Saturday, April 30, 2011

Tomorrow's the Day!!!!

hydration belt - check
bib on my shirt - check
energy gels - check
prerace jelly beans - check
bag for clothes check - check
sunglasses - check
road id - check
garmin - check
$20 - check
(camera and cell phone to come along for the ride)

Getting just a tad bit nervous.

Going to go do something girlie and paint my toe a chick flick.....try to forget I have to run 13.1 miles front of people I know.....with a finish line on the 50 yard line on the Nebraska Cornhusker football field....with my ugly mug on the "jumbo tron" as I crawl to the end.

There are soooo many things wrong with that sentence! :-)

Thursday, April 28, 2011

04/27/11: First run with long distance training group...OR...stepping outside my box

Last year in May I started training for my very first half marathon.

I did it all on my own. and Hal Higdon's beginner half marathon training plan. :-)

I stuck as close to the plan as I could....and made adjustments when and where necessary. I ran the half, and completed it within 23 seconds of my goal time.


Now it's nearly May again, and I'm starting to train for my very first full marathon.

I pulled up good ol' Hal's full training plan and put it on my calendar.

And then I got an email from the local running club. They host a distance training program every year.

I have to admit...the long 16, 18, 20 mile long runs by myself are a little scary to me right now. Mainly, for a logistics point of view. I'll have to schedule the runs in loops, or multiple out and I can refill (or replace) my water bottles. Or, I'll need to schedule it with access to gas stations or public fountains (which are very unreliable). I'll also need to carry fuel, and I already feel retarded carrying around as much gear as I do now.....adding more fuel is going to make me look like a pack mule. :-)

(Yep, I'm a Capricorn.....we think about these things. AND, my dad was a Virgo....they are incredibly INSANE about these things!)

And, on top of it all, my sweet and loving hubby is more than slightly concerned for my safety when out on these long runs by myself.

So....I signed up for the training program.

They have a speaker come talk to the group every Wednesday evening, with a group run after. And then a long run on Sunday mornings.

Last week was the initial "this is what the program is about, sign here on the dotted line" meeting. And last night was the first official Wednesday speaker.

It was more of a "Running 101, here are the basics" type of thing....geared more for those that haven't run at all...but a refresher never hurts. He's mentioned the different people he has arranged for speaking as the program moves forward, and they sound interesting!

After the speaker, we set out on the group run.

Now, anyone that knows me, knows that I'm quite possibly the (initially) shyest person in the world.


I mean, once someone talks to me, I'm all over it. But initiating the first encounter.....(gulp)....kills me. So I was beside myself with the number of people that just came up to me to chat. I ended up teaming up with one girl, in particular, to run with....but since it was a group run, there were other similar groups around us. Everyone was talking, laughing, and motivating each other.

I'm still, even though I know I shouldn't be, very self conscious of how slow I am compared to others. Also, probably the only one that uses run/walk intervals from the very beginning of the run. (which I didn't do last night) But I'll get over that eventually I'm sure! :-)

I was also surprised to find that she, like me, usually runs early in the morning. I think we're going to try and meet up to run before work sometime soon, and see how it works for us. Would be nice to run in a different place, and with someone....whether we're talking as we go, or just running along enjoying the could be fun!!!

(3.02 miles, 10:43 overall average pace)

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

04/26/11: Everybody, Say Hi to Sam!!!

April marks Sam's 18th month of life.....and it also marks the time I can finally start taking her with me on my shorter runs.

So that's exactly what I did this morning.

I haven't run for two weeks. Sad, but true. So what better way to get myself back into the spirit of things, then to take a beast that can run 12 times as fast as me....with two of her legs tied behind her back???

(No animals were harmed.......)

Between her in her bright orange pheasant hunting vest, and me in my bright orange Saucony running coat....we made quite the pair.

Running with a 75 pound dog, who has never officially "run" on a leash, is an experience.

The first 1/4 mile was showing her that, no, I can't run as fast as you want me to go. And yes, you do you have to stay by my side. And no, that bunny doesn't want to play. And lastly, when I trip over you yelling "right turn, right *&^%ing turn"...that means turns right for crying out loud.

Because I've read you're supposed to break a dog into running the same way you would with a person, we only went a short mile and a half journey, but I think it was enough for the first day. By the time we got back, she was getting used to running at my pace and we were both soaking wet.

Yep, it was raining on top of it all.

I hope to get her to the point where I can get a leash that goes around my waist. I'd like to have my right arm back. I felt a little off-kilter running without both of my arms swinging normally.

