Thursday, January 31, 2013

Happy Birthday, Emma!

Today Emma is 23! I love her because she is my daughter, I like her because she is an amazing person! I've lost count of the number of times I've been "wow"ed by something she said or did. She is smart, funny, kind, caring, determined and successful (just for starters).

It wasn't all fun and games for us of course. As a child ..well if you looked up "wild child" in the dictionare I bet her photo would be there. For me, who was more or less afraid of my own shadow growing up, it was a challenge to understand how and why she worked. Fortunately we both survived.

I have lots of stories to share. I'll limit this post to one. In November 2008, the weekend before Thansgiving, she finished her shift at work on Saturday around 10 pm or so, took the train into center city Philadelphia, crashed on a friend's couch and showed up at the starting line of the Philadlephia Marathon to cheer me on in my first ever marathon. There are a number of things that make this special. First consider that most 18 year olds will not get up before noon on a Sunday unless they absolutely must - the Philadelphia Marathon starts at 7 AM! It was still dark and very very cold..about 28 degrees.

I didn't know she was at the race until mile 9. As I ran and watched the crowd I noticed someone in an awesome turtle hat. I thought, "Emma would LOVE that... wait a minute that IS Emma!" We started wavinig frantically and she dodged runner traffic (carefully, no runners or walkers were injured) and we hugged as she handed over a baggie full of fig newtons. My fuel of choise for that race. Then she (and Dave) waited at the finish line for me to finish. It took me over 5 and 1/2 hours to finish the race. They waited for over 5 and 1/2 hours in temperatures that barely broke 32. I also learned - after I finished - that when it appeared that the organziers were running low on heat blankets, Emma went in search of one to save for me.


Here is a photo of Emma (and the hat) and me (and the heat blanket).
I'm a very happy camper in this photo and only partly because I had just finished my first marathon!

Happy Birthday, Emma!

Sunday, January 27, 2013

Spelling Bee and a rest week

Yesterday, for the third year running, I helped at the Lancaster County Home School Spelling Bee. My job was to pronounce the words for the children. There are two bees each year; a junior bee for 4-6 graders and a senior bee for 7-9 graders. The senior bee winners (1st and 2nd) advance to the written test "spell-off" in February where other local winnners are narrowed from around 100 to 30 who will then compete in a regional competition in March. These kids can eventually go to the Scripps National Spelling bee in late May or early June.

The senior bee was very short this year. We were into end of bee procedures (when there are only 4 or less left) after 1 round.  I am proud to report that my niece, Elizabeth, will be going to the write-off next month.

The real competition this year was in the junior bee. These kids were tough! Round after round they kept spelling and spelling. Admittedly the first rounds were failry simple words. Although when you are standing in front of a group of friends and family at a microphone in a one and done contest I'm not sure how one defines 'simple'. It was great to see them do so well. These kids don't advance to the national bee but they got in some great practice for when they do.

After the bee we went to my brother and sister in law's house for lunch and visiting. I look forward that as much as the bee (maybe more). Dave came with me this year. It was a very nice day.

So it's Sunday now and the end of a week off from training. I did go to yoga on Wednesday and I did an hour on the indoor trainer on Tuesday. I did some stretching throughout the day on Monday as I watched the inauguration but nothing tough. I took Thursday through today completely off. Partly because I promised myself some down time and partly because I wasn't feeling great. I was in bed well before 10 most nights this week and before 9 one night. On Friday I had severe stomach pains - as in wishing that someone would cut off my arm because I was sure that would hurt less. The pains went away and I was left with chills and fatigue. I seemed to have recovered by Saturday with just a little bit of pain after eating. Today, Sunday, I seem to be ok.

I'm excited to get back to training next week. I'm looking forward to seeing what affect, if any, the week of downtime will have on this week. In terms of miles running I will pick up where I left off with 6 on Tuesday (half of my previous long run of 12); an hour on Thursday and 13 on Saturday.

One of the  challenges this week will be that I'm out of town for work on Monday and Tuesday. Monday should be fine. I'll have my Ipad with me so YAYOG workouts can continue easily enough in my hotel room. My friend Terry has already asked me if I want to run with her on Tuesday morining so I have accountability for that. However, on Monday Harrisburg's forecast is for sleet, snow and freezing rain - as much as 2 inches. I may end up on the hotal treadmill on Tuesday depending on the condition of the roads/sidewalks on Tuesday a.m. As much as I hate the treadmill I can't let that derail this training.

