Wednesday, February 29, 2012

My name is Beth & I am a running addict

Oh dear! Yeah, I know I said that I wasn't going to change my race schedule for the upteenth time but today I found a discount code for the Rock & Roll Denver Marathon/Half Marathon on September 22. The discount was for $29 off of the $95 registration fee. I love a good bargain so I couldn't pass it up. I could've applied it to the half marathon...but no...I went and signed up for the full 26.2 miles in a city a mile up in the air. That's even 900'-1000' higher than where I live. I guess hope that I'll acclimate easily and the course elevation chart actually look fairly flat with about a 200' max elevation change.

I also switched around and removed some races. I'll be doing a half marathon in Wichita Falls, TX on Saturday that I'm not too worried about. On the 25th I'll be in Tucson to run yet another half marathon...I'm trying to figure out now whether I'll be flying or driving to that one. The following weekend I'll be running back to back half marathons. On March 31st I'll be in Midland, TX for the Bloodgusher HM in the morning then drive to Ardmore, OK (almost 7 hour drive) to run the A2A HM the following day...April Fools Day, sadly this is not a joke! lol!

Motorola MotoACTV
I'm all registered for these races so I won't be registering for the May through September races until next month. I am waiting for the WDW Wine & Dine Half Marathon and Family 5K's registration which open on March 13 so that I can pay for that ASAP.

Lastly, I'm on the verge of ordering a Motorola MotoACTV at $249. I need something smaller than my phone for the half marathons but I need something that will also track my run (GPS) as well as hold music should I decide to listen to some when I run. It's much more affordable than the Garmin GPS watches that I've been looking at which run $400-$500.

I've said it before...whoever said that running was a cheap sport was lying and definitely was not a techie!! lol!

Monday, February 27, 2012

Leap Year Day Running

Since this year is a leap year, I've been looking around for a run to do on February 29th. It's not that I have to have a reason to run, but running for a reason seems to make the runs more meaningful. So, there were no local area runs for the day but I did find two virtual runs that are both FREE!! Free is always good especially when I seem to keep adding races to my schedule that require travel and overnight stays instead of removing extra races!

The first race is being hosted by Erica at (LifeAsA)RunningMom blog. It's a simple 2.9 mile run/walk in honor of the date...February 29th. She's got a cool Google document/spreadsheet to record the results which is something that I'll need for an upcoming virtual race that I'll be hosting.

The second race that I'll do concurrently is the Run the World - One Day Run to benefit the Ronald McDonald House Charities. While the race is free, they suggest making a donation to I will. This race is a virtual around the world relay beginning in Chicago. The goal is to cover 25,000 miles in a virtual race around the world in 24 hours. There is no set mileage but since I'll be doing the other race at least 2.9 miles is guaranteed!

Why not join me in celebrating this once every 4 year event by running or walking in either or both of these two events? Just click on the logos and follow the instructions to join. 

What I Ate Today: (Still being updated)

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Pecos Valley Stampede Half Marathon Report

So,  today I went ahead with the already scheduled half marathon in the land of the UFOs...Roswell, NM. Even though I had not run for most of the week due to my nasty cold I want to join Half Fanatics so bad that I figured I'd walk the course if I had to! Thankfully that wasn't necessary. :)

The morning for me started out at 3am when I got up after only 3½ hours sleep...I'm showing a trend here for lack of sleep before races! Took my shower to wake up, taped up my knees with KT Tape and my both my feet (turf toe) with regular athletic tape. A quick breakfast of a whole wheat English muffin with 1 Tbsp of super chunk peanut butter and some lemonade started my carb load for the morning. We were on the road for the just over 1½ hour drive to Roswell by, pretty much on time!

We arrived in Roswell around 6:50am and since we had some extra time, since packet pick up didn't start until 7:15am, I stopped to get gas, my post run chocolate milk and to use the restroom because I was thinking that there would only be porta-toilets which I hate to use...especially when it's cold. When we got to Cahoon Park, where the race started and finished, I got out of the car and immediately jumped back in because it was so cold. We waited a few more minutes and at 7:15am we headed in to check in and get out bibs and shirts. It was cold! It really felt colder than the 30-something degrees that was forecasted. After checking in I just sat in the car until about 7:50am at which point I braved the cold and started walking around to warm up. I saw some of the other folks that had come down from Clovis and chit chatted until everyone started heading to the starting line. Thankfully it had started warming up, especially in the sun, so I wasn't quite as cold although I would have loved to have remembered my gloves because my hands are always cold when I run.

When the starting gun fired I was already in the back of the only goal was to actually finish the race even if I was the last one in. There were a bunch of cadets from the NM Military Institute who were either running or hiking the route as part of training for the Bataan Memorial Death March late next month. The first three usual...were my worst. I don't know why but it usually takes me the first 3 miles or so to find my rhythm. During that time it was me and an older gentleman bringing up the rear of the runners, there were several cadets hiking the course in back of us. I swear, I don't think he wanted to be passed because if I did get ahead of him he'd move to the left and at least get next to me or slightly ahead of me. lol. Anyway, by the 5K mark I had moved pretty well ahead of him so I was no longer the last runner! Also by this time I was running more than walking so everything was good.

Now, around this time I started to get hot and sweaty so I decided to take of my long sleeved tech shirt that I had over my running dress. It was then that I noticed that my running dress had hiked up to my waist!! Thank goodness I was wearing shorts underneath! :-o I got everything settled while running/walking and arranged the way it needed to be and went about my way. I wasn't tracking how fast I was going, I just kept at a comfortable pace that I referred to as my "sightseeing" pace. I think it was around mile 5 that I started seeing the Clovis group go by me one by one. In the group that was there I was the slowest one running the half marathon. We high fived as we passed each other and I just kept trotting on my way.

