Sunday, 28 December 2008

10 Miles to be rewarded with...

Hours of football viewing, ignoring, sleeping, on the couch.  The Broncos play at 6:00 and I am not sure I can take watching that game.  They have been heartbreaking this year... but I could be singing a different story at about 9 o'clock tonight... or not.  

I went out to WALK 9 miles this morning.  I just thought I would see how a walk was compared with a run.  The weather was insane.  50º and gusts of wind up to 20 mph.  I headed out into the foothills where the wind was crazy.  At 5 miles, I decided that I could tough out 10 miles instead of 9 and feel less pressure about my terrible lack of training for a race in 20 days.  At 6 miles, I found myself running instead of walking.  I ran the last 4 miles.  It was more comfortable than walking.  

I am hurting from this effort, but an afternoon on the sofa should remedy that, I think.

Last night, I dreamed that I was in Phoenix for the race.  It was 5 minutes before the start and I was looking for something to eat!  All I could find was a hot dog and decided there was no way I wouldn't barf the wiener, so I decided to go hungry instead.  I think this dream is disturbing on a couple of different levels.

But even this amateur dream analyzer can see that this is classic performance anxiety....

Saturday, 20 December 2008

8 miles on a treadmill

Woman walking on a treadmill photo

Really.  It is bitter cold outside.  I considered running outside, but stood outside for a minute talking with my neighbor and realized that the wind was too lazy to go around me, so it just went straight through me!  

So, I went to my new and wonderful gym (24 hour fitness) and tried running on the 'mill.  I decided to walk/run, and then I decided to just walk.  I can run 4 miles on the treadmill, but I knew I would never get the 8 miles I needed running.   

I was able to do 8 miles in one hour, fifty minutes, and thirty-seconds.  13:48 per mile.  It was a good workout.  I am wondering if I should perhaps plan on WALKING the PFC RnR in Phoenix?

My days of LDR I think are over.  It takes too big a toll.  On my body.  On my life.  

I long to train for a triathlon.  I long to get in the pool.  I long to get on my bike, or even a spinning class if it is too icy and cold.  

I know my blog has been an endless procession of complaints lately and I appreciate anyone who has read it.  I think I shall go read your blogs now about your youth and training and fast races.  

Sunday, 14 December 2008


Getting back on track.  I don't know if I can possibly be ready to run a half-marathon by January 18.  But I am trying.

I got out and ran 7 miles yesterday, it was a lovely Colorado afternoon, with a high of around 50º.  During the week, I went to my new gym and ran on the treadmill which was fabulous!  I am so glad I have a gym membership now... it is 3º below zero right now, and expected to get colder.  I enjoyed the treadmill so much more than I expected.  

So, here's the plan:
Dec. 14 - 20:  run 3 miles X2 days.  Long Run 8 miles
Dec. 21 - 27:  run 3 miles X2 days.  Long Run 9 miles
Dec. 28-Jan. 3: run 3 miles X2 days.  Long Run 10 miles
Jan. 4 - 10: run 3 miles X2 days.  Long Run 3 miles.
Jan. 11 - 17 Taper Week 
January 18, 2009 P.F. Chang's Rock 'n' Roll (Half) Marathon

There is no margin for error there.  

Tomorrow is my 57th birthday.  Happy Birthday to me.  

Plans for my 58th year?  
  • One half-marathon (I hope)
  • Two Triathlons (Danskin and Tri for the Cure)
  • THINK about the Boulder Backroads half marathon in September
But really, I think I need to scale back on the running.  Not quit, but stop the long distances, I am so crippled up with the piriformis syndrome, low back pain, and now plantar fasciitis (again).  I would like to focus more on triathlon, cross-training.  Getting in the pool and on the bike.  That's what I am thinking for now anyway.  

Sunday, 7 December 2008

Sunday Morning Run

This is a doctored cell phone photo from my run this morning.  It was a glorious morning for a run.  Nice and warm (nearly 50º) and somewhat cloudy.  I chose a route near my house which included lots of hills.  The first 3 miles was mostly uphill.  

I had not run for 10 days.  I have totally lost my motivation.  But my run this morning was good.  I will try to get back on track.

On Wednesday of this week I was in a bad mood and went to Costco for lunch (really, really bad idea).  I left there with a new television set and an idea to get a 24 hour fitness membership.  Later in the afternoon, I ordered the 24 hour fitness membership... from Costco... $289. for 2 years... sounds like a good deal.  However, since I ordered it online, I had to pay $9. to ship it?  And I haven't gotten it yet.  What is there to ship?  Why does it cost $9.?  

Anyway, this will solve the bad weather problem.  And maybe a new gym will give me something new to do.  There is one very near my house.  I had a trial membership once and loved being able to get on a treadmill so close to home.  I could come home from there and get ready for work without spending a lot of time or gas.  

I am hopeful that my little crisis is over and I can get back to fitness and training.

Friday, 28 November 2008

Thanks again

Really.  Your comments have been so kind.  I really appreciate it.  

The day after I wrote my last post - about how I didn't want to run anymore - I woke up and wanted to get out and run, so I did.  I also got out yesterday morning, on a crystal clear, cold, silent Colorado morning and I ran.  

I think I am dealing with a post-mid-life crisis and the death of someone I really cared about.  I have depressive tendencies anyway, so I know I can really go off the deep end about stuff that others deal with pretty well.  I think the training for the PF Chang's Half in January will help me with this.

I am at the Denver Airport right now, waiting for my flight to Houston.  I am going to spend the weekend with some dear friends in Houston.  It should be good for my soul.  I am bringing my running shoes... but not my Garmin.  I just have so much electronic equipment, you would think I am some kind of high tech genius.  All I am is a woman who likes a lot of gee-whiz gizmos.  I can live without my Garmie for the weekend.

I hope you all have a lovely Thanksgiving weekend.  And thanks again.  Really.  

Monday, 24 November 2008

Thank you kind readers

You have really been kind.  I have been having my own brand of grief reaction to my friend's death.  Yesterday I wanted to lay in bed and pull the covers over my head and just stay there all day.  Instead I went out and ran 8 miles. 

The thing is, I did not feel better after running.  I did not want to run, and I did not get that elation after a couple of miles that makes you want to keep going - the way I used to.  And the thing was - the day before when I was not running because I felt the wind was out of my sails after hearing the bad news - I knew that a year or two ago, running would have been the first thing I wanted to do.  It helped me cope.  

The other thing is - I think my body has reached the maximum benefit from running.  I am going to be 57 years old on December 15.  I thought that running would help keep old age from my doorstep, but right now I think I was wrong.  

I started running when I was in my late 20s and a young mother.  It was my way of getting my body back, and getting some alone time.  I kept running into my 30s.  I never ran a race until 1987 - I was 35 years old.  It was the Bolder Boulder - which is an awesome way to start racing.  But I still smoked.  I ran that first race with a cigarette tucked into the tiny pocket in my running shorts.  My cute little pink running shorts.  I lit up after I crossed the finish line.  

I stopped smoking when I was 38 - and gained 40 lbs., and started smoking again for 6 months - and did not lose the 40 lbs.  I stopped again when I was 39.  And have not had a cigarette again. I weighed too much to run as a non-smoker, so I started race-walking.  I lost most of the weight, but I kept a bit of that weight on me all these years.  I walked a 12 minute mile at that time.  

In 2003, I was engaged to be married.  I was pretty overweight again...happiness seems to do that to me.  On August 19, 2003, it became obvious to me that I could not marry this man and we broke up.  I thought I was going to die.  Two days after the break up, I went out and tried to run.  I knew that running could save my life.  I would walk one mile up a hill from my house.  When I got to the top, I would turn around and run for 5 minutes. I was out of breath and could do no more than that.

I did that for a couple of weeks.   Then I made it 10 minutes.  A few weeks later, I ran a mile.  After a month or so, I was able to run a mile and a half.  I started losing weight.  I started feeling good.  I fit into a size I hadn't been in for a very long time.  My legs were hard.  My butt was like a rock.  I stayed at a mile and a half a couple of times a week for a while.  I was full of confidence.  I registered for a triathlon!!!  

I started serious swimming at the pool.  I could not swim one length of the pool using the crawl stroke.  But I kept trying.  After a while I could crawl 2 lengths, and then breast stroke, and then back stroke.  It took a few months, but I got up to a half mile non-stop of the crawl stroke.  It took about a half-hour.  