So on to segment 2 of my training. I'll go from 13 to 18 miles in the next 6 weeks. Yoga ends this week (Jan 30). It doesn't start up until February 27th. I'll have to find something else to fill my Wednesday slots.

Speaking of Yoga - I've decided to add something to my daily routine. Starting tomorrow morning I'm going to try to do a Sun Salutation routine each morning just after getting up. It's not too hard - although I am not near doing the poses as well as the folks in these pictures.  Doing these regularly - accepting where I am - can only help. I plan to do one routine for each side each morning. I watched video demonstration and even with some introductory remarks the whole thing was less than 5 minutes. I can spare that every morning for sure.

Thanks for  'listening'.

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Week #6; Jan 14-Jan 20

Week #6

Monday - ladder YAYOG workout. Squats with a twist to either side, push up knees on floor, russian twists, bent over lateral raises. The push ups are still killing me.

Tuesday - 5 miles today. I rushed to change and get out running before the rain and to get as much of the miles in before dark as possible. I will be very happy when the sun sets later. I was all dressed and ready to go and realized I forgot to put on my heart monitor. I left it.

I've decided it's pretty much impossible to start out slow on any run in Media. I live at the top. Less than a quarter mile in any direction from the house begins a downhill. I am not going to fight gravity. Lord knows at my age that's a lost cause anyway but really it doesn't make sense to fight the downhill pull. What I need to do is pull back to normal running when the downhill is over.

I wanted to run 2 miles and then walk break. The first two miles were fine. The second two were interrupted by a barking dog and several traffic stops. So I skipped the walk break after mile 4. I stopped the Garmin for the traffic but the dog not so much. It was getting pretty dark when I came upon him/her and it was a very loud dog. I stopped dead in my tracks and waited to see if it was leashed or at least behind and invisible fence. Then I walked past it until I couldn't hear it's growl anymore. Too bad I didn't have the heart rate monitor. It would have been an interesting spike!

Overall, the run felt good although I'm pretty sure the second half was slower than the first - the downhill thing and all. My goal for runs around home may have to be to just keep a steady pace. Garmin

Wednesday - Yoga. Tonight was tough. I arrived in a great mood! I almost felt bad about that because almost everyone else in the class said they had a headache of some degree. After class I didn't feel so good anymore. I know it's just frustration because the movements were very difficult for me. I have very poor strength and flexibility in my arms and shoulders and that was where we spent most of our work tonight. Kristie keeps reminding us that it's important to accept where we are. It's just a little sad that I played lacross for 5 years in Jr high and High school. And it's all gone now.

Thursday - Well I know what you are going to say. She'll do anything to avoid a speed workout. Believe me that's what I scolded myself with all afternoon but in the end I didn't do any minutes tonight. I woke up thinking I'd likely walk tonight. As the day wore on I wore down. I wish I had a fever or something then I'd feel better about this. I just feel weak. Not sore but weak. Just the thought of changing into workout clothes feels like work. I hope I'm not making a mistake and I'll just have to focus on Saturday's 12 miler instead.

Saturday - 12 miles. Now that I've crossed the 10 mile mark I want to manage my Saturday runs as close to what I'd like race day to be. That means running two miles at time; with walk breaks every two miles for hydration and fueling. On race day I want to run water stop to water stop about 2 miles apart. I also want to try to average 12 minute miles.

Today I met Caroline at 8 am. Since I was not alone I chose to run whatever she wanted to do for the first five miles together. We did our "usual" 2 and 1's. We had a very pleasant run and chat. Our pace averaged more than 12 but i was fine with that. I still fueled and took water at the 2 and 4 mile mark.

After Caroline left I went in the opposite direction. One more mile to 6 - walk to fuel and hydrate - and then 2 at a time to finish. I was doing fine until about 9 miles. The bottom fell out of my energy. I decided not to stop. If this happens on race day I'm going to have to push on so I might as well today too. I was taking in 45 calories every 2 miles but obviously that wasn't enough. It's possible I was going faster than expected and also likely that I'm not 100% right now. I felt great on the run (save for the energy loss) but all week I've had bouts of achiness and fatigue. Anyway I made it to ten and took my last fuel and finished all 12 miles. I also took electrolytes at 2, 5 and 10.

