Tuesday, December 2, 2008


It's been a while, I know.  But to tell the truth, it's just not very much fun to write about nothing.  I ran 2 weeks ago and was still in pain.  So I decided that I'd try to be smart and not run for the rest of the week and just see if my rear pain would ease up.  Every day it seemed to get better.  So the next Monday I did my stepper thing for an hour and started up my weight routine again.  I also jumped rope and hit the punching bag.  Then Thanksgiving hit.  Not that I overdid it on the food or anything but the 6 hour car ride did nothing good for my knees or butt.  I could feel them both again just doing normal stuff.  So I jumped rope yesterday and worked out a little frustration on the punching bag and stretched.  Today I ran 2 miles and was in pain for the last few blocks.  I don't really know what to do.  I want to be able to run again for longer than 20 minutes.  So maybe it's time to give it a rest for more than a couple of weeks.  It just kills me to think that I was running 25 miles a week or more 6 months ago and now I can't even run 2 miles.  I don't even have a game plan.  I know I need to stretch more and use my roller more.  What else can I do?

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

These reports are pretty boring

I'm getting pretty tired of these silly little runs.  I'm ready for some hardcore training.  Too bad my body seems to think otherwise.  It will come, it is coming.  I definitely need patience.

So... last week.  Monday:  25 minutes jump roping followed by the punching bag routine followed by 3 hours of steam cleaning my carpets due to a really fun flood.  
Wednesday:  3.5 miles.  The pain in my knees and rear was not good this day.  I went home pretty discouraged.  Stretched like crazy over the next few days.
Saturday:  Ran 2.5 miles with my knee straps (I haven't been using them at all), had 0 knee pain and only slight rear pain.  Then raked 6 houses worth of leaves for 2 hours.  

Oh and if cleaning and vacuuming all during the week counts for anything, throw that in there too!  What a week.

Monday, November 3, 2008

Rest and Relaxation?

So this week was pretty much a bust.  I used my stepper on Monday for 45 minutes and then hit the punching bag, literally I guess.  By the end of the day my rear (piraformis) was back to being miserable and I was pretty much limping around.  I decided to take off Tuesday and see how I was doing.  It wasn't doing any better by Wed. so I just decided to take the week off and see if I could get it better.  At least I know not to do any big hills for a while even after it quits hurting.  I did a lot of stretching this week with my heating pad beforehand.  I am finally doing a bit better.  I did upper body weights one other time during the week but that was about it.  

I did want to mention an exhibit that we went to a few weeks ago that was so cool.  Body Worlds made a stop in Salt Lake for a few months and Janz took me to it for our anniversary.  If you haven't heard of it before, it's an exhibit of cadavers without skin, for the most part, posed in a variety of athletic positions.  You can read about it and see some pictures here.  It was so interesting.  I loved it.  It was kind of fun picking out the parts of my body that are bugging me.  If you get the chance, it was definitely worth it.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008


Last week was one of those weeks that I pushed it when I shouldn't have and then paid for it the rest of the week.  I might learn someday.  I had croupy kids and an anniversary so it wasn't the most productive of weeks either.

Tuesday:  Ran 4 miles with slight knee pain.  It wasn't too bad and I didn't have to do that much walking.  I also was feeling so good because I ran up a nice big hill twice on my 2 mile loop.  I was so excited because I made it all the way up the second time and I don't know if I've ever been able to do that hill all the way to the top, not even in my marathon training days.  However, later that night and since then, I've been paying for it.  My piraformis has flared up again and it's back to the heating pad and stretching 5 times a day.  What a pain in the rear end...literally.

Thursday:  Jumped rope for 25 minutes and then did the punching bag.  Felt really good.  I'm lasting longer and longer on the punching bag.  I need to come up with more combinations although I'm finding more music that "fits" with the workout.

Friday:  I got a mini stepper that is like a normal one in the gym, just smaller and portable.  I worked on it for 50 minutes and had a great time.  I brought it out in front of the TV and was able to do it while Logan watched Clifford and Dora.  I could have picked better shows, I think that was a good buy, something different that I don't have to leave the house for and something that's non impact.  I did feel my rear while doing it, which is probably normal, I just don't want to aggravate it anymore than necessary.

Saturday:  I ran 3.5 miles.  My knees did good, my rear did not.  I avoided all the big hills that I normally take.  I got home and worked the punching bag again.  Felt like I might have overdone it but truthfully, that punching bag feels good.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Weekly Report

I know I seem like a big whiner a lot of the time, but I'm really o.k. with the progress my knees are making.  It never seems quick enough, but I also know that it could be worse and I am still able to run even if it isn't as much or as far or as fast as I want to.  They are getting better and if I keep being patient, they'll fully recover.
Monday:  yoga (I am loving yoga more and more.  I'm also getting more out of it the more I do it.)
Tuesday:  ran 2 miles slowly with minimal pain in the knees and rear.
Wed:  jumped rope for 25 minutes then worked the punching bag.
Thursday:  ran 3 miles with walking mixed in to break it up.  My cold must have really affected me because I just couldn't breathe properly.  It took all I had to make it to the top of the hill at the end of my run and when I got there and stopped to walk, I had that wave of nausea come over me that ended in me puking what little water I drank before the run in the gutter.  I can only hope none of my neighbors were looking out their windows.  
Friday:  yoga again (this doesn't work as well with all the kids home.  Logan kept trying to drive his cars on me during the poses.)
Saturday:  I woke up feeling terrible due to a lack of sleep (sick kids) so I wasn't going to do anything.  Husband convinced me to go out about 6:30.  (o.k., so he pushed me out the door)  After the first 5 minutes of running, I knew it was going to be a good day.  I barely had to walk at all and I forgot all about my rear pain because it wasn't even there until a block away from home.  My knees held up pretty well too.  I stopped to stretch them when I could feel them getting tight.  I even ran up that big hill at the end and just cruised right up it.  Now it was only 3 1/2 miles.  I didn't want to push it, but what a difference a day or two makes.  It was the best run I've been on in a long time.  It was the strongest I've felt in a long time.  I worked the punching bag when I got home.  I felt better than I had the whole rest of the day.  It made me wish I'd done it a whole lot earlier in the day.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

It's a Conspiracy

I've decided that my body is conspiring against me.  It doesn't want me to run or at least have fun doing it.  If it's not my knees, then it's my rear.  If not that, then I can't breathe.  My toes have spoken up over the years and my feet have even tripped me.  Sweat runs into my eyes and my contacts blur up so that I can't focus.  I've even ripped one out during a run because it was so bad.  My side starts to ache for no apparent reason.  Even my shoulders have hurt after some really long runs.  So why then, oh why do I continue to run?  Today it was my lungs, so don't ask.  I guess it wasn't everything all at once.  Can you imagine that scene?  Limping, breathing heavy, crouched over in pain, sweat running in eyes, blisters on toes and the grand finale of tripping on asphalt.  Yeah, it wouldn't be pretty!

Last week:
Monday:  I don't think this day really existed because I can't remember one detail of this day.
Tuesday:  Ran 2 miles, watched a beautiful sunrise and crunched fall leaves.  Have you ever noticed the sagebrush in bloom?  Beautiful!

Wednesday:  Ran 3 miles, was in pain for the rest of the week.  Guess I can't run two days in a row yet.
Thursday:  Jumped rope for 25 minutes and then worked the punching bag.
Friday and Saturday:  both really busy days and I was in pain so I did nothing.  Had really good intentions of fitting yoga into the schedule, but didn't.  Oh, and it snowed.  I'm not ready for that.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Get off your Piraformis and get busy!

So the anatomical name for my rear pain is the piraformis.  It's a rotator muscle deep in the butt that I've somehow managed to tighten up to the point that it's resting on my siatic nerve.  Sounds fun, huh.  Now if you think that appointment wasn't great, well...let me tell you.  
doc:  So how's the knees doing?  
jen:  Actually, they're doing pretty good.  I think they're getting better.  I have a new pain.
doc:  Oh, where is it?
jen:  Well... it's in my butt.  (here's where I'm starting to get worried about some sort of physical examination of one of the biggest, flabbiest parts of my anatomy.)
doc does some tests by bending my leg into contortions and then telling me that I have a very common runner's injury to the piraformis.  He tells me that he will show me some stretches and will work on it.  (Panic again ensues.)  He pulls out an electronic device to work on the tight old muscle.  I'm laying on my stomach as the rotating balls (?) are working on my rear.  I can feel every giggle and wave of fat going across the table.  I'm sure that if I had a video tape of this I'd never eat another bad thing again.  I'm wondering how he stands to do this to people day in and day out.  I'm having trouble relaxing.  He shows me the stretches.  Tells me to do them 8 or 9 times a day along with warming it up with a heating pad first.  Is he serious?  8 or 9 times a day?  He also told me "no running" for a few days and to use my roller in the meantime.  So I've been getting about 5 sessions a day in and I've been rolling it out.  It's getting better.  I'm not walking around like an old woman at the end of the day anymore. 

