1.31.2009

2 great things that go great together

Anthropology + LOLcats, apparently:





















;)

The good, the bad, and the "gag me with a spoon" (/80s reference)

The good:
Today I had a fabulous 5 mile run with Heather...outdoors. Her first run outdoors in a couple of weeks (she rarely is able to get her runs in until after dark and with the snowbanks it's dangerous to not have anywhere to bail when cars aren't willing to give way...plus it's damned cold after dark in these parts).  It was windy, but just barely below freezing, so it felt "warm."  Plus we had a fair amount of clear pavement, so chose to leave the Yaktrax behind.  Great run.
The bad:
My previous 2 runs stunk.  2 days ago it was the 11 miler on an alternating mix of dry and snowy/icy roads.  After about 2.5 miles I took the Yaktrax off, but then I was stuck carrying them for the remainder of my run.  And I could have used them here and there, but it's too big a PITA to keep slapping them on, then popping them off a mile later.  Conditions like this are a real frustration.  Plus it was cold, windy, and dreary...and one of those runs where I found my groove for maybe 2 miles, then promptly lost it.  

Last night was a treadmill run.  It wasn't really bad, just uncomfortable and I felt off...and kind of queasy (kiddo was home yesterday due to vomiting a couple of times during the night, so maybe I had some of his bug).

The ugly:
I apparently still have oral thrush.  I had a day or two where I felt in the clear, so I had a burger with a yeast bun.  By the next morning it was back, only on my tongue more than my throat.  I took my last antibiotic Thurs. night, so I really hope that in a day or two things clear up, otherwise I will be in to see the doctor.  There are prescription anti-fungal meds...the only problem is that they don't always work, at least one is known to potentially cause liver damage, and as long as I am on an inhaled steroid drug I will be at risk for chronic problems...and as long as I am asthmatic I will require these meds in order to breathe (old school albuterol inhalers can also encourage thrush outbreaks).

I have been eating yogurt and popping probiotics like there's no tomorrow...and rinsing and gargling with apple cider vinegar (which makes for an acidic environment that yeast don't like), as well as brushing my teeth and tongue several times/day...to no avail.  Avoiding anything that feeds the yeast, which makes eating a remotely healthy diet difficult.  The sugar in fruits and veggies can encourage yeast growth, as can any source of carbohydrates...which I'm sure had a good deal to do with my bad long run.  Tough to run well on little-to-no carbs.

The only upside is that it's really easy to lose weight when one is not eating.  The thrush seems to be making my stomach feel not entirely happy about things and my appetite has been pretty shot.  I'd take a pound or two back to not have a tongue that feels like it's burning and numb simultaneously, though.  And it would be nice to go for a few weeks without feeling like I'm trading one health issue for another, too.  Once again my marathon training is not getting off on a very good foot (heh, dumb running humor). :p

1.28.2009

New Balance 902 WR902 running shoe 8D 8 wide NIB *sniff* *cries*

It kills me to auction off that pretty neon blue pair of shoes...but after wearing out 3 pair and midway through 4 and 5 it became apparent that my right knee was just not having any more lightweight stability business and needed more control. So my 6th and only pair remaining in reserve have to find a new home. Any takers?

Luckily the next NB shoe up on the stability scale is working very well for me (particularly since I purchased the next half-size down and returned my original pair to RRS...NB has really tweaked their sizing in the past year...newer 7.5Ds fit like 8Ds used to...others have reported the same finding) in terms of fit and stability. I live in fear of the day that I can't find a NB model to work for me, as I have yet to find another brand that fits my foot as well. Saucony comes close, but their upper heel/achilles area comes up too high and in too far and eats my heel.

Had a decent strength training workout today, though I think I overdid it a bit on the back machine. I need to not make big weight increases like that in the future. Might be sleeping on the heating pad tonite.

I also found after my last gym workout that the abs machine there does NOTHING for me, regardless of how high I set the weight. So today and on Sunday I have been doing a couple of my Cathe Friedrich abs exercises using the stability ball. WOW, talk about DOMS since Sunday! Really makes me want to figure out a way to use my free weights and step (aka weight bench) at home, again (the biggest issue is storage of equipment...it has to be crammed into a corner, which means dragging it out pre-workout, then dragging it back in the corner when I'm finished). I definitely get a MUCH better workout doing the Cathe DVDs. Maybe I could do 1 day of work using my home DVD workouts and one day at the gym...something to think about. The big bonus of the gym is that I can work out with a friend, which is sometimes really nice.

