Tuesday, February 28, 2006

20-20 Tuesday. I know, it is also "Fat Tuesday" but I figured since we all bust our butts every day working out, the emphasis will not be on the word "fat" for Tuesday.

It was hard to get up today (what's new??). I am feeling the fatigue of bad sleep nights over the weekend. But, since running was the focus for February, I felt compelled to get out there and get a run in. And while I had said before no more long runs on the treadmill, I was glad today was not a long run. The temperature was in the teens (but calm and no new snow), but it was just COLD. I also wanted to get a short swim in, so the gym and treadmill it was.

I didn't have a solid plan on what I wanted to do until I got there, and that based on my time available. I decided today had to be the day to break a barrier. A mental one at that. The physical is hard to do, but the mental is worse. I had to break the "15 min. run" barrier, meaning I had to get over letting myself walk after 15 min. So I decided, okay 20 minutes it is.

The first 5 went okay. The second 5 my mind was whirling a little (can I do this??). By 15 min. I decided, its only another 5, you can do this. Yes, I did.

Then it was hit the pool. I am doing an indoor triathlon again in 3 weeks and wanted to see what 20 min. would get me. I do time myself from time to time for 1000 yards, so today I figured if I could do 20 laps (1000 yards) in 20 min., I would be happy with that. My best up to that point for 1000 yards had been 19:21--and that after a short run.

Getting into the pool, another woman was coming in just as I was. I recognized her from about 10 years ago at some swim meets I had participated in but couldn't remember her name. I am not sure if she remembered me. We started swimming about the same time, but as I remembered her as a much better swimmer (U of M swim team in college), she pulled away. I also noticed in the other lane a woman with HUGE flippers on and I seemed to be swimming almost her speed, even with her flippers. I felt pretty good and began pushing it some, not enough to get out of breath, but enough so I could feel it in my shoulders. It was okay. I was keeping the same pace swimming next to the unremembered named woman (she was always about 3/4 of a lap ahead--I counted strokes when we would pass and was keeping on the same pace). I started thinking, I'm not going to have enough time to do 20 laps. I'll just do the 18 for a half mile. But when I got to 18, and the other woman was done with her swim (I figured she had already reached the half mile point), I decided to just keep going, even if I went over the 20 min. time frame.

20 laps and I stopped, looked at my watch and COULDN'T BELIEVE IT! 18:21! A whole minute faster than my best time trial. I will have to build on this.

Like someone(?) said, sometimes you have to push yourself to do something you don't want to get the results you desire.

Monday, February 27, 2006

Okay, I'm bad. I know, and I apologize to anyone who reads this for doing what I have been doing lately. What might that be, you wonder? What possible thing could I do that would offend any athlete or gym user out there?

I hog 2 lockers at the gym. All the time now. I don't need them. I just want them. I am tired of people crowding me. I want more than 8 inches of space to put my stuff and get ready whenever I go, which is almost every day.

It has never ceased to amaze me that no matter where I put my lock on a locker, no matter how many empty lockers there are around me, someone ALWAYS uses the locker next to me, and without fail, ALWAYS needs to get in there within minutes of me opening mine. Everyone is always polite and apologetic for being in someone's way, but hello! Did you not see my lock on the locker BEFORE you showed up? These things are not preassigned. You have more than one choice of where to go! We have 500 lockers in my Y locker room. I always check to see if someone is next to me before I stick my lock on a locker, for this very reason.

So I have taken it upon myself to use two lockers, preferably on the end of a row, to keep people from piling on top of me. I don't need that much space, but the space I need I want for my stuff and not someone else's sweaty clothes or wet towels.

One woman there takes more room than anyone else. She takes a locker and a full bench every time, AND spreads a full sized towel out on the counter and lays out her stuff in a row to use, apparently in the order needed. I work out of my bag and return the stuff as used to my bag. I only need a plug and a few inches of space to do the hair.

So whip me now with a wet towel, but I am not going to change!

Today's workout: 25 laps in 26 min. in the pool. A little sluggish but I haven't really swam in almost 3 weeks. I want to get back to 1 lap per minute or less.

Indoor triathlon coming up on March 18, and I want to do better than the last one.
Weekend Workouts.

I seem to get behind on the posting of workouts over the weekends because my computer at home is notorious for freezing up in the middle of a post. So here goes again.

Friday it just seemed necessary to get back at the running thing. After all, my theme for the month was supposed to be running. I did pretty well, all things considered, but after returning from the beautiful weather in Phoenix and running 5 days straight!, it was very hard to get out there in the freezing temps and in the dark again. They say it makes you stronger. Hmm. Not sure about that! So I did 30 min. on the treadmill--two 15 min. sets.