So to recap my week:

Monday:  yoga
Tuesday:  ran 2 miles in complete pain
Thursday:  got out my punching bag that I got for Christmas a few years ago and worked out my frustrations on it after a 20 minute session of jump roping.  (note to self, find a better surface than the concrete to jump rope on.)
Friday:  yoga
Saturday:  ran 3.5 miles with NO knee pain and only slight rear pain.  It was one of the best runs I've been on.  It rained the whole time and I had a new song on my i pod.  I also tried to incorporate some of the yoga style breathing into my run.  Came home and worked on the punching bag again.  I can always count on that workout to make my back and shoulders sore!  Plus it's a good alternative to lifting weights!

Congrats to my friend Sherry, who ran the St. George Marathon this weekend and qualified for Boston!  And to Barb, Sherry S., and Lindsey who all ran the same marathon.  And congrats to Mike who ran the Twin City Marathon this weekend!  Great job everyone!

Here's my new favorite running song, by Rascall Flatts if you're interested!  

"Cause when push comes to shove, you taste what you're made of.
You might bend till you break, cause it's all you can take
On your knees you look up, decide you've had enough
You get mad, you get strong, wipe your hands, shake it off, 
Then you stand."

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Pain in my Butt

Yep, I've got another place that's hurting.  I don't understand how I could be injured when I have been doing hardly anything.  Can anyone explain that to me?  Last week seemed pretty good.  I was able to run 3 times (only 2 or 3 miles each time... but still it's something!) and did weights one day and yoga twice.  

I've been having these great ideas to help me maintain fitness since I can't run 10 miles at a time.  Like yoga, for example.  I have never been too limber and with those tight hamstrings, I seem to have this short stride that also contributes to my IT problems.  So yoga seems like the perfect cure.  I have to admit that I've always thought yoga was a little strange.  Not the whole connecting with the earth, relaxation part, but I mean, how could you possibly get a good workout by breathing and holding a pose.  Well, you can.  I stink at the flexibility poses but doing pretty well on the strength ones.  I'm hoping that elusive flexibility will come eventually.
For my next great idea I decided that I'd work as many hills into my 2 or 3 miles that I could.  I've been ending with this really long and pretty steep hill that kills my lungs about 3/4 of the way up.   I feel so accomplished each time I get to the top of that hill.  However, I think this is one of those "great" ideas that isn't working out to be so great because my rear is not happy with me.  

My lower back ached last week and I thought it was because I overdid it on my son's Ripstick.  I'm getting pretty good at this cross between a skate board/snowboard/ and surfing.  It requires a lot of balance, core strength and leg strength to just get on the thing much less trying to move yourself anywhere slightly uphill.  I spent over an hour on it one day riding up and down some gentle inclines.  It was so fun but I was sore the next couple of days in my whole core.  But now the pain from my lower back has moved into my butt and it has not been a fun day.  It really flared up on that big hill at the end of my run today.  I rolled it good with my foam roller while I did my IT bands, but I don't even know if that's going to help.  After sitting for a while, I'm pretty much limping back into a full walk.  Frustration doesn't even begin to define what I'm feeling.  Guess I better re think my "great" ideas.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

This Report Sucks.

So I completely stunk it up last week and didn't do much.  I have this little boy who thinks he's my alarm clock only it's set to go off at midnight, then two and then be wide awake at seven.  I don't know quite what's happened but things have settled down.  What makes it twice as bad was that after a few nights I began to expect it, so I'd lay there awake until the first alarm went off and then still not be able to go back to sleep.  I was a walking zombie most of last week.  It's amazing how sleep deprivation sucks the life out of you and any desire to do anything other than conserve energy and find time to doze off.  So....as for last week, I jumped rope for 25 minutes, ran 2 miles, and then ran 3 miles all without pain.  It's a good sign.  But I didn't get in any weight training and planned to hike on Saturday but got rained out.  So I'd better do better this week or this pie I'm eating for breakfast is going to mold itself to the outside of my thighs.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Weekly Recap

Monday:  2 1/2 mile run.  Only slight pain in the knees.  Felt pretty good about the progress being made.  Plan to run every other day keeping the mileage about the same until there's no pain and then gently increasing.  Lifted weights.
Tuesday:  Used as a flexibility day.  Rolled the knees and hamstrings and glutes and quads and calves. 
Wed:  Ran 2 miles.  Lots of pain.  Walked quite a bit.  Was discouraged.  Lifted weights.
Thurs./Fri.:  Knees still bugging me.  Rested from everything except playing with the kids.  
Saturday:  Sat through a 2 hour meeting and knees didn't hurt.  Jump roped for 45 minutes and ran 2 miles in the mountains.  Only slight pain on the downhills.  Walked until it loosened up, never really hit the sharp pain mark.  Lifted weights.

All in all a good week.  I think I had pain Wed. because of rolling aggressively the day before.  I think I need to be more consistent rolling and not try to do it all in one day.  I need more patience, but I think those knees of mine are getting better.

Here's a shout out to my friend Angi who's running her first marathon this Saturday!  I'm so excited for her and I'm so proud of her.  She's a very busy mom who's really sacrificed to make this dream come true for herself!  Go on over and wish her luck! 

Friday, September 5, 2008

First Post surgery Workout

Since last week was all about recovery from my "minor" surgery, I didn't do a thing.  Maybe it was good I felt like I did because there was NO temptation to push the limits at all.  Housework was a challenge.  
So after two great days last weekend I ended up with the stomach bug on Monday.  Fun stuff.  Nothing like a gut ache after your stomach already aches.  Tuesday worked into being a good day and I jumped roped at night and played basketball and skateboarded a little with the kids.  I was so glad to be feeling good again.  I couldn't wait for the next day.  Wednesday I jumped rope for 5 minutes in between my sets of upper body.  I tried to take it easy but the whole day ended up being one of those non stop days and I knew by the night time that I'd overdone it.  My belly ached again that night.  Thursday I wanted to try running, just to see how my knee was.  But opted for a 6 mile power walk with a friend.  
So this morning was the day.  I ran for one mile, starting out slow and then pushed it the last 1/2 just to see what would happen.  Only a tiny amount of pain in the left knee.  I finished with weights and jump rope.  I've been rolling it out the last 3 days so I'll just keep going and hopefully it will work it out.  I've noticed the pain isn't as bad the last couple of times I've been on it.  I think the rest did me good.  
Now I've just got to decide how far to run in the meantime.  Do I go until it hurts and then stop?  Do I rest it completely and just focus on rolling it?  How do I work back into a normal routine again?  Anyone have any ideas?  

Saturday, August 30, 2008

Top of Utah 1/2...Finally!

Wow, I wish I would have written this right after, but things were kind of crazy and for once, I didn't have any pictures!  Jodi shared hers with me, so photos are thanks to Jodi and her husband, Dave.  
It was a whirlwind of a decision to run it in the first place.  I ran 5 miles the Thursday before to see how my knees would do.  Before I hit the two mile mark they started to hurt, but I just ran through it to see if it would get much worse.  It really didn't so by Friday I had decided that I'd regret it if I didn't just do it.
Saturday morning at 5:00 a.m. we set off to find an address in the dark that neither one of us had ever been before.  Luckily for us, we found it.  I was shocked at the number of people there.  I guess it makes sense though, it was a great training run for the whole marathon which is in a month and with it being the middle miles, the sweet part of it.  The weather was perfect, cool with a slight breeze at our backs.  It was only 66 degrees when we drove home.  

After our sweet smelling visit to the porta potties we tried to get a place in the line.  However, it was like being squeezed in like sardines and there was no moving to the back like we wanted.  So the gun went off and we were pretty much mowed over by all the fasties trying to get by us.  Hey, there was nothing we could have done different.
I knew I had started out too fast, but just tried to keep it up, knowing I'd have to slow down.  I got a side ache and so did Jodi so there wasn't much conversation going on during the first bit.  I distracted myself with all the fishing places Janz and I went to while we were dating and I eventually settled  into the pace and it wasn't as uncomfortable as when we first began.  My left knee started hurting before mile 2 and I just kept on going.  About mile 5 the right one kicked in and for some reason, went away after a couple more miles, though the left one just kept on a hurting.  We ran the whole time, stopping briefly for drinks and orange slices that were WAY good!  Mile 11 we actually stopped to drink and my left knee completely locked up.  I wished I had never stopped.  Starting again was pure torture and I limped ran for about 10 steps before it started to loosen up.  I was really worried about the finish and stopping for good and the ride home.  Around mile 10.5 we started the uphill portion until about mile 12 and that was a killer.  However, my body didn't ache like it normally does at the end of a race.  I can usually feel it in my hip flexors and just general achiness, but not this time.  I do think I hydrated really well the day before and maybe that made all the difference for me.  Or maybe my knee just hurt so bad that it was blocking out all other pain.  

It was great to see where the finish line approximately was and when we pushed it for the last bit, I kept looking for where it was because my lungs were just not going to make it much further.  At last I saw the timing marks on the road and missed seeing the clock.  I didn't wear my watch, I didn't want to even know my pace or where I was because it was just for fun, so when Jodi said that it was 2:02 I was really shocked!  Stopping wasn't as bad as I thought it would be on my knees.  Good thing.  We got drinks, bread and more oranges and headed for home!  What a great run!