At the finish line.
I finally got to the turnaround, halfway point and headed back towards town. The first mile wasn't too bad and then I hit the wind head on. Now, I truly hate running into the wind...I can handle it from the side and I love it at my back, but a headwind sucks. I ended up probably walking much more of the next few miles that I should have. I should have just pushed through the wind, but since I was only in it to finish I wasn't too worried about my time. The final turn back into town was at the original 5K point. I tried to get myself to run more, but I was definitely starting to hit the wall. The Clif Shot Bloks that I had eaten for energy weren't sitting well so I stopped all intake to keep from hurling. I did about a 60/40 run walk for the next couple of miles until I hit the limits of the park. At that point I started to run a little more and did my best to push through the last mile which usually whoops my butt and where I just end up walking to the finish line, but not today. As I come jogging up to the finish I hear my name being called, there's like 4 cameras pointed at me and it's the Clovis folks cheering me on! :D It's the first time that I've had people I know at the finish line instead of only the husband. It was pretty cool!! :D

The race was over, I finished in an upright position and I set a new PR by what I think is about 8-10 minutes without even trying!! Not bad for being sick for the last week or so. It will be about a week before final results are in so I won't know for sure until then. I went to the car got my chocolate milk, walked back down to the awards area where they were just getting started handing out the awards. Over and over names from our little group of 9 were being called. Our members ended up walking away with 2 of the top 3 overall women's finishers and 4 age group award winners. Not bad!!

The Clovis Nine!
So, that's 2 half marathons down towards my Half Fanatics membership goal. One more to go and I meet minimum requirements to join! I'm actually going to see how I feel this week, if things seem to improve I may drive to Wichita Falls and run the new Xpress HM that they'll have next Saturday...if not, I have a half scheduled and paid for in Midland, TX at the end of the month. Woohoo!! Can't wait!

What I Ate Today:

  • 1 whole wheat English muffin
    • 1 Tbsp super crunchy peanut butter
  • 16 oz pink lemonade
  • 8 oz water
  • 8 oz chocolate milk
  • 1 banana
  • 5oz smoked sausage with sauteed onion and green pepper
  • 1½ cups white rice

Friday, February 24, 2012

Am I ready?

Well, it's good to be back after a week long absence due to a killer cold. From last Thursday a week ago through this past Wednesday I was primarily in bed, moaning, groaning, coughing and choking. Things seemed to lighten up a little on Wednesday and I tried to do a 2 mile run (which turned into 1.88 miles because I missed a turn) that ended up feeling like I had run a marathon. I was so sore yesterday it wasn't funny. That was my only run since the virtual half marathon a week ago Tuesday. So, today I have enough energy to have done all the laundry, clean most of the kitchen and stay out of bed with the TV off for the majority of the day. I am by no means totally well, I'd say maybe 75-80% of normal, but at least I'm moving.

The bad news is that I have a half marathon tomorrow. It was going to be my attempt at a new PR but based on Wednesday's performance I am going to be far from a PR. I know that I'm going to be coughing and choking during the run, but I am determined to cross that finish line doing at least a walk/run...yeah...more walking than running. I considered for a while just skipping it, but I'm so hardheaded that I won't give in. Then I considered just downgrading to the 10K instead...but still my stubborness persists. I could just walk it, but what fun is that...not trying to see how far I can push myself and see what I'm really made of?? lol! Someone needs to knock some sense upside my head for me...not that a few haven't tried already! I haven't hydrated properly or carb loaded or heck, for that matter eaten properly for this race. I'll be surprised if I don't bonk early on...

Anyway, I just need to get a few things ready. Already got my race outfit picked out: new black and white running dress with a long sleeve tech shirt over it and black compression knee highs...hey, if I'm going to be sucking at my run, I might as well look cute doing it! So, there's not bling for this race (another reason I considered the 10K instead) so the run is just for me. It's race #2 in my quest to become a Half Fanatic club member and really the first half marathon that I could've really bit my teeth into. Oh well, there will be more races in the future...I'll just treat this as a training run for now. The important thing is to finish even if I'm the last one to do so!

100 Days Challenge:
I'm going to have to start over since I've missed so many days due to

What I Ate Today:

  • 1 thin cut broiled rib eye steak (~5 oz)
  • 1 small baked potato with 
    • 2 tsp I Can't Believe It's Not Butter 
    • 2 tsp sour cream
  • ¼ cup green beans
  • 4 cup cakes

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Being sick sucks!

Ugh. I'm sick today. Woke up just thinking it was post nasal drip clogging up the back of my throat and causing a dry hacking cough but that blew up into a full blown all day headache, low grade fever and just a general feeling of malaise. I was going to try to do my 2 mile run on the treadmill today, with my head hurting like it is I think I'd puke before I hit a ½ mile. So this will be the second day in the 100 Days Challenge that I've missed. Boo.

I'm getting ready to go to bed for the night and thought I'd just get this post up real quick since it's a short one. Oh, and if you do see me on Facebook tonight for whatever reason, I apologize if I'm whining...I tend to whine when I'm sick! lol!

100 Days Challenge:

  • Day 47
    • Sick day, no workout

What I Ate Today:

  • 1 serving Cream of Wheat
  • 1 regular can Campbell's Chicken and Rice soup
  • 3 cups plain lugau (Filipino rice porridge)
  • 40 oz G2
Alkalete Review Final Day:
Well, I took my last dose of Alkalete today and I'm really still undecided about it. There may be a slight improvement delayed muscle soreness (I can feel Tuesday's run in my legs today), but I don't know that it's significant enough to continue with it. I think I'll let it go for now and give glutamine a try for a bit to see if that works better. I've heard that Hammer Nutrition has a great recovery formula called Recoverite. Maybe I'll give that a try.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Monthly cooking plans

Well, all the food that I cooked during the first week of the year is almost gone. We have about 5 bags of taco meat (4 servings each), 2 Caribbean Jerk chicken breasts and 4 servings of soup left. That means it's just about time to plan another massive crockpot cooking adventure for another month to month and a half's worth of food. I can't tell you how convenient it has been to just pull something out of the freezer to heat up and only need to make quick sides like rice, potatoes or veggies! So, what's on the menu for the next cooking excursion? I know that there will be:

  • Vegetarian chili
  • Texas style beef chili
  • 3 Meat Jambalaya x2
  • Honey & Orange Tofu x2
  • Shrimp Etouffee x2
  • SBD Savory Chicken Saute x2
  • Pork & Shrimp Wonton x3 (should make about 180 pieces)
I've got to look around for some new crock pot recipes to try out, maybe 3 of them. Once I figure out the new recipes that should be enough food to get up to the end of next month all done.

