Thursday, November 25, 2010

Gobble Gobble

Buddy and I bagged the Turkey Trot to hit the snowy trails instead. After two days of below zero and lots of wind, Buddy deserved to have some fun outside. Fun we did have - especially since we were surprised with a heat wave of 16 degrees. Hope everyone has a Happy Thanksgiving!

Saturday, November 20, 2010

All of a sudden...'s winter. I've forgotten how much harder it is to run through several inches of fresh snow. Bud and I ran a combination of trails and road for a couple hours and called it a day. At only 5 degrees, my water bottle froze - along with my face. Good workout though!

Friday, October 22, 2010

A Whole Lotta New

After my marathon, Danni posted a comment suggesting the FIRST running program. I gave it some thought because she's right - I am truly injury prone. But, only running three workouts per week conflicts with something else; I'll get to that in a minute. Thankfully, the comment did get me motivated to try a variety of running alternatives to see what works for me. It's about time cuz I'm getting old! I've learned a lot and you can now consider me a convert to cross training.

What I tried: swimming laps, elliptical, stationary bike, mountain bike, yoga (gasp), ballet barre, strength training

What I learned: I really liked swimming, but I don't want to pay for a gym membership and the schedule didn't really work for me. The elliptical was ok but again - gym membership and I can't afford to buy one. Stationary bike...snooze. The ballet barre was of course familiar and I really wanted it to work, but it's too hard on my earlier in life injuries.

What worked: Mountain biking!!! It's sooo hard especially with the trails around here. I'm bruised and battered but love it so. I go by myself or Steve and Buddy hike while I learn to navigate the terrain. I'm getting the hang of uphill, but the downhill is scary-especially coming around the switchback curves.

The biggest surprise: YOGA! I'd taken classes in the past, but - this may sound very silly - I could not handle the breathy, annoying voices of the instructors and their endless commentary like "soften the eyes." What's that about anyway? However, I got lucky with my choice of purchased DVDs and can't get enough of it. In just two weeks, I can tell a big difference in muscle tone, strength and flexibility. My nagging Achilles and IT band soreness has really improved as well. I really like the power yoga, but am finding I also like PM yoga workouts which focus more on breathing and stretching. I still incorporate some free weights, single leg lunges, etc. but really the yoga takes care of a lot.

I'm also excited about another something new - the thing that conflicts with the FIRST running idea. Towards the end of summer, I was talking to a friend about women who run but feel too slow to join a running group. One thought led to another and pretty soon a women's running group was formed; one especially for new runners, those returning to running, and people who just want to get together, socialize in a healthy way and motivate each other. We've now been running twice a week for almost two months and I am completely blown away by how it's taken off. These women are working hard and they are getting faster! Mostly though, I just love listening to their conversations; realizing how important those two scheduled times have become. I love being a part of it and look forward to seeing people each week who inspire me.

So that's it. Like I said, a whole lotta new and a whole lotta fun!!!

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Oh, how I've missed you

Trails, that is. This week's return to trail running was just what Buddy and my achy knees were needing. Other than last weekend's Wolf Creek Relay (race report and pictures hopefully coming soon), I've taken a good break from running.

We took a tour of Mount Ascension for a total 6.5 miles. Soooo quiet. A perfect morning.

Isn't Buddy such a good poser?

A view from the top. Grrr...beetles.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Salmon Marathon

I tried to write an actual race report, but I got bored in the process. So here's an all over the place version of the good and not so good.

Our campground view
After being really sick the week before the race, I got a "go ahead, but use your head, good luck" message from the urgent care doctor. Steve, Bud and I took the camper on a beautiful journey through Montana and Idaho. We arrived to warm sunshine, huge campground discount and a nice reunion with former Kalispell running partners.

The race is one of the best. Very well organized. Lodging, packet pick-up, transportation to the start and the finish line all within about .2 miles of each other. Technical shirt - yes, bright lime green but I kinda like it.