Biking was always my favorite, so I just spent more time trying to go faster.  I still couldn't run 3 miles, but I figured I could walk in the race.

I participated in my first triathlon at the age of 52.  I felt like a million bucks.  It was one of the most wonderful things that ever happened to me.  

On New Years Day 2007, I told a friend I was going to run a half-marathon that year.  I don't know where that came from.  But I trained and I ran my first half-marathon in May.  It was wonderful.  I knew I was slow, but I felt like a million bucks.  I felt like I had found my sport.  Slow, long-distance running.  And I am not being humble when I say slow.  I mean 14+ minute miles.  I ran another half in October 2007.

At a Christmas party last year, a friend convinced me that if I could run a half, I could run a whole.  I decided to do it in Alaska. I  registered for the Mayor's Marathon... June 21... Summer Solstice.  How cool is that.  I got up to one 15 mile training run.  Two weeks after I used another half-marathon as a training run.  I came in dead last in that half.  Ironically, it was my best half-marathon time ever.  But it was a field of 800 athletes, without the "feel-good" peeps that offend some runners.  I was the only "feel-gooder" at that race, and it wasn't feeling too good, let me tell you.  I did enjoy it though.  

I went out for a 17 mile run one Sunday morning two weeks after my 15 miler, and after 5 miles decided that I did not want to pay the price to train for a marathon.  I knew I could train for a half-marathon without ruining my life, so I decided to run a half in Anchorage.  The question I asked myself that day was "do I want to run with joy, or do I want to run with grim determination?"  The answer was joy.  

That was my last race.  (well, aside from my triathlon in August - which I still consider a pleasure, not a chore)  I am registered for the P.F. Chang's half on January 18.  I know I can pull 13.1 out of this old body, but I am not loving it.  I am not waking up in the morning wanting to run.  I am not trying to figure out how to squeeze in a few more miles to get up to a total for the week or month, the way I used to.  

My body doesn't feel like a jock's anymore.  It feels old.  I am no longer noticing the rock hard muscles, but the flabby skin.  Not fat, mind you, skin.  It happens when you age.  I am pushing 60 and it is happening.  

I recently got in touch with one of my high school acquaintances.  She sent me pictures of a group of them at a restaurant.  The class of '69.  Well, I hate to tell you  - they are old ladies.  chubby old ladies. I am no stick figure - I wear a size 12, but I am not wearing huge shirts that are not covering my huge belly.  I have my rolls and my bulges, but I do not look like my classmates. I know that is because of running.

I don't even think I expect anyone to read this.  I am just facing a decision point I guess. I wish I had other old folks to talk it over with.  Most of you are young and energetic and happy to be running.  I know what that is like. It is GREAT.  I am just not there right now and I am pretty sure that time has passed.

I will put in my training runs this week. I will consider that it is a shock to find out a friend has died. I am probably more upset than I am even admitting.  I will not make any decisions this week.  I will definitely run P.F. Chang's - and I am really looking forward to meeting some of you.

Since I have already written a book, I will add this little story.

I just cancelled my land line service.  I use my cell phone for everything, so there is no sense in paying $52. a month for something I don't use.  Today was the last day my land line was on, so I wanted to listen to the voice mails I have saved.  Like from my granddaughter's first day of pre-school, etc.  Tucked in there was a voice mail from the man who died last week.  I was not expecting that.  I really wasn't expecting to hear what it said.  I have been feeling so bad about our last conversation and wishing I had been a better friend to him.  So, this morning, I got to hear a message he left for me in May.  It said "Thank you for your friendship.  You have been a really good friend to me.  There are so many things I love about you. Thank you."  I felt like he reached out to me today to tell me that it is OK.  

OK enough out of me!  Thanks for reading if you have read this much!

Sunday, 23 November 2008

socks and 8 miles

Ok, so this is a sock I am knitting.  It is so pretty that several people have decided that these are their Christmas present from me... but the news for them just might be that I decide to keep these for myself!  I haven't kept a pair of socks for myself for years, and there is absolutely nothing like hand knit socks.

I did manage to run 8 miles today.  I did not enjoy it.  I might have mapped out a course that was too hard. Or maybe I am just fried on running.  I kept thinking that I should just sit on my sofa and eat whatever the hell I want.  I should get fat.  I should cut my beautiful, stylish, hair with blonde highlights and red lowlights and let the gray come in, on my short hair.

I feel like throwing in the towel.  This is too hard.  

Maybe a touch of depression?  Maybe.

I will keep running, and keep my hair.  I will not sit on the sofa and eat.  But today I would really like to.

Thanks for listening to me.

Saturday, 22 November 2008

Just call me Jackie...

Short for jackass.

After all the planning to run on Saturday instead of Sunday?  I am sitting in bed right now, waiting to crawl back in...  the heated mattress pad is heating up.

My socks are a lot further along and I could post a picture.  Well, just like I could run today.

Yesterday I heard (on the news) that one of my beloved former boyfriends was found dead in his home.  I feel like someone just kicked me in the gut.  I couldn't sleep last night.  He was having terrible problems, chronic alcoholism and many associated problems.  After our romance ended 2 years ago, we remained friends.  I am really so sad about this.

I will go do all the things I have to do today - after I wake up - and I will get my long run in tomorrow.  I did my 2 runs of 3 mile each this week like I said I would.

And tomorrow I will run 8 miles.

Today I just can't.  

Sunday, 16 November 2008

Training Problems

(I am starting my Christmas knitting - a pair of socks)
I ran my 2 times during this week... that was OK.  This morning I went out to run 8 miles and ran 3 instead.  I felt like crap.  My hip hurt.  My water bottle was leaking.  I forgot the receiver for my Nike + iPod.  I was not enjoying one second of the run and decided to bag it.  

Here is my plan for this week.  I am going to run 3 miles on Tuesday morning.  I am going to run 3 miles on Thursday morning.  I am going to run 8 miles on Saturday morning.  

I am going to switch back to long runs on Saturday.  On Sunday everyone expects me to make Sunday dinner.  And I really do enjoy that - unless, of course, I just finished my long run and I am at the grocery store trying to figure out what I can cook quickly.  That is not my idea of fun.  I had a house full of family this morning when I took off to run and it just felt wrong to me.

But I must get my long runs in... next week.  I commit to this.

Sunday, 9 November 2008


It feels strange to not have a long run this weekend... like I am somehow slacking in my training.  I ran 4 really great miles yesterday.  My times were good and the trail was great - 2 miles uphill to start and then the reward at 2 miles when you turn around and start flying downhill.  The weather is glorious - in a manner of speaking.  Frankly, I would rather have seasonal temperatures  - this is more like summer.  

I am having a hard time getting in my weekday runs.  I am so busy at work and I cannot seem to run and get to work on time.  Maybe I should endeavor to do that, eh?

Sunday, 2 November 2008

7 mile long run

Today I happily completed a 7 mile run.  I really felt great.  My time is still good, despite running on hard trails, including some pretty good hills.  I am now sitting with an ice pack on my back, a diet pepsi in front of me - and a football game on.  The best way to spend a Sunday afternoon! (well, if the Broncos decided to win, that would definitely improve the day.)

I have 10 weeks before P.F. Chang's.  I think I should have no problem getting a half marathon out of this body in 10 weeks - barring unforeseen circumstances - like injuries.  

I am so glad to be in training mode again.  It really helps me to focus.  When I have no goal, I just don't feel like getting out there.  This is good.

Wednesday, 29 October 2008

Trick or Treat Trail Race

This might have been the most fun race I have ever participated in.  Thank goodness I asked my friend to"The Blair Witch Project" join me, or I couldn't have done it.  It is just plain scary to be out on trails in the dark!  I don't care how good your head lamp is.  We could hear critters rustling in the bushes along the trail.  And the thing we didn't know?  We did not know that we had to cross a river twice !  through water up to our knees!  In the dark!  HOLY CRAP!  

It was the coolest thing ever.

We won a prize for the best team name.  Her last name is Knight.  My first name is Mary.... so our team was --- drum roll----


We had shirts made and everything.  It was so fun.

Four miles in the dark through a river a couple of times and tripping over rocks and roots, our time was abysmal.  

But I am absolutely certain I have never enjoyed a race so much!

Saturday, 25 October 2008

Does raking leaves count as cross training?

I raked leaves this morning - that is a lot of work and I think it is my workout du jour.  Now I am making apple butter.  Making apple butter is a very long process.

