Saturday, April 30, 2011

Chapter 2 page 297 - heel update: morning after 13 miles

Well - this morning at 4:30 when I got up to take a quick potty break, my heel hurt so bad.   Before I actually got out of bed for good at 10:00 I stretched and stretched and stretched - and it didn't hurt very much.  The bad news is that it isn't completely pain free (boo!), but it is about 50% improved - - - but I don't know if it warrants enduring a few more scraping PT sessions (very difficult decision). 

Sorry to bore you with one heel update after another, but thanks for your encouragement and advice - always appreciated!  Have a great day!

Chapter 2 page 296 - TR 103 the whole thing & heel update

Here's what you need to know  - 
13 miles - DONE!
hill training - DONE!

The part that's not important - 
It wasn't pretty!
It wasn't easy!
It wasn't fast (my watch accidentally got reset at mile 9- huge bummer).
We went backwards (by accident) on one part of route and changed the last 4 miles of our route like 3 times. 

Heel update - this is an important update!
I have had a busy week and not had a chance to post about my heel (I know you were ALL waiting eagerly for a progress note-sorry to keep you on the hook!).  Well, this week my "normal" therapist has been on vacation so I've had the other therapist.  The very first scrape on Tuesday I broke out in a full body sweat.  I screamed out loud (there was absolutely no holding it in).  It was 100% more painful than what the other therapist had done.  Oh my friends- there is NO way to describe it.  I thought it had been a horrible experience these past 5 weeks - nope, that seemed like a day spa treatment compared to what this other therapist was doing.  The ONLY upside is that he only scraped 5 times (instead of 20) in each direction and usually did only 30 scrapes TOTAL (as opposed to more than 200).  He decided that after 20 - I was done for the first treatment - ummmm, that's because I was no longer laying down - I was standing up screaming (though my foot was still in his hands - think stork stance)!!  No chance I had any sort of containment or maturity or dignity.  Later, he stopped by my office and said "It's good it wasn't your left foot because I would have used my right hand and I could have really dug in but using my left hand I don't get very good force."  He was dumbfounded when I explained OVER AND OVER that he was pressing sooooooooooo much harder than the other therapist.  I swear he didn't believe me.  Well - he actually has another patient he has treated this week who also confirmed he is day/night from the other therapist (vindication - not nuts after all!!!).  Yesterday was my 2nd session with him.  My reaction was the exact same - out loud screaming (the department director later said it sounded like the orgasm scene in the movie "When Harry Met Sally" - I was yelling "OH M - Sweet God, M!!! OHHHH M STOP! . . . M did say that he was glad that no other patients were around - yep!).  After the appointment I was in so much pain - I totally knew that I was NOT going to go through another session of this!  I guess that's good because he put me back on the other therapist's schedule and told me that "He was done with me!"  (Nice! - the feeling was mutual buddy- ha!). 
Well - guess what . . . . after my 2.3 miler last night my heel didn't hurt at all!  And now, tonight, after my 13 miler - it hurts only like a 2-3 (instead of a 50 out of 10) . . . .even after I stand up after sitting for awhile.  "C" said that she has never seen me walk so well.  While typing this post I've gotten up a couple of times to let my dog in/out PAIN FREE (well, other things hurt, but not my heel) - I would have NEVER volunteered to let the dog out before - just too painful. 
Now what????  More sessions of the absolute WORST PAIN imaginable?  I think it looks that way (HUGE SIGH!!!!!!).  Stay tuned for how I do tomorrow morning -that will be the official test of my progress though I definitely notice a HUGE IMPROVEMENT right now (God is good!!!)

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Chapter 2 page 295 - TR 102 S.I.T. new runners

This post is just a little note about the awesome accomplishments of tonight's Spring Into Training participants.  This 10 week program has 42 people involved and is a program I lead/coordinate as part of my job.  Tonight we broke the 15 people who were willing to brave the rain, cold, and wind into 3 groups - runners, fast walkers who were interested in starting to run a little, and recreational walkers.  I marked off a 3 mile route for the runners and sent them on their way.  The fast walkers and I started off on a 2.3 mile route with my devil beeper interval timer set to do a 30 second run interval and a 2:30 minute walk interval.  As we started out, I reminded them about posture and breathing and rules of the road (they were forever on the incorrect side of the road).  We walked the first 5 minutes and then began with the first slow run for 30 seconds.  Initially I think everyone thought the 30 seconds was a long time, but as they got more used to the beeping and changing paces - they seemed to like it a little more. They all commented on how fast it seemed to be compared to staring at 2.3 miles on a treadmill.  At various parts along the route, we passed the other groups of runners and walkers.  Everyone was talking, meeting new people, and having fun - something that a lot of them didn't already associate with walking/running.  Mission accomplished!!!!

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Chapter 2 page 294 - "You asked" Part 3: sign language

As part of my 300th post, I did a "ASK ME ANYTHING" session . . .tonight's question comes from Zaneta at Runnersluck.  Have you read her blog - she's adorable.  Check out the cake creation she made HERE.  How perfect is she??? She's a runner and cake maker/decorator - SWEET!!!!!!

Zaneta asked, "Am I still fluent in sign language?"  Zaneta also asked some other things similar to other people, so I'll address them in the very near future (stay tuned, America . . . and my international friends).

 Well, Z (can I call you that?) - the quick answer is not exactly.  That said, let me back up just a little for everyone who is reading this and saying "What, she knows sign language and how did Zaneta know and I didn't?"  Hate to have jealously rolling through the blogosphere.  Plus, if you all read through this whole post, you might learn some interesting things that probably aren't common knowledge.

