Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Running Again...sort of

I'm running again... but barely!  Remember my gym workout from Monday?  Tuesday I wake up and can hardly move.  It hurts to stand up.  It hurts to sit down.  Lying on my bed, being very very still is about as comfortable as it gets.  Unfortunately, I live in a world where my family people will not let me lie around all day.  So, I decided that if I was going to be up and uncomfortable, I might as well see if I could run.  I went almost 2.5 miles.  At a very slow pace.  I imagine the people driving by wonder if I needed help from my contorted gait.  But I did it.  And my pained muscle from before didn't hurt at all.  Of course, I almost forgot to remember this since the whole rest of the lower part of my body is killing me.  Even with Advil.  Maybe I didn't take enough?

I did it again this morning as well.  What do I have to lose?  My rear doesn't hurt quite as much as it did, but don't worry, my inner thighs still do and they told me about it the whole run.  In a very loud screaming type voice.  Same run, different day, but even slower.  I'm thinking the motorists are about to call 911 over me at this point!

I'm hoping tomorrow will be much improved.  In my experience with muscle soreness, it takes about two days to get over it.  And then its like it never happened.  If I can last just another few hours..............

How do you deal with muscle soreness?  I'm needing lots of sympathy advice over here!

Monday, June 27, 2011

Tomorrow, tomorrow, I love you, tomorrow...

Crossing my fingers that I can get back to running tomorrow!  I have been feeling SO lazy without getting out of bed and hitting the road.  I've gotten a few things done around here during the early mornings, but I always feel like my days get started so much better if I run first.  I think it clears my head or something.

I did try a new class at the gym today.  Body Works Plus Abs.  I had no idea what it was when I went.  Lots of lunges.  Lots of weights.  Lots of push ups. Lots of arm work.  Probably all the things that are really good for me.  All those things that I hate doing by myself. 

The whole time I was at this class I kept feeling that I was in a magazine article... you know the ones... 10 Moves to Shape Up For Summer... or Lose Two Dress Sizes in a Month... the workouts that we all look at and think "How easy is that? I could do that right after breakfast"... when in reality your magazine gets lost in yesterday's mail and you throw it out a month later when you can't remember why you kept it.  Admit it. You've done this.  It sells magazines, and that's what the editors are counting on.  Motivation is a little harder to come by!

Though I was a little lost at the beginning of the class... the instructor gave no instructions to anyone that was new... a little odd since in most other classes that's one of the first questions that a teacher asks - who is new here?  I did manage to catch on.  I also decided that it is much more fun to do weights and lunges and such in a classroom full of enthusiastic people rather than in your family room with the phone ringing and kids wanting to know what there is to eat for lunch.  I won't always be able to do Monday's at 9:45, but there are several other times listed, so I could do those. 

I will just keep repeating how good that class is for my running.

Maybe this break from running has been good for me? 

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Two Days Down.

Five to go.  And, I managed to exercise in non-running ways for both days.  Shocked?  I am!  I made it to spin class on Tuesday and swam laps on Wednesday.  Today, well, I haven't decided what's going on yet.  I know.  I should plan things out better.  Maybe someday.

I have a plan for better nutrition though.  And it's been reinforced yet again by this article in my newspaper this morning.  It's not as much how you exercise, it's what you put in your mouth!  Such hard truths! 

I had some very overripe bananas.  Usually I freeze them and throw them in smoothies.  But I already have a freezer full of frozen bananas due to a warm house, so I got out the dehydrator.  That was the smartest thing I had done in weeks.  Probably months.  I have a very weak spot for Trader Joes Flattened Bananas.  If you haven't tried them, you must.  Pretty cheap... and pretty good for you!  Guess what?  My dehydrated bananas turned out tasting like the TJs Flattened Bananas I love so much!  Yay for bananas that are going bad!

I also love Larabars.  I saw that Wifey made some and loved them.  I figured I'd try too.  YUM!  She's right.  They are great!  Apparently I like dates and didn't realize it.  Mine didn't turn out very photo worthy, so, just go search the internet for some appropriate photos and you will know what they *should* look like.

