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Showing posts from September, 2008

So, so close

This morning’s “easy” run was to have been two miles at a 12:32 pace. Since my goal pace is considerably faster than that, I thought I’d try to step up both speed and distance, and do three miles in 36 minutes. In the end, I did neither.

Total distance: 2.5 miles. Total time: 30:42.

Before I’d gotten a quarter of a mile down the road it started raining. So my first decision was to only do two miles. But since that first quarter of a mile was a walking one, I decided I had to end with a quarter-mile walk, as well. Symmetry, I guess.

And once I’d finished 2.25 miles, I realized I was so, so close to making my 12-minute-mile goal that I just went ahead and tried. Didn’t miss it by much. I’ll blame it on the rain. Heh.

My dad’s back in the hospital again, and it might be the same system-wide infection he fought off in May. Some of the symptoms his wife described were eerily similar. I’m not, so far, making plans to go to Florida, but I think I’ll make sure the laundry is caught up and the hou…

Home for a rest

What an activity-packed weekend we had! I’m tired, tired, tired. The only thing on my agenda for today is laundry. Thank goodness for modern technology; the washer and dryer really do all the work. (Don’t tell my husband that; he always seems impressed when I report that I did three loads of laundry. Clearly, he never does it.)

The babies are adorable! So sunny and sweet. We heard one or two of them cry once or twice, but mostly they just look at you and smile. I have a no-baby-picture rule on the blog, or I’d show you just how darned cute they are. You’ll just have to take my word for it. Grandpa is totally smitten.

We walked with them late Saturday afternoon. They have a triple jogging stroller that turns heads wherever it goes. One little boy saw us approaching – Mom, Dad, Grandma, Grandpa and three babies – and said, “Oh. My. God.” He couldn’t have been more than four, and we lost all composure as we walked past him.

(At a very fast clip, I might add, and Mom says she slowed the pace…

Plan B

It’s always good to have a back-up plan, when you wake up late and it’s pouring down rain and the morning is overscheduled and a nine-mile run just ain’t gonna happen.

Everything we do at home today has to happen before 10:30 a.m., when we have to leave the house to do everything else we’re doing today. I woke up at 7:30, and a nine-mile run takes two hours when you include driving time to get to the flat road and back. That leaves only an hour to shower and pack for a weekend trip. That may be enough for you, but it’s not enough for me.

Besides, cramming a week’s worth of running into four days is an invitation to injury. Ask my knees. I iced the left one Monday night; last night I switched the ice pack to the right one. A day off will be good.

I checked MapMyRun for likely routes near Worthington, Ohio, and found plenty from which to choose. So my Garmin and my running gear will get packed after all, and I’ll take a little time away from the triplets to sweat.

Their dad is the one who i…

How cool is this?

No, literally, I mean how cool is this:

The next three days are going to be downright chilly here in the Middle of Nowhere. And we may even get some rain, which we can really use. Yesterday we saw places where you could walk across the river and not get your feet wet.

I’m cramming all of this week’s training runs into four days so I won’t have to worry about getting any of them in this weekend. We’ll be visiting the triplets (and their parents), and I doubt there will be time for a nine-mile run Sunday morning.

Today is an easy two-miler, which I will stretch to three because I just think two miles is hardly worth it. I have to drive two miles to get to a flat road that’s long enough to run two miles on. Might as well make it worth the gas it takes to get there, right?

I weighed 177 – again – this morning. Nice to know that eating pasta and rice and cereal, oh my, this week hasn’t made me balloon up to 200. Is it wishful thinking, though, to have hoped I might lose a couple, considering I…

Zoom … ka-boom!

Imagine my suprise as I set out on my seven-mile tempo run this morning to find this, at about the end of the first mile:

At the tippy top of the photo is a train moving along the tracks. The two empty coal cars (and an additional one not pictured) you can see braced against those trees were, until last night, moving along those tracks. The entire hillside is covered with coal.

It didn’t slow me down, though.

My goal was to jog a 15-minute warm-up and a 15-minute cooldown, on either side of five 11-minute miles. That would have been 85 minutes. While it didn’t work out the way I planned – still haven’t learned to pace myself – I actually beat my target time. Woo hoo! Or, rather, zoom-zoom!

Splits, anyone? 12:24, 11:05, 11:35, 11:56, 11:51, 11:55 and 12:52 – for a total of 1:23:41.

This has, so far, been my best week of training. I feel confident, strong, capable and running is fun. For all of those things to be true at the same time is pretty cool.

Now, though, it’s back to politics. (Big p…


Okay, y’all know I’m not the speediest of runners. I blame it on my short stature, advanced age and extra weight. But the combination of two months of training and muchcooler weather seems to have helped my pace tremendously. I used to struggle to run a 12:40 mile. Today? Not so much:

I did a total of 6.8 miles, most of it walking, but I was supposed to run two miles today at a 12:32 pace.

