Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Little Adventures

I feel like it's been forever and a day since I last wrote....end of the school year activities have left me a little manic. The end of may is like some whirlwind time-warp, I lay down each night and wonder how the heck we crammed it all in: senior graduation, band concerts, choir concerts, college daughter moving back home (ok, granted she is only 20 minutes away...still, it's time consuming), job hunting, running, wt training....

Sunday I had the pleasure of meeting Katheen and Steve from Happy Trails, for a little quasi-trail running in Waterton Canyon - yay!! I say "quasi" because it's not really a trail, as in a single-trek-roots-and-rocks-poking-everywhere-so-you-can-trip-over-them-and-twist-an-ankle trail, this was just a hard-pack wide dirt trail with some pea-gravel thrown on there for safe measure. Still, better than hard asphalt pavement. But the scenery is absolutely stunning!!
I don't venture up this trail much in the summer as the angle of the sun hits this canyon so there isn't much shade (unlike now where you do get a little reprieve ... but not much). There are plenty of restrooms, thankfully, but there is no drinkable water and 12 miles in the heat of the summer up this thing is pretty miserable. You can go further past the usual 12 I run, on part of the Colorado Trail, where the section is actually more real "trail"; but it's steep and I'm whiney so I just top Waterton running at 12 miles usually.

Kathleen and I ran the majority of the 12 together - look how totally in unison our placement of arms, legs and even feet are!!! Perfectly synchronized!! I don't think we could replicate that again if we practiced it for a year! Here's a full shot of us running the canyon so you can drool a little....

And a close-up so you can really tell we ARE two peas in a pod! I promise, we did not pose for that shot at all!

Steve wasn't able to run with us due to a little injury so he mt. biked the canyon and went a little further up the single-trek trail. He got a picture of the notorious big horns that fill the canyon:

Though the view was amazing and the company awesome, I was dying running - I was struggling for air. I was really getting frustrated with this whole lack of ability to run, which has been the case for months now. But to back up a couple days, I woke up Thursday with a headache that'd been brewing for a few days to where my head was about to explode. Come Friday, I couldn't breathe and I threw in the towel and headed to the doctor for some drugs, certain I had yet another sinus infection. Nope. He told me that allergy season is just over-the-top intense right now, worse than Colorado's ever seen, and what I needed was an oral steroid to get rid of the crud sitting in my sinuses causing all the inflammation. ACK!! I was afraid; I heard a lot of whacked-out side effects. But I was desperate so I dove in and by Friday night, I was seriously nauseous and light-headed. I consumed almost an entire box of Cheerios to combat the feeling, which sightly helped, and added some unwanted poundage. UGH. Just what I DIDN'T need! Saturday I woke up feeling slightly better and decided I'd go to Athletic Training class (you know, the one that NDS teaches, the one that almost deprives me of my existence me each week). Thankfully, class wasn't as much cardio as it was muscular strength. Don't get me wrong, class was still a killer (60 30M sprints with about 2 seconds in between each. And that's no joke!! Along with major core stuff, inch worms, pushups, and drills) but I wasn't using my inflammed lungs as much as my muscles. With the crazy steroid now in my blood system, I was really struggling by the end - my stomach was doing somersaults. When Sunday came to run the canyon, I felt a little better but going up the first 6 miles was just not making my body happy and once we turned to come back down the canyon, I was really light-headed again. My friend, Dennis, had come out to run the canyon, too, and the speedster he is, he was done well ahead of us (me! I was totally holding Kathleen back!). He started running back up the canyon to find me and ran the last mile I had left with me and helped drag my sorry butt back to the car. It was really nice talking to him again and catching up some, it's been a long time.

I was frustrated at first, there's no other word for it. My running's been in a total rut since well, eternity, and this sinus stuff was exacerbating the whole situation. Kathleen was really sweet and filled with words of encouragement. She reminded me my life's stress will soon pass and I had good strong running legs (I think she used the word "shapely" legs - bless her :) ), they were just currently in a slump and their potential is lurking right behind the surface and would breathe fresh air soon. In the end, I actually saw my overall pace and it wasn't as bad as my lungs were making it out out be. I think she's right, this icky stuff will soon pass.....I GOT to spend a great morning in a great location with some great people. I have nothing to complain about!!! Sometimes the only choice to make in a moment is the choice to have a grateful heart where you can get up every day and do the thing you love the most; despite the fact you may not be feeling 100%. I feel I can now look something as daunting as a 12-mile run up a canyon while on medication that makes me nauseous straight in the eye, and thank God for the challenge. By choosing to be grateful, I can change the entire energy flow of a situation from dread to wonderful. What a great adventure!