It seems to be getting easier, extending my sets, and even going a little faster, but the long runs aren't progressing as I would like.

Saturday was a pretty hard spin class, so maybe that is what caused the long run Sunday to almost not happen. I was tired, I whined, and wanted to forego it, but I always think of all the IM wannabe's out there working their guts out every day/week and decided I don't have much to complain about. Plus I have been doing this stuff long enough to know that what you reap is what you sow. If I want to be reaping far more of a harvest this year than the last 2 or 3, I had better stick to my "seed planting" now.

So the run Sunday was ugly, but it brought me to a new level--I can no longer tolerate doing long runs on the treadmill. I have to get outside, no matter the weather, and face reality. By 2.5 miles, I was ready to quit. I persisted to 4.5 and again wanted to quit. I walked a while instead but that is not what I want to do. I need to break through that 4 mile barrier and keep running. Seven miles was not that far. I have done it many times, but it seemed forever that day. I was so glad to be done!

Friday, February 24, 2006

Oh, I forgot. This is part of my gloomy outlook on the Michigan weather and economy. I listen to the weather and the weather people are almost GLEEFUL that the weather will be colder, more snow, windier, etc. Anything to make news. Then the news casts talk about companies leaving Michigan and/or filing for bankruptcy. "Last in the nation for job creation." Which proves my point. Don't move here. Doom and gloom. The only thing we have going for us is WATER. We have the gorgeous Great Lakes. So I guess water is life.
Ironman Arizona 2007.

I don't know where the seed for doing this race was planted (Shelley??) (not for me, of course, but Don, but now that you mention it, maybe me??). Anyway, looking at the race courses, I was laughing out loud about the fact that most of the time I spent in Mesa/Tempe/Scottsdale revolved around the areas mentioned in the bike and run course, and I saw Tempe Town Lake and could figure the course there too.

I don't know how they do it there. It is such an urban area, I am amazed they can pull this off. Who knows? It may be in the cards to go back again next year.

Not that I would mind.
Less than a month until Spring. At least in theory here in the frozen Midwest. It gets cold, warms up, gets cold, and stays that way. But the positive is that we are on the upside of winter. After spending a week in the sunny and relatively warm southwest, Michigan looks bleaker all the time. We have crappy weather. We have no jobs. The only thing that keeps me here is my family and job, and the job is only for the money side of it. I could go to the Cayman Islands and get a job making as much and pay no taxes.

And the workouts during the vacation happened easily. Get up around 7 am, sit around drinking coffee, have a light breakfast, and then get ready to run. No complaints. Here, I have to not only force myself to get up an hour and a half earlier to do the workout, but then have to force myself to do the workout. It is cold. It is dark. I know others have the same thing. But I don't like it. And as time goes on, I like it less and less. So back to the treadmill today, as opposed to running in the sunshine. Outside. In shorts. In February. I never want to hear anyone who lives south or southwest complain about the weather. I know it gets too hot during the summer afternoons, but morning workouts are the way to go. You're done for the day then.

I always say those of us from the cold weather states need to be given extra points for dealing with the frozen tundra. There is nothing worse than being cold. It is a form of torture. It breaks your concentration. It makes you want to hibernate. Oh yeah, we can feel smug about getting up at o dark thirty, braving the cold for miles and miles, but some would call this lunacy, and I am starting to agree.

And then, to make it worse, we have the lovely summer months where the humidity is 90%, the air is heavy and unbreathable, and Lake Michigan still isn't warm enough to enjoy a swim. We are lucky if we have a window of maybe 8-10 weeks all year of pleasant weather, pleasant meaning temperatures at least in the 60s, no wind, low humidity, and sunshine at least 50% of the day.

So do you think I'm missing Arizona??
Less than a month until Spring. At least in theory here in the frozen Midwest. It gets cold, warms up, gets cold, and stays that way. But the positive is that we are on the upside of winter. After spending a week in the sunny and relatively warm southwest, Michigan looks bleaker all the time. We have crappy weather. We have no jobs. The only thing that keeps me here is my family and job, and the job is only for the money side of it. I could go to the Cayman Islands and get a job making as much and pay no taxes.

