Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Week 7 & 8 Recaps

WARNING:  This is a long and boring update that I'm really writing for my own personal benefit!  I'd love for you to read it, but it certainly won't hurt my feelings if you skip it!!  I've just found keeping updates is very helpful for me to be able to look back at how far I've come objectively.... :D


((WEEK 7))  I ended up not running on Monday the 12th...but because I didn't write it up then, I have no idea why now!  My guess is that I was in pain from the five mile run the Saturday before!  Tuesday was "Diva Night" at Fleet Feet. I was the lucky door prize winner of a six month membership to Riviera Fitness!!  I had considered joining, but the locations aren't super convenient so I had decided not to.  But, since the membership is free, the gas to get there and back is a small price to pay.  So I got up bright and early the very next day and did Body Pump.  I turned around that same night and ran 3.5 miles with my running group (at a pace of 11:52!).  Since I was running the Cookie Dash 5K that weekend, I opted to not run again until the race.  (You can click the link to read about the race...if I get started talking about it again I might not be able to stop--it was a great experience!) 

((WEEK 8))  Monday, I went to do Body Pump at a different location-at 5:30 in the morning!!  I think I would prefer to go that early if that location were closer...but as it is, it's kind of a hassle to get over there and back in time to get my daughter to school by 8.  I added weights to my bar...but by looking at my heart rate, I still wasn't working that hard.  (And, shockingly enough, the next day I wasn't very sore at all.)  I ran with my group Tuesday night.  I'm not 100% sure how far we went because I forgot to stop my Garmin.  I can say I was DYING almost the whole time.  I started out the run limping along, and by the end all I wanted to do was lay down!  NOT a good run at all.  Wednesday-back to Body Pump.  Thursday was my day at the cross country park.  I will definitely go back there-as soon as I can forget the complete AGONY of the ridiculously steep hill on that loop.  I'm not kidding you--the website says, "There are rolling hills except for one exceptionally steep section that is hard - both uphill and downhill."  You know a hill is steep if the downhill is hard!!  I probably did three miles there (not quite sure because I stopped my Garmin when I stopped to die on that hill and forgot to start it back until much later).  The first part wasn't bad, but that hill really took it out of me!  Saturday it was supposed to be storming so I slept until 7...only to wake to find sunshine!  It turned out to be a good thing that I didn't join the group because I was extremely sore.  I joined up with two gals from my group as well as my neighbor for 5 miles.  I'm going to blame the heat and unbelievable humidity for my poor performance that day...but at least I did finish it.  I think that's what counts.

I also bought a trigger point massage thing that is supposed to be a self-help therapy tool for what is believed to be scar tissue in my leg.   I've been using it every day since I got it and I think I can tell a difference.  It's not completely better, but I think it's helping.


I like running in the woods--just like my husband said I would.  When I get in better running shape, I can certainly see myself trail running.  

I believe strength training is helping.  The first time I went I barely had weight on the bar.  It was HARD and I was very sore the next day.  The next time I increased my weights and I wasn't very sore at all the next day.  I talked to the instructor of the class the third time I went and she said I had obviously worked out before (true) because muscles have memory and they "remember" pretty quickly.  She encouraged me to keep raising my weights, which I have done.  I do think it's making a difference in strength, which will no doubt help my runs (even if it's not causing any weight loss-yet).

I do NOT like running in humidity.  I'm telling you, maybe it's and excuse, but I felt like I couldn't breathe on that 5 mile with the girls!

I can run faster than I give myself credit for and can still sprint at the end of a race!!!  (See the race recap for the full story on that!)

Self-help trigger point massage therapy hurts as much as a massage therapist!  But at home no one has to hear the funny noises I make!!


Keep on running.  The physical therapist told me I had to choose between running and coming to therapy because, in her opinion, therapy wasn't going to help me as long as I kept, I canceled (well, postponed) my orthopaedic doctor's appointment until after the 10K I've been training for.  I believe I've slowed down enough and am paying attention to what I think my body is saying enough that I'm not going to "injure" myself.  I really think it's just a matter of strengthening the muscles in my leg, conditioning (my body as well as my mind) and working to break up the scar tissue...

Keep on using the trigger point massage thing every single day.  I might even get the DVD that shows specific things to do with it to work on different areas of the body.
One very important thing I'm going to work very hard on--staying positive.  I want to rewire my thoughts to not focus on the pain.  Knowing how much I love quotes...please indulge me:
The truth is that we can learn to condition our minds, bodies, and emotions to link pain or pleasure to whatever we choose. By changing what we link pain and pleasure to, we will instantly change our behavior.

Tony Robbins, American self-help author and motivational speaker


Nothing to update here...I'm not living the Zone lifestyle anymore.  I will say this--I believe I had more energy with that way of eating.  But, the careful measurement of everything was getting very difficult.  And, I'm somewhat of a legalist so if I was going to do it, then I was going to do it right and that was actually pretty stressful.  Not to mention, my darling husband didn't like it at all after the novelty wore off.
I'm currently reading Mastering Your Metabolism by Jillian Michaels.  So far, it has the resounding ring of truth to my ears.  She basically says if it doesn't have a mother or didn't come from the ground, don't eat it.  It's all about bringing your hormones into line--which is what I think I need.  So...this section will likely be changed to "Metabolism Update" soon???
Thanks for reading, come again soon!

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Yes, I AM a Runner...(but today I'm a whining runner!!)

I had a follow up visit to the orthopaedic doctor scheduled for the second week in May.  I called to postpone it because I'm signed up to run a 10k on Memorial Day (Cotton Row) and I'm worried the doctor is going to tell me not to run for a while!  My husband said that decision most certainly "earned" me the label "runner".  Then I read this:
"If you run, you are a runner. It doesn't matter how fast or how far. It doesn't matter if today is your first day or if you've been running for twenty years. There is no test to pass, no license to earn, no membership card to get. You just run." --John Bingham
Okay...I AM a runner....At the same time, I'm currently debating whether or not to run a 10k all my running buddies have signed up for in a couple of weeks.

