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


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


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?