Tuesday, 27 November 2007


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


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


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


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


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.