Sunday, 30 December 2007

Year End Reflections...

It was on New Year's Eve last year that I first came up with the idea of running a half-marathon. A friend who had done triathlons with me agreed that in 2007 we would do 2 triathlons and one half-marathon. She later decided she wasn't going to do any of that, but I did. I did two half-marathons and one triathlon.I got to run along the beach in Galveston, TX in April. That was fun! (Can you imagine what a great photo that would have been with a real camera and not a cell phone?!?)

The Colfax (half) Marathon was a revelation for me. It was truly a life changing experience. I loved the entire thing. I just enjoyed it. I ran, but not fast. I realized it wasn't about anyone else. For me, it was only about me. I tried to be an asset to the course, I tried to smile as much as I could (and look like an idiot in most of the pictures of me), I thanked the policemen, etc. It was great.

In August, I did my 4th triathlon. I was satisfied with my performance. But I was less than happy with the race. It was my third time to do the tri for the cure, but it left me not wanting to do it again. First, as I got done, I stumbled around looking for food and got told that the food I was about to grab was for "survivors only." I could only find plain bagels and green bananas for the saps who raised money for the 'survivors.' That was awful. But then when I got home and took my clothes off, I was covered with black spots. The next day I was covered in angry red welts where the black spots had been. I got no response when I called the race organizers to see WTF occurred. I did some research and found that a large percentage of the race participants got this thing - if I recall correctly - called 'swimmer's itch' which is a very nice way of saying that parasitic larvae had burrowed into our skin and were causing inflammation, itching and rashes. YUCK. I have not gone swimming once since then!

In October, I did my second half-marathon - which was another glorious experience. It was 37 degrees and pouring rain the entire time, but the race was fun, the course was good. The Denver Marathon Race Director was Dave McGillivray, and I think he might know something about how to put on a good marathon!

I have been without a big goal since October and I really feel it. I need to get back to training. I am still thinking I want to do a whole marathon in 2008. I haven't decided which one. It is going to have to be a race at sea level, with a long time limit.

So, all in all, 2007 was a great year for my body. I appreciate all the help you bloggers have been. Even today, I was beating myself up for the slow 3 mile run I took this morning - and I read others' blogs and everyone seems to be doing the same thing today. It put it into perspective.

I am not in my 20s. I just turned 56. I just thank God that I am physically capable of even thinking about running a marathon! What a miracle!

Thank you all!

Thursday, 27 December 2007

I have a problem

I don't know what to do about it. I seem to have lost my motivation to run. This is a big problem. I am dependent upon running for my mental and physical health.

I sent an e-mail to "Team in Training" today asking for information. Maybe if I had some external motivation it would help. I don't know what I am going to do to get motivated.

It is snowing like crazy. I thought maybe I would get outside and run, but there is no way. Even getting to the gym seems impossible with the roads the way they are. Which sounds reasonable, except that this time last year, I was still running.

Maybe after the first of the year?

This is scaring me.

Monday, 24 December 2007

Do my kids know me, or what?

Look at what they got me for Christmas! I was so excited to get the Denver Marathon jacket. I refused to cough up the money for it, but, oh, it is so nice! And I have needed a new pair of running gloves, so now I have some! I got some other stuff that probably wouldn't be of much interest here...And there's a picture of all of us girls with the hats I knit us. Goonie girls! My son stated very clearly "I do NOT want one of those hats!" I would have knit him one too - oh well.

Happy Christmas everyone. Soon enough we will all be posting our huge mileage again. For now, Peace on Earth and Good Will Toward Men. God Bless You All.

Saturday, 22 December 2007

Not many miles

Snow on the lights on the outdoor trees.
The view of my Christmas tree from my back yard!

Here it is, the 22nd of the month, and I have logged only 18.51 miles this month. They have most all been on the treadmill, so they have been hard work - for me. But still, last December I ran 48 miles, and that was with the flu, 5 feet of snow, and a horrible injury (I ran 90 in January).

We have had cold weather and snow this month, which isn't really surprising for Colorado in December. But I have headed indoors for the treadmill, which I don't normally like. Somehow I am digging it right now. But I find it hard. Today I ran 3 miles in 32 something and that felt like enough.

I am still thinking about the Marathon in Anchorage. When I really give it thought, I call it a "stretch" goal. Which I learned in management 101 is a goal that is seemingly unattainable. The last time I called something a "stretch" goal was when I decided I wanted to go to school at an expensive, prestigious Jesuit University in Denver. I had no clue how I could do that. But I kept it as a goal, and ended up going there, and got not only my BS, but my Masters degree from there. And now, I am going to start TEACHING there in 2008. So I know that the impossible frequently can happen if you just keep plugging away.

I will have to start my training in January for the Marathon because it just isn't happening right now. I hope to get 30 miles logged in December and that is hardly the stuff of marathon training!

I have done quite a good job of making candy and eating it though. Almond toffee is EVIL. I think I shall have my annual "anti-candy" for dinner tonight. About this time each year, after having my fill of candy, I get a craving for borscht! Nothing like beet soup to make your stomach feel less icky. And yes, I actually took a photo of a bowl of borscht last year. Oh, it is making me hungry!

Sunday, 16 December 2007

Treadmill

Somehow I have recently decided I like training on the treadmill again. I am not at all sure how that happened because for the last year I have dreaded running on the treadmill so much that I avoided it at all costs.

The weather has been snowy and cold here. The roads and sidewalks are full of snow and ice. So I went to the gym. There is something very pleasing about the gym in mid and late December. You could get to feeling very virtuous just by being there.... no one else is!

Add to this the fact that my son gave me a new iPod for my birthday. It is a shuffle, which I didn't want, but I am so glad now I have. It is wonderful. It weighs nothing, clips on your clothing and plays wonderful music! My nano died. First my nike plus, then my nano. It is frustrating to have this stuff last only a little over a year. My son claims that the shuffle will last longer than that. He had a friend whose shuffle was run over with a Humvee in Iraq - and still worked!

So, I get on the treadmill and it is an entirely different thing than running outdoors. I run so much faster. In that respect it is harder. But I think it is good training. I can run forever at 14 minute miles outdoors, but maybe it would be more fun to run forever at an 11 or 12 minute mile? I hope I can get there.

Today I ran 3 miles in a little over 32 minutes. If I were outdoors, it would have taken me forever.

I think I can translate faster times on the treadmill into faster times in the real world, what do you all think?

Saturday, 15 December 2007

Happy Birthday to Me!

Today is my 56th birthday. I am so very grateful for the life and health I enjoy today. It is absolutely miraculous - considering where I have been.

I did 2 half-marathons and one triathlon (my 4th tri) in this past year... I am really thinking about a whole (26.2 miles) marathon in 2008. This is a huge leap for me. I think I shall put the effort into training and let the results be what they are. There is no use in deciding in advance that I can't do something! God knows, I would never have thought I could ever do what I have done so far!

I didn't do the Rudolph's Revenge race today. It was 4 degrees when I woke up this morning. I am just not going to go out and run in that kind of weather!

Thanks to you bloggers. You have helped me so much on this journey of fitness...

Wednesday, 12 December 2007

Anchorage?

I talked with my daughter about the prospect of doing the San Diego marathon. She said "everyone should run at least one marathon in their life." I said "Oh really, what about you???" She said she would train and run one if it was "someplace interesting."

Well, I can't imagine what would be uninteresting about San Diego - she said she has been there before - which is true. But it is so beautiful there.... She said she wants to go somewhere she has never been before... and I came up with a marathon in Anchorage - the Mayor's Midnight Sun Marathon on June 21.

Hm... I have been to all 48 contiguous states, my life's dream is to get to Alaska and Hawaii. I have wanted to go to Alaska all my life.

I am just thinking outloud here. Thanks for indulging me.

But, in case you think I am not serious, this is exactly how I came up with the idea of running 2 half marathons in 2007.

Sunday, 9 December 2007

San Diego?

Last night I went to a cocktail party with a bunch of people from work. I normally don't attend these kinds of events because I don't drink (at all - I used to - a lot - but that is a different story), but I went last night because the hostess is a woman I really love.

I had the best time! I chatted for a long time with the wife of one of my favorite men at work (not to be confused with the 80s band, do you come from the land down unda?) and discovered among many things we have in common is running!!!

