this is mostly my running blog and I did not run today (there was no way...I was tired before I even crawled out of bed at 6am this morning; believe me, I tried and tried to go back to sleep - totally worthless) I will brag about my running coach certification that I finally received yesterday. Here's a snip-it of the email I received:
Dear Coach,First let me congratulate you on your coaching certification.Your information has been added to the online RRCA coaches database.
And here is the link to those (me!) that are certified in the state of Colorado:
(my zip code is incorrect and I want to add my blog and website...need to figure out how to do that). I am pretty so excited to know that there are only 9 of us and one is not even close to Denver, which surprises me beings we are such a running-friendly state, but that also means less competition if I choose to go after this whole running career path. Which, of course, has had me thinking a lot about it lately.....
I don't know exactly what doors this little title can fully open for me but I do know this: it has opened a couple doors already (was approached by someone online to do a little side coaching for them and approached by Dimity to do the interview for Woman's Health mag) and I want to take the time to really find out. I was on the treadmill the other day with Rob when he told me he had a new client approach him who was interested in track and field. He asked me if I was interested in being cc'd on his reply to them. Sure, I was excited, I really was, but I also had a moment of my busy life flash before me and wondered for a brief minute what I got myself into. I'm not a good person with the world of the "unknown," my life tends to run a little better when I'm not flying by the seat of my pants all the time. 3 busy kids means a lot of organization and I just function better if I am not trying to juggle multiple things all at once. Just my training alone takes up valuable time. I recently got an email from SBS stating she had to cancel book club in the middle of her marathon training because it could potentially be that proverbial straw on the camels back and asked me if I knew what she meant. Heck ya, I know what that means!! Some days during my training for Boston, I was on the treadmill at 10:30 pm for heaven's sake, just to get it in!
But I thought back to when I originally decided to pursue my running coach certification, when Dennis and I had been out for a long run one day and we were talking about running, of course. He said to me: wouldn't it be great if we could make a career out of the one thing we are most passionate about? Yes, it would! I'm smart enough to know that I do not have the credentials to make a "living" out of my running passion yet I know that I can make a career out of it if it's important enough to me. And I decided after I lifted weights that were well over my comfort zone, that I WILL go after this running thing ... even if I don't make a dime out of it, it's in my heart, I am grateful I have been given the ability to have a very fulfilling and rewarding running career, and I want to touch those that seek a little guidance with theirs. I've got a lot of selling of myself to do this summer!! I can't wait to brainstorm with my friends to find a way....and I have a few ideas brewing in my head....
Bolder Boulder on Monday. I woke-up today with a sense of dread (which has actually been accumulating over the course of the past week) as I was feeling the affects of too much graduation celebrations for the past few days and really did/do not want to spend the majority of my day off work sitting in Boulder Stadium all smelly. But as the day has progressed and I had two brief 20-ish minute naps, and actually ate something besides sugar today, I am feeling slightly better about it. Not sure I can produce a time even close to what I ran last year, but I will go and see what I can do. I'm going to do a little reading of my watch manual and see if I can run about 3 miles in the morning with it without it causing me a mental break-down.

Friday, May 22, 2009

I Got the Watch

I finally got my Garmin 405 yesterday and today was test #1 using it. I failed. Miserably. I got a few seconds demo from Rob yesterday but by the time I got home, I apparently "bumped" something and the screen was all different. I decided to just charge it overnight and hope the correct display would reappear in the morning. Not really. I'm going to have to spend some serious time on it this weekend and see if I can get it going before Bolder Boulder on Monday. If it's too difficult to figure out, I'm going to have to forgo it for the race; if I can't figure out my splits and take off too fast, then that's going to kill my race. I'm already having a lot of anxiety about this race anyway - I really don't want to do it that much because I killed it last year and I'm not feeling it that much this year. We'll see. Anyway, met Dennis at the park, which was really nice because he DOES have a watch that is operable and so he was able to get me going a little with mine. The plan was to run 1 slow to warm-up, 3 at Monday's race pace (7:45?) and then 1 slow to warm-down. First fast mile I must have looked at my watch about 10 times, trying to make sure my pace was within my range. I think so but when I hit what I thought was the stop button, I apparently didn't and so not really sure. Stop, reset and start over. Repeat yet one more time and decide I know nothing about my watch. I think I managed the pace I wanted to but didn't do it for three consistent miles - instead, it was one at time.

Wrapped up Abbey's graduation tonight with a little party at our house. Lots of people stopped by, it was very nice to see everyone and I'm telling ya, those cupcake she made were a big hit. If my camera weren't downstairs, I'd load the cupcake masterpiece and share...but I am very tired so will do that tomorrow instead. I am VERY glad all the graduation festivities are done and over (aside from a few parties I need to attend tomorrow, but that's nothing I have to do prepare .... my job is DONE! Yes!)....smooth sailing from now til end of school in two week. I am so tired right now; I've had a blast but ready to move on. Thanks to all those that attended and supported Abbey!!

I am super tired!!

5 miles run

Thursday, May 21, 2009

And She's Done!

Regis High School class of 2009 (157 girls)

I still remember her first day of kindergarten. We had just moved back to Colorado after a brief (too long) time in Alabama. I was pretty determined to make it back here when she started school and as luck had it, we were back just in time to start her academic career. I dropped her off at kindergarten one day, blinked, and there she was....walking across the podium getting her high school diploma from Regis Jesuit High School, a very prestigious college preparatory school. I thought I'd be an emotional mess, after all, I sobbed for 3 days straight with her 5th grade graduation, but amazingly I stayed dry yesterday. I'm ready for her to move on and enter her new challenges. My hopes are that she find her passion to drive her to her success and that she has the courage and wisdom to make the right choices. Congratulations, Abbey. You've done very well, I'm so proud of you!

