Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Back to Back Runs!

Monday 2.0 miles/19:40/9:50 average pace

Zach and I went to the gym and did cardio then a class. So, for cardio I did the treadmill. I have been intending to add a Monday run to my schedule, cause I really think I can handle 4 days a week now. So I felt ok about it. I walked for 10 minutes and then stretched, which I've been doing before every run, then I did 1.5 miles at 6.0 mph and then the last half mile or so at 6.4. Also I checked my heart rate a couple of times and I'm glad to see it's not off the charts! It was about 165 15 minutes into the run and up to 170 by the end. I was working hard but not dying. It was neat to watch it come down after I stopped running and walked. After 1 minute it was 140, after 2 minutes 130 after 3 minutes 120. I think it was 95 or so by the time I got off. I'm pretty sure that's normal. :)

So, then we did this class called "Core Central" which I thought would be a good core workout. Well, it was basically a step aerobics/strength training with light weights type class. Pretty lame. But it was fun to do something different. The instructor was hilarious and Zach looked funny doing the moves. He thought he'd be the only guy but a couple showed up. It wasn't a great workout (aerobic or strength-wise) but it was fun.


Tuesday 3.5 miles/31:50/9:06 average pace

I got up in the freezing cold for my first back-to-back run and it went great. I felt strong and my leg felt perfect. The dirt shoulder that I usually run on was damp, just enough that the mud caked to the bottom of my shoes... so half the time I ran on the asphalt kicking the mud off, then I'd go back to the dirt. I tried running in the grass beyond the dirt, but it was very uneven and I kinda rolled my ankle. So I abandoned that strategy and went back to mud. My new shoes no longer look new!

double post-ignore


Monday, January 29, 2007

Ok I've been tagged

I was tagged by TJ so here goes. Of course, I have not done a tri... so I will answer for Marathon. :P

1. Describe a memory from your first triathlon ever.
I was struggling pretty bad toward the end (ok maybe it was like the 20-21 mile area) and I ran up on my friend Bree, an experienced runner who was having a really bad day. We struggled on together and I said "This f-ing sucks." And she replied "I told you!" :D

2. Describe a memory from your most recent triathlon.
As I was approaching the finish line and I knew for sure I was going to BQ I was on cloud nine! I high-fived a person for the first time ever in a race and felt like a super star.

3. What's the most embarrassing thing that has ever happened to you in a tri?
In my most recent marathon, I fell hard. I actually heard a crowd of people gasp and then say "ouch!" Later, I saw a guy fall and I had that same reaction!

4. What's the most thrilling thing that's happened to you in a tri?
Coming down that final stretch in my last race (see answer 1)!

5. What is something you discovered about yourself by doing triathlons?
Wow, well I discovered that I am actually really good at a sport! I also discovered how completely hyper-organized I am... I live for schedules and lists.

6. What is The Big Goal that you're working towards?

Marathon Maritza, Chad in the AZ Desert, and Arcaner you've been tagged!

Sunday, January 28, 2007

Week In Review

I went swimming with Zach this morning and I mean REALLY swimming! I was in the pool a total of 45 minutes but a lot (a lot) of the time was spent getting instruction and help from Zach. My problem is the breathing technique- I just cannot do it. He was so patient and a really good teacher. After I struggled for awhile, I was starting to get it kinda. By the end I could pretty much swim the length of pool with decent form and actually breathing. No-to-very little thrashing and gasping. And when I finally reached that point I of course got to see really how aerobically challenging swimming is. Yikes. I had a ton of fun and plan to go back soon. :)

Here's the story of my week:

TOTAL miles: 11 (yee haw!)
Total weight sessions: 3 total- 2 lower body/core and 1 upper body/core
Total XT cario sessions: 2 hr 30 min total- 25 minutes bike, 65 minutes swim (counting today), 60 minutes elliptical.
Other: yoga once :)

Saturday, January 27, 2007

"LONG" Run!

