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!

Sunday, 26 August 2007

Seven Weeks

Until the Denver Marathon. I ran 7 miles this morning. Probably as slow as I have ever run, but it was nice. It was a beautiful morning and I took a beautiful route, even if it was WAY too hilly. I really love slow long distance running. This is a picture I took in April of the route I ran this morning. I love it there. There is a two mile climb to get to that road, then the road undulates for a couple miles before it starts heading into the mountains. I turned around at 3.5 miles and headed home.

After about 3 miles, I realized that I felt good and nothing hurt. That is the most amazing feeling for me. I bought a water bottle to carry with me, it has a strap and a pocket and I really like it. It really helps to have water on a run that takes longer than an hour.. I am not going to tell you how much longer than an hour - I have my pride!

Yesterday I missed my run because I had an all day prayer day to attend. It was the beginning of the Biblical School I am beginning. It was wonderful and my head feels so full, but my heart does too!

This afternoon I am making barbequed ribs, cole slaw, and corn on the cob. The family is coming over and it will be very nice. My son requested ribs. His wish is my command for now. I am so very thrilled to have him back from Iraq... safe and sound, healthy and happy.

Thursday, 23 August 2007

New Shoes

Yes, I did purchase the Brooks Trance 7s. I was hoping they would work for me because I think they look so dang cute. I went to Boulder Running Company and got on the dreadmill and indeed, they do work for me. I have taken several runs this week with them, and not only do they feel good, but I love to look at my feet because I just LOVE the way these things look! I couldn't find any cute socks locally, so I ordered a bunch online from DeFeet.

I have been a bad blogger this week because my son is home and I have just enjoyed spending time with him... as has the rest of the family. Suddenly my house is full and it is wonderful!

I haven't stopped running though. I am so enjoying the training for the half-marathon. I love slow, long-distance running. I feel like I leave the house full of tension and worries, and come back full of energy and peace. It is great.

Monday, 20 August 2007

189 runs; 743.52 miles

Since I got my nike + iPod approximately a year ago. Of course, I later discovered that these data are not exactly accurate - however, it is kinda close.

Last night, while driving to and fro Colorado Springs with my son (who is home!!!) we talked a great deal about running. He had a knee injury while in Iraq, but hopes to be able to run again soon. He ran his first race when he was 12 years old. It was the Bolder Boulder. After about a mile, he kept saying "come on Mom!" and I finally told him to go on without me, and I would find him (in a race of about 30,000 at that time) at the finish line. Amazingly enough, I did find him. We ran a few more races together over the years. I am glad he likes to run... I am glad we share this thing. Right now I can't imagine getting your 12 year old to compete in a kind of hard 10K race, but I did and I guess I am glad I did!

Today is a rest day and I am glad. I think doing 6 miles on Saturday and 5 on Sunday was kind of a bit much... I have not been doing any long distances at all since the half-marathon in May. I will work back up to them and I am greatly looking forward to it. I really love slow long distance running.

Sunday, 19 August 2007

Heart Rate Hyroglyphics

I had a great 5 mile run this morning while my son was sleeping. (Sorry, one of these days I will skip mentioning that he is home, but not quite yet.) As I am beginning my training for the Denver (half) Marathon on October 14, I am trying to be a little bit more methodic about it than I was for the Colfax Marathon in May.

I have got articles and books everywhere in my house. I have got "Marathoning for Mortals," "The Non-Runners Marathon Trainer," "No Need for Speed," and 2 copies of the August Runners' World with the training plan for running a half marathon. My latest thing is trying to figure out where my heart rate should be. I have had a heart rate monitor since I started training for my first triathlon in 2004 - maybe it is time I learned how to use all that data?

Today's run was deliberately slow. I wanted to just enjoy the morning and my new shoes!!! (yes, I got the Brooks Trace 7s and they rock!) I was talked out of purchasing a fuel belt by the wonderful salesman at the Boulder Running Company and instead got a little water bottle with a handle and pocket - and liked that a lot... anyway, I digress. So, my slow run - I logged 42:02 mins. @ 70-80% of max, and 32:02 mins. @ 80-90% of max heart rate. That doesn't sound like a slow run to me, but I did enjoy it, and I was indeed going S-L-O-W. Now I have to figure out what I should be doing...

