Thursday, February 26, 2009

So here's my ride for the last week. I've been trying to stay off of my leg, so that means NO running. I put the ole Trek on the trainer the other day and did some light spinning to see if it would irritate my calf. Perfectly ok. Great. So instead of being out enjoying the 60 degree temps with a good run, I've been in the basement lightly spinning on my bike. Oh well, such is life. It actually hasn't been too bad; I haven't been on a bike since last October, so it's been kind of fun. It's also reminded me that I need new pedals; I hate these one sided Keo Looks. Rick just bought road shoes and has been hunting and inquiring around about different pedals and I think that he might try mine and I will get new ones. I told him that he probably wouldn't like the Looks, but only he will be able to tell. I'm looking into the double sided Speedplays. The guy at my bike store loves his Speedplays, so I might try them out. Plus I can get pink to match my bike.

That's about all that's been going on this week. I've been working a lot due to the 2008 audit. Damn auditors; they'll be gone next week, just in time for month end close. Grrrrr. I've done the bike trainer twice this week. Once Monday night and once last night. I'm cooking dinner and then plan on getting a light spin in tonight too. My leg is feeling much better, so I think I might try a VERY short jog on Saturday to test the waters. I've got plenty of time before my May 3rd half marathon, so I feel pretty good. Just gotta stay healthy!

Monday, February 23, 2009

Tara and Piper El Dorado Canyon

Madison won't let me take her picture; she's hiding behind Rick and the dog

Rick and Tara. Checking out the rock climbers.

El Dorado Canyon

Madison hiding behind a rock. Doesn't want her picture taken.

He-He, she doesn't know that I got this shot; she was too busy chatting with Rick.

It was another beautiful Colorado weekend. We had made a lot of plans, but most of them fell through because Rick was sick. He started feeling pretty icky Tuesday night, didn’t feel any better on Wednesday, called in sick on Thursday, and was feeling only slightly better by the weekend. We were going to go to the Mizzou vs. Colorado game on Saturday to watch Mizzou stomp all over CU, but decided to just chill out at home instead. I got a lot of stuff accomplished while I watched the game on TV. My leg was feeling a little better, so Saturday afternoon, I went out for a run. I was only going to do a six mile run, but ended up going 8 and a half. The weather was warm, the sun was shining, and I was jogging very slowly (in an attempt not to further injure my leg), so I went ahead and did the extra mileage. I wanted to go 10 or 11, but my goal last week was to back off of my mileage and give my leg a chance to feel better. I think total mileage was only 15 and half miles. I think that in order to let it appropriately heal; however, I am going to have to stay off of it for awhile and start doing some light stretches before and after my runs. Sigh… I’m going to just spin on my bike trainer for most of this week and if it is still hurting by the weekend, go see a doctor. This is going to kill me.

Sunday, we had planned a ski trip, but I was a cripple and Rick was still feeling sickly, so we took Madison and the dog out to El Dorado Canyon for a little hiking and sightseeing. It was sixty down in the city, but El Dorado was a little on the cool side, so I am glad that I brought my coat! El Dorado is a big rock climber hangout, so we had a great time hiking and checking out all of the rock climbers. Some of the climbers were at the top of the peek! After the hike, we stopped in for some pizza in Golden at a little place called Woody’s. We’ve eaten there before and they have some pretty tasty pies. We sat out on the heated patio and ate, while the dog hung out in the car.

Friday, February 20, 2009

I haven't done a whole lot of runs this week; my right calf seems to be strained. On Sunday, noticed a little bit of pain in my leg that was radiating up through the back of my knee. I did a short 4 mile run in a little under 33 minutes on Tuesday night. I had gotten home a little late because I had gone to visit my stylist Christina after work. We were trying to figure out what to do with my hair for the wedding. I had chopped it off last month and it's really short in the back, but we think we have few options. On Wednesday, Madison had a hair appointment, so I dropped her off, ran to the grocery store and then took the dog out for a quick 3 mile run. My asthma seemed to be bothering me that night due to the cold and wind, but it felt really good to get out. The dog was happy too. I finally went back to the salon to get Madison around 7:30. She had gotten purple streaks put in her hair. Now don't freak out Laura; it looks really cool! It's on the underside of her hair where the blond was. I will post pictures soon.