When I got home the family was getting ready to leave and wanted me to come along, so I took an ultra quick shower, stretched and then iced my knees on our way to Ogden.  The soreness didn't kick in until later that night and the next day and it was pretty much all in my hamstrings.  But by Monday morning I was walking normal and felt pretty good and all ready for more pain from my stupid bellybutton hernia surgery.  Up and running the next day, my foot!!!  I've really gotten good rest though for my knees because I haven't been doing much of anything.  Today's the first day I've felt mostly normal.  I'm not even going to try running for a week because I can feel my knees just sitting in one position for too long.  But I think I'll be up to balancing on the roller next week and back to lifting weights at least.  Even if I had to wait for a month, it would have been worth it.  I don't know if I'll ever have another race like it!  It was a great course, absolutely gorgeous scenery, great weather, I had the best running companion, it was simply the perfect race.

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Top of Utah Half Marathon

Just a quick note to say that I ran it and it was great!  Beautiful course, perfect weather, the best company and an overall great day!  Jodi and I finished in 2 hours and 2 minutes!  I was in pain the whole way and it's a good thing I have two weeks off for these knees of mine to recover but it was worth it!  Race report and pictures to come soon!

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

I can run!

I ran today!  3 whole miles with only one twinge of pain and it was towards the end.  I've really been going stir crazy around here.  I made it through 11 days of eating pretty good and then some brownies showed up at my door and it all went out the window!  Brownies are my ultimate weakness.  Along with chips and dip and cookies and pie.  I was also pretty ornery the last 5 days of those 11 days of eating good.  Do you think there's a connection there?  I was able to add to my weight routine and did it 3 times during the last week.  I was sore pretty much everywhere all last week and into this week.  I tried to jump rope but it hurt my knee about 5 minutes in.  

I've been using the foam roller that I got and no one prepared me enough about the pain.  I've had to use it in small intervals because it just hurt so bad.  But I've been very faithful using it.  I jumped rope for 20 minutes yesterday until I felt pain and then stopped.  So last night as I was using the roller, I noticed that it didn't make me want to cry.  I started thinking that maybe they were getting loosened up.  It had been a whole week, so I decided I'd try and run the next day.  I even had a hard time sleeping last night because I was so excited to try it.  I even had the crazy idea that I could run the Logan 1/2 marathon this weekend if all goes well.  I know, I'm getting carried away.  I've had some tightness today since running (I should listen to my body!) so I'll keep rolling it and try for a slower 5 miles tomorrow and see how it goes.  The only real reason I would consider doing the 1/2 is because on Monday I'm getting a little bellybutton hernia fixed and won't be able to run for 2 weeks.  So I'd have all that time off for my knees to recover.  Anyway, hooray! I can run! 

Thursday, August 14, 2008

You know you're pretty bad off when your 9 year old daughter asks if you need to go for a run.

Yep, the title pretty much says it all.  I'm ornery and can't even run it off.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Update on the knees

After blogging on Monday, I cruised over to Tall Girl Running to see what kind of humorous run she'd had lately.  She's always got a good one.  She talked about her IT band problems she had right before the Ogden Marathon.  Her physical therapist told her to get a foam roller and work her IT bands that way.  The chiro had told me about them and suggested that if I kept having problems, I might want to invest in one.  He gave me a temporary one that's just a piece of a floaty noodle, like the kind the kids take to the pool.  You lay on it and roll over the affected area.  Anyway, after reading Tall Girl's success story, I ordered mine.  No one really knows the pain or the frustration of IT band problems unless you've been through it.  You can't run through it, and if you try, you just prolong the time you're out of the game.  4 years ago I was so frustrated not being able to find someone who could fix me.  I was frustrated with the surgeons that were so willing to give me cortisone shots and not really fix it or just offer to fix it with surgery if I didn't get better.  So when someone has been through it and gotten it fixed, I listen.  I found out about ART therapy with chiropractors through a yahoo group for people with IT band problems. 
I had an appointment to see how the knees were doing so I tried the 2 miles again just to see if it was any better than Monday.  After a mile they were still doing good and I was planning to add on a few blocks at the end.  Just as I was planning where to go, the left knee shot pain that stopped me in my tracks.  I stretched, but it just wasn't helping.  So I walked home.  I stretched really good and then got in the shower and headed down for my appointment.  

As we talked about how I was not any better and how this was the worst pain I've been in since 4 years ago, he told me that he didn't realize how bad it was and that he turned me loose too soon and it was probably going to take longer than he'd hoped for.  Last year I could feel the tightening and some pain and he fixed it relatively quickly.  This time it's much worse.  He worked it really good and they did ultrasound and ice.  I'm not supposed to run for 7 days.  There's a new guy there who's interning and he's been working with me as well.  He has worked at the Iron Man competitions for the last couple of years and has seen it all.  He wants to watch me run sometime to see if there's anything in my form that's contributing to my problems.  That should be interesting.  Can't you just see that!  Maybe I should try Jessie's wild running technique when I do that!  I'm still o.k to do weights and anything that doesn't aggravate the problem, which last time it was this bad, was pretty much everything.  So I'll keep on working on my eating and concentrate on lifting weights and see how it goes.  Today is day 5 of eating good.  I've had this gorgeous peach pie around since Tuesday.  Normally I would be eating it for breakfast with a multivitamin but I'm doing good so far.  I had a bite of Janzen's last night and a bite the night before.  Remember I said eating good, not perfect.  The cravings kind of set in yesterday when I went to the store hungry.  I'm pretty proud of myself for doing good.  It's not too often that I have this kind of self control.  Maybe I'm making up for the lack of running.

Monday, August 11, 2008

Being Forced to Shift Gears

I haven't blogged for a while for 2 reasons.  First; I was at Girl's Camp last week and had a fabulous time!  If you're super bored you can read about that here.  We went on a good 5 mile hike on Thursday and just getting to the cabins (I know, I know, cabins can't really be called camping!) themselves was a hike!  So I sure didn't feel like I was lacking on any exercise.  But before I left for camp I wanted to get my long run in for the week because I knew I'd come home exhausted and not really want to do much.  I was going to try it on Monday, but I had done a lot on Saturday with running and stairs and decided to give it another day.  I went 5 miles on Monday and felt so good!  It really loosened up my calves and I was excited for Tuesday.  
Tuesday I went with Jody early.  It was the perfect day for my long run.  I already had a partner for some of it and I was up earlier than normal so it wouldn't be as hot.  However after about 3 miles in, my IT band in my left knee started really hurting.  I have only had problems with the right knee in the past and for the past year I got to where I could feel when it was tightening and could usually stretch and ice and work it out before I got to any real pain.  But I didn't get any warning with the left knee.  It went right to the stabbing pain and I was more than worried.  Jody and I usually sprint about a block to her house at the end and I knew I wasn't going to be able to do it.  We picked up the pace but I ended up walking and kind of limping home afterwards.  I got home and grabbed my knee bands and decided to just try a little more.  I was feeling so good everywhere else and really wanted to do 15 miles that day.  I know I should have just stayed home but I'm stupid.  That's all I can really come up with besides stubborn and dumb.  I did another 5 miles alternating walking breaks when it hurt.  I did run the last 2 miles home with no pain and it took all the self control I had to stop and not do another loop.  I was feeling so good and it really was killing me to think that I wasn't going to be able to run.  I got home, iced it, and called my chiro who helped fix it last year.  I was able to get in and he worked it good.  I think that doing two longish runs too close together plus a lot of extra stuff like stairs and jump rope just pushed my knees over the threshold.  At least I know where the line is now.  And I probably favor my right leg since it's always been the injury prone one.  So that left leg probably gets the majority of the work.  I still can't believe I didn't get any tightness warning before I'm at the horrible pain.  I made an appointment for after Girl's Camp and he said if I was doing fine, I could just cancel it.  I had pain at camp only once going downhill on the hike so I kept the appointment just to be safe.  But real running was going to be the real test.
I ran 2 miles today as per his instructions.  I felt the pain at the end of the first mile.  I stopped, stretched, and walked a bit and tried to run again.  After doing this about 3 times it seemed like it was working and I could run home with little pain.  Still...2 miles?  
I came home and spent extra time lifting weights and doing 1 legged squats and lunges.  I was pretty bummed at first.  It seemed like I was just getting over everything and really starting to love running again and I was getting excited for progress, and now this.  I have decided that maybe it's a blessing in disguise.  I'm always using running as my excuse not to eat good.  I know it should be the opposite, but in my head I think, "I can eat that because I ran 10 miles today."  I know I should be thinking that I need to feed my body good things so that I can recover from that 10 miler.  I'm always worried that if I don't eat enough my running performance will suffer.  So now maybe it's time I started making better food choices and focussed on strength training a little more.  I'm sure I'll be better soon.  Maybe it's the kick in the pants I need to get my eating on track.  Then I'll just have to keep it up when I'm better and be smarter.  Plus, the lighter you weigh, the faster you can be.  I need all the help I can get with that.  
Going through this injury once before taught me that I need to have patience with my body and give it the rest it needs.  I want to run so badly, but I also know I will prolong my healing and then be sidelined completely.  I think it's easier to deal with this time because I know I will get better, because I did before.  I did get new shoes and insoles because the miles were starting to pile up on them and they were just trashed on the insides.  I'm o.k. and I'm sure everything will turn out alright.  I just have a new focus for a while.

Saturday, August 2, 2008

My calves, oh my aching calves!

