Thursday, 31 January 2008

Anchorage it is!

I know I said I was going to do San Diego, but last night I changed my mind. Today I actually registered for the Mayor's Marathon on June 21, 2008 in Anchorage, Alaska!!!!

I am so excited!

Last night - just when I was about to call my nephew to tell him that I wasn't coming to Alaska - he called me and told me that he and his wife were just so excited that I am coming to visit, that he is going to start training, etc. I sheepishly told him I was thinking I was going to register for San Diego instead.... but I should think about it. I decided to give myself 24 hours, but decided in about one hour.

I can't pass up this chance to go to Alaska, which I have always wanted to do. I love this nephew and I will enjoy staying with him - it is not a lifetime, it is a few days for crying out loud! Imagine running a marathon with your beloved nephew!! What fun!

So now all I have to do is train! I am so so so so excited!

Tuesday, 29 January 2008

Excitement Again!!!

I got a host of e-mails today at work from 2 women who would like me to run the San Diego Marathon. It made me get very excited about the prospect.

I think I shall register this weekend. Then my job will be to become ready to run 26.2 miles. Holy Cow. There are some cut-off points on the course, at 13 and 19 miles. I think it comes out to a 17 + minute mile - if you aren't faster than that, they scoot you off the course. I think I can do better than that.

But I have never in my life run more than 13.1 miles.

What an adventure!!!

Sunday, 27 January 2008

Training for something!

Not sure just what yet, but I am training, and I am making progress.

Taking a month or two off of serious training seems to have some serious consequences. Yesterday I ran 6 miles and it kicked my ass! I spent the afternoon in bed - and then begged a friend to go to church with me so that I would have someone to lean on. A few short months ago, I was running 10 miles each Saturday morning and not giving it a thought. I can and will get back to that level of fitness....

This morning I ran 3 miles. I had words with a person who wouldn't put her dog on a leash. I stood by the sign that said "All Dogs Must Be Leashed". I thought she might notice. When I told her that I wanted her dog leashed, she was extremely apologetic which tends to make me feel like a big fat jerk, but really, what is so hard about putting your dog on a leash when you are in a park that requires that your dog be on a leash? And in defense of myself: I don't get bent out of shape if the dog is in the control of the human... but when a person is calling "Killer, Killer, come here Killer" and the dog doesn't come, it makes me untrusting that "Killer" is really a sweetheart who wouldn't EVER hurt ANYTHING!

So, on the way back, I crossed the road to the shady side of the street and ran where there are no dogs. However, there was ice, and I did fall. I thought it was interesting that the very first thing I did was press the stop button on my garmin. It is very important not to have extra time racking up when you are laying on the cold ice - not yet certain if you are injured. My knee hurt immediately, and my hands were scraped up, but I got up and ran away and I am fine... thankfully.

So I still don't know what race I am doing, but I am training! I ran 16 miles last week. That makes me happy. I ran only 21 miles in December, so I am getting back into the groove.

Oh, and last night I called an old friend... for some reason I remembered that it was his birthday. He told me what he is up to, and I told him what I am up to. I told him I am trying to train to run a marathon, and that I ran 2 half-marathons last year. The first thing he said was "Wow! You must be skinny!" I laughed and said "NO. I will never be skinny." I thought that was funny.

Friday, 25 January 2008

Confusion Reigns Supreme

I wanted to show a picture of "my" classroom. I started co-teaching a class at the University I attended and love. That blackboard (circa 1950) just makes me Happy :)

Now, to the confusion. The airfares to Alaska seem to have increased by a couple hundred dollars in the last couple of weeks. Or maybe I was delusional about how much they were before? Anyway, they are not cheap. I can stay with my nephew, but I have privacy issues - and I don't want to have to be worried about hurrying out of a bathroom at 4 a.m. on the day of a race. I also want to be able to eat whatever the hell I want. I have lived alone for a LONG time and I am quite used to it.

I have a bad habit of spending money like I am a gazillionaire. I am rapidly becoming a non-gazillionaire. I am rapidly becoming a non-thousandaire... or even a non-hundredaire! I am conflicted about going to Alaska to run a marathon and spend at a minimum of $1,200. Minimum, probably not even realistic. That would be my summer vacation. And I would be mooching off my beloved nephew. I have wanted to go to Alaska all my life, but maybe I could go some other time and NOT run a marathon? Just thinking....

