Friday, November 30, 2007

Johnston Physical Therapy Plank (Race) Report

This isn't a race report but it might be even better. If you are not exactly a spring chicken, you might really enjoy it.

As you know, I've been doing some core training on the advice of PT guy. I was feeling a little bad because I am not as loyal as I should be, but I am definitely getting some done and can tell I am getting stronger. So, I visited PT guy today. We chat about strength and I say I'm not feeling like it is coming along like it should. He say's, "let's see a plank." I drop and give him the best plank of my life, had to be way over a minute. I do a few side ones and some other stuff, then give him one more mighty fine plank, some hanging and stretching, blah, blah, blah. He was very impressed with my improved strength.

PT guy and I are chatting and this little intern chickie is sort of observing. He says something about a facet which I had heard of but wasn't sure what it is. He tells and shows me on a skeleton, then starts asking Intern Chickie a few anatomy questions as we are chatting and talking about my situation. She stumbles around in her 18 year old speak. (And for you boys, yes, she was totally hot.) He gives her crap for stumbling around cervical, thoracic, lumbar, sacral, etc. Then I think it turned into giving her crap about her workout. She was saying how hard it was, how hard she worked, blah blah.

PT guy says, "Oh yeah, you worked so hard, I bet you can't do a plank for longer than Nancy just did." They go back and forth a couple times and before you know it, he has her talked into doing a plank. I'm thinking he was just going to time her, but I was like, "what the hell." I dropped and did my 3rd plank for the day. PT Guy was so funny, egging her on. First, she started with her body barely off the floor and he made her fix it.

Pt Guy "Look at Nancy, her form is perfect. Look she's shaking already! Eighteen years old and Nancy is kicking your butt"
Nancy "EIGHTEEN??? She's EIGHTEEN?? Do you know how old I am? 30 days left until I am 40!"
PT Guy "Nancy, you are rockin, you are doing great, you totally have this."

By now, old man in corner is grinning, PT Girl is watching and all PT assistants and various old lady patients are watching the competition. Once I heard she was 18 and saw that she was shaking, there is no way you could have gotten me to drop that plank before she did.

PT Guy "30 seconds"
Chickie - "Yeah right, only 30 seconds?"
PT Guy "Yes, and you are totally shaking, 38 seconds, she's totally got you."
"Nanc, keep your head up, your form is awesome, look at how perfect her form is and it's her 3rd rep! You've got it, come on Nancy, hold on"

Her form started to break down and sometime after one minute, Hot Pink Sweatered Intern Chickie collapsed. I rolled over and put up the big double pumping V for victory!! The bantering continued about this being my 3rd rep and Intern Chickie supposedly being the big work out girl.

Nancy "This is totally going in my blog, you know."
PT Guy was laughing his butt off and said, "this SO has to go in your blog, her name is _________!"

After she left, PT Guy made me feel even better. She works out with some really tough trainer and is on some elite athletic teams. He was so proud of me and I was so proud of myself. I used to hate planks but I'm guessing I will be doing them pretty regularly now. This gave me so much confidence and it was as fun as any race I've done! Chalk one up for the old gal.

Can I Get a Chicken Breast and a Side of Plank?

I ran in beautiful White Plains, NY after my luggage arrived in the cover of darkness. I only did about 15 minutes in the crisp air, mostly because I really needed the sleep. It was great and I was a little bummed that I didn't get to do a longer run upon arrival, but that just couldn't be helped.

However, I was really good on the eating healthy, which is quite a challenge there. Our training facility has a huge buffet with tons of choices, healthy to pretty bad and loads of desserts. And every breakout is loaded with food. That is always a big challenge for me because all the skinny's seem to be able to pig out. I just can't do that. Luck of the genes. Or maybe they are better the rest of the time than I am, and just splurge when they travel?

Anyway, this was my best eating training trip in recent memory and I felt pretty good about that. Also, since I only did the 15 minutes in the am, I worked out HARD that night. Hard enough to be light-headed after and super sore today. I did a Fat Burner on the treadmill and several abs, lunges and push-ups. I'm gettting pretty good at the regular planks, but the side ones just kill me. Everything hurts and tells me I haven't been doing enough of the PT exercises.
I'm home now and put the running clothes on. I hope to do some hills and go see PT guy again. I thought surely I would be down in weight at least a couple pounds but I was 158. :P YUCK. I think I probably just offset the eating holiday we just had as I'm not sure I actually weighed right before I left. At least it is a step in the right direction

Hope everyone has a great weekend!! Don't forget, next weekend is EIGHT ON THE EIGHTH. Everyone is invited to run 8 miles with all your closest and not so closest running friends. You pick the route, the starting time, and anything else you want, then post a race report and send me a link to the report!