I've always wanted a dog who would wake me up in the morning by bringing me her leash.

I'll roll over, smile, and pet her on the head. As I'm stretching, the yellow glow of sunlight will shine down on my blonde hair. I'll savor the aroma of fresh brewing coffee, and birds chirping outside the window.

I blame this on too many Folgers Coffee commercials as a child.

Happy Tuesday everyone!

(1.52 miles, 10:56 overall average pace)

Monday, April 25, 2011

04/25/11: Just for the fun of it.

I'm here, I'm alive, I'm back.

Sorry about the break...but Mot and I took ourselves a little vacation.

Two of them actually. :-)

Last Saturday am, we left for Arkansas.

Why Arkansas?

Because the day before we left, the Black Hills (and Western NE) had a tiny little blizzard that shut down the interstates and such. They were all clear by the time we left the next morning...but since we've JUST only gotten rid of winter ourselves...we wanted to go somewhere without the white stuff.

So, I got out a map...actually I opened up a map online (but getting out a physical map sounds more official).....and looked to see where we could go that was no more than 6-8 hours away (one way), that would be warm....but not too warm.

After much debate, and weather report checking, we decided upon the Ozark National Forest.

While in AR, I did some cross training.


I was barely able to walk for four days after our two days of hiking.

My calf muscles were in big bunched up balls.

Probably not the best plan with a half marathon two weeks away.

We stayed for 4 days, came home, did some laundry then left with friends on Friday am for Minneapolis.

IKEA, REI, and a quick stop at Mall of America (just because we'd never been, and wanted to check it out).

Lots of walking.

My feet hurt, but my calves were feeling much better. :-)

After travelling to the south, then to the north....I haven't run since the TUESDAY before we left.

You heard of tomorrow...I won't have run for two full weeks.

The half is this weekend.

I may have taken this tapering thing a bit too far.

(silently freaking out!!!!!)

So....this week I'll be running. Short little runs. Just to get my legs back under me, and then we'll see what happens this weekend.

I won't PR, but I will finish.
I won't PR, but I'll have a good time.
I won't PR, but I'll be out there.
I won't PR, but another race shirt in my closet will be ok.


Saturday, April 16, 2011

Marathon Thoughts

Well....I haven't run since Tuesday.

It's Saturday am.

We're currently on our way to Arkansas.

Or "arrr-cans-ass" as I was told I'm required to pronounce it.

Maybe it was just the river I was supposed to say that way?

Oh well...either way. I'm headed to the Ozark territory.

I have my running shoes packed...but let's be's probably not going to happen.

I have a half marathon in 2 weeks. 2 weeks from tomorrow to be specific. And I'm taking time off.

(shaking my head)

I take this "taper down" thing pretty seriously!!!

What did you say?

I'm not supposed to flat out quit running....taper means just run less? is less...right?


OK then....since I have nothing on the running front to talk about....I thought I'd post a little video I saw recently.

Maybe you've seen it, maybe you haven't.....

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

04/12/11: Beautiful morning!!!!

Checked the weather before I headed out on my run. 41 degrees/35 degree windchill (5/2 C). The air was crisp, there was little to no wind, and the sky was completely open...not a cloud to be seen.

I turned off the interval timer on my Garmin, and decided to just run until I needed to walk....rinse, repeat. Basically that meant I ran all the uphills and downhills...and took small walk breaks in between.

I thought my time would be pretty darned good.

It wasn't.

I felt good running, and that's what counts right now. In my DailyMile post I said "Oh well, they need people to run in the back of the pack too, right?"


This half marathon in a couple of weeks won't be a PR, by any stretch of the imagination....but it will feel good to get it done. Full marathon training starts April 20th. Hopefully I'll have my orthotics in by then, and will actually feel like I can start training for real.

(5 miles, 11:42 overall average pace)

Monday, April 11, 2011

04/10/11: Looonnnnnnggggggg Run

I know that the high 70's isn't really hot. I mean, I ran in 90's all last summer. But, when I'm used to running in negative temps, then suddenly jump to the high 70' is all I can say.

I knew it would have an affect, but I had no idea just how much.

There was an 11 mile long run looming on my training schedule. I'd been up at 3:30 am both Sat and Sun mornings (Mot was taking my 9 year old niece out turkey hunting for the first time)...and even though I went back to bed for an hour or so after they left, I was really tired. I wanted to get up and run before the sun, or at least before the heat kicked in....but just laid in bed.