You get transported to the start where a one room school house is open to keep runners warm. Plus, your extra belongings are transported back to the finish line for you. The race started on time. We ran a winding gravel road with great views of the mountains. Absolutely beautiful for sure. Aid stations every couple of miles with Heed and water. Plenty of port-o-potties at start and along the way.

I got to run the first miles of the race with Deb. That was fun and she provided motivation. The first half was GREAT. More good? My mix of Hammer Heed and Sustained Energy. The just remembered Gu Roctane taken at mile 23. The guy at mile 25.5 cheering me on like I've never experienced before. Despite the immense pain, he totally cracked me up.

Re-grouping to run again the last couple of miles.

Not puking. (See the not so good section)

Seeing Steve and Buddy cheering me in.

Becoming a Salmon Marathon finisher.

No blisters.

Danni and Mary Ann placing in their age groups!

Beer at the finish.


The out and back section shortly after mile 13. It was a long uphill section that never seemed to end. I was still feeling ok at this point, but it was kind of uninspiring compared to the rest of the course.
The sudden stabbing collapse of knee pain at mile 18. Where in the heck did that come from? A short walk and some stretching helped, as did a change in gait that made me run like Frankenstein for the next few miles.

Excruciating sore throat from mile 20 on. Drinking too much water to alleviate throat pain. Eventual nausea from drinking all the water.

Mixed feelings about my time of 4:51. I know I could have done better, and I definitely learned some lessons for next time. Like don't surround yourself with 600 little walking germ factories two weeks before a race.

Feeling really hungry for the burger I ordered at the post race dinner, and not being able to enjoy it because of the searing pain with each swallow.


I'm definitely ready for something other than Hal Higdon's novice plan. I should have done a couple more long runs. The tempo runs I added have helped. Many of my miles were under a 10:30 pace. It was the major walking I did between 21 and 24 that hurt me. When I say major walking, I mean down to about a 14 minute pace.

Very good decision to return to my Asics. Drymax socks really are the best.

It's a personal decision to run a marathon when sick. I don't think I did any lasting damage, but my crud hasn't gone away. Despite quad pain and stiffness immediately following the race, my body feels normal except for a lingering, constant fatigue; kind of like you get with a flu. Was it worth it? I'd have to say yes, just because it was a fabulous race.

Last - did I mention the absolutely cool finisher's salmon medal? Normally, I don't know what to do with the thing, but this one is hanging in my office. Yes, it's that awesome. I'll have to try and get a close up of it.

Next up? The Wolf Creek Relay next week!!!

Sunday, September 12, 2010


Yep, day three of a virus that has knocked me out pretty good. What started as a scratchy throat turned into major sore throat, fever, and being oh so tired. After work on Friday, I immediately went to bed and stayed there until Saturday evening. I was supposed to run with Rebecca, who was doing her "unofficial" one person marathon today. That didn't happen. Instead, Buddy and I hiked up to meet her to at least cheer her on. My brother-in-law reassures me that all will be ok even without my final 8 miler.

Although I am worried about being sick and Saturday's marathon, it was a good opportunity to spend five hours on my Career Development Plan. Sometimes I wonder...instead of spending time writing down what we hope to do in our job, what we are required to do in our job, what we are doing for professional service outside of our job but for our job, maybe we could just DO our job?

Busy week ahead. See you after the marathon!

Monday, September 6, 2010


I've hit most of my planned runs despite a busy back to school work schedule. At first, I was disappointed that my marathon taper hit right at a three day weekend (my usual holiday plan is lots of long trail runs). My second thought was oooooh - rest! Rest I did.

Before that, I needed to complete my last semi-long run of 12 miles. Friday night, I received a phone call from one of Rebecca's friends and we planned to meet up for 5 miles of trail. Fun getting to know someone new! I combined this with 7 miles of road running, then slept for THREE HOURS! Guess I was tired.

Sunday, Buddy and I enjoyed the cooler temps with a four mile tempo run. One mile of warm-up followed by four miles of faster fun. The rest of the weekend? Sleep, food, good books, a new running magazine and lots of walking with Buddy.