She is going to run the Rock n' Roll Marathon in San Diego on June 1, 2008 and she encouraged me to do the same. She said if I can run a 1/2 marathon, I can run a full marathon. Yikes.

I recall what Jeff Galloway told me when I told him I would really like to run a full marathon. I explained to him how slow I run, and he encouraged me to do a full marathon, but definitely NOT at altitude.

Can I really do this? I really don't know.

When you guys travel to a race how long do you stay in the foreign town? Room rates in SD are v.v. expensive. I don't know if I can really afford to go....

I am thinking it over. Wouldn't that be something? My first marathon at the age of 56. That takes sheer gall, doesn't it?

(I listened to the video of "the land down under" while I was posting this, I don't recall that I ever particularly liked the song, but it was fun to listen to.)

Saturday, 8 December 2007

Two Times One Eighth of Eight on the Eighth

What does that mean? Good question. I didn't run 8 miles this morning. But I did run 2 miles this morning. Which is 1/4 of 8 miles. Which is two times 1 mile, which would be 1/8th of 8.

I am slowly getting back in the groove. I am working many, many hours. Including today.

I also needed to go to church this morning. But I thought I better run, even if only a couple of miles, so I did.

I want to say to those folks who live in high humidity areas that I forget what a difference that makes. This morning it was 23 degrees which I thought would not be cold. However, with high humidity, it was BITTER cold. 23 degrees and low humidity is almost comfortable, 23 degrees with high humidity is very fricking cold.

So this morning as my face was freezing off, I thought "my face hurts"... and being the youngest of five children, with three older brothers, I can never think of that without hearing them say:
"It's Killing Me!"

Have a great weekend everyone. Especially those who don't have to work all weekend.

Wednesday, 5 December 2007

630.58 Miles

I ran 630.58 miles in the first eleven months of 2007. That is an average of 57 miles per month. That average will fall considerably after I add in December.

I feel like my life has fallen apart. First in November, I broke up with my boyfriend...and I am very sad about that. Then I injured my back. Then work went to hell in a handbasket. I am working so many hours, and I am totally stressed out. I am also broke and trying to figure out how to have a nice Christmas without running up huge credit card balances.

I decided this morning that I absolutely HAVE to run no matter what is going on. I went out and ran 3 miles. I was late for work but at least I never once closed my office door to throw things or cry all day! That is progress!

I don't know if I can run 8 on the 8th, and I have never once backed out of a race yet. Ooooops, now that I think about it, that's not the truth. The weekend my brother-in-law died, I didn't make it for a race I had registered for, but that was different.

Sorry to whine. I think I will regain my perspective if I can get out and run 3 or 4 times a week.

Saturday, 1 December 2007

Nov. 19 - 24 = No Miles

No miles this week. Well, technically, there were 7 miles this week because the week started with Sunday and I ran 7 on Sunday. Right before I picked up a tree. Imagine! A 55 year old woman should probably not pick up a friggin' tree. I hurt my back, and have been taking pain meds and muscle relaxers all week. It has been a long week. I hope to get out tomorrow and run because running is my anti-depressant. I can feel the depression, like a big black cloud, starting to color my life. I normally keep it at bay with a healthy diet, running, prayer, meditation and too many other things to mention. But let me tell you , I think I can skip the rest and just run and I will be OK. But do all the rest and just don't run? I am not such a happy girl right now.

So, I bought a People magazine last night because it has an article about a medication error (Dennis Quaid's twins). Since efforts to prevent things like medication errors are how I make my living, I bought the magazine - which I won't normally purchase because I think these magazines hurt people and by buying them we are participating. Annnnyway.... There is a letter to the editor about Katie Holmes running the NY Marathon. Here is the sentence that caught my attention....

"Running a 5 1/2 hour marathon is not impressive, indicates a lack of preparation and is fundamentally disrespectful to the marathon." -- Rory Gilfillan

There was a similar sentiment expressed in Salon magazine recently -- "America's competitive spirit has been wrecked by feel-good amateurs like Oprah whose only goal is to stagger across the finish line." -- Edward McClelland

Wow! I had no idea that someone's poor performance in an event could somehow diminish the stellar accomplishments of the great athletes who are rightfully there!

Don't worry, I am not likely to stop running because of these attitudes. And I am sure my pals won't either. But what is up with this?

Tuesday, 27 November 2007

Again...

See that cute little tree? It is one of two potted ponderosa pines which live on my deck on the back of my house in the summer. In the winter, I move them to the front and wind little Christmas lights around them. So, on a lovely Sunday afternoon, while the Broncos were still 14 points ahead of the Bears, and my back was still in one piece, I picked up these trees and moved them to the front yard.

I have a 6'5" able bodied, young son, in peak fitness and health - do you think I would consider asking him to do this? Apparently not.

You can guess the rest of the story. (And apparently vicodin makes me sarcastic, because this post is fairly reeking with sarcasm, isn't it?) OK, I will just tell you. The Broncos lost in overtime to da Bears and I hurt my back lifting trees.

I did run 7 miles on Sunday morning. Unfortunately, I chose to run 3.5 miles into a nearby resort-y town -which was pretty. The bad part was, the way home was 3.5 miles uphill. It wasn't that much fun.

I don't know how long my back is going to be jacked up, but I have a feeling I won't be running for a couple more days. If I were wise and ambitious, I would head to the pool - this being the absolutely best time of the year to be at the gym, it being abandoned and all - but I don't feel either wise or ambitious.

I did however, make an apple cake on Sunday afternoon, and I am having no problem at all being motivated to have a slice here and there!

Saturday, 24 November 2007

Twelve Degrees Fahrenheit

It's snowy and cold outside. I may be happy to run in 20 degrees, but not UNDER 20 degrees. So I am staying home, my kids are coming over, and we are going to play Risk!
The kids and I will have a great time with our good old family game of world domination! Fun!
This is a shawl I finished knitting last night. I still need to block it. It is really something, isn't it?
Yep, and we are going to eat pulled pork sandwiches. Don't be horrified that I have crock potted my pork - my grill is covered with snow and ice. So, you do the best you can with what you've got.

I will make my long run tomorrow. It is supposed to warm up. I don't mind the cold weather today, it is a nice day to stay inside with family and food!

Friday, 23 November 2007

Cold and Foggy Morning

As I ran this morning, I reminded myself of the summer months when I yearned for these cold mornings. It is 23 degrees and foggy outside. It is cold. - It felt GREAT!

Again, my workout consisting of increments of running 4 minutes and walking 1 minute, I set out for a very quick workout of 1.5 to 2 miles this morning, but ended up running 2.5. I really wish I could have run a lot longer. But I have to get to work dammit!

Tomorrow my plan is to run 6 miles. My big issue is trying to figure out where to run. I am sick of all the places I used to love. I love my neighborhood, but I would love to do a long run without big honkin' hills.

Last night, I put up the first phase of Christmas decorations on my house. They are the little candle stick lights in my front windows. I turned them on early this morning before my run, and it was such a treat to come around the last corner and see the lights on my house!

Wednesday, 21 November 2007

I'm a Runner

This may not sound like news to anyone.... but to me it is a revelation.

I wrote the other day that I have been running consistently for over four years. Consistently. Over. Four. Years. Wow. How did that happen?

Then I started thinking about my weight. I ran into someone I hadn't seen for a long time the other day and she just marveled at how much weight I have lost! It was good for me to be reminded that I really have lost a lot of weight. And I did this through common sense - adding calorie burnage, and maybe taking away a little bit of calorie consumage - but not working real hard on it.

I have become physically a different person. I am a runner. I am not thin and gangly like you expect a runner, but I am certainly not a matronly looking grandmother.

Attending the little Jeff Galloway clinic last week was a major event for me. Previously I thought that taking walking breaks was for wimps or old ladies. I didn't want to do it. But since I tried it, I am so excited. My time yesterday morning for 4 miles was as good as any I have recorded in the last 3 or 4 months. And the really cool thing? I headed out of the house intending to run 2 miles, but I felt so good, I just kept going. Now THAT is cool! I could have gone a lot further too if I didn't have to show up at work at a reasonable hour!

So, I want to thank you all for your encouragement.

I hope you all have a wonderful Thanksgiving. It is snowing here and I am so excited!