I think I smoked it. Heh.

If I can keep that up for 13.1 miles (BIG heh), I’ll not only PR in Richmond, but I’ll also make my goal of finishing in 2:30. In order to PR, I have to run in less than 2:38:24.

Eating a more normal diet is very helpful, and it doesn’t matter to me whether it’s psychological or physical. If I think I can run more efficiently if I have rice with dinner and a banana with my morning coffee, then that’s good enough for me.

The halfway point

Yesterday’s four-mile run (supposed to be at a 12:39 pace; I did it in 47:15 – an 11:49 pace) marked the end of eight weeks of race training. Eight down, eight to go. (My left ankle is fine; I thought I tweaked something in my left calf, but that appears to have been Something to Make Me Worry Unnecessarily.)

The next two months are quickly filling up with trips and activities. Good thing I’m not training for a tri – it’s harder to find places to swim than it is to find places to run.

I felt great yesterday, and can probably credit my change in diet. Having a banana about an hour before I headed out was a Good Thing. Do South Beach dieters ever get to eat bananas? (Apparently they do.)

My husband came home from a short trip yesterday, meaning I had to cook dinner. I find when he’s gone that I don’t cook much, if at all. I think the only time I used the microwave last week was to heat a cup of coffee, and the only time I used the stove was to make popcorn. Other than that, it was cereal, …

For your listening pleasure

I haven’t seen anyone mention iTunes’ new Genius feature yet. This is not to be confused with the genius tech people who will transfer all your files when you switch from Windows to Apple. No, no, no, this is something I’ve been wishing for since I got my very first Shuffle.

I should preface my remarks by saying I rarely listen to music when I run any more. I stopped when I had about six weeks left in training for my first half-marathon. The rules said you weren’t allowed to wear headphones, so I thought I should be prepared for silent runs. Turns out I prefer running sans music – one less gadget to deal with, I suppose. Also turns out that lots of runners break that rule. Who knew?

But I do pop the iPod into its little adapter thingy when I drive. To me, driving is boring and tedious and tiring. I do not love hitting the road. And living where I do (the Middle of Nowhere) means I have to hit the road to do anything – even my running routes are located near rivers that I have to drive t…

Ruh Roh

I never was a Scooby Doo fan. I’m from the Bugs Bunny/Chip ’n’ Dale/Tweety Bird (“I think I saw a puddy tat”) generation. But when I experience an “uh-oh” moment, I immediately think – and sometimes say – it in my best Scooby Doo voice.

If you’d tagged along on my walk/run Tuesday morning, you would have heard me. I can’t remember the exact moment, but somewhere along the 7.25 mile-route, I twisted my left ankle. It’s still a little twingy – is that a word? – so I’m postponing today’s four-miler until tomorrow.

Thank goodness for easy weeks, eh?

I wrapped it in an Ace bandage and hobbled around yesterday doing what I normally do. RICE (Rest, Ice, Compression, Elevation) was called for, but Compression and about an hour of Elevation was the best I could do.

It’s definitely not a sprain, and is much better today. The swelling is gone, as is most of the pain. If I weren’t in training I’d probably test it. But I sure don’t want a major setback with just eight weeks until race day.

My South Bea…

A little knitting update

I’ve finally decided that, yes, I will make sweaters for the triplets for Christmas. My other three grandchildren live in warm climates and rarely need sweaters, but the littlest guys live in Ohio, where it gets c-c-c-cold in the winter. I’m using the Trellis pattern; that little shawl collar looks so manly to me.

The yarn is good old machine-washable and -dryable Lion Brand Wool-Ease. Any mother of triplets would appreciate an easy-care fabric. I’ve amassed quite a large quantity of the wheat color, so that’s what I’m using.

Unfortunately, I sliced a fingertip on a razor the other day and the bandage is getting in the way of my knitting. I’m hoping to remove it today and really get to work on Sweater #1 today.

This week is another easy one for running. I love how the training program throws a couple easy weeks – low mileage, no speed drills, just go out and run for the fun of it – into the mix. Each of this week’s three runs is just four miles, at a slow – 12:39 – pace. I know I’ll run …

Hot, hot, hot

The weekend weather, that is.

We went to the hills of Kentucky for a retreat, something we’ve done for the last nine years, and I don’t ever remember it being so hot, humid and uncomfortable. The park where we stay has hiking trails and a lake and a lovely front porch with big rocking chairs and I think the only time I was outside was when I absolutely had to be.

Oh, and Saturday morning for my long run of the week.

It was supposed to be eight miles. I did seven, letting the hills and humidity make up one mile, since the most logical route was an out-and-back from the lodge to the main entrance. Besides, I stretched my two-miler the previous day to four, so I knew my weekly mileage was covered.

