Monday, December 14, 2009
Thursday, November 26, 2009
Monday, November 23, 2009
Sunday, November 15, 2009
Wednesday, November 4, 2009
Tuesday, November 3, 2009
Tuesday, October 27, 2009
I love that the New York Times covers running as much as it does. I also love that we can count on the Times to “be at the center of the debate.”
Let me share New York Road Runners’ side of the debate as to whether "plodders" have a place in the marathon. Our answer begins with this: Both the term “plodders” and the question posed miss the essence of the beauty and power of the marathon.
We at NYRR stress the strenuous, demanding nature of the marathon. We don’t say that it’s for everyone. We conduct over 50 events a year from the mile to the marathon, and clinics and classes that ensure we “have a place for every pace.” We promote the marathon as the Mt. Everest of running. In other words, the ultimate goal. One that takes careful and rigorous preparation. But we specifically don’t say – “you’ve got to be fast to do it.”
To us, it’s about conquering the distance and conquering self doubt. The marathon is about dreaming to achieve and putting in all the work to make that dream reality. That quest, and the runner's ultimate success, routinely changes people’s lives in rich and meaningful ways. Our runners, no matter the pace, typically overcome all kinds of hurdles and challenges to reaching the marathon finish line. It is that ability to persevere that translates to other parts of their lives. Making them stronger and better for the pursuit – well beyond improved physical fitness.
We don’t encourage people to walk the marathon or to take 8 hours to complete it. It is a running event after all. But, it is 26.2 miles – a huge challenge – no matter how fast you are. Ask most marathoners – we’ve all been humbled by the distance at some point. It tends to make us appreciate the efforts of others. Most faster runners I know have a great deal of respect for slower runners (it is tough to be out there longer) and vice versa (it’s “incredible” how fast “they” run).
The marathon is not easy. I am a pretty serious runner. Though occasionally tempted, I haven’t run a marathon in 15 years. I know what it takes, and I know what it takes out of you. There is no debate about how hard it is. So it’s okay – you need to walk a little? Then walk a little. Do what it takes to accomplish the goal of finishing, and be smart about it too. In NYC, our roads reopen at a rolling 6½ hour marathon. We score at the finish until 8 hours, because sometimes folks have a really tough day. They don’t plan on 8 hours, but it happens. And, we are pleased to host the largest contingent of disabled athletes of any major marathon, and the extra time helps them too. We are fortunate – with our final miles largely inside Central Park rather than on the streets - that we can offer this possibility.
On Sunday, November 1, we’ll host 40,000 runners from around the world. We’ll celebrate our superhuman champions who cross the finish line first, stand in awe of all of those that break the coveted 3 hour mark, high five those who qualify for Boston and cheer those that crack the formidable 4 hour barrier. Then you can bet we’ll welcome - with open arms and a hard earned medal - each of our finishers who, despite the challenges, cross our rarified finish line.
A marathoner is a marathoner regardless of time. Virtually everyone who tries the marathon has put in training over months, and it is that exercise and that commitment, physical and mental, that gives meaning to the medal, not just the day’s effort, be it fast or slow. It’s all in conquering the challenge. Ask any marathoner you meet in NYC on Monday, November 2.
- Mary R. Wittenberg
Saturday, October 24, 2009
Thursday, October 8, 2009
October 07, 2009
When Is a Runner a Runner?
Dear John, I'd like your honest opinion about something, not the "politically correct" answer. How slowly do you think it is possible to actually "run" by the accepted definition of running? Although I know there are extreme possibilities, I am talking about the most likely scenario for an average person. To be more specific, do you think it is possible that a person can "run" a 20-minute mile? If so, have you ever actually witnessed someone running that slowly with both feet coming off the ground?
I hear the politically correct answer all the time: that anyone who says they are running is really running, even when it's obvious that they aren't. However, with all due respect to the folks who make that claim, I just don't think it is true anymore than a 6-year-old who jumps off a table and says he's "flying" is really flying. Honestly, John, what do you think? - Mary
Hi, Mary. Thanks for giving me a chance to address this issue. It comes up all the time and, to be honest as you request, the answer also changes all the time.
First, a little history. If you go back to the late 1970s or early '80s, most of the training books talked about running as a 7-minute-per-mile pace or better. Anything slower was considered jogging. So, joggers were all of those who didn’t run at a 7-minute pace. Runners knew who they were by their pace.
Somewhere, as the first signs of the second running boom began to appear, running came to be defined as anything faster than a 9-minute pace. Again, joggers were defined as those who went slower than that. And, again, runners defined themselves by their pace and finish times.
About 10 years ago, however, runners stopped being defined by their times and were instead defined by their activity. So, runners ran. Walkers walked. Cyclists cycled. Triathletes triathaleted. You get the idea.
These days, I don’t think anyone can define anyone else by any objective criteria.
One of my favorite stories is of being in the late stages of a marathon and a volunteer asking me if I wanted an orange slice. I said “no,” that I had to stay focused on running. He said “That’s OK, I’ll just walk along with you.” In my mind I was running, and running hard. The truth was that I was moving at an easy walking pace.
So, who runs? At what pace? I don’t think anyone can say. What’s running for me today may not be running tomorrow. What’s running for someone at 25 years old will be very different when they’re 45.
