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Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Duh, Duh, Duh

I ran some hills this morning, and I feel pretty darn good about it!  This is the first time I have ever made an effort to "run hills" in any of my training programs.  I just always avoided it.  But now, I can see how they do make a difference!  I noticed it last week, when I was running my two 5 milers, and my 14 miler.  Erin was a source of inspiration for me--thank you!  In one of her blogs, she said she was not going to walk, and kept telling herself to keep moving.  I decided this was what I was going to do, and I did it for these two 5 milers.  I would have done better on the 14 miler, except for the gut cramps.  Phooey.

Anyway, this is what helped me run farther:  telling myself I could not walk, that I was doing ok, and my hill work.  I actually ran up the hill today and forgot what I was doing until I realized I had reached the top.  How do you forget that you're running up a very steep hill?  I guess my body just took over!  It was still tough, but I can feel the difference in my legs, and it gives me a big boost of confidence for the upcoming half-marathon this Sunday.  I feel about as ready as I can be, and with a few more short runs this week, I am concentrating on getting my breathing down to a calm rhythm in the first few miles.  They are always the toughest for me, especially with the adrenalin and fear coursing through my system at the start of a race.

One more thing--another duh moment.  I was watching The Spirit of the Marathon yesterday--watch it if you can.  Groups of people were in training together, and the documentary  showed people running with their bottle belts.  It took me awhile, but I realized the runners with one bottle had the bottle turned so it was ON THEIR BACKS.  Oh, idiot Sue.  I thought my bottle was supposed to rest on my hip!  No, it goes on my back! So, I promptly stood up, strapped on my belt, and ran back and forth in my living room.  And guess what?  The bottle didn't move!  DUH!  Now to just figure out how to gracefully reach around, grab the bottle, and drink while still running.

I'm probably not going to use it this weekend, but I will train with it, and run with it in October for the Des Moines Half-Marathon.  I guess I won't be gifting this to C-Joy after all.  Does anyone have a piece of ocean front property they want to sell me? ! :P

Friday, August 27, 2010

The 13 Miler That Became The 14 Miler

I probably shouldn't be sitting right now; I think I'll have problems getting out of my chair.  I finally completed my 13 miler this morning, although it turned out to be 14 miles.

My reason:  gut cramps.  Oh, so fun.  I started out great; having a Hammer Gel before I began to run.  It's beautiful out today, and was about 64 degrees when I started.  I ran the first 3 miles with a bottle of water, so I could drop it off and pick it up on the way back.  I made it five miles without any walking and that felt really good.  After hitting the five mile mark, I started to get my usual gut cramps.  I knew this would happen today; things didn't happen this morning before I ran, so I knew I was probably going to be in trouble on the trail.  Nothing like a little jogging to kick start your intestinal tract! Better than coffee!

My plan was to run to the 6.5 mile mark, then turn around.  But by then, my cramps were severe enough that I had to stop and walk.  I even considered going into the weeds to take care of business, it was that bad.  My friends know this is not my usual way of operating, and I was horrified that I was even contemplating this!  I knew there was an outhouse at mile 7, since I had taken advantage of it's delightful presence two years ago on my 20 mile long run for the marathon.  I made it to the outhouse, took care of business, and started back.  I had another Hammer Gel, and started to think about that water bottle back at mile 3.  On this particular trail, it always seems like miles 4-6 are way longer than a mile each.  I don't know why!  There was no one else biking or running on the trail until I hit mile 4 (mile 10) when I saw some other ladies running out.  By now my back was hurting, and my bit of energy was slowly dying.  I had to stop and walk a few times, which disappointed me, but I kept reminding myself that I was running an extra mile!  

Happily, my water bottle was still waiting for me.  I was pretty thirsty, running 8 miles without any water.  It tasted good!  At about mile 12 (mile marker 2), a doe jumped out of the woods onto the trail about 50 feet in front of me.  It looked at me, and bolted back into the woods.  I guess the smile on my face didn't make it feel very safe.  At least I thought it  was a smile--maybe a grimace?