I am very excited about P.F. Chang's and it has really energized my training.  I am, so far, uninjured, and I feel good.  I don't know why, but my pace per mile has decreased by approximately a minute.  Honestly, I don't know why - except that I am not in pain as I have been almost 100% of the time for the last 2 years.  

Tomorrow I will run 6 miles again.  Next week I will try increasing it to 7 miles.  That will be over half a half.  Yay!

Sunday, 19 October 2008

All Set to Rock 'n' Roll...

I am registered for the race.  I have my airline tickets.  I have a room.  The room was WAY cheaper than I imagined.  I am so excited.

So I went and bought a new Nike + thing yesterday to go with the new iPod I bought 2 weeks ago.  On this morning's 6 mile run, it kept stopping.  I have no clue what that is about because my old one never did that.  It was also extremely incorrect, so I will have to calibrate it with my garmie.  

The 6 miles was good this morning.  I threw in some hills.  And some trails.  And some nice smooth paths.  It was good.  My times are getting better for some reason, not real clear on why.  Maybe I am just happy to be running after all the injuries I have had in the last year.  This is the first time I have run more than 5 miles at a time since June.  I hope I can just keep increasing the mileage.  I would like to get up to running 13.1 or more on my training runs, and then maybe the half won't feel so hard when I do it. 

Wednesday, 15 October 2008

I did it!

I am registered for the P.F. Chang's Rock 'n' Roll (half) Marathon in Phoenix, Scottsdale, and Tempe, Arizona!  Yay!  I am very excited about this.

I called a friend today.  She is older than I am, retired, and very sensible with her money.  I asked her how extravagant she thought it was for me to do this.  She just said "hell, you spend more than that on one outfit!"  Well, she does have a point there.  

All I needed was one more person to tell me to do it... and I registered. I am so excited.  I took the full page ad (with the $10 off coupon) from the Runner's World Magazine and hung it in my office, just behind my computer.  

I have my flights picked out... early Saturday morning and then Monday afternoon.  

All I have to do is figure out where to stay.  Running Knitter suggested the Four Points by Sheraton in Tempe.  Java Mom was going to drive by there tonight to see what she thinks. 

Oh!  I am so so so so so excited!

Any tips on where to stay?    I would like to stay south of $200. a night.... and in Tempe...

OK, gotta go watch the debate.

Tuesday, 14 October 2008

Arizona Dreaming...

What the heck is the matter with me?

On Sunday I was trying to be responsible and not pay to go to Phoenix for the PFChang thang.  But I WANNA.  I hope to talk with Java-Mom tomorrow to get some hotel advice.  I am looking for a cheap hotel that isn't disgusting.  

This is hard because I have only been to Phoenix once - and I have no clue.  The race runs through three cities.  Apparently Tempe is the place to stay?

I don't know.

Maybe tomorrow I will post all about my plans to run this race in January.  I really, really, want to.

And a small disclosure:  My psychologist thinks I really ought to do this.  If I were to ask my financial planner, I bet he would not concur.  But I did not ask my financial planner.  

Sunday, 12 October 2008

So Conflicted...

Today on my run, I saw many beautiful things along the trail.  But the sight above really struck me.  Somebody stood and tied many cottonwood leaves individually onto the fence.  This trail runs through a touristy mountain town for a while... it is fenced off from the restaurants and bars.   I imagined that last night a couple stood in this parking lot, breaking up.   The woman stands and in an effort not to make a scene, picks up leaves from the ground and ties little knots into them onto the little bars of this fence.  Okay, so I have a vivid imagination.  

Money.  I want to go to Phoenix for the P.F. Chang's Rock 'n' Roll (half) Marathon in January.  But let me tell you, I also WANT new hardwood floors in my house, which I plan to do in January.  I WANT a new car.  I WANT to go to Europe in 2010.  I WANT, I WANT, I WANT.  Where do you draw the line in the sand, and just say - well, I may WANT to go to Phoenix in January, but that is money I do not NEED to spend.  Hell, what do I know?

I am training for something.  I ran 5 good miles this morning.  I felt good.  I plan on running 6 miles next Sunday, and keep training until I am ready to run a half-marathon again.    I just don't know what I am doing.  Why can't there be a race in Colorado in January - that is a rhetorical question - I know why... start with ice, snow, sub-zero temperatures, and add from there.  

Friday, 3 October 2008

Head Lamp

I registered for the Trick or Treat Trail Run race on October 29.  It is a night race on trails.  I purchased a head lamp so that I can illuminate the rocks and roots and not get hurt.  I am very excited about this race, which has motivated me to get out and run this week.  

Today I also looked up airfares and hotels to get to P.F. Chang's RnR in Phoenix.  I might just do this!   The airfare is not expensive and I can find cheap hotels.  I just have no clue what part of town one should stay in.  Many of you live in this area, and many others are planning to run it.  Any suggestions?  

Sunday, 28 September 2008

Back on Track

Oh goodness!  It is good to run again.  I was lacking motivation for a while... then I got a terrible cold for a week, and now I am back!  I ran 3.1 miles yesterday and today I took a little trail run.

I visited my favorite running store yesterday and found out about a 4 mile race in October.  It is on a Wednesday night!  On trails!  In the dark!  How fun does that sound?  Very fun.  Now I have to buy a head lamp!

It is good to feel a little excitement again.  I was thinking about doing a half-marathon at P.F. Chang's in January, but since I lost 10% of my net worth last week, I might need to re-think a few things!  And maybe try to find local races to run.

I need to catch up with you all too!

Saturday, 13 September 2008

5 Miles

I did run one morning in Charlotte.  This was a beautiful old church along the way.  It amazed me that the altitude seemed to be a factor.  I felt faster and indeed was.  Why was the altitude not a factor in Anchorage I wonder.  

This morning I headed out on one of my favorite running trails.  I intended to run 5 miles, but felt pretty good at 2.5, so I didn't turn around.  I turned around at 3 miles, and then started feeling really crappy at about 4.  I ran 5 miles and walked the last one in.  

I haven't run more than 3 miles at a time since the half marathon in June!  I was so accustomed to running 10 miles that it amazed me this morning to be absolutely beat after 4 miles.  If I am going to run I better start doing it a little more!

Hope everyone in Texas is safe.

Sunday, 7 September 2008

Question of Etiquette

OK, if it is not good race etiquette to wear a race shirt for a race you were never in, how about this...

I am in Charlotte, NC on a business trip.  At the Denver Airport today, I was putting myself back together after going through security and noticed the guy ahead of me had a "Chicago Marathon" luggage tag.  So, knowing what happened last year (ungodly heat and a canceled race) at the Chicago Marathon, I asked him if he finished the Chicago Marathon.  Well, he looked at me like I was the most intrusive person on earth and said "I never ran the Chicago Marathon." 

Well, Excuuuuuuse me!  

If you are carrying a bag with a Chicago Marathon luggage tag, shouldn't you have run the thing?  

On another note, I see I have a "follower"!  How cool!  You Rock Marcy.

Do you think I will get around to running in downtown Charlotte?  It COULD happen.

Monday, 1 September 2008


I sat down on the sidewalk to take this picture on my morning run today.  I thought the flowers were pretty and evoked a mood of late summer.  I love late summer, early fall, late fall, early winter... then early spring, late spring, early summer, and late summer again.  The only part of the year I struggle to like is late winter.  

But I digress...

I went for an introduction session at a yoga studio today and then plopped down my credit card to pay the considerable sum for 3 months of membership.  Please, somebody, tell me this wasn't a waste of money!  Yoga is not cheap!

I have been struggling to keep running.  I have been struggling with just about everything.  I have been in tremendous pain from the car accident.  The CT scan showed that I have "degenerative disc disease" which isn't news to me.  I am glad it is nothing more acutely worse than that.  

But do I want to continue to go to Physical Therapy once a week for limited relief (at $30. a crack), or should I try something else?  I decided that yoga might just help me.  The tiny little korean woman at the yoga place was so kind to me, and didn't try to insult me into signing up.  You know how sometimes people tell you how very badly you need them by telling you how very pitiful you are?  I didn't feel any of that at all.  

We shall see...

Sunday, 17 August 2008

No Races in Sight...

That is a self-portrait I took while waiting to start the Anchorage half-marathon .  It was so cold and pouring rain.  I had this on my phone and forgot all about it until a day or so ago while I was going through the pics on my phone and ran into this one...

I am having a hard time staying motivated.  Once you get in the habit of having a huge race/challenge ahead, it is hard to get out and run a measly 3 miles with no big goal in mind.  I thought perhaps running shorter distances on a frequent basis would be a good thing to do.  So that is what I am trying to do.