Have a great Sunday everyone. Oh - and I am probably going to change my name on here again. Mary Gee is too generic for me. Mary Christine is too associated to my other blog, so I don't want to use it, although it IS my name and I like it. However, I am trying to think of a name that will be for this blog - and I am considering "Contrary Mary" - how bad is that?

Saturday, 18 August 2007

My son is home!!!

He walked in the door last night... what a sight for a mother's eyes - to see her son walking through the front door. He looks so handsome in his uniform. And what a treat to make a meal for my kids and have a full table again. I told him that every time my granddaughters have been here for the last year, they have pointed out Kenny's chair at the dining room table and said "That's Uncle Kenny's Chair!" And I would try to smile and say "yes it is," when I felt like crying.... Last night he was sitting in that chair again and it was wonderful!

This morning I went out and ran 6 miles. I chose a new route, that I likely won't run again. It was a slight downhill grade for 3 miles, and then I turned around and had a slight uphill grade when it was getting hot, I was tired, and had NO water. What was I thinking? I passed a walker in a cute grey skirt... and then I stopped for a minute to mop the sweat off my face and neck (I felt like I had a beard of sweat on my chin and neck!) I was SO regretting not having something to drink, when the grey skirted walker, came and passed me - and took a big sip of her water from her fuel belt as she passed. And, I hate to admit it, but I called her a bad name under my breath.

So today I am going to go purchase a dang fuel belt and a new pair of shoes!I intend to purchase the shoes in the above picture, but we shall see what I end up with.

It is such a happy day in my world! I hope you all have a great day!

Friday, 17 August 2007

Friday Fun

I am still utterly exhausted, but I am trying not to complain so much. I will get over it, I am sure I will. I went out to run this morning and decided to follow Chad's advice and try to run as fast as I could. ... well, after the first mile and a half I decided to run as fast as I could.

So, I ran 1.5 miles at a 13+ minute mile pace.
And One mile at 11:23. Yes, Eleven minutes and twenty-three seconds. That, my friends, is lightening fast for this woman. I think I might be able to work on speed after all. Well, relatively speaking.

My daughter and I drove down to Colorado Springs to have dinner with my son last night. It is so wonderful to be able to pick up the phone and call him, and hop in the car and go see him. He may be home today. Or maybe Monday. I hope it is today. I would love to have a weekend with my son in the house.

Have a great weekend everyone.

Thursday, 16 August 2007

More Random Thoughts

I have been struck tired this week. No, exhausted. Depleted. Utterly devoid of energy. I think it is the relief of knowing that my son is safe and healthy and happy. I ran on Tuesday and not on Wednesday, and not today. Please Dear God I will have some energy tomorrow.

So last night I had a bunch of wild dreams. I think they illustrate my anxiety over my lethargy. I dreamed I was in NYC, and was looking for a place to run... I started talking to a man about needing new shoes and he took my money and said he would get me a pair of Brooks Trance 7s. He came back with some discount store plastic shoes and I tried them out. I decided I had to return them, but first went to a bar (??? I haven't had a drink for 23 years), and the box of shoes turned into a pack of cigarrettes and I was smoking them (I stopped smoking in 1991)! I still decided they were the wrong brand of cigarrettes and I needed to return them and get a pack of Benson and Hedges Menthols. YIKES.

THEN (sorry if I am boring you out of your mind with my silly dreams) I dreamed that I showed up for my first day of Biblical School, which starts next week, without my homework assignment. And to top it off, I LIED and said I left it at home... when I hadn't even started it! They gave me a piece of cake and told me to go home.

I think I am losing it! I took Tuesday off work, and maybe I need to take Friday as well.

I need a nice long slow run out in the early morning cool air.