Also, in continuation of my previous thread on people watching...or smelling...there has been a guy there the last couple times I've been there who is obviously bathing in some cheap-ass cologne or Axe body spray or something (one of those "guido" guys with the Under Armor shirt grunting through his workout and then walking a lap through the middle of the place between each set--gotta make sure everyone sees him, ya' know). Ick. I could still smell that rank crap in my nose by the time I got home. And my sense of smell has not even been particularly sensitive of late, thanks to sinus infection. So I REALLY feel sorry for the folks in there who weren't olfactory-impaired.

Tomorrow is my long run for the week...planning on 11 miles. Hoping that maybe I can find enough clear road to ditch the Yaktrax. They work well, but they are SO cumbersome...especially for more than 6-7 miles. I've been able to take them off for a few miles during some recent runs and my feet feel feather-light and my legs so much faster without those clunky things on.

MTA: My throat issues from earlier in the week are now MUCH better...no more white spots at all...no more pain, no more feeling like I have sand in my throat. Though much of today my stomach has been protesting and I've had a case of "bubble guts." I think my belly is telling me "lord, no...please, stop with the yogurt, already!" Seriously, though, yogurt and probiotics are good stuff. Tomorrow's my last day on antibiotics, so hopefully this is the last I see of the thrush outbreak for a while.

I will never again do a course of antibiotics without plenty of sources of probiotics used preventatively, that's for certain. I will also maybe start taking a probiotic supplement daily, and/or yogurt. Now that I know that the steroid medication seems to make me so prone to this garbage I'd like to avoid future issues.

1.27.2009

A little gift from me to you

Particularly for those of you who had to read my previous icky post (even though I gave you plenty of warning to run back out from this blog):



Someone recently posted that on RunningAHEAD.com and it still has me chuckling.

Not for the faint of heart


Seriously...if nasty medical-related stuff grosses you out, then I recommend clicking away.

This is your last warning.

Turn around.  Avert your eyes.  Back away while you still can.

Ok, don't blame me, I warned you.  If you choose to read further you only have yourself to blame...

How to lose weight without really trying (TMI to follow):

Step 1: take daily inhaled steroid for asthma control
Step 2: go on antibiotics for a sinus infection
Step 3: develop a nasty case of oral thrush


Yep...ever since a few days after Christmas I have had an angry throat...with a few random white spots.  Never got any raging pain, so I figured it's not strep.  DH also had the store throat, but also had a horrible double tonsil infection.  Ended up on antibiotics and all was well.  Shortly after that my cold/throat gunk settled into my sinuses and showed no signs of leaving after nearly 3 weeks, so PA prescribed a 2 week course of antibiotics.  I figured "bonus...perhaps this will get rid of whatever it is that is nagging my throat."

A couple of days later my throat got way worse, instead of better...even after over a week on antibiotics.  Sunday night I had a lightbulb moment...steroids + antibiotics = yeast/thrush infection right where the steroids hit on the back/roof of my mouth (even though I thought I was rinsing my mouth well after each dose...apparently not.  Steroids or antibiotics alone can make one extra prone to yeast overgrowth...the combination pretty much sealed the deal).  I'm just thankful my mouth is the only place where I'm dealing with this. :p

Anyhow, apparently a common side-effect of thrush is lack of appetite.  No wonder...I constantly feel like gagging from the crap growin' in my upper throat.  I am living on plain yogurt (a good excuse to indulge in the heavenly whole milk stuff), now...avoiding white flour, sugar, beer *cries*, bread...anything that feeds the yeast.  I still have 2.5 more days on the antibiotics.  I can't wait to get my healthy bacteria levels back where they should be.  I'm also taking probiotic supplements (Bio Beads) as an added defense.

On the plus side, it doesn't really seem to be having any negative effect on my running, so that's good.  I actually feel better out in the cold air...seems to soothe my throat.  And the weight loss (4.5#s in '09) is sort of a bit of positive spin. :D

1.25.2009

*sings* Who are the people in your neighborhood (gym)?

Am I the only one who finds people watching at the gym sort of fascinating?  The little 24/7 fitness center in our community is pretty much a constant source of amusement for me, at least when I'm not wussing-out and running on the dreadmill...then all I get to witness is whatever is on the TV in front of me...or the wall, or maybe out the window if I am lucky enough to get the 'mill furthest on the left.  But when I'm there to use the Cybex equipment I am afforded a much better opportunity to people-watch.  

There is the guy who works out in tight jeans and an equally tight white t-shirt.  Muscle-bound and vaguely angry-looking with a hairstyle that always has me wanting to say aloud "hey, the 80s called...they want their mullet back."

