Wednesday, 21 January 2009

Post Race Take Home Points

I left for Arizona, not even thinking I was going to run a race.  The excitement of being in a place with thousands of runners motivated me to participate in a race that I was not adequately trained for.  And I had an absolutely fabulous time.  I would say it was the most fun race I have ever had.  It wasn't the best time-wise, but it was the best time I have had - if you know what I mean.   I am sore like I have never been after a race, but I am sure that is due to the fact that I wasn't properly trained.  

Meeting Lisa and her pals was so much fun!  Being with a group was an entirely different experience than going off to a race alone.  I realized that I really need to make my training and racing more of a social event.  I think it is highly motivational.  I didn't freak out prior to the race the way I normally do and I am sure that was due to the fact that I had other peeps around.  I also didn't cry as I crossed the finish line that way I normally do - and that was probably because I was focused on finding my group.  
I started that race thinking it was my last long-distance event.  But now, of course, I am thinking about my next one.  Silly me.  But I just enjoyed it so much!

I have two sprint tris to do this summer.  I am going to start training for them.  It will be great to get in the pool and on the bike.  I have talked a friend from work into doing one of the tris with me.  She has talked others into it, so I will have a group for the Tri for the Cure.  

Maybe I can do the Boulder Back Roads half marathon in September?  I wanted to do it so bad last year, but I wasn't trained.  It just sounds like the best race.

I am motivated again.  I just have to get my feet recovered.  I got some serious blisters!  I did drain them.  It was fascinatingly gross.  I described it today to an RN and even she thought it was gross.  

I wanted to write a lot more about the experience of the race, but it is now 7 p.m., and I HAVE to watch American Idol!

Sunday, 18 January 2009

Rock 'n' Roll Half

I took pictures of my blisters to post here, but that is just gross!  Does anyone have any advice for someone who has hideous blisters on the balls of both of her feet?  I can barely walk!

That said, I had a wonderfully enjoyable race!  The race was well-organized (well, they can't help it if they have 40,000 people using porta-potties and run out of t.p.)  and super fun.  I knew that I wasn't adequately trained, and that the cold I had last week took a lot out of me, so I just decided to walk and run if I felt like it and not worry about my time.

I walked the whole thing.  And my time was 10 minutes faster than my last half-marathon (in Anchorage).  AND - I totally enjoyed myself!

I got to meet Lisa, Karen, Pat, and Eileen.  What fun people!  Taking the bus from Tempe to the start was such a fun little experience!  And waiting in line for the porta potties for an hour was also a bonding experience.  

It is such a joy for a girl from Colorado to get into the warmth and sunshine on a January morning.  I just thoroughly enjoyed myself.  But I do need to figure out what to do with these blisters.  I cannot imagine me walking through two airports, etc. tomorrow if I am not much better than this!

Any ideas?

Saturday, 17 January 2009

Sunny Arizona changes everything!

I left Denver this morning thinking I was not going to run this race.  I have been sick for 10 days.... bla bla bla.  The plane was full of racers.  It was fun.  I told someone who worked for the airline that it must be a light load with all those skinny people! (well, except for me.)  He told me about a flight to a bowling championship - they had to split it up because of all the bowling balls!  (well, and bowlers aren't known to be stick thin).

So, then I got on the light rail to go to the expo.  Still sitting on the fence about this race.  When who would "fate" have get on the train and stand right next to me - but an 85 year old man who is walking the 26.2 on a fake knee!

Well, hell's bells!  I can walk & run my way through 13.1 miles.  Really.  I am not THAT sick.

I am so excited.  I bought a bunch of crap at the expo.  Gotta have a guitar shaped magnet for my fridge - and the shirt they gave me and the other one I bought isn't enough - I got yet another one.  And a hat!  So there!

I am psyched!

I am going to meet Lisa in a little bit!

What fun!

Thanks for all of your words of encouragement.

Oh, and it is really, really nice here.  

Thursday, 15 January 2009

Plan the Plan...

But not the outcome.  

I spent 4 days sick in bed.  I got up yesterday and thought that maybe I was really on the mend.  Today I went to work and since I work in a hospital with a bunch of healthcare professionals, several of them took pity on me and told me to go home - I looked like I was about to fall over.  And felt somewhat worse than that.  

I seriously don't know if I can even walk a half marathon on Sunday.  

I will go to Phoenix because I paid for the trip.  I will go to the expo because I paid for the race - and I will gladly take whatever they give me.  

I will wake up on Sunday and make a decision as to whether I can attempt this race.

I am really disappointed.  But I have to say that all the way along with this race I have not trained the way I should have.  I have been so injured that I wondered if I could run it.   I have now not run for a week - and amazingly enough, I am now without pain.  But I have got the worst cold and feel like crap.  