I am catching glimpses of the runner I possibly could be if I were more dedicated to a training plan. Long strings of easy 10 minute miles have become normal, and during my faster 3-5 milers I see mile splits of 8:30's and 8:40's. This concerns me a bit for the marathon. Since I have no prediction for this race, I really hope not to go out too fast and then blow up. But, what is too fast? How does one know? Do I mimic my long runs? Or is that too conservative? I guess that's part of the game. To gamble or not to gamble? We'll see...

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Marathon Fueling and Low Blood Sugar

Warning: This is for anyone out there who has diabetes, hypoglycemia or reactive hypoglycemia. All others, you may be bored.

Since having a few fainting episodes this year, the doctor wisely suggested adding protein to every snack and meal to prevent blood sugar issues. My body has trouble processing sugar at all, and will "crash" a few hours after a meal or after taking in sugar or starch. It will start with trembling, and quickly move to the shakes, disorientation, sweating, blurred vision and eventually fainting. I'm trying to learn to eat something, usually a high fiber carb along with a protein source, about every 2-3 hours. And, eliminate my daily coffee which has become a bigger battle. :(

For long runs, I've normally focused on eating before I leave, and taking in gels or sports drink. But, depending on the day, what I've eaten the week before, stress level, sleep level, etc. it's turned into a crap shoot. For this marathon, I'd like to test myself a little rather than just plodding through to ward off the monster. The solution? Hammer Nutrition to the rescue!

For the record, I have used Hammer Perpetuem. It helped me survive Swan Crest, but I absolutely can't take the sight, smell or taste of it since. Personal issue only. So Brad, a rep from Hammer, suggested Sustained Energy as an alternative. He was also nice enough to send me a whole lot of free samples to try! I'm so glad he did because I have found my solution.

For me, based on my weight and how much I can tolerate (I've learned that 100-150 calories is all I can handle per hour - unlike friends who can do as much as 300 per hour. I've also learned that the calories should be spread out.), I make a mixture of unflavored Sustained Energy and Heed to give me a little over 100 calories per hour. For my 20 mile run yesterday, I mixed two scoops of each with water in a 10 oz. Nathan bottle. This gave me a total of over 400 calories in one nice little container. No mess, no litter, no cramming gels, bars, etc. in a pack.

I set my Garmin to alert me at every mile where I'd take a long swig from my mix. It worked PERFECTLY! I was never hungry. My energy stayed the same throughout the entire run, and I had no post run hangover. Of course, I also had water in a separate bottle. At 10 miles, as I dropped Buddy off at home, I took a Huckleberry gel just for a change in taste. Yummy. I also took 3 Saltsticks during the run - I plan to try Hammer Endurolytes in the future, but will wait until after my marathon to switch that up. Saltsticks seem to do the trick for now.

My favorites for this upcoming race:

Even when mixed thick, this went down easy. I actually looked forward to taking it. Very mild flavor when mixed with the Melon Heed.

Melon is my favorite flavor.

I love that you can buy gel in a bottle to put in a flask, instead of dealing with the once opened gooey packages and litter.

It's not the Nathan Sprint set up I love - it's the race cap. Especially for the SE and Heed mix. I didn't have to worry about getting the darn cap sealed.

And I love, love, love the Nathan Trail Mix belt. Light weight, bottles easy to get in and out, adjustable elastic band, and the pocket has enough room for my cell phone and a couple of just in case gels.

Taper time!

Sunday, August 15, 2010

The marathon is a beastly thing -

But also kind of fun. I'm signed up for this marathon. I've only run a couple marathons several years ago and both took me over 5 hours. Lately, there's been a definite obsession with running roads. Could it be my fancy new shoes? :)
Or, maybe the growing desire to run fast?(er?) *For the record, however, I am still not committed to making myself hurt too badly to make this happen.*

I've no idea how to train for this kind of thing, so I need some help from you. I get that there are easy days, faster days and the long run. Resources say the LSR should be done 30 - 90 seconds slower than marathon pace. What does that mean for those of us who have no idea what marathon pace should be? Most of my shorter (3-6 miles) runs are done at a 9:45 - 10:00 average. Some faster, but usually not on purpose.