So I made it!  I completely lost track of my time; I'm pretty sure it took me way longer than I had planned.  My potty stop and cramps probably added at least 10 minutes extra.  Just as I got back to my truck, the cramps returned with force, and I quickly stretched and drove home.  

My plan this last week before the half marathon is to eat a lot of bananas and drink a lot of water.  I seem to be noticing more cramping in my calves and hamstrings so I think it's just a lack of potassium.  A hill run is lined up for Monday, and a few short runs before I stop running on Friday to take a break before Sunday's half on Sept 5th!  

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

A Very Inspiring DVD

I just finished watching a DVD called "Marathon Challenge" .  It was a PBS program from Nova about a group of everyday, sedentary people who were picked to train for 40 weeks to run the Boston Marathon.  None of them had any running experience, and some had major health problems:  one was HIV positive, one was 70 pounds overweight, another had had a heart attack 12 years before.  No one was younger than 28; I think the oldest person was a woman who was 60.

This was an amazing show to watch.  They slowly built up their mileage from a "long" run of 2 miles, to their final long run of 20 miles three weeks before the marathon.  They struggled, and some had to stop running for weeks in order to recover from injuries.  But by golly, all 12 made it through the Boston Marathon!  One woman even had a urinary infection.  Lots of potty breaks.

It made me realize a few things:

I am very lucky I do not suffer from blisters.  I've never gotten a blister running.  I don't know how this has happened, but I thank my lucky stars.  I consider the fact that my big toe wears a hole in the top of every running shoe I've owned a minor inconvenience.

I am very lucky I am able to run without having any stress fractures, knee problems, or any other problem except some gut cramps after ten miles.  I know my right hip will hurt like heck, but some stretching, resting, and patience will make me feel all better in a few days.

I am very lucky I can run.  I will no longer ever consider my ability to run,  even slowly, as nothing short of amazing.  So many things can keep a person from running, but so far, nothing has stopped me.  I will go the distance!  A mile is a mile, no matter how long it takes you to finish it.

If you haven't seen this DVD, you should watch it.  If anything, it has some great information about what your body goes through as it adapts to running.  Our bodies are incredible machines.  After watching this show, I feel pretty good about my 5 miler this morning, and I know that  on my long run Friday, I  will be thinking about all of the amazing people on this DVD.  Can you be proud of people you've never met?  Well, I am.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

A Tale of Terror That Does Not Involve Knives, Zombies, or Vampires

Yep--my tale of terror is about the Bo-Fest half marathon I'm running on September 5th.  My co-worker, Michael, ran part of the route and quite frankly scared the bejesus out of me.  I knew most of the route was on Otis Road, which is a blacktop that runs along the Cedar River; it's kinda out in the middle of nowhere (yet in the city) and not a place I would ever run by myself.  He then told me that when you turn around to come back, you run on part of the Sac and Fox Trail.  

This is the trail I took the kids on last week for a bike ride.  Our bike ride lasted approximately 400 feet, when we turned around and walked our bikes back to my truck, put them back in the bed, and stared at each other in dismay.  The trail had so much gravel on it, and the ground was so soft, it felt like we were riding on sand.  We couldn't pedal and left deep tire tracks in the gravel.  Apparently this is what I have to look forward to in the race.

Michael informed me that the part of the trail he ran was very muddy.  I believe he said "Put your hiking shoes on".  Oh crap.  And also, bring bug spray.  So now I will have another week of hyperventilating about this race.  I'm pretty sure  now I will be the last one to make it back in.  I can only pray there are people who are going to run this race who feel supremely self-confident, but will wilt under the demands of a tough course.  Is it mean to wish others don't do so well so I have a shot at finishing somewhere in the pack?!  Shame on me.  But I kinda mean it :)p
So now I have two prayers I'm sending out into the world everyday:  Please let it be cool, and please let the trail dry out!  Good news:  water stops every two miles.  Another bit of good news:  a great 5 mile run today--no walking; just a short stop to retrieve my fresh, cold, sweating bottle of water from the garbage where some doorknob tossed it! 