And the workouts during the vacation happened easily. Get up around 7 am, sit around drinking coffee, have a light breakfast, and then get ready to run. No complaints. Here, I have to not only force myself to get up an hour and a half earlier to do the workout, but then have to force myself to do the workout. It is cold. It is dark. I know others have the same thing. But I don't like it. And as time goes on, I like it less and less. So back to the treadmill today, as opposed to running in the sunshine. Outside. In shorts. In February. I never want to hear anyone who lives south or southwest complain about the weather. I know it gets too hot during the summer afternoons, but morning workouts are the way to go. You're done for the day then.

I always say those of us from the cold weather states need to be given extra points for dealing with the frozen tundra. There is nothing worse than being cold. It is a form of torture. It breaks your concentration. It makes you want to hibernate. Oh yeah, we can feel smug about getting up at o dark thirty, braving the cold for miles and miles, but some would call this lunacy, and I am starting to agree.

And then, to make it worse, we have the lovely summer months where the humidity is 90%, the air is heavy and unbreathable, and Lake Michigan still isn't warm enough to enjoy a swim. We are lucky if we have a window of maybe 8-10 weeks all year of pleasant weather, pleasant meaning temperatures at least in the 60s, no wind, low humidity, and sunshine at least 50% of the day.

So do you think I'm missing Arizona??
Lost Dutchman 10k Race Report, Sun., Feb. 19, 2006, Apache Junction, Arizona.

This will be the third time trying to post this report. My home computer has a way of waiting until you get almost all the way done on a post before it freezes and you have to start over. So here goes AGAIN!

The Lost Dutchman 10k was part of a series of races, with a marathon, half, 10k, 8k trail run, and a 2 mile family run.

I had considered doing the half when Don and I started looking at races, which for Don have become an annual thing around this time of year (his birthday). I guess he figures its a great way to celebrate a birthday (if you're into pain that is :)). But I decided to be realistic and signed up for the 10k.

The Lost Dutchman race was a top consideration because (1) we knew people who had done it and raved about it, and (2) a lot of my family live in the Apache Junction area. Apache Junction is about 35 miles from Phoenix. We ended up finding an extended stay place in Mesa to stay, where they have kitchenette suites, and the price couldn't be beat: $63.99 a night. While I wouldn't want to stay in Mesa again, it was convenient enough. The whole Phoenix area is busy. Traffic is insane. Getting outside the city into Apache Junction was a whole different world. From concrete to desert. Quieter, less traffic, beautiful scenery.

The day of the race started at 4 am. The start of the marathon was at 7 am, but you had to drive to a shuttle area for the start of the race. The start of the marathon was actually about 6.5 miles out in the desert, and it was a point-to-point race, so it was wise to have a vehicle either at the finish or the drop point area. My race started at the finish of the marathon in Prospector Park. It was a very nice park with soccer fields, playground equipment, picnic areas, and the mountains in the background and the desert all around. Strange for me to see grass that wasn't green at all, just a sort of dried out look to it. Then there were the Saguaros surrounding the baseball diamond and the perimeter of the park, reminding you that you were indeed in the desert. It was still hard for me to believe I was actually there!

My race started at 8 am, so I sat in the cold car until it got light out and then decided to look for Ellie. I didn't see her and needed to get back in the portajohn line, so by the time I saw her, she had actually found me at the start area for the race. She was doing the half marathon and had on her new black running shoes. I wondered to her if her feet might get hot in the black, but she didn't seem to think so. I had been cold and actually had a lightweight jacket on and gloves and headband. Ellie was dressed in her traditional cutoffs and a short sleeved shirt with gloves. I thought I would keep the coat on most of the way, but once the gun went off and we were moving, I actually did warm up quite quickly. (I was way too used to Michigan weather, where it does not warm up just because the sun might be out.) I would say that the temperature felt like it had gone up 10 degrees from the start of the race to the first mile.

At this piont, Ellie decided she wanted to pick up the pace, and I decided I needed to get rid of the coat and gloves. So off she went. I was surprised when I actually got to the first mile marker that it was around 11:10, and more surprisingly that this was my average pace for the race.

I had wanted to keep under 12 min. miles, because all my treadmill miles were about this pace. I felt like I was running into the wind for the first 5k and slightly uphill. Later looking at the elevation chart, it did indicate probably a 1-2% upgrade for the first half. When the pavement ended, we were headed into the desert, with the cactus, sand, and dusty trails. At about the 5k turnaround, there was a fake brick wall, about mile 23 for the marathoners, so they could get their pictures taken going "through the wall." Some of the 10k people ran through too, but I didn't know if we were supposed to. This was also at the top of a steep hill. I wanted to walk and started to, but decided I could make it up. And the guy with the camera kept me going, since I didn't want to have my picture walking.