Possible new recipes to try:
  • Crock pot Flank Steak Fajitas
  • Salisbury Steak and Carmelized Onion Gravy (Crockpot)
  • Crock pot BBQ Ribs (YES!)
  • Crock pot Pork Chops
  • Crock pot Lasagna (for carb loading weeks)
  • Crock pot Spaghetti (for carb loading weeks)
If you have any to die for crock pot recipes that you think I might be interested in trying, just leave the recipe in the comments please! I likely won't be cooking until the weekend or next week.

100 Days Challenge:
  • 1½ mile walk with the grandpup in 20 minutes
  • Turbo Sculpt video workout 39 minutes

What I Ate Today:
  • 8 chocolate chip cookies
  • 12 oz non-fat, lactose free milk
  • 3oz beef tips
  • ½ cup white rice
  • 1¼ cup steamed broccoli
  • 32 oz iced tea with 6 packets Splenda (in 2 servings)
  • 1½ cups cheddar & broccoli soup
  • 20 oz G2
  • 1 bag microwave popcorn

Alkalete Review Day 9:
So, after running 13.22 miles yesterday I expected to be sore quite a bit today, but that wasn't the case. Granted, the first day after a long run I'm not usually very sore so we'll have to wait to see if I'm walking tomorrow! I feel pretty good...took the grand pup to the park and walked around a bit. Got ready for Aqua Zumba but class was cancelled due to only 3 of us showing up (the other 2 ladies just swam, but since I don't swim...well). If I'm not sore tomorrow I'll be impressed, but for now I'll just have to wait and see...

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Half Marathon #2: For the Love of the Kids Virtual HM

So today I ran my second half marathon. Now, it is not considered an "official" race because it is a virtual run in which people register and participate in their own town or favorite running route. I registered late last Friday so I hadn't received my bib to wear during my run. With that being said I knew I was going to be in for a rough day when I woke up a 4am after only 2½ hours sleep. I tried to get back to sleep but it just wasn't happening. Not too long after 6am I went to go buy my pre-run breakfast items that I was out of...Bagel Thins and bananas. Instead of the Bagel Thins I ended up with whole wheat English muffins...which I promptly burnt when making my breakfast! I tried going back to sleep but only ended up in bed tossing and turning. After an hour I decided that it was just time to get up an run...I had already been awake 6 hours. I had taped up my knees during breakfast so all I had to do was tape up my turf toe on the left foot and taping for turf toe on my right foot as a precaution.

I was finally out of the door at 11am. The first challenge...getting my Fuel Belt (a waist belt that holds 2 bottles for water, has a small pocket for energy foods, a holder for energy gel in a flask and a large pocket for my phone). It usually takes me the first 3 miles or so to get into a rhythm and I found that at mile 4 I was actually right on page to finish at my 2:45 goal. Mile 5 found me 30 seconds ahead of pace and I downed roughly the equivalent of one caffeinated Gu energy gel and water at five miles to try to keep the flow going. (I also made a mental note not to run this route on Tuesdays or Wednesdays because apparently the livestock auction is on Wednesday...people were bringing in their stock and the manure was rank!) I managed to keep ahead of pace by 1 minute in miles 6-8 but after that (and the equivalent of another Gu gel at mile 8) I started to loose several seconds with each subsequent mile although I managed to stay about 15-20 seconds ahead of pace for most of the rest of the run. By the time I hit mile 12 my head was telling the body to back off since I'd be finishing the distance okay...that's not what I wanted to do, but for the whole mile it was a battle between resting (walking) and trying to run (which ended up breaking down into shorter and shorter intervals). I just happened to look at my phone a little before I was to reach home and was surprised to find that it read 13.11 miles already...luckily I did catch the time which was 2:44:52!! Yay! An unofficial personal record (PR)!

I've reached out to some of my friends on Facebook running groups to work out how to push myself to work hard in that last mile, how to improve my speed through speed workouts and the science of snot rocketry. Thanks to a lot of input I've got some idease as to the first and last item, but working on speed is going to take some time. I have another half marathon in 10 I'm gonna rest tomorrow (except for PT exercises) and on Thursday do a short 2 mile run or walk...probably with the grand pup. Then just my classes at the college and a couple of short runs until the race 2 Saturdays from now. Hopefully recovery will go smoothly...I really hope so!! lol!

100 Days Challenge:

  • Day 45
    • Virtual half marathon (13.1 miles) for For the Love of the Kids/Association of Hole in the Wall Camps
    • 60 minute Hatha Flow yoga class
What I Ate Today:

  • 1 Whole wheat English Muffin
  • 1½ Tbsp super chunk peanut butter
  • 36 oz G2
  • 10 oz water
  • 2 Gu energy gels - Chocolate Outrage
  • 2 fried eggs
  • 1 sausage patty
  • 24 oz low fat chocolate milk
  • 1½ cups Rosemary potato soup
  • 6 chocolate chip cookies
Alkalete Review Days 6-8:
For the last few days things have been pretty much status quo. I've taken my doses today (including an extra dose post run) and will see what things feel like tomorrow after having run the distance today. No major changes to report.

Monday, February 13, 2012

Reality bits

Yeah, the title is right it is supposed to say "bits" rather than "bites." I was just perusing my blog last night and this morning when I realized that a great deal of my latest posts have been about my running. I have to tell you, I don't picture this as a running blog but more of an eclectic mix of whatever comes to mind at the moment that I decide to write the post. With that being said let me meander through a few thoughts that are in my head at the moment.

Last night the little grand pup, Charley, unexpectedly came for a visit for about an hour. His mommy had driven the nearly 4 hours in snow to drop a friend off from the Albuquerque Sunport (Airport) and then turn around for the trip home. Really? She dropped Charley off with me while she and her roommate/SO (so confused about the relationship) went to have some dinner before heading back up to Albuquerque. Poor Charley didn't seem like his normally chipper self. He barely acknowledged me, no kisses whatsoever, wanted to spend most of his time alone out in the snow unless I put him up on the bed (he didn't even try to jump up by himself) and just seemed to be depressed. I was so sad and I worry about him. IMHO he needs to come home to grandma and live with the pack again. I actually cried for a little bit after he left to go back with his mommy. He'll be back to see us, if not stay with us, eventually. :(

A few days ago I had a sudden occurrence of some really negative thinking just out of the blue and totally unexpected. The whole episode lasted about 30 minutes and I didn't act on anything, but I know that something like that is one of the first signs that an impending depression will likely start within the month. It only makes sense...ever since I was diagnosed in 1997 I could set a watch to the deepest depressions that would occur every, and I do mean every, spring typically in late February or early to mid March. Nowadays my depressions hit anytime of year but only very rarely in the's all that extra sunlight and being able to be outside more. So, with this early indication of an impending crash of my mental health, I've added back a low dose of an antidepressant, Wellbutrin SR, at 100 mg daily to allow time for it to kick in before things get bad. I'll probably be back on this med, and maybe back up to my usual 150mg dose, for at least 6 months. Joy. Hopefully it'll only be the Wellbutrin and lithium that I'll need to be on. I really don't want to throw more meds into the mix since I'm running.