I met with Rob tonight and he stretched my very tight legs and we did some weights. I got my watch back with a few minor instructions. Not was I was hoping but after tomorrow's graduation party, I should have more time to sit and figure the thing out. Maybe I'll hit up Dennis for a lengthy demonstration :). My legs actually felt pretty well today, surprisingly after yesterday's long run. I will take that as a good sign!!
Weights: 1

And we have our diploma!

Her and I (or I and her)

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

18 ... it's good to be back!

Only 200 gnat supplement, zero snakes, sorer than heck legs, one bothersome knee, humid conditions (for insulting emails from those Iowans back home where they truly know humidity :) ) and I cranked out 18 miles at the Reservoir today. Not the greatest run but I hung in there. Kept it very slow. I am tired!!!

Sat at graduation for 3 hours. Nice...but man-o-man, loooooong! I'll share some pictures tomorrow along with some sentiments. We got home really late, I'm dead tired, and I ran far in the heat today :).

18 miles run

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

A somewhat better day at the track

8x800's were on my plan. My legs are hurting. I did 6. At 3:28 average. The last I did at 3:22 I'll take it. I'll take them all, even the first where my legs and my lungs struggle to understand that they are running fast. For me, it generally takes two before I really feel decent.

I was pleased that I could breathe with today's intervals, unlike the last two track workouts. I vow to keep attempting them at the track vs. the treadmill because I never feel (good) the same running them at the track as I do the and I know the track does a little of the work for you. So I was pleased. But my legs are just stiff and sore. I'm not sure what from; the 5K on Sunday; the short run I did yesterday; both? My left quad is just exceptionally tight. I'd do about anything right now for a massage. I'd have finished the last 2 800's at the track if I weren't doing the Bolder Boulder on Monday. I think my legs are going to be trashed for that race and I am not going to do as well as I did last year. Last year I cranked 48 minutes but more importantly, I felt great and I keep my pace very consistent! This year I feel like a blob, and my legs are heavy; I don't think it will go as smoothly. I'm also placed in a fairly high wave (you are placed in a qualifying wave which is determined by some previously run race. I used the 5K I did back in March which put me in like the 4th or 5th wave. I am worried I am going to take off too fast....really, I shouldn't be in this wave - this is for the fast)! So with tomorrow's long run scheduled to go about 10 hours after these intervals, I cut the last two 800's out. I always like to see what I have left in me for the last interval and I was ever so happy when I felt better on the 6th interval than I had on the previous 5 and I managed to run a 3:22! Dennis met me for a couple of my 800's. We stretched a bit afterwards and talked a lot about the relay.

Graduation tomorrow night. If her and I don't kill one another before then. I'm not exactly certain what's going on....she's very moody! And still jobless. Some days, I just want to scream! Never-the-less, I'm very proud!

4 miles run

Monday, May 18, 2009

Week 20 Totals

Weeks 20 Totals
Week running mileage: 29
Total mileage for 2009: 640 miles
This week weight training: 1 1/2
Cross training: 0

We moved up the rankings

Thanks to Dennis being overly obsessive compulsive about our placement in the relay, he relentlessly spent hours, I'm assuming, today to figure out that our placement was 3rd overall and not 4th, as noted yesterday. Thanks, Dennis...I can now sleep better knowing I am truly blessed to have you on my relay, I will never have to do the investigating nor the math to figure out our placement :). Hey, all I am concerned about is that eventually someone will figure out that I actually DIDN'T run a 18:34 5K. Until then, I'm soaking it all up!

I was so tired at work at one point today, I seriously thought I was going to have to go home and take a nap. I didn't get much sleep last night (obviously!). I opted for a diet coke, instead, cuz I had a lot of work to do and really couldn't leave. I eventually did make it home from work and eventually did take a nap, albeit short.

Did some weights with Rob after learning that my body weight and body fat are way up. At least my body fat is. I so look forward to next week when all this insanity of graduation is over and I can get back into a serious routine!! Came home from lifting weights and ran about 4 miles. My left quad is sore from yesterday so sitting here rolling-pinning it out!

Allergies finally better...
Off to bed.

Weight training: 1
4 miles run

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Official Results

I really don't understand these results, and I don't understand the website with the results. Anyway, if these are correct, I ran about 18:34, or a 6 minute per mile 5K. Um, don't think so. Neil thinks he ran about 36, which would give me about a 23 minute 5K. I don't think that's correct either...

2nd place mixed open division, Bib # 1199, Name: Pick'd Pro's
Leg 1: Neil Robichaux (10K) 41:32
Leg 2: Jill Parker (5K) 1:00:05
Leg 3: Matt Mussetter (10K) 1:42:23
Leg 4: Alicia Caldwell (5K) 2:04:33
Leg 5: Dennis McConnel (12K) 1:55:17

