Monday, February 28, 2011

02/27/11: Splish Splash

My long run this weekend was to be 6 miles. I'll admit, I was a little nervous. 5 is the most I've run in months. The pains in my legs that I spent so much time getting rid of (via docs and therapists) is coming back.

I'm not worried, I know I can get rid of it again. I'm just not looking forward to all the deep tissue massages it's going to take. Man that crap hurts!!

So, I geared up and headed to one of the city trails that runs through town. The sky was looking really dark to the south, but there wasn't any wind, and temp was in the mid 20's (F). I turned on my Garmin, picked an audio book on my iPod and off I went.

We'd gotten snow more than an inch, max. But it was warm enough that it had started melting. The trail was covered in a cold slush.

I decided to take it very slow, and stick with my 2/1 run/walk ratio for the whole run. No need to push myself and make my legs worse....but with my first half marathon on the year coming up (May 1st), I NEED to get out there and get some miles in.

I saw two other people on the trail the entire time I was out. It's usually much busier. (I wasn't complaining.)

At exactly 1.43 miles into my run, I stepped in a puddle. A big puddle. A "completely fill my shoe and soak my foot and sock" puddle.

Holy hell that was cold! :-)

When I hit the 3 mile mark, I turned around and ran smack into a wall of wind.

Where the heck did that come from???

When will I start paying attention to the direction of the wind??

I guess never??


As I was drinking some fluids and stretching after the run I saw this sign......

What is the point of having a city with a conceal carry law....when you can't carry concealed anywhere??? Makes me wonder.

6 miles, 10:54 overall average pace

Friday, February 25, 2011

02/25/11: I found out it's possible to take a cold shower in hot water

No, seriously......

I didn't run yesterday am. My calves were a little sore from the failed speed workout in the muddy bog they call a high school track. And then, when I got home last night I didn't run because...well because I just plain didn't feel like it.

I ended up making yesterday my rest day, and headed out the front door to run this morning instead.

The run itself wasn't so great. My calves were still horribly unhappy with me from two days before....and I took it nice and slow. (Seems to be a theme these days....I can't wait to be able to run like a normal person again!!! That's what I get for slacking on my running this winter.)

I knew it was going to be a little I tried to dress for the occasion. Winter weight running tights, wool socks, three layers on the top, balaclava on my head, and lightweight under armor gloves.

My top half was TOO layered, one less would have been perfect I think. And my legs were freezing.

If I average out the temp of my top and bottom...I was perfect. That counts, right?? (giggle)

The schedule called for a quick 3 mile...and at 5:45am (got a late start), off I went.

The temperature wasn't too bad actually, 12 degrees (-11C)...but the windchill was a little chilly (hehehe) at -5 (-21C).

When I reached the half way point, I decided to shake things up a little and take a different way home, instead of merely turning around and reversing my route.

Mental note, I'll have to start using that route when my mid week runs are 4 miles.

Yep, I overshot my 3 miles by a little bit.....and it would have been OK...but the last .57 miles were straight uphill.

Into that cold a** wind.


By the time I got home, I had no sensation in the fronts of my thighs...and that hot shower was sounding magnificent!!!!

I turned the shower on and let it heat up nice and hot while I uploaded my Garmin information to DailyMile. When the bathroom was sufficiently steamy, I jumped in.

I immediately noticed something that got me laughing. The hot water was turning ice cold as soon as it hit my thighs. Eventually, in my hot shower, I found myself standing in ice cold water.

I have to admit, in a silly way, I felt a little bada**.

Just a little.


3.57 miles, 11.29 overall average pace

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

02/23/11: Can you call it a speed workout if speed isn't involved??

I missed going to the gym both Monday and Tuesday. Apparently the engine of my car, unbeknownst to me, had been transformed into a mouse habitat. They'd built a nest the size of a large cantaloupe.

The little sh*ts ate through all my spark plug wires.

So, the dealership was tasked with replacing everything and getting me back on the road. Until then, we were sharing a vehicle, and I wasn't going to make it to the gym.

Mot sent me a text this morning as I was pulling into work in my newly repaired car.

"One car damaging mouse dead."