Monday, August 23, 2010

My Summer Project Finally Done!

All summer long, I have been wanting to sand and reseal my front porch.  Last year I didn't do it, so it was well past it's prime and looked pretty dull:

Dull and ugly front porch 
After sanding for  some time, I began to see the wood looking better, and it--along with a touch of compulsive sanding behavior, kept me going for two days of sanding:

Looking Better!

Finally, after a day of rain, and a weekend of working, I put my three coats of clear waterproofing on my porch this morning:

Yeah!  Finally done!  Now, just letting it dry nicely in the sun, and then later this week I must wash the front of the house and scrub my railing.  Both have gobs of dust and muck from sanding.  

Saturday, August 21, 2010

I Am My Own Worst Enemy Part Deux

I got a lecture from Bud this afternoon, when I got home from work and debated not running at all while I ate some cherry cheesecake.  It's sticky and gross out again, and I can't whine enough about being tired of running in this weather!  I just didn't want to run at all.   Especially as it was already almost 5 o'clock.
So Bud said, "Get out there and run up that hill three times and just get done with it!"  I didn't really have a choice:  continue to eat my cheesecake, not run, and have to confess to Bud, or put down the cheesecake, put on my running gear, and run for 30 minutes with a tummy full of cheesecake?  Oh, the guilt.
I went out and ran.  Kinda.  I walked halfway up the first nasty hill, since I was not warmed up, and trotted up the rest of it, and turned the corner to continue up the incline.  Then it was down the hill, and up another one.  I turned around, and trotted down that hill, then stared up at the super big hill I had to get through.  Trot, trot, trot.  Wipe face off with shirt.  Trot, exhale heavily, squeeze sweat out of the back of my hair, and get up that damn hill!  
I turned the corner, then ran down the earlier hill, grabbed some water, then started up the hill again.  This time I just turned around and trotted back down, then ran up again.  Trotted down again.  Get the picture?  Yep, it was as fun as reading about it!  I didn't run my 5 miles of hills; I think it was more like 3.  

I'm a bit freaked out about the half marathon in two weeks.  I guess the nervousness is good.  The one race I wasn't nervous for I totally tanked and took forever to finish.  Bud and I are going to drive the route, so I can have nightmares about getting lost and being waaaay in the back of the pack.  Ever try those mind games to get you in the zone?  Oh, I have.  I think I have to try a little harder.  It will help to have some familiar faces near the end, so I will have to run  harder and finish with a smile on my face.

This week:  a 13 miler, some speed work, and some short runs.  Hoping to get the long run over with early in the week. 



Thursday, August 19, 2010

New Mattress=Happy Ms. Caboo

A short note to let my huge horde of followers know that I have a new mattress!  Yeah!!!  Bud so kindly listened to my tale of woe yesterday and went to Lebeda after work to try out some mattresses.  He smartly thought, "I will go get Sue and have her try them" instead of just buying the one he thought I would like.  Very good move on his part, as I picked out the one he didn't try!  A short twenty minutes later, a mattress was shoved in the bed of the truck, driven home,  and carried into my house.  Bud thoughtfully yanked the tanked mattress off, put the new one on, and made my bed while I made his birthday dinner.  My platform bed will be created by Bud in the next few weeks, and then the box spring will soon follow the old mattress into oblivion.  

Last night I slept for actual hours at a time, waking to turn and expecting the sagging in the middle to happen.  When it didn't I realized I had a new mattress and promptly went to sleep!  Woke up this morning with no back ache.  So very happy.  Big smiley face!