Lastly, have I mentioned how much I hate housework? That's what's staring me in the face at the moment so I guess I ought to stop blogging. So wish me luck! Have a great Monday!
100 Days Challenge: 
  • Day 44
    • 50 minute Aqua Zumba class
What I Ate Today:
  • 1 bacon croissant-wich from Weinerschnitzel
  • 1 hash brown patty
  • 10 oz orange juice
  • 20 oz G2
  • 32 oz Pepsi
  • 1 Bacon cheeseburger w/ grilled onions & mushrooms from Baby J's Grille
  • ~3 cups overdone french fries
Lousy eating for running a half marathon tomorrow!! :(

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Until there's a cure...there is no finish line!

A few days ago, when I had my TNT purple hair dyed back to a more normal dark auburn, I found out that again cancer had struck someone I knew. I hadn't seen this particular person, a nurse I used to work with when I first arrived in town, much over the years after I left the hospital. I'd bump into her occasionally at a doctor's office, in the mall or at WalMart. The last time I saw her was probably about, if not over, a year ago. She seemed well and we chatted briefly before going on our separate ways. When I went to get my hair colored I found out that she had been diagnosed with cancer back in October and was not expected to make it through the day. I have not heard anything yet but it really wasn't looking good as of early last week.

So, I'm going to take this post to ask you to please join me in the fight against cancer. Please support one of the following organizations that I have been fundraising for with a donation. Simply click on their logo to go to my fundraising page. Thank you!
Accepting donations until the end of February 2012

$5 minimum online donation, mail in form available

100 Days Challenge:

  • Day 43
    • 33 minutes strengthening PT exercises

What I Ate Today:

  • French bread Pepperoni pizza on a Bolillo roll
  • 60 oz G2
  • ½ cup Mongolian beef
  • 1½ cups white rice

Saturday, February 11, 2012

My reason to run today

Today marked the worldwide virtual run to remember Sherry Arnold, a Montana runner, math teacher, mother and wife who disappeared in the early morning of  Saturday, January 7, 2012 during her morning run. While two arrests have been made, her body has not yet been found. Her cousin, Beth Risdon who blogs at Shut Up + Run, started a movement to honor Sherry with a simple blog post and go out and run/walk/cycle or whatever activity of a person's choice to honor her cousin on Saturday, February 11, 2012. Several of my running friends, local and online, planned to participate. Some of us simply to remember Sherry and some of us, like myself, to make the stand that safety is an issue for runners, perhaps especially for women who run solo...and that we shouldn't allow fear to keep us from doing something we enjoy. Watch this video about the virtual run from KTVQ in Billings, Montana.

Despite having woken up at 4:30am and spending the next 4-5 hours trying to deal with an upset stomach that almost stopped me from going on the run, I persisted and ate my usual light breakfast, took a hot shower to hopefully perk me up (which it did), and taped up my knees and turf toe. The run was scheduled to start at 9am but I ended up moving a little slow and didn't get out the door until 9:30. I had originally planned to drive out to the local Air Force base to run the 10 mile long perimeter road, but between being sick and a weather forecast with a freezing fog advisory, 22°F, wind chill of 11°F and winds for the east at 11mph, I decided that running a 5K route in the area of my house would be the best plan since I'd be relatively close to restrooms very close to the route and close to home should I begin feeling ill during the run.

I have to admit that the run started out pretty slowly as I tried to grapple with my rumbling stomach and the occasional wave of nausea. The tree branches and grass were fairly well covered with frozen fog. I had to concentrate on keeping warm and keeping moving. My initial intervals were pretty short...not even ¼ mile before walking for 100-200 feet. As time passed the nausea seemed to subside and I was able to get into a fairly regular pace with my run intervals increasing closer to half a mile. Once I hit this comfort pace my thoughts for why I was running, especially while sick, became the focus. My thinking began to focus on what I could do to make myself safer since I run solo about 97% of the time. I carry pepper spray on most of my long runs (when I can remember it) and I try to run in fairly well traveled areas (Perimeter Road on base is the most remote location I run on). Whenever possible I tell my husband which route I'll be on and try to leave it up on my computer where he can find it and if I'm running during the week while he's working and I'm going down that way I'll usually check in just to let him know where in my run I am and when to expect me home. At about this point I found myself hearing my Runstar app announcing that I had just surpassed the 5K mark. Woohoo!! I'm feeling pretty good, I think I'll try to keep going for the 10K.

As I began on the second loop I realized that I had forgotten my RoadID anklet, another item that I try to remember to put on before my long runs. This little gem provides basic emergency information plus is linked to an account online that emergency services can retrieve my medical history. I do, however, always carry my smart phone which shows my husband's phone number on the lock screen and also has an emergency information app on it listing my medical history. I began thinking if there was anything else that I could do to make myself even safer and I couldn't think of anything short of running in a group. I don't know enough local runners who run at my pace which is slower than most runners I know (they are probably at an 8-9 minute mile while I'm more at a 13 minute mile during training) and my run is faster than walkers than I know. Besides, I do enjoy my alone time to just zone out or think things over by myself. I do try to go to the local running club weekly meetup but I only do 1-2 miles due to time constraints although it is nice just touching base with people. There it is Runstar app announces 6.2 miles and I'm just short of my house. Oh, what the heck...haven't been feeling sick lately let's go for the full 10 miles!