Why worry? Only you can decide for you. And you can’t decide for anyone else.
John “the Penguin” Bingham, Runner’s World columnist
Sunday, October 4, 2009
Sunday, September 27, 2009
Sunday, September 20, 2009
I ended up running out of water about 2.5 miles from my car, and while I would have been fine, my awesome friend, F, ran out to meet me with two giant bottles of cold water. All in all, it was an awesome run, and I'm really proud of myself for doing it. I only have 2 long runs left - an 18 on Oct 2 (I'm moving it to a Friday because the hubs's birthday is the 3rd) and a 20 on Oct 10. After that it's all about the taper! And as much as I love the long distance, it's nights like this when I'm sore and tired (and still feeling like I could eat my arm) that makes me question my sanity. I'm not 100% sold on Phoenix anymore, but I'm sure I'll keep changing my mind back and forth over the next several weeks. When all is said and done, I really do love it - trust me, I'm too lazy to do something like this if I didn't. I'm just not sure my body is capable of two marathons 11 weeks apart.
Sunday, September 13, 2009
Thursday, September 10, 2009
This started as an early morning after a loooong night. The hubs and I decided to do this race together (as in we would be starting at the same place at the same time and finishing at the same place about an hour apart). The half-marathon starts at 6.30 AM, 13.1 miles from the finish line, requiring that we park at the finish and take buses to the start. No problem, except that it STARTS at 6.30 AM and the LAST bus leaves at 6.05. Since I’m slightly neurotic, I can’t handle the thought of being on the last bus (even though I’m habitually late to everything) so we planned to be there at 5.30. In the morning. Which meant leaving the house at 5.00. In the morning. And waking up at 4.00. In the morning. All of this would have been okay (in another life) if we’d gone to bed and fallen asleep at 8.00 the night before as planned…alas, this did not happen. Somewhere around 11.00 the hubs gave up and asked me if I wanted to give up and go watch an episode of Friends on DVD that we’d just received from Netflix. Needless to say, we spent a portion of our night with Monica, Chandler, Ross, et al, instead of sleeping and the 4.00 alarm came too soon.
Once we parked (at Hotel Albuquerque) and were bussed to the start at Tram
way and I-25, just west of Sandia Casino we had just a few minutes to mill around, talk to friends and do some last minute prep for the race. The start of the race was directly under the I-25 bridge and the first 3 miles descends into a sharp downhill. This sounds great in theory, but luckily I’d been forewarned and managed to keep a slow, gradual pace. At this point I felt a little bit of rubbing on my left foot – like a blister was threatening to come in. I decided to ignore it for the time being, figuring it would just be a little red. At around Mile 6 we turned onto the Bosque Bike Trail, where we spent the next three miles. In reading the reviews of this race (primarily for the full marathon), many people had complaints about running on the trail – primarily because it’s “boring” and because the cyclists are “rude.” Maybe it’s because I run on this trail at least once a week (usually much more often than that) but I normally don’t find it boring. It did get a little monotonous, but again I think it’s because I know each and every tree and crack in the trail. As for rude cyclists, this comes down to rude runners. The trail cannot be closed just because there is a race…therefore, we need to abide by the rules of the trail and either run on the dirt part of the trail or keep to the right. I lost count of the number of runners attempting to run smack in the middle of the paved trail and ignoring the cyclist
s who had right of way. But, that’s a post for another day. From the Bosque Trail we headed down Rio Grande to the finish on Mountain in Old Town Plaza.
I’d gone into this race with 10 miles being my longest run, so I wasn’t really sure what to expect for the last 3. I only had 12 miles on the schedule for this past weekend, so I figured I’d take it really easy, forget about time and do this just for fun. The hubs wanted to do this one, my really good friend was doing this as her first full and I figured I had nothing to lose, so why not sign up. It was like my body knew I only had 12 on the schedule. I kept up with the 5 min/1 min run/walk intervals until 12 miles and then I pretty much shut down. It got really hard…I’m not sure if it was a mental thing or if I hadn’t taken in enough fuel, or what. I’m sure it didn’t help that every time I took a sip of Gatorade my stomach flipped (so I know I didn’t drink enough) or the fact that that little rubbing on my foot at Mile 3 and turned into some major pain by Mile 5. I still managed to run more than I walked for that last mile, but I stopped paying attention to my watch. When I finished, the Garmin said somewhere around 3:10 and a few seconds but the official results say something around 3:15 (thank you, bathroom stop). I’m happy with it.
The course was well marked and incredibly well organized. I had no issues getting water from any of the aid stations, although for once in my life, I was in the middle of the Marathon pack. There were spectators throughout the course and they were always excited and happy to cheer you on. The medals are very unique – handcrafted New Mexican pottery (pics coming) and everyone received one, regardless of which race you participated in (5k, HM or
Marathon). This race is a repeat – probably the full next year. Yeah, ignore that post from a few weeks ago that says something about how I’m not doing a full marathon next year.
Oh, and the major foot pain that started out as a little bit ofrubbing? It turned into a blister the size of a quarter. It was even big enough to earn its own name. :)
Pics above (in order): The hubs, just after finishing, Me finishing, both of us enjoying delicious cookies.