I signed up for an 8k that will be held this weekend just a few days before my calf pain ramped up to an all-time high (when I was worried I might have a stress fracture).  (That was the same day I signed up for the recent 5k I ran as well as the Cotton Row 10k--I was on a roll with registration that day!)

I had decided then I wouldn't do the 10k in question, because I didn't think I'd be ready for it...but as it turns out, my running group's plan calls for 6.5 miles that day anyway....not only that, the course is almost COMPLETELY flat.  And, "everyone" says they are going to take it slow and easy.  To make it even harder to resist...the race route will be loaded with bands playing live music!!  (It's called Music Moves Me.)  The down side--it's $25 (which I hear isn't much for a 10k in most cities, but it seems to be more than most races in this area)....AND, I'm just not sure my leg is up for it.

I ran 5 miles the other day with a couple of the girls from my group, and my neighbor (who, by the way, just donated one of her kidneys, to a non-relative, less than 5 months ago!!) and I could barely walk the next day.  (Well, I guess I could walk since I went and did Body Pump and upped my weights...)  We're set to do hills tonight and I'm scared to death!

Okay, okay....enough whining.  Yes, "reachdown", I can hear you saying, "Suck it up, Buttercup!!"  (Thanks for putting that in my head!!  You should totally be a coach, your words seems to stick with me for some reason!)  For you long time readers, he's also the one who said, "It's all in your head, until you pass out..then it's in your body!"

Interestingly enough, my kidney-donating neighbor told me she had read about a study where they had people read words like "slow" and "sick" or "fast" and "speedy".....then they did timed walks.  The ones who read the "slow" words walked slower.  So maybe the idea that I can't hack it really is all (or mostly) all in my head.  I hope that's the case because I'm certainly trying to convince my body that's the truth!!

Look out HILLS, here I come!!!

((By the way, if the good doctor's wife happens to read this...I'd appreciate it if you'd just keep my secret safe until after Cotton Row is over.  I'll confess at my appointment...IF it's even still needed by then-how's that for positive thinking??!!))

Thanks for stopping in, come again soon!

Monday, April 26, 2010

I Am A Liar!!

I needed a bit of a reality check because I know my emotions lie to me.  I have been feeling like I haven't improved since I started this running thing in January.  I "know" that's not true because I can run now and when I first started, I really couldn't.  In the beginning I was excited to run for 30 seconds.  Now I go five miles and get upset because I had to walk(ed) several times.  So, I went back to the beginning of this blog and started reading. 

I KNEW writing it all down would come in handy!!

I have said I haven't lost any weight....and that's a lie.  Since day one, I've lost a total of 7 pounds (on a good weight day).  Seven pounds in a little over 4 months isn't as much as I used to be able to lose....but, it's more than nothing which is what I've been telling myself I've lost.

I just wanted to come clean with all of you.  I feel better now.


Finding Out What I'm Made Of

Did you know salt and straw look the same under a microscope?? (No, not really....)

Yes, it's true!!  (Just an analogy, or hyperbole, or metaphor...hhmmm, maybe a combination??.)

See, I've been trying to figure out what it is I'm made of....and it's come down to these two things-salt and straw-but I can't quite make out which it is.  I used to believe it was certainly straw ("who's afraid of the big, bad wolf....").  I took the easy way.  I would quit long before I made good on goals; I couldn't seem to stay married; I wouldn't exercise (for any real extended period of time-not in a "session", but as in longevity); I whined; I complained about every single little ache and pain or discomfort; hard work required some kind of external payment that made all the hard work "worth it".  In order for me to work hard, there had to be something outside of myself to show for the hard work, something I could point to and proclaim, "THAT'S why I'm doing/did what I'm doing/did." (ie:  weight loss/good looking body for -short term- exercise, cash money or something to show for my efforts for physical labor, at-a-girls for long hours on the job...something other people would agree make hard work mean something)

At some point along the way (probably about the time I realized I could actually stay married when I finally made the right choice in husbands to fit with who I am as a person), I started thinking maybe there's something more to me than just straw.  Maybe there is some "salt" in there after all, I just have to find it.  That's when I made the CRAZY bold decision to run a marathon.  Yes, I'm sure there were other, much easier, ways to determine what I'm made of, but that's the way I chose, for better or worse, through sickness and health (hopefully NOT until death do us part). 

Now, I'm sure some people might argue that running a marathon really does have an external payment-crossing over a finish line.  I think those people must not have run a marathon before--or if they have, they didn't have as hard of a time with training as I'm having.  I believe (please correct me if I'm wrong) marathoners would say the "payoff" is completely (or at the very least, mostly) internal. 
I'm not gaining any external pay off for this goal I'm trying to get to that I can see right now.  I have friends who keep asking me WHY??, I have such undeniable pain I basically limp a good bit of time from one run all the way to about the quarter or half mile marker of the next one.  I'm certainly NOT losing any weight.  I don't feel like I'm getting any faster.

****funny story break****

I was out at the cross-country running park the other day enduring enjoying a painful nice run in the "safe woods"*, when I spotted a strange looking fellow out on the trail.  I'm sure he was just out for a stroll, but the thought crossed my mind that if that man suddenly started chasing me for nefarious purposes, I would surely not be able to out-run him (especially after going down, then back up that ridiculously steep hill).  I almost cried out of the sadness of it all.  Oh, wait, this was supposed to be a funny story, wasn't it??  Well, I guess you could say I lied.  But, I'm not going to edit it because since the poor guy obviously didn't chase me for nefarious purposes, it is a funny story.  I have to laugh at the thought or never run alone again.