I turn around and decide to do the route in the opposite direction with some extra turns and such to reach the full 10 miles. I'm pretty much done thinking at this point having covered every talking point that I could think of. I'm plugging along when I start seeing individual young men at two different points walking towards me with hoodies on and the hoods pulled up over their heads and obscuring their faces. I then start going into alert mode...what are you going to do if you're attacked? Should you turn around and make sure you're not being followed? Frankly, just a little touch of mild paranoia. Obviously, nothing happened. But what if it did? How would I fight back? Kicking, screaming, swinging my frozen arms which seemed to be frozen into the 90° angle to keep proper form. I had left my pepper spray at home since I'd be running in town and on fairly well traveled roads. Unfortunately, that reaction is really something that you won't know about until it actually happens. I continue on my way turning a corner (one of those extra turns I had mentioned) and there's a man walking out of his garage who hollers out, "That's too extreme, this is not running weather!" to which I reply, "Any weather is running weather!" Again, my mind turns a little paranoid. What if this guy actually tried to grab me and drag me into the house? What would I do? Again, there was nothing that I could come up with for sure because the reaction would be instinctual. I realize that I can't let paranoia control me. I have to trust in the run and trust in my instincts to keep me safe. I hear the Runstar app call out 9.3 miles. I need to adjust my route a little again to make the full 10 miles. I begin to wonder what must have gone through Sherry's mind as she was being abducted. Was she terrified or had they tricked her into entering the vehicle? What was it that made her their target? Just the fact that she was a woman running alone? We will never know. As I turn onto my street, I have to turn away from home to get another quarter mile in. I pull out my phone and open the Runstar app to keep track of how much further I need. I shake up my sprint flask (a palm held 10 oz bottle) full of G2 to find that it has pretty much frozen into a thick slush which is totally undrinkable through the valve (good thing I wasn't thirsty during the run). Then as I pull into the driveway I said a silent thank you for getting me through this run and a wish for peaceful running for Sherry Arnold. You are safe now. Run happy.

100 Days Challenge:
  • Day 42
    • 10 mile run to honor Sherry Arnold in 2:13:52

What I Ate Today: (Still being updated)
  • 1 whole wheat Bagel Thin
  • 1 Tbsp reduced fat peanut butter
  • 40 oz G2
  • 2 sausage patties
  • 2 fried eggs
  • Spaghetti with meat sauce from Something Different Grill
  • 2 slices of garlic bread
  • Side salad with Ranch dressing (iceberg lettuce, cucumber, tomato, red onion, croutons)
  • 32 oz Pepsi
Alkalete Review, Day 5:
Still not noticing any significant changes. Some soreness post 10 mile run after 2 doses today. Two days of rest in my future aside from PT exercises and Aqua Zumba before the virtual half marathon. We'll see how ready I feel on Tuesday.

Friday, February 10, 2012

Double digit miles of indecision

OK, I know ya'll are getting tired of hearing about this particular subject...changing my race schedule. Yes, I've done it yet again...actually I've changed it about 3 times since last night!! lol! I just keep adding more and more to the schedule. In fact, I've added my first full marathon to be done in October, just three weeks before my MUST DO half marathon (the WDW Wine & Dine) so that I can get my coveted Coast to Coast medal...which signifies that you have completed a race at Disneyland and a race at Walt Disney World in the same calendar year. I also plan to add the 5K  that weekend, which will have to be renamed due to the change in used to be the Disney Halloween 5K. Since the race was changed to early November maybe they'll rename it to the Thanksgiving 5K? This will be a prolific running weekend because I would, hopefully, be coming home with three medals at once!! :D

Anyway, I digress. So after thinking about it a little bit I've registered to do a virtual half marathon on Tuesday...For the Love of the Kids Virtual Run. As long as I finish the run I'll earn a finishers medal to add to my medal rack which is looking a bit barren right now with only 3 medals on it. I already had a 12-13 mile training run planned for tomorrow in honor of Sherry Arnold that I'll knock down to a 10 miler to rest a little for Tuesday. Then I've potentially added the Disneyland Half Marathon to my schedule for September which also means that I might as well add the 5K run in there as well!

I've also added the Wounded Warriors HM in Las Colinas, Texas on June 10th as yet another half marathon. I have a cousin, actually a few, that live in the Dallas area and one of the girls said that I'm welcome to stay at their house. I just have to figure out whether to drive or fly down there. Hopefully I can find a cheap flight and car rental...that'd make life so much easier!

Finally I've also decided to train for my first full marathon in Albuquerque on October 21st...both my choices are on the same day so I just have to decide which one I want to do. The Duke City Marathon is almost completely flat and follows the Paseo del Bosque Recreational Trail which is a beautiful piece of running/biking path. It's basically an out and back route so there's no chance of me getting lost when I'm the last runner coming in...hopefully before the cutoff!! lol! My other choice is Day of the Tread. This is a fully costumed race (from what I can tell from pics) versus what seems to be a conservative Duke City Marathon. I think that DoTT is probably the funner of the two but it also comes with a 400' change in elevation and a time limit of 6 hours versus a 7 hours time limit for the DCM.

Now, with all the additions I may have to take away a few races. My sprint duathlon and the metric century ride are first on the chopping block for potentially being put off until next year. I may replace the Firecracker Run 10 miler with a local 5K. Finally, if I do end up doing the Disneyland HM the Turtle HM, which was my very first race last year, will be chopped as well since they are on the same weekend (Labor Day) and I won't be home in time to do it. I've also decided not to do the Dirty Dash in Albuquerque as it is 2 weeks before Wine & Dine and I don't want to risk a major injury that would prevent me from participating in that race!

One of these days I'll come up with a final schedule but until then you can see what I have planned in the race schedule widget in the right sidebar along with a countdown of the next 3-4 upcoming races. So please, bear with me...I'm just a little addicted now to a sport I've literally hated for most of my life!! LOL!

100 Days Challenge:
  • Day 41
    • 30 minutes PT exercises

What I Ate Today:
  • 60 oz G2
  • 1 pack chicken ramen with 
    • 1 small, shredded chicken breast 
    • 1 cup mixed vegetables
  • 1 full rack of BBQ Baby Back ribs (oink!)
  • 1 scoop coleslaw
  • 1 scoop potato salad
  • 1 slice Texas toast
  • 24 oz Pepsi
Alkalete Review Day 4:
A little sore today from yesterday's run. Tomorrow's run should be interesting. The soreness is uncomfortable but not painful. I really can't tell any significant difference. Still had to take a couple of short naps today because I was so tired. I was just advised by my distributor to take extra doses since I'll be running so much the next several days with longer miles than usual so maybe I'll be able to make more of a judgement after my HM run on Tuesday. There are still other forces at nature that might be influencing the fatigue and such so I'm really trying to give this stuff a chance.

