UPCOMING EVENTS: Hartford (RI) marathon, Newport (CT) marathon in October,
Soldier (GA) marathon, Pensacola (FL) marathon, and Pilgrim Pacer Marathons (KS) in November

It's never too late to be what you might have been. --George Eliot

This blog is about my journey as an asthmatic, hypothyroid, formerly plus-sized endurance athlete. It's occasionally interrupted with things that have nothing to do with that or whining about my weight and horrible eating habits. "You're never too old to be what you might have been" --George Eliot

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

On Moving, Cats, and Finally Being Healed.


Okay, so we moved into the new house last week. Here are some pictures, from the web site. I haven't taken my own pictures yet. The furniture in the pictures isn't ours, and the Darth Vader fridge has been replaced with a white one.
The guy that sold us the house left us a bottle of champagne and a note that said, "Welcome home, we hope you'll be as happy here as we have been." They also left us a map of the back yard, and where all the stuff is planted. How nice is that?

So. We're living here temporarily while Mini Baboo is in Texas. When he returns, we have to return to the other house and stay there until he 1) graduates, or 2) I find someone in his school district who doesn't mind having a surly teenager staying with them. Uh-huh. Good luck with all that.

In any case, we moved starting last Saturday, and the second trip included me, my Honda Fit, assorted small boxes and bags and such, and THREE COMPLETELY FREAKED OUT CATS. Oh, yes.

Have you had the joy of traveling with three cats in a tiny little car? Then, my friend, you haven't lived. We had one cat carrier, and Hissy went in there. The smallest cat, Whitney, hid in the litter box in the back and mewed quietly, continuously, and desperately. And then Lily. Lily the Hysteric, the largest and heaviest cat screamed at the top of her lungs: a loud, desperately hysterical scream that was like a car alarm going off while she climbed on my head and tried to figure out WHY she was stuck inside this tiny, moving box with me.

When we got to the house I let them out into the master bedroom and closed the door for a while so that they could calm down. They ran under the bed and didn't come out for nearly 12 hours. Yikes.

Our new house abuts open space and the Cibola forest and every once in a while, the cats suddenly all look up and out toward the back yard, ears perked, listening intently, and then I think to myself, what's out there? never mind. maybe I don't want to know what's out there.
<-- Now, this is an aerial view of the house. This map is maybe 3/4 mile long. See the red A? That's our house. See the area to the right? That's open space, for about 1/4 mile, and then there's the Cibola National Forest boundary. See all those paths? Those are running and mountain biking paths, which is how we found the house: they put a "For Sale" sign out facing the path.

It's at about 6000 feet above sea level, and climbs up within a mile of the house to about 7000 feet, unless you count Sandia Peak, which is a couple miles off, and goes up to 10,000 feet. I'm not converting any of that to meters today. I'm feeling lazy.
We've been living here all week with the cats. I bought a bag of cereal. Frosted Mini Wheats. This is a tremendous thing - I rarely buy cold cereal because Mini-Baboo will pour it all at once into a large mixing bowl and eat it in front of the TV and then it's gone, so what's the point? But I bought some, and it was with no small amount of glee that I got home and--it was still there.

Wow. And the peace, my God, the peace. I won't go on and on. But my God. The. Peace.
I did an 8-mile pavement run, the longest run on pavement that I've done since August when I was injured. There is a wide, paved running path about 1/4 from the new house that goes upgrade for several miles, and I ran it for 4 and then turned around and ran back. I felt fine, no pain, no worries. Finally! We have a 4-day weekend coming up, and I'm planning a long combination trail/pavement run as I ramp up for the Ghost Town in - ulp - three weeks! The only question left is, did I heal in time? Will I be able to do this 38.5-mile run??
Famouser: I will say Happy New Year on Bigun and Tacboy's Podcast. I'll post a link when I get one. I have no Internet at the new house so I'm out of a lot of loops.

My Christmas Wish List, Mostly for Myself.