I was taking the Honey Stinger version of chomps today. Three at a time every 2 miles. I noticed that I had one set of three left at the end of the run. I can't remember if I did that on purpose to have something for post run or did I forget to take a set? Even if I did forget one set that wouldn't explain the bottoming out. It was very noticeable. I'll probably increase my intake for next run anyway. As long as I don't get an upset stomach it's probably better to have too much than too little.

I don't know for sure if I managed the 12 minute mile average or not. I know I was over for the first 5. My Garmin only recorded 11.68 miles. I stopped it when I had to wait to cross route 29 shortly after mile 6. I didn't notice until later that it hadn't started again. So I lost some time and mileage. Until then the watch was signaling the miles very close to the trail markers. So I know I ran 12. My goal was 12 in 2 hours 24 minutes. The watch says 11.68 in 2 hours 20 minutes. So I think I was close assuming the missing time/miles were not slowpoke slow.

Now that I've had time to think about it I realize my math was off on the fueling. 45 calories every 2 miles means I only had 90 by mile 5. I didn't take the next set until after mile 6 so it's no wonder I ran out of steam. I should be taking in around 135-150 per hour and I had 90. So next time I'll try 75 every 2 miles and see how that works. In hindsight I don't think I drank enough either. So today was a fueling failure but I have lots more 'practice' runs to fix the mistakes.

The Honey Stingers were ok on my stomach. Only very mild discomfort at the very end.
Garmin

Ok so now that I've looked at the paces and heart rate, I'm pretty happy about this workout. If I had fueled and hydtrated bettter it would have been awesome.

Sunday- 75 minutes planned. Ended up with almost 85. I drove out to Betzwood and rode on the SRT. It was a gorgeous sunny day. The river was sparkling in the sunlight. I didn't have the camera though. The wind picked up in the final 30 minutes or so. I was fighting it most of that portion. I think at times it was actually going across the trail. All in all though a great ride. My legs were not happy for the first mile or so but once they loosened up I felt fine. Garmin

Thursday, January 17, 2013

A Walk Through Time

I came across the story on this adventure in my Facebook newsfeed from the BBC.

Everything about this walk fascinates me. This man, Paul Salopek, a journalist is going to walk from Ethiopia to the southern tip of Chili. He is tracing human migration that took tens of thousands of years in what is estimated to take 7 years. Although there will be some twitter activity, one of his goals is to slow things down - from the digitally enhanced gotta-have-it-now race to report things. It should be a fascinating persepective.

He left on January 10th.

The history of this adventure engages me but the walking is what really sparked my interest. My bucket list (which I should post here someday) includes a multi day walking adventure. I love running and - as you know - I'm currently training for some running and biking events but walking and I go way back.

I've always enjoyed walking. The fitness aspect was only part of it though. I've always liked the idea of slowing things down and being able to see more. You can walk the same routes that you might run, bike or travel in a car and you'll notice way more when you walk. A 7 year journey wasn't quite what I had in mind for myself but I'd love to work up to something that lasts for days or weeks. A year would be awesome. But I don't have National Geographic and others sponsoring me so I'll have to settle for something that will fit into a vacation time slot from work.

At present, it's just an idea in my head (a recurring one). Some day I'll put some purpose to it and make it happen. For now, I'll follow Mr. Salopek's journey. I'll probably post here periodically about it. Stay tuned.

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Training Week #5; Jan 7 - Jan 13

Monday - YAYOG ladder workout. Push ups; swimmers; military press;pointers. I did these with my friend Maggi's voice in my head. Focus on your form. I feel like I worked! One thing about these, I've been avoiding pull excercises. They hurt! I have to try to get to them and just go easy at first.

Tuesday - 3 miles today. First I took my bike to Bikesport for an adjustment in the derailleur. While I was there I ordered an indoor trainer as well. I researched then online then asked the store owner for her thoughts and picked the one I wanted. Now it surely will not snow the rest of the winter .. :)

I headed to the Perkiomen Trail entrance at the diner to do my three miles. I should have brought my headlamp. The trail was ok most of the way from surrounding lights but about 10% of the portion I ran was pretty dark. I managed. The run felt good. Garmin read out I'm pleased that the pace was more consistent. I need to work on making it slower at first; faster later.