Thursday, February 9, 2012

My addiction(s)

What's your addiction? I first figured out that I had addictive personality back in the early 80's after I had been in the USAF for a year or so and found myself partaking in the alcoholic beverages on the weekends more than I care to admit. The fact that I was still underage didn't help...unless I was on base where I could legally buy beer. I basically quit drinking totally in 1984 when I found out that I was pregnant. Since then I've been very tipsy once and other than that have had maybe 8 glasses of wine and 2 glasses of champagne total. Luckily, I was able to nip things in the bud before it really became any kind of major problem.

My other addictions, at least until recently have included collecting shoes, purses, Italian charms, Tupperware, Pampered Chef and Calphalon cookware that I didn't really need. Since I've started exercising again beginning in May/June of 2011 I've become addicted to Zumba...which I'm having to give up for now. When I started running in July/August I never would have thought that I would ever become addicted to running races! This is really the least likely of addictions that I could have ever expected.

Why do I say that I'm addicted to running? The fact that having just run my first half marathon, I've gone ahead and scheduled almost monthly half marathon races since returning from my first in Disneyland not even 2 weeks ago. Since I started running I've either started planning trips around races or looked for running routes in areas that I am visiting. I'm on several running themed Facebook groups and when a new race pops up one of the first questions in my mind is, "Wow, that race looks cool. I wonder how I can swing that trip/race?" At least I'm not alone in this addiction! Many of my Facebook running friends admit that they have similar behaviors. There's been many a night that we'll end up posting almost endlessly about a particular race looking to share expenses, where to stay, what the race bling (finisher's medals) looks like, etc. We tease each other with "Yes, go ahead and sign know you want to!" Or giving reports on how well or how badly a race went/was organized.

Other than the cost of this addiction (race fees can range from $15 to $150) plus travel and lodging if needed, this is a healthy least that's the way I see it! So, in honor of this addiction here's a little prayer that I wrote last night after a couple of us were working on how to swing adding another trip to Disneyland, in the most cost effective manner, for the Disneyland Half Marathon to be held during Labor Day weekend.

The Newly Addicted Runner's Prayer

Dear running gods...
Especially those dealing with newly addicted runners. 
Please provide me with the prudent judgement to make wise choices in adjusting my 2012 race schedule...
Yet again. 
Allow me to choose races that I can both afford and finish 
And let me not get sucked into the whirlpool of mania and addictive behavior that I'm known for at times. Amen

100 Days Challenge:
  • Day 40
    • 10.44 mile run in 2:20:12
What I Ate Today:
  • 40 oz G2
  • 1 whole wheat Bagel Thin
  • 1 Tbsp reduced fat peanut butter
  • 12 oz low fat chocolate milk
  • 4 - 3" hot dog sliders with ketchup/mustard
  • 1½ cups battered french fries
  • 24 oz Sprite
  • 1 Clif energy gel - Chocolate
  • 1/3 of leftover baked potato from last night
Alkalete Review Day 3:
Just a brief note today. Feeling okay, no major changes and still feeling fairly tired. Didn't actually take a nap bur probably should have. Took a dose immediately before after my run, no significant change noted...feet still a tad  tender post run almost 12 hours since last dose. Not really feeling anything significantly changed. I have a 12-13 mile run set for Saturday, we'll see what happens then.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Goodbye Zumba! (For Now)

Today I made a gut wrenching decision. I'm letting Zumba go, at least for now, until I feel my pelvic malalignment issues have been permanently corrected. Up until I attended a couple of classes last week my pelvis/IT band has been feeling pretty good with only some slight aching. After attending the classes (regular studio classes) I began having increased pain to the point that I had to start sitting out some songs on the second day. Even now I have some issues with mild pain and tightness when I first start running even when running at a pace slower than my normal training pace of about 12-13 minutes/mile. My next half marathon is just over two weeks away, so I think that it is the smart move to stop Zumba now and allow as much recovery (between runs) as possible.It seems that the Aqua Zumba isn't causing me any problems, other than sore arms because I use swim gloves for more resistance, so I'll be staying with that. Luckily summer is headed our way in a few months so I'll be able to attend classes at the outdoor pool over the summer...woohoo!

So, what will I replace it with? Well, I should start training on the bike for the sprint duathlon in May. I still need to replace the MTB tires for semi slicks and my bike needs a serious tune up (it doesn't help that it's a cheap WalMart bike). I'm just not ready to fork over big bucks for a road bike...that won't happen until I find out how much I enjoy/or not enjoy riding. We have an elliptical but to tell the truth, I hate it. First of all my quads burn so bad within 10 minutes or so and well, I don't have the patience to stay on it...I think it's actually worse than the "dreadmill."

So, I'll have to decide fairly quickly. I definitely need some cross training in my routine as well as speed work (again something that I dislike). I wish our YMCA had a full on rowing machine...I've loved rowing in the past. I've read that rowing is a great cross training activity for runners as well. I could row almost forever I think. Maybe that's what I'll look for to add to the home gym in the future, a nice rowing machine. But that costs money. Ugh. Running is making me even more broke than normal!! Running is NOT a cheap sport...don't let anyone tell you it is!! LOL!

100 Days Challenge:

  • Day 39
    • 38 minutes of PT exercises for pelvic malalignment/ITBS

What I Ate Today:

  • 12 oz non-fat, lactose free milk
  • 2 fried eggs
  • 2 sausage patties
  • 8 oz Mongolian beef
  • 1½ cups white rice
  • 1 pound baked potato from Something Different Grill with
    • shredded cheese
    • bacon bits
    • chives
    • sour cream
    • butter
    • salt
    • pepper
  • 32 oz Pepsi
  • 20 oz G2

Alkalete Review Day 2:
Yesterday was my 2nd full day on the Yoli Alkalete dosing. After doing a 6 mile treadmill run late last night I woke up today to my feet feeling okay but some soreness in the legs/hips. As the day has worn on, the soreness had eased significantly although I did do some PT exercises and the soreness increased somewhat. I was also extremely tired today and yesterday having to take an extended nap each day. Now, I'm not saying that the fatigue is due to the Alkalete as there is also a change in my body's self-regulation that I noticed yesterday. Tomorrow is an 8-10 mile run so we'll see how things are feeling on Friday. The testing continues.