The goal for this weekend is to just take it easy with light running. My calf is feeling better and I feel a little more rested. No need to over train myself! I will probably just do a six mile run on Saturday and then take it easy on Sunday. We have plans to go to the Mizzou vs CU game on Saturday and then skiing on Sunday. Have a good weekend.

Monday, February 16, 2009

This heart is actually just for looks; I forgot about Valentine's Day.....again.

Not a lot going on lately; I've been extremely busy with work, planning a wedding, and running. Friday I kept seeing vase after vase of roses being carted in by our admins and I finally went and asked a girl what the roses for? She looked at me like I was insane and mentioned Valentine's Day. Oh shoot. I had forgotten again. I personally think that this holiday is overrated, but after work, I went by and got Maddy some candy, a card, and a stuffed animal. I got Rick a card too, even though I didn't think he would get me anything. Our first V Day together he went out of his way to get chocolate covered strawberries, a card, etc and I made a big deal out of the fact that I didn't think we should celebrate our love just ONE DAY a year (I had obviously forgotten that year too) and that we should celebrate every day of the year (basically handed him a load of crap), but he has never gotten me anything ever again. Except soap....last year. Private joke. Anyway, Valentine's Day went off without a lot of celebration. I got a ton of things accomplished that day like filing my taxes and a ten mile run. I know....I'm very romantic. I did make some beef stew that night for dinner. Anyway, the ten mile run was on the treadmill because it was snowy and twentysome degrees outside. I was going to wait until Sunday to do a long run, but I figured running on the treadmill was a good thing to do on a cold, snowy day. I did get out for a 4 and a half mile run on Sunday. The weather was in the forties and it was sunny although a little windy. It felt good to get out.

Madison registered for high school this past week. Can you believe that? I don't feel old enough to have a high schooler (probably because I was only 20 when I had her). My uncle recently sent me some pictures that he had taken of her when she was younger. I don't remember how old she was, but she looks so YOUNG! I still can't believe that she's old enough to be in high school! Time goes by too quickly.

Madison and her cousin Bailee. Bailee now has a baby of her own.

Friday, February 13, 2009

Tara-On the west steps of the state capitol building.

As many of you know, I support the Humane Society of the United States. I hold in high regard all of the tremendous work that they do for animals across the nation and I try and help by donating money and whenever possible, my time. Thursday, the HSUS held a lobby day for animals at the Denver capitol. I had gone last year and it was an enlightening experience, so I decided to take off of work and travel downtown to the event. The previous week, a puppy mill bill had been shot down by a 5-7 committee vote. The bill, sponsored by Rep. Beth McCann, would have limited the number of unsterilized dogs that could be kept in a breeding facility. It would have also have required breeders to obtain veterinarian care for each of the dog's health each year, and mandated revocation or denial of PACFA licensing when a licensee is convicted of cruelty to animals. Makes total sense right? In Colorado, there are many breeders who have a license to breed, but who have a prior felony animal cruelty charge. This downright pisses me off. Anyway, the bill was shot down because of concerns that I won't get into, but it will be back next year. In the meantime, we were downtown lobbying another bill, SB09-118 with an added amendment. The amendment was the animal cruelty amendment. Yep, if you've been convicted of animal cruelty, you can't have a license to breed. PERIOD. We each had appointments with our house of representive and senator for our district. I've met my house rep, Joe, a few times, and I really like him. Downright just a good guy, so I was anxious to talk to him about the bill, but he was out ill. I left him a note and went on to meet my senator. She was in a commitee meeting, so I went to the senate men at arms and asked to have her come out to meet me. This is called "passing a note". She just so happened to be speaking in the commitee meeting at that time, so I left her a note in her office and booked it over to the west side of the capitol for a peaceful rally for puppy mill. I will send a follow up e-mail to both of them next week. Rep Beth McCann (the one who sponsered the bill) was there to talk as well as several speakers with their puppy mill survivors. We had great coverage with the news media and I am hopeful through education about the bill, it will pass next year.

On the steps of the state capitol. Puppy mill rally. Beth McCann speaking

The whole experience was wonderful and it's also good to get out and get to know how your government works and who works for you. I challenge you to find something you are passionate about and work to make things right and better. It doesn't have to be anything major. Baby steps can change the world too.