Yesterday, I did an 18 miler and ended up with an 11:00 per mile average pace. Eight of the middle miles were at an exact 10:04 with a couple more oops too fast 9:40's . Five of the miles were above a 12:00 per mile pace due to a couple very lengthy (as in a couple miles long), steady climbs. It's pretty hard to find a flat course here unless I went to the valley, but I prefer the South Hills view. For the most part, I felt great despite the last three miles into a direct headwind. I do admit that my legs suddenly wanted to shut down during the last half mile.

My questions for you:

1) Did I go too fast? Should I slow down my long runs?
2) Did I bonk the last mile due to going too fast or nutrition? (I took 3 gels, 2 Saltstick and water)
3) Should a person feel like she can keep going at the end of the long run?
4) How do I predict a doable pace for the marathon? I'd like to actually TRY in this one, but not make myself puke.
5) Also, if anyone is diabetic or has blood sugar issues AND runs marathons, what do you use for nutrition? I've got to be careful with the gel and sports drink because of sugar, but I also need calories. I tried Hammer Perpetuem, but the color, taste and smell make it impossible.
Thanks all!

Sunday, August 1, 2010


Sorry to the readers of this blog. Life has been exciting, busy, and I'm finding myself completely without time or even interest to write anything. I'm taking a break from blogging. Not dismantling the blog permanently - yet. Maybe there will be a renewed interest later. But, before I leave, there were a few emails about Swan Crest.

* Yes, the 100 mile race went on and was, I think, a success. 20 out of 44 runners finished. Steve, Rebecca, Mike and I helped out at the Six Mile Aid Station. Steve and I left in a rush Thursday afternoon. I'd been teaching summer school and hadn't had time to properly prepare. In a panic, I had to call Rebecca to bring warm clothes and flashlights.

Seven people with heavy packs hiked up 3 miles to the aid station, filling MSR bags with creek water along the way. At various times, hardy volunteers hiked back down a half mile to refill the bags and hike them back up. After my second trip with two bags of water, I felt like a major wimp, thinking I was going to pass out. I didn't feel as bad, after one of the race directors carried up the same amount, saying "this totally sucks." The runners, both those that continued on at our mile 46.3 aid station and those who dropped, were completely amazing and motivating. At 11:30 pm, the last runner came through. We cleaned up camp in the dark, and hiked everything and everyone out, finishing up around 2 am. Steve and I slept hard, then drove the supplies to the finish line. We then spent the remainder of our time reading and sleeping. I skipped the 18 mile run and rescheduled it for next weekend due to general fatigue and a sore body. I do hope the race directors continue to put this one on. With a few tweaks, it will be awesome.

Enjoy the summer!

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Summer Travels

The start of summer brought some worry about how I was going to spend my free time. Never having been a public school employee before, I was a bit wired about summers off. No need to worry, the summer is BOOKED! First up was a week in Bozeman for a school conference. Steve and Buddy joined me and we camped at a beautiful spot in Hyalite Canyon. We saw so many gorgeous places and I kept forgetting the camera.

Due to my conference and limited time, I had to deal with morning road runs. Buddy and I got up early to get 4 miles in each morning. Easy to do when you are in a heavenly place.

As we were setting up for a campfire one night, we noticed black clouds rolling in. The thunder and rain continued throughout the night. It was kind of soothing and I slept well, but others obviously did not. When Buddy and I left for our morning run, campers emerged wet and tired, and started packing it up. Too bad, because they missed out on a spectacular, full of sunshine day!
Buddy and I took advantage of it and ran an old and very muddy logging road as the last of the clouds disappeared. It curved up and around eventually overlooking (from 6700 feet up) our campsite area.

