Thursday, December 31, 2009

Looking Back and Planning Ahead



I was just sitting here reflecting on this past year and looking ahead to the coming year, so I thought that I would write a quick recap down on paper.

2009 was a great year.

1.) I got married to the love of my life.
2.) I decided to train and run a marathon, which is a goal that I have had in the back of my mind for some time now.
3.) In preparation for my marathon, I ran my first half marathon in over 15 years. I hadn’t done one since my freshman year in college; it was a lot harder then I remembered!
4.) I decided to work with a coach in order to help me train for the marathon. This was one of the best decisions that I have made in a long time; she plans the workouts and I just do the work. I was on track to run a sub-four hour marathon and I am in the best shape of my life.
5.) I had a life threatening illness in October, which knocked me out of my first marathon, but has made me that much more determined to race my first one in May and do the best job that I can possibly do!

So looking ahead to 2010, here are the goals/races that I have put down on paper so far.

1.) Saint Louis Half Marathon. St Louis, Missouri- April 11, 2010. This is tentative. I haven’t actually discussed this with my coach; she may flip a lid since my marathon is only a month out, but I have several friends running in it and I would like to join them.
2.) Colorado Marathon. Ft Collins, Colorado- May 9, 2010. This will be my first marathon and I WILL make this one!
3.) Creek Streak Tri Du Run, Cherry Creek Reservoir-July 24, 2010. This will be my first triathlon. I’ll try anything once and if I like it, I’ll sign up for a couple more in the fall.
4.) Copper Triangle, Colorado Mountain passes-August 7, 2010. This an 80 mile cycling tour, which goes over three mountain passes. Rick and I do it every year just for fun.
5.) Rock and Roll Denver Marathon. Fall 2010. I would like to actually like to run a marathon at sea level because they say that you are about 3% slower then you normally would be, while running at altitude, so I would like to see what I can do at sea level. However, after what happened this past year….well we’ll see.

Ok, that’s it for now. I hope everyone has a wonderful, yet safe, New Years!!! See you next year!

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Santa Was Good to Me.

Last week was rest and recovery week and it was awesome with a couple of short runs and lots of strength work. Not only did I give my body a break from exersice, but I also took a break from blogging, facebook, and pretty much all internet activity. It was actually kind of nice; especially taking a break from facebook. That thing can be the black whole of time.



Santa was good to this little runner. I actually didn't ask for too much this year; I already have a lot of running apparel, but there were a few items on my list. We didn't visit my parents or my in-laws this Christmas, so I just asked for gift card, which were easy to send through the mail. I picked out the following gifts with the cash and gift cards that people gave me. My parent's got me a new Nike Dri-Fit Sports bra to keep the girls in place while I run and a Livestrong Running Shirt.

On the flip side, Rick's parents got me a Victoria's Secret Very Sexy push up bra, complete with extra clevege, so that the girls have a little bounce to them when I walk.

I love both of these bras, but I especially love the Nike Dri-Fit. It wicks sweat away from your skin really well and is fairly seamless, so there is less chafing. I would highly recommend trying this product.

Men-this is obviously a review for the ladies, but feel free to pick one up if you want to.

Rick got me some new Smart wool running socks and the Dean Karnazes book, "50 Marathons in 50 Days". I can't wait to start this one! I loved his first book "Ultra Marathon Man", so I have a feeling that I will really like this one.



I hope Santa was good to everyone out there!

Training: Ramping up the training a little this week. I am doing a few longer runs and switching up the strength training going from a stability ball to a bosu ball. There will also be a couple of cross training sessions on the bike. I have been working on keeping my cadence high on the bike.

I have a ton of posts that I need to catch up on since I didn't blog for a week, so I'll be seeing you soon!

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Most Wonderful Time of the Year

It will be a white Christmas here in Denver. I look forward to the holiday and the coming of the New Year. I will take all of the stress and frustration from the past few months, roll it up in a tight ball, and throw it out the window; it’s time to start a New Year, a new outlook, and a fresh start. Cheers to you all and here’s wishing each and every one of you a positive new year as well.

I will also take all of the cookies, egg nog, junk food, and holiday imbibing and kick them to the curb as well. Yes, fresh start.




First off, I would like to tell you about a really great giveaway over at Katie's blog One Run At A Time. Check it out, she's giving away a 2010 Runner's World Calendar. Pick me! Pick me!

Training: This has been rest and recovery week for me; I am taking a step back and allowing my body to absorb all of my training. My new year’s goal is to have NO INJURIES OR MEDICAL ISSUES! This past weekend, I did my “long run”. I am now back up to 6 miles and it feels great!

Treadmill Test: Tuesday, I did my treadmill stress test. I reported to my cardiologist’s office and the staff proceeded to strap all of these wires and gadgets on my body and instructed me to jump on the treadmill. I assumed that I would be running the whole time and that the pace would just gradually increase, however; the exercise physiologist had other ideas. He started me out on a 10% incline and a 1.7 pace and every couple of minutes, the incline would increase by two and the pace would speed up. The goal was to bring me up to my max heart rate, so they could take pictures of my heart under stress and compare them to the pictures at rest. I finally maxed out at a 20% incline; I was running and holding on for dear life. During the test, they were taking my blood pressure and all vitals with each increase in the phase. The whole process was extremely interesting and I have to ask myself, “WHY did I become and Accountant?”

I did receive good news. My cardiologist said that my fitness level was amazing for a person who just had bilateral pulmonary embolism not two months ago. I think that I even impressed the man. He said that my heart was strong and that I could definitely take my training to another level should I wish to continue marathon training (yes, he said that I could!) He did warn me about a few things and these are things that I will have to think about and make a personal decision on, but I’m not sure that I want to live my life based on things that may or may not happen.

Gratitude:

I am so thankful for my health and my strong heart. I have been stressed this month thinking that something may have been wrong with it.
I am thankful for the people in my life that make me smile and laugh.
I am thankful that this work week is ALMOST over.
I am thankful for the snow.
I am thankful that I have not gained any weight (I’ve actually lost weight!) from all of the crap that I have been indulging in lately.

Ok, now it’s time to catch up on YOUR posts. Merry Christmas or Happy Holidays to you!

Friday, December 18, 2009

I'm A Glutton

I’m sure that you’ve heard the saying “crap in = crap out” or “garbage in = garbage out”. In other words, don’t be a glutton or your athletic performance could suffer. Well since I have a valid reason for the decrease in my athletic performance, I have been eating more then the usual share of crap. Below, I am demonstrating my ability to consume large amounts of crap by being a glutton and ordering two desserts at my work Christmas party. If work is paying, then I’m going all out. I have Cupcake Collision on my right and Red Velvet cake on my left. ‘Tis the season!

I'm laughing so hard that I can't eat, which is possible a good thing.



Once the new year rolls around, I’m going to have to start adhering to the healthy, wholesome food diet again because I should be able to start ramping my training back up and pushing myself more. I had another CT Scan on my lungs on Wednesday and the blood clots in my lungs have officially dissolved. Good riddance to them. My doctor says that I still have a lot of dead lung tissue, which will never regenerate, but eventually other parts of my lungs will compensate for the dead parts. In the meantime, he says that I will just have to push through the pain when I run or bike. I have a stress echo on my heart next Tuesday and if all goes well there, then it’s officially game on for my spring marathon training.

I celebrated the good news by doing hills on my treadmill last night. I did an easy warm up and then gradually increased the incline over the next 20 minutes. I ran for about 45 minutes and it felt great to climb those hills! Yes, I'm not only a glutton for food, but I'm a glutton for punishment too.

I hope everyone has a great weekend. I will be catching up on blogs tonight. I tried to read your posts last night and realized that my wireless keyboard needed the batteries changed. I couldn’t leave comments! I hate not leaving comments.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Training and a Gratitude List (long past due)

How would you like to live next door to this house? You would have to wear a welders mask in order to get any sleep at night. The house down the road was even worse.



We drove around looking at Christmas lights this past weekend; you could see these houses a mile away. I even busted out my Victoria Secret Christmas CD for the special event. We had a blast.

Training has been good. Saturday I did my longest run that I have done since the 20 miler two months ago (before I had the PE). I think that it hurt just as bad too. I eeked out a little over 5 miles and then went home and collapsed on the couch. It's going to be a long, slow road to where I once was, but I'll get there! Next weekend, I hope to be back up to 6 miles.