  • I with people would stop looking at my tattoo and asking me if I'm a Broncos fan.
  • I wish companies that sold women's athletic wear would use women models with some muscle tone. Seriously. I think I could take most of them, and I'm not that strong.
  • I wish I liked my belly.
  • I wish my left big toenail would grow back. I want to go get a pedicure, but I'm too self-conscious right now.
  • I wish I didn't like mayonaise so much. Or fried food.
  • I wish they let us on Facebook at work. "Misty is missing the daily deluge of people talking about themselves in the third person."
  • I wish Rio Rancho Public Schools would get a clue about how badly they treat their teaching staff.
  • I wish my two older children could put the drama in their personal lives to rest.
  • I wish everyone could put their drama to rest. Seriously. Life is short, I've learned this since losing both of my parents. The stuff you think matters really doesn't matter in the greater scheme of things.
  • I wish all athletic events had plenty of nice, cold water and well-marked courses.
  • I wish my mother-in-law a pleasant and relaxing retirement. She's earned it.
  • I wish everyone could spend the holidays around people they love and respect who respect and love them back. Friends and clients have shared with me how they dread the holidays. They're your holidays. Don't feel obligated to suffer just because it's "tradition."
  • I wish my sister would go back to the gym, and dedicate some time to taking care of herself, now that her daughter is about to graduate and go off to college.
  • I wish people would stop being so paranoid about President Obama. He's not coming to take away your gun.

  • I wish for my youngest son, who is in the Delayed Enlistment Program for the Navy and about to graduate from high school a wonderful life and all the opportunities afforded to a young man.

    I wish everyone would have a Merry Christmas, Happy Hanuka, and Wonderful New Year full of swimming, running, and biking, walking, snoe-shoeing, and skiing.
  • A Holiday Haiku:

Too cold for running

Guess I'll sit inside and eat

Yeah. That will fix me.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Gear Review: the Merrill Cruise Control (Mens)


Note: I had the name wrong. I've changed it.

The challenge: a heavy female runner (my weight fluctuates between 160 and 170 over the course of a year) with nearly completely flat feet. I some cushioning, for the 480 to 510 pounds that lands on each foot when I run. I've done all my training on my flat feet, so too much arch support actually causes me pain as it shifts my weight onto the outside edges of my feet. For a woman, I have stubby, wide feet and so I need a wide toe box, and I need soles with traction and breathable uppers.

At first I thought these trail running shoes by Merrill were the Merrill Vibram because of the VIBRAM tag that was under and on the sides. Then I found out that there is something called a "Vibram sole," that is made to be rugged but flexible.
In any case I found these shoes purely by accident while waiting for Sweet Baboo to decide on his shoes at Dillards, of all places. We were at Dillards on a surprise shopping spree that Baboo took me on: we now pratically a whole new kitchen that has NEVER been touched by teenage hands. They sit in boxes awaiting their final destination, which we are closing on Friday.

I love to cook, as our bathroom scale will attest. I have a background in chemistry, and love to create vegetarian comfort foods. However, in the last few years I've kind of given up in despair because Mini Baboo rearranges my kitchen without warning, care, or any sort of logic whatsoever, and ignores things like, "Don't put these in the dishwasher," or, "don't use metal tools with this," or a final, desperate, "JUST DON'T USE THE STOVE. EVER. JUST USE THE MICROWAVE!" and then finally, "PLEASE clean out the microwave; it's disgusting."

<-- Here's a picture of my new kitchen. The decorative stuff is the old owner's. I'll put my own little touches here and there. But note all the white. I would never have that much white with Mini-Baboo in residence. I'd heard legends of white kitchens owned by people with children, but I can't be either authoritarian-directive or that OCD.

But, I digress.