No wildlife, but I did bring bear spray. Lots of tracks though.

On the return trip we followed the creek back to our campsite.

We debated staying another day, but Steve was suffering from a pretty nasty head cold, so we came home to prepare for the next adventure. My marathon schedule called for 13 miles (no, I still haven't decided which marathon, but aiming for one in September). Buddy and I left the house a little after 6 am to escape the blazing sun. Even so, it was getting warm as we reached the top of Mt. Ascension. Bud took some breaks in the shade, but was a stubborn bugger, refusing to drink any water.

We both admired the varieties of wild flowers.

And other little critters out there.

Steve was nice enough to come and rescue Bud at mile 6. It was just too hot for him. My run continued under cloudless sky and 75 degrees. Despite my sunscreen, I felt like I was being slowly fried. The views were stunning though, which kept my mind occupied until I finally reached mile 13 and walked the rest of the way home.

I can tell the core and back work is making a difference. Even on the hard days, I feel much stronger. Hopefully, that will motivate me to continue and not return to being the lazy slug I like to be.

A couple days here, and then I'm off to North Dakota for the home town reunion. It will be nice to see the family, but I'm not a fan of these kind of things. Gossip, drinking and street dances oh my! At least there will be some early morning prairie runs to keep me smiling.

Oh, and before I forget, send some good thoughts the way of Rebecca - on her way to completing her first Ironman!!!

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Ridge Run

In all the time I've spent in the Helena area, I'd never completed the entire Mt. Helena Ridge Trail. A few friends and dog, Yuri, were going to hike it one way, so I joined their shuttle up to the Park City Trailhead. The first 1.5 miles were spent catching up and admiring the scenery and the first blue sky we've seen in awhile. It was hard to start running and leave the company behind.
Once I got going though, it was all smiles and sweet singletrack. Some areas were shady, but I was glad I left Buddy at home. With his abundance of fur, he would not have been very comfortable.

The actual Ridge trail is only about 6 miles long. It's all runnable, with only a few short climbs along the way. I wanted to get in 11 miles today, with some climbing. Once back to Mt. Helena, I descended a fun, fast McKelvy Trail, only to climb, climb, climb straight back up on the Hanging Draw and Prospect Shafts trails to the top. I made a short out and back to check the girls' progress, then got to do a screaming 1.5 downhill to the main parking lot.

I did much better today with fueling. The combination of Gu, Shot Roks, Luna bars and Nuun seemed to work. I definitely need protein for long runs, otherwise, I'm shaking like a leaf on the way to a major crash. Once again, an absolutely beautiful day!!!!

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Tread Lightly

Since I've got extra time on my hands (meaning SUMMER VACATION!!!!), I visited a new running store "Tread Lightly." I'd been in once before to buy a running leash
and then ended up injured. Now that I'm running again - more on that later - I wanted to check out the rest of the store. Lots of fun stuff, including hydration belts, cute clothes, Gu and Hammer products, and a whole lotta shoes including my much loved Brooks Cascadias. Be sure to check it out when you're in Helena at 104 East Broadway.

Monday, June 14, 2010

Trip to the Flathead

First of all, Happy Birthday Buddy! The picture is from his 5th birthday and 1st anniversary with us. Such a good camping dog.
The last three weeks of the school year flew by in a whirlwind of activity. During that time, I did start running again, much to the dismay of my physical therapist. Thankful I had started again though, so I could join my old running group GGRRC for the one year anniversary of our friend Tom's awful grizzly encounter. We ran the same trail, listening to Tom's memories of that day. And, yes, we had bear spray with us. As you can see below, the day started out chilly. Across the road, we got to see a large moose in the creek. After a few of us taking pre-run pit stops, I looked up to see a large black bear right in our path. I need to sound more panicky in times like this, because my couple announcements of "Bear." "Bear." didn't seem to do the trick. But, there he was!
We chased him off the trail and continued on our way. Below is Tom telling his story.
And, Danni, reciting the Ode to Tom's Bear, that she and Ted created. Wish I had it videotaped, because it was dang funny.There were several people on the trail as we made our way to Avalanche Lake. They'd cheer us on making at least me feel like a rock star!As you can see, it was a beautiful sunny day!

