Thursday, December 30, 2010

12/29 and 12/30 A little of this, a little of that

Met my sister at the gym on Wednesday am for some strength training. We found ourselves wandering around the weight machines area.....taking turns picking machines that worked different areas of the body. After an hour, we called it quits and left for work.

We were going to go running that night, but due to a change in plans we found ourselves at a spin class instead.

The instructor is the love child of Hitler, Freddy Kruger and Satan himself.

I can't list the number of ways she made me hurt, and the number of ways I found I could murder her...just by using objects in the cycle room. :-)

I got home at about 8:00, played with the dogs, ate a bowl of cereal, watched a quick episode of Bones...then headed off to bed.

At some point, Sam (our black lab pup - 80 lb pup - giggle) jumped up into bed with me....because I woke up laying across the pillows....jammed against the headboard.

Bed hog much, Sam???

It was 4:25 am, and my alarm was set to go off at I went ahead and got up.

I arrived at the gym to meet my sister. We grabbed our jackets and flashlights and headed out.

It was 48 FRIGGIN' DEGREES this morning......awesome!!!! And, in honor of the nice weather, we decided to run around the Lake, instead of dealing with the treadmills.

Fresh air rocks!!!! I'm addicted to it!

Anyway....the run was great. We probably walked as much as we ran.....chatted, laughed, sweat, stripped out of our jackets, chatted some more, laughed some more, oh yeah - we're supposed to be running......etc, etc.

Our average pace ended up being snail speed slow....but neither of us really cared. :-)

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Mind if I "tag" along???

Anna, over at Random Thoughts of a Wanna Be Runner, tagged me on her blog this Monday.

How exciting!!!!!

So...everyone knows the rules to these do what it tells you to do, then you tag others.

Since I'm quite possibly the shyest person in the world, I stink at the second part.

Who do I tag? Do they want to be tagged? Will they be annoyed with the tag? Will others be upset if I don't tag them?

How I'm not living in a padded cell is beyond me. (giggle)

So....I'm inviting anyone who reads this to join in on the fun!!!!

Back to the "doing what it says" part.

In this case, I'm supposed to answer some 'lets-get-to-know-a-little-about-our-running-blogger-friends-shall-we?' questions.

Here we go....

1) Most fond running accomplishment of 2010?

Running. That's my biggest accomplishment. I've gone through two years, two doctors, one specialist and three physical therapists to be able to do it. So running, in general, is a big thing for me. I had the worst case of incurable shin splints ever! No one could figure out the cause. I could run on a treadmill, but not anywhere else. I could run exactly 5.2 miles per hour on said treadmill, without any pain what-so-ever. If I hit 5.3, the pain was crazy. And, I could run about 2.5 miles or so.....much over that, and that same crazy pain would visit. They did MRI's, they gave me exercises to do, the analyzed my form, I rested and didn't run at all for over three months...yet nothing worked.

Until this spring.

Put me in a pair of compression socks, or sleeves, and watch me go! I might look a little goofy with them on, but I'm I don't care. :-)

I've been running outside, and loving it ever since. Every day I finish a run, I'm still in amazement of what I'm able to accomplish.

Well...maybe not every day. There are days I wonder why the heck I'm out there doing it...on purpose. :-)

2. What are your 2011 running goals?

To keep running.
To keep enjoying myself.
To run at least 3 or 4 more half marathons...and maybe, just maybe, get my butt in gear for a full.

3. Favorite race?

I haven't done too many of them. (goes along with my 2011 goal being "more races." )

The day I was finally able to run outside, pain free, I entered myself in a half marathon. It was May, and the half was in October. I spent the spring, summer, and fall training for that half.

I found a plan, stuck to it, and stayed very conservative. I didn't want to push myself too far, and end up back with the doctors and the specialists again. I took a 13 week training plan, and repeated each week for the first 8 or 9 weeks of that plan.

Instead of increasing my mileage every week, it then increased every other. I stuck to running the miles I was supposed to, and didn't pay much attention to speed, or increasing the speed I already had.

Not that I think I'm speedy...because I'm not. got me to the race in good health, and injury free.

Well, minus a little misunderstanding I had with a pothole.

Besides that, I made it through unscathed.

So.....I'd say that half marathon was my favorite race. I'd worked so hard, and surprised myself in more ways than I ever imagined possible.

3. Favorite holiday guilty pleasure.

Oh gosh, I'm afraid to say it out loud. I made it through Christmas weekend without any...and only had a small piece over Thanksgiving.


Pumpkin pie.

And whipped cream.


4. Most embarrassing running moment

I've already mentioned the pothole thing. Wiping out, and laying in the middle of the road, bleeding and bruised (mostly my ego) may have been 5 am, but I guarantee you at least one person saw it. Murphy's law, right???

I'd say my second most embarrassing moment would be pretty typical of most runners. The sudden, and without warning, need to use the restroom.....while running....when there isn't a restroom around.

Well, there was one, but the stupid door was locked for the season.

And it was a public park, so there were people EVERYWHERE.

Talk about having to tap into my "mind over matter" super powers.


So, there you have it. A small glimpse into the brain of this newbie runner.

Thanks again Anna! That was fun!!!!

Head on over to her blog and check it out, if you haven't already. She's a running fool. A skinnie minnie who actually wears her daughter's 4T tights as running capris. An elliptical master-ess.

She's a must read!!!

P.S. She's not a wanna be - no matter what she might try to tell you! :-)

(P.P.S. We really need to get together...since we live in the same city and all. Glad to hear you're signing up for the Lincoln Half. I've got a note to remind myself to send in my registration in January. I can't wait!!!)

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

12/28/10 30 min run

It's amazing how much easier it is to get out of bed when I'm going running outside...compared to when I'm headed to the gym to run inside. My alarm went off, I turned it off, and got up. No snooze, no whining, no "accidentally" falling back asleep.

I put the dogs out, put on some gear, and headed out the door.

Again, I had no idea what the temperature was outside (I really need to start checking the weather before I run....I haven't started after 9 months of running outside, so I'm guessing I'll never learn) I overdressed for the occasion.

(It was around 15 degrees - per Weather Underground's history function.)

Long sleeve light weight wicking tshit.
Fleece vest (new - thanks Inny!!!!!).
Saucony running jacket.
Light weight running tights.
Light weight Under Armor gloves (the camo ones I wear hunting - hehehehe)
Wool running socks.
Screw shoes.
SpiBelt with cell phone.
And a balaclava for my head and face.

I could have left the last item at home, but I wanted to try running with it on, to see how it went.

(yours truly this morning.....without my shoes - can't wear those puppies inside...will scratch the heck out of our floors)

My schedule only called for a 30 minute run...but I wanted to make it count.

I ran in neighborhoods, along busy roadways, on sidewalks, on streets, on ice, on snow, on dry pavement, up hills and down hills (a couple of them were pretty substantial). I wanted my run to be a mix of everything.

I wanted to see how it was breathing through the balaclavas.
I wanted to see how the screw shoes performed (yep, I"m calling this test run #2 - give me a break, I'm a Capricorn, we're nothing if not thorough!)
I wanted to get my heart rate up.

I love the balaclavas and had no issues breathing hard when I had it on.
The screw shoes did GREAT (again)!!
My heart rate was DEFINITELY elevated.

I've been afraid I'd let my fitness level drop in the last month....and today was proof. I've got to get back at!!!!

Friday, December 24, 2010

12/24/10 Reindeer Run, 4.2 mi

Christmas Eve morning.....I woke up to an alarm.