Back to the shoe thing. So, Sweet Baboo never needs my help to dress; he has pretty good taste, and so I let my eyes wonder over the selection of >yawn< mens shoes, until they settled, quite by accident, on a shoe that someone had turned over and then walked away from:


Now, to give you some perspective on why this might interest me: I've tried two different trail running shoes. The first one was by Brooks, and it may or may not have been a coincidence that within a week or so of switching to them, I developed IT band issues that took two months to heal but never came back once I tossed those shoes. The second one was a New Balance model that I think I wrote about earlier, but even though they had terrific traction and were relatively comfortable (and isn't it every long distance runner's dream to be relatively comfortable?) the toe box was cramped. I need a nice wide toe box. I haven't had a full nail on my longest toe since March. In short, I need a large toe box for my big feet. So, up to now, I've just been running on an older pair of my usual road shoes, the NB768, which are comfy but don't offer much in the way of traction.

So, this shoe. Well, I mean, look at it. It's got this huge manly toe box.

Wow. There's another one of those phrases that I bet never was uttered before I said it.
Huge. Manly. Toe box.

Anyway, when I slipped on the man's size 8 (I wear a size 9 woman's running shoe) and cinched up the tie thing, and walked around on it. Then I bought it, and gave it the best test I could give it: a 2-1/2 hour trail run/hike in the Sandia foothills.

The run climbed from 6000 up to about 6600, I think. I have to check my Garmin. There were rocky parts of trail, soft sandy parts of the trail, parts covered with "decomposed granite" and some with snow where no one else had run recently. The wind was howling, and I finally asked that we turn back because my face was cold and I was getting chilled, but the shoes are awesome. The part around the ankles, which probably has an official name but I don't know it, was soft and didn't rub. My feet didn't hurt because the arch support is minimal, nor did they get cold. The cinch-type ties kept the shoe firmly anchored to the mid-part of my feet, leaving my toes free to spread out in their sexy Injinji sock goodness. I was wearing my purple wool-blend ones. But anyway. The plastic cover that allows you to cinch these (they come with regular ties of you don't like that) has a little protective cover that folds over it and hooks underneath, if you choose.

Now, the Cruise Control is probably for a neutral runner, which I am, and has minimal arch support. They also do not provide any ankle support whatsoever, which I don't want or need. But the traction was spot on. They even come with a loop for your favorite gaters. I think I found my perfect woman's ultra trail shoe: and it's a guy's shoe.




...

Monday, December 15, 2008

PSA: Where to Shop for Big, Fast Girls.

and even the ones that aren't so fast, but they're out there anyway, trying.

Oooohhh! What did you do? Did you just agonize for so long over what to buy her that you haven't bought her anything yet?

Never fear. There's always federal express, and gift certificates. But you need to move now.

These are my favorite active-wear vendors. They make clothes not just that are bigger, but are functional and comfotable, with an eye on things like support and chafing. And, they (usually) don't insult us by using size 2 models for their larger-sized items. If it makes you feel less anxious, you could buy a gift certificate for her to one of them.

  • Moving Comfort (they sell of their stuff online at Amazon)
  • Athleta - they use skinny models, but lots of their stuff comes in 1x and 2x, so they can be forgiven. They also put out a catalog.
  • Junonia - active clothing size 14 and up. They also put out a catalog.
  • H2O wear. Swimsuits for EVERYONE. They even sell neoprene tights and vests, which might be a viable wetsuit option. They sell chlorine-resistant swimwear in ALL kinds of sizes. Seriously. ALL KINDS.
  • Injinji - not just for big people, but for all people with big, sweaty feet. And now they're making sock in girly colors, too. They should pay me for all the times I've recommended them. With, uh, stripy rainbow socks. Yeah, that should do it.
  • Almost forgot: RaceReady. Pretty much anything for endurance runners is great for the larger runner, because it takes things into account that affect us at shorter distances ;-) I recommend their fitness ld shorts and knickers.

...

Sunday, December 14, 2008

In Which I Learn To Walk Fast.

"There are two rules in racewalking," Lenny told me. "First rule: one foot must always be on the ground. Second, when the foot strikes the pavement in front of you, the knee must be loacked."

Hmm.