I did bonk a little on the return trip. Danni was nice enough to give me some Clif Shot Roks that did the trick. As we made our way back to the car, we stopped suddenly as Deb and Tom yelled out. A SECOND black bear - right on the trail! Nice to be with a big group, so we could admire and continue on.

All in all, a perfect day on the trail.

Saturday, May 29, 2010

Dog Drama

Today is the one year anniversary of meeting Buddy. I remember being so upset because Steve wanted a black lab, and the one he chose at the Humane Society was crazy. He wouldn't listen at all, pulling so hard on the leash that I went flying, hitting the ground hard. Steve kept insisting, "See, he's alright" while being towed across the yard. There was no way I was bringing that one home, especially when I wanted to be able to run WITH my dog - not dragged behind. Steve finally agreed, and we decided to go back and see Buddy.

On our first walk through, he had been the only dog to stand up and greet us in a non-maniacal way. He'd tilt his head in that inquisitive way, and just look at us. No barking, no jumping, just curiosity. When they brought him outside for us to meet, he danced around so happily and then settled into my lap. He won my heart instantly. Unfortunately, we couldn't move into our newly bought home for two weeks and could not have dogs at our condo. The lovely ladies at the Humane Society were kind enough to board him for that time. I'd visit him every day for a couple hours while we waited impatiently to bring him home. Yes, we went through a difficult transition while Buddy adapted to his new life. After years of abuse and neglect, he was afraid of everything. He was also extremely anxious and hated when we would leave him alone. We spent a lot of money repairing damages done to our home, but it was well worth it.

Now, it's been one year. Buddy no longer destroys things. He can be left alone in the house while I'm at work with no problems. He watches from our big picture window and waits until the car pulls into the drive, when he knows I'm home and we'll go on another adventure. Buddy has learned to run next to me and not to pull on the leash. He watches over me when Steve is gone, and just brings a lot of love to our family.

This morning, looking forward to a long weekend and some hiking in the rain, we drove to one of our favorite trailheads. There was a light rain and snowflakes and absolutely no wind. As usual, I let him off leash once down the trail. Buddy trotted along, sniffing everything and marking his territory. He'd watch the squirrels and rabbits, but stayed close. That is, until out of nowhere, three deer stood up from where they'd been snuggling in the grass. Buddy took off after them, which he does from time to time. I kept on hiking, knowing he'd come back after 5-10 minutes.

Time went on with no Buddy. After 20 minutes, I started to worry. After 40 minutes, I was in a panic. Calling for him, whistling for him, I hiked the same trail several times. Every once in awhile, I'd hear a bark that I thought was Buddy. That made me panic even more, because Buddy ALWAYS comes back to find me. I was worried that he was hurt or trapped and I couldn't get to him. The terrain was impossible to search off trail because it was so steep and I didn't want to get lost as well. It was 35 degrees out and still raining. I hiked back to the car, drove home to see if he found his way there. No sign of Buddy. Driving back, I was a mess. Our one year anniversary, and I'd lost my dog. Every possible bad scenario went through my head. How was I going to tell Steve?

Parking at the trailhead, I collected my things so I could do a long search if necessary. And there, on the trail, stood Buddy. I called for him, and he seemed so uncertain. Finally, he came running, and I noticed there were large branches stuck to his backside. Buddy launched himself at me, shivering uncontrollably, obviously scared and cold. He was limping a bit, but I couldn't see any blood. There was so much debris stuck in his fur and tail that he couldn't really sit down. I tried to get some of it out, but it was impossible. We drove home, and I dried him off. It took a pair of scissors and lots of patience to cut out every last bit of debris. He also had dried debris in and around his mouth. I can only guess that he must have gotten stuck somewhere and had to pull and chew is way out. After the ordeal, he his sticking like glue and we are both really tired. We had one lucky anniversary.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Another update

Still not running much. I've tried A.R.T. with little results and now started physical therapy. My last go around with PT was a joke, but I was impressed with the person I saw this week. Lots of assessments, measurements, gait analysis, etc. One thing we know right off is that my lower abs and glutes are very weak. Regardless of the cause of this injury, at least I've got something to work on. My gait seems ok too and I've got good strength and flexibility overall. No major pronation issues.