Monday, 19 November 2007

No Chubbies

There is a new phenomena in Denver... it is quite controversial. Even in my own family, the commercials cause discussion. It is called the Anti-gym, and its motto is "No Chubbies". The commercials are in your face - "you'll never get a hubby if you're a chubby," etc. Just before the owner of the gym throws a pie in the face of an overweight woman. It is so disrespectful and awful. But he just might have a point. Really. I just said that...

Yes, me, Mary Gee, the one who says I will NEVER diet again. But I will certainly run. And I have certainly gotten better results running than I have ever had with a diet... because this is not temporary. I have been running consistently for 4 years. I do not have it in me to diet for 4 years, so I can lose weight dieting, but I inevitably gain more back.

So, I would love it if you would visit this website and let me know what you think. I am not questioning its offensiveness, it is NO DOUBT offensive. But it would be nice if people would get off their butts and exercise.

Sunday, 18 November 2007

Confusion Reigns Supreme

So, I went to a Jeff Galloway clinic on Friday night. I read the book "Jeff Galloway's Book on Running" in the last couple of days.

Yesterday I did a run/walk - for the first time. I ran 4 and walked 1. Oh my goodness. For five miles, my time was about what it would be normally... for a run without walk breaks. In fact, my pace was 3 seconds per mile faster than what I did the half-marathon in. And I felt good. And I felt like I could have run a lot more than 5 miles - but time was an issue yesterday and I needed to get on with my day.

Today, I tried something I haven't done in a long dang time. I WALKED. I walked a little over 3 miles. The sad part about that? My walking pace is just around a minute per mile slower than my RUN. Oy Vey!

Maybe this doesn't sound confusing, but to me it is. Should I just ditch running altogether and just walk? Probably I should continue to run/walk - and do some serious work on the treadmill to get some speed.

Although when I talked to Jeff while he was signing my book, he said the only reason I would worry about my speed is for my ego. ouch.

My baby granddaughter has her 4th birthday on Nov. 21, so we are having a party for her today - here. It will be grand!

Any advice on the running? TIA

Saturday, 17 November 2007

Yesterday's Day

I had the flash on so I could show you all how dirty my bathroom mirror is! But instead of cleaning the bathroom, I head out for a run!
The sun peeks over the horizon. I love that I get to see this so many days.
I just realized that "grade" is a setting on the garmin. Like I needed to be told that this stretch of my run is at a 16% grade!
Some day I will learn how to focus a camera - but I will first stop running and stand still while I am taking the picture.
At the end of my 3.1 mile run, I saw this bird's nest. I think it is so pretty, just sitting there, exposed - after 6 months of leaf coverage.
Head for work and get to office... this also needs some cleaning. Geeez... maybe I should clean instead of taking pictures!
My daughter and I went to lunch at Noodles... she was not amused when I took out my camera and took this picture.
I did a training at 1:00, and when I came out of the classroom, I saw all these little resusi-babies and annies... sorry to say that I am so warped I wanted to take a picture of them.
Went to see Jeff Galloway at the Runners' Roost from 6 to 8. It was great to meet him. I bought this book and am trying to read it in short order.... like before my long run today... maybe I won't manage though.

Friday, 16 November 2007

Friday

I took pictures of my day - stealing a page from Lisa and Jess and others.... But silly blogger gives me an error message every time I try to post anything other than this one photo.

I took a nice sunrise run this morning and actually brought my camera with me. It was a good 3.1 mile run. I felt good. I cannot wait to try the run/walk and the other things that I learned tonight.

I went to see Jeff Galloway at a local running store tonight. It was great. I feel very encouraged and I will definitely read the book and try out his methodology.
Jeff was kind enough to sign my book - and he gave me a big pep talk too!

Dang! I have some fabulous pictures of my day! I will have to wait til tomorrow. Stupid Blogger - Doh!

Wednesday, 14 November 2007

question

Jeff Galloway is doing a free running clinic on Friday night at my favorite running store (Runners Roost, Lakewood). Thanks to you lovely RBFs, I know something of Jeff Galloway, and I am going to attend!

What do you do at a free running clinic?

Do you run? Or do you just listen? Do you wear your running gear, or a dress and high heels?

Thank you in advance for your knowledge and the willingness to share it with me!

Monday, 12 November 2007

A bit of my story - (l-o-n-g)

I am going back to work tomorrow, and that will be a good thing. I went to the gym and did 3 painful miles on the treadmill this morning... 34:16. I must use the treadmill more often because it forces me to really run and not admire the birds, the scenery, and the fresh air. In other words, I don't enjoy it at all, but I think it is good for me.

I have recently left scroogy comments on people's blogs about weight loss. I realize that I should not have done that. My story is not the same as everyone's. But maybe I should explain a little about where I am coming from on this.

I was a skinny child. I didn't much like to eat. When I was a teenager I started to gain weight, but quickly put an end to that by starting to smoke many cigarettes. When I met my first husband, I was 22 years old, 5' 7", and weighed 125 - which I considered shapely - certainly not thin. I was very comfortable in my body at that point. When I was 24, I had my first child - I got up to nearly 200 lbs., but lost most of it in a matter of a couple of months. But I started gaining weight, staying home as a housewife, having moved from Chicago to a tiny town in New Mexico.

In January of 1977, I joined Weight Watchers for the first time. I lost weight and got down to like 145 - which I was happy with. Then I got pregnant with twins! They stayed with me full-term... they were born on their due date... I gained 40 lbs., but by the time I got home from the hospital, I weighed less than I had when I got pregnant (having twins is a lot of work!)

I started running when I was a 28 year old young mother. I loved to run. I never ran a race until I was 35 though - but I am getting ahead of myself.

By 1987, I had gained some weight. I joined Weight Watchers at 160 lbs. on June 30, 1987. Isn't that dreadful that I still remember that date?! I adhered to that program like my life depended on it. I dropped 20 lbs. by September. I looked fabulous! Well, I ignored people who told me I looked sick and I thought I looked great! I was still 5'7", weighed 140 - and wore a size 8. My ribs showed through sweaters and it hurt to sit down because I had absolutely no ass whatsoever! I became a "lifetime" member of Weight Watchers.. you know what the maj0r benefit of that is? You can rejoin without paying membership fees! Woo Hoo! So, when you double your weight, you can just go right back to Weight Watchers and tell them you are a "lifetime" member!

At that time, attaining your goal and keeping it for 6 weeks made you "lifetime". Then the thing was to add back in foods until you started gaining weight. Well, I felt like hell was unleashed. I ate like I had never eaten before in my life. I wanted nothing but sugar and fat. I didn't gain weight for a while, but by the time I started gaining weight, I was totally the f*** out of control.

By the beginning of 1989, I weighed over 185 lbs. So I went back to Weight Watchers. I lost weight, then got sick of it and started eating like the last days of Rome again. In this mix in 1990, I quit smoking! The the pounds really started adding up!

In the early 90's, I was still very heavy, but was race-walking - I was dang good at it. I was able to WALK a 12 minute mile. I was entering races and having the time of my life. Then, I had a hysterectomy. Then I somehow had 2 ruptured cervical disks and stopped doing anything but taking pills and eating. In 1999, I had anterior diskectomy and fusion of C4- C6, complete with bone grafts and titanium rods.

By 2001, I went to the doctor for something and the scale said I weighed 204 lbs. Two-Hundred and Four Pounds. So, back I went to Weight Watchers. I think I lost 25 lbs. Then I would gain it back, and then I would lose it, then I would gain it back, and then I would lose it.....

On August 21, 2003 - I knew I had to do something drastic. I was fat and miserable. I walked 1 mile up a nearby street - and then turned around and ran 5 minutes downhill. I thought I was going to die. My shorts were all wadded up in my crotch, and my underpants had flipped under my belly. It was gross. But I kept doing the 5 minutes... until I tried 10 minutes. Then once I ran 10 minutes, I knew I could run a mile... so I did. I ran a mile a day for a while, then I made it 1.5 miles a day.

In the meantime, I was starting to feel great! I was losing weight. I was eating sensibly and losing weight. I wasn't losing tremendous amounts of weight - but I was back in a size 14 - which means you can buy pretty clothes in normal stores.