Then there are always an assortment of middle-aged folk who I'm glad to see getting their workout on, but cripes, learn to use the equipment properly.  My biggest gripe is the ones who do 10 reps as fast as they can, then move to the next machine, 10 reps, etc.  Frequently this includes weight stacks slamming up and down loudly and the pulley mechanism jumping out of the proper track.  Eventually this will likely lead to machines being damaged and needing repair/replacement (one machine I was on had obviously suffered from this sort of thing and was nearly unusable...it no longer had smooth pulley function).  It also makes a lot of racket that drives me nuts.

And there are the women who come in, exercise for a max of 15 minutes, then spend the rest of the time socializing and drinking Powerade while sitting on the machines--oblivious to those who are waiting to actually USE them (Heather and I have been known to gab away, but not while monopolizing any machines).  While they chat their kids play on the treadmills...again, while others are wanting to simply get in, get their workout done, and get out with minimal interruptions.

I've only been using this little gym for a few weeks, but I'm already looking forward to the "resolution" people getting bored.  I had a couple brief minutes when I first got there today when I was the only person in the place.  That was really nice.  I liked the quiet.

There are a few regulars who I see quite often.  They know proper gym etiquette, how to use the machines correctly, and go about their workout without causing any undue annoyance to other exercisers.  I hope these are the ones still around in a month or two.

1.24.2009

1 week down, 17 to go

With today's treadmill 5 mile tempo run I complete this first week of training for marathon #2 and 30.3 miles for the week--exact same mileage as last week (though last week it took me less time, since I was almost entirely on the treadmill and was able to run my workouts faster--no snow, no ice).  I also managed 2 strength-training workouts at the little fitness center, so hopefully as my body fat is lowered I will have some muscles to show-off under the padding.

Good thing I registered for the Bayshore Marathon when I did--it filled this week.  About a week earlier than it did last year, I believe.  The half marathon filled a week or so prior to the marathon.  It's definitely an event that is growing in popularity, though I am happy that they are keeping the caps pretty low.  I think the full field will be similar to the #s at the Milwaukee Lakefront Marathon (though that race offers no half) and the Grand Rapids Marathon.  Enough people to keep a runner company pretty much until the finish line, but never really feeling hemmed-in.  I can't imagine running a mega marathon like Chicago (nor do I care to...or spend more than $75 in race fees).  I'm not fond of crowds...and especially not for 4+ hours.

I made a new friend this week.  She is also a member of the little fitness club I workout at and apparently she thought I looked familiar, so asked the manager who I am.  The manager mentioned that this fellow runner was inquiring about me and gave me her name.  So internet stalker that I am (*giggles*) I Googled her and found her Facebook page.  She was pretty tickled by the entire deal, so we have been chatting back and forth via FB.  Today she was coming into the club as Heather and I were finishing up our workout, so we got to meet.  

She does look familiar.  The running community in this region is fairly small, so we do see a lot of the same faces at area running events.  We're going to start trying to coordinate more of our workouts at the gym for the same time in the future.  She is also running at Bayshore...the half.  Her hubby has already run Boston once and is entered in the full.  I'm sure I won't see him except in meeting during some out-and-backs.  Fast people...bah! ;)

1.23.2009

Ahhh...it's been a good week.

The biggest and bestest reason for the grin on my face is our new POTUS.  Though it will certainly take time for the major change that was half of Obama's campaign, the hope (other half) is well and truly strong.  This must be something like the Star Wars concept of peace in "the force."  I truly believe that it's only a matter of time before the US begins a steady turn-around from the mess (on so many levels) that the last administration created and left.  Yes We Can!

And I got to do all outdoor runs this week...whoohoo!!!  Tomorrow I will be back to indoors...partly because it is predicted to be windchills in the negatives, again, but mostly because I have a tempo workout on the schedule and it's far too icy/snowy to be able to do more than trudge along with my heavy Yaktrax on (today, like a dummy, I thought it a good idea to run in my Gore-Tex trail shoes sans Yaktrax...yeah, I forgot how much those stink on ice and loose snow.  I'll be saving those for sloppy Spring trail runs and slushy roads from here on out).

I'm also happy because my suspicions about the shoes I ordered right before Christmas were correct--they were too long.  I ordered a half-size smaller pair and they fit like a dream.  Did a 10 mile run in them right out of the box.  So the first pair is going back to RRS in exchange for another smaller pair (I will then have a pair of white and orange and a pair of gray and blue to alternate easily).

I was a little nervous about not having a confirmed "marathon shoe," as this week is my first week (of 18) in preparation for Bayshore in May, but I think these are going to be REALLY good for me.  I was able to run a couple of miles sans Yaktrax yesterday and they just felt RIGHT!  Like my 902s, but with more stability, which is what I need.  So far it seems like any knee issues are result more of running on slippery snow, which allows my feet and lower legs to twist, as a lot of people who don't have a history of knee issues are suffering little pains here and there.

