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!!!!!