Wednesday - Yoga. I'm enjoying these classes a lot. I'm pretty sure I will sign up for the second session (10 weeks) that starts at the end of February.

Thursday - 60 minutes running. This was a mixed up fun run. First I went to the East Whiteland Twp building entrance to the Chester Valley Trail. I was meeting my friend Caroline at 5:00. I was early so I went out to get some miles/time in while I waited. About 1 mile in, Caroline called and said she would meet me at the Wegmans entrance. So I ran back to my car and drove the short distance to Wegmans. It was still early so I ran back and forth in the trail behind Wegmans. Caroline arrived and we crossed Route 29 and headed west on the trail. We got about 1.5 miles along when I suggested we turn around. My headlamp really isn't bright enough and we were losing light fast. All the way back we heard noises in the bushes. I'm certain we spooked a deer one point. I had a great run though and a good time. The Garmin report should be interesting.

I have to do a better job of stretching before and after. I've slacked off and it's starting to show. Nothing serious yet but the fact is I'm old and I have to stay ahead of these things.

Garmin read out (part 1)
Garmin read out (part 2); split #2 shows where I got bored running back and forth waiting so I walked one length; then ran one; walked one etc. Interesting the last 2.5 mile we did get progressively faster. Our pace is proportional to the amount of daylight left! :)

Saturday - 10 miles today . I ran at Evansburg State Park. You can read about it here.

I made sure I did some loosening up before the run today. I did not feel the bag of sand on my outer right thigh at all today. a few hours run I worked with the foam roller on all sides of my legs. My right IT band is still tight but it does feel less so.

A great run and I feel good. My only frustration is the my average pace was over 13 minute miles. I want to do 12's for the marathon. I was on trails which are slower and I didn't stop my watch in a few places where I could have but I don't think that was 14 extra minutes of time. No worries though. I'll keep working at it.

Garmin read out; my average moving time was under 13 but still over 12. My heart rate was signficantly higher on the trails which makes sense.

Sunday - 75 minute cross. I went out on the bike around Media today. I really want to get over on the trails and just ride - not worry about traffic - but our schedule today kept me closer to home. It was very foggy and misty. I was cold but the ride felt good. I didn't feel like I was struggling to get the time in as I was in previous weeks. I wasn't pushing but I was much less tired this week. Garmin read out

The derailleur fix was great. No rubbing and annoying metal on metal sound anymore. :)

I also worked  with the foam roller again a few hours after the ride.

Saturday, January 12, 2013

Bullets, Golf Balls and a Not So Wild Turkey

Let me start out by saying that no people or turkeys were harmed. I wish I could say the same for the deer. It may not have been deer. I'm not sure when deer hunting season in PA ends but if not deer some type of wild animals did not surivive the day.

Today was my first 10 mile day for Bob Potts Marathon Training. I drove out to Evansburg State Park where I met Ken for the first 4.5 miles on the trials. Our mutual friend Sue says that we did meet once before in a winter trail run last season with Pete. I have a vague memory of that. Ken is the only other of Perki's People that I know is running the  Bob Potts marathon. I was happy to "meet" him today. I learned during our run that Ken is married, has two young boys and is an AD at a local school. He is a New York and Georgetown sports fan at heart. I have forgiven him for both. He was a great running partner, very patient with my slowness and fun to be around.

We decided to follow the Skippack Creek Loop Trail for 5 miles. Not being sure that we wouldn't get lost we stuck to an out and back plan since Caroline B was due at the park at 9 for another 5 miles. When we came to a split in the trail, Ken pointed out that there was a hunter to our left so we went right. A few minutes later we heard the gunshot. We heard a few more as we moved along but they didn't sound close.

It rained a lot last night so the trails were muddy, the creek was high and all this made for a pretty fun run. The trails were not as hilly as the ones at Wisahickon where the Misery Loves Company (MLC) trail group was running today. I think it was a good choice for me to come here instead. We did have to cross small rivulets of water, go over and under trees and in one spot I couldn't decide how to get around the puddle so I went for it straught through and sunk in the mud. That was cold and kinda funny.