I didn't have to get up and go to work, so the alarm going off seemed wrong.

Ah, the life of a runner. :-)

I put on my cold weather running gear, grabbed my newly configured screw shoes, and headed out the door.

Then I turned around, went back inside, and stripped off a full layer from my top and bottom. It was a balmy 28 degrees outside. A tropical heatwave!!!!!

A local Omaha gym running club was hosting a Reindeer Run that morning, so I met up with Inny (my sis), and her hubby (Doug) to participate.

Clear(ish) skies, an inch of freshly fallen snow, no wind......around a small lake (4.2 mi).

What a perfect way to start the holiday weekend!!!!!!!!!!

Inny in her new winter running gear....specially purchased the night before. I love that we can now go running together!!!! And I love that she's such a ham for the camera!!!!!! :-)

I forgot to switch out camera batteries when I those are the only photos I was able to take. The lake was gorgeous....covered in snow, with a little fog rising from it....the geese were flying. Beautiful!!!!

Next order of business, my report on the screw shoes.

They. Completely. Rock.

100% awesome!!!!!!

They grip in snow, on ice.....and they sound really cool when you're running on dry pavement. :-)

I aimed for ice patches, instead of avoiding them.

I sought out the snow, deep or not deep.

They worked like a charm!!

If nothing else, they provided me the confidence to run outside when the streets and sidewalks aren't completely dry. I've been avoiding it, and not running outside has really affects my mood. Who knew!

Running on dry pavement was fine as well.

I was worried I might feel them while running...but I didn't. Not one little bit.

I still slowed down on the downhills, since it was only my first run in them. But I didn't really didn't need to.

I ran with Inny and Doug for the first half, then ran ahead on the second half to test them out at closer to race pace speeds. I didn't slip or slide once!!!!!

Screw Shoes

If you've been reading this blog for any time, you know that I'm in love with running outside...and terrified of running on or near ice. But, I live in Nebraska...where there's lots of ice....for 3-4 months of the year.

Fear of running on ice, and living somewhere where there's lots of it. The two things don't play well together.

Kinda like how I love to kayak and am terrified of the water.

A good friend of mine here in Omaha, who is also a runner, talked about putting screws in his shoes last year.

I, honestly, thought he was kidding. Then, when I realized he wasn't kidding, I was trying to figure out how that would work.

I asked this year, and he sent me the link.

Somehow or another, I had this vision in my head, of putting screws into the soles of my shoes...from the the pointy parts came out on the bottom.

Sometimes I confuse even myself. Obviously, the way he does it is my simpler, and makes MUCH more sense. :-)

So...while watching TV on Thursday night, I drug out my handy dandy box of assorted screws, and a screw driver...and went to work.

I grabbed my most recent pair of "retired" running shoes to use as test subjects.

The site recommended using either 3/8" or 1/4" sheet metal screws. I could only find the 3/8", and was worried about them being too long....but even the ones up near my toes didn't go through.

They also said you'd end up having to replace the 1/4" screws here and there, as they would come out more often then the longer ones.

I ended up putting 15 in each shoe.

Overkill - yes. But they look cool. (giggle)

Thursday, December 23, 2010

New Years Takers?

Thinking about organizing a Happy New Year midnight run on New Years eve.

Does that make me a dork? :-)

(hmmmm....maybe you shouldn't answer that)


12/23/10 Dreadmill (2.28 mi, 11:51 avg pace)

Well....that little popping going on in my knee last night on the treadmill was felt this morning. Wasn't sure if I'd be able to run....but it eventually faded away. Took it easy this morning and just kept my heart rate up...burned some calories.

Two days of running in a row. Wow...haven't done that in a while.

These past two weeks off have been a nice break....but boy has it felt good to get back at it.

Received a call from the make of my treadmill....they assure me that I only need to replace the circuit breaker on the unit, and all should be well. I think $10 is a fair price to pay, if it gets me so I can run at home again.

While I'm watching TV tonight (we're on the final episode of season 2 Sons of Anarchy - yep, season 1 was two weekends ago, and we got almost all the way through season 2 this past weekend)....anyway, while we're finishing up the last disc, I'm going to make some screw shoes. Sounds like I might get to test them out on my Jingle Bell Fun Run tomorrow am.

Snow is in the forecast!!! Not ice, just regular old snow. Sweet!!!!!!!!!!!!!! :-)

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

12/22/10 Dreadmill (5.01 mi, 11:52 avg pace)

Met up with sis at the gym, and ran for an hour.

My speed just isn't what it is when I run outside in the am. But it still feels WONDERFUL to get back to it!!!!!!

I don't realize how much I miss running, until I stop doing it for a while.

Was also nice running with someone. Granted, neither of us spoke more than three words (we're so darned serious apparently)....but it was great!!!!!!

My knee started popping with each step about half way didn't hurt, but was annoying. :-)

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Happy Winter Solstice

It won't get any worse than today.

That darkness that's killing me, before and after work, will only lessen from now on!!!!!!


Monday, December 20, 2010

Test Drive

So...I took the ol' home treadmill for another test spin today.

When I hit 21 minutes complete, I held my breath. It was at this time last week when the treadmill decided a sit-down strike was in order. But instead of it sitting tried to get me to. :-)

Going from 6.3 mph to zero, suddenly and unexpectedly, is a eye opening experience. Let me tell ya!!

This morning I kept running, right past the 21 minute mark.

And at 26 minutes, just when I'd thought to myself "yes! it's fixed!!!" died.


Granted, I was running MUCH slower today (5 mph) for just such a reason.


There is a circuit breaker, on the treadmill itself, that keeps tripping. I've gotten ahold of the company (again) to find out what the deal is. They were able to fix my issue last time...fingers crossed they can help with this one too!!!!! :-)

2.16 miles, average pace = slow (12 something I think)

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Wanted: Your Two Cents

Running on a Treadmill monotony VS Running on an Outside Track monotony

Both are, to be blunt, boring as hell.

But, for a short mid-week before work run (I can't imagine running on either for more than 5 miles, and even 5 sounds horrible), I'm thinking a track might be the way to go??

1) it keeps me "conditioned" to running outside
2) it keeps me from going all "soft" about running in the cold
3) it smells better than the gym (snicker)

There are a couple of high school tracks near my house.

One or two may or may not require me to jump the fence....but let's not worry about those little details just yet.

(I have an image of me hanging from the top of a chain link fence....dangling by my running tights. It's not pretty.)

Anyway......what say you??

Back from the dead......

My treadmill is alive!!


It WAS alive.

For about 20 minutes or so.

You see, we haven't been able to run on it for some time. The motor was bogging down (it's 10+ years old). We were told by the company that it wasn't the motor....we just needed to adjust the belt tension.

So.....20 minutes into my run this morning (the belt didn't bog down once)....the whole unit completely shut off.


No lights on the control motor running....100% powerless.

One minute I'm running...the next I'm stumbling and trying not to face plant.


Fixed one issue, gained another.

But fear not......I shall not be defeated!!!!!!!!!

At least I can say I finally got myself up and running again. No matter how brief it may have been. :-)

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

I Think I Can, I Think I Can

OK....I've started...and then deleted this post at least three times now.

Each time I come across sounding like a whiny baby. And no one wants to read that!! :-)

It's dark outside all the time hoo.

I'm terrified of falling on the ice....waaaaa.

I have no motivation......blah, blah, blah.

I haven't run for a week. A WEEK!!! That's only happened twice since I started running in May. Once for a backpacking trip to Montana, and once when I fell into a pothole and buggered up my knee (which just so happens to be the week before said backpacking trip). :-)

This funk of mine is even starting to annoy ME...and it's MY funk for crying out loud!!!