Colfax Marathon Relay


Jill, Alicia, Dennis, Matt

It's beyond my scope of knowledge why these pictures come out really mangled on my blog; they don't look like this when I sit here and type this out. Oh well, I never claimed to be an expert at this blog thing. Anyway....
The relay went without any issues. Matt dropped me off about 8 blocks from the start of my exchange; he dropped me off on Speer and told me to run "that way" (pointing to my right) until I found my exchange point. That was my first real anxiety because after I ran a few blocks I wasn't seeing anything race-related and I thought maybe "that way" was to really to my left and I went the wrong way. I looked around and I saw no one. My heart started racing and all I could think of was that I had no way of letting anyone know I wouldn't be at my leg assignment and how was I going to explain that I got lost. I kept running and soon, I saw some orange cones and major relief set in! I figured I had about 25 minutes before Neil got there. Honestly, it was kinda disorganized (after yesterday, I had no doubt). There was this really wide street and yet the relay had this very narrow section to hand off. Well, as we were standing there, this lady announces that the relay exchange would take place on the sidewalk. What? It was so bizarre and before I could even figure out exactly what she was saying, here comes the first runner....and Neil is not too far behind. I think he was #4 or 5. Two of those in front of him were regular marathoners. I watched the guy just before Neil come in do his exchange and then he had to maneuver his way through the crowd and hop down to the street. I had to do the same...only I wasn't really prepared for this person to be Neil, cuz yeah, I've never met him and then all of a sudden, he was there. Neil took the ankle strap off and handed it to me and off I went. Maneuvering through all the people to get back down to the street.
Okay, so I'm like #5 on the course. I mean, me... ME....I'm like in 5th place. Right up there with the elite. It was totally one of those out-of-body experiences because I'm just running my heart out and all I could think of was how funny this whole picture was. People along the sides are looking at me like I'm some superb runner and I just wanted to shout, "No really, I'm just a poser. I'm on a relay and the guy that ran before me was incredible and gave me a huge lead." One guy passed me early on and then about 3 more later. I passed 1 guy.... but I am, by far, the only female for a long ways. Wow, what a rush! By the time I got to the exchange #3 where Matt was, I was dead and glad to be done. Matt grabbed the ankle strap off me and took off. I was so tired I didn't even watch him go.
If there is any place uglier than Colfax Ave in Denver, it may be hard to find it. I think when this marathon originated, it was a point-to-point marathon running the entire thing on Colfax. Which made it the longest marathon on one single street. I haven't heard enough about this race to know why that has changed but all I can think of is how it probably was a mess getting people bussed back to the start, and how ugly the course is. Matt said he had homeless people clapping for him. That should give you an indication how "scenic" parts of Colfax are.
I sat on the curb waiting for Matt to return to our exchange point and watched the runners come through. Wow, there were some seriously hurting people that were running the marathon, and we're talking mile 9.3 so they were definitely going to struggle by the end. I'm not sure there's much you could give me to run this as a whole marathon. Yuck. Just before Matt arrived, the course turns back and the front runners are now running back on the same street. I had no idea but it was kinda cool because I got to see Alicia run and I yelled for her as she passed another woman (turns out, this was an all female group and they actually beat us...the final woman passing Dennis. Incredible). About this time, there were about 6 relay people in front of her. Matt found me shortly after and we headed to the finish area at City Park and were only there about 5 minutes before we saw Dennis coming around the corner. Matt met up with him and ran the final quarter mile to bring us all in at 2:55.
I keep trying to see if any results are posted for the relay but so far, nothing yet. Matt thinks he counted 3 relay teams before us and also thinks that we got 2nd for the 'open mixed' division. That's cool!! Way to go Pick'd Pro's!!!
We never did meet up with Neil at the end, he ended up running about 14 miles total hopping from one exchange to another and catching a ride with someone before meeting up with Alicia. So his picture at the top is not with the rest of our group. He was a last minute replacement so it's about as good as we could do.
Somewhere along Colfax Ave, I was assaulted with some sort of weed or pollen or whatever because my allergies went on a rampage and have really barley stopped. I don't think I've had a worse day - ever! Of course it was all exacerbated by the fact I spent like 2 hours doing yard work....but at least the leaves are gone. I just feel awful!!!
I have a crazy week with Abbey's graduation on Wednesday and her graduation party on Friday. Still cannot believe she is done *sigh*.
I need to start picking up my mileage!!!!!
3 1/2 miles run.

Saturday, May 16, 2009

The Yellow Bib

Yep, I missed blogging yesterday (and my b letter on my keyboard is sticking so if I have some odd words here, look to see if b belongs there...I have to bang the crap outta the b for it to work. Err). I didn't do anything exercise-wise, other than attend the lamest-of-lame expos for the marathon relay I am doing tomorrow. Sad! The shirt is even sadder. I'm one glad girl I'm not running the full marathon - the course is awful, the support's going to be pathetic, the weather's going to be hot, and we get lame shirts. No wonder Denver has a hard time getting a quality marathon going. Anyway, I met Dennis after work at the expo to get our race numbers. What a chaotic mess. I mean seriously, you'd think each leg would have the same colored bib (that was a tough word to get out...two b's). Dennis has been at the expo earlier in the day when he was out running and stopped by. They told him then that the color of the bib didn't matter. Confused, Dennis went and asked the race director; sure enough, no coordination of color to leg #. Which is totally nuts! By the time I got there later that evening, they had since decided that the color would match the leg (how many bibs went out earlier with no coordination is beyond any one's guess). I got yellow for leg #2. We walked around the expo for a mere 10 minutes, cuz that's was required to view it all, and as we were about to leave, I told Dennis that something wasn't sitting right with the colors and I wondered if those prior to me picking up their bibs had the wrong colors (all were previously picked up except for Alicia's). I went back to the check in area and asked someone that quasi looked like they might know what they was doing and asked what color each leg was. He has no idea. No surprise. Asked another woman with a little bit more authority with this race thing and she rambled off the colors. Yellow is suppose to be leg 1. I have yellow and I'm leg 2. Dennis tried to call Matt to see what color had but couldn't reach him. This color-knowledgeable woman now changes her tone and tells us that it really don't matter at all, as long as we all had the same number and got the leg chip from one runner to the next (this transfer of device is causing me a lot of anxiety!!). Well, all we can do is see!!

I had 13 miles to run on my plan, a quest I had actually requested myself. Yet as the days progressed and my manic schedule was not letting up, I knew that 13 was going to be drastically reduced. By the time Friday rolled around, it wasn't going to happen. I didn't even find it worth the effort to go run 4, which was about all I had time for.