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

More Confounding Variables than I Wanted

I flew into White Plains this morning. The view was nearly breathtaking. What foliage was not on the trees was still on the ground around them. It was so gorgeous.
I. Could. Not. Wait. To. Run.
This beautiful picture is available at It is amazingly similar to what I saw.

After catching up on statistics and heading into new territories (ANOVA, ANCOVA, confounders, co-variates, dependent and independent variables....) I was absolutely thrilled that we finished for the day at 4:30pm. I had about 20 minutes before the sun went down. It was still beautiful. I raced back to my room with hope. Maybe I could do a couple of hills on the golf course before it gets dark.

But, again, it was not to be. No bag in my room. No shoes, no workout clothes, no nothin. I phoned the bellman to be sure, then checked the baggage claim website. The sun was just as sad as I was as it was setting over this gorgeous landscape and I read, "unfortunately we have not yet located your bag. However, we do have it on a priority trace. We are sorry for any inconvenience this has caused."

One of many lessons today:
aFailing to take a confounding variable into account can lead to a false conclusion.
Editor's Note: 12:23am. IT's FINALLY HERE. Hoping to get up bright and early and hit the trail :D

Monday, November 26, 2007

Fog and Fate

"The best laid plans of mice and men often go awry."
Robert Burns, telling me it wasn't in the cards today...

I certainly had well laid plans.
Even planned my flight to arrive in daylight.
I would resurrect Regular Runner Girl
in White Plains.
She would run glorious cart paths and lope like a gazelle.
Except I am in Chicago since 9:30am.
With sore hooves, I mean feet.
led to
led to
mechanical issues
led to delays
followed by a cancellation,
and a couple failed stand-by attempts.
Something about it being difficult to land.
Zero visibility.
RRG will have to wait another day.
No luggage, you see.

Cloud City on Flickr by Bay 3

I am holed up in a hotel room a couple miles from the airport. The O'Hare Hilton apparently thinks they are worth $375. Good Lord, do you know how many beers I could have at the Radisson at only $199 a night??? (I'm still in sticker shock, when did this happen??) Actually I stocked up on some make up and opted for diet pepsi. I know, I know, no one who knows me will ever believe that!

I really wanted to get that run in and see my friends this evening, but it just didn't work out. However frustrating today should have been, I've surprised myself with a very cool-as-a-cucumber attitude. There really is nothing that can be done and no use worrying or being upset. (maybe all that self-improvement stuff is finally paying off? :D )

I will try again tomorrow around 7am and hopefully still make the bulk of the class. Maybe tomorrow will be my day.
Thanks for all the great comments and support about my slowdown and wanting to resurrect RRG. You are the best!!

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Come Back, RegularRunner Girl

I've been M.I.A. for awhile. I've missed you all. I owe you some pictures, so here is a start.

The coughing crappy illness I contracted 4 weeks ago kept my lungs in its grips for just long enough that my worst fears began to be realized, RegularRunner Girl (RRG) started to slip from my grasp. The cough was so bad that I would go into fits and spasms and had a hard time getting stopped at times. There were several days that I slept on the couch and then finally got an antibiotic for an infection in my bronchioles. I still have a mild productive cough, but I am feeling fine...

The whole reason I started this program and this blog, to find RRG and keep her going, nearly has slipped away. It's been a month since the HM, and I have only done a few runs, around 2 a week. That wouldn't be so bad if significant Xtraining had ensued, but alas, no. The coughing caused the slow down and then the cold weather started playing with my motivation and dedication. I have, however, done 2 hill workouts and my hip seems a little better, so maybe the rest was a good thing? ONLY and I repeat, ONLY, if it is a rest/slowdown and does not lead to the loss of RRG.

