Monday, September 29, 2008

FOOD, FUN, AND FRIENDS: TORONTO SCOTIABANK WATERFRONT HALF MARATHON, SEPT. 28, 2008 Some good dinner pics, for sure. Top: Jan, Anne, Laurel, me, all enjoying our meal and some adult beverages the night before the race. We kept things under control, sticking to just one glass of relaxing wine. Then it was off to bed early and hopefully a good night's sleep.
Below: Jan, race morning, all ready to go. One thing we learned, being outside of our own country, was how metrically challenged we were! Kilometers! Celsius! We had no idea what to wear race day until that morning. Example: it was 15 degrees. Celsius. Fifteen degrees to us means cold and snow. Celsius means about 60 degrees. So we were confused at first (maybe still!).

Post race: Can't tell if you can see the name of the celebratory wine Anne bought. It was called "Girl's Night Out." How appropriate!

And here we were, post race, enjoying more adult beverages (Laurel, Anne, Jan). Danny the Dolphin, at the kiddie pool/hot tub/water slide area. The hotel had made a very bad decision scheduling a cleaning of the adult pool/hot tub the day of the race, so we were forced to hit the kiddie pool. Below: Anne at the hot tub.

Two pics of views from our hotel. We had a balcony room, but the door was jammed, so these were from the inside. Not bad actually.

Its hard to sort out and put into words the wonderful weekend we had! Toronto is a beautiful city. I can see why so many people immigrate here. Not only is it beautiful, but seemed very clean and safe.

Jan and I flew into Toronto, via Grand Rapids and west to Milwaukee, and then back east to Toronto. Not efficiency travel, but that's what you get when you have to look for cheap fares. It was a long day of travel, but we chatted about everything you can imagine, and the time passed fairly quickly. It also proved to be one of the most uneventful air travels I have experienced, so it never seemed exhausting or annoying.

We arrived at the hotel much later than we had anticipated, and I was anxious to call Laurel (Lily on the Road) and have our long awaited meet up. Fortunately, she and Anne, her roommate for the weekend, were still up at 10:30 when we called, and they invited us to their room. We then chatted again until almost midnight! We found we enjoyed each other's company right away, and planned a dinner meet up the next day. I reluctantly decided we needed to say good night so they good get some sleep, and Jan and I headed to the bar for a nightcap.

Jan, with her broken collarbone wearing a sling was an open invitation for conversation and questions everywhere we went. Most people assumed she had a broken arm, so we just went with the flow on that. Basically, we closed the bar down (they closed at 1:30 am) and then went to the room and to sleep, with me waking up at 7:59 am the next day.

I felt like I'd overslept or something! I hardly ever sleep that late. I decided to head to the adult pool for a swim. My back had been bothering me all week, since the 10 mile race the week before, and while it was considerably better, I was still having enough discomfort to be reminded of it constantly. I should have hit the hot tub after but felt like I should get back to the room and get ready for breakfast before we totally missed that. My stomach was growling, and we had not really had a dinner meal the night before, so I didn't want to go too long without food the day before a race.

After showering and dressing, we headed to the Market Square restaurant/buffet in the hotel. Jan wanted pancakes, but we got the impression the chefs didn't know what that was, and it soon became apparent that pancakes are not a continental breakfast food in Toronto. We decided on the "Chelsea Breakfast," which consisted of scrambled eggs, bacon, potatoes, toast, and juice. All good, except we got enough bacon for 3 breakfasts!

After breakfast, we decided to head to the expo. I stopped at the concierge desk to get a map and we bumped into Laurel and Anne! They were headed out to take Laurel's dad to lunch, so we said our goodbyes and headed to the expo.

Once outside, we found it was drizzling rain. I had my umbrella, so we crammed ourselves under it and started our hike to the convention center. We had a general idea of where to go from Laurel's directions, but we soon forgot where we were supposed to turn and instead started following a couple of guys who "looked like runners," figuring we could find our way from them. However, we lost them when they turned off somewhere. For all we knew, they were headed to a strip club or something! So then we did the smart thing and actually looked at the map. We figured out where we were and where we needed to go and all was good again.