We returned safe to the parking lot. Ken left for home. Caroline wasn't ready for muddy trails so we decided to run on the street. Caroline set her timer for 2 and 1's and off we went. We started on a park road and when it turned into a traffic road we crossed over and decided to run through the golf course. It is a public course. I figured if they didn't want us there they would say so and we would leave. Due to the very mild temparatures (for January) today there were a lot of golfers out there.

If you think about any golf courses you may know they are pretty much a bunch of rolling hills. So we went up and down, up and down and up and down. We hit our turnaround mileage and started back. We were almost to the edge of the golf course when we saw somebody teeing up. I thought the ball was going to go in a different direction. Instead, for the first time in my life I heard someone actually yell "Fore" and it was directed at us! It's a good thing we were heading toward him. It was easy to see the ball coming straight at us. We had plenty of time to dodge left. As we climbed the hill laughing, the man's partner commented that we were very lucky. I told him I thought it was better than the bullets in the park. He laughed.

We continued on. My Garmin beeped at mile 9 as we coming back into the park. I let out a "whoop" for only one more mile on the day. Caroline said I was going to scare the deer. I said I thought that might be a good thing today. Shortly, after she says, "Look, a turkey!". Cool. I started creeping over to take a photo. Caroline says "I don't think you will scare it". I got closer took the photo and headed back to the road. Caroline to her credit was not flat out laughing. She was smiling though as she told me that she was keeping her distance "In case it was real". Yes, I fell for a fake turkey. We laughed so hard it was difficult to run.

So I managed 10 miles today with some help from my friends. I feel good. The first 4.5 were so much messy fun that I hardly noticed them. I did have to stop and walk a few times and I was breathing heavy a few times but I never felt burdened. The second 5.5 went by amazingly quick too! I thought switching to the road was going to kill me. I would have preferred the trails the run was just fine.

My only slight disappointment is that my overall pace was over 13 minute miles. I really want to stay near 12 for the marathon. It's ok though I've got lots of time.

Thursday, January 10, 2013

I've been published

Well sort of. It depends on the definition of published I suppose. I didn't get paid for it but still someone put my work on their site, right? LOL 

The Moon Joggers team asked for guest bloggers for their website and I decided to write one for them. You can read it here. My name is spelled wrong in the article. I have no idea how that happened. I'm pretty sure I spelled my name correctly when I submitted the article. I've asked them to correct and I'm sure once they get my message they will. There are so many Moon Joggers though that it may take a while to get through all their emails. :)

In case you have trouble with the link here is the article (with my name spelled correctly)

Connections
 
My uncle and godfather worked for a NASA subcontractor back in the day. His work included work on the Lunar Excursion Module (LEM) that took the astronauts from their capsule to the moon. If you saw the movie “Apollo 13” with Tom Hanks you will recall that the astronauts were running out of oxygen due to an overloaded CO2 thing-a-mabob (not to be confused with “Thing-a-majig”, please) and a fix had to be improvised. There is a scene where Ed Harris dumps a load of ‘stuff’ on the table and tells the engineers something like, “This is what they have in the spaceship, make it work”. My uncle was one of the engineers in the room; in real life, not the movie J I’ve always been proud of my ‘connection’ to the moon and space has always fascinated me. I could never be an astronaut though because I am claustrophobic and heights don’t thrill me either. Joining Moon Joggers lets me travel to the moon and make connections with the many folks who are on this mission with me.

Moon Joggers also lets me engage my other fascination – people. I’m not what most folks would consider an extrovert – although as I get older my shyness has faded by degrees – but I love people. Running has introduced me to many people and adventures that I’m sure I wouldn’t have had otherwise. While running – or talking about running – the walls come down and suddenly I’m telling relative strangers things that my close friends and family may not know yet – or had to wait a long time to find out. And just like that ‘strangers’ become friends. Our common bond – walking and running – creates a connection like no other.

If you are new to running and walking – take advantage of this wonderful opportunity to connect with others who share your new hobby addiction. It might be the Moon that brought us together but it’s the people that will keep us here.

I’m relatively new to running (2008) and the only thing I’m an expert on is me. And that’s my advice to everyone in this group– new or experienced. Become an expert on yourself. Learn what works for you. Listen to others, ask for help, and maybe even try things that other suggest. But don’t expect everyone else’s solutions to make sense for you. If someone else’s plan, pace, nutrition trick, favorite gear, etc. doesn’t work for you it’s because the solution for you is something else. Keep trying and you’ll find it.