The good, the bad...whatever.

Had some somewhat major milestones today. I said goodbye to my purple hair and hello again to brunette. My  hair is now back to a very deep auburn and in good light you can still see some of the purple shimmer through the auburn. I kinda feel strange having "normal" colored hair again...much like I felt weird when I first went purple. At least it should take less time to get used to this color than the bright purple. The thing I'm looking forward to after the first couple of days is the lack of the hair color bleeding. With the purple, a semi-permanent dye, anytime I sweat I'd have streaks of light purple sweat and actually ruined one of my running tech shirts due to the bleed. It was really strange my hair colored at the cosmetology clinic at the college and seemed to be drained of all my energy. Could it be that the purple hair was some type of energy magnet for me? Hmmm...after going back to brunette I ended up sleeping through the local run club meetup and the first part of my hatha flow yoga class. Not a good thing.

The second major thing to happen today was finally getting my Tinkerbell Half Marathon tattoo to commemorate completing my first half marathon. For those of you counting, this is number 23 in my collection of skin art. This has been a long time coming...6 months to be exact! The place I got it at offered to do it the week before the race but I was like, "I don't want to jinx anything! I don't want a tat I haven't earned." So now that the race was done and I finished with a decent time it was the right time to have it done. Now I just need to finish my duathlon, and eventually a triathlon, to balance out my arm in May...

My training run today was a treadmill run of 6 miles and was truly a bear. My left hip/IT band issues are starting to rear their ugly heads again. I could only manage a max of 1% incline and a very short burst of max speed at 6mph. Otherwise I was doing 1/4 lap walking at 3mph and 1 lap at 3.8-5.5 miles per hour. Things seemed to loosen up late in mile 4/early in mile 5 where I was able to run up to 3/4 of a mile at a time. I'm beginning to worry what's going to happen at the half at the end of the month. I also beginning to think that Zumba is the root of my hip/pelvic issues so I'm afraid I may have to abandon it all together. :(

Overall my eating and drinking habits are sorely lacking...gave in to my lack of willpower and had a Pepsi today. I've really gotta get back on board as training really has to get serious. Time to really try hard to suck things up! Until tomorrow or the next day...

100 Days Challenge:
  • Day 38
    • 6 mile treadmill run in 1:30:10
What I Ate Today:

  • 3 pieces of fried chicken (2 thighs, 1 drumstick)
  • 1 cup of white rice
  • 12 oz non-fat, lactose free milk
  • 24 oz low fat chocolate milk
  • 1 Weinerschnitzel bacon croissant
  • 1 Weinerschnitzel hash brown patty
  • 8 oz orange juice
  • <¼ of a Taco Box New Mexicali taco salad
    • seasoned ground beef, refried beans, green chile, guacamole, sour cream, shredded cheddar, black olive slices, tomato, iceberg lettuce
  • 34 oz Pepsi

Alkalete Review, Day 1:
Yesterday was my first full day taking Alkalete (manufactured by Yoli) which by all that I've read basically an alkalizing compound to neutralize the acidity of the body. I currently trying the product out on a 10-15 day trail for $9.95. It is supposed to help with delayed onset of muscle soreness (DOMS) something I experienced after my first half marathon a week and a half ago where I felt pretty much fine for the first 3 days post-race but ended up with significantly sore feet an legs late on day 3 and most definitely through days 4-7 post race. I took the first half of a loading dose on Sunday in the evening after my 8 mile long-ish run and by Monday morning did notice a significant change in the soreness of my feet and lower legs. Yesterday I took the full 2 doses at loading levels and this morning my feet and legs feel fine although I am having some stiffness of the knees (nothing new) and some left hip/IT band pain (again, nothing new as I had been in PT for 2 months for this). The Alkalete is also supposed to help those suffering from acid indigestion/heartburn something that plagues me off and on. I am not a distributor...I'm simply sampling it for myself since I plan to run at least one half marathon a month this year. I'm hoping that it helps my recovery time so that I can start training for the next race as soon as possible.

DOMS has been described by some as occurring due to lactic acid buildup lasting up to 72 hours after strenuous activity and others describing it as being due to microscopic tears after heavy activity. However, most seem to agree that lactic acid breakdown (or neutralization) occurs within the first hour after activity. Since I added the Alkalete so late after my race I'm basing my review on using it during my training for my next half marathon late this month. After my run  on Sunday, I experienced very little muscle soreness considering how tender my feet were Sunday morning. So, stay tuned...we'll see how this goes.

Monday, February 6, 2012

Back in the classroom, again!

Today was one of the high spots for me each semester at the local community college where I used to teach. Since one of my dearest friends took over the psych content I used to teach to the fourth semester nursing students, I go over at the beginning of each semester when they begin talking about mood disorders. The goal is not to necessarily "teach" the book learning to them, but rather to give them the viewpoint of a patient with a mental illness. I do a little book learning such as the basic differences in the ranges of bipolar disorder and general symptomology but I spend most of my time sharing my perspective as a mental health patient...who just happened to be a nurse (I let my license lapse, after nearly 22 years as a nurse, at the end of January as I have now been deemed unemployable due to my 100% service connected disability by the VA).

One of the first things I always start with is to find out how many of them are "wary" or outright "scared" of going into a locked down, inpatient facility. There are always at least a few hands that go up and I try to do my best to reassure them that they will survive. In four years and 16, week long clinical rotations with my students I only had one freak out a little and that was resolved by the 2nd hour after I pulled her off of that particular floor for the morning. No, I didn't whip her into submission...I simply let her get acclimated to the setting a little longer!

