Tuesday, December 29, 2009

A new job

Well it's official now. Tonight the gatorade jug was passed from Helen to me; that and a boatload of other stuff that i'll need to be the organizer for USAFit/Philly in 2010. Helen graciously spent some time with me this evening answering some questions. I'm sure i'm fretting more than necessary but that's my nature. She was great in making me feel at ease and not laughing... Now I have to digest and organize all the information, plan some marketing efforts and get ready for the USAFit organzers meeting in March. There will be plenty more to say about this later.

But before that there is the Goofy Challenge. 11 days to the half marathon, 12 days to the full. 8 days until we leave for Orlando. The first obstacle will be getting through airport security with all the new hubub about terror plots.

I ran another 5 miles last night. The winds had started to pick up before I finished and today they were really bad. Gusts over 40 mph and bitter cold. I'm glad I had an appointment withe Helen; it was a good excuse not to run. I'll likely not run tomorrow either as we are expecting Jimmy to visit.

My plan for the rest of the time is to run some on Thursday, Friday, Saturday. Take Sunday and Monday off. Run 3-5 miles on Tuesday. Wednesday is a travel day. Then a short run on Thursday in Florida just to get used to the climate change. At the very least it will not be as cold there as it is here... and it could be more humid.

Although that is my plan, I will also be listening to my body and making day to day decisions. I had a nasty bug most of last week and my voice is still affected and there is still some mucus issues. I don't want to relapse and be sick on race day(s).

I received my final email from WDW today. Lots of information about the races. I still have to digest most of it. It's hard to believe it's so close!

Sunday, December 27, 2009

5 miles by sheer will...

This sore throat yukky feeling isn't going away without a fight. I kept trying to get up this morning and kept falling back to sleep. Finally at 9 I got up to the bathroom and talked myself into staying up. I put on my running clothes made the bed and went downstairs for some breakfast. I decided that i'd go out at 10 for 3 miles and try to make it 5. At 10:01 I crawled back to the couch and lay down. A minute later I dragged myself up and went out. The sun was shining today.. so much better than the past three days. I managed 5 miles and for about an hour after, I felt great. Then it was back to sleep. The road to Goofy is going to be rough the next two weeks. Keep smiling and keep moving right? I hope that works.

Saturday, December 26, 2009


Well it's raining a lot... the snow is gone all but the piles that were created from shoveling. I have been battling some kind of cold thing for a few days now. It started with a major sinus headache on Monday. The headache has eased up some but I still have a sore throat and general achiness from the shoulders up. I managed to get to the gym twice this week. I'm concerned now about balancing my readiness for the Goofy Challenge and not making this cold worse.

Mostly today I feel listless and groggy. I doubt I'll workout at all. Definitely not outside since it's still raining and cold and lakes everywhere (inclduing our basement). I think I'm working on one hour at a time today.

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Merry Christmas Eve

Sunny today with a high expected of 35. I opted for the gym and spent an hour there on the treadmill and finished up with some lumbar stretches. Love that machine...feels soooooo good. Taking tomorrow off and hope to run outside on Saturday and Sunday.

Have a merry Christmas Eve and Day everyone!

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Yesterday was a gym day. Still too much ice and snow on the ground for outside...ok and it was really cold! Colder than Marathon 2008 even! Have a lot to do after work today and then tickets for the Nova basketball game so may skip today and go tomorrow. The weekend forecast is calling for rain so have to take this day by day.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Snow break

23 inches of snow yesterday. I've traded in my running shoes for shovels and workouts digging cars and sidewalks out from under.

Will have to see what the rest of the week brings for runs. May have to go to the gym. Stay tuned.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Gym day

Today it was cold...barely above 35 all day. I opted for the gym. I probably should have run outside since the forecast is calling for possible snow on Saturday into Sunday but I just wasn't in the mood for cold running and the gym was better than doing nothing. I timed my trip there and back including the workout. I'm trying to decide if I want to try going in the mornings before work twice a week. I wouldn't start something like that until after Goofy (probably after the cruise even) but it's a thought. Even after the cruise I still have to get through February which is so often a pretty crappy month weatherwise. To do that (workout before work) I'd have to set the alarm for 4:45. I'm really not sure I want to do that.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

20 miles for Goofy

Today I wanted to run 20 miles. I needed a 20 miler bfore Goofy and it was either today or next week. My schedule next weekend is just too full with family and holiday celebrations. So it was today or never and never was not an option.

So despite 38 degree rain I headed out about 9:00 a.m. My plan was to do 4 five mile loops that began and ended at my house. This way I could leave my Gu and water on the porch and save the hassle of carrying it. I chose 2 of my favorite 5 mile loops and alternated them 1,2,3,4.

The first loop I found myself skipping betwee street and sidewalk to avoid icy spots. There did not seem to be much rhyme or reason to it but fortunately it was usually one of the other that was icy so I didn't have to stop and find a way around.

After the second loop, I popped in the house quickly to change the two top layers of shirts. They were soaked. I had an inkling this might be necessary so I had brought the replacements down with me in the morning and left them on the living room chair.

During the third loop the rain stengthened a bit and most of the ice had melted. It was more or less uneventful. I was pleased that my ankles, knees, hips and back were all feeling pretty good. It was strictly a brain game and I was winning!

On the fourth loop the rain let up but the puddles were so big in some places I gave up trying to find ways around them. Going through was a shock to my feet but after awhile that didn't register either. I almost tripped on one spot on Jackson Street. My toe caught an uneven slab of pavement. I didn't go down but it probably looked interesting to anyone watching me try to stay upright. I was very cold and feeling the strain by this point. So I took advantage of the random spaces of brick sidewalks to take walk breaks. There were just enough to give me a little relief... but not long enough that I stiffened up or lost my desire to run.

The picture above is of me just after I came home. Dave took it after getting me a peanut butter granloa bar; I was really hungry! He also brought me my my robe because immediately following the picture the wet clothes came off. I didn't want to go one more inch in them.

I dare anyone to tell me what a mess I look in the picture! LOL... I do, I know that but emotionally I was in great shape!

4 weeks now to Goofy. I'll still be running between now and then but my 20 miler is out of the way now.

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Christmas Lights

Today I wanted to get in 6 miles. I had to work today though which meant being at the office at 7:30 and not getting home until 4:30. So that meant my run would take me into the dark. I layered up for the cold and put on reflective gear for the dark and took off. I decided on three 2 mile loops. This is my neighborhood loop plus a litte extra on the other side of State Road to make the 2 miles. As it grew darker more and more lights came on the houses. Each time around I saw a new set of lights. It was a nice way to make the run enjoyable.

All in all it was a comfortable run and I'm really glad I didn't bail on it.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Yesterday I had a great 5 mile run after work. I had several run ins with the reality of turning 50 during the day including an unsolicited application for AARP.... but the run put all that in perspective real quick.

When I woke up today I decided that it would be a gym day. It was raining like mad; there were pools and lakes where there had once been dry land. However, by noon the rains stopped and on my way home the temperature was 57 degrees. The forecast for tomorrow is for 37 and high winds so I decided to run tonight.

Again I went out feeling good. The problem was that although the waters had receded the debris that the waters brought had not. It was tricky dodging the branches, stones and piles of mud. I was about 2.5 miles into the run and had to turn around from my original course. It was just too dark. The street lights where I was headed were too far apart. I wear reflective gear and run against traffic but the shadows between the lights made it difficult to see where I was stepping. So I turned around improvised an alternate plan through Media. I'm happy to say my estimate was pretty good. I checked the route on mapmyrun.com and it came out to just a little over 5 miles.

Tomorrow I can go to the gym or run. I haven't decided yet.

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Weekend 15 miles

First let me say that it snowed yesterday......... first of the season. Ok I know technically it is not winter yet but it is after Thanksgiving when the playing of Christmas carols and the falling of snow should be allowed without scorn.

Yesterday was the first 'winter' run for USAFIT Philly. 6 of us showed up and that worked out nicely as it gave each of us someone to run with. Krisite had to slow her pace a bit to stay with me but she so kindly did that. She and I completed 9 miles and we were both pleased. It was her first long run since the marathon and my first day back after the week off.

When I left home yesterday morning it was raining and sleeting off an on. By the time I arrived at Oaks the precipitation had stopped. It was cloudy, chilly and humid but nothing came down until just at the end of our run when we were spit on a bit. As I drove toward home it started to rain/sleet again. I had thoughts of adding another 3 around home but was not in the mood for the rain/sleet thing so I drove on to the gym and did a 30 minute workout there instead.

The snow did arrive late in afternoon. By this morning the sun had melted most of it although the sidewalks were icy. I waiting until 2 to go out. I started with a loop around the neighborhood just under 1.5 miles. Funny but halfway into it I was sort of wondering if I really wanted to do this today. My right calf was stiff. By the time I finished the loop it was loose though and I decided to head over to do a lap of the Media Five Mile run. And then I decided to do another. It's amazing what happens when you hit the rhythm. And I think I am definitely a distance runner. Not a fast distance runner but my body seems to prefer distance over short. The more I go the better I feel about it. Of course if i'm tired or hurt it doesn't matter but all things being in good shape distance feels good to me.

So that's 15 miles for the weekend. I hope to get 15 more in during the week (3x5) for a total of 30 for the week. The next two weekends will be difficult to do back to back because of work and family obligations so total miles for the week will be the goal.

Have a nice week!

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Day three of my week off

I have a sore throat and an ear ache and I'm really tired. The forecast is for hard rain tomorrow and dropping temperatures. So all in all if I was going to pick a week to take off this is looking like a good choice. Of course Saturday (when I expect to return to running) there is a chance of wet snow depending on the track of a storm system heading this way. Oh well.....

I've started to think of the Goofy challenge as 3 half marathons. This is accurate. It's just that two of them are back to back. I like half marathons though. I've run three and had a lot of fun in all of them. So breaking Goofy down into that is helping when I start to feel overwhelmed at this undertaking.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

A little lost

My thoughts are all over the map right now

Sad that I shortened my run yesterday
Happy with myself because I think it was a smart move to shorten the run yesterday
Anxious that I will not be ready for Goofy
Hopful that taking a break will make me better ready for Goofy
Wondering if taking the week off is a good idea or a wimpy one
Trying desparately to find something else to think about it.

I re read a lot of this blog last night trying to find clues to how I feel and whether I'm being a wimp or not. I'm still not sure. However, I have found over the years that I'm smarter than think I am sometimes so I'm going with my instincts on this.