Yesterday I met with a small group called "the New Mexico Racewalkers" in the parking lot between a library and a senior citizen's center. This location was important, because it is right on one of the main east-west bike/running paths running through Albuquerque.

See, Albuquerque, standing as it does between the mountains and the Rio Grande, has a series of engineered and cemented arroyos that divert water safely through the city toward the river. Along most of these are dedicated black-topped paths that, for the most part, don't interface with traffic. At most they might cross a boulevard from time to time. The result is that you can get pretty much anyway you need to safely throughout the city. You can see part of the trails system here: (WARNING, this is a huge file, use your right mouse button and download it instead of loading it into a browser window)

So Lenny, who is a retired picture-framer, asked me what my background was. Apparently, most of the people who show up get about a mile-into their first "racewalk" session and then have to quit because it wears them out. "What's your experience as a walker?" He asked.

I resisted the urge to say, "well, I've been doing it almost all my life," and instead mumbled, "I, uh, I've done a couple marathons," I told him.

"Really, which ones? Have you done anything this year?"

Deep breath. "In January I did the inaugural Mississippi blues marathon. February, my first 50K in Alabama. March, the Grasslands Trail Marathon in Texas. May, Ogen, Utah. June, I did the marathon at the end of Ironman Couer D'Arlene--" he interrupted me.

The Ironman? The one with the 2 mile swim?

"2.4 miles," I continued: September, I did the New Mexico marathon, and October, I did another 50K in Texas."

There was a long pause, and then Lenny said, "I think you'll be able to keep up with us today."

We only did a few miles, and my heartrate stayed pretty low, but it was interesting getting used to the stride. Mostly, I could see that it involves training some muscles to move in a way, and your leg turner has to be faster than your usual walking pace. My legs got a bit burn-y into the 1st mile, which is a new sensation I've had since I got back into training, but I think that will pass with time. I'm not sure what the cardiovascular benefits are to me, since I could carry on a conversation during most of the walk. Lenny seemed confident, upon hearing that my average marathon pace is about 13 minutes/mile, I could eventually walk that fast.

Now, I don't plan to switch to walking. But I do like to alternate, and this is also good cross-training for me. If I can speed up my walking (currently, my pace is around 15 or 16, depending on my focus) then I could speed up any event in which I alternate walking and running, no?

So, Lenny loaned me a couple of books and I promised to be back next week. I'll come back a couple more weeks, and get some pointers, and then strike out on my own.

...

Thursday, December 11, 2008

So I started doing the 5 or 6 small meals a day thing, which helps me control my eating more. I'm less likely to eat impulsively if I have a small amount of food throughout the day, and my willpower is stronger. I know it's healthier, but I've never been able to pull it off because I'd be teaching classes all day, so it was HUGE breakfast, small fast midday meal, HUGE FATTENING and DESPERATELY LARGE AFTER WORK SNACK, and then supper. I could maintain this crappy eating style because I was on my feet all day. Now I'm on my butt all day.


So far, the scale hasn't budged. But I feel thinner. Maybe that's just hunger. Couple of things.

1) There are two required meetings that I go to each week and so far, everytime I've gone they've had some sort of food there. It's not, like, low-fat yogurt and granola. No, it's like muffins, or bagels and Shmear or birthday cake. Yikes. I've found that if I eat a quick snack before the meeting it's much easier to say, "No thanks," I'm tempted to say, if asked, for my birthday, I'd like a nice tofu salad and bowls so that everyone can share.

2) There are a distressing amount of people here with large bowls of candy on their desks. It's always a huge variety of candy, too, meaning that no matter how quickly I avert my eyes, they are bound to settle on something that I truly L-L-LOVE. Everytime I see one of these bowls, I want to throttle their owner.
DON'T YOU KNOW? Can't you tell? How poor my willpower is? PUT THIS AWAY!

Or, maybe I'll just put on my big girl panties and deal with it. It's temptation. When I'm not trying to cut 15 pounds for a 64K run I might try one now and then. Meanwhile, I have to learn that not everything that tastes good has to be eaten nowNOWNOW and, I can abstain.