Back in 1993 (dang that really sounds like A.LONG.TIME.AGO) - I went to college.  I was forced to learn sign language quickly for reasons I don't really want to expound, but it involved intensive tutoring.  I joined the sign language club which was AWESOME (probably sounds geeky now, but it was super awesome back in the day - can I share a small world story about this sign language club  . . . too bad, here it comes . . . skip ahead 10 years and I was making contact with a sign language professor at a Northern Indiana college- sorry can't remember which small private school it was - and bang, suddenly found myself emailing the old president of the sign language club when I was in it. She had gotten married and had a different last name so I was like, aren't you Angela that lived above the bookstore and gave me my sign name and . . . and she was like "YEAH!"  Cool - small world.

Back to the question at hand.  During college I excelled at sign language and was blessed with the opportunity to be a pre-school teacher at the Indiana School for the Deaf for a year (in case you don't know - it's HUGE for a non-born deaf person to be a teacher at the Deaf school AND to teach pre-school which is reserved for only the best signers because this is where language developement occurs).  I also coached at ISD and led after school activities for the elementary school and middle school. I joined the Deaf club in Indianapolis which is sort of like the VFW or the Elks but it's only for Deaf people (by the way - those of you reading, do you know the difference between "deaf" and "Deaf" - the capital letter in the Deaf refers not only to the inability to hear, but describes a person who identifies with a specific type of culture - the Deaf culture.  Deaf people are strong supporters of residential Deaf schools, use American Sign Language, despise the use of cochlear implants, and generally advocate for Deaf (president) power now (in all aspects of life not just in the Gallaudet revolt of 1988/89). The opposite end of the hearing inability spectrum are deaf people (not capitalized) who are generally integrated public school students, who more often than not learn Signed Exact English or use Cued Speech or may use an interpreter and who generally come from hearing families and relate more to the hearing culture, and support the use of cochlear implants.  These, of course, are generalizations of the two extremes and there are, of course, exceptions.

After about a month after graduating college and moving to Virginia in 1997, I no longer had access to signing with other people.  One of my biggest regrets is that I wasn't able to volunteer at the Deaf School and be involved in the Deaf community while in VA. 

So, like lots of things in life, if you don't use it - you loose it.  I have a running friend who has a deaf son so I get to break out some sign language every now and then when I see him.  I can carry on a conversation with him (he's an elementary school kid - ha, so it's not overly advanced).  I do have to say that words like "cell phone, internet, email, texting - those were not commonly used English words at the time because those things weren't really around much (please don't stop reading my blog and calling me old - I'm 35 . . . soon to be 36), so . . . I actually never learned those signs (pretty sure they didn't have them - though I seem to remember the "e" hand shaking side to side kind of like the sign for "emergency" then the "mail" sign- thumb on lip then put on palm as the sign for e-mail, but it was used VERY rarely  . .  who emailed people back in 1994?  

So, I hope that answers your question and teaches people a few things as well.  Sign language, interpretation, Deaf education, Deaf culture - it's all so close to my heart.  Got questions - fire away!

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Chapter 2 page 293 - TR 101 "easy" 4 miler

After several of our last training runs being done on very (relative since I live in flat-ol' Indiana) hilly routes in the cold and rain, I thought today's FLAT 4 miler in the warm sun would be EASY . . . but it wasn't.  HUGE SIGH!  What?  Why not?  It just felt as if I hadn't spent one second training at all in the last 6 months.  I had a super hard time breathing.  We did get a quicker pace during mile 3, but the first 2 just felt as if I was dragging a 1000 pound weight behind me (ohh, wait, that's my booty - never mind).  The last few "easy short runs" have been anything but easy!  The big swing in weather from 47 degrees to 70 degrees may play a factor, but I also think running mostly 2 times a week instead of 3 (I avoid 4 day run weeks because of all of my tendency toward overuse injuries).  Last year for my first half I almost always ran at least 3 days a week, but with the horrible weather we had all winter and so far this spring - I have only been putting in 2 days a week (a long run, and a 3-6 miler).  Hmmm, definitely going to have to do more this summer in prep for my 3 (and possibly 4) half marathons!!!!!

How was your last run?  Do you find the weather change impacts your breathing or your comfort with a run?

Monday, April 25, 2011

Chapter 2 page 292 - "You asked" part 2 - food edition

Recently, in celebration of my 300th post, I offered up an "Ask me anything" opportunity.  This post will answer 2 questions about food.

Christina from Mommaof3ontherun (who, by the way, is a GEM - if you ever get the chance to meet her in "real life" you will totally see what I mean !!!).  I had the pleasure of meeting her when "C" and I ran the Women's Half last November in St. Petersburg.  Hey Christina - I'm so coming back in November 2012 - would you consider doing it again? I digress, back to the point of this post . . .

Christina asked:
" Maybe something about how you manage to keep to a weight loss plan while getting enough nutrients for running...I'd love to hear how you reach that balance".

Well, regretfully, I'm pathetic when it comes to weight loss and eating.  One of the best pieces of advice I have ever heard was "be the role model - that person at work that everyone looks at and thinks "wow he/she is such a healthy eater" or says "wow, he/she really takes good care of herself."  As part of my job, I am a wellness coach so at work and when I'm in public, I do make an effort to make good/healthy food choices.  If I'm out of town, alone, or at home - well, decisions don't always go so well.  I will say that since my high triglyceride diagnosis at the end of January, I've done a LOT better.  I've never been a follower of weight watchers or anything, though I have no doubt that can be extremely effective - but in the end, it comes down to choices. . . what to eat, how much to eat, when to eat, etc.  All that said, since January when I undertook my "lifestyle revolution" I have noticed that eating more fruits and veggies and whole grains has kept my blood sugar more regulated (no more of those ups and downs - unless I make poor choices, which with the Easter candy that was in the stores for what surely was MONTHS, definitely happened) and to my surprise, it has given me all the energy I have needed to get in those long runs.  Being mindful of portion size, protein/carbs and really aiming for 7-9 produce servings seems to keep me on the right track.  My big failure comes in the form of failure to plan (failure plan my menu for the week, failure to grocery shop for the week, failure to pack my snacks, etc).

