Tuesday, December 22, 2009

I Cry Uncle!

I was so full of joy at recapturing my youth and athleticism back in August, but the cold of December has dampened that joy quite handily.  Losing my dog, my Dad's heart attack & surgery, tripping over the new puppy and tearing cartilage in my knee all wove together to stop me in my tracks.  Now I have had the flu for 8 days and probably can't go home for Christmas.  I don't want to take the chance of  my Dad getting sick as he is still recovering.  Probably just as well since I can't resist my Mom's cooking & baking!!

I think the wise choice will be to let go of my goal of running the half marathon by my Birthday, and focusing on the Vancouver half May 2, 2010.  I hate to say it but I just won't be in good enough shape in two months to make it feasible.  DAMN!  But I am not abandoning my running or healthy eating goals...I have just taken a sizeable detour for the last 2 1/2 months.  While the chocolate and other goodies did taste really good...the weight gain is something I can't tolerate anymore.

On a positive note my puppy is getting bigger everyday and is a little doll.

Sunday, December 13, 2009


Today was the Seattle Jingle Bell Run/Walk for the Arthritis Foundation.  I sent out a lot of donation requests knowing full well most folks don't have money this year and need it for themselves.  There are a few people, though, who wouldn't miss a few bucks.  My boss was complaining, LOUDLY, on Friday about his arthritic elbow.  Perfect!  I told him he should donate to my run on Sunday.  What did he say?  Oh sure, let me get you a check?  Nope.  He said..."HOW DOES THAT HELP ME?"  I said something about how he was standing there complaining about his arthritis and he said..."But what's in it for me?"  The owners of the company I work for have very nice homes, vacation homes, boats, and car collections - OTOH I live from paycheck paycheck.  Would $25 bucks have broken their wallets?  The one who responded to me probably had several $100 bills in his wallet at that very moment.  I guess that is how the rich stay rich, and I stay poor.  I guess I will never understand that way of thinking.  If someone is in need you give whatever you can and hope someone does the same for you down the line. 

OK.  That is the end of my rant.  Merry Christmas, Happy Hannakuh, or however you Celebrate.

Friday, December 11, 2009

Sunday is the Jingle Bell Run...

Although I will most likely end up walking.  The weather men can't make up their minds, so it will either be cold & dry, cold & snow, rain, or who knows what.  I'll just dress in layers and it will be all good.  I have been looking for a good elf or santa hat to wear, but haven't found the right thing yet.  I have plenty of bells.  Last year they had 12,000 people out there...can you imagine the noise of all those bells? 

I think we may have been above freezing today, but it sure didn't feel like it when I walked the dogs at lunch.  Check them out in the their festive red coats. Too bad they can't go with me. 

Friday, December 4, 2009

Jingle All The Way...

I signed myself up for another 5k today.  I will be doing the Jingle Bell Run for Arthritis on December 13th in Seattle.  This one should be fun ~ they give you bells to wear on your shoes and encourage people to dress up in Christmasy costumes.  I think I will have to wear reindeer antlers at the very least ~ or a Santa hat.  I'm sure I'll figure something out.

Arthritis is something that has hit my family quite a lot.  My Mom's fingers are all gnarled and painful, and I have several joints that are becoming that way too ~ as does my sister.  I'm sure my hands will probably end up the same.  She used to play the piano so beautifully, and was always doing some sort of needlework or crafty thing.  That is no longer possible. 

So I will run for my Mom, and everyone else who is facing pain from arthritis.  This one isn't about time, it's about having a good time and raising money for a good cause!  Hopefully I can get a few people to jump on the donation bandwagon and I can raise some good money.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

I run therefor I am...

I took an easy run on Sunday after 4 weeks of resting my knee, and it wasn't too bad.  I stayed in an easy pace and only ran a few 5 minute intervals, then a few shorter intervals, and then walked back home.  Knee didn't bother me ~ Yay!  I started back walking on the treadmill last night since I can't run my neighborhood in the dark - at least not safely.  It will take a while to get back to where I was, but not as long as I had thought.  I do need to get a new pair of running shoes though.  The pair I bought back in July just isn't the right fit for my skinny feet and narrow heel. 

Getting back on the straight and narrow eating path will not be easy either.  I let the stress of the last few months get to me and started eating my old higher fat and calorie diet.   I know what I have to do...just need to have the strength of mind to do it!!  Wish me luck.

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Runner Girl stared Black Friday right in the eyes...

And Black Friday blinked!!  That could be just a bit of an exaggeration, but I did what I had to do.  It never occured to me when I decided to walk the half at the Seattle Marathon on November 29th, that packet pickup was on Black Friday..only a few blocks from Macy's and Nordstrom in downtown Seattle.  Anyone that knows me would tell you I have no directional skills.  I get lost going to places I have been to before, and really hate cities because I lose my way quite easily.  And this time I was doing it alone - a fairly scary thought for me.  I knew it would be nuts to drive my car since I would probably end up in the middle of the parade, so it was public transit time.  One thing in my favor is that you can get out in the transit tunnel, go up the stairs, and walk right into Macys.  But this was the day after Thanksgiving and the place was MOBBED!  I had the directions in my head on how to get those few little blocks from there to the Westin Hotel, but once in the store I got completely turned around - of course I had to check out handbags and jewelry.  The exits all tell you which street they lead out to, but that pesky little directional issue reared it's ugly head...do I go out on 3rd? Onto Pine?  Maybe 6th?  I chose one and stepped out into the end of the danged parade!!!!  Cheerleaders, band kids, and beaming parents everywhere.  I got around them, remembered to turn left at the next corner and hallelujah there was the Westin!  Lucky for me they are round towers and hard to miss. 

But I still had to get back to the transit tunnel to catch the bus back across Lake Washington to the East side.  Easier said than done.  I came out on the wrong side of the Hotel so had to make a few tentative choices, and finally found my way back.  Yay for me!  I sat... and waited for my bus...but for some unknown reason failed to get on when it arrived and then left.  What a dunderhead.  It did give me lots of time to people watch and check out the new light rail trains as they came and went...came and went...Finally my bus arrived, again, and my adventure was over. 

Sad thing is I don't get to walk tomorrow due to the torn catilage in my knee, but I was going to pick up my packet because I wanted that shirt!  I paid my money and I wanted it!!! There are no refunds in running events. I picked up Maureen's goodie bag too, so will get that to her eventually.

I wish I had my camera with me (left it at my Parent's on Thanksgiving) because it was a gorgeous day in Seattle.  The sun was shining, just a few fluffy clouds hanging out in the sky, and just the perfect temperature.  All in all it was a pretty grand day.  Take that Black Friday!!!

Monday, November 23, 2009

Long time no talk!

The last two weeks have flown past and now it is almost Thanksgiving.  I don't know how that happened...but it's here whether I'm ready or not. 

My knee is healing slowly, but I have started walking again.  I am going to hold off running for another week or two just to be sure.  I am going to miss the half marathon I was registered for this Sunday, but I AM going to go down and pick up my shirt and hang out at Expo.  Right now I am not registered for any races other than running the half at the Vancouver Marathon in