Saturday, November 28, 2009

More wind..

Well if I thought it was windy yesterday, I don't know what to say about today. I'm certain it changed directions everytime I did!

That however is not the reason for stopping 13 miles in to the run. My legs just weren't into it today. I couldn't get into a rhythm at all. And without the rhythm I couldn't get my mind off the running and distracted from the 20+ miles I intended. So I stopped and went home.

I've completed 12 and 20 two weekends since September so I'm not overly concerned but it would have been nice to complete it again 6 weeks before Goofy. I think that would have given me the extra confidence I need. The holidays and other committments may prevent me from trying again before Goofy. I'm going to have to build my confidence in other ways I suppose.

I stopped today because my legs felt like lead weights. My joints are in great shape so that's something. I've decided to take a week off. There's no way to know for sure if that's the right thing to do but I think I need a break. No running this week unless I really feel like it. Then I'll have to reevaluate my schedule starting Saturday for the five weeks left until Goofy.

Friday, November 27, 2009

Running against the wind

I did finish 5 miles on Wednesday. Thursday was a day off and Thanksgiving :)

Today I slept until I felt like getting up (7:45) had breakfast and was out the door a little before 9. I decided to do the 12 miles around Medi and Wallingford. 12-15 is about the max I can do around here without getting bored (from having to repeat routes) and because of the hills. Most of this area is one long up or down hill and few steeper ones. After 15 miles I want more flat.

Anyway, I finished a little of 12 miles in just under 2.5 hours. Mentally I felt great. Did not bonk and could have gone longer if needed. Physically I did ok. My joints and back were great. No problems until the last mile when my ankle started to bother me. My legs though felt very heavey and tight for most of the run. I stopped three times to stretch which helped for a little bit each time but not long enough. I still finished and was able to distract myself from how they felt most of the time but it was very evident.

It was a very windy day. I tried to remember to drink water at regular intervals since the wind and the cooler temperatures kept me from feeling any sweat. I wonder if that had anything to do with the feeling in my legs. Maybe I didn't drink enough. It wasn't cramping though....

24 tomorrow. I feel ready for it. Well as ready as anyone can be for that distance. Stay tuned...

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Focus on Goofy

Now that the USAFit Philly season is over (all but the after party) and the half marathon is in the books my full focus is on Goofy in January.

I worked out at the gym yesterday and plan a 3-5 mile run this morning. My miles this weekend will similuate goofy with 12 on Friday and 24 on Saturday. I've back and forth mentally on this for the last couple of days. Alternating between looking forward to it and not in the mood. Last night I decided that if I don't make the full mileage I can always try again next weekend. That seems to have taken the pressure off and I'm back to being excited about the challenge again. OF course I won't have that option in January but barring any physical impairment I can't see me bailing on the actual races. It's just too much fun to be out there with the crowd and the sights. Even at the Philly Marathon which almost knocked me out mentally last year I finished and always knew I would.

The trick for Friday and Saturday will be keeping the course interesting. I bagged the idea of 3x around the river drives. Without mile markers, even though I've run it many times and can pretty much visualize the course, I'm afraid I'll go bonkers. I'm almost settled on a combination of routes out at Valley Forge and Oaks where I can tick off the miles as I pass the markers.

Stay tuned....

Sunday, November 22, 2009


I finished! I had fun...absolutely had fun. And I did way better than 11 minutes miles. I bested my 2008 PDR time by 8 minutes; finishing in 2:17:21 averaging 10:28 miles. 10:28! When I first saw it I wondered if it was a mistake. I'm still half expecting the result to change.

I ran well. I feel good. I still feel good. I'm going to crash eventually since I've been up since 4:30 a.m but for now I'm riding high on endorphins and an amazing race result.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Tomorrow's Half Marathon

I missed one day of running this week. I probably would have completed 4-5 miles that day but I didn't do it. It's only one day. THAT''s what I'm thinking now. Last night I was obsessing over the fact that by the time tomorrow comes I will have not run for 4 days. And that thought was bringing me down. I'll be fine. I missed a 4-5 mile run that wouldn't bring significant change in tomorrow's results. :)

Now about tomorrow. By now you know that my number 1 and 2 goals are to finish and have fun- and not necessarily in that order.

I have been giving a lot of thought to a finish time goal. I did very well in the Broad Street 10 miler (average 10:40 pace) and the Run the Bridge 10k (average 10:19 pace) this year. Interestingly enough both were run in rainy conditions. Tomorrow the forecast is for partly cloudy skies and a high of 57. The rain is expected to hold off until later in the day. My performance in the distance run this year (average pace 11:18) was slower than in 2008 (average pace 11:06); due in large part I'm sure because in 2008 I ran the first several miles with Angie and Doreen who really are faster than me. Still I didn't feel as good in the Distance Run as I did in either the 10 mile or 10k this year. See I told you I gave this a lot of thought. And really all that thinking means nothing since whatever happens will happen. I'd really like to average 11 minute miles tomorrow. That will shave 1 min 10 seconds off my half marathon PR (2008) and I think it's realistic. I have to run my own race though and I've been getting better at that.

I did manage to wrench my upper back this morning...not sure how.. but on both sides I'm sore. I was fine when I got out of bed and still fine out of the shower... something happened between then and now. I took an aleve and I'll take one tonight again and hope for the best. Sometimes when I run these aches and twinges go away so who knows.

Today it's off to the race expo at the convention center. See ya tomorrow! :)

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Another good run today. 4.25 miles. I used an old walking route with a little add on. No near misses with the traffic.

I really felt good again. I feel like I hit my rhythm early and just kept at it. I stopped at 4 but feel like I could have easily continued. I'm trying to figure out what it is that makes the difference in how I feel right now. How do I maintain it? I've been keeing a spreadsheet of workout days and rest days. Maybe there is a pattern? Maybe it's just dumb luck? I really wish I knew.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Last Sunday WAS just a blip....

I woke up at 6 but decided I had enough time to let myself sleep until 7. I got up had my raisin bagel with peanut butter and water. I packed my belt with gu, filled my water bottles and headed to Oaks. I walked down the path to the trail and I was off.

I headed right first to go down to the zero marker. The plan then was to go out to 6 and then back to where I started for a total of 12 miles. Oh did I mention the sun was out today? What a different that makes. The sun was out last Sunday too but it just wasn't my day as you know if you read that post. Today the miles seem to fly by... well as flying as they can for me anyway. It was a very enjoyable run. I even missed a couple of the 1/2 mile markers and had run a full mile before I even realized it.

I originally planned to go 4 miles then stop for gu and stretching. At 4 though I felt so good that I kept going and took a gu on the move (I found out I do not like chocolate by the way. It was the only one of that flavor I had and i'm glad for that now) Anyway, stopping to stretch didn't feel necessary and I didn't want to lose momentum so I continued on to the 6 then stopped to stretch before heading back.

Tomorrow is a rest day then I'll do short mileage around Media on Tuesday, Gym on Wednesday and short mileage again on Thursday. Then off for two days before the Philly half on Sunday. I'm skipping back to back runs this weekend because I'd like to have fun on Sunday and run for time. I haven't settled yet what the time goal will be. I'll put it here later. Of course my first goal is to have fun and to finish! :)

Saturday, November 14, 2009

USAFIT Philly Final Weekend 2009

Today we met for 6-8 miles. It was a cold rainy day (sound familiar?).. I was expecting a low turnout figuring some would wait for the sun tomorrow perhaps. I was pleasantly surprised to find a good turnout. We chatted about the marathon and half marathon next weekend and finalized arrangements to meet at Rocky at 6am. Then we headed out. I ran with Anne today. She wanted to talk walk breaks and I was ok with that. I wasn't in any hurry to finish and I felt good running or walking. She is doing the half on Sunday as well. Her second. She told me she had originally planned to train just for the Distance Run in September and decided to keep going. That's cool.

I think I have a spring marathon picked out now. Mary was wearing a shirt form the Capy May County Marathon 2008. Officially it's called the Ocean Drive Marathon. I've often thought a jersey shore marathon would be neat. She said it was excpet of the bridges and runing into the wind. Still, being down there is so much fun. It is the last weekend in March which is iffy weather wise but strange one that I am I think that adds to the excitement of it. I won't sign up until after Goofy. I want to see how I feel after that. Maybe I wont' be up for training for another one so close. The way I feel now is great but I want to make sure that holds. Hmmm just took a look at the registration. It goes up $10 after December 31st. Wonder if I should commit that early... I'll think about that.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Another good one

Today the temperature was about 45 when I got home from work. It had stopped raining but the air was still thick with moisture. It was also getting windy. I asked Dave if he minded waiting for me to run before dinner. He said he was impressed that I was even going out. I shushed him because I knew I could be easily talked out of it. It was so nasty out.

I had plotted out a 4.5 mile route through Media. The bulk of it was spent running between 5th and Baker on the major roads across town. It was an awesome run once again. I felt really good and finished strong.

The only thing to mar this run was that I was almost hit by a car three times. In Media, people are generally good to runners, i've noticed. If I'm within a few strides of the intersection most will wait for me to cross. I still slow down to make sure but they are really nice about it. Tonight I slowed twice to an intersection where a car was approaching. There were no other cars so when the car didnt move on I figured they could only be waiting for me. Both times, as I was in front of the car it started to move. How rude! I figure either they weren't natives or they had been playing with the radio or something (explaining the delay in movement) and i couldn't see that in the dark. I had a white shirt on and a reflective vest so if they had looked they had to see me! The third near miss was someone backing out of a parking spot along Baker street in front of Trader Joe's. I always watch there for lights on the cars. This person had no runnnig or parking lights on and by the time i saw the back up lights I was already behind the car.

But it was a good run! :)

Off tomorrow, then 6 on Saturday and 12 on Sunday. Saturday will be our last official Phillyfit run as the MArathon and Half Marathon races are on Nov 22nd. It's hard to believe it's been 6 months since we started training together.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Fantastic 4

Actually 4.5 but who's counting. (Ok, I am) It was an awesome run yesterday. Nothing hurt, I ran tall and steady. It was just awesome in every way. I felt good and loose and sooooooooo much better than Sunday.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

5 and call it a day

The schedule said 16. The Valley Forge Loop (5 miles) over and back to the gravel river trail (2 miles) the river trail out and back (6 miles) finished with 1.5 miles out and back on the SRT. *Sigh*.. my mistake was probably in starting with the loop. It's all hills. Even the parts that appear hilly are mostly slow inclines or declines. I started out in good spirits. It was a nice sunny day and a few degrees warmer than yesterday. About 3 miles in to it my brain went into a downward spiral and it was all over.