As for the 902s...I still have one pair just hovering under retirement mileage and 2 pair that should still have 100 miles or so left.  But I'm really afraid to wear them at this point.  Perhaps it's time to cut my losses and donate these gently worn, flashy blue shoes to a local charity.

And, BEST of ALL...my sweet friend, Cali, is posting on RunningAHEAD.com.  I am so happy for her to be progressing in her running and to be part of such a great community of fellow runners.

1.19.2009

Out with the old, in with the NEW!

Normally this concept is reserved for the turning of the year, but we did that nearly 3 weeks ago.  In this event there are 4 scenarios that deserve the above title:
• president
• blog design
• weather
• running shoes (sorta)

Tomorrow marks the first day in office for our newly elected leader of the US.  Never before in my adult life (4 elections) have I been so excited to witness the inauguration day ceremony.  I think it's especially fitting that President Obama will take his place in the White House only the day after Martin Luther King, Jr. Day.  They both bring people hope.  Even decades after his assassination Mr. King is an inspiration.  My favorite line from his "I have a dream" speech is "I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character."  After Barack Obama was announced president elect I felt as if we were a bit closer to that dream being realized.  Tomorrow may well be the most historically significant day of my life.

In other new things...I decided to give my blog a mini facelift.  Last time I renovated this place was immediately after I ran my first marathon last Oct.  Today marked my first run of training for marathon #2.  Seemed like a good excuse to revamp things.  Plus I am craving the sight of green.  It's the dead of Winter and there is little green to be seen--even the evergreens are pretty coated in white snow.  While pretty, it's not colorful.  I like color.  A lot.

Speaking of snow and wintery weather, our brutal cold snap finally, well, snapped.  Today was beautiful...mid 20s, light breeze, full sun.  I had a really nice run, though I believe the question of what has been bothering my knees has been answered.  After nearly a week of running on the treadmill my right knee was all-but-healed.  Today it is cranky, again.  The snow was mostly packed and flat, but is still far less stable than dry asphalt--even with Yaktrax traction devices on my shoes.  I blame the twisting that seems to prevent my kneecap from tracking ideally.  Hopefully things will be better in a couple of months.  In the meantime I may resort to doing 1-2 of my shorter runs/week on the treadmill to simply give my knees a break--at least when roads are particularly snow/icy.

Last item on the agenda: shoes.  I think my suspicion when I received my current pair of shoes (New Balance 769) is correct--they are a tad longer than necessary (I have more than a thumb's width beyond my big toe and almost as much beyond my second and longer toe).  This isn't cause for blisters or chafing, but I definitely feel like my toes have to work harder to keep the shoes on my feet.  I had this issue with a pair of shoes last Spring (same size I'd been wearing in the previous version of the shoe.  The particular shoe in question is also the same size as what I have worn in 2 previous versions).  When I went down a half size the fit was much better.

Luckily Road Runner Sports offers 60 days for returns, no questions asked.  I ordered the same shoe a half size smaller from Running Warehouse (they had the best price and in-stock...RRS is out) and when RRS has the shoe back in the size I need I will exchange the current pair (with 100 miles) for the smaller ones if the pair from RW works, which I am almost certain they will.

1.18.2009

Fool me once, shame on, shame on you. Fool me, you can’t get fooled again.

Thanks, Dubya...now, buh bye! :D

Ok, as for the actual quote that he verbally bludgeoned, “fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me”...I guess I only have myself to blame for the idiotic next 18 weeks.  Today is my official first day of training for marathon #2.  Today is not a running day (which is just as well, as it is still snowing...damned lake-effect crap--we are likely to hit record snowfall this year, as we are already well above average fall for the entire season), but tomorrow will hopefully be my first outdoor run in a week, thanks to the bitter cold--which has finally eased-up.  This evening I will be meeting a friend to go pump iron.  I think we will in the future refer to ourselves as Hans & Franz. ;)

Yesterday I managed an entire HOUR on a treadmill at the little fitness center.  It really wasn't so bad.  I think I do better with music AND something interesting on the TV, or conversation and good TV.  Yesterday I had tunes and was watching CNN's coverage Obama's journey by train from IL to DC.  I am getting more comfortable reading the closed-captioning while running (at first it made me feel off-balance), which really helps the time pass faster.