Sunday, I rode the bike trainer for about 35 minutes, keeping my cadence above 85 RPM at all times. I then did some stability ball exercises. I hate that damn ball, but my core is starting to see some definition again, so it must be working.

I just realized that I haven't done a gratitude list in quite awhile, so here it is:

1.) I am thankful for my job. Yes, I do complain about it and I sometimes hate it, but there are so many out there without jobs, so I have to be appreciative.
2.) I am thankful for Starbucks Gingerbread Lattes and Diet Mountain Dew. Without them, I would be a grumpy bitch in the mornings.
3.) I am thankful for my health insurance. I am starting to receive all of the bills from my October hospital stay and my subsequent treatment and they are in excess of $40,000 and they STILL keep coming. Not to go all political on you, but I would hate to be someone without insurance right now. You never know what will happen and I feel for people who are losing their homes, etc in order to pay for health care. My yearly cap on my insurance is $3K.
4.) I am thankful that I do not live next door to someone who has lights all over their house like in the above picture. Homeowners Associations are worth something after all.
5.) I am thankful to all of you who take time out of your day to come and read my blog! I will be reading all of your posts very soon!

Happy Training!

Thursday, December 10, 2009

I Was Tagged.

Hello blogger friends! Happy Thursday! At least I think that it’s Thursday. Can’t someone please make it Friday already?

First off, I would like to tell you about a really great giveaway over at the Fitness For Foodies. They are giving away a Nathan hand held water bottle. If you have never heard of them, you should go check them out. They are great. I’ve been using one for about a year now and I’m totally in love with it. They fit very nicely in the palm of your hand and you can pull the strap tight enough that the water bottle doesn’t move. It also has a great little pocket where you can put your keys or a couple of gels.



Next, I was tagged by Molly of I'm A Sleeper Baker to answer some questions about Christmas. So here goes:

Have you started your Christmas shopping?
Yes, I started last Saturday and I’m almost done.

Tell me about one of your special traditions.
We don’t really have any specific special traditions.

Are you a Black Friday Shopper?
I would rather stick a hot poker into my eye and pull it out through my mouth, then to go shopping on Black Friday.

When do you put up your Tree?
We usually put it up the weekend after Thanksgiving. We are a little behind this year. It is up, but not decorated.

Do you Travel at Christmas or Stay home?
Sometimes. My family lives in Missouri and Rick’s family lives in Texas, so we sometimes visit them over the holidays.

What is your funniest Christmas memory?
Can’t really think of one. How pathetic is that?

What is your favorite Christmas Movie of All time?
I can think of a couple of things here! Miracle on 34th Street, It’s a Wonderful Life, and A Christmas Carol

Do you do your own Christmas Baking, what’s your favorite treat?
I hate to bake! I love to cook, but HATE to bake. Plus, the raw dough never makes it to the oven; most of it usually ends up in my stomach.

Fake or Real Tree?
Fake. Rick is allergic to the real trees. I used to get real trees, but they were a pain in the neck. I have a tree that comes in three parts and the lights are already on the tree. I'm lazy.

What day (as a mom) does the actual panic set in to get it all done?
No panic. Why panic?

Are you still wrapping presents on Christmas Eve?
I’m usually still wrapping on Christmas morning. Or just sticking the damn thing in a Wal Mart bag.

What is your favorite family fun time at Christmas?
Driving around looking at Christmas lights.

What Christmas craft do you like the best?
Again, I would rather stick a hot poker through my eye then do any type of craft.

Christmas music. Yes or No, and if yes What is your favorite song?
Depends on what mood I’m in. Santa Claus is Coming To Town! I got the Victoria’s Secret Christmas CD last year, I got it free when I bought a bunch of crap that I didn’t really need. It was pretty good.

When do you plan to finish all your shopping?
When I finally force myself to put my credit card back in my purse.

I'm not going to talk about my training today, I am too tired to talk running. I'll be back. :)

Happy Training!

Monday, December 7, 2009

Runner's Rules and a Recap

I went shopping over the weekend and bought my dog a new Santa Claus loofa dog. She loves it! I'm sure she will have the legs chewed off in a couple of days.



Friday, I received my January issue of Runner’s World in the mail. This is always a special treat; I love pulling the stack of mail out of the mail box and seeing a brand new issue nestled among all of the bills and junk mail. Friday, there was a new Runner’s World AND a new People magazine in there. All in the same day!!! I was so excited!

This should tell you how pathetic my social life is.

There were a lot of good articles in there. I also found a list of Runner’s Rules, which was from the book “The Runner’s Rule Book” by Mark Remy. I thought that I would post them because a lot of them pertain to me.

1.) If you see a porta potty with no line, use it. Even if you don’t need to.
2.) If you have to ask yourself, does this driver see me? The answer is no.
3.) If you have to ask yourself, are these shorts too short? The answer is yes.
4.) 1 glazed doughnut = 2 miles
5.) You rarely regret the runs you do; you almost always regret the runs you skip.
6.) Not everyone who looks fast really is, and not everyone who looks slow really is.
7.) Nobody has ever watched Chariots of Fire from beginning to end. Not even the people who made it.
8.) You can never have too many safety pins on your gym bag.
9.) Running any given route in the rain makes you feel 50 percent more hard-core than covering the same route on a sunny day.
10.) If you care even a little about being called a jogger versus a runner, you’re a runner.

Good stuff to know. I always adhere to rule number one. Katie-pay particular attention to rule number two. Everyone else-pay particular attention to rule number five.

Saturday I got in an easy 4 mile run in out in the freezing cold. I swear even my brain was frozen by the time I got home. I wasn’t thinking very straight, so it had to be a block of ice. Sunday, I tackled the 1 hour stability ball routine. The routine included a lot of core and arm work and I am sore! I did however; manage to stay on the ball this time. I had some issues with falling off the ball while doing ab work last week. It wasn’t a pretty sight.

Hope everyone has a great week of training!

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Training and Setting Goals

I am so behind on everyone’s blogs; it’s so pathetic, but I promise to catch up. I’m a bad blogger; I need to be tarred and feathered.

Training has been going great so far. I’ve done two runs this week and some core/strength work on the stability ball. The running is ok, I’m just taking it nice and slow, but the stability ball is killing me! I haven’t done any kind of ab or arm work since my little “mishap” back in October, so I’m walking around like I’ve been hit by a mack truck. I even feel like I’ve been hit by a mack truck; the muscles in my chest and back are very sore from push ups on the ball. I have the same stability routine on my training calendar for Sunday and I keep eyeing that damn ball like I’m preparing for battle. I’ll see it out of the corner of my eye and quickly turn to face it just in case it is taunting and laughing at me. It’s you and me ball and I’m going to win.

My coach has also asked me to prepare my goals for 2010, so that she can get a “big picture” of what my training will be next year. She not only wants to know of potential races, but she wants specific measurable goals for each race. This one is hard for me. I realize that I will never be a great athlete, but I do want to take my body and mind as far as they will allow me to go, which is why I work with a coach. I train with Liz because I want to set personal goals and challenge myself to see how and what I can accomplish.

I started doing half marathons my freshman year in college, but then ended up pregnant when I was 19, so I stopped running and racing altogether. College and raising a family was my first priority. My daughter is older now, so it is time for me to accomplish my objectives. My goal for the San Antonio marathon was to break 4 hours, which I felt I was on track to do, but who knows what will happen for the Ft Collins race; especially after my October “mishap”. I would also like to do a summer triathlon. I have NO CLUE what would be a measurable goal for this. I know that “just finish” is not a measurable goal. Sigh. I’ll figure something out. It is good to work with my coach, she is forcing me to really put my goals into perspective and get the most out of my training and time. I want to make myself proud and my coach proud.

Ending thought: What the hell is up with Tiger Woods? I used to like this guy and respect him. Now….not so much. I’ll still watch him play golf, but dude, your wife is gorgeous…what the hell?

Monday, November 30, 2009

Back to Training.

Pictures of my favorite trail in Missouri. Rock Bridge State Park. I managed to log some miles here this past weekend!

These pics are from an internet search. I didn't take them.




I’m back from our Thanksgiving trip to Missouri and man, do I have a lot of blog posts to catch up on from you guys!! I love it! I hope everyone had as great of a holiday as I did. The weather in Missouri was awesome ( in the 60’s) and I was able to get in several short runs. I’m not sure if it was because I was at sea level or what, but this was the first time that I have done any runs where my lungs felt strong and it didn’t hurt to breathe. I am encouraged.