Friday, September 4, 2009
1) I was tired (as in sleepy tired, not exhausted due to running tired),
2) had my new laptop at home that I really wanted to go play with instead of being out on a deserted trail (more on this later because I'm THAT excited about it),
3) was out on a deserted trail and honestly thought I may be attacked (seriously, I didn't even have my iPod on...not sure why, it just seemed like a good day to be attacked), and
4) it really looked like the sky was about to split open and pour every drop of rain it's ever saved for the last 100 years at that very moment.
Whatever the reason, I really was in a lot of pain and wound up waddling down the last 1/2 mile of trail towards my car cursing myself for not running enough this week. I have this half marathon on Sunday and even though I can justify it as "tapering," I'm not really supposed to be racing...it's just a training run so I'm supposed to do everything as normally as possible. And, just as I suspected, as soon as I got near my car, all the pain went away...and I forced out another mile to punish myself for slacking.
Anyway, new laptop. The hubs totally rocks and builds our desktops computers because he's a computer geek like that. It's cool because when things break he can usually have them fixed within a matter of minutes. I haven't had to take a computer in for repairs in years...I haven't BOUGHT a computer in years. Last week while I was studying the day before my exam (results in about 2 weeks) the computer pretty much died and the hubs said "no more saving this one." After a few pleading looks he broke down and agreed to purchase me a Macbook. Yes, I feel a little bit like a traitor, but he's taking my dead PC and turning it into a server. Don't ask me why we need our very own server, but apparently all the cool kids have one. :)
I'll give you all a race report Sunday evening/Monday morning sometime. Wish me luck!
Monday, August 24, 2009
I participated in this despite the fact that I knew what the coach would say (“You’re too fat!”)…first of all, I was intrigued. I’d never had my cholesterol tested before and wanted to know more about that. But secondly, this qualifies for my “safety” goal at work, so I figured I’d knock it out. I got my results in the mail last week and everything tested out normal, except – surprise – I’m too fat!
My weight is a touchy subject, and not the point of this post at all. It’s taken me years to get to a place where I’m okay with how I look…and a lot of times, I’m still not okay with it. Regardless, I brushed the “too fat” comment off (and for what it’s worth, no one actually said the words “too” or “fat” to me) and agreed to be coached. I got the phone call from the health coach about 30 minutes ago while I was sitting at my desk at work. When the woman on the phone identified herself and said she was calling because I’d expressed an interest in being coached, I immediately knew what I was “supposed” to say. And the second she asked the magic question, “What is your goal?” I had my answer – the “right” answer – all ready for her.
“Well, I’d like to lose weight.”
“Really?” She replied. And silence.
Now what? She didn’t start in with the spiel on how it was a great goal because I’m too fat. So I did what I do best when I get nervous. I started blabbering on and on with no direction. Somewhere in there I mentioned training for a marathon and maybe losing weight isn’t really the main goal I had in mind.
“Wait. What race are you training for?”
“New York. But this will be my second marathon.”
After she expressed her excitement with that (and there was some squealing…and yes, it may have been me squealing) and told me how she’d run four in the past, we got down to business. When she asked me how I fuel during my long runs I admitted that I’m only using gels right now but planned on adding in some pretzels due to the fact that I can’t stomach the sugary gels after hours and hours of taking them in…I’m just that slow. We continue our conversation and she eventually asks me how fast I’m running right now, considering I’d mentioned that I’m slow.
“I averaged just over a 14 minute mile on Saturday.”
“Wow. That IS slow.”
Cue the sound of my heart breaking, my hopes and dreams being crushed, the wind being sucked out of my sails. I know this. It’s not breaking news. I’d just finished talking to my co-workers about my slowness…but none of them had said those words to me. NO ONE has ever said these words to me. She continued with “What kind of speedwork are you doing?”
“None,” I said. “My coaches suggested I lay off of it since I’ve been injured since Christmas.”
And the subject is changed.
My goal is to finish. My goal has always been to finish. If I do it in 14 minute miles, that’s awesome….but I’m not going to kill myself trying to do it in 8 minute miles. I’m not going to take something that I like and enjoy doing and turn it into something that I dread. Yes, it’s work. It’s hard. It sucks knowing that I’m going to be out there for 6 hours working my ass off. But I enjoy those 6 hours. I like knowing that I went out and I did the best I could today and that I’ll do the best I can tomorrow. Maybe I’m not doing this coach’s best, or the hubs’s best, or my co-worker’s best….but I’m doing MY best.
I still think this woman is nice and she seems to know what she’s talking about. I’m supposed to send her my workout and food log for the past few days so we’ll see where that goes. And I’ll get faster…but I’ll get faster because I do…not because I’m not meeting someone else’s expectations of where I should be.
Wednesday, August 12, 2009
I think I've made the decision to NOT run a marathon next year (okay, except RnR AZ, but that's in January, which is still almost this year and that doesn't count). I really want to devote some time to my bike and I have my sight set on some bigger things that I need to start working towards. I really want to do an Ironman in the next few years and I know I need to spend a lot of time on my bike to get there. The tentative plan right now is to do RnR AZ, 1-2 century rides, 2-4 half marathons and all the local triathlons. The most important part of this plan is to eliminate studying for the CPA exam...so if everything goes the way I'm hoping it will, that will be done and out of my life by the end of October. Now to chain myself to the study materials for the next 2 1/2 months. :(
Sunday, August 2, 2009
The race was very well organized. I've read a few reviews on it today and everyone seems to rave about how friendly the volunteers were...I must have found the 2 grumpy ones. But at 6AM I can't even pretend to happy to be anywhere, so I'm just going to give them a pass on their nasty attitudes. Packet pick up was easy and I noticed they explained things very well to the hubs, who was doing his first tri (and finished in a disgusting 1:26). The transition area was set up by race number, which also corresponded to how you start the race (this one was traditional: swim, bike, run). Let me tell you, it was weird to be up near the front with all the "good" racers. As a back-of-the-packer I felt very out of place, but everyone was really nice.