Apparently he's on a mission. There are traps everywhere in the garage. I have an image in my head of him in the garage....pellet gun in one hand....mouse trap in the other.

So anyway....a million dollars later, my car is running great...and I was able to get to the gym this morning for a strength workout. Inny (my sis) wasn't able to make it, so I was on my own.

I'd been on the machines for about 30 minutes when I heard someone say "Don't you have some work to do?"

When I figured out the question was directed at me I looked up, and there was my boss. Not who I expected to run into at 6:00 in the morning.

Work has been really hectic lately, so it's always good to see the people you see everyday, but in a more relaxed situation. I wouldn't have recognized him with his hat and workout clothes on. I'm glad her stopped to say hi!!

I finished my workout without any other unexpected visitors...and headed off to get ready for work.

Last week on Wednesday, I worked out at the gym in the am....then was going to run after work. It was 60 degrees and sunny all day....then, just as I was getting ready to leave, it got cold and windy.

I made sure to pack for it today. It was going to be in the 50's..but I knew better than to expect it to stay that way long enough for me to get off work and enjoy it.

To my surprise, I was glad I still packed some warmer weather clothes in addition to my normal cold weather gear. It was sunny!!!!!!!

When I trained for my half marathon last year...I followed a very basic training schedule. Run x miles on x days. No speed work, no hills.....just get out there and get the mileage in.

This year, I'm using a little less of a "newbie" plan. It calls for cross training, strength training, and (gulp) speed work.

After a little research, this running newbie is slowly figuring out exactly what that means. So, off I went, to a high school track near my house to give it a shot.

The track was horrible....and as I type this, I'm icing both of my legs. My shin splints feel exactly like they did before all the docs and physical therapists finally got me fixed and outside running. (sigh)

The track was a cinder track. Deep, mucky, gushy........It felt like I was running through a combination of wet sand, mud, and 3 inch deep concrete that was just beginning to set. In all fairness, I think it's their old track, the not so used, ignored step child track....but still!!!!

It wasn't overly conducive to a speed workout...I'm just sayin'.

We haven't had any new moisture in a couple of weeks....and the snow and such have all been melted away for a week now. But this track obviously has no drainage what so ever.

Instead of turning around, walking back to my car, and calling it a night.......I kept on keeping on.

Live and learn I guess....we'll see how I feel in the am. I'll either be running my scheduled 3 mile run.....or walking like a 96 year old woman needing double hip replacements.

See that smile on my face? It was a smile of pure insanity. I'd just completed the last of my 6x400 laps.

They might not have been very fast.

I might have spent most of my time trying my hand at walking on water...or in my case, mud.

But I did it all with negative splits.

Horribly slow ones.........but negative none the less.

Lap 1, 2:33
Lap 2, 2:28
Lap 3, 2:26
Lap 4, 2:25
Lap 5, 2:22
Lap 6, 2:23

Pretty pitiful....but I got a really good calf workout out of it. (giggle)

I just keep telling myself that my times next week are going to be KILLER compared to tonight!!!

Silver lining!


Tuesday, February 22, 2011

02/22/11: Sucking Air


Today's run was anything but good.

There was a decent wind, but I picked a more protected route to avoid it.

Unfortunately, that route is one of the hilliest routes from my front door.

(All of them are hilly, as we live on the top of a hill....but I chose the route with the "slow, gradual, never ending, but a bullet in my head" hills.)

The wind chill was in the mid teens (F)...but I dressed for it.

Well...I dressed everything but my legs for it. My compression sleeves keep my calves plenty warm under my running tights, but from the bottom of my jacket to my knees was chilly today.

No wait, not chilly......


Nearly numb.

In fact, at one time I had a weggie....and didn't know it. (giggle)

Now couple all of that with the guilt of not running this weekend at all, and the fact I've lost any and all "fitness" I had built up and worked so hard for last year.

Mentally and physically, today's run just wasn't in the cards to be good.


This weekend was equally a fail.

Saturday was a rest day, and then Sunday was a 6 mile "long" run. Well, it was supposed to be a long run. We were meeting the boys for breakfast at 8:30, and I just could not make myself get up at 5:30 or 6:00 on a Sunday morning. I just couldn't do it.