My bed looks nothing like this, but you get the idea

Peach Cobbler Recipe

I made a peach cobbler for Bud last night, and thought I'd share it.  It's from Paula Deen and pretty yummy.  I didn't have the required 3 quart baking dish, so mine turned out just a bit goopy in the middle, although Bud didn't mind at all and asked for seconds.  My peaches were pretty sweet, so if you do have in season peaches that are really sweet, I would cut down on the sugar--you just don't need as much.  Otherwise, it was really good and I will probably make it sometime with blueberries--my favorite!

This is not what mine looked like, but it tasted really good!

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Messing With the Unmessable! (What?!)

I think unmessable is a new word.  At least for me, it works today.  I woke up at 2 A.M. to major back pain.  Nothing I did would make me feel better.  I got up for a while, after slowly rolling to the edge of the bed and managing to walk bent over into my living room.  

I think the combo of sanding and running 9 miles  hurt my back.  I messed with the unmessable.  Woe is me.

I  tried all the back exercises I knew, but nothing worked.  I sat on the couch, and decided to read, although I was actually sleepy and just wanted to go to sleep.  I managed to turn around and lay down on the couch with pillows at my back and started to fall asleep, but was abruptly brought back to full awareness by the sharp pain in my right lower back.  Ok--now I was getting a little nervous.  I thought of all I wanted to do today, my other day off.  Carry laundry up from the basement to fold.  Nope.  Finish the front porch--nope.  Run my five miles of hills--nope.  Bike ride with the kids-nope.  Having Bud's birthday celebration/dinner tonight--unable to do my whole plan.  Close to crying--yep!

I managed to sleep a bit, and woke up to a still very sore back.  It took a bit to sit up and then stand up.  How will I get through the next 40 years of life with this lousy back?!  I blame it on the mattress, too.  New mattress is now a priority and must be found within the next month.  

I managed to do the dishes, but still couldn't bend over.  Took more aspirin, had breakfast, and gazed longingly outside at the beautiful day.  Now a few hours later, my back has relaxed and feels better.  I'm going to attempt the bike ride with Laura and Cole.  I promised them, and next week school starts, so this is the only chance we have to revisit the Sac and Fox trail during the week.  I won't be running my hills today.  Maybe later this week.  The porch is too wet from yesterday's rain to seal, so that will have to wait til this weekend.  Bud's birthday supper will go on--I found a great peach cobbler recipe that looks pretty darn easy!  

So, lesson learned.  Take it easy and stretch out the back.  And get a new mattress pronto!
This is how I feel, not how I look!

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

A Few Things I Learned Today

1.  Do not skip applying the anti-chaffing stick to every place on my body that I think may chafe while running.  I forgot two very important spots, and have resulting welts and unidentifiable bumps that hurt like hell in delicate places.  Should I call disease control?
2.  Even if it's cooler outside today than it has been in weeks, apply anti-chafing stick.  Everywhere.
3.  Sanding a wooden front porch floor with a hand sander for 6 hours over a two day period results in ringing ears and a tingling hand.  It also results in a hand that will not function much for a few days.
4.  Cutting short my long run by 2 miles to run home to finish sanding resulted in said  sanding being done, just in time for it to rain.  I should have finished my run!
5.  Because of the rain, I cannot finish--my last two miles of running, or put the sealer on my deck until tomorrow.
6.  There is never a good time to make a dentist appointment.  Mine is in 30 minutes.  It has interrupted my whole day!
7.  A sander will send dust against your house, on your clothes, in your hair, and if you're not careful, your contacts.
8.  Do not touch anything after you've sanded, as this results in said dust getting all over EVERYTHING!
9.  Kneeling on a front porch (even with my little handy garden cushion) and being 43 results in the inability to stand up straight for at least a day and gives you a butt cramp.  Ever had one?  Think Charley Horse except in your tushy.
10.  Learning to just go "oh well" will lower your blood pressure and keep you calm.
11.  Don't ask your boyfriend what kind of sealer to buy for the front porch.  This causes him to say, "I have some at home", possibly delaying finishing my porch tomorrow!
12.  A good pasta dish, some red wine, and a delightful book (The Tower, the Zoo, and the Tortoise) will make it all better tonight!

