Tuesday, September 16, 2008
These were taken back in May.
Saturday, September 6, 2008
Wednesday, August 20, 2008
The cooler weather has left us and it's hot again. School is back in and 7am traffic, when I like to run, is god-awful. There are no sidewalks on the route I like to run - not even any shoulders to speak of.
Drivers around here are horrible. I've been grumbling a lot lately. Even as a pedestrian trying to cross the street at a crosswalk, with the correct light - I feel like I've got a big bulls-eye on me. I swear I'm going to get killed in this traffic around here. Drivers give no indication that they recognize pedestrian right-of-way. They glare at me as they race around corners, cutting me off in the middle of a cross-walk. Not only bad drivers, but rude drivers.
Largely due to that, I've been looking into programs at the Y to get me off the streets. I may try a swimming clinic in early September.
Saturday, August 16, 2008
I just finished a Graphic Design class at the Savannah College of Art & Design community education program. So although I haven't been posting many doodles or sketches, I've been hacking away at some graphics. Maybe I'll start posting that stuff again soon. I'd like to start working on a portfolio, but that will take a bit more time and dedication than I've wanted to put into it lately.
Thursday, August 7, 2008
[Update] As if to prove the above point, MOB just got a fraud alert call from his credit card company tonight - apparently, there's been an unusual amount of use on it lately! And yes, a lot of that may have to do with me...
Tuesday, August 5, 2008
We've been talking about the need to buy a new laptop for home use. Theoretically, my husband thinks it will replace his and my current personal computers, which are a bit old. However, my personal laptop is loaded to the brim with tons of unnecessary applications that would be so much trouble to reinstall on the new computer. Sure, it makes some kind of noise like an idling lawn-mower and will probably explode in a puff of dust and smoke one day soon. And it weighs about 15 pounds. I am excited about getting a new laptop. Maybe just a little anxious about letting go of the old one.
Sunday, August 3, 2008
After the marathon last March, it was a relief not to have such a huge commitment to train for. I relaxed into easy 3 mile runs about 3 times a week for a couple of months. Sometime around April or May, my sister (here in Georgia) took up running and so we've been getting together on the weekends to run.
It was her enthusiasm about running the Peachtree that kept me interested in doing it with her this year. I might not have done it otherwise. And I'm fairly certain it was my last Peachtree. Two key factors go into that - 1) No longer living at the finish line now makes transportation more of a hassle - I really don't want to take a MARTA train packed in with 50,000 sweaty runners back to my starting point. Too gross for me. 2) I was disappointed to see literally hundreds and hundreds of people with race numbers lined up along the first mile, jumping in after the start, bypassing the controlled start that the race normally follows. People - if you don't want to deal with a crowded race, don't sign up for it!
I've run two other 10ks this summer and my times are a lot slower these days. I'm finally starting to feel motivated to work on that. No more marathons for me. I'm going to focus on 10ks and half-marathons for a while and just try to get faster.
And just a final word about running. The area of Atlanta I am now temporarily living in has the biggest baddest hills I've ever run on and it is a struggle! I miss my midtown routes! I'm looking forward to moving in late October.
Saturday, July 12, 2008
Sunday, May 25, 2008
We didn't use an agent because we knew we could make the price more competitive that way and there is a lot of agent traffic in that building already to see any of the many other units that are for sale. We learned a few lessons about doing the "by owner" thing.
One, I would not list on one of the "for sale by owner" sites next time. I only received 2 calls from that, one that was completely not serious and the other after I was already under contract.
Two, I would use Century21 Clickit (c21clickit.com) again just to get listed on the MLS. This is what realtors use to search for properties and it brought in a LOT of realtors. I was also able to get a Supra lock box through them so agents could let themselves into the property.
Three, Craigslist only brought in one college student prospect who got my hopes up by raving about my place, calling several times to say he wanted to drop by again with his girlfriend, then with his dad, but then dropped off the face of the earth.