This physical therapy stuff hurts. They give a whole new meaning to deep tissue massage, let me tell ya! I knew that an 11 mile run was going to mean my PT appointment Monday morning would be nothing short of torture. They really don't want me running right now....but after my appointment on Friday, as I was leaving she said "You know...I was once told to NEVER tell a runner not to run. They'll just lie to my face and do it anyway. But....if you wanted to take some time off until your orthotics got here, I won't complain."

I got up anyway, laced up my shoes, and headed out.

Out and back....5.5 miles each way.

I was able to run my half marathon in October just carrying a 20 oz handheld bottle of fluids, but earlier last week I drank 16 oz during just a 5 mile run. It's going to take some time to get adjusted to the heat this year.

So, I had my hydration belt with my two 8 oz bottles..and also carried a disposable bottle I could throw away when it was empty (in a garbage can, of course...the amount of trash along some of the trails in town makes me want to run with a garbage bag).

16 oz for each half of my run, 32 oz total. I'd run 10 miles the weekend before with only 16 oz....and was dying for a drink by the time I got back to my car. Wasn't going to repeat that situation again. :-)

After a couple of miles, I knew the run was going to be difficult.

I hit the wall at 5 miles.

Is that even possible???

I actually stopped and sat on the bleachers of a softball field at the half way point. I never do that. I'd like to pretend I was just enjoying the day and the view....but I'm actually surprised I could tell you it was a softball field at all. The only thing I was paying attention to was catching my breath.

What the.......?????

I finally forced myself to stand up, and start moving again. I normally do my long runs with 2 minutes of running, one minute of recovery walking. But after mile 7, I was barely able to run 1 minute at a time. I would actually get a little dizzy, and take a walk break.

I could feel the sun beating down on me. It was hot out...but I was freezing. I could feel chills throughout my body every once and a while.

And then, at mile 8, the wind started.


Mot tells me I'm stubborn. My parents have always told me I'm stubborn.

The only reason I made it back to my car is because I'm stubborn.

I watched my average pace go up and up and up.

"As long as I make it with no more than an average pace of 11:30, I'll be fine with that."

(a mile passes)

"As long as I make it no more than an average pace of 11:45, I'll be fine with that."

(another mile passes)

"I WILL NOT finish this with more than a 12 minute mile pace....d*mn it!!"

Final stats: 11 miles, over two hours, 11:59 overall average pace

I got to the end of the trail, and sat down on a retaining wall that circles the playground.

I sat there for quite a while.

I could see my more than 20 - 25 feet away.

I texted a friend....

"Just ran 11 miles. Car is 20 feet away. This retaining wall is comfy. Can you come give me a ride to my car?"

On a side note:

My aunt ran in the Go! St Louis half marathon as I was running this run. (WooHoo Linda!!!) I was getting text message updates of her progress, and I think that helped keep me moving.

Later I found out they closed the last 16 miles of the full marathon route, due to the heat and humidity.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Update... first PT appointment was today. I figured it was easier to type it out here, instead of telling everyone about it, one at a time. So here goes.....

(For those of you with medical backgrounds, take this with a grain of salt. Allot of what I'm about to say is just the way I "understood" all the medical jargon they were using.)


Apparently my arches are higher than the average person. Actually, they are higher than those on the high side of the scale.

They're really high.

Apparently my ankles are more flexible than the average person. Again, well past the high side of the scale.

They're really flexible. Probably why I've never sprained or rolled my thirty-some years.

Apparently the same muscle along the inside of my leg controls both.

Apparently I've done gone and ticked that muscle off somethin' fierce.

(it almost hurt my brain to type that last sentence)


So, they are giving me exercises to do to strengthen my hip flexors, to loosen my hamstrings, and to strengthen that pesky little muscle.

They also think I should be fitted for custom orthotics.

I'm a little nervous about that last one.

Not the fitting part...but the having to have them when I'm running part.

I know that if I need them, then I need them. Not much I can do about it.

Kinda like people who need glasses. If you need them, you need them.

But I'm still not happy about it.

One thing I AM happy about......finding out that the compression sleeves I thought I had to wear to keep this pain away really aren't needed. I've always been a little jealous of people who can run in capris running tights. I mean, picture in your head someone running in capris, with compression sleeves on.

It's a silly sight, let me tell ya!

I can also look forward to not having really tanned knees, with pale white calves and thighs. I'll have a normal shoe tan line like the rest of you!!!! :-)

Do any of you run with orthotics in your shoes?? If so, tell me how much good they did and how much you like them.

If you hate them, and would rather have your eyeballs scooped out with a spoon (because it hurts more) then wear them........well, you can tell me that too. I'm all about informed decision making! :-)

04/06/11: Over hill, over dale....