We, or rather I, talk about my history, suicide attempts, medications, triggers, symtomology, etc. to give them a viewpoint to look at that they may never had thought of before. I try to encourage them to see each individual as just that, an individual...who happens to have a diagnosis of a mental illness. I try to remind them that the patient is not the disease...that the patient has a disease. I tell them how hard it is sometimes to not say "I am bipolar" instead of what really is true..."I have bipolar disorder." We talk about any and all things that they want to bring up...not just what I or my friend, the instructor, have in mind. My overall goal is to help alleviate fears of their clinical rotations and to help them understand that mental illness is just another disease process except that it's brain and chemical based versus just being able to look at lab, xray and other procedural reports to help make a determination. 

I had some good questions posed to me today..."Can a patient see different providers and be told he/she does not have bipolar or a diagnoses that they had been given earlier?" The answer is unresoundingly YES! With mental health there's really no cut and dry line saying this is what you have. A lot of it has to do with the clinical experience of the provider...have they seen this disorder, how much experience have they had treating the disorder, do they have the full story? Yes, diagnosis can differ from provider to provide, but it is also the responsibility of the person with the illness (or their caretaker) to learn about the diagnosis and bring up questions and concerns, if possible, to clarify the diagnosis. Another was "Was it a relief to finally be diagnosed with bipolar disorder?" For me YES!! I knew something more than major depressive disorder what wrong with me, but I didn't know what. When I was finally diagnosed and started studying the disease I could automatically see just how closely I fit the criteria for bipolar disorder type 2. To finally know what was wrong with me was a definite relief. Another question was about how the diagnosis affected the family. Well, when your kids find you, when they are the at the ripe old age of 8 or 9, after ingested multiple pills in an overdose attempt (several times), there's going to be some affect. My son harbors resentment, my daughter tends to avoid the subject, the husband tries to watch for my symptomology while at times denying his own (recovering alcoholic). So yes, it takes a huge toll and like I said in a previous post if I knew back then what I know now I probably wouldn't have had kids.

I did a little bit of a social experiment with my purple hair too, which is going back to a dark auburn or what ever color it turns out to be if I can't strip the purple out of it this evening. I just showed up and started talking never really bringing up the subject of my hair. Finally after the Q&A session and no more questions were posed, I asked them..."So who has been sitting there wondering if I was manic when I dyed my hair purple?" I had told them over and over again during my visit that I was completely open to ANY questions during my visit. I saw a few people kind of get that look of " did she know?"  and finally I'd say about half a dozen hands went up. I told them that it wasn't a mania but fundraising that led to my purple hair and hopefully a bald head on May 11th. I wonder if I'm a little imposing or unfriendly that they were afraid to ask? Naw...probably more like they just didn't know how to ask. Well, hopefully they learned something out of this guest speaking gig. The last class I did it with seemed to have a good time. Some of them even remembered me as I was shopping in the local WalMart months after the presentation. I guess time will tell...

100 Days Challenge: 
  • Day 37
    • 2.43 mile walk with the grand pup in 45:46 around the neighborhood
What I Ate Today: (Still being updated)

  • 12 oz low fat chocolate milk
  • 5 pcs Albertson's fried chicken - 2 thighs, 2 wings, 1 drumstick
  • 10 oz non-fat, lactose free milk
  • 4 chocolate chip cookies

Sunday, February 5, 2012

21 Day Training Plan

I committed myself to running my next half marathon on February 25th as part of my qualifying for the Half Fanatics Club. Exactly 21 days from now. Seeing as it has taken me a full week to really get back up to about 90% of normal that doesn't leave much time to train and get back up to speed (figuratively...still turtle slow). I hope that this plan will build on what I have already trained for and just bring me back to where I need to be. Between yoga, Aqua Zumba and Zumba I'm getting enough cardio and strengthening I think, although I'll have to start doing my PT exercises regularly again (which I'm having issues doing). I've noticed that since starting up regular Zumba again I'm starting to have some of my pelvic/hip issues start up again...I'm going to keep that class at only 1-2 per week and see if that helps a bit. The Aqua Zumba I don't think is a problem because there's not as much twisting as in floor's more about the water resistance. The yoga will hopefully help with core, strength and balance/stability and finally the PT exercises for specific area muscle strength. So, I'm having to come up with a 4 week training plan to include some kind of taper...maybe a taper that is not quite as long as it should be. So here's my plan:

Four Week HM Training Plan 
(4 wks between races building on recent HM training)
HM #1

2 miles*
Hatha Flow
Aqua Zumba
3 miles*
8 miles

Aqua Zumba
PT Exercises
5 miles
Hatha Flow

Aqua Zumba
PT Exercises
8 miles
PT Exercises
10 miles
PT Exercises
7 miles
Aqua Zumba
Hatha Flow
PT exercises
10 miles
Aqua Zumba
PT Exercises
12 miles
PT Exercises
PT Exercises
4 miles
Hatha Flow
PT Exercises
2 miles
HM #2

*Recovery week.

What do you think? Too ambitious?                                                                        

100 Days Challenge:

  • Day 34 (2/3)
    • Missed :(
  • Day 35 (2/4)
    • 30 minute walk on the treadmill 1.38 miles in 30:04
  • Day 36 (Today)
    • 8 miles in 1:42:18 on Llano

What I Ate:
  • Saturday (2/3)
    • Totally forgot to track what I ate... :(
  • Yesterday
    • 1 Weinerschnitzel bacon croissan-wich
    • ½ Weinerschnitzel bacon breakfast burrito
    • ½ Weinerschnitzel sausage breakfast burrito
    • 1 hash brown patty
    • 8 oz orange juice
    • 8 oz rib eye steak
    • 1 cup garlic shells
    • 3/4 cup mixed vegetables
    • 3 chocolate chip cookies
    • 32 oz non-fat, lactose free milk
    • 20 oz Pepsi
  • Today
    • 1 pack chicken ramen with
      • 1 cup mixed vegetables
      • 1 cup shredded fried chicken, no skin
    • 4 chocolate chip cookies
    • 24 oz low fat chocolate milk
    • 12 oz non-fat, lactose free milk
    • 24 oz G2
NOTE: Started my trial of Yoli Alkalete as a recovery aid. Will report more on it in the future. I'm trying this because I had significant delayed onset muscle soreness (DOMS) after my half marathon a week ago. With having at least one half marathon schedule every month, I want to do everything I can to minimize the occurrence of  DOMS so that I can begin training as soon as possible afterwards.