The swim is 8 lengths in Socorro's outdoor 50m pool. I've raced in this pool countless times growing up, so it was familiar and I liked it. I felt like the swim went well and I was able to run into transition (something I was too wiped out for last time). I thought T1 went really well and I didn't have any issues getting socks on my wet feet - I know a lot of people don't use socks, but that not only hurts, it skeeves me out. I was able to run through transition with my bike and was off. Or I tried anyway. My legs just absolutely refused to move. This bike course is hilly - not steep, mountain-like hills - but long, never ending, gradual hills that make you want to cry. On a steeper one, there were a couple of dead rabbits in the road - I took this as a warning that I would be laying next to them shortly.
T2 seemed to go well too. I was able to run again through transition and all I put on were my shoes and hat...everything else I put on as I was running. Or something that may or may not have resembled running. Stupidly, I never got around to practicing this particular brick and now I understand why I should have. I gave my all on the bike and I knew right away that the run was going to be the end of me. My friend was watching and told me to just keep running and the feeling would come soon. Um, sure. Maybe 1/2 a mile from the finish. This 5k reminded me 100% of the last 5k of a marathon - miserable.
Even through all of this, I felt really good about the race. I couldn't get my computer going on my bike so I had no clue how fast (or slow) I'd done it but I knew that I was about 3:40 minutes slower on my run than I'd wanted. Even knowing what I knew, I was shocked when I saw the results - about 8 minutes slower than Jay Benson. I'm sure it was the hills on the bike that got me. Sure, I've been riding to work when I can, but that's a flat ride. I'm going to have to try and make the time (HAHAHA!) to ride hills after work or something. Anyway, it was a great race and I'll be back next year - even though I announced (loudly) that these things suck and I will never, ever do another one. Next up - NM Half Marathon on 9/6/09.
Overall - 1:53:33.3
Swim (400 meters) - 8:11
T1 - 2:57
Bike (12.39 miles) - 57:14
T2 - 1:22
Run (3.1 miles) - 43:51
Saturday, July 25, 2009
7 miles today...98 days till 26.2!
Friday, July 24, 2009
For now though, they taped up my foot and that alone has made the pain vanish. I can’t get it wet, so that canceled my plans for a swim tomorrow, but hopefully I can get into the pool on Sunday when the tape comes off. I was instructed to continue running…the tape will work the way orthotics will and I have a pretty good handle on how to treat it on my own for the time being. We’ll see how the tape holds up for 7 miles tomorrow morning – the longest I’ve gone since Denver in October.
Monday, July 20, 2009
I only rode to work once over the past two weeks too. After forgetting my water bottle at home and just assuming I could make it on the small bottle I had at my office, I learned the importance of proper hydration in the heat. There were a couple of times I got dizzy and almost crashed into the guardrail separating the trail I was on from a very busy street. I’m teaching myself to let go of my handlebars to grab my bottle now though and I feel a lot more confident that I’ll be able to ride without dying from lack of water anymore (yes, letting go of the handlebars is a new trick for me, I realize how lame I am).
I’m up to 6 miles for my long runs now. I know it’s not much and I spend a lot of time wondering if I’ll really be ready for NYC, but I’m putting all my trust into my schedule. I know it’s not ideal for me to even attempt this race considering the injuries this year, but I really, really want to do this. I’m trying to make smarter decisions and have finally made an appointment with a podiatrist for later this week to see what we can do about my foot pain. Hopefully a set of orthotics is all I’ll need to continue.
I have my second triathlon a week from this coming Saturday. I haven’t specifically trained for it, and I’m not going to worry about my time or about the people I know getting competitive with it. I think I let other people get to me too much when I did Jay Benson and that kind of took away from the fun of it. I’m generally a competitive person, but not with stuff like this. I like to just be out and enjoy the moments surrounded by like-minded athletes (I still feel weird calling myself an athlete)…if I beat my PR, that’s awesome. If not, I had fun. And like I’ve always said – someone’s gotta come in last, and at least I know I can have a good attitude about it. If I hadn’t gotten into NYC I’m sure I’d be making a bigger deal out of this, but right now it’s just not my priority.
The hubs and I are also 99% sure we’ll be participating in the NM Marathon festivities in September – but we’re only doing the half. Mike’s been racing amazingly well lately. He did his first half marathon in 2:02 and a 10k last weekend in 54:00. I think he said he’s hoping to break 2:00 for this race. If I can do it in about 3:00, which is what I did my first (and only) half in, I’ll be pleased. One of my really good friends is also doing the full – it’ll be her first and I’m excited to be involved knowing she’ll be out there somewhere on the course too.
