Friday, July 30, 2010


Technically, I already topped 40 miles in a week during this training season, but it was the week before July 4, so it doesn't really count -- the week had long runs on Sun and Sat, and then the following week was only about 20.  So the two weeks averaged out in the mid-30s.  But this morning we had tons of running at camp.  I ran with Joy the whole time and she was wearing her Garmin.  Before class started I asked if she'd be up for a bit of running afterward whatever mileage I needed to get to 2.9 (for 40), or 3.0 (for 40.1, over 40!).  She wasn't enthused but we had a warm-up run, then a warm-up, then a repeat of the same run.  So within 15 minutes I'd already done a mile.  We were in teams of about 5-9 doing stations and 2 of the 4 stations we did had lots of running.  We hit 3 miles just before we finished.  Woot!  I feel like I'm getting serious now!  9 weeks from Sunday... feeling great when I run, having major foot pain when I wake up, having mild foot pain periodically during the day. 

And to keep the good news going, when I got home from work yesterday, I saw our new windows were in and the painting work was done.  Now it looks like there's just a bit of exterior work to finish up.  The good part is it looks like it will all be done in the next few days, which is perfect because the AC's cousin is coming to visit from Italy next week!  I don't know her as well as I know the others, she actually didn't make it to our wedding b/c she was in school in Perugia, but Jordan visited her for a few days after the wedding.  And of course I've met her during our other visits, but it will be nice to have her here for a little while. 

We actually have tons of stuff happening next week.  Is it sad that one of the many "events" is watching the Bachelorette finale?  I am so ashamed to watch that show.  But I think hubby is actually enjoying it as well.  He asked me one day last week when the finale was.  He thinks she should and will pick Chris.  I think she should pick Roberto but will pick Chris, but part of me thinks she might not pick either of them, which is a shame b/c they both seem like genuine and nice guys -- the two I picked as the best on the very first night!  Anyway, there's also a fun happy hour, a trip to the circus with my godson (and his parents and older sister), Martina and Jordan's visit, one half of our next-door neighbor couple gets back into town Saturday -- hoping she'll get to meet Martina so they can swap some Southern Italy stories! -- one of my best friends has her birthday, we have a 20 mile run followed by breakfast with "Double D," one of my oldest running buddies who moved away in January, and then a party for the running team I'm on.  So having a quiet weekend this weekend is probably a good idea! 

My to-do list:
Breakfast with friend and give her our Sweden and St. Petersburg maps and guidebooks for her trip next week
Get my new running shoes ready, plan out outfit for Sunday's run
Find the gel inserts I used in my wedding shoes and see if they can fit in my fave work shoes to alleviate heel pain
Write a thank-you note and send the gift card to the guy who changed my flat after the race
Write a letter to my grandma
Order some pictures and frame them for our stairwell (after construction is done, we'll be able to rehang stuff on our exterior walls) (the stairs between our first and second floors are all pictures of us from various events/places, they go chronologically and go up through right before the wedding)
Call my 4-5 best friends, I need to catch up with all of the ones who don't live here
Watch a netflix dvd (Changeling, with Angelina Jolie, turns out the AC already saw it, so I can watch solo)
Check our neighbors' house and make sure it's ready for her to come back next week
Start Xmas shopping online (I know, it's irritating to start this early, but I'm much happier if I am done by early Nov., and I also have the added incentive of being able to bring a large amount with me to the marathon and give it to my parents to take with them when they drive so we won't have to pay to ship it or bring tons of luggage when we fly home for Xmas)
Work in my closet -- put away all laundry, do laundry, clear out dry cleaning refuse, organize clothes the way I like, possibly purge some things
Change linens
Find school supplies for charity drive organized by running friend -- I think we have all kinds of random notebooks under our guest bed.

Well, that was boring!  But at least I feel on top of the list now. 

Thursday, July 29, 2010

High mileage week

We had 6-8 easy on the schedule this morning and ended up at 7.1, though the pace wasn't as fast as it felt -- 8:49 or so counting 2 short water stops.  There was a big group this morning b/c we ran the first 5+ miles with the White Rock training group, which is just starting out.  The best part may have been that I wasn't the only female -- Tom's wife ran with us, so I got to talk to her for a while.  Today is their 4th wedding anniversary, though I found out they were together 5 years before they got married -- someone else who shared our no rush philosophy.  It may be living in or near the Bible Belt, but it seems more common here to meet people who date for a few months and then get married.  Anyway, the 7.1 today puts me just over 37 for the week.  I wonder if I'll eke out 3 miles over the next 2 days to hit 40 for the first time this season! 

Toward the end of the run, we parted ways with the Rock group and we went to the track for some extra mileage (Rebecca came with us but she can handle the extra mileage b/c she and Tom just did a half-Ironman a couple weeks ago).  The track was Tom's idea and so awesome -- I've missed the track a lot in the last few months, though I'm sure I'll get sick of it again soon when we start going regularly.  So Tom and Bandana-man (Robert, I confirmed) were up front at the track, and I ran with David, and eventually Rebecca fell back and joined us.  It was only 3 laps and the pace was pretty good and steady.  Actually closer to my race pace than it should have been, which is scary because it didn't feel 26-miles-sustainable.  But it felt good today. 

The construction work on our house appears to be drawing to a close.  We're getting a couple more windows replaced, and there are a couple paint touch-ups that need to be done.  It will be so nice (and safer!) to get the grill out of the living room and back onto our balcony.  The AC bought corn on the cob yesterday in hopes we'll be able to grill it soon. 

And my cupcake streak is officially over since I ate the last one yesterday.  But there is no way I'm still dehydrated from Sunday, so it's possible I've lost a pound in the last week.  Crazy!!! 