Tuesday, 14 August 2007


My son is in Colorado!!! He will be back at home next week!!! It was so good to see him on Sunday night, I could not begin to describe it!!! (sorry for all the exclamation points, but I can't help it!!!) The above is a picture of my son and daughter. On a happy, hot, summer night in Colorado. Life is good. He looks happy and healthy and relaxed (but this picture doesn't make him look too happy) and I am so relieved to see that he still has his goofy sense of humor.

Thoughts about my treadmill workout on Sunday... it felt good while I was doing it. I was a little sore afterwards, which I thought was good. However, on Monday morning, I woke up, stepped out of bed and had the beginning pain of plantar fasciitis. I was nearly crippled by that a year ago. Then in September, I bought my super dooper Brooks Trance 6s and the pain went away. Now my second pair of super dooper Brooks Trance 6s have 301 miles on them. My question is: Is it the shoes? Or is it the treadmill? I will be buying a new pair of shoes soon, so I guess that will answer the question.

I took a day of vacation today because I am so tired. I started looking at the clock at work yesterday at about 10:00 a.m., I was SO TIRED. I decided I need a day completely off. So here I am.

This morning I went for a 4 mile run outside in a completely new place. It is a bike trail along a river bed and into a golf course. It is pretty and has some slight grades and little hills, but is pretty flat. My time was better. Not stellar, but better than usual. Maybe if I just mix it up between outdoor running and treadmill, I will be able to work on my speed a little bit. It was a nice morning and a nice run, but a little bit hot. Have you ever been so hot that your eyes feel hot behind your sunglasses? I kept taking them off to give my face some air... funny.

Sunday, 12 August 2007

Today's the day...

I get to see my son for the first time in 1 year, 1 month, and 2 days!!!! I have to tell you, that as happy as I am (and I am VERY happy), there is a bit of uncertainty about who I will meet today. I know that he has to be changed from the experiences of the last year. He has lost friends. He has been under fire. He has been living and working in temperatures of up to 150 degrees! I will just keep my expectations at a minimum and try to be of maximum service to him.

I think the treadmill was a good idea. I went this morning to the gym. It actually was nice. I hate to admit this, but it is true. I don't have to wear my pepper spray and worry about dogs. I can crank up my music and rock out. There is very little danger of being hit by a car, unless it comes crashing through the windows in the front of the gym - well, it COULD happen! And, I can't kid myself about times. So today, these are my times, and they are real.
mile 1 = 11:40
mile 2 = 10:50
mile 3 = 9:54

I feel good about this. As much as I would rather be out in the fresh air enjoying the scenery and nature, I need to get some discipline about my running, and I don't seem to be able to do that right now without a treadmill knowing what my pace is and then making me do that!

Saturday, 11 August 2007

New plan

I looked back at a 5K race I did last October and I came in 4th place in the age group of women 50 - 59. I thought I did terrible because the course was really difficult. My average pace was 12:01 per mile. That is real, verifiable information on the race results page. It is not wack-a-doo nike+ info. So what the heck has happened between October and August? I think it was training for a half-marathon.... not that it was bad.

But I stopped using the treadmill and I basically stopped trying to go fast. All I was doing was slow runs. I think I have realized that I have got to get back in the dreaded gym and get on the dreadmill.

So my new plan is: 3 days a week in the gym on the treadmill, going as fast as I can for 3 miles, 4 miles, and 3 miles. On the weekend, I will head out on the road for my wonderful slow, long-distance runs. I will follow the mileage suggestions in one of my books, but for this week, it is 3/4/3/5. I did my five mile yesterday. Tomorrow I will get in the gym to start my week with three miles on the dreadmill.

I also hate to admit this, but I need to add in some strength training. I SO do NOT want to do this. But I think I better. I tend to be very very muscular, so I am thinking maybe I could do pilates instead of weights? Just writing this makes me anxious. I do not want to do this. I started lifting weights in the 70s, I was dang good at it. I used to love it. I got very defined triceps, biceps, quads, and my calves are something that would look more natural on a male weight lifter or wrestler. I know that they say to use light weights and high reps, but I still get all ripped looking and I do not want to look like that! I am a girl for God's sake!