I've been reading quite a few blogs these last couple of weeks. People are starting to get their heads on straight for 2011. Goals are being made. Decisions are being made. Plans are being, know...made.

I'm not a fan of the R word.....resolutions.


If you want to start working out, what better time to start then now! Why put it off? If it's that important, why wait?

I started Weight Watchers last year, right at the first of the year. It wasn't because I'd decided losing weight was my resolution, it was because a friend of mine had. She was ready to make a change, but needed a little push in the right direction. She's a every sense of the word. To do lists, plans, resolutions.....those are the things that get her excited.

So why not push her in the right direction...and go along for the ride?

And now....25 or so pounds later...I'm glad I did.

I lost weight, week after week, merely by changing my food habits. Then in May, I started running. The weight kept coming off...but that was when I really noticed my body changing. Things started firming up....jiggly bits started disappearing.

Since October, my running and my food choices have taken a turn for the worse....and so has that d*mn scale.

I ran my half marathon....and then the spark died. I completed the goal....and was left in limbo. Since then, I've read that making a new plan BEFORE the old one is gone is highly recommended. Lesson learned there.

I got into my single digit size jeans....and then the spark died. I completed that goal as well.

I'd done two things I set out to do....but it still felt as though the end of this journey hadn't come. You see....I met my goals....but not my ultimate ones!

Ben, from Ben Does Life, explains what I mean using marathon time goals as an example.

A: The public goal – as the name implies, this is the goal the runner tells people when asked what his goal is. Barring a complete meltdown, this goal is easily attainable and would even be a slight disappointment to the runner.
B: The actual goal – Usually about 5-10 minutes faster than the public goal. The runner will tell close friends and family about this goal. It’s also the time that the runner feels comfortable striving for and thinks there is a reasonable chance of hitting.
C: The secret dream goal – The runner doesn’t tell anyone this goal, because he knows that the stars would have to align and everything would have to fall perfectly in place for the secret dream goal to happen, and if a runner knows nothing else, he knows that during 26.2 miles, nothing ever falls perfectly in place.

My goals for weight loss really aren't centered on the scale. Yes, I use it as a way to measure success week after week. But that's only because the true measure of success (clothes sizes) don't go down every week. I need something to keep me going...and that's where the scale comes in.

My public goal: "I don't care how much I weigh, or what size I am, I just want to be happy and healthy." and "I want to be a runner. I want to get up in the morning and run a couple of miles, daily. I read books where the main character gets up in the am and 'goes for a run'...I want to be that person." (goals achieved)

My actual goal: "Happiness and good health is great...but feeling good about the way I look would be sweet! I don't care what I weigh, but I'd like to be in single digit size jeans. " and "I want to run a half marathon. Marathons are great and all, but a half is nothing to be ashamed of. I want to get that finisher medal, and feel the emotion of accomplishing something I had to train for. " (goals achieved)

My secret dream goal:
"8 is great...but bring on the 6!!! My body looked good as a 6, once upon a time. Heck, it looked great as a 4...but let's be realistic...I'm not 20 anymore. I want to wear a swimsuit again. I'd love to be able to run in only a sports bra in the summer when it's hotter than h*ll. Fitted tshirts....bring 'em on!!!" and "Half marathon? Pa-shaw! Yeah, yeah, yeah...I know what I said about half marathons being a great goal and all.....but since when have I done something without throwing myself into it fully? I can't stop half way there." (goals in progress)

I've accomplished so many things this year, things I never in a million years thought I'd ever do.

I run.
I enjoy running.
I get up really friggin' early to run.
I still enjoy running.
I've lost weight.
I've run a half marathon.
I want to run more of them.
I go to spin classes.
I enjoy spin classes.
I find myself looking forward to summer.
I don't mind the summer heat so much anymore.
I'm healthier than I've been in a long time.
I'm happy.

2010, you've been great! More than I ever expected.

2011, bring it on!!!!!!

Soapbox time.....

I don't care what this ad says....being able to say you completed a marathon is a big deal.

Do they have any idea what it takes for some people to "mosey" across that finish line in 7 hours? It takes everything they have...that's what. 26.2 miles is a big deal.

Running a marathon as a bucket list item is NOT disrespect. Walking instead of running is NOT disrespect.

Disrespect: lacking respect
Respect: for or a sense of the worth or excellence of a person lity or ability, or something manifestation of a personal quality or ability

Running the marathon just to say you did it, is no different than saying you did it with a 5 min mile average pace. It's just a matter of different goals for different people.

Pheidippides ran to Athens to deliver an important message. I get that.

But...he didn't win a big cash prize at the end. There wasn't a fancy finisher's medal or a wicking tshirt waiting at the end.

I also think he died after delivering the message. Do we all have to complete that little bit of history in order to respect the marathon?

I think not.

So Pearl Izumi....long walk, short pier. Thank you very much.

(climbing down off of soap box)

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

12/07/10 (2.73 mi, 10:30 pace)

It's amazing how easily I've slipped back into going to the gym.

I'd much...MUCH...rather run outside., for me it's so much easier. But going to the gym gets me back on track with the strength training I let slip over the spring, summer and fall.

My abs. My gosh, my abs. I haven't worked on them for nearly 7 months. It actually feels good to get back to it.

Even though I love running outside, I feel an odd comfort when walking through the door in the morning.

I'm using the same locker, I'm seeing the same people, I'm dealing with the same crappy shower heads. I never thought it would be this easy to get back into the swing of gym life. It's almost scary. :-)

Besides my 30 minute run...I did a million (or so) crunches, and a number of upper body weight machines.

I also must have either gotten up earlier then I thought, or dressed quicker than I normally do, because I was 30 minutes early to work.

I also hit my (now) usual Tuesday night Spin class with my sister.

Last week I had a bowl of chili before class....this week, a bowl of potato soup. I can't tell you how sluggish and ugh I felt during the class. No was horrible.

I'm so used to doing all my hard working out in the am, on a completely empty stomach. :-)

Monday, December 6, 2010


My plan for last week vs what I actually accomplished:

Monday - rest....check!
Tuesday - run in am, spin in the pm....check and check!
Wednesday - strength training....check! (upper body)
Thursday - run in am...check! (and added lower body workout as well)
Friday - rest...check!
Saturday - long run...check!
Sunday - spin!! :-)

All in all, I think I did pretty well. Not sure that my eating on Saturday is going to allow me to see a decrease on the scale tomorrow am, but I'm OK with that.

I'm working out to get healthy and to be able to "live" once and a while.

Right?? :-)

Saturday, December 4, 2010

12/04/2010 (5.9 miles, 11.39 pace)

I overshot my 5.5 mile run by a little, but was pretty close to target.

The pace was a little under target, but I spent the first quarter mile walking with hubby and our black lab, Sam.

Well...walking with them, stopping to pick up poo with them....waiting for hubby to get back from the garbage can, etc. :-)

Because of the temp, the first half of the out and back run was a tad bit chilly. I usually use a Buff to keep my nose and face warm. By the time I got to the 3 mile turn around point, the Buff was frozen solid from my exhalations. So a frozen cloth on my face wasn't really effectively keeping it warm. (giggle)

I did, however, have more than just my BondiBand for my ears on this run...and I'm very glad! My aunt gave me a fleece headband (that has a hole for my ponytail)...and it was the perfect amount of warmth!!!!! :-)

I saw one or two other runners, and a couple of people out walking their dogs, but besides that had the trail totally to myself.