Next, Molly from Imasleeperbaker asked . . .
"My question is related to food, and I want to make it fun....what would your last meal be???" 

What a great question -totally a tough one!!  And given my answer to the above question, I feel quite hypocritical, but you asked . . .  I would definitely start with dessert and it would definitely be a multi-layered cake - probably chocolate and vanilla with tons of frosting.  I think then I would have the main course . . .
Filet mignon - well done and bacon wrapped (it's my last meal, right? why not), maybe even topped with sauteed onions and mushrooms and a delicious sauce or blue cheese crumbles
Crab cake - jumbo lump
Greek salad - extra Feta & olives
Fruity flavored martinis and margaritas - keep 'em coming

What would you choose for your last meal?

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Chapter 2 page 291 - have you heard of this?

Have you heard of Active Release Technique (click HERE for more info)?

Everyone reading my blog knows I'm dealing with a severe case of plantar fasciitis.  It's been 11 years and has really gotten unbearable in the last year.  Although I still have 4 more PT sessions, I think we've reached the max benefit from that (HUGE SIGH!).  I have been looking into other options and came across this thing called Active Release Technique as a possible treatment option.  Since I have never heard of it, I thought I would ask you if you have heard of it, experienced it, or know of anyone who has?


Saturday, April 23, 2011

Chapter 2 page 290 - giving back

Today, "C" and I gave back to the running community which has given so much to us.

Just a random photo from the web, not a photo of today's event!  

 Today our small local running club hosted an event called "Spring Training 5 & 10 Miler".  It's always a small intimate race (usually under 50 racers) and is intended for area runners who are training for the Flying Pig or Indy Mini or other major spring race.  Although the actual race was extremely well organized (no surprise, a veteran race director was in charge) - details about the event in the weeks leading up to today were a little uncertain.  Without having the event specifics (time, location, etc), "C" and I did our long run yesterday but that left us without plans for this morning.  So, late last night we decided to be race volunteers.  "C" and I were put in charge of the 2 water stations (which served as 4 water stations for the runners in the out and back course).  It was so rewarding to cheer on the 40 runners (including some of FW's fastest like Eric Ade and 4 other 3 Rivers Running Company elite runners) and help them feel encouraged (and hydrated) along the route.

Have you volunteered for a race?  What did you do and what was your experience like?

Friday, April 22, 2011

Chapter 2 page 289 - TR 100 a dress rehersal

First - let me hold a quick celebration of our 100th training run (that's what the TR stands for in the title in case you forgot).  100 - wow, 51 weeks ago, I would have NEVER dreamed this would be my reality.  A special thanks to "C" and "L" and MGA who have made all of this possible.  No chance this would be my current situation without you girls!  A special heartfelt message to all my readers - thank you!  Thank you for hanging in there with me!  Thank you for your willingness to reach out a hand of support and cheer.  Thank you for so freely and generously offering advice - girls, I seriously couldn't have done this without you!!!!  My heart sings in appreciation for you all! ((hugs))

Second, let me tell you all about today since it was, in fact, my 100th training run.  "C" and I are doing the Geist Half Marathon in exactly one month.  Although "C" has some experience with the area, neither of us knew very much.  So what are 2 gals to do when they have the day off and an upcoming race . . . load up the car and make it a road trip of the ages!!!  We met up at 9:00 and headed down to the Geist reservoir.  Our first mission was to drive the route. . . TWICE.  I'm a bit type A plus having a good understanding of the intricacies of the race will definitely help me on race day (I know most of you aren't like that - it's okay, can't we still be friends? SMILE).  We then opted to do 10 of the 13 miles of the race (the 10 miles were in a loop, but the other 3 were a straight path out of the loop so it would have been 6 miles to go out and back then do the loop = 16 miles . . . .definitely more than we were ready to do).  Click HERE to see the map course. 

Here's how our "dress rehearsal" went:

The good - 
1.  We did it!  We have a great feel for the challenge this course will give us come race day.
2.  We went 2:2 for the entire time NEVER walking through any intervals despite several huge hills (Kelly @ Thisisahorribleidea was right - mile 8 is a hill to remember!.  We did walk the first 4 minutes, ran the last 6 minutes, then walked .5 cool down back to the car.
3.  It is doable. 
4.  The temperature was about 50 degrees, mild winds (5 mph), windchill 47, and overcast.  Pretty ideal in that respect.
5.  Although the run was a challenge, we had a a lot of fun.
6.  Our time - we did 10.06 miles in 2:34.44 (remember we walked SLOWLY the last 1/2 mile + 4 min. warm up walk) and this was very hilly!
7.  I ate a half of a PB sandwich right before we started and had no low blood sugar moments during the run.

The bad - 
1.  It is certainly challenging - seriously!  Our race day time will not be that fast, but we're not going to need to be picked up by the sag wagon either.
2.  My heel KILLED ME!!!!!!  That's seriously disappointing.  I will be seeing a different PT next week, we'll see if he has any other ideas.  While we're on the subject of pain, my right knee (possibly the down hills) and my who ha (also on the right side) hurt.  Terribly disappointing.  I KNOW I would LOVE running if it didn't hurt so much. 
3.  We didn't get to eat our chews at mile 3 and 6 as planned due to traffic (see ugly).  We ended up eating some at a little after mile 4 and that's it.  I tried my very first Gu - mint chocolate . . . okay, but definitely not going to be my future fuel of choice.