On my way back, at about mile 4, I started having a low bloodsugar moment and wished for some Gatorade. They had none at that water stop so it was almost mile 5 before I was able to get any. I had to take some walk breaks to get the wooziness over. I noticed too that my hands were swelling, so maybe I needed more fluids and salt. By the time I was able to get water and Gatorade, I was getting the typical stomach cramping I get with lack of fluids. There was a portajohn here thankfully, but it was pretty much just wasted time, since I didn't have to go but thought I might.

By this time too I knew my chances of getting one of the 200 10k finishing medals was a lost cause. I wish I hadn't known about this. It really bugged me that I wasn't going to get one, even though I ran the same race as the first 200. They should just have eliminated medals for the races other than the marathon or half.

Also at this time, there was a guy "running" the race backwards. I had seen him in one of the Detroit area races (maybe the Detroit half) a few years back. He passed me at this point, but I kept him in my sights. I tried not to walk in the last mile, but I'm telling you, I was getting tired, my stomach hurt, and my foot was numb. There were 2 people slightly ahead of me and then the guy running backwards as we approached the 6 mile mark. I walked for about 15 seconds and then started picking up the pace. By the straight away to the finish, I decided I could sprint and maybe overtake the couple in front of me. I did and they didn't respond, so I finished ahead of someone at least. I wasn't even remotely close to last, but still gave me a little thrill to hear my name and city called out.

Finish time was 1:09. I had thought if I could finish in 1:15 I would be happy so this was a surprise. No medal though.

Waited around for a while, met up with Ellie, who finished way before I expected her to (2:09), and then waited for Don, who finished way after I expected him to (4:09--3rd in AG though).

Had some pictures taken with the "Prospector" and his donkey and dog, got something to eat, and left soon after to go to my aunt's and hit the pool and hot tub.

My foot held out pretty well but was touchy for about a day. Nothing sore (didn't run hard enough anyway) except the heel, so felt good.

Got back home Wednesday and Thursday had a lovely snow storm to take my mind off the desert for now.

Thursday, February 23, 2006

Another Arizona pic. Sedona. Not something to miss. This is just one of the "red rock" formations, Bell Rock.

Then there is this, seen from the Chapel of the Holy Cross.

I think it is the sky that brings out the beauty of the red rock. The place everyone I talked to said to see was Sedona, and it was worth the whole drive to see this.

Back from Phoenix area and this is what I miss the most right now. I loved the cactus. And the mountains. And the blue skies. And the warm weather. And the desert. Not much I didn't like, except the traffic maybe.

Right now I am looking out the window in Grand Rapids at heavy snow falling. What a reality check!

Of all the recent places I have been, I would like to go back to Arizona and see more of the area. With the race falling right in the middle of the week I was there, it detracts away from sightseeing. It probably wouldn't have bothered me much, but it wasn't me who was doing the marathon.

It was fun visiting with relatives and Ellie. And Ellie did such a great job on the half marathon! I am proud of her--and her new black running shoes. If I could be that fast, I would be thrilled.

Its funny though. Don did the marathon in 4:09. Ellie the half in 2:09. And me in the 10k in 1:09. Don's time and my time reflect the difficulty of the course. Ellie crashed through the course with all her recent biking.

Race report later.

Tuesday, February 14, 2006

In approximately 36 hours I will be landing in Phoenix, Arizona. I will be spending time with family and friends, Ellie in particular. Looking forward to it!

I will also be running the 10k Lost Dutchman race. I had thought of doing the half marathon, but as noted from past posts, my heel problem was not allowing me to move forward fast enough to be in that kind of shape that soon. The 10k will be a pacing type race. I want to see if I can hold a certain walk/run pattern for the whole race AND finish in a respectable time (for me).

I am also linking up with family who are already in Apache Junction and two others flying in at the same time as I am. What a coincidence. This will be the first time since my mom died (5 yrs.) that I will be able to visit with her sister and two brothers at the same time, so it will be a sort of family reunion. I only wish my kids were going now.

Monday, February 13, 2006

Weekend workouts and heel pain.

This continues to be the same saga as last weekend, but I think I have at least found some relief. The first thing I did different was changed shoes from motion control to stability. Ran twice with those during the week with little to no discomfort immediately following the run, although the heel pain was still there, just not flared up apparently. Saturday my plan was to do a timed 10k (6.2 miles) workout on the treadmill, using the 5/1 method. Surprisingly after the first 5/1 interval, I was able to bump the speed up a couple of notches. During the first 5/1 interval, I realized my treadmill incline was at almost 5%, since it has to be manually cranked to set the incline. The kids messed with it. No wonder I was out of breath horribly after the first 5 min. So I cranked and cranked and cranked until I got back to .5%, which is supposed to simulate running outside (yeah, right--no snow, ice, or cold--not close!). Anyway, the rest of the run was within heart rate and breathing range and I was able during the last few minutes to actually crank up to almost a 10 min. mile--without feeling like I would fall off. Total time was about 1:12, which was 11 min. faster than last week, and definitely less painful.