I didn't want to run right away after breakfast, for obvious reasons..... we drove around town, doing some small errands, window shopping, etc. We happened upon a fun and twisted XBox game at one store, and spent $20.

We got home, and instead of grabbing our gym gear....we played the darned game for like 3 hours.

Then, the boys called and asked if we'd gone to lunch. We hadn't, so we met them for lunch.

And, I didn't want to run right after lunch, for obvious reasons..... they ended up coming to our place to play cards. Then we went to the Worm (Eat the Worm, a local tequila bar) for Danny's birthday.

I didn't want to run after leaving the Worm, for very obvious reasons...... we went home and went to bed.

Long weekend run fail.

I stuck to my training plan like glue this spring/summer/fall......and by gawd, I'm going to start sticking to it again. If I want to hang out with people, eating horribly unhealthy food, and having a good time, I just need to get up early and get the run done first. That's all there is to it. No more more saying that I'll start the official training "next week." I'm out of next weeks. As it is, the half marathon in May is going to hurt. :-)

Friday, February 18, 2011

02/18/11: My old stompin' grounds

I ran this morning one of the routes I ran quite a bit this summer. Besides the new potholes here and there (gotta love winter), and a couple of new mailboxes (yep, that's how often I ran it this summer, I notice new mailboxes)...nothing has changed.

But, it still felt new....different.

I thought it was fitting that I run this route....since it's the route I ran when I first started running. And right now, having missed so much this winter, I feel as though I'm a new runner again.

Mentally, running doesn't feel new....but physically, I feel like I did then. 3 miles isn't "just" 3 miles anymore. Now it's "when the heck is this 3 miles going to be done already? I'm dyin' here!"

My new headlamp did make quite a difference though. There are very few, if any, streetlights along the route, and no having light (more than the BEAUTIFUL full moon this morning) was quite nice!

But, it was cool enough that I could see my breath. And when that breath rises in front of the light from my headlamp, it's like driving my car in a serious fog. You can see nothing.

Ah, the joys of running outside. :-)

It's too cold for the rabbits to be running around in the tall grass spooking me out. And it's way too early for the country club employees to be showing up to work. That won't start for another month or I had the roads almost completely to myself.

The sky was clear, the air was crisp, I could see where I was going, and I was OUTSIDE running....with only my thoughts to keep my company. I could zone out to everything by the sounds of my breathing.


My pace wasn't the best...but my back was starting to hurt, so I slowed down to keep from making it worse. I'm not out there to win a race, or a prize....I'm out there to be out there. To feel good, to stay healthy, to have fun. Period.

(3 miles, 11:05 overall average pace)

Thursday, February 17, 2011

02/16/11: Icy to numb tha to massage it away.

Tuesday, at about 1:00 in the afternoon, I had a craving.

A craving for a tube of Icy Hot....and a big bottle of ibuprofen.

My sister and I took a new yoga class Monday morning (yoga with weights, "Yoga Tone" or something like that)...and it was catching up to me.

All through the class we were both thinking "well, this isn't too bad." In fact, at one point I was thinking I was going to have to do something else in addition to the class, because it wasn't working me very hard at all.

The only reason I'd broken a sweat was the 90+ degree temperature in the room.

But by Tuesday afternoon, I'd changed my mind. The class accomplished more than I'd given it credit for.

I was starting to feel it. First in my back. Then in my arms....shoulders....neck.....hips......

By the time I left work, I was walking like a car accident victim.

Today when I got was much much worse.

I was supposed to meet my sister at the gym to lift weights. Part of me was looking forward to stretching out those sore muscles.....and the rest of me was wondering how lame it would be if I stayed home in bed.

The gym was busier than it's been since the 1st of the year. We've decided it was full of those "resolutioners" who failed miserably in January, and are starting over.

It's always good to see the gym full of people trying to improve their health....but they need to workout some other time. They're clogging up the machines again. (giggle)

(In reality, I don't mind. Just so you know.) was warm, blue skies, birds chirping all day......then, after work when I am able to's cloudy, foggy, misty, and a stiff cool wind.