Once we got down to Front Street, which is where the convention center is, we noticed a considerably bigger number of people everywhere, reminding me somewhat of NY City, but not that crowded. By now the drizzle had let up, so we didn't have to fight our way through the throngs of people with that. We finally got to the convention center and made our way to the packet pickup area first, got our shirts, a cool tote bag, and our numbers. Jan needed to get her corral color changed from the speedster corral to the slower moving runner corral. She was now going to be walking most of the race, throwing in a little jogging here and there.

This was a great expo, and I spent way too much money here, something I wasn't going to do! Jan was drooling over all the medals of upcoming races at the booths set up for this. It looked to us like race organizers are finally getting the message that its not the race but the bling that draws more crowds! So many races! So little time.

After hours at the expo, my back was really bothering me, to the point where I knew if I didn't get off my feet soon I was going to have some serious problems later in the day. It had gone from a dull ache to almost numbness and pain, so I was hurting. And we still had, we found out later, 1.5 miles left to get back to the hotel. It was raining again, so we waited for 10 minutes and it cleared up, but it was enough for me to take some pressure off the back.

The plan later in the day had been to meet up back at the expo with Anne and Laurel and three other bloggers, Marlene, Tiggr, and Emily. But once we got back to the hotel, there was no way I was going to be able to walk down there again. That would have been a total of 6 miles of walking for the day. Before a race. So I had to beg off, and I'm sorry I didn't get to meet them, but that's the way things go sometimes. Hopefully they had great races and I'm anxious to read their reports.

We did agree to meet up with Laurel and Anne at a closer restaurant, Little Anthony's, but it still mean another 1.5 mile walk to and from the hotel. So we still probably covered almost 5 miles that day, probably closer to 7 counting the expo. Not smart for me that day.

Dinner (pics above) was great. The restaurant had linens on the tables and real silverware. Its nice to treat yourself whenever you can! We had more good conversation and then headed back to the hotel calling it a fairly early night. I took pain medication, used ice and a heating pad on the back, and fell asleep and slept good.

Morning came early, 5:15. As soon as I got up, I could feel the back was mainly tight, tight enough where it was hard to get in any type of decent stretching, which I desperately needed. And of course we faced the weather dilemma. After getting the correct temperature and going outside briefly, I totally changed what I was going to wear. It was about 60 degrees with 94% humidity, like a Florida morning just like Laurel said.

Our hotel was only about 1/2 mile from the race site, so we headed down around 6:45 and got right in the corrals, since they were no where near full yet. I'm sure everyone was in the porta john lines, but having come straight from the hotel, we didn't have to deal with that. I did feel like I could go, but didn't want the hassle of the long lines.

Standing around waiting for the race, my back was tightening up, so I sat on the curb for a while and stretched until the corrals started filling up and it was getting close to time to start running. I'm not exactly sure of the participant numbers, but I never felt jammed or crowded waiting in the corrals for the race to start. I was concerned about Jan getting knocked around, but she even said it was very civilized, and she never had a moment of panic of getting jostled.

Once the race started, Jan dropped back and to the side. Laurel took off like a canon, and Anne and I hung back. I wasn't feeling 100% with my back, but it didn't really bother me to run. I had hoped to run 2:40 or better and feel I have that in me, so when I came upon the 2:30 pace group, I stuck with them for a while, almost thinking it was too slow. But after 30 minutes, I started slowly dropping back, without being able to do anything about it. We just separated, and I never saw them again.

Here too is where I felt unable to do the math, being used to miles and not kilometers. I know the usuals, 5k, 8k, 10k, but the ones in between were what had me confused so I decided to focus on only the ones I knew and figure my time when I arrived as to maybe what I could do overall. By 10k, however, I was really tight and starting to actually get a pain going up my hip flexor area into the side, almost like a side stitch but not really. So I shortened my stride more than I already had, and that helped ease it. This though meant I started slowing down more and more, and by the time I got to 12k, I knew I was losing time badly. I saw Laurel on the return portion (it was almost an out and back for the half marathoners) and determined she was at least 15 min. ahead of me then. When I got to the same place later, I saw Jan, and realized she was only about 15-20 minute behind me! Way to go Jan!

We had our names on our bibs, so it was encouraging to hear your name called out as you would go through the aid stations. A very nice touch! It surprised me the first time someone called out my name though because I was thinking "Who do I know handing out water??"

