Tuesday, January 31, 2006

It's official. I am now registered for the Lost Dutchman 10k in Apache Junction, AZ, on Feb. 19, 2006. I had originally considered doing the half marathon, and maybe still will, but I did not want to pay extra for a race I might not do. I really think I need to take this running thing a little slower than last year to avoid the same overuse injury I have had for too long. The only thing is, running a half marathon, I can kind of "bury" my slow time with the distance. With a 10k, you are expected to be somewhat fast (or rather, I would like to be somewhat fast). But right here, the pressure is off from me having to get to 13.1 miles in 6 weeks' time. I can do it, but it wouldn't be pretty. And I'm not sure how I will do in the warmer climate. I am not a good heat runner anyway.

But if my luck is as it has been for the past 2 years going to the Myrtle Beach half, there will be an unseasonable cold front that will blow through about the time I step off the plane in Phoenix. Extreme temperatures have happened with every long distance race I have done except one. Every marathon I have done has been in below normal temps for the time of year. Every triathlon I have done has been either abnormally hot or colder than it ever has been in that particular month (example: at my first Olympic distance tri, it was 97 degrees by the time I went out to run; my second Olympic+ distance tri, it was 43 degrees in the middle of Aug.)

I need to not obsess about the weather. And only doing 10k will help calm my fears. Now I just have to actually run that far!
Running in the Dark.

Something I haven't done in almost two years. Why? Because not only did I fall too many times, but I got lazy. Didn't want to be cold. Didn't want to get all dressed for 2 or 3 miles. Didn't want to.

After posting yesterday that February was going to be all about running, I decided to actually start a day early. And then I astounded myself more by actually wanting to run outside this morning. It was a good morning. No snow. No wet or icy spots. No wind. All right, 30 min. at least.

I still went to the Y just to be able to get closer to work before all the crazies got on the road, and didn't even go in, just started running. It felt pretty good. I actually went a full 15 min. before I walked a bit, then started out again. I had a moment of fatigue or something after 20 min., but walked about a half a block and then finished up the full 30 min. I have a long way to go, but every time I run, it gets easier. I may actually be up to running with someone soon. I told myself I would not even attempt to try to find a running partner until I could run a full mile outside without stopping.

If the weather holds up like this tomorrow, I will do the same again and then do some weights after. I wish I had had my suit for the pool today actually.

Monday, January 30, 2006

Since January was all about consistency (which I was--only missing 3 days this month), I decided February was going to be all about running. I had thought about challenging myself to run every day for a month, but that is impractical for a couple of reasons. First, I really don't want to run most days on a treadmill without some sort of workout plan. I can probably come up with 3 different ones each week, but that is to build base: one long, slow run, preferably starting at 1 hour and building; one circuit workout running and weights; and one interval run. The last two will be no more than 30 min. the first two weeks, hopefully building to 3 miles each by the end of the month. I also am scheduled to run something at the Lost Dutchman marathon in Apache Junction, AZ, on Feb. 19, so with traveling to and from, I most likely will lose at least one day. And then there would be the "big" taper I would have to do for whatever race I do (won't be the marathon). With upcoming races and training schedules, I am one mile behind what I should be for my long run, and I am not going to push myself to get ahead, because I need to remain injury free, and that has never been the way for me to go to get ahead. Patience I am hoping will get me to the finish lines I am planning to visit this year.
Race Report: Saturday, Jan. 28, 2006, Indoor Triathlon

15 min. for each: swim, bike, run


Swim: 764.40 yards (14 laps in a pool I don't know the distance of--not 25 yards, longer)
Bike: 2.65 miles (4,665 yards)
Run: 27.75 laps (2,580.75)
Total yards: 8,010
Place in AG: Second

Whew, that was a huge surprise. I only knew two people in the age group and had no idea how many more were there besides me, so I was more than mildly suprised to have been second (third if you don't count masters--but they didn't).