So I have made some progress with speed and endurance, and after a fashion with the heel problem. Had a massage appointment that afternoon and am glad I planned it that way! She said my muscles were SOOO tight. She actually worked on me for an hour and 20 min. and tried a few different techniques. She tried to work on the heel, but it was too painful. She did suggest an icing alternative to what I was doing, which really wasn't working. The pain in my heel is not directly in the heel but along the outside, and it is very difficult to ice without turning your foot on the side, which doesn't last for long, obviously because it is a very uncomfortable position. So she suggested keeping a sock on, taking a soft ice pack and finding a larger sock, and putting the soft ice pack around my foot, using the other sock to hold it in place. Voila! It has worked wonders in just 24 hours. Now when I grab my heel there is hardly any pain and the swelling has gone down. I need to keep this up for the rest of the week if possible and see if my 10k next week goes okay.

Now maybe I can take back the eighty freakin' dollar shoes I bought to "walk" around in in Arizona.

Saturday, February 11, 2006

Today was the annual Valentine's Day race "Heart & Sole." I haven't run this in probably 7 years. My Donald was second in his age group with 22:35. This man is 63 years old! He still has it, believe me! He is signed up to do Coeur D'Alene in June. I hope he makes Hawaii this year.

Winning time in my AG was 25:29. That was doable about 8 years ago. I am lucky if I can do 30 min. for a 5k now.

Today's workout: 6.2 miles in 72 min. A big improvement from last week. Still have a sore heel. Had a luxurious massage today: 1 hour 20 min. Hopefully got all the kinks out.

Friday, February 10, 2006


Hmmm. Could that be because I have worked the last 12 days straight, getting up at 5:15 or earlier all but 2 days?? I am so glad I am not working this weekend! I work far too many weekends. I sometimes wonder why, but it helps pay the bills. I wonder if I will ever be done with bills. I think I have worked at least 50 hrs. a week for the past 20 years. Non stop.

Maybe this is why I am too tired to train. Maybe this is why I have gained weight over the past 5 years--sitting at least 40 hrs. a week. Maybe this high stress job is why I have become depressed and lazy. Who knows. I know I need a break.

Next week I leave for Phoenix. I am not mentally or physically prepared for this. My back is aching. I am tired. I have nothing ready or planned to pack. I want to go, but it will be a hassle. I will have to work many more hours to make up for 1 week in the sunshine. But I know I need this.

Tomorrow's planned workout will hopefully be 6 miles or more. It will most likely be done on the treadmill. My Donald will be running a 5k. I thought of signing up for this earlier in the year, but it will cut into my "training." I need to be running while he is racing.

I also need for him to understand that even though I am 10 years younger than he is that: (1) I have a HIGH stress job and life that wears me down; (2) I don't want to come home and massage his quads, back, or neck--I need pampering too! (3) while he has the WHOLE day to himself, I have snippets of time--early in the morning if I get up extra early, after work hours before I come home; Sunday when he is running with the group. I love him very much but I need time for me, to train, to sleep, to shop, to just do whatever!

Thursday, February 09, 2006


I forgot. Last night I stopped at the store on my way home from errands, etc. It was around 7:30. I walked down an aisle and suddenly came upon a woman and a young girl looking at something, bent down, not looking at me. Thankfully. It was someone who used to be one of my closest friends. Some of the best years of my life were when she was my runing buddy. I haven't talked to her in at least 7 years, since before her second (and maybe last) child was born. Why? Because I have messed my life up so badly in so many ways I can't face her any more. I didn't want to have to pretend to be doing well, or pretend that my kids are doing well, or anything else. To me, she was a very blessed person. She had brains, looks, and was so nice it would be hard to imagine her life as being anything by idylic. I'm sure there are ups and downs to her life as there are with anyone's.

But I was a coward and turned and left the store without facing her. I have missed her so many times over the last 7 years. I wonder if she ever thinks of me? I hope so. Or knows what has been going on in my life? I hope not. I just look at it as a part of my life that is over and can't be gotten back.