It started with the loop, sure. But then I started thinking about how I had to be back home by a certain time today. And at the end of the loop I still had 11 miles to go. What if I got to the end of the river trail and needed to walk back... I wouldn't make it. I had plenty of time... I knew that somewhere deep down but couldn't resurrect that at the time. Another issue was no mile markers. The loop has no markers and when I get in this mood I ususally say ok go to the next marker. Then I arrive and think ok not so bad try another one.. and so on and sometimes I have to do that the whole way and sometimes I get into a rhythm and forget them.

So I stopped at 5. Not to worry. These things happen. I just have to hope they don't happen on race day. The key now is to get back out on Tuesday and have a great run! I left the park and went to the gym for a weight training workout to make up for being a slacker on the course. The endorphins from that did help boost my mood. :)

Tomorrow is another day :)

Saturday, November 7, 2009

USAFIT Phily: 5 degress of separation

5 Degrees.. that's how much warmer it was this morning compared to the 2008 Philly Marathon run. It was 31 when I left the house at 7:15 compared to 26 at the 7:00 start on Nov 22, 2008. It's amazing how much difference 5 degrees can make. Don't get me wrong it was COLD! I had to scrape frost of my windows before leaving and I needed head gear, gloves, running tights and layers to run but it didn't feel nearly as bitter as it did last November.

We were a small group this week. It seems we've been pretty small since the Marathon closed out and people didn't get in. Next year we will have to convince people to sign up early. I ran mostly with Angie, Maureen and Brenda but I turned around before them for a total of about 8 miles they went 10. I'm going out again tomorrow for 16 and really want to stick to my Goofy training schedule. Not that the extra two would have killed me but I wasn't feeling 100% so I took it careful.

Today it was my back. I usually don't stretch until halfway or every 4-5 miles of a run. I think when it's this cold though I should do some gentle strectches for my back. I'll try that next time (which may be tomorrow). The run was uneventful except for my back.

Our speaker today was Ira Meyers who won the Marathon in 1986. He is a podiatrist in Montgomery County. I talked about race prep in the next two weeks. Mainly he said there is nothing you can do that is going to make it any better. The key is to stay healthy. He suggested of course trying to get good sleep on Thurs and Fri before becauase Saturday night there are too many nerves.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Gym workout; speedwork on the treadmill

I realized this morning that I will miss my run tomorrow because we are going to the Nova game at the Wachovia Center. Yeah, I know it's 'only' Kutztown but I like seeing the team play in person no matter who the oppponent is. And look at Syracuse getting beat by some Div II team last night so anything can happen, right? But I digress.... realizing that I would miss my run I considered skipping the gym for an outdoor run tonight. I need the gym workouts though just as much as the running. I need the strength and core exercises. Of course I could do the gym and run outside but I'm not motivated to do that. So I opted to go to the gym and instead of the bike I did a speek workout on the treadmill.

Tomorrow will be a full day at work, then the basketball game followed (I hope) by the end of the Phillies-Yankees game when we get home. They are losing 2-1 in game 6 as I type. It's still early. :)

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Daylight savings time has ended

I knew this. My clocks were all carefully turned back on Saturday night before bedtime. I forgot, though, how much that affects the after-work run. I set out tonight at 4:47 in relative daylight and returned an hour later in need of my reflective vest. Fortunatly the shirt I chose was not dark but it still wasn't sufficient if I was not in someone's headlights or under a street lamp. Note to self: where vest! I may have to get a lamp as well. I almost lost my footing on some as yet unidentified object in the road between streetlamps.

Depite the surprise of darkness it was a good run. About 5 miles combined from two previos routes. Some flat, some hills. No aches pains or mental hinderances at all. :)

Here is a link to David Letterman last night. "Top Ten Thoughts That Go Through Your Mind When Running the New York City Marathon" read by the winnner Meb Keflezighi. Pretty funny, I thought.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Run the Bridge

What a fun race! I forgot to tell you my goals last night. So I'll tell you now before going into my race report. My first goal, as always, is to have fun. Beyond that I thought a lot about this one and decided that an 11 min/mile average pace would be doable and a really good goal. My training runs have been 12 minutes and slower but they have also been much longer than 6.2 miles. So here goes.

Saturday night/Sunday morning marked the end of daylight savings time. Still I was in bed at 11/10 for a good night's sleep. I was up at 6 am for breakfast of bagel and peanut butter, vitamins and water. I also took a throw away bottle of water with me. I packed a bag of dry clothes as, once again, it was raining this morning. All of the training runs in the rain with USAFit Philly were going to come in handy. If nothing else, it meant I just didn't mind it (or care) anymore. My only regret is I forgot to pin a Phillies Rally Towel to the back of my shirt.

As I headed north on 95, I made a last minute decision to take the Ben Franklin Bridge instead of the Walt Whitman because it was not going to close until 7:45 and it was only 7:15 as I approached. The traffic once I was over the bridge was heavy though. It took close to 30 minutes to get from the bridge to Campbell Field. I parked, walked over to the field and picked up my packet and t shirt. I went back to the car to drop everything off, pin my bib to my shirt and put the timing chip on my shoe. I double checked that my car key was tied to my other shoe, locked the car and headed back to the stadium. As I climed the steps they were singing the National Anthem.

The runners and walkers were assembled on the field (but not on the tarp... being instructed not to do so). At 8:15 we began the walk to the base of the New Jersey side of the bridge. At 8:30 the gun went off and so were we. Funny note: just before the gun went off I looked down and saw two nickels on the ground. I had no pockets though so I left them there.

So the first three miles of the run were on the bridge. Two up hills and two down hills. I imagined the long slow up hill to be Edgmont Street in Media. A street I have run many times in both directions. Although the bridge climb was probably longer it wasn't any steeper so I had not trouble with this picture. I attacked it at my own comfortable pace. I thought too that the Valley Forge loop, which has a much steeper hill to start, prepared me well for this. I passed mile marke 1 at 10:54. Ok, so far so good. As I crested the top of the hill I lengthened my stride and let gravity help me down the other side. Around the turn on the Pennsylvania side and now back up to the top. At mile 2 the clock said 20:10. I must have picked up time on the downside. Just past mile 2 I passed NJ Governor Corzine and his bodyguard. At mile 3, at the bottom of the hill and the end of the bridge, he passed me but this was also where he stopped. I continued on the rest of the course; a flat 3.2 miles.

Interestingly the next mile was the same route I took driving off the bridge when I arrived earlier. We ran through this faster than I drove it! I forget the clock was at mile 3 but I remember still being on track.

Before I move on I have to comment about runners trying to pass each other. I thought to myself as I ran that the runners would have done well to think of themselves in cars as they passed each other. When you pass someone in a car, you check first before pulling in front to see that there is room. Twice, I was almost clipped by someone who passed and then slowed down as they moved in front of me. HELLO!!!!

Anyway, back to the route. Mile4 was finished in over 11 minutes. I'm not sure what that was all about except that maybe coming off the downhill of the bridge I slowed as I adjusted my gait to run on flat instead of downhill. The final clock (except for the finish) was at mile 5 and I was back on track there. Just after mile five the group running in cadence came up behind me. I managed to stay in front of them the rest of the way and found it amusing to listen to them. One ditty was about Fred and Barnie; the chorus being Yabba-Dabba-Do in cadence. Think about it.. it's kind a cool!

Saturday, October 31, 2009

A hard 20 miles

Today I confirmed something I already knew in my heart. 20 miles is even tougher when you are not running it. Today I manned a water station for USAFIT Philly. I met with everyone at the start then headed off in my car to wait for them at my designated spot. Here I would see them twice. Once as they finished 9.5-10 miles and once on the way back at mile 14.5-15.

It's hard to sit and wait. Not just because it was cool and rainy. I wanted to be out there with them. I was bored! All in all the group did well. Since this was our second long run like this it was good for everyone to compare to the last one. Most said they felt better, stronger than last time. That's so good to hear.

I used the down time between runner sightings to think about this year and things that I want to see for the group next year. I should have written them down.

Tomorrow the Ben Frankling Bridge 10K. I'm looking forward to it.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

I went to the gym yesterday. The usual simple workout. Weights then 30 minuntes on the bike. Today I went out for 2- 2 mile loops around Media. Most of the distance was down Jackson and back up Edgmont. Edgmont is a nice long slow climb. Jackson is more rolling although mostly down in the direction I took it. I took my time and just kept moving. It felt good for the most part. My right ankel and hip bothered me some near the end but I was able to walk that off. Off tomorrow.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

22 miles.... done and in the books

I finished! Making a total of 33 miles for the weekend
I feel great. Yeah my muscles are sore but I am not exhausted and my spirits are high!

The alarm went off at 6 a.m. For about 10 seconds I thought about waiting another hour and decided against it. It was now or never. Breakfast was a bagel, a banana and some water and off I went.

Driving over I changed my route yet again. I would do the same route but decided on the 4 miles out to Norristown and back would be the first leg. This is a lot of new territory for running. I've walked that years ago but our training runs usually don't go past the 27.5 marker in that direction. I would be going 2 more miles before turning around. I decided I wanted fresh body and mind for the unknown. I think it was a good idea. I went out to 25.5, walked for the time it took to down a gu and some water, stopped briefly to stretch and headed back.

At 29.5 I headed down the the water fountain to fill my bottles, stretched, downed another gu and headed off in the direction of Oaks. When I got down the hill I turned left to add the exta mile that I needed. This was a very very very muddy 1/2 mile out and 1/2 mile back. The rains last night made a real mess of the trail. My sneaks are a mess. They'll clean up after they dry out but I threw out the socks. They aren't worth the effort to clean them. That's how bad it was. I think this is where running slow was a good thing. A faster runner would probably lose their footing in that muck.

So out to the dog park toward Phoenixville and back. After that, I walked back up the hill to the bridge across the Perkiomen Creek. I took a gu and water and at the top of the hill stopped to stretch. A little over 4 miles back to 29.5.