Four, I'm glad that I built in a decent buyer's agent commission into the price (3%). I got a sense that the buyer's agents would prefer to deal with another agent, not a for sale by owner. However, once the place became under contract, the buyer's agent really wanted to see the deal happen, so she was helpful in getting all the paperwork straight. Plus, I think she would like to act as our agent in finding a new place now that this deal is done.
Five, thank god I picked a decent location when I bought my condo! I'll miss that area though.
Friday, May 9, 2008
Saturday, April 26, 2008
Never mind that there may not have been more than two people in my age group, I have a metal and that's settles it. I had my eye on the first place winner of my age group who was about 20 yards in front of me for the entire last mile and a half. I just couldn't catch her, as much as I thought I should have been able to.
Darn these sinus, allergy and heat issues. I could have been a contender.
Tuesday, April 22, 2008
The deadline on the contingencies is the day before the wedding. If you have any good vibes to spare, please send them my way. I have a feeling I've got some majorly sleep deprived days ahead of me.
Tuesday, April 8, 2008
Monday, March 31, 2008
I feel proud for having done three marathons, and don't feel any need to do another at this point. I guess the second two were trying to recapture and improve on the wonderful feeling I had after the first, but I guess there is no reliving the past. I'll just have to treasure that memory.
First the results. I finished with a time of 4:30. Not as good as my first, but better than my second. And this was by far a hillier route than either of those, so 4:30 is actually not a bad time all things considered.
The best part is, I really felt good all the way up to about mile 23 1/2 - that was the turn back uphill on 10th street. Things got rough after that, but that's pretty much to be expected.
MOB stood by me at the starting corral til the race started. It was pretty cold. Supposedly in the mid-40s, but the wind must have brought it down to the 30s.
I had debated on what to wear, but decided to go with shorts, a long sleeve technical shirt with a short sleeve t-shirt on top. Once we started moving, I picked up an XXL warm cozy sweatshirt that someone had abandoned on the fence. I put it on until our group was almost up to the starting line, at which point, I tied it around my neck and it draped over my shoulders and back like a cape. It did a lot to protect me from the bone-chilling breeze that pushed us through the first 3 miles. After that, I was warmed up and didn't notice a breeze anymore, so I tossed it. Many thanks to the person who left it at the starting area!!
I did the walk/run approach for the first 23 miles - intervals of running 9 minutes and walking 1. I had a bottle of water with me, but took advantage of most of the water stops in the first 14 miles. It was definitely nice to have an option of stopping or not at the water stops. They must have taken the complaints from last year to heart because there was more than enough water. I also nibbled on a Cliff bar from miles 6 to 20.
Although grey clouds hung over us all morning, thankfully it didn't rain, and the flowers blooming all along the route really made up for the lack of color in the sky. Dogwoods, azaleas, rose-buds, maybe some cherry blossoms.... it was exactly what I hoped for as I ran through my favorite neighborhoods in Atlanta.
The half-marathoners were a chatty, noisy group (MOB would say "maybe back where you run") and I was kind of glad for the quiet that followed after we separated from them. There were pockets of crowd support and my face became sore from smiling so much at the people who came out to cheer us on. I really wanted them to know how much I appreciated it. The volunteers are awesome. Running by the cheering crowd at Agnes Scott was a huge rush. No one from the other colleges we ran through (Ga. Tech, Ga. State, Emory - you know who you are), showed up as far as I could tell. Well, except my friend S, who goes to Emory and ran along side with me for about a half-mile between 13 and 14 while we caught up with each other. That was very cool.
The route through the aptly named Druid Hills was tough but lovely, all decked out in spring flowers. I knew that after Druid Hills there'd be a nice stretch of flat and downhill in the Highlands and that kept me hanging on.