The night before I ran with Heather (the Hans of Hans & Franz) on the mills...we flipped channels and discovered Blazing Saddles on AMC, so we watched a bit of that and quoted lines before the closed-captioning would pop-up.  It was a bit of a game for us, so that was also a pretty good indoor run...with the added benefit of probably annoying every other person in the place--good times. :)

Last night we attended the 2nd annual "wine tasting" party with a group of friends (co-workers and former co-workers of the hubby).  7 hours of silliness, a board game, and lots of Wii.  The hour drive home took about 90 minutes due to icy back roads, but it sure helped ease the cabin fever that has developed over the past week.

Looking forward to warmer temps this week and perhaps 0 miles on the treadmill.  Last week 22 of my nearly 30 miles were indoor (and I logged my first 6-runs-in-a-row streak to make up for the lack of a long run this week).  Ick. :p

1.14.2009

Eff you and the treadmill you ran in on!

HATE.  Ok, yesterday's 4 mile treadmill run was tolerable, but I think it's because I had hard and fast music on my iPod and I pretty much just went...like a sweaty, chubby machine.  Today I decided it was a good idea to take an easy day (which it was, at least pace-wise), so I loaded a couple of Kathy & Judy/WGN Radio podcasts to listen to.

Bad.  I love "The Girlfriends," but apparently that is only good for LSD runs on the road.  Today I was having a hard time managing an 11:30 pace...actually, I think my pace was officially 11:35 (50 minutes)...but it felt like 9:35.  My entire body felt like lead and I was struggling to keep up with the belt.  Everything was off-kilter.  At one point a side-ache even started-in a bit, which means my breathing was all out-of-whack.  What gives?

Today I had 5 miles on the schedule, but made it only 4.32.  I could not take another step.  I can run a marathon with a smile on my face (mostly), but put me on a moving belt and I have a difficult time making myself go for more than 30 minutes.  Please, Mother Nature and Old Man Winter...please give us a bit of a warm-up so that I can go back outdoors.  

Edit 1/18: A couple of nights ago Heather ran on the same treadmill I had my miserable run on and got off after maybe a half mile.  She also felt like she was dying on that machine.  We both felt like it was running a mile or two/minute faster than what the readout showed.  We even listened to it running...it sounded faster--the pitch was a higher frequency whine than the other machines we ran on at the same displayed pace.  So now I am thinking that my bad run was not ME, but the particular treadmill I was on.  I will avoid that one in the future.

Today would have been a great day had it been a bit warmer.  It was in the low teens.  I'm actually kind of regretting not going out.  It was sunny and not windy and I think my lame asthmatic lungs could have tolerated it for just 5 miles, I'm sure.  And 5 miles on the road is nothing...it's an easy run.  It would have flown-by.  On the treadmill everything is magnified.  A mile feels like 3.  No, 3 on the road feels better.  I don't even know how to compare the two.

For the next few days running outdoors is definitely out.  Windchills of -10 or lower.  Poo. :(

Humans weren't intended to run or bike on machines indoors in front of a TV with closed-captioning and no airflow.  It's not right.

I'm sure it didn't help that I didn't sleep well and had a stressful night and morning.  2 days ago I had an oil change (on "Dash," my most excellent little copper red '06 Mazda 3s hatchback *LOVE*).  Yesterday as I was pulling in the driveway after running errands my oil pressure light came on.  When DH came home he checked the oil and it wasn't registering on the dipstick.  He had to add 2 quarts to bring it to full.  Crap.

Last night he put a sheet under the car and by morning he estimated that a quart was on the sheet.  So I called the oil change place ready to rip heads off--my car is only 3 and just 4k miles out of warranty--yet still not paid-off.  Last night I was pretty much flipping-out over it.

The owner called me back as soon as he got in (around 8:30).  Super nice guy.  He was pretty much willing to bend over backwards to make it right.  So he came over and got under the car in the freezing cold, found the problem (the gasket around the oil filter cap was missing about 3"--needless to say he was pretty disgusted with the guy who had been working the pit, as that's definitely not something that could be easily missed), fixed it, and refilled the oil.

He openly offered to pay for any damage directly resulting from his shop's error.  So I called the nearest Mazda dealership an hour away to ask about a full engine check--explaining what had happened.  She said that the inspection would require removing the heads...pretty much opening the engine up...to the tune of $500-600.  She recommended that my best bet would be to get in writing that the oil change place would pay for any repairs, rather than an inspection that may not find any problem and would cost a fortune.

So I called the oil change place back and he wrote up a fair contract allowing 1k miles to make sure that everything is fine.  During the drive to and from the shop (5 minutes each way) my engine sounded as smooth and quiet as ever, so I think we dodged the bullet.