All along I had been thinking that if I got back to 29.5 and felt good mentally I would add another 2 miles. Well 29.5 arrived and I still had it together in my head tho my muscles were aching. My joints were good though. I watered up and decided I'd take it 1/2 mile at a time. I turned back toward 30...if I made it there and felt like it I'd go to 30.5 before turning around. Well I did make it to 30.5 and back. All that remained was the approx .75 back to the car.

The last half mile I was starving... really felt hungry..... like i would have eaten eggplant and lima beans which I HATE!!! So I didn't hydrate well enough. It was cool and I wasn't paying enough attention. I really only drank when I gued and that obviously was not enough. It also took a very long time to finish. I'll stil manage to finish Goofy in time to qualify for the medal(s) .... it will be a very long day.

I arrived home, showered, took an alleve and ate some salad. On the way home I had a peanut butter granola bar... and lots of water. I've been trying to make sure I get up and walk every 30 minutes or so if I'm sitting and although sore I'm not stiff. Of course getting out of bed tomorrow may be a different story.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Rainy run walk

So the temperature was 68 when I left the house. By the time I arrived at our meeting spot at 7:15, blue skies were peeking through the clouds. I knew that wouldn't last and it didn't. Still all in all it was an ok run. We started out in about 99% humidity.. however close you can get to 100% without actually raining. It wasn't until about mile 5.5 that the rains came and by that time it was actually refreshing.

I think our total today was 11 rather than 12; but hey whats a mile among friends :). I started out with my usual. "I'll run until that hill and then walk a bit" The hills on this route were strategically placed for that I was lucky. I changed strategies though. About mile 6 or so Helen and Mark leap frogged me twice doing a walk run thing. 2 minutes walking 1 minute running (a la Jeff Galloway). Helen and Mary had used the strategy in the Baltimore Marathon and it worked well. After they caught up to me the second time I decided to finish with them. The 2 minutes running was faster than I normally run but it was ok, telling myself I only have to keep this up for two minutes and then I can walk for a minute.

We finished at an average pace of about 11:35 per mile. Had I kept running I would have slowed down (without the benefit of the walk breaks) and probably finished at a slower average and well behind them. I felt good when we were done too. I felt like I ran well and recovered pretty quick.

It'd be nice to try this tomorrow on my 20 miler but I don't wear a running watch so I'd have to figure the intervals on my own. I could do it by feel. Run a quick pace for about 10 seconds longer than I think I can hold it (which is how it felt today) and then walk until I can just about catch my breath again (which is how the walk break felt). We'll see.

I've changed my mind on the route for tomorrow. The route we took today was partly new and I liked it. If I had gone all the way to the end of the one path it would be 6 out and back to the start. So I think I'll do that but when I get back to Betzwood I'll go 4 out and back toward Norristown to get the final 8 in and then head over the bridge to the start. Two water bottles should hold up until returning to Betzwood where I can refill.

Stay tuned :)

Friday, October 23, 2009

Still rain in the forecast

The forecast for tomorrow gets grimmer by the minute. Still about 70% chance of rain and probable thunderstorms but I haven't really heard any committment as to when the thunder storms are coming. Let's hope later in the day because we will have to cancel the run if it does.

On another but still running related note, i've decided to organize some cheer zones for the Philly Marathon for USAFIT Philly runners. I'm doing the Half that day and so are some others. We have some phillyfitters who are not running at all due to injury or maybe they did a marathon earlier. I'm hoping to get some of each of these groups to form some cheer zones for both the half and full marathon runners that day. I can think of half a dozen spots we could cover. Even if no one else steps up I plan to stay after finishing my hafl to cheer on the full runners. It wil be fun.

I am blessed to have family at most of my races. My husband has been to all but one so far and both he and my daughter stood in the freezing temperatures at last year's marathon. Not everyone has family though and they've worked so hard for six months. And even if they do have friends and family along the route so extra cheering will alwasy be appreciated.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Two in a row

I opted for 3 miles on hills today. Again another awesome run. I had to work for it and it felt great. I need store some of this great for Saturday run. 70% chance of rain, likely thunderstorms and about 65. At least it will be warmer than the past two weekends.

I'm still debating the route for Sunday. I can go in to the city and run the river between the Art Museum and the Falls Bridge. 8.4 each loop. I'd need about 2.5 loops to get the miles in. The pros with that one is the water fountain at the boathouse means I dont have to carry a full water belt which would be nice for such a long run. The cons is boredom. Running almost three times around might drive me nuts.

Choice #2 is to do an out and back along the Schuykill River and Perkiomen Trails. The big con to that is lack of water stops. I'd have to carry a full water belt. The pro is the familiarity with the trail

Choice #3 is to chunk it up into four out and backs with Betzwood Park as the center. Water and bathrooms at Betzwood and the four chunks are different lengths to keep it interesting. Interesting is important when running 20 alone. I don't use an ipod.

I'm fairly certain it's going to be choice #3.

And first to get through 12 miles in the rain on Saturdy.... and keep the morale of the others in the group on the positive. I love a challenge! :)

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Awesome run

Today I swapped a gym day for a run outside. What a great run. 4 loops of the neighborhood for a total of about 5.6 miles. 65 degrees, DRY and sunny. I've had so many crappy outdoor runs in a row I needed a good one.

The first loop my shins were tight; no doubt a leftover rebellion to the Sunday treadmill run. After the first loop they loosened right up and the next two loops went by smoothly. No pains in the ankles, knees or hips. I wasn't breaking any land speed records (well let's face it I never do) but I was moving a nice comfortable pace that didn't feel like I was dogging it either. On the last loop my right ankle (the one I sprained) and knee started to twinge. I was so excited and feeling good I couldn't let that stop me.

That got me to thinking; the key to this running thing is good hydration, nutrition and a good mood. Without those, the little twinges make you want to stop.

The weather tomorrow and Thursday is forecasted for just as nice so I may avoid the gym altogether this week and take advantage of it. I'll try to do 3-5 on both days before resting on Friday. Our group run on Saturday calls for 12 miles (and it's supposed to be raining again with possible thunderstorms...*Sigh*).

I have to start giving some thought to my Sunday run that follows that. I plan to do 20;back to bcak with the 12 this will be the first test for Goofy. The question is where to run the 20.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

10 miles on a treadmill

I can't think of too many things that are more boring, tedious and just plain awful than that. But I was not in the mood to go out in the cold rain again. The skies cleared up while I was at the gym but the winds picked up and I wasn't in the mood for that either.

I set the treadmill up for 60 minutes and 12 mph for the first block. When that was over I took a few minutes off and went to stretch out my back. I went back to the treadmill for another 5 miles and by mile 7 I was wiped. What made me think I could do 10 mile without nutrition. I would have had it on the road. Duh..... I plodded through setting the incline and walking most of the last 3 miles.

So it wasn't a pretty workout but I got it done. I really need to get in some better workouts if I'm going ot survive Goofy. I'm not in that one for time but I do want to have fun and finish strong.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Cold cold rain

Last November we ran 26.2 miles in the cold... 26 degrees of it to be precise. On that day, however, it was sunny and dry. Today the temp was about 41 when I left the house and it was cloudy, gray and rainy..no sun to speak of.

Last night there were some emails exchanged; should the run be cancelled? 15 miles is about 3 hours for the red group.. that's a long time to be exposed to the conditions we expected. It was decided that we would send out a warning email but show up and see who else showed up and take it from there. Well 12 people all told showed up at 7:30 at the Valley Forge Visitors Center parking lot. In hindsight I think we could have predicted the 12! LOL.

The yellow group (8-10 minute milers) decided to stick it out for the 15 miles. The red group (10 minute and slower) opted for the 5 mile loop and to re-evaluate after that. I think we knew going into it that we would only do the five. So off we went.

Once you get moving it 's not so so bad. I do not have a proper rain hat and I felt the effects on my head pretty quickly. My shoes came untied twice.... After the second time I double knotted them. I usually don't double and they stay ...plus doubling them makes it harder to get them off as they seem to tighten up. But I guess the rain made them more slippery. I stuck with Brenda and we finished a little of 5 miels in 57 minutes. Not bad for such crappy conditions.

We headed straight for the washroom to change into dry clothes and that helped. I did not change my socks which was a mistake and the chill took hold of me pretty quick once the rest of me cooled off from running. I need to invest in a proper running rain repellent hat and jacket. Maybe at the Marathon or Gooffy expo I'll find a decent deal.

So five miles in the books today. Not the planned 15 but compared to how I felt this past Wednesday it was a good run. I need to get some distance in again soon though. Tomorrow is supposed to be just as messy as today so I may opt for the gym rather than go through this again.

Glad it's over. Now on to some needed Kohl's shopping (with a 15% off card) and then home to watch football and catch up on shows I missed during the Philies games.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Tues, Wed, Thurs

I've been so busy I've forgotten to update this blog. Fortunately not too busy to get my workouts in. On Tuesday and tonight I went to the gym for workouts on the weight machines and the bike and the elliptical. ON Wednesday I ran out side around Media. I completed 5 miles. I felt sluggish. It was as if my feet were hitting the pavement with loud thuds. I'm not sure why it was but I never got into a comfortable rythm. But I finished the run so that is good.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Sunday 5 miler

I slept in today. I finally rolled out of bed at 9 a.m. I ate breakfast and waited until about 10:30 to head out. I was waiting for my daughter and her friends to wake up so I could say goodbye to them before they headed back to college. Finally I went out, leaving them a note and as it turned out they were still here when I returned.

I ran to and from my house and over my modified version of the Media 5 mile race course. The added distance to and from my house keeps the total distance at just over 5 miles. The course is two loops. I ran in the opposite dirction of race day first. This takes me down the dreaded 8th street hill but gives me two long slow climbs up Olive and Edgemont. Those don't bother me as much as the incline on 8th. I stopped after one loop to stretch and then reversed course promising myself that I could walk up 8th street if I ran the rest of the way. I did that, stretched one more time and picked up the pace to finish the distance to home.

Nothing hurt, my pace was slow... I figure just under 13 minute miles....which includes the walking and stretch stops...but I was definitely going for sticking with a plan today.. and I did. :)

Saturday, October 10, 2009

The morning after....

The morning after a blood donation is not a good time to run. I think I knew that even as I was in the bloodmobile but I also knew that missing today's run would not be the end of the world either.