I have had a bit of set back in that my back is hurting.  I went to the doc 2 weeks ago and had a CT scan last week.  I should find out tomorrow what the result of that is.  I had an ACDF (Anterior Cervical Discectomy and Fusion of C5-6, and C6-7) in 1999 and my doc was afraid that I did something to all the stuff in my neck - and that they would have to "go back in" and get it fixed.  Oh my.  I SO don't want anyone going back "into" my cervical spine.  

So I am still running.  I really want to run the Boulder Back Roads (half) marathon on Sept. 21 - but I better find out what is going on with my back.

Oh, and on the weight loss front... I am down 6.6 lbs.  That may not sound like a lot to anyone but me, but I know my body and 6.6 is a lot for me to lose.  I am a slow loser!  I feel like I am on a good slow steady progression.  And after watching the Olympic Marathon last night, I realized that I would rather look like a runner than a shotput!

Friday, 8 August 2008


There's me, finishing the triathlon last Sunday.  And that is the first race photo I have purchased since 2004.  I love the photo for a couple of reasons.  The first reason is that I was finishing a triathlon with energy left.  What a fabulous feeling!  The second reason I probably shouldn't share, but I will.  I think I look good.  There!  I said it!

I had a bit of a revelation during the race.  I got to stand around with women of my own age as we prepared for the race, as we participated in it, and as we finished up and headed for home.  Somehow I have this idea that if I were thin enough or in better shape, I would look like a 20 year old model.  Here were these women, within a few years of my age, in swimming suits, wet suits, running clothes and bike clothes.  This stuff doesn't hide anything.  No one looks like a 20 year old model.  But they are beautiful athletic women!  And none of them look 20 years old. By the time we are post 55 years old, we all have something going on.  Bellies, arm flab, dimpled legs and bottoms.

BUT WE ARE BEAUTIFUL!  I am so glad to say this.  It probably sounds wacky to those of you still in your 20s or 30s.  But it is a revelation to me.  A happy revelation.

There is other stuff going on, but I am just so dang happy to say, I am a fit, happy, and dare I say beautiful? woman!  Happy, I tell you!

Sunday, 3 August 2008

Tri for the Cure, 2008

It was a wonderful day at the triathlon.  The times have not been posted yet.  I had problems in almost everything... but still, it was great.

I got to the park at 5:15, and joined the line of women with backpacks and bikes... walking... walking... into the park.  Then the frantic rush to set up your transition area.  Knowing full well that it will be squished into non-existence before the swim start.  It was 70º already at 5 a.m., and the water was a very comfortable 74º.  

The swim was different in that I never found a spot to swim without being kicked and elbowed.  I was constantly being mowed over.  It was uncomfortable.  I could not see the buoys either, so I felt like I was swimming blind.  I ended up doing the breast stroke a lot - just so I could see what was ahead.  The first stretch of the swim, we were heading straight east - into the rising sun.  It was blinding.  My goggles added to the problem.  I had to stop at a swim angel, hang on a noodle and lick the lenses of my goggles.  Thank you Swim Angel!  My time for the swim was (estimate) 28 some minutes.

I have no idea how long the T1 took.  It didn't seem long. I hopped on my bike, surprised that my legs seemed to not be wobbly like I think they will be when I am done swimming.  I headed out and enjoyed the ride - until I made the mistake of gearing into granny gear on a big hill.  When I tried to take it out of granny gear, the chain fell off.  I quickly hopped off the bike, turned it over, and then the ty-rap holding my computer broke.  So after I got the chain back on, I held the computer in my hand for the rest of the ride.  I think I did the ride in about 48 minutes.  Not sure though.

T2 wasn't as bad as I expected either.  I grabbed my garmin, a gu, my iPod, and headed out.  I was quickly told, in no uncertain terms, that iPods were banned from the race.  I headed back to my transition area to put my iPod back in my backpack.  You know, I was really P.O.'d about that (because I think that should have been posted on the website or in their info, since they have always allowed them before) - but I didn't miss it at all.  

I started walking, and realized that I was walking pretty fast.  I decided to run.  I was running OK.  I probably ran about half of the 5K.  I enjoyed myself.  It was getting really hot by then - thank God I am over 55 and was in the 4th wave.  There were still people swimming when I was running... I felt bad for them because the day just kept getting hotter.  

Some lady in front of me kept yelling what I guess she thought was encouragement - "think of a cold margarita!  A cold beer!  A cold martini!"  over and over and over again.  I finally shouted, "think of an air conditioned AA meeting!"  I don't think she liked that, but holy crap, not everyone is motivated by alcoholic beverages!  


I got back to the transition area with my buds - I SO love being with women my own age!  I was dancing, and they were wondering what was wrong with me.  Heck, I still felt good.  

But you know, compared with a half-marathon, running a 5K is really pretty quickly over.  

So, I had a good day.  I am glad.  I needed one.  I am sure my times were not good, but I enjoyed myself, and isn't that what this is about?

And, on a serious note:  when my mother was my age nearly exactly, she had just been diagnosed with cancer and had just undergone a surgery to remove a kidney... which proved futile, she was dead 6 months later.  I kept thinking about her as I swam, biked, and ran.  I am grateful that I get to be an alive person, healthy, and happy.  This one's for you Mom.


Thursday, 31 July 2008

Hot Hot Hot

Five Day Forecast
Sunday is my triathlon.... do you see the predicted temperature?  Well, at least it won't be cold getting into the water at 7:00 a.m.  The running portion will probably be the walking portion for me.  And I will carry water.  

I am excited about the race.  I feel much, much, much better.  And I appreciate your well wishes... thank you.  That accident was scary, and I am having nightmares about it, but I think I am on the mend.   I got out and rode my bike yesterday and today I will run 3 miles for the first time since the wreck.  

Here is the most amazing thing to me:  Remember when I said I was done with long distance running?  Well, now that I have stopped for a while, I LONG to get out and do a 10 mile run.  I really miss the mental state you get into when you are running for a long time.  So I found another half-marathon I want to do.  My daughter just rolls her eyes when I tell her this... she rolled her eyes when I told her I was done running and now she rolls her eyes when I tell her excitedly about a half-marathon I want to do in September.

It is the Boulder Back Roads Marathon and it just sounds wonderful.   Have I lost my mind?

Saturday, 26 July 2008

Another Setback

A week ago today I was in a very serious car accident.  Riding in a fast car with a man.... something that has gotten me in trouble more than once... this time it was on a mountain pass, he was going too fast and lost control of the car.  We ran into a concrete wall at probably 40 miles per hour.  We really should not have walked away from the accident, but we did.  I was in some pretty bad pain this past week.  I think I am on the mend now.  

I have a triathlon in a week - I know I can do it, but it just might not be pretty - or fast.  But thank God I know I can do it.

I haven't worked out since last Saturday.  I will be able to get back to it this week.  

Saturday, 19 July 2008

Word from long lost blogger

In my other blogging life I just forget about people who don't post regularly.  My behavior on this blog is very different.  I have been doing some soul searching about my fitness regimen and have felt like I am being a whiner when I post about it.  I  think I have it pretty well worked out now, so I will tell you what I have come up with.

Here's the big confession:  I weigh too much. I am fit, but just too big.  I have gained weight in the last year.  I find it very difficult to train for a half marathon and eat sensibly at the same time.  This weight has impacted my performance I think.  I think it is why I am so freaking slow.

So - (oh, how I loathe to write this) I joined Weight Watchers again.  I am a lifetime member (since 1988) and it never fails to work for me if I just try to stay reasonable and not get too crazy with limiting my intake of food.  I have lost 5 lbs. so far, and hope to just keep plugging along. If I were to lose a total of 20 lbs., I would be ecstatic.  If I lost 10 lbs. I would be pretty happy and maybe that happiness would keep me motivated.  

I still want everyone to know that I am still 30 lbs. down from where I was in 2001.  Just so you know....

I went to the gym and ran on the treadmill 12 days ago.  I suffered terribly for that.  My sciatica was practically unbearable.  I have spent a bit of time in traction since then.  I have also been walking.  And biking. And swimming.  Yesterday, I took a little 2 mile run and was fine, so I have hopes that my triathlon on August 3 won't be a total disaster.  

This morning, I drove down to the lake an swam for 25 minutes.  Then I hopped on my bike and rode for an hour.  It was good.  I felt good and I feel good now.  