Sunday, August 15, 2010

A Good Sign on the Trail Today

I have one more thing tonight.  I have made known to Bud that when I finally can have a dog, I want a Siberian Husky.  I love them.  It's that simple.  I like large dogs, and I think Siberian Huskies are just beyond beautiful.  Guess what?  It's not the kind of dog Bud wants.  I told him he can get his dog, and I'll get mine.  'Nuf said about that.

I took Laura and Cole out to the Amana Colonies on Friday just to get away for a bit.  We had talked about what kind of dogs we liked the week before, and guess what?  In the Amana General Store, they had key chains with pictures of dog breeds on them.  Cole walks up to me and says "Hey Susie, look!  A husky!"  And by gosh, it was a picture of a Siberian Husky.  He remembered.  What a little munchkin.

Last night I woke up around 2 A.M. and couldn't sleep, and struggled to get up this morning to run.  I knew if I didn't make the effort, I would kick myself and not be happy.  So, I got up and went to the park to run.  I've just started running at this park near my house in the past week.  It's only .8 miles around, so I have to run extra to hit my numbers.  This is why I usually avoid it.  But, it's five minutes from my place and I was in a time crunch before work.  I started out on the trail, and someone upstairs sent me a message when I was feeling down:

I was about halfway through my first mile, and who did I pass?  A man walking two Siberian Huskies.  They were just so beautiful and well behaved.  I slowed down, said "hi", and tried not to pull the dogs into a massive bear hug.  I thought, "Ok--that's a sign I'm moving in the right direction and I'll have a good day."  

So there's my "there are no coincidences" moment.  Someday I'll have my dog.  Our hair will probably match by then!

On my wish list

Weekly Round Up!

Last week was another humidity laden week from hell.  After my ten mile run on Thursday, I ran another four miles on Friday morning.  It was tough.  My right knee is aching a bit, and I think I have pulled something on my right side, near the leg-meets-hip area.  I'm a lady, so "groin area" sounds a bit crass--(but "hell" is ok) :) *I can hear Ty laughing now*  It is a bit sensitive, especially when I run.  Not horrible, but enough that the phrase "Man, that's annoying" runs through my head in a continuous loop.  It makes a great background to my Ipod music.

I was supposed to run 4.5 miles on Saturday after work, but I just refused to do it.  The weather is a-changin' much to my happiness, and I ran this morning before work.  I really tried to run faster than I have been, and it was a bit easier because the weather was cooler. I actually ran my miles in 30 minutes.   I was happy with my run.  Tonight it's going to get down into the upper 50's, so I am bouncing for joy knowing that tomorrow morning it will be cool!  This week will definitely be a challenge--a long run of eleven miles, and five miles of hill work.  I'm not quite sure how to do five miles of hill work, but I will head to the cemetery again and run around for an hour.  I'm planning on taking Laura and Cole for a final before schools starts bike ride on Wednesday.  Bud's birthday is on Thursday, and I have a delicious dinner planned for him.  I myself can't wait to eat it!  Grilled  steak, caprese salad, and peach cobbler.  I'm a bit concerned about the cobbler--I can barely identify a peach and really don't know what to do with them.  I don't think I've actually eaten a peach in it's natural state before.  I'm more of an apple and nanner kind of gal.  

But, Bud requested peach cobbler, so if he's willing to eat it, I will attempt to make it.  I do need to come up with a tasty drink, too.  We've been making mojitos this week, and they are super good, with the bonus of a rum induced-snooze after just one!  I do need to invest in some straws, as the mint ends up in your teeth and that's just not where it should be.  I prefer that it remains in the glass.  