I have just worked up quite a sweat fixing my dryer and rearranging my deck furniture (not like on the titanic). I put Christmas lights on some outdoor trees to add a festive touch for my son's homecoming. I will get to see him tomorrow. He will get to come home within a week. Words cannot even begin to convey how this feels.

I don't know why people respond to this news with "is he coming home for good?" What does that mean? For good? Forever? Nothing is forever. If he is in the National Guard, he will probably have to go somewhere again some day. But today I thank God that he is on his way home and that is all I care about.

Friday, 10 August 2007

good news, bad pics

The pictures for the race were finally posted this morning. Now I know why I never wear tight shirts. Oh well. I was smiling because I was having fun and that is the important thing!

My son called yesterday and is no longer in Iraq!!! He is on his way home. There will be a ceremony on Sunday at a local Army Base and I will get to see him then. He will debrief there for a few days and then he will be HOME. I feel like I can breathe for the first time since July 10, 2006 when he left.

I feel just giddy I am so happy about this. I went out this morning and took a 5 mile run - it will be my long run for this week. I wanted to get that under my belt before this weekend so that I am not worried about it.

And then I showed up at work in an outfit straight out of a "dress for success" manual - for what NOT to wear to work if you ever want anyone to take you seriously. I am wearing green sequined flip flops, khaki capris, a hot pink camisole, with a brightly multi-colored tropical shirt over that! What the heck was I thinking? I just must be in celebratory mode!

Wednesday, 8 August 2007

My boy's 31st Birthday

This time next week, he should be back in the United States of America. I should actually be able to see and touch and talk to my son within the next week! Today is his birthday, the second one since he left for Iraq last July. We shall have a celebration to end all celebrations when he gets back!

I just took a lovely 5K run. It is a cool morning, and it felt great to just go out and run. I am actually beginning my training for my next half-marathon (October 14), but for right now, I feel like I am just going out and running for the love of it, and that is a good thing.

I have to get new shoes within the next month, and when I went to the running store last weekend, I didn't see "my shoes" anymore. I found a shoe I love in the Brooks Trance 6. But now they are on to the Trance 7 - which is a super cool space ship looking shoe - silver and blue. I will try them on and take them for a spin on the treadmill at the store and let the wonderful folks at Boulder Running Company tell me if they work for me.

I really appreciate all the feedback on the Survivors' Table at the race. I felt like I was being a jerk, but it is heartening to see that others feel the same way. I will definitely give them my feedback and actually at this moment, I think I won't do this race next year. You pay $80., raise money for a good cause, train and train, finish the race, and then you are greeted with snarly people and after you walk by the good food that you don't qualify to eat, you finally find some green bananas and plain bagels. No thanks. I really like the post race festivities, that is part of the whole deal for me. After an event that takes 2 hours, I really NEED to eat something and rehydrate and stop sweating at least. I may change my mind about this....

The pictures from the race are not posted yet. You will see them as soon as I do!

Monday, 6 August 2007

More Tri Thoughts

After over 24 hours to gather my thoughts, I will share some here: My times were posted at about 6:00 last night. I actually added 2 SECONDS to my time from last year! I couldn't believe it, 2 seconds! In comparison to last year: Swim :11 less. Trans One 1:26 less. Bike Plus 1:03, Trans Two Plus :22, and the Run Plus :14. So, now I will come out of the slow closet and tell you that my time was 2:03:32.
Swim 23:49
trans 1 5:11
Bike 47:47
trans 2 4:07
Run 42:36

The funny thing is that I enjoyed the swim, I felt great the whole time. I just plugged along, I was able to get right in the water and get right to it... no freaking out and breast stroking or back stroking or the dreaded panic-stricken-treading-water.

The bike ride was torture. I have no idea what happened. I just felt like I was riding on two flat tires with the brakes stuck on through quicksand.

The run was OK. I didn't feel bad as I have in years past. I was slow, but not terribly so. There was only one water station - it was at the half way point. By then I really really needed some water. I had a gu during transition 2 and then a swig of water, but I felt like the gu was sticky in my mouth and it was unpleasant.