I probably should admitt though that I haven't been all banana chips and Larabars.  Yesterday was a horrible day sugarwise.  I went to work for 3 hours only to have cinnamon rolls there.  I had a Eegees frozen fruit drink last night at a youth church activity (if you ever come to Tucson, this is a must have!).  When I got home, my cute husband had gotten us all dilly bars.  And I'm never one to turn down a dilly bar.  Especially when it's mint chocolate.  I am human I guess.  (A human without will power!)

Today will be better.  There isn't a dilly bar in sight this morning!

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

I hate stuff like this.

It's the summer.  It's light outside early.  I don't have to go to work.  I have time to run.

That's why my next statement makes me so upset. 

I am not going to run for a week.  I have a groin muscle that I think I pushed too hard during the 5K I ran 2 weeks ago.  It doesn't hurt when I run.  At all.  It bothers me a lot a couple of hours AFTER I have run.  Go figure.  It doesn't hurt the next day either.  I have let a couple days go in between runs thinking it would go away.  But it hasn't.  I have now trolled the internet consulted experts for the best advice I could find on what to do, and what I have found out is that it needs rest.  For about a week.  Maybe two. 

This happened before when I first started running.  I nearly died for the two weeks I didn't run.  I rode my bike, but I still thought I was going to die.  But, putting it all in perspective, I'd rather take a week off than really hurt myself.  With an eight mile race and a half marathon coming up in the next few months, I'd rather not take my chances.  I am just going to have to change my attitude!  It is a hard attitude to change though - because I really, really, really want to run 1000 miles this year.

It will not happen this time!  I am going to swim.  I am going to bike/spin.  I am still going to go walk the hill on Friday morning.  I am going to focus on nutrition.... which, after looking at this cake pan, you probably agree with me that I need to!  I made it for my cute husband for Father's Day... thinking it was brownies... since the recipe is called "Iowa Brownies" and all.  Turns out that it is more like a Texas sheet cake.  No matter.  My cute husband still thought it was pretty good... seeing that it's Tuesday afternoon and there isn't any left... and I didn't even finish it until Sunday night. 

Cake does not last long around here!
If you are jonsin' for a great cake recipe, head on over to the Penzey's website and click on their current catalog.  The recipe is in there.  For the record, Penzey's just arrived in Tucson, only about 1.5 miles from my house.  It is my new favorite store.  I promise not to buy anymore Dutch Cocoa from there.  Only good for me spices and herbs!

How have you dealt with running setbacks?  Or have you had any?  Any thoughts on the matter would make me feel much better!

Friday, June 17, 2011

And I'm back!

I'm loving the fact that the sun is up at 5am!
Does this photo look a bit familiar?  It should.  It's the same hill I posted about last week, but taken from the area that is half way to the top.  The flat spot that your legs get some reprieve right before they are jolted back to reality... and the hills that seem like they are literally going straight up at times.  Up to this point, one could say the run was hard.  After this point, the run gets, hmmm... not impossible, but something that makes your lungs burn and your thighs turn to jelly.  You would swear you are running with 90 pound weights tied to your legs.  In fact, there was a walker lying on the ground there today... she had help from her friends, but you could tell she wasn't loving life!

I enjoyed my run here much more than last week.  I think my attitude was such last week that I knew I was going to hurt the next day, and I ended up dreading going.  I did hurt a little the next day, but not to the extent that I thought I would.  Not like last year when I remember my hips hurting for days afterwards.  I'm not dreading tomorrow at all, so I turned it all up a notch.  I went all the way up, all the way down, half way up, and back down.  A little over four miles total.  I was thrilled with my 11:07 pace.  I improved from the cautious 11:21 of last week.  Now if I would just let myself really run going downhill it would greatly improve!