I’ve also gone back to my roots – timed intervals, the way I learned how to run almost 2 years ago. I attempted the 1 mile run/1 minute walk thing for Denver and for all my training before and after that and it just wasn’t working for me. Before I knew it, I wouldn’t even pay attention to the time on my walk breaks. I’m sure they stretched into 2-3 minutes. I tried a 5 min run/1 min walk interval last week on my 5 miler and finished it 2 minutes faster than the last (and fastest so far) 5 miler. I did it again on Saturday’s 6 miler and finished in 1:23…3 minutes slower than my fastest 6 miler, which was run about a month after Denver when I was in the best shape of my life. I’m finishing feeling great and the only times I’ve extended a walk break was if my heart rate was through the roof (I’ve also started using my HRM), but never by more than an extra 30 seconds. I’m pretty excited…I feel like I’m actually progressing now.
Saturday, July 11, 2009
Anyway, I have the Chile Harvest Triathlon in Socorro coming up in about 3 weeks - getting a little excited for that. It's amazing how much more fun these things seem when you do at least a little training. I've been attempting to bike to work at least a couple of times a week - the main goal is 3 times a week, but by the time Friday comes it takes all my strength to get out of bed at any time...much less the 5.45 that is required. I'm also going to start swimming in the mornings before work (I hope...this will require waking up at 4.30 and I just don't do that). I know it's bad, but the swim is my strongest leg and I don't work on it as much as I should. The running is a given...I have a marathon to train for, making this triathlon pretty low on the list of priorities. Although running is my least favorite of the three (imagine that...and I'm training for my second marathon!) it needs the most work and I'll dedicate almost as much time to that as I do studying.
Speaking of marathon training, I haven't really been able to meet up with my group lately. I think I've made it to two meetings since we started in April. First, I've had a lot going on lately on Friday nights/Saturday mornings making it impossible, but second, I just feel kind of out of the loop. I'm using a schedule that a friend designed for me, so I'm way off what the group is doing (for instance, the last time I went with them, they did 10 and I did 5). I'm trying to make Sunday and Tuesday meetings with my core group of friends, but even that has been pushed around the last couple of weeks. It's a bummer...I love these people and have a good time with them.
Today was a Saturday that I had a prior commitment though. The hubs decided (randomly) to run a local 10k...and I know, I know...he could do just as well without me watching, but I know I like having people there to cheer for me, so I went to watch and will make up my 5 miles tomorrow (with my friends!). He did amazing...he finished in about 54:00! Our friend did awesome too...she finished in about 56:00. This made me kind of glad I didn't run with them...they'd have had to wait a good 20-30 mins for me. :-S
I plan to start using the Garmin software and maybe even my heart rate monitor tomorrow. Hopefully I'll have some of those snazzy graphs and stuff that other people post in their blogs. :)
Wednesday, June 10, 2009
I'm trying to seriously get into my training for NYC now too. The plan I'm following was put together by an awesome friend of mine and she has me increasing my mileage slowly. It's still hard...I've had one thing after an other pop up all year so even just a few miles is rough right now. I'm not really sure how I'll ever do 26. I did 2 miles tonight and it was faster than normal, but my Achilles is hurting pretty bad now. I've been stretching, icing and putting a heating pad on it, but tomorrow will tell the truth. If it's another morning that I can't walk, it's time to go see a doctor.
Boo...not a good past couple of days.
Thursday, June 4, 2009
Entry Number: 341582
Congratulations! You have been accepted into the ING New York City Marathon 2009. We are thrilled that you will be joining us on Sunday, November 1. Be sure to bookmark our site and visit it often for the latest news. Good luck with your training.
Wednesday, June 3, 2009
Monday, June 1, 2009
In addition to my bummer-ness over that race, it's starting to look like I have Achilles Tendonitis. I've had some heel pain after almost every run for a couple of months now (not that there's been a ton of running over the past couple of months...thanks, tax season). For a long time I was convinced it was just heel spurs and I was going to have to accept the fact that it's time for custom orthotics...but the pain started to travel up my Achilles Tendon and my calf feels tight all of a sudden. I mentioned it to an awesome friend of mine, who is also the co-owner of the local running shop I frequent and she threw out this whole Tendonitis theory. I figured I'd take her advice, rest it a little, ice it a lot and wait...but I refused to jump into my regular habit of obsessing over things like this and resort to hours of internet research (which always ends with a diagnosis of cancer). I woke up Sunday morning, swung my legs out of bed and stood up...and promptly hit the floor, almost screaming in pain. I have never felt anything like this before...it was horrible. I managed to crawl - literally on my hand and knees - back into bed and wake the hubs up to tell him that I was on my deathbed...this resulted in an angry, although concered hubs, going to get me a bag of ice (note to self: Do NOT fall asleep with a bag of ice in bed...it melts into water).
So now my whole plan of not obsessing and relying on internet research to figure out what is truly wrong with me is completely out the window...so far it looks like I do indeed have Achilles Tendonitis (or cancer). I spent today with a bag of frozen peas strapped to my ankle/heel (I upgraded from the bag of ice) and an unsuccesful attempt at riding my bike because my calf muscle is still really tight. Hopefully tomorrow it will be better.
In *slightly* happier news, I should find out about NYC this week or next. This can be both good and bad.
I'll have a marathon on my calendar that I WILL NOT MISS.
This is something I really, really, really, really want to do.
