Sunday, June 29, 2008

Achey breaky ankle...

No, I didn't break my ankle. Back a couple weeks ago I hurt my ankle while chasing George. Yesterday evening I noticed it was hurting again. I know where it hurts (along the inside and top of my foot and up my ankle) but I'm still trying to figure out how I am walking when it starts to hurt. When running, the same foot hurts along the outside as if my shoes are tied too tight. I think I need to make a trip to Athletico and have them check me out.

I was also experiencing calf cramps again which means I need to stretch them more often. I do stretch more often and can now bend over and touch the ground comfortably. The boy says at least my aches are coming from being active and not from slothing. That doesn't make the hurt go away but it's an interesting way of looking at things. I am happy I am more active but I fear aches because I don't want them to put me out of commission.

Now it is time to start with the housework. We need to clean and I need to get the guest room ready so I can start painting. So much to do and so little time in which to do them!

As always, there is still time to donate to The Leukemia & Lymphoma's Team in Training!! Please consider sponsoring me as I run the Chicago Distance Classic half marathon and the Bank of America Chicago marathon with Team in Training!

And huge thanks to Penny for her donation! It really means a lot to me, the support I've received for this adventure.

Saturday, June 28, 2008

8 miles...

For some reason, 8 miles is the number of miles that I don't feel that "I hate running" thought with every step. 6 miles I hate but 8 miles makes me feel strong. Go figure! It was like that for the Disney training also. And today we had an all Chicagoland team meetup at Busse Woods. It is really beautiful there!

Today's run was hot and muggy but I had my fuel belt with me that felt so light even though my water bottle was full and I had a couple Sport Beans and Gu packets in the pockets. And an Amphipod clip with my Nano. I know I shouldn't run and listen to music but I only put one earbud in so I can hear what's going on around me. Which is good since we run where people bike very fast. And they rarely shout a word of warning.

So I'm still not eating veggies the night before my long runs but I still get the "urge". I've tried Pepto and Imodium and neither work well. I need to see my doctor anyway for some school immunization things so I'll ask her if there is something she can prescribe for me to take before a long run. I could hardly walk fast at mile 7 because the urge was so bad. And it isn't like I need to go so much as there just being an urge. TMI? Well, here's some more... I solved my chaffing problem. And not with Bodyglide! I run commando! It's fairly common from what I've read. It was a difficult choice but honestly, I don't notice any difference other than no chaffing. Yay!

I am so stinky and in need of a shower but I had to blog about how good I felt. I didn't curse my running experience even once. (I cursed the "urge" but that is expected.) I felt so good! And happy! I felt like I could take on the world! Go me! Go Team!

As always, there is still time to donate to The Leukemia & Lymphoma's Team in Training!! Please consider sponsoring me as I run the Chicago Distance Classic half marathon and the Bank of America Chicago marathon with Team in Training!

Friday, June 27, 2008

Headaches abound!

I've had a nagging little headache for days now. The weather doesn't stick to warm or cold and the switches trigger headaches.

Tomorrow we have an all teams run at a local forest preserve. I was checking out the photos of the place and it is so pretty! Unfortunately Mapquest pegs the drive at 45 minutes which means longer on the way home. And because I have a longer drive ahead of me, I need to wake up earlier so I can leave earlier. And I need to fill up my tank today because I don't want to have to do that so early tomorrow. I fear filling up my tank. Gas prices are so freaking high! At least I don't have to drive to work, a tank of gas lasts a really long time for me.

I am looking forward to tomorrow. Running in the neighborhood is rather dull and can be tricky since much of the sidewalks around here are not nice and even. The first time I went out running in the neighborhood I tripped over a raised bit of sidewalk and almost faceplanted. I ended up landing on my knee and elbow and brand-spankin' new iPod Nano. Seriously! It was the first time out running with the thing and I damaged the corner of it. I was so afraid to run outside for the longest time. Which is amusing since I'd had the Dune "fear mantra" engraved on the back of my Nano.

Next weekend I get to go ziplining! The boy and I are giving that a shot with my folks. Heights make me nervous but my step-dad was able to do it so I should also! I still feel nervous thinking about the hot air balloon ride I got from them as a birthday gift. I was so afraid and felt sick to my stomach the entire day. It was incredibly cool when I was up but if I thought about it too much my stomach did flips. But hell! If I can train for a half and full marathon, I should be able to zipline, right? *laugh*

There is still time!! Please consider sponsoring me as I run the Chicago Distance Classic half marathon and the Bank of America Chicago marathon with Team in Training!

And many thanks to Jan for her donation!

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Pile it on...