Saturday 5.0 miles/48:46/9:45 average pace

I met up with Maritza this morning for a nice run up by her house. It was drizzling but warmer- about 50 degrees- and there were tons of people out on the trail. We chatted the whole time and played around with our new Garmins (which were perfectly in synch) and before I knew it we had done 5 whole miles! I had ZERO pain and in fact I felt like I could have kept going! It was fantastic. I am feeling really encouraged that my leg is recovered and can handle a little more running. Whoo hoo!!!

Here's our splits:


Yay! It felt so good to run and it was fun having my running buddy with me. :) She is just re-building after CIM as well, so we're on the same page with that. I think we'll go again next week for an even longer one. Since we did our first marathon together she's always been my running inspiration. We're sole-mates (ha ha. Cheese!).

Ok well after the run, Zach and I grabbed breakfast then headed up to the gym. While he worked out I went to Yoga, which was awesome. The instructor was great and it felt wonderful. I am going to try to do that class after long runs since I felt so stretched out and relaxed - and I tend to be so tight after a long run. Then we sat in the hot tub so I'm feeling super.

OH- and Thursday evening I lifted weights with Zach. We did a few different exercises and I was pretty sore yesterday! I think we are going tomorrow again, so I will wait to post my weekly totals. But it has been a really good week. :)

Thursday, January 25, 2007

Froggy Morning

Thursday 3.0 miles/26:48/8:55 average pace

I felt great on my foggy run this morning, eventually. At first I was slightly anxious because I'm a little sore from lifting again. So I thought "Is that a sore hamstring or a sore knee?" But fortunately, after I got going, it was really neither. I also felt a little sluggish for the first couple of miles but was able to speed up for the last little bit again and finished strong.



Last night after work I went to the gym and did one hour on the elliptical! My heart rate got up to 150 after 20-30 minutes, but as I increased the resistance and was working harder I was around 165 at the peak. I still don't feel like it is really difficult, but I've been trying to make it harder to make it worth my while. I still think running 25 minutes is harder!

After the cardio, I did leg weights and abs. For legs, I did a squat-sit on the BOSU ball (squat and hold... the doc said no lunges or squats but I think this is better?)

I also did ab/adductor leg raises- just lying on my side with weight resting on my leg and lift- 80's aerobics video style.

Finally, I did the Hamstring Push Up, a bridge/lift kind of move with the bosu ball, which I read about in this month's issue of Runner's World. LINK

Oh, that Balance Run move is on there too, although I didn't do it yesterday. That's where you stand on the ball and swing your arms in a running motion with light weights.

I did the abs stuff too, but nothing new or exciting.

Tonight is upper body weight lifting with Zach. We're going to do something called Supersets which he said will be challenging. It should be interesting!

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Triathlete Wannabe

Tuesday 3.0 miles/26:09/8:43 average pace

This run felt so good! The best one so far. I know I've been saying I have no pain on my runs, and I haven't, but each time I obsess the entire time (especially the last mile) whether or not I have pain. "Was that a twinge?" "I think that hurts.. maybe not." "Oh that's my knee, no it's better now." But today: NADA! Hooooray!

Here's my splits, just because I dearly miss posting them:


I sped up for the last quarter mile and it felt great. That's the first time I've tried that and it went well. Yay knee!

So, yesterday I went to the gym and mixed it up a bit. I started with weights: Legs and Abs. I have been hesitant to add leg weights, but the time has come. So I think I'll do legs along with my short abs workout on my XT days. So seperate from the mega lift w/ Zach which is only upper body and abs.

I did the following for my legs:

1) shoot I don't know what they are called. Using the pulley machine I hook a loop around my ankle and lift my leg out to the side (to work the outside of my leg), and then pull across my body to work the inside of my leg. I guess I'll call them abductor/adductor pulls. (but I'm open to corrections)

2) straight leg dead lifts. Using the 40 and 50 lb barbell. Seemed easy at the time, but my lower back and hamstrings are SORE today!

3) calf raises with weights.

I also did ab workout and lower back extentions (adding to my soreness today I'm sure!)