I have a full day ahead of me and better get on with it.  I will visit your blogs tonight or tomorrow.

Thanks for reading all of this...

Sunday, 6 July 2008

Back in the Saddle (sort of)

That's a picture (through an RV screened window) of an Alaskan sunset - at 11:45 p.m.  And it still doesn't get dark after that!

After I wrote on Tuesday, I thought I just have to force myself to work out whether I want to or not.  I dragged my good bike to the bike store to get a few things done to it, and then hopped on and went to the lake.  I took my first open water swim of the season.  Heck, it was my first swim of any kind since last year's triathlon.  Then I hopped back on the bike and went home.  

On Saturday, I tried to run for the first time since the June 21 half marathon.  This morning after church, I took a 10 mile bike ride and a half hour open water swim.  I think the swim was approximately 750 meters, but no one seems to know what the actual length of the swim lane at the lake is.  

I think I have some decisions to make.  
1.  me + distance running does not = a fit Mary.  Really.  It just doesn't.
2. If I want to run faster, I am going to have to run shorter.
3. I can do that seriously on the treadmill... Oh NO! Not the Treadmill!!!
4. I really could walk as fast as I am running right now, and I would actually enjoy that.
5.  I can swim and bike and actually enjoy that. 
6. Maybe I can focus on the bike and swim training for my tri and let the chips fall where they may for the run portion.  

I could go back to what I was doing before I got bitten by the half marathon bug.  I was running about 40 or 50 miles a month and felt fantastic!  I was fit and much, much slimmer than I am now.  I have done nothing but gain weight since I started distance running.  

What to do?  

Tuesday, 1 July 2008

Back Home Again

I got home from Alaska yesterday.  I was gone for too long and I am very very grateful to be home.  I have not worked out once since the half marathon on June 21.  Yikes.

I have a triathlon in a month, so I need to do some serious training on the bike and in open water.  I thought I would get out there today, but I feel crappy and it is raining right now.  In other words - I am lacking motivation.

In the past, when I have really been motivated for training, a little sore throat, headache, running nose and some rain would never stop me.  

Where do you get the motivation from when it is gone?

Sunday, 22 June 2008

From Denali

OK.  I obviously lived through the race... see that fine looking finishers' medal?  I totally overestimated what a difference sea level makes.  I also totally underestimated what hills would be on the course.  And also crazy surfaces.  And rain.  And coldness.  

(okay, this picture is in here twice, and I can't seem to delete it, sorry)
So, my nephew decided to run the half-marathon.  Somehow, even though registration was closed, he was able to register at the expo.  So, it was great fun that he was there running a half marathon with his old aunt.

Before the start of the race, it started pouring rain.  It was quite cold and pouring rain.  Once again, thanks to Team in Training folks for plastic bags that I was able to get from them.  My nephew and I were safely wrapped in plastic, and ready to rock. 

The first mile was cold and dripping wet.  After the first mile, I warmed up, ditched the bag, and started feeling good.  Someone came up behind me and I heard "Mary!"  It was someone from a contingent of racers I met at the Portland airport on a 4 hour layover.  That was fun.

I was keeping a good pace for me, not too fast or slow. I felt good.  At about 6 miles, we turned onto a trail that wasn't even a trail... through the forest.  It was an uneven surface and grassy.  It wasn't even a path!  I thought I had better slow down for safety's sake and I am glad I did.  The woman in front of me fell really hard on her knees.  I stopped to help her.  I really considered what was really important - me considering a PR, or helping someone who had just fallen. I chose helping her.  I probably didn't spend all that long doing it, but I am glad I did.  

It was at about 6 and  a half or 7 miles that I just kind of ran out of energy. I decided to walk for a while.  And then I decided to walk a little bit longer since my walk pace wasn't necessarily slower than my "run" pace.  I decided to just try to enjoy the race.

I don't know where it was, but I heard someone say "Careful, there's a moose!"  A Moose?  Well, give me a camera, and my deepest fears turn into something I pursue.  I just HAD to take a picture of it with my cell phone.  After I took two of them, I realized that my lens cover was closed, so I took a few more.  They aren't worth posting because the moose just looks like a brown spot.  Damn!  It was so cool.  It was at that point that two more of the folks I met at the airport passed by and said Hello.

Maybe I was a tad irritable, maybe not.... maybe this will lose me some readers, maybe not.  But I have to say there were so many purple Team in Training racers and their support people that I began to feel that I had crashed a private party.  There were cheerers along the road who were screaming "go team!!!!!" and when I would go by, it was silence.  Would it kill them to cheer for someone who didn't raise $20,000.?   

At mile 10, I started walking with a woman who was keeping a good 13 to 14 minute pace.  We were talking and really enjoyed each others' company.  I asked if she minded me tagging with her because she was really helping me - and she said I was really helping her, so that was nice.  By that time, I knew I was going to have a PW (personal worst), but I just wanted to enjoy myself.  So, I did.  It was pretty great.

In the last couple of turns, another woman grabbed my hand and pulled me through.  I just kind of lost any energy at all.  

All in all, it was a great experience.  My poor nephew had to wait an hour for his old Aunt to finish, but it was great to have him there at the finish.  A friend of my sister's from New York City was also there and cheered as I finished.  How cool is that!  

I am anxious to start training for my tri in August.  But for now, I am on vacation!  And boy, is it rainy and cold at Denali National Park!!!  Perfect for sleeping!

Tuesday, 17 June 2008

Excitement Builds!!!

Here is my race stuff... all layed out.  I decided to go with a blue theme instead of the pink I had purchased.  Probably because it didn't require that I purchase a new jacket.  

It is so hard to pack for a trip where the high temperatures will be maybe 60º when I am sweltering in 80º indoors right now.  

For instance, I bought some water shoes for the fishing trip we are taking.  Well, I won't really want water shoes, I probably really want some water proof boots.  But I have water shoes, so I will wear water shoes.  They are super cool looking.  
And can you guess what my favorite color is?  (who even HAS a green bra? well, I do, actually a couple of them.) And no, the green chacos are not my water shoes.  

So, I have become obsessed with the idea of running all alone on that trail during the half-marathon and encountering a moose.  Probably coming in dead last in my last half-marathon wasn't the confidence building experience I might have thought it was.  Anyway, I have thought about how I was alone through almost all of that race, and thinking about being alone with a mammal larger than a large SUV.  Tonight I had a stroke of genius and checked out the half-marathon times for last year.  Well, I am in luck.  Plenty of people finished in OVER 5 hours.  For a half.  

If I finished in 3:08 like my last half, I would have come in 23rd of 58 women in my age group.  I would have come in 93/146 35 to 39 year olds.  

Phew!  I will be fine.  There will be lots of slow folks with me, and some even slower than me!  Yippeee!!

Friday, 13 June 2008

Something new to be anxious about...

As I looked through the pictures of the trail the half-marathon is on... I realized there were moose in a lot of the pictures.  

What the hell do I do if I am running along and there is a moose ahead of me?  I will turn tail and run the other way.... I just know it.

My first thought was  - well, there will be lots of people around, keeping the wildlife from the trail... but then I remembered my last half-marathon.  I ran alone for most of it.  Alone, as in I couldn't even SEE anyone else.  

I just hope there are enough people at this race so there will be fat people and old people so I won't be last and running alone.  Or I will be SCARED!

Wednesday, 11 June 2008

Running Along

I ran a couple of miles on Tuesday.  I felt good.  I don't know why running feels OK if sitting at my desk is excruciating.  And driving my car is slightly worse than that.

Yesterday at lunch I went to physical therapy.  She put me in traction, which really took the pain away for a while. I will have it again next Tuesday.  

Then on Thursday I leave for Alaska.  To say I am excited is the understatement of the century!!!

I looked at the route of the half-marathon today and did a little bit of research.  It looks absolutely beautiful.  Here is a link to some photos of it.

Oh, and with the help of my friend Debbi, I figured out how to get my laps on the garmin software.

Sunday, 8 June 2008

10 Miles

This was my changing room AKA passenger seat of my automobile today.  I started a run at 8:30 in the morning when it was pouring rain and 49 degrees.  I planned it so I would be at my car again at 5 miles - just in case I needed to take off my rain coat and long sleeve shirt.  By the time I had completed 5 miles, it was sunny and warm, and I actually changed my shirt in my car!  A little singlet instead of all that bulkage was just the ticket.  