And, because my home computer has died a horrible death recently (all of my pictures are probably gone forever and ever)....I didn't have a way to put any tunes or audio books onto my it was just me and the sound of my breath.

Which, as most of you probably know, is what I'm used to anyway. Unless I'm running a trail, in the daylight....I never listen to anything while out running. Safety first and all.

But I did notice that having something to listen to while running my longer runs on those trails is quite nice. I should be careful, or I'll get spoiled and find myself missing it when I can't have it. :-)

Legs felt great after the run, but during I was feeling a little tiny itsy bitsy pain in my right shin. It wasn't anything that made me slow down or walk....but it really had me paying close attention. I guess that's how you have to do it.....take it easy, listen carefully, etc, etc.

I'm gradually trying out different nutrition and hydration products on these longer runs. Today I tried the Extreme (added caffeine) Watermelon flavored Sports Beans. I picked them up at the running store in St. Louis over the holiday long weekend. They tasted great, didn't stick to my teeth, and are smaller pieces (I love the Shot Bloks, but they are a little too big per serving and do tend to stick to my teeth quite a bit more.)

OH, and who was it that was looking for the Margarita flavored Shot Bloks? I bought a package of them as well...but haven't tried them yet. Fleet Feet has them, if there's one near you. :-)

Run Specifics
5.9 miles (out and back, flat trail)

Mile 1 - 13:01 (spent part of it walking with hubs and puppy)
Mile 2 - 11:52
Mile 3 - 12:25 (stopped long enough to call hubby to tell him I was turning around)
Mile 4 - 11:13
Mile 5 - 11:18
Mile 6 - 9:55 (only one walk break that last mile - pushed it through to the end - felt great!!)

Temp: 24 degrees with a "feels like" of 10 degrees
Wind: Out of the North at 20 mph, and 30 mph gusts.

Gear: Running jacket, wicking ls shirt, wicking tt under that, lightweight running tights, Smartwool socks, shoes, glove liners (need something more!), headband for ears, BondiBand, frozen Buff (hehehehe), hydration belt with Gatorade (out of my usual drink)

Thursday, December 2, 2010

12/02/10 (2.7 mi, 10:36 pace)

I know that in my life I usually end up doing quite a few things backwards.

For example, my hubby doesn't believe me when I say I sleep cooler if I sleep with jammies on. Seriously. Sleeping in my birthday suit, I'll sweat myself out of bed. You could cook an egg on my core. Sleeping with tshirt and shorts, I'm nice and cool.



I hate crunchy peanut butter.. Why? Soft sandwiches should NOT have little surprise crunches. For that same reason, I also prefer my jello sans fruit. Actually, fruit in general is out. Soft foods crunching makes my skin crawl. And all of my baked good shall henceforth be female, not male (no nuts). And don't even get me started on escargot (shudder).

But, I LOVE LOVE LOVE potato chips on my pbj sandwiches.


I suppose.

People say it's harder to run outside than it is to run on a treadmill. The treadmill is moving, helping to pull your feet back, moving the ground under you, instead of you passing over the ground....blah, blah, blah.

I'm finding that it's sooooo much harder to run on a treadmill than outside. I'll run a 5K without stopping to walk...but when running on a treadmill (at my 10:00 mile pace - ish), I have to take a one minute walk break every couple of minutes.


Most definitely.

So....after slogging through my 30 minute run, I hit the weights. I won't be running again until my long run this weekend, so I focused on my lower body this morning. Leg presses, leg extensions, leg adduction and abduction. 3 sets of each, with varying weights.

It felt GREAT to get back to the gym and do some weight training.

ANOTHER thing I never thought I'd hear myself say!!!

2010 has been full of soooo many firsts. I wonder what 2011 will hold???

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

12/01/10 I did it!!!

I went home last night, and did some strength training down in our little gym space in the basement.

I actually came home after work, and worked out at home.

I didn't eat dinner while telling myself "oh, I'll go lift some weights in a couple of hours once my dinner is settled."

I didn't put on pj's and call it a night.

I resisted the temptation of my comfy couch and actually went downstairs and did it.

I knew I had to run this morning, so I did all upper body.

But the point of all this is that I DID IT!!!

The darkness will not defeat me!

I shall survive this funk!

I will survive.

(breaks into song)

Did you think I'd crumble
Did you think I'd lay down and die
Oh no, not I
I will survive
as long as I know how to love
I know I'll stay alive
I've got all my life to live
I've got all my love to give
and I'll survive
I will survive

Hey hey!!!!!


Have a good evening everyone!!!

Holiday Bootie Buster Challenge, Week 1 Recap

I might seem late to the party, but I'm really not. Honest.

I signed up for this thing weeks ago....but I'm just now getting around to mentioning it. What's that they say about being late to the party??

The Holiday Bootie Buster Challenge, sponsored by RunToTheFinish!!!!

I'm desperate. I usually fail miserably when signing up for challenges like this....but my motivation is in the tank.

Well, it was. It seems to be back I'm going with it.

Here's the deal, you get points for being active. Running, biking, ab workouts, the works. At the end of the season, there's a winner.

I'm not going to win, by any stretch of the imagination....but it's still fun to participate!!!!!

Week 1 Recap
3 mile run, 3 points
5K Turkey Trot, 3 points
Weekly total, a whopping 6 points :-)

11/30/10 - Spin Class vs Chili

I love my hubby dearly. He spoils me rotten.

Because I do not, in any way shape or form, enjoy cooking.....and he loves it.....he's the cook in the house.

I got home last night, and he'd made chili.

Considering the weather outside, it was the perfect meal.

I had one small problem though....spin class at 7:00.

I can think of better meals to eat before spinning. :-)

I exercised some control and only had a small bowl before leaving....and it didn't seem to affect me at all. I was afraid I'd feel weighed down and sluggish.....but lucked out.

My sister had a spin bike saved for me when I arrived. A bike right in the front row.

I'm usually a back of the room spinner. Something about a room full of strangers staring at my butt and love handles makes me a little uneasy. :-)

So, this cross training plan seems to be working. I ran yesterday morning and spun, spinned (?) last night. (giggle) Now, if I can just get some strength training in today, I will officially be "on plan."

I stepped on the scale this morning to give myself a new starting point. I think I'll weigh in once a week, instead of daily. I guess that makes Wednesday "Weigh In Day."

Wish me luck! :-)

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

11/30/10 (Dreadmill, 2.7 mi, 10:40 pace)

Well.....I can't say this is the first winter storm of the season...we had one a few weeks ago. But it's the first one to push me inside to the gym treadmill. I haven't been to the gym, in the morning before work, since I started running outside in May.

It was the same cast of characters working out...the same employees....the same crappy shower heads (I wonder what they'd say if I brought in 4 brand new ones??).....everything was as I left it 6 months ago.

I was hoping to get an upper body strength workout in after my 30 minute run....but no such luck. I had my gym bag packed last night before bed.....but I still got to the gym about 30 minutes later than I wanted.

15 of that was because I hit the snooze twice (hehehehe), the other 15 was because it's slicker than snot out there right now.

The wind is blowing like crazy....and people in the city need to relearn how to drive in the winter. We go through this every year, the first major slick snow storm has the streets and ditches littered with vehicles.

Monday, November 29, 2010

11/28/2010 (5 mi, 10:28 pace)

Running last week in the Turkey Trot really got my motivation going again.

Talking to my aunt about running and training got my motivation going again.

And...most at Fleet Feet, and drooling over all the stuff I'd love to have, got my motivation going again.