But that too meant I was really slowing down. Still, I could only do what I could do and decided to just keep up my 8.5 minute run/1.5 min. walk pacing. The weather was fairly nice, with sun and clouds and wind, and by the time we were at 13k, we were running close to the water, so even though the breezes coming off Lake Ontario helped keep things cool, I was sweating pretty good, and my hair was almost soaked. It was obviously the humidity.

I wasn't having a great race anymore, less so than when I started. When I started, at least I was still positive it would be a good enough day. Now, I wasn't so sure. Those stupid little doubts start creeping in and now I knew I was going to have to go kilometer by kilometer to keep myself focused. I also was able to do the math, figuring once I hit 16k I only had a 5k to go and I knew I could do that regardless of how things were going.

About 14k, I suddenly came up behind the 2:45 pace team, and here is when I really got disappointed. I knew I was behind, so decided to just stick with them, even though my watch really didn't indicate a 2:45 finish, but faster for me. But here again, by the time we got to the 15k mark, I was starting to lose them and drop back some, not intentionally, just because I couldn't hold their 10/1 run/walk ratio.

Between 15 and 16k, mentally I was losing control. I was disappointed I wasn't going to make my goal, my back was extremely tight and sore, and I was again having trouble doing the math. This went on until about 18k, when I regrouped and pulled myself somewhat together. I never stopped moving, just had started taking more walk breaks and trying to stretch out the back. But by 19k, I was almost beside myself again, and decided once I got to 20k I was not stopping again no matter what. And that's how I finished the race, taking shorter steps, going slower to avoid needing to stop.

Once we turned back onto Bay Street, where the race was to finish, they had divided the street into two sections, one for the half marathoners, and one for the marathoners, and they also had big signs indicating you were 500 meters, 400 meters, 300 meters, etc. right up to the finish. And running up Bay Street, you had the old clock tower ahead of you to guide you to the finish. It was a great finish area, and I heard my name called at the finish line for once, and not because I was last either! Finish time: 2:47:47. A PW so far this year but a great race otherwise.

I had planned to meet up with Jan, Laurel and Anne after the race, but not knowing what anyone had done, and only guesstimating what Jan would do, I finally left the finish area, got rid of my chip, sat down to recover my back, and the next thing I knew here comes Jan! She had done 2:55! That was almost 30 minutes faster than she thought possible. I might have done better walking/running with her!

We met up with the other ladies then, got some food, and attempted to work our way back from the race to the hotel. We all decided a bottle of wine and the hot tub were necessary to recover from the race, so Anne and Jan walked to a liquor store, with their race gear and mylar blankets, and bought us some wine. We went to their room, tipped a few, headed to the hot tubs, and then back to the rooms to shower and change for dinner. We all decided a good steak dinner was in order, so made a reservation at Hys, a very elegant restaurant (and very expensive, but what the heck, you only live once!). We had a wonderful dinner, and my back was feeling much better that evening after that hot tub soak.

After dinner, we ended up back in the bar, chatting with marathoners, and all too soon it was time to part company again, with promises of another meet up in the future. Great weekend!

Friday, September 26, 2008


That's where I'm headed this weekend. Jan and I will be leaving on a jet plane later this afternoon. The race is Sunday. Looks like the good weather we are enjoying here in Michigan right now will mostly follow us, with a low on race day of 52 and a high of 71. That means probably mid 60s finish time, similar to last weekend.

Its so hard to plan what to wear when you are going to be away from home. I tend to always bring too much, but I'd rather have a choice than have to scramble and buy something I probably don't need otherwise.

I'll be meeting up with Lily on the Road at some point tonight or tomorrow. It should be a great time! There are several others, so it will be a fun blogger meet up. Not bringing my laptop. I'll be acting as "valet" for Jan and hauling her stuff as well as mine, so that's one less thing I will have to drag around. I hate being cutoff like that though!

We'll be staying at the Delta Chelsea Inn, which is fairly close to the race start/finish. Internet here is not free either, running about $10.95 a day, so I'll be skipping the internet access.
Wish me luck, and I'll be back on Monday with details!

