1.31.2008

I have HAD it!

Gah, I am SO sick of being sick...this is the pits.  I thought I was out of the woods for the flu, since DH and DS both had it and I was showing no signs...and I had my flu shot 2 months ago. 

WRONGO!!!

I am sicker than a dog.  I hurt, my lungs are tight and I'm coughing...and now the sneezing and upper respiratory stuff has kicked-in.  NOW I can be paranoid about developing a sinus infection, which happens at least half of the time that I have nasal garbage.

My running mileage was in the toilet last week (thanks to a raw spot from an ill-fitting pair of shoes) and this week appears that it could end up worse.  I am SO ready for Spring and the end of cold/flu season and nasty weather.  

I'm not a napper, but I think I really need to go back to bed.

1.28.2008

Blogworthy (not to be confused with "spongeworthy")

I posted this (in a thread related to strange things we've seen while out on runs) a few days back on my favorite running support site...then got to thinking, "hey, this is definitely worth a blog entry." From this past Friday, 1/25:
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Ok, today I saw two "things" only a block or so apart. These things were vehicles in the ditch. Not so strange in Jan., in MI...but the circumstances were.

So I crest a hill and see a small beige car in the ditch. I get closer, start to pass it, then notice there was a woman slumped over in the driver's seat. I get really worried and knock on her passenger side door. She freaks out. Apparently she was just fine...admits that she had been distracted by her GPS *rolling my eyes* and next thing she knew was in the ditch--on the OPPOSITE side of the road (hello, dumbass...and these are the people I share the roadways with). Here's your sign. She said she had already called for a wrecker...then noticed my apparel and said "wow, are you running?" I said yes and she was in awe. I admitted that I have hopes to run a marathon later in the year and want to keep my mileage up all winter. She said "good for you!"

Just before I caught up to her car a police SUV had come up from behind, gone a ways ahead, and then looked like he was going to turn around, but didn't. I had told the lady that I would run on ahead and make sure that the officer knew she was OK and that help was on the way.

As I got closer to the deputy's SUV I noticed that he had gotten it stuck in the ditch while trying to make the turn too wide...here's your sign (WTF, I drive a tiny front-wheel-drive car and don't get stuck, but a tricked out police SUV...?). As I approached the SUV the officer rolled down his window and was cracking up, as was I. I told him that the lady was OK and had help on the way, AND that she had gone into the ditch for looking at her GPS...then showed him my Garmin and we joked about how much safer GPS units are on runner's wrists, rather than on a car dash.

I finished my run with quite a few chuckles as I thought about the weirdness of running in MI after a few good snowfalls.

1.26.2008

Brushing away the cobwebs...

Man, I have been SO bad about keeping up with my blog thus far this year. Too many random, minor things going on...nothing all that pressing to even document, I guess.

My past week of running was kinda in the toilet. Those nifty NB Winter shoes were giving my left heel fits and a miserable raw spot, so I've had to give up on the danged things--really sucks after my saga getting my hands on a working pair. They are simply too generous through the heel area. Stinks, since they provide fantastic traction on snow and ice and kept my feet really toasty even during a run with -8º windchills. So after a cumulative 15 miles I have them listed on eBay. I'm thinking if they don't sell by the end of this auction I will hang onto them and try to sell them again earlier next Winter.

Due to the raw spot on my foot my mileage this week was cut in half. I was able to get in an 11 miler with a pair of YakTrax on my beloved 902s. Traction was great, but they are definitely not as ideal in terms of warmth and water resistance. Next year I think I will try to find a pair of warmer trail shoes and then slap some YakTrax on those. I'll probably go with a larger size, too. Even though I fall well within the sizing chart recommendation for size small, they were a real challenge to get on and off my shoes and by the end of my run my toes of my shoes felt like they were getting pulled short and my calves were killing me. I'm still feeling a LOT more calf tightness today than I normally do after a long run.

Speaking of shoes...yesterday I returned from my run to find a package from New Balance.  A while back I applied on their site to be a wear-tester, but never heard anything.  Apparently I was chosen for wear-testing and now have the coolest pair of shoes (a lightweight speedwork/drills shoe...very flashy, particularly for a NB product--they look like something Nike might design) that I will try out for 2 weeks, reporting back a couple of times with my experiences.  Unfortunately I don't get to keep any of the products I test, but it's still kinda neat to be able to help NB develop new products.  And it gives me a chance to try things for free and have a better idea of a particular shoe or piece of clothing will work well for me before shelling out big bucks.