All kidding aside....I am really ready to get back "to it" starting this week. My training schedule almost feels like I'm starting over. My long run this weekend was only 5 miles.

Only 5 miles.

Never thought I'd hear myself saying those words together in a sentence.

While in St Louis, I purchased a new hydration belt. I wasn't satisfied with the one I had before, and I knew that as my runs got longer, I'd need to find a replacement. While I'm used to carrying a hand held water bottle, having my hands free is heaven!

I've had my eye on the hydration belt I purchased, for quite some time....but there isn't a retailer who sells them in Omaha or Lincoln (argh!). Linda, my aunt, had one when we ran the half marathon....and while in St. Louis this week, I went into her running store to check it out. (our local running stores leave a little to be desired)

I could tell the second I put the new hydration belt on, that it was what I was looking for. Thank goodness!!!

I really didn't need 16 oz of fluid for a quick 5 mile run...but how could I NOT run with my new purchase??? :-)

I'm actually really glad I took it with me. Besides the two 8 oz bottles, I also purchased a storage pouch for my belt. It fits my phone, gels, chews, a little money all very well!!!

(oh, and mental note - when using the gps running app on your phone, make sure it zeroes in on your location before starting the run....the last time I'd had my gps turned on, I was in Kansas five mile run ended up showing as over 300 1 hour....I was flying!!!!!)

It's closet is nearly empty, as I'm going down in sizes. Every day a favorite shirt or skirt is too big. My winter coat is way too big.....I'm swimming in my lighter weight running's all way too big.

Now, don't get me's a good problem to have......but, I need to win the lottery to replace it all.

I'm going to have my winter coat altered, and I've been going to Goodwill quite a bit more. But running gear is hard to find at a thrift store.

I only have one pair of running pants, and they are going to be pretty chilly when the weather really turns cold. So...I went to a sporting goods store, and made a pretty cool score. Two pairs of running tights for $!!!

I love a good bargain....and was pretty happy. :-) I am Sunday bright orange running coat, my new bargain running tights, and my new hydration belt. I almost looked like a runner.

But there was no "almost" about how I felt. I 100% honestly, truly, genuinely FELT like a runner. For the first time since I started this whole journey I didn't feel like I was a poser.

I still have weight to lose, but I'm slimmer, I feel better, the cherry on top, I finally look the part to boot!!!! :-)

11/25/2010 Chesterfield, MO Turkey Trot 2010 (3.1 miles, 10:00 pace)

Mot and I drove down to St. Louis last week to spend the holiday with family.

Thursday morning, the 5 of us got up and participated in the local 5K race.

Linda, Amanda and Kent before the race. It was rainy, misty and chilly...awesome running weather!!!!

We signed Mot up at the last minute, since everyone else was going to be running. Not sure how excited he was about it....but he had fun.

Whether he admits it or not! :-)

All 5 of us before the start.

Not sure on the exact number of people that showed up...but it was over 2000.

The two boys stuck together......while we three ladies split up.

The run was fun. It wasn't a flat course, but it wasn't mountain climbing either. I took off at the start, like I always do. Too fast.

My Nike sportband says I ran the first mile in just over 5 minutes....pretty sure it was delusional. I don't think I could run that fast.....on roller skates...with a jet pack. :-)

I did end up taking a couple of walk breaks, at the top of a couple of hills....but ran for nearly all of it.

Still trying to figure out how to dress for cooler weather running. I was stripping layers as I ran, and was still pretty warm. I'll get it figured time for summer to come around again. :-)

OK...I know this shot is blurry, but I was taking pictures on the run, give me a break. See the two in the middle (she's wearing shorts)? She lives about a mile from me. They happened to be talking about Omaha weather when they ran by, and I chimed in.

How funny to be 7 hours away from home, and then end up running with someone who lives almost in your backyard!!! :-)

There were quite a few dogs on the route. This black lab reminded me quite a bit of Sam. I can't wait for Sam to be old enough to run with me!!!!!!!

After the race....still all smiles!!!!!

Monday, November 22, 2010

11/19/2010 Running Therapy, 3 miles, 10:13 avg pace

Of all the four letter words out there....I'm experiencing the worst one of all.....


It comes out of no where....and smacks me on the side of the head.

And it hits hard.

I've made new plans, usually that gets my juices flowing.....didn't work. I added new activities (cross training) go.

The culprit??


I need to strap one of those therapy lights to my forehead. I miss the sun. It's not visible when I get's barely there when I drive home.

I always thought I'd LOVE living in I wonder if I'd survive at all.

I did actually run this weekend. I was supposed to run 3 miles, including the one mile test. I went to a Jeff Galloway seminar in October, and am trying his training plan. I've got the books, I've talked to him myself....but there are things I'm unclear of.

I get the idea of the one mile test....kinda. The book describes the warm up I'm supposed to do, the test, then a cool down. When do I run the other extra miles??? I'm a Capricorn...sometimes we spelled out.

We can be a bit OCD at times. :-)

So what did I do? I scrapped the one mile test crap...and just run three miles.

My interval timer battery was I just ran.

I ran the full three miles without stopping. Which, after running a half marathon, shouldn't be a big deal....but it is. I usually use a run/walk interval system.

Those three miles felt great!!!!!

I jumped on the trail near work and ran. I huffed and puffed at times....but I didn't stop. I wanted to start walking, but didn't allow myself.

I've been stressed out. Work is frustrating, the darkness is killer, I need to win the lottery, and my hubby has been gone for 10 days. I'm ready for the long holiday weekend!!!!!!!!!

While I was out there...I was free. It was pretty chilly (not sure on the exact temp), so I had a long sleeve wicking tshirt and my new orange high viz running jacket....lightweight underarmor gloves, a bondi band over my ears.....and an audio book.

I'm listening to The Long Run...a story of a New York firefighter and elite athlete, and his recovery from being hit by a bus, while riding his bicycle in NY traffic.

It's interesting as all heck....and motivating like nothing else.

I actually even found myself listening to it more when I got home (I usually save them for my drive to and from work). I'm only about half way through, but so far I highly recommend it.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

11/16/10: Two for the price of one....I wish!!!

I've been having issues getting myself out of bed to run in the mornings. I love cold weather, I love running.....but I'm truly afraid of wiping out on black ice. It's not like me to let things scare me off like this....but it's happening.

All of the snow has melted around my work place....but we still have some around where I live. I get to work and think to myself "what the heck is the problem? there's no ice to fall on!"....then my car tires slip on some near my house on my way to or from work.

When that happens, I can literally see my nerve fly out the car window with it's tail between it's legs.

What the heck???

My fear of falling is keeping me from running in my favorite season???


I came home from work yesterday, fed the dogs, changed clothes, then headed right back out the door. I had a spin class on my training schedule, and I was hoping to work in my short recovery run before the class.

Can you really call it a recovery run when 1) I'm only recovering from a 5 mile "long run" 2) I'm just going to turn around and make my legs mush in a spin class immediately after the run??


The gym was fairly full at 6:30, but there were a few scattered treadmills open. I jumped on one and started running intervals.

The two treadmills on each side of me where occupied. The lady to my left was cool...doing her own thing. The little chicky on the right of me wanted to make it a competition.

You can always spot them....the ones that constantly look at your pace and time....the ones that refuse to walk until after you've started walking, and then want to run before you start your next run cycle. The ones that you can mess with by slowly increasing your speed....thus making them have to do the same thing.

She eventually gave up with a large "sigh" and left.