THEN I did a fun Triathlete Wannabe Brick workout! I did 25 minutes on the bike, which I'm getting way better at. I like the regular bike, not the recumbant bike which I find to be way more difficult. I was up to level 10 (of 20) and my heart was really pumping. Whoo hoo! Then I changed and did 20 minutes of swimming (kicking only). I did 10 laps (20 lengths (Thanks Michele!)). It was a little easier this time! So I completed the trifecta with a run this morning and I'd say I'm ready for the Ironman. :P

Saturday, January 20, 2007

What a week :)

Saturday 3.0 miles/28:21/9:27 average pace

Yay! No pain, none, not any, zero. :)

Feels good to finally reach that 3 mile point. I know my body is just getting used to running again, and I have to take it easy, but MAN running 2 miles is so lame.

So last night we lifted weights for 1 hour and 15 minutes. We do so many things, but it always includes something for each of the following: upper back, chest, shoulders, bicep, tricep, lower back and abs. I would like to maybe start tracking the exercises we do and the weight, but it's hard to remember. I know I did shoulder press with 30 lb dumbbells in each hand, which was really tough. I bench pressed 85 lbs but needed Zach's help after one. I curl this one curvy weird bar, which I don't know how much it weighs (30-35 lbs?) with little 2 1/2 lb weights on each side, and that isn't very hard. Hmmm I need to bring a notebook or something next time! I would really like to see my progress. I feel really strong though and am getting more comfortable in the weight room with all those huge muscular doods. Of course it helps to have a muscular dood for a husband. :)

Oh, I finished up with two balance exercises I saw in Runner's World this issue. One is you stand on a half-ball with a slight bend in the legs and holding light weights, swing your arms in a running motion for a minute. This works your arms and core and balance. Also, stand on the half-ball one foot at a time to increase ankle strength and balance. I also stretched really good and rolled on the foam roller.

After lifting I did some laps in the pool with the kickboard for about 15-20 minutes. HOLY MOLY that is hard! My quads were burning before I got to the other end of the pool that first lap. I went down and back 8 times (so is that 8 laps or 16 laps?). I am not sure of the size of the pool. It's not Olympic length for sure, so I guess 25 meters(yards?)? I timed myself and it took me about 1 minute 30 seconds to down and back, then I'd rest for about 30 seconds. It was really fun! I was very tired by the end, but I know I can improve after a few times. It is something I will definitely do again. Maybe there is a triathlete inside of me after all! Do you think they'd let me bring a kickboard? ;)

TOTAL miles for this glorious week: 7.8 :) Hoorah!

Plus: 3 long lifting sessions w/ Zach, 1 short abs only session
60 minutes elliptical (50 in one workout and 10 in another)
15 minutes swim - kicking only

(edited Sunday 1-21-07 to add additional lifting session for the week!)

Friday, January 19, 2007

Desert Running (Ok, it was on the treadmill)

Thursday 2.0 miles/20:00/10:00 average pace

Don't worry Chad, it was not because of the weather. :D I just didn't get around to it until near sunset, so I just hit up the treadmill at the hotel. I had NO pain! :) I kind of liked being on the treadmill in the case I did feel any discomfort I could just stop. But I actually felt great!

Also Wednesday: 50 minutes Elliptical, plus Abs. The Elliptical workout was pretty good, but my heart rate does not get very high on that thing, even when I crank it up. I was under 150 bpm most of the time, except toward the end when I got up to 160. The treadmill didn't have a HRM but I'm guessing I was twice that. :P

I'm heading to the gym in a few minutes for a weights session and some swimming. I tried to obtain a non-bikini so I don't look foolish, but Target doesn't have any! And as far as I'm concerned Target is the only store in the universe. Also I don't have a swim cap or goggles. Hey, I'm a beginner! I'm definitely sticking with the kicking-only till I get the goggles and swim cap.

In the morning I am going for another wonderful short run with Zach so I will be reporting on all that tomorrow. Have a great weekend everyone!