****I digress....****

Other runners understand it, even if no one else gets why it is I keep on trying....why it is I don't want to give up....why it is I'm desperately seeking an answer for this pain in my calf that doesn't include NOT running....why it is I believe running "proves" I'm worth my salt.

Thanks for stopping in, come again soon!

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Body Language

"Listen to your body."  It's got to be the worst saying in the world.  (Well, okay, not "the worst"...but, hey, I told you, I'm an in-the-moment kind of gal and that's the moment I'm in right now!)

I don't speak the same language as my body.  Even when I "hear" it talking to me, I have no idea what it's saying.  Like having a foreigner come up to you on the street adamantly trying to tell you something and you just can't communicate with them....I'm sure my body feels the same way.

It used to be compliant with me and just did what I told it to do, so I'm sure it speaks my language.  I would skimp on food for a few days/weeks and drop a few/a lot of pounds.  I would get hungry and tell my body NOT NOW and my stomach would stop growling.  I would have to pee and be able to hold it for hours if needed.  I would be a little sore from over exertion and just work it out over the course of a day or two. 

My body has decided it's not going to be pushed around any longer.  It's demanding that I be kind to it or it's not going to comply with my requests.   The problem is that I've been pushing it around for so long I don't even know what it means to be kind.  I never learned the difference between "encouragement" and "orders".  Consequently I have a "hag in my head" who barks orders incessantly.  ("She" deserves a post all to herself...)

I've been trying to lose weight for months no avail.  I've been walking/walluning/rulking/running three to four times a week and watching every bite of food I've eaten since January.  My weight has virtually stayed exactly the same.  ((I just added strength training last week, so I'm waiting to see what that does.))

From what I think I'm hearing from my digestive tract, because I've made it live with a lifetime of bad diet, it's fighting back this time.  In the past when I wanted to lose weight I'd just stop eating (well, eat very little) and voila, the pounds would come off.  They typically stayed off for quite some time, but obviously not forever.  The one exception to that was when I had my first child--I was nursing so kept the calories up for his sake, and worked out incessantly-at a gym and with Jane Fonda at home.  It took a year to get my body back....and bam! I was prego again!!

I've been doing a lot of "research"...but it's very hard to sort through all the conflicting information out there.  I thought I'd hit the nail on the head with the Zone "way of eating" (I refuse to call it a diet, because I'm looking for a life change, not temporary fix).  But, even following that plan, I didn't lose any weight.  (I'd say haven't, but I'm not really sticking with the plan anymore....because it's not working.)

I talked to a nutritionist who told me, as a runner, I need to have more calories and especially more carbs than that plan calls for.  I talked to my doctor who recommended more severe calorie restriction.  My husband is convinced a low carb lifestyle is the way to go.  Interestingly enough, a book I've been reading on thyroid health (yet another way my body is trying to speak to me) that says low carb is the way to go.....AND, as if that weren't enough, I received an article today on my Runner's World update on eating more protein.  It was written back in 2008 but it was linked in the update today of all days.  Now, it doesn't say to lower carbs, but by increasing protein you effectively lower carbs if you're staying within a certain calorie count.

As if dietary issues weren't enough, there's my leg.  My left calf continues to be an issue.  A coach told me last week to try running without the inserts (just using the sock liner)...which I did...which was a HUGE mistake.  Today, adding to the calf pain, I have pain in my right foot and both of my knees.  Now, in all fairness, that could also be from Body Pump yesterday and Monday.  Who knows.  I don't understand what this bag of flesh and bones is SCREAMING at me.  I wish there was a translator out there who could just relay the messages for me.  But, I'm learning everyone's body speaks either totally different languages, or at the very least different dialects!

To top it all off, I think I have a raging case of sinusitis.  It could be seasonal allergies.  Or it could be a cold.  Or it could be a sinus infection.  Or it could be a food allergy.  Or it could just be a bodily reaction to stress.  Or dehydration.  Or a hormonal imbalance.  Or, or, or, or.........

Pain, stuffed up snout, breast cysts, thyroid goiters, weight that simply won't come off, breaking hair, dry skin.......Dear body of mine, I'm sorry for hating you for so much of my lifetime... I want to keep you around for as long as possible.  I want to be good to you....I just don't know how.   WHAT ARE YOU SAYING TO ME?????  I DON'T UNDERSTAND NO MATTER HOW LOUDLY YOU SCREAM AT ME!!!!!

Thanks for stopping in, come again soon!

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Houston, we have (had) a problem...

I thought so....

I couldn't understand why it was that all my faithful readers (all five of you) seemed to have stopped reading at the same time.  I finally figured out there was a problem with my feed.  Obviously I fixed it, but you ended up with several posts in your reader all at one time.  Gosh, I am so sorry. 

I don't guess it really matters, but it's like talking to someone on the phone and the service cuts out, but you don't know it so you just keep talking....wondering why they aren't saying anything.  

Feel free to leave comments on the old posts, or not.  I didn't realize it, but some people apparently don't like to get comments on old posts.  Yes, for those of you like me who love it, it's true.  I read a post one time about pet peeves and that was one of them...and several commenters concurred!!   I think that writer said basically they had moved on and a comment on an old post was like going back in a conversation.  For the record....I'm perfectly okay with that!!  In fact I'll try to refrain from writing on this blog for a few days to give you time to get caught up!!!  :D

I have to say THIS POST has to be my favorite one.  If it's not too much to ask, I'd really appreciate some--honest and unabashed--feedback on that particular post.  When I feel like I can call myself a "real runner" .....okay, before SOMEONE pounds his computer over the label (you know who you are, **cough, Alan, cough**), let me rephrase....  After I've become a seasoned runner (yes, still a label, but more appropriate I think), I would love my blog to be a sort of "go-to" site for nerds highly inquisitive people like me to find tips and information.  The "I Love Lucy" post is the kind of thing I'd like to write.  Hopefully giving more information than a casual reader would want, but in a way that isn't overly bookish.  You know what I mean? least I'm back on track again!  Thanks for stopping in, come again soon!!