Dane and Derek have both been sick for the last couple of days. I think it's the flu and neither of them got flu shots. I am fine and I got my flu shot. Coincidence? Dane also had a snow day on Tues., so he was only in school 3/5 days this week. Maybe it's a good thing I don't have a job, after all. I had to drive him to school yesterday AM, since Derek was cocooned up in bed and took the day off.

2 nights ago a friend and I drove to Grand Rapids to meet my best friend and another friend to watch The Spirit of the Marathon. We really enjoyed it. It definitely reinforced in my mind that I'm going to be more than able to train for and finish my own first marathon this coming Fall. It was really fascinating to see the contrast between an elite female marathoner (Deena Kastor...who runs more in a week than I have ever run in a month), and elite male Kenyan (Daniel Njenga), and several regular Joes like me, including 2 female first-timers.  I think it's a movie even non-runners would enjoy, particularly if they like the documentary genre or human-interest stories.  If I weren't already a runner I think it would be just the thing to get me off the couch.

Speaking of my marathon goal...I had originally planned to register for and race in Grand Rapids in late Oct., but for some dumb reason they always want to run that event the same day as the Detroit Marathon, so it was moved back a week--the same weekend that Derek is planning to be in Death Valley for his yearly JDRF benefit bike ride.  

Since I can't very well run a full marathon without spousal support (and have someone to care for Dane for 4+ hours while I run) I am planning to instead register for the Milwaukee Lakeshore Marathon in early Oct.  The one big advantage of running that race would be the proximity to more family.  My folks could easily attend that event (they live about 3 hours from Milwaukee), as could my brother and his girlfriend (in the Chicago area) and possibly my dad's cousin and her family, as they live in Milwaukee.  I could still probably run the Grand Rapids Half-Marathon 2 weeks later, too...perhaps helping to pace my best friend for the first 9 miles of her first marathon and then being at the finish to cheer her and other MI friends on.  And I'd still be able to drive myself home after that race.

1.11.2008

It's about damned time!

Sheesh, here we are almost 2 weeks into the new year and I've yet to do any blogging...Jan. has thus far been pretty nice and quiet.

I started the year with a "6 mile" (someone messed-up and the course was actually only 5.45--which my Garmin and other people's Garmins agreed upon) race in some nasty, cold, windy, blizzard conditions. It was a great way to start the year off with a sense of accomplishment.

Of course, this also meant not really drinking or overeating the night before, which was a good thing. I ate and drank plenty over Christmas with my family at my brother's place in IL. We spent NYE with some of our JDRF chapter friends, which was really fun and laid-back. Then drove home on some godawful roads that were perfectly clear and wet by the time we hit our county line. Our road crews do a much better job than the counties to the South and Southeast of us.

Aside from that I've been keeping my eyes open for job prospects, but not getting my hopes up too much. There's just not a lot to choose from around here. I put in my application to our nearest Dick's Sporting Goods (that discount would be sweet on running clothes, though they don't carry anything but the most basic of shoes and almost no NB in widths), but I don't think they are looking for help at the moment...most retail places around here aren't. I did see a couple of "help wanted" signs at a Ritz Camera and a higher end children's portraiture studio in the big mall in GR, but that doesn't do me much good. They'd have to pay VERY well for me to justify at least 2.5 hours in my car every day.

In the meantime I've been running as much as possible. Our recent freakishly warm temps have allowed me to do some great runs on dry pavement...of course, this is just as I get my Winter spiked shoes. We did get some snow overnight, but it's still not cold enough to keep the roads snowy. With my luck we won't have much in the way of snow or ice and I'll have blown $100 on a pair of shoes for nothing.

This year I have a goal of 1500 miles. So far I am on track with my mileage to get there. Winter is always the hardest time to get the miles in. Once I start really training for a full Marathon it will be that much easier. I need to get ~29/week and I hope to be doing closer to 50 before competing at that distance.

I need to kick myself in the pants and start back up with my weight workouts, too...at least for upper body.  I had some nice definition in my arms last Summer, but it's all but gone, now.  Time to get back to that.  The relatively nice weather has had my emphasis on cramming in as many miles as I can, so once Winter really does arrive I'm sure it will be easier to get myself back into the strength training routine.

Today I booked a few lanes at a bowling alley down closer to Dane's school so that we can do his birthday party there next month.  Seeing as how most of the kids he'll invite live down there it seemed logical to do his party closer to his guests, rather than closer to our house.  Should be fun.  Pizza and cake for a bunch of wild and wooly elem. kids.

k