Wednesday, January 17, 2007


Lifted weights last night with Zach again for about an hour. I am getting stronger already! I am really enjoying the weight training with Zach. I totally neglected this aspect of my fitness for SO long and my strength suffered. Obviously stronger legs will help running, but I haven't been doing a lot of leg stuff. I'm going to add a few exercises in for legs- the doc said no squats or lunges but there are lots of other things. Beyond the legs, a strong core (abs, back, etc) will help keep my form steady and efficient. I do tend to slouch at the end of a hard run or race, and that makes me work harder for every step, which just makes me more tired, etc... Also, stronger arms and shoulders will keep my arms pumping easily and efficiently, again saving me energy for moving the legs forward. Also, it looks good.

The cross training is also going to benefit my body by working my muscles in new ways. All this will work toward making me generally more fit, less injury-prone, and a more balanced athlete.

Tonight I'm going to do the elliptical for 45-60 minutes and maybe do core workout if I have time.

I'm going to Phoenix tomorrow and Friday, so I will get in a run (2 MILES ONLY) while there. Upon my return Friday, Zach and I are going to go SWIMMING! Actually, I am going to do a kick-only workout, which I read is really good, and also I basically suck at swimming. I will work on the actual swimming a little, but I'll be doing mainly the kicking. Yay kicking!

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

A Brand New Week

Tuesday 2.8 miles/25:04/8:58 average pace

I was going to do 3, but I cut it a little short as I thought I could hear my knee talking to me. Something about "Hey, we had a deal... we were going to do a few 2-mile runs before we try more!" Oh ya... Sorry about that. Dang it is going to be hard to take it easy! I need to do it on my own before my knee MAKES me slow down again. Ugh! So, I made a deal with my knee, we'll do 2 miles later this week and then see how we feel about 3 this weekend. Sheesh! Fussy!

I also plan on lifting weights 2-3 times this week and cross training 2 times. I might even try swimming!

Ok off to ice my princess knee. Oh, I started taking my liquid glucosomine today. Yummy! (sarcasm)

Sunday, January 14, 2007

More happy happy happy

Sunday 2.5 miles/22:05/8:50 average pace

Zach got up and ran with me this morning in the COLD. It was in the upper 20's! That is insane for here. I loved it.

I bravely pushed past the 2 mile mark this time, and had no pain whatsoever. However, I have definitely lost some fitness, as I was breathing hard and my lungs were kinda stingy (of course the cold air didn't help). I hope in a couple weeks I am back to the efficient running machine I used to be. Ok, maybe a few weeks. Ok, eventually.

TOTAL miles for this fantastic week: 4.5 hee hee

Friday, January 12, 2007

At Last!

Friday 2.0 miles/17:48/8:55 average pace


This morning I ran for the first time since December 20th. I only ran 3 short runs in the weeks before that, which is when I realized I was definitely injured. So, in all, I have basically had almost 6 weeks off. That's by far the longest break I've had since I started running in the summer of 2004. And THANK GOD it is over.

(Warning: Super Long and over-descriptive. For summary, scroll to end)

So yesterday was a total roller coaster. First, I arrived at my appt. at 2:40, only to be told that the doctor was running way behind - he does surgery in the mornings- and wouldn't be in until 4:00. The were re-scheduling everyone. :( The receptionist is really really sweet, and I asked if there was any chance I could see him briefly if I came back later, and she said yes. She told me she could print out my MRI report for me in the meantime... Yikes. It's a bunch of medical nonsense, but I understand the word TEAR. Something like: Primarily longitudinal tear, posterior horn, medial meniscus. :( I was heartbroken. I tried not to freak out, because I really didn't know what that means. I really just wanted to get some more info from the doctor. I needed to know what the deal was, how long I would take to recover, would I need surgery, could I ever run again? I called Zach and tried to keep it together, but I was upset. I had an hour and a half to kill, so I went to the gym and did 20 minutes elliptical *hard* thinking "this doesn't hurt, how can I have such a serious injury??" Thinking, "well at least I know what it is, and there is a defined course of treatment." Thinking all kinds of things, but trying hard not to think, which doesn't work at all.