I missed my run today. I had a bad sleep night (slept 10pm until midnight, was up until 4am and then slept until 6am) and I have cramps and a headache. The cramps were expected, the lack of sleep was not. The headache came with the insomnia.

I just can't run with cramps. Women will understand.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Second quilt photos...

I finished this quilt last week and never got around to posting photos. It is a white tops with a tie-dyed piece quilted on top. The tie-dyed bit was something I was playing around with and never knew what to use it for. It has a blue grid pattern with reddish-purple blotches on it. Those red bits were sewn around and the blue lines were also sewn through. Then the blue lines follow to the white and get wavy.


I've also started another quilt to auction off on eBay. I still have lots of money to raise for The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society so I must sew, sew, sew! And I need to have a yard sale which will benefit LLS monetarily and benefit me with an uncluttered and spacious house!

It is chilly outside today but will be perfect running weather this afternoon. I need to remember to put George's Team in Training scarf on him before we go out.

There is still time!! Please consider sponsoring me as I run the Chicago Distance Classic half marathon and the Bank of America Chicago marathon with Team in Training!

And big thanks to Wanda for her donation!

Monday, June 16, 2008

What I learned on Saturday...

Since my sister had asked...
Last week I decided to do a little test. I wanted to see if I could eat cooked veggies or if cooked and raw would be a problem during a run. So Friday night I grilled chicken and asparagus and made these yummy smashed potatoes from The Pioneer Woman's site. (I love Pioneer Woman, I really do! Her recipes make me wish the boy were a carnivore so I could make those yummy beef dishes.) Anyway, I ate maybe 3-4 asparagus spears which I'd overcooked kind of on purpose. Tasty chicken and potatoes and veggies! It's just so wrong not to eat veggies even for one day.

And it is still wrong for me to eat veggies, be they cooked or raw, the night before a long run.

I was trying to hard to keep with my pacing and 30 minutes into the run (we did 60 minutes on Saturday) I was just not feeling happy. It was Disney all over again. I managed to walk the last 30 minutes at a fast pace but now I know. Veggies are the devil! And this makes me sad.

I still have these issues even without veggies unfortunately, it's just that veggies make things 100 times worse. I am one of the smallish percentage who gets the urge no matter what. I've tried taking Pepto and Imodium but those really don't solve the problem at hand. I'll have to talk with my doctor and see what she can do.

Another problem has presented itself. I get exercise headaches after a run. Horrible migraines that only go away after I take 6+ Excedrin Migraine tablets. I am hydrated so that is not the issue. I believe it is due to my core not being strong. We had Athletico come in the past two Saturdays for clinics and between those and what I've been reading online, when my running muscles tire out, other muscles try to compensate even though they aren't "running muscles". I shoulders and neck get tense and help to bring about the killer headaches. I need to strengthen my core muscles which in turn help those running muscles. Everything works together!

It's funny, that. This all started out so simple: I would train to run the Disney marathon with my sister and mom. My failure is making me learn more about myself and my body. It's not as easy as going out and running when you've been sedentary all your life.

Just as an interesting read, check out Mr. Marathoner. It's about a 392 pound man who attempted the Disney marathon this year and got pulled out at mile 2. And he is also training in order to return and conquer Disney in 2009. I don't plan on returning until I am 40 (or 42 since that is the answer to the ultimate question) and then I want to do the Goofy where you run the half marathon on Saturday and the full marathon on Sunday. Maybe I can go at 40 for the full and 42 for the Goofy.

There is still time!! Please consider sponsoring me as I run the Chicago Distance Classic half marathon and the Bank of America Chicago marathon with Team in Training!

And super big thanks to Bob and Denise for their donation!

Wednesday, June 11, 2008


Yesterday I was chasing George around the house and I did something to my ankle. We have hardwood floors and I was slipping and trying not to land on the dinning room table and on Friday. It's a bit twingy and swollen but not horrible. I have it wrapped up for support so it heals faster.

George is an ornery little guy and keeps getting into my things and chewing them up. I know he'll grow out of it but it can get so frustrating! He chewed up my Build-a-Bear Read Bear on Saturday. He's also gotten to three books and my watch. Not to mention random bits of clothing. He's a puppy and will grow out of it. Friday did the same thing (she had a thing for panties). And then like a switch has been flipped, they stop chewing on things.

I'm working on the second quilt and it should go together much quicker since the top is just two pieces of fabric. I miss sewing. I miss dyeing fabric. I wonder if my dye is still usable. Maybe I'll play on Sunday.

There is still time!! Please consider sponsoring me as I run the Chicago Distance Classic half marathon and the Bank of America Chicago marathon with Team in Training!

