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?