MTCM plans are coming along.  Hubby ran 6 miles this morning, in preparation for his 10 mile race that day.  One cousin who isn't running the full due to a knee injury (and her husband who is), and her parents (my aunt and uncle) made hotel reservations at the same place as my folks.  Adam, maybe Zach, and Drina are staying somewhere else, and then we're right by the finish line, but we'll all be in St. Paul, so it should be easy for everyone to be together a lot.  We may cancel our hotel, at least for part of the time though, and stay with another cousin who is running the race as well.  She offered, but we'll have to confirm she'll have room since my other aunt and uncle (her folks) are also coming to cheer.  And we'll also have to see if it's pet-free -- I don't think I want allergy issues in the days right before the race.  I think we'll stick with our hotel though for the night before the race.  It will be so nice to be able to walk back to the hotel right after the race, it's only about .2 miles.  But it would be nice not to have to spend the money for the extra nights of hotel.  Becca Runs Boston did a list on her blog today of things she's coveting and she listed the Garmin that I think I want -- the 405CX.  If I saved $200 by not needing a hotel on Thurs and Fri nights, that would be like half the watch!  We're really trying to be careful of our discretionary spending since we blew the budget in Sweden and Russia a bit, and since we're already saving for our next vacation -- back to Italy next year.  With the in-laws hopefully, in which case we'll also have a short stop in Paris.  If the in-laws don't come along, then we'll probably either do Italy/Paris, Italy/Stockholm, or Italy/Egypt.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

More pain...

I almost feel like my heel pain is getting worse instead of better.  I ran a few easy miles after 1 fast mile at camp today, all with Joy, and it feels like my heels are throbbing now even though I iced.  I need to get more religious about doing the stretches and strengthening exercises the doc gave me.  I should also try taking tylenol (allergy to Nsaids).  Until then, I don't really have a right to b!tch.  Adam said he's feeling fine physically, just struggling mentally, while I'm doing fine in my head, just hurting physically.  It's going to be a challenge for both of us to make it through the next 9.5 weeks feeling strong! 

My cupcake diet ends today.  Last one is sitting next to my desk, waiting for the right moment. 

I don't think I like the new patterned running shorts.  I've seen lots of people wearing them lately, and I can't get it out of my head that it looks like these people are wearing boxer shorts. 

Not much else to report.  It got down into the mid-70s again this morning, which was nice, but I was still dripping wet when I got home.  I don't think I can wear my cutest black & white shorts for MTCM.  They just get too wet.  I may try wearing my birthday outfit from last year this wknd to see how that works for me.  Only 15 miles this wknd, which will be a nice little step down.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Cupcakes = Weight Loss?

So despite the obligatory new year's resolution to lose a few pounds, my weight has been fairly constant since New Year's Day -- constantly about 2-3 pounds higher than it was that day.  Except lately on Sundays of course; even if I drink a lot of water during a run, going 18 miles in 78 degreees and 85% relative humidity means I'm going to lose at least a few pounds, but those few pounds are always back by Monday or Tuesday.  But it seems the last few days now I've regularly been seeing my NYD weight or just below that.  Strangely enough, I've also eaten tons of sweets the last few days.  I'd say I am generally a healthy eater but I also eat A LOT.  But Sunday I had caramel brownies, alcohol, and 2 cupcakes.  Yesterday, 2 more cupcakes.  Today, 1 cupcake so far but it's not even 11 a.m. yet.  Isn't it weird how that works? 

Anyway, it was only 74 this morning apparently when we started our run and it was awesome to feel what a difference 5 degrees can make!  We had our first race pace run after a warm-up, which meant I ran alone more than I usually do.  It was me and 4 others this morning.  We warmed up together to about 1.5 and then started race pace.  Tom and Bandana-man were out front, David and Tony behind them, and me behind them, but only by a minute or so.  I u-turned about half a block early, which meant David and Tony caught up to me at the water stop just past the u-turn and I ran most of the way to the next water stop with them.  They started to pull ahead but a woman in one of the groups we were passing completely wiped out in front of them and they stopped to make sure she was okay.  It was at one of those points where we'd crossed a street so the pavement had kind of a slope and then rise after we cleared the intersection and she must have hit it wrong because she went down face-first.  Her group stopped as well and she said she was okay.  Anyway, when David, Tony and I got to the water stop, Tom and Bandana-man were just getting there as well from an extra little courtesy loop they did to wait for us.  On the run back I mostly ran with Tom and he was talking about the Chi Running book that he'd also mentioned last year.  He was focusing on the part about imagining a string running from a fixed point in front of you to your heart and feeling it pull.  Similar to the Galloway bit about the rubber band imagery, but I couldn't get into it today.  I tried for a minute and then asked Tom how you could keep looking at the fixed point without worrying about tripping over the slackened string, and I said I couldn't imagine a bungee cord or something because that would pull on my heart too much.  He laughed but I hope I didn't destroy that running strategy for him permanently...

Today's run really felt good though, despite the lack of conversation for about half an hour.  With water stops and my shortened route, I still did about 6.8 at about an 8:40 pace average.  The other really good part today was that my new Sunday-chafing spot (under my right arm, about an inch below my armpit, 1-1.5 inch square) finally seems to be pain-free.  It just keeps getting better and better! 

Houston marathon lottery opens today.  I'm not signing up but part of me wonders if I should.  It might seriously be my best shot at Boston, if only there wasn't a major vacation right before taper-time (and if only that vacation didn't involve my eating about 100 Christmas cookies!).  It's too hard for me to train after mid-December I think, though I've never actually tried.  It seems hard enough to be in training for White Rock, which was always mid-December and often meant missing out on drinks at holiday parties.  This year WR is a year earlier than normal, Dec. 5, so there will be more time for holiday fun for people who don't have to worry about Houston. 

Monday, July 26, 2010

Long run and pictures

Sunday's 18 miles went pretty well, though I was 100% ready to be finished by the end and think adding 8 more miles would have been ugly -- probably 2 more hours!  We ran around the north side of the lake, and then headed toward my house for the extra 2 miles at the end, which was nice b/c I hadn't driven, so I just split from the group when they u-turned and I continued home on the trail.  I got in the house and didn't do enough stretching.  I drank a recovery drink and tried to take an ice bath, but I only had the ice in the freezer to use, which melts in about 2 minutes in "Texas July" cold water.  But the caramel brownies might have made the run worth it! 

I spent the day then cooking, finishing a book, and setting the table. 