Shouldn't it be over hill, through dale....or across dale?? Do you really run OVER a valley?


My alarm went off this morning at 4:41.

Sam, our black lab, put her wet nose in my eye at 4:41 and 30 seconds.


I didn't sleep well last night. Wacked-out dreams for the second night in a row (the night before was because I decided it would be a smart to watch 127 Hours right before bed).

I put the dogs outside, went to the restroom to put my hair into a ponytail and brush my teeth.

Then sat on the edge of the tub....contemplating the pros and cons of crawling back into bed for another hour of sleep.

Even though there were more reasons to NOT go back to bed......that option was still winning. I guess at 4:41 in the morning, the idea of going back to bed always seems like the best choice. :-)

Suddenly I was mad at myself. I got up, went downstairs, changed, and headed out the door.

It's going to be in the 70's or higher today, and I DID NOT want to have to get off of work, just to go home and run. I like being able to go home after work and relax. To mentally "put my feet up" so to speak. Sure, if I have a bad day, running would probably help.....but there's something about being able to shut down that's very appealing.

Plus, I just plain feel better if I've run in the morning. Not only does it get the juices flowing, but I feel as though, no matter what happens, I started the day accomplishing what I set out to do.

I took a quick peek at the training schedule on the side of the fridge, noted that I needed to run 5 miles yesterday (and didn't), and decided to do it today. Instead of running Tues/Wed/Thurs.....I'd now have to run Wed/Thurs/Fri.

I decided to sleep in the day before, and needed to deal with the consequences of those actions.

Hooray Responsibility!!


The run was pretty boring. I mean, the weather was FANTASTIC!!!! Right around 50 degrees or so (10C).....the sky was mostly clear....and the stars were still twinkling.

But there was a howling wind.


At one point the wind actually scared me a little.

I kid you not.

I'm running through a dark neighborhood with my headlamp on...because there are zero streetlamps or sidewalks. There aren't any lights on in any of the houses yet....and I can't hear any cars passing on the nearby busier streets.

All of a sudden, out of no where, the wind picks up. And I mean picks UP!! It went from a light breeze to nearly knocking me backwards, instantly. I had to close my eyes to keep the dirt and sand out.....and found myself leaning well forward, trying desperately to not be blown on my butt. The wind just kept getting stronger and stronger.....

Then, just when I was truly starting to ponder the odds of a tornado touching down without there being a cloud in the sky, it stopped.

The birds were silenced, and all was eerily quiet.

Horror movie quiet.

Eventually the morning sounds began again, and the moment passed.

My 5 mile route is all hills. There are very few, if any, stretches of flat land. There are short and steep uphills, there are long and gradual uphills. There are short and steep downhills, there are long and gradual downhills. And, because I run intervals (usually 2 min run/ 1 min walk), I never know where the walk breaks are going to hit.

I cheer silently when they arrive on an uphill...and I'm just slightly disappointed when they are on a downhill. :-)

I arrived on my front doorstep with plenty of energy. I could have pushed it harder or faster.....but those first couple of miles were pretty painful. My first physical therapy appointment is today, and hopefully they can get me fixed up before the half marathon on May 1st! :-)

Oh....and as I was finishing up my run, I noticed the sky getting light in the east. Spring is finally here!!!!!!!!!

5.01 miles, 11:29 overall average pace)

Monday, April 4, 2011

04/0 2 - 04/03: Windy Weekend

My nephew is taking some time this spring and summer to earn money towards a Boy Scout camp he'd like to attend.....and spending money for the family week long participation in RAGBRAI. He'd asked if there were any "guy" chores he could help out with at our house....and I was eager to put him to work.

You see, we have two dogs.....and the fenced in portion of our backyard isn't small....and it's been a long winter.

You see where I'm going with this? :-)

So, Saturday afternoon he arrived, eager to start dog doo duties....while my sister and I took our bikes to part of the Omaha city trail system for a nice ride.

I'm a runner, not a cyclist. I haven't been on a bike off a trainer or outside of a spin class in at least a year, if not longer.
She's a cyclist, who's always on her bike.

I knew today was going to be nothing if not embarrassing. :-)

Both require leg muscles....and some of those muscles are the same.

Most of them are not.

Add in an insane wind, and I knew I was in trouble.

The first half of the trip was directly INTO this wind. I kept thinking how nice it was going to be when we turned around.....but getting TO that turnaround point was a pain in the butt.