While I was in the midst of a lung attack in Waterton Canyon, twin #2 was up in the mountains, ready to tackle Mt. Sherman (one of the 52 14,000' peaks Colorado possess. Yeah, I'm totally blessed to live here. Aside from that nasty pollen in the air!). Brendan's a little obsessed with mountain climbing and he's watched one too many documentaries and read too many books on climbing all sorts of technical mountain peaks, so his vocabulary constantly resembles something climbing related. He somehow talked his dad into camping at the base of the mountain Saturday night, where, mind you, it's still well below freezing (we're talking total tent camping here folks! That's what climbers do, you know - they camp. I've done my share of camping - from car camping to backpacking a lot of the Colorado Trail back in the day. But that was back in the day. I've done my time, thank you....hello Marriott with feather pillow-top mattresses!!!). He went to bed that night at 8:00 and got up at midnight to start climbing (did I mention he's watched too many climbing Everest documentaries???). No real purpose to the midnight thing other than that's what the climbers do in Everest and well, that's what he wanted to do: emulate as much hardship as real climbers do. And he never complains. Except later that afternoon when he was over the top tired and I told him he had to mow the lawn.

All I can say to this tent thing is um, NO thanks!!

Starting up Mt. Sherman, elevation 14, 036, at midnight.

Arrived at the top at 5:30 a.m. It's not Mt. Everest, but it is still very pretty!

btw, the picture at the top is one B took as he witnessed the sun rising.

And we've made it to the top!!! Yay, B!! Though I can't say I share his passion, I'm so proud (and very impressed) that he tackles these 14ers. He absolutely loves it....and I understand his love :). This is his adventure, and what an adventure it is!

I have finished the steroid today and I have to say, I'm actually feeling pretty good. I'm still congested in the mornings and at night, but the severe hammer pounding on the inside of my head has lessened by about half and I can breathe most of the day without my nasal spray attached to my hip. I've had two pretty awesome runs since the canyon: yesterday I ran about 5 miles of hill repeats at MP (still slow, but felt oh so much better than the last time I attempted this) and today I ran 5 miles with each mile progressively getting faster til I was at 1/2 MP. Each felt incredible. A couple good days of running, some awesome weight training/core workouts, AT class really doing some amazing things, and my eating WAY better controlled - I think this running thing is slowly coming around (even my heel is about 50% happy. Maybe that steroid helped the heel???? )

All I can say to that is - YAY!!! I hope it's around to stay. I'm ready for my next adventure!!

Thursday, May 20, 2010

She knows her dreams

Yvette ran a good race on Sunday. For Yvette. She has a long way to go to reach her potential, and I have a lot of work to whip her butt into some serious shape; she enjoyed that race so much that she came home and started scouring the internet for local races to get her ass moving faster - so as her coach, I gotta get busy so that she starts to see vast improvements. Quickly. That Yvette has no rest for the weary, she's hungry and ready to go! She has dreams and she's not afraid of them!!!

Yvette started up close to the front of the pack, with some 4000 runners I told her not to get too far back or it'd take her til Christmas to get to the start and she'd spend countless minutes weaving and getting frustrated. She listened, she's such a good student. I told her not to go out at a neck-braking 400M interval pace at the start, which is every newbie runner's mistake. And every veteran runner's mistake. It's repeatedly my mistake, I am a pro at that one. She hit the first mile at 8:15. She listened, excellent. I told her the first half of this race is entirely uphill, albeit gradual uphill but uphill is uphill and it takes some extra leg muscle to keep at it for 7 miles, so just maintain a controlled even pace so she'd have energy left after the turn-around point where it became a gradual downhill to the finish. She listened, she's such a good girl. She hit the half-way point maintaining about a 8:25 pace. I was encouraged, this is the pace I hope she can do her marathon in come October so this was excellent marathon pace training for her, nothing more. Ohhhhh, but as she turned the corner and started heading downhill, the sun started shining bright bringing warmer-than-she's-used-to temps and legs that hadn't run 13 consecutive miles in a month, on a heel that's been prone to cause her agony on every run, and carrying that XL weight with her -by mile 9, she was scrambling to beat that dreaded 9 minute mile by landing a 8:57. Phew, that was close. Mile 10 wasn't any better at 8:54 and mile 11 had an uphill, which I'm not sure how they snuck that in cuz that certainly wasn't there on the out part earlier in the race. Someone must have called in some excavators to throw all for a loop here. Still, she squeaked under that unwanted 9 min, yay!! Mile 12, I told her to get in some Gatorade, despite the fact it potentially could cause her stomach to cramp, like it does mine; but she needed some quick carbs to fuel her last mile and by golly, it worked and she clocked an 8:23 and crossed her first ever 1/2 marathon earning her precious green-ribboned medal.