Okay, this is a little embarassing. When I finally made it to the bridge entering into Piedmont Park around mile 23, I broke into tears. I've become so connected with this park over the past 5 years of living by it and running through it, that it was like coming home after a really challenging journey. That only lasted a minute, as I realized I couldn't afford to lose it all yet. It was going to be tough going up 10th street right after the park.
A couple I know live on Juniper and 10th (between miles 23 and 24), and had come out on their balcony to cheer me on. I was hoping to see them there, but was not expecting to see my name emblazoned on some kind of placards they'd created and hung off the railing. It was such a rush at a point in the race when I really needed the extra push. They made me feel great.
Then it got tough, as it does for everybody. Around mile 24, my old knee pain started to reveal itself, but I thought about how I forced myself through those last 13 miles in Detroit with that damned pain, and there was no way I was going to let it stop me with only 2 miles to go this time.
I saw MOB just before the finishing area. I was happy to see him because I knew it was almost over, and that was all I wanted at that point. It was a push through the finish. The last 50 yards or so were a twisting, turning maze, but I understood later that they had to change the finish line because of all the glass and damage from the tornado on the original finish line.
It seemed like the temperatures plummeted about 50 degrees after I finished. Luckily MOB had brought my sweats, a dry shirt, and my wind-breaker, but the cold wind stiffened my muscles. I was able to slowly walk up the hill to the Peachtree Marta station, but I could barely make it up the hill coming out of the Arts Center station.
Seriously, I've never felt so immobilized. I think I know what it'll be like for me if I live to be 100. MOB ended up going ahead of me to get the car. Once the heated seats thawed my muscles a bit, I was able to walk again. I am still pretty stiff, but now it's more the normal post-marathon stuff.
So, I guess those were more than the highlights, but more like a full report on the whole thing. :) I guess I covered it! I'm looking forward now to getting into my bloglines and reading about everyone else's race this weekend - either in Georgia or elsewhere!
Friday, March 28, 2008
Earlier this week, the forecast was ideal for Sunday, but now it looks like there's a chance of showers and lows in the 40s, highs in the 50s. One thing I've learned though, is never trust the forecasts.
It's not just the wedding and trying to sell my condo that's been on my mind. My mind is occupied by work as well. It was a bad year for our industry last year, and whenever a company has a bad year, my area (training and development) always feels a lot of pressure the following year. I really can't complain too much though. Compared to other companies (Delta comes to mind right now), we don't seem to be that bad off.
I try not to blog about work, but I'll just say this - they've been pretty good to me at this place. It's been the ideal job for me so far and I'd kinda like to keep it.
I probably won't be posting again until after the marathon. Going into it, I feel pretty good - I'll get through it. It won't be my best time, but I knew that all along. I'm glad to be part of this particular marathon because it honors all the great features of this city that I've come to call home.
Until then my friends!
Sunday, March 23, 2008
One week from today, I will hopefully be about mid-way through my last marathon! It's funny because although I have wanted to do this marathon for the past two years, now all I'm thinking about is the time I'm going to get back into my life to focus on my upcoming wedding. The party in April is 3 weeks away, the actual wedding is less than a month and a half away.
Ann asked about the tornado that hit Atlanta. Luckily it didn't move up to midtown where my condo is still waiting its new owner. I'm very fortunate that the only effect I will feel is that they've changed the location of the Expo for the marathon. I think I can handle that.
For those who haven't seen the photo yet, InDecatur has shared the best shot of the tornado and some background information on the photo. I'm not going to copy the photo because I'm not sure if it's copyrighted. I think the photographer could make a bit of money off of that shot - it's very incredible.
Monday, March 17, 2008
Once I looked more closely at the plan, I realized somehow I left the entire week of March 17th off of it. Nice going! I think a 4-week taper may be too long. To try to make up for it, I did 15 miles last weekend. I'll do 10 for my last long run and just hope and pray that my body holds up come race day!!