I met someone who had registered for a triathlon! I decided I could do this too! So I registered. I worked out 2 times a day - swim, bike, run... swim, bike, run... by that summer I was able to be in a triathlon! And I was wearing a size 12! And I could eat like a human being.

Not the glutton or the dieter - A Regular Human Being. Who can have a slice of cake at a birthday party. Who can have a piece of pizza with the gang. Who does not have to make excuses for not eating - or eating everything in sight.

I have now completed 4 triathlons. In 2007, I wanted to run a half-marathon - and I did - two of them! I still wear a size 12. I wear tight blue jeans and feel really happy about that!

My weight fluctuates around 170 lbs. Did I already tell you I wear a size 12? 170 sounds like a lot, but my doc assures me that I am very fit. My lipid panel looks better than it ever has in my life. My triglycerides are in the normal range for the first time ever!

I am happy about my health and my body. I am happy to be healthy enough to run 13.1 miles! I am happy to be able to swim, bike, and run my way to getting triathlon medals! I am happy to be able to walk up a mountain with my granddaughter!

I don't look like a model. I look like the best 55 year old Mary I can be. I refuse to buy into someone else's idea of how much I should weigh or what I should look like. And I refuse to ever weigh another boneless skinless chicken breast!

So, that's my weighty story.... sorry it is so dang long!

Saturday, 10 November 2007

Hiking on a Saturday Morning

This is my granddaughter - blazing the trail for her nana.

We had a great hike this morning - up Green Mountain. It is pretty. We climbed 300 + feet in 1/2 mile (Thank you new Garmin Training Center software for sharing this important information with me). It is pretty fun.

I still need to get out and run. Have not run since Thursday. Eeeeeek!

Going to take a nap now. YAY!

Friday, 9 November 2007

Olympic Shopping


I think I get a gold medal for my shopping of yesterday! I got $601. worth of merchandise (two pairs of shoes, one purse, one sweater, one cashmere wrap, and two pairs of stockings) for $229. And since my sister had sent me a gift certificate for $200., I walked away with two shopping bags full - for $29. Woo Hoo!!!!!

I did not run (yet) today. I am struggling with the "no big race on the horizon" syndrome. I have been training for something big since last January. I feel no great urgency about training for a 5K in December. I am sure I could go out and do that even if I never even put on my running shoes for the next month.

I got an e-mail from a running club - they start a new session on Saturday. A big part of me wants to join. Another part of me says - 1. that is money I don't need to spend. 2. part of the joy in running is the solitude. 3. my schedule is about to get even more intensely hairy - I won't have time for it. But I know my performance would improve greatly if I just bit the bullet and went out with a group of runners.

I am picking up my granddaughter from school this afternoon. She is spending tonight with me. I am so looking forward to this. I love being on vacation!

Thursday, 8 November 2007

Another Run...

It is the most beautiful day outside! I took the above picture at the half-way point in my run. This beautiful landscape is about to be replaced by thousands of houses. Sad, but true.

Today my iPod decided it didn't recognize the nike+ sensor... I think that thing is WAY more trouble than it is worth. I ran with music, but without the incorrect run data that my iPod collects. I downloaded a new tune that was just a riot to run to - Ricky Martin!!!!! Yes, I am almost 56 years old, and I am listening to Ricky Martin, Rancid, Amy Winehouse, Billy Joel, Sam Cooke - and More! I just like a fast song with a good beat to run to, and that leads to a very bizarre selection of music on my iPod.

I am feeling much better and very happy to be on vacation. It has gotten into the 70s every day this week. It is absolutely gorgeous. I am having fun doing not much of anything. I am working on a knitting project that is really fun. I went to a movie yesterday - it was good (Bella - I recommend it - especially for looking at Eduardo Verastegui for 100 minutes. Oh my Good ness.) I am going out for dinner with a friend tonight- have gone out for lunch a few times.

Is this what retirement will be like? If so, I am not dreading it.

Tuesday, 6 November 2007

2nd Day of Vacation

I think it is extremely unfair that I don't feel well and I am on vacation.

I just ran 3.10 miles. I wanted to stop so bad. This must be what asthma feels like. I just take my breathing for granted. It is so shocking to me to feel that my breaths are not doing their job.

The run was, never the less, beautiful. It is 35 degrees, the sun is shining, it is a glorious day. Perfect running weather.

For anyone who has a Garmin older than April of 07 - there is new Training Center software. I downloaded it yesterday, and it has some nice features the older version did not have. My new Garmin is working wonderfully, but I had to call Garmin yesterday for tech support to get my computer to recognize the new device... that is when I downloaded the new software. It is good.
The new software calculated something I have been trying to figure out forever. On the 3.1 mile run loop I did this morning, the first .95 miles is straight up hill - I estimated it to be a climb of 200 feet. New software told me that it is a climb of 239 feet! No wonder I feel like this!

I hope everyone is having a healthy and happy week.

Saturday, 3 November 2007

Yay!

This is a crappy cell phone photo from my run this morning. I wish it wasn't such a pain to bring my camera - but it is. This was a beautiful sight, this photo barely begins to do it justice. To see the last of the golden aspen leaves quaking in the breeze on a crystal clear November morning - this is part of why I love to run!

So I got out and ran this morning for the first time in 15 days! I hope to be able to get back to some miles. But I could still feel the congestion in my lungs as I ran this morning. I was so happy to be back out in the sunshine doing what I love to do though.

Tonight I am having a bunch of people over. It should be great fun. I spent last night doing the final cleaning of the house, and now I need to roll up my sleeves and get to cooking and baking. I love this too!

What a great day I am having, and I hope you all are too!

Friday, 2 November 2007

Slug-dom

It is two weeks today since I have run at all. And that was 2 miles. Before that, the last time I ran was my half-marathon on October 14. I was resting after the race, and then I got so sick. Today is my last day of antibiotics, I am almost back to being able to breathe, and I hope to get out tomorrow or Sunday and start running again.

To answer Jess' question - Rudolph's Revenge is a new race, this will be the first time - it will be at Chatfield Reservoir, see above photo. I was considering doing the Jingle Bell Run for Arthritis, which is at Washington Park, but I think I will try this new race instead.

I dressed as a runner for Halloween - I didn't feel well, and I got to be comfortable at work all day! When I tried to turn on my garmin, it didn't come on. Not a beep, not a light, nothing. I took it back to REI last night and when the helper took it out of the box, he turned it right on! I still was able to exchange it for a new one. That freaked me out! That thing is very expensive to not work! But I am grateful I purchased it at REI because they are wonderful.

I could feel bad about how long it has been since I have run, but I think it may have worked out well for me. I am very well rested, and anxious to get back out and run. I was pretty well burned out before the race, so this is good.

Tuesday, 30 October 2007

Z-Pac


I went to the doc yesterday. He diagnosed bronchitis... which I pretty much had figured out as I lay in bed gasping for a breath. I got a course of azithromycin and I am feeling better already. I went back to work today - yay! Staying at home when you are sick is NO FUN. I was so ready to go back to work today.

So, I was perusing the internet today and remembered that there is a race on my birthday this year! It is called Rudolph's Revenge - December 15 - my 56th birthday. I will see how the training goes when I get back on my feet to see if I am going to go for a 5 K or a 10 K. That logo is so dang cute, I bet the shirt is cute. And how can you resist running a race on your 56th birthday? Oh, yeah, most of you are not even old enough to be my children... well, some day you will be old and gray and you will be looking forward to running races in your sunset years!

Until then... have a great day.

Monday, 29 October 2007

Resolution Run

I have just resolved that I will participate in the Resolution Run on New Year's Eve! It starts at 6:00 p.m. and runs around Washington Park. Afterwards there will be pizza!

I think I did this race the first year they had it, back in the early or mid-nineties. It was downtown that year and I think it started way later at night. It was fun. I thought it was a great way to see out an old year and usher in a new one.

I am so desperately ill that I have made an appointment to see my physician in about an hour. Believe me, this is sick! I don't like to go in for a "cold". But I have felt progressively worse each day since Wednesday. I have now missed 2 days of work, and I hope to miss no more. I don't even have a voice anymore and I look like hell!