Yay, Yvette!!!! So even though I had higher hopes for Yvette running better than her overall 8:33 pace, cuz this is slower than her hopeful marathon pace this fall, she ran smart and controlled and had no heel issues at all during the race (but later that afternoon, she told me it was totally screaming at her....err) and didn't die running 13 miles. Actually, 13.23 miles according to her Garmin (I told her not to weave but I guess water stops do become a necessity and darting across others to quench the thirst is ok. This time. I'm thinking maybe I need to train her to go without; like carb-depleted runs, maybe there's such a thing as training yourself to be H20 depleted?? Probably not), she ran an ok race. I'm going to do my very best to whip her into prime marathon racing shape - I hope she listens and is the good girl she showed me she can be!

I'm not sure what's next on Yvette's racing schedule, she's been perusing the internet and talking with various running friends to find some races which I think would be good for her. June is a busy race month in Colorado so maybe we'll pick up a race or 4, just to get her some much-needed speedwork. We are bypassing the famous Bolder Boulder 10K this year, due to the fact that 55,000 runners causes a very serious cramp in our day to do anything else. I've been waffling about this race for a month now but decided this year isn't Yvette's year to race it; you either race it or you lolly-gag it for fun, and we're not about fun right now, we're about action and with a heavy heart, we decided she's just not ready for Boulder right now.

Eerie, Yvette looks strikingly like someone I know!!

I apologize for my lack of blogging and blogging reading, this has been a very crazy week with graduating seniors' last week of school. Today was the senior exit assembly and I'm always really emotional - excited for them as they hit a milestone and make their way to adulthood, to the world that awaits their hopes and dreams, but sad to lose some very special people who've touch my heart. Farewell to all my seniors; if you conduct yourselves with honor and emulate the standards set for you, you WILL succeed in whatever you choose to do. Guaranteed!

To the graduating class of 2010: "I hope your dreams take you to the corners of your smiles, to the highest of your hopes, to the windows of your opportunities, and to the most special places your heart has ever known." ~ Yvette (she knows her dreams!!)

Friday, May 14, 2010

Go, Yvette

So, remember that “worst 5K EVER” I ran a couple weeks ago? I got this email the other day:

Note the line, "Within your class you placed: 1". Yeah, that's right, I got 1st in my age group (two years ago I got 3rd and ran a minute and fifteen second faster than this year. Hum.), which is really cool (where’d all the speedsters go this year?). Okay, no complaints here, I even got a little package in the mail today:

(Note the “1 in Category F45-49 line) I’m super stoked to see my 1st place award and rip open the package.

Here’s the front of my medal; looks pretty cool and I'm all giddy with hardware pride:

Flip it over and here’s the back:

3rd? My medal says 3rd??!!?? Um, what about my email? What about my “1 in Category……” line on my package?? Well, this normally wouldn’t be that big of a deal, I mean I really ran pathetically so slow on that 5K, I should gratefully accept my 1st, 3rd place medal, but later this afternoon when I went to pick up my bib for the ½ marathon I’m doing on Sunday (I know, I know, I didn’t really mention this little ½... unless you look back a few blogs ago and I did mention I may sign up for an upcoming half to get in some speedwork. I like to keep secrets. But yes, I’m doing one Sunday….for some much-needed tempo work, not to puke my guts out by racing it!), here’s what my bib said:
Notice anything wrong on the bib? Now I’ve had thoughts throughout my life, especially as a child, how I'd love a different name (Oh how I longed to be an Ericka (spelled just like that) or an Elizabeth….I loved how the name Eliiiiizzzzzabeeeth flowed. A select few of you know my “real” name – and we’ll just leave it at that small number *ahem, Meg M-T*. Hated that name as a kid) but never in my life have I ever thought I’d be a Yvette. Just never crossed my mind. I’m not sure I even know a Yvette. I was told to go to “bib corrections” as apparently this was a common problem, aka: everyone’s bib was messed up, and make sure my timing chip had the correct “Jill Parker” come up, when scanned. Yep, all’s good there. So technically, I don’t even need a bib, I have a timing chip on my shoe with the correct info. The guy asked me if I wanted a generic bib with no name on it instead of Yvette’s. Hum. Nope, I’m going incognito…..Sunday I’m running for all to yell, “Go Yvette”. I can't wait to hear how many calls I get. I mean, Yvette gets. Btw, Yvette’s a 37-yr old and is a size XL. Hum. I’d like to knock off a few years and 10 would be perfect, but I’ll stick to my smaller size, thanks! Nothing wrong with the size, I just don't want it. Funny that the one thing I can’t change is the one I want to and vise-versa. Yah, that’s the way my life tends to work.

I’m not sure if my recently racing misfits are an indication of things to come, but I’m actually thinking maybe it's a GOOD thing, like someone’s noticing me and paying extra special attention to getting my racing adornments wrong. "Hey, here's that Jill Parker again, let's give her a special medal to replace the one she actually earned...." I’ll let you know how it all pans out on race day Sunday; I’m kinda thinking me, or Yvette, is going to get my name in big print as wining the whole shi-bang! I’m hoping there’s a big cash prize attached to that title!

Happy weekend! And good luck to those racing this weekend, Yvette and I will be right there with ya!

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Weekend 18 recap - Owie!

It’s the end of a crazy week here in Jill world; one which has left me sitting here virtually lifeless as I type.

This morning I woke and shuffled across the floor like some 92-year old; Good Lord, my glutes and inner thighs are screaming! I have no real idea exactly what caused this sheer agony for the past three days, but I think it was a combination of excess leg time in the gym; an unfortunate, but necessary, result one to reform this bod (recall “the plan” in the last blog). Single-legged leg press followed by some 3-way lunges on Thursday, then slap a 12-mile run on Friday and Athletic Training class on Saturday and yowzie, I hurt today. Oh, and all this on top of joining an interval training group on Tuesday where I'm certain the coach thought I was totally lying when I said, "Yes, I run in the 7-8 min/mile range for 5 and 10k's" when I was hanging on for dear life with the group. Where has my speed gone??? Arghhhhh, please Speed, return to my legs!!