We'd done a lot of the cooking prep on Saturday (which might have made my feet extra tired on Sunday), so the cooking was actually pretty easy.  The nice part was not having to cook dessert and deciding to enjoy two of them -- white on white, and then yellow butter with white frosting -- since I'd run so far in the morning and my only sweets had been the caramel brownies.

 Yum... cupcakes.  It was a really nice night, even if I ate and drank too much.  I also have lots of leftovers for the week.  Today for lunch I have the leftover salad and the first of many leftover soup servings, and I munched on mushroom brie and crackers for my mid-morning snack.  Tonight is leftover lasagna... Perfect fuel for tomorrow's 7 with 4 at race pace, which is going to be tough b/c my race pace is slower than my weekday group's race pace, so I may be solo for a good bit of the run.  Ugh, I hate running alone.

Friday, July 23, 2010

Short week

Joy overslept this morning and missed camp (first time I can think of this happening), so I wasn't able to mooch a garmin reading off her for how far we ran, but it was fairly short and definitely less than 3 miles so unless I run tomorrow, I'm going to be short on distance this week, somewhere in the low 30s, but I'll take it.  Next week will be solid, starting with 18 on Sunday!  I was alarmed to realize that I felt like I was looking forward to the run.  I thought about it more carefully and realized I'm actually looking forward to being done with the run.  Why?  Because I get to eat one package of 2 caramel brownies that is in the freezer!  I've decided I'll do pints of Ben & Jerry's after the two 20 milers, and after the 23 miler (partially as a reward for the run, but also a reward for the ice baths), but I think the brownies will be a good treat for all the other long runs.  I'm also doing Mexican food for lunch after the second 20 and after the 23, and I'm going out for brunch at Cafe Brazil after the first 20 with a bunch of running friends to celebrate "Double D" being back in town for the wknd, with whom I have logged tons of running miles.  I miss him.  I hope they move back here within the next couple years.  So basically I have my refueling plans covered for the 18+ milers that are on the schedule. 

I need to get a little more prepared for Sunday.  We're going out for a late Mexican food lunch on Sat with one of the AC's co-workers and his wife and I should decide now if I'm going to get a margarita or not.  I really want one, but am worried about it kicking my butt 15 hours later when I run the 18.  But I also need to decide on Sat night dinner (no doubt pasta, red sauce, garlic bread), choose an outfit (time to start trial runs of outfits for marathon day), pack my recovery drink and gu, put a towel by the door, etc. 

Plus I need to get ready on Sat for our big dinner on Sunday!  I'd like to get the table set and hopefully prep all the ingredients so I can spend the afternoon cooking on Sun.  The menu:

Cheese, crackers, olives as appetizer
Carrot-cilantro soup
Spicy Cauliflower Lasagna (and have to make homemade sauce for it)
Strawberry Gorgonzola salad
Cupcakes (need to call and confirm my order today)

Doesn't really seem like a lot, but there will only be 6 of us.  I just hope I'm not dead in the water from the run.  The drink is going to be Tang with Vodka (going for an outer-space theme), and then wine.  Hopefully it will all pull together easily. 

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Hill repeats

I struggled this morning.  6 miles including 6 hill repeats of 2 minutes each.  Fortunately, the hill we chose was less than 2 minutes long, but I was zapped by the top anyway.  It was 61 feet of climbing over the course of about .21 miles.  I lagged behind the group on each one, except one person was behind me on the last one -- but he has the best excuse -- he just did a Half-Ironman on Sunday (in sub-6 hours, no less!), so he was still recovering.  On the warm-up and cool-down our pace was particularly slow.  But the key thing for me to remember right now is that hill repeats always seem to get easier when I start doing them with more regularity.  It was also not great today b/c I was almost late.  I forgot that I have a longer drive on hill days and I wasn't able to find my pre-run food of choice (granola bar) at home.  I found one that was a different brand but it was too early in the morning to comprehend the long list of ingredients to figure out if it was something I could eat.  So I grabbed a gu as my pre-run fuel to eat in the car, but I didn't have water with me and gu without water is wretched.  I parked and ran for a quick sip of water to help me eat the gu, then we were off.  I had to stow my key on the run and never felt completely pulled together.  I might have to start getting up at 4:45 on hill days.  4:52 just doesn't seem to cut it, and I even ran two stoplights (after stopping to look for traffic of course). 

My feet are still kind of sore, but I've ice-rolled them in the mornings and have been doing some of the calf stretches/strengthening exercises.  But it seems like I'm really sore by the end of the day (and of course the first few steps in the morning are bad).

Wednesday, July 21, 2010


I ran more at camp this morning than I realized -- we had to do a bunch of suicides so it never seemed like we were going far.  And then I ran home, a little over half of the run home was with Joy.  My times seemed slow.  Since I'm a running log person, I can tell you exactly how slow... and the answer is not really.  In fact, just a tad faster than I was 2 weeks ago on the same run, and almost even with last week.  The problem is, the first week of training I tried to do a baseline run and my goal is to maintain that.  I basically ran the exact same pace on this post-camp Wed. run for 5 straight weeks, and the last 2 (plus today) have been slower.  I lack any good explanation -- it's hotter?  I'm more run down?  Who knows?  My ideal plan for this morning was to run it all on pace and add on some distance (1.7 more miles) so that I could have my Sat miles already out of the way and would be able to take that day off.  Since I loooove rest days, I'll take Sat off in all likelihood anyway, and my miles will just be short this week. 