I'll get to see my best friend who lives in NYC a few weeks earlier than currently planned.
It gives me something new obsess over and check daily (so far in the past two weeks I've gone through obsessing over CPA Exam scores and now my Foot Cancer).
If this foot thing/cancer turns out to be bad, it could jeapordize the race.
I'm not the smartest person when it comes to training...have I mentioned that this has been bothering me for a couple of months and I'm just now looking into it?
NYC is expensive. Both the race and the city.
Considering I'm only up to (a painful) 4 miles right now, I'm not sure I'll have time to train properly.
Eh, who am I kidding...see the first "Good" reason. I WILL NOT MISS THIS ONE!
Wednesday, May 27, 2009
In addition to that, I made the hard - but very good - decision to leave public accounting. Again. I really like what I do and I love the people I work with, but this is a good opportunity that I couldn't turn down. It also helps that I won't have to travel anymore and will have much better benefits...and one of my best friends will be working right down the hall. And one thing that I really, honestly, seriously considered and helped make my decision - I can bike to work. It's about 15 miles one way, so it's not something I can just jump into, but I'm really looking forward to it. My goal is to start a couple of weeks after my first day and to eventually bike at least 2-3 times a week. The route is hilly for the first few miles, but it flattens out after that so I don't think it will be a problem. I am very, very excited for this (the commuting AND the job). I'll start on Monday, June 8.
Even though I'm leaving the CPA firm I work for now, I've decided to stick with taking the CPA exam. When I first started that "adventure" I didn't care much about it...it was just something I was being forced to do. But now that I've given up months of my life for this, I've come too far to just stop. I still haven't passed anything, but I should get my next score around June 20. My next exams are scheduled for July 16 and August 29...wish me luck. After taking a month off to relax, I started studying again tonight. No fun...I can't believe I'm willingly doing this.
After participating in Jay Benson (I feel wrong saying that I "raced" it considering the minuscule amounts of effort I put into training...ok, some that time was spent healing my stupid hamstrings), I immediately came home and signed up for the Chile Harvest Triathlon in Socorro. It will be on August 1. My goal for this race is to train and to go into it feeling a lot more prepared than I did for Jay Benson...I think doing it this way will make it fun. I hate to say it, but I did NOT enjoy anything about Jay Benson until it was over. Don't get me wrong...it was an awesome race and I'll be back next year...this was all my fault. At least I won't have tax season and an injury (I hope) to get in my way anymore.
Lastly, the application deadline for the NYC Marathon is next Monday, June 1. I should find out shortly whether I made it in or not. Either way, I just need SOMETHING on the calendar at this point. I decided that if I do not make it in, I'll just run the half at Duke City since it's local. The hubs and I were already planning a trip to Phoenix in January for RnR AZ, so if I do Duke City Half, I'll run the full there. If I get into NYC, I'm doing the half in Phoenix...unless I have some kind of brain damage and decide to attempt a full for both. Someone remind me of the hamstring injury from a couple of months ago if it looks like I'm headed that way...
Monday, May 11, 2009
The day started early...my friends, D, T and I decided to head over to the base around 6.00 AM, so that meant leaving my house around 5.30. Of course, when it comes to being on time, I'm always 5-15 minutes late so it was no surprise when it was 6.00 and Mike and I were pulling into a drive thru Starbucks nowhere near the base. We managed to get in, get parked and get me into the transition area, where I promptly set up my stuff next to my buddies (wrong - my triathlete friend came and fixed it later) and then milled around for the next hour or so saying hi to the gazillions of friends I had that signed up for the race and the other awesome friends who came out to be the best cheerleaders ever. The men started at 8.10 or so and by that time it was already heating up...before I knew it, it was time for me to line up. I joined the crowd of women and wandered towards the back of the pack till I found D, who was talking to a few friends of ours who'd come to cheer us on. Luckily that took my mind off what I was about to do. I wasn't even paying full attention when the buzzer sounded and the race started...I just moved forward with the crowd and the next thing I knew we were off!
The run was hot and I started out too fast, but luckily I reaized this very early on before I bonked too much. I also had been walking around with a bottle of water I forgot to throw away (I'm telling you, my mind wasn't in this) but I'm so glad I kept it. There was one water stop at 1.5 miles, but I ended up drinking my entire bottle of water. I was in the very back of the pack, alone for the most part, but I didn't mind. It was weird running without my iPod (unallowed) or watch (purposely left at home) but I think I kind of liked it - at least the watch-free part of it. I walked when I need to, wanting to save any energy I could for the bike, but I was still dizzy and neauseated when I finished. By the time I got to my transition, my triathlete friend (Frank) was standing outside the ropes but near my bike and he saved me...he walked me through everything I needed to do. I kept hearing "Ok, put your helmet on. Drink some water. Change your shoes. Get your bike." I knew what needed to be done, but I think if he wasn't there I would have taken even longer in transition than I did.
The bike was good. It felt amazing to be on my bike...I've always loved my bike, but I was worried how I'd feel trying to ride while being so hot, dehydrated and tired...but I loved it even more. The ride was hilly and the hills did get to me, but I remembered that a friend of mine said "When you get to a hill, you put your head down and you pedal...you never walk," so that's what I did. I kept repeating that on the uphills and singing Margaritaville out loud on the downhills - hey, I had to do something to get my mind off how tired I was! I got to transition again and was pretty disoriented though. I've never gotten the hang of the whole drinking while riding thing, so I didn't take in any fluids on the bike, a big mistake. I attempted to run to the pool, but after a few steps my legs yelled out "Eff you!" and I stopped and walked. I couldn't, there wasn't anything left in them.