I have to tell ya about my Athletic training class; it could quit possibly kill you if you didn’t cheat and cut something short somewhere. Here’s the class synopsis: warm up with a 5 minute run. Somewhere “warm up” isn’t quite computing and my friend Jim is running at neck-breaking speeds…and the competitive girl in me isn’t going to wuss out and run slower. “Great warm-up pace, Jim” I mention…which takes about 2 minutes to complete cuz this 6 min/mile warm-up pace alone is killing me. The Nazi Drill Sergeant (let’s just call him NDS for short) then has us split into two groups for a series of drills, which last about 10 minutes. High knee running, quick feet, high speed sprints, side swings, etc, etc, etc, etc, etc and etc. 10 minutes of these and I’m breathless. NDS yells, “Everyone sprint, and I mean SPRINT to the top of the hill at the stoplight." Huh? We didn’t do this last week. The top of the hill is like ¾ of a mile long. And I’m not exaggerating. And it gets steeper as we climb. Sprint? Um, I’d consider myself in probably the top 5% of conditioned females in that class and there was no way I could “sprint” that beast. I did manage to run up it all, though (many did not. Ahem). Get to the top of the hill and NDS’s evil twin is all freaking smiling to the point you just wanna slap him, and tells us, with no resting after our “sprint,” to do 75 burpees. Did I hear correctly, 75??? As in SevenDfive!!?? My speedy friend, Jim, who can’t do burpees to save his life, got there well before me and is looking at me dumbfounded. He’s too tall or something; he has no coordination whatsoever and I’m laughing hysterically. Yea, well, I got the last laugh; 75 of these were just about ready to take my arms off. I’m certain I’ll have burpee nightmares for the next few months. The chick next to me is in agony and says, “It goes a little better if you do them in sets of two then take a short break.” Oh my, she’s going to be there a loooonnnnggg time. This comment actually made me laugh and lose my count so I did 10 more and decided that was enough (cheat #1. I have no idea how many I actually did, somewhere in the mid 60’s I think). Get to the parking lot and NDS’s female compadre tells us to “frog jump” the rest of the way in. I tried. I failed. She showed me again. I tried again and I failed again (nothing like being consistent!). She shows me again. Repeat scenario times 6 and I finally told her I got the hang of it and let her torture someone else awhile. The problem with these was that it was hurting my knee (seriously!! Well, a little anyway, don’t want to risk it, right?). So I half-ass frog jumped then walked 6 steps, repeat, until I got to the end (cheat #2). Really, I’d still be there in that parking lot a day later if I had to frog the entire thing. Apparently frog jumping skills are an acquired skill; I've got some work to do on that one. Get back to the outdoor classroom (aka: torture chamber) and instantly take a 40 lb sandbag and squat and heave the thing over your head. 45 times. I did 38 and called it quits (cheat #3); my shoulders were about to explode. I figured I can’t balance myself running without my arms; this was a valid excuse. Now we move onto the tires and we have to push one 25 yard. Not roll, PUSH along the ground. It may look like it’s simple and fun, but I’m here to tell you is it NOT! My shoulders-on-fire from that last FUN sandbag drill were yelling and my chest was in protest. Jim was complaining it hurt his ab muscles (huh?? Jim, you use your LEGS to push the tire, not your abs!). Push the dang tire 25 yards, times 5. I did not cheat. I swear I didn’t. But I wanted to! Immediately, rush out of the torture chamber and across the parking lot (don’t Run for heaven’s sake, this is a SPRINT ) to the dirt hill, about a half mile away. Do not stop, do not pass go, do not collect $200 – instead you immediately do 25 pushups when you reach the other parking lot. No problem, I love pushups, and manly ones on my toes, too. 25 pushups on wilted shoulders from those god-awful sandbags and tires and I was dying by the last 4. Now we get to take a 35 lb kettleball and run UP the dirt hill (about 50M). Incline of about 30%. Get to top, 5 second rest, run back down. 25 more pushups. Argh!! Seriously??? Oh yeah, NDS is serious and shouts we GET to repeat this beast 25-pushups-run-up-30%-with-35lb-kettleball 6 times. For those not so good at math, let me explain that 25 manly pushups x 6 = 150. 150 on-your-toes pushups. Insert cheat #4. By the 3rd set of pushups, I was down to 20 and by the 5th set, I also did 20 but took a short break after 10. Okay, Jilly, you’re not as pushup tough as you thought you were. Wimp! And those 6 uphill runs with kettleballs? Um, cheat #5. When the woman I had been whining to previously that this workout was going to leave me too sore to pace Tara the last few miles of her marathon tomorrow say, “No way in hell you’re running your friend in tomorrow…” that was it, I was done. This class is much-needed in Jill’s little quest to reform her body, but my #1 priority this weekend is to get Tara across her first finish line tomorrow in one piece, feeling strong. YEA, that IS a valid excuse. And ya know what was bothering me most about this uphill mistreatment? We were stomping out all the natural erosion vegetation growing there. Tumble weeds serve a purpose, guys – that’s to stop the hill from rolling down into the parking lot! I pointed this little tidbit fact out to NDS, who was not interested. Yea well, he may be once we get a freak rainstorm and that “little hill” is now sitting on top his truck! Run (no, sprint!) back to torture chamber, stretch (which never felt sooo good) and crawl back to car and hope you have one functioning arm muscle so can drive home.

The class actually felt really good. It did, in a fatigued-my-sorry-butt sort of way. I really do work so harder in this class than I ever have training on my own. I love it!