3) The way the small meal thing works is that you don't skip the small meals. EVER. Yesterday I was to have lunch with a friend, and she was about an hour later than I expected. By the time she showed up, I was ready to gnaw on my arm. I felt sick and angry at the world and thinking to myself, Oh, so this is hunger. Hunger sucks.

4) I had SparkPeople to make a little quick strength routine for me, using my bodyweight. It includes exercises I have traditionally avoided, like lunges. So, on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays I shut the door for 15 minutes in the morning and again in the afternoon, and do them in my 6 x 12 office. Everything thinks the decorative rug I put down is just pretty, but what it is is very cushiony for doing floor exercises. I've arranged furniture to do this. The routine is simple, 2 sets of 12-15 reps:

  • Pushups, Plank (60 seconds hold, not reps), back extension, crunches, and crunches with a twist (morning)
  • Forward lunges, squats, Calf raises, then stretching (afternoon)
Tuesdays and Thursdays, I run during lunch. M-W-F I'm going to try to speedwalk during lunch. Sweet Baboo insists that I should be running more, but I'm also running Friday evenings and Sundays, so I'm okay, I think. Occasionally, I'll probably miss a workout, and once the days get longer and start heating up I'll have to switch running to the morning before work, I guess. For now, this works.

BTW, Sweet Baboo did get the promotion. Shhhhhh. It hasn't been formally announced yet.

I bought this new oatmeal that we found at the local grocery story, it's Kroger brand Active Lifestyle Oatmeal. It had a lot of fiber and was on sale and had enticing pictures on the front. Go ahead and skip it; it's fairly bland. I'll finish what we bought, but I like Quaker's Simple Harvest oatmeal much better.

I'm learning a lot about psychotic disorders and symptoms, and pretty soon they'll begin training me on doing neuropsychological assessment, which sounds very cool. Meanwhile, I accidentally left my door open about a foot today and SMILE! guy stopped and talked to me for nearly 20 minutes. Of all the skills I've learned so far, extricating myself from conversations for which I do not have time are not one of them. Need to study this.

...

Tuesday, December 09, 2008

Willpower, Come Find Me!

The school year is about half over, and Mini-baboo has half of his senior year left. He is scheduled to ship out June 14th. He's leaving next week for 2 weeks with relatives in Dallas, and after that, there will be only 6 more months left. I took this quiz today on the "Empty Nest" syndrome at iVillage. Here are some excerpts from my results:

...Before you leave skid marks flying the coop, however, remember that you're still a mom, even if you officiate over an empty nest. It's important that your kid not feel rejected or abandoned while you cavort all over the world and savor all this new freedom (Italics mine)...So relish this fabulous new phase in your life, but don't forget to check in on your little chickadee -- even if you're calling from a cell phone as you sail down the Nile.

I don't know about you, but that seems like a mile rebuke, doesn't it? My kids all have cell phones now. I send them a text now and then, but if they need me, they can call me.

Anway.

I ran today during lunch and got in about 3 miles. For the first time since I went back to running almost 2 weeks ago I didn't have burning legs. Up to now, the first 2 miles they burned so much I almost couldn't walk. Today, there was some momentary discomfort but then after about a quarter mile, it was gone. I ran a few intervals on the magic .9 mile dirt track that Sweet Baboo and I discovered near work. In fact, it's a bit over 1/2 mile run from our offices, so that running out and back and doing 2 loops around gives us about 3 miles. I'm planning to do this for lunch 3 times a week.