Today, though, with a total rest day on my plan, I hopped over to the gym and did some weights and ran about 2 1/2 miles - just something to get the stiffness out of my legs. Get them ready for tomorrow's 4:40 wake-up call so that Mr. I-have-to-be-at-every-race-an-hour-earlier-than-needed is going to pick me up at 5:15. He's dropping me off at Matt's and, whenever Matt wakes up (doubtful he'll be up at 5:45 since he told Dennis to drop me off at 6:00), he's is taking me to my leg. I've never done a relay before. I've run countless marathons where there are relays mixed in but I'll be honest here, I have never paid attention to the transformation from one runner to the next....and I'm a wee-bit nervous how it all works. I guess if Dennis didn't have such high expectations set I could just be my normal, relaxed self (hahahah). My leg is #2, as stated above. As of Friday, we have a new teammate: Neil. Neil is the fiance of Sharon, who was initially leg #1. I don't know Neil, never met him. Have no idea what he looks like but he did tell me he'd have black shorts and a black shirt on. Hum. The saving grace here is that Neil runs an astonishing kick-ass 35ish 10K so most likely, he'll be one of the front runners. Unless Denver managed to recruit some elite marathoners, which is highly doubtful, he should be in the top 10 crossing, I'd suspect. Our plan is for the guy coming in to stick his foot out and the hand-off person to peel off the timing chip that is velcro'd around the ankle of the one that just ran. I think Dennis has given us about 3 seconds total in transition from one runner to the next. Yeah, okay. So now I'm off on my 3 miles uphill. The 5K's gotta be the worst race ever let's run 2 of those 3 miles uphill and see if Jill can gage on a lung. The 5K just hurts...plain and simply hurts!!!! My lungs really sting afterwards and I am coughing up a storm for hours after. Anyway, back to the strategy. I run to leg 3 where I will hand-off to Matt. I've met Matt a couple times and I'll see him in the morning so at least I'll know what he's wearing. But our now large lead is going to be greatly reduced due to my lung-sucking attempt to run 3 miles uphill. I'm afraid more than anything else, that I'm going to miss the hand-off area. I mean, how many times have I run past them in marathons past and not given them one iota of notice? What happens if I run past it? I'm going to have total panic about this. I am going to have to constantly think about mile 9.3 is where my exchange is. 9.3, NOT 3.1. So now Matt's going to have more of a challenge because I'm going to lose some time with my leg and more people will be coming through. Hopefully he can make up some time! So I will wait at the exchange point until Matt is done with his leg and he will jog back and pick me up and we'll drive to the finish area and find Dennis, who is running the last leg. Alicia is leg 4, she is fast, and she's only doing a 5K (somehow, she got the downhill leg. Dennis already got an earful on need to say more. Other than, don't forget that I never forget, Dennis) so there's no way we'll end up seeing her run.

So there ya go, that's tomorrow's relay in a nutshell. Jealous you aren't getting up at 4:40 to do this?
Two low-points of my day: 1) while at the gym, I managed to pull my calf muscle doing some exercise. Major ouch! I stretched it most of the day when I could and I'm certain it's going to be fine, but wow...owie. It was just a matter of time; it's been on the cusp of popping and I'm just grateful it wasn't in Boston. Hopefully it's not serious; I need to get my rolly-pin out and give it a good 3 minute massage before I head to bed. 2) I spent $30 on Red and White M&M's (Abbey's school colors) for graduation. Don't even ask. Had I not pre-mixed them before I paid for them, I'd never have bought them.
I finally got all my flowers planted; took most of the afternoon. I got nothing done indoors, but my front yard is starting to look good.
Okay, so it's 10:30 and I have yet to get my stuff together for the race off I go. Can't wait to tell ya all about it!
A huge congrats to Jonathan, who just ran the Ogden Marathon today in an incredible 3:32:16. A minute and some change off of BQing but I am super excited; he hadn't slept well all week and was only predicting a 3:41. I know he'll make in this year, I feel it! Btw, he's running LA Marathon in a mere 9 days. I'd still on the couch 9 days after my marathons :/
Weights: 1
run: 2 1/2 miles

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Goodybye Smoky Hill Class of 2009

A pretty emotional day as I bid farewell to the Smoky Hill H.S. graduating class of 2009. An exit assembly this afternoon with pictures of the student from toddler to senior. And later the staff forming a gauntlet down the hall, clapping as the seniors exited the building. This group of student graduating especially hit me hard; I've known many of them since kindergarten as my daughter is a senior as well (though at a private, Catholic school) and have watched them grow up for all these years. Today was bitter-sweet but I wish you all well. I've had some amazing students enter my life; I will forever be touched. And a huge congratulations to Chase Cooper, who won Cherry Creek school district athlete of the year for pole vaulting. He'll be attending the Air Force Academy starting this June. I remember when he came to Abbey's birthday party in 1st grade. as not to calm the craziness in my life, God forbid, I rushed home after the assembly today and gathered what I could to go run then do weights. By the time I finally got out the door, it was 4:15 and still very warm. I made a loop around the creek, noticing how fast it is flowing - indicative that it's spring. The amazing thing, though, is that on the east side of the creek, the water is starting to negotiate a new path. The water is splitting into two in many place. Along the west side of the creek, the gnats were swarming and I know I inhaled about 400. I hate these guys! I also saw my first snake of the season, and almost stepped on it. They are out sunning themselves already. Ick. I didn't feel that great but I keep on my slow pace til I finished my 5 miles. When I got to the car, I was sporting a major headache, which has been the case for the past several days, and I was not going to go to the gym to workout. I ran to the grocery store quickly and then got home and did a few weights on my own here. Not as much as I wanted but some was better than none. I had to finish up the interview/writing for Dimity and I had to finish my newsletter for Rob. Two big deadlines and I was scrambling to get 'em done! I just got an email from Rob stating that my article probably isn't making the deadline. Err.