I will just make the best of the trip - regardless of whether I can participate in the race or not.  

Saturday, 10 January 2009


Okay.  I slept all afternoon today to try to get rid of this cold.  I woke up and decided to go get my wardrobe figured out for this race.  

So, I looked up the weather forecast for Phoenix on Jan. 18 - it is supposed to get down in the 40s, and get up to 70ยบ for the high.  Here is my plan:

  • I will wear my running skirt - mainly because it has a couple of good sized pockets.
  • I will wear my favorite green technical tee - mainly because it is my favorite.
  • I will wear shoes and socks - I wish I could get some green smart wools.  I love my smart wools and will never wear anything else.
  • I purchased some arm things so that my arms can be covered and then not covered when I need them to be naked.
  • I will wear my green jacket and check it at the start- unless I am freezing at the start, and then I will wear it and tie it around my waist if needed.  
Any veterans of the race or residents of Arizona have feedback on this wardrobe plan?


Friday, 9 January 2009


Your Word is "Hope"

You see life as an opportunity for learning, growth, and bringing out the best in others.

No matter how bad things get, you always have at least a glimmer of optimism.

You are accepting and forgiving. You encourage those who have wronged you to turn over a new leaf.

And while there is a lot of ugliness in the world, you believe that almost no one is beyond redemption.

This was a lovely little test that I got from Chad.  I think it is quite apropos to my circumstance.  
You know, if I can get over myself, I can actually have a nice time in Phoenix next week.  If I am stuck on worrying about myself and my performance and my pride and ego, I am certain to have a miserable time.  This sounds like it would be an easy choice, and I guess the choice is easy, but the carrying it out is the tricky part.

I started running when I was 28 years old and had a 3 year old son and 1 year old twin girls.  I really HAD to run to get out of the house.  I got a neighbor to babysit for me each morning and I went out for my run.  I would spend the entire morning in my sweats because I loved my little color coordinated outfit so much.  I had a pair of grey sweat pants (yes, really), a blue leotard - for control - there was no such thing as a sports bra, so I wore the leotard over a normal bra.  I had a grey and maroon sweat shirt - I thought it was super cute - but it WAS the 70's.  I had a pair of gray and maroon Brooks shoes.  I wore those things until they wore out.  

When I was 30 years old, I got very sick.  No one could figure out what was wrong with me.  At that time, I was running 5 miles each morning.  I loved running.  I think I was still wearing the same shoes and sweats... but I was running.  I went to doctors and they sent me home with painkillers.  I knew I was dying.  After 2 days, my husband dragged me out of bed and to the hospital.  They cut me open from just above my navel to just above my pelvis - they didn't know what else to do- there were no such things as CT scans and MRIs back then.  They discovered that I had a ruptured appendix.  The doc told me I would have died within an hour if they hadn't opened me up... when he found out I was a runner, he told me that was probably the only thing that kept me from dying.  

But I stopped running while I was recovering and didn't start back up for quite a while.  After we moved to Denver and got divorced, I started running again.  I was in my mid-thirties.  I ran my first race in 1987.  I was 35 years old.  It was the Bolder Boulder 10K.  It is a huge race.  It was fun.  I had to go to the bathroom during the race, and had to wait in line for quite a while.  Imagine my surprise to see that my monthly visitor (sorry to be so cutesy, but I don't want to be too graphic) had decided to come during the race - totally unexpected, and I had on tiny little pink running shorts.  oh dear.  I made good use of toilet paper and finished my first race.

I participated in races for a while.  Never anything more than a 10K.    

As I approached my 40s, I decided I really needed to quit smoking!  So I did.  And gained weight.  I kept that weight on for a good while.  All of my 40s.  When I was approaching 50, I didn't want to face my 50th birthday as a fat lady, so I joined Weight Watchers (again) and lost 30 lbs.  I have, for the most part, kept that weight off for nearly 8 years now.  Right now I have 8 lbs of it back, and it has GOT to go - ASAP!  

In 2003, I had a heartbreaking end of an engagement.  I thought I was going to die.  So I went out and ran.  I had to walk up a nearby hill, and run down... for 5 minutes.  That was all I could do - 5 minutes, downhill.  After a while it became 10 minutes, and then I knew I could do a mile, and then a mile and a half, etc.  The most I ran was 3.1 miles until 2006... but I digress.

I decided I should do a triathlon in 2004 and I loved it!  I have done one every year since.  But running was my worst sport in the tri.  I LOVE biking the best, and I really enjoy swimming.