So, not much happening.  Continuing to read a lot.  I have not bought a book yet this month.  I'm really proud of myself--I can have some self control.  It also helps that people at work know, so I can't sneak one in. I'm reading some great new fiction, and making some inroads into the purchased-but-not-read stacks I have.  And, I've convinced my niece Jamie to finally read The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins.  Gosh!  It took her long enough.  It helps to be a relentless drone in her ear, and also to have Kirk say "You haven't read that yet?!"  Can't wait to hear what she thinks of it.  Mocking Jay comes out next week.    

I'll keep you posted on my running this week.  I know ya'll are just sitting on pins and needles waiting for my updates!  Oh--I was thisclose to a Garmin 110 at Scheels yesterday.  It had the heart monitor built in, and was too expensive.  I so want one!  Continuing to drop my change in the margarita bucket I use as a fund building container at home.  I would love to have it for both my half marathons in Sept and Oct, but I don't think it will happen--at least for the Sept half.  Keep your fingers crossed!

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Getting Through The Ten Miler

This week's long run is ten miles.  I had planned on running it on Tuesday, but after running a mere four miles on Monday in the still miserable heat and humidity, I was in a quandry.  I had to work Monday night, and I was just wiped out all night.  Couldn't cool down, felt just drained.  I knew Tuesday it was supposed to be really awful again, and I was worried it would be too hard.  So, I asked my manager if I could take off today as a day of vacation and run my ten miler then.  I work the rest of the week, and there's no way I am running ten miles after working all day!

Of course, today the weather is pretty much the same as Tuesday!  I overslept this morning--meant to be out at 6 am but didn't hit the trail until after 7 am.  I had a bottle of water, and a 24 oz drinking bottle full of Heed drink and two Hammer gels--one in banana, one espresso.  Luckily, there is also a drinking fountain at this trail.  

I made is 1.5 miles with no drinking or walking. By then I was already dripping sweat.  It was gonna be a long ten miles!
I got to mile five alternating running and walking, with a sweet lady stopping me on the trail to tell me I shouldn't run in the heat, but walk.  I stopped and had my espresso Hammer gel--really pretty good--and drank some Heed.  My legs had started to cramp, which was a new experience for me, after only five miles!  Not only were my calves cramping, but my hamstrings, too.  This is familiar to me when I'm running in a marathon, but never after only five miles.  

So I took it slow, running 2/10ths of a mile, then walking 1/10th, then running again.  All of the other runners and walkers quickly left, and I was pretty much alone in the park on the trail--except for the dude mowing the park.

I got to mile nine, and I was ready to quit.  I almost called Bud to have him tell me to finish because he's great about pushing me to keep going.  But then I realized it would require me to stop, fish out my car key, and walk to the car to call him.  It would take too much time!  I could be half done by then!  So, I just imagined Bud telling me to get my ass in gear, and that did the trick.  That, and going to my happy place in my mind, along with Michael Jackson (PYT), Queen, (We are the Champions), and ABBA (Dancing Queen).  They have no idea how much they helped me.  

I made it!  I'm looking forward to next week, when the humidity goes way down, along with the temps.  Lows in the 50's at night.  Oh my golly, to run and be chilled in the beginning.  I have forgotten what that's like.  The half marathon is in 3 weeks.  Next week is an eleven miler and hill work.  I can't wait to see if the cooler weather improves my time, cause quite frankly, it sucks.  I think a senior citizen with a walker could kick my butt on the half marathon.  

Now I'm home, after sitting in a cold bath (and shrieking for a little bit), getting cleaned up, and eating some salty potato chips.  I will not go outside again today.  I'm going to my island and reading.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Hunkering Down at Home

I realized today that treating my couch like an island in August feels just the same as it does in February.  The weather outside is oppressively hot  rather than  bone chilling, but other than that, and wearing shorts, it's exactly the same.  
I have a really BIG house so I can  fit this island in my living room!
I stay inside and lay or sit on my couch, with the TV remote, a drink, and a book handy.  Of course, with the air conditioning on, I also have a quilt to cover my legs when I get chilled, as I do in the winter.  My house is at 74-75 degrees with the air on; in the winter, it's 64 degrees with the heat on.  