I'm so tied I'm about ready to pass out!

Tomorrow I am going for a medium run then heading downtown to pick up my race packet for the relay. Dennis has now given me 24 minutes to do my relay exchange. Given it's going to be some time to actually DO the exchange, this is probably still a little fast for me. We'll see. Sharon, who was handing off to me, is now being replaced by her fiance, Neil, due to injury....I now get to don my same anxiety, only it's who the heck Neil is vs. Sharon. Hoping that cuz Neil runs an insanely fast 10K, he'll be one of the front runners and I'll easily spot him up front. Yeah, okay Jill...keep thinking that. Never mind how you're going to find Matt. One at a time. Who's idea was this relay, Dennis? Oh yeah....

5 miles run

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Is the Grass Greener

I had one of those days that never seemed to stop; I was constantly busy from the minute I woke up ... and I still am not done. I told DMD that I would get my questions for the magazine and haven't done that yet so my night is still going....

I sat here typing away tonight and frantically trying to get stuff done. It was 9:00 and I had not run yet. My head was killing me and I still had a lot to do and thought I was just going to have to blow it off. But I was drawing a blank with my writing and I realized I had to go for a run. Sometimes, all I need to do is go for a run and tonight was one. When I think I have no time to get out there, or that taking time to run could be the most selfish thing to do in that moment, my feet start slapping and I remember once again, just like always, that there is nothing selfish running. It's one thing that allows me to be everything I need to be for everyone else and not resent it. With so many time constraints and limits and rules and routines in the hectic pace of daily life, we need another place where we set our own pace, even if it's just for 4 miles.

4 miles at 8:41 on the treadmill was the best antidote ever! Not the 7 on my plan (got it today!) but the 4 I did cleared clutter out of my head and lifted the ache it was previously carrying. I came upstairs from the basement, made lunches, cracked out some laundry and back to my writing feeling fresh and revived. It was the best 4 miles I've had in a long time!!!! Sometimes, the grass IS greener....

4 miles run

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Massive wind at the track

An attempt to run a timed mile didn't go so well; the wind was horrible and I just struggled. Dennis took off work early because Rob was going to meet us (but later couldn't) so he could pace me (thanks, Dennis) but the wind just got the best of me and as hard as I tried, I couldn't get the pace I was hoping for. No need to really share the time, I plan to redo it...but suffice it to say, if I look at my Team Oregon Pace Tables, I should be able to run a 3:36 marathon. Interesting, since I truly think I am capable of running a 6:35 mile and that would put me at a 3:27 marathon. Hahahaha....that's kinda funny. That's not gonna happen. Anyway, the wind and the fact it was 86 degrees didn't give me the greatest mile time today but all in all, it wasn't too bad considering.

I came home from the wind and made dinner for the kids and then hit the treadmill for 3 more interval miles. 6:53 pace. No sense in venturing back out in the wind. They were hard but I held strong and finished them. My allergies are really bad again tonight; I should have taken my allergy medicine before I hit the track because as soon as I returned home, I had a sneezing attack and now my nose is a faucet. ugh. Hopefully this medicine will kick in soon!

Watching The Biggest Loser.....rooting for Mike but looks like it's Helen. She looks amazing for 48. Doubt she can maintain that 117 lbs weight for long. A day maybe?

Time to go write.

5 miles run

Monday, May 11, 2009

Let's call it 5

I am so overwhelmed with life right now so this is going to have to be short. Graduation (party) is enough to consume every ounce of you. I have writing projects closing in on me and one with only one sentence (albeit a good one :) ). And I was asked to do an interview for a piece on running for Women's Health Magazine. I am stoked about that!!!! But busy, busy, busy. I also need to get with Elaine, as I am working with her on some running and she's not feeling well. My heart goes out to her, I know she is suffering. But all said, I did manage to go out for a run of about 5. I'm certain it wasn't 5; my legs were stiff from Saturday's run, so I walked a little here and there....pretending that I had to look at my iPod or something for a minor distraction from running :). But in the end, the distance I covered was 5 and walked.

Sorta heard from Rob today, long story. Long email. On my end, not his. Go figure. He has flu-like symptoms so wasn't able to meet him tonight (thank you!!!). I was relieved; I had way too much to do and really was only going to stress if I had to squish in weights. Anyway, we may go to the track tomorrow and I may finally do my timed 1-mile. I want to get a gauge where I can run a mile at the beginning of my so-called "metamorphosis" and see if any progress is made over the summer before I do the big fall marathon. I just want to see where my speed fitness level is. But tomorrow is suppose to be in the mid-80's so yeah, yuck. Not ideal for a time trial. But is there ever an ideal time? At one time a few weeks ago I was hoping I can run about a 6:35 but now I'm not so sure. Not after last week's disaster at the track trying to run a 7:00. But the plus side is that this medication I'm currently on for my sinuses seems to be working a little better than the last. So maybe I can actually breathe tomorrow.

Dennis got into the St. George lottery so looks like he'll be running it this fall, he's trying to get to Boston. He's putting a lot of pressure on me to perform my leg well at the relay this weekend. Told me I'd let the team down if I run over 23:30 for my 5K. Maybe ....if I didn't have the most difficult hills section!!!!!! I wonder how much time it's going to take to hand off the leg baton....that's gotta take some time, especially since I don't KNOW what my hand-off person looks!

5 miles run

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Week 19 Totals

Weeks 19 Totals
Week running mileage: 29
Total mileage for 2009: 611 miles
This week weight training: 2
Cross training: 1 bike

Crappy attitude: 1
Followed by a better attitude: 1
Sucked up a lung attempting to run intervals: 1

Happy Mother's Day

To all the moms out there, I hope your day was filled with joy!