My task now, amid travel and craziness of the holidays? Make sure I get back to being RegularRunner Girl. I leave for White Plains, NY tomorrow for an Advanced Statistics class. WTF was I thinking? Advanced Statistics?? :D Well, what I was thinking is that I love NY and hoped it would be in Manhattan and if not, that I could get in and do a show. Not likely now with the strike and the fact that we are out in White Plains. However, this gives me some time to explore and run in a new and different place. I will resurrect RRG this very week.

Today, I ran with the sis-in-law and decided I can do this cold weather thing. In fact, it was quite nice:
15:40 - yes, you read that right. I stopped to re-tie both shoes....twice. EEK. I need to do a fancy tie job because the tops of my feet hurt.
.5 mile walk/jog cool down.

Tomorrow, I will run in White Plains when I arrive.

Had a nice Turkey Day, despite the overeating and feeling like a huge toad. I'm thankful for all of you that I have met in the last year who give me support, encouragement, laughs, ideas... Hope you all had a fantastic holiday. Now, it's time to kick it in gear. :D RunnerBody awaits.

Friday, November 16, 2007

Hills, Hips and Shirts

I did some hill work yesterday and also visited PT guy.

.75 mile warm up
5 X 60 - 90 seconds running up the hill outside my door.

In the "I need your help category" :

Is this enough to start? I notice some soreness that tells me it is for now. Should I be striving for longer hills and more reps? How long? How many? I didn't have time to run after but I was wondering, when I do this, is this the workout for the day or should I be doing more running before or after? Appreciate your advice on this one.

PT guy is still trying to figure me and my hip out. It hurts most of the time, and especially after I get up from sitting and a lot after a run. He is now strongly suspecting it is a problem with my back as this is the most common place for referred pain. I have a two week plan for more specific strengthening after which time we will decide if we should get a picture of the back.

On to something really cool regarding our virtual race, 8 on the 8th -- Race Co-Director, Vickie, volunteered to find a shirt guy who will print us up some shirts. Head on over to her blog to read about it and decide if you want one. You can always take the logo picture and send it off to Running Banana or Zazzle and get something made on your own. But, if you are interested in getting the official shirt, let Vickie know!!! I will also be providing pictures of shirts I made on Running Banana and Zazzle's site so that you can post a "virtual shirt" for the "virtual race" if you like, but I know there a lot of people who would also like the "actual shirt". YEAH VICKIE for coming through!! :D

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Back Away From the Bowl

Back away from the bowl, Nancy!!
I put on my running clothes at 7:30am.
It's now 1pm and I have not gotten myself out the door.
It's so windy and cold.
What is wrong with me?
I. Have. To. Run. Today.
Editor's note:
I did it. Every step kind of sucked but I did it - about 40 minutes of shuffling and hacking. A friend made me realize that some people would love to be out there and can't be, so I decided, I should run because I can and FOR those who can not. (mainly I was thinking of Kent and Doug who have been sidelined with nagging injuries.) I laughed because at the pace I was going, both would probably be appalled and say, "don't bother" but hey, it was as much for me as it was yous guys. And, it's better than the couch and another handful of chex mix. And, it kept me going. I couldn't let the fellas down. Thanks, boys!!
The 40 minutes included time spent helping a lady corral her dog that was chasing ME. Was it a good deed for the day or self-preservation? Not sure, but it didn't piss me off, in fact it made me smile. He was a little sheltie, big dog wanna be.
I ran today.
Because. I. Can.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Run Cough Run

3 miles with Amy yesterday IN SHORTS - well me, not her!! It was beautiful and despite my reduced running due to the constant hacking (and Amy being sore after running 7 the day before), we put in 3 pretty consistent miles.

3.04 miles ~ 35:49 ~ 11:47 pace

Plans continue for 8 on the 8th, A Virtual Race for Running Blogging Friends. We have way over 50 people saying they would like to do 8 miles on the weekend of Dec 7 - 9. Also, just put up a Runner's Lounge Forum. We've had some great suggestions for t-shirts, will keep you posted. Give your running a kick in the pants, start training today!!

Monday, November 12, 2007

5 Things About Me

I've been Tagged, by Ali, one of the cutest and funniest bloggers I know! Oh, the pressure...
• link to your tagger and post these rules on your blog.
• share 5 facts about yourself on your blog, some random, some weird.
• tag 5 people at the end of your post by leaving their names as well as links to their blogs.
• let them know they are TAGGED by leaving a comment on their blog.