Now another "true confession" moment. When I finished, I felt like I had just been run over by a train. I was happy, but absolutely beat. I needed some water and something to eat. The first tent I approached had some bagels and fruit. As I reached for one, I was sternly told that "this is the survivors' table." I really wanted to cry. I felt like I just crashed a party and I really really needed something to drink and eat. I walked around and someone handed me a popsicle and I decided I just wanted to go home. Now, please don't think I begrudge breast cancer survivors' right to first dibs on the after race festivities, and don't think I minimize what they have been through... but holy cow, was there a way to clearly mark that tent so people could not feel like they are trying to steal the food out of a cancer survivor's mouth?

OK, now in the interest of fairness... a stellar facet of the race. I was looking forward to being over 55, because I knew I would have less "competitors" of my own age group. What I didn't think about was that women over 55 who are doing triathlons are generally pretty good athletes. They are serious! And good! And fun! And wonderful! And generous of spirit! I so enjoyed sharing the transition area with them. Maybe some day I will slim down and get better at this.

For now I am thrilled that I can even be in the game. I can put my little race bib on and get to go out with the big kids and play!

Sunday, 5 August 2007

Another Triathlon Finished

I finished my 4th triathlon this morning. I enjoyed it very much. It was surprising to me that I struggled during the bike ride. That is traditionally my strongest sport. At one point during the bike ride, I looked at my tires to see if they were flat. I felt like I was riding through quicksand. I don't think my time was too bad, but it isn't posted yet. I felt great during the swim and it isn't even too much of an exaggeration to say I felt pretty decent during my "run". I think my transition times were not good. When I got off the bike, I really felt beat up.

I enjoyed sharing the bike rack with some wonderful women - I think I like being over 55. I also really enjoyed my new clothes. I felt great in them. Several women commented on my "cute skirt". It really is cute.

I also concentrated on looking appropriately stern during the bike ride so that there won't be any pictures of me looking like a smiling nut! I did laugh during the run and I think a photographer might have caught that.

So, I don't know much except I am done, and I had a great time. Thanks to everyone who has been so supportive.

Saturday, 4 August 2007


I am so psyched about the race after attending the expo this morning (and purchasing $130. worth of stuff I could NOT live without!) So, the race jersey is black. I thought that would be OK, but I didn't realize it would have sleeves on it. It is supposed to be 92 degrees tomorrow and I do not need to be wearing a black short sleeved shirt, so I purchased a pink bike jersey... I needed one anyway.. sure I did. AND I purchased the skirt I of which I have been so desirous. It is freaking cute! And of course, I NEEDED to buy a new pair of tri shorts to go under the skirt because my old tri shorts are too long.
Note that the race bib SNAPS on the skirt. Oh, it is so cute! I am in love with this thing. This is a Colorado company, so I will tell you all about SkirtSports... I think they are wonderful... and you can order online if you feel the need to purchase a super cool skirt with snaps for a race bib. Well, some of you men probably aren't that interested, but that is OK. This afternoon I have to go buy the pink hat I was trying to avoid buying. Oh well.

Yesterday I got out and ran. It was 2 miles, but I felt good. I am going to go out in the heat now and take a 45 minute to hour bike ride. Then I will come home and finish the final Harry Potter book - and take a nap. I bought myself a beautiful steak to have with a salad tonight - and I have peaches for desert.

I am so excited! Good luck to everyone else who has races this weekend! I can't wait to read about them all.

Thursday, 2 August 2007

3 days

And I am being a complete jackass about my training. I have been so lazy this week. I took 2 days off in a row and one of them was sheer laziness and tiredness. I have a commitment to be at my church on Thursday mornings from 5 a.m. to 6 a.m., so Thursday is my normal rest day. But Wednesday I just couldn't get out and run.

So tomorrow I plan on running maybe a slow 5K and Saturday take an easy bike ride. Then my Tri is on Sunday. I am very excited.

If I manage to get any kind of workout in tomorrow, I probably will post to "brag" about it. You guys rock and I can't tell you how motivating you all are.