The ugly - 
1.  Well, we ran 10 miles of the actual race route today so . . . the roads were open to regular traffic.  Although a significant amount of the route had paths and sidewalks or were on quiet neighborhood streets, there was a total of about a mile (4 different parts of the route) that we ran on a very thin shoulder (or directly on the busy road).  Parts of it were a little dangerous - but fear not . . . I wore my THIS.  Plus, I wore a red firefly on my sun visor that I won in a give-away from Rustbeltrunner back in October.  Completely sexy - sorry no pix!
2.  THE.WEATHER!  With about 4 miles left, it started to rain - every step seemed to bring more and more rain.  It could have been worse, but it got much colder and we ended up soaked!  We were determined to do this no matter what the weather, but the lightening and thunder got bit extreme.

All-in-all, today's dress rehearsal was completely a worth while experience.  Super glad we made the trip!  You'll have to wait a month to hear how the official race turns out . . . fingers crossed!

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Chapter 2 page 288 - some questions

Question #1:
I live in IN, but I'm pretty sure based on national news, we're not alone . . .
Show of hands who is SICK of the cold, damp, cloudy, rainy, windy weather??????

Question #2:
My second question is aimed at anyone who has followed a training schedule with increasing long runs -
have you ever been fearful of the upcoming long run?  A week and a half ago we ran 12 miles - and did pretty well (the last mile was hard), and this Friday we're planning on 13 miles (actually running the full course for our half marathon next month).  I'm very much looking forward to seeing what we're in for, but very much frightened that I won't be able to make it.  I'm not a "real" runner, but I've done the long runs in this training cycle of 8, 9, 10, 11, and 12 miles.  Do you ever worry about an upcoming long run or is that unique to me? And the event you also get nervous or worried, what suggestions/advice do you have to "get over it"?

What is the piece of gear/equipment you absolutely LOVE the most (related to running)?

Thanks everyone for your answers - I'll put them to good use!

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Chapter 2 page 287 - heel update 5 (of several more)

Readers of my recent "Heel Update" posts know that I've been hovering at the "11" according to the scale above (no offense to my religious readers - the graphic was just too funny to not include).
BUT NOT TODAY!!!  Today's rehab was FAR LESS painful than it has been the last 7 times!  I asked the therapist if she had quit pressing hard (you know, maybe because she was tired of my crying and screaming) and she said she was actually pressing harder- say what?!?.  There were no tears, no screams, and no red face.  (Please don't read this as "it felt awesome and I wished I could have another hour . . . because THAT'S DEFINITELY NOT THE CASE!).  Although the overall PF hasn't really improved too much - I think some progress has to be being made if the scraping hurting less . . . right?  So glad I can finally report some better news!

Stay tuned - 4 miler tomorrow, 2 miler Thursday, and 13 miles on Friday . . . that'll be the real test!

Chapter 2 page 286 - "You asked" part 1: husband

As part of my 300th post, I did a "ASK ME ANYTHING" session . . .
I'm going to start with answering the request of Holly @ Rustbeltrunner and Christina @ Mommaof3ontherun who both wanted to see a photo of my husband. 

Well, he's NOT thrilled I'm posting a photo, but after arguing about it - he gave in and agreed that I could show you this photo  . . .
He's a HUGE outdoorsy guy.  He enjoys fishing, hunting, and camping.  This is a photo of him helping me get my first fish off the hook.

But I think that photo just wouldn't satisfy your interest, so . . . I'm sneaking in one more photo. I before I reveal that photo I want to share with you a little bit about my husband.  Before I really "met" him, I had known "of" him because he works in my office building - though, he always looked like he was 55 years old - he started balding and turned gray early in his 20's (poor guy).  When I first started working in the building there were SEVERAL employees trying to get us together.  I was like, "UMM, no he's OOOOOLLLLLLDDDDDDD".  Come to find out - back then - he was only like 37 . . . poor guy, seriously looked 55!  My husband is super quiet and doesn't often speak or cause any attention to be called to him (those of you know me in "real life" know I'm 100% the opposite!).  Eventually, I had worked in the building for about 3 years and one day he came to my office (strictly for business), we started talking (slightly less officially) and I discovered he has the BEST sense of humor - I laughed my butt off (problem is he is so quiet at work that NO ONE believes me that he's so funny!!!!).  We have been married almost 3.5 years.  I digress, the photo below is on our honeymoon, we were getting ready to eat at Ruth's Chris. 

Friday, April 15, 2011

Chapter 2 page 285 - heel update 4 (of many) lots of photos

I'm calling this update "Tears from the Torture" -Today was my 5th rehab visit.  During my previous appointment (on Tuesday), it was so painful that my hands got all sweaty and I honestly thought I might throw up.  Today, I brought my camera in order to document the torture (Thanks "L" for taking the photos) and share it with all of you - these photos are NOT staged . . . they were taken during the actual treatment and capture my authentic reaction.  I can say, that all of this pain, may be worth it - my heel still hurts so there is still along way to go, but I can say there has been some improvement.
Pointing to the painful area so the therapist hits "the spot" (mental note - next time point to some place that doesn't hurt! HA!)

Large scraper - scrapes the instep/arch area

Small scraper - scrapes deep and in a more pinpointed area

sweet love of all that is holy - this really hurts - PLEASE make this stop!!!

Scraping the calf . . . doesn't the therapist's hand look like it's pressing hard?  She swears she isn't pressing very hard . . .whatever!!!!
After getting told to "hold it down" during my previous PT session when I let out a rather loud OUCH, this is me, "holding it down" - Look at how tightly my hand is squeezing and the dark red face - pain scale 1-10 . . . this is about a 50!!!! 
Last chance to join the "ASK ME ANYTHING" party in celebration of my 300th post.  Click HERE to check it out!!