Thursday, September 25, 2008


Every day fitness is important to me, and I'm sure others like minded who read the triathlon and running blogs. To me, that means doing something every day. And by doing something, I don't mean running a marathon or doing a triathlon. I just mean something every day, for 10 minutes if that's all you want, walking around the block, walking up the steps instead of taking the elevator. Something.
Today we had another in a series of wellness seminars put on by my employer. I've attended all of them, not only out of interest but also because there is always an incentive for us to attend these functions. The majority of the people who go, do so only for the incentive. Today's topic was "Move it to Lose it." Some of the information learned (and which you may already know):
The Art of Weight Loss--Goal: Achieve a negative energy balance. To do so, you have to eat less and exercise more.
  • You must exercise in order to lose body fat.
  • Exercising all the time at a really high intensity does not guarantee you will lose weight.
  • Its a myth that the more you exercise the more fat you will lose. Why? Because it does not factor in what you eat to make up for the calories and energy burned.
  • Every year after age 25 you lose muscle mass due to a decrease in resting metabolism, up to 15* pounds by age 55. Loss of muscle equals gain in fat.

These are just a few of the topics discussed. The bottom line of course is that exercise is the key to long term weight management. So then I did the math (and correct me if I'm wrong) on that 15* pounds of muscle loss, multiplying 3500 x 15 = 52,500 calories. At this rate, I figure it would take 53 weeks to lose 15 pounds by eliminating 500 extra calories a week, by both diet and exercise. I might just want to take up that challenge!

Monday, September 22, 2008

Today was the day for that dreaded yearly physical. You know the feelings you get: is my weight good? Is my blood pressure satisfactory? How about the cholesterol thing? I worried all weekend about this. Not that I really was all that worried, but you know how you get. I can't get out of the car and go have my blood pressure checked without it being a little high. And the weight thing is always a work in progress--up and down and up and down. Not a lot, just enough for me to feel like I can do better, you know those 5 or 10 pounds you'd like to be done with forever. Definitely there had been an improvement in overall physical strength over the past year, and from what I can tell, my determination to always strive to be better and keep on going is probably as strong. But what I didn't expect to hear from the doctor?
"Because of you, I became a runner. You inspired me." Wow! At least I know I'm doing a little something good in this world.

Saturday, September 20, 2008


While I wouldn't recommend anyone else doing this, the best thing for me to do was wear the new shoes I bought Friday night for the 10 mile race on Saturday morning. You'd think I would know better, having run now for more than 20 years, that when it feels like I am running with boards strapped to my feet and my hip aches with every step that I don't just need new shoes, I am way past due for them. Some things you just never learn.

So after last week's 3 runs, all of which resulted in a bone jarring hip pain during and after each run, I knew I had to get the shoes. I planned to get them on Saturday AFTER the race, but after the misery I went through on my Thursday night run, I knew it was the shoes and not just something else going on. I had iced, stretched, and used the tennis ball all week, with some relief, but the hip pain was nagging and lingering, so I knew. Instead, I bought the shoes Friday after work Friday night, at the same store where they had Friday night packet pickup, brought them home, and wore them around the house for a while. At that point, I still did not really plan to wear them the next day, but after an uncomfortable night because of my low back/hip pain, even after ibuprofen, icing, and heat, I figured I would decide whether I would wear them in the morning.

Once I picked up my old shoes this morning, I knew I was wearing the new shoes, no matter the consequences. They felt stiff and looked really beat up. I figured the worst I would go through would be toe cramping, but that would beat 10 miles of my hip aching, and maybe having something get screwed up and lingering into next weekend's half marathon. I was going to take my chances.

It was a perfect almost fall day--upper 50s at the start, mid 60s at the finish. The only complaint about the weather was the high humidity, around 80%. I soon felt this in the first mile, where it was a little difficult getting the breathing under control. I purposely hung back at the start to keep from getting that out-of-breath feeling, but it was happening somewhat anyway because of the humidity. Soon, the pack ran away from me, as usual. The walkers had started 15 minutes ahead of the runners, so my first goal was to pass them. I stuck to a 8 1/2 run, 1 1/2 walk, because that seems to get me through runs of that distance or longer without much training and without totally losing pace sooner than I wanted to. I had really hoped to be running a little stronger by now, but it has only been less than 3 weeks since my virtual race run/bike/swim extravaganza, with two back-to-back 120+ miles on the bike and close to 20 mile weeks running. My long run last weekend did not go well because of the hip pain, so I was just going to have to back off a little and do what I could do.

