Thursday, November 25, 2010
Saturday, November 20, 2010
Friday, October 22, 2010
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
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
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.
Danni and Mary Ann placing in their age groups!
Beer at the finish.
THE NOT SO GOOD
Next up? The Wolf Creek Relay next week!!!
Sunday, September 12, 2010
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
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
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.
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.
Sunday, August 15, 2010
1) Did I go too fast? Should I slow down my long runs?
Sunday, August 1, 2010
* 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
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.
No wildlife, but I did bring bear spray. Lots of tracks though.
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.
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
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
Monday, June 14, 2010
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
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
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
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
Thursday, April 29, 2010
Sunday, April 25, 2010
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
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
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.
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?