Friday, February 29, 2008

The Last Run in February

Gray's Lake Bridge

Amy and I met over lunch for a run at Gray's Lake. We had hoped to go "long" but I got there a few minutes late and she needed to leave a little earlier than planned. We still got in 4 nice miles and it was just right for my feet to get used to road miles instead of treadmill miles. It was absolutely gorgeous, about 38 degrees and sunny but still the beautiful snow cover. We both got warm pretty quick (yes, fair weather friends, you only need one, maybe two layers in weather like this before you are nice and toasty). It was a great day to run with a friend!
.15 12:50

4.15 miles ~ 51:43 ~ 12:28 pace

I need to ramp the weights back up and the running miles will continue to increase. But for the most part, I think I am heading in the right direction. I was glad to add some swimming workouts and 2 sessions on the bike. eek.

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Sharing Some Photos

Wednesday -
3 miles on the Treadmill (I only go outside for Art and Amy)
Thursday -
9 miles on the bike in 25 minutes? and 20 minutes upper body
I wonder if that is even possible? I did 7.55 miles in 35 minutes two days ago?? Maybe it is because of doing "cardio" instead of "random".... Who knows.

My three boys. Celebrating the Hub's Birthday this month.

Deranged child "building a cheeseburger."

I am the bun on the bottom. The oldest is the meat. The pillows and blankets are ketchup, mustard, pickles. Mr. Deranged is the top bun.

Playing in the snow. Grandma gave us a snowman kit.

The boys in the Rock Band.

1/26 - our anniversary. We got dressed up and went to a ball.

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

The Unthinkable

Amy and I did about 3 miles in some sort of blizzardy, icy, slushy crap on Monday. I don't believe we saw another soul that wasn't in their car with the defrosters and windshield wipers going. Man does that make you feel tough! :D Neither one of us would have done this had we not put it on the calendar. I can certainly see the benefits of having a regular work out partner to be accountable. Thanks for getting me out there, Amy!! Can we pick 'em or what?

She also gave me a polite nudge on the Dam to Dam training. Between that and reviewing my February numbers, I'm ready to kick it up a notch. Most of you know, my dumb body does not allow me to run every day. I have to rest feet and hips and rest can turn into inactivity if I'm not careful so I've been doing more cross. And more cross while training for a race should only have benefits. I've tried elliptical, and jerk stair master and even shimmied into a suit and got back into the pool for serious laps.

But Tuesday, I did the unthinkable cross training.

***You may want to sit down.***

Tuesday I rode a bike for 7.55 miles.


I always think it's hilarious when trying a new form of cardio, it's just slightly different muscles, and bam! instant fatigue.

Even though I could go run 7.55 miles, this amount on the bike just about killed me dead. That's right, I'm scary pathetic, and I'm just fessing up lest you were getting jealous about the good news I've been having. I get jealous every time I see splits below 10 (yes, I realize I have a low bar) and 17 mile bike rides and 30, 50, 100 pound weight losses. :P You are truly the inspiring and amazing ones. So, just for you all, I kept going for 35 minutes. I am where I am and next time it will be easier. And, I finally got to use a new tab (BIKING) on my spreadsheet!

What's next?? Nordic Tracking?? wink wink.

Monday, February 25, 2008

Another Great Day..... with Blogger Friends

I didn't mention where my other trip is going to be, because I wanted some time to investigate. The investigation was really quite positive...

Boca Raton Resort & Club is about 2 miles from where a couple of my favorite bloggers meet for runs. Can you believe that?
With any luck, Wendy, Jess and I will share a run in April.
I'm over the moon.
I hope they remember how slow I am....

And for this evening, I'm meeting another great running blogging friend, Amy.
As long as she can aim when she farmer blows and I can keep up with her running,
we are going to have a grand time.
The scenery is more likely to look like this:

icy trail by Sr. Mike on Flickr

The prep for Scotland has also ensued....

Thank you, sweet Hub, for the great gift and for your excitement and support. Your support at home allows me to do what I do...

Thursday, February 21, 2008

It Was a Really Great Day

1. I had my cholesterol checked and the numbers are excellent. HDL (the good stuff) is very hard to boost and people usually bristle when they hear that the best way to do it is exercise. Mine was quite high! It is ushering the bad cholesterol out and that makes me happy. The result is the whole cholesterol profile looked fantastic. The exercise is having great health benefits.

2. My friend Lee Ann signed up and committed to some miles on Friday and hanging around. :D

3. I had the good fortune to win two awards at the year end award ceremony. It was quite fun to text the hub on his birthday while I was away and announce that I had won us two trips including one to Scotland.