It is cold this morning, windchill of 10 degrees. I could feel it walking into the Y. I could feel it in the pool. The pool is surrounded by floor to ceiling windows and every stroke when my elbow came out of the water, I could feel the cold. I could feel the cold walking back to the showers. I am still feeling the cold at my desk, in the NW corner of my building, by the windows. Well that won't last much longer. Once the office renovations are done, I will be relegated to looking at a closed door all day and not out at the municipal plaza. As for the cold, next week I will be in hot Arizona, so hopefully it stays that way for a week or two.

My back is aching today. It started yesterday morning after I had been at work a while. It didn't bother me on my run and I didn't think of it much last night. But when I got up this morning, my left side is very sore. I probably need a good massage and adjustment, but that is supposed to be Monday and Tuesday before leaving for Arizona. Not sure if I can wait that long though.

I suppose that contributed to my slow swim today. I swam 22:59 for 1000 yds. I usually can do this around 20 min. I suppose I could have miscounted my laps, but that would add maybe 50 more yards.

The lower back is really aching, almost feeling compressed. I haven't done anything different than run longer than usual but in more comfortable shoes.

I can't win. Something always has to be hurting.

Wednesday, February 08, 2006

If I hadn't overslept this morning, I would have gotten my 45 min. in on the treadmill, part of the training schedule for the day. But having to work out at lunch time meant cutting it short, so I only got in 36 min. A little over 3 miles. Did the run 5 walk 1 today, trying to be careful with my foot. So far, it seems that changing shoes has helped quite a bit. No more stiffness or stinging pain in the heel. It could be the shorter distances too. I guess I won't know until the longer run this weekend again.

I really hate the rush rush of working out at lunch time. First of all, it takes at least 1 1/2 hrs to go to the gym. For a 3 mile, it seems like too much time, but you can't get around it. If I go to the Y by my office, it takes almost 15 min. to drive there, get in the parking lot, circle around for a space, wait for a space, and then walk the almost 2 blocks into the building. Then you have to repeat it when you leave. Instead, I drive to a Y that is about 15 miles away and can get to working out faster than the one by my office. Its crazy and makes no sense, but it is all highway driving, close to the highway, and ample parking, and usually a parking spot within 100 feet of the door. Its not that I am too lazy to walk two blocks to the building, it is just a time consuming thing and gets me annoyed before I even start working out. Not to mention having to either change work shoes to walking shoes and having them slopped up to wear inside, or taking baby steps with the heels to avoid falling or slipping.

The only problem with today was I did not have a lunch packed because of getting up late so was going to stop. I decided not to when I saw that I was already 1 1/2 hours away from the office, so decided to slip out later and get something. As luck would finally have it for me, there was leftover food from an office meeting, and I came upon that just as I was getting back to the office. The receptionist said, "Hurry, there's leftovers from the meeting." Yeah!

Tuesday, February 07, 2006

Heel pain. Frustrating. Have to figure it out. I've had this before and it takes forever to get rid of it seems. Not running won't speed the process, but at the same time it hinders running progress. After Saturday's run of 6.25 miles, I have had daily heel pain. Today it was a 2.5 mile treadmill run. Changed shoes from motion control to stability for the cushioning and less restriction on the sore heel. It seems a little better but its not gone. Didn't hurt while running at least. I see these women at the gym getting dressed and putting on those fashion boots everyone is wearing these days, and I wince thinking of the pain they cause me. Ouch! How do they walk on an icy parking lot with those things?? My "fashion" boots have no heel, just a wedge, no pointy toes, just squared toes, and are fairly comfortable. Nothing like those I am seeing every day.

I did it again. Left my car door open at the Y. How does someone do something so stupid as this you might wonder (as am I). I now have an SUV, and always keep my workout things in the back. To get my stuff out, I forget I can lock the car with my keyless entry key (or whatever they are called). So I am still used to opening my driver's door, getting my stuff out, and then locking the car with the door lock on the driver's door. So today, for the third time, I opened my door, got out, went to the back, got my stuff out, and walked away. I had already locked the doors too. Today someone came up to me as I entered the building and told me I had left my door open. Sheesh. I asked if she was going back that way and she said yes, so I asked her to shut the door. Sometimes you have to trust a stranger. Later I got to thinking that it might not have been the smartest thing to do. My purse was sitting out in full view with my wallet right on top. I have got to train myself to stop doing this!

Saturday, February 04, 2006


Yes, I got the run done. By myself, on my own terms.