Tuesday, March 4, 2008
Hopefully the weather will be cooperative. We've been getting a lot of rain lately, which is a good thing, but I can't imagine it will be fun if it rains on the marathon.
The only problem now is my shorts (nice Nike running shorts - my favorites). I noticed on my 20-miler a few weeks ago that the back seams in the waistband rubbed raw two small areas of my lower back. On the 22 miler, about 6 areas of my lower back and waist were rubbed raw. I didn't notice it happening at all during either run, but in the shower afterwards, those areas were sore to the touch and later scabbed over in garish red. I guess I'll have to go out and find a new pair of shorts for the marathon. It's not a good idea to introduce new running wear for a marathon, but looks like I don't have a choice.
I made sure to eat lots of carbs on Saturday, the day before the long run. The Friday before was another one of those busy workdays where I procrastinated eating without really thinking about it, and then when I finally got around to it, I just scooped down a quick bowl of cereal. I knew I wasn't well fueled, so I put off my long run until Sunday so I would have more time to fuel up. I think that was a good move.
Saturday, March 1, 2008
Tuesday, February 26, 2008
I saw the Spirit of the Marathon last Thursday night. I was cynical at first as to whether it would have any effect on me, but as the movie continued I started to feel more inspired. Especially watching and listening to the elite runners. I liked the line from one of the back-of-the-packers who said that we're literally following in their footsteps.
Looking back, I think that poor eating was the likely culprit of my low energy and cranky attitude these past few weeks. With all the travel I did in January and the first part of February, my eating habits suffered. Not only was I not eating well, I don't think I was eating enough considering the running. I definitely wasn't drinking enough water either. I lost a bit of weight last month - most people wouldn't be able to tell, but I can. I'm not complaining! Just that I'm not really trying to lose weight.
Normally, I'm a relatively healthy eater. First thing each day, I have a piece of wheat toast with coffee while I pour out some frozen fruit to thaw. About mid-morning, I cover the fruit with some plain yogurt and granola and eat it with a glass of O.J. Lunches are generally PB sandwiches (made with this Flaxseed Peanut Butter I found) or something similarly small and healthy. MOB's a healthy eater too (much healthier than me), so the dinners we share are usually home-made meals that include vegetables and often a salad. Plus I generally finish a 2-liter bottle of rasberry-flavored selzer water each day.
I'm not a perfect eater by any means - I have my daily chocolate fix and I'll have whatever I want when out with friends (some rules: rarely, if ever, anything deep-fried and I never drink sodas), but generally, I'm pretty good.
This past week, I've been able to get back to my eating routine and it's amazing how much better I feel.
Saturday, February 23, 2008
Let's see, how can I advertise my condo on a running blog? Actually, it's not hard considering that that this magnificent property is located one block from Piedmont Park, with great people-watching runner's paths and an 800 meter gravel track. You'll never get bored with the countless different running routes through scenic neighborhoods such as Ansley Park, Morningside, Virginia Highlands, Buckhead (only 3 miles north), Historic Midtown, Little Five Points, Georgia Tech, and Downtown.
The proximity to many popular races either by foot or via Marta can't be beat! Be first to the starting line for the Peachtree Road Race, the ING Georgia Half and Full Marathon, the Atlanta Half and Full Marathon, Shamrock 'n' Roll at Atlantic Station, the Buckhead Sizzler, and many more!
Looking for a running club? There are many to choose from only a short jog away - try Phiddipides in Ansley Square, the Virginia Highlands on Wednesday nights, or the Energy Coffeeshop runners near Atlantic Station.
I ask you, what runner wouldn't want to live in a place like this? :)
Get more info here: https://www.forsalebyowner.com/21462174
Thursday, February 21, 2008
I have been experiencing 8 out of these 11 common symptoms of PMS (Pre Marathon Syndrome) for about 3-4 weeks now. Breast swelling is not one of them, unfortunately. It feels wonderful to finally have a name for what I've been going through! Here's some information I found on the internet.