Oh's still in the 50''s not snowing, freezing rain, or 20 degrees below zero!! :-)

The run was good. I just jumped on one of the city trails near there wasn't much to look at...but it was still good to be outside in the fresh air.

I was silly and didn't pay attention to which way the wind was it was at my back for the first half, and in my face on the way back. But still not too bad.

3 miles, 10:30 overall average pace

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Happy Valentine's Day (the day after edition)

A few weeks back, Melissa at Life by Melissa decided to organized a holiday secret Santa ...Cupid...friend exchange for Valentine's Day.

When I got home from work yesterday (the 14th) I was excited to see my package waiting in the mail box. Perfect timing!!!!!

The Running Mama sent me the most amazing box ever. It had my favorite "energy while running" favorite "chocolate when that sweet tooth hits" candy.....and a Starbucks gift card "From 1 Starbucks addict to another."

(I may or may not have eaten quite a few of those chocolates while preparing my very healthy dinner.)


It was a would be rude to NOT eat them.


Thank you Running Mama!!! A perfect way to end a very good day!!

02/15/11: It's melting, it's melting!!

The amount of ice on the trail around Lake Zorinsky was much less today. least on the section I ran this morning.

Don't get me wrong, it was still there...everywhere. But the sections I could run were a little longer and more abundant. :-)

My car was the only one in the parking lot....and I was the only one on the trail. It was dark, windy, and spooky as h*ll.

I got a new headlamp this weekend...and it's awesome. I could actually see quite a ways in front of me AND the trail immediately in front of me without moving my head up and down. Score!

On my way back from the turnaround point, I could hear a squeaking. It was off in the distance, but it was there none the less. I stopped running and slowed to a walk.....and the noise went away.

I started running again.

A few minutes later.....there it was again.

I stopped dead in my tracks.

Injured rabbit?? Maybe one of my shoes is squeaky? Monsters in the dark coming to get me?

I turned around...the noise was definitely behind me.

All I could see was the path winding into the distance through the wooded area I'd just come out of.

Yep...definitely monsters coming to get me!

Act cool.


I didn't hear the noise for quite a while.....but when it came again, it was right behind me.

I turned around (still running) and there it was. A dude...on a bike...without a light...and a wheel that needed some WD40.

"On your left!"

OK, so I wasn't completely alone on the trail after all. I'm not sure how that guy could see where he was going, but there were places where the downhill was on a curve, covered in ice. Recipe for bike disaster, if you ask me. :-)

Lake Zorinsky, 3.02 miles, 12:11 overall average pace (after you factor in the ice, the dark, and stopping to look for the monsters that were after me)



Monday, February 14, 2011

02/13/11: Ice Ice Baby

Sunday morning, I grabbed my screw shoes and headed out for a run.

Any other time, this run would be pretty unexciting....but today, it was nuts.

After all the snow and ice we received in the last month or's been in the 50's this weekend...and they are forecasting 60's for this coming week.

60's!! That's shorts and tank top weather!

Anyway.....instead of running inside at the gym, I decided to run around the lake behind the gym.

I've been sick and out of town so much lately, that I'm having to start my half marathon training plan over again. So my "long" run this weekend was only 5 miles.

But, it's a good thing it was only 5 miles, or I'd still be out there running.

With warmer weather comes melting snow.

With melting snow, comes ice. The trail around the lake was probably 99.98% covered in the stuff.

Black ice, white ice, thick ice, and plenty of that "thin layer over 2-3 inches of water" ice.

My 5 mile run was more of a 5 mile "walk, shuffle, slip and slide...with occasional bouts of running." was I can't complain too much. My overall pace wasn't so hot....but it was a good solid cardio AND core workout. :-)

I took a picture of this stretch because it had all the above listed types of ice. It started and ended with the slickest black ice ever....there was some of that crunchy white ice.....and then in the middle, a thin layer of ice over about 5 inches of really, really, really cold water.

Most people had been running in the snow along the path instead of on was an ankle twister waiting to happen.

Every once and while, part of the trail would be gloriously ice free, and I could actually run up to pace......