I miss the me I see evidence of all over this house. The Runners World magazines, the books about how to run a marathon scattered about, the runners shoes, the high heels, the garmin, the iPod, etc. I feel like I am a hundred years old and will never run again. Oh- how I can't wait to get out there again and be a healthy alive person!

Saturday, 27 October 2007

Friday, 26 October 2007

Sick Again!

This is getting old! I am at home sick again today. I have a fever, a headache, a sore throat, and body aches. I missed two days of work last month because of this same kind of crap.

So, I was sleeping and the phone kept ringing. Why does everyone need my old clothes, shoes, and furniture? I am on the no call list for sales calls, but it seems there are just as many calls for charity. Now, don't get the idea I am not charitable, because I do have my charities... but I don't want the fricking phone to ring all day long.

I did what any reasonable person would do in this situation... I got out of bed and made popcorn and the candy sauce for caramel corn. It is now in the oven and in a minute, I will be chowing down on wonderful, hot, homemade caramel corn. And then in a half hour, I will be wondering how I can ever get my diet back under control.

I have a knitting workshop to attend tomorrow. I really hope I can go. I have paid in advance, I have even purchased special yarn and needles for it.

No running today, no running yesterday. I hope I can get back on my feet soon.

Wednesday, 24 October 2007

Lazy Bones

I haven't posted at all because I haven't worked out at ALL. Not one bit since Friday last week! Holy Cow. I guess I will pretend I am taking seriously the rule of thumb about taking one day off for each mile run in a race. So by Sunday I better get back to it!

Big Huge Deal at work this week. It is over now. I am so tired. I am taking a vacation the week of November 5 - and doing NOTHING.

I waited (and didn't take a vacation) all summer for this Big Huge Deal at work because it was due sometime in July or August. But didn't happen until the end of October. That is OK. It is over now.

I have spent any money that might have been used for a vacation on
1. new garage door
2. new lighting fixtures in my house
3. 4 new tires on my car - that is painful money to spend!

So I will spend a week contemplating and knitting and whatever the heck else I feel like doing!

Sunday, 21 October 2007

Restored!


Phew! The retreat was just what I needed. There is no real reason for this picture being here except that it was taken this morning... and clearly, I am NOT 300 lbs.... When I came home from the retreat, I checked the race site for the photos and oh my goodness. I never want to see THAT again! I knew that the soaking wet insane clothing I was wearing was not going to be flattering, but I had no idea I would look like I weigh 400 lbs.

So I ran on Friday morning and it was good. I walked about a mile yesterday morning and again this morning. At 8700 feet elevation. It was nice, I even ran a bit, but you can definitely feel the elevation up there.
I took this photo of the chapel this morning. It was snowing and absolutely beautiful! To sit in the chapel last night was really moving. The whole thing was just wonderful!

I got a bit of perspective on my life while I was away. I am going to change a few things... none of which are germane to this blog. But I MUST slow down. I cannot hurry from the time I wake up till the time I pass out at night. I must be more mindful of what I am doing, and probably do a bit less.

I will probably head back to the gym to the treadmill and start doing some faster miles... 2 or 3 miles at a time. I think it will improve my fitness.

I need to face the fact that I have gained about 7 lbs. over the last year of training for half-marathons. 7 lbs makes a difference in the way a person feels and looks. I think getting back on the treadmill and just not eating like a glutton will get that weight off.

I stopped at the store on my way home and bought a chicken, celery, onion, and carrots - it is now all simmering in a pot and will be soup soon. This is a cheap and easy way to eat decently for as long as I can stand it. And then still have some in the freezer.

It is cold and snowy - The Broncos play the Steelers at home tonight. The ski resorts pray for nationally televised Broncos games where it snows - it increases their business exponentially. Maybe tonight will be one of those games.

Have a great remainder of your weekend everyone....

Thursday, 18 October 2007

The Depression...

Showed up right on time. I wish the race photos were as reliable! No photos yet. I don't know why I care, because they are sure to be not so good.

I am leaving tomorrow for a weekend retreat in the mountains. It is sponsored by my Biblical School. I am greatly looking forward to it. I think the timing could not be better.

I am really depressed. I am sure I will be back to normal (whatever that is) within days, but for now, I am not having fun. I have been locked up in my office almost all week - closing my office door so I don't start swearing at people I just can't seem to tolerate suddenly. Thank God I have the ability to close my office door....

I haven't been out for a run yet since the race. The weather's been bad - and the lack of light is a huge factor. The other morning I was going to run, but I looked out the window at 6:00 a.m., and thought - no thank you, I am not running in the pitch black morning.

I am planning on running tomorrow before I leave for my retreat. I am sure it will feel quite good. Then I have to figure out what to do for a fitness plan. I went shopping tonight after work - who can go for a religious retreat without a new outfit? - and found that my normal size is tight. In fact, I bought a larger size because I do not want to deal with tight pants. Not even snug. I can deal with loose pants, and that is about it.

I should also be able to get a hike or two when I am in the mountains this weekend. It should be beautiful. I am sure to get over this funk-a-delic mood I am in.

Tuesday, 16 October 2007

Tuesday after the race

I was hoping for some race photos by now, but they still aren't posted. I am sure they will be doozies! At one point, I was running, pretty much alone, and saw two cameras pointed at me. Well, my bib was under two layer of clothing I planned to ditch but never did. So, I did what any red-blooded American girl would do... I unzipped my jacket and lifted up one shirt to show my bib! I am sure I looked like some kind of waterlogged deranged exhibitionist.

I was expecting the heavy dark cloud of depression to hit this afternoon. The Tuesday afternoon after my last HM was brutal. But I feel fine... thank God.

I do have a sense of unease - I have been training for something since January 1. I don't think I want to train for anything right now, but I feel sort of aimless. I will probably get out and take a little easy 3 mile run tomorrow.

That is hilarious! In August 2003, I decided to start running and I started with 5 minutes of running. 5 minutes was all I could take. And then after a week or two, I increased it to 10 minutes. Once I did ten minutes, I knew I could do a mile. I ran a mile for months before I increased it to a mile and a half. I remember the first time I ran 3 miles - well, the first time since I was in my 30s.... it was July 28, 2004.

So now I am nearly 56 years old and talking about taking a "little easy 3 mile run" - three days after a half-marathon. Life is good. It is really, really good.

Monday, 15 October 2007

Some Half-Marathon Stats

The times were posted yesterday afternoon:
I finished in 3:09:24
Which is 5:21 faster than my last HM
My pace was 14:27
My fastest mile was the first one - uh oh! at 12 something. By the last mile, it was 15 something!
Class Rank 29/42
Overall: 3044/3227

Now some data from my Garmin:
my average heart rate was 145
the average temperature was 37.4 degrees! (and remember pouring rain!)
10.4 mph average wind speed, 12.6 max

I am very happy with my time and pace. This may be hard for some of you to relate to because you are truly athletes, but I am satisfied.

I went to bed at 8:00 last night (and TiVo'd the Rockies game - yay!) I woke up at midnight in pain, so I ate a bowl of cereal and took some motrin. I went back to bed and slept until 6:00. I am really sore. My back hurts and my left knee hurts (and I am terrified of knee injuries.)

I am sure you haven't heard the last from me about this race, but I just wanted to post the data this morning.

And express my thanks to you. I have carried you guys with me on all my runs through this past 6 months or so. You have kept me going when I felt like quitting. I so appreciate the moral support, technical advice, and humor. Thanks!

Sunday, 14 October 2007

Denver Marathon - Preliminary Report


Now that I have stopped shivering and shaking, I can type. This race was COLD. And I can handle cold, but combine cold and WET, and that is REALLY COLD. I was soaked to the skin, through and through. My feet have big honkin' blisters - from running in wet socks, in wet shoes.

Somehow I turned off my garmin for maybe a half a mile, so I have no idea what my time was and it is not posted yet. I believe I beat my time for my one and only other half-marathon. I really didn't expect to do that, but I felt great - aside from being cold.

At about 5 miles, I realized that I was never getting down to my short-sleeved shirt as I had planned, so I undid the safety pins on my bib and put them on my jacket. Unfortunately, I wore a big old cotton long-sleeved t-shirt over my short-sleeved shirt and under my jacket. I fully expected to take off the jacket, discard the old cotton t-shirt and tie the jacket around my waist! HA! That formula about temperatures feeling 20 degrees warmer during a race? That works when it isn't pouring rain. After a while, that cotton t-shirt was almost as long as my running skirt - because it was soaking wet. In other words, I looked like a dork - I won't expect to have a new profile picture from THIS race!