If you want to make a donation to the HSUS or just want to check them out. Go to

As for my running. No runs on Wednesday night. I had to stay late at work, so that I could take off on Thursday, but I got in a five mile run when I got home from lobby day. It felt good and I would have liked to have gotten a longer run in, but Madison called and needed taxi service, so I had to go pick her up from her friend's house.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Tuesday Dreadmill Run

Tuesday night-Got home from work around six and immediately jumped on the treadmill. It had been snowing outside since 3:30, so I was pretty bummed out that I would be stuck running inside, but I tried to make the most of it. Ran five miles alternating hills (incline at 4% or above)on the slow songs and fast (treadmill on speed 7.5 or above) on the fast songs. Run felt strong, but of course, it's always easier on the treadmill.

No runs on Monday night. It was rest day. Made homemade pizza and bread sticks with Madison and just hung out and watched Mizzou put the hurt on KU. What a great game. I had actually almost given up hope!

Monday, February 9, 2009

Cutting up vegatables to put on the grill. Madison took my picture, but wouldn't let me take one of her. Her hair was gross (that's what she said)

I had planned on doing a five mile run on Thursday night, but that was before I fell asleep at work. I had never been more tired in my life, so I left at five and went home and just rested, cooked dinner, and hung out with Madison. Friday, I woke up and had a horrible sore throat, so it’s probably a good thing that I decided to take it easy. In the past I’ve ignored the warning signs of a cold and ran anyway making it much worse.

Rick and I got up to a beautiful morning on Saturday. He decided that it would be a great afternoon to get out and do a trail run. I was still feeling really low on energy and didn’t want to push my recovery time, so I agreed that I would go with him and just do a hike with the dog. However, I put on my Salomon Wings trail running shoes “just in case”. We got to the trail head and he took off and I started on a slow ascent up the trail. It was totally gorgeous and pretty soon I started aching to run. The fatigue that had shrouded me the last two days slowly slipped away and I began a slow jog. The smell of the pines, the happy panting of the dog, and the sun shining through the trees had me pumped and ready to go. I figured that if I took it really slow, I wouldn’t do much harm to myself. I soon came to a fork in the trail and I had to make a decision. One way was a little “easier” then the almost straight up incline of the other trail. “Challenge yourself” I heard my inner voice say, so I started up the trail with the steep incline. Oh it hurt bad, but it also felt so good. I hadn’t been on a trail run in a couple of months and the familiar feeling of peace settled over me. Trail runs are my best runs. I always have a smile on my face and I never care how far or how fast I am going, I just enjoy the moment and go. I figured that I had been running for at least an hour and a half and I knew that Rick would be wondering where I was, so I headed back. He was not the least bit surprised that I had opted to run.

Saturday afternoon, we grilled out and enjoyed the day. Madison was in a good mood (which is rare…..teenagers), so we had a really nice family dinner together.

Sunday I got in a very slow, pretty uneventful ten mile run. My body decided for me that it would be a comfortable pace day and I was happy to oblige. Sometimes you just need to listen to what your body is telling you; it usually knows what it needs. Saturday, mine was happy to be out on the trail and allowed me a wonderful run (even after I had been sick). My legs felt strong and my breathing (asthma) was under control. Sunday, my body wanted a slow run and I let it have its way. I felt tons better Sunday afternoon and my energy level finally felt normal.

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Keeping it Real

Scenes along the Fort Collins Marathon route

I’ve determined that I’ve got to do a better job of tracking my runs during the week. I always mention my weekend runs, but fail to post my weekday runs. This will hopefully keep me honest about how many miles I am getting in per week, especially now that I am officially committed to the Fort Collins Half. I sent in my registration today. I thought that the website had said it had capped, but I’m a doofus and didn’t read it right. It said that the 2008 had capped early, so get your registration in quick. Now, the hard part begins, because running will no longer be just fun, it is now “training”. I’ve just got to continue with the mindset that I am doing the half for fun because I love to run, not because I want to win the race (which would never happen anyway since I am so slow, but a girl can always dream). I’ve been averaging between 15 – 20 miles per week this winter, so I think I’ll be set come May 3rd, the day of the half marathon. May 3rd also happens to be Madison’s birthday! Rick, Madison, and I discussed it last night and we think that we will get a hotel room the night before, I’ll run the race the next morning, then we’ll take Madison and a friend white water rafting on the Poudre River! Madison is very excited. She went last year and had a blast. Rick and I have never white water rafted, so we are anxious to try.