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Chapter 2 page 284 - TR 99 + Spring Into Training

Tonight was the first night of my 10 week training program called "Spring Into Training".  We had 45 people sign up - it was so fantastic to see all the men and women jumping in with both feet.  This program is exactly like the other 5 I have coordinated.  It will alternate training sessions with guest speakers (on topics such as hydration, cross training, injury prevention, etc).  Tonight was orientation and registration followed by an easy 1 miler.  A quick survey of the room seem to show that the majority of the folks were at least considering doing a 5K (or further) race within 6 months . . . they don't know it, but I'm hoping they will do the Full Moon 5K and Fairways event on 6/17/11 here in Bluffton (a cross country 5K followed by a few holes of night golf - HOW.MUCH.FUN!!!).  Next week, there will be a guest speaker from 3 Rivers Running Company talking about shoes and apparel.  Participants get a discount at 3 RRCo during the 10 week program.  I'm so excited about this program because 2 previous programs just like it have changed my life - first one got me into racing, the second one introduced me to "C".  Stay tuned - I'll post weekly updates on the event.  It's not to late to join us.  The program is only $10 and meets Thursdays from 5:30-6:30 p.m. in room 401 of the Bluffton Regional Medical Center.  To sign up (next week is the final chance to join us), please email me at spunky (underscore) lisa (at) yahoo (dot) com with the subject S.I.T.  I know there's some locals reading this who are walkers/runners . . . come on and join us.

Before tonight's Spring Into Training session, "C" and I got in an easy 2:2 3 miler - except it didn't feel that easy to me.  My left shin was hurting (again . . . or still) and it was pretty warm.  It felt really difficult compared to other runs, but then again, my Monday 4 miler felt challenging too.  Kind of depresses me - when do the shorter runs get easy??????  Anyway, I'm thinking that it's a little more difficult because I have really gone up in my mileage this week.  I think I did 23.7 miles, and I have been doing like less than 15.  During our time together tonight, "C" and I decided when we will be going down to at least drive, and maybe even run, the Geist route . . . fingers crossed I don't FREAK OUT with the hills.  Once we do that, I will definitely let you know how it goes (please don't forget to breathe in the meantime, I know - you are on pins and needles with anxiety waiting to hear my thoughts of the course - SMILE!!!).

It's not too late to get in on the "ASK ME ANYTHING" from my 300th post.  Click HERE to ask your question.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Chapter 2 page 283 - 300th post

My blog . . . by the numbers
# posts = 300 

# months to reach 300 =15 1/2 months (first post on 12/29/09; 100th post on 7/14/10; 200th post on 12/8/10; 300th post on 4/13/11)

# followers = 15 (Love you ladies - thank you SO MUCH for following me on my journey!)

# comments= 524 (I'm thankful for EACH and EVERY comment - thank you, everyone!!!!)

# bloggers I've met in real life= 5 (Rustbeltrunner, Healthystrides, Weighing In, Flying Kites, Mommaof3ontherun) and  (soon to meet 2 more at the Geist next month-Thisisahorribleidea, SwimbikeruntrainwithLisa)

# background changes = 3 (can't remember the first one, books, and now pinkie)

# blogs I read daily = 29 (I read EVERY blog on my blogroll whenever they're updated)

# Stylish Blog awards awarded = 3 (Thanks everyone who has nominated me)

In honor of my 300th post, I'd like to do as others have done, I'd like to host a round of ASK ME ANYTHINGFire away - I'll try to answer all the questions.  Additionally, if you have any topics you would like me to write about - add those to your comment too. I'll see what I can do!!!

Thanks for following my journey - 
I'm happy to have you along!!!

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Chapter 2 page 282 - TR 98 a short recovery walk

Did you hear my joy at about 4:45???? Yeah, that was me . . . walking (not running) with "L" for the first time in what feels like FOR-EV-ER!!!  We only went 2.5-3.0 miles and it was definitely leisurely, but the weather was beautiful, the nature surrounding us was beautiful, the chit-chat was just like old times.  Man, I have missed walking with "L".  "C" was enjoying a much deserved hot rock massage from MGA so "L" and I went for a short walk between my events today.  It was a lot of fun.  I would like to do that at least twice a week.  It was WAY less challenging than running!  Tomorrow, "C" and I are headed to Happyville for a 5 miler.

Monday, April 11, 2011

Chapter 2 page 281 - TR 97

Today was suppose to be our long run (but it was moved to this past Saturday because today's forecast was for wind and storms).  I had packed my clothes, as I always do, just in case the weather was nice enough to get in a couple miles . . . and it was absolutely stunning.  I geared up and set out for a run (and by run, you all know that I mean a run/walk, right?).  I set out on a path that I could go 2, 4, 6, or more miles depending on how I felt - I could turn around at various points.  I did this alone because "L" had to work and I hadn't had a chance to talk to "C" since the weather turned nice at the last minute.  I listened to my tunes.  I struggled initially-the air was thick.  I was VERY sweaty - of all days to forget to pack a bondi-band, sigh!  I found my rhythm and when I reached the 2.4 mile point I decided to turn around and run longer intervals.  I did 2 intervals of 6:2.  I felt good about running longer - the second one was quite a challenge.  I then decided that I could benefit from some speed-walking interval training. Why speedwalking instead of jogging? - 1.)  my usual walking intervals are a little slow; 2.) my shins could use a little strengthening (try speed walking - that's serious shin action!!!); and 3.) why not - couldn't hurt.  I'm glad I only did it for 1 minute - my shins really got fatigued not to mention my heart and lungs which were working hard.  I looked just like those Olympic speedwalkers - hips a' rockin' and all!  Sexy - huh!  Ohhh, and I sang my tunes out loud because well,. . . no one was around.  Anyway, my second half was 5 minutes faster than my first half so . . . I 'd say that's pretty good.  Total time for 4.77 miles . . . 1:03.53.  Not too shabby for me!  Tomorrow, "L" and I are going for a short 2-3 miler (it feels as if it has been FOR-EV-ER since I worked with "L" . . . "C" is getting an hour hot rock massage tomorrow . . . so jealous!!!).