What are the symptoms of PMS?
PMS often includes both physical and emotional symptoms. Common symptoms are:
- breast swelling and tenderness
- feeling tired
- having trouble sleeping
- upset stomach, bloating, constipation, or diarrhea
- headache or backache
- appetite changes or food cravings
- joint or muscle pain
- trouble concentrating or remembering
- tension, irritability, mood swings, or crying spells
- anxiety or depression
What is the treatment for PMS?
Many things have been tried to ease the symptoms of PMS. No treatment works for every runner, so you may need to try different ones to see what works. If your PMS is not so bad that you need to see a doctor, some lifestyle changes may help you feel better. Below are some lifestyle changes that may help ease your symptoms.
- Take a multivitamin every day that includes 400 micrograms of folic acid. (I have been eating very badly lately, so this isn't a bad idea.)
- A calcium supplement with vitamin D can help keep bones strong and may help ease some PMS symptoms. (Hmmm, interesting idea.)
- Exercise regularly. (Sort of a "hair of the dog" approach I guess.)
- Eat healthy foods, including fruits, vegetables, and whole grains. (see bullet 1)
- Avoid salt, sugary foods, caffeine, and alcohol, especially when you are having PMS symptoms. (ONLY as a last resort. And maybe not even then.)
- Get enough sleep. Try to get 8 hours of sleep each night. (Not a problem. Getting out of a bed has been though.)
- Find healthy ways to cope with stress. Talk to your friends, exercise, or write in a journal. (How about a blog?)
- Don’t smoke. (Only if I can keep the salt, sugar, caffeine, & alcohol.)
In the meantime, I'm going to see Spririt of the Marathon tonight. Maybe it will give me motivation. In 3 days, it will be 4 weeks until the marathon. In a little over a week, I'll do my last LONG run before the taper. It's finally creeping up, thank god!! I feel like I've been training forever.
Wednesday, February 20, 2008
How about that. I actually feel a little better now. Okay, okay, I'm going.
Monday, February 18, 2008
It's possible the carb-loading I did before the 20-miler may have helped my pace as well. I usually forget about what I'm eating and how it impacts my running.
On the bright side, I have been very good about doing my strength training every Monday and am getting stronger. I can now actually DO some of the moves that seemed physically impossible when I started about a month and a half ago. I may be able to run long distances, but I am as strong as a two-year old.
In unrelated news, the cats were officially moved into MOB's place over the weekend and I'll be putting my cozy, wonderful condo out on this beast of a market. My "Midtown Life" will soon be behind me. It's kind of a significant point in all of our lives. You would think with all of this change going on, I'd have lots to post about, but it seems to have the opposite effect on me.
The new life is going to be terrific and I'm so looking forward to finally getting things resettled. Maybe I'm afraid that if I post about all the unsettling of my old life, it will seem that I don't appreciate what's ahead. In any case, we're getting closer day by day!
Monday, February 11, 2008
For the first time ever, I was on the sidelines cheering someone else on at a race this past weekend. It was odd to stand around near the starting area on the wrong side of the fence, but kind of enjoyable to experience the thrill of a race by proxy - without having to sweat for it. The hardest thing I had to do was clap my bare hands in the cold weather. (My fingers were pruned and numb just from the cold! I'm really sensitive to cold - have I mentioned that yet??)
Saturday, February 9, 2008
Last week's 18-miler time: 3 hrs 18 min, a 11 min pace
This week's 20-miler time: 3 hrs 31 min, a 10:33 min pace
Wednesday, February 6, 2008
Monday, February 4, 2008
At this rate, I don't think I can hope to match the 10:10 minute pace (4.26) that I managed in my first marathon. I don't even think I can match the 10:38 pace (4.39) I managed in my second marathon- the one in which I hurt my knee right after passing the half-way mark. In that one, I held back tears as I miserably forced myself to run/walk through the pain for 2 1/2 hours until I reached the finish line.