I am now confident that I can finish a half-marathon in Anchorage on June 21.  I will be in pain, as I am right now, but what the heck is another couple of weeks of pain?  I am so excited about my trip and the race and I am just happy, happy, happy.  I would have loved to have been able to run a whole marathon, but it just may never happen.  I need  to stop minimizing the accomplishment of running 13.1 miles.  

After the run, I went straight to the best running store in the universe - Runners' Roost, Lakewood, Colorado - to talk to them about some shoe issues.  I left there with a new pair of Brooks Trance 7's in a size 9.5  Nine and a Half?  How did this happen?  I have always been an 8.5 or a 9.   Anyway, they fit me perfectly and don't hurt!  I can't believe they were so kind to trade out my shoes.  I didn't have that many miles on the other pair, but they were mainly on a dirt trail, so the shoes were definitely used.  

Here is a question for hopefully at least one of you who has a garmin and a mac.  That software is craptastic.  I cannot get my lap information and I really need it. I just downloaded the latest software this evening thinking I surely had the wrong version, but apparently not.  Could it be that this is the one thing that isn't better on a mac?  If so, it is a heartbreaker.  

Monday, 2 June 2008

Hammer Time

Yesterday I got a call from one of my teammates - calling me from mile 21 of the Rock n' Roll Marathon... for encouragement.  I was on the sofa, sitting on an ice pack.  But man, when she called, something happened to me.  

She has the same type of injury that I do.  She is 51 years old, but thin, unlike me.  Her mother died about 6 months ago.  In other words, she hasn't trained.  She started the race intending to run 3 or 4 miles, but just kept going.  And I watched the live results page online and saw that she finished in 6 and a half hours!  (take THAT, Rory Gilfillan!!)

Well, I figured if she could pull 26.2 miles out of her untrained body, surely I can run 13.1 in Anchorage.  So, that is what I am going to do.

I ran 3 miles this morning.  I bought another ice pack so that I can sit on one at work AND at home!  I have been taking my massive dosages of ibuprofen as prescribed.  I have been stretching religiously.  Taking my muscle relaxers at night.  Working on it...  I think I can do this.  

I just have to.  I can stand another 3 weeks of pain.  What's another three weeks?  Nothing! Ha!  I am so happy!

Friday, 30 May 2008

Physical Therapy

I had my first appointment for Physical Therapy today. The thing that is causing my sciatic nerve so much pain is that my periformis muscle is all jacked up. Now, I took two semesters of Anatomy and Physiology, one semester of Pathophysiology, and various other medical classes - how is it that I NEVER heard of this muscle?

The physical therapist suggests that I don't run until I get the pain calmed down.

I have a bunch of exercises to do. I will do them.

But I am having a hard time not running. I ran 6 miles last Sunday, and then spent the remainder of the day in bed - on vicodin. Not a good way to spend a day.

I so want to at least run a half-marathon on June 21. I have to. Really. I just have to.

Do you remember how you felt when you started running and you would feel your belly and wonder where this hardness had come from? Or look at your butt and realize there was NO fat on it? Or look at the muscles in your legs and marvel that they could be your very own legs?

Well, I am going through that process in reverse. It only took a few weeks, but my belly feels more flacid, my butt seems less firm, etc., etc.,

This is sad. Woe is me!

Sunday, 25 May 2008

Uh Oh...

I haven't posted anything for a while because I was hoping I would have good news soon.  So far, no good news.   This sciatic nerve thing has gotten worse, not better.  I am taking vicodin for pain, and still I am a squirming mess.

I had to cancel my first PT appointment because of a big deal at work.  So, I won't have PT until next Friday.  It is now 26 days until my race.  I changed my registration to a HALF marathon.  I just hope I can even do a half.

I ran 2 miles on Friday. I am going to run tomorrow.  I just can't stop running when I am this close to a race.  I feel like I have lost all my momentum.  I haven't run seriously since May 12.  

Sorry to be such a whiner.  Here is a good thing to report:  This morning I took my granddaughters to a local park so that they could play.  Some fire fighters were walking around talking to kids and their peeps.  When they were talking with my granddaughters, they pointed at me and said "we talked to your mom."  Olivia was quick to say "That's my GRANDmother!"  And I said "Thank you!" to the fire fighter.   Thank you!  How nice.  That has never happened to me before.   She is probably the only BLIND fire fighter in the country, but I will take it as a complement anyway.  

Enjoy your running all you healthy people!

Saturday, 17 May 2008

At the Race Expo...

This is a picture of the inside of the tent at the race expo for the Colfax Marathon.  I worked at the late registration table from 1 to 5.  I really had no idea that anyone would be registering for a full or half marathon on the afternoon before the marathon,  I was surprised at how many did.  It was fun to be there.  I was probably a bit too much of a Chatty Cathy with the runners.... but it was fun.  

So, here were the things of note that happened:  

A very fit man registered for a full marathon.  I got his paperwork done and the other ladies (pictured above) were taking his money.  He asked them "oh, how many miles is a marathon anyway?"  When I looked at him with sheer horror, he laughed.  It was a joke.  The other ladies didn't get it though.  They didn't know anything about races and kept calling the chip - "the timer" - which confused people.  

A not-so-fit looking woman- who I assumed was older than me - and was shocked when I saw that she was 6 years younger than me - but still no spring chicken!  registered for the full marathon.  As we chatted, she said she thought she would do fine because she runs 5 miles every day.  Oy.  

I was happy to see that there really are people of all shapes, sizes, and ages who are running marathons.  Well, mostly the older and lumpier ones are running the half - but still - it was nice to see that I am not the only older person with some cushioning to be running.  

I also noticed as I walked around, that I know an awful lot of people who were at the expo.  Like people from the running stores and clubs.  I think it is scary that I know their names!  Yikes.

....Edited out some mean stuff I wrote here....

Good luck to everyone out there running a race tomorrow.

Friday, 16 May 2008

Life as a Former Runner

This is having a negative affect on my self esteem!  I saw runners tonight after work and I felt so jealous!  I saw one girl with a camelback and wondered how long she was running if she needed a camelback - and I speculated that is must be many, many miles.

My sciatica is somewhat better.  I hope to be back running by this time next week.  I needed a break to appreciate how much I love to run.  I miss it - bad.  But it took until today to even miss it.  I was so fried.

Tomorrow I am volunteering at the expo for the Colfax Marathon.  Last year, I was getting ready to run my first half-marathon.  I was so excited.  It was such a great experience for me.  I hope working at the "late registration" table will rekindle my excitement for the events.  

Wishes for great races for everyone racing this weekend.

Monday, 12 May 2008

The five most dangerous words in the English language

Maybe It Will Go Away.

I looked back at this blog and my other blog and I have been complaining of hip pain since February.  Did I go to the doctor then?  No.  Why not?  Because I was afraid he would tell me to stop running.

I was in desperate pain today, enough pain to go to the doctor.  And what did he tell me?  To stop running until I get the pain calmed down.  I have sciatica.  I am scheduled for the first open appointment they had at physical therapy - May 21.  

My doc was hopeful that I can get it under control in time for the race.  Then we talked about races, I told him my reasons for going to Anchorage.... sea level, and an 8 hour time limit.  He liked that idea himself and said he might train for a marathon.  He said the farthest he has ever run was 15k.  I, of course, encouraged him to go for it.  

So the Colfax is definitely out.  I might just volunteer at the race - that way I could still meet Jess!  I will try to get in the pool at least to keep a certain level of fitness going.... then I hope to be able to run in a week and a half.  Sheesh.  I think I will still be able to run a half on June 21.  

Saturday, 10 May 2008

Windy Day

I attempted to run 10K on the 10th today.  The wind was blowing so hard, I lost my hat at one point, and then had to hold it the rest of the time.  So I managed to run 5.4 miles.  

I got to watch as a cloud came over a mountain, and then I could see that some sort of precip was coming out of the cloud.  Sure enough, within minutes it was SNOWING on me.  SNOWING.  
May 10 + Snow = Colorado.  

Now I am limping along with incredible pain that I think is from my sciatic nerve.  It runs all the way from my left hip to my left ankle.  And it hurts worse when I sit down.  

Sorry to be such a complainer.   The former chaplain where I work used to talk to me about  "the therapeutic value of kvetching."  Not sure anyone wants to read about it.  

Still haven't heard whether I have next Sunday free to run the Colfax half marathon.  

Friday, 9 May 2008

What about the Colfax?

