Monday, January 31, 2011

Chapter 2 page 226 - still alive

Wow - the respiratory illness I got last weekend has really lingered. I'm back to work, but still cough and am tired. Needless to say, with my URI and the impending storm (a "historic event" the news keeps calling it), I've been a sloth! I'm so ashamed. I've gained weight and I can just feel my fitness waning . It's now week 3 of my May Half Marathon training and I've done zippo. Ummm- I might have even done less than zippo. I'm going to have to figure things out and get on the horse (at this point, I might have to run to catch up to the horse). I'm open for a big cyber kick in the butt if anyone is willing to dish one out!

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Chapter 2 page 225 - Senior Night

"C's" youngest daughter "B" is a senior swimmer. I had asked several weeks ago if "C" thought it would be alright if I came to the meet. If you missed my last appearance at one of her meets, click HERE. "C" thought it would be a GREAT idea (or so that's what she told me). Although I was probably a little too sick to be out in pubic (I apologize if anyone gets my illness), I ventured out to see the first half of the meet. I was there to see "B" swim 3 events which she did GREAT in. . . total domination!!! At "half time" each senior was escorted around the pool deck with his/her parent(s) while the superintendent read a blurb about the student's future plans. The coach gave each senior swimmer a beautiful rose. I had the honor of recording the whole thing . . . since I just got the camera - sure hope it turned out. Would HATE to ruin such an important event! "B's" boyfriend "J" is the team manager and is also a senior. He too walked the deck and got a rose. It was fantastic to be there to see the two of them. They are great kids!!!! The whole night was started off with "J" playing the Star Spangled Banner . . . WOW- the guy is truly gifted!!!!! Way to go "J"!!!!!
Best of luck, "B" & "J", at sectionals and state!!!!!!!
Be Amazing!!!!

Chapter 2 page 224 - S-I-C-K

After avoiding the half of dozen things that have "gone around" since early October, one of them finally caught up to me. It started at 5:00 a.m. on Saturday when I woke up with a major sore throat . . .turns out it was probably caused by post nasal drip (is that TMI?). All of Saturday I slept, drank, and blew my nose. I felt about 50% better on Sunday, but still decided to take it easy. Went to work on Monday and felt pretty much back to normal . . . until 7 p.m. when IT STRUCK!!! I developed a terrible cough. Wowzers! I took a long, hot, steamy shower. I even put vicks on my chest (haven't done that since I was like 5). I took Mucinex DM. I drank 5 bottles of water. By midnight I was pretty worried that it might be bronchitis or pneumonia. My temp was 99.2-99.8 so that's not really anything too worrisome. I decided to take off work today (except for a 2:00 p.m. meeting that really needed to happen). I slept pretty much until noon and feel a lot better. Tired and still a little cough, but way better than last night at midnight. Hope the cough doesn't come back tonight!

Stay healthy friends!

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Chapter 2 page 224 - Book Review (part 2 of 2)

This weekend I read the book "Marathoning for Mortals" by John Bingham and Jenny Hadfield. I reviewed the first half of the book HERE.

Here are my thoughts about the second half of the book -

Chapters 9: Basic info about injury prevention and treatment. This chapter really only addresses the 3 most common running injuries: runner's knee, ITB, plantar fasciitis. There was nothing new in this chapter. I only scanned it as I knew everything in it already . . . slowly add mileage, listen to your body, running shouldn't hurt, etc.

Chapter 10: Again this chapter is a complete repeat of every other book - nothing new here. Cross-training is important because it changes up the muscles, prevents injuries, keeps you motivated, helps stay trained while recovering from an injury, helps manage weight. The chapter discusses the various options for Cross Training . . . who reading this book doesn't already know them? It does make a compelling argument for ensuring that your training schedule includes cross training sessions.

Chapter 11: This chapter focuses on food as fuel. Although I've had several nutrition classes and feel I have a good grasp on the important concepts . . . I don't come close to practicing them. This chapter was a good reminder of the importance of using food as fuel, not as comfort, not as a social activity, not as an emotional crutch. Contrary to my thoughts (and "L" would agree she felt this way too) - training for a half marathon should easily result in a large weight loss - NOT! This chapter's key message is to PRACTICE what you'll eat and drink on race day.

Chapter 12: This chapter was all about gear - but, this was another one that I simply scanned. One visit to a good running shoe store and you'll know everything in this chapter. It was mainly about shoes - and the importance of getting a good pair that addresses your foot issues. No DUH!

Chapter 13: This chapter was called "Race Strategy, Goals and Objectives" - this chapter alone is worth reading the entire book!!!! It's not particularly new information, but it clearly lays out the reason race strategy is necessary. It forces you to think about plan A, plan B, and plan C because longer distance racing can take unexpected turns. Totally a GREAT chapter. So glad I'm reading this book!