I knew that my calves would probably hurt after all that jump roping, but to be honest, since I started really focusing on my weight training this week, they were pretty much the only part of my body that wasn't in pain.  Well I changed that in a hurry!  I ran Friday my old 5 mile route backwards and down Main Street for part of it so that I could go past the drinking fountains.  The first two miles is all uphill and my calves were screaming, but I knew the middle 2 would be downhillish so I made them keep going.  It was one of the best runs I've had in a long time and didn't really need to stop and walk at all.  And I felt like I was pushing it a little.  Too bad those days are few and far between.  I finished with lower body weights but ran out of time for the upper.  

Today I met Holly and I ran while she rode her bike along side me down to the high school to run stairs.  I don't know what I was thinking.  Last time I ran stairs my calves were sore, so I guess I'm just a glutton for punishment this week.  We ran stairs for 30 minutes using 1 minute run/1 minute rest intervals.  Then I ran home and she continued on her bike ride.  By the time I had gotten a few blocks down the road, I started feeling pretty good so I decided to take the longer way home.  It ended up being a little over 8 miles in all.  I saw Jodi going out when I was almost home.  We talked for a while and I was wishing we would have coordinated a little better again.  I got home and finished my weights for the week.  It's been a good week.  

Thursday, July 31, 2008

Eye of the Tiger

So I don't have a great memory, but while I'm jumping rope today, all I can think of is Rocky and this vision of him jumping rope like a mad man during his training.  It's not the first time I've thought of good old Sylvester Stalone.  During the winter and those cold runs, I thought of him as well running in Russia.  You would think that I'm a big Rocky fan and I'm really not.  The last time I saw these movies was in the 80's and I'm sure that it wasn't really my choice to watch them.  I got a punching bag for Christmas a couple of years ago and I'll still get that out every once in a while.  I used to go to a kickboxing class that I really liked and when they cancelled it, I wanted to do it at home.  Anyway, so back to the jumping rope.  Circumstances made it so that I didn't get to leave the house today and so running was out unless I wanted to get down on the treadmill and that definitely was not going to happen.  So I grabbed my i pod and decided to make the best of it.  I tend to make games out of my workouts and that seems to make them go faster and makes it much more enjoyable.  So I warmed up for 2 songs (double jumps) and then alternated fast songs and single jumping with moderate songs and slower jumping for the first 20 minutes.  Then I did shorter intervals for the next 25 minutes by fast jumping during the chorus and bridges and slower jumping during the verses.  I alternated knees up and kicking back behind me for the last couple of songs and then cooled down.  It ended up being a really fun workout, one I'll do again for sure.  I was interrupted about 30 times by my kids asking me crazy questions that they'd figure out for themselves if I wasn't there.  The phone was also a problem.  Another good reason for me to get out and run.  I get to be alone with basically no interruptions.  I think I mentally need that time each day.  It makes me a better mom and a better human being in general.

I have also been pondering some of the things that Mike talked about in his blog today.  I've been really discouraged about running any races lately.  I've left my new fancy schmancy watch at home for almost a month now.  I just don't seem to be satisfied with any of my race results.  I think part of my problem is that I put in a lot of work and the training runs seem to be so good.  Then the race comes and I bomb out.  I really appreciate all the support and comments from friends and family and Anna and Mike especially.  These seasoned runners can see past these few disappointments and the good that will come eventually.  I lean on their advice a lot.  Thanks!  Anyway... I'm really digressing today... I was visiting with a good friend this week.  She's a bit older than I am, but we think a lot alike and I really respect her.  When she was little they didn't expect her to live.  She had asthma so bad and really could never participate in anything physical.  Her doctor calls her a miracle because she lived past age 8.  Now there's good medication and though she deals with pretty severe arthritis she is always so positive.  She doesn't complain and though she'll be honest with me about how she feels, she's always grateful for what she can do.  Somedays it is very limited.  She tries to stay active and lifts weights and is a healthy eater.  Every time I leave her I am renewed with gratitude for what I am able to do.  It's not anything great but 4 years ago I didn't think I'd ever be able to run again.  It was a devastating thought.  I'd never been athletic through all my school years.  I avoided playing any type of sport.  I just didn't think I'd be good.  I was a good spectator though and I enjoy watching all types of sports.  And now that I'd finally found something that I loved, I felt like it was being taken away.  Being able to run again brought such great joy and appreciation for my body.  I think I've lost some of that this year.  I'm taking for granted the simple action of slipping on some running shoes and hitting the streets.  I want speed and endurance (and I want it right now!) instead of simply being grateful that my body is able to do those things.  It's something so basic and yet I know there are people who physically can't do it.  They can't do what they love to do.  My heart aches for them because I know how they feel.  I think that's one reason I've left the watch at home and why I'm running alone and why I don't have any desires to run any races right now.  I need to get back to why I run in the first place.  I need to be grateful for the simple ability and just be content and happy with the fact that I can run.  I need to remember that running is fun.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Easy Run

I took it easy today and did a walk/run for 4 miles.  I ended with doing lunges at the horse stables.  I gave up riding after I couldn't figure out how the bridle was supposed to be.  It was twisted and I just couldn't get it twisted in the right direction with all the things pointing right. So I just went home and finished lifting weights for my whole body.  I need to be more consistent in doing that.  I've been kind of a slacker lately with my weights and today I could tell.  I'll probably be pretty sore tomorrow.  That's the problem with slacking; it always hurts to get back to where you were.

Monday, July 28, 2008

Long Run

I've been keeping my eye on the weather to see which day was supposed to be the coolest (that's a relative term nowadays) and when I saw that it might be stormy on Monday, I decided that I'd do my long run today.  It started to thunder last night and I was excited in the hopes of a rainy run again.  As I stepped outside this morning though, there was not a cloud in the sky.  Not even one.  Oh well.  I ran 13 miles today.  Miles 10 and 11 were tough because it was really uphill and getting hot but the last two were good.  It's nice to have it over with for the week and now I can concentrate on some cross training activities.  

Friday, July 25, 2008

Horsie Run

My legs were pretty tired this morning, just feeling the effects of the stairs and jump rope, I'm sure.  I only ran 3 miles and then went over and rode Ritz for a while.  She was out in the pasture and came right over to me.  I bridled her out in the pasture and then took off.  It was the fastest and easiest it's ever been for me to get the bridle on.  Bianca is so funny.  She won't let me bridle her (at least without Jill or Janzen there) but then she acts so jealous when I'm out riding Ritz.  Silly horse.  When I walked out of my house this morning and sat down to put on my shoes, I looked up and was blown away by the beauty of the sky.  It was so blue and there were these beautiful clouds that were bright white.  It almost took my breath away.  While running I just could help but look upwards to check out that gorgeous sky.  I didn't take this picture until afterwards, but really, it was something to behold.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Run, Stairs, Run

I decided to run down to the high school track this morning and run stairs.  It's 2 1/2 miles there and back and I did 10 intervals of 1 minute/1 minute on the stairs.  The stairs are a killer workout!  But I know they're so good for my rear end.  I ran stairs religiously 6 years ago and I swear it gave my behind a good shape.  I need it back.  Unfortunately I don't have the drive that I did  6 years ago.  Well I guess it's a different drive.  Slower maybe.  Anyway, my legs felt like lead jell-o on the way home and it was really hot!  The hills were especially tough on the way home.  I stretched really good and am looking forward to a real cool shower instead of trying to hit all the sprinklers along the way.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Run and Jump to the Music!

I dragged myself out of bed earlier than normal this morning so I could head out before it got too hot.  I ran 4 miles and ended with a giant hill that I ran up all the way thanks to my new favorite song blaring in my ears the whole way up.  There's something about concentrating on the beat and keeping my eyes just a little in front of me instead of up the whole hill, that seems to help me with hills.  Now if I could just remember that all the time.  It was a good run.  I jumped rope for 15 miserable minutes and the only thing that made it bearable was Abby doing it with me while listening to Miley Cyrus with her.  I love it when my kids exercise with me.  I still need to get in my upper body weights today but it will have to wait until later tonight.

Monday, July 21, 2008

Rainy Run

What great weather for a summer run!  When I started out this morning it was sprinkling a little but by the time I had gone 5 miles, it had started to rain!  Hooray!  It's been a really long time since it's rained and it felt so good.  I ran over to the horses and rode them for a bit really trying to concentrate on those core muscles and my inner thighs.  It was so fun listening to the sound of the rain on the metal roofs.  The thistles are blooming and the Russian Olive trees were beautiful in the rain.  It was a great day to be out.  I felt so good and the weather was perfect so I decided to do another 5 miles after riding and make it my long run.  It's days like this I need to remember when I'm having those not so good days and can't remember why I love to run.

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Meet my new training partners!

I thought since I'm spending a bit of my time with the horses, I should introduce them.  Here's the background:  A little more than 15 years ago, Janzen gave up on dating and bought a horse.  There's some property not quite a mile from where we live that rents stables and use of a couple of pastures for really cheap.  They're still there today.  I met him shortly after that and after we got married and he was working and going to school, he just didn't have the time to train her and ride like she needed.  He decided to sell her.