Here's my day, in a quick nut-shell:

Woke up to rain. Lots of it. It rarely rains in Denver but for the past, oh, several weekends, it has. Today was no exception. I quasi thought about going for a 4 mile jaunt around the neighborhood to shake out the stiffness in my legs from yesterday's run. I had no desire to get wet so quickly vetoed that. So I pondered the pool. No, I still didn't want to get wet. So I did no physical exercise, except later when I went for a walk with Abbey for a bit (more on that in a minute).

I have a lot of writing to do this week. A lot. Plus, I was asked to do an interview by a woman that is writing an article for Women's Heath Magazine. I am in awe that she has asked ME!!! So I did a lot of "work" related stuff in the morning.

I was given a box of chocolate from my family. Bless them. I ate almost the entire box. And I'm not kidding. An afternoon hike was out, due to rain, so we instead opted to go downtown and eat Pizza at my favorite restaurant: Wazee. So now I've consumed an entire box of chocolate and ate 1 1/2 pieces of greasy pizza. I did have a spinach salad with my pizza though. And a beer. Yum. Decided on the way home to stop at Bonnie Brae and get ice cream (they make their own - it's awesome). Abbey didn't want any and decided, instead, to sit in the car and listen to the radio. So now I've consumed an entire box of chocolate, too much pizza and a scoop of pistachio ice cream (bless Mother's Day!). Walk back to the car from getting ice cream and it won't start. Battery dead. Called Triple A. Gonna be a bit before they can get Abbey and I go for a walk around Washington Park; a beautiful area of older brick Tudor-style homes lined with big ol' trees. Also a very pricy area (one must pay for beauty ... and to not live in the suburbs. I long to live there someday when my kids are not in need of good schools). There was my exercise for the day; I secretly hoped that I burned off about half of the calories I just consumed with my ice cream. But I doubt it. After AAA arrived and got me going, I get home and the circuit breaker in my bathroom won't stay off and thus, all the "things" connected with that breaker are not working, including my refrigerator in the garage. It's apparently been like this all day cuz things are beginning to thaw. Attempt to do what I can, which isn't much except call out a few expletives, then finally thought of a friend who's husband is an electrician. Call him and finally figured out that it is actually a problem with the rain: all the rain has shorted out the pathway lights I have outside. So unplug those and wha-la, all is well again in electricity-land at the Parker house.

And how do you end one of the best rain-soaked, memory-filled Mother's Day? Well, with a large piece of cake, of course!!

Saturday, May 9, 2009

Am I conditioned to run long?

Today was sunny but cooler than past days this week as I started out at the park for my long run - which was great! I needed a good, strong, long run today. I think I got it.

I also think that 15 really took a lot of out of me today; more than usual for 15. That's okay...cuz I still love the long run. Over any other run. My friend, Barb, just cracks me up. I posted on FB that I ran 15 today. She writes back that she can't believe I ran that far and thinks maybe she walked about that in a week's span. She asked me if when I run 15 miles do I have time for anything else? Or . . . am I so conditioned that those 15 miles is like walking up one flight of stairs for her. I thought about this most of the day. It's not like 15 miles, 26 miles or anything in between is's just that it's real. It's as much a part of me as brushing my teeth...or walking up those stairs. I can't quit. At least not yet. I love how I am able to have the time to myself and my mind, to think about things that I cannot think about any other time in my busy life, to de-clutter the cobwebs that form throughout the day, think about past memories....and the list goes on. I feel so whole when I return from a long run, it transcends me into a better person. Yes, I am conditioned to it, Barb, but not because it's easy....I felt almost every step of my long run today: my quads were tight from Thursday's workout; the left ball of my foot was developing a blister (which I have to say, prior to these "new" shoes, I can't recall EVER getting one aside from Pikes Peak last year when I ran for 5 hours in wet shoes and socks. I mean, there was a reason for that one to develop); I had stomach cramps; and I was just plain tired at the end. And a little more tired than normal throughout the, I'm conditioned to it because despite the aches and pains and fatigue, I love it and would miss it like the death of a loved one. To me, there is nothing more whole than accomplishing the long run.

Though probably only about 60 degrees, I managed to get a little sunburn on my shoulders and back. Welcome, Spring!! I'm looking forward to getting this pasty-white skin in hibernation for awhile.

Upon my return from my run, I took an ice bath. My quads were screaming for it and now that winter is behind us (hopefully), I could ease my legs into the cold water better than I have been able to for the past 5 months. Felt great!

15 miles run

Friday, May 8, 2009

Favorable Friday

Feeling much better today:

Left work about an hour early.

Dennis has reclassified my "sucky" leg assignment in next week's marathon relay to "challenging" (he knows I like a challenge). Still no word on a group meeting to identify my hand-off teammates....I suggested a group packet pickup and pre-race carbo loading beer. No confirmation on that.

My knee is not hurting today. Though I was suppose to run 5 slow miles, I did not. I took the day off and I feel good about that decision.

I didn't eat great, but better than previous days this week.

Ran into an amazing athlete and neighbor, Carol, at the dry cleaners today. I haven't seen her in ages and love her incredible athleticism. She's doing a half Ironman triathlon in July. I'm in awe!

Was asked by dmd if I would do an interview for her for an article for Woman's Health magazine. What... are you kidding me? Of course!!

Used a $100 coupon on a new purple patent leather Coach purse. SCORE!

Thinking of catering Yolanda's Tacos for Abbey's graduation. LOVE that place! At least a "thought" is further progress than we were yesterday with nothing.

Had two beers tonight with good friends.