Monday, April 19, 2010


I've been going to physical therapy for my left calf.  It's been hurting pretty much since I started running.  I got new shoes, I've been to the chiropractor (something I thought I'd never do), I've been to massage therapy.  It got so bad at one point I thought it had progressed to a stress fracture.  (That wasn't just a random thought, the massage therapist was the one who told me to get an x-ray before I tried to run on it again.)  I went to an orthopaedic doctor who sent me to physical therapy. 

It's not really getting better.

Last Tuesday the physical therapist told me last week I had to make a choice.  She said I could either stop running (for at least a month) and continue therapy OR stop coming to therapy.  She said that I am basically wasting my time and money coming to therapy as long as I am going to keep running.  She believes I am re-injuring the leg every time I go out on it.

The "old me" would have been a little happy because that would have given me an excuse not to exercise.  But, I'm not who I was.  I would rather be told anything else than I (might) have to choose not to run.  I told her it doesn't really hurt (too bad) when I'm actually out running on it.  She said that's because it gets warmed up and because of the endorphins running gives me.  

I told her if she didn't see me before June (after the Cotton Row 10K I'm registered for and have been training for the last 2 months)...she'd know what my decision was.   I decided I would run with the group that night and then run the 5K Saturday...and then I would see how I felt.

Saturday, I was talking to a woman (an amazing master's runner) at the Cookie Dash who told me she had trouble with Planter Fasciitis.  She said she had the same experience.  Her feet didn't bother her when she was running-it was only the next day that she couldn't walk!  Her ortho pretty much told her the same thing-quit running.  (She went to Spine Care --chiro-- who did/does ART --active release therapy-- and she's almost completely pain free now.)

ART basically breaks up scar tissue...which is exactly what I've been thinking is the problem all along.  I can't remember if I've talked about it on here before or not, but I was in a bad car wreck about 16 years ago.  I had my leg sort of propped up between the driver's seat and the door (I was driving).  I hydroplaned and almost went under an 18-wheeler.  He was paying attention and moved over as far as he could so I slammed into his back wheels-crushing the front driver's side of my car-and my leg.  I didn't break it, but it's never been the same since then.

So, tonight I bought a massage thingy (on eBay, not from the linked on-line store) that SHOULD help if that's the problem.  I'm going to cancel my PT appointments and move my ortho follow up to the first week in June (instead of two weeks before the race as it is currently scheduled). 

Decision made.

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Cookie Dash 5K

I went into today's race having NO IDEA how I would do or even what I wanted to do.

I've been really worried about my calf (but that's another story that I don't have time to tell right now).

A coach from my running group offered to pace anyone in the group who wanted it.  I didn't want to jump at the offer at first because I felt like there are a lot of people in the group who run much faster than I do who would be able to take better advantage of his mad running skills.  I felt like asking him to run with me would be like taking a race car out for a slow Sunday drive.  So I told him if no one else snatched him up, I wanted him to pace me.  Guess what??---no other group participants were "selfish" enough to take him up on his offer---so I got him!!!!!!  Woo Hoo!!  (I'll call him "Pacer".)

Then came the million dollar question....."What time would you like to run??"

Another one of the coaches told me the other day not to go into a race trying to hit a moving target.  He said it's "always" better to know what you're training for and what your race goal is.  So, I told Pacer the fastest I've gone in training has been 11:51, but I usually am running at 12ish.  One goal I wanted to keep was to run the whole thing, so I told him I wanted to shoot for 12 so I didn't have to walk any of it.  He laughed and said he'd push me to 11.

Guess what????  I did it with an average pace of 10:47!!!!!!!!!!!!!  My final time was about 33:28!!!

The course has a couple of very little hills, and some slow gradual inclines that are very deceptive.  I ran up the main hill and kept going until after we hit a mile.  I told Pacer I needed to slow down just a bit, which we did.  I made it to the half-way point without walking..but when I got there I got some water and walked about 15 seconds or so.

There were some people from my group who were behind me, one of whom "should have" been in front of me from the start.  She's faster than I am...period.  But, I got lucky because she had another event to go to (a March of Dimes walk) immediately after the race.  She intentionally slowed her pace down so she could conserve her energy.  I'll call her Speedy from now on so I don't have to keep saying "that girl"

We got to a little hill and I seriously felt like I was about to keel over; I incoherently gasped out that I was going to walk up the hill 30 seconds...which I did...and then we started up again.  By that point Speedy had made some time and was very close behind me.  I told Pacer she was about to pass us.  He told me she was not because we were going to stay up ahead of her.  I decided he must be on crack at that point!!

Anyway...just before the home stretch there's another tiny little hill.  By that point my heart rate had climbed and wasn't coming down, and I wasn't being able to suck air in fast enough to suit my lungs.  For the second time in the race I had to walk to catch my breath.  I knew that once we got to the top of that little incline, we'd turn the corner and it would be all downhill from there.  I wanted to have my heart rate below 185, or at least be able to breathe, at the top of that hill so I could take full advantage of it and sprint in to the finish.

Pacer tried to discourage that little 15 second walk, but since I knew he had been smoking crack before the race (obviously ...since he was so sure Speedy wasn't going to pass us) I decided I shouldn't listen to him and went ahead and took that little breather.