Left to right:  Sassy, Ritz, and Bianca

His mom, who was raised on a farm, offered to buy her and has taken care of her ever since.  Bianca is a really smart horse and is pretty stubborn.  She has pushed Janz out of the stall after he's given her medication and shut the door behind her.  She has learned how to let herself out of her stall and forced grandma to buy bigger and better locks.  She knows how to steal hay from the other horses stalls and is kind of a tease.  She'll bite the other horses out in the pasture while they're minding their own business and she loves to run.  But you put a kid on her and she's the best horse in the world.  She just seems to know that they're more delicate and she is wonderful.
Grandma (Jill) bought another horse shortly thereafter so that two people could ride at once.  Ritz is a bit older than Bianca and is much more mellow.  She has a much smoother ride and is a little thinner around the middle, not so hard to stretch those legs around.  She was a breeding horse and constantly had her babies being taken away from her.  She feels that pain, I think, and doesn't like being separated from the rest of the horses.  She is a really good horse.
Sassy came next, just a couple of years ago and was such a cute baby!  Too bad her stall is next to Biana's and she's been learning tricks from her.  Sassy is a good name for her.  She still likes to buck and is really nervous.  But she just needs to be ridden.  She's shorter than the other horses.  But that's not saying much since the other horses are about 17 hands (5 ft. 8 in.) tall.  Like I said, I have to use the step ladder to get on!  They're all American Saddlebreds.  They're great at endurance and comfort while riding.
Jill bought a trailer that hauls all 3 horses and will take them any where we want to go.  She grew up with horses and loves them.  In fact she thought she was a horse when she was little.  And then pretended she was a horse until she was about 10.  She recently bought a surrey and had Ritz trained to pull it.  That should be really fun.  Jill is so willing to share her love of horses with others.  She has given many of the neighborhood children horseback riding lessons and lets a cute girl who lives close by ride Ritz whenever she wants.  The kids have always loved to ride, but it hasn't been until recently that I've really loved it.  About 4 years ago is when I injured my IT band riding horses with her in the mountains.  I didn't really know what I had done until it was too late and it just about killed my running.  I've been leering about riding ever since then, but I've fixed the problem and riding bareback is the way I like riding the best.  No fuss, just bridle and go!
Jill read about a horse race that's 26 miles long that we're thinking about doing next year.  It would have to be on Sassy because she's the only one without arthritis and she's the youngest.  We don't have much info yet though so we'll see.  It would take a lot of training to get both of us to that point.  I know somewhat about that kind of training!  

So this week was kind of a bust for me as far as exercising went.  I did some major weight training on Monday that kicked my hiney.   Tuesday I ran 5 miles and went to the horses but they were eating and I didn't want to disturb them.  Wednesday I missed running because of a big mess with my credit card (read about that here) but rode the horses for about an hour and 1/2 while Janz worked on some plumbing at the stables.  I rode Bianca this time since Ritz was literally worn out from some neighbor girls the night before.  Then I rode Sassy for a bit with a saddle on.  It was great to be out riding as the sun was going down.  We left the next day for some camping so I got a lot of good walking in and even some hill work from ice blocking down a really steep hill and racing back up it.  No long run this week.  I plan on doing better next week.  

Friday, July 11, 2008

Decision Time

Maybe this is a bad time to do this, since the cold isn't completely gone, but I think I've decided not to run the Top of Utah Marathon this fall.  It's been in the back of my mind that I would do it since I didn't get into St. George and to keep me running through the summer.  But I don't want to run another marathon and just survive it.  I want to feel accomplished at the end and feel like I've trained well and done my best.  Right now, I don't feel like I could follow a training program in this heat.  Call me a wimp but I just can't do it.  I would like to do a couple of half marathons but mentally I'm just not ready for a full yet.  Truth is, I'm scared.  I'm not really a competitive person.  I typically don't run races any faster than I run the distance in training.  I don't get that adrenaline rush that pushes most people.  But I don't like to fail either.  The last two marathons seemed like failures and I'm afraid of another experience like that again.  There's a part of me that says to do another one this year to get over the fear, you know the old get back on the horse thinking.  But the smart part of my brain says that I'm not trained properly so don't set yourself up for it.  I run because I love it.  But lately, I'm running because I've told myself that I'm dedicated to being consistent and not quitting but definitely not for the love.  I don't like that.  So, I've left my watch home for the past two runs.  I didn't want to focus on my time or pace or even distance.  I just wanted to run for the fun of it.  Then I came home and figured out how far I ran.  (So I must care slightly about how far I'm going!)  I ran 4 miles on Wed and ended with riding Ritz.  It was pretty cool because they were out in the pasture and I wasn't sure I could catch her to bridle her.  But she came right over to me and followed me over to the gate.  I was pretty excited that she knows me.  I lifted on Wed too and I'm still pretty sore all over my upper body from that.  I know I need to get back to training my lower half better.  I'm really not getting sore from riding the horses bareback anymore.  I guess I need to go longer.  I went last night too and rode the "baby" horse Sassy.  She was trained last year and as soon as she got back she ripped up her leg and had a long recovery.  She hasn't been ridden only a few times so getting on her was a brave move on my part.  She spooks pretty easily and was scared of her own shadow!  But I rode her bareback for over a half hour and she got better each time around.  I will say that she put on a rodeo show when I first got on her and rared and  bucked!  Good thing Janzen was right there with me.  I held on o.k. but it was pretty scary!  I rode Bianca bareback last night too as it was getting dark so it was pretty short, but she the fastest of the horses and the wildest!  They're so fun and riding is getting to be as big of a release for me as running is.  Monday night I was just so irritated with everything and all I could think about was going for a ride.  After we did, I was good. 
I went for a run today knowing it would be the long one of the week since tomorrow is crazy.   It ended up being 9 miles.  I would have like to have made it a little farther, but oh well.  I'm going to try to keep doing my longs runs so that I won't lose my endurance and to be ready for a 1/2.  Maybe that will help my body get accustomed to running those longer distances and help me be better prepared for next year.  I'm also going to try to incorporate more cross training and just keep moving forward.  That is what we do while running after all, just one more step forward.

Monday, July 7, 2008

Running Rut

I don't know what's wrong with me.  The last two runs I've had have been miserable.  I ran 5 miles on Thursday and it was a struggle the whole time.  My lungs, legs, heart, everything wanted to stop.  It could be that the cold I've been fighting for about a week now was peaking then, but today was just as bad.  I only made it 3 miles and I was lucky to do that.  I think I'm over the hump as far as the cold goes, but it was just a fight to even go out today.  I didn't get a long run in because of the holiday this weekend.  But to be honest, I don't think I would have been able to do one with the way I've been feeling.  It's discouraging knowing that if I don't get up early, it gets too hot to go for very long.  I'm in a rut and hope this too will pass.

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Horsie Rides

I got myself up again this morning after sleeping too long yesterday.  It is really hot out there even at 6 a.m.  This morning it was 75 degrees when I left!  I ran a new route today that was 5 miles before I got to the stables.  It was good and the only problem continues to be the muscles around my ankles that seem to warm up very slowly.  I had problems getting the halter on right this morning and had to call my hub to help out.  He was just leaving for work and was able to stop over and figure it out.  It was just all twisted up and I couldn't see how it was supposed to go.  I didn't get sore from Monday's ride, so I decided to go a bit longer today and go a little faster to make myself hold on a little tighter.  Bareback riding is so fun.  Ritz got in the round corral and just wanted to run.  She goes into a lope so easily and smoothly and I love being on her back for the ride.  I did get pretty tired holding on for dear life with my legs and had to make her walk so that I could have a break.  But it was really fun.  Ritz is a beautiful and patient horse and I'm so glad I got to ride her!  Total miles: 6.

Monday, June 30, 2008

Wake Up!

Saturday was a huge wake up call to me that I need a wake up call to get myself out of bed earlier if I am going to keep running this summer.  It just gets too hot even by 9 or 10 in the morning and it doesn't really cool off either.  So I made myself get out of bed this morning a little before 6 and was able to get out the door by 6:15.  It was a beautiful day and it was already warm.  I decided to run my 5 mile route backwards (did I mention I'm sick of my route?) before heading over to the stables to ride Ritz for a little bit.  I detoured a bit onto Main Street where all the drinking fountains are.  Then I headed over to ride.  Ritz is a really patient horse.  It was my first time putting the bridle on by myself.  I usually have my mother in law or Janzen or Justin there to help me, but I think I got it on right.  Good thing I didn't have to mess with the saddle or I could have been there an hour just trying to get it on.  I rode around for about 15 minutes bareback to get that good inner thigh workout and then headed home to finish my weights.  It's so hard getting out of bed early, but I'm always glad afterwards that I did.

Saturday, June 28, 2008

It's been a week...or two

I decided after the Bear Lake 1/2 that I would take a complete week off and just rest this bod of mine.  I'd been working it pretty good and it was time.  It turned out to be a great week, one where I didn't have to worry about fitting it in or about the heat which decided to finally arrive.  But by Saturday, I was missing it and was thinking about going on a run.  However, Justin was at Youth Conference and Janz was at a service project that went until about noon and there was no way that I was going out in that heat after noon.  So it would have to be Monday then.