Anyway Tuesday night I did a 5 mile run and last night I got in a quick 3 mile run. Both felt pretty good, I did the 5 miler at a little bit faster pace then the 3 miles, but the 3 miles had more hills. My plan is to just do quick, short runs on the weekdays and longer runs on the weekends. (I would like to do some longer runs during the week, but I usually don't get home until six and then I would have to also hire a cook so that I didn't have to eat frozen nuggets every night and hire a chauffeur for Madison, so I'll stick with the short runs). It’s starting to stay daylight later, so before too long I will be running in the light! It’s also been very warm outside with the temps in the 60’s, so outside running is possible. Treadmill running is BORING. The other night I was running on the treadmill and was staring at our 100 inch TV screen and the thought crossed my mind to actually turn it on. I thought how ridiculous is it to have a huge TV with a projector, if you don’t use it. Oh well, I have never been much of a TV watcher. Unless it is sports….then its on.

Last night, after my run, we watched a little bit of the Mizzou vs Texas basketball game. Rick sat in Madison’s chair and she got mad and told him to move over. The picture is a bit fuzzy, but aren’t they cute?

Monday, February 2, 2009

Vail 2009

Being a smart ass when I asked him to smile.

Tara Vail 2009

Saturday Rick and I got up at 5:15 to go skiing at Vail. Madison had a sleepover the night before, so she elected to sleep in instead of going with us. We were out the door by 6:15 and stuck in traffic by 6:45. We usually go on Sunday to avoid the Saturday traffic, but the weather was going to be better on Saturday, so we decided to take our chances. We got off on the first exit possible and cruised down the side roads for quite a ways. We could see I-70 and it was backed up for miles. We couldn’t tell if there was an accident or if it was just normal traffic backup from where the three lanes merge to two. Rick suggested that we turn around and start for home, but I convinced him to press on for a little while. I’m glad we did, once we got back onto I-70, the traffic somehow seemed to die down and completely thin out. Not sure where all of those cars went, but it wasn’t our way! We finally made it to Vail around 8:00. Last year was the first year that we had skied at Vail. The locals kept telling us that the back bowls at Vail were amazing and that we needed to get out there. They weren’t lying; the back bowls and blue sky basin are the best skiing around here in my opinion. It takes a while to make your way back there, but it is totally worth it. It was a little on the cold side when we started our journey, but the sun was shining and we knew that the weather was supposed to be a high of 38 degrees. Suntan weather! We made our way through a couple of fun, yet easy, black runs and then came upon one with gnarly moguls and deep, fluffy snow. I do NOT do moguls, so I was sweating and cursing after a few minutes of making my way down the slope. The snow was super deep in some places and my ski poles sunk deep each time I tried to use them. Rick made his way over to a place where there weren’t too many moguls and the run seemed to flatten out a little, so I followed. Finally, after what seemed like an eternity, we ended up on a blue run. By this time, my legs were shaking and I was exhausted, so I welcomed the chance for a break. We got in the lift line and were dropped off in the wide open, fluffy snow of the blue sky basin. We had a blast! What a perfect day for skiing.

Saturday night Rick, Madison, and I went out to dinner to try out a new restaurant that supposedly had great burgers. They were pretty good and Rick said that he thought they rivaled Jacks in Columbia. Now, Jacks is one of his all time favorite places to grab a burger, so you know that was a good burger!

Sunday, I woke up to a ton of chores that I ignored on Saturday. After checking those off of my list, I decided it was time to get out for a run. My goal for my Sunday run was 10 and a half to 11 miles, but I only ended up doing around 9 miles. I started out just fine, but the wind was blowing pretty heavily and my asthma was causing my chest to ache. Plus I could tell that my legs were tired from the long day of skiing (and those damn moguls!), so I cut the run short. I had to get cleaned up and get Madison to a Super bowl party anyway. Before I dropped her off at her friend’s house, her and I went by and got the dog some French fries for the dog’s 6th birthday. Madison and I have been doing this since we first got Champ, so it is one of our crazy little traditions and of course, the dog loves it too! Rick and I just hung out at home to watch the game. We grabbed a pizza and just relaxed. What a game! That was the most exciting super bowl that I have ever seen. I even won $250 from an office pool.

I also decided which half marathon that I wanted to do over the weekend. I had heard some great things about the Fort Collins marathon/half marathon, so I got online to sign up. It had already capped! Bummer…now I’m back to square one.