We rounded the corner and I started speeding up.  I was sucking in air and making this hideous wheezing sound-sure that I was going to need an ambulance at the finish line.  That is IF I could make it there.  I don't know how they did it, but as I got closer to it, they kept moving it further and further away!!  I was sure I would never make it there.......when.......Speedy's friend flew past me at top speed.  She yelled back, "Come on 'Speedy'!!"....

I had temporary Tourette's syndrome, causing a cuss word to uncontrollably burst out of my mouth.  I think somehow it helped me to find a higher gear....well, I don't want to say that or I'll start cussing when I run on purpose trying to recreate the effect--and I don't like it when I cuss (AT ALL)....Anyway (I digress).....knowing Speedy was hot on my heals, I kicked it in overdrive and managed to hold that unGodly pace until the finish line.....and beat Speedy by a couple of seconds!!!!!!

Now, I know it will never happen again because she won't have a two-in-one race day again...but the thing that surprised me was being able to find that higher gear.

Where did that come from????  As we were coming down the hill, I thought I had completely messed up, taking that 15 second pansy break, because I knew any second Speedy was going to  go flying past me.  I was telling myself, "I'm giving it all she's got captain" (if you aren't a Star Trek fan, that won't be funny....)  But, just like Scotty always seemed to be able to make the Enterprise go faster...I somehow managed to make my legs pump it out---the whole time thinking "you can't do this, she's going to beat you...and you're going to look like a fool trying so hard......just let her move ahead and then at least you can save some face-----just admit defeat and move on."  But, something in me didn't want to listen to that HAG in my head this time...

What's really funny is that if Speedy's friend hadn't warned me she was coming up, she would have been past me before I even knew she was there.  I would NOT have been able to push past her if that had happened.

Thanks to Pacer, thanks to Speedy's friend.....

Yea me.  Way to go!!!!!

By the way, I guess Pacer really hadn't been smoking crack after all??!! :D

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Body Pump

Man, am I sore!!

I won a six month membership to Riviera Fitness Tuesday night.  So, yesterday after checking the schedules for all three local clubs, I drove about 25 minutes to the one that had a class I wanted to try out--BODY PUMP.  Wow.  Those ladies are tough. 

The location I went to was all female.  The class was basically lifting weights to music.  I used the baby weights, and on the lunges I didn't use any weights at all.  Wow.  I didn't realize just how weak I am.  No wonder I haven't been losing weight-I have NO MUSCLE in my body! 

I stayed after that torture class to take a look at the Zumba class.  It's like Latin dance aerobics. I more-or-less stood in the back of the room and watched.  After Body Pump, and knowing I was going to run 3.5 that night, I didn't want to push my calf any more than I had already....(maybe it sounds like an excuse, but it's true nonetheless).

One of the ways I evaluate a potential exercise class is by looking at the instructor.  One time my daughter and I checked out a local Jazzercise.  The instructor looked like she had stepped freshly out of 1982, from her BIG hair all the way to her leg warmers....and she was overweight.  Now, I'm sure she was fit.  She could do those moves like they were nothing--moves that were killing me at the time.  But she said she'd been teaching Jazzercise for like over 20 years (and was probably wearing the same outfit!).  I knew right then that was NOT the class for me (for more than one reason).

The instructor for Body Pump and Zumba (the same woman usually teaches both classes at that location) was out this week, so I didn't get to take a look at her.  The owner of all three local clubs taught the Body Pump class.  THAT'S what I look like in my dreams!!  She's probably about my age (maybe a few years younger).  She doesn't have that "I live at the gym" look about her, she just looks completely toned--every body part I could see was firm.  She's very healthy looking.  Not skinny, not ripped, not buff, not cut....I wouldn't even describe her as "thin" (although she is).  I would say normal...but after seeing the weight she was lifting, I can say she's NOT normal.  WOW.  Im-pres-sive.

The other way I evaluate a potential exercise class is by looking at the participants.  It was very interesting to compare these two classes.  The gals in the strength class were almost all very fit looking.  The Zumba class was FULL of overweight women (obviously not all of them...but an overwhelming majority).  They were clearly pros at this class because it's a tough dance based workout as far as choreography goes and these women had the moves down pat.  The Zumba class was also a lot more full than the Body Pump class.  ((I'm taking that as a sign that it's an easier class, but it could also have something to do with the fact that it's an hour later than the other one....))

Now, I know you can't judge a workout class solely by it's participants...but at the same time, don't you look at the people coming out of a hair salon and the stylist's hair for an indication of what kind of place it is??  And, when you're trying to decide if a restaurant is a good place to eat....SOMETIMES getting right in is not a good sign....and don't you look at the people going into the restaurant to see what kind of place it is??  I remember this buffet place we liked to go to in northwest Arkansas.  We called it "the hog trough" because we ALWAYS over ate when we went there and were sick afterwards.  The place was also ALWAYS filled with obese people.  Not just overweight, I'm talking clinically, morbidly, obese.  I'd venture to say that a minimum of 75% of the tables had at least one person in the group who was quite a bit heavier than 300 pounds (many most likely were over 500 pounds!!).  The food was good....too good. 

Just like I stopped going to "The Hog Trough", I won't be going back to Zumba.  Not because of the class make's just not my cup of tea.  I want to get my cardio from running not dancing.

Speaking of running...last night I went with my group-3.5 miles.  I forgot my Garmin.  I felt completely NAKED without it so I "had to" run with someone who could keep up with stats.  I started out with a girl from my group and one of my coaches.  We started out a little fast (about 10:30 or 11) compared to what we usually start at.  At our walk break I was worried that I might not be able to get started up again so I kept going....until a little after a mile.  Long story short, we finished with a pace of 11:52!!!!  I was hurting (only my left calf)...but man that felt really good!!  I'm ready for the 5K this weekend.