My hope going into that second marathon was to finish it in 4 hours. I felt so ready and I wasn't far off my target at the halfway point. It was a flat flat course. It's that sense of regret for how badly that second half went that has been driving me to want to do just one more marathon and finish strong this time - maybe not fast, but at least not in tears.
These hills are killing me. I know I'm going to be slow, but I hope that at least by training on the race route, I'll have a measure of protection against injury. And when this race is over, there will be nothing but shorter races and strong legs that I can work on speed with.
Sunday, February 3, 2008
That lesson now needs to be applied to the question I am getting these days "How are your wedding plans going?" Yesterday, I found myself responding with an explanation of how I designed and redesigned my wedding invitations, triumphantly located good, cheap paper after hours of searching the internet, and finally finished them with a red ribbon and a wax seal.
Considering how much time and thought I put into them, it seemed noteworthy enough to me. However, that moment of awkward silence that followed my answer brought the familiar lesson home to me. "Fine thanks" will do in the future!
Monday, January 28, 2008
Thursday, January 24, 2008
I managed to start both Wednesday and Thursday's runs by 4:30, while it was still light. It's a little scary running into unfamiliar territory by yourself in a strange town. After the first run though, I could see that it would be quite a safe route even after dark. It was pleasant too - old churches, charming houses and tree-lined neighborhoods.
There were lots of pedestrians, many of whom appeared to be commuting home on foot. I didn't see a homeless person on my run at all. Charlotte does not have any significant presence of homeless people - quite a change from Atlanta.
Wednesday's 5 mile run was in a downpour of rain, but no thunder or lightning and I found it kind of refreshing. I didn't see any other runners until Thursday's 7.5 miler, when the weather turned sunny. Apparently the runners of Charlotte are fair-weather people. :) I don't really blame them.
Monday, January 21, 2008
While it was bitter cold this past weekend, the actual conditions were nowhere near the biblical scale that had been forecasted. The dawn light of Saturday morning showed no trace of snow nor any rain. It had sprinkled a little around 5am, but then let up.
At 7am, I began to curse myself for getting duped by those weather reporters. I rushed to get dressed in appropriate running gear (2 layers of running pants, sports bra, 2 cold-weather technical shirts topped off with a kangaroo pocket rain jacket, a face warmer, hat, ear muffs, gloves that convert into mittens, socks and shoes - I was dressed like I was ready to lose every hand of an all-night game of strip poker).
8-9am Saturday was perfect running weather. No rain, cloudy and cool but not cold yet. I stripped off the face-warmer, ear-muffs, and gloves and put them into the kangaroo pocket. 9-10am, the temperature dropped, sprinkles of rain fell and I put the face-mask, ear-muffs, and gloves back on and pulled the hood of my rain jacket over my head. 10-11am, snow. Lovely, puffy snow. I warmed up a bit again and had to pull the ear-muffs and face-mask back off.
I never loved my kangaroo pocket rain jacket as much as I did Saturday. In addition to the above mentioned items, the following also found their way into the pocket by the end of the run. 2 vanilla-flavored cliff shot wrappers. 1 heavily used snot-rag. 1 empty water bottle. 1 set of keys.
Can I blame all that extra weight for the really slow pace that I ended up doing?
The next long run will be a stark contrast to this one. Flat and sunny Florida awaits!
Saturday, January 19, 2008
Here's my planned route - it follows the marathon route. I signed up on this Map My Fitness site a long time ago, right before I injured my knee and had to stop running for a while. I forgot about it when I started back. I think I'll start using it more. With the other mapping site I was using, I bookmarked the route to my local computer, but that's no help when I'm over at MOB's trying to plan a run. Plus, this site has nicer editing options to go in and update a route, copy a route, etc. You can also find other people's routes that they've saved in the same area. Pretty cool.