I occasionally turn on the TV to see what's happening with the weather, or to see the news.  Otherwise, I read a book, put my glasses on, and fall asleep for quick 10 minute cat naps.  Then I go back to reading again.

In the winter, I don't feel as lazy as I do now.  With the sun shining, and no excuse like icy roads or below zero wind chills, I feel compelled to be outside, even though it's thoroughly miserable.  Too hot to mow, too hot to run, too hot to sit on the front porch.  Too hot to drive around with the windows down.  I stopped and got a chocolate malt, and it was liquid by the time I got home.  This was a five minute trip with the air on in the car.

No Bud tonight; he's got plans, so my late afternoon and evening are one long reading fest for me.  Finally finishing up all of my yearly doctor appointments (the chocolate malt was a reward for that!), the dishes are done, and bills are paid.  A trip earlier today to the YMCA to work on the elliptical and ride the bike, so cross-training is done.  Hey, now that I think about it, I actually did some stuff today!

Off to my island!  Happy reading all, and stay cool.  You have my permission to have a chocolate malt.

Saturday, August 7, 2010

A Lousy Run to Close Out the Week

Yuck.  Bad.  Not happy.  I was supposed to run 6 miles today.  I got up too late to run before I  went to the farmer's market downtown with my sister and her family, and then went home.  It was cool and cloudy; looking good.  Then it rained.  Then I fell asleep on the couch.  When I woke up, it was around 1 pm and very sunny outside.  Cue the humidity.

I bought a hydration belt the other day and was so excited to try it out.  I mixed up some Heed from Hammer, and filled my bottle.  Drove to a new place to run which I was told was a two mile loop, but when I looked it up on the trail info website, it's really only 1.6 miles.  So, had to recalculate my running--should do four trips around to get to my 6 and a little over.

So, I started out, after calling Bud and letting him know where I was and that I would call him back after my run.  It was a new place, and I just wanted someone to know where I was, since it is not on my list of regular running places.  I ran about 20 feet before my hydration belt began to do a dance around my middle.  I tried to tighten it, but the only way it would stay in one spot was if I ran with one hand holding it down.  The sun was blazing, and I was really peeved and disappointed with my hydration belt.

 I made it around 3 times, stopping to walk and adjust the belt continuously.  It stays in place if you walk, so I may gift it to C-Joy for her to use in her half marathon.  It's great for walking, but not for running.  I'm not happy, since I had decided this would keep me from stopping at water stops during my races, and help me improve my time.  All it did was slow me way down and annoy me.  And it made me feel lopsided.

Back to square one.  I will have to just suck it up and grab water at the water stops like I always have done.  I really have no idea how to carry my drink with me comfortably.  I am also very unhappy that I didn't complete my 6 miles.  I just gave up, which I usually don't do, but I had just had it!  Maybe it's from running three days in a row, in the heat, and not when I wanted to, but when I could.  I can only hope that when it begins to cool down, my running will improve since my body has completely forgotten what it's like to run without major heat and humidity.  I'm glad I'm not training for a full marathon, cause I would have serious thoughts about dropping out.  What a summer for running.  I'm pretty sure many people across the country feel the same way I do.

After going to Target to get some things, I came home.  Bud called me.  I forgot to call him.  He was ready to drive over and find my car to make sure I was ok.  I feel like a crumb.  Oops.

Taking tomorrow off; it's supposed to be 90 degrees with the humidity climbing again this week.  Only had one day of lovely weather.
Ten mile run to accomplish; my goal is to do it on Tuesday, my other day off.  Going to get up and be out by 6 A.M. to accomplish it before it gets too uncomfortable.