Thanks for stopping in, come again soon!

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Why I Write

Run Like A Mother "always" has questions after each post.   Usually I can't even write a comment because the question of the day sparks so many thoughts in my head that it would end up being a whole post in and of itself!!

Today I decided to do just that-write my own post in response.

Why I write about what I run is (as usual with me) a complicated question.  (That's not their question, but it's the question that their question sparked inside of me...if that makes sense.)

You know, I started "training" in January by walking 30 minutes.  Saturday I ran 5 miles in 61 minutes, walking only six minutes of that time...and a full three minutes and 45 seconds were walking up a really I only took 2 one minute walk breaks!!!  That's an amazing accomplishment.  What's sad about it is that it feels inconsequential to me...meager.

Last night we were at dinner with some friends and Dwayne (thinking he was bragging on me) told them about me being up to five miles.  I was actually embarrassed.  It felt like "Hey, my wife gets out of bed in the morning!"  How crazy is that???  I can't even really say I'm a runner yet because I don't run the full time.  I TOOK 2 ONE MINUTE WALK BREAKS IN FIVE MILES....I HAVE BEEN GOING OUT 4 TIMES A WEEK (other than injury weeks) FOR SIX WEEKS.  When will I allow myself to say I'm a runner?  Is there a mileage quota I have to make.

You know, I had this same debate with myself when I started my other blog, but it was about calling myself a writer.  (BTW, I declared that day I was a writer, but that's worn off, I can't say that anymore...I have no idea why, I just can't.)

What is it about me that "never" feels good enough.  Nothing I do is ever enough --FOR ME.  Everyone around me can tell me, "good job"...and I still beat myself up for imperfection.


Thanks for stopping in, come again soon!

Sunday, April 11, 2010

FIVE miles

Yesterday the group run was five miles. 

My left calf has been screaming, I haven't done the full mileage of the plan for the past two weeks (because of the argument I've been having with my leg), my usual running partner wasn't there, and I got very fitful sleep Friday night after finding out earlier in the day I have something lurking around in my right boob.  ((Yes, I did just say that.  You can read that story, here.))  As if all that weren't enough...we found termites in our master closet Friday night!!  (We do have a termite bond-repairs and treatment both, but it's still a PAIN!!)

So I didn't think I was going to be able to complete the full five miles, let alone run the 8/1 intervals on the plan.

When we started, I was the only run/walker....yea me, right?  As soon as we started out my left calf started whining.  I dug down and by 8 minutes I felt like I could keep running....but only did for about 30 seconds.  I went ahead and walked for a minute....the whole time dreading starting up running again-out of fear.  It seems that in the first mile or so it's hard to run after a walk interval.  So hard in fact I decided not to take the next walk interval and ran 12 minutes before taking a recovery minute walk.  As I feared, when I started back running, my left leg felt like it was breaking!

I managed to start up again until we got to the bottom of a little hill...instead of running, I power walked up it and used the energy I "saved" to catch up to a couple of women just in front of me...until we reached the "real" hill in this run.   We all walked up.....and then I ran the whole rest of the way (30 minutes!!!).

I had passed a woman in my group whom I have NEVER even been close to catching.  I was feeling all cocky and proud...until she caught up with me at the very end.  I couldn't leave well enough alone and thought if I pushed I could still "beat" her (as if it were a race?!)....but, no, she smoked me by at least a couple of seconds!!  She said it was hard, but she sure did make it look easy!!

At one point when I realized I had been running for 20 minutes straight, and was FINALLY not the last one in the group...I just started crying!  I know, what a pansy, right?  Hey, what can I say??  I'm a GIRL!!

Okay, I'll tell you the funniest part of the whole thing...after it was over, I proudly exclaimed that I had run 5 miles in an hour---making my pace TEN MINUTE MILES!!!  I was almost jumping up and down with glee.  The one to finally burst my math-challenged timing??  My loving husband.  He was really sweet when I called to tell him how well I'd done and told me how proud he was of my accomplishment.  Then he asked me again what my time was....and then reminded me that 60 minutes divided by 5 miles would work out to 12 minute miles.  It was funny after I stopped beating myself up for making such a stupid mistake!!!

I running a 5K race Saturday.  I'm not going to set a time goal...just a goal to run the whole way.   I was looking at the race results from the last race and remembered a few things....
  • I RAN THE WHOLE WAY (it was only about a 3K)
  • My pace ended up being a WHOPPING 10:26 (shocking)
  • Did I mention I RAN THE WHOLE WAY?!!
  • I came in 4th in my age group (although I found out later there were only ...FOUR in my age group there!!  (That's okay.....)
  • I wasn't last! 
After yesterday's run....I'm excited!!

Thanks for stopping in, come again soon!!


Week 6 Recap


Monday was the first day running for me in a week.  My calf had finally stopped hurting so I was more than a little nervous to get back on it....but at the same time, I was ready to roll.  I didn't get far (just 1.35 miles), but my average pace was 11:48.  After I quit I felt like I should have kept going, but it really did hurt and I did NOT want to push it too hard knowing I would be running HILLS with my running group the next night.  (I ran about 12 minutes and walked 4, with the longest running interval being the first at 6 minutes.)

Tuesday HILLS were actually fun!  Yes, I think I'm sick-with runneritis!  We did a little warm up and then tackled this big boy...

View Larger Map

Yes, I'm aware it doesn't look like much there....exactly what I was thinking....and then they said, "well, that's not really it..."  So, we ran up the part of the map they don't have on street view...and then got to THIS:

View Larger Map

Just keep clicking up Corlett until you get to Baylor...then we took a left on Baylor, went down to Jones Valley...took a left back to Corlett--and did it AGAIN!