The swim was my best for this amount of time in one of these events. I can't do the math on the pool length and forgot to ask, but it was definitely longer than 25 yards, which I am used to. Since I count my strokes, I knew when I hit my usual stroke count for one length that something was different. Took me 6 strokes more to get to each end, 4 by the time I got done. I just felt smooth and steady and could basically see how I was doing compared to others in my heat. I swam farthest in my heat. That was also a surprise.

The bike portion was on a floor above the pool level. Quite a distance away actually. But they give you 5 min. so I had time to get dressed and get to the bike in time to get the seat fixed. This year instead of air dynes we had mountain bikes on wind trainers. Quite a pleasant improvement. The only complaint I had about the bike portion was the bike was too big for me, so I never felt totally comfortable on it even though the seat was adjusted pretty well. And whoever used it before me had as much resistance on it as you could put. And we weren't allowed to pedal and get that adjusted ahead of time, so I spent at least 3 min. getting adjusted with that. I felt like I was biking uphill with all the gears on for a few minutes. But my bike distance wasn't that bad despite this complication. These bikes were a whole lot friendlier to the legs, that's for sure. Fifteen minutes seemed forever on this bike though.

The run was on the next level up from the bike. With all those steps that should have counted towards something! The run was on a track over the top of the basketball court, on which a game was taking place. It was 19 laps to the mile. My goal for this was to keep steady so I wouldn't feel like I had to walk. Fortunately that never happened. A lot of that was due to the fact that it was so wonderfully cool in there I never got to that overheated feeling that makes me feel sick. It was on an old wooden track, which is quite comfortable to run on actually. And the short track made it easier to keep the momentum going. I only wanted to get some water once because my throat was so dry, but I fought the urge to stop. So I did close to a mile and a half. I actually was closer to completing another full lap than not, but they round down instead of giving actual distance like in the past, but everyone had the same handicap.

My friend and I that did this (she got first in her AG) stayed to watch some of the other heats. We had noticed there was a woman who came in with us that had a dog and we figured eventually that she was blind, and questioned each other about what she was going to do or whether she was just watching, finally deciding she must be in a relay. But which event would she do?? As it turned out, she did the whole thing! It was really quite impressive to watch. She did have a runner guide but otherwise was on her own. She took first in her AG. Pretty good!

The overall female winner was also masters winner, but that rolled down to the first place woman in my age group, making me second in the AG. I knew the woman ahead of me and knew she would beat me, but she was soooo worried when she got done that maybe she didn't beat me. I always out swim her, but she can bike like crazy and her run isn't bad either. What was the surprise was the masters female was the woman I mentioned before about being so critical of people. Since this was her first ever triathlon, she was a little humbled from the experience. She did a fantastic job on every event, even the bike, despite never biking. As she put it, I didn't really realize so much went into a triathlon. I mean I swim, I run, but I have never put them together, and then add the bike. I didn't know what to expect. So maybe some of us "slow" runners earned a little respect finally!

All in all a fun event. And a great way to hook up with the local triathletes you don't usually see in the winter.

Friday, January 27, 2006

Friday, Busy at Work.

The boss has been gone most of this week and last, so now of course I am getting dumped on. Big projects due next week.

Got a swim workout in this morning: 30 min. , 1560 yards.

Indoor triathlon tomorrow so wanted to time myself for 15 min. but forgot to check my watch. I guess I could divide the 1560 by 2, but still can't be sure that would be accurate. If that were true, it would be 780 yards. That would mean I would be close to the end of the pool and have swam farther than other indoor tris. I'm not counting on it.

That said, after this tri I am going to concentrate on running to get in shape for at least a 10k the middle of February. I think I can do that, as opposed to the half marathon. That was starting to overwhelm me.

Stay tuned for race report.

