UPCOMING EVENTS for 2015: (Under consideration) BigHorn 50K, North Carolina/DC Marathon Doulbe, TURNING 50 (not in that exact order).

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

Athena is the Goddess of wisdom and war. In 2005, I declared war on my own bad tendencies: sloth, being fat, compacency, and being too old for adventure.
This is the story of how I went from being someone who never stood when she could sit, to being an ultrarunner, marathoner, triathlete, and *sigh* student.
"You're never too old to be what you might have been" --George Eliot

Saturday, February 28, 2009

In which I complete a tiny, tentative run.

My workout plan: run until I can't breath any more, then walk until I can. Rinse. Repeat.

My lungs were burning.

I thought I would throw up.

But I ran most of it. Oh yes, I did.

I felt my IT Band a bit towards the end, when I was running downhill. Then it was dark, and so I stopped, and walked home.

Then I did the burny stretch that my physical therapist showed me, felt better.

I ran, actually ran, at a faster pace than I did a few days ago.

I'm back. I can run.

[okay, with conviction, now...]

I'M BACK. AND I CAN RUN.

...

Friday, February 27, 2009

In which I was a bad, bad girl.

Oh, c'mon. I know what you're thinking. I wasn't that kind of bad girl.

Yesterday, all I wanted was some Pseudofed PE, honest. And a sugar-free energy drink. I didn't have any coffee yesterday morning and by mid-day I was fading fast. Plus, the juniper-cedar count here is super high, meaning I'm all stuffy.

Sooooo, I went over to the hospital gift shop, where they keep bags and bags and bags of snacks. No, and BAGS. And bags. They beckon to me. Oh, how they sing their sweet, seductive crunchy song. In particular, Poor Brother's Sweet Maui Onion Kettle Fried Potato Chips. They, yes they, sang the sweeeeeetest song of all.

This wasn't a grab bag, either. or a "snack," although that's where I listed it for my calorie intake for the day. I mean, it's not like it was lunch, or anything.

Yes. In answer to your question, yes. The whole bag.

Then Baboo came back from an out-of-town day trip and suggested eating out, and well, hell yes, so I had PeiWei tofu and vegetables and lots of brown rice, because they make it better than anyone. Oh, and a large glass of Pino.
I didn't run yesterday, either. I forgot my pants. Can't run without pants. Or else I'd be the other kind of bad girl.

It's just so sad.

It doesn't, you know, matter that I'm 5'6". 3000 calories is still 3000 calories. A banner day for the eating machine known as me.


Today, I will forgive myself, and be better.

<-- Oh, and PUFFY. yes, I woke up, feeling like this.




...

Friday, February 20, 2009

Yes, it's slow, but it's still running.

Thanks a couple of posts by SW TriGal (you go, Debi) I’m on a self-imposed trial of supplements by a company called Emerita for the whole, “change of life” thing. But like I said to Sweet Baboo this morning, it sure is taking a lot more crèams, potions, and lotions to be me these days.


I haven't lost any more weight, but my clothes are fitting better, so that's something.

The best help I’ve gotten for the IT band thing has been this fact sheet and exercises for my “gluteous medius” (Abductors) from this web site. The fact sheet has an stretch that brought instant relief. I do use ice, and feel worse after using it, but then I stretch, and I feel better. I have also brought the dreaded FOAM ROLLER to work. Because, you know, there aren’t enough hours in the day to do something that, as my friend Mike G puts it, makes you just about bleed our your eyes.

The best news is, I ran yesterday! True, it was a 3.2 mile run/walk for 3.2 miles, but the most I've done in 4 months. It was hard to do. In all honesty, I had forgotten how to run, and my body is not used to the jarring that goes with running. It was, like, okay! Here I go! Wow! Ow. That shouldn’t hurt like that. Have I always run like that, landing on my heels that way? No? Okay. Let’s start this again, slowwwwllllly.