I've gone back to tracking my food, and also to eating a package of oatmeal in the mornings for breakfast, which seems to make it easier for me to stick to my diet, for some reason. This morning it was someone's birthday and I allowed myself 1/2 piece of pumpkin bread. For two days in a row I've actually stuck to reasonable eating, and usually once I get this far I can get back on track. Believe it or not, to this point, I haven't been able to muster up enough willpower to get through one day of sensible eating, not since September.
So my routine now is, I have a sugar-free soy latte for breakfast, and then when I get to work I have one serving of instant oatmeal, and then around 10:30 or so I have a small BocaBurger, and the after my noon workout I have a small snack. Supper is light. I was inwardly blaming Sweet Baboo for my diet foibles, since he takes us to restaurants after our long workouts that have some of my favorite foods, but what can I say? I can get low-calorie meals there. I can't blame him for my lack of willpower!

When I'm at my fittest, I weigh about 15 pounds less than I do now, but I'm also doing a lot of hill climbing and I muscle up fast, so I can't really depend on my scale for the story of how I'm doing on my diet. Also, the scale makes me feel bad about myself because well, I don't know; 170 pounds just seems hideously heavy. So, since my scale is largely unreliable as a measure of fitness AND makes me feel bad about myself, I'll pay attention to how my clothes feel instead. I have certain clothes that fit well when I'm at my fittest, and I know what they are, and if they don't fit right they'll be no way around it because I sit a lot now, and you know how tight clothes feel when you try to sit in them for long periods of time.

This Saturday, I'm attending a meeting of the New Mexico Race-walking Association. I'm pretty excited about it. I have no illusions of being able to race-walk a half-mary in 1-1/2 hours, like the champion race-walkers but I do plan for this to provide to very excellent recover and cross-training skills, and to speed me up during my walk intervals in marathons.
So that's it, so far, I guess. Tomorrow Sweet Baboo finds out if he got the promotion he was hoping for. Cross your fingers, or whatever works for you, and send good thoughts his way. He's worked a long time for this, and of course as his completely unbiased mate I believe he is the very best qualified :-)
...

Monday, December 08, 2008

In Which I Feel Vindicated. Sad, But Vindicated.

So here's the thing. Last may in my position at RRPS, they sent around a proposal for some of their ideas for the coming year. I read through it, which I actually rarely do (I just sort of sail through life and do things impulsively, without giving much thought, except for work.)

Something didn't seem quite right. I couldn't quite put my finger on it, but their problems-suggestions-expected outcomes didn't seem quite right. I spoke with the head of the union about it, who agreed with me, and then she mentioned that she was moving to a different school and asked if I wanted to be the union rep.

"No," I replied. "I'm not coming back next year."

Since that time, especially with not receiving much of an income during September and October while my work situation shook out, I'm gnawed at the skin on the side of my thumb as I worried that I had brought us to financial ruin by doing this. Even though Baboo makes a good living, I have years of struggling before I met him that gave me a permanant anxiety about such things.

Then, in October, when I started my new job, I sent emails to some of my old teacher friends giving them my new email address. They responded with congratulations, "howareyou"s and then proceded to tell me how awful things are. How many teachers had already quit, and then there was a hiring freeze, leaving the remaining teachers over their legal limit on classroom size. In addition to that, I already knew that they had reworked the schedule so that I would be teaching nearly twice as many students the same curriculum in half as much time.

Then, today, Baboo heard about this: http://kob.com/article/stories/S691678.shtml?cat=504

This is one of those times that I'm not happy to have been right. But I'm relieved that I apparently saw the writing on the wall and got out in time. This, in my opinion, is at least one of the end-products of NCLB.

...

Sunday, December 07, 2008

In Which I Am A Team Player


So that THAT, Mrs. Eikin*

Wednesday I was sitting around, wistfully wishing that I could participate in this weekend's Jingle Bells triathlon. It's about 2-1/2 miles from my front door.

I emailed Cindy and Courtney and effectively drafted them to do this relay with me, and they were quick to let me know that they didn't want to do the swim. It was like they raced to yell "NOT IT!" but I was fine, because I wanted to do the swim.

Cindy kicked ass with a 28-something minute 5k run, Courtney did the VERY difficult, hilly 18 mi bike, and I swam the 400 meter in 8:57. I have to say that this may be the best way to do a triathlon if you are under trained...the best way to do one is not to do one.
or more accurately, don't do the whole one. I'm totally fine with doing the swim.