4. I'm on my way home to my sweet family.

I am blessed.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Not good but who can complain?

Checking in...

I did run 4 miles up and down the strip upon arrival..... from the Palazzo all the way down to Xcalibur and back. I was going to take a poll about why it possibly sucked more than any miles I've done lately. Was it the weaving, gawking, staggering tourists who kept getting in my way, the 8 or 9 sets of 30 stairs I nearly died on or perhaps the lack of fueling? On the way here,the flight attendants asked if anyone is allergic to cats. I have no idea what this means, however, when I got here, everywhere on my legs had a rash. I'm guessing it has to do with the new pants and everywhere they touched me??? but who knows. I didn't have any cat in my pants and I don't think that had anything to do with the run, but the rash makes my legs feel like they are on fire.

Turns out, Topher reminded me that running on the street makes quite a difference after several runs and several months on treadmill. Thanks for reminding me, it made it seem slightly less sucky.

I didn't get too upset - all the splits were abysmal, but I did the miles and after all, the scenery was beautiful and the temp swing from this morning in Des Moines was from minus three to 57 -- I'll take it, even if the run is not good.

Super special shout out to my friend LeAnn who is looking for motivation, a working mom like me, and just a doll. She's a runner and I encouraged her to check out my and you guys' blogs. Let's hear about some miles, LeAnn!!

Monday, February 18, 2008

Back to Las Vegas

Busy week, heading to Las Vegas for a work meeting for a couple days. I'm hoping to get some work outs in while I'm there. It's also our annual awards banquet. I'm keeping my fingers crossed for some hardware. :D

I swam again on Friday. My hub's best friend was in the lane next to me! He has done some tri's with the swim being his most difficult leg. On the second time of lapping him at the wall, I said, "you're getting chicked!" He was very gracious and just grinned. It's not very often I get to do this (well never, when I'm running!).

Saturday we attended an amazing basketball game as ISU celebrated 100 years of basketball. They scored only 11 points with 15 turnovers in the first half and were down by 13 to Nebraska. They came back and turned the entire game around with an incredible second half that included zero turnovers. What a win! It was just fun to watch and certainly fun to see all the former players back for the celebration.

Sunday we had friends over for a Rock Band party. What a fun weekend, although I haven't worked out since Friday.

Today I have off and I'm working on birthday celebrations for the hub. I miss his actual birthday during my trip so we are celebrating tonight. I'm making Emeril's Wild Mushroom and Tasso Pasta with steaks. Have a good week everyone!!

Friday, February 15, 2008

Did you say 12 years?

I'm back in the pool, People!

After ~12 years away, and reading about several of you training in the pool, I got the bug to swim some serious laps. My MIL, who is the best MIL anyone could ask for, got me a 7 day pass to her pool. Then I will decide if I am going to join this place for just a swim pass - we already have a gym membership through my hub's work, but the place doesn't have a pool and it is hard to justify joining another.

I've often thought I should do tri's since the swimming would be my strongest part and that seems to be where some people struggle. Well, we'll see on that one (I still have a fear of being run over and killed while training on the bike :P), but for now, I'm enjoying building up strength and endurance in a new setting.

I dug out an old Speedo racer suit and some goggles. In truth it took me about 15 seconds to find. Crap! Now I really have to give it a try!! After I got over the initial shock of shimmying into that suit, it wasn't too bad.

Sunday - Swim - 1.2 miles
Monday - Swim - 1 mile ( OH. MY. SHOULDERS. ARE. SORE.)
Tuesday - Run - 1 single mile - 10:44 - I only had time for one but that is smokin for me :D
Wednesday - Swim - 1 mile ( even tried an IM!!) I'm doing a mile in about 33 minutes
Thursday - OFF

We had a great little valentine dinner with the kids, "tapas" that was little white castle's, wings, mac/cheese, chicken nuggets, etc in cute little pans. Thanks, Honey, for making it special for us and thanks for the last 7 years. We met 7 years ago on a blind date on Valentine's Day!!

Hope you all enjoyed your Valentine's Day.

Thanks again for participating in the race. I haven't posted in a while because I like to let the Race Results "sit" for a bit. I'm glad you guys enjoyed the race and the report. You've maybe noticed it has been updated a few times and more results came in. jkrunning, Tom, cewtwo, and slb+ have all been added.

Cool Valentine design by my friend Gretchen at heArt-a-day!!

Monday, February 11, 2008

9 on the 9th: Sweetheart Shuffle Official RACE RESULTS

Once again, the results are in and the race reports are posted. This virtual thing seems to be working out.