Thursday, January 26, 2006

I was reading the December Runner's World and read an article I can't remember the name of, but it was about what athletes usually do wrong in nutrition and hydration (another in a long line of advice articles, to be sure). What stuck in my mind was doing research on a specific group, they found that most athletes ran low on calories and water during a normal day. If they exercised after work or later in the day, this usually meant starting a workout dehydrated. It noted that if the athlete started his or her day with coffee and/or juice, they may go most of the day without taking in any more measurable amount of liquids, especially water. And if they skimped on calories during the day, this usually led to binge eating or overeating in the evenings. It was found that more athletes than not consumed the majority of their calories after 7 pm. Naturally this led to weight gain and inability to lose the extra pounds. (Don't quote me word for word here because I don't have the article with me. This is just a summary of what it was trying to say.) It got me to examine my own habits and while I probably don't fit into the being dehydrated category, the calorie thing was right on. For so long I have been skimping on morning calories trying to get a workout in and then not feeling like making anything for lunch, so either buying out and/or cutting calories. What I eat is usually nutritious but not enough calories to keep me going all day. Then dinner tends to be heavy to make up for being starving. When I wake up in the morning then I don't want to eat, and the cycle continues.

Anyone relate? Have you solved this problem?

I don't know how many of you people watch this show. I don't normally, and really did not watch the whole thing, but I got home a little later last night and this was for the last 15 min., the time I allowed myself to relax before getting organized for today. It occurred to me after watching these people struggle to work out in an attempt to lose weight AND win a prize of some sort that they were no different than anyone attempting to achieve any goal, like a carrot dangling in front of them to keep them motivated and focused, like anyone training for any type of athletic event. They weren't just fat people trying to lose weight to win a prize. They were human beings struggling to achieve something they never thought they could do. They put all their blood, sweat, and tears into achieving their goal. Are they any different than any of us training for their first 5k or marathon, their first triathlon or Ironman? Granted, they are taking on a goal many of us do not have to face, but if they succeed at this goal, who knows where that will lead them? Isn't that like the stepping stones of success in training for and finishing a big race? It put this in a different perspective for me once I thought of it that way. A quote I found recently is something I have been thinking of a lot lately: Success is a continuing thing. It is growth and development. It is achieving one thing and using that as a stepping stone to achieve something new. John Maxwell

So the workouts yesterday were pilates in the morning and an evening workout after dinner with the grandkids. I liked Mipper's J-Lo butt workout. I wanted something different to do but didn't want to pound the treadmill or the track too much until after my indoor tri this weekend. I figured this might be something different. The workout I did, and I think the one that was in Mipper's blog, was 1 min. at 1% incline, increase every min. to the highest, then 5 min., then decrease 1% for one min. until back to zero. I wasn't sure if this was a walk or run but decided to do it as a walk. I started at 4.0 mph and decreased every 2-3 inclines down to 3.2, then increased speed back to 4.0 until I hit zero, then went to 30 min. at that pace. Nothing hurt today or during the workout. I didn't realize though that the treadmill went to 15.0 and I only went to 10.0. Enough for one time.

So while doing this workout I started thinking of my training schedule. I started really being realistic about thinking I could do a half marathon in less than a month, when I hadn't done any race over 5 miles in the past 6 months, and then was forced to take 2 months off for an injury. Weather, lack of conditioning, and trying to not get injured got me realizing that maybe I could pull off a 10k or 15k, but a half marathon might leave me injured again if I rushed it like last year. So maybe I should reassess what I need to do for this year to get ready for next. Building up strength and endurance should be number one. That is where I am lacking right now. Distance and speed can come later. I want to be confident when I attempt an event that I won't come dragging into the finish line whipped and deflated. I want to feel that I put my best into it and didn't just do the event to just get by and finish. I have done enough racing in my lifetime to know that putting minimal performance into something that will need maximum effort to achieve is not the way to go. It will never give me those little successes I need that will lead to the goal I want to achieve. Stay tuned on any progress here!

Wednesday, January 25, 2006

Back to Basics, Part 2.

Remembering back to the days when my kids were young and trying to get chores done, mine and theirs, when they wanted to either play, watch TV, or play video games. Now they could play video games for hours on end, and would put off doing their chores until I finally pulled the plug. So my way of getting them motivated to get the chores done right away was by rewarding them with equal time for play for equal time doing chores. That wasn't exactly the ratio, since they would take forever on their chores to get the same amount of play time. So it was something like 15 min. of play time for every task completed. If they had 5 chores to do, that equalled 75 min. of play time.