So now I know why I changed my Lost Dutchman half marathon race to the 10k. Because 13.1 miles would hurt twice as much as the 6.25 mile run I did today. Right now I have so many things that hurt, I have yet to realize the fact that I met my goal of the day and actually surpassed it by one lap. Maybe it was doing 25 laps on an outdoor track that makes my hip/glute and right heel hurt so much. I don't know what to think. I was already falling apart by the last mile, running and walking often. But I did do what I planned and what was on my training schedule. I just hope I can do the same and then some next week without this heel thing. It is so much easier to do this on the treadmill--with the TV--in shorts--in my own home. But I need to get tough. I just don't need to get injured. I'm really too tired right now to write much. Maybe my perspective will be different tomorrow.

Quote of the day: Just do it. Nike ad. I did it.

I got this promo from Health magazine to receive 2 free trial issues. Scanning the topics of this sample (a cover really, no articles) one caught my eye that I thought was appropriate for me. It was entitled Secrets from a Recovering Slacker. LOL! That's me! Tried to find the article online, but no luck.

Friday, February 03, 2006

I forgot to write about what I really meant to write about earlier. My walk this morning. The weather has been beautiful (meaning no cold, no wet, no snow) for two weeks, with the last 3 or 4 days in the mid to upper 40s and no wind. No sun either, but that's the price we pay in West Michigan. We have lovely Lake Michigan to thank for that.

So this morning I decide to walk. I really didn't want to walk away from the Y too far because it is hard to see without street lights and it is in a metropolitan area, meaning residential and business but a little seedy in the residential part. I have been running and didn't mind, but walking seemed to be a little questionable to me. I decided to walk around the block of the Y. It is fully lit the whole way. I started wondering how far and decided it was about the size of a football field. Two times around and I was at 16 min. so I knew it was about twice the size of a football field.
Its always funny to think about the thoughts that visit you when you are walking or running by yourself, your observations, others out and about, etc. The first thing I see is a guy walking in the pitch dark with sunglasses. Hmm. The second thing I notice is the city parking lot had the gates up. Was this to be a "park on the city free day"? I doubt it, since the mayor thinks a tax increase would be appropriate. Then there are the drivers who go through red lights, go down the one-way street the wrong way, people dashing to catch buses, and how frequently people enter and leave the Y parking lot. I counted for a few minutes, and there was someone coming and going probably every 5 seconds.
Its funny how problems seem to work themselves out when you are walking or running alone with no music either. It has a calming effect. Could this be the "runner's high" they hint at? Its been so long since I've reached that I'm not sure. But this could qualify in its own way as such.
Another quote of the day. Couldn't resist: "Obstacles are those frightening things that become visible when we take our eyes off our goals."- Henry Ford

Okay, I have to get psyched up for my "long" run tomorrow--6 miles. Outside. Most likely in the snow. Our spring-like or more appropriately fall-like weather will most likely end tonight. Snow for the next 4 days is a probability. I hope it goes better than the last outdoor run in snow 2 weeks ago. That day, I cut my run short. But I have become stronger since that day. I think I am ready to face it now.

I figured out my route yesterday so that I could start from the Y and end there, as I am working all weekend in anticipation of the upcoming vacation and the need to take part of Monday off. I will need to run early enough to get to work by 10:30 at the latest. I am usually a little crabby after a longer run until I can relax and get some food, so hopefully the day will not be too stressful. After that it will be the West Michigan Auto Show. I could live without going, but we have free tickets so can't turn those down. I will most likely bring my two grandsons and keep them overnight, so I don't expect a restful day or night. Then back up on Sunday to get some sort of workout done again and back to work. Then there is Superbowl. I have decided to NOT attend the annual Superbowl party with the hopes I can just hear about the outcome the next day and get a good night's sleep. I don't want to be in the deficit for sleep like 2 weeks ago.

So those are my obstacles. I have faced them and I'm ready for the challenge.
Quote of the day: "I like running because its a challenge. If you run hard, there's the pain-and you've got to work your way through the pain. You know, lately it seems all you hear is 'Don't overdo it' and 'Don't push yourself.' Well, I think that's a lot of bull. If you push the human body, it will respond." Bob Clarke, Philadelphia Flyers general manager, NHL Hall of Fame.

Interesting thought. We are always told the opposite. I told someone that today. And I am guilty of thinking it. I suppose if you have an injury or illness, it should apply at least some. Otherwise, what would it hurt? You can only know if you try it.