I've got some SI joint problems, and that is one area that is really tight. We still can't tell for sure where the pain in my hip crease is coming from. It's worse when pulling my knee up to my chest and during the "through" movement of my gait. Next week, I'll go in for an diagnostic ultrasound to see if there's an impingement. This could either be from inflammation or something within the joint such as cartilage. I'm REALLY hoping this is not the case, but deep down fear that it is. After years of ballet wear and tear, I wouldn't at all be surprised if there's loose cartilage in there. If so, surgery will probably be on the schedule. Hoping not.

On a more cheerful running related note, I got a package from Zombie runner today! After weighing all the pros and cons, I got the Nathan Trail Mix waist pack. It's got two 10 oz bottles, one for me and one for Bud. It does have a buckle instead of velcro closure, but because the belt is elastic and wide, it stays in place really well. The pocket is really big and will fit quite a bit. I'll post pictures and further review once I really get to use it.

Hope you all are getting to run!

Monday, May 10, 2010


Once again, not running. Ever since the ankle sprain of January 2009, I've been plagued with annoyance injuries. I finally could not run due to the pain and took the week off. I increased my stretching, also adding ballet and strengthening exercises (yes, I know - should have been done a long time ago). The pain has since subsided, and I can walk the dog again. However, the area is still inflamed and tense, so I went to see the orthopedic doc, primarily to rule out a fracture before continuing with a secret plan of action. All the x-rays looked great. The recommendation was physical therapy, but no luck getting in within the month. I wasn't too sad about that as I HATE paying money to lay on a hot blanket with electrodes hooked to me. Plan B (or A in my head) was a local chiropractor who does Active Release. I'm a huge believer in A.R.T. since it's helped my piriformis and achilles in the past. Plus, I got in right away.

OMG, sweet heaven and hell combined. So absolutely painful, but what a difference! He had me walk and jog on the treadmill first to check my gait. As I already knew, there was a whole lot of awkward stiffness on my right side. I've got some major quad issues going on that's also impacting my hip and lower back. After an hour of treatment, I had much more mobility. I'm going back Wednesday and Friday in the hopes that progress will continue. I've also got an arsenal of new exercises to add several times per week. Keep your fingers crossed!

Saturday, May 1, 2010

Waist pack opinions?

I'm looking for a waist pack that has two 10 - 12 oz. bottles for shorter runs. I like to drink Nuun, but Buddy won't touch it, so I need another bottle for plain water. Some of the choices I'm considering are the Fuel Belt H20 model, the Amphipod Run Lite Trail Runner (scroll down page to see it) and the Nathan Speed 2. It would be nice if the pack had a small pocket or pouch for keys and cell phone. If you've had experience with any of these, please leave a comment regarding fit, if the bottles leak, if you can add bottles if needed, pros/cons, etc. Thanks!

Thursday, April 29, 2010

When all else fails...

Ouch. Last week's hip ache has been more clearly identified as a quad strain. I've continued to run because it actually hurts less than walking. With a border collie, I've still got to do one or the other twice a day; rest is not an option. A couple night's ago, I finally just got out the rolling pin. It's rarely used as I'm not a baker, so I didn't feel the least bit guilty using it for rehab purposes. Painful, but it seems to be helping. Currently, we're in the middle of yet another snowstorm. I'm very over winter. It's going to be fun delivering May baskets tomorrow with first graders in 30 degree temps, snow and ice. Happy May Day!