All that negative stuff aside - I really had a great time. I felt like I belonged in this race. That is a miraculous thing for me. My biggest enemies are always mental... I have met the enemy and she is looking back at me in the mirror! Today I didn't feel I had to struggle with that negative thinking. I just felt good to be out there with all the other freezing nuts.

When I saw the camaraderie the Leukemia & Lymphoma Team in Training had, I think I might have decided to join a running club... we shall see. They were kind enough to give me a garbage bag to wear for my first mile or so.

I will have more details later. I still feel kind of wacky.

Race Day!

I actually slept last night! The alarm actually woke me up! I actually feel good! I am looking forward to the race. It is 42 degrees. The high temp is supposed to be 45. It is supposed to rain. This should be great weather for a race.

I went to the Runner's Roost yesterday, and they were all so kind to help me figure out what to wear. As I left I told them I felt guilty about not buying anything, and they just laughed at me. What nice people.

I will give a report later in the day!

Saturday, 13 October 2007

Wardrobe Malfunction?

We picked up our packets last night at the expo. I am very excited about the race. Very. I have many wardrobe issues, but I think I am going to head over to the running store as soon as I post this, eat a bowl of cereal, and take a bath. I have absolutely no idea about what to wear, so I am going to ask some people who might have a clue - who have run this race before and are familiar with local weather phenomena.

I took a 3 mile walk/run this morning - just to test my foot. My foot is absolutely fine. I had no pain whatsoever. I think not running for a week really helped me - even though I walked a fair bit this morning, my pace was right around what it normally is for running. I feel OK about the race. I am looking forward to it. I think the injury worked for me in 2 ways - physically, I got some rest I think I needed. Mentally, I realized I really really really want to run this race. I might have thought I was ambivalent before, but when told I couldn't do the race, I thought my heart would break. So no more wondering what the heck I am doing - I know what I am doing! I am running a race that I have trained for for months!

I got nervous when I read that this race has a 4 hour limit. When I read that they have a vehicle doing an 18 minute mile - or whatever that is, and you would be asked to leave the course if you weren't keeping up - it really frightened me. But If my slowest pace is 14 something - I should be fine.

Good Luck Randy and everyone else who has races this weekend!

Friday, 12 October 2007

An Abundance of Issues

The weather forecast has changed. Pretty drastically. I can deal with 49 degrees and rain, I just don't know what to wear! I talked to a couple of women at the expo tonight and they were still planning on wearing shorts. Shorts I can handle, but short sleeves? That doesn't sound good to me. Any advice from anyone? I am thinking of wearing my nylon jacket, and if it gets too hot, I can wrap it around my waist. I have done it a million times, it doesn't look great, but it isn't terribly uncomfortable.

I have decided to show up on Sunday morning and just try my best. My foot still isn't exactly right, but I can try to run the race. If it doesn't work, it doesn't work. The world will not end. But if I sit at home, it will hurt me terribly.

Any advice about running a race in 40 degrees and rain? Especially what to wear?

Thursday, 11 October 2007

3 days

I am back to counting days. I woke up this morning and realized, as I stepped gingerly from my bed, that my foot hardly hurts at all. I think if I can just take care of it in the next 2 days, I will be able to participate in one way or another in Sunday's race.

I am so grateful for you bloggers. You are the absolutely only people who understand WHY I have been so upset. I kind of got over it a bit yesterday. Today I am feeling much better and I think I can just muster through... even if I walk the course.

After work tomorrow, my daughter and I will go and pick up our packets at the expo. She has not trained for this race and has decided that she will walk it. When I talked to her about not wanting to "throw in the towel," she said she not only wants to throw it, she is pissed at it, and she wants to burn it! And she is 28 years old! Oh my.

Now I will plant myself on the sofa and work on a pair of socks I am knitting... while icing my foot... and watching the Rockies!

Wednesday, 10 October 2007

Proportion

I have lost all sense of proportion - and I need to get it back, quick!

I went to see the workers' compensation doctor this morning. My foot is sprained. He advised me not to run a half-marathon on Sunday. When I started crying, he was surprised, to put it mildly. He told me I could do another one after my foot is healed. I cried and whined and told him it is so hard to train for a half-marathon, I don't ever want to do it again. The race is the reward for all of the hard work. No one but a runner would understand this. He looked at me like I was NUTS. He asked how much it cost to register - oh, not much, only $75. and months of running in the heat, in the rain, in the cold mornings, in the mud, and when I don't feel like it, when I have a headache and I am tired, and when I should be cleaning my house, or spending time with my family... that's all.

In other words - WAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

He finally said "Okay, if on Saturday it doesn't hurt AT ALL, try running around your block and if it doesn't hurt AT ALL, maybe, just maybe try running the half-marathon." But he still didn't think it was a good idea.
So I came back to work, ate the nutritious lunch that I packed for myself - and then I went and purchased a bag of vanilla creme cookies and a bag of chex vanilla strawberry yogurt evilness. And then I came back to my office and ate the entire two bags of crap (sorry to borrow your word Marcy.)
I called one of my friends to complain and he said "There's a war in Iraq." Like I don't know that! He was trying to suggest to me that there MAY be more important things in the world than if I get to run this race. I am just not there yet. In time, my sense of proportion will return, won't it?

Tuesday, 9 October 2007

Oh Dear...

If you are the praying type, please say a prayer for me.

I woke up this morning with a migraine. I went to work anyway. At noon, I fell down the stairs. I twisted my right foot... the foot that I broke in 1993. I was stunned and tried to kind of figure out whether I was hurt or not... I walked away and decided I couldn't possibly train for months for a half-marathon and get hurt 5 days before the race.

My foot hurts like hell. The good news is that it is not discolored or swollen. Some of the medical professionals at work told me to get home and RICE. (rest, ice, compression, and elevation) Of course, I went to the grocery store first, and then I went to get some new nail polish at Ulta, and then I went to Runner's Roost to get gu for the race - being the eternal optimist, I guess. The woman at Runner's Roost told me not to wear high heels anymore... I think I might finally be ready to take that advice. It certainly isn't the first time I have heard it, but I might be ready to listen now.

I could not run if I had to right now. But I don't have to right now, so I will practice at living in the moment and not projecting into the future. And I will eat my steak for dinner and plop my butt on the sofa, ice my foot and elevate it.

Monday, 8 October 2007

6 days


The training is over. The planning should be kicking into high gear. It looks like the weather will cooperate. I am just sickened over what happened in Chicago yesterday. How do you run out of water at the beginning of the race? I am so relieved to hear that Jess is OK. What a mess.

I don't have a good hydration/nutrition plan for this race. I have a bottle that I was planning on carrying watered down Powerade in... and I could refill the water at the water stations. I don't think I will have gel with me.

In my first, last (and only) half-marathon in May, I had gel, and also took gatorade at the water stations. By the middle of the race, I had a stomach ache. I have since learned that one should not combine sports drinks AND gel.

I seem to have gotten over my psychosis about this race. I am really looking forward to it, and particularly looking forward to it being over! What an attitude.

Sunday, 7 October 2007

One Week


One week from now, I will be one hour + into my half-marathon. I will be enjoying myself and I will be about 2 hours away from being done with this. (really)

I have turned some kind of mental corner - and it is good. I had a thoroughly enjoyable run yesterday morning. 3 miles is a nice distance to run. I like this tapering stuff. I also like the cooler weather. I *think* I am suffering through runs in the winter when it is cold, but the truth is, I really would rather run in 20 degrees than 70 degrees.

So, my friends in Arizona - we can still remain friends through the next week of baseball, right?

Friday, 5 October 2007

October 5

I don't know what happened to this photo, but I spent the money to send it to myself, so I will use it! I had a glorious early morning autumn run this morning. The leaves of the cottonwood trees practically glow in the sun, they are so golden.

I think I am realizing that running is a form of psychosis. In our blogging community, we have all levels of runners - we all are stellar because we go out and do this thing - but some of us are really, really good. But nearly all of us do the same things... we discount our talent, or our effort, or our abilities. We say I ONLY ran such and such. I ran 5 million miles, but I was SLOW.