So, I guessing I'm starting over, using that shuffling jog from 2005, but I have hope now. Even if WeightWatchers and SparkPeople don’t consider my pace running, I ran. Yes, it hurt, but not so much, and it didn’t get worse as I moved. So for now, short (3-5 mile) walk/runs, and a weekend long walk/hike in the hills. I’ll start PT next week, too.


Oh, about the WeightWatcher's card above? I just bought that book. You should, too. (click on the picture).

...

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

In Which I Set Another Crazy-Assed Goal.

I haven't written in a few days mostly because I've been really bummed out and depressed. It feels like forever since I've run, and I realized that now it's been about 4 months. Nothing is getting better, so f##k it. I'm going to go run. If nothing is getting better by not running, then I might as well run, right?


And then last Thursday, I was stretching - that's it, just sitting in a chair observing a neuropsych evaluation, and I did a standard old "Ooo, I'm sleepy" kind of stretch, and I heard a noise that was kind of between a crunch and a squish. And then I couldn't turn my head. WTF?

It started feeling better, this very serious crick in my neck, by the weekend and then Monday morning I opened my eyes, yawned, stretched, and I did it again. OW. No lifting. Can't run. Ice made it feel far, far worse. The only thing that made me feel good was valerian and Advil and a nice dose of leaving it the hell alone.

Of course, bad IT band+bad neck=depressed. Hey, does anyone make a sports drink with Prozac in it?
More importantly, is this what getting old is? Because getting old. Sucks.

So, the neck thing, though, it's slowly going away. What happened was, my traps get really super tight when I'm stressed, and I've been a bit so lately, and I stretched my traps too hard by raising my arms and stretching hard. But it's better, a bit. Tomorrow, I go back to power walking and maybe some light lifting.
Sunday morning, I'm going to run. Don't care how much Advil it takes.

Meanwhile, I was thinking I need something to keep me going. So, now I've got this crazy-assed goal,
I was going to make it my secret goal, but now I'll say it out loud because that helps me be accountable:

I want to do the quad next year.

"The Quad" is the Mt. Taylor Quadrathlon: a crazy-assed race in Grants, New Mexico. It's a 13 mile bike, 5 mile run, 2 miles cross-country ski, and then 1 mile snow shoe out, and then the whole thing back, in reverse.

Hmm. that doesn't sound bad, for an IronChick, you might say. So, you're covering 44 miles Why, that's not even a half iron. There's not even any swimming. What's the big deal?

Um, did I mention that it's up to the top of Mt. Taylor and back down? See, the bike climbs 1800 feet, the run climbs 1200 feet, the ski climbs 1200 feet, and the snowshoe climbs 600 feet.
I climbed Mt. Taylor with Sweet Baboo once. It took me hours and hours and hours. And hours. No--hours. Most of the day, on foot, carrying very little, in the summer. He followed patiently and tolerating my sweating, swearing, crying and whining - this was in 2003, I think, before I became a multisport idiot fiend.

Um, Okay. Now this is just sounding nuts. I'm starting to scare myself. Wait. How do you climb up 1200 feet over 2 miles on skiis?

I had this insane notion that maybe I'm more focused when I have some sort of crazy goal like this. Crazy-assed goals motivate me. I'm too stubborn to back down from one, even when it's painfully, woefully clear that there are many reasons why I should fail. Like the laws of physics.
So, goals. This is mine. One year from now.

February 2010.

Me.

Mt. Taylor.

The Quad.

Bike, Run, Ski, Snowshoe up...then snowshoe, ski, run, bike back down

OOOOrah.

Now, I guess I need to learn how to ski.
...

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Gear Review: The Tech4o Women's Accelerator Trail Runner

Last October Tech4o wrote me and asked me to review one of their watches.  I was prepared to be skeptical. I turn away a lot of offers to advertise stuff on my blog. I don't do this to make money, and I won't want anyone making money off me, but I was intrigued by their claims.