My pace was supposed to be slow, and it was – 13:12 – much slower than I was supposed to go. The killer hills were brutal, and I ended up walking a lot. There were two very good miles, though, where I felt great and ran fast (11:17 and 11:55). I was dripping wet, soaked with sweat and gasping for …

Stay safe

Wishing everyone who lives in Ike’s path traveling mercies as they get out of his way, and a safe return home when the time is right.

I need to get a short run in this morning and then I’m heading for the hills for a little getaway. Looks like it’ll be raining all weekend – if it were race day, I’d be running in it, so I guess my long run will be a little soggy this week.

I did a total of six yesterday; the initial walking mile was pretty quickly done (for me), then four fast-ish ones (11:07) and then a final cooldown mile. After 4.5 miles I started feeling sick, and had to walk the rest of the way. My final time wasn’t pretty, not pretty at all.

During the fast part, I find myself glancing at the Garmin to see that I’ve been running a steady 10-minute mile for what seems like quite a while. It seems improbable to me that I can run that fast, and my mind takes over, shooting negative messages at me. My breathing becomes more labored (if that’s possible), my legs start aching, my feet fee…

’Tis the season

I’m in the midst of a political debate with a Republican friend who lives in Texas. I realize I’m not going to sway his thinking, and yet I get sucked in, defending my beliefs and – sometimes – attacking his. So it was a delight to see this quote from SparkPeople this morning:

It’s not the strongest of the species that survive,
nor the most intelligent,
but the ones most responsive to change.
~ Charles Darwin

(Disclaimer: I’m not using SparkPeople for journaling my food, but I still get their daily quote and recipe e-mails. Further disclaimer: I’m not using anything for journaling my food. Sigh.)

I happen to think that because the McPalin machine doesn’t have good solutions for what ails the country, they have stolen taken over the Obama “change” message as their own, assuming we the people will believe whatever they say.

Not me. And since this isn’t really a political blog, I’ll wrap this segment up by saying I’ll be glad when the political season is over. Because then the knitting season…


My dad, a longtime Democrat, says:

“You can put lipstick on a pig, but it’s still a pig.
And you can put McCain in the White House, but it’s still a Bush.”

Thanks, Dad!

Not feeling very inspired this morning

I need to run two easy miles today – two measly miles! – and I Just. Don’t. Wanna. Do. It.

Wonder how Nike would like that for a slogan? Heh.

I walked yesterday (a rest day) but at the .9 mile mark I started feeling sick. Again. I had tossed my morning eggs about an hour before I started walking; don’t know why. I had to turn around and get home. In addition to feeling nauseous, I was sweating profusely – far more than a less-than-one-mile walk would warrant.

Have any of you noticed that I’m not writing about weight training any more? Could be because I’m not doing any weight training any more. And it’s not that I don’t have time, or that running interferes with weight training, or that I injured a bicep. Oh, no, not at all. See the last six words of the first paragraph.

Wah, wah, wah.

The weather outside is frightful – rain and thunder – so my measly two miles will have to get done in between showers, I think.

I’m off to spend some time on iTunes. Shauna has a great post about fight songs …

No. Really. I am still here.

It appears that when life gets stressful, I clam up. That’s probably a Good Thing, as I tend to be impulsive and might write something I wouldn’t want to take responsibility for at a later time. The better part of valor is discretion, a tenet it’s taken me many, many years to adopt.

First things first: Happy birthday to Wendy! I’ve been trusting her running advice (and more) for way more than a year now. Just because she’s flipped over into that “don’t trust anyone over mumble-mumble decade” doesn’t mean I’m going to stop now. Click over and give her your good wishes. I’ll wait.

So. It appears that, for me at least, the Penguin is right: It’s difficult to lose weight during race training. He doesn’t say it’s impossible, but he does point out that losing weight is one thing and race training is another. Different goals demand different strategies. I’ve found it verrrrry difficult to stick with a South Beach eating plan while following my training schedule. Doesn’t matter if it’s physical…

Still here, just barely

Consider this a placeholder. Life is far too busy these days to post properly. In fact, if it weren’t so foggy and wet out this morning, I’d be trying to mow the lawn before we go to the hospital. Pretty soon I’ll have to bale it.

At any rate, my mother-in-law is still in the hospital with a broken arm, and my husband and I are spending several hours per day visiting her (and driving to and from the hospital). There have been some complications, nothing life-threatening but definitely worrisome.

I’m keeping up with the essentials: a daily shower, coffee in the morning, food and water for the dogs, laundry (although it doesn’t get folded), and running on the days I’m supposed to. I miss just hanging out at the computer for hours on end every morning. Heh.