The route is a very familiar route for me, because it encompasses most of my training run routes and winds through an older part of town that was my stomping grounds as a kid. The only complaint about the course is that about 50% of it is on rough, uneven pavement, making it feel more like a trail run on pavement than a road run. I am so prone to turning an ankle or tripping over cracks in the road that I was constantly zig-zagging around the worst parts. Only a couple of small hills, otherwise almost flat.

At the first mile marker, I was under 11:30 pace, and that of course included one walk break, so I was happy with that. Then I did something I NEVER do: hit the split button on my watch. Or at least I thought I did, and maybe I did, but the next time I looked at my watch, it still had the same time as the first mile split, so I must have stopped it. Dang! Don asked me recently what my splits were at Steelhead on the run. Splits? I never do that. I don't even know how to do that. He couldn't believe it. I am split challenged, and today proved my point.

I quickly checked the actual time on my watch and decided I had probably missed timing about 3 minutes or more, so then had to reconfigure my run/walk plan. I can tell you right now, I'm not doing that again. The biggest nuisance for me was to constantly see a "2" for split when I was trying to check the actual time in seconds. My watch switches back and forth, but still, it was just too annoying for me. Just give me the chrono time and that's all I need.

Just after the third mile, I saw Don being course marshall at one of the corners. This was also close to where we would enter Riverside Park, and run on the bike path along the river. I had managed to pass a lot of the walkers before 3 miles, so I was happy with that, but the first male runner was on his way back just after I passed 3 miles. Oh well, I never said I would be fast.

In fact, after this, you could see returning runners for the next mile and a half since the route through the park was out and back. Eventually I started seeing the women in my age group, all on their way back. This was my first race in a new age group, but I still didn't fare any better. These women are like hens--the older they get, the tougher they are. So I figured unless they went through at least 10th place with medals, I would be going home with nothing today except the pleasure of getting to run in such wonderful weather.

Shortly after entering the park, I could hear footsteps right behind me again. I had passed quite a few people before 3 miles, but now I could hear someone close behind. And the way the shadows were playing tricks with me, I kept thinking I saw two people coming up behind me. I finally turned and saw one woman, who apparently was running from one side of the path to the other. She said she was just pacing off me--and she was walking! Talk about feeling like a snail! But I still stuck with my run/walk plan. I was feeling fairly good but was hungry. I could feel my stomach growling. I had one Gu with me, figuring they would have more at the aid station in the park, but no such luck this year. I was glad I saved it then, and decided I would have to wait until I hit the 5 mile mark to use it.

As we ran through the park, you could still see evidence of flooding from last week's heavy rainfall. Most of the path itself is high enough to not get any flood waters on it, once the spring thaw and rains subside, but the playgrounds were like islands, with river water coming right up to the cork like material they use under the equipment. But they also rerouted us away from the river and up nearer the soccer fields, where again the road was rough, bumpy, and filled with holes. That made it more difficult for me too because again I had to run around all this stuff. And at this point, the only woman who passed me since mile one came by, and I realized there was no way I would catch her so put it out of my mind.

As we were finally nearing the turnaround, I could see that part of the parking lot, near one of the boat ramps, was completely under water still, so I think there was a course change and we had an out and back on the bike path instead. Here I finally passed some more runners, and at the 5 mile mark passed some more. Then I took my Gu and more water, but knew it probably wouldn't really kick in for another 20 minutes. I really wish I had had one more before this and one for after but this would have to do.

As I continued on through the park, even with my run/walk ratio, I managed to pass everyone in front of me on the bike path. As I headed off the path and back to the street, I was really starting to feel the whole race. Maybe if I had had a better run last weekend, I might feel better today. But who ever knows? I was doing what I could do. I passed Don again and said "You'll probably be out here longer than I will!" I know he was enjoying seeing all the people he knew--all in front of me, including the 80 year old guy from here who has run probably about 100 or more marathons.