I am 9 days out from my half-marathon, and although I have trained appropriately and according to plan, I am wondering WHY I am even doing this. Surely I am not good enough. Surely I am so slow that walkers will pass me and I will drag across the finish line - humiliating myself with my extreme out-of-shapeness. Surely people along the route will marvel at this overweight elderly woman out there (in a skirt yet!) trying to run a half-marathon.

I loved reading John Bingham's article in Runner's World this month - " I am not a jogger". Written in response to the inane Pearl Izumi advertising campaign - insulting runners of all levels. Isn't it silly that we have to defend this?

Forgive me for my ravings this morning. I am tired of training. I am mainly tired of the things that my mind tells me. What the hell does it matter that I am slow, or that I am not rail-thin? I am a healthy woman who is capable of going out and running 13.1 miles. That is indeed miraculous for a woman who drank too much for too long, and smoked 2 packs a day for 25 years. Who has so much hardware surgically inserted into her neck that her X-ray looks like Frankenstein!

To hell with all of it! I am going to go out and rejoice in who I am today! And thank God for it!

Tuesday, 2 October 2007

12 days

This is a cell phone photo from today's early morning run. It was dark, it was cold, it was windy... in other words - it was wonderful! I ran a nice 3 miles. I head out of my house and run .95 miles for an elevation gain of 200+ feet. And it is slow. Then I get two miles to lose that 200 feet - those miles are fun!

I am in my taper weeks now. I am kind of enjoying them. Then last night I got this month's Runner's World magazine and they are now saying that tapering is not as good an idea as we all thought? Well, screw that!

I am tired of running. I hope that when this race is over, I will revise what I am doing with my running. I cannot possibly stop because I would gain 350 lbs. But I hope to go back to faster short distances as opposed to the lumbering heavy-weight slow long runs. I know I will miss them, but for now, I long to not be spending hours and hours each week running.

Saturday, 29 September 2007

I've been shopping again...

I first tried this skirt on (from SkirtSports - I love this company!) a few months ago - and decided that although I really liked it, I needed something for a triathlon, and this wouldn't work. I decided to go to Runner's Roost yesterday to see if by some insane chance they would still have it - and there it was! And it was on sale!

I ran 8 miles in it this morning and it really was wonderful. It has two pockets on the legs - and they work great for my car key and a gel. Since they are on the leg, they don't add bulk to the waist area and I really appreciate that! And the color is a bright kelly green - the picture doesn't really show the true color.

I went to a nearby park and ran round and round the 1.4 mile course. Although it was boring, and there were more people around than I like - it was nice because it is a few hundred feet less in altitude (@5555 ft.), and there are no hills.

14 days until my half-marathon. I wish I could have done something about my speed. But when I look at my heart rate data, I can see that I am really working to do what I am doing. I feel like a "real runner" after I take off my running shoes. When I tell mere mortals that "I am tapering - I only ran 8 miles this morning" - they seem to think I am a runner! Funny that!

Friday, 28 September 2007

Should there be a minimum IQ requirement to purchase a Garmin?

The other morning it was dead. Because apparently I am not bright enough to keep the Garmin on its little charger thing. This morning I went out for a run in the dark and turned the thing off instead of on and didn't realize it until about a mile into the run.

Tomorrow I will run 8 miles and then my taper begins in earnest. This week I have not run much, I am still not totally well. I am actually starting to worry about making the max time allowed for this half-marathon. 4 hours.

I just got done telling a coworker that I cannot wait to be done with all this training. Then in the next breath, I told her that I am thinking about doing the Houston Marathon in January. What is wrong with me??? Or the P.F. Chang's in Phoenix would be great.

One thing I DO know is that I want my next big race to be at sea level, not altitude. I can train at altitude (have no choice about this), but I would really like to experience racing at or around sea level.

Tuesday, 25 September 2007

2 miles this morning

yikes. I didn't wake up until 6:30 a.m.! That is too late for me to run and get to work on time. So I 'kind of' ran, and I 'kind of' got to work on time... not really.

My garmin was totally dead when I got outside and tried to turn it on. I absolutely hate that little cradle on which it charges. If I even bump my desk, the garmin seems to dislodge from it and then becomes totally dead without me knowing it. So I ran by my nike + iPod - which I know is incorrect by about 20%. It said I ran 2.60 miles... let's see... that would be 2.08 miles in reality based mileage.... and it took 30 minutes... oh my Goodness. Fuhgeddaboudit.

I am SO not ready for my half-marathon. There is no way to make up for it now. I just have to show up and be as slow as I am. I am 99.9% certain I can finish it, I just won't finish even moderately fast or slightly pretty. Like walkers will be ahead of me. Oh well.

Saturday, 22 September 2007

I ran 10 miles this morning!!!

I did it! After being sick all week! I went to a nearby lake, with a mile and a half trail around it, figuring I could bag it any time I wanted. And believe me, I wanted, but I just kept going.

I have only three weeks until my half-marathon. My training has not been really great prior to getting sick, and getting sick for a week really crimped it.

Here's the good news. I realized as I was running around and around this lake, that although I am not fast and I don't feel really great - I am not injured and I am not in pain. Which I think puts me way ahead of where I was three weeks out from the Colfax Marathon in May.

Thanks for your support as always. You guys rock!

Thursday, 20 September 2007

EEEEeeeeesh

I have not run since Saturday. I missed work on Monday and Tuesday. I came back to work on Wednesday, and I have worked today (Thursday). After a long meeting where I felt like my head was stuffed with snot and cotton and I could not think - even though I was being asked pointed questions - I told my boss that I am taking another day of sick leave tomorrow.

I must get well!

Maybe 3 days of "rest" will do that for me.

I fully intend to run on Saturday. I was planning a 10 miler, but I don't know how advisable it is to try to run 10 miles after being off for an entire week. Any thoughts?

I miss my runs and my health and vigor! It sucks to be sick.

Monday, 17 September 2007

Help!

I am sick as crap. I have my office calling me and there is a big disaster at work, and this is SO unlike me, but I just cannot go in. I am sick. I have a fever, my whole body hurts, I don't have a voice, and I sound like a dog when I cough, my nose is dripping, my throat hurts, my head is pounding, even my teeth hurt! And I am not kidding. A sinus can sometimes impact dental nerves, and I have that going on.

I have only missed one run - so far. My half-marathon is on October 14. I know that this week is not going to be a good training week, and it was an important, high-mileage week.

What happens when you miss important chunks of training?

Sunday, 16 September 2007

Bad Planning

I got a new garage door last Monday. It is beautiful. However, after they were done, there was a teeny little trim of wood around the garage door that needed to be painted white. Well, I bought white paint for that, and since I was painting that, I thought I would get rid of the green trim on my front porch that used to go with my garage door - since the garage door is now white, I would paint the entire trim on the front porch white. Well, then my front door is green, and we can't have that! So, I purchased a quart of RED paint with which to paint my front door. Well, and then there is the caulking that has to be done. Anyone who has ever painted knows that this did not get done on Friday night, or even Saturday afternoon. This I just finished, and I still need to put another coat of paint on the front door, but it ain't happening this weekend. (getting a green door RED is a big friggin' deal. I had no idea. If I knew, the door would still be green, believe me.)

I did run 5 miles yesterday. I felt awful. I chalked it up to being tired. But when I woke up last night with my nose dripping and my throat feeling like there was a large bottle brush stuck in it, I decided that maybe I am tired because I am sick. Crap.

I am 4 weeks out from a race, I simply do not have time to get sick! I am going now to get stuff to make spaghetti sauce for dinner, then I am going to come home, put it in a pot to simmer and go to bed.

Friday, 14 September 2007

Lazy Friday

Here's me mowing my lawn with my new reel lawn mower. I love this thing. This is as close to a work out as I have gotten since Wednesday night. Yikes.

Thursday is my normal rest day. Friday morning found me laying in bed. My feet just could not seem to find a way out from under the covers before 6:30 and it was already light outside. I need to be up by 4:30 or 5:00 in order to get a run in before work - so a run was out.

Tomorrow is my long run day. I am looking forward to it.

It is a month today till the Denver (half) Marathon. I think I am not training enough. I guess I have a month to rectify that situation!