Enjoying the house to myself and getting some writing done tonight. And some laundry.

My defaced FB "friend" emailed me today.

My yard's currently getting some good hydration.

I think I'm going to sleep more than 4 hours tonight.

Bought some tomato plants.

Learned I will wake up in the morning after taking 1 1/2 antihistamines before I go to sleep.

Feeling slightly better about registering for the Portland Marathon.

My favorite color is still pink (always). But I'm kinda liking the violet world.

Still feeling Boston!

I had a better hair day.

Feeling good about my long run tomorrow; will try for 15.

Thinking I may go to bed at 10:45 on a Friday night!!

All yesterday's issues addressed? Well, no word from Rob S. but that's par for the course, but I think I've made progress on most other matters. TGIF!

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Many Ouches

I'm not sure if my bike ride yesterday (without my helmet...I know, Meg :) ) is the culprit but my left knee really hurt bad today working out. I couldn't even do a very simple 5 minute run. I think I did some good weight training but my knee was hurting pretty bad for whatever leg stuff I was doing. When I went to run after my weight training, I couldn't even run a simple 10 minute hurt so much. So I'm sitting here icing, like I promised I'd do. Rob mentioned patellar tendonosis and I had an internal panic attack. That's what Steve has...and has to have surgery to "clean it all up" and take two months off from running after. Um....I don't think so!

It's always interesting to me how one thing, one little minor thing, can change your whole disposition and make everything else change with it. If you allow it to, which most days I can shoo it away but today I couldn't.

I'm not sure what to do about the Portland Marathon. Early registration goes on only through next week so I need to decide (if I want to save a few $$). I wish Rob S. would sit and talk to me about it but I've expressed a few concerns and he doesn't seem to want to address them. Nor a few other questions I've asked that never got answered this week. I really have pulled away from my "constant questioning" that I've been accused of in the not sure why a few measly questions and one head-spinning Portland Marathon mind can't be laid to rest by talking to me. Nope, in and out in less than a hour!!! No talking required, just lift the weights and do what you're told .... until next time. Repeat.

I'm not sure if I can bike across Iowa this summer with my knee. It was feeling so well up until yesterday. Not a major defeat if not...but I'd certainly like to if I can. Meg, wanna do the BIX? My treat!!! :) We'll stay with Karen and head over to Kathie's bar the night before, should make for a great run the next day!

Abbey's last full day of school is tomorrow. Next week she has finals and then she's done! It's so surreal to think that she'll be graduating in a few days. Wow. Reality is setting in. (btw, she still has over $60 bucks on her lunch card ... I put $100 on it 3 years ago and she's used $40 in 3 years. And probably $20 0f that is from the past week. So I guess we're donating some cash to Regis H.S.).

I'm not sure what to do for food for Abbey's graduation party. I know we're making cupcake - she's actually pretty adamant that she make them herself. Bought banana cupcake mix today at William's Sonoma. Don't even ask how much the mix was WS after all! We need to find a cake decorating place to figure out what to put on top of these things she's making....but I'm thinking these blueberries look nice :). Not sure about other food...but by golly, we'll have cupcakes!

My hair's driving me crazy. I think this 'Locks For Love' thing is not going to work. We'll see. Maybe Becky can do something with it next week when I see her. I love it long...but it's soooo dry!

I think someone defaced me in FB. Or he removed himself totally. Not sure.

I can't stop eating. And I don't really seem to care. Or know what to do, more likely.

I am so overly tired!

I hate how crazy May is.

My head hurts.

I can't breathe.

I need to run a timed mile. Allergies and all other ailments.

I want to wear my new watch but I don't have it yet.

Dennis stuck me in the crappy leg for the relay next weekend. JK. Sorta. :). Um, Dennis, will I know who Sharon is when she hands the leg strap thingy to me? And Matt...I've met him like twice about a year ago. You'd better account several additional minutes to the relay for "guessing" who our teammates are in hand-offs. Will we all have matching prostate shirts? Can mine be pink?

I'm really a pretty likable person, I promise!

Wow, how's that for an uplifting and energizing blog! I'm not broken, Rob K., just filled with uncertainty right now in my directions.

On a good note, Abbey's in a great mood lately. End of high school and onto DU can do that to a girl, I guess. Well, once we start summer job searching, I'm certain all glee-ness in her will leave.

And the Clawson's want to take me out for Martinis for Boston celebration. I'm game. Let me get through this graduation thing first, guys!

It's been warm here in the mile high city....I was roasting last night. Time for the windows to pop open....

Looking forward to tomorrow!

Weight training: 1
Failed attempt to run: 1
Crappy attitude: 1
Zero willpower to stop eating crap food: 1

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

8 run.....13 on bike

Me on my bike, a rarity. Taken with my cell phone, which has a horrible glare on it and you have to "guess" when you take a picture to see if subject is really in there. So Becky had no idea her finger was in the viewfinder, it was an "aim and see if you get lucky" picture. She did pretty good :).

Though not on my "plan" my friend and woman that cuts and highlights my hair, Becky, had a free afternoon and asked if I wanted to ride bikes around the "pond" (as she calls's the reservoir at Cherry Creek State Park near my house) today. She's an incredible cyclist whom I've admired for years....from the side, never partaking in a any sort of cycling adventure with her. I mean, I don't bike. I own some bike shorts and go to cycling class when I can but when I venture out on my bike, it's usually at a snail's pace with my kids or on my own (though as the boys are getting older and stronger, they can do most any sport now much better than me....except for the marathon :) ). So I forewarned her that I would be slow...especially since I needed to get my 8-mile tempo run in first. A must do. Biking was secondary. She understood. But I was still skeptical, she owns a super nice bike. I had to ride my mt. bike. It's a great bike, I paid a small fortune for it some odd-years ago, but it's not light and it's not meant to ride on the streets of the park. But ride I went.