By the time I hit 7 miles, I was seriously wanting this to be over. I was worried I would fall apart too soon, and my goal was 2 hours or less. Because my chrono time was messed up, I really wasn't sure where I was timewise, but could only guesstimate. I held on through the next water stop and around the corner from that, but that's where mentally and physically I just had to walk off my break time. I could see two people far ahead on the street, one walking, the other shuffling, and I wanted to at least pass them. However, that didn't happen until almost mile 8, so I held on for another block or so and then had to walk again. I really wasn't feeling that great but knew I had to keep going or I wouldn't make my goal time. So on I trudged, finally passing another guy who was at a walk, and continued until after one of the last bridges on the route. Here, I took in some gatorade to see if that would help, but I think it was too late for that. I held together until I got around the corner, almost missing the turn, and then walked out of my interval time again. I was calculating my time and started figuring I wouldn't make it but would be close. So then I allowed myself to just relax and forget about it.

I was getting a little crazed here though and wanted to see that 9 mile mark in the worst way. Then it was run/walk, run/walk through the last mile. I was pretty spent, even though I knew I did not finish in 2 hours. Actual time: 2:02:27. Even if I had run 2:27 faster, it wouldn't have changed my place (last in AG) and the next closest was 1:40, so there would have been no catching her anyway.

So hopefully this will be a good training run for the Scotiabank Toronto half marathon on Sept. 28. That's all I wanted from this anyway. And the good news was not one minute of hip pain and no toe cramping either until after the race!

Thursday, September 18, 2008


How do you know when its time for new running shoes? For me, its hip pain. Not the kind I've had with ITB, but pain during and after a run. It eases with stretching and icing, but its there, nagging at me day in and day out, a sure sign its time for new shoes. I've been to the chiro recently but haven't had a massage in a while. Still, I'm sure new shoes are needed.
Got that birthday gift card just in time, and this weekend will be scouting around for my favorite pair of shoes, Brooks Adrenaline.
I've been wearing these now for a few years and they seem to be a good choice for me. And the good news is they haven't changed much year to year. How much longer they'll make this shoe is anyone's guess. Hopefully I can find my size at the running store! It would be great if they were actually on sale too!
I doubt I will be able to wear them for my race this weekend or the Toronto half next weekend, but they certainly will make the runs in between more comfortable. It almost amazing how once I get a new pair of shoes, something that's bothering me goes away almost from the first run.
I'll be reporting on my success in finding the shoes and having pain free runs again!

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Nothing much going on, nada, zero. Nothing much to say, nada, zero. Been busy at work, blah blah blah. Too much birthday partying last week. You all know the story. Trying to keep up with blogs here and there but neglecting my own.
I have been training: running, doing pushups, swimming, biking, etc. This weekend I do have this race coming up, which is a 10 mile race, and then next weekend, I have this race, which is a half marathon in Toronto with blogger Lily as well as a couple of her friends and my friend Jan, who as you remember is recovering from her bike accident. She still won't know until next Tuesday whether she will be needing surgery, but she figures with a 3 hour 40 minute cutoff for the half that she can walk the whole thing. Either way, she says she's still going, whether she can walk/jog or not.
I'll be updating on how the 10 mile run goes. I can't say my long runs have felt that good, so there's no way to know how this will turn out. I almost can't believe it might be easier to do a 25 mile or longer bike ride first! Its been since June that I've done stand alone long runs, meaning without a bike ride first. I might just have to ride before the race to get the legs primed!

Friday, September 12, 2008


When I get startled, I scream. Doesn't matter what causes it, I scream. Always have. And yep, that happened at about 6:15 this morning when this jumped out at me! This ginormous moth has been hiding out in the house for days. This morning I looked around the windows and curtains to see if it was still there, didn't see it and breathed a sigh of relief. Not only has it been in the house, but it has been totally elusive when trying to catch it and put it outside again. I'm not afraid of these things, just don't want them flying around in my face scaring me to death!

So there I am, packing my lunch, getting ready to leave, putting the lid on a food container when all of a sudden that creature flies up in my face! Apparently, it was under the food container lid when I picked it up and decided to escape just before I put the lid on him.

OMG did I scream bloody murder! I honestly can't believe someone didn't call the police thinking someone was getting murdered! I think I actually scared the crap out of the moth too! Knocked a cup of coffee over and everything.

So that pretty much was my cardio workout for the day before my swim! (3/4 mile in 31 min.)

Hope everyone stays dry this weekend!

Tuesday, September 09, 2008

Must be the birthday fairy was listening. I got a gift card to the local running store which I will be using for new shoes! Just in time.