And you know, msr Garmean is so much fun: the maps, elevation profiles, and mounds of data. But, it has its drawbacks: In hilly locations and locations with heavy tree cover, it skips some data points, causing it to vastly under report the distance traveled. For instance, at my first 50K, which is 31 miles, it reported that I had traveled about 28 miles. DISAPPOINTING!  

Other drawbacks 2) expensive, 3) the battery only holds a charge for 8 to 10 hours, meaning that if you are as appallingly slow as I, the battery will stop before you are done.  4) the garmin is HUGE.   I am a delicate flower. I cannot wear a laptop computer strapped to my wrist, and I'm always accidentally bumping those stupid on/off buttons without realizing it, and then next thing I know, it's stopped recording my motion.


Okay. the Tech4o uses a watch battery, and though I don't know how long it lasts, it lasts at least several days, since it was running when it arrived at my house 2 weeks ago, and is still running now.

So, I got this watch in the mail, and was prepared to
 be skeptical, as I said. I mean, it's a pedometer, right? Wasn't McDonalds giving those away very long ago?  Well, this has a few more functions: It has a chrono and a timer. I'm not sure how many laps yet. I haven't read the book. It is the size of a regular watch - it doesn't stand out.

Test #1: Is it easy to use?
I figured out pretty fast that if I pushed in the
 lower left MODE button for 3 seconds, it jumps into a menu. You push the right side buttons to page through the menue, and press MODE briefly to choose one. To get back to the menu, you press MODE in for 3 seconds again.

I looked briefly in the book and fiddled around some more, and used the 12" squares on a gym floor to measure my stride length while walking and running.  I plugged those into the setup, along with my weight (it calculates approximate calories burned) into the personal profile 8 of 10 menu.

In pedometer mode, it shows number of steps, with additional information above. You choose the additional information: Calories, elapsed time, current time, distance, speed (MPH). All this is based on the length of your stride and how many steps you've taken, which it registers as you walk.  I found it pretty easy to set up without the book. I glanced at the book, and it seems pretty straightfoward, so it passed that test.

Test #2: Is it accurate?
I wore this to the Rocky Racoon, my first 50-miler. I would consider anything less than 5% error to be successful. The course was reported to be 50 miles, three 16-2/3 loops. I occasionally left the course briefly to take care of the call of nature, and twice I walked over to my bag at the changing tent. Sometimes I walked normally. Sometimes, I staggered. A couple of times, I trotted.

The total distance, according to my Tech4o watch, was 51.018 miles. That is a 2% error, well within the acceptable range for mine (and most people's) needs.

I could probably improve the error if I set up the stride length by walking a known length, say 600 feet, and counted the number of steps, averaging to get a stride length but no matter, I'm satisfied with this result.

I will admit that I have not tested it yet while running, because I can't run. Supposedly, the watch has some sort of logic that allows it to understand the difference between when you are running and walking, so that it then switches to running stride length and records that.

I discovered that at midnight, in exercise mode, it starts a new set of data. This may or may not be a problem - just something to be aware of.  It keeps the previous day's data.  

Summary:
  • Accurate, for most people's purposes - for me it the error rate was 2%.
  • Cheap! The model I tested retails for about $70.
  • It comes in pink! 
Suggestions for the maker: there should be an option to look at current speed in minutes per mile, rather than miles per hour. That's my only complaint.

When I can run, I'll do a second, shorter review.

...

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Post-post race report: The Rocky Racoon 50-miler.



(Now, with pictures! See below...)

It took a long time to do, so it will take a long time to write.
The Rocky Racoon 50-mile Trail Run-- which should be called, the "Rooty Racoon" but somehow that isn't quite as catchy, I suppose--is three 16-2/3 mile loops through Huntsville State Park, and the first thing *I* noticed upon arrival is a small, almost unobtrusive sign off to the left side of the road, so small as to be almost an afterthought:
ALLIGATORS EXIST
IN THE PARK.

I only saw this sign once, but ruminated on it continuously the last 1/3 of the race.