I might be a little more sappy this time (understatement) -- I think because I realized a bunch of people are out there running 9 miles, because I said I needed a reason to keep training. You are all SWEETHEARTS in my book and certainly, you are all WINNERS. Thank you so much for getting out there and for indulging me on these virtual races. If you are new, check out the inaugural race, 8 on the 8th.

A word of thanks to Gretchen at heArt-a-day for designing our lovely logo. She's a budding artist and we met by chance on-line, only to find out we live only 100 miles apart. Thanks for the perfect logo and your generosity for our little shuffling blogging gang. XOXO

Again, the race reports are pretty fun so I've provided some official race pictures, links to reports and highlights for your perusing pleasure. It was quite a competitive race, lots of reports of fantastic race directing, aid stations and crowd control, and the pacers seemed to be well accepted although some people brought their own (Derek Jeter, Beckham, etc). There were some reports of attempting to bribe the RD with lipstick, G2, Cliff Bars, and Sport Beans. Well done! :D My most favoritest thing to hear, "I wouldn't have done this today if it hadn't been for this race." AMEN. Mission Accomplished.

Before I get started, special shouts to Laminator who had wanted a second shot at the title and instead is recovering from a broken bone, we all hope you are recovering well; Bill, our previous KING, who is tapering and planning to completely ROCK his marathon next week, and my nemesis, Scott, who thought about running 9 minutes and thought that should count for something. My friend, after Rocky Raccoon, you get an honorary finish.

Be sure to use your titles wisely. You have so earned them. Make your significant other use them at least once. If you don't have one, at least you got called a cutesy name for Valentine's Day. (know that you are loved!) Although, doesn't everyone just want to be a Lasting Lover? That was one of my better ones. :D Also, the hearts are your race medals. ENJOY!!

59:25 (6:36) Doug is the Relentless Runner - finally feeling 100% - He's fast, he's really fast. And he is our King.
59:29 (6:36) Nic from Left Foot. Right Foot. Repeat as Necessary - How fast would he be without 4" of new snow? Also, a King of our Hearts.

1:08:23 (7:36) Bob has Random Thoughts While Running - 14.11 miles and a new PR!! Such a Romeo.
1:08:25 (7:36) Reid at Life Strides - another great pic, Sweetheart Shuffled with his wife
1:14:36 (8:16) Brian's Journey to Endurance - 2 days before a marathon!! How do you approach a hot woman walker?
1:17:00 (8:33) Tom at Runner's Lounge waited until the wind whipped up ?
1:17:06 (8:34) Brian Sawyer - damn ankle pain
1:17:22 (8:36) ShoreTurtle - battled a nasty headwind
1:20:33 (8:56) SLB+ at Quadrathon ran this race THREE times??!!

1:25:00 (9:27) Topher Runs for Donuts - unfortunate injury - broke a bone!! #1 Cupid
1:28:12 (9:48) akshaye at One More Mile - had an interesting neighborhood pic
1:29:20 (9:55) Eric's a Marathoner in Training and a PR'ing bad boy with tattoos and plumber butt
1:29:29 (9:57) Peter the DC Spinster

1:32:00 (10:00) Running to Oz - Stealth over speed. Said the RD is brilliant. Of course, that gets him 1st Lover status.
1:39:00 (11:00) Bob Gentile - ran for 3 hours (9plus) - great pics
1:40:12 (11:08) Wes at Code Geek's Tails almost didn't do it but got it done and kept his HR in zone 2.
1:47:05 (11:53) Rob at I Dare is making some definite progress
1:48:27 (12:03) Jeff at Formerly Fat Running Guy - persistence paid off in 3 segments

1:06:46 (7:25) Sarah's a smoking hot Blue Stocking Runner who ran part of the Boston course - She's our #1 Sweetheart!
1:14:00 (8:13) See Zanne Run - this little rocket was doing a full marathon and got a big PR!!
1:15:03 (8:20) Christine the Runnin' Duff was adamant she get a race medal. :D
1:15:11 (8:21) Wendy ran this once with Jess but took a mulligan and ran it again!
1:16:32 (8:29) Our Little World was actually scaring people off at the gym!
1:17:14 (8:35) Marci at I Signed Up For This?? - Great pics with her pacer!! :D
1:17:45 (8:38) Kristina, the Marathon Mama, interprets signs for delirious runners

1:18:30 (8:43) Amanda at Run to Finish - our leading Cupcake! :D
1:20:42 (8:58) Laura at Absolut(ly) Fit ran a half mary today and credits us with getting her started blogging!
1:20:50 (8:59) See Jenny Run for 13.1 and get a PR under 2 hours!! She's a beast.
1:21:38 (9:04) Kathryn is Jenny's running partner and quite the harlot. Also a big HM PR!!
1:23:00 (9:13) Marathon Moon described all sorts of man scenery