Courtney, who is not supposed to run right now (owing to having blown her knee out while swimming, and I'll let her explain that if she chooses to do so), and I discussed even doing a team sometime where I run and swim, and she bikes, which of course results in far less glory but would be my dream event.

*Mrs. Eikin was my third grade teacher. One of many who used the word, "but" in my report card. You know what i mean. "Misty is a delight in the classroom...BUT her achievement would improve if she would...( choose one:) sit still...stop drawing all the time...visit less with her classmates...pay attention...
...also, it should be noted that although Misty gets along well and has many friends, she is not a team player. When working on group projects, she is often bossy and will frequently insist on doing all the work..."


Annoying happening of the day: Terry, DOGS do NOT BELONG IN THE WOMEN'S LOCKER ROOM!!

Teamwork is kinda fun. Who knew?

RESULTS: 3rd place female team, at a very fun little triathlon, their inaugural one. My only two suggestions would be that marshals keep spectators from wandering in and out of transition during the race, looking at people's stuff, getting in the way while they take pictures of their friends...and maybe the water doesn't have to be warm enough to make tea (it wasn't in danger of freezing).

Also, Pirate's mom was there, doing her third event, and winning her age group. Kick ass. She looked unbelievably fresh coming off the run, and had so much energy coming out of the pool that the guy taking the chips had to chase her down to catch her!

...

Saturday, December 06, 2008

In Which I Suck, Suck, Suck. And Am Discouraged.

I went for an 8 mile trail run today, and it sucked, sucked, sucked. It's like I have to start over again. My legs felt old, heavy, and tired. I felt old, heavy, and tired. I was breathless and slow and everything that I didn't expect to be.

I would have thought I'd be bouncing back faster than this. And I'm not. In fact, it seems to get worse every time I run. I was beginning to wonder if I am going to be back in shape for the Ghost Town 38.5 in about 5 weeks.

It doesn't help that I'm up 14 pounds from my August weight, and that I was carring a 10-pound pack.

This was the longest trail run I've done since Palo Duro in October, nearly two months ago, and I was about 20 pounds heavier on the trails today than I was then.

Plus, all my climbing muscles and tendons and such as soft, and need to be reconditioned. OW.


>Heavy Sigh.<

The good part of today's run was that it was in the hills near our new house. The more we run out there the more I'm starting to learn loops and routes for easy workuts, challenging workouts, and workouts with a view. Now, I found out that there is this racewalking club here in Albuquerque. A woman I work with, her spouse is a competitive racewalker. I looked up some stuff and did you know the champion racewalkers can WALK a 5K in under 21 minutes? and a 10K in under 42 minutes?

WOW.

I'd never give up running. But in those moments when I can't run, or if I need a break from the pounding, I'd like to be able to walk quickly. I think it would be great crosstraining. I'm not saying it woud be easy. Just different.

So, I emailed a guy in the racewalking club here and asked him for information. Like, is there someone who can teach me? Coach me?

Maybe it will be a new adventure. racewalking the hills of the 'Burque. Cool. I'll be sure and share everything I find out.

...

Friday, December 05, 2008

In which I Find Another Reason to Avoid NA Sports.

I got this email today from Roman, who runs the website, EverymanTri. Seems that Ironman North America has decided to do away with the Clydesdale and Athena divisions.

Now I guess we'll just be those big and tall guys and gals huffing and puffing our way to the finish line.

Yet another reason to not do NA events any more. As if I needed another reason. I've sent them emails about various things from time to time and have never, ever gotten any kind of response. They have become prohibitively expensive, as well.