Or maybe it just said, "Alligators Exist." That would be almost existentialist. Alligators exist, and I exist. Thus, I will be eaten. I put it out of my mind until late in the race, which is when the silliness of the late-race dillerium sets in.

So, three loops. The forecast was mid-to-upper 70s, and humid. I would be walking.

The first loop was not bad. I walked it, carrying on a conversation with a woman who was also walking, although her pace was a bit faster than mine. I was able to keep up for a while because she'd done a marathon less than a week ago LESS THAN A WEEK AGO and had to stop at aid stations and stretch.

On the first loop I passed people, though they passed me back later, for good. A nagging pain started on the ball of my right foot. When I came into the finish/start/turnaround station at 11:30 am, I took off my shoes and socks and was surprised to find a nice little pile of sand adhered to the bottom of my foot. Huh? I cleaned off my foot, and applied a bandaid to a spot on the inside of the same foot that was starting to feel a little raw. My time on the first loop was about 4.5 hours, and nearly 20 minutes in the aid station.

I headed back out just before noon, leaving my jacket behind, with my shirt tied around my waist, and my hand-held full of gatorade. Ironic. GATOR-aid.
Which exists. IN THE PARK.

The second loop was harder. It was hot, and my feet were softening. Things were starting to hurt. I knew from experience that usually I start hurting, and then things get better around mile 20. Except, this time, they didn't. And, not only did my feet hurt, but it was HOT and HUMID. I started wondering about the sign. You know the one. Say it with me, now:
ALLIGATORS EXIST
IN THE PARK.


This course is mostly flat. I'm going to guess that biggest climb is maybe 10 feet. Maybe. And that happens about 3 times on the course. But there are roots. Roots about every 1-2 feet. This wasn't a problem for me, actually - I was moving pretty slow and had time to navigate around them, but occasionally kicking them and stepping on them was beginning to take its toll on my feet. My third loop took 5.5 hours, and I spent about 20-25 minutes in the aid station.

(Right-->
See those roots?
No you don't.
And neither did
the people who
tripped on them.
Some look like
loose twigs.
Some just don't
show up at all.)

I sat down at the aid station just before the finish/start/turnaround station, and had a cheese sandwich. It was awesome.

I found out they were serving HEED, and I don't know why, but once I started drinking it my stomach, which had been queazy, started feeling better. My legs even stopped hurting. I headed into the finish/start/turnaround station feeling pretty good, convinced my painful times were behind me.

Right before the finish/start/turnaround station, there was a group of people sitting by the path, cheering. For some inexplicable reason, as I went past, all five or six of them fell silent. SILENT. One of them said, weakly, in a normal speaking voice, "Good job."

Then they cheered wildly for the three or four runners 20 yards behind me.
WHISKEY TANGO FOXTROT, OVER????

PEOPLE, Do not cheer for people unless you're going to cheer for everyone. That's all I'm saying.
When I headed out to the third and final loop, I stood up and knew I was in trouble. Oh, boy. I sat back down for a moment. This was going to hurt.

Okay.

Should I quit? I don't remember doing anything that hurt this much before.

All I have to do is make it from aid station to the next, right?

It was just before 6 pm, and the sun was going down. I had my headlight. I had just put on my compression socks, for whatever reason. I knew this would take a long time. The aid stations were 3 miles, 3 miles, 2 miles, 4 miles, and then finish. I put a water-proof patch over the ball of my right foot, which was showing warning signs of forming a blister under the callous. There was a hot spot on the inside of my heel on the same foot, and I put a blister shield on that.

I drank a Slimfast. I stood up. OW.

I headed out. The sun set. I turned on my headlight.

I stopped to adjust my shoe, and that's when a man in his 60s or so ran by me and patted my backside. Startled, I straightened, "sorry, I guess I was in the way."

He called back, "it was quite nice, actually."

Heh.