And big big thank yous to Lindsay, Judy and Diane for their donations!!!

Monday, June 09, 2008

Want to know what goes on at a Team in Training run?

I'll admit (if I haven't already) I was extremely nervous to go to my first group run. Firsts like that make me sick to my stomach. Every first day of class makes me shaky even though I've taken enough classes to where that should have passed. But running groups are even worse. I fear I will be laughed at for not being elite enough.

That is never a problem with Team in Training. Everyone is so supportive! There are all levels of runners and walkers that no one feels left out. But driving down to that first run, I was shaking and felt sick too my stomach. I wasn't sure what to do or even if I would find the right group. Plus, that first day I was running a bit late so I got there at 5 after 7am instead of earlier like I'd planned. (I hate being late, I'd rather be early.)

The runs work pretty much the same for every Saturday. We meet at 7am (it will become 8am once we get to the taper before the full marathon). We find the coach with the clipboard and check in. Checking in and checking out help the coaches keep track of who is back from the run and who is still out on the path. No wo/man left behind! After we all check in we gather in a group for any announcements and for the Mission Moment.

The Mission Moment is where friends/family of patients and/or survivors tell their story. They are so sad and yet so uplifting to listen to. It's a strong way to start the run because we hear personal experiences and gain more insight into the cause. It makes the goal of finishing a run easier.

After the Mission Moment we break out into pace groups. The fastest runners head out first, 9 minute milers, 10 minute milers, 11, 12 and then anyone slower and finally the walkers (I don't think there are any walking-only participants in our group). We run along the lakeshore path which is beautiful even when it is gloomy outside. And it always seems to be breezy so even while the sun is beating down on us, the breeze is cooling. With the runs getting longer the coaches are beginning to set up water stations so we can keep hydrated. The good thing about this path is there are plenty of bathrooms! *laugh*

Teammates cheer each other on when they pass other TNT runners. It was a little bizarre to me at first because I'm not so extroverted but I can fully understand why the cheering helps push ahead. Because my cardio is so bad I tent to smile and wave or give a thumbs-up. I hope I can cheer with the best of them by the end of this experience! It makes me feel I can do this challenge when there are so many supportive people "with" me. And I must look happy while I am running because I've had people commenting on my cheerful disposition (they obviously can't hear me mentally cursing my choice of activity *laugh*).

When we finish our run for the day we once again look for the coach with the clipboard so we can checkout. There is also water, Gaterade and snacks offered. TNT takes good care of its runners! Recently one of the coaches have been having little stretching sessions to show us how to properly stretch our muscles after a workout. And there are also clinics scheduled. Last Saturday we had our Injury Prevention Clinic presented by a physical therapist from AthletiCo and this Saturday another physical therapist from there will present a Core Strengthening Clinic. Tuesday night there is a Nutrition Clinic at a Whole Foods in the city which I really should attend because of my vegetable issues before a run. I may just be doomed to having the dreaded trots before every run. *sigh*

So there you have it! That is what we do every Saturday, so far. So when you're still in bed at 8am on a Saturday morning, I'll be out on the path, sweating and breathing like my lungs are about to explode.

There is still time!! Please consider sponsoring me as I run the Chicago Distance Classic half marathon and the Bank of America Chicago marathon with Team in Training!

Thank you to my grandpa Will and Marie, Dr. Di and my sister-in-law Kath and brother-in-law Scott for donating!!

Saturday, June 07, 2008

Hot one today...

Today's Team in Training group run was somewhat muggy and hot. I am beginning to appreciate that 7am start because that 20-miler that will push towards noon will be unbearably hot during the summer. We did 6 miles today and had an injury prevention clinic afterwards. I'm trying to be much better about my stretching. I'm not very flexible but I can tell I've improved from a month ago. I remember being younger (oh so much younger) and being able to touch my forehead to my knees. I hope I'll be back to that in another month.

Running is still difficult. My cardio gives out before my muscles. I need to work more on cardio so I can run for longer times. I have no higher goal than to finish both the half and the full marathons. That would be such a big deal for me. 13 years of a desk job had wreaked havoc on my body and I need to fix that. I've never been athletic (I joined marching band because of a boy). The most exercise I got outside of gym classes was riding my bike to work and back. In fact, I've never even kept up with gym memberships until I decided to train for the Disney marathon with my sister and mom. I actually renewed my membership at the YMCA this year. I've never renewed a gym membership, ever! I still struggle with motivation because I am a couch potato at heart but I am getting better.