Swimming has always been my strongest and it comes naturally. It's never felt so good to jump into a pool before...all I could think was "this is it, just get through the pool." Of course, it wasn't that easy. The pool was FULL of people and it was so hard to pass. Most people would move over when tapped, but not everyone. And to top it off, my goggles decided that this would be the perfect day to leak. Overall, it wasn't my greatest swim ever, but I was still happy with it.
It was a very fun race and it took a lot out of me...it also taught me how important it is to train properly. I must have liked it though...I just signed up for another one in Socorro in August. :)
Run (3 miles): 40:20
Bike (20k): 50:07
Sunday, April 19, 2009
The hubs, for those of you who don't know him personally - and I feel bad for you, is quite the character. He goes about a million miles a minute, asks thousands of questions of anyone and is really pretty gullible and come up with funny and random things all the time, but he'd kill me if I told you that (oops). In fact, my friend T and I say we're going to compile all the Mike-ism we've heard over the years and become millionaires over his hilarity. So when he told me about three weeks ago that he was still going to run the Unser Half Marathon I thought this was another one of his jokes, or something that he got mixed up. He'd been running, but only about five miles at a time for a month or two at the time...but nope, he was serious. So here we sit, at Dion's (geez, now I feel REALLY bad for those of you who don't live in NM, seriously, the BEST food!) and I'm trying to figure out how to keep him from dying on this race.
It turns out I didn't need to worry...not only did he manage to get himself up to the distance in time (although not in any way I would suggest to anyone wanting to run their first half) he did an AMAZING job during the race! I don't have a race report since I didn't personally do it, but maybe I can get one out of him in case anyone else is considering it for next year. He finished in 2:02 and was 121 out of 226...I was very impressed! And now for a couple of pictures (all courtesy of Mugshots & Pawpritnts)...
Thursday, April 16, 2009
Jay Benson is less than a month away and I'm not prepared at all. I'm trying to go into it with a good attitude - it's just for fun, I'm not in it to win, blah blah blah. It's all true, but I know I'll be bummed when I do worse than I predicted back in November/December when I was figuring this stuff out. It's lame and I need to get over it. Outside of the hubs and the familia, I have three priorities - work, exam and working out. Generally I can balance all three okay but between the little injury at the beginning of the year plus the insanity of work the past few months, plus the pressure that's been put on me with the exam, something had to be scaled back on. As much as I love running, it doesn't pay the bills (or harass me every time it sees me about passing the exam it paid for).
And now for my random vent of the day. I almost feel like I have a few friends who are sitting back and waiting to watch me fail at next month's race because I wasn't able to work out as much as I'd have liked. They question me all. the. time. about how much I ran this weekend, did I bike, have I been to the pool yet? And it doesn't feel like the supportive conversations it started out as...it's more like "hmm...you and you actually think you're going to do this?" A part of me wants to scream and point out that it's not like I'm spending 12 hours a day sitting on the couch watching Oprah and eating ice cream, but the other part - the more rational part - realizes that they probably don't understand how nasty things can get. It's rough meeting my co-workers at 7AM to go out of town to a client's, working through lunch, and getting back to town between 6 and 7PM and having to decide between working some more or studying. And this isn't just through April 15, folks...my real busy season is September - December 15.
Ok, I'm done whining about how hard my life is. Now I DO feel like sitting on the couch for a few hours.
Monday, March 16, 2009
Due to my 1) lapse in judgment; 2) peer pressure from friends I won't name here; and 3) did I already mention lapse in judgment??? I have signed up for my first sprint triathlon. It's on May 10 and it's one I've actually wanted to do for a long while now. Of course, in my crazy dreams and thoughts of doing a triathlon of any distance there has been some kind of serious training plan in place that I stick to. Such is not really the case here. After the hamstring/knee/leg/whatever it felt like injury that knocked me on my ass for two months, I've had a *little* trouble getting back into the swing of things. It's not that I don't want to, it's just that I've found that maintaining a job and the money it brings in is essential to my well being. And that pesky test we're not talking about has interfered a little bit too. Oh, and have I mentioned that I'm lazy? Yeah, during those two months off I rediscovered this little thing called "sleep." Yes, the link is important because I'm sure I'm not the only one who had no clue what it was for a while. Nah, once April 15 comes and goes (and I celebrate with all my work buddies with copious amounts of adult beverages) I'll get a little more serious.
And to help with the seriousness, the world's most awesome, amazing hubs and parents (mine) bought me what you see pictured to the right ---->
It's an early birthday gift and I am super, duper, totally, extra excited about it. I haven't taken it out on a "real" ride just yet (unless you count my driveway) but I'm dying to.
AND beyond all this excitement, the hubs and I leave for our Jamaican vacation in 40 days. FORTY DAYS! Yeah, it's probably not the BEST idea to spend the week before my first triathlon sitting on a beach with unlimited pina coladas, but a girl's gotta do what a girl's gotta do, right?