So I checked out airfare and hotel packages for San Diego. I could get airfare and a modest hotel room (for hundredaires) for 4 nights for under $800. And I could be alone in a hotel and not have to worry about bathroom issues, or staying up half the night, or waking up at 3 a.m., which I have a habit of doing, etc.

I feel like such a loser for changing my mind on a weekly basis, and still not really having my mind made up. Here is another issue: I am not for sure I can run a whole marathon. The San Diego is strictly a 26.2 - no halfsies.

You know, one of the things I teach at school is flowcharting and other methods of analysis. Perhaps I need to sit down and figure this damn thing out!

Training has been good this week. Although I did try to run on the treadmill at the gym on Monday afternoon - I cannot run in the afternoon. I only lasted for 2 miles and I felt like crap. Yesterday I managed 3 miles on the treadmill. I will try 6 miles tomorrow.
Wes mentioned that I might consider running a local marathon. I am not considering that because I live a 'mile high'. When I talked to Jeff Galloway about the possibility of running a marathon back in November, he urged me to try it - but definitely not at altitude. So that is why I am looking for a marathon at sea level.
Thanks you guys.

Sunday, 20 January 2008

Training coming along...

I am quite pleased with my training this week. Basically I was at zero - 21 miles in all of December. Last week I ran 10 miles. Today I ran 5.10. My times are getting a bit better. Today I meant to run 5, but at the end of 5 miles, I hit the "lap" button instead of the "stop" button and kept going. It took me .10 mile to realize that I was still running.

It was only in the teens when I woke up this morning, so I thought I was going to have to go to the gym, but it heated right up to 20 + degrees and I headed out. I ended up tying my jacket around my waist because I was WAY too hot.

I SO want to be able to run 26.2 miles on June 21 in Anchorage. I don't know when I have been so excited about something. People look at me like I am nuts when I tell them about this - I am sure my crazy excitement is part of what they are amazed about.

Here is my philosophy:
I don't know whether I can run a whole marathon or not. I will never know unless I try. I intend to give it my best shot. If I cannot run a whole 26.2, I know I can run 13.1 - especially at sea level (Anchorage is at 113 feet!)

I have a couple more weeks to build a base before I start the mileage suggested in the 16 week plan from Runners World. I am psyched!!!

Wednesday, 16 January 2008

Anchorage is looking possible...

I just called my nephew who lives in Anchorage. I wanted to get his opinion on what hotel would work.. My brother told me he was moving back to Colorado in May... however, he isn't leaving until July.

He said "why don't you stay here?"

And then he said "I have always wanted to run that race! This would give me the excuse to do it."

Holy Cow.

Not only will I have a place to stay and wonderful peeps I love to stay with, but possibly someone to run the race with!

I am glad I didn't give up on this idea when it seemed impossible.

Tuesday, 15 January 2008

Back on Track

Yay! I have gotten out and run 3 out of the last 4 days, for a total of 11 + miles. Thanks to your suggestions, I have printed out a marathon training plan from and followed it - so far.

I really, really want to run the Mayor's Midnight Sun Marathon in Anchorage on June 21. Summer Solstice. The longest day of the year, in Alaska - how cool is that!

I am trying to figure out if I even qualify as a "beginner" in this plan. They call a beginner someone who has run between 11 and 15 miles a week for 6 months or more. I was running 20 miles a week - until my last half marathon. I really cut back after that. In December, I ran only 21 miles. So, do I count myself as a PRE-beginner now? And work for a few weeks at the 11 to 15 mile per week level? I think that is what I am going to try.

I am so psyched. I was out pre-dawn this morning. (the picture is from my run this morning - it looked a lot prettier in person!) I ran a totally different route. It was nice, but pretty scary to be running along a highway in the dark... and there are animals out there. Wild Animals! I saw Elk along there once! Those things are BIG!

OH, and since I was running along a highway, in the dark, I opted to not use my iPod. Do you know that I had my best pace in quite a while. I have run faster miles, but not 4 of them put together. Is it because I run better without music? I have a hard time believing that, but I know a lot of people really frown on using the iPod. Any thoughts?