Here's my weekly miles since training started:
12.1 (major medical issue -- not mine)
46.1 (only high b/c two long runs b/c of the holiday)
20.3 (only low b/c no long run)

Hmm, hadn't expected that list to mean anything at all to me, but it's quite interesting that my slow Wed. times seem to have started around the higher weeks.  Oh well, I'd rather have the times slip a little on the Wed. runs and have my mileage be higher I think.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Nice and Easy

We ran about 7.9 this morning at almost a 9 min pace when you added in the water stops and it felt soooo good.  I stayed with the group, surprised they didn't shun me.  I was just running with guys this morning (David, Kiran, Tony and Craig) and I felt fine but somehow ended up with some nastiness in my mouth.  I apologized profusely in advance for grossing them out, then I spit.  First time on a run ever, and I've been running for more than 5 years.  It just felt like there was no alternative.  They lauged and of course it led to all kinds of discussions about things we'd seen runners do -- mostly related to using the restroom.  The other big topics of conversation this morning were the 15k results, a couple people in our group broke 1:10, which is crazy impressive, particularly given the heat and one who wasn't there this morning even managed a negative split.  And we also talked a lot about the half-ironman last weekend that one of our group (and his wife!) did -- both had awesome times.  I think he ended up at 5:48 and she was 6:03.  They come back to town today and I think he's probably pleased with the results.  He was wondering if he'd be able to break 2 hours in the half-marathon after biking 56 miles, and he did.  That will be interesting to hear about first-hand on Thursday, which is good b/c we have hill repeats during our run, which is going to suck.  When I got home I rolled my ice bottle under my foot while I made my smoothie and then did a few stretches before I showered.  Still hurts, but maybe at least now I'm doing something to heal it!

Monday, July 19, 2010


Read this and liked it, haven't verified accuracy:

I don't believe in restricting calories, I believe in burning them.

Chanamalla Samagond, Indian National Champion at 800m and 1,500m

The co-pay scam

Went to the ortho this morning and paid the co-pay to get no new information really.  He looked at and felt my feet and concluded that I need to stretch and ice, and wear orthotics and gel inserts.  They took some x-rays and it was the first time I haven't been asked if there was any chance I'm pregnant and forced to wear some kind of smock cover.  I'm not sure what to make of this -- I look thin enough that I couldn't be pregnant?  I look so old I couldn't be pregnant?  X-rays are no longer potentially damaging?  Or the x-ray tech just spaced out and could have nuked anything that had been in me?  Obviously if I'd had any fear that I was, I would have said something once I realized I hadn't been asked, so it's all moot, but I wonder why they didn't ask.  My money is on the fact that I must look too old to have children now.  Interesting.  Anyway, the x-rays didn't show anything -- my bones are very dense on my heels, but he said that's normal for someone who has run for a long time.  There's also apparently some bursitis behind my left heel, and a lot of plantar fascia tenderness on both feet, particularly on the right.  But he said race day won't be a problem.  I have a follow-up appt on 9/1, and if I'm still hurting, he said he'll do a cortisone shot on 9/13 that will get me through race day.  That's my kind of doctor!  He said he'd been out there at the 15k yesterday and slowed a lot with the heat.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Another PR Missed by less than 90 seconds

No 15k PR this morning, but I'm not really complaining.  They delayed the race start by 15 minutes allegedly to make sure the water stops were ready -- but I think it just wasn't hot enough yet.  It was 83 when we started and upper 80s when I finished.  And of course, not a cloud in the sky.  Killer!  So from the outset, I had 3 excuses ready for failing to hit my PR this morning: 

1.) Schedule said 5 marathon pace, 4 easy. 
2.) It was much hotter than last year, which is incidentally my 15k PR (don't ask about the nice cold 15k I attempted in Jan., it wasn't even close to a PR). 
3.) The race delay of 15 minutes I figured allowed me to add 30-60 seconds to my time for it to be comparable to last year. 

When I actually started running, I knew I wasn't going for a PR -- nothing to gain really.  But nonetheless, I started off too fast, hitting my first mile just under 8.  Things evened out a bit then, and by mile 2 I'd met up with my friend Alberto and we were running comfortably together, keeping things between 8 and 8:10.  I was trying to get him to talk, but he wasn't taking the bait and so it ended up being equal parts each of us talking, and then some just running along next to each other.  It was so nice though to stay steady together, and talk through bits here and there.  So instead of running 5 miles at marathon pace, I ran 10k at a near 15k pace.  At the 10k mark I really wanted to slow down.  But I saw someone from my weekend group ahead of me, so he told me to catch her -- and of course he had all kinds of energy in the bank, so we stayed together.  Finally we caught up to her and then passed her in a water stop.  At that point I was really getting hot and felt like I needed to slow down, so Alberto went on ahead of me, but surprisingly I kept him in sight for quite a while, he finished about 90 seconds in front of me. 

My weekday coach David was out there cheering for me (and others of course), so that gave me a boost at about mile 7.  But my splits were slowing down a lot and there seemed to be nothing I could do to speed up.  After 5 miles all under 8:11, I went 8:16, 8:35, 8:45 for the last 3.  YIKES!  I ran next to a guy for about the last 1.5 and we kept mentioning how much further it was and stayed pretty close, though we both started running hard the last 200 meters and he pulled ahead of me.  But wow, if it had been a half, I think I might have started walking at some point. 

No PR, as I said, and sadly using a pace predictor for this race puts me at a marathon finish time of 3:52, which will not get me to Boston unless I get significantly older very quickly.  I hung out for a while after the race and got to see Joy get her age group award -- very impressive!  But then I was hot and uncomfortable and kind of wanted to clean up before going to a post-race party. 

But the day got significantly worse after I left the race.  Yesterday I thought my car was driving a little funny.  The steering seemed kind of "loose."  Well, I noticed it again this morning on the highway going to the race, and when I was on the exit, my traction control light came on, which was a little freaky, but it went right back off when I got through the turn.  I got to the race fine, drove around, found a decent spot, and parked.  And forgot all about it.  But when I walked back to my car, I noticed I had a tire that was completely flat.  Ugh.  So I got all the stuff out of my trunk, then got out the spare and the jack.  And then a kind person pulled up and asked if everything was okay.  I asked him if he knew how to change a tire, and he did.  He stopped and changed it for me, which was lucky, because even if I stood on the crow bar (? is that what that s-shaped bar is called?), I could not get the lug nuts to budge.  But he said his 206 pounds would do it, and sure enough, it worked.  I was very worried because the summer of 2008 was the summer of the flat tire for me (about 6 flats that summer, 5 on the same wheel), and several times my car fell off the jack (before it was all the way up), but it worked just fine today. 