Wednesday, March 4, 2009
As a 1930s wife, I am
Monday, February 23, 2009
So I'm flarking pissed. I studied way harder for this section and got a worse score...funny how that works. I'm retaking the first failed section on April 3 and I guess I'll be trying to reschedule this one for the end of May now and move one new section to July (the other new section will hopefully be in August/September). At least I forced myself to run this evening and it was awesome...weather had to have been around 60 and I went out in shorts and long sleeves. Granted, that good mood ended as soon as I got back in the car and had time to think about it, but still...it was good while it lasted.
Sunday, February 22, 2009
After weeks of physical therapy, two orthopedic surgeons who have no clue what they're doing (again, if you have nothing nice to say...) an MRI and gaining who knows how many pounds (I took the battery out of the scale because the hubs needed one for his car clicker thing...seriously, a car clicker thing is so much better than seeing the proof of my weight gain) I have *FINALLY* been cleared to run again! It turns out that this whole pesky knee issue wasn't entirely a knee issue to begin with. Granted, the MRI did show some thickening of the plica, but it also showed that I had a very, very low level sprain in two hamstrings, which was most likely the cause of my pain. I didn't find that that out from my ortho (his answer was "No! You don't need surgery!" followed by "Run again...wait, NEVER run again...wait, run whenever you feel like it." and further followed by "Well, if you still have pain, we can always do surgery."). I guess I suck at this keeping my not-so-nice thoughts to myself thing, huh? Oh well, I'm still frusterated that I spent $40 and almost 2 hours to get no answers from him when my PT took 3 minutes to look over the MRI report and told me everything I needed to know. She rocks.
So I went out for my first run yesterday doing intervals of 2 min running and 2 min walking for a grand total of 28 mins (ok, it was probably closer to 30 mins because I wound up doing a little extra running at the end with out my watch on...hey, I had to get back to the parking lot somehow...) I went a whopping 2 miles, which I won't complain about...I won't even cry about how I should have done something like 14 miles in preparation for Seattle this summer (which I'm dropping out of). It was awesome...it was amazing! I'm sore as all heck and my legs are screaming at me in disbelief that I would make them do this horrible thing again...but I'm so super happy.
And to celebrate my return, today I entered the lottery for the NYC Marathon which will be held on November 1. I am entrant number 341582. :)
Wednesday, February 18, 2009
I have more to say, but it's almost 11 and I'm exhausted...tomorrow.
Sunday, February 8, 2009
Sunday, January 25, 2009
I had my 2nd opinion this past Wednesday and I really liked this doctor A LOT! He examined me and said it seems like I have plica. I'm on anti-inflammatories for a couple of weeks and will be doing physical therapy to try and help that. Basically, it's not life threatening or anything (and by non life threatening I mean I'll be able to run again...someday) it's just painful and in the doc's words "it just makes you lose interest" because of the pain. If it doesn't go away, it can ruin my joint though, and that's kinda scary...and that will involve some type of injections (see two posts ago), but we caught it early enough and with my age, we should avoid that. He also said the he didn't think I have a meniscus tear, but considering I was told that I did (and as we all know by now, meniscus tears don't heal on their own) he has ordered an MRI. It has to get insurance approval first, so that could take up to a week to get, then who knows how long to actually schedule. His orders were definiately no running until after the MRI, but I can do anykind of low-impact cross training so long as it doesn't bother me.
I'm trying to formulate a plan though because this sitting around and doing things as they come thing is not working out for me. I'm really one of those people that has to keep going, otherwise watching TV or sleeping will become a priority. So far I haven't had much time to do either one of those activities, thanks to my lack of CPA exam passing abilities, but I'm afraid I'm going to have a really rough time when I can get started again. So I'm going to go lift weights Monday, Wednesday and Fridays (just upper body since my knee won't cooperate) and I'm going to swim on Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday. I really want to bike, but it's been painful...I may try again next Saturday though, just to see. Our Jamaica trip is coming up so fast (exactly 3 months from today!) and I hate being like this, but I really want to look a little bit better in a swim suit. I feel ridiculous saying that because that is NOT the reason I even started working out, but there it is.
Our beginners group, In Motion, also starts in a couple of weeks. Both of my younger sisters have joined and I'm super excited about that. I'm hoping to be able to get out and do something - anything - with the In Motion group since they'll be there, so cross your fingers.
And I know I've been whiney lately and I've done nothing but complain...I know it's annoying. But at least by getting it out here, it's out and I'm not dumping it on everyone 24/7 the way I normally would (well, not as often anyway).
Monday, January 19, 2009
In totally unrelated news, I sat for another section of the CPA exam on Friday and it was about as fun as dealing with all these knee issues. I should have results for that section in March sometime. I also sit for the section I failed on February 27 and a whole new section on April 20...5 days before we leave for Jamaica, unless I need surgery, in which case I may need to postpone the trip...news that the hubs doesn't quite believe yet. I don't want to plan for or against surgery, but it would really suck to have it come out of the blue and then to have my vacation ripped away...but our vacation policy changed at work and unless we can save up some serious amounts of money (kinda hard when you fail an exam that costs $250 to retake EACH SECTION plus whatever the insurance company won't cover for the actual surgery) I'm not sure I can afford vacation for fun and then vacation for misery.
Ugh, tell me it gets better.