So I guess I can relate that to my morning workout. While February is all about running, I have already pretty much decided I couldn't run every day. My training schedule does have walking mixed in with the running. But of course that is a running training schedule, not a triathlon training schedule. So I should probably do triathlon-related things on days when I have the choice to walk. Like today. And I didn't. I chose the easy route today. I could have run 1.5 or walked 30. Since I was tired today--not from working out, just from it being Friday and the cumulative tiredness of getting up every day at 5 am, working, and everything else, I just walked. I could have done nothing. I did dutifully get dressed to go out and run, but the first step told me it would be a walk. I should have swam 30 min. instead, but I figured that would be too easy. Swimming is easy for me, and it is something I fall back on when I don't feel like running. I didn't push myself to run because I didn't want to overdo!

Thursday, February 02, 2006


Whoops! I almost forgot:

Quote of the day: 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 else. John C. Maxwell

So I guess I can apply that to my new training plan. I am growing and developing. I am using this achievement as a way to achieve a bigger goal--running races again. From there, I will use it to hopefully attain a bigger goal--an IM race. Not this year of course, maybe next if I continue to progress, even with little jumps to the next stepping stone.

Every athlete especially needs to keep this in mind. Stepping stones.

Well its been three whole days of running outside and in a row and I have to say it is going much better than I expected! The pants are getting looser by the day! Yay! I actually forgot how much I like running in the morning, especially when it is dark. And in the winter, especially when there is no snow! I am ecstatic I decided to make this my running focus for February and we started out the month with no snow. It just makes it a whole lot easier to build up for the long weekend runs.

I also mentioned before that I LOVE having a training schedule I can actually follow! None of this trying to train for a half marathon in the next 2 weeks when my long run is about 7 miles. And that about killed me. And left me worn out for the rest of the week. I need to take this slower. This schedule has me running almost every day, but short distances to build up--2 miles one day; 30 min. another; 1.5 miles and walk 15 min. another. I can do that! Who can't? But the shorter distances also keep me injury free to get started. Nothing hurts that can't be worked out with a good stretch. And it also allows me to swim, do weights, or other gym workouts as well.

So I am psyched at the possibility of making a new start this year and trying to bury the past mistakes, injuries, and disappointments in my performance. I am looking ahead excitedly instead of anxiously to the running/tri season. I can actually see myself completing some races this year instead of avoiding them. I might actually make it to the A- group of bikers this year instead of back with the C group. :) (All good people of course.) But I also don't want to get sucked into someone else's training plan. I need to find people who are either starting out or over, like me. Right now, its good to have all the blogs to read to keep me motivated.

Wednesday, February 01, 2006

Quote of the day: "What lies behind us and what lies before us are tiny matters compared to what lies within us." Oliver Wendell Holmes

I am going to try to come up with some sort of quote of the day as often as possible, something that ties in with all this training and life in general. I think what this is saying is the past determines the future, but there are aspects other than events that will determine what we are made of. "What lies within us" can mean we have a lot left to offer than what we are aware of until tested. So to relate this to training for an upcoming event: Past training will determine future results, but you may have more in you if you dig deep enough.
Since discovering my "training" schedule I didn't know existed until today, its a good thing February is going to be all about running. They have us running almost every day, short distances, except for long runs on the weekend. Having it laid out before me, I actually think I can do this. I love training schedules! Its just what I needed. Takes the guesswork of what to do today and keeps me focused on tomorrow. And with the small increments of distance every week, it should keep me injury free and help to build the endurance I have lacked for a while. As Mipper said in one of her posts, running inside makes you soft. I know it but enjoyed it. But I have to be realistic in that every race is going to be run outside, so getting conditioned slowly shouldn't be as painful.
Scheduled Activity for February 1, 2006
Beginner: 1 mile run, 30 min. walk
Expert: 5 mile run

Duh! I have been keeping track of my workouts on a calendar on a website that has a training program for a 25k on May 13. I have kept track for a whole month and not once did I see what they suggest as a scheduled activity for that particular day. So this was the scheduled workout for today, and I am happy to see that I surpassed what I was supposed to do. I actually ran again this morning outside for 34:56. While it wasn't as good as yesterday, I probably could have gone longer if I had had more time. I had to take a few walk breaks, but nothing more than across an intersection, or around a corner. I actually went 4 blocks farther this morning.

It was fun to once again be watching the world wake up and get going, watching all the coffee shops getting busy, kids waiting for busses, people out walking dogs. I startled a rabbit (in the city no less), but it was not a wild rabbit. It looked like someone's pet that had either gotten loose or was let loose. I have had rabbits, and this was definitely a one-time pet.

While I had not planned to run tomorrow, my "scheduled activity" calls for a 2 mile run. And while I should be in the "expert" category, sadly I fail that test for now.