I woke up bright and early Monday morning ready to hit the road and discovered that I couldn't move my neck without being in terrible pain.  I had really kinked it this time.  I couldn't stand or sit in any position without it hurting so badly.  I found a position on the bed that I could be in and pretty much stayed there the whole day.  I looked at my running shoes sitting on the floor by my carefully laid out clothes and wanted to cry.  This happened about 8 years ago and it took about 2 weeks to get better.  I got myself into the chiropractor and even though I was pretty nervous about seeing him, I think it helped.  I tried to run once this week.  I only made it three miles with a little bareback riding in the middle of that.  (That's my new inner thigh workout!)  The movement just hurt my head too bad and it was worse for the rest of the day.  I iced, heated, stretched and repeated several times during the week and by the last appointment on Friday I had almost full range of motion.  So I thought I'd try a long run today.

I wish I would have gotten up earlier.  The heat has been in full force for two weeks now and I've missed out on acclimating myself.  I really am a fair weathered runner and hate the bitter cold and the blistering heat.  I like spring and fall.  I need to move or adjust because it just isn't like that here.  I didn't have time to eat anything.  So I just grabbed my stuff and headed out.  It was a hard one today.  My ipod died about 2 miles in and was on a really good song too.  I am so sick of my 5 mile loop, so I decided to just wing it and go wherever I felt like it.  With that new snazzy watch it's easier to decide how far to go before turning and heading for home.  I ended up in the next town over on some very hard hills.  I guess it's not called "snob hill" for nothing.  I went down a nice dirt trail where the grass on the sides was as tall as I am.  I had a mama bird dive bombing me for a while.  She must have thought that this nice little runner was after her young.  I'm pretty luck not to have poop on me, because I think that I was definitely her target.  There were tons of dragonflies zooming in and out of the grass and the pond out there that I have heard frogs in was pretty grown over.  Out west seemed much hotter than in town probably because there was NO shade.  I crossed the highway and ran into a gas station to use the potty and splash water on my face.  From there until home was pretty much a struggle.  It was just so hot and it was all uphill.  I looked for the shady streets.  I ran through the sprinklers.  I passed a lemonade stand and wished I had 50 cents on me.  I was pretty beat.  I really couldn't wait to get home and in a cool shower.  I rounded the corner, saw home and finished the eleven miles.  Janz was outside washing the cars and at my request, he hosed me down.  Felt so good.  Even though it was tough, it felt good to be out there.  I think it just takes something like a little injury or sickness and you come back that much more grateful for the ability to just move those two legs forward.  To quote a friend, "It's a good day to be alive."

Monday, June 16, 2008

Bear Lake Half Marathon

Last week didn't end up being very productive.  After I ran with Jody on Tuesday, I didn't run again until Thursday with Janzen for 2 miles and then another mile with Logan in the stroller.  (He was pretty jealous that Janz went running with me and begged to go when we got home!) I just didn't feel like running.  I was having a rough middle of the week and was so tired and just didn't want to do anything.  I couldn't figure out what was wrong with me.  I was just blah.  I kept thinking it was o.k. since I had the half coming up on Saturday, but then I'd get worried about being able to do it.  It was kind of a last minute decision to run the Bear Lake half marathon.  I had to call them since online registration was closed and it looked like they were full.  But they had some cancellations and were able to fit me in.  I didn't start getting the jitters until the night before, so that was good.  

Janz and I got up at 4:30 and were out the door by 5:00 a.m.  I ate a bagel for the first time before a race that Holly brought me over to carb load on.  It was good!  I decided to wear my camel bak during the race since I wear it on training runs and wouldn't have to waste time at the drinking stations.  This is the first race that Janzen has taken me to and I was glad for his company.  It was calming.  The drive up was beautiful.  Logan canyon was gorgeous.  Because of the cooler temperatures and the all the rain, everything was green and there was still snow once we got higher up.  It was fun reminiscing as we drove up.  We spent a lot of our dating time and early married years in that canyon fishing.  He drove me up there early one morning and made me breakfast in the canyon and then took me to Bear Lake for the first time.  The drive there and back was as much fun as the run itself.  I was a little worried about the temperatures.  It was 32 degrees right before we descended into the Bear Lake Valley, but quickly warmed up to about 53 as we got into the sun.

I picked up my packet, hit the bathrooms, and then we waited in the car for about a half hour since they changed the bus times.  I pinned my number on my shirt.  I kissed Janzen goodbye and got on the bus.  Then I waited for about another half hour for them to go.  While waiting I sat and listened to other runners talk about their past experiences and it was fun to hear people talk about their Salt Lake experience with the wind.  There were several who had run Ogden and some were talking about their past Bear Lake experience.  I am a people watcher and I love the bus rides up and just watching and listening to people.  I sat next to a cute couple who had run the Ogden half and couldn't help but think, "if only I had started this running thing before I had kids."

We were really late in getting started.  I don't know what the problem was.  However, once we got to the starting line they were ready to roll.  Just one problem.  As we got off the busses and started to look for the porta potties, there were none to be found.  A whole slew of guys just walked up the hill relieved themselves in a big line across the horizon.  Now don't get me wrong, I love being a girl.  I love all the perks that go with it.  I love letting my guy baby me and open jars and lift heavy things for me.  But in this desperate (no exaggerations here!) moment, I wished I was a guy.  It's just not fair.  We (several other desperate gals) found the race volunteers and asked where the bathrooms were.  We were told politely that they were one mile behind and in front of us.  UNBELIEVABLE!  I was not happy.   Then at the starting line there was some explanation going on about starting your watches and the timing chips not working.  We overheard at the packet pick up line that their computer equipment didn't arrive on time so I don't think the timing chip I was given even worked.  There was no pad to cross at the start and none at the finish either.  No big clock to see your time and a volunteer writing down the numbers of who came in.  I started my Garmin and took off.  I started in the middle of the pack and was moving along o.k. but needed that porta potty.  I saw it coming and of course there was a line.  What was I expecting?  There was no going another 2 miles until the next one so I stopped.  And waited.  And waited.  It was driving me crazy!  There were 3 girls ahead of me and with every girl going in and coming out I debated just going on, but knew that would be crazy!  So I waited and watched as every single runner passed us by.  Yep, every one.  Even the walking grandmas.  (I'm not being rude, it was written on their shirts!)  So after I made my lightning fast stop, I was headed out again, only this time at the very back of the pack with 5 or 6 minutes to make up.  I mean really!  How was I ever going to do that?  After I passed the walkers I played a game the rest of the race.  It was called, "Get the girl in the (insert color here) shorts/shirt".  I was pushing it the whole race and still felt good.  I kept doing a mental inventory that I need to NEVER do again.  It was all about "where do I hurt?" and then the list began: my calves and ankles are tight, my hip flexors are tight, my right foot hurts, my lungs are on fire, my shoulders are tight.  I tried to relax everything and knew that the calves and ankles would work themselves out by mile 5.  I tried longer strides to stretch out the hip flexors and would periodically roll my shoulders.  The foot pain disappeared as mysteriously as it came.

About half way through I could see Janzen parked up ahead off the side of the road and it boosted me.  I took the shirt off that was tied around my waist and got ready to hand it off.  I stopped and gave him a quick kiss, he told me how proud he was of me and I had a little jolt and took off again.  I started my game again and girl with green shorts was finally within reach.  At mile 7 I decided to take a gel.  The station was within reach and so I squeezed it in and looked for water.  No water.  Now what to do?  I had already swallowed it.  I didn't want to drink Powerade on top of it, but what choice did I have?  I drank a little bit of my drink and just hoped I'd be o.k.  It wasn't too long before I could feel it settling in my stomach like a big rock.  The next station had water and I drank it hoping that all the running would slosh it around and it would mix o.k.  I continued with my game and although the gel didn't feel good, I kept going.  I took several little walking breaks and then could push it again.  Girl with gray tights and black running skirt, I never could get you!

Before long, I was back in town and it was just a mile left.  I could see where the finish line was and pushed it more.  I could see Janzen.  I was hurting, but was so excited to be done and feel good overall.  I never saw an official finish line.  I didn't know when to stop running.  I collected my medal, handed in my timing chip and grabbed some bread and an orange and we took off!  I don't know what my "official time" was, but my Garmin said 2:10.  I was happy with that.

It was a pretty flat course with just little rolling hills.  It was along the lake for the most part and was perfect temperature.  It was a beautiful day and the best part was having Janzen there all along the way.  In every sense of the word, he is my partner.  He is my support, my biggest cheerleader, and my best friend.  I am so grateful for his sacrifice in my behalf, his encouraging words, his understanding me even when I don't, and his belief in me.  I know I'll never be a world class athlete or even a city class athlete, but I know in his eyes I'll be great.  And that's good enough for me.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Oh the Wisdom and the Pain!