Chapter 14: This chapter discusses tapering to toeing the line. Like other chapters, it wasn't anything new; however, it was reassuring to know that what I experienced just before my first half marathon (the anxiety, fear, worry) is normal.

Chapter 15: This part of the book helps you celebrate arriving at the starting line and the significance that has in your overall life from race day forward. It's pretty motivational - just the thing I'm looking for right now as I face 4.5 months of training for the Geist in May followed by 4 more months of training for the F4F in September and then another half in November. Motivation - can't get enough of it right now.

Chapter 16: This was a fantastic chapter addressing the physical AND mental aspects one experiences AFTER their half/full marathon. The chapter starts with addressing the first 30 minutes after crossing the finish line - both the emotions you experience, as well as the hydration and nutrition needs you have. The chapter walks you through the days and weeks of reverse tapering. My favorite part of this chapter was the discussion of "feeling lost" after spending so much time having been focused on the plan. I totally had this feeling and know that others blogged experienced this too.

Pages 224-253: 8 different training plans; I'm not 100% sure these are ever ones that I would use because they only go up to 10 miles for a half and 20 miles for a full. I'm not the kind of girl who "if you can run 10 miles you can do 13". That's just not me. I'm too big, I'm too slow, it's all just too challenging. I'm the kind of girl who NEEDS to toe the starting line knowing that I've done the full 13 miles and that I CAN do it again! Perhaps I might try one of these plans in between half marathons . . . we'll have to see.

Totally recommend this book!!!
Happy Reading!

Chapter 2 page 223 - Book Review (Part 1 of 2)

Today I read the first half of "Marathoning for Mortals" by John Bingham and Jenny Hadfield. I purchased in it used (like new condition) from for only 88 cents.

I have had this book since right after my second half marathon (Thanksgiving) - a point in time when I thought I was looking for some additional motivation and knowledge to help me do better in my 2011 half marathons; however, the thought of even reading about training was more than I could stomach. . . having had just spent 7 straight months in my first ever training cycle-I was pretty burned out. Now, I'm already a week behind in my next training cycle and decided I NEEDED TO BREAK OPEN THIS BOOK!! I'm so glad that I did. I'm by no means a veteran racer, or experienced runner, or even good. Heck, I'm just a recreational runner who LOVES racing (even though, for me, there is no race . . . well, my race is against myself, it's about proving to myself just what I'm capable of . . . above all, it's just about doing something healthy that's a lot of fun!).

This book is awesome! Everyone who has ever considered doing a half, has done a handful of halves, or is considering a full marathon should read this book!!! This was just the book that I needed.

Here are some highlights:
Chapters 1-4: Providing insights and posing helpful questions to help you determine if you have enough time and energy to enter a half/full training program. This was a HUGE issue for me during my first half marathon training . . . I had NO IDEA how much time was going to be required to train (it takes us slow people A LOT longer than fast people). There are wonderful questions designed to help guide you into the right training program by taking into account your age, gender, weight, current health, past injuries, resources you can devote to training including time and support system, and future goals.

Chapters 5-6: These were probably my most favorite because it took something soooo boring and dry (defining and explaining the different components to a training program such as tempo runs, recovery, cross training, etc) and used a very easy-to-understand analogy.
Living room = room you spend a lot of leisure time in . . . long runs - slow, easy
Bathroom = multi-tasking area . . . shorter workouts which can include pacing, speed, and form
Game room = fun and games . . . cross training and active rest
Bedroom = sleeping and recovery . . . rest days
Kitchen = food prep . . . nutritional component to training
Appetizer = warm up
Entree = actual training part of the work out
Steamed veggies = rest and active rest days
Ground Pepper = cross training
Hot Sauce = tempo runs
Table manners = form drills
Side dishes = short workouts
Wine = workout intensity
Dessert = cool down

Chapter 7-8: Discussion of heart rate, how to lower it, how to raise it, how to properly select the right training schedule to get achieve your personal goals (burn fat, get faster, go the distance, etc)

I'll read the rest of the book soon and post part 2 of the review.
Happy Reading!

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Chapter 2 page 222 - Wells Weighs In

Since I just haven't gotten out there to run with my crazy work schedule, the freakishly cold temps (it was -3.5 degrees last night when I got home last night at midnight), and now I'm sick with the same head cold and sore throat that's going around - I thought I needed to at least post something so . . .

Our local YMCA took a HUGE leap of faith last January and launched a program called Wells Weighs In. There was a committee made up of individuals representing several "wellness minded" local companies. None of us had dared to think how big the 4 month program could have become. In the inaugural year, there were over 500 individuals. This past Thursday was the launch of the second annual Wells Weighs In competition - there were over 650 individuals who showed up, paid their money, and got weighed in. That's a HUGE turn out given we live in a small, rural county.