Saturday, 12 January 2008

I finally ran again!

After nine days - I ran for the first time today. I ran a little over 4 miles. It felt good. The sun was shining, it was about 35 degrees when I started and close to 40 by the time I was done. It was great.

Last week I worked between 11 and 12 hours a day every single day. Most days I didn't even get to eat lunch. It was grueling and I am glad it is over.

It was so glorious to wake up this morning and know that I had time to run. And so I did. And I enjoyed it.

I think my problem is that I am aimless. I haven't decided what race I want to do, or what distance, or whether I want to do a triathlon, or a couple of half-marathons, or a marathon... And I have no training plan.

Here is what I decided this morning. I should start training for a marathon. If I get to the point where I can't increase my distance, I will know that half-marathon is my limit. But I don't know that now.

So I have a question for all of you running wizards: What training plan do you advise? I have a stack of books on how to train for a marathon, and it seems like they all contradict one another. What have you guys done?

Thanks - I appreciate your help - always!

Sunday, 6 January 2008

What on Earth am I to do?

Now I have another freaking cold! This is the third one I have had since October. I almost ran today, but managed to plant my butt on the sofa and watch football games I didn't care about anyway - all day. Kleenex all over the coffee table, yuk.

Yesterday I didn't run because I started teaching. Me! teaching! At the University from which I graduated. Well, actually I was co-teaching - they didn't throw me into a classroom alone. But I will give two lectures next class. These are classes that go from 8:30 to 4:00 every other Saturday for 10 weeks. I have two weeks to prepare two lectures. I bet I will be scrambling on the Friday night before the class... I know myself.

So, I have run 5 and a half miles so far this year. This is not what I had in mind. I am so confused about what I want to do. I may have given up on the marathon idea. I know how much time and determination that will take. I am not sure I have either right now.

I would love to do a bigger triathlon than a sprint. Bike riding is my favorite sport. Since I started running a lot, I hardly ever get on my bike. I saw folks riding today and thought about it, but I didn't do it. I am out of the habit. I also love swimming. Really, in the tri, running is my least favorite part.

But I also LOVE slow, long-distance running. It is something unlike anything else. It is meditative and wonderful. I haven't had a long run in a long time, maybe that is why I am not excited about it anymore. Last summer, there was nothing I looked forward to more each week than my 10 mile Saturday run (well, maybe a date with the "fellow"). Many weeks, he would come over just after my run, and I would make a big fuss about being drenched with sweat, my hair plastered to my head, etc., and he would just smile and say it was "sexy". Then I would get cleaned up and get on with the day - it was really great.

Winter is difficult for me. I have loved Denver so much because the winters aren't usually too trying. But the last two years have been different. We have had so much snow and cold weather. The streets haven't been clear for a long time. I get discouraged in this weather. Most years in the past, I have been able to ride my bike all year,with the exception of a few days.

Sorry for complaining. I am discouraged about my lack of motivation. I don't know what to do. Thanks for any advice you may have.

Tuesday, 1 January 2008

First day of '08

I did actually make it out in that cold, cold,world and ran 3 miles today. It was extremely slow going because of snow, drifts, ice, and general impassabilitly of roads and sidewalks. But I CAN feel good that I at least got out there. (and and that fence in the picture really peeves me, that used to be open. Ah, progress...)

I got a new cell phone yesterday with a 2 megapixel camera, maybe my pictures will improve.

Last night I went out with a bunch of folks and had a great time. I stayed out too late and woke up feeling tired this morning. It was worth it though. I'm the one holding the party horn like a cigarette - old habits die hard.

I am fighting discouragement - last year on Jan 1 I ran 10 miles for the first time. I could not run 10 miles today if you paid me (well, maybe if it was a lot of money, I could do it). I will spend January trying to get my fitness back. I will have a goal of running 50 miles (last jan., I ran 90).

I still am unclear on my race goals for '08. Should I try to do the marathon? More triathlons? I really enjoy triathlons - I really enjoy training for tris. Should I try a century ride? I wish I was more clear about this. I guess I will give myself January to get my level of fitness up and figure out my race goals.

Thanks again to all you bloggers - it helps so much to read about your challenges, struggles, successes, and your entertaining way of reporting it all!