I am thinking about running the Colfax (half) Marathon next weekend.  I really enjoyed it last year - it was my first ever half marathon.  I was intending to run 13.1 next Sunday anyway...  hmmm.  I will mull this one over.

I didn't run at all this week!  Holy Crap!  There was all kinds of crazy stuff going on at work, and I had to be there early every day and work late.  Tonight I loaded up my car with all kinds of stuff and my work laptop, and I am intending to work from home this weekend.

Well, and celebrate Mother's Day with my kids and grandkids.  Take one run of probably 6 or 7 miles, clean the house, study for my final exam of the year at Biblical School, do lawn maintenance, oh, and RELAX!  

I want to run the Colfax Half.  hmmmmm.....

Thursday, 8 May 2008

Last Chance!

I just got an e-mail notifying me that it is my LAST CHANCE! to get photos from last May's Colfax (half) Marathon. There was one half decent picture of me, but I didn't buy it.

The one I really like is above. Here I am, laboring with all I have in me, still coming in behind the guy with the wife-beater who is not even moving!!! How cool is that!

I probably sound sarcastic, but I really do think it is high-lar-i-ous.

I will run again some day. The big deal at work ended today at noon. Things will calm down for a day or two. And I will again hit the pavement.

Wednesday, 7 May 2008

Goonie in her office

Here's a picture of me, sitting at my desk, in my office... prettttttty.

I haven't run all week.
but I have actually wanted to. Which is good.

It has been a crazy week at work - I have had to be there early every day.

Sunday, 4 May 2008

Decision Made

At six miles into my run this morning, I made my decision.  It went like this...
Mary, you have just run 6 miles.  You have another 11 to go.  Do you even want to do this?  You want to run a marathon, but at what price?  You COULD run the 4 miles back to the car and call 10 miles a good run.  A good run if you are training for a half-marathon - not a full one.  Then, on your Sunday afternoon, you COULD have your kids over for dinner.  You COULD get your homework done for Biblical School and get ready for work tomorrow.  Or, you could run 17 miles and go home and lay on the sofa.  

So, here is what it came down to for me today:
Do I want to run with grim determination?
Or do I want to run with JOY?

The answer is JOY.  I am going to run a half-marathon in Anchorage on June 21.  I have an awesome vacation planned and I am going to enjoy it.  When I look at the counter in my sidebar now, I am going to think - woo! hoo!  ONLY XX days until vacation!  I am not going to think "oh shit, I ONLY have XX days left to get ready to run a marathon.  

I will likely get some crap from people for this, but ultimately, it is the woman in the mirror I most need to reconcile with.  This training was feeling horrible.  I feel lighter already.  And, the last four miles I ran today, I REALLY ENJOYED.  I haven't enjoyed running for a while now.  This is good.

Friday, 2 May 2008

Friday Night Thinking...

I thought I would include pretty pictures of my bruise and scars.  (and you can see the impressions of the lovely knee-high fishnets I had on all day today.)  

I went shopping after work tonight - for some furniture and some other stuff at REI.  Then I went to the running store to get some shoes, but they were closed.  So I will go tomorrow.

I did not run all week.  I am scheduled for a 17 mile run this weekend. I guess I will wait until Sunday.  I think this is the "do or die" run for my marathon training.  If I can't do it, I am going to plan on running the half marathon in Anchorage.  If I can run it, I guess I will know that I should continue with my training for a full marathon.  Right now I am plagued with doubts and aches and pains.  

I look at the counter on my side-bar and think - this should be something I am looking forward to, not dreading.  But every time I see how few days are left, I just feel so much pressure.  I don't know how I can be ready for a marathon in 50 some days.  

I got an e-mail from my marathon mentor this week.  It was meant to motivate me I am sure.  It had just the opposite effect.  She said she heard I was having doubts and she said "shame on you." and that people in MUCH worse shape than I finish marathons.  Great.  

I will go out this weekend and do my level best to run 17 miles.  Some of you say that discouragement is typical half way through the training... I hope that is all this is.  

Thanks for your encouragement and understanding.  

Tuesday, 29 April 2008

First Bike Ride

Today was mellen burstyn as sister summersilsey first bike ride of the season.  I decided to ride my bike to work to:
a) get exercise (other than running)
b) save gas.

The ride TO work is approximately 8 miles downhill followed by a half mile uphill.  The ride home, as you might imagine, is exactly the opposite... with the steepest grade in the last 2 miles.  It was a good ride with the exception of me hitting the curb and flying into the grass.  Thank God it was grass, or I would have been hurt.  My legs are getting pretty gnarly looking with scars and scrapes and bruises from all my misadventures... not very becoming on a 50-something woman!

I am trying to fight extreme discouragement over my running.  I thought I would take the week totally off and try to get my hip to stop hurting and other things healed up.  I actually have an open wound all along where the bottom of my heart rate monitor strap was on Sunday.  I have no idea how that happened because I have worn that thing a million times and never had the slightest chafing.  The run on Sunday just sucked all the way around.  

Sorry to be such a complainer.  I just tried to call another member of my fund raising team "blisters for sisters", and she said she is in a bad mood and would call me tomorrow.  What?  Some people wonder why they are lonely?

OK, now I have crossed the line from complaining to outright bitchiness.  I took my estrogen tablet, and hope to feel human again soon.  But first let me say:  I am going to watch American Idol tonight and I fully expect little Mr. Dreadlock Rasta-Man to go home tomorrow.  What is he doing there?   

Sunday, 27 April 2008

Sunday 10 miler

This is a picture of the South Platte River - which I ran beside this morning.  

Do you want to know the truth?  I had a pretty miserable run.  My left hip hurts so bad.  I kept taking walk breaks, but I swear they don't help anything, they just slow me down and make it harder to get a good pace going again.  

I actually enjoyed my 15 miles last week more than I enjoyed the 10 today.  Even though I had my cute new outfit on... and that usually makes a run more tolerable.

I honestly don't know how I can run a marathon in just 7 weeks.  

I am going to take a nap now and hope when I wake up the world looks like a friendlier and less painful place.

Friday, 25 April 2008

Friday Night Self-Portrait

Because apparently I never tire of showing you my new clothes and how dirty my bathroom is!  I think this is going to be my marathon outfit.  It will look great when they take me off the course on a gurnee - ooooops!  Where's that positive attitude?  I meant to say, it will look great as I cross the finish line with my arms in the air!  And I can tell my family to look for me in the "sorbet" top!  

I ran only 4 miles last night.  I went out in a singlet and skirt - without realizing that the weather was going to change - the wind kicked up to like 30 mph.  I am not even exaggerating.  It was crazy.  I still had a nice run, it was just a little bit shorter than I anticipated.

The weather is supposed to be bad tomorrow.  If it is snowing, I will postpone my long run until Sunday.  My long run this week will only be 8 to 10 miles.  I was leaning towards 10, but I am feeling very tired and have hip pain.  I will see how I feel tomorrow and how the weather is.  

Wednesday, 23 April 2008

Must.... Stop.... Complaining....

Today I am again happy to be a runner - but today was a day off. I am looking forward to running tomorrow. I will try to get 6 miles in before work. That should be good. I really should take some clothes and my gym bag to leave at work and run to work. It is about 8 miles. I could do that, as long as I took a shower after I got there. I have a make up bag and brush and hair dryer and curling iron in my desk - for days when I bike to work (which I haven't done since last summer).

The picture above was something that I thought was funny on my run on Saturday. Mind you, I had just completed 13.1 miles (and had still 1.9 miles to go) when I came upon this bike trail espresso stand. Really, it is on the bike trail - not the road. It is only accessible by bike or foot. It was packed with spandex wearing bike riders. I am sure it would be fun to take a leisurely bike ride and stop for a cup of joe along the way. I think I know a J-mom who would really like it. Not to suggest that she is anything LIKE a LEISURELY bike rider.

Today I was meeting with the director of nursing in my office and mentioned something about running. He said "oh, you're a runner?" And I was so happy that I had fresh meat to tell all about training for a marathon!!! Everyone else is sick of hearing about it. And I was thrilled there was still at least one person in the hospital who hasn't heard me talk about it.

Looking forward to 6 miles tomorrow!

Tuesday, 22 April 2008

3 Miles Today

I took the afternoon off work.  Oh, it was glorious.   I ran 3 miles at noon - which was HOT.  I usually run early in the morning, so it was quite an adjustment to be running in the mid day sun.  I got to visit with a friend who was coming though town - that was nice.  Then when I decided to take a nap, my neighbor decided, with all his hillbilly friends, to take out his dirt bike and let the dog bark and chase the dirt bike around the cul de sac.  Well, the nap never happened.  But I am glad that the weather is nice enough for these crazy activities to be going on.  