But naturally, the nail that caused the flat was in at such an angle that it couldn't be patched, and of course, why buy one new tire when you could buy two...  But all in all, insanely lucky.  Unfortunately, I didn't get the guy's name, just his city and finish time and license plate -- I think with those three bits of data though, I can track him down and send him a gift card or something.  The funny thing is, I told my dad about all of this and he said he had just stopped yesterday to help someone.  He'd seen a car pull over on the highway when he was on his way to my brother's house to drop something off, and he kept going.  But on his way back home, the car was still there and the front driver's side tire was flat and the guy was trying to change it, and sweating a lot and nervous with all the highway traffic.  So my dad exited, u-turned and stopped to change it for him.  The guy offered to pay my dad, and my dad said no, just do something nice for someone else.  Well, the good karma already came back to our family I guess!  So now it's my turn to find someone else who needs help and be their knight in shining armour!

Friday, July 16, 2010

Great workout!

I probably did the best at camp this morning that I've done in about a year.  We warmed up, ran about 400, then started the drill -- which was thrusts, then 400, then inchworms, then thrusts, then 300, then inchworms with pushups, then thrusts, then 200, then inchworms with pushups and thrusts, then thrusts, then 100, then crab walk/dips, then crab thrusts, then 50, then crab walk/dips, then thrusts, then 50 and crab/dips, then thrusts, then 100 with crab/dips, followed by crab thrusts, then 200, then thrusts, then 300, then thrusts, then 400 and then a few 50 sprints with a few other exercises mixed in.  Probably only ran a total of about 1.7 but I stayed near the front (with Grant and Lori) the whole time and felt strong.  Then I got home and my feet hurt while I made breakfast.  I've iced once a day each day for 3 straight days now and it doesn't really seem to be helping. 

Tomorrow is my last Sat off, then the race Sunday!  Here's hoping for a PR, even just by a bit...

But the best news is finding out that my mom got into the MTCM 10 mile race!  So maybe she and the AC can run it together, but even if not, at least our family will have multiple people in each event.  That's so exciting!! 

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Step One -- Appointment Made

I have an appointment with an ortho on Monday morning.  I iced yesterday and once today, and it actually seemed less painful this morning, but it's hard to tell.  Still felt sore after the run.

I thought I might have gotten injured this morning.  Very early into our run, there was an oncoming car and we all moved to the side of the street, almost single file.  As soon as the car passed, we moved back onto the more level part of the street.  I wasn't really looking down, but it might not have helped anyway since my eyes hadn't really readjusted after seeing the headlights, but I rolled my left ankle out.  It hurt a lot but I decided to keep going and see if it still hurt in a minute.  It did, but I pressed a little longer, and there was no pain by 2 minutes and it's now been about 5 hours since that happened and still no swelling, so I think I'm fine.  We had 8 this morning and I started to struggle around 5.  It seemed the group was pushing the pace more than I could.  Around mile 6, two guys turned off for a restroom stop, and so I let myself lag behind the group, thinking these guys would catch up to me, but they never did.  I didn't slow down unnecessarily, but I might have slowed more if I hadn't had a friend's keys in my car so he wouldn't have to carry them -- and I didn't want him to have to wait around for me. 

But an okay run and an overall okay pace.  Just feeling mentally like my MTCM time goals might be unattainable.  Need to work on the attitude.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Getting Worse

So I think I'm going to call a doctor today and make an appointment.  And maybe I'm going to be really good about icing.  Actually, that just prompted me to go get ice and put it under my heels.  I wish here at the office I had a wrap around ice-band that I could secure to my ankles.  But I do think the pain might be getting worse.  It feels fine when I run, but just walking around the house this morning after my run was painful, though it seems to be subsiding.

I ran 5.3 this morning -- about 2 at camp, then Joy ran halfway home with me.  I got to my exit and was feeling pretty great, so I went another .25 north and then doubled back.  First mile was a bit slow but we were talking a lot, the next couple were a good pace.  Tomorrow is 8 miles and then Friday I'm planning an easy run home with Russell after camp.  Then Sunday is the race -- 15k, and I really cannot imagine I have any chance of a PR.  I don't think I could hold an 8 min pace for a 10k right now, plus it's supposed to be hot -- low 80s probably in the morning, highs around 100, but heat index of about 105.  Ugh.  I really want this to be "my year," but so far it doesn't seem to be in the cards.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Chugging Along

Not much to report today.  I ran 6 this morning and fell behind the group for the part that was at 15k pace, but surprisingly enough, I ran at about the correct pace for myself.  I was tired and felt sick today -- but the sickness was all on my shoulders.  Drank too much last night.  I so rarely drink, let alone during the week, that to be hung over three times in the last month is insane.  Last night we went out with a high school friend who was in town for work.  It was so much fun to catch up but my husband called it a night early and left me to my own devices -- which meant one more drink.  There were several Mavericks players who were there, so that was kind of cool.  It was a fun night but not a fun morning.  Don't seem to be more or less sore than before. 

Monday, July 12, 2010

Future Races

Lots to write, little time.  Took Saturday completely off, which was nice, though I'm not sure it did any good for my feet.  Got fresh pasta and local sauce at the farmer's market that morning and we had that as my carb-load dinner Sat night.  Long run this weekend ended up at 16.5 miles and I was definitely getting worn out toward the end.  Think 10 more miles would have been ugly.  It sucked b/c our group is starting to diverge in lengths, so we basically ran out 7 then almost back to the start and then out another 1+ and then back -- the tough part was the 1+ was toward home, which really made me wish I hadn't driven my car to the start point.  After we finished, I went back out for one person who'd slowed down a lot, but it was less than 2 minutes of running and I saw him coming toward me, so I u-turned and finished with him.  Then I got a massage/stretch, and then a bunch of us went out for breakfast. 

Today I ran about 1 at camp, but kept it all very easy.  My feet hurt like crazy this morning.  I need to be better about doing those stretches.

Adam asked me this morning about future races, he's thinking particularly internationally.  These are my thoughts.  At some point, I'd like to run all of the following marathons. 