Once again, I HATED the run while I was doing it but I felt so good afterwards. And I was looking forward to starting. I really want to better my walk/run strategy. I want to be able to run longer. It looks so easy when I see people out running. Who'd ever imagine running would be difficult?! *laugh*

I am keeping to my "no veggies" rule the night before a long run but I never realized how horrible it would be! I really enjoy salads and fresh veggies so even one day without eating any is frightening. And even without eating veggies, I still feel that damned "urge". I'm going to try eating earlier this Friday in the hope that that will help a bit more. It's just too hot to not to eat salads!

Thursday, June 05, 2008

Team in Training Fundraising Moment

1) Take 5 minutes to visit and read through my fundraising webpage.

2) Donate $5 (or more!).

3) Forward this on to 5 of your friends.

4) 5 is the number of years from the date of diagnosis it takes for a patient to be considered “cured” of their disease.

5) Every 5 minutes someone new is diagnosed with a blood related cancer.

Sunday, June 01, 2008

United Race for the Zoo...

I have a HUGE post in mind but I may break it down into two parts. Today I ran the United Run for the Zoo 10k (that's 6.21371192237 miles). Yesterday I ran 6 miles with Team in Training. That makes 12.21371192237 miles run in a little over 24 hours.

Not one of my best ideas.

I was excited this morning. I'd a good night's sleep. I'd had pasta and steak the night before and a Poweraid and oatmeal bar this morning. I felt like an athlete in my clothing today (I think it was the Disney marathon hat which I wear to keep me focused). The boy stood beside me at the start and we didn't even know it had started. The race had sold out so the start was packed. I'd heard a noise and loud music but I thought it was the usual starting noises (I'd been a bit frazzled trying to find a bathroom and the chip pickup). So anyway it was an odd start.

Within the first quarter mile I came across a fully loaded diaper sitting in the middle of the path. And it was right under my foot. Somehow I managed to levitate my entire body 3 inches to the right so I could avoid the diaper bomb. I mean really! Who leaves a nasty diaper in the middle of a walkway when the zoo has so many trashcans?!?! But I kept on and was working on my walk/run strategy.

By mile two I was having my usual race thoughts. They're made up of various forms of "what in the HELL am I doing", "this is easily the stupidest idea I've ever had", "I could be in bed napping with my dogs right about now" and "who really enjoys running, dumbies". These are sloth thoughts and no matter how excited I am to start and how happy I am to have crossed the finish line, I hatehatehate running while I am doing it. I can't believe people enjoy running. (Right now I am happy and sore and thrilled it was so beautiful outside and I am looking forward to Tuesday's morning run with George... I am stupid.)

At right around mile three two buff hardbody boys ran past me with their shirts off. The one said to the other "everyone is so sweaty and they haven't even finished their 5k yet". This made me furious and I spent the next mile planning how I would trip then and run over their prone bodies. I decided that they may have been cute and in shape but that didn't stop them from being assholes. I mean, the people who were out and running came in all shapes and sizes. And they were out being active! I know I am far from ever being an elite athlete and I have no desire to finish first or even qualify for the Boston Marathon. This does not make me any less of a person. I may walk more than run but I am still crossing the same finish line as those starting in the fastest corrals. I am still making an effort to do better and be faster. I may have different reasons for being out there but they are just as valid as any reason those hardbodies had. So there! *blows razzberries*

It's about this same time that my energy plummeted. I was running past the fence around the Belmont Harbor and the passing of the fences combined with the sunlight twinkling on the water made me dizzy. And I got somewhat lightheaded. It was not pleasant. I hadn't thought to take any Sport Beans of Shot Bloks with me so I was SOL. I kept up a good pace but I was wiped out. Miles four and five were mind-numbing. I was so happy to see that mile six sign.

The Avon 3-Day was going on at the same time so markers along the path were confusing. At times the zoo race was on the same path while at other times we broke away from the Avon walkers. I had to keep asking the flagger people which was my path.

But I finished (not certain of my time yet... 1:38 maybe?) and now I am sore. And I have chafing. *shudder* I fear I may have to run commando and I'm not sure I can do that. It's bad enough I had to switch to thongs (TMI?) but even those chafe. I have Body-Glide (which I forgot to use today) but I think going commando would solve that one problem.

Yeesh! I didn't get to posting about my Team in Training run on Saturday. I want to try to post about that every week but I get sidetracked. It was a good run and we were all in a television audience after our run. The show airs Saturday 7 June, 2008 on Comcast Sportsnet at 5:30pm CST. I believe it will be online also. I'll post links. Not sure if I can be seen in the crowd since I tried to hide behind tall people but somehow near the end I was closer to the front. So more about Team in Training tomorrow!

And I am still fundraising so please consider donating!