Friday, January 18, 2008
Thursday, January 17, 2008
I don't run well in the cold. I am stiff and completely miserable. Much of it is probably mental, but rather than overcome my bad attitude, I prefer to over dress for the temperatures. I layer on until I'm sweating standing still in minus zero temperatures. I know it's not the recommended approach for cold-weather running, but that's the only way I can get myself out the door.
Today I decided to ignore the reported temperatures and dress as if I were running around the arctic circle. Two pairs of pants, 4 layers on my upper body, a hat with ear covering and gloves. A little chilly starting out, but finally, about 2 miles into it I broke a sweat. Aaah. That's more like it.
Oh, and 3 days of running in a row! 8-5-8. They were not the best runs I've had, but I'm proud of myself for just getting out there.
Tuesday, January 15, 2008
Things are hectic for me lately and I don't do hectic well. I get stressed, tired, start procrastinating and not doing things I should do. And I have a lot to do right now. Something to do with a wedding.
I am trying to justify the fact that I haven't run in three days or done my strength training by countering (to myself) that I did some pretty intense dancing with some very good friends last Saturday night. One of my friends even injured her knee on the dance floor and is going to an orthopedic doctor this week. That's how intense it was. (Or that's how old we are.)
But I'll get out there for 8 miles somehow today.
Non-running related, I saw There Will Be Blood last week and really loved it - except for the end. The ending was pretty over the top and somewhat out of character for the rest of the film.
SPOILER ALERT - if you haven't seen it yet you may want to stop reading now. I'm going to give away a little bit about the ending. This is an example of how I procrastinate when, for example, I should be trying to find the right stationary for my wedding invitations. I came up with an alternate ending to the movie instead.
In my version of the ending, everything is the same up to where Daniel gets Eli to repeat the line that he's a false prophet. After Daniel then tells him that there's no oil on the land and Eli is sitting there crying into his drink, they should go back to the silence that was so effective earlier in the movie. You just see both of their faces for a minute - the grief and shame on Eli's and the mirth and hate in Daniel's eyes. Then the butler guy comes down and asks if Daniel needs anything. Daniel gets up, shuffles to the door, and before leaving, then turns and says "I'm finished."
I'm going with my ending. It makes more sense to me.
Friday, January 11, 2008
Note to self - not a good idea to bring carbonated water in a leaky bottle with you on a run. I filled my little hand-held bottle with rasberry seltzer water (I just really don't like my tap water) and within the first 10 yards it was fizzing and spurting out of some little gaps between the lid and the bottle. About half the bottle escaped, but I managed to keep just as much as I needed to wash down the Clif-shot.
Even though I felt great to get back to the long run after my little back scare, it was a slower run than the last. Not to make excuses, but it wasn't me. Another good note to self may be to avoid running downtown at lunchtime. I hit every red light at every crossing, sidewalks were either closed (Atlanta's building boom) or milling with working folk enjoying the nice weather on their lunch hour. I was stopped by one woman looking for a library, and after seeming confused by my directions, to which I responded by giving more and more detail, she pulled out an address for a different library than the one I directed her to. So, really, it wasn't me. I was great. I rocked.
Wednesday, January 9, 2008
test two - my first 10-miler post back injury/recovery. It felt great, I feel great. So far, touch wood, I'm still on track for the Georgia Marathon on March 30th.
Saturday, January 5, 2008
I'll be doing a little maintenance work on the blog today to get it listed with the Running Blog Family Directory. I've tried to get Rundoodle on that thing in the past to no avail - possibly from my own technical ineptness, hard to say, but I hope I'll get picked up as they start with a fresh slate.
Oh, P.S., the cats now watch me scoop their litter-box with new interest and seem to be hoping that I'll do something entertaining again. Poor things live such boring lives, I really should play with them more.
[Update] 7.5 miles in the bag! My upper shoulders and chest were tight and ache-y from yesterdays strength routine, and I was thirsty, so I walked the last half mile. Overall, it was a decent run - and a big relief!