I came into the first aid station and sat down, hard. On the way there, I was really hurting. It no longer felt good just to sit down for a while and then have a short time of relief and recovery. I no longer felt better after standing back up. Sitting down was just a short respite from standing. I was walking slowly, possibly a 30-minute mile. Occasionally, the endorphins from one painful area would knock out the pain in the other areas for a quarter-mile or so and I would pick it up, and then slow back down again.

At each aid station, I took off my shoes and rubbed my feet, both massaging and also checking for hidden fracture.

Dammit. No fractures.

That meant I had to keep moving.

I figured out that if I carried my light in my hand, I could see better. It cast shadows away from me, so that I could see the roots coming. Only when I let myself get distracted did I kick any.

I'd seen people take some nasty spills all day. One girl went down hard in a cloud of dust. I was lucky, though. Or maybe just slow. When you don't have forward momentum, you don't really trip, you just kick everything in your path, which carries its own set of annoyances, but at least you don't go headlong into a tree.

Or an alligator.

Which, as you recall: EXIST. IN THE PARK.

I came into the Dam Road aid station, before the Dam Road loop, which brought it back to me 2.2 miles later. It was a long 2.2 miles. I was really, really hurtin'. I knew I could do this I knew it but boy, it was sure hurting. I wondered if my resolve to never do this again would stick or if I'd be stupid enough to sign up for another one.

I wondered if I'd have some sort of spiritual awakening that comes with pain and suffering. I hoped for it, so that this would all have meaning. That never happened. Just the constant sensation that some evil bastard with a large hammer was beating on my feet.

I wondered what happened to some of the people that I talked to earlier.

I wondered if there were alligators stalking me, the slowest moving animal in the herd, ready to pick me off, Darwinism at its finest: You're too late! I'd shout, triumphantly as I slid down the animal's gullet, I've already passed on my stupidity genes.

Such is the late night thoughts that make you giggle insanely to yourself.

>>rustle, rustle<< whatwasthat??

I shone my flashlight into the woods all around me. Didn't see anything. Most of the time, I was alone.

>>rustle, rustle<<
Shit! I tried to move faster, but it wasn't working. It was hurting. I made deals with myself. Just make it to 12:40, and then you can sit for 5 minutes. So that's what I did: I started walking 10, sitting for 3 to 5 minutes. Then I was walking 5, and sitting 1 or 2 minutes. Giving the rustling noise a chance to catch up to me.

At the last aid station, the volunteer rubbed my feet for me. Then he asked if I'd considered running.

Why, what a capital idea! If only I'd thought of this "running" thing sooner, I'd be done by now!

If I'd had the strength to laugh I would have. I just stared at him. Then I thanked him for the footrub, and stood up.

OW.

But then, you know, after a half mile or so, or maybe it was 2 yards, I did a little hopping run on my forefoot that kind of felt better - I think it took the pressure off my arches and such, but I could only do it for so long. I mean, it was after midnight, and I'd been on my feet for 17 hours or more.

Man, this sucks. At least in an Ironman I get to sit on a bike for a while.

Heh. Never thought I'd be jonesing for a bike right now. But I was.

OW.

>>rustle, rustle<< WHATTHEHELLISTHATNOISE? I PROMISE I AM NOT WORTH THE TROUBLE IT WOULD TAKE TO CATCH ME AND EAT ME!!

and then:

>>quack quack<<
OH. Relief. That was definitely NOT an alligator, unless they're imitating ducks now. But what was the hell were ducks doing up this late at night? Was I hallucinating? Maybe we crazies had disturbed it, running through the woods.

But still, OW. OW. I stopped every once in a while to hold onto a tree, just for a moment, and pull one foot off the ground for a moment, just a moment, and then the other foot.

Ahhhhh. OW.

Ahhhhh. OW.

The last 4 miles were the worst. The absolute worst. Every 5 feet was a mile, and every turn that was to bring me into the bright finish instead, stretched into darkness, more dark woods, more trail. It was endless. I was exhausted. I was crying nearly as much from exhaustedness (is that a word? Well, it should be) as much as I was from pain.