The alarm clock sounded and I simply couldn't believe it was really time.  I had woken up on my own about an hour earlier to eat a banana.  Well o.k., child #3 woke up and surprise, hubby got to her and I didn't hear her!  I just woke up when he got back in bed.  I've been trying some earplugs out for a couple of days to help me sleep better and they work!  However, I was so tired this morning and so I laid there doing a self diagnosis.  Did my calves hurt still?  Yes, but not bad enough not to run.  Did I have a sudden cold or fever hit me?  No.  Dang.  How about my toenails?  Did the two that fell off by force yesterday hurt enough?  No.  I just couldn't think of an excuse that sounded good enough to call Jody and tell her I wasn't going.  So I checked the temperature, 58 degrees, dressed accordingly, got a quick drink and headed out the door.  It was simply one of the most beautiful skies I had ever seen.  Beautiful puffy clouds all over the whole sky with just a hint of what the sunrise would have been, against that perfect blue sky.  I almost ran back inside to take a picture, especially of the mountains in the background.  I am so glad I didn't miss that view.  Gorgeous.  
I picked up Jody and we headed out.  She was really cruising down the first street and I thought to myself, as my calves were getting tighter and tighter with each step, that I was in for it today.  I hoped I'd be able to keep up with her.  We ran up the first big hill and that made my legs hurt even more.  But by about mile 4 or so, they were completely loosened up and feeling good.  I don't know why it takes my legs so long to get in the groove.  I know I was sore and all, but still!  Jody kept me entertained as she sung to me what was on her i pod.  I really like running with her.  We have about the same pace and I hope she'll make me faster and I'll help her go farther.  So as we were about ready to turn the corner for the downhill to home, and we were both discussing our body hurting places, I was complaining to her (imagine that!) about how I wished that I could just have mind over matter.  Wouldn't that be nice?  I could do anything!  Then Jody, in all her wisdom, said, "Then it wouldn't ever be Heavenly Father's will."  Wise girl.  She probably didn't know how deeply that hit home to me.  But it's something I'll probably remember forever and repeat to myself often.  So thanks Jody, for the run, the pain, and the wisdom!  Oh and Jody, I did go back to bed.  Sorry, but it's summer after all!

Saturday, June 7, 2008

Stairway to heaven?

So my friend and personal trainer Holly, convinced me to run stairs with her and some friends on Saturday at the high school since I had already done my long run for the week.  I has been YEARS since I have run stairs, so I knew it was going to be bad.  I used to be really good at running stairs.  Of course that was when I was doing it 3 times a week.  We did one minutes intervals with a one minute recovery.  I only had time to do 18 sets.  It kicked my rear end!  There were times I thought I was going to puke.  It was way harder than any speed work out!  I think I need to do this more often.  But for now, I need to nurse my aching calves and rear end until they aren't screaming at me.  Hopefully running Monday will loosen them up!

Thursday, June 5, 2008

Long Run Early

I decided to get my long run done early since Saturday is going to be a busy one for me.  Jody called about 6:30 and wasn't feeling good so I went back to bed.  While laying there, thinking about how I should be up and running anyway, I decided to do my long run.  I called Jodi to see if she wanted to keep me company but she is sick too!  This just isn't right!  Maybe this crazy weather we're having is making everyone sick.  The highs have been in the 50's this week and it doesn't look to get over 75 in the next few days either.  It's great for running, not so great for going to the pool with the kids!  I really didn't feel like going out, but knew I had to.  I decided that once I got out there and ran for a bit, I would decide how far to go.  I'm still figuring out the Garmin thing and how to start new workouts.  The first 5 miles were a struggle.  The lower half of my legs just did not want to loosen up.  My calves, shins, and ankles were so tight.  I stopped several times to shake them out and stretch, but until I hit about 5 miles, they were just tight.  I ended up going 11 miles and the rest felt pretty good.  I hit a couple of really big hills and had to walk part of them to keep my heart rate from skyrocketing.  I didn't keep it down as much as I did the week before, but it stayed pretty steady at the high end of the spectrum.  My friend, Holly, suggested I get my VO2 max tested so that I could see exactly where my percentages should be.  Maybe.  

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Jody the surgeon

Jody somehow managed to separate my rear end from my mattress.  It was quite the surgical procedure, but once she did, wow, what a great morning to be out!  I wish it would stay these temperatures all year long!  It was about 46 degrees when Jody and I headed out.  Everything is green still and we even had a nice breeze going.  Well, it was nice until, we were turned and headed uphill against it!  Those winds sure do like to blow down the canyon!  It ended up being about 5 1/2 miles.  I got home and took the kids on a walk to the park.  I did my weights while the kids played.  I did 2 sets of push ups, step ups, tricep dips and walking lunges.  Then I tried to do pull ups and could only do 2!  And I tried 3 different times!  Pretty pathetic!  I like the park workouts!  They're different and the kids get to play while I'm working out!  I think they're kind of worn out all ready!  At least Logan is.  I think he's ready for a nap!  It's only 10 and it's been a great day already!  Thanks, Jody for making me get up and at 'em a little earlier than normal!!!

Monday, June 2, 2008

Quick Catch Up

Thursday:  Just did weights today.  I was still pretty sore from the last weight session and was short on time this week due to it being the last week of school and trying to find teacher gifts, dance teacher gifts, and other such things.  
Friday:  I have a conversation with one of my best friends Holly, (awesome personal trainer lady!) who is trying to educate some of her clients about heart rates and the "fat burning zone".  Her clients were hearing conflicting sources about this zone and the benefits of training in that specific zone.  After hearing what they had heard and their now fear of training hard or above the one, I in frustration blurted out, "don't they realize that no one but a very long distance runner needs to worry about that!"  Well duhhh!!!  I had one of those light bulb moments turn on in my brain.  I'm one of those people that should be worried about that!  Yet  time and time again I push it and train my body to need fuel instead of burning fat.  New plans develop in my mind for Saturday's run.  Don't get me wrong.  I recognize the need for and love speed training, but maybe I've finally realized why I need to run at a slower pace on my long runs.  I'm kind of a slow learner.  Oh!  I also received my Garmin on this day and sat down to read the 900 page book of instructions.  My 13 year old pretty much had it figured out before I did.  He set up some screens for me and I couldn't wait to try it out.  
Saturday:  I decided that as per my plan, I would try to stay in the "fat burning" zone of 70-85% of my maximum heart rate.  I figured that out using a calculator I found online that figures in your age and resting heart rate.  Without doing some testing, I think this is closer to accurate than just the old 220 minus your age routine.  Starting out was o.k.  I tried not to look at my pace (although it was really fun to see real time pacing instead of trying to guess where I was!) and just concentrate on my heart rate.  I didn't bring music so that I could hear the alarms go off and was worried about the distance without any companionship or music in my head, but it went by surprisingly fast.  The first couple of miles were hit and miss.  I'd speed up and feel o.k. only to hear the beeping sound of the alarm telling me I was going over.  So I'd slow down and the heart beats would go back in the zone.  After the first 6 miles, my heart rate was staying pretty steady up near the 85% range and I'd have to walk to get it to lower even a few points.  So after a while I just let it stay up there and continued to run slow.  To be completely honest...it was one of the hardest runs I've ever done.  It was so very frustrating to feel good and want to go faster and not do it.  I kept reminding myself of my goal of using fat for fuel instead of sugars, so I kept on doing it.  At mile 8 I knew I only had 2 left and decided to just book it home.  I totally ignored the beeping and just took off for home.  My heart rate raced up and then stayed steady, but high.  I hope I didn't ruin what I had just done, but I couldn't take it anymore and really needed to just get home.  I'll try it again next Saturday and see if I can make it farther.  I will admit that I felt totally great during the run and didn't have to stop once to catch my breath.  That was nice.  I fueled well afterwards, but didn't do so great the rest of the afternoon and so between not eating and drinking enough and not getting much sleep the night before (sick kids!) I got a monster headache that night.  Note to self:  body does not function without water and food especially after a run.  One more little side note:  I love checking out how many calories I'm burning!  It's been a while since I've run with my heart rate monitor and I forgot how much fun that can be!
Monday:  Ran 5 miles this morning.  Tried to do mile repeats.  I had to stop twice during mile 3 because it was very uphill.  Perfect temperature of 58 degrees, beautiful morning, couldn't ask for a better day than this to run.  It looks like all week will be perfect!  

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Getting back into it

Because of the holiday yesterday, I was able to sleep in and still run outside without the stroller!  Yeah!  I ran about 3 miles and then stopped at a park and did tricep dips off the bench, pushups off the bench, step ups on the bench and then lunges.  I only did 2 sets of each to ease myself back into it.  Then I finished with another 1 1/2 miles.  It felt really good and it was perfect weather.  I missed most of the rain and it was cool out.
I woke up today pretty sore in the inner thighs from yesterday.  I knew I would since it's been a while since I've trained the lower half.  I can't wait to get back to weight training a little more.  I started out with a walk (child 3 forgot her lunch again) and then ran 5 1/2 miles today.  I really took it easy today and didn't push it at all.  I had to take the stroller so I really didn't push it.  My legs feel a little looser after the run and I'm sure it helped.

Saturday, May 24, 2008


Check out all the fun signs here that Angi (tall girl running) and her family put together for the Ogden Marathon that kept us all amused!  One of my favorites that I didn't even see is "Friends Don't Let Friends Run Marathons!"  Too funny!

I need therapy...oh wait, that's why I run!