New York (world marathon majors) (done)

Boston (world marathon majors)

St. George (done)
Chicago (world marathon majors) (done)

Marine Corps (done)
White Sands/Bataan (would like to run heavy)
Houston (hate thought of training over holidays)
Big Sur (haven't done spring before)
Steamtown (fall 2011 possibility)
Mohawk Valley (another fall 2011 choice)
Milwaukee (another fall 2011 choice)
Air Force (not sure if this is still on my list based on some reviews I've heard)
Anchorage (midnight sun)
Grandma's (maybe)
And the others I've done though not on a list -- White Rock, Oklahoma, San Antonio, soon to be MTCM

China -- either Beijing or Great Wall
London Flora (world marathon majors) (now called Virgin London I think)
Berlin (world marathon majors)

Others in Italy -- maybe Messina, Venezia, Torino, Firenze, Milano, Assisi, something in Calabria!
Three Countries marathon (Germany, Austria, Switzerland)


Plans.  Obviously this fall is MTCM.  If I feel good and am so inclined, while I have the high base I may also do San Antonio and/or White Rock.  It seems so effortless to run a second one since so little work is required if they're spaced the right number of weeks apart. 

For Spring 2011, I'd like to do White Sands and/or Boston.  Definitely Boston if I get in.

For Fall 2011, I'm thinking Steamtown or Mohawk Valley or Milwaukee (preference for one of the first two if I haven't qualified yet), and again, maybe also San Antonio and/or White Rock.  Another second marathon possibility though would be Stinson Beach (instead of San Antonio) if friends are going to do it.  That's a race that wouldn't be for time since ravines, stairs and trail aren't conducive to PRs. 

Spring 2012 will be White Sands or Boston, whichever one I still need to do (assuming of course that Boston is an option by then).  And then maybe Great Wall if we decide to go to Asia in the late spring.  If we don't go then, we'll have to go in the fall and Beijing will be my fall 2012 marathon. 

So exciting!  My feet really need to heal.

Friday, July 9, 2010

Dialing it down

Went to camp this morning and ran a mile but I skipped out on all the sprinting and just did some weights.  Schedule is 5 easy tomorrow and then 16 on Sunday, my plan was 5 tomorrow and 18 on Sunday.  Trying to decide what to do... 

Options:  (1) follow the schedule; (2) follow the schedule but add 2 miles to the run on Sunday, which was my original (pre-pain) plan; (3) skip Sat and run 16 on Sunday, or (4) skip Sat but still add 2 miles on Sunday.  Notably, skipping both is still not an option.  Hmmm... feet (and laziness) will probably dictate. 

Major drama at work today.  The person I call "Bla" majorly dropped the ball several months ago (which I discovered at a hearing this morning) and of course is attempting to shift all blame off her, the only person who was responsible for getting it done.  The funniest thing was that I was at the hearing until about 10.  Came back and did some investigating to see if we'd really dropped the ball (I was sure some clerical or processing error).  At 11:30 I sent a report to the boss and Bla.  Boss is out today and Bla replied at noon, saying, funny, I'd just investigated that an hour ago and saw the same thing.  Can you say schmullshit?  It made me laugh.  Reminded me of someone I know who claimed to have gotten engaged and then for some unexplained reason didn't tell anyone for a few weeks and then suddenly found out they were pregnant a few weeks after "the engagement", and so then told everyone both pieces of news at once.  In both instances, what I suspect to be the truth wouldn't have bothered me or anyone else in all likelihood.  So I found out about a droppped ball from the judge months after the fact and brought it to Bla's attention.  So they decided to get married b/c they were pregnant.  It's really just more what I see as a cover-up and preceived false timeline that amuses me. 

Thursday, July 8, 2010


Still having sore heels first thing in the morning, so I got some advice from my fave advisor at my fave running store about some stretches that will help with plantar's.  He said I could use the step stretch device, but that it was easier and maybe better (and certainly cheaper) to stretch using exercises that don't need any equipment other than a wall and a chair or other seat.  I am going to try to get religious about doing them daily -- he said even on non-run days -- and see if it helps.  He also reinforced that I need to be icing, which I haven't done in a while. 

We had 6 miles this morning with 6 fartleks, most of which were pretty short.  Joy joined us again and it made me sad to realize her training group will be starting up in about 2 weeks, so she'll have her own weekday schedule instead of coming with us.  Anyway, according to David, our overall running pace was about 10 seconds too fast, which I felt, but with the speed bursts included, it seemed logical.   

The big news here though is that we bought plane tickets yesterday and I'm hoping hubby will do his race registration today.  We're flying up on Thurs afternoon, which is great since it will only be 2 days of vacation and will give me 2 full days in the city to see what the weather is like, to drive the course, to get to the expo, to make final outfit decisions, etc.  And the AC has never been to MN, so this will be a new state for him.  Since I lived there when I was little, I'd like to at least drive by my old house with him and maybe show him the scene of my brother's big bike accident.  And I've never been to the Mall of America, so that might be a fun Friday activity. 

The only sucky part of our trip is the fact that we fly back on Sunday night.  I've never flown the same day as a marathon and every fiber of my being tells me that it's a mistake.  Last year we drove to Vegas after St. George, about 2 hours in the car, and that was horrible even with one stop for leg stretching.  I was so tight when we got there.  But due to the whole concept of limited vacation days, and the fact that my sweet husband already has to take 1.5 days for the trip and would have to take 1.5 more if we flew home Monday (and I want to save any newly accrued days for us to go home at Xmas (we blew the wad of vacay days on adding Russia a couple months ago)), it seemed Sunday night made a lot more sense.  Our flight isn't until 6ish, so even if it took me 6 hours to finish the race and then another 1-2 hours to deal with post-race fluids/chaos/crowds/transit, I should still have time to shower and eat before we'd have to go to the airport (just would need a late check-out, which we'll probably need even if I finish with a PR).  Our hotel is only a short walk from the finish line.  And my goal will be to be all packed the night before except what I'll need race morning and race afternoon, just in case the unexpected happens and he or we have to grab and go.  That happened to me in DC -- finished within 15 minutes of plan but it took forever to link up after the race, pick up my gear-check bag (which I hopefully won't need at MTCM b/c of family), and walk the couple blocks to the hotel; there was still enough time for a quick ice bath at the hotel, but if I hadn't been packed and prepared, it would have been tough. 