Program features:
-Teams of 4
-Create a team name (some of my favs from this year are "Wii Not Fit", "Another Bad Idea", "We Don't Have a Name") and get a before & after team photo that is published in the newspaper
-Weigh in once a month (team with biggest % weight lost = winners!)
-Before & After health screenings (2 lipid panels, 2 blood pressure checks, 2 % body fat & bmi screenings)
-Winning team gets $1000 cash prize
-Monthly guest speakers on weight loss topics
-Access to a blog that has tons of great health education information (see HERE)
-Use of the local YMCA one day a week during the 17 weeks of the program

Monday, January 17, 2011

Chapter 2 page 221 - another nothing report

Starting to sound like a broken record over here. Today, I was honesty excited to begin my new training cycle for my May half. Today was suppose to be day one week one. I knew my job could get a little nuts so I even used to map out a 2.5 mile route leaving from and returning to my office so all I had to do was change clothes and walk out my office door. BUT . . . my awesome job (which is easily enough for 2 full time people to do) got in the way. I really hate to blame my job, but in this case - it really was my work that kept me from getting things. My 6-8 hour work day (should have been short because there are 3 14 hour days in a row later this week) became 13 hours. UGGG! I will HAVE to get committed, but my job is going to be extra nuts through the 3rd week of February. I sure would like to do a run so that I could finally have something fun and happy to report about. Please hang in there with me.

Just a little insight - what was today's big work drama?
We had 300 Health Risk Assessment booklets that I had given to the hospital volunteers to help me bubble in over the weekend. I hit the high points with them which included the urgency of using a #2 pencil. Got to work today with a FULL list of urgent things to do - only to find out the volunteers used ink - REALLY?? MY entire day was spent putting out the urgent fires that were already on the list and using a pencil to darken the bubble sheets with a pencil only to cross my fingers and hope it will still work (though, the manufacturer doesn't think it's likely) . . . AND THEY ARE STILL NOT DONE. OMG! Wow - thanks for letting me vent just a quick minute!

Friday, January 14, 2011

Chapter 2 page 220 - sadness

First, I wanted to thank you all for your kind blog comments and in-person hugs and comments. You all have been very supportive and that's been beyond touching.

Second, my 13.5 year old beagle had surgery last Thursday to repair her ACL. She wasn't yet putting weight on her leg and at some point in the last week she had a stroke leading to kidney failure and blindness. We made the painful decision to have her put to sleep this past Wednesday morning. Before I met my husband it was just Hoosier and I. I'm an only child and I adopted her shortly after I moved 1400 miles away from my family following college to begin my first "grown up" job as a middle school teacher. I named her Hoosier because I was pretty homesick for IN when I got her (not because I'm a big IU fan). She and I lived in VA for 7 years and then lived together in IN for 3 years before my husband came into the picture. She and my husband became QUICK friends. He treated her like a princess - it was really sweet to watch them become so close. If you don't have pets then I'm sure you are probably rolling your eyes and thinking this is all just too dramatic I'm sorry. I've come along way since leaving the vet's office on Wednesday morning and I am grateful for the couple of days I've had to reflect on our life together.

Here is one of my favorite photos of Hoosier - it was taken on 12/24/10 while we all enjoyed Christmas Eve at my parents house - just 6 days before she hurt her leg which ultimately led to the surgery and all the down hill from there.

No doubt I'll continue to miss her . . .

Thanks for letting me share a little of her with you.

I'll be back on Monday with the start of our 3rd half marathon training cycle so I'm sure there will blog posts galore. Hope you'll continue to join me on the journey to the 3rd, 4th, and 5th half marathons this year!!!

God bless - take care and have wonderful weekend!!!!!

Monday, January 10, 2011

Chapter 2 page 219 - the nothing update

So I had every intention of meeting up with "C" and "L" and going for a walk followed by dinner so we could really plan out our upcoming training. Things have just been so off due to a wide variety of factors and although none of those factors (except the holidays) has concluded, it would just be nice to have something on paper to work from.


15 minutes before I was to meet up I got a call from the vet where my dog has been since Thursday following an ACL repair surgery. I had planned on leaving her there a few more days until she could at least put some weight on her leg and be able to moderately hobble around - BUT the vet stated it would be best if she come home this afternoon (in fact, can you get up here to get her in 45 minutes???? It's a 20 minute drive . . . so much for my run/planning meeting).

I met up with "C" quickly to explain and to give her the race calendar I made up. We sort of planned to meet up on Friday (I still haven't had a chance to try out my new shoes . . . I know I know - I'm completely a waste of oxygen on this planet.