I thought my calf would be screaming at me, but surprisingly enough, it felt better than my heart that was about to beat out of my chest.  To be completely honest, I "ran" up the first little part, and mostly walked the rest of the way up both times.  But, when I got to the top, I ran like the wind down.  In fact, I had my longest running interval ever (except the "race"), 9:15.  Over all we did about 3.5 miles and my average pace over the whole thing was about 12:30!  I've got to say I'm REALLY PSYCHED about that pace given the elevation change and the bum calf. 

Thursday I met up with one of my group coaches and did an "easy" two miles.  It was supposed to be 3.5, but I decided to cut it short and have a reserve for Saturday's 5 miler.

Yes, Saturday I did 5 miles with the group.  My usual partner wasn't there.  I was really nervous about how my calf would feel....and I DID IT!!  The walk/run group was supposed to do 8 minutes running and 1 minute walking.  There was even a good sized hill thrown in there for good measure.  ...And, guess what??  I walked only SIX minutes out of 61!!  Even with the hill, I ran a 12:24 pace for five miles!!  I might have to devote a whole post that that run because it felt truly awesome!!


I keep being reminded I CAN DO IT.  My mind wants to say I can't sometimes.  And, my left calf is making a good argument for my limitations as well...but once it gets warmed up it seems to join the party the rest of my body is having.

I learned that tendons take a very long time to strengthen and to heal.  The PT said USUALLY the heart gets with the program first, then the muscles, then the tendons and ligaments.  She said that's probably why my legs feel pretty good when they get warmed up-the muscles are ready to go.  She said it's very important to take it slow and not over do it so as not to hurt the tendons/ligaments.

Hills are actually very fun!!

I CAN RUN!!!  Saturday, my longest running interval was...are you ready??...THIRTY MINUTES!!!


Cross train/stretch/strengthen.

Incorporate more hills into my training.

Stick with the plan!!!


I'm sad to report.... I've been watching what I eat with a magnifying glass, writing down every single bite of food.  I've mostly followed the plan.  ...Still no weight loss!  Yes, I'm serious.  I was getting very discouraged until I found a book that I've ordered but haven't gotten yet...It's very appropriately called "Why Do I Still Have Thyroid Symptoms When My Lab Tests Are Normal?" by Datis Kharrazian.  I'm really hoping there will be some answers there.  I've never had this much trouble losing weight.  

Well, thanks for stopping in, come again soon!

Wednesday, April 7, 2010


I had my "first" experience with hill training last night.

I say "first", but really what I mean is my first experience with voluntarily running up a hill.  (Attempting to run up a hill is more truthful.)

Back in "the day" I had to run up something called "AG Hill".  I was in the Army Guard, in Officer Candidate training.  The AG (basically the man over the whole Arkansas Army National Guard) had his office on this massive hill (the tallest spot on the camp, naturally).  It was almost a rite of passage to run up that thing.   I remember thinking at the time, "WHY would anyone ever choose to run up a hill unless they were being chased by a pack of wild dogs, or maybe a chainsaw killer!"  (See, the person chasing me would have to be carrying a chainsaw for me to even consider I could outrun him.)

Last night, in my desire to continue closer to 26.2, I found out why.  The after effect was nothing short of amazing.  I also became intimately acquainted with the phrase, "it's all down hill from here."

It's funny because my husband and I were just talking about that concept the other day when we where hiking.  He prefers to go up the steepest part of the mountain we hike, pretty much as fast as he he can get to the ridge and enjoy the "stroll" on top.  I've always said I'd just prefer the stroll!  I whine and complain all the way up.  "It's so hard.  My leg hurts.  My heart is going to beat out of my chest.  Why'd we have to choose this path?  Is it really worth it???"   (Bless his heart...HOW does he put up with me??  I'm surprised he even allows me to go hiking with him.  He knows what it's going to be like with me, and yet, he still wants me with him.)

The thing is...first of all he LOVES me and KNOWS as soon as we get to the top I'm going to forget what that hill was like and completely enjoy the time on the ridge.  Second of all, he was a runner and knows all too well what it's like to push past the pain.  In the middle of pain, all I think about is pain.  He, on the other hand, thinks about the reward--the PAY OFF.

Last night I think I got it....way more than with the hike.  When I got to the top of the hill, both times (yes, we ran it twice as if once wasn't enough!)..."it was all down hill from there."  It felt like I was flying!  I ran easily.  My heart rate just kept dropping even though I was running faster than I have in a long time.  It dropped well below what it usually is when I run.  I felt like I could go on for hours!!  Nothing hurt at that point.  (Yes, I'm serious...I don't know why, but I felt much better at the top of that hill....unless I've blocked out the real experience from my mind???)

The second time up the hill was harder than the first for me.  Even after that great feeling coming down....I still didn't want to go up again.  My logical thinking, knows-me-better-than-I know-myself husband would tell me there's two main reasons for that...

First, my body was more fatigued the second time.  Physiologically it really was harder to go up that hill the second time.

Second, I am an IN THE MOMENT kind of gal.  I don't seem to think about what will come next.  I think what ever emotion/physical sensation I'm having RIGHT NOW will continue on forever.  "It" will always feel/be exactly the way it is right now.  That's the main reason I'm writing this entry--because I think I'm going to forget what I felt like on the down side of that hill.  The next time I try run with wild abandon up a hill, I want to remember what the pay off was the last time.  I'm hoping writing about it will solidify it in my Swiss-cheese brain.

I want to remember the pain, and remember the fact that the pain was over at the top.  I ran faster and further than I ever have on that down side.  (That's the advantage of being an in-the-moment kind of gal, I didn't dwell on what happened going up, I was completely focused on how great it felt running over 9 minutes at the fastest pace I've run to date and not feeling like I was going to die!)