Have a great weekend everyone.

Wednesday, 12 September 2007

Comparisons are Odious

I am trying to re-wrap my brain around my running and training - and age and weight. It is so hard to be reality based when thinking about any of these things.

OK, I KNOW I am 55 years old. I will be 56 in December. This is a hard and fast fact.

My weight? I am not disclosing this number. But I will tell you that I am 5'7" tall, and wear a size 12. It means I am moderately large, but I don't have to go to specialty stores to buy clothing and that means a lot to me.

I am training to run my second half-marathon. I am 4 and a half weeks out from the race. My first half-marathon was in May 2007.

At the age of 55, I ran my first half-marathon. Starting at a mile high and heading upwards in elevation through the whole race. I never posted my time because I felt it was inferior. But I looked at it again yesterday. And I am going to post it, dammit!
13. 1 miles
3 hours, 14 minutes, 43 seconds
1489 out of 1696 finishers
17 out of 41 women in the age group 55-59

I have decided that finishing in the top 50% of my age group is a good thing. I think even being a PART of that age group is a good thing. I think that even STARTING that race was a miracle. FINISHING it is only a bonus.

I am in relatively the same shape now that I was in for that race. I will be fine in the Denver Marathon. I am not trying to win anything. I am just interested in being part of the deal.

Coming to terms with your own aging is a kind of a tricky process. You don't want to lay down and decide you are too old to do anything, but you also don't want to be the person clearly in denial about where they are in life. I just want to be the best Mary I can be every single day.

Thanks for being here you bloggers, I think you are all wonderful! You inspire me every day.

Monday, 10 September 2007

Spicy Hot and Rainy Cold

That's what I did yesterday! It took all day to make those jars of salsa. I really enjoy canning, and my family really enjoys eating salsa!

Speaking of things I really enjoy: this morning I went out for a run. It was 40-something degrees and it was raining. I had to put a jacket on! Once I got outside, I remembered what it was like to run and enjoy it. I realized (I think) why I enjoyed training for the Colfax half-marathon and why I am NOT enjoying training for the Denver (half) Marathon. I am not a hot weather person. I thought it was a hardship last winter to be running in snow and much below freezing temperatures, but I enjoy that so much more than 70 degrees and sunshine.

The run this morning was glorious! I was soaked to the skin by the time I got home. My face, arms, and legs were bright red - and I felt great! I might have run up that first hill in my best time ever. I will need to check that.

I just hope it will stay cool in the morning until this race is over and I might have a chance to train appropriately.

Sunday, 9 September 2007

Taking a break...

From making salsa that is. This is my annual salsa-making day. I went to my favorite farmer's market this morning, bought a bushel of chiles, a bushel of tomatoes, a bunch of onions, cilantro, garlic, some jars, and vinegar. Now I will work all day on this. It is worth it! I will post pictures of all the little jars lined up on my kitchen counter once I get it done, they are so pretty! The fact that I can watch the football game from my kitchen really adds to the whole ambiance of early autumn (I know it is still summer, but it feels like fall to me - 47 degrees this morning!) Now if the Broncos could only win, it would be perfect!

Yesterday I took a grueling 8 mile run. Oh, it was miserable. I looked at my heart rate and realized at several points that I really needed to walk and get my heart rate down. I chose a new route, 3 miles downhill, then 2 miles undulating but mostly flat, followed by 3 miles uphill. What the heck was I thinking? Honestly, I don't know how I am going to be ready for a half-marathon in 5 weeks.

The only good news about that run was that it was 2 minutes faster than my 8 mile run of last week. I am sure now I need to buy yet another book about adding walking into my running. But right now I have so many books on running and they all seem to tell me something different. I don't think I am going to confuse myself further 5 weeks before a race.

Yesterday was the first time I came home from a run and thought "I am going to stop running as soon as this race is over." Really - I have never thought that before.

Friday, 7 September 2007

A Runner

Last night I was outside talking with my neighbors. I was showing them my new reel lawn mower. It is so freaking exciting! A lawn mower using only the power of a human being, no electricity, no gas engine, only legs, arms, and a little back action! It sounds so nice, just whirring along, cutting my grass.

Anyway, I was standing outside talking to several of my neighbors. One of them said to the other one that she is known as "the cat lady," not because she has MANY cats, but because she puts her cat on a leash every single day and takes it for a walk around the neighborhood. I used to think that was odd, but now it seems normal. Being self-centered, as I am, I pondered aloud what the neighbors might call me. Both of them, at the same time, said "the runner!"

Me? The Runner? Oh wow. And why the heck not?

That is so cool. I run, therefore, I am a runner. I like this a lot.

Wednesday, 5 September 2007

Owww!

My back is killing me! How is it that a person who can run 8 miles (without any pain) on Saturday can be annihilated by pulling weeds on Monday? I do have to say that I have arthritis in my spine. I also had 2 cervical disks removed, 3 vertebrae fused with bone grafts and titanium rods inserted - back in 1999. I guess I ought to just be grateful I can do anything at all!

This morning, I headed out for my run. My garmin was completely dead. I thought it was charging on its little charger thing, but it wasn't. That thing is so flimsy!

I also forgot my cell phone - which I never do. And when I saw a bunch of angry looking dogs, I realized that I forgot my pepper spray. I have never sprayed any creature great or small, but I feel better when I know I can if I need to. I also forgot to have gum in my mouth, or a bottle of water to drink. What the heck was I thinking? Oh well, it was a nice run never the less. Approximately 3 miles, in approximately I don't know how many minutes.

Monday, 3 September 2007

Herculisa!

As I put these socks on this morning, I thought of a couple of bloggers who might just enjoy the name of them! Herculisa!

I did some pretty impressive cross-training this morning. 2 hours of pulling weeds is quite the work out - and it hurts. Then I hopped on my bike for a not very enjoyable bike ride. I thought of Marcy when I was having "crotcherlar" issues. I guess one month off a bike is too long for comfort.

I am so glad I got an extra day off this weekend. The work is over for now, and now it will be all about having fun!

My kids took off on Saturday afternoon to go to a friend's house. On Sunday morning they called to let me know they were in Las Vegas. Oh, to be young again.

Have a great remainder of the weekend everyone!

Saturday, 1 September 2007

8 miles, 6 weeks

It is six weeks until the Denver (half) Marathon. My daughter and I went out and ran 8 miles this morning. It was nice. For the first 5 miles, she was being very quiet, and I thought perhaps she was pouting. At somewhere around 5 miles, she stopped and told me off!

She said she never wants to hear me talk about how "slow" I am if this is where I am running. She said "this is insane." and "you should be proud you can even run on hills like this." and "This is running up mountains mom!" I felt like crying. I felt so chastised. She apologized for the stern tone she took with me, but she is frustrated that at my age I would be so hard on myself and talk about how slow I am.

Maybe I ought to knock it off, eh?

It ended up being a nice run. She discovered the joys of slowing down a bit. We kept a conversation going the last 2 miles or so, and she said she had never been able to run and talk at the same time, but at the pace we were going, she felt she could go on forever. Yep.
That's what I'm Talking About!

Wednesday, 29 August 2007

Dining Like a Glutton

We took my son out for dinner last night to the Fort Restaurant. I ordered the Game Plate, which had (from left to right) buffalo, elk, and quail. EEEK! That quail freaked me out and I quickly scooped it off my plate and gave it to my daughter. Imagine their surprise when I pulled a camera out of my purse and took a picture of my entree!

I also got someone to take our picture sitting by the fire in the plaza area after dinner.
My military son has decided to grow his hair and beard while he doesn't have to be anywhere.

I have been running in accordance with one of my training plans. I am feeling good. I am not pushing it like I did for the last half-marathon. I really injured myself training too hard - now I feel good and do not care to repeat the injury experience.

I have noticed that my resting heart rate probably needs to be recalculated. I did it a couple years ago - it was 58. Yesterday and today while I was lacing up my shoes, I noticed that my heart rate was fluctuating between 53 and 54. So I guess my RHR is not 58. I will figger this out real soon!

Sorry I have been such a crappy blogger. I have been spending so much time with my family - and that is wonderful! I also started Biblical School - which is also wonderful.

Debbi - I am going to go start knitting a hat now - Christmas gift knitting starts today!