Show of hands who is tired of reading this running blog discussing my dog? I AM!!! Well, please hang in there with me for a few more brief comments over the next several blogs. The vet told me to make a really comfy place and put her on it. He assured me she will just want to lie right there. So that's exactly what I did - I made the most comfy and wonderful area complete with her bowls so she wouldn't have to go far to eat/drink. Want to guess how long she stayed put??? Zero seconds. She wanted to scoot, gimp, barely hop, drag herself all over the house. I was bent over trying to help her and boy does my back hurt. After 40 minutes of smelling every inch of the living room and the patio I thought my back was going to break and that this was a HUGE mistake bringing her home so soon. Well . . . she got so exhausted from her patrol of the area that she has been sleeping for the past 2 hours (NEXT TO THE COMFY SPOT I CREATED . . . NOT ON IT!!! Crazy dog!).

I'm not very motivated to go out in the winter weather alone these days, and my job is going to be REALLY crazy the next 3 weeks, but I will try very hard to get out there and get at least a little mileage under my belt . . . after all "C" and "L" went 4 miles today (not sure if it was all walk or intervals, but nonetheless, I feel so behind in the fitness game - Monday the new training cycle begins so I guess I'll figure it out then at the latest!).

Thanks for still reading this crazy no-running blog!

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Chapter 2 page 218 - until Monday

I'm sorry I've been a bad blogger this week (I can't believe it's Thursday already, but woo hoo tomorrow is Friday). I haven't done a single thing that would remotely fall into the physical fitness category. I'm not going to make the excuses that I could (primarily my dog has been gimpy and work has been crazy), the bottom line is I've been lazy, not make exercise a priority, and simply just given myself permission to just "chill" until Monday. So . . . that's what I'm doing. My dog had her ACL repaired today and should be home tomorrow (strangly enough, they wanted me to bring her home today . . . .like 4 hours after her surgery - really?!?! UMMMM NO!) and she'll be a LOT of work for up to 3 months (yeah!), but . . . starting on Monday, the 3 musketeers are back on track (at least we have a walk followed by a dinner/planning meeting scheduled). I will be back to regular blogging (I hope) by next week. Until then, have yourselves a great rest of your week and a fantabulous weekend!!!!!

Monday, January 3, 2011

Chapter 2 page 218 - torn ACL (not mine)

I have a 13 1/2 year old beagle named Hoosier. My husband and I celebrated our 3 year wedding anniversary on 1/1/11. Since I began dating my husband, my dog and he have been inseparable. It is truly too cute for words. As many of my local readers know, my dog is old and gimpy and has lots of issues - but last Tuesday night she hurt her leg . . . like she couldn't walk kind of bad. It was really pathetic and scary. I took her to the vet and was told it was not her back (yeah!) but that it was muscular-skeletal and would take a couple of months to heal. I left her at the vets for a couple of days to see if she improved and she did, but only to come home and get worse over the weekend. I returned her to the vet today and guess what I was told???? She has torn her ACL and will have surgery to repair it on Thursday. The vet said it might be 2 months before she is back to normal (hopefully she doesn't tear her other leg's ACL while it is bearing the weight during the healing process). So my old, gimpy, but very loving dog has an injury that young pro-athletes get . . . what's up with that? Oh well, so much for her help during my upcoming training cycle.

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Chapter 2 page 217 - here I go again

A year ago, when I started this blog, I would had never considered doing a half marathon (swear, the thought had NEVER even entered my mind - who runs that far???), let alone actually doing two of them. That pretty much sums up 2010 - come to a cross road, choose a new direction. I had a blessed 2010 and hope the goodness continues in 2011. You can read more of my goals in this post (it's written in the form of a letter - probably my most creative post).

Looking ahead, I have committed 2 two more half marathons (Geist & Fort 4 Fitness) with a third one (Big Sur) still under consideration. I swear I would have never dreamed this for my life, but . . . it's my reality for now. So, I will embrace it and enjoy it.

I have a new page at the top of my blog where I posted the training schedule that I hope to use this winter/spring to prepare for the Geist Half Marathon (May 2011). I have decided to use the same training schedule, more or less, that we used to get ready for my first half marathon last spring/summer. It worked out pretty well. I found it on the web HERE but added 6 weeks to make the weekly long run increases a bit more palatable.

The road seems sooooooooo long . . . 18 weeks of this training cycle (winter and spring will be over before this training cycle is complete). After the Geist, then there is 19 weeks before the Fort 4 Fitness and then another 8 weeks before the November 20th Big Sur Half Marathon. A long road indeed!

I hope you'll hang in there with me throughout this training cycle . . . I'll need each of you to celebrate with me, provide advice, and remind me why it's all worth it!

Here's to 2 more weeks of "fun running" before we have to break out the new schedule.