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Chapter 2 pag 280 - What's for dinner? Sunday edition

Grilled Tuna steak marinated in fat free Italian dressing (I grill mine until it's super done - no cool pink center for me!!!!) - only ate half of it - very filling.

4 roasted radishes (the food network said that this would make them A-MA-ZING! . . . not so sure they were all that, but they were different . . . I'd do it again)

1 cup Asian Veggie Medley (Byrd's eye steamer bag)

1 cup whole grain Santa Fe rice

and for dessert. . . not pictured, a cup of fresh pineapple.  It was super sweet and delicious!

What did you have for dinner?

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Chapter 2 page 279 - TR 96 12 miles of hills

As you may remember from Tuesday's post - this is a cut back week on our training schedule.  That said, we thoroughly enjoyed our big city 6 mile hill run on Tuesday.  Additionally, next week our only free day to do a long run was on Monday (maybe Wednesday if we stayed in town, but it would definitely be dark before we finished).  We looked at Monday's forecast  . . . it was suppose to be 100% chance of thunderstorms and 50-60 mph winds!  That would make for a crazy long run so "C" and I decided that today would be our "next week's" long run!  We drove to the big city to do a double lap of our Tuesday excursion.  We were pretty psyched about it.  The forecast was sunny & 70's, though the actual conditions were 46 degrees, 98% humidity, and completely overcast!!  Hmmm, gotta love the weathermen!

We set out with a plan to do 2 laps of exactly what we did on Tuesday - with a small rest/potty break/water refill between the 2 laps.  The first lap starts with a path that is wide open (so the wind made it a challenge) and because it's just in the wide open, it's a little boring.  We soon got to the "meat" of our route.  We decided we would do our first lap exactly as we had done it on Tuesday and for the second lap we would go in reverse so that we would get the hills going the opposite direction.  One route is basically a square with the exception on one of the sides we extend by running another 1/2 mile then turn around and come back so that we can finish the square.  I suggested that those serious hills would suck toward the end so we went down and back twice right then and there so we wouldn't have to catch that on our second lap.  "C" was very thankful that I made the suggestion.  As we were closing in on the car (thanks "C" for driving) for our "half time" break - I suggested we run the long way around the path so that we won't have to do it at the end.  Once again, when we got to the end, "C" was super thankful we had gone ahead and done the boring path twice so we could just head straight to the car after we did the square.  Here is us after we were done (like 15 minutes after we were done and we had changed our shirts). 

On the positive side -
1.  We did 2:2 the ENTIRE time except for a 6 minutes warm-up, a 4 minute "cool down" to our midpoint break, then a 4 minute warm up ramping back into our 2nd lap, and we didn't cool down until after we reached the 12 mile point and turned off the stop watch and Garmin (love the Garmin, "C" - thanks for bringing it!).

2.  Our time was 3:08.23 - that isn't that speedy, but we were pretty pleased since there were nearly 9 miles of continuous hills.

3.  I got to do this run with "C" - it was so enjoyable.  I'm thrilled that "C" and I have been friends for just a few weeks more than a year!!!!  I'm thankful everyday to have her in my world!!!!

4.  It didn't rain on us despite the radar showing the red and yellow was approaching quickly!

5.  I didn't once say "I want to sit down."  And, I really kept my complaining to a minimum.  There was a point at 11.4 miles when we had to create a random extra lap of a nearby block when I got kind of mouthy - here's how it went:
C:  Come on, you can do it
Me:  Nope, I really can't
C: We're almost there - let's just do this
Me:  No, I'm serious!  I don't have one more step in me.  I'm done.  I can't go any further.
C:  Yes you do, come on.  We got this.  I'm pretty sure this road connects to the main road.
Me: Pretty sure?  Girl - if we get around this bend and the roads don't connect - I'm gonna curse like a sailor (actually - I can't remember what I said at this point because I was really loosing my mind - but "C" laughed).
C:  See - look, it connects.  We are 11.83
Me:  Oh God 11.83 - okay - we can do this.  (we were walking at the time).  I bet we won't even have to have another run interval.
C:  Yeah we will
Me:  Who SAYS!?!
C:  Laughing her butt off as she realized I'm now arguing like an elementary school kid

On the bad side -
1.  I got some blisters
Same spot as the last few runs (left foot)
Blister (right foot) because the PF taping bunched up - ouch!
2.  The weather - we were totally soaking in sweat but freezing at the same time.  I guess that's what 46 degrees and 98% humidity.

Afterward, since we were in the big city, "C" and I ate lunch and did some shopping - FUN!  Makes the whole 12 miles!
California Chicken Salad from O'Charleys - "C" and I both had this for lunch - YUM-MY!
 All and all, this was much more enjoyable than our boring routes locally.  Also, I'm thrilled to have the confidence of knowing we did 12 miles of hills - that'll go a long way to helping me at next month's Geist half which everyone says is super hilly (whose idea was that crazy race anyway!!!).  Great day of training!!!!