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Still Sore

Thanks everyone for the helpful comments and emails this week. I've got to get me a foam roller.

When Buddy and I left the house yesterday morning, the plan was to run 8 miles on trails. Unfortunately, the bugger of a hip flexor continues to cause me discomfort. After running through pain with previous injuries - I knew enough to STOP. Instead of running, we hiked up to Mt. Ascension, watching the trail running group go by with envy.

**PLUG-DON'T FENCE ME IN is coming up on May 8th!!!**

It was a beautiful morning though and we enjoyed our trip up. The hiking must have stretched out my hip because I was having no pain. I changed plans and headed down the other side and added on a 5 mile run. Afterwards, Steve and I bought and planted a few more annuals and perennials for the front yard. We are waiting impatiently to see what comes up for our first Spring in the new home!

Friday, April 23, 2010

Long Run Thoughts?

Last weekend, we tried out our new camper in Missoula, which allowed me to do a 15 mile run in the Rattlesnake Wilderness Area. I've often wondered about the variations of advice regarding long run pace. Most of the time, I just meander along, not paying much attention to time. On trails, I am SLLLOOOWWW, especially if there are a lot of climbs. This could be that I'm often just plain lazy and don't really try to make an effort.

The trails in the Rattlesnake vary from rolling to steep. I wanted to TRY and keep my average pace around 11 min/mile, running everything I possibly could. The plan was to go really easy with a few miles at a faster pace in the middle. Somehow, motivation kicked in, and six of the fifteen miles were at a 9:30-9:40 pace, with the rest all over the place depending on how steep the sections were. At the end of the run, my average pace was 10:58!!! It was fun and not quite as painful as I expected.

However, the down side was a lot of soreness the next day, especially in my hip flexors. My questions is - do most of you experience this the day after a long run or do you make your long runs really slow and have a faster, easier recovery? Either way, I got to run here...
As for the camping, it was fun. Buddy wasn't quite sure what to think. In fact, he kept me awake until 3am trying to decide if it was safet to sleep. And, of course, he claimed the bed.

Gotta love this dog though. It's been too hot in the afternoon for him to run, at least until he sheds the winter coat. We've adapted with Buddy jumping on the bed at 5:45 am to run while watching the sun rise over the mountains. Only for my dog!

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Saved by Gu Roctane

In the past couple of weeks, I've run almost 60 miles of trails. It was unintentional and a whole lotta fun. Today's plan was for a 10 mile long run on favorite Mt. Helena trails. Of course, Buddy decided he wanted to come too, even after one of his histrionic "please don't leave me" episodes hurt his hip. Change in plans. Buddy joined me for the first few on gravel road, not even whimpering when Steve picked him up. He's a tired and sore pup!

Off I set to see sunshine and good views. I hadn't seen the north side of Mt. Helena in awhile, and with the beetle infested tree removal, the landscape looked way different. Still beautiful now that you can see the green trees, but no more of the shady escape as before.

View from Ambrose Trail

Maybe all the previous miles added up, but by the time I started the first climb up to the saddle, I was dead legs and no pep. My average pace quickly slowed. The additional miles weren't needed but I decided to see what would happen with some experimentation. In went a Saltstick, a mini Luna bar and water. Powering up, I did ATTEMPT to run the switchbacks, but it was more like a crawl. Once I reached the saddle at 9 miles, I remembered the coveted pineapple Gu Roctane.
Me bonking
Wowza! That stuff worked like a charm, and I was back in the game. The ridge was beckoning with views of snow capped mountains in every direction. It was cold though when exposed to the wind.
My planned ten turned into more as I discovered a new trail that had to be explored. Unfortunately, I couldn't find my way back the way I intended, so had to do an extra mile on road before I found the car. 14 miles total - 11 of which were on trail!!!!

The new header picture is a happy me celebrating the first long trail run in OVER A YEAR! No Achilles or ankle pain the entire way. Can we say bring on Elkhorn?