I went back to the doctor's office and waited about an hour to see him. I didn't really care because I'd rather wait and wait then have to reschedule for next week. Finally, I see him and he says he wants to go over the scans with me and talk about it. They pull up the images on the computer (the whole MRI thing is really cool actually) and he shows me the faint white line that the other doctor thought indicates a tear. He then goes on to basically discredit that doctor in a nice way ("We see a lot more of these things than he does" etc) and tells me he disagrees. He says if it were a tear the line would be very dark and obvious and would extend to the edge of this little area. He said that based on the physical exam (where he pulled and twisted and put pressure on various points on and around my knee and nothing hurt) that he doesn't think I have a tear. I was pretty happy, but hesitant... it hadn't really sunk in. He said "I don't think this is a positive MRI." Finally, I start to realize what he's saying. I asked him if that means that he thinks I am ok? (to me "not positive" doesn't sound good.. I was slightly confused) He said Yes, you are ok. I asked him very plainly "So, I can run?" He said Yes, you can run.

He went on to tell me that his primary concern is the arthritis in my knee, and told me he wants to watch that. He gave me advice on helping the arthritis heal, and he gave me another prescription for Relafen, to take "as needed."

We talked about various things I need to do, things to avoid, etc. I asked him lots of questions (he said they were good questions :) ) and he said he wants to see me in 8 weeks. Here are some of the tips he gave me for healing (the arthritis, but also generally whatever strain/injury that caused me the other pain):

- Take it easy. Ease slowly back into running. My leg is still healing, so I shouldn't push it too soon.

- Cross training is still good, it's less impact and will help me heal more.

- Take Rest days. Not just No Running, but No Anything.

- Take the Relafen as needed.

- Ice is good.

- Strengthen my legs, but no deep-lunges. He showed me that I can do the leg press with my feet turned out and only a slight bend- 60 degrees.

- No hills. This includes also hiking, snowshoeing, etc. Flat is good. No skiing.

- If it hurts really bad (acute pain) then I need to come back asap. There's a tiny chance is could be a tear after all!

- I can take Glucosomine, but he obviously wasn't convinced it works. I am going to try it. I need to be taking a multi vitamin, vitamin C, and Calcium supplements.

- Down the road, I may want to consider orthodics, as it would slightly relieve the pressure on my knee. However, he doesn't think it's appropriate now, because it is a solution for a long term problem, and he thinks my problem is acute (meaning it came on fast and will heal).

I think that's it... He asked me if I was planning any upcoming marathons, and I said "well.... I mean, I WAS going to do Boston, in April.. but I realize it's somewhat close..." He was still just looking at me- didn't scream "Hell no!" So I continued "I thought maybe if the next few weeks go ok then I could do a modified training schedule with lots of cross training..." He still isn't screaming no, but rather is kind of shrugging his shoulders. He said "Well, we'll see how you are doing at your next appt." He didn't say it was a bad idea. :)

So, I left the office with a freaking skip in my step. I called Zach, my Mom, Maritza, Inga... I went and bought new shoes. I sang, I giggled, I cried a little (gosh I am a drama queen!).

I woke up this morning at 5:00 am like a little kid on Christmas morning. I laid there until 6:30 (I wanted to enjoy the light of day, or I would have gone earlier) then I got up, put on my lovely new Under Armor tights and my CIM long sleeve shirt, and gloves (it was 30 degrees!). I put on my Garmin (OH GARMIN how I've missed you!!) and my iPod (with my favorite jazz mix). I walked for 10 minutes to get good and warm, and then I ran. Oh, it was awesome. After about a mile, I cried a little and said a little prayer. It was the most beautiful morning. It was cold and clear and the sun was almost up, giving the horizon a gorgeous range of orange/yellow/blue. The moon was beautiful, the birds were beautiful, everything was beautiful. And not even a tinge of pain. I'm one happy runner.


I do not have a meniscus tear, I do have arthritis, I can run, I need to be careful, I can possibly still do Boston, I am overjoyed.