Friday, April 8, 2011

Chapter 2 page 278 - book review

First, some background info on how this book became on my reading list.
Back in January, Frank Shorter (click HERE to learn more about him) was the keynote speaker at the annual Fort Wayne Track Club awards banquet.  Accompanying him to the Summit City was author, John Brant - John is most commonly known for his long-time regular contributions to Runner's World magazine.  He also wrote the well known non-fiction book "Duel in the Sun" detailing the life path of two runners, Dick Beardsley and Alberto Salazar.  John was accompanying Frank on this whirlwind visit to Northern Indiana because he was doing research for a piece (not sure if it's going to be a book or an article) he was writing about Frank's life.  My running mentor, "M", knew he would be meeting both Frank Shorter and also this author.  "M" was very familiar with Frank, but read the book "Duel in the Sun" to learn more about John Brant.  After he finished the book, "M" suggested that I might enjoy reading it as well.  So . . . I did. 
Initially, I hated this book.  It is really difficult to follow due to it's heavy use of flashbacks.  I put the book back on the shelf for over a month thinking that after 4 chapters this just wasn't the book for me.  I, however, pulled it out and got into it . . . finishing up the remaining 210 pages in just 2 evenings.  The book discusses America's greatest marathon and the year that 2 world class runners were neck and neck and finished with just 2 seconds separating first and second place.  This book is a well told story of the highs and lows before, during, and after the epic race.  You can learn more about the book from it's wikipedia page - HERE

Given it's "Boston time" - this is a great gift for runners and readers alike (available used at amazon for $3.66, it's a bargain!!!). 

Chapter 2 page 278 - heel update 3 (of many)

Here's another post you may not be too interested to read, but it comes with some of my most unattractive photos :)!

Today was my 3rd actual rehab session and you know what the agenda was . . .

#1) Scraping (ohhh how that tickles to the point of torture and hurts to near tears -all wrapped up in one big scraping party!)

#2)  Manual tissue manipulation - kind of like a massage, but definitely NOT.  Today, she decided to go up my calf just to make sure it was all good - and OUCH, she found a spot just below my knee on my upper left calf - the therapist pressed on that exact spot for like 2 straight hours (okay, exaggeration, but still it was seriously like 10 minutes . . . she swears she wasn't crushing some vital artery - though, I'm skeptical!!!  Kidding - I'm sure these delightfully painful sessions are all going to pay off in being PF free some day soon!!!


#3)  Taping - tomorrow, "C" and I are planning on running 12 miles (on a hilly course) so my therapist thought it would be a good idea to tape it to see how it may affect my pain level during the run.  She's actually taped it for me before - but this will be a much better comparison.  I didn't take a photo of it until I got home at which time, Pacer thought "hmm, what is this on your foot mom - I gotta smell it!!!"

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Chapter 2 page 277 - heel update 2 (of many)

You can absolutely skip reading this post - it simply has to bore you to death to hear about my heel.  I'm blogging about it in case anyone else out there struggles with PF and more importantly- I'm writing about my journey through rehab as a reminder to myself of the highs and lows that come with dealing with a chronic issue.

I had my 2nd PT session on Tuesday morning - yep, more scrapping.  It was a lot more painful this time, but still - it's very do-able.  It's uncomfortable - not really so much PAIN.  It helps to know that there are only about 20 scrapes in each direction on each spot . . . it's still about 40 minutes of it though.  After the scrapping, then there is a short ultrasound session which doesn't really feel like anything.  Then, with the aide  of a belt, a long stretch. 
 Later in the day on Tuesday, "C" I ran 6 miles.  It hurt - it always hurts.  It's not new, but I have to say I really am getting fed up with the pain that ALWAYS comes from running.  (fingers crossed - it will eventually go away). 

As part of my job, yesterday I had to stand for about 4 hours on a concrete floor.  It made my heel hurt considerably.  The 2nd half of the day, I was able to sit and dropped my heel off a step so it was stretched for about 90 minutes.  When I got home, besides being exhausted - my heel hurt.  This morning, I woke up to ZERO first step pain.  Woot Woot!  Regretfully, my work duties had me standing on the concrete floor all day once again.  So after a glimmer of hope from a pain free first step this morning, it's back to killing me this afternoon.

More PT on the schedule for tomorrow morning.  Stay tuned. 

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Chapter 2 page 276 - TR 95 Hill training

This week is a cutback week on our half training schedule (yes, you hear me yelling woo hoo!!!!!).  We were going to aim for a 7 miler, but decided that we might benefit from hill training even more.  "C" and I drove to the Big City and ran in a brand new area for us (it was near the hilly area of the race I did a couple of weeks ago).  Although it was nearly 55 degrees at our start - the WIND was crazy!  We ran at least a mile into the wind - "what the heck have we gotten into?"  We started and found it incredibly difficult to breathe.  The wind was literally taking our breath away.  It felt so cold and windy - definitely a challenge all by itself, but no - we weren't settled with just wimpy running tonight.  We took on hills -one right after another!!!  The next one bigger than the one before.  For at least 4 1/2 miles we had hill, hill, hill, hill, hill, hill, hill - you don't need an elevation map - dude, it was seriously challenging.  We pushed - pushed through the pain, and pushed past the 2:2 interval to ensure we RAN to the top of the hill. 

We did the full 6 miles in about 1:20 minutes (it was really 1:24, but we had to wait for a lllloooooonnnnnnngggggg time at 2 stop lights so I would say that it was at least 4 minutes).  The last 1/4-1/3 mile we ran FAST (it's all relative, but we probably were going 12:30 m/m - we practiced "coming home" at a race.).  Although this was a complete challenge, we decided that at least the next few weeks needed to include this hill training.  It will definitely help us with confidence if nothing else during our May half which we've been told is hilly!!!!  I'm not sure how my legs and feet will feel doing a long run on Monday an a 6 mile hill run on Wednesday - but we're certainly going to give it a try next week. 

Now some questions for you -
1.  Do you do hill training?  why or why not?
2.  How fast do you go?  faster or slower than normal runs?
3.  How often do you add hill training into your schedule?  weekly? monthly?  daily?  a few times each training cycle?
4.  Anything else you think I should know about hill training is GREATLY appreciated!!!!

Monday, April 4, 2011

Chapter 2 page 275 - heel update 1 (of many)

I can only assume you all have been sitting by your laptops clicking refresh 2 million times waiting for the update on my heel.  Well, her is the first installment of "How the Heck is my Heel?" 