As Mother’s Day comes to a close, I thought I’d pull a few memories of my mom from my childhood memory bank:
- She had a heart of gold and a soul to match.
- She came to all my high school track and swim meets, no matter what. She even made it to as many college ones, too - and I went to college 3-hours from home.
- Every day in high school, she’d get donuts at the corner donut shop. I believe this is where I developed my fetish for sugar. Her and my grandmother also made wicked desserts.
- She grew up in a small town called Church, in NE Iowa (population of maybe 24). She went to school in a one-room school house from K-8th grades. I was fascinated with this as a kid and when I’d go visit my grandma, I’d spend hours roaming around that school house just lurking and pretending I lived in that era. I googled and spent a lot of time trying to find a picture of that special place in my world, but to no avail. I have a picture I’ll try to scan one day and share.
- My favorite memory of my mom and I together is when I was little and we’d go up to my grandmother’s and take walks to the woods and pick wild berries and dig up Ladyslipper plants and replant them at home. We’d have the best chats. About nothing. Man, what I wouldn’t do to just have one of those times alone with her again. She died when I was 25. Lung cancer. Never let your kids smoke.

I hope all the moms out there had a special day! I spent the first part of my day (bright and early on the road by 6a.m.) running dear friend, Tara, the last 7 miles to cross her first marathon finish line, (so VERY proud of her, and of Beth, whom I saw at mile 19 and got to cheer on for a little bit). I later shared a beer with a RW friend, Natalie and got home about 1:45 today. Ate a ton of food, way more than I ran off earlier in the day (don’t you get a freebie day on Mother’s Day??) and topped off my 400o calorie intake with some gelato from Abbey’s boyfriend’s new place of employment then just hung out with my kiddos. It was a great day! A day I hope my kids will remember when they dig deep in their memory banks, as I remember my own childhood mother stories.

Week 18 2010:
Week’s Running totals: 38
Running Total for 2010: 788.45
Weight training: 1
Athletic Training class: 1

Beth at mile 19; she was looking mighty sassy in that leopard print skirt!!

Tara coming up the hill to mile 19; both of us filled with emotion!

Tara around mile 23 and cranking out some good speed. "I just want this thing to be over!" Haha. Yeah, no one likes those last 3 miles. I was trying to get her to focus on the scenery, it was gorgeous! Well, aside from that trailer across the river.

I just couldn't be more proud of that girl, overcoming all her health problems last fall and finally landing across her first marathon finish line.

Way to go Tara and Beth!!

Monday, May 3, 2010

Yea, May!

Ahhh, May! Spring has sprung in Denver. The grass is turning green, the chirping birds wake me up each morning, my crabapple tree in my backyard is heavy with dark pink blossoms, the Rockies are doing well on their losing streak, my blog has a fresh, new look…. I’ve been waiting for this month to arrive for about the past, oh, 4 months…..

First week back running post-Boston and my legs are moving again and feeling pretty well (heel aside). I’m doing a little bit of speed work right now; the work I’m doing isn’t to go after any 10K PR’s or anything, what I did this week is a series of short, fast drills to help combat damage I did when my Boston training was a disaster. I got me some grand plans and those plans include never repeating the pathetic condition for which I was in when I entered Boston. Yeah, I had a blast in Boston but I want to run the next race well, and that’s going to take a lot of work.

Here’s the scoop: somewhere after my little February lung and sinus fungus fiasco, I simply lost the desire to go after Boston. Sure, I’d get a few days sprinkled in the whole mix where I felt great and thought my cloud was lifted and I was rearing to go; but overall, the big picture was that I just really didn’t care enough to fight the battle. There’s personal reason behind this but I think in my mind, I didn’t really see the urge to kill myself to get into mediocre condition after being sick, so I simply didn’t try – a true energy slump. I ran Boston well last year, it wasn’t worth the fight this year. End of story.

But I miss “it” – the whole marathon training regiment. And I want it. I finally feel it, I think. Maybe Boston panning out as it did was a blessing, in a sense, because in addition to PRing a great friendship with Katie, I learned that I DO miss the conditioning and insane training and how complete and whole my body feels when it’s pushed to a fatigued state from pure marathon training. I’ve never felt as much an urgency to get home and get moving again as I did after Boston. For the most part, when I’ve completed a marathon, I return home with a feeling of disarray – something I committed many months of my life, is now over and done. “Now what?” Or worse, “Was that the end?” Being 47 and having run the vast majority of my life, you gotta reach a point somewhere where you just can’t do it any longer – and I never really know if that last marathon is it, if that’s all I have left in me. It’s not easy to crank out the miles at my age and for all the 35 years I’ve been running; I don’t recover as quickly as I used to and aches and pains are now the norm, not the exception….and I’m not the best at listening to my body when it screams, “ouch” cuz let’s face it, I never used to so I’m not programmed to do it now.