With regard to the Clydesdale and Athena thing, though, I wonder if this is a trend? Perhaps companies like Athleta will fade away? In the meantime, most of the smaller, mom-and-pop races still have Athena and Clydesdale divisions. I'm going to work on just enjoying a day in the country swimming, biking, and running.

~~~

Tuesday, December 02, 2008

In Which I Submit My Shameful November Miles.

Bike: 63 Mi
Run: 29.35 Mi
Elliptical Training: 13 miles, according to the machines.

This Sunday is the first annual Jingle Bells Triathlon which is a reverse-sprint tri practically in my back yard, at least of the old house. I'm still having some significant discomfort, so I've decided to do it as a relay. I haven't done any swimming in a month, so of course I'm going to do the swim portion. :-) This will be a new experience because I've never done a relay before.

Thus far, plans are: Cindy run, Courtney bike, Misty swim. For some reason nobody ever wants to do the swim? which is fine with me, but I'm still curious as to why everyone hates the swimming so much.

(Not me, if I could skip the bike and do a swim-run or run-swim, I'd be happy as a hog in, well, you know.)

Anyway. My plan is to go ahead and take off with the run, even though I'm not actually going to be in that event, just for the workout and the warmup. Then I'll go hang out and wait for Courtney to come back from the bike and then jump in the pool. Wheee!

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Monday, December 01, 2008

People, and the Dogs That Own Them.

Sometimes I fantasize during long runs. Of course, I'm doing much more trail running lately, so what I'm experiencing has changed my fantasies somewhat. Here is a few of them:

Fantasy #1.
I'm running along nice, wide trail, when a dog comes running up to me. It nearly trips me by running up to me and jamming his nose in my crotch. He's not on a leash, even though we are in a city open space where leashes are required. Their owner comes into a few seconds later, calling out, (somewhat impotently) Now, BOYD, stop that.
I reach into the refrigerated bag I've brought with me for one of the objects inside, and fling it at the owners face. It hits his cheek with a splat, sliding down slowly and dropping onto his shirt. HEY, WHAT THE HELL?!? he screams.
"It's a cat hairball," I explain. "I figure that if I have to put up with your pet's behavior, then you should put up with mine. I'll meet you by your car in an hour so I can claw the crap out of your upholstery."


Fantasy #2
In this fantasy, I'm running along nice, wide trail in Sandia Wilderness area, when a couple of dogs come running up to me, and I nearly trip over them. They are not on leashes, even though we are in a national park. I point this out to the owner, and she puts them on leashes. Although annoyed, she is adult enough to recognize that it was she, not I, who ignored a posted rule, so she doesn't scream, hiss, call me names, call me a dog-hater, or insist that I should be on a leash. We exchange pleasantries, and go our separate ways.


Fantasy #3
A man/woman is running along behind their dog, who is several hundred yards ahead, chasing squirrels, other runners, etc. A ranger comes along and writes the man a ticket for ignoring the posted leash rule. The owner decides to fight it. He gets Judge Judy, who says, "So what are you bothering me for? You chose to ignore the posted rule. Leave me a alone, and pay your ticket."

(Notice that in none of my fantasies are Mr. Doggers hurt. I don't believe in hurting animals; they are being themselves. Nor do I fantasize about bad pet owners being hurt.)


Fantasy #4
In this fantasy, I'm running along nice, wide trail, when a couple of dogs on leashes come running up to me with their owners. We exchange pleasantries, and I ask if I can pet their dogs. I rub Mr. and Mrs. Doggers behind his ears, but not too much, because I'm allergic. We go our separate ways, the owners happy because it's beautiful and they're outside and they won't have to worry about Doggers bolting and possibly scaring up a bear or mountain lion, and the dogs happy because they've been taught to live within boundaries set by their owners. I'm happy because I wasn't tripping over someone's dog going down a steep and rocky trail.


Fantasy #5
Two people are sitting in their living room. "Hey, I'd like to let Mr. Doggers run free today," one of them says. Since dogs are required to be leashed due to a county ordinance, they work together to find the locations of city parks or private land where that is allowed. I never see them, or their dogs, that day, because they made the responsible choice not to force their pet ownership choice on other people by breaking rules that they don't like.


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