So I started thinking too how much time I wasted, either at work or home, on the computer or whatever, sometimes interferring with working out or basic chores. With no kids at home any more, my chores are not complicated, but what I consider to be chores are things like making my lunch, getting organized for the next day, putting laundry away, etc. Nothing drastic, just things I don't like doing when I get home at night. By not doing these things though, it gives me too many outs to not get going early enough to hit the gym before work or get on the treadmill at home or whatever.

Last night I put my plan into action so that I allowed myself 15 min. of computer time and then had to stop and get something done. Then I watched something on TV. Did the laundry during this. Then a phone call I had to make. Made my lunch, etc. A timer works well for this. So today my lunch was made, the clothes were organized for the gym, work clothes organized, etc. I did pilates this morning but will go to the gym this evening, and tomorrow's things are ready too. It feels good to be back focused again!

Pilates Wednesday. Back to Basics, Part 1.

This is the pilates/yoga pilates tape I have been doing for at least 5 years on and off (lately more off) (note VCR tape that's how old this is!). Anyway I was reading the blogs about all the core training, and I was reminded of my core program I started 5 years ago after continual back paid (muscular) and no improvement with other treatment modalities. Walking through Wal-Mart I saw this video after having just reading about pilates on line. Must have been fate. I actually wore out the first one and this is the second, same version. So easy (eventually) to do, no machines, ropes, bands, balls, etc. Just a simple video that has 2 segments, one basic pilates and the other more advanced yoga with pilates. Each segment about 20 min. long. Now who can't do that on any given day?? So I dusted if off this morning and got it going. Ahh the stretching, the ab work, the toning. I remember when I first started this program how the first 3 times at least I had no coordination with some of the moves, and definitely no core strength. It literally takes about a week to get in sync with this, but once you do you will notice results. I recommend this to anyone.

Tuesday, January 24, 2006

Okay, here's how it looked this morning about the time I wanted to go out and run. The snow was coming down so fast, it only took 10 min. for my car to get covered. I opted instead to go to the Y again and do eliptical and swim. Better choice. I can't afford to slip and fall again like twice in the last 3 years, leading up to the two year backslide of slothfulness. Then while reading e-mails at work this morning I got one about a guy at work who had fallen on the ice on Sunday (a day after our last snow storm), ending up with a compound fracture of his left. Nice. And just when he was scheduled to run Boston. I am hoping he can get a deferment, since he already used his deferment from last year due to scheduling conflicts. He has worked so hard. And he is so humble too. These are the types of people you need around you. He is totally in awe that I can ride a bike 50+ miles and swim as far as I do, yet doesn't think a thing of his ability to run a marathon under 3 hrs! Well I'm plugging for his speedy recovery.

On another note, being consistent with workouts this whole month, my "fat" pants are looking looser and looser! Can't say I have really lost any weight because I won't weigh myself. I think all it is is getting the areas toned up that have gotten "jiggly" over the past couple of years. While I realize I probably look better than a lot of women my age, I still have a lot of work to do to get back to what I was in my 40s. I am not being harsh on myself, just realistic.

The indoor tri I am scheduled to do on Saturday has now finalized the heats. Fortunately I am in the one with my work friend. Unfortunately, there are two people who will be there that I dread. One is a skinny fast woman in her 50s who is quite smitten with herself and her ability to still run a 5k in under 20 min. She is also very critical of anyone who can't run at least an 8 min. mile. And I would bet her mile swim time would be under 30 min. easily. She is talented and fast and in great shape, I'll give her that, but she is not very nice.

One change to the indoor tri is that they are not going to be using air dynes! They are using mountain bikes on wind trainers! What an improvement. Those things make me feel physically sick.

Monday, January 23, 2006

Hard at work, as you can see! Ellie, I finally think I have this half figured out.

Walking in Sunshine! Yep, you see it. Shadows. That means sunshine. Almost 3 whole days in a row! And mild temperatures (around 30 degrees). To make up for my total slothdom on Sunday, I decided to add to my morning workout a brisk walk during lunchtime. I know a 20 min. route through our small downtown, that takes you along the river, etc., but since that route was still covered with snow, it was slightly impassable today. So was forced to walk a loop, a circle, and still another loop to get close to 20 min. I always feel so much better too, but tend to use my lunch break to sit at the computer. (I know, I'm doing that too! While the cat is away....).