Thank goodness. :-)

Spin class was good. I could feel the run in my legs, so I knew I'd be in trouble by the end of the class. I'm happy to report there was only 1 interval where I stayed seated, instead of getting my rump up and out of the saddle. It was the very last interval before class was done (but I didn't know that at the time). So....all in all, I think I did ok!

Down three pounds from yesterday to I guess I did something right. Most of that was water I'm sure....but 3 pounds is still good to see!!! :-)

P.S. My buddy James sent me an article on how to make "screw shoes". I'm intrigued!!! Also researching Yaktrax...but I've heard they aren't good if you're going from snow to patches of bare pavement. I've been told the wires break easily when not on snow.

What does everyone else do in the winter when having to run with snow or ice on the ground??

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

11/14/2010: Oh, drat! The dreadmill.

Mom was coming by at noon. We had some birthday shopping to do before attending a birthday party (nothing like putting things off until the last minute!).

It was 9:00....I had three hours to get my run in, shower and be ready to go.

It snowed Friday morning and Friday night. Our area of town was in this weird weather vortex. No one else got snow that morning, and they rec'd next to nothing compared to what we did Friday night.

It knocked our power out, twice. And maybe more after that, but I went to bed. :-)

Before leaving for Portland (Mot is there visiting family and shooting ducks)....he was worried about the leaves in the gutters. Our trees wait until the last possible second before dropping all their litter to the ground, all at once. I told him that he wasn't going to be gone long, and the gutters would be ok. If it snowed, it wouldn't be anything to speak of.

D*mn you Murphy, and your stupid law too!!!!


So anyway, fast forward to Sunday am. It was 50 degrees on Saturday and melted most of the city's snow away.

Everyone, but ours, of course. Our streets and sidewalks were riddled with black ice and slush. At the same time. (sigh)

I decided to do my weekend run on the treadmill at my gym instead of dealing with the ice outside. I just wasn't in the mood.

Since I've just begun this new 2011 marathon training schedule, the mileage has scaled back and is pretty low. I'm enjoying the break for now.

My calendar told me I needed to run 4-5 miles. ( I ran 4 1/2.) :-)

I loaded a couple cd's of an audio book I'm currently listening to onto my phone and headed out the door.

The gym stunk, as all well-used gyms have a tendency to do....and it was hot. I found a treadmill, hit the play button on my audio book, and off I went.

About 30 seconds into the run, I realized I'd already listened to the first of two cd's I'd loaded.


This meant I was going to run out of audio entertainment well before my run was complete. And the only thing on the gym tv's was football....without sound.

Double crap! :-)

I took the run slow....doing 2:30/1 run walk intervals.....6 mph on the run, and 3.5 on the walk. It got my heart rate up, I was sweating....but I wasn't dying.

I was happily burning calories and listening to my book...when all of a sudden it stopped.

I'd listened to the second cd much faster than expected. The last 20 minutes of my run was in complete audio "hell."

And, by hell, I mean the gym radio system.

This was's now Tuesday and I STILL can't get Meatloaf out of my head.

Shoot me now! :-)

Friday, November 12, 2010

Up close and personal with nature.......

I've been inches from this happening in our neighborhood....twice now. Nothing gets the heart pumping like a near deer collision. :-)

Wis. runner collides with deer during race

APPLETON, Wis. (AP) - Sarah Glidden is one of the few people who can say she collided with a deer - while on foot. The Hortonville High School sophomore was running at a cross country sectional at Wausau's 9-Mile County Forest course on Oct. 22 when an antlerless deer bolted from the woods.

With about 100 meters to go, Glidden partially spun around but she managed to maintain her balance. She kept running and so did the deer.

The 15-year-old said she felt fur on her leg but she only has a bruise.

She failed to qualify for the state meet, placing 18th overall. She told The Post-Crescent in Appleton she's not sure how much it affected her. But her time of 15:55 was 17 seconds slower than a few weeks ago.

Information from: The Post-Crescent,

Thursday, November 11, 2010

11/11/10 (short run and hills)

As I said yesterday, I've got a plan. A real one.

I sat down last night, tinkered with it some...and printed it today.

Not only did I get my training schedule roughed out....but I also put some race goals down as well.

I'm being ambitious.

Really, really ambitious.

* 5K social FUN run on Thanksgiving (St. Louis)
* Kansas Half Marathon (Lawrence, KS), April 17th
* Lincoln Half Marathon (Lincoln, NE), May 1st
* University of Okoboji Half Marathon (Okoboji, IA) - in the dead of July (17th).....say a prayer for me!!!
* Omaha Half Marathon (Omaha, NE), September 25th
* Des Moines 5K (Des Moines, IA), October 16th
* St. Louis Marathon (St. Louis, MO), October 23rd


I didn't forget to type "half" on that last one. I'm actually thinking about tackling a full in the fall.


I laid in bed this morning and watched the time on my alarm clock slowly inch towards 4:45. It's silly how much more ready I was to run today than I have been the last couple of weeks. I knew that once I left the house, I needed to get a warm up in, run for about 25 minutes...and then tackle some hill repeats. (thanks to my handy dandy plan)

OK, OK...I won't say the "p" word any more. I'm even driving myself nuts!!!!!!

Where I run on a daily basis....there are no flats. It's all hills. I might get a block of two of flat....but it doesn't last matter which direction I go.

I've always been thankful for having those hills. I might cuss them out as I come up to them....but when I think about the good they are doing me, I can't complain.

Today, for the first time in my life, I did a little bit more of a structured hill workout.

Don't get me wrong, it was nothing fancy. I found a hill along my route, one on a very little traveled street that early in the am. I counted roughly 170 or so walking steps to get to a starting point near the bottom.

I ran up it....and walked back down.....three times.

That was that.

Next week, I'll be a little more aggressive....maybe increase my speed each time up. But today was my "I don't have a coach, I don't have a clue what I'm doing, I'm just going to do what I've read online and see how it goes" day.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

The Plan

Alex Rogan: Wait a minute. We knock out the turret to get the fighters. But to get to the turret, we gotta get THROUGH the fighters. We're dead.

Grig: I'll have it all figured out by the time we reach the Frontier.

(alarm sounds)

Alex: What's that?

Grig: The Frontier

(Best scene in a movie...ever!)

This all has a point...I swear!

You'll never guess what I did last night?

I came up with a plan. A new training plan.

It seems that while I love to run for the sake of's also quite easy for me to talk myself out of running when I don't have a plan.

So here it is....

(drum roll please)

Ta-Da!!! Proof that a plan exists.

Now that I've completed my first half marathon, my mission is to keep running more of them (and possibly up the anty and run a full in the fall)....while also adding in cycling.

I secretly want to start competing in duathlons.

Yep, you heard me....biking and running.

I've gone mad!!!!!!

(curse my fear of water and swimming...or I'd be a tri gal)



I also need to add in strength training....but I'll do that once I've firmly introduced the whole cycling thing.

Baby steps steps. :-)

Monday, November 8, 2010

11/07/10 (45 minute spin class)

I'm actually LOVING these spin classes!

I'm a runner, and I love spinning class.


Never thought I'd hear myself say that!!!! :-)

So I got up Sunday am, and hit the gym. I made sure to increase the tension on the bike more today, and now know that I can add even more. Not sore at all!!!!

I do need to pay attention to my heart rate more though. At one point, I thought I was going to be sick. There comes a point where pushing harder actually does less good. Sometimes I forget this...and a good "almost getting sick in front of 11 other bike riders" situation reminds me. :-)

Adding cross training into my training plan is a good thing....but I feel as though I'm letting the running thing slide too much. Last week I did two 45 minute spin classes...and two 4.5 mile runs. That's 4 workouts...but only 9 miles total running. ****

Looks like I'm going to need to sit down and figure out an actual plan.