And then, unbelievably, I was done, at about 1:45 in the morning. Or 1:39. Whatever.

Volunteers, at first, came to see if I was okay, being as I sat down immediately on the other side of the mat and refused to move another inch. And cried. One of them gave me a hug, and asked me if I needed anything.

But then some guy came flying across the mat, finishing the 100miler. He pranced from foot to foot, stretching, holding his arms high, doing a little dance--the people attending to me immediately dropped me like a bad habit and ran over to him, until there were 6 people attending this guy while he was saying, "I feel great! I think I'll get something to eat."
Then they hovered around him for a while, following him as he perused the food table, asking him questions.

Eventually, I leaned over and tugged on a pant leg. Could I, you know, could I have a finisher's medal? Please?

One of the volunteers helping the recent finisher looked over at me. "OH! I knew there was something I forgot." She went to get me a medal, and then some soup. I laid down for a while, but eventually got up and hobbled over to our car, running the heater until it was blasting hot in there, and then napped for a few hours, until it was time to go over and tend to Baboo, who came in about 5:45 and nudged me awake, and said, "Let's Go." But I'll let him tell you about that.

197 started, and 174 finished.

So, it's 3 days post, and how do you feel? Ready to sign up for another one?

Well. I'm pretty determined not to do another one of these. I don't like running at night - it's lonely and it's boring and taps fully into my paranoid delusional craziness and fears of being eaten by a bear or something with all the rustlings that make you afraid to pee in the woods. I don't like running until 1:45 in the morning - it's painful and it's tiring.

No, I think the 50K is my race. 31 miles is totally doable. You're done by supper and can get a good, normal night's sleep. You don't worry about wild animals stalking you in the dark.

But, I'm glad I tried it. Now I know.

And you can't ever know until you know, you know?

I wonder what else I can do...

...

Sunday, February 08, 2009

pre-Post Race Report

I'm sitting at a Schlotsky's in Huntsville Texas and I'm cranky.

I tried posting one line on Facebook but the Apple computer, clearly
the cutting edge of what is available here in Huntsville, will not let
me.  Each web page takes several minutes to load.  Even in this post,
I have no access to formatting functions.

I did finish the 50 miler and I did not enjoy it.  I want to first-off
assure you that this has nothing to do with anything that was
controllable by the race director- this was one of the best run events
I've ever attended.  Well-organized, friendly enthusiastic volunteers,

e.g., Could I please have one of those ham sandwiches but without the
ham on it
?

Why, sure, hunney! (they say it like that, too, "hunney" in a really sympathetic voice) Are you
saying you want a cheese sandwich?


Yes, please, you say, in your tiny, pained, pathetic voice.

I will tell you that at mile 38 the cheese sandwich you have with
cheap white bread and cheap american processed cheese slices is the
best cheese sandwich you will ever have.  EVAR.

I will also tell you that having an old man grab your ass at mile 44
as your bent over tying your shoes is kind-of a pick-me-up.

But back to the race - they had no way of controlling that it would be
the 2nd hottest race they've ever had, or the roots sticking out of
the ground every 1-2 feet.

But more on that later.  Right now, I'm headed back to the hotel room
with a Schlotsky's pizza, cup of soup, and salad � I'm driving, as
Baboo cannot move right now.  He has decided the 100-miler isn't for
him, either.  Of course, he's said that before.

I, though, mean it.  I didn't enjoy one second of this.  I kept
waiting for the spiritual gifts that are much pain - there weren't
any.  The scenery was nice but you spent most of time looking down so
you didn't trip.  All I know is that the last 16 miles of this race
were the singularlyly most paintful hours I have ever spend - and I
had three, large, round-headed babies by vaginal delivery, too.

More later...

Thursday, February 05, 2009

Why I was mumbling under my breath a lot today.

...while walking down the hall...in the elevator...on the stairs...