Its Monday Again.

Why is it the weekends pass by in a blur? Sigh...This was a blog free weekend. Didn't read any, didn't post anything. My internet was not working right again! Second time this month/year. But it was also a good excuse to not start reading others' and feeling guilty about doing NOTHING on Sunday. I have been wanting a day like that for so long. Get up, don't get dressed, lie around, watch TV, read the paper, no computer time, and NO WORKOUT. I can't remember when the last time I had a day like that. Not that I didn't feel guilty. Or like a slug.

And I was very disappointed in my Saturday run. I had hoped to do at least 8 miles, but Mother Nature interrupted that process, since we got 5-8 inches of wet, sloppy snow overnight. But I had promised myself to get outside to run for once and I made myself do it. It wasn't terribly cold, and the BIG bonus was full sunshine. We had been going on a record stretch of no sun days, so that made the whole day tolerable, in an intolerable mess.

By the time I finally got all my layers figured out, water, a few amenities to bring (gel, gum, kleenex), it was almost 10:00 am. I deliberately took my time hoping all the regular runners would be done by the time I arrived at the park, but alas, there were still the ones out there doing 20 milers, and they were starting to trickle in. I wanted to run alone, at my pace, and didn't want to be interrupted by anyone else. Fortunately they were all whipped enough that they didn't strike up any conversation, other than one. The others assumed I was just getting done, and I didn't say anything to change their minds. I just sort of slunked out of the park and started my shuffle. I decided to do the last part of the loop first, to avoid the chance of skipping it altogether. It was actually quite warm going out, but as soon as I had to turn back, it was fully into the wind. I was sweaty already too so it was a battle of wills to not turn off again. Then I started the whine, I don't want to do this. Why do I think I have to do this? I don't HAVE to run a half marathon next month. I can always just run the 10k. And on it went. By this time I was starting to run into a lot of slop on the roads, my shoes were getting wet, my one toe was numb, and I was just downright tired. I should have just put it off a day, mentally and physically it probably would have been better. But to pass up a day in the sunshine would have been almost sinful. Then I was forced to run on the sidewalk, and that pretty much ended the run for the day. So instead of the 8 I had dreamed of, I barely got in 4. Went to the gym after and did a long weight workout and just went home and sunned myself on my porch. I was tired.

Friday, January 20, 2006

Tomorrow I should be able to finalize the Lost Dutchman half marathon travel plans in Apache Junction, AZ. I am always on the lookout for the best deals, so like to wait a while to finalize things, but I also hate to wait until the last minute. Ellie, stay tuned for details.

Last night the workout got done but not necessarily the one I would have liked to do. My own fault for not going to the Y in the morning, but there is a limit to the number of mornings I can stand going to the gym. Not working out, just going to the gym. Hauling all that stuff. Needing to plan the whole day out the night before. I did that for years with myself and 4 kids. Now its just me and I have gotten lazy, I confess.

So I hit the Y at 4 pm instead of the usual 6:30 am. Crowded. I knew it would be. The facilities are fantastic but I’m telling you, I have never seen this place not busy. Probably the best time to go is Sunday mornings when they open. Then you have the place to yourself and only about maybe 200 others instead of the usual thousand or so. Every single cardio machine was busy. I was a little annoyed because there was a young kid on the treadmill and I don’t feel kids that young need to go on treadmills or ellipticals or bikes. They can run around the basketball court for all I care. So I decided to get on a Schwinn Airdyne (the only kind of bikes the gym used to have--most gyms for that matter I think). I figured I might as well since I am signed up to do an indoor tri next week. And this is what I assume they will use for the bike segment.

The indoor tris I have done, the organized ones that is, consist of a 15 min. swim, bike & run, with a 5 min. transition time between each segment. The swim is obviously in a pool, the bike on the Airdyne, and the run on a track of some sort. Then they total up your total yardage and see who wins or where you place. The last one I did was actually with Kona Shelley when she came to visit. That was probably back in early 2001, before her debut Ironman event, so she's WAAAAY past that now.