....briefly. :-)

Not the best overall pace, but still not too shabby for spending 2/3 of the time walking and shuffling.

Friday, February 11, 2011

02/11/11: Let's Get Physical

"Sweat cleanses from the inside. It comes from places a shower will never reach."

Dr George Sheehan

OK then. I'm done. I've had it. Sinus infections, colds, the flu.....NO MORE! I'm officially over them all...and that's all there is to it.

(so there)


I headed to the gym this morning, tentatively, to see if I was actually ready to get back at it. Apparently, I am.


I took it easy, ran a nice 2 mile run on the dreadmill (9:59 avg pace)....then lifted weights for 45 minutes.

Hooray! It all went well.

My run 2011 kilometers in 2011 plan is now seriously behind. I may be down, but I'm not out. I've signed up for the first half marathon of the year....I've signed up for my first ever full marathon (in October).....and I'm ready to get back to it.

And mother nature seems to be on board with the plan. 40's this weekend, 50's and 60's (holy cow) next week!!!!!!

I'll be running.....and I'll be doing it outside!

My new shoes are going to get all nasty from the slop melting on the streets....but they're just shoes. My screw shoes are still stained red from the toenail incident a month or so why not make my new ones all grubby as well. Makes me look more "road warrior-ish" and less "part time fitness-ish" if you ask me. :-)

I think I'm officially not going to do the half marathon in Kansas in April. I hate to not do it....but I'm a bit behind on the training at this point. I have one scheduled for the 1st of May....and another possible one on the 22nd.

That's not too soon to do another one, is it? Three weeks? If I promise to not take off like a bat out of h*ll from the start line this time around.....if I promise to take it it to improve, but not to kill myself?

Yeah, I think so. :-)

Going to sit down with the calendar and adjust my training plans....and then I'm off!!!!!! :-)

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

02/09/11: One FLU over the cuckoo's nest....

It's been nearly two weeks since I've posted. My how time flies when you're having fun.

Or when you're traveling for work....

...and then catch the most violent flu known to man the day AFTER you get home.

Yep, that's me. I have a sinus infection for one week...I travel to Texas and Mexico for one week...and now I'm finishing up a week of the stomach flu.

I can't catch a running break. It's been FOREVER since I've been able to run, and it's really getting me down.

(sigh) cheer myself up I finally did it.

I filled out all of my information....and hit the magic "accept" button.

It's turning back.

After not being able to run for nearly three weeks, I cheer myself up by registering for my first ever full marathon.

I've never claimed to be the most sane person you'll ever meet.


Friday, February 4, 2011

I'm still here.....

I've been out of town (and the country) for work this week.

The hotel I stay at upgraded their fitness center....and it's amazing!!

I only used it once.


One day I just couldn't convince myself to run (I've got a sinus infection)....and one day I hit "dismiss" on my phone alarm clock, instead of "snooze."


I woke up with minutes to throw some clothes on, grab my bags and head for the airport.

Does running around my hotel room and then running later that day trying to make flight connections (thank you mother nature - you've proved that people in Southern Texas have NO IDEA what to do when there's ice or snow on the ground) count towards my training schedule??

Probably not.

Although there was added difficulty when you take into account the carry on luggage I was lugging around with me. :-)

I'm back at it tomorrow. No more fried foods at airport more endless packets of 100 calorie snacks eaten when stuck on an airplane for hours at a time waiting for the weather to clear, the de-icer to be found, or the connecting passengers to more hotel room service (mmmmmm.......greasy burgers).

Plus, I've had this sinus infection for two weeks, and I am STARVING when I'm sick.

You're supposed to feed a cold, right??? :-)

So, starting's back to being somewhat good. I'll reintroduce myself with the gym, the treadmill, the weights, my screw shoes and the ice and snow outside........the yoga and spin classes...all of it.

And (gulp) maybe even start thinking about getting in that pool and learning how to swim...for reals. I mean, I can keep myself alive in the water....but I wouldn't call it swimming.

Might even take myself some of them o-fic-ial lessons. A-yup.


Have a great weekend everybody!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!