Thursday, January 11, 2007

Good News and New Shoes, I'm going running.

I will save the details for a long post tomorrow, but the doctor appointment was fantastic. He told me to take it easy, but I can run.

The real test of course will be in the running. I am going for 2 easy miles tomorrow morning. I will warm up thouroughly with 10+ minutes of walking. I will be cozy in the running tights my husband bought me for Christmas, and I will be cushioned in the pair of shoes I bought this evening. I cannot wait. :)

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

XT Catch Up

Monday 50 minutes cardio (eliptical) + Abs

Tuesday 25 minutes cardio (5 min. bike, 20 min Arc Trainer) + 40 minutes full body weight training w/ Zach

Plus lots of stretching. I'm still icing my leg in the evenings and taking my Relafen (anti-inflamitory) twice per day as well. My leg has been feeling really good, no problems. I am really anxious to see the doctor tomorrow!

Monday, January 08, 2007

Cross Training back in CA

I've only been sporadicaly logging my cross training workouts, but here's another installment.

Friday 25 minutes bike (which I really suck at... I have to use the lowest levels and I'm still working really hard! Anything over level 5 is impossible. It's hilarious. But I hope to improve with practice.)

Saturday 15 minutes cardio (5 bike, 10 Arc Trainer - which I guess is an exciting variation on the eliptical) and 1 hour weight training. I'm still very very very sore!

I got signed up for a 2 week trial membership at the super gym, and I'm going to take advantage of it this week. Here's my plan:

Monday: 45 minutes cardio, Abs
Tuesday: 20-30 minutes cardio, Weights with Zach (ouch in advance)
Wednesday: 45+ minutes cardio
Thursday: Yoga class 60 minutes
Friday: off?

I see the doctor on Thursday afternoon, so there is a possibility of a small amount of my favorite thing in the world, running. At this point, I don't care if it's one mile or if it hurts. Well, I'd prefer it doesn't hurt, but I am desperate. Fingers crossed!

Thursday, January 04, 2007

Howdy from Houston!

I'm in Houston Texas for a super exciting work project... Ok It's pretty boring but I am excited because I've never been to Texas. Yee Haw!

I'm totally enjoying the cross training these days. I did 45 minutes on the eliptical and a short upper body weights routine today, and I'll do another cardio session and maybe ab routine tomorrow. I'm trying to do more cardio so that it somewhat simulates a regular running schedule... So for example my 45 minutes eliptical is like a 5 mile run. If I have any hope of staying in shape, I need to be doing more than the equivalant of 10 miles a week.

Furthermore, I've realized that when I DO start running again, I will continue cross training as a way of keeping up my fitness. The first few weeks my mileage will be really low, but I will supplement with longer cross training sessions to keep a solid program going. I even think this plan would work as a modified marathon training program- get in 3 quality runs a week (tempo or speed, long run, medium long run) and 2 days of XT (cross training) and weights. I like it. :)

I see the doctor one week from today to get the resutls of my MRI. I really feel that I am ok, with none of the serious things the doctor is testing for. I would be really surprised if he finds anything. So I'm looking forward to running again SOON. I seriously, seriously, seriously miss it.

Tuesday, January 02, 2007

1612.62 and Looking Forward to a New Year!

That is how many miles I ran in 2006. :) It was a great year for me! I believe I ran about 1200 miles the previous year, so that is a big improvement.

I ran 6 races: 1 5k, 1 10k, 2 half marathons, and 2 marathons. I qualified for Boston and I ran my first-ever 50+ mile weeks. Lots of them!

The year ended on a sour note with the injury, but I think that is going to be good for me in the long run. My body is telling me to take a break, and I have no choice but to listen. I think that while my knee is recovering, the rest of my body is recovering too, from all the training and stress of the past few months. I'm not sure if I"ll be doing Boston this year, but that's not a huge deal. I'm looking forward to running again, and I've learned a valuable lesson in taking care of my body. I know my 2007 will be better for it.

Happy New Year!