On New Years Day 2007, I was talking with a friend who also did the Tri's with me.  We decided we would run a half marathon in 2007.  I started training right away.  She decided not to do it.  I had a Nike + iPod which I calibrated using a treadmill (which much later I learned is not a good idea).  Well, I started running long distances because Lance Armstrong would tell me I was doing great at the end of a run!  I found I could run 10 miles, then 11, then 13!  I thought I was invincible!  I thought I was running an 11 minute mile.  

Months later I bought a Garmin.  And discovered that I was running a 14 minute mile and that my distances on the Nike + were inflated by about 20%.  I was a couple weeks out from my first half-marathon and discovered that everything I thought was the truth wasn't.  So, I made an attitude adjustment and went to that half marathon to have fun.  And I did.  I had the best time.  Every single picture of me at that race, I have a big smile on my face.   I just had a great time.  

I did another half in October of 2007 and took 5 minutes off my time.  I enjoyed that one too.

In April 2008, I decided on a Friday to do a half marathon on that Sunday.  I was ready because I was training for a full marathon.  I had the experience of coming in last in a race.  It is not really an experience I would highly recommend.  It left me with some fears about doing that again.  Ironically, it was my best time ever for a half-mary.

In June, I ran the Mayor's Marathon in Anchorage, Alaska. It was a great experience.  My worst time so far for 13.1 miles.  I needed to walk about half of it.  It was fabulous to have that experience though.

So, now.... I am a week away from the P.F. Chang's in Phoenix.  My training has been side-tracked by injuries and laziness.  I am sick of running.  I want to do something else on my weekends other than my "long run" which consumes a whole day.  I started out good in the fall, but as the length of the runs increased, I really lost my motivation.  

I have Piriformis Syndrome which causes sciatica.  It is quite painful.  When I run, I feel like there is ground glass in my left hip socket.  It is not pleasant.  My back is very painful too.  

I sketched out a training plan here in late November or early December.  I have kept to my plans for the long runs.  But I have probably averaged 1 day of running during the week. I just have not trained.

I HATE HATE HATE to not follow through and not make good on something I committed to do.  I will go to the race and I will do the best I can, but I will know that I could have done better if I had had the discipline that it takes to train for a race.

Sorry to keep whining about this.  I wrote all this to try to work through this process.  If you have read all of it - thanks.  And thanks always for the wonderful words of encouragement you share.  You guys and gals truly inspire me.  

Thursday, 8 January 2009

Ready or not...

I am going to Phoenix in 9 days.  

I just have to do some mental adjusting.

I am really afraid.

I have not trained adequately.

I have gained weight.

I am slow on a good day.

I talked to Javamom today and she was so encouraging.   I can walk - there are people who walk this race.  

My plan is (at this moment), to walk the first 6 miles and then start running.  I don't want to start running and run out of steam half way, so I will walk and then run.  Or just walk.

I still have not got my wardrobe figured out which shows you the extent of my lack of preparation!  

I am excited about going to Phoenix and meeting Lisa and whoever else I may meet.  

I just have to wrap my mind around the fact that my training didn't go well and that I have been injured for months.  

The trick is to stop obsessing about myself!  

Friday, 2 January 2009


This post is probably going to be a rant, so be forewarned:

My goals for this year is to run ONE half-marathon and TWO triathlons.  My half-marathon is in 2 weeks.  I am not ready for it, but I guess I can survive it.  And then I have no more long runs to do.  And right now I am happy about that.  

I usually do a sprint tri every summer.  I was considering doing an Olympic since I am eliminating the long distance running.  So, I looked at a local tri with a good reputation and it was there that I discovered this new (to me) concept:


Now, granted, Athena sounds a lot better than Clydesdale, but really.  

I have weighed 150 lbs. or under at various times in my life.  When I do, people ask me if I am sick.  My ribs show through SWEATERS.  I wear a size 8.  

When I weigh considerably more than 150 (as I do now) people tell me I look fit.  I wear a size 12.  Even my physical therapist and my physician tell me I am fit.  My physician told me when I weighed 205 lbs. (years ago, I don't weigh anything near that now) that I had less fat on me than some folks who weigh 130 lbs.  

What about if you are a woman who is 6' tall and you weigh 150?  Your BMI would be 20.3 - hardly "fat".  Should there be a special class for that?  

It just sounds arbitrary and awful to me.  There are some very fit people out there who do not fit the stereotype of an "athlete."  But they are healthy.

I guess I am a little bit upset that I gained 4 lbs. over the gluttonous holidays.  And developed some bad habits I am struggling to ditch.  I usually try to not weigh every day and not be obsessed with the scale, but when my pants start being tight, I do take a gander at the scale and today was one of those days.

My fitness has been a struggle since last May.  I would say it is because of the piriformis syndrome - which really is killer, but I am not sure that is really what it is.  I guess if I wasn't in gruesome pain when I ran I would have a better attitude about it.  

OK, that's enough out of this