So the Airdyne thing. They are beasts. So uncomfortable too. On a whim I decided to time myself for 15 min. to see how I might do in preparation for the indoor tri. The first min. I don't think I was recording any distance because I didn't have the settings correct. So I just set my watch for 14 min. instead. Those things are harder than I had remembered. Moving your arms and your legs at the same time gets you so out of breath fast. Using just my legs alone helped me catch my breath and surprisingly I pedaled harder, but I doubt I could keep that up for 15 min. In the past, my average 15 min. time during the tris was about 4.3 miles. My best was 4.8. Last night I did 4.3. So I guess I haven't lost it.

I've listened to most of Iron Wil's podcast this morning. Way cool!

Tomorrow's workout is going to be challenging, not only for distance (hopefully 8.25-8.50), but weatherwise. We are expected to get 4-8 inches of snow overnight. Yipee (not!). One thing I don't think I would ever miss would be cold and snow. I hate it and can't wait to get to Arizona for a respite. This year hasn't been bad, I have to admit. And thankfully the temps have been warmer to keep heating bills lower (see yesterday's rant if you must). I really wanted to get outside and run since most of my half marathon training has been on the treadmill (actually all). My right heel is getting a little touchy with all that treadmilling, so I thought I should get outside for a long run tomorrow. I guess I will have to wait to see what the weather gods have in store for us. I see Colorado got a bunch today and some of the midwest as well, so it is coming.

Thursday, January 19, 2006

Still trying to figure this blog thing out. I don't mind just posting thoughts, but I would like to add pictures and interact with others. Help!

Is anyone as irked as I am about the gas prices going up and down and mostly up? Why are they 20+ cents higher today than yesterday? Fortunately I got gas the other day. But it is eating up most of my disposable income and it is getting me steamed! I don't even drive that much! I realize public transportation might be the ideal way to travel to some, but hey, in the Motor City state, you won't find too much cooperation with that. Why is it too when we have untapped natural resources that some environmental group gets their way and any potential oil drilling and/or exploration gets shot down over and over? Don't the rest of us have rights too?? I mean, hey, what are we saving it for? I don't even want to get started on conserving, etc. I'm sorry, but I don't want to live like we did in the 70s anymore either.

Today is just one of those days when I am grouchy about everything and anything. Its my own fault, so I'm not complaining. There are just certain things I cannot do for my own good, and if I keep doing them I will continue to feel this way.

So the workout is still to come today. It will happen. That much I am sure of. I just couldn't bring myself to go to the gym this morning again, and I know I will pay for it going after work. It is such a zoo and that likely will keep me in my grouchy mood too.

I checked the training schedule for the 5/3 Riverbank Run 25k on May 13. I am ahead for the beginner schedule but behind for the experienced. I may be experienced at this race, but not having run 25k in more than 3 years, I know I need to take this all one step at a time (like getting done with the Apache Junction half first and hopefully the New Jersey half in April!) By then it will be biking season (or close) and I really want to ramp up my biking this year and hopefully do a half IM. Need to find a small one. Have to get used to swimming in crowds, which I HATE. Its not the swimming I hate, its the crowds. I am just someone who needs my own space, and there is no such thing as personal space in a triathlon swim.

Wednesday, January 18, 2006

5 Most Important Things to Do Today:

1. Figure out this blog thing!
2. Work on dad's medicare prescription drug plan.
3. Try to find affordable airfare and lodging for the Apache Junction Marathon and Half Maraton.
4. Fill out work performance review.
5. Get a workout in.

Actually, 5 should be 1, 1 should be 2, 4 should be 5, etc.

Well, I've accomplished at least 1 and 1/2 of the 5. I did get a workout in, not the planned one because I was just so tired today. Discovered that after getting to the Y. I was however committed to doing something since I was there, but only ended up doing a short swim workout. My planned workout was to be a bike/run, but after yesterday's two 1 mile repeats, my legs just weren't going to cooperate. That became more obvious after getting to work and climbing 2 flights of stairs to my desk. I had thought about going back to the Y at noon for a short spin class, but nope, not going to happen today. While I do not have a set-in-stone workout schedule, I do have some goals I want to reach, so I need to stay on track at least most of the time.