Hmm. 3 loops, about 16-2/3 miles each. Gonna be dawn when I start out, won't need a headlamp. Gonna be dark when I finish, so, I need a headlamp in my bag.

I HATE the idea of running the dark. Crap. I wish I could run.

Okay, I'll need to put the sides of my hair in two spazzy little ponytails, to keep it off my fair and out of my eyes. I'll need slimfast at the beginning of loops 2, 3, and at finish. 3 cans, in my bag. I'll need a protein bar at the finish. In my bag.

I'll need to take a caffeinated gel 10 minutes before the start, a PowerBar, and a gel, before the start of loops 2 and 3. Also, I need to have some fast-acting Tylenol, and maybe some Advil. Small foot repair kit. Wetnaps. Ziplock bags.

Okay, I'll need my race-ready capris. Need those extra pockets. Aid stations are about 3 mi apart, on average (5K) so I'll just carry a handheld bottle.

Arm warmers. Start out with these, drop them in the bag after loop 1.

Hmmm.

Blanket. Around me at the start, and then put in my drop bag. NO--in the car. Then I'll put it on after I finish. Need some clean, dry clothes, too.

Need socks in the bag, just in case the grass is dewy in the morning and at night. 2 pairs. In the bag.

Jacket. Maybe. I'll wear it, and then tie it around my waist when I need to. Drop it off in the bag until sundown.

Sundown will occur during loop 3. I'll need to pick up my headlamp and jacket then.

Carry my knee thing in the drop bag, just in case.

Oh. Chap stick. Gotta have chap stick. Sunscreen. Tube in the drop bag. Vaseline and sportslick. Carry those.

Okay. So.

Drop bag:

  • 3 ziplock bags, labeled "loop 2" and "loop 3" and "finish"
  • Loop 2 bag: 1 can of slimfast, 1 power bar, and 1 caffeinated gel, 1 pair of socks.
  • Loop 3 bag: 1 can of slimfast, 1 power bar, and 1 caffeinated gel, headlamp, 1 pair of socks.
  • Finish bag: 2 protein bars, 1 slimfast, allergy pills
  • Loose: Sunscreen, Knee thing, Short-sleeved shirt, Foot repair kit, keys to the rental car
Wear/Carry:
  • Race-ready capris with 5 pockets, long-sleeved shirt, non-chafing bra. Possibly a jacket. Sunglasses. 1 gel w/caffein, couple of bandaids, fast-acting Tylenol, Advil, in one small ziplock bag, Wetnaps, ziplock bags in one ziplock bag, Chap stick, Sportslick.
  • hand-held bottle, with asthma inhaler in the pocket

Have in the rental car:
blanket, 1 can slimfast, 1 power bar
clean, dry clothes including underwear
that eye shade thing that helps me sleep
Charger for the ipod.
cell phone
cheap cheddar cheese Ramen.

Okay. Well. I guess that's it, then.


...

Tuesday, February 03, 2009

Lower body workout.

This is my lower body workout for February. I plan to change up my workouts so that they are a little different each month. Apparently, according to those who seem to know such things, you are safe in anthropomorphizing your physiology such that you must change things up a little so your body won't get bored.


I've said before that I. Am. Lazy. Although I will do my best to finish anything I start, it's the starting that's hard. Resistance training is hard. So hard, in fact, that I've avoided it most of my life, even though I will nod affirmitively when you insist how good it is for me. I know how good it is for me. I'm just lazy; don't you get it? I lied when I said "No" to the question, "If there was a magic pill you could take to get in shape..."
I would. I would SO take that magic pill. By the fistsful.

Okay. So, all this is done in my office with the door closed.


During my 15-20 minutes morning break:

Alternate: Forward lunches, 15 reps each side, and Squats with bands, 15 reps. Repeat

  • rest, breathing heavily. Go over and turn on the fan. Stretch glutes and thighs.
Next, alternate: Backward lunges, 15 reps each side, and regular squats, 15 reps. See stars.
  • Try not to fall over on that last set. Take a drink of water. Do some more stretching.