And I scored 3 free $10 premium car washes and a free oil change from the deal (not sure I would let them change my oil again...at least not unless I can arrange to have it done by the owner--I trust the guy...he seems salt-of-the-earth honest).

A funny: he felt bad about how oil-covered the undercarriage of my car was and told me to come down and let his guys give it a good spraying, but I didn't really see the point.  The car is coated in thick salt and other Winter road gunk.  The oil probably protects the underside of my car from salt corrosion! ;)

1.12.2009

Even bitterly cold, foul Winter weather can't spoil my mood!

Today I got the news that an internet buddy has registered for the Bayshore Half Marathon...yay, Mishka!  He got in right before the HM filled.  I am so excited!  There is a really fantastic group of people from RunningAHEAD.com who are meeting up for this race (either the half or the full marathon distance).  Some who have already met (and really look forward to hanging out, again...and drinking beer), and others of us who can't wait to meet in-person for the first time.  I haven't yet met Mishka, but feel like I've known him for ages.

Even though today's nearly 8 mile run on snow and ice under cloudy skies was kind of drudgery...the whole while I was thinking about how much fun we're going to have in Traverse City.  While my first marathon in Milwaukee was a wonderful experience running with my best friend and meeting a fellow internet running buddy (who, incidentally, took 3rd place at that race), it was a kind of quiet weekend spent in large part in our hotel rooms resting.  Plus my family was in town to watch, so I spent a bit of time with them when I could.  I have a feeling Bayshore will be more about socializing when we aren't actually running or sleeping.  

There is already great talk of how many kegs of beer we can fit in Michelle's mini-van (which is kind of funny, since we all know that after a marathon most of us will be good for probably no more than 2-3 beers, then a LOT of sleep).  There has also been discussion of a winery tour on the way out on Sunday...Black Star Farms Vineyard has my vote (LOVE their Arcturos DRY Riesling, when I can find it).

1.11.2009

I'd like some cheese with my whine

This is what we have to "look forward to" in the coming days...







Can I just say...yuck?!  Actually, that doesn't even show Friday (my planned 11 miler day)...I think Friday is supposed to be colder than Thursday.  Joy.  At least now they are only talking windchills of around -10º.  At one point they were talking 10-20 degrees colder than that.  Note the complete lack of sunshine?  Yeah...welcome to the west coast of MI (I believe last month we hit the record for cloudiest month ever...the land of SAD--it's enough to make a person want a Winter tanning package for UV rays and vitamin D).  So unfair that my folks and siblings on the other side of Lake MI see so much more snow all Winter long than we do.

So...it looks like I will be doing some dreadmill runs this week and pushing my long run back to Sat--when it is supposed to be back around 20.  I've done my runs in sub-zero temps and windchills.  While they are fun for HTFU points, I'm only good for 3-4 miles before I start worrying about frostbite and struggling with the cold/dry air on my lungs.  And, to be perfectly honest, I am sick to death of accumulating a half load of laundry every time I run.  Hi ho, hi ho...it's off to the heated (but boring as hell) fitness center I go....

Gah, they did it AGAIN!!!

My running "friends" are a bunch of damned enablers.  I think "Q" might be the worst of the bunch.  First he pressured me into committing to that insane Winter trail race in the park on 2/8 (he tried to get me to do it last year, too, but I was too in possession of my sanity at that point, apparently).  Last year he did the 10k as one of the only (maybe THE only?) runner in a sea of snowshoers.  They teased him as he post-holed along for a grueling 6.2 miles.  Luckily it appears that this year runners and walkers will only be able to register for the 5k and the 10k will be limited to those with snowshoes.  Phew.

As it turns out there is a 5k/10k road race in Fremont (about 45 minutes away) the previous day.  Q and other local friends are planning to run this race (Heather is planning to drive her SUV that seats 8, so now my driving-to-Fremont excuse is cut down, as well).  So Q has been mocking me and insinuating that I am a pansy by only planning to run the Sunday trail race when he is planning to do both (and also training for the same marathon, trail relay, and 15k that I will be this Spring and Summer...if he can do it, I have no excuse, right?).  Crap.  I will not be mocked...so, dumbass that I am, I will most likely do both races--10k road race on Saturday, 5k trail on Sunday.  These people owe me a few beers, I'd say.

Needless to say, that's going to be a busy weekend.  DS's 8th birthday is that Saturday, and we are planning to take him and a buddy to a hockey game either Friday or Saturday night, too.  I had considered doing the 5k on Saturday...but only if DS were interested in "running" it, but he has pretty much 0 interest.  Now, if he could do it on his bike...that would likely be a different scenario entirely.