1. I love, love, love lipstick. I wear it most of the time and even have been known to race with it on, you know attract the attention *upward* (off the hips). I only wear CoverGirl Outlast All Day Lip Color and it does last nearly ALL DAY. I wish they made more colors. I love it. I freaked the dental hygeinist out the other day when she asked me to blot it off before she started. No need. When I left, it was still perfect. :D

2. I enjoy techie gadgety things. Garmin, TiVo, iPod, PS2, PSP, Wii, HiDef TV, SlimP3. Once we got hi def and TiVo, I asked my husband for it all over the house. I seriously don't know how I did it before I met this man. I didn't even own a computer and my phone was one model up from the ones that came with a bag. I'm not the techie person, I just enjoy the fruits of a techie person's labor. You've helped me come a long way, Baby. :D I should add, not only is he a sweet techie, he has the patience of Job, which is really a good thing when you are married to me. (SlimP3 is a wireless device that acts like a component at your stereo but is wireless to your computer where all your music is stored. It is kind of like a jukebox menu of all the music you have ripped on your computer. It's the coolest.)

3. I have a BS in Pharmacy and decided, ahem, late in life, during having kids, with major support from Hubby, to go back and get my doctorate of pharmacy. You can call me Dr if you like, but I answer to just about anything. :D

4. I actually enjoy and look forward to public speaking. Fortunately for me, some of my job duties entail speaking. I have a ball, make fun of myself, tell stories, and try to make it fun for everyone. My favorite is when it is a topic that I am passionate about.

5. I made up my own race on a whim because I need to get some momentum back. (see previous post below.) Vickie was saying the same thing and it led me to say, why don't we start one? The logo is dorky but I thought it was funny to have one for a virtual race. Still a possibility on tshirts but everyone would have to mail me their money. Will see how much the quote is and let everyone know. I hope everyone will consider joining us for 8 on the 8th.

Guess what, I am finally going to try to run today. I'm still coughing some but starting to feel better. It's been a week since I did 5 hill repeats of 60 seconds and really more like 2 weeks since I've done a good run. I hope I can hang with Amy!

Friday, November 9, 2007

A Virtual Race for Running Blogging Friends

A plan has been hatched. Vickie and I were saying we needed a race in the near future. There is none, you say? Let's make our own. We are putting together a virtual race for Dec 8th (let's just say anywhere between the 7th and 9th -- see how accomodating these race directors are?!). Run 8miles on the 8th with all of your closest blogger friends.

Let us know if you are in. We will keep track of everyone who runs and times, and also hope that you will even write race reports. I doubt there will be tshirts unless anyone has a brilliant idea. We might come up with some ideas for prizes. Suggestions welcome.

Hope you can join us!!

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Codeine makes me write funny

Maybe there is some hope now.
I am home from the business trip.
I grossed everyone out and the nerds
(I am one so I can say that)
started calling me "myco"
short for mycoplasma pneumonia.
The doctor concurred.
I even grossed him out.
Thank God for drugs.
Oh yeah, I did my first installment of hill work.
5 x 60 seconds on Monday.
Zanne says 2 months of hills.
It was brutal, but probably because I am sick.
I coughed a lot after.
My mom thinks that
running in cold air is making me sick.
I hope to be better soon.
Thanks for your good vibes.
Healing, running, get well...
The Jamie Lee Curtis one was the best.
You guys are so cool.

Saturday, November 3, 2007

The Coughing Continues...

I've had a horrible running week. Well, if purchasing running shoes counts, then that part was okay -- 2 new pair just waiting for me.... The coughing fits and sore hip and back have won out - no running since early in the week. One particularly bad coughing bronchospasm/fit/choking, whatever it was, had me hanging over the sink wondering if I had seen my last breath. Okay, I might be a little dramatic, but I was hanging over the sink. I didn't think a run in brisk air would be very bright. Dang it, I don't want to lose everything I have worked for.

Now I have to go sit in business meetings, two days in KC and then two days back here. I'm driving down early to see my sister and do some shopping. I may try to get some short runs in there if I feel a little better. I've got to nip this no running thing in the bud. I am definitely going to do my exercises at a minimum.

I probably won't be blogging much this week. Will check in when I can. Send me your best running vibes. :D