At lunch, after walking, do the following, in my office, with the door closed.

Using resistance band hooked low around a chair, alternate 15 reps each leg, inner and then outer adductors, or abductors, or whatever they are. Repeat. Stretch adductors. Or whatever they are.

Using the same resistance bad hooked low around a chair, do 15 hamstring curls, each leg. Repeat. Stretch hamstrings.

Afternoon break: calf raises, with toes pointed inward (15 reps) forward (15 reps) and outward (15 reps). Rest, repeat.

  • Turn the fan on. Wonder if it's worth it. Stretch calves. Secretly and silently threaten my legs: you better get in shape, dammit, I'm suffering for you.

Things I've noticed so far

1. Lunges are way easier than they used to be. I almost never fall over any more.

2. I've lost another pound, so maybe there will be muscle showing soon.

3. My coworkers have gotten used to the presense of resistance bands and small dumbbells on my office floor. One coworker came in after hours, when I was working out and waiting for Baboo to get done, and although he was initially surprised, he got over it quickly. So, if you're shy about this, just hold your head up. Make them get used to you.

4. Thanks to Steve, I'm wasting a lot of time on GraphJam.

Tomorrow night, at our weekly meeting for The Challenge, there will be an "official" weigh-in and bodyfat measurement. We're only in the middle of the fourth week, so I'm not expecting anything dramatic. I'll post the results.

Meanwhile, I'm doing a bit of carb-loading for this weekend - eating a cup or two of mashed potatoes for this weekend, always after my workouts so that hopefully things get absorbed. I'm still staying within a pretty acceptable parameter and even with the carbs, my diet is staying under 2200 a day. That's quite a feat. If you don't believe me, check here. Go ahead. I dare you. Look and see what a 1/2 of mashed potatoes is.

Three days to the Rocky Racoon 50-miler. I'll be working on drop bags and my ever-important iPod mix tonight. Weather forecast for the area looks good for someone such as myself who will be moving very slowly.

Fri 72°F 56°F, partly cloudy

Sat 74°F 58°F, partly cloudy.

So that's it for today, I guess. I'll post my upper body workout tomorrow.

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Sunday, February 01, 2009

End of Week 3? or was it 2?

So, this is the end of week 3 of the Challenge.  I got a little mixed up earlier in the week on the date, but now I'm sure - it's the end of week 3.  No, wait.   Yes.  I'm sure.  End of week 3.


Since I'm not teaching math any more I'm losing my number sense and becoming a math-tard.  

So, here are the LifeForm graphs for this week for my eating.  Hmm. Looks like I need to take a vitamin C supplement,  and I can go ahead nd blow off the Calcium, Iron, and vitamin A supplements.  These graphs show what I'm getting just from my food, so I'm on a good track.  Of course, this doesn't include all the Crystal Lite I'm drinking, which I think has vitamin C in it.

My weight has held steady this week, around 168 or so.  My bodyfat seems to have dropped a couple points, though.



Today I did my last long run/walk/whatever my IT band will let me do.  It was actually longer than this, because my Garmin got turned off by accident for about 2 miles.  And, it hurt.  I'm feeling pretty discouraged about the 50-mile run next weekend.  

Now, all the ulta-runners I've talked to have said that, compared to the hilly, rocky trails I've been running, that Rocky Racoon will be like running on featherbeds or something.  But let's face it, 50 miles is still 50 miles, and it's even longer when you're WALKING it.  The miles go by slower.  The other people in the race are long gone.  

Sigh.  I'm not really sure about this one.  Of course, I'm never really sure.  Most people don't know this about me, but most of the time I toe the start line pretty uncertain of finishing.  

So that's it.  Nothing thoughtful or witty today.  I'm too busy perseverating on how much running hurt today, and how discouraged I am.  It feels like I haven't run in, like, forever, or that I'll never be able to run again.  

It's going to be a long 50 miles on Saturday.  I'm hoping to finish by midnight.

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