1:32:00 (10:13) Run Audrey Run - would not have done 9 today and now she's our featured Darling!!
1:32:26 (10:16) DawnB Lives Life on the Run and always has the urge to go further.
1:33:49 (10:25) Country Cruiser - not much time for blogging but still running!
1:34:03 (10:23) Ovens2Betsy did 9+5K with a perfect HR.
1:35:06 (10:34) Taryn's Life and Running experienced silent spectators and live ducks?
1:35:43 (10:38) Laurel at Lily on the Road - intrnatl entrant - battled vehicles that slipped through race support.
1:36:35 (10:44) Database Diva - did 10.25 and then ANOTHER 10!!
1:37:05 (10:47) Jess at 21 Days had fun with Wendy despite delays

1:40:05 (11:07) Motleyblog had buff pacers and the shirts were flying!! She's our Honey.
1:42:46 (11:25) Patty's not blogging right now but she's still running
1:43:00 (11:26) Michelle's first time for doing 9!! YAY, you!
1:43:08 (11:28) Vickie did a reverse TRI and just kept going...
1:43:47 (11:32) Sonia, the Solo Running Chick, was a last minute entrant who would've bailed early if not for the race.

1:50:27 (12:16) Bev's Journal of a Slow Texas Runner - 1st timer, now 1st Muffin. Wore lipstick in my honor!! :D
1:57:06 (13:01) Pokey - vultures actually circled, but she and Lisa weren't dead
1:57:06 (13:01) Java~Mom - documented in pics, offered to bribe RD with lipstick!! :D
1:58:05 (13:07) Katie at K80K - tried out new gear and shot blocks
1:58:29 (13:10) Barb, the Running Jayhawk, did 9.2 while keeping her HR low.
1:58:45 (13:12) Nancy, race director, put on heels that night like Katie Holmes. Still needs a bra.
2:ish (13:20) Amy at Runner's Lounge almost let work bury her but she pulled it off!! YAY.
2:09:00 (14:20) Nat did 18 miles and gave us great excuses for walk breaks.
2:37:24 (17:29) Cheryl from Velocity Challenged used inspirational signs to keep her going. You go girl!

58:25 (11:41) teacherwoman did 5 after a hellacious rock concert -- great rock pics.
1:14:44 (12:27) Viv at I'm Not Fit kicked hubby a$$ for 6 miles. He's so lucky :D. Atta Girl!!
1:20:00 (11:26) jkrunning 7 of 9 is awesome! Thanks for joining us!

Congratulations and thank you to all the participants. I hope you enjoyed the race!! Please let me know if I've left anyone out or there are late entrants. I will make updates if this occurs. (updated 2/15/08)


Friday, February 8, 2008

9 on the 9th: Sweetheart Shuffle RACE REPORT

I actually did it. I wasn't sure if I could complete this, in fact I thought about doing just 6 and putting my earlier in the week 3 with it (I hear the race director is really lenient that way!), but I made it. Slow, but Steady.

It started with a stellar meal the night before at my favorite brewery and included 2L of pub beer and some basic bar food: Nachos, Titan Toothpicks, Beer Bread and cheese. Yeeeeah. I would normally not do that before a race but decided to see how it would work. There was one time way back where we signed up for a local 5k and then decided to drink several bottles of wine, but I try not to go back to that day too often...

I woke up feeling fine and downed a Vanilla Cliff Shot in honor of Vanilla's recent adoption by the Cliff people -- lucky stiff. Then it was off to the treadmill. I decided to choose a movie that had about 120 minutes on it, just in case I could do 5 or 6 and walk the rest in. Well, that is basically what I did, sort of. Incorporated some walking whenever I needed it, but actually when I started to do that, it allowed me to run slightly faster when I was running. It was a great choice to put a movie on, I couldn't see sitting on the couch to finish it, I might as well keep moving as long as I feel good.

Amazingly, I feel pretty dang good. I haven't had much pain or discomfort. Perhaps there is progress in this ole bod? I think the PT, professional insoles and all the cross training and weights might be starting to pay off. I was pretty PO'd when Katie Holmes ran a marathon (sans bra, buts that another story) then went out with Tom that night in heels. Guess what, I put on my super high heeled brown boots and went out tonight!! Yes, I realize it was no marathon, and I will always need the jogging bra, but THIS IS PROGRESS, PEOPLE!!
1:58:45 ~

Besides my cute baldy pacer, I invited Derek and his G2 along with me. I , like Derek, prefer the light purple. Normally I am pretty much bringing up the back of the back of the pack and there is nobody back there with me. Having Derek and Baldy along makes for a very nice improvement. :D Well, I did say SWEETHEART SHUFFLE.
This virtual thing really works! Got me off my keester for longer than I would have dreamed of going today. As far as I am concerned, 9 on the 9th was already a success. You guys are just icing on the cake.
I can't wait to read all your race reports!! Good luck, everyone!