Speaking of goals. I am realizing more and more how goal/deadline oriented I am. I guess that does not make me a self-starter. All these terms I can use when filling out my performance review, which should and will be last on my list of things to do until I get it done. Its so stupid. I have to fill out my own performance review and then have it picked apart and edited by the people I work for. Efficient, huh? Eventually I won't be able to put it off.

And this medicare mess! Leave it to the government to make it so complicated even a genius couldn't figure it out. They make it sound so simple, but even reading through the informational booklet leaves my head spinning. This does have to get done before the end of the month!

This blog thing is also getting to me. I am anxious to link up with others but haven't figured this out yet. I try to put a face to a profile and can't figure out how to get my picture there. I can however get it on a post.

And then there is this airfare/lodging thing. I can't afford to spend that much to get to Phoenix, and from some of the reviews on the hotels, I don't want to stay in a dump for a week but can't afford the resorts either. Where I live, you can always count on adding $100 to any airfare going anywhere. We are not a small town, but we are not a Detroit or Chicago either. We are not an international hub, I guess you'd say. Every airline I check out has you first going either east to go southwest or through Chicago for a long layover, then to Houston. The shortest flights are at least 7 hours. It will get down to the wire and I will just book anything I'm afraid.
Well, I can't seem to figure out how to get a photo on my profile, so here is at least something.

This was me probably 4 years ago at a 10k race in Traverse City, Michi., part of the Bayshore Marathon. I think the people behind me were the only ones I passed in the whole race. Finishing time was around 1 hr. Note the gloves, and the date is May 30. I think we still had windchills in June that year!

Tuesday, January 17, 2006

Who would have thought?? Just a few weeks into half marathon training (albeit with a walk/run program) I have bumped my full mile repeats up to 11:50 miles from the 12:30 miles. So far so good. I want to do the repeats again tomorrow, but past history has told me to slow down and just wait...wait for the day when you can do at least 2 miles in a row without stopping.

It is a hard process getting off my butt and getting going and trying to stay focused. Running used to be SO easy! I could run 7 miles during a lunchtime and be okay. Now running 7 miles is a marathon effort. I know I have put on many pounds, have gotten lazy, have not had goals, but I realized recently if I wanted things to happen, I was going to have to make them happen. I read all the bloggers inspiring blogs about training, races, etc. and I want that feeling again too. I want to be a part of that club. It is exhilirating. It is motivating. It is about life.

So today, 17 days into the new year, and after 16 consecutive days working out, trying to maintain a consistency pattern, my mile times have finally started taking shape. Yes, I know they aren't near my times of 3 or 4 years ago, but they aren't that far off from my beginning running times of 18 years ago. Then I could run 2 miles without a break though. So that is something to work on. But I was a young 35 then, and now I am a slowly aging 52. So I have to cut me some slack there.

I have been hesitant to do races because I have gotten so out of shape. I don't want the people I had raced with for so many years to see what I have become, what I have let happen to me, what I am. I want a perfect (or as close as I can get) image. I am not even a shell of my old self.

But this is a new beginning. There was some divine revelation to me that got me off the couch again and against all odds I must continue to work towards a goal I know is reachable if I work hard enough. The elusive Ironman. Not to others of course. I have been running from it for years. But like when I did my first marathon, it was a goal I hadn't yet reached and had to train to achieve that goal.

Ironman for me has been about not having the funds, time commitments, and fear. But now my fear is that I won't be able to reach this goal before I die, so I don't want to waste any more time. I fear an early death. Why? Because my mother died 10 years younger than her mother, and if the pattern follows, I only have 6 years to accomplish this goal. I do believe though that everyone has a time, and how they spend that time on earth will determine their success or failure. And since I have had many, many failures in my life, I need a goal that will help me achieve success. I believe achieving Ironman success will make me stronger and more confident in life itself.