Last Monday I had my PT eval where it was decided that my right foot (painful foot) was actually different than my left foot.  The thickness of my plantar fascia is much thicker on my right due to years and years and years (11 to be exact) of this PF nightmare.  The PT also determined my toes were not nearly as flexible on my right foot as they were on the left.  She noted that even my "better" foot was far less flexible than "normal" - by that she pulled out her toes and showed me "this is what your toes should be able to do."  She called my feet "puff balls" because they are just so inflamed to the point they don't have the "normal" lines and grooves that everyone else apparently has.  (sigh) I'm not "normal" - well!!!!

On Thursday I had my first actual rehab session.  Out comes the purple tools
 After looking at the oddities that are my feet - the scrapping (I think it's really called Instrument-assisted soft tissue mobilization, or IASTM ) commenced.  Funny thing - I forgot how ticklish my feet really are.  I NEVER let anyone touch them without socks on my feet.   I don't get pedicures.  I don't let the massage therapist mess with them.  Well, after about 35 minutes of scrapping every millimeter of my sole and me grimicing in pain and cracking up because it tickled so much - it ended.  Ahhh, THANK.YOU.

Later that day, I ran 11 miles.  My feet were killing me (well, to be honest, everything was killing me).  They were sore on Friday as well - no big surprise.  But Saturday morning, I stepped out of bed to (dramatic pause) . . . . I stepped out of bed to absolutely NO PAIN.  Not a hint of first step pain -the whole day!!  It was sooo miraculous!!!  I texted the PT (who is also my friend) and told her that she was amazing!  I did a little running on Saturday afternoon and wore stupid dress shoes to work today so the pain is back - but I now have hope!!!!!!!!!

Stay tuned for more updates as I have PT on Tuesday and Friday this week.  Fingers crossed. 

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Chapter 2 page 274 - TR 94 with Pacer the pup

Yesterday, Pacer (my beagle pup) and I went for a EASY 2.25 mile run and then did another quarter mile cool down.  We did 4:2 for the first 1.13 miles (17 minutes = 15 m/m) and then we ran the whole 1.13 miles  back (15 minutes = 13.24 m/m).  Although it was very windy, sprinkling, cloudy, and cold, it was good to get out there for a quick 40 minutes. 

Please note - that I ALWAYS crate the dog during drives in the car, but I put Pacer in the car and before she even climbed into the crate she laid on the other side of the seat and fell asleep.  She didn't move a muscle during our 5 minute drive home.  It was precious - little tuckered out puppy!!!

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Chapter 2 page 273 - I'm addicted to bling

Last night I posted I signed up for the
Big Sur Half Marathon in November. 

Well, today, I'm announcing I have signed up for the Rock 'n' Roll St. Louis Half Marathon in October.  

Let's not forget I already have the Fort 4 Fitness
Half Marathon in September. 

Your help is needed . . . 
have you done a Rock 'n' Roll series race or know someone who has?  Thoughts?  Advice?  Was there a finisher's medal ('cuz I'm not seeing any mention of one - HUGE SIGH!)?  Would you do another one?

Friday, April 1, 2011

Chapter 2 page 272 - Big Sur Half, here I come!

Registration opened today . . . and yep, I'm doing the Big Sur half in November!!!!

If money was no object, what would be your dream race to do? Why?

Chapter 2 page 271 - dinner, anyone?

Thanks to everyone who has been encouraging me about my diet - especially Holly @ Rustbeltrunner

How often do you ask "what are we going to have for dinner?"  How often are you completely stumped?  Well - it's a daily occurrence in our household.  So, last night when "C" was telling me about what she has made recently - I knew exactly what was going to be served at the Wells L household tonight - Quesadilla Casserole.

 Step 1:  Buy this thing in the spice aisle. 

The beauty of this product is that the recipe card complete with ingredients, directions, nutrition information, and a photo of the dish are all included:

2.  Gather (or buy) the rest of the ingredients

 2 cans of tomato sauce
1 small can diced chiles
1 can sweet corn (undrained)
1 can black beans (drained & rinsed)
1/2 cup chopped onion
6 tortilla sheels
1 pound hamburger ( used ground round)
2 cups shredded cheddar (I used 2%)

Step 3:  Brown hamburger with the onion.  Then add the canned ingredients, stir, add 5 of the spices from the card, stir, bring to a boil then simmer for 5 minutes.


Step 4:  Chase your puppy around the house after you discover she stole the recipe card and has taken it hostage in a desperate attempt to gain your attention.

Step 5:  With recipe securely back in your possession, assemble the casserole.   
A.  Start with spreading 1/2 cup of the hamburger mixture on the bottom of a sprayed 9X13 pan (ANYONE KNOW WHY YOU HAVE TO DO THIS - IT'S SUCH A LITTLE AMOUNT - IT MAKES NO SENSE TO THIS ROOKIE CHEF)

B.  Place 3 (I used 2) tortillas - overlap them.

C.  Spread half of the hamburger mixture on top of the tortillas.

D.  Top with a cup of shredded cheese.

E.  Layer 3 (again, I used 2) tortillas 

F.  Layer the rest of the hamburger mixture on top of the tortillas and top with remaining cheese.

G.  Bake at 350 degrees for 15 minutes.

H.  Serve it up and enjoy

When I make it the next time, I think these are some of the things I will do differently:
1.  Top it with salsa, shredded lettuce, sliced olives, and a dollop of sour cream.
2.  Serve it with tortilla chips (I served it with corn bread and spanish rice - the rice was a nice touch and could easily be added into the casserole as another layer. 
3.  Use the Mexican variety of shredded cheese rather than just plain cheddar.

What's your easy peasy "go to" recipe?