**** Only 9 miles? Wow, we've come a long way baby! :-)

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Running to Run, Day 2 (4.83 mi)

I'm trying different routes around the neighborhood. And what better time to do that then the fall, when it's dark and creepy?


DailyMile has a great mapping feature.....and google does as well. But neither of them show you what your path will look like at 5 am. A snapshot of the street you planned to run down....but one that shows you it will be COMPLETELY PITCH BLACK!!! In the daylight, the entire route I ran today is happy, cheerful, and safe. At night, it's something out of a Freddie Kruger movie. :-)

(that might be a slight exaggeration)

I mean, the neighborhoods are safe and all...but darn. For the first time since I've been running outside in the morning, I actually got spooked.

I'm running along a well traveled road. I actually HAVE a sidewalk to run on....which (if you don't count the ankle destroying condition of it) is a plus! But....there are NO streetlights.


And there are no houses.


I live in a decent sized city...yet when I ran this morning there was a deserted field to my left (an old soccer complex that is grown over and resembles NYC in I Am Legend) and a cornfield to my right. Between me and the cornfield is a row of creaky, spooky, mean looking trees.

I have my headlamp, but the darkness is eating (and spitting out) any light it's producing. If I didn't know better, I'd say I was running into a black hole of some sort. :-)

Up ahead, quite suddenly, I notice a HUGE black mass on the sidewalk. It's as wide as the sidewalk, and nearly as tall as I am.

My running came to a dead halt and I raised my head to point my headlamp in it's direction. I assume it's a deer as I scare off no less than 10 -12 of them every morning.

Nothing there.

I put my head back down, it's back.

Standing there, in the middle of the sidewalk.

I'm left with a pretty important choice to make. Do I turn around and run home with my tail between my fast as my legs will carry me??? I continue on, and hope the shadow monster will make my death quick and painless?

I opted for not chickening out.....and hoped for quick and painless.

I'm alive to tell the tale. So...score one for Nej!

My run after that was pretty uneventful. I ended up cutting it short by about a mile, after noticing the time.

(stupid uneven sidewalks and the shadow demon totally KILLED my pace)

I did really enjoy this new I just have to work up the nerve to run it again. I suppose as long as I don't look ahead to where I'm going, I should be OK. :-)

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

11/02/2010 (The Next "Step")

Non-running post alert!!


Since I've been able to leave the safety of the gym treadmill, and venture into the great outdoors....I've not stepped foot in my gym once.

Not. Once.

Since May.

No lifting weights, no cross training.


Yesterday was the beginning of my "getting healthy does NOT mean running 100% of the time" plan.

11/02/2010 shall be decreed as "there are other things besides running" day.

So....what did I do, you ask?

No really, you asked...I heard it!


I went to a spin class.

Yep....with clip on shoes, stationary bikes, loud music, and leg muscles that (I will report) ARE NOT used when running.

I walked into the gym with butterflies.

The last time I did a class was at least a year ago. I spent the last half just keeping my legs moving....the smallest of tension settings on the bike.....not paying attention to anything in the room except keeping myself alive.

I was in serious pain, both in my muscles and my cardiovascular system. I couldn't walk for days after the class.

Wow, was this class completely different!!!!

I peddled the whole time.....I did all the intervals....all the hills....I actually increased the tension each time she told us to (and sometimes when she didn't)......I rode off of the saddle when she told us to......happily actually.

I need to continue going....on a regular basis. I need to wear my heart monitor. I need to figure out what my zones 1-5 I know the target heart rate I'm aiming for...instead of listening to her tell me, and having no clue where I am.

Maybe I'm not peddling hard enough, too hard, not enough tension, too much tension?? Biking for speed and biking for fat loss....they are two completely different beasts. I need to forget about peddling faster, and work on peddling for a purpose.

As was with my running, I want to take this show on the road. I want to leave the safety of a bike in the gym, and venture outside. I want to see a hill on my route, and not find an alternate way.

I also want to 1) not be TERRIFIED of riding my bike outside with my clip shoes and 2) get over my fear of biking outside while standing, off the saddle.

Those two things seem like important things to get past....don't you think???

I'd also like a lesson on changing my own flat. I think that's reasonable. :-)

Monday, November 1, 2010

Running to Run, Day 1 (4.62 mi)

Today was day 1 of my "running to run" plan.

The joy of running returned and I can't tell you how good it felt!!!!

I ran it slow, I ran it easy, I got spooked by the sounds of little woodland creatures scurrying through the fall leaves. C.R.E.E.P.Y.


It was also my first run using an official walk/run ratio method.

Well, besides the unofficial one I'd been using.

You know......the Nej's "run until I can't run, then walk until I feel guilty that I haven't started running again" method.


I'm not sure what the temperature was this morning, but the weather was actually just about perfect. I wore my long running pants, and a short sleeve tech shirt....with my lightweight, uber reflective, jacket. I wasn't freezing, but I also wasn't melting. Although, I WAS amazed by how sweat soaked my lightweight gloves were. I had no idea how much my hands sweated. Ick!

I'm guessing I'll need to run with some sort of mask or scarf once the weather gets really cold. The wheezing that comes when I run in the cold air is starting to show here and there. When it's really cold, it almost feels as though I'm wind-burning my lungs. Pretty sure that I'll be OK, as long as I pay attention and take measures when it gets colder.

Until May of next year, everything will continues to be new to me. Running outside, in general, was new.....then running in the summer heat....then running when it started getting darker in the am....and now running in the cold and snow. Everything is a new experience. It's kinda fun!!!!!

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

10/27/10 (recovery run)

Can you actually call it a recovery run, when the half marathon you are "recovering" from was a week and a half ago? :-) :-)

Two days after the marathon, some of the stiffness I'd been feeling in my right quad wasn't going away, in fact, it was getting worse. Much, much worse. Rest, Ice, Compression, Elevation worse.

Pretty sure I pulled something, tore something, or just plain ticked something off. :-)

Two days after that my hubby and I were with friends in New Orleans. Our hotel was a block away from the French Quarter.

Now, when visiting New Orleans without a rental car...what do you do? Allot of walking, that's what.

The first two days of walking were pretty much agony. That leg wasn't pleased with my decision to put it through it's paces from sun up to sun down. It would much rather I sat on the couch, in front of the TV, eating Bon Bons and watching cheesy Lifetime movies.

By the time Saturday rolled around, my leg had stopped screaming at me....and I was itching to start running.

It's now Wednesday, and I'm posting about my first run in what seems like ages.

Bless me bloggers, for I have sinned. It's been 10 days since my last run. :-)

4:45 am came very, very early this morning. I donned my running gear and left the house without a plan.

I headed west, ran to the country club entrance, then turned around and came back home. Calling my pace "leisurely" is an understatement.

I stopped my watch as I neared our driveway. I figured I'd run a couple miles, just to get things loosened up. It read 1.99 miles.....close enough. (giggle)

When walking around at 5 am now, compared to a month ago....I don't see much difference. It's dark.

But, it's much darker than it was. With a nearly full moon above me, it's now dark enough to actually need my headlamp...even in the open areas not shaded by trees.

Dry leaves, on trees before we left for New Orleans, are now on the ground. The wind blowing them around, making the creepiest of sounds. I love fall!!!

The air isn't much cooler, but I notice my breathing sounds very "weezy"...the cooler air is working it's magic on my lungs.

I'm wearing long running pants, my new running jacket, and lightweight gloves.....yet barely working up a sweat.