Maybe I can walk the aisles a couple times on the flight... or maybe I'll just be temporarily partially paralyzed for the first few days back.  I want to be careful about following a recovery schedule this year, especially if I consider doing another fall marathon.  Hopefully my walking buddy will be in town and we can log some miles together especially that week.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010


I think I'm going to give in and call a doctor about my feet.  Part of me thinks it's kind of good news that they both hurt so much; I've always heard that if one of the two hurts, it's an injury, if they both hurt, you're just sore.  But maybe they're both injured.  I've been wondering what would happen if I took a week off.  The problem is I don't want to miss the long run this wknd (16, that I may make into 18), and then next week's workouts are tough -- first day of speed (15k pace, not for long), and long (first day of 8).  And then the following wknd is the 15k race, where I'm hoping pretty desperately for a PR. 

This year has been really sad in terms of running.  In the spring, I had several speed PRs, at 100m, 200m, 400m and 800m.  That's a bit misleading though b/c I could have walked or crawled the 100 and gotten a PR since I'd never done a coach-timed 100.  But in terms of races, the only PR I've had was in a 10k, and even that I missed my goal by about 15 seconds.  And I have done NINE races this year.  The stories:  first 15k was just a struggle to get back after several weeks off from a sprained ankle a few days after Xmas.  Second race was a half and I wasn't racing -- ran several easy miles with a friend, then several at her marathon pace, then I had a major negative split and ran great the second half of the race on my own.  Third was a 5k, first mile at goal pace, then a big crash and burn.  Fourth was a 10k that sucked, largely on gravel and worst of all, completely without mile markers.  I missed a PR by about 1 minute, which is a bummer b/c I basically gave up and walked at one point, not knowing where I was.  Fifth was another 5k and another good first mile followed by a slow crash.  Still faster than the Feb. 5k, but more than a minute off a PR.  The sixth race was another 10k and my one and only PR, but it was also kind of a disaster b/c I struggled so much and missed my goal (which should have been easy) by 15 seconds.  Then there was a 5 mile race where the uphill mile was 30 seconds off my next slowest mile.  That meant a full minute's difference in the pace btw miles 1 and 4.  Ugh.  Missed a PR by a little less than 40 seconds.  Then of course was my major 5k undertaking.  The time when I was really going for it.  But I was recovering from being sick and was still coughing.  My coach was pacing me and heard me hacking up a lung before we started and he was appalled to realized I was (or had been, as I insisted) sick.  Again, about 1 mile on pace, then crashing and burning.  But this race ended with vomit at the end, which is always a bonus.  I looked greenish coming across the finish line, kept it together for about 3 minutes, then started getting sick.  So bad.  The last race was about a month ago, 4 miles.  Missed a PR by just under 20 seconds and it included one dreadful mile that was slow.  Miles 1, 2 and 4 were all less than 7 seconds apart, but mile 3 was more than 40 seconds slower than my next slowest mile.  I don't know what's wrong with me this year.  Just can't seem to find my groove.  When I think about racing in a week and a half, I can't fathom a PR.  I had my 15k PR at this race last year and it was awesome.  I ran with a great friend for a very steady 10k, then let it fly for the last 5k, making the final 5k about a minute faster than either of the first 2.  I have a friend who wants to run it with me this year, and I'd like that, but I just can't imagine it going well for me.  We'll see I guess.  Maybe the week after the 15k would be a good week to rest.  I'd miss out on the first day of hill repeats, but that wouldn't bother me too much. 

On a non-running topic, I have a new snack of choice.  I think I'm eating way too much, but when I make this as a snack and bring it to work, it's like I can hear it calling me from the fridge.  And then it's all gone well before 10:30.  I've been eating a whole wheat pita filled with red onion and hearts of romaine and/or spinach, and with a cannellini bean-garlic spread.  So good.  Not exactly bad for me, not the same as eating chips or something, but still not necessary.  I just feel like if I made 5 pitas worth, I could scarf them all up right now, and they're really stuffed with greens, so it's a lot of food.  I feel like I'm constantly hungry, but I think it's mostly just boredom or procrastination.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Spoke Too Soon

Foot pain was worse than ever this morning when I got up.  I was in the closet grabbing clothes and it was still really painful to move, but it loosened up by the time I was dressed and the run was pain free.  We had hills today, 7.5 miles of them -- ugh!  Apparently we maintained an 8:42 average, but it was tough.  We did two loops and then a half loop.  Joy ran as well, so that was nice.  Elizabeth left an interesting article about White Sands on my windshield that I'll have to read tonight.  I wanted to go back to sleep this morning after eating and getting cleaned up, but they're doing a bunch of work on our condo, so I dozed a bit but soon it was too noisy.  I saw a commercial on tv for a "foot and heel pain center" and wrote down the number, I may try to see Elizabeth's doc and to call this place.  The only other time I had foot problems was about 2-3 years ago and it was my peroneus longus, but I wasn't overly impressed with my doc, so I'd like to find someone else. 

Have plane tickets on hold for the marathon right now.  Trying to decide if it's a good idea to use miles and buy one ticket and fly direct, or just buy two tickets for about $100 more and have a stop (and save the miles for our big trip next year).  We're not supposed to be spending much right now, but oh, direct would be nice.  The cool thing about the stop though is that it's Atlanta and a good friend that we haven't seen since the wedding lives there, so maybe we'd have a long enough layover for a quick visit.  The AC is worried about the 10 mile race, he really hasn't been feeling great lately and hasn't been posting his typical running times.  Hopefully it will get better in the next few months, or he'll be miserable that wknd.  I feel so badly for him and want him to feel better.

Monday, July 5, 2010


I don't want to speak too soon, but maybe last week's high mileage was the cure I needed.  My feet actually feel less sore.  Because of the holiday shifting the long run to Saturday, I logged 46 miles last week (but this week will be under 30, so it will balance out). 