I left home around 6:45, it was 70 and humid. I arrived first at the meeting spot and unloaded the snacks, gatorade and water and found a more or less dry spot under a tree. Being one of the last ones in usually I didn't want to leave it all locked up in my car. I think all told only 10 of us showed up today. I imagine that is in part because of the drop back week; some felt they could do 10 on their own so why get up early in the rain. I also think we've lost some people because they were locked out of the marathon so they've stopped coming. That's a shame but possibly true.

Renee gave us a good talk on safety and we headed off to do the loop and then a 2 out and back on the Schyulkill Trail for a total of 10. Halfway into the loop I knew I was in trouble. I wasn't going to make 10 miles. I took numerous walk breaks and after completing the loop I headed back to the meeting spot rather than go out and back for the remainder. My muscles tired easily and my breathing was difficult. So note to self; no blood donations in the middle of training. Or at least not the day before a scheduled long run.

I've adjusted my schedule yet again. Due to today's poor showing I'm going to go for 5 every day this week through Wednesday, the gym on Thursday and then rest on Friday before joining the group on Saturday for 15.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Phillies lose I win....

So I came home from work and watched the end of the Phillies-Rockies game. Phils lost 5-4. Despite almost falling asleep again (I really should learn to watch TV sitting up I guess) I went to the gym and had a great workout; much better than I expected considering how I felt.

Off tomorrow. Scheduled 10 miles with Phillyfit on Saturday. The forecast is for rain in the morning on Saturday and a lot of people are sick and some are still recovering from the 20 miler last weekened. I wonder how many will show up!

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Running against the wind...

... and with the wind and across the wind. It was windy tonight.. did you get that?

I came home from work and watched the end of the Phillies game (we won 7-1). I closed my eyes between innings and almost fell asleep. I had dressed for running though as soon as I got home to hedge against just that.

I decided to do four laps around my neighborhood, about 5.5 miles. I felt awkward the first lap but by the second I had hit a rhythm and felt pretty good. As I started the third though my hip started to bother me. It was like a burning more than soreness. I walked a few steps and it went away. I stretched and continued running and it returned. So I did a walk/run thing for the rest of lap 3 and called it quits.

Oh and I did got the the gym yesterday for an hour.... weights and bike.

Monday, October 5, 2009

More thoughts on Saturday's run

The thing that is so great about it is that not once did I feel like I was not going to or could not finish. Last year when we hit 18+ miles I finished each run feeling totally spent and depressed. It was scary to be out there and feel like you shouldn't be there. That happened in the marathon too. Everyone said, "You hit the wall". Ok, but what did that really mean. On Saturday I didn't hit it.. and now I know what it means. I had read about it, I had been told about it but I never really got it. Until I had something to compare it to.

Properly hydrated and fueled was as much necessary for my brain as it was for my body. I hurt in the last miles of Saturday's run. But I was able to deal with it and work with it. I was able to think my way through it. I don't think I'm explaining this well but it's an amazing revelation.

Sunday, October 4, 2009

The day after

Ok I woke up this morning and stepped gingerly out of the bed. My quads are very sore and my ankle a bit too. I opted right then not to run today. I think I knew that even when I went to bed last night but any shred of doubt was gone in the morning.

I am pleased to say nothing is damaged. I think I knew that too. I was doing a mental check of all my body parts as I ran yesterday. I wore my ankle brace for the day today and tried to keep moving; tried to avoid sitting for too long stretches. I tried to go up and downstairs a few times and do some slow gentle stretches too. As the day wore on it took fewer and fewer steps to feel comfortable. Although walking downstairs will still take another day I think. So all in all I think I've faired well after the long lay off. Today and tomorrow are all about recovery then and I'll be back to routine, I hope, on Tuesday.

Let's hope I can stay healthy now and not have to go through this again!

Saturday, October 3, 2009

USA Fit Philly: The longest 18 miler ever...

First let me say that I am proud of today's run. I am proud of all my runs and 'races' but I take special note of today. After ten days off - my last run was five miles on Tuesday Sept 22 then I was overtaken by a cold/flu thing and didn't have the energy - I finished today's workout.

I knew it would not be easy after the long layoff. So I chunked it up into 5 mile pieces 5+5+5+3. I would run five miles miles taking an electrolyte pill at about 3.5-4 and at mile 5 I would walk for the time it takes me to down a GU and water chaser; probably about 60-90 seconds. Just enough to rest the muscles before picking up the pace to running again. And repeat for the next 5 miles and so on. That was my plan and I was able to stick to it very nicely for the first 10 miles. The good news is that my brain and my energy held up beatifully the entire run. My legs though were feeling the effects of the layoff. After about mile 11 I took numerous stretch breaks and walked pieces of the final miles. No shame whatsoever.... this was going to be a tough run by definition.

Still when it was all over I was happy, alert and still had energy. That was so important.

Upon returning to our meeting spot I discovered that we actually covered 20 miles!!!! There are spots on our route that are not measured and the guestimate was off. I actually suspected when I was chunking the run up in my mind last night but I assumed I was misjudging the unchartered spots and adjusted them accordingly. Apparantly I was not. The runners in our group who have running watches all came in at 20 miles + or -. On any given run the watches will record a range on either side of the target but not by more than a few tenths. It depends on who took a detour to a bathroom or who zig zagged etc. But not a difference of 2 miles; and not on so many watches for sure. Sooooooo today we ran the longest 18 miler ever.......... until we screw up the measurements again that is! LOL

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Saturdays run will be very interesting

Well I didn't even go to work today. I woke up this morning if full flu like mode. I've been sleeping most of the day and am finally starting to feel ache free and more human. So obviously I did not do my run this evening.

On Saturday the group will make our first attempt at 18 miles for this season. 18 miles last season was when I really started to lose my confidence in completing the marathon. I really struggled. I'll be concentrating this week on fuleing and pacing better. I'll also be looking out for newbies who may need encouragement. That will help keep me distratced too. A good day Saturday will be to finish in good spirits.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Tuesday back at the gym

I still feel yukky but I was determined to get some exercise today. So I went to the gym. As I drove over I almost turned around and drove back. But I stuck it out and I'm glad I did. I was fully prepared to stop if it wasn't going well.

I completed my usual routine on the resistance machines and then moved to the elliptical. I kept the level on that on the low side. My goal was to work up a bit of a sweat without overdoing it so that I'd crash when I got home. I think I accomplished that.

One day at a time. I will try to run outside tomorrow.

Sunday, September 27, 2009


I thought it was allergies, the stuffy head, sore throat, earache..... I was too tired to do anything every night. But when I woke up this morning with achy neck and shoulders and as that moved over other parts of me during the day it is obvious that there is more going on than just allergies. *sigh*. Here's hoping I can shake this by the end of tomorrow and get back on track Tuesday.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Walking on Monday, Running on Tuesday

Monday was a scheduled day off. Instead I walked about 4 miles with one of my Realtor friends in Harrisburg. She can't run right now due to some back and hamstring issues so we enjoyed a walk across the walking bridge to City Island around the Island back over the bridge and then along the river trail for a bit.

Today (Tuesday) I met two other Realtor friends at 6:15 for a 5 mile run along the trail. The really nice thing about this was that my ankle did not twinge even once before during or after the run. In fact, all day, despite being in heels I felt not discomfort at all. I really hope this is a long term thing!

Been debating what to do the next couple of days but then I saw the weather forecast so I'll stick to the plan which calls for 2 gym days in a row.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Philadelphia Distance Run

On Sunday I ran the Philadelphia Distance Run in 2 hours, 28 minutes and 6 seconds. Given that my goal run right now is the Goofy Challenge (really two runs) I was happy with the time. I was also pleased with the way my hydration and fuel strategy seemed to work. I wish I had done better with pacing and that I had eliminated the walk over the Falls Bridge.
I had hoped to pace the first 5 miles at more than 11 but less than 12 miles per hour. Then see if I could pick up the pace slightly in the next 5 miles and finish the last 5 at the quickest pace. According to my chip times my pace for the first 5k was 10:29 and my overall pace was 11:18. I went out too fast and got slower. I have to work on this. I do not use a running watch and maybe the only way I will be able to control this is to get one.

I felt good at the end despite this 'failure' despite having run the 9 miles the day before. So mentally I like i'm making progress toward Goofy.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

9 miles and the expo

I adjusted my plan for 10 miles today so I wouldn't keep anyone waiting. Here's what happened. About 12 of us showed up for the regular group run today. Most of the running group are in the Distance Run tomorrow and took the day off. Of those that showed up this morning, only 3 were not running tomorrow. They set out to do the full 10. The rest planned to do 5. As the three increased the distance between me and them I decided to turn around at 4.5 so that, even if they passed me on the way back (they didn't) I wouldn't keep anyone waiting especially since they would have returned so much earlier. It was a gorgeous day for running; just a bit cool at the beginning. I will have to bring my headband tomorrow to keep my ears warm. I was uncomfortable the first 2 miles and tomorrow it may be a bit cooler still.

So after I drove home for a quick shower and then off the to the train station to head into town for the expo which seemed smaller than last year; less vendors. The shirt is nice. Not as nice as last year's marathon shirt - it will be hard to beat that for a while - but it is a tech shirt rather than a t shirt like last year. I will still wear my Phillyfit shirt for the run but it's nice to have another running shirt.

I was able to get another pair of sneakers and stock up on gus all for less than I could get the same sneakers at the local running store. I also found an extra pouch for my belt for about $5. I made the mistake of not eating lunch before going down so I had to stop at Cinnabon on the way to the train going home. I could only eat half of it though.

Looking forward to tomorrow.

Friday, September 18, 2009

So on Thursday I spent an hour at the gym. 30 miutes on weights and 30 minutes on the bike. The gym is still a strange activity for me. I still have to force myself or talk myself into going but I always feel good when I'm done.

Today is a rest day. Tomorrow I will meet with USAFIT-Philly. On Sunday, I'm running in the Philadelphia Distance Run (half marathon). I'd like to run the 10 miles with the red group at Philly Fit anyway to keep up with my back to back runs. It may mean that my run at the PDR will not be as fast or as good as it could be if I rested tomorrow. I really don't know that for sure though. I guess this will be a good way to find out. I'm certain I can finish 10 on Saturday and 13 on Sunday as long as I don't get too caught up in the race atmosphere on Sunday and go out to fast. I'll let you know.

To keep me honest I'll tell you now that my bib number for Sunday is 14298.

Keep smiling, keep moving! :)

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

It's not about speed...

It's about endurance, sticking it out and finishing. This is my new mantra.