This week's been interesting.  I think the mental and spiritual part of this journey has been more exhausting than the physical part.  I don't know if I lost more liquid out of my body by crying or fromsweating.  Honestly, I am fine now.  It was just a hard couple of days.  It's funny, once I wrote it all out, in all it's brutal details, I felt better.  Like I had been to therapy.  
I went for my massage on Monday.  It was great.  I was surprised that I didn't feel worse.  I guess your body doesn't hate you as much if you don't run as fast.  I walked with Janzen about a mile on Saturday night and then Sunday night.  I spent the rest of the week stretching and walking.  Then yesterday, Janzen was home from work all day and we went to get new tires put on his car.  I talked him into running with me while they worked on it.  We loaded up the jogging stroller and went about 2 miles.  It was fun to be out with Janz and it was nice to run again.  I really wanted to go farther once we got home, but decided I'd be good and not push it.  I ran 4 1/2 miles this morning to return some videos and pick up some cream cheese for some cookies I made today.  I'm sure I looked pretty funny running with a packet of cream cheese in my hands, but it was all softened by the time I got home.  I didn't even take my watch so that I wouldn't be tempted to time myself.  
Thanks to George Bush and his unwise ways, I did my part to "strengthen" the economy and I ordered myself a Garmin gps watch.  I'm pretty excited to get it and try it out.  I think it will be pretty fun and will be a good training tool.  All things considered, it was a good week.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Ogden Marathon 2008: It takes a special kind of idiot!

Friday morning Jodi and I ran down to the expo center to get our numbers and timing chips and shirts.  It wasn't really crowded yet and the stacks of t-shirts told of how many more people would be coming to get their stuff.  It was fun!  We talked to one of the race officials and told her of our plans for Jodi to wait at the half point until I got there, which would mean she would be starting over 2 hours later than all the other half marathoners.  There was some confusion, but they told us it would be o.k. and that her timing chip would start when she crossed the pad.  (Which later turned out to be not true and poor Jodi's time looked really bad for a while.)

We saw Jeff Galloway, who was speaking all afternoon on different subjects.  We listened for a bit about his walk/run theories and then he gave tips on carbo loading that night and hydration for the next day.  He and his wife would both be running the full marathon the next day.

We then went to Jamba Juice to have lunch!  Yum!  That is THE place to go when carbo loading!  I had a really yummy blueberry oatmeal muffin type thing that I would eat every day if they were already made for me!

The night before we went to the Temple again with Heather (who I ran with last year who is VERY pregnant this year!) and Rob, Jodi and Dave, and Marilyn and Mont.  It was so good!  I ordered a mozzarella and tomato sandwich that came with a salmon pasta salad!  The salad was so good and so big that I didn't even touch the sandwich and couldn't finish the pasta.  I drank plenty of water and was pretty excited and not so nervous as before!  When I got home I still had to get everything ready for the morning.  I had boughten a disposable camera (since I ruined my new digital camera last year!) and got my Accellerade drink ready in those little plastic bags.  That was one of the hardest decisions that I made.  I really don't like Powerade (which is what they were using in the marathon) and I have trained with Accellerade, which I love.  But what a pain carrying all those little baggies with me.  I had my sunscreen, chapstick, knee band, timing chip, phone and watch all ready to go.  The only real problem would be if I got pulled over driving to the marathon and having to explain to the cops what the powdery stuff in the little bags was for!

The morning of the marathon was beautiful!  I loved running up the street to catch the line of busses going up the canyon!  I sat by a really nice lady that talked to me pretty much the whole time.  She had run Ogden last year too and we talked about similar problems we both had.  It was fun hearing about her other marathons and her experiences running.  The running community is so great about sharing and helping each other out!  

Once we got off the buses, it was COLD!  I got in the porta potty line so that I could go through twice and it probably looked like I was doing a potty dance I learned from Logan, but I was really just trying to stay warm.  That was a long line of potties!

There were fire pits to keep people warm.  Everyone was doing something different to occupy the time.  Some were running up and down the road trying to warm up.  Some were getting stretched out on the table, other were eating, but it was so fun to just see what everyone was doing.  

When we finally got started, I was once again just amazed by the amount of people there!  It's interesting to see what everyone is carrying on them and what they're wearing.  Maybe Janzen is right, it's just a big fashion show.  

The canyon was very cold, but so beautiful!  It really is one of the most gorgeous runs I've ever been on!  The river was sure running!  Guess all that snow is finally starting to melt!  I left my i pod out for the first 5 miles or so and just took in all the scenery and tried to pace myself.  I really didn't want to go out hard and regret it later.  I still ended up doing the first mile in about 9:40, so I slowed down.  It took about 4 miles, but I settled in and did between 10:15 and 10:20 miles up until the halfway point.  I had certain phrases in my mind that I repeated over and over from the temple the night before and I planned on them getting me through.  

Really, does it get much better than this?  It was so beautiful and the temperature finally warmed up so that my hands weren't frozen!  There was a cool breeze going that constantly kept me feeling good.  Just before the halfway point, there was a nice little crowd and cute little girls giving high fives as we ran by.  There were also some cute signs.  My favorite was "Any idiot can run, it takes a special kind of idiot to run a marathon!" and "Toenails are overrated!"
I also saw a policeman get hit by a big truck and a trailer as he was directing traffic.  He was really lucky and could have been killed.  Luckily, he was able to catch himself from being hit twice and was o.k.

Right before the halfway point I got a jolt of adrenaline and had to really control myself because I knew I'd be seeing Jodi soon!  In fact as soon as I could spot her I screamed out her name before she could even hear me and the runner in front of me laughed.  I just couldn't help it!  I was waving my arms and it was fun to see her spot me!  Julie had brought her up to the start line and waited there with her.  What a great friend especially since it was on her birthday!!!

It was so fun running together.  We were doing a conservative pace especially on the big hill and it was fun to talk and enjoy the beautiful scenery.  About mile 18 my stomach started to not feel so good.  I just pushed on through but felt very off.  As we progressed my stomach just got worse and I was feeling very nauseous.  It had started to heat up, but it didn't feel like it was overwhelmingly hot.  I had been drinking at every drink stop, but didn't do any gels.  That may have been a mistake, but I figured as long as I was still drinking my Accellerade I'd be fine.  The worse my stomach got the less I wanted to drink.  I got double side aches which made it really hard to run through and then I started getting the chills.  

By about mile 21 or 22 (I really lost track of where we were) I got big goosebumps and the chills and then started feeling lightheaded.  Jodi kept encouraging me and kept me going.  But the last few miles I couldn't do anything by walk and even then I had to just stop a few times and crouch down to try to relieve my stomach pain.  I thought if I could just throw up I'd feel better.  Good thing I didn't because I would really have gotten dehydrated.  I could feel despair creeping in.  I didn't want to go back to the place I was in Salt Lake.  So I tried using my phrases that I used at the beginning.  But as my brain was not functioning, I couldn't string together the words to make the sentence, "Run and not be weary, walk and not faint."  It just wouldn't come no matter how many times I tried rephrasing it.  I knew I was ruining Jodi's first 1/2 marathon and that was overtaking my thoughts more than thinking about my time.  I was really doubting myself and my faith and had decided that I just wasn't made to run a marathon.  Jodi kept talking me through, taking me to happy places, like the beach and kept reminding me to do Lamaze breathing.  I was having trouble breathing the last 3 miles.  I felt short of breath and was in so much pain.  There were times that the only thought I had in my mind was that with every step I took, I was that much closer to the finish line.  At the last aid station a really nice volunteer came to help me.  She could see I was not doing well and had me lean over and she poured cold water all over my neck.  It felt so good.  I had a couple of orange slices and felt a tiny bit better.  We ran the last couple of blocks to finish and it was very bittersweet.  I was so glad to be done, but so disappointed that I had done poorly again.    

Reflecting back, I am just so glad I was able to finish.  I am so glad Jodi was there to help me.  I really don't know what would have happened if she wouldn't have been there to help me.  There was a beautiful spot of grass in the park during the last few miles that was begging me to go lay down on it and just never get up.  If she wouldn't have been there I just may have taken it up on the offer.  My doc (Jodi's hubby) was there at the finish line and thought I may have been going into shock.  I really think I had a bad case of heat stroke and just didn't catch it in time before I started feeling really bad.  I should have been dumping cold water all over myself when I first felt it starting to warm up.  After that point I didn't feel hot at all and felt like I had the flu.  I think I got past the point of feeling it.  We really haven't had any hot days of training and I think it was a shock to my body.  It was 85 degrees, the hottest day of the year so far.  

So the question is:  Now what?  At the time I was ready to give up on running a marathon ever again, thinking that I was just not made to do it.  It's been kind of a cry fest over here the past few days.  Mostly feeling bad about Jodi.  I should never try and run with someone in a race.  I need to just do my own race and let them do their own.  I also think that running a marathon 4 weeks before as part of training wasn't so good.  I need to stick to the training schedule and not do over 20 miles.  Maybe after the full training is in then it would be possible to do another one close together.  But I probably need to do more long runs to get my body used to the distance more.  I also need to take it easy when I'm supposed to.  In reflecting, I don't think I do very many easy runs.  I like to push it, but I don't think it's good for me or makes me a better runner.  Maybe I shouldn't have done 16 miles the Saturday before.  Or maybe none of that really makes that much of a difference.  Maybe I just need to accept my limitations and realize that everyone has limitations and can't do everything they would like to do.  I don't know.  It's been a hard couple of days and I'm sure it will work itself out.  For now, I've been walking a mile or two each night.  There is one good thing:  I'm just barely sore.  I can't believe how GOOD I feel.  And I'm still excited to run.  That in itself is a miracle.  So who knows, there may be another marathon for me after all.  Like they say, "It takes a special kind of idiot!"  Maybe that idiot is me!