During this process, I want to be able to give something to someone, but most important my children. I want them to know that with hard work and faith you can achieve anything. I want to be able to show them this and this is the only way I know.

All this seriousness aside, I played a joke on my sister Debbie today. Debbie is a hair stylist and I have been putting off getting a haircut for a couple of weeks due to scheduling, etc. We have this standing joke when it is TIME for me to get a haircut that the hair police are going to take me away if I don't get a haircut SOON. So tonight I called her and told her that I got this subpoena in the mail that if I didn't get a haircut soon they would issue a warrant for my arrest.! I told her, Uh, yeah, I got this subpoena in the mail today. She was all worried and said, WHY?? What happened?? I told her it was from the hair police and that if I didn't get a haircut soon, I would be in trouble. She was all worried at first until I finished my story. LOL! I definitely need a new do.

So workout today: 1 mile at 11:50 on treadmill; circuit weights; 1 mile on treadmill, 11:47. Last week my gut wrenching same workout was a 1 mile at 12:20, circuit weights, 1 mile at 12:04, for a total of 12:24. Today is was 23:47, so a little victory on speed.

I don't anticipate increasing my speed a whole lot until I lose AT LEAST 20 pounds. And that ain't easy.

Monday, January 16, 2006

Weekend Workouts and Sleepless Night

Since this is my first post, a little prelude. After running, tri-ing, and other athletic adventures for the past 18 years, I found myself in the throes of depression brought on by too many deaths in my family, some unexpected, some after a short illness, and one tragically by suicide. Suddenly after being a fit, in shape, athletic woman, I had become a depressed sad piece of humanity. Running, working out, whatever, was the only way I knew how to climb out of my misery and back into the world.

So I have consistently been working out since Jan. 1 without a day off. Here is my my recent weekend endeavors to train for the Apache Junction half marathon, the farthest I will run since last February.

My weekend workout consisted of more running base building. I am mainly running for time, but do keep track of distance. And I have been doing it all on the treadmill. So this week it was 90 min. Last week I did 75 min. of 4:1 run/walk for a little over 6 miles. This week for 90 min. I did 5:1 and 6:2 after the first 3 miles for a total of 7.25. I felt okay but my right heel was hurting. Foolishly, since I had to work afterwards, I put on a pair of fashion boots. Big mistake. My foot screamed the rest of the day for this dumb thought. There is no snow, but I wanted to wear something fairly comfortable (which they usually are) after that long of a run. But I didn't take into account that they did not allow any wiggle for my heel, so it was like it was trapped in a vice. I iced and did the ibuprofen bit and it eased up some. Slept okay that night but got up in the morning with it being extremely painful, tight, and sore. Iced some more. Decided to just do elliptical on Sunday. Two miles and my foot was starting to hurt. I was going to swim after but felt cold, tired, a little jittery and just not up to par. Had taken a sinus/allergy tablet before hitting the gym, and that most likely was the problem. Just didn't feel too good most of the day until after making dinner. My foot throbbed if I sat down (go figure) but felt okay standing. Had dinner for my daughter whose birthday is today (29 and holding!) so she and the kids were over a little later than I usually like having company. Started watching a movie with them, with them leaving halfway through, and ended up staying up to watch the rest. I couldn't sleep anyway because my foot was throbbing. Iced some more and tried to sleep. Got up, went to the computer and checked the Rock N Roll marathon results. Go Ellie! You rock! Iced some more. Went back to bed.

But then the mind started churning and these weird thoughts of Ironman wouldn't leave my mind. I was plotting my training. In my daydreams, I had a horrendous 80 mile bike ride. I told someone before the run to just whip me because it wouldn't feel any worse. So that got me thinking: Is this my deciding moment to do an Ironman distance race?? What was I thinking??!#?? I hate sharing my lane in the pool. How am I going to swim with 1800+ other people with the same goal of getting this race done? How am I going to ride 112 miles when 64 just about did me in 5 years ago?? How am I going to run/walk a marathon when running 7 miles makes me feel crippled? Its again all odds that I hope to accomplish this.