Now I'll be honest.  I hurt.  I had to do some serious talking to myself to get through those last couple of switchbacks.  And I really had to talk sternly to myself about turning around at the bottom and starting over again... even though I knew I was only going 1/2 way that time, I knew I wasn't fresh and it would be horrible hard.  I gained a little enthusiasm by seeing the (probably? I'm bad with ages!) 55 year old man who was starting out about the same time I started the second time.  His running seemed effortless.  If only I could run this hill that way!

New goal... by the end of the summer, be able to run up and down all the way twice.  A lot of this is mental.  I know it's in me somewhere, I just have to find the motivation to get my body to do what it has the potential to do!

How do you change your attitude and gain motivation when running gets hard?  I'd love to hear what others do!

As my Runner's World quote of the day email said this morning..."Every day is a good day when you run. "  (Kevin Nelson, The Runner's Book of Daily Inspiration)  Hope you have a fabulous running weekend!

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Nuun Application

When I heard about the call for female bloggers to apply for the Hood to Coast Relay team... I figured - what do I have to lose?  There are a ton of very talented lady bloggers out there... but I have a few good reasons that I think I should be one of the chosen 12!

These little tablets don't look like much, but I'm sure they have "Hood to Coast" printed on some for me!

1. I am a lonely runner. At 4:30 AM there are not a lot of other people who want to run with me. In the dark. Around my neighborhood. It would be great to run with other people.  And I already have lots of running in the dark experience!

2. Have you ever been to Tucson in the summer? More specifically August? How about the end of August? With temps over 100 degrees for the past two months and the humidity way up and no end in sight, I need to get out. Seattle and the Hood to Coast Relay in Oregon sound like the perfect getaway place.

3. It’s my husband’s birthday weekend. As his present, I’m sure he would want to come and cheer the Nuun team on.  I also know he would be willing to cover himself from head to toe in Nuun tablets if I were able to be on this team.  I'm sure this would just make his cheers all the more enthusiastic.  He also moves cardboard boxes for a living at UPS.  I'm guessing there is some gear that needs to be moved around for this event and I am volunteering his help.  He would even do it if cardboard boxes were not involved. 

4. I’ve never been to the Pacific Northwest. I’m an Arizona native. I can tell you what a saguaro cactus looks like in detail, and even how to make syrup out of the fruit. I’m not really sure what a tree with leaves looks like. I would love to find out.

5. As my occasionally moody teenage daughter tells me, I have a husband that barely made it out of high school, didn’t get through college, has a crappy job AND has $5000 worth of rock climbing equipment. According to her, I think he is unable to EVER send me to run Hood to Coast. I believe this task is best left up to the good folks at Nuun.

6. I am a motivated team member. I have been motivating the household of “Team Brenton” for over 18 years and counting. If that doesn’t say something about my dedicated track record, I don’t know what does. Dishes, laundry, and dinner, with a dose of running thrown in for good measure!

7. I would get to run with Strawberry Lemonade Nuun. Enough said.

I imagine that Heaven will offer Strawberry Lemonade Nuun from the tap!

8. Escape. If you lived with two teenagers, one husband, two dogs, ten chickens, and a full time job thrown in for good measure, wouldn’t you be wanting to run away from home too? I think that this would be “legally” running away and no one could call CPS about child neglect or abandonment.

9. I’ve gotta be faster than those people in the Hood to Coast movie who didn’t really train. I’ve got it on my list to run 1000 miles this year, so I’ve been out running without even being told to!

10. Dark horse. Every team needs one. That would be me. There have been some great Dark Horse US presidents… take Abraham Lincoln for example. Just think of me as the Dark Horse female running blogger. Perfect for the job in every way.

I would look great sporting a Nuun shirt... especially while running my leg of the Hood to Coast relay!

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Good Vibram-ations!

They aren't gorgeous and they make me look like a frog, but I have now jumped on the Vibram/minimalist shoe bandwagon.  I had been thinking and wondering about them for months.  Between reading blogs, magazine articles, and the book, Born to Run, my curiosity was piqued.  When I walked into my local outdoor outfitter last month in which they were having a huge sale, AND they just happened to have a pair in my size, AND my friend who works there highly recommended them, it seemed like the right thing to do.  Any excuse to buy another pair of shoes!  Don't make me count the number of pairs of shoes I have.  I'm not sure I can count that high.  It's a sickness.