Today I ran a great 5 mile loop through Media. It is a modified version of the five mile race course. I cut out Street and run on Baker Street instead. This cuts out the traffic, people and food smells on State. By running to and from the house to the loop I still get in five miles. The weather is like June out there now. A perfect evening for running. A couple passed me on Olive commenting, "We won't have many more of these!".

The ankle was still oddly better while running - go figure. The toes on my left foot are doing some weird stuff. Not toenails, toes. It's hard to describe. Not really a blister although possibly a blood blister but it doesn't hurt like that. I'll keep an eye on that.

I noticed an odd thing about parking spaces as I ran today. All the spaces between Front and Second on Olive were empty of cars making it easier to spot this. Every space had the same wear marks just to the outside of the space where the drive would get in and out of the car. A distinctive wear spot as if a good snow fall will create a pothole there. The street seems to be able to handle cars but not people. Interesting. Hey! You have to think about something when you're running.....

Sunday, September 13, 2009

7 miles more... 22 back to back for the weekend

I won't sugar coat it; physically this one hurt! Mentally I'm on over the top.

I woke up with soreness in my right ankle still. This is unusual. Typically after a good night rest with at least 6 hours of uninterrupted elevation the ankle is good to go in the am. This morning I hadn't even stepped on it and I could feel it. My half sleep self said bag the run today. My cheapskate self (the one that knows I've invested significantly in Goofy with race fees and airfare) said there has to be a way. I had planned a zig zag run through Media. The soreness left me thinking I should stick closer to home just in case. So I changed it to 5 times around the neighborhood. Each trip around is 1.4 miles. Boring, yes, but if the ankle really started bothering me I did not want to have to walk to far to get back to home.

So I got out of bed and walked around to make the bed. The soreness did not go away :( . So cheapskate brain said "Get into your running clothes now, before breakfast" I did. Breakfast was water and a peanut better chewy granola bar. I put on sneakers, and filled my water bottle. I put my water bottle on the front porch and headed for the first lap. Strange thing happened. Within 2 blocks I had no soreness.

Theory: I need to keep more blood moving to this ankle more regularly. More massaging and icing after a long run.
Fact: I have to work on strenthening the muscles around it too. I already knew this but haven't been paying attention.

I finished all 7 miles. I ran two loops, went to my porch for water and stretching and then did two more loops in the opposite direction to try to ward off the boredom. After two more loops I went for more water and stretching and finished the last loop. I felt a slight twinge in the ankle on the last loop but nothing to stop me. I massaged it and iced it (in reverse order) then put the compression brace on it to go into town for the street fair to help the Lions Club sell hot dogs for a few hours.

My quads are sore. They were sore the entire run and when I got home I put the shower on as cold as I could stand it on my legs top to bottom, front and back for a few minutes.

Today was about working through all that and finshing. I feel great about that.

Tomorrow is a scheduled day off. But I know that I will not be able to do my Wednesday run. I have not mastered getting up before work and after work I have way too much to do and won't even be home until late. So I will move my Tuesday gym workout to Monday, run on Tuesday, take Wednesday off and back to the gym on Thursday. However, tomorrow's gym workout will have no leg work; upper body only.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Yup 15 miles in the rain

Which is actually not so bad. It was a fine misty rain and the temperature was about 60 so really it was ok. I woke up still feeling good about it in advance and the jet lag that had been dogging me during the week seemed to have passed over as well.

So up at 5:30 with the usual pre-run meal; 1/2 raisin bagel with peanut butter, banana and water. Filled up my water bottles; 2 with water, 2 with decaf green tea. Packed GU and electrolyte caps in my pouch and off I went to meet the group at Valley Forge.

The plan to cover the distance was once aroung the loop (5.5), then across the bridge to betzwood, then 2 miles in one direction and back, then 2.5 in the other direction and back and over the bridge again. Over the bridge and back is about 1.5. I finished in three ours which is a very respectable time for me on a long run. A gu at mile 4 and mile 8, a salt capsule at 5 and 10, three one minute walk breaks each followed by stretches before resuming the run.

I made one almost fatal error. After the second walk/stretch I decided to run harder to catch up with two of the group I had been running with. Big mistake. Running hard is fine at the end of a long run but not 2/3 of the way through. I think that was the reason I needed a third break. BUT I did finish and still ran hard on the home stretch. My legs were pretty wobbly though.

My ankle is a bit achy and again that's my fault. Usually after long run i'll ice it and have Dave work it around for me. I didn't do this in my haste to change and get out the door to visit my daughter. Next time I'll take the time. It would have only meant another half hour before leaving.

After talking to some of the group after the run, it seems a lot of us were on some kind of out of mind experience when choosing our Distance Run predicted finish time. Few seem confident about making the time. Of coure there are some that always say that. For me though.. that isn't the case. Honest. Last year I finished 2:25 and change. Well I predicted 2:17 and change for this year. And I know the reason too. I registered shortly after the Broad Street Run which was a fantastic run for me and I guess I was figuring that if I kept at it I could improve that much on the PDR.

To put a more realistic spin on it, I'll be very happy to best my time from last year by any amount and still happy to simply finish. I will be running with the group on Saturday the day before to continue my preparation for back to back running for Goofy. They plan 10 miles. I haven't decided if I will go the whole 10 or not. I'd like to and then to be able to finish the PDR the next day in good form would be considered a success. In a perfect world.....

Friday, September 11, 2009

15 mile long run tomrrow

Well it's still raining and it sounds like it might still be rainy and cool for our long run tomorrow. Strangely enough I'm looking foward to it. I've felt so good on the days I did go out this week that I'm feeling really positive about the run. I have to be careful not to go too excited and go out too fast. I have to remember that my goal now is Goofy and running strong is more important than running for time. Running for time really never was my focus but it is even more different now. I want to finish both races for Goofy feeling good, not depleted like I was after the Philly Marathon.

So tomorrow is 15 miles and next week a lot of us will be running the Philly Distance Run. Hard to belive it's here already. I received my confirmation in email and my corral # is 14. I looked at the prediction time I must have sent it with my registration and I have to say... WHAT WAS I TIHNKING? LOL

Thursday, September 10, 2009

5 miles in the rain

On Wednesday I ran 5 miles around Media in a light rain. I'm pleased that I felt strong the entire way. I think I recommend a vacation to everyone. I'm sure the enormous amount of walking we did helped avoid a serious loss of fitness level but I was expecting much more struggle upon my return. Having said that today I pooped out. The plan was a gym visit but I'm too pooped to even turn the car on.

Monday, September 7, 2009

Happy Labor Day! I'm happy to say I managed 10 miles with little laboring! :) I headed out to Valley Forge and ran over the bridge from the Visitors Center to the River Trail, ran the trail and made up the difference in mileage on the Schyukill River Trail. I felt good and strong. My ankle is bothering me a bit right now but Dave massaged it and I have it compressed and elevated. I ran in my old shoes and I really think they are done.

It's off to the gym tomorrow.

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Return from vacation - Day 1

Well after two weeks off I'm back to training. I did a lot of walking on vacation but only one very short run.

I ran for 5 miles in the first hour then decided to finish my workout for time not distance. I determined that a total of two hours was my goal for today. So I went to Cherry Street Field to run on the grass. I spent the final hour running laps around the entire field; doing sprint-jog-walk intervals around the soccer field. I finished the workout walking but I did manage to meet my goal of two hours. Yay me!

Tomorrow I hope to do 10 miles running.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Somedays it just doesn't feel like a good idea

At 5:00 when I arrived home it was still 90 degrees. My head was already spinning from an allergy attack so I bagged my run today.

My lower legs and ankles are swollen today. It's possible I overdid it drinking water today. I tend to drink often and I'm usually ok but come to think of it I finished off two large water bottles today...and I was inside all day.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Today was a gym day. 25 minutes on weight machines; 35 minutes elliptical. Not much to say about it. It is what it is. I completed it though.

Monday, August 17, 2009

Today is a rest day in my schedule. Can't say I'm sorry about that. It was 90+ degrees and now at almost 10:30 it's still in the 70's. Tomorrow it's back to the gym.

I have mapped out my runs to prepare for Goofy on a spreadsheet. I hope it's enough. I'm not in this to make any PR's just to finish. Yet I hope I'm putting in enough mileage to last the weekend when the time comes. My highest combined back to back will be 34 and I will do that twice before the Goofy weekend.

I've never trained for anything like this before. I've tried to read as much as I can about Ultra training even though I won't be doing the distance in one day. I've also read a few blogs from others who have completed Goofy and used my marathon training schedule to help too. So I've put together something that makes sense to me. I guess January will tell if my instincts are right.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

18 miles in less than 26 hours

This morning I went to the East-West River Drives loop (aka Martin Luther King BLVD and Kelly Drive). The loop is about 8.5miles so I added half a mile to make it an even 9. Without the fog and cloud cover it was much more difficult than yesterday's 9. However, now that it's over I don't feel any worse than I would normally feel trying to finish 9 miles in those conditions. In other words, the back to back run aspect was manageable. Today anyway.

Other things to note:
- The Saucony's held up great in their first long run. No ankle, knee or related issues. No blisters.
- Strawberry-Banana Gu is a little bit better than Raspberry.
- The last time I covered the distance from the Falls Bridge back down to the Art Museum the temperature was 60 (!!!) degrees cooler.
- I finished before the last dog . There was a fund raising event for dogs (Pink Paws or something like that) going on around the area and as I was stretching after the run and dousing myself in water the last dog and his/her master crossed the finish line. I have no idea when they started.

Coming up this week:
- Off Monday
- A gym workout on Tuesday
- 5 miles in Media on Wednesday
- 5 miles in Media on Friday
- 14 miles with USAFIT Philly on Saturday (not sure where yet)

After that I will be off until at least the following Friday. I'll be on vacation until labor day weekend. I'm not sure how much I'll be able to cover on vacation. I hope to do some but I will not let running control me. :)

Saturday, August 15, 2009

9 miles, 100% humidity, 1 lost (and found) teenage

Today we ran for 9 miles at Oaks. 9 miles is just a bit short of the CVS on Rt 29 in Collegeville (?). I was up at 5:30 and on the road at 6:15. We began our run about 7:20 or thereabouts. It so humid that the fog was pretty thick. The fog and cloud cover kept the temperature down which helped tremendously. I was careful to start slow and keep moving and I was happy to finish and finish strong. I was able to pick up the pace considerably in the last half mile.