Six months ago, this run would have felt like torture, murder.

The training schedule that has lived on the side of our microwave for 6 months is now in the recycle bin waiting for the trash collectors.

I'm running with only one run.

I can tell you right now that running to run probably isn't going to keep me motivated for very long. Once the newness of "running to run" wears off....the snooze button and I will reunite.

It's time to figure out my next step.

But, until then, the freedom of running without a master plan is wonderful!

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

IMT Des Moines Half Marathon, October 2010

I did what I said I'd never do.

I cried when I finished.

They handed me my time print out, and it was 23 seconds over my goal. 23 seconds! I wasn't watching my pace, I wasn't watching a fancy GPS watch on my wrist. I just ran.

I wanted to do my first half marathon in 2 hours and 30 minutes (or under).

I ended with an official time of 2:30:23.

That's about as close as you can get.

But.....I'm way ahead of myself.

Let me go back a little first.

May, 2010. I was cleared to run outside.


Not on a treadmill!!

For the first time since I started this journey, nearly 2 years before. 3 physical therapists, 2 doctors, and one specialist later...I was finally able to run outside, for real.

After that, I experienced 6 months of 4:45 am mornings, hip pain, foot pain, leg pain, and one nasty pothole incident.

I ran in the dark, I ran in the heat and humidity, I ran when it started to get chilly, I ran when it was the last thing I really wanted to do.

I lost 30 lbs, I lost 3 or more dress sizes...but I gained so much more than that.

And here it was, October, I was standing in the middle of the street, just outside my hotel.....surrounded my other runners....packed in like sardines, using each other for heat to stay warm until the started gun (bell, whistle?) went off.

Wow, I'm getting ahead of myself again.

Let's back up one day.

Saturday, October 16th.

Mot got home from work at 7 am, and we immediately got into my car and headed towards Des Moines.

We arrived at the hotel my aunt and uncle were staying in two hours later.

We chatted for a bit, then the four of us walked downtown to the convention center. Linda (my aunt) and I had signed up to go to one of Jeff Galloway's 3 hour seminars.

It was great! Jeff is a truly wonderful person. Kind, open, honest, full of information, down to earth. His joy of running is apparent in everything he does. And his joy of helping others do what he loves to do is even stronger.

(side note: why is there always one of "those" people in a seminar? You know the one. The one that won't shut up. The one who sits in the front row and comments on everything the speaker says. The one who has done it all bigger, better, and faster than everyone else there. Why, why???? Why are they even there, if they know it all? I sent Mot a text message two hours into the class "bring bail money"...I was ready to take her out!)


After the class was over, we met up with the husbands...and also met up with Linda's close friend and the lobby. The six of us walked to lunch (via the most roundabout way possible) to a place called the Court Avenue Brewery (or something like that).

People of Des have steps leading into your river. Don't you think this is a little strange?

Thank you Sheila for helping us out, or we might still be wandering around downtown Des Moines. :-)

After lunch, we all headed back to the convention center to check out the fitness expo. I'm not sure how long we were hour or so at the least. Mot got himself a tshirt "Save the Ta-Ta's"...Kent and I got ourselves new coats...and I drooled over a couple of GPS running watches.

From there we went back to their hotel (Mot and I were staying at a different location, but also downtown) to take a peek at our race packets. Mot picked them up for us while we were in the class. Rumor was it, there were so many late entries into the marathon and half marathon that there was going to be a shortage of tech shirts.

And why do we all run in these things?

The medals and the tshirts...of course! :-)

We got to their room, and dug through our loot....then met again back down in the lobby.

Dinner wasn't for an hour or so, so we sat there, talking and laughing, for quite some time. What a fun group to hang out with! We all had a blasts!!!

(Mot helping us set our new run/walk timers.)

After that we split up. Linda and Kent had purchased tickets to the pasta dinner held at the convention center....while Rob, Stacy, Mot and I went downtown to find something to eat.

After a wonderful dinner, we all headed back to our hotels to get ready for the next day. I was in bed by 8:00. I fell asleep about midnight. :-)

The six of had had planned to meet in the lobby of our hotel (it was less than 1/2 a block from the start of the race). We took that time to talk some more, laugh some more, get some pre-race photos...and act like we weren't nervous. :-)

(pace tattoos...on upside down....awesome!!!!) :-)

At 7:45, we left the hotel, and stepped out into the street.

It was chilly, low 40's...and it was crowded.

Earlier in the morning, Mot had gone down to the car...when he came up he said "Oh my gosh Nej, it's completely different out there than it was last night."

He was right.

I volunteer at allot of triathlons, so I've been around pre-race areas.....but nothing seems the same when you're the one getting ready to run.

(See that person on the far right side of this green not in ponytail...face cut off? That's me!!!)

(check out the beard)

We didn't stand there long, before the crowd of runners started moving. They'd started the race, but from where we were, we didn't hear it happen. All of a sudden, we were moving, and that was that.

I ran across the start line, and there was no turning back.

(Linda and Stacy, right in the middle of the picture, looking at the camera!)

I did what ever runner does...I took off like a shot. I knew darned good and well that I needed to watch my pace and start slow.....but as I've heard others say time and time again "you get caught up in the moment".

The route took us around down town, then around Gray's Lake and back. It was beautiful!

At about mile 7, I knew I was in trouble.

My 3:1 run/walk ratio started to turn into 2:30/1....then 2:1.

Eventually I switched to what Jeff Galloway called (the day before) my "Nej's run/walk method".

It's much less scientific than his method. And, I'm sure, quite a bit less productive!!! (giggle)

At mile 10 or 11 (they were all running together by then), the first elite marathoner passed me by.

He was a blur.

I know what their times are, I understand how fast they are going in relation to me, I get all that.....but you just don't understand it for real until they go flying by you. You're at mile 10, they're at mile 22 or 23. And they make you feel as though you're running backwards.

Amazing. There's no other word for it.

I saw one of the people that was on the Glacier backpacking trip along the way. I was nearly passing him when I saw him and called out his name. Pretty sure he didn't know who I was at the time.....I waved, said hi, and continued running. But it was AWESOME to see a face I knew along the way!!!!! :-) Small world!

At mile 11 I was done...spent...kaput. If I was a navy seal, and there were a bell to ring, I'd have rung it.

I knew that my fast pace in the beginning was going to kill me...and it did. But that's ok...the finish was soooo close!

After making the last turn of the race....with the finish line in sight.....I picked up the pace. I didn't look at the people along the route. I heard a familiar voice at one time, but didn't look over to confirm it's owner.

I was going to get across that line, and I was going to do it now!!!!!

Getting my picture taken after crossing the finish.

I did it!!!!!!!!!!!!

After I was done running, I met up with Mot and we rushed over to the hotel. We had an hour for me to recover (somewhat), shower, and get checked out.

As soon as we entered our room, and laid down on the floor....and I'd still be laying there were it not for Mot helping me out.

After I'd showered, packed, and gotten us checked out...we walked back over to the race finish to get a print out of my official time.


I'd been telling everyone my goal was 2:30...and I did it.

It was everything I had in me to not cry right there on the spot. :-)

Everything that I'd done.....and it had finished exactly how I'd hoped.

Now, just imagine what I can do when I actually take it easy at the beginning...when I actually add speedwork into my training.

Mot asked me, on our way to the hotel after running, if I was going to do another one...and my answer was "hell to the no."

On the way home he asked again. My answer was a little more positive that time around.

"Another half in the spring, and then maybe....just maybe...a full in the fall."