1.09.2009

Back in the saddle...

...so to speak.

I finally seem to have shaken most of the crap that has ailed me for...what...2 weeks?  I guess that's about right.  I feel like I've been under the weather for so long that it had become sort of the norm.  But the mucous production has greatly lessened (heh, TMI?) and my lungs are mostly in good shape, again--with the help of my maintenance asthma meds (Advair 250/50...works pretty well, but I still have shit fer lungs).

This week my mileage is (or will be, after tomorrow's run) back in the 30+ mi/week neighborhood.  Next week will be about the same, then I start training for marathon #2 on the 18th...cool.  Though I am kind of bummed that I didn't know about this marathon prior to registering for Bayshore.  I mean, how cool would it be to run the inaugural Wisconsin Marathon...a race with cheesy medals at the end and a post-race brat and cheese party?!  I am so bummed!  I definitely will put that at the top of my short list of to-do races for '10.  Still would love to be able to say "hey, I ran the FIRST ever WI Marathon!"

My right knee has been giving me quiet messages in recent weeks that it needs attention (again...*sigh*).  I think running on slippery snow and ice has allowed some twisting of my feet that has encouraged knee instability.  Hopefully snow/ice-free roads come Spring will alleviate this, but I also probably need to strengthen my quads in the meantime.  Last night I hit the little 24/7 fitness center mostly to get accustomed to the Cybex machines (and am surprisingly not all that sore today--next time more reps and/or weight.  I think free weights and a variety of crunches and planks done on the floor still give me a far better workout, too).  I did just quads and abs work, but eventually will incorporate upper body, too...right now I have chubby little T-Rex arms that I'd like to have a bit more sculpted and strong come sleeveless shirt season.

Next week I will probably be logging more miles than I'd like on the dreadmills at the center, too.  We're predicted to have some pretty Arctic air mid-week.  When it gets much below 0 I don't do well for more than 3-4 miles at a pop and I've heard rumor of windchills of -20-30ºF.  No thanks.  I'm kind of tired of the HTFU thing.  The treadmill stinks, but so does a load of laundry for every run... :p

Now I am starting the weekend with a white russian. :D

1.06.2009

Ice ≠ Nice

2 days ago we had an ice storm in these parts.  Today things are still icy, particularly on residential and secondary roads--where I run.  As a result I will be hitting the dreadmill with Heather in a couple of hours.  Gah.  

What really adds insult to injury is that it is not bitterly cold or windy and it is partly sunny...but the roads are too treacherous.  It's not the sort of surface that one can wear YakTrax on, either...those really require an inch or two of snow and/or frozen slush.  This thin glare ice would likely ruin the YakTrax and be very uncomfortable for running more than a mile or two.  And with no predicted above-freezing temps anywhere in the forecast the ice is not going anywhere (unless the county does the smart thing and dumps some necessary salt on more than just the intersections).

This is just so frustrating...the last 2 weeks my mileage was railroaded by holiday obligations, a snow day, and illness (which I am still dealing with...things seem to have progressed to sinus infection, which may mean I break down and see my PCP or the med center to remedy.  I know from past experience that this stuff will linger endlessly without a course of antibiotics to kill the bacterial sludge in my head).  Now something as simple and stupid as a thin coat of slick ice is preventing me from getting my OUTDOOR miles in.

Luckily we have snow in the forecast.  If we can get just an inch or two of that on top of the ice I can manage runs with YakTrax...I loathe the thought of doing a 2 hour long run on Friday on a treadmill even more than I loathe running that distance with YakTrax on (which is physically unpleasant, but I can deal with physical discomfort for 10-11 miles MUCH easier than I can mental ickyness for that time).


1.04.2009

Another first!

So now I have a few 5ks, 10ks, 15ks, 25ks, half-marathons and a marathon under my belt...I thought I'd pretty much been there, done that in terms of running experiences.  Ha!

Today was my first run on a treadmill (aka dreadmill).  It was OK.  For about the first quarter mile I thought I was gonna go flying off the thing.  Then I found my stride and pounded out a little over 4 miles at 10:50 pace.  That might be the longest 4 miler ever...boring!!!

But the weirdest experience...after I stopped and did about 3 minutes of cool-down walk I got off and nearly fell and puked simultaneously.  I had that same sort of feeling one gets after being on a boat or in an elevator...like the world was moving.  Ick.  I had no idea that happened, but I have since talked to a few other people who say they've experienced the same sensation.

I will probably go back to the club on Thurs.  I need to start doing some weight work a couple of times/week, particularly to strengthen my knee-supporting muscles in my thighs and my abs.  As my runs get longer I always feel it in my lower back if my abs are weak--which they definitely are.