I was lucky enough to end up running alongside an amazing ultra runner (blogger "Sirius Ultra Runner") who so graciously slowed his rabbit pace down to give me some great tips.  He said he believes hills are where he wins races.  His personal preference is to go slower up the hill, conserve energy and then utilize that energy on the down side to run much faster.  He said the mistake some people make is to walk up the hill and then never go any faster than they have before-wasting the "extra".  He also said the key to training is to go further each time than you did before.

The hill we ran is broken up into two parts (basically). I ran up the first part, and walked pretty much the rest.  I did shuffle at times, but not for long.  My goal, by the marathon in December, is to run up the whole thing!!  (The hill....hopefully the marathon, too, but, to be clear, I was just talking about the hill.)

Thanks for stopping in, come again soon!

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Week 5 Recap



I didn't run at all this week.  :-(  

As I said last week...I thought I might have a stress fracture.  The x-rays were negative (thankfully).  I went to see a physical therapist, hoping to get some exercises to strengthen my calf.

I also volunteered at an 8K race Saturday--FUN!!


Interestingly enough, when I went to see the physical therapist, I found out there is certainly "something" going on in my calf.  You see, I had a bad car accident about 15 years ago.  I had my left leg kind of propped up between the seat and the door.  I hydroplaned and hit an 18-wheeler.  I didn't break the leg but it was basically smashed and did major soft tissue damage to that calf.  It seems as though there's most likely some scar tissue in there that's causing an issue when I run.  The therapist did some e-stim on it with a focused cold laser machine.  She said there aren't any exercises that will heal it, but e-stim and massage therapy are about the only things that have any hope to "fix" the problem.  

The Black Knight told me he had a stress fracture one time that didn't show up on x-rays, only on the MRI.... If my calf continues to hurt like it did the last time I tried to run, I'll probably force the issue and get the MRI done.  I don't think that's going to be the case because it has been feeling a lot better since the PT visit.

I also learned how much work it takes to put on a race.  ((Note to self-ALWAYS thank the volunteers!!))


Cross train!  I met an ultra runner who HIGHLY suggested yoga.  She's not the first runner who's said that, so I think I'll make that a priority THIS WEEK.

I have a massage therapy appointment Wednesday and a PT appointment Thursday.

I'm going out to run again tomorrow.  I can not wait.  I have missed it this week like I miss breathing when I have a head cold!!  (Can you say addict?!) 
Thanks so much for stopping in.  Come again soon!

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Week 4 Recap


Well, I'm a little surprised that I didn't get any comments at all on my last post!!  I think I'm just too much of a nerd....because I thought it was kind of funny.  But, maybe not so much.  :D was a great week.  My son was in town so we did some pretty cool things (like visit the COOLEST CAVE EVER!!).  AND, I still did all my runs. (Yea me.)

Monday it snowed a blizzard here.  It didn't stick, but it was just so nasty out there.  When the flakes stopped coming down, I bundled up (because it was still about 45 out there and the wind was blowing)..and ran 3 miles doing 5/1 intervals with an overall pace of 11:57!!! (that's my fastest pace yet!!!)  

Tuesday was my group run and I found out (because I hadn't checked the schedule) the intervals had increased to 6 minutes running 30 seconds walking.  We did 3 miles and only "cheated" the last couple of walking intervals. 12:03 overall pace.

Thursday was the day my son and I went to the cave, so I ended up telling myself it was fine for me to take that day off and run on Friday instead....Which I did and managed the 6/.5 intervals with an overall pace of 12:06. 

Saturday morning my left calf was pretty sore when we started out, but it loosened up after about the first mile.  I ran the 4 miles at 6/.5 intervals-even UP the hills-with an overall pace of 12:12.  Afterward I felt so good, I came home and worked in the yard for 3 hours.  Still feeling great, I went hiking with my son and husband-nice slow hike up a mountain trail (4 miles in 2 hours...we also stopped several times to look around and enjoy it, butI did mention it was "slow" right?....).


Try to never do back-to-back long-for-me runs and then add in yard work and hiking.  When I tried to go out to do my run Monday...I couldn't even get started I hurt so bad.  I could barely walk that night.  I went to a massage therapist who was worried it could be a STRESS FRACTURE!!  Thankfully the x-rays were negative!  (YEA)  The dr told me what I've been saying all along--CROSS TRAIN/STRENGTHENING EXERCISES!!
Other than the scare (after the fact), the week was GREAT.  I had great runs; they felt good.  I'm getting faster and my heart rate is coming down.  I think the good thing about the possible stress fracture is that I learned the value of PACING the training.  That's something I've been trying to be mindful of, but lost sight of momentarily.

I learned something very interesting about NSAIDs (anti-inflammatories).  They have to be in your system for a few days (at least) to get the anti-inflammatory effect.  If you take a couple of Motrin, that might help for pain relief, but doesn't help swollen muscles--until you've taken the proper doses for a few days.


I say it every week...maybe this will be the week I do it--CROSS TRAIN.

I'm very reluctantly taking this week "off" from running.  I hate it...but I would hate to end up in an air boot worse than I'm going to do what needs to be done.  

I'm going to see physical therapist later today to get some exercises for my calves....and I'm going to do them!


I STILL haven't lost any weight.  I'm recording EVERY SINGLE BITE of food I eat at (Daily Plate)....and I'm staying under 1900 calories a day.  I'm frustrated, but I know that WHEN I start cross training I should see the scale move.  After all the research I did on heart rate training, I know that I'm training at a level that won't actually burn much fat at all.  Not that I'm training heavily for anyone else, but for me it's intense right now (according to my heart rate).  I do think I feel better when I stick to the plan, so for now, I'm going to stay the course.