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.  

Sunday, 6 April 2008

Facing Fears

I faced a racing fear today.  

The fear of:
Finishing last.

I did it!

And I did it with a smile on my face!

I knew right from the get go that there were three of us competing for the honor of finishing last. Unfortunately, I got a tremendous burst of energy for the first 9 miles and ran those miles faster than I have ever run in recent history.  As I was running, I was thinking, Mary, slow down, you are going to pay for this later in the race - but I felt FABULOUS!  I knew that I would slow down after 9 miles, but I thought I would slow down, not virtually stop!

By the time I finished, I was moaning I was in so much pain.  My calves felt like two hard as rock knots of pain.  My hips were screaming.  I could feel the hooks from my bra digging into my back (and I have a GREAT sports bra), I could feel chafing under my arms.  I could feel stress on my toenails.  And, I felt like I was going to vomit.  And maybe pass out.  And I couldn't help but wonder how on earth I can do a marathon if I am dying during a half.  I will have to reappraise this after I recover from this race.  

The race finished at a restaurant where they had burgers and brats - a few of my favorite things - and I couldn't even eat.  I got to my car miraculously, and stopped on my way home at the kwickee mart and got some Powerade and saltines.  yummmy.   

Here is what was wonderful about the race.
1.  the first 9 miles were great!  The course is great, and the day is perfect for running.
2.  the people were fabulous.  
3.  the volunteers stayed to man the aid stations even though I was running alone... last.
4.  the volunteers kept the finish chute open past the 3 hour limit (I finished in 3:08)
5.  Rosemarie - she stuck with me for the last couple of miles and that really, really helped.
6. My friend Donna who encouraged me to do this race and treated me like I just won a world record!

The kindness of strangers is always a revelation to me.  Thank you to all the nice volunteers and all of the nice runners - who are at every race... not just this one.   I know some of you are reading this right now.  Thank you

Now I am going to go soak and then take a nap!

Saturday, 5 April 2008


Well, I bought my new computer last night.  I really like it.  I can't wait til I get my wireless router so that I can be really wireless... for now I am hooked up to my old modem.    So I have this computer in my dining room - while my old computer awaits its move downstairs.

Today I registered for the Platte River Half Marathon which is tomorrow.    I figure if I can run 10, I can run 13.1.  I think it will be fun as long as I forget about my ego.  If I start thinking I "should" run faster or be thinner or be younger, I will not enjoy myself.  However, if I go as I am, to have the best time I can, I think I will enjoy it.

I haven't figured out what I am wearing yet.  It is in the mid 60s now, and tomorrow is expected to be pretty much the same.  So I need to suddenly wear warm weather clothing.  It is hard to make that change, but I am sure I will be glad I did when I am running comfortably in light clothing.

Wish me good luck!

Thursday, 3 April 2008

Thinkin', Thinkin', Thinkin'...

I talked to my marathon runnin' mentor this afternoon. She asked me if I want to run the Platte River Half Marathon on Sunday. I think I just might do it. I think I can do a half. Crazy, because last year, with all the training I was doing - the half was my main event. But now, I am so focused on a whole 26.2, a half sounds like something I can do. My longest runs so far this year have been 10 miles, but I know I can run 13.1. It might not be pretty, but I can do it.

The website for my Alaska Marathon fund-raising is also up. I am the last woman - the one who looks so intense running - while the other ladies have nice pictures of them smiling. Oh well. Feel free to donate! The good thing about this is that all of the money goes to take care of the elderly. Not one cent goes to pay for my race registration or airfare or hotel room - I am covering all of my own expenses.

About the computer... I went to a computer store yesterday and talked to a young man about my dilemma. He just said straight out that a Mac costs more but is better than a PC!?!?! Then he told me he didn't work on commission - well, I think I guessed that already! I think I will go purchase the mac this weekend. I really want it.

I went to the doc yesterday and got medication for my migraine and it worked! After 5 hellish days with a migraine. Maybe I can run tomorrow. I missed almost a week due to that damn headache!

Tuesday, 1 April 2008

Non fitness related advice?

I had a migraine for 4 days so I have not run. I am missing more runs than I am making, but I hope to get on track soon. I have got some serious family stuff going on and I am sure that is why I have had stomach aches and headaches... this too shall pass?

OK, so tonight I went to the Apple Store to look at new computers. I have a 6 year old Dell desktop, and I want a new laptop to use at home and to take to Alaska with me. I went online to Dell and starting putting together a laptop - and a $499. computer turned into a $1,500. computer without adding much of anything.

Well, hells bells, I thought - why not get a Mac if I am going to spend that much money?

So I went to the store tonight - and I managed to walk away without a computer. I am thinking about it. Hard.

Does anyone have an opinion on Macs? Can you use your garmie with a mac? Is it worth the money? Is it so terribly different from a PC that it is hard to use?

Thanks guys.