Thursday, February 7, 2008

Steve Newton, Please Google Yourself

Is it strange that I have several posts rattling around in my head waiting to be written and it kept me up last night? Geesh. Being sick (and restricting the typing) drove me nuts. I had things to say. I've been waiting.... Here is one of them.

Great pals Tom and Amy invited me to the Spirit of the Marathon a couple of weeks ahead of time. I planned and made arrangements and made it through several days of single parenting living for that movie. Then about the day before or day of I say something stupid like, "should I get a ticket early?" Amy says, um "I'm pretty sure they're sold out." (she was probably thinking, you idiot!!) CRAAAAAAAAPPPPPP. I looked forward to this for 2 weeks and prepared and planned but did not get myself a ticket. What a moron I am.

So Tom, bless his heart, gets to the movie and asks people in line, anyone have an extra ticket? Have a friend at home who didn't pre-order who is heartbroken that she didn't get to come tonight. Some incredibly selfless, sweet man says, "your friend can have my ticket. I was going to come with a friend and he couldn't make it. If your friend wants it, she can have mine. I can come to the next showing." He hands over the ticket and won't take a dime for it!! Tom is on the phone to me and I am putting on just the essentials (lipstick and snow boots, of course) and am there in less than 10 minutes.

Can you believe the generosity of this perfect stranger?? Well, he must be a runner, so already, he must be decent, but still??? Can you believe this???

He said his name was Steve Newton. Only problem is, there are more than a couple..... I would really like to thank him and tell him how much I appreciated his generosity. I'm a new runner and the movie was incredible and motivating and the experience of another runner sharing it with me under such generous and neat circumstances made it so much better. Not to mention that I had been looking forward to this night for 2 weeks AND got to share it with great new running friends who went way out of their way to help me. Thanks, you two!!

So Steve Newton, will you google yourself and find this post so I can thank you? Should I just call a couple of them and ask if they are the Guy That Made My Month? What should I do??

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

I'm Officially Back

3 miles on the treadmill today. I took it pretty sloooooww, and still had some twinges of pain left over from the parvo virus, but I'm ecstatic to be running again.

3 miles ~ 39:03 my club. (click on picture to see demo!)

15 minutes toning with bands
( I need some help here - I pulled up a website and started doing some recommended exercises and snapped two of the bands. Do they get old? I thought the point was that they stretch and don't break, how could I possibly break two of them? Do they come in different lengths? They looked short compared to what the model was using -- like smurf sized. That was for you, Jess. :D Any help appreciated here. I decided I want to keep them at my desk and incorporate them into my day. Well the one that is left!)

25 seconds per side - side planks
(it's hard to side plank with a cuddly golden retriever trying to snuggle up to you.)
5 minutes of dog wrestling ensued.

Monday, February 4, 2008

I'm Sort of Back...

Well, the virus certainly did a number on me. I still have wrist and elbow pain and occasional knee and ankle pain, but things are getting much better. I walked the dogs on Saturday for .5 mile and came back with a few knee twinges, so I waited another day.

Today I finally went to the gym. 25 minutes of toning and weights and 20 minutes of elliptical. My knees gave out a couple times so I kept it to just 20 minutes but it's a start!! Wes, FYI, I was in the zone between 70 and 85%. I kept the toning to lots of abs, and leg abductor and adductors; the pushups were a mistake and I'm definitely not ready for any lunges yet.

Normal plank - 70 seconds; Side Planks - only 20 seconds. Everybody give me a side plank this week, k?

Stats - I'm using a stat sheet developed by Doug to keep track of miles, but also minutes of total cardio and weights (I modified it slightly to do this). Thank you, Doug, it was very generous of you to share this with me! I don't have any swimming or biking to report yet, it's mostly been running, elliptical and that evil jerk stairmaster thingy. I think it will be a good motivator to keep me going and not skip weeks at a time. (Unfortunately, I did have to take a week off already in the first month due to the stupid joint virus.) I have a really minor goal of not ever dropping below 20 miles in a month again. Very minimal, but it's part of my quest to shed the non-runner in me. :D

January -
Running - 21.71 miles
Weights/toning - 205 minutes
Total Cardio - 413 minutes
Official Challenge weight - 161 to 155.
Hope to improve on all these numbers for February...