My 8-mile tempo was tough; my quads were tight from yesterday's failure at intervals and it was hot. I am not acclimated to running in warm temps yet so it was a challenge but I loved running on the trails with the sun warming my body; it's been a long time waiting! It felt great to get a little sun and vitamin D on my skin; I can even see the beginning signs of my watch tan of those 'medal of honor' signs that I like to look at deep into the middle of the summer. It's one of those signs of the sacrifices that I have made with my running.

After I got back to my car from my dusty trail run at the park, I was tired but Becky was right on time and waiting at my car. I ran into the pediatrician's office right there where I parked and changed into my bike shorts, had some intestinal problems to take care of (sorry, had to share), and then off on bike. She was good and stayed with me most of the time, but on some of the downhills, I let her take off and man...she is fast! For some odd reason, there was a bike race going on in the park and there were lots of really REALLY fast cyclists out there and we were in the middle of them many times. You know, those guys that wear those aerodynamic helmets and have a solid rear wheel!! Yep, they were surrounding us. I have no idea why there was a bike race on a Wednesday afternoon at the park, but there was! So when all was said and done, Becky told me that I rode well (uh...not sure what she was comparing me to cuz I was really struggling at points, but thanks....I'll take the compliment- any bike compliment) and that we averaged about 13 mph and rode about 13 miles. Not speedy but if you take into account the times we had to slow way down for the racers, it wasn't bad. My left knee bothered me a lot and I made sure to ice it when I got home. Feels better now.

I came home and just crashed, I was dead, and I was so light-headed. I had to down a Diet Coke, which I really have done a good job of giving up but somehow got back into my diet since Boston. I like to treat myself to one after a good, hard, long run as it just goes down so well...but I seem to not have weened myself off of it since Boston and today I just craved it so bad! I was almost in sleep-mode when Abbey came running in my room stating she HAD to go to Target to get some "stuff." I guess I sort of promised yesterday that we'd go today when she wanted to go and I was too tired to. So went I did. I was so light-headed and having a splitting headache when I got there but we had a great time at Target, laughing at all these cards and looking for things she may need in college. We didn't buy much but we did have fun. Then we got sandwiches on the way home and I think I inhaled mine in less than a minute!! I didn't even care that it was bread and I don't eat bread. Very often.

So a good day for lot of exercise. Tomorrow is weight training and a very short 5 minute run. I'm glad to have the day off of hard running!!!

8 miles run
cross train: 13 mile bike

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

An Emotional 13 hour Marathon

Okay, so I was at the track tonight failing miserably at my measly 6x1200's at what would normally be a manageable, albiet speedy, pace (nope, not tonight) when I got a text message from my friend, Karen (Boston cheerleader) that she was in her car listening to The Biggest Loser on her radio and the final 4 contestants were going to run a marathon. Huh? I was sitting there on the bleachers gaging on what little air I could take in after doing a whole 2.25 miles, making Karen promise she'd make sure I was buried in my favorite new purple and pink running shorts, and there's these 4 people that just a few weeks ago, all weighted well over 100 lbs more than they do now...and they are going to run a marathon?? I hopped in my car, ran to the grocery store, came home, and hit the treadmill for the final 3x12's and turned on The Loser for a little inspiration. Never mind I just finished Boston in a reputable time, a fact that Maureen Roben, a local track coach who has run an amazing 4 Olympic marathon trials and has helped me with some of my training, told me today: Think of all the runners who dream of running Boston and know it will never be a reality! You are in an elite group (Thanks, Maureen...that made me choke up)! That didn't matter at the track when I couldn't run 3 measly laps at a pace that was really not that difficult - I needed inspiration and I was going to get it from 4 people who never in their lives have run 3 miles let alone 26.2.

I don't know if it was the fact that I could actually perform my 1200's on my treadmill with both lungs operating at about 80% (vs about 3% at the track) that was causing my eyes to blurr....but most likely, it was seeing the last guy, Ron, cross the finish line in 13 hours and some change. Everyone was crying for his victory ... including me. He persevered what only a few months ago was impossible when he weighed 141 lbs more. Yes, most anyone could go out there and walk 26 miles in less than 13 hours but I had such great admiration for his determination to fight his knee pain, overcome his obstacles, and never give up! To me, that's a true hero!!!! I even bumped up my last 1200 to a 6:53 pace just to pay tribute to those 4 marathoners today on TBL (BTW, I believe the first place chick never once walked and crossed in 4:48. Incredible...she, too, never ran more than a few miles in her life). I felt great!

I'm not exactly sure what's going on with my lungs but I'm almost certain some of it, if not all, is allergy related. I am just suffering big time. The reason why there was an intermission to grocery store between track and treadmill intervals is because I needed to go talk to a pharmacist and see what they recommended to clear out this crud in my sinuses. I am so drugged up right now and I know this is effecting my ability to breathe and run efficiently. So I got some things to try - things I've tried in the past but willing to try again. I think I'm close to calling an allergist ... and since my insurance won't pay for it, that indicates to you how bad I am hurting and want this fixed!

My new shoes that I loved on my long run Saturday are too big. Errr. My heels are also hurting some. I need to call the shoe place and get this shoe thing fixed. Again.

Tomorrow I am going to do my darnest to get out of work by 2:30, hit the CC trails for an 8 mile run, then meet up with Becky for a spin around the reservoir on our bikes. Becky's an awesome cyclist (she does my hair... the one that laughs every time I come in and tell her how this Locks for Love thing I'm attempting to do is driving me crazy) and offered to go with me for a little ride on the bike. I'm going to close and make sure that I have air in my tires.

7 miles run