Tonight, the Tivo is all ready for American Idol!!  Woo Hoo!  I have turned into a real american!  I watch TV and actually look forward to it!  Funny that I find this both sad and encouraging at the same time.  Sad because, well, it is just sad.  Encouraging because I have spent my life always moving, always doing, NEVER sitting still.  

I am looking forward to a short long run on Saturday.  8 or 10 miles.  That's all.  Long enough to be fun, not long enough to be painful.  

You know what I am really looking forward to?  June 22, 2008 - the day after my marathon.  When I hop on a train to go to Denali National Park to stay at a Lodge for 2 days.  AFTER my short marathon career is OVER. 

I have a triathlon in August and I cannot wait to train for it.  Especially the biking and swimming.   I may just walk the running part.  I have had it with running!

Sunday, 20 April 2008

Day after 15 miles

I am actually feeling optimistic today.  I am not hurting too bad from the 15 miles.  The blisters I thought I had yesterday were temporary, and my feet are fine.  I have a bit of a sunburn on my neck and that is about it.  Oh, and I also have the lovely tan that ends above my ankle where my socks hit.  

The skirt is cute, no?  It is comfy and feels great.  It is long enough so that I don't feel like a woman who doesn't realize she is in her 50s (and so are her legs!)  I ordered a shirt in the pink color of the trim on the skirt - it should be in this week some time.  The color is called "sorbet", doesn't that sound good?  The visor was painful to buy because I am still mad at Pearl Izumi for that asinine runner vs. jogger ad campaign - but I really liked the visor the best.  It has good sweat absorption and it is comfortable.  

I just can't believe that I am optimistic today.  Yesterday I thought there was no way I was going to be able to run one more inch than 15 miles.  But then I remembered that 2 weeks ago, I hit the wall at 9 miles and barely made the 13.1 miles at the half-marathon.  So, maybe it is in the realm of possibilities that I will run 17 miles in 2 weeks!  Holy Moly!  How did this happen!?!?!?

Saturday, 19 April 2008

Fifteen Miles

I did it. It hurt like hell, but I did it. The first 12 miles were actually OK. I started really slow and stayed pretty slow. I ran 4 and walked 1. I really enjoyed about 12 or 13 miles of it. It is a beautiful day AND I have a new running skirt and visor!

I stopped by my favorite running store in the universe yesterday, Runners Roost in Lakewood, for a visor. I got the visor, but I also got the very cutest running skirt and I ordered a shirt to go with it, but will have to wait until next week to get it. If I had one drop of energy, I would take a picture of this cute skirt, but frankly, I don't know how I am going to get up the stairs to eat something and take a bath - followed by a nap!

As I hobbled to my car to drive home today, I couldn't help but wonder how I could possibly run 11.2 more miles than this. Maybe my attitude will improve once I don't stink... we shall see.

Wednesday, 16 April 2008

Moving right along

Well, kind of. I have told people at work that I am NEVER going to train for another big race. Do you know what they have the nerve to do? Laugh. Yes, Laugh.

I am slated to run 15 miles on Saturday. I have never run more than 13.1 at one time in my life. I know that at the end of 13.1 miles, I have never once said "Gee, I wish I had two more miles to run!" But I will attempt this on Saturday.

Prior to training for a half marathon though - I had never run more than 7 miles. So, maybe there is a way I can do this.

And here is the other thing: weight. I am LOATHE to write about it. But I know that running would be so much easier if I weighed 10 lbs. less. So I am doing a very sensible eating plan and losing a bit of weight. I lost 4.4 lbs. in the last month. I hope to lose another 4 or 5 this month.

I never want to be a thin woman. That is just not who I am. I have been thin in the past, and it requires that I don't eat much. I really like to cook and I really like to eat. AND I really don't want osteoporosis.

The irony? Like most "dieters" who have been dieting all their lives, I could write books on what to eat and how to eat it. It doesn't matter what I KNOW. And I swear to you, Dieting does not work as a permanent plan to keep weight off. The best solution I have ever found was running. But my weight inched up a bit last year and I need to lose it. And I will.

And now I am going to watch American Idol. Last year when my son was in Iraq, I started watching anything where the war wasn't likely to come up and AI definitely qualified! Well, I love that show. And I love little David Archuleta. Last night I actually picked up my phone and voted for him! I have never done that before. I was so freaked out that Michael Johns got eliminated last week. With all those bland blonde women left, I couldn't believe they got to stay and MJ had to leave! And I really can't believe I am blogging about American Idol!

Sunday, 13 April 2008

10 Miles on a Sunday Morning

But the picture is from yesterday. I had my granddaughters all day. Among other things, like shopping and going out for lunch, we went to my favorite park and played. What a joy it is to be a grandmother.

Except when you are trying to run 10 miles. Just kidding. The ten miles was fine this morning. I incorporated huge hills into this run. I feel good about it.

Except for my little temper tantrum. I wasted at least 4 ounces of water squirting it at a parked car with a bunch of asinine anti-war bumper stickers. Sometimes I wish I carried around stick-it notes to put on cars like that. "you can thank my son later for protecting your right to be a (insert favorite obscenity here, I know which one I like) idiot." yeah, stuff like that. "Bikes not bombs" was one of the most compelling stickers. Yeah, bikes will do an excellent job against people hell-bent on destroying us. Good plan.

Sorry if I have offended anyone. I am not usually flag waving in-your-face... but that car really peeved me.

But I regretted the waste of water later. Jeez. I really must learn to control myself.

Friday, 11 April 2008

Friday Night

I took my running clothes to work today, thinking I would change into them at lunch or some other time and take an hour's break to run.  It friggin' snowed on and off all day, and I didn't ever get around to running.

Tomorrow I have my two granddaughters all day!  I am so excited about this.  No running for nana tomorrow.

Sunday I will take my "long" run.  It won't be as long as my run last week.  Next weekend I will attempt 15 miles.  I ran into a guy at the race expo last Saturday who recommended that I add 2 miles every other weekend.  I don't know.  

I think being 56 years old and trying to train for a first marathon takes a lot of, shall we say, cojones.  Maybe coupled with a shortage of brains.  

The bad thing about a new computer?  All of my photos are on my old computer.  I am used to pulling up thousands of photos to post any old time I feel like it.  I have only about 20 photos on this baby so far.  I will get more, trust me... I will.

Have a great weekend everyone.  And good luck to everyone who is racing.

Tuesday, 8 April 2008

Tuesday after a Sunday Half

Maybe tomorrow I will crash, I don't know.  I feel great about my race on Sunday.  I learned some stuff... like to slow down in the first miles.  Like I probably could run a good 10K right now.  Like it is OK to finish last in a race - not that I would really care to repeat the experience. 

I failed to mention something on Sunday.  There was one woman behind me.  But she never finished.  And I even knew her.  Imagine my surprise in the first mile when she looked at me and said "Mary?"  "Knitting Mary?"  Some people call me that because I knit a LOT.  I didn't recognize her with her sunglasses and running gear, but when she told me her name, I knew who she was.  A casual acquaintance.  But she never finished the race.  

So I was 800/800.  But some people didn't finish.  And like some of you reminded me, most people never started.  It is OK.  

The race course was really wonderful because it started in a small suburban downtown, and then after 2 miles or so, hit the bike trail that runs along the river.  The majority of the race runs along the river on the trail.  So I enjoyed that.  By the time it was in central Denver, the course left the bike trail and went up an extremely unfairly placed hill and then back down into a cool 'hood in Denver.  

BUT, I remembered that the very first blog entry I ever made - in 2004, was bitching about middle-aged men on bicycles.  I was training for a tri, and therefore was on the bike trails a lot.  I noticed that these overweight guys in spandex on bikes are incredibly aggressive and angry.  A few of them buzzed me on the trail as I was running along, alone, on Sunday.  I don't know why they have to act like that.   Anyway, back in 2004, it bothered me enough to start a whole blog about it - I later deleted it.  The guys in the pool irritated me similarly... the overweight guys who get out of the hot tub long enough to beat the shit out of the water and swim one or two lengths of the pool before getting out of the pool totally out of breath, but victorious because they swim FAST!

OK I will knock it off now.  I hope I am not offending anyone, because I don't mean you guys who are really training for something and then really participating in something.   Really.