I think the strong finish was in large part to the gel I took at mile 3. Yes, I took the leap and tried the gel. It was a weird consistency as expected but I was able to swallow it quickly and follow with water. I didn't really like the rasperry flavor though. I went to the running store and purchased a vanilla and a strawberry-banana one to try next.

This was my last long run with my Brooks shoes. Tomorrow I will run with the Saucony's. I will retire the Brooks to 5 miles or less during vacation and replace them completely with another pair of Saucony's after vacation. They have served me well! LOL

We had a bit of drama at the end of our run today. One of our walker's brought her daughter, about 13-14, who somehow was separated from the group and missed the turn off to our meeting place. Brian, our fastest walker, continued on for about a mile to look for her but didn't see her. There are some other turn offs so she could have gone down one of those. Brian and some others went looking for a ranger to help while Helen walked down to the trail again. I went with her. We didn't get far when we saw, Rachel, coming back. She was fine and was excited that she had seen deer tracks, a wild turkey and a hummingbird. No wonder she missed the turn off. Mother and daughter were reunited with a conversation that went something like "Mom, I didn't do it on purpose. You TOLD me not to bring my cellphone!" All's well that ends well, but that was probably an interesting ride home!

Tomorrow I will go for another 9 miler as I continue to do as many back to back weekend runs as I can.

Friday, August 14, 2009

A successful road trip

I've been in State College since Tuesday for work. I had to do two presentations and they both went well. I'm also proud to say that I kept two of my three workout dates while I was out there.

A little tired now and lots to catch up. 5:30 wake up tomorrow to meet Phillyfit for 9 miles.

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Rain rain go away....

It started early this morning and just keep coming. So I traded my outside run for 70 minutes on the treadmill. UGH! On the bright side it was a good mental workout. And it allowed me to keep my schedule for the week.

A day off tomorrow. I leave on Tuesday afternoon for State College on a work related trip. The hotel has a workout room so hopefully I can approximate what I would have done at the gym on Tuesday and Thursday. I'll ask the hotel clerk if there is a running trail nearby. It can't be too far away though since I'm not driving myself. Worst case I guess I hit the treadmill again but I'd really rather not.

Have a nice week.

Saturday, August 8, 2009

13 miles and feeling good

What a great day!

A bit of a snag to start but nothing that could ruin it. Today marked the halfway point in the Phillyfit season. So we have a picnic. Everyone brings their favorite post run snack; not necessarily enough for everyone but we all bring something and share. The plan was to meet at Wayne's Woods, a picnic area in Valley Forge, and do our run from there. Well the best laid plans didn't plan on the gate not being open early enough. We all began parking by the Arch figuring we'd wait for the ranger to unlock the gate. We knew from experience that they opened the bathrooms at 7 so assumed the gate would be the same. A few minutes before 7 an official looking car with two uniformed people in it arrived. Using a loudspeaker a woman in the front seat told us we had to move our cars. We could not park there. We asked when the ranger would be around to open the gate. She said, "In a few, but you can't stay here". Now there were more of us than them but she had a gun. Now I doubt she would have used it of course but 13 miles was intimidating enough for one day so we got in our cars and paraded to our usual meeting spot at the visitors center.

We ran the loop (5.5 mi) and the river trail (6 miles) and more or less 1.5 miles over and back between the two. The thing about this route is it starts out on a hill. There is a lot of huffing and puffing going up that hill and then we settle in. Many in the group have watches that tell you time and distance. Some have set them to alert them when the go faster or slower then their desired pace, others have them set to alert after so much time as the alternate between running walking. At the beginning of a run when we are in a big bunch there is so much beeping going on it's rather comical.

My goal today was to finish with energy left in the tank while at the same time having a good workout. I ran to approximately 2.5 mile where there is a rather steep hill and walked the hill. At the top I stretched and then continued running to the over and back spot which is another hill up to the 422 pedestrian bridge. In this stretch I also had my first serving of raisinettes. I managed this on a flat run which is good because it's really hard to chew and breathe at the same time. I really have to try the gels/gus; they may have a weird texture but at least they'd go down quick. anyway at the hill to the 422 walkway I walked and stretched at the top then continued to run to the end of the river trail. At the turnaround I walked at ate my other bag of raisinettes. Then ran back to the walkway. Another short walk and stretching and then run back to the visitors center.

I had a great workout. I was reasonably tired but mentally I felt great. I was glad I didn't have to but I could have gone some more if I wanted to. Today's distance was 13... more or less a half marathon... and tomorrow I will run again. I'm not ready to follow this with a full marathon distance but I am confident that I will make 5 miles tomorrow. My first back to back runs.

At the picnic, Helen brought her pictures from the Goofy challenge in 2008. It really looked like they had fun.

Thanks for listening.

Friday, August 7, 2009

New shoes and a recap

I ran for 5 miles on Wednesday. Depsite the humidity it was a very good run. I took it slow to start and despite two short walk breaks finished in just under an hour. (roughly timed since i dont wear a watch when I run.

On Thursday I did an hour at the gym similar to my Tuesday workout except I worked on the bike rather than the elliptical. The bike for 30 minutes is hard!

Today, after work, I went in search of new running shoes. Brooks discontinued the Infiniti's that I like so much and I wasn't about to try the Infinti 2 off the web without trying them in person first. I went to Bryn Mawr Running Co. in Media and Zach was very helpful in pulling 4 pairs of shoes similar to my Infiniti's. I tried a pair of Ascics, Saucony, Nike and Brooks. It came down to the Brooks or the Saucony's. I went with Saucony. They have more cushion but are not heavier (as I thought they might be) It was a close call but when I tried one on each foot they just felt better. I've been wearing them around the house tonight to try to get used to them and so far it feels like I made a good choice.

I'll wear my old infiniti's which still have some life in them for my long run tomorrow (13 miles) and then wear the Saucony's for a 5 mile run on Sunday. Just in case. If all goes well with these I'll get another pair next month and start alternating in preparation for Goofy. I'll put my ING orange laces from the distance run in one pair so that I can tell them apart. :)

Keep moving and keep smiling all! Have a great weekend!

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Gym Workout

Not a bad one really.
25 minutes on core and upper body machines
35 minutes on the elliptical; random setting. Started out focusing on keeing my speed at a certain spot and switched to keeping my heart rate up.
I think I'll go for 60 again on Thursday and try to start increasing the time each week.

Monday, August 3, 2009

Resetting my goals

The decision to do Goofy changes my approach to training. I have three formal runs (aka races) for the remainder of 2009; Distance Run (13.1) on Sept 20, Bridge Challenge (10k) on Nov 1 and the Philadelphia Half (13.1) on November 22. My primary goals there will still be to finish and have fun. My approach to them will change however. Instead of taking off the Saturday before these races, I will run. Goofy is two days of running back to back so I have to build up my tolerance for that and most importantly work on my recovery between days.

I'm trying to work out a schedule now that has me running back to back on Saturday and Sunday and 5 miles on Wednesdays. If I struggle for the full back to back miles I'll try to make up on Wednesday so that I'll have at least the minimum that I've set for each week. I'll be working up to 33 knowing that I have to do 39.3 for Goofy.

Tuesdays and Thursdays will be gym days. These will be combination of an aerobic workout either on the elliptical or bike and an upper body/core workout. No treadmill so as to save the pounding on my joints and leg muscles. Monday and Friday will be rest days on either side of the back to back days. The next five weeks will be difficult for consistency with work trips and vacation so I'll focus those weeks on just getting miles in as much as I can and trying to maintain my current state. If I can get in 20 miles per week those weeks I'll be very happy.

I'm about ready for new shoes. Between now and the Goofy I could easily put in 500 miles so I'm going to buy two pair now and start alternating them so I'll have two pair ready for Goofy. I'll break them in over vacation since I'm sure those weeks will be low mileage but should be enough to do the job.

I really must wrap my head around the fueling issues. I'll have many weekends to figure that out though. I also have to check more closely into the Galloway method since it's likely run/walk may be the best way to get through this.

Thursday, July 30, 2009

So You've Completed a Marathon... Now What?

We're going to Disney World.... LOL

Yes, it's true. I've made the commitment to run the Goofy Race and a Half Challenge on January 9 and 10, 2010. That's a half marathon on Saturday, January 9 and a full marathon on Sunday January 10. And my husband didn't even blink when I said I wanted to do it.....LOL

I've heard about the Disney races and the goofy challenge and always thought it'd be fun to do one of them 'some' day. Florida in January isn't bad and the course is more or less flat given that Disney World was built on a swamp! Friends who ran there before say the only elevation on the ramps between the parks so really not a hilly event at all. So 'some' day it seemed like a fun idea. I never really contemplated doing the Goofy Challenge though.

Then I heard that a few other (7 as of last night) members of my pace group at USA fit/Philly fit were planning to go. That means training partners between the Philly Half in November and Disney. It also means knowing other in the race although most of us will run our own race when it comes right down to it; still having runners to meet up with before and after is nice. Then I asked Dave you want to go to Florida in January? Then I asked my sister, who lives in Orlando, if she could put us up and she said yes (Thanks Kate!) so suddenly 'some' day is looking like now.

The race fills up fast - in fact I heard it close and then re-opened for this year - so I had to make a decision now. That works better for me anyway. Being extremely budget conscious if I pay for it I'm going to make sure I go. Having said that, this Challenge is actually a two fer for me. The challenge of preparing and running the race but also taking the plunge and registering before I've worked every minute detail of the trip...... not like me at all. But hey, that'll give me lots to work on while I'm out on training runs.... I'm committed now (and probably should be) and excited.

Today I ran my long run for the week - 10 miles - at Ridley Creek State Park. I'm headed to the Shore tomorrow so I knew there was no chance I'd 10 miles on Saturday. Despite it being humid again today I failed to follow my advice from earlier in the week (to walk first). And lo and behold I struggled... but I finished. The circuit at RCSP is hilly. It is a long slow hill around 3/4 of the route and then a very steep hill the rest of the way. I don't like the steep hill going up or down so I decided to stay on the long slow side. I ran 2.5 out and back, then 1.5 out and back and then 1 out and back... talk about boring! But it's done and now I can go on vacation!

Monday, July 27, 2009

I really suck at humidity

Today was probalby the first really bad humidity day for running this summer. The summer has been pretty mild so far. I set out for 4 miles and I finished but I did not run all the way.