Connect with others but in the end compare yourself only to you. Compete only with yourself.

My name is Paula Tansey. I live in Media, Pennsylvania with my husband Dave. I’m a happy dork whose goal in life is to finish and have fun and to try to make a difference while I’m at it. If you’d like to follow my progress in running and life visit my blog at http://keepsmilingkeepmoving.blogspot.com/

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

2013 Pay It Forward

The first five people to comment on this post will receive from me, sometime in the next calendar year, a surprise gift! There will likely be no warning and it will happen whenever the mood strikes me. The catch? Those five people must make the same offer in their blog or other social media outlet. If you are one of the five, please send me a private email to walkerpmt@verizon.net with your address so surprises are easier to coordinate!

If you are also my Facebook friend, please only play this game here or there not both. This gives me a chance to connect with more people. 

Sunday, January 6, 2013

Training Week #4; Dec 31 - Jan 6

In case you are wondering (and even if you are not) I write my summaries soon after comleting each workout. I don't look at my garmin details until I load them on Sundays. I'm finding it interesting to see if the details match how I felt.

Monday - 36 minute ladder workout with YAYOG. It consisted of push ups, one legged dead lifts, swimmers, and squats with a twist to each side before coming back up.

Tuesday - Happy New Year. I ran 5 miles today. I wanted to make sure I took it easy today. This is supposed to be a recovery day and my previous Tuesdays - although I felt ok- I think were faster than they should have been. I spent most of the run with a friend I haven't seen since November. Due to injury she needed to walk more than we usually do but that was fine by me. We got to catch up and kept my pace down. Caroline wanted to do 4 today and I wanted to do 5 so I left her near the end (others had taken up with her by then) so I could get my five done. That last mile and a half felt really good. I was relaxed and comfortable. I pushed the pace in the last mile- as evidenced by my breathing - but the rest of me was fine with it. Garmin Stats

Wednesday - Yoga class today. I'll be doing this at least for the next four weeks. By then the sunset may have shifted enough to do more bike riding on Wednesday nights.

This was my third ever yoga class. In the first one I was totally lost. It was not really a beginner class and I didn't know what the instructor was talking about most of the time. The second time I tried too hard and was very sore the next day. I actually hurt. So tonight I tried to find balance between doing the poses as best I could without going too far. I feel better than I did immediately after the other class. Tomorrow will be the real test. I'll let you know.

Thursday - I made a decision to modify my Thursday workout just a little to help with my Moon Jogger challenge. Instead of just 60 minutes every Thursday, I'm going to make it a minimum of 60 minutes or 5 miles whichever happens last. On a good day - no walk breaks - I can do 5 miles in 60 minutes. On days I'm feeling like a slug ( or somewhere in between ) I'll keep going to 5 miles even if it takes longer than an hour.

Tonight was a hill workout night. I decided to run a warm up route of approximately 3 miles ending up at the 8th street hill. Then run 1 minute run up-30 second walk down intervals up the hill. Once I got to the top walk back down and repeat the intervals three times. Then finish off the time/miles running home.

I wanted to keep an easy pace on the warm up route but didn't know if I wanted to do a specific run/walk interval. I had an idea to use heart rate instead. That didn't work real well though. When the HR got too high I switched to walk and the reading went blank then started going all over the place. It might be that it was too early in the run. The device probably needs time to smooth out the readings. So forget that. Instead I used my breathing as the barometer to keep my pace even and not too hard. I ran the rest of the way except for a longer than expected traffic light crossing at State and Providence.

So at the hill I stopped myself and the watch long enough to set up my Gymboss to the desired interval. The only flaw in my plan is that in one minute I was 3/4 up the hill already! So I bagged the interval idea and decided to just run up and walk down 5 times. Garmin details

Saturday Saturday was a bust although I get credit for going out and for being smart enough to go home when it became obvious I should. You can read about it here. The Garmin details are all goofy because I came home and forgot to turn it off. Then it picked up again when I was at RCSP on Sunday.