Speaking of pains in the butt. It's Monday as I type this, and my rear is still feeling the ride. Ouch! (hehehe)

Finally, at the ten mile mark, I pulled off into a small park, and waited for sis to realize I wasn't wayyyy behind her any longer. I called home to check on Bug's dog doo progress. I called Mot to see how his day was going. By then Inny had turned around to come find me.....probably expecting me to be lying in a ditch....bleeding and broken. :-)

I think, even if I had fallen off of my bike, the landing would have been soft as a pillow. The wind would have cushioned the blow. :-)

We stopped somewhere along the route for a drink (I'm not brave enough to do it while in motion)....and I forgot to start my Garmin again as we left. So, add three or four miles to the distance. (15.46 miles)

On Sunday I had my first double digit run since October. I wanted to be out on the trail by 7:00, but I don't think I actually made it until 7:30 or so. By then it was already 55 degrees (13C)....and when I ended a couple hours later, it was nearing 70 (21C)!!! Quite the change from teens a week ago. :-)

The first couple of miles were pretty painful. I made sure to take some extra time to try and stretch out those lower leg muscles....but there's really only so much I can do. But, after I hit mile 3 and 4, they'd pretty much given up and relaxed. :-)

The number of people out utilizing the trail was nuts! I saw more bikes the day before....and quite a few more runners on Sunday. I'm guessing it was time of day....runners want out there early when it's still cool....cyclists are out there later when the wind chill isn't as much of a factor.

And, speaking of wind, it was nuts again on Sunday. But, as we did on Saturday, I ran into it for the first half.

Between the wind and the heat (not that it was HOT, but the temps were much warmer than they have been since last fall), I drank MUCH more fluids than I normally do, and my lips were chapped beyond belief.

At about 8 miles, I started feeling tired....and my pace dropped momentarily....but all in all....besides those few things, the run felt great!!!!!!!

(10 miles/16 km, 11:22 average overall pace)

Friday, April 1, 2011

A movie, a doctor, and some very well timed spring cheer!!!

My sister and I hit one of the local movie theaters to see the premier of My Run last night. I'd never heard of his story, and it sounded intriguing.

In the story, he talks about how he set out to run those 75 marathons in 75 days to raise awareness of single parents and their struggles. I honestly think the guy just needed a way to deal with the stress he had to endure when his own wife passed away and he was forced to become a single parent. Raising awareness almost seemed like his excuse to do it....when really he was just grasping at straws for a way to make his own life "count" to himself.

I'm probably completely off base. But it's not the first time, and definitely won't be the last.

No matter the reason behind his journey.....the story of him doing it was interesting. We laughed....we cried.......yadda, yadda, yadda. :-)


I checked in at my doctor's office this morning around 8 am. They called me back to the exam room about 5 minutes later.

Doc walked in and said something about the pain being back "already." I gave him a curious look that made him look at the chart again.

He misread the date. It said 03/02/2010, not 2011. :-)

We talked, he pushed and poked on my lower legs, I resisted the urge to kick him in the face (giggle), and he gave me a prescription for more physical therapy.

He asked if I wanted to go back to the same therapist...and I said yes. He asked what treatments she gave me that I think worked the best....and I mentioned her pointy fingers. He asked if I wanted to do it again. I said "no!!!".....then he was the one to give me a curious look.

"I mean, I don't WANT to, it hurts like hell doc. But I know I need to, it worked."

"But I also want you guys to figure out what is causing this. We know what fixes it, but how do I avoid it....and still keep running?"

He smiled.

Last year, my prescription said "Medial Tibial Stress Syndrome." This year it says something similar.

"SEVERE Medial Tibial Stress Syndrome"

Seems I've gone from yellow to orange, or maybe even orange to red on the threat level meter. :-)

Under treatment it says "Eliminate Pain!"

Under how many sessions, it says "Eliminate Pain!"

I knew there was a reason I liked this guy! :-)


I got to work about 9 am this morning, duffle bag with work clothes hanging over my shoulder.

Someone pulls into our small front office parking lot right behind me. I hear someone honk their horn.

It was Mot (hubby) coming to see me. For those of you that don't know, he's a fireman here in Omaha. They work 24 hour shifts (7 am to 7am) some days, if they weren't slammed with calls all night, he'll stop in to see me on his way home.

I thought to myself that 9 o'clock was a little late to be stopping on his way home, and that's when I noticed the flowers in his hand.

He has the best timing ever!!!!!!

The sun is shining, there are happy spring flowers on my desk, and there's a prescription for voluntary torture in my purse. It's a good day!!! :-)