A local running friend is also a member, so we'll be trying to get a couple of workouts/runs in each week at this little 24/7 joint.  Running on the treadmill won't be so bad if we can be side-by-side and chatting during our workouts.


1.03.2009

I am SO ready!

Ready to be done with this dumb respiratory gunk, ready for DH to be well (part of this is selfish...I have slept the last 3 or 4 nights only by virtue of Ambien and earplugs...but he has slept hardly at all--and sounds like the white Barry White...only less deceased), ready for DS to start back to school so I can resume a more regular running "schedule" and ready to get on with training for marathon #2 in late May. :D

Today I mostly bagged my long run and did 8 miles instead of my planned 10.5-11 (after 5 miles I realized that my lungs were just not up to another 5, yet, so cut back towards home).  My mileage last week was 20, this week was 18.5.  What a crappy way to end 2008 and begin 2009.  Oh well, at least I am still ahead of the 1500 mile pace bunny, though I would like to log 1750 miles...but the year is still very young and I have many months to get back on track.  For the next 2 weeks I hope to log ~30 miles/week, then starting on 1/18 I begin my 18 week marathon training regimen--woot! :)

Tomorrow I am planning to finally get in a workout at the little 24 hour fitness joint in town.  My MIL bought me a 2 month membership to get me through Feb., so I'm going to meet a friend there and we'll probably do 4-5 miles on the treadmills.  Looks like tomorrow will be good treadmill weather, too--cold, rainy, icy, windy.  Ick.  It'll be kinda weird to be bare-legged and armed, though.  I've never run on a treadmill, so that will be a new experience, as well.  Going with a friend should make it a bit less monotonous.

1.01.2009

1561 - Happy New Year!

No, that's not a date, that would be my mileage for 2008 (no thanks to current and lingering cold/plague garbage).  My goal was 1500, which I surpassed a few weeks ago, but without this bug I think I could have hit closer to 1600.  Oh well.  This year my goal is 1750.

Last night we rang in the new year with JDRF cycling team friends in Grand Rapids.  Same crew we hung out with last year.  DH and I were both feeling pretty crummy and DS was exhausted, so 15 minutes after the ball dropped on Times Square we were on our way out the door for the hour trip home.

Had I not felt under the weather I can guarantee that I would have laced up my running shoes and gone a few laps around the block...that 0.0 on my RunningAHEAD.com log is a little disconcerting.  Because of my bug I am not participating in today's 6 mile New Year's Day race (which is going on as I type...right now I would likely be closing-in on the 2 mile mark).  Bummer, since the weather is gorgeous--MUCH nicer than last year's bitter-cold and windy race conditions with slippery snow underfoot.

I do hope to go run 5-6 miles a bit later...see how I feel.  I slept poorly last night thanks in large part to my sawmill spouse.  Thank heaven for earplugs (again).  I'm just glad that the snoring is not a common occurrence.  I'm not sure how people get any sleep with a heavy snorer sharing the bed.  I'm a very light sleeper and doubt I could ever become accustomed to that racket.

Yesterday I did my 3rd run in my new NB 769 shoes WITH my Superfeet orthotic insoles.  Felt really good and no knee discomforts during or after run...though it was only a 4.4 mile run.  I hope this combination will be the perfect high mileage trainer/racer recipe.  2008 was the year of asthma & runner's knee.  I want 2009 to be the year that these things do not dog me.  Training for a marathon on a crap knee was NOT something I care to repeat.  Now that I am planning to train for TWO in one year I REALLY don't want to be slowed by knee issues...especially since I am following a somewhat more aggressive training plan for my May race (Higdon Intermediate II) than I did for last Fall's first marathon (Higdon Int. I).

I woke to some excellent marathon-related news this morning--my buddy from the other side of the state (Mike "Power of Q") has registered for Bayshore.  So he and I will be training for and running the same second marathon.  Then he'll be on "my" trail relay team in June and I'll see him again later that month at the 15k in Muskegon (his hometown).  It's really fun the way running introduces us to new friends and keeps giving us a place to get together with those friends at fairly regular intervals.  I'm also hoping to remeet Tony/Mulks and meet other internet running pals for the first time at Bayshore. :)

Now, to share the runner's toast for 2009  that I posted over on RA yesterday:
May the updates of your favorite shoe(s) not be all jacked-up, may your knees, ankles, feet, and hips be pain-free, may your lungs be strong, may illnesses stay at bay, may you exceed your goals, may your weather be cooperative (whatever that may mean wherever you live), may the finish areas include GOOD beer and not that Michelob Ultra shit.