They were easier to get on than I thought.  As long as you are paying attention to your toes, it's not an issue. I guess the message here is don't put them on if you are having to quickly escape out of a burning building.  It will take some time, and the flames might find you first.  I'm not really planning on running in mine, but thought maybe I could build foot strength by walking in them, doing errands, chores, and all of those other lovely things that I do everyday.  I wore them out to go do some errands the first day I got them, and about half way through I could start feeling my muscles in my feet getting tired.  Weird.  I was ready to take them off when I got home.

The two biggest problems I have found so far are...

1: It's hot on the ground here.  Remember, with temps at 100ºF+ here for a while (like at least 3 more months!), the ground outside is not a happy place.  I wore them outside at noon the other day for about 2 minutes and then raced went back in to change.  I'm sure this will work out much better in the fall/winter/spring.  Not now when you can fry an egg on the sidewalk.  I've never heard of this particular complaint from people about this shoe.  Maybe I'm just sensitive?

2: If I thought Crocs were the ugliest shoe ever, what are these?  I was listening to a radio personality who ran ask their guest, a fashion advisor, what she thought of Vibrams.  The fashion advisor told her that it was fine to wear them if you were running or working out, but wearing them to Target was a big fashion no no.  Oops.  I've never been known for my fashion forward sense.  And I had just bought them the week before to wear to places like Target.  I bet you have guessed by now that I own a pair of Crocs as well.  Actually two.

Anyone else have a pair of these crazy shoes?  Do you like them?  What are your thoughts on my plan to wear them just for building foot strength?  Or am I way off base here?

Friday, June 10, 2011

Hi Hill!

Tumamoc Hill from the parking lot across the street.
I'm trying to decide if I've been missing you or not.  I haven't been to see you since September because, well, I'm lazy.  I try to make excuses saying I'm too busy in the mornings and have to get kids to school or me to work.  But we all know the truth, if I didn't have the Saguaro National Park Labor Day run coming up or the Get Moving Tucson half marathon, I probably would continue being lazy.

It hurt to get up you this morning.  My calves were killing me.  A lot.  My lungs hurt.  I even walked some.  But with an 800 ft elevation gain in a mile and a half, who can blame me?  I usually look forward to going down you, but today I just felt sick the whole way.  Maybe I should eat before I run?

While it looks like a hot desert, it was only 70ºF out this morning!
Surprisingly, I felt great walking to the car.  I felt like I should keep walking and go around the block or something.  Weird.  I'm really worried about how I will feel in the morning though.  Last year when I did this the first time, my hips hurt for two days afterwards!

I will be back to see you next week for sure.  Promise, cross my heart!

P.S.  Tomorrow is looking like a great day to swim instead of run.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Meet Me Downtown 5K

I'm always amused to listen to other runners talk to each other while lining up for a race.  Like the high school kids that were behind me...

"Listen to all of that *RUNNING music*... that is SO cliche"  one kid said to another.

Yeah.  So?  We're at a RUNNING event - shouldn't they have running music?  How many other places do I get to go and listen to every song that has the words run/race/win in them and it not sound hokey?  Did they think that songs of a different variety would be a better fit?  Or maybe that they weren't playing a constant stream of Lady Gaga was a foreign concept to them?

Or the guys that showed up in Vibrams... hey - if they can do it - why not?  But their friend didn't wear the Vibrams.  In fact he didn't wear anything on his feet at all.  Yes, it's 98ºF in the shade and he's standing there in bare feet.  Not to mention the fact that on the walk from the car to the starting line I have seen at least five broken glass bottles.  Ouch.  It may sound like a fun, trendy thing to do, but I really don't think the streets of downtown Tucson are the place to prove your running manhood.  At least there was an ambulance handy for when he goes off and slices his foot wide open. 