Monday, September 08, 2008


Someone else posted on a similar subject of being somewhat lighter in the wallet from buying shoes recently. However, hers referred to running shoes, not work shoes.

With the cooler weather bearing down on us a little too fast, it was time to put away the toeless shoes and sandals from the summer and begin that exhausting chore of finding work shoes for fall. I would be perfectly happy wearing shorts/jeans and sandals all year long if I could get away with it. But walking through the snow and cold isn't that much fun when your toes and legs are freezing off. Even in the office, it sometimes gets so cold my feet are freezing, and I had resorted some days to wearing pantyhose just to keep my toes warm in my sandals.

But office protocal requires regular "shoes" as well as proper dress, so yesterday was spent trying to hunt down the perfect pair. The perfect pair isn't necessarily anything in fashion at any given time, but it does require some work on my part to not end up with something orthopedic looking while at the same time being comfortable enough for my finicky feet. My feet have gotten better the last couple of years, just from finally getting my running stride corrected and finding a decent pair of insoles.

And how often does this happen, when you actually are forced to go shopping for "regular" clothes, all you want to look at is workout stuff?? In reality, there isn't anything I need for running, biking, or swimming right now, no matter the weather, other than new shoes soon. But of course, after spending over $100 on required clothing and shoes, the running shoes will have to wait another few weeks. They really should give us a clothing allowance!

Sunday, September 07, 2008


That was my question as the local triathlon yesterday. I had opted out of the race because its one of those local races that gets bigger every year, and with 1500 people entered, you can imagine the chaos. Last year I decided would be my last. Too much of a mess. And I was tired, tired, tired from my long and busy month of August. But I had said I would do my run over to the race that morning and watch her finish. The race venue is almost in my back yard.

When I got there, I realized I had miscalculated the starting time by one-half hour, so it was likely she could already be out on the run. I pretty much figured she would be in one of the last waves, based on age, but when I ran into a friend in the 45-49 age group, she said her wave was second! So then I really did not know.

But I dutifully watched and waited, looking around for her husband at the finish, but unable to pick him out of the crowd. And so I watched and waited longer, until it was clear she had either finished or dropped out or maybe hadn't come at all. I headed back home and throughout the day checked for results (I could have called her but duh, I just didn't think of it!). The website said they would be up by 4 that day.

So I went for a bike ride with Chiarunner. We had a nice 28+ mile ride. Got home, checked for results again, still nothing. By now, it was after 5 pm. Did some more laundry, made dinner, was just about done eating and the phone rang. It was Jan. "Hey did you do the race today? I didn't see you." "Yes, but..."

But she had a bike crash and was calling from the hospital! I pretty much freaked out when I found out. Her injuries include a broken clavical, two breaks, concussion, road rash with gravel still embedded in her palm, and other numerous bumps, scrapes, etc. And here's what's so freaky about it. Her crash was almost in the exact spot where I was hit two years ago almost to the day! (Another reason I don't like that race!)

So for the next two weeks, its a watch and wait on the collar bone to see if she will need surgery. No running for now and not much else either for at least the two weeks. She's still talking about going to Toronto, however, and walking the half if she has to. I guess time will tell.

Oh, and as for race results? Not up yet!

Wednesday, September 03, 2008

Ahhh. Its over. Its a new month, the numbers are tallied, and the winners are. . . .
Jan, 1st place
Vickie, 2nd place.
I knew this was how it would come out. Jan was ahead of me from the first week, since it was right after Steelhead and I was out of town for 12 days. My only exercise options during that time were running, walking, or swimming, and I didn't do much of anything due to recovery from Steelhead and being on vacation. And naturally, the "race" started on Aug. 4, and Steelhead was on Aug. 2, so those miles couldn't count for the virtual race.
They did count, however, for my monthly totals which are:
Swim 4400 yards
Bike 365.5 miles
Run 57.9
Walk 13 miles
Canoe 8 miles
Total: 446.9 miles.
In reality, I totalled more miles than she did over the 4 week race, but she did reach the goal of 370 miles first. I was a biking/running fool the last week to get caught up and go over the top. And then there was that 8 mile canoe trip we took on Sunday, which was more like canoeing in a gravel pit since the river was so low most of the way we were pushing the canoe more than paddling. That was an ordeal in itself! I was counting that though no matter what!
Now, on to a new month and new adventures!