Bella did a list on her blog of things to do before age 40.  I started a similar list (life-long, not by a certain age) a while ago -- more than a year I think.  I may have to give it some more thought, dig up my old list, and post it here.  Another blog I like (Half of Jess) asked recently about just a few goals.  The top few that came to mind for me were to qualify for Boston, to become debt-free (including the house), to celebrate my 50th wedding anniversary (a stretch maybe since we weren't kids when we got married), and to argue before an appellate court.  I have tons of travel goals -- Israel/Jordan, China (I am not counting my Hong Kong trip as seeing China), Egypt, and India are high on the list of places I haven't been.  That was a list of 5 for a long time until a few months ago when I got to cross Russia off the list.  2012 should be China.  And depending if my in-laws come to Italy with us next year, I may also get to experience Egypt soon (though I'd rather go to Italy with them and save the Italy/Egypt trip for some other year, but if they don't come, we'll either do Italy/Sweden or Italy/Egypt in 2011). 

I also started my blog list today!

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Run-free Fourth

No run today.  Was scheduled for 5 easy but decided instead to head to a drive through safari/zoo and then a dinosaur sculpture park with my godson and his family.  Since we left early in the morning, Eliz and I both skipped the run today, but we had a lot of fun spending the day together.  My favorite part was when a giraffe ate out of my hand.  Fun day!  About to start cooking dinner for the AC. 

Saturday, July 3, 2010

Nice! 3 mos to go!

Schedule was 14 this morning and the route was right past our front door, so I got dropped off at the start, ran the route with the group, and then ran home solo -- getting to see other friends on their way to the finish too.  I ended up at 15.9 miles and felt good the whole time.  Big score!  It was overcast and cooler this morning, and even if cooler just means upper 70s, it's so much better than something over 80.  It was a little misty around the u-turn, apparently the beginning of the effects of Alex here, which got downgraded to tropical storm level.  So I briefly wished I'd remembered to grab a hat or visor, but it never really rained.  Now I just have to hope it holds off the rest of the day.  I've relaxed this morning and am about to start cooking.  I am making something for the wives' association cookout tonight, then fireworks!  I really hope I feel this great 3 months from today.  Exactly.  Scary. 

Friday, July 2, 2010

Almost Zero Miles

Today's schedule was off (long run tomorrow instead of Sun b/c of the holiday) but we went to camp.  Not feeling great either b/c of a friend's "Canada Day" party last night where I made horrible food and alcohol choices.  Only had one drink I suppose (but I sadly love those mini cream puffs, and also had a cupcake (or two)), but ugh, slow going today.  So at camp we didn't have to run much, which was nice.  We did 8 rounds of short sprints (about 8 seconds each), in two separate sets, and then a bit of other random running around the parking lot, but I'd say less than a mile by a long shot. 

Definitely not racing tomorrow I've decided, and probably not volunteering at the race either.  Our schedule is 14, and I'm going to add 1.5-2 at the end, so even though we'll start at 5:30, I wouldn't definitely be finished in time to be somewhere by 8.  Anyway, it will also give me more time during the day tomorrow to make something for the wives' association potluck before the big fireworks show tomorrow night.  And Joy and her husband are meeting us there for the potluck (it will be the first time I've met him), and then they'll stay for the fireworks while the AC goes home after dinner.  Should be a fun night! 

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Sore Feet

I think my feet/ankles are getting more sore.  Last night they hurt while we were sitting on the couch watching a movie (incidentally, we're now halfway through A Bridge Too Far and it's awesome, can't believe I'd never seen it).  I had my feet on hubby's lap and all of a sudden it was like there was a throbbing pain in my heels.  Today they hurt a lot for about the first 30 seconds I was awake and moving around, and even kind of hurt for the first half mile of running or so.  We ran the Baltimore loop today, with 5 strides, and Joy ran with us.  The whole thing felt good once I got going, though I lagged a bit on a couple of the strides.  We ran 6.6 and averaged 8:44s, counting the water stops, but both of them were pretty short.  I should have asked Joy about watched the fireworks Sat night but I forgot -- will have to do that tomorrow.  Anyway, I was walking a cooldown with Joy, David and Kirin, and we'd just started, and Giddy ran and caught up with us.  We walked and talked with her for about 2 minutes and she said it had already exceeded all the conversation that occurred with her group during the full 6 miles.  I'm so glad I'm pushing the pace a little during the week -- it's worth it to run with people I know and like so much.  I like the people in the other group, but that early in the morning, I'd rather have conversation to keep me going. 

I'm leaning toward running with the group on Saturday instead of doing the 10k.  Just don't think there's much chance of running 7:30-7:45s, and don't want to run in the heat.  Maybe I'll volunteer instead.  That would be nice, if I could make it there quickly enough after my run. 

Also, checked airfares yesterday for MTCM and I'm kicking myself for not buying the tickets a few weeks ago.  Last time I'd checked (and even put a reservation on hold), it was about $500 for both of us.  Yesterday, $700.  Oops.  The problem is definitely the return flight.  If we came home Sunday morning, we could still do it for about $500.  But flying out Sunday afternoon/night or anytime Monday means an extra $100 per ticket.  Anyway, the AC is waiting until Friday to do his 10 mile registration.  So this weekend I should make some final choices and get the tickets.  We might get stuck on AirTran and have a connection, both of which are potential trouble. 

Oh, and I gave this blog address to someone for the first time yesterday.  Hi Kathleen, if you're reading.  Insanely boring, I know.  I'm going to have to figure out how to do a list of links on the side.  My fave blogs will now be Kathleen's, of course, 26.2ers, Bella's, Newly Veg, Celery, and Tricia's.  There are probably others too, but those are the ones that come to mind. 

Also yesterday I got an email from one of the people Jennifer put me in touch with about White Sands.  He ran it heavy and was aiming for sub-7, and was thrilled to come in at 6:30 exactly.  Sounds scary but inspirational and wonderful.  Postponing any decision on that until about Xmas.