I’ve spent a lot of at the end of April thinking and I just don’t feel my heart is done yet. I may not PR a marathon any more - I’m not really sure nor do I really even care – what I want, and what I’m ready to do, is fight like heck to find out what’s left in me. My friend, Garbo, is truly a man a wisdom and wit - someone I highly admire and here is what he told me after Boston: "…..Don't go weighing that heart yet,Jill. It's nowhere near being done yet." I was ecstatic to read that comment from him, I was glad someone of his stature believed in me... it meant a lot. He’s been there before, he knows my agony….and the needy person I am, value words like this. I have revenge in Chicago (and Marcia’s in with me, right girlfriend???) and it’s time to get ready. That’s why I’m doing the speed work right now – it’s the first step in my process to transform my current state of blob, to combat the body fat that built for the past several months when I didn’t really care. Now I care, and now I’m doing something about it!

One of the best things about running is that it cuts across the crap that litters life and relationships in other areas.
Yea, I’m ready for May!

Monday and Tuesday: 30-second, high speed sprints at 4% incline, with 1 minute active recovery, and each 30 second explosive getting faster until I reached a pace of 5:52 (yikes!! How we’d love to run a marathon at that pace, eh??!!), for 25 minutes. Then 3 miles easy miles followed by 40 minutes of core training. Good stuff.
Wed: off
Thursday: 3x1 mile repeats, each getting faster (last at 7:25 so we’re not talking anywhere near where I was last fall), followed by more core work. Yah, that’s 3 days of core training, thank you very much!!!
Friday: 6.5 easy miles
Saturday: “Athletic Training” class at the gym. This class was full of speed and agility drills that left me breathless and tired. Perfect! The drills in this class are loaded in the pages of my “Brain Training for Runners” book that I love so much so I was glad I was in a class doing them, as I tend to blow these off on my own. Of course, beings I have no coordination skills whatsoever, I twisted my ankle running in and out of the tires. It’s the same ankle I twist at least 5 times a year (it seems) and it’s just one of my weak-links. It’s throbbing a little right now, but it’s okay.
Sunday: I ran a 5K. Yep, me, who can’t run 5K’s, ran one. Sole purpose was just to get in a little extra speed work in (aka: fat burning – ha). My goal was not to kill myself racing it but do it at about 10K pace so it felt “Hard yet controlled” Um, yeah, turns out it was a tad slower than 10K pace …. and it was hard. Period. There was nothing easy about it and nothing controlled. This the-worst-ever-in-my-life 5K confirmed: I’m out of racing shape!!! But that’s okay. That’s perfect actually….I have nowhere to go but up!!!! This is my starting point, and I’m ready to roll!!!!!

An update on my right heel: After running store woman scared the crap out of me with the whole, “I’m betting it’s a stress fracture….”, I bought new shoes with more cushion in them (I doubt I’ll ever wear a light-weight racer again!!) and am having less pain. Not totally pain-free, but not even close to the level of pain at which it was. I raced that lovely worst-ever 5K and did not feel my heel whatsoever!! Woohooo!!!
Me and my boys: twin #2 (Brendan) and twin #1 (Ryan) all 5K'd done!
Abbey came for the free hotdogs!
The race was "Rockies Home Run 5K" which benefited the battered women's shelter. You got to run inside the stadium on the warning track- cool, huh??

I have to brag about my friend Leslie, she raced an incredible Ironman, her stats below (note how her marathon time was faster than my Boston time....), Congrats, Leslie:
SWIM (2.4 miles) Bike(112 miles) Run(26.2 miles) Overall
1:05:47 6:40 4:13 12:09:03
And congrats to my dear friend, Shari, who PR'd and BQ's in torential rains in Cincinnati's Flying Pig!!! Shari's gone through so much personal torment lately, this victory couldn't be any sweeter!!
Remember that cool necklace that dear Tara gave me for my birthday? Her friend made that necklace and has started her business, selling some really cool running-related jewlery for us junkies. Please check her site out - I know you won't be disappointed!

Week 17 2010:
Week’s Running totals
April Running Totals: 128.5
Running Total for 2010: 750.45
Weight training: 3
Athletic Training class: 1