Sunday I was looking forward to a bike ride today. The forecast was for 40's and Sunny. However, we had a suprise snow shower over night and the roads were still snowy, wet and in some places icy when I wanted to go out. So I opted for a hike at Ridley Creek State Park for the alotted time instead. The park was gorgeous on such a sunny, snowy day. I even ran a little bit on the trails. Garmin Stats. I only had a little bit of nausea today and by the time the hike was over I felt great. I'm still not sleeping great but that happens sometimes and could be totally unrelated to not feeling well.

So week 4 of the first 6 week segment is done! I feel awesome. I don't feel like this was a tedious or boring or a struggle really. I think the variety is helping a lot. I may have to break down and get a indoor trainer for the bike. If these snow squalls are going to be common this winter it's going to eat into my bike time and I'm afraid I won't be ready to start really training for the century ride if I don't put in the time now.

Saturday, January 5, 2013

Some days will be harder than others ....

... and some days it's just isn't going to happen.

Today was one of those days. I haven't been feeling well since last Sunday (12/30). Some kind of bug is hanging out in the background of my existence. I get nauseous after eating breakfast in the mornings and throughout the day I feel achy. But I also have periods of high energy during the day. Sleep has been fitful though. :(  All in all not enough to make me miss work, or workouts but enough to be annoying.

This morning I was planning to meet a group at Pennypack Park. I was really looking foward to it. I've never run there before. At 5 a.m. after tossing and turning for about an hour, I turned the alarm off and decided to skip trying to get to the park. I slept off and on until 8:30 and finally got up. I put on my running clothes and went down for breakfast.

At 10 I headed out for a run around Media. I was grateful that this was a drop back week. 5 miles between my 9 last week and 10 for next week. I set my timer for the usual 3 and 1's and off I went. I still didn't feel good. My stomache was still bothering me. Typically the nausea passes after about 20 minutes. I decided to take it slow and just try to grind out the miles. It was only 5 afterall (I told myself). I made it to a little more than 2 and went home. I was beginning to sweat and not in a excercise kind of way.

I had plans for today - painting the trim in the bathroom for one - but I think I'm going to bag all of them and be grateful that if this crud is going to hit me it has arrived on the weekend when I can afford to be a slug on the couch.

Tomorrow the weather is forecasted for close to 40 and more sunshine (it's gorgeous today in the mid 30's). I was hoping to take advantage of that and ride my bike to my dad's house in Devon. I'm minding the house for them while they are away. Roundtrip is about 18 miles and would fit perfectly into my planned 100 minutes. But I am going to have to hold off any decision on that until tomorrow. Right now, it would not happen.

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Happy New Year

I began 2013 with what I hope is a new tradition. For the second year in a row I met with friends at the Collegville Diner along the Perkiomen Trail. We ran or walked for an hour and then had breakfast at the diner. A few ran longer but we all ended up at the diner eventually.

I was glad that Dave joined us for breakfast this year! He is just as much a part of the team. Supporting all of us through many of our races.

I had five miles on my schedule today. I did most of the first 4 with Caroline B. doing - as she called them - "Caroline intervals". Her knee has been giving her fits so more or less we ran till it hurt and walked until it felt better. I was happy to spend time with her. I haven't seen her since the November. I hope her knee recovers soon so we can continue to put in some miles together. We are both signed up for Moon Joggers. Caroline was doing 4 total so toward then end when others had joined up with us, I ran off to get my 5 in and not be late for breakfast.

It was a beautiful, if cloudy, day on the trail. Last year the sun was so bright we were able to take a group shadow picture. This year we dodged snow and puddles. For some reason I expected the snow to be gone. We didn't quite need trax for this run but we may before the winter is over. One can only hope :) I enjoy a good snow run.

So it's a new year and lots of folks are making resolutions. I generaly don't anymore. Being a first-born-type-A person it will only lead to frustration with myself if I don't keep them. Having said that, someone asked this morning "What are your running resoutions for 2013?" My reply "To keep runing fun".  Given the fitness goals I've set for myself this year that will be an important thought to keep in mind. Over the course of the next 365 days I have plans to:

- run my 5th full marathon (my first in two years)
- complete a 100 mile bike ride
- follow the bike ride with a half marathon the next day
- run or walk 1000 miles as part of the Moon Joggers team

That ought to keep me busy and out of trouble. Maybe ;). I guess this is the year of "I have nothing to lose by trying".