I thought about it while I was running. What can I do to get better. I probably should try to acclimate better. It doesn't help that I spend the day in air conditioning at work. I don't want to sit around at home waiting to 'warm up' to the humidity though. I'm afraid I'll end up not going out at all.

My solution is that I will go out and walk first. Instead of running right off the bat, I'll walk for 1/2 to 1 mile and then run. I'm going to try that next time and see if that helps.

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Thoughts after a 12 mile run

This was my first long run since turning my ankle 2 1/2 weeks ago. So I was nervous today. I also new that on this run I had to work on fueling in addition to hydrating. This is my second year running and I think I have the hydration thing pretty well under control (I've not experienced any issues at least) The fueling is something that I struggled with last year. As for drinking, I do all water. Gatorade upsets my stomach (even diluted) and I do not like the taste of others I tried. So last year I discovered electrolyte capsules and that seems to work for me. I drink a few sips every 2 miles or when I'm thirsty whichever comes first. I take an electrolyte capsule about mile 5 and then roughly every 5 after that. I adjust up or down depending on the heat and humidity but for a day like today that works.

As for fueling, well like I said there is defeinitly room for improvement. I am feaful of trying gus or gels.. I'm afraid the consistency will bother me. So last year I tried fruit snacks and fig newtons. Fig newtons were too dry. Friut snacks were not enough. I needed so many of them to make a differnce that I couldnt fit them in my pouch on the longer runs. Plus they take a lot of chewing! I did some research and found that a serving of raisinettes (1/4 c) equals 190 calories, 32 g Carbs (27 sugar). Two gels have 180 calories, 44 g Cargs (4 suguar). Raisnette also have 8g of fat where the gel has none but I didn't think that was too bad in the long run (pun intended) Besides I knew I liked the consistency of Raisinettes. So that's what I tried today. A little awkward to handle. I had them is a ziploc and managed not to spill by only opening it part way. I brought two bags each with 1 serving but only used one. I took them at intervals and I think it worked out energy wise. I am determined to try a gu or gel on our next run over 10 miles though. I think I have to just bite the bullet and at least try. If nothing else they are more convenient.

Physically, I was very conscious of my ankle today although it felt fine. I talked to myself on the drive over today reminding me that walking was ok if I needed to it. Don't misunderstand, I know that walking is always ok but sometimes when I walk I lose mental momentum and have a hard time getting up to the run again. So I decided this would be a good exercise in overcoming that mental thing. I did use a few short walk breaks today and managed to pick up running again just fine. Yay me! My muscles are tired (but hey it was 12 miles). I'm not feeling in desparate need of a nap (a problem last year) so the eating did help I think. The inside of my right ankle (the one I hurt) is sore. At first I wondered if I was compensating unconsciously for the ankle (which felt fine) but I did the math today and I think I may be getting close to new shoe time. I'll keep tuned to that this week and see.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

2.5 miles

Today I ran 2.5 miles in a misty rain. No ankle pain. I adjusted the brace better and had no 'extra' pains in the knee or shins. I noticed a slight groin pull that actually started yesterday at the gym. And actually that got better the longer I was out. So I better watch out for that. I'm excited now about the long run on Saturday. I will walk part of it if I have to but I'm looking forward to it.

This is a 12 mile run. So I will be experimenting with fueling on the run. I did not do this part well last year and I'm sure that's one of the reasons I bonked on the marathon. Hoping to do better this year.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Gym Day

Back to the Gym today. I decide to simulate speedwork on the elliptical machines. I am fearful of the pounding my ankle would take if I did it on the road. I'm sure the purists out there will tell me it was not good enough but I'm not a purist... at least when it cames to running. I got a good aerobic workout from this and my ankle feels fine! :)

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Back on the road again

Well I did it. Today I ran again. I was so happy to not have a headache or a pain in my ankle I couldn't wait to get out to run. I put on the ankle brace and headed out carefully for a 4 mile run. I felt good, took it easy and was more than halfway through before I experienced any pain. It wasn't in my ankle though. The ankle was fine all the way through and still is.

I had slight twinging on the outside of my right knee and on the inside of my right shin just above the ankle. It was very slight but it was definitely there. I think it may have been because of the brace. The part that goes under my foot was bulky. I suppose that is to absorb some of the pounding but I think the thickness of it was altering my gait. I'm guessing here but the twinging went away within mintues of finishing my run. I iced it anyway just in case.

Tomorrow the plan is to go to the gym. On thursday i'll have to figure out what to do about running outside again.

Monday, July 20, 2009

Disappointments and new things!

I planned to give my ankle the test with an easy job after work today. Unfortunatley my head had other plans. I'm pretty sure it's sinus related but the migraine I developed during the day today kept me home. Nothing seemed to help. I tried eating, I tried sinus meds.... both managed to dull the pain for a short period only to return almost stronger than before. After dinner I took a Tylenol and a nap and the pain has started to subside. I apologize for being such a whiner lately... seems like if it's not one thing it's another.

I received an invitation today to join the coaching team as an assistant for the red group at USA Fit Philly. I so enjoy this running group. All the support I recieved last year really helped me get to my goal of finishing a marathon. I had hoped to offer back support and encouragement others this year. Here is how the invitation read,

"You've been such a valuable member of the group donating your time and your kind words to the boards every week, I think you'd be a great person to fill in for her. The job is pretty easy --- just keep on doing what you've been doing all season long."

The 'her' I'm filling in for is getting married and the wedding and buying a new home proved to be a huge drain on her time. No surprise of course. I'm happy to have this opportunity and really flattered to be asked.

Now if the hammer in my head would go to sleep so will I!

Sunday, July 19, 2009

This morning I went to the gym.

10 minutes on the elliptical. 20 minutes on core and arm exercises and finished up with 10 minutes on the bike. I had the ankle braced and knew that if I felt pain I would stop. I did not. :)

On the elliptical too I alteranted between holding on and keeping my hands at my sides. Not holding on required more balancing with my ankles and I wasnted to see how that would go. I could always grab the handlebars if I needed to. I didn't :)

I mowed the lawn when I came home. A small yard so it only takes about 45 minutes or so and it's pretty flat.

After all that I iced it.

The thing that really bugs me now is that when I wake up in the morning it aches. After I walk around a bit that goes away. Annoying.

Saturday, July 18, 2009

As of yesterday I could go up and down steps without pain. So today I put on the stronger support grabbed my backpack and 'granny cart' and walked to CVS and the ACME and back home (duh!). A total of 2 miles walking not counting in the stores.

The ankle felt good and so did I! I took the support off and iced it. Been up and down the basement stairs defrosting the freezer and doing a load of laundry or two and for the most part it is holding up well.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Gym workout

30 minutes at the gym today. I'm behaving myself with the ankle. The new support made a big difference in how it felt at the end of the day. Very little pain in the ankle or either shin. It's still rounded though and the brusing is darker.

Monday, July 13, 2009

Keep smiling

Although I walked on Saturday and it didn't hurt while I did... it does now and has more or less since Sunday morning. Obviously the walking on Saturday was a mistake. I'm also getting pains higher up on my shin on both legs, probably from compensating. So, I'm going all out conservative now and I dare anyone to call me a baby.

This morning the ankle acutally had some definition to it but by the time I got home from work that was gone. So I purchased a daytime support for it and will wear that during the day until the swelling is completely gone. No activity on the ankle beyond what I have to do for work for the rest of the week. I will try to fliex it as long as it doesn't hurt. I'll try to get some activity at the gym on anything but my ankle. If all goes well, when the pain subsides I'll try the elliptical first before running outside.

The good news, if I can call it that, is that I had already committed to half marathons this year in September and November. So even if I lose a few weeks of training, I'll still have time to be on track for the two half marathons.

Until next time.....I'll keep smiling anyway.. moving is a bit limited.

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Time on my feet

That was the phrase one of my group used today to describe my effort today. I like it. It fits.

I was going to skip the group meeting today. In the end I decided to go and travel with the walkers. The neat thing about Phillyfit is we have groups for all and they are very fluid. You can move between them as you need to. And todya I needed to not run so the walkers were perfect for me.

I wrapped my ankle in an ace bandage and headed to Valley Forge. Our meeting time was 7:30. We had a seminar on nutrition before during and after runs first and then took off. I finished 8 miles. I had to slow down from time to time as I felt a pull in my ankle at those times. All in all it felt good though. It's a little stiff right now and - after finishing up a few Saturday chores - I'm taking it easy the rest of the day and more or less tomorrow too.

I stopped at the pharmacy on the way home and picked up a stronger support for my ankle. The ace bandage worked well at work on Friday but not for an 8 mile walk. It shifted around too much. Yet if I had wrapped it tighter I would have circulation issues. I think it's just too stretchy.

On Monday, assuming all continues to go well, I'll go out for a run/walk thing if I can. I tried to jog a few steps today and after three steps I knew the ankle wasn't ready. I intend to be just as conservative on Monday and for as long as it takes. I don't want to be a baby about this but I also have to acknowledge that I'm almost 50 and I intend to still be walking/running when I'm 70 or more!

Thursday, July 9, 2009


Rest, ice, compression and elevation. And if no improvement in 5-7 days come back for an MRI. That was the doctor's advice. So here I sit ice pack on my ankle, pillow underneath feeling rather cranky.

Update: By the time I went to bed last night I had iced it three times yet the swelling did not seem to be much better. I had to crawl up the stairs. After a few false starts I managed to find a somewhat less painful position to sleep and did manage to sleep through the night. But getting up this morning at 6 am I did not feel strong on it at all. So I opted to skip work and make a doctor appointment which I was able to get for 1:20.

The swelling had gone down some overnight. I can walk on it but I'm not doing and one legged stands. The thing that bothers me is that every so many steps, when I take them, my ankle yells back and kind of gives way. After some gently prodding and twisting the doctor decided on the 'conservative approach' (his words) and leave it be for a week. He said the more I can rest it the better and faster it will recover and if not better in a week to come back for an MRI.

Blood pressure 104/62 and heart rate 67. At least there is plenty of wiggle room there for when the crankies hit because I shouldn't run or walk distances until this is better. Running and walking are what keep me sane. I can be as lazy as the next one if the mood strikes but I also have to be able to get up and go when the mood strikes. *Sigh*

Doc also checked out my other bumps and bruises (palm, shoulder, head) and agreed with me that they were nothing serious. A litle sore but I'll survive.