Finally, all 1700 of us are at the starting line.  Yes, 1700.  That's a lot of people.  Thankfully some were walkers so I was way out ahead of them, but that's a lot of people standing around at the intersection of Broadway and Church.  We had a moment of silence for Gabe Zimmerman and the victims of the January 8th shootings, and then we were off!

Mile One:  This is cool.  I love running downtown.  I wonder if I am going the right pace?  Hey - I'm passing the courthouse where I did jury duty last month.  And look - people spraying water at the crowd from their houses!  Fun for all.  Look - the mile marker sign and my watch says... ack - 7:12 - I think I started out too fast!

Mile Two:  When did downtown get hills?  I thought it was flat around here.  These hills are *giant*.  Are we in San Francisco?  There's my cute husband watching!  I should smile and wave.  You are almost through mile two I know you are.  And just think how fast mile three will go.  Look, your watch says 15:00.  Wow.  I still am going much faster than I thought possible.

Mile Three: My side hurts.  My mouth is dry.  Who are these people kidding with water stations?  There is no time to get a drink.  My mouth is really really really dry.  Water.  How much further is it until I can get a drink.  Drink.  That's what I want.  I can't even swallow anymore.  Up ahead.  In the distance I see the finish line.  Still far off.  Should I try to catch this girl in front of me?  My mouth is so dry.

And it's over.  I pushed stop on my watch at 23:43 but my official time was 23:48.  Still great - another PR.  I'm happy!

I was a little disoriented at first.  I wanted water, but I also wanted to walk it off.  My cute husband was a little frustrated with me for walking one way and not getting water which was the other direction. 

They had lots of options for the runners after the race... there were showings of two different movies you could see or lots of downtown restaurants had specials.  It was a cool idea to get lots of people out downtown... which is all part of the downtown revitalization plan.  I wanted to see one of the movies, but since my cute husband wasn't a race participant, he didn't have a ticket in, so we skipped it and went to dinner.  Mexican food at La Fuente!  I love La Fuente, but for some reason by the time we made it there I didn't have much of any appetite.  Good thing I brought it home... I loved having it the next day!

I'm still trying to figure out how to keep my mouth moist for that last mile if I were to do it again.  Gum maybe? 

Saturday, June 4, 2011

Time for....

A race!

School is finally out (yay - that last couple of weeks of award ceremonies and concerts just about was the end of me!), I have a new job when school starts again (phew - attendance clerk will be so much better than being outside on the playground when it's 105ºF and 70% humidity when August rolls around!), gone on a weekend backpacking trip, and kept on running through it all!  It's beautiful here in the mornings right now.  Really.  You just have to get up when the sun gets up and see the day at it's coolest.  I wouldn't recommend 3pm, but 5:30am is great!

Tonight is the first in the Gabe Zimmerman Triple Crown that I signed up for.  Luckily it doesn't happen until 7pm.  And there will be all of the tall buildings of downtown to keep us shaded.  Thank goodness.  It's something like 103ºF out right now.  The pre race report is predicting at 1500 participants.  I believe them.  When I showed up this morning to pick up my race packet at 10:06am (the shop opened at 10am), here was the line I found!  Of course, they may have been as worried as I was about the shirt situation.  They emailed all the preregisted people to tell them that they might be short shirts, but we would eventually get them.  Um, no.  I. Want. Mine. Now.

Lots of people out here and a line inside too!

I hope the Running Shop made a killing today since they had all of these people traipsing through their store!  I would have bought my cute husband some socks, but they were out of the kind he likes, so I left with my race number and shirts.  Yes - two shirts - a shirt for the race tonight - and a Run Tucson shirt for the triple crown - should I wait until I do all three races to wear it?  I never wear races shirts until I've completed the event.  This could be hard because the shirt is so darn cute.  October seems forever away...mostly because I have a summer of 100ºF temps to live through!

Now excuse me while I'm off to pick out my evening racing attire!