On the bright side, the Sac and Fox Trail has been repaired from the 2008 flood, so  I am going to go there Sunday afternoon and ride my bike--get some cross training in for the week.

Less than a month away from the half marathon!  Getting a little nervous, although I am definitely better prepared than I was in May.

Friday, August 6, 2010

Blooming Zinnias

After months of waiting, they're finally blooming!  Red...


And Orange!

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Running Through The Cemetery With No Dead People Chasing Me

I mean that with all due respect to the people who found their final resting place in this particular cemetery.  It comes complete with a pioneer section, if you really want to see some old head stones.  Anyway, it's a beautiful cemetery, and fortunately for me, it's fairly close to my house (about a 5 minute drive--10 with road construction) and is built on rolling hills.  It's also very peaceful, has little to no traffic, and is quiet.
This is one hill I made a loop around--it continues straight up

This is another hill I would run up and around to yet one more hill!

This is where I chose to run my 4 miles of hills today.  I figured if I ran up and down the hills for about 40 minutes, I would hit my 4 miles.  I also figured if I ran up and down the hills about 8 times, it would be good. 
I lost count after 4 rounds.  I started running around the cemetery, up one hill, then slowly jogging down the next.  I started criss-crossing lanes, and soon was running up three different hills.  The road meanders through the cemetery, and it's easy to forget what you're doing since, if you're like me, you look at headstones as you run past.  After the first heart pounding hill, it got more bearable.  

There's something deeply satisfying about running up those darn hills.  It's a brief victory, but it feels pretty good to make it up the hill to the top.  And to do it over and over again, well, not only does it wear you out, but it feels like you've accomplished something major.  And, knowing the work I do now will help me in a month keeps me going.  I may not feel quite so flush with hill running victory when I attempt to get out of bed tomorrow morning, though.  

Grabbing the aspirin now!

Monday, August 2, 2010

YMCA Yearly Challenge Over; Another One Begun

I belong to the YMCA and every year, from August 1st to July 31st of the next year, they have a challenge for members.  You submit your miles that you've run, walked, biked, or cardio machined your way through and they keep track for you and let you know how many miles you've accumulated.  It also works for swimming and any exercise classes you do.  You can do  any of these activities at the Y, or on your own.  The point is to keep you moving and motivated.  At the end of the year, if you've reached the miles required, you get either a T-shirt of a certificate of accomplishment.

I kept track of my running, biking, and some classes I started after January of this year.  My total biking miles were 130.5 and my total running miles were 230.6.  Unfortunately, to get a t-shirt I have to run at least 500 miles; it's more than that for the biking.  But, I made the first tier of mileage, so I get a certificate.  I took 26 classes before one was canceled for the summer, and work hours changed so I couldn't make the two other classes I took after work.  I may take up a class again; I'd like to try kick-boxing.

Anyway, I'm happy to see the miles added up.  I'm starting fresh with my mileage tracking today for the Y, so we'll see where I'm at this time next year.  I'm shooting for that darn t-shirt!  I got one in 2008; that was the year of the flood.  The Y was completely engulfed by flood waters; destroying the main floor, the pool,  locker rooms, the basketball and racquetball courts.  It was closed for 3 months.  So the Y graciously gave anyone who was close to the miles a t-shirt as a thanks for being patient and keeping up the exercise where ever we could.

Today I ran my 4 mile "tempo" run.  It sounds easy:  you run your first and last miles at your regular pace, and the two in between at a slower pace.  Well, since I run slow anyway, it was kinda hard to run any slower!  But  my friend Mr. Muggy was present, so that had me stopping and walking a few times--I'll take that as my slower pace!  I'm noticing my breathing is finally getting back to where it needs to be, so I'm not even noticing it.  I'm also seeing myself running longer distances between pooping out and walking.  This is good!