Thursday, January 3, 2008
I've determined to look past my age as the cause of this (too depressing), and I think the root cause may have been the first run we did up in Chicago a week and a half before. The snow had melted in most places, so we expected the 9.5 mile trail to be fairly clear and dry. However, because the previous snows had been packed down by skiers on the trail, at that point it was an icy, slushy mess. We ran anyway, and the first three miles were kind of a fun challenge for me, not having been up in any kind of snow or ice in years. (Don't ask me how I felt about the remaining 6.5 miles.)
There were a few slips and slides on the ice - one in particular had my feet sliding out to the side from under me and I twisted my body around pretty strongly to keep myself upright. I think that twist was the culprit. A few days later, I noticed some mild pain in my back - something I dismissed as being a part of "that time of the month." Then Wednesday happened.
Yes, the deeper root cause is probably still lack of core training, but I was glad to have another reason to stick on this. I suspect that I'm not the only runner out there neglecting my core training and I am not reading many posts from other runners finding themselves frozen on their hands and knees with their backs locked in waves of pain.
The same day I hurt my back another blogger in the Running Blog Family, and I'm embarrassed that I didn't record the name to give credit (if you read this, let me know and I'll credit you!), posted a suggestion that runners should make a new years resolution to focus on core training this year. Good suggestion. He also linked to a few videos on Runners World that showed Matt Tegenkamp's core workout. I'm afraid those workouts would not leave me with enough time to actually run, so I found a few others on the site that looked like I could fit into my weekly routine.
RunningDVDs.com looks like they have some good videos, plus they have a free downloadable PDF showing a couple of good strength training routines.
After running through my Christmas and New Years vacations like a champ, I haven't run since 8 miles last Monday. I'm feeling fat and unhappy. I'm going to give 3 miles a try today, and if they feel okay, I'm going to do 3 more. I'll have to revisit my training plan for the March 30 marathon, but I think I'm still good to make it. I intentionally made it a longer plan than usual for just this kind of reason.
Wednesday, January 2, 2008
That's right. Frozen on my hands and knees in front of the litter box. It was absurdly painful. If I lifted an arm - back spasm. If I tried to sit up or lay down - back spasm. I had a hard time processing this and called out in pain every time I tried to shift myself into a new position, hoping to find a way to get up. At first my puzzled cat sniffed at my face to see if this was some kind of new game but as I continued to grimace and cry out, she quickly distanced herself, eyes wide in fear.
I was desperate. I tried deep breathing, I tried that yoga exercise where you focus on a part of the body to relax it. Nothing but waiting there about 10 minutes worked. Even then I just barely managed to get to my feet, bent over in spasms of pain, reach up (that hurt too) to the medicine cabinet and quickly swallow three advil. In the same bent over position, I shuffled into the living/kitchen area, leaned on a counter stool, and pushed it around like a walker. Somehow I felt like all I needed was a second cup of coffee and this would go away. I couldn't even reach up to pour myself one.
I've had several painful accidents in my life and nothing hurt as much as this - not even falling from a 10 foot ledge, landing face-first into a fallen tree trunk and breaking my nose. Even now, medicated and with a heating pad strapped to my back, subtle shifts of weight in my chair will cause a spasm of pain in my back.
I suppose this serves me right for taking my back for granted and neglecting my core training. For ignoring my recent birthday, which announced that I had reached my "sell by" date and that I have nothing but deterioration to look forward to if I don't start paying more attention to myself.
I had hoped my first post of the new year would be more cheerful than this! I had planned to write about how well I stuck to my training plan despite the cold weather up in Chicago. How well my cold weather gear worked out. How my new years resolution would be to get more core training in...
I've never had a back injury before but judging from MOB's experiences, I should expect to rest for a few days before I try running again. I'll use the time to locate my old Pilates workout DVDs...