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!