Running Recap:
On Thanksgiving day, my husband and I got out for a 4 miler to get some exercise in before the big Thanksgiving day meal took away all of our motivation to do anything remotely healthy.
On Friday the 27th, Rick and I drove over to Columbia and I did a 4.5 mile trail run at Rockbridge State Park. Rick’s knee was bothering him, so he opted to hike instead. The weather was great and it felt so amazing to get out in the woods for a run. Trail running is one of my absolute favorite things to do and I was bouncing up and down in my seat with excitement as our car turned into the trail head. I couldn’t wait to crunch through the leaves on those trails and listen to the sounds of nature. I am at peace in the woods. I would like to do a couple of marathons and then maybe switch gears and do a few trail races. I know of a couple of great races that are held in Missouri and I could train for them out here in Colorado. Running at sea level, yet training at altitude is awesome.
Saturday, Rick and I woke up and went to meet a group of friends at Trumans for breakfast. We had stayed out late the night before eating pizza and drinking beer with friends at a place called Shakespeares and my system was FULL of grease. If anyone is ever in Columbia, Missouri, you absolutely have to go get a pizza at Shakespears. I have never eaten anything as good in my life. Anyway, to de-grease ourselves, we ate breakfast and then headed over to do another trail run. Rick’s knee was feeling better, so we got in another great 4 miler.

We drove back to Colorado yesterday and I am now on a mission to “de-crap-tify” my system. I ate so much junk food and grease that I’m surprised it isn’t flowing out my pours.

One last thing. Today marks the first day back to having an official training schedule with my coach. I logged onto my Trainingpeaks account and saw the words “Welcome back Tara!” and it absolutely made my day. I am so excited to be working towards my marathon goal again. The month of December will be slow going with a lot of technique and strength work, but I can’t wait to start working with Liz again.

I will be catching up on your blogs in the next couple of days! Happy Training!

Monday, November 23, 2009

A Weekend of "Workouts"

Lot’s of activity this weekend, so I wanted to throw out a quick workout recap. Many of you may not know this, but I hold a black belt in shopping. Now, not just any type of shopping, I have a specialty, I have a black belt in REI shopping. So, in order to hone in on my skills and keep up my endurance, I decided to practice my sport because we all know that you have to work hard in order to be good. I made the trek on over to the REI and was happy to see the words “SALE” written on all of the windows. The shopping gods have smiled on me today. I stretched, took in some water and a banana, entered the store, and quickly made my way to the women’s fitness section. In order to be a top notch REI black belt shopper, you have to have a clear goal in mind of what you want to purchase; if you don’t you will be sucked into buying a whole bunch of crap that you may want, but let’s be honest, you don’t need. So I was on the lookout for a pair of black workout pants and a North Face half zip top. My current black pants have a whole in the crotch (not a good thing) and I live in North Face sweatshirts and just need another one. Check out my purchases:

I realize these photos are huge....sorry.



REI Fitness pants. No holes in the crotch.



After sharpening up my black belt skills, I came home and did a Power Yoga tape with my husband. The tape, which is a Rodney Yee one, lasted an hour and my abs are still hurting two days later. The poses in power yoga are great for building core strength as well as toning your body overall. I would highly recommend checking out the Yee Yoga tape. Just look for the a little Hawaiian dude in tights sitting on a yoga mat (men, don’t let this scare you) and you’ve found the tape. Good stuff.

Sunday, I wanted to run, but I’m battling a little bit of a cold, so Rick and I took the dog for an hour and a half hike in the foothills, which is great cardio going uphill. Check out my photos, on one side of the trail it was green and looked like spring and the other side was still covered in snow. The best of both worlds. The dog has an appointment at the groomers on Monday, so we wanted to get her good and dirty before we took her in and she managed to do just that, she was in the mud, snow, and the stream. She smelled really bad when we loaded her up into the car, plus she had tiny sticks stuck in her hair in random places, so we’ll get our moneys worth at the groomers.

Green Side



Snowy side of trail



That’s all folks. Not much working out recently, still in recovery mode. I start back officially with my Coach on December 1st to start my marathon training, for now, I’m just going to enjoy doing nothing!

I hope everyone has a great Thanksgiving and don’t forget those gratitude lists!

Friday, November 20, 2009

Random Crap


This post is about nothing. I’m just throwing out a short post so that I can get my gratitude list in for the week, so feel free to skip my babbling and get right to the gratitude list.

We had a pre thanksgiving feast at work today and I am so full of food, desserts, and basically crap that I can’t stand it. I’m not used to eating that much sugar at one time, so I’m crashing hard; hence the blogging to stay awake (the balance sheet reconciliations weren’t doing it for me). My co-workers always have a good time goading me into eating junk food because they like to see how much food that I can consume. I have this thing with cake icing (I could eat a whole tub of vanilla frosting in one sitting), so people’s birthdays are always a treat for them. Everyone dutifully scrapes their icing off of their own cake and dumps the gooey treat onto my plate so that they can watch me consume all of that sugar. They are sick bastards who like to see me on my sugar high. One time they even took up a collection to try and entice me into eating not one, but two cupcakes at one sitting. I would have liked the extra $50, but I was already stuffed and bouncing off the walls, so I disappointed them by passing.

The bad news about all of this eating is that I haven’t worked out in over a month. Oh sure, I’ve done some little short runs and some bike rides, but for the most part, I’ve done absolutely nothing really worth talking about since before my embolism. I feel junkie and soft. I think it’s time to buckle down and stop eating crap and get back into marathon shape.

Only a short 4 miler this week, a bike ride, and 10 minutes worth of core work. Yep crappy week on the workout front. I’ll get back into it.

Friday Gratitude:
1.) I am thankful that my daughter is a great kid. Typical teenager, but overall, she’s a great kid.
2.) I am thankful that there is no frosting at my house. I do not need anymore crap tonight. There is however, beer and wine there, so I will have to watch out.
3.) I am thankful that it is one day closer to the day that I leave to go see my family next week. I can’t wait!!
4.) I am thankful that my dog didn’t poop on the carpet today; she’s had some problems….
5.) I am thankful that I get to spend a great evening with my wonderful husband tonight!

Happy Friday everyone! I promise to get off my lazy butt and actually do something this weekend!

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

I've Picked a New Marathon

I had a doctor’s appointment yesterday and he cleared me to go ahead and start training for a marathon again. At my last appointment we had discussed the possibility of me running one in February.

I had originally asked about December or January, but he looked at me like I was smoking crack, so I changed it to February and only received a minor eyebrow lift, so I had been hunting for February marathons.

Anyway, we had discussed me running my first marathon in February at my last appointment and when I brought it up again yesterday, he said that I would probably be fine, but that I most likely wouldn’t get the results that I wanted.
“March?” I asked.
“Well……” He looked kind of pained, so I quickly asked about April or May.
“I’d say that you could tentatively sign up for one in May.” He replied.
“May? Wait, back up, did you just say tentatively?”

Apparently, the good doctor thinks that I may still have problems next year, which may be a reasonable assumption. I have permanent lung damage and it may take awhile for my body to compensate this. As for the clots, well they damn well better be dissolved by May or I’m filling a complaint with my body. Get ‘em out, come on, move ‘em a little bit!

So, I’ve decided to sign up for the Colorado Marathon in Ft Collins, Colorado on May 9th, 2010. It will be my very first marathon. Cross your fingers. I was actually supposed to run the San Antonio Marathon two days ago as my first, but, well, we all know what happened there, but let’s forget about that and start fresh. I’ve even changed the little widget over there on the right. See….I have 172 days. I ran a half marathon there last year and really liked the scenery of the course, so I decided that I couldn’t go wrong signing up for the marathon. Plus, if I have to cancel, I won’t have to cancel hotel and flights, which was a pain in the rear.
I’ve started hunting around for new races and trying to set new goals for 2010. I even mentioned that to my coach that I would like to try a triathlon, which got her really excited, so now I’m hunting down sprint triathlons. Anyone know of a good one?

I hope everyone has a great week of training!

Thursday, November 12, 2009

My Own Runner's World

The little running blogger community that I am a part of is one huge group of positive and thankful people. I came to this conclusion because every single blog that I visited last night had a gratitude list somewhere in the post. We must all be on one giant endorphin rush from our running and it is making us freakishly happy; whatever it is, I like it, and I’m going to stop procrastinating and start my own gratitude list. After all, I am part of this blogger community and I’ve been accused of being freakishly happy a time or two. Or maybe they were just accusing me of being a freak…I don’t remember.

I read a lot of blogs when I was on bed rest from my pulmonary embolism. There are blogs out there for most anything that you can think of: biking blogs, swimmer blogs, family blogs, fans of star wars blogs, even alcoholic blogs.

Can’t sleep? Well there’s a blog for you.
Constipated? Yes, there is even a blog for you.

Pretty much anything that you can think of just Google it, add the word blog to the end and you’ve got yourself a new blog community. Just like that. The other thing that I noticed was how many truly depressing blogs there are out there. I mean there are some whacked out and sad people on this earth. Now we are all human and have our bad days; I have even been known to have thrown a pity party or two on this blog, complete with bitching, complaining AND crying, but some of these bloggers had a pity party string of posts, like they only saw the bad in their situation and never looked for the good. No one has a perfect life and it is definitely the way one views your own experiences that differentiates us from one another. I guess that I just lead a simple life and don’t dwell on things; I accept things for what they are and then move on;
which is probably the reason why I like to be a part of this wonderful, positive running blogger community!!

So without further ado, here is my very first gratitude list:

1.) I am thankful that I am back up to running 4 miles. I’ve got a ways to go before I’m back to marathon training, but I’ll get there!
2.) I am thankful that I have a nice butt. My husband says I have a great butt, so if he likes it, I’m thankful for it.
3.) I am thankful that I will be going home to Mid-MO for Thanksgiving to see my family
4.) I am thankful that I am not pregnant.
5.) I am thankful that it is 70 degrees today.

Ok, I’m a bit rusty at this, but I plan on doing these at least once a week, so I'll get better.
Happy training folks! I promise to catch up on everyone's blogs very soon and thank you all for the awesome birthday wishes!

Monday, November 9, 2009

Can I Eat Cheese Fries and Stay Fit?



That shit eating grin on my face is the result of a great Saturday afternoon bike ride. It was great because the route was semi hilly and I made it up the hills and didn’t sound like a 70 year old smoker hacking up a lung. Once my lungs are healed, I fully expect to be back to normal and hopefully have my lung capacity back. It certainly gets better every week. My bike computer said that I averaged 26 mph with my max speed being 42.7 mph. Now if you believe this, I have some super great land to sell you in the Florida Everglades, complete with your own man-eating alligator. The truth is, I recently changed the battery on my bike computer and I haven’t reset the wheel size on the computer, so it is not giving me accurate stats.

Sunday, I got out and hit the pavement for a nice, easy 4 miler. It was a beautiful fall morning and I was so happy to be out running again, even though at this point it is still slow. Stupid pulmonary embolism. At this point, my “training” is more of a mental sanity check then anything else. I’m not going very fast or very far, but if I don’t work out, I start to feel like crap and think that I am losing all of my muscle tone. I know that I’m not the only one out there that feels that way. Right?

Speaking of muscle tone, I was snooping around on blogs this weekend and there was a Youtube video from the Shut Up and Run blog caught my eye. The video started out with a picture of a set of boobs, but the video was actually about the new Reebok Easytone shoes. Not sure what boobs have to do with a pair of shoes, but I’ll roll with it. Anyway, these shoes are being sold with the sales logo that if you wear them, they will tone your legs and butt just by walking in them. Tone your legs just by walking in them? If that is the case, why am I even bothering with running and biking? I’m just going to eat cheese fries all day and walk around in these new shoes; I’ll have the fittest butt in the Rockies.



In other news, my birthday is today and we celebrated by going downtown yesterday to see the musical “Wicked”. This show is awesome, if you ever get the chance to see it…GO! You won’t regret it. Even my husband loved it. Anyway, while we were downtown, I got the chance to snoop around in my favorite bookstore “The Tattered Cover”. I bought the book “My Life on the Run” by Bart Yasso. I had heard good reviews of this book and am very excited to read it. Anyone else heard of it? I’ll let you know if it’s good or not.

Have a great week of training!

Friday, November 6, 2009

TGIF and a New Running Store!



There is a new running store opening in my area! It’s the Boulder Running Company and I couldn’t be more excited! This is a great store; I’ve popped into the Boulder location and was really impressed with it.

Now, I’m not a huge fan of shopping. I hate the mall; keep me far, far away from anywhere where there are just people casually strolling around with no where to be. When I go shopping, I have a purpose and that’s usually to get my shit and get the heck out of the store very quickly. I don’t mess around. I do however, enjoy going to running stores, maybe a little too much. My husband and I were reviewing our credit card statement recently and most of the charges were for either groceries or REI. He just looked at me incredulously, I’m sure thinking, how is it possible for one person to spend so much time and money at the REI? I pointed out all of the Home Depot charges and he seemed to understand. The sad thing is I can’t quite remember what I bought there. I know that I bought a new fuel belt for my 18 and 20 milers and a new Nike swimsuit, but I can’t remember the rest of the charges. (My birthday is on Monday and I’ve asked for a free for all at either the REI or the new Boulder Running Store.)

Does anyone else get all crazy at the local running stores? Or am I the only freak….ok, don’t answer that.

Anyway, I hope everyone has a great weekend. I’m planning on doing a run and maybe a bike ride this weekend. We are also going to go see the musical “Wicked”. I can’t wait!!

Monday, November 2, 2009

An Active Weekend.

So after my extremely short 1 mile run last Thursday, I started to get freaked out that maybe I was pushing myself too much too soon. I fretted that I would cause a setback to my health, so I rested the remainder of the day, which was easy to do with 16 inches of snow on the ground. Friday morning, I had a ton of energy and noticed that I could actually bound, not walk, up the stairs with minimal shortness of breath. So of course, I did a two mile run on Friday. Getting up there in the mileage huh???

Saturday morning was beautiful and the temps rose up into the 60’s, so of course I was itching to get out and run. Only in Colorado can you have 16 inches of snow on the ground and be out and about in shorts and a t-shirt. Most of the snow had melted off the road, sidewalks, etc, so I had a clear running path to do a short run in the neighborhood. I got in a three mile run at a 10:45 pace and called it a day. It was so pretty out; I would have liked to have run longer, but again, I am trying to take it easy, so I went home to watch my Mizzou Tigers spank the Colorado Buffalos.

Sunday, Rick was doing a road bike ride and I thought that maybe I would follow along. I had no intention of doing a very long ride, but I managed to get in 13 miles. We rode on the Cherry Creek Trail towards downtown and I hung in there with Rick for a little over 6 miles and then decided to go ahead and turn around and let him continue on without me. There are some long inclines on the way back and I knew that I would be pedaling up them very slowly, so I wanted to get a head start. I hadn’t been on a road bike ride outside since our 80 mile Copper Triangle ride, so it felt awesome to get out and spin the legs a little.

I spoke with my doctor this afternoon about my progress and he said that it was fine for me to be doing short, easy paced runs, and bike rides, just nothing too strenuous for another two weeks. The only thing that he is concerned about at this point is the possibility of a clot deep within my pelvis. Ultrasounds can not detect these types of deep clots and the only cure is just time. I will see him again in two weeks and if everything is well, he said that he would give me the “go ahead” to start marathon training again. He said that if I found one in February or later, I could sign up for it!

I, once again, need to catch up on everyone's blogs. I hope everyone has a wonderful week of training!

Friday, October 30, 2009

A VERY Short Run

Wednesday night I got in another trainer ride on my bike. I made it 40 minutes, at a very low cadence, with minimal shortness of breath. I felt pretty proud of myself and got off the trainer with a shit eating grin on my face. I was just so happy to have gotten in a little bit of exercise, not that it is really helping me in my training process, but it was more of a mental thing. I felt like I had done something.

Thursday we got up and there was about 16 inches of snow on the ground. Whoohoo, snow day! Rick had taken a vacation day from work and my office closed down for the day, so we leashed up the dog and took her down to the park behind our house. Check out these pictures.

The Park behind our house

Walking to the Park

Look at that snow in our chairs!


Rick ran on our treadmill Thursday afternoon and I eyeballed him with envy throughout his run. I hate running on the treadmill, but at this point, any run would be acceptable. I finally decided that I would get on that damn thing and do a short run, just to see where I am at with the whole running thing at this point. The clots are still in my lungs; apparently it will take a good three to four weeks for them to dissolve. The doctors have told me to just take it easy and just do what I feel like I am capable of, which is a little frustrating because I want to know when these clots are gone. There is no follow up process to check the status of the clots or my lung damage unless I go back in and get a CT on my lungs, which is expensive. I am just supposed to keep working with my hematologist to make sure my blood is clotting properly and let everything else heal on its own.

Anyway, I got on the treadmill and made it a little over a mile and it took me almost 13 minutes to get the first mile in. Now on my last run test, I clocked a 6:46 minute mile, so it doesn’t take a brain surgeon to tell me that I still have some lung damage in there. I got off the treadmill and I must admit that I was a little disappointed and frustrated. I am obviously not ready to run yet, so I’ll just spin on my bike and give my lungs a chance to heal a little more.

I hope everyone has a great weekend and good luck to those racing. I will be catching myself up on all of your blog posts this weekend!

Monday, October 26, 2009

I Won My First Giveaway!

My exercise for the weekend.



I won my very first giveaway! Let me tell you, I sign up for a lot and I mean A LOT of giveaways and contests, and I never win ANYTHING, so I am extremely excited to have won the giveaway over at Miles of Kate. She was giving away a year long subscription to Fitness magazine to two lucky bloggers. Yeah me!!

I was feeling a lot better on Sunday, so I thought perhaps I would get some exercise in, since I haven’t worked out in two weeks. I, of course, wanted to run, but I am still dealing with a lot of shortness of breath, so that didn’t seem like a good option. I instead put my bike on the bike trainer and got a nice easy spin in while watching NFL Sunday football; my team, the KC Chiefs (yea, no snide comments) were on. I didn’t have any resistance on the bike and my cadence was really low, think 50-60 rpm, but it felt great to move my legs. I got in a good 35 minute spin with minimal shortness of breath. Actually, I think the shortness of breath was due more to all of the cursing that I was doing at the Chiefs, than the exercise. Yes, I am one of “those” people that think yelling at the TV screen can actually make a difference in my team’s performance. I finally decided to get off the bike and turn the TV off before the Chiefs gave me a heart attack and I landed back in the hospital. They are so terrible at this point, nothing can help them except to maybe fast forward a few years down the road. It felt GREAT to move a little bit. I realize that I need all of the rest that I can get, but I have to think that a little bit of exercise does me well too.

I am going to just play it by ear the rest of the week, but I hope to get a few more spins in on the bike trainer and maybe my first run in this weekend. The clots in my lungs should be starting to dissolve (they said two to three weeks), so as long as my shortness of breath goes away, I should be good to go!

I have a lot of catching up to do on everyone’s blogs, so I will be doing that over the next couple of days. Happy Training!

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

FYI

This is just an FYI for my family. In order to keep this a true running blog, I have decided to create more of a family blog where I will keep you updated on my progress with my pulmonary embolism and post family pics, etc. You can hop on over to my new blog here. Click on the word here and it will take you there directly or type in http://taralovescolorado.blogspot.com. Don't worry, the layout looks pretty boring since it is, of course, all black. I will spruce it up a bit!

I will hopefully get back to running in the next couple of weeks. Stay tuned! I need everyone's help on finding a new marathon to sign up for!!!

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

A Walking Post!

Check out my in home pharmacy. Notice the red biohazard container to the right there....pretty sweet huh.



Now...I know, sit down, try to hold in the excitement people I'm getting to my walking post. I just wanted to share photos of my drugs with you first.

Walking is about the only activity that I can do right now (see last post if you have no idea what I am talking about), so I was thankful to get out and enjoy the warm Colorado sunshine on Sunday. I gathered up all of my gear. Dog, leash, poop bag, and yes, I took my Garmin. Why? Because I missed it. I walked down down to our neighborhood park for a little dog chuck it action. What a gorgeous afternoon!

The walk was great; this no running thing is not so great. It's hard to believe last weekend I ran a 20 miler and this weekend I could barely get up the steps without breathing heavily.

Stats:
Distance= 1 mile, Average pace = 20 minutes per mile (I rocked the shit out of that walk), Average HR = Beating (no I didn't strap on my HR monitor....I thought about it), Average dog craps scooped along the way = two. There is just something about being out in nature that gets that dogs bowels going.

I had to work in poop somehow in this post. I can still talk about bodily functions since this is a running post, even though there will be no running for another two weeks.

In all seriousness, I wanted to thank everyone for their kind comments about my recent health issues. I really appreciate all of the support that was sent my way. I'm just taking it one day at a time and taking very good care of myself.

A couple of people asked what caused the pulmonary embolism. I am working with a hemotologist to find out that answer, but I do know that both my mother and my grandmother have had clotting issues in the past, so genetics played a major role. I was also switched to an estrogen based birth control this past January, so he thinks that the hormone estrogen is another factor. We are doing more lab work to further research the cause. In the meantime, I am starting a 6 month treatment of blood thinners and I have been on a Lovenox shot since last week. I give the shot to myself. Eeek.

I did end up back in the ER on Sunday night due to extreme pain in my back. Aparently this is normal and I could have this for as long as my lungs are healing. Shit. My hemotologist told me that the pain was actually a good sign because it means the clots are dissolving and moving to other areas. So pain = good. I don't care, bring it, I got a perscription for some narcotics at the ER, so dissolve and move you little bastards. I'm ready to run again! I truely believe that I am doing so well with this whole mess because I am a runner and my body is so healthy. I think that it would have been a lot worse otherwise.

Congratulations to everyone who raced last weekend!!

Madison and a friend carved pumpkins on Saturday. Check them out, they did a great job and had a lot of fun!




Saturday, October 17, 2009

Life Has Thrown Me a Lemon....

But I plan on throwing it right back.

Wednesday morning I woke up to intense pain in my chest and back on the right side. Very uncomfortable, I tossed and turned for the rest of the night, but I had a hard time falling back to sleep. I finally got up to go to work and felt like I had some fluid in my chest. I coughed it up and noticed that there was a little blood. The Colorado air is dry and unforgiving and I often have a few early morning nosebleeds, so I did what any normal runner would do, I ignored it and hoped that it would go away. Bad move. A couple of hours later I was in the urgent care doubled over in pain and bawling like a baby. They ran a few tests on me and then sent me to the emergency room after a clot test came back positive. I had a CT on my lungs and the diagnosis came back as Bilateral Pulmonary Embolism. I had a blood clot that had traveled up from my legs to my lungs. The good news is that it was a massive clot that had broken apart and settled in multiple little clots in both of my lungs, so I am alive. The bad news is that my first marathon in San Antonio is out. Yes, the marathon that I have been training for and I have been so excited about; done. Trust me, I have asked a total of three doctors so far whether or not I will be able to make it and they have all said no.

I may make an appointment with another one, just to see if I can get a better answer.

Along with the PE, I had lung infarction, which is lung tissue death due to lack of oxygen. The docs told me "NO RUNNING" for at least two to three weeks. What? I didn't hear you?

Anyway, I spent a few days in the hospital and was released yesterday. I spent a night in the ICU and a night in cardiac care. The hospital was really nice, better then some of the hotels that I have stayed in. They even had gourmet room service. Scallops, steak, prime rib, seared salmon. The second day that I was there, I didn't eat anything due to vomiting. I'm not sure what was wrong with the dude in the next room, but he spent most of the day hacking and coughing up phlegm and snot rockets. Well I matched him one for one. He'd hack up a lung, I'd go make horrible retching vomit sounds. My daughter came to visit me and I greeted her with a wave as I ran to the bathroom to throw up. Not to be outdone, the guy next door started in on the snot rockets. Madison looked a little ashen faced and left soon after.

Friday morning I woke up and was ready to eat something off this gourmet menu! Room service opened at 7 and I had the phone in my hand ready to order huevos rancheros with jack stack cheese and vegetarian green chili sauce.

Sounds like a heart attack, but remember, I was on the cardiac floor.

I called and they said that my doctor had switched me to a bland diet. DAMM IT! I had a garden omelet and special K instead. I got my omelet and it looked sooo damn good, I was salivating and ready to take my first bite and that bastard in the next room starts with his snot rockets.

Ok dude, you win, I thought as I reached for my Special K cereal.

So I was finally released and I'm really sad and disappointed that I will have to postpone the first marathon, but I'll be back. I did take a moment to step back and appreciate the fact that I have such amazing friends and family and I'm glad I'm still around to enjoy them. My husband is one of the most generous people that I know and I am so glad to have such a close relationship with him. My daughter is a typical teen, but she shows that she cares in her own way and I am thankful for her. I will take care of myself and heal my body and sign up for another marathon in the spring.

So, I've got an appointment with my new blood doctor on Monday and I'm gonna ask him if I can run the half marathon in San Antonio instead. Plane tickets have been bought, hotels booked, and I have a number, so what the hell. He'll think I'm nuts, but I am nuts, so at least we will be on the same page with that one.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Do you Ice?


Well, I’m glad to see from all of my comments that no one was grossed out on my post yesterday. I think that Jesse put it best when he said: And yes, as a running blogger you are allowed to talk about any and all bodily functions that occur immediately before, during, or after a run.” Good times people!! However, in light of this, I feel like I should be honest about my pace. The pace that I quoted did not include the “bathroom break”, so I would have actually been a little slower on my pace. Not much mind you; I didn’t sit out there with a magazine or anything, but it still would have been a little slower. I realize that I will not be able to turn off my timing chip, so I need to start leaving the Garmin on when I take potty breaks, so that I can get a true time on my marathon. Wouldn’t it be nice to be able to pause the timing chip every time you stopped to venture into the porta potty? I realize that you would get a few cheaters who would pause it and then not turn it back on and then run a sub 3 hour marathon instead of a 6 hour. How about a pausing mat in every porta potty that would pause the chip when you go in and turns it back on when you go out?
Ok, well you can see that I have way too much time on my hands during my rest week. I actually feel pretty good and my legs feel great, which is nice. Immediately after my 20 miler on Sunday, I drove home and the first thing that I did was dump a whole ice maker full of ice cubes into a bathtub of cold water. Rick and Madison looked at me like I was insane as I proceeded to climb into the tub in a sweatshirt, coat, hat, mittens, and bikini briefs. I yelped a little, but my legs soon got used to the cold and sat and shivered for the next 10 minutes. Yes, I’m a fan of Cryotherapy or cold therapy. Are you a fan? If not, you should be. Cold Therapy constricts blood vessels and decreases metabolic activity, which reduces swelling and tissue breakdown. Once the skin is no longer in contact with the cold source, the underlying tissues warm up, causing a return of faster blood flow, which helps return the byproducts of cellular breakdown to the lymph system for efficient recycling by the body.

Please note: I obviously stole this last sentence from a website; I didn’t make it up. I’m not that smart.

Yep, I truly believe that this is the reason why my legs feel so good. I didn’t ice after my 18 miler and my legs felt like crap for a week. Also, make yourself something hot to sip on while searing your skin with frostbite like hot chocolate, tea, or coffee. Don’t be like me, I sat in the tub of ice and enjoyed a nice, cold, diet Mountain Dew. I told you I wasn’t that smart.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Stick a Fork in Me, I'm done with my 20 Miler.

I did my 20 miler yesterday. I had planned on taking a post long run picture of me, but my hand was way too tired to set the self timer and I was too tired to ask anyone to take a picture of me. I amazed myself by getting off the couch to feed the dog. I am so thankful that my husband and my daughter are pretty self-sufficient otherwise they wouldn’t have eaten last night. I am glad the 20 miler is done because training is officially wearing me out. I did 18 miles last weekend at a 9:13 pace, then an additional 14 miles throughout last week, two bike sessions, some strength training, and a little “getting to know my local pool” session. Yesterday I did the 20 miler at average pace of 9:39 and average HR of 175. Stick a fork in me, I’m done.

The temperature was hovering around 11 degrees when I woke up on Sunday. The high for the day was only going to be 41, so I thought “the hell with it, I HAVE to get in 20 miles today, no ifs and or buts so might as well go ahead and get it over with”. I did the usual pre long run preparations and drove over to the trailhead. I was doing the trail that I hated today. I have always had crappy runs on this course, but it is gravel, so it was best for the stupid foot that has been bothering me. One of these days, I will have surgery on the foot to correct the 1st metatarsal and I shouldn’t have anymore problems. Or so says my podiatrist surgeon.

Anyway, most of the run was uneventful, just tried to keep a good pace and work on my marathon fueling. I was running fairly slowly to start with because there was places where there was snow on the trail, but I got in a good 7 mile warm up and then tried to hit my goal pace for the next 8 miles or so. My legs felt like lead, so I just tried to hold it as best as I could. Around mile 14 or 15, I started having some stomach issues. Now this would be the very first time EVER during a run that I have had cramping, so I tried to ignore it and hoped that it would go away, which was probably not a good idea. There were no porta potties on the trail and the trail itself was fairly busy, so I tried to scope out a “homemade potty” should I need it. There’s a little creek that runs along most of the trail and at mile 16, I scampered down the hill to the creek. I have heard a saying that you are not a “real” runner until you’ve “done some business” on one of your runs, so I congratulated myself on my initiation. I proudly clawed my way back up the creek bed in order to get back to the trail and startled a couple of runners in the process. They probably weren’t used to seeing people crawling and cursing their way out of a creek bed. I was dirty, tired, and my stomach was still cramping, but at least I only had 4 more miles to go. I finally hit that 20 mile mark and I asked myself: “Can you go 6.2 more miles?” My answer was “Yes, I can!” It might have been slow, but I would have done it. I am encouraged and almost ready for the marathon. I just hope that this whole stomach issue thing doesn’t become the norm. I was trying a new fuel drink, so I won’t be using that anymore.

My daughter will be so embarrassed that I am talking about such things on my blog, but from my experience, most running bloggers totally get it.

The rest of the week is rest week. Short runs and just a few cross training sessions. ONLY 33 MORE DAYS TO GO!

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Don't Forget...It's Boobie Awareness Month!


Breast Cancer Awareness... Go have those boobs checked out and stay healthy! Pass the message on to your mothers, sisters, daughters, aunts, cousins, friends, and even your enemies. Because the worst enemy is Breast Cancer.

A little boob humor.

Can anyone tell me what store sells this mirror?




Breast cancer is a disease in which malignant(cancer) cells form in the tissues of the breast. It is considered a heterogeneous disease—differing by individual, age group, and even the kinds of cells within the tumors themselves. Obviously no woman wants to receive this diagnosis, but hearing the words "breast cancer" doesn't always mean an end. It can be the beginning of learning how to fight, getting the facts and finding hope.

Women in the United States get breast cancer more than any other type of cancer except for skin cancer. It is second only to lung cancer as a cause of cancer death in women.

Each year it is estimated that nearly 200,000 women will be diagnosed with breast cancer and more than 40,000 will die. Approximately 1,700 men will also be diagnosed with breast cancer and 450 will die each year. The evaluation of men with breast masses is similar to that in women, including mammography.

(Info from www.nationalbreastcancer.org)

So...go check those boobs!

Monday, October 5, 2009

Feeling Good Again.

Ahhhh...relaxing (Finally) after the long run.



18 miles-DONE. Well, actually it was only 17.34 since I was only supposed to run for 2 hours and 40 minutes. The thought crossed my mind to go ahead and finish off the 18 miles, but my legs threatened to leave and never come back, so I went ahead and stopped at 17.34 miles. Average pace 9.13 and Average HR 174. It feels good to have that over with, now I just have to conquer the 20 miler next weekend.

I felt good about the run and I haven’t felt this way about my last two long runs, so I definitely needed that confidence boost. I did a nice easy paced warm up and then ran almost eight miles at my marathon goal pace, then took a nice easy paced cool down. I stopped at mile 10 to take a gel, hit a rest room, and refill my water and the thought slammed into me that I still had 8 miles left. When I looked at it in that perspective, it seemed a rather daunting task to me, so I quickly told myself to just take it one mile at a time. I didn’t want to get caught up in the negative thought process that would kill my run. Isn’t it funny how the mind works? I had actually planned on running on a totally different trail, one that was gravel and would have been better for my feet, but I switched trails because I have had two bad long runs on this particular trail. I chose a trail that was all concrete, the whole 18 miles, but I have always had great runs on this trail. I needed to feel good about this weeks run, so that I can enter next week’s 20 miler in a good frame of mind.

Family Update: This weekend was homecoming at Madison’s school. It seemed like an all day event. Hair, makeup, last minute dress alterations…whew, I hate to see what prom is going to be like. She had a couple of her friends over to the house so that they could all get ready. They sat around thinking about getting ready for an hour before they actually got ready. Then Rick drove them to a restaurant so that Madison and eleven of her friends could have dinner before they went to the dance. I stayed behind to cook our dinner, but we both went to pick them up and drop them off at the dance. I hear that it was a great time! Check out her pics.

Before and after photos of the hotties.




Friday, October 2, 2009

Short and Sweet!

This is my all time essential running item. My black and white Brooks visor. I cannot run without it!
First things first, there’s a great giveaway over at Katie's Miles of Kate blog. Go check her out AFTER you read my post. She’s giving away a full year subscription to Fitness magazine. Now, I have never bought this magazine (I’m way too damn cheap), but I got online this morning to check it out. First thing that I noticed was the 2009 Beauty Products Awards. I am a big fan of product. I have more types of shampoo, makeup, gels, mousses, foot lotion that is supposed to make your feet pretty (doesn’t work don’t bother) then the average woman should have. I just love products. So right there, the magazine was raised a couple of notches in my eyes. Then I noticed a picture of cute little Lindsey Price and her fitness routine and I just felt inadequate, so I clicked off. I didn’t want to look at Lindsey Price in her little workout outfit when I was still in mis-matched pajamas and toothpaste stains on my shirt.
So, go sign up for that giveaway girls (and you too Jamoosh, should you be so inclined).

Next stop is my training. I ran hills last night. I had to pick a hill that was between 1-2 minutes long and run up, run back down, and then run tempo for two minutes. I had to do this six times. I’m not sure if it was the weather or what, but I felt amazing. It actually could have been the free range chicken that I had the night before. This is the first meat that I have eaten in over a month. I had talked with my coach last week and we had agreed that I would add a little meat back into my diet, especially for key runs, to see if this helped with my energy level. I had made the drastic change in my diet mid-training and my “spunk” had totally tanked. I have an eighteen miler on my schedule for the weekend and I will eat a little fish or chicken the night before. After the marathon, I plan on becoming a full time vegetarian.

That’s all folks, short sweet, and to the point. I hope everyone has a great weekend of training. I know a couple of fellow bloggers out there are racing this weekend…..GOOD LUCK!!! Can’t wait to hear how you all did!

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Happy October 1st!



Swine Flu has officially invaded my workplace. An employee left work sick the other day and as soon as we got word that it was swine flu, her office door was shut and hazmat was called. Not really, but the way we all reacted, they might as well have been. Hand sanitizers and Lysol are out in full force. I associate the smell of Lysol with the bathroom, so our office smells like one giant smelly toilet. If you so much as sneeze or cough, you best turn and run because you may get sprayed with the Lysol. So what if it gets in your eyes; everything is fair in love and war and swine flu. I have heard through the grapevine that the policy is that if you come down with this flu; you will not be allowed to return to work for 7 days. Seven days? Sounds like a damn mini vacation to me. Anyway, I have taken precaution as well. I’m sucking zinc tabs like they are candy and I have vats of hand sanitizers. I’m thinking of going out and buying one of those medical face masks. I do not want the swine flu; I do not want any flu. Keep your freaking germs away people; I have a marathon to train for!!

Training has been going well. I have been doing a ton of strength and core work this week; trying to get my muscles strong and less wimpy. My coach also added swimming to my schedule for Monday. She kept asking me if I wanted to add it as cross training and I keep putting her off. I suppose she finally got tired of my waffling around and just added it anyway. I, of course, didn’t do it and opted to do core work and spinning instead. In my defense, I told her that the only swimsuit that I owned was a string bikini, which does not work well while swimming laps. Not that I would know, but I can only imagine.
Tuesday, I did run drills at the track, working on form and cadence. Last night I did another thirty minutes of spinning on my bike trainer and then put in thirty minutes of strength work on the stability ball. Oh….my arms are sore today, which is a good thing, but goes to show you how wimpy they are. If the stability ball can get them, imagine what some weights would do. I shudder in horror.
I will be doing an hour run tonight and I will be working on hill work. I really wish that I had time to go out to the mountains, but those trails are too far away for a work week, so I’ve got another good hill in mind. I’ve got to climb the hill 6 times, 3 at a comfortable pace and then 3 at a hard pace. In between hills, I need to “cool down” in zone three or tempo pace. I’m tired just thinking about this workout.

Family Update: Well this weekend is Homecoming at Madison’s high school! I will be sure to post the pictures of her dress. She has been going to activities all week after school for spirit week. I asked her if they were making a float and she looked at me like I was crazy. She had no idea what high school float was. Doesn’t any one do this anymore? Remember building floats on top of a trailer in high school and then having them in a homecoming parade? Is this too old school?

I've been so busy this week that I will be, once again, catching up on everyones blog at some point today. Happy training!

Monday, September 28, 2009

Back to the Grind...

I’ve come to the end of rest week. I will miss you rest and recovery; it’s back to the grind. No long run this weekend and let me tell you, it was nice to not have to plan everything around a 2 and a half hour run, plus recovery time, plus laying around in goofy compression socks with my feet up against the wall. Saturday was a short 20 minute (yes, I did say only 20 minutes) run and some weight lifting. Sunday, I got up early and did a short 8 mile run.

Since when did 8 miles become short to me? I remember a time when 8 miles would have knocked me on my butt and that wasn’t so long ago.

Anyway, I got up and prepared for my short run, which was easy because all I got together was my Garmin and some water. No gels, extra water, salt tabs, body glide, recovery drink, or recovery bar necessary. I always weigh myself before and after a run to make sure I’m getting the proper amount of water, so out of habit, I hopped up on the scale, to check the weight, which came in at 115.4. Went to the bathroom to take care of the 0.4 and I was out the door.

I did an easy paced 2 mile warm-up with an average pace of 10:14. Then ran three miles at my marathon goal pace and finished up with an easy cool down. Average pace for the 8 miles was 9:09.

I also finally booked hotel and flight plans for my San Antonio marathon. Flight plans were easy; booking the hotel was a little bit harder. It seems everyone else but me was on the ball and booked early. After the eighth hotel turned me downed due to being full, I was feeling a little desperate. I didn’t want to have to spend the night out on the San Antonio Riverwalk like a hobo. Finally I got a hotel that asked me if I would prefer a king or a double. I felt like shouting “Lady, at this point I would have taken a cot (I would have even paid extra for a second cot so that husband wouldn’t have to sleep on the floor) and a janitor close.” I was thrilled. Not only that, but the hotel is only 2 miles from the start and 1 mile from the finish. I told Rick that we just needed to rent a Segway to get me that last mile back to the hotel. I’m not sure I’ll want to move after the run. I got really excited about my first marathon after that. I’m still not sure what to expect and I’m still not sure of a time goal yet. I just want to run this first one and be coherent at the end.

Some comments about your comments:

Katie A-I have tried to get to your e-mail account, but couldn’t for some reason. Do you have a blog? Just wanted to thank you for all of your comments and to let you know that I tried tofu for the first time ever! I liked it!

Kristen-I do remember you telling me about your friend and the iron pills. Your comment was what led me to talk to my coach after I started to feel low on energy. I have also invested in some iron supplements. Thank you!

Jesse-Thank you for your meatless meals ideas!

Everyone else-You guys are great! Thanks for all of your support! I truly appreciate it. I’m going to catch up on my blog reading today at some point.

Friday, September 25, 2009

TGIF!

Is it wrong that the very first thing that I did once I got home from my run last night was to pull a beer out of the fridge? In my own defense, I took water with me for my run, plus I have heard that beer can be used to rehydrate oneself. Yes, I did hear that from somewhere or read it somewhere. I really did….

The beer was called Buffalo Gold Ale made here in Colorado by the Rock Bottom Brewery and here is my review: It is good, you should definitely drink it.

My rest week has been very nice. I did a short run on Tuesday night, a spin on my cycle ops bike trainer on Wednesday, and another short run last night. Last night’s run was great; it was only a 45 minute run, but I had so much energy. The weather was a cool 57 degrees and the sun was shining, which I think had a lot to do with my energy level. I always run better in cold weather. My run was supposed to be light and easy in my heart rate zone 1, with 6 x 1 minute at a hard pace 15 minutes into the run. No long run this weekend. Yipeee! I guess next weekend will be 18 miles. Only 50 more days left!

My coach sent out a little snipet on why a good warm up before a run is so helpful and essential for you. I thought that I would share.

Not only is warming up essential to preventing injury, but it makes you faster, fitter and stronger over time. A proper warm-up:

-Increases muscle core temperature, thus decreasing work required for muscle contraction and making movement feel easier.
-Allows higher maximum cardiac output and oxygen consumption. (Translation: It increases your endurance and speed.)
-Causes blood vessels to dilate, which aids the transportation of oxygen and nutrients to the working muscles (so you can run faster)
-Increases your range of motion by heating the synovial (lubricating) fluid in your joints,improving flexibility.
-Warms you up mentally, increasing motivation and focus.
-Allows exercise to feel better and produce better results (your mainset will be faster if you properly warm up)

Hope everyone has a great weekend of training!

Family Update: No big plans for the weekend. We are planning on catching the Rockies vs Cardinals game downtown on Saturday, which should be fun. Or maybe taking another drive through the mountains to see more fall colors. Due to the cooler temps this week, the caps on the mountains have snow on them, it is beautiful. Madison’s homecoming is next weekend. We spent a few, painful hours at the mall last weekend, finding a dress. It is a really cute black and white strapless; I will have to post pictures. The best part is that we got it at Macy’s for $36!

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Is it Worth It?

OMG-Look at that widget over to the right! It does NOT say that I only have 53 days until my marathon!

My last two long runs have been less then stellar. Actually, the term “less then stellar” is probably too good of a description for them. I’m going to be a lady (hey! I see you laughing out there) and not tell you what I really think of them. Now, I know that I am not the best runner or even a super fast runner. In fact my running is probably the equivalent to being the dumbest kid in the Advanced Physics class. It’s commendable that I am trying, but I’m just not quite getting it.

So, I had a talk with my Coach about my general lack of energy and my inability to hold my race pace for even two miles at a time. She gently reminded me that running a marathon is extremely stressing on the body. Then add to that the drastic dietary change that I have made recently by becoming an overnight vegetarian, mid-training, and it is probably fair to say that my body may be a little whacked out right now. She was very encouraging and supportive about my quest, but we talked about perhaps adding a certain amount of meat back in so that my body gets the iron that it needs. I could then work with a certified nutritionist after the marathon in order to make sure I am getting everything that I need in my diet, so that I can train right for the next marathon and still be a vegetarian. So, I feel horrible, but I think that I will be adding free range chicken (no factory farming!!) and some fish back into my meals. I feel guilty about this decision, but it probably wasn’t the smartest move on my part, changing my diet like that without knowing what I was doing. I am dropping weight like crazy and I just don’t have the sort of energy that I used to on my long runs. Someone please tell me that I’m doing the right thing!!

In other news, my foot feels better, which is a good thing since I can’t get in to see the doctor until October 6th. Geez…does EVERYONE have feet problems these days?

Random Observation about personal relationships and friendship: Some people are extremely needy and have to have constant re-assurance from people in order to maintain their own self confidence and self worth. These types of friendships can be incredibly draining, especially when the "drainee" nags, nags, nags to the point of it being unattractive. Is it best to hang onto these friendships because it is too painful to drop them or are you the one who will just suffer in the end...

Monday, September 21, 2009

It's Flipping Snowing Here!

Yes folks, I just looked out the window and it is snowing here in Denver down in the Tech Center. I was just saying yesterday that I was ready for winter, snow, and cooler weather, so I take full responsibility. I just didn't mean I wanted it this soon. It was 80 degrees yesterday; I love my bipolar state.

Rick and I took a drive through the mountains Saturday afternoon to check out the pretty fall colors. I think that we were still a little early, but we did see a few bright gold and orange Aspen trees. We drove up through Squaw pass and then on up Mt Evans road. We were disappointed to see that the road up to the top of Mt Evans was closed for the season. I guess it is already snowing up there. We had to stop about 5 miles from the summit and when we got out of the car it was cold at 49 degrees. I’m glad that I brought a jacket. Check out my pics.


Squaw Pass. This one is called "Where's Rick" He's in here somewhere.


Summit Lake on Mt. Evans


Me-all bundled up. It was cold up there.


A Few Fall Colors

A dusting of snow on Mt. Evans.

Well, my 16 miler turned into a 15.27 miler. I was barely hobbling the last few miles of my run. The cause of this catastrophe? My darn foot hurts again. Now, I was already out of training for at least a month this summer due to this foot, so when it started to give me trouble during my run, I should have stopped immediately. However, I am stupid and sort of stubborn, so I kept going because I needed to get to 16 miles. I have been known to circle a parking lot so that my Garmin will say exactly the mileage I’m going for. It doesn’t matter that Garmin says 5.89; I will circle that parking lot until it says exactly 6 miles. When the pain got so great that I looked like a troll hobbling down the trail, I finally stopped and I was horrified that Garmin said 15.15 miles. I hobbled another 0.12 until I convinced myself that I was being ridiculous and stopped. It doesn’t matter, I still felt like a failure because Garmin didn’t say 16. I went home and placed a giant bag of ice on top of my foot and another one on the bottom of my foot and took half a bottle of ibuprofen. I’m sure that my liver is still shrieking. It feels better today and I don’t feel any pain; I’m crossing my fingers and making an appointment with my podiatrist. In the meantime, I will obsess over it nonstop to the point where even I will get tired of myself.

This week is Rest Week, which means no long run this weekend. When I saw that it was rest week I got all scared and thought that I would have to do another one of those damn run tests this weekend, but there wasn’t one on my schedule! We are just taking a step back and allowing my body to rest and recover. I have three runs on my schedule and my longest run will only be an hour and ten minutes. I also have some cross training and strength training ahead as well. Rest week will probably be good for my foot!

Many people have made the comment recently that I don’t look old enough to have a teenage daughter. Thank you, it helps to have your children when you are only 10. I’m kidding! I had her when I was twenty, so I am a rather young mom. I have always looked younger then I am, which I hated when I was 18-21 years old, but I am totally enjoying it now.

Happy Training!

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Random Much?

Rick sold the Acura and we picked up an older model Pathfinder to use on bike trips etc. You know, cuz every family needs three SUV's. Here is Madison, she gets her permit in less then a year and she is already practicing. She thinks she's too cool.



First things first, for those of you who care; I’m happy to let you know that my dog, a.k.a dog-arrhea, is doing much better. After spending most of her day outside doing what she needed to do, I finally noticed that she was not putting any weight on her back right leg and limping really bad. I loaded her up and took her to the doggie hospital. Three hours, one messy 4-runner (husband cleaned that up), and $165 later, she was back in working order. They not only took care of the diarrhea, but they also gave her back leg a lame test, which came back with nothing. I figure that she just strained her leg a little from “assuming the position” too much that day.

Next thing on my list: I wanted to mention two great giveaways. Heather over at Run Faster Mommy is giving away a nutrition pack and Mel over at Mel Tries To Run is giving away two great books. The nutrition pack includes lots of gels, hydration needs, and a bumper sticker that says “Running is cheaper then therapy.” Most of us know that already. The books pack includes “Running Hot” and a copy of Dean’s book “50 Marathons 50 Days”. Yes, I’m schmoozing, but I love to read and I also would love all of that nutrition! Go check them out. Wait! NOT YET! Finish reading my post and then go. Don’t worry, there’s not much left; just some random training information.

Training: I had a run last night. No surprise there, I’m training for a marathon. I was instructed not to worry about my pace or heart rate, but to just work on form by working with several drills. I wanted to do my drills at the high school track, but they were having a stupid track meet over there. Imagine the nerve of them for doing a track meet when I wanted to work on my drills. I managed to work in my drills on the busy street and I am sure that I was some lame entertainment to some bored commuters. I am sure that I look like a funktard trying to do pawbacks.
Tonight will be some yoga and strength work
Thursday I will be running fartleks
Friday is an easy run and strength
Saturday is a bike
Sunday is the long run! 16 miles. I gotta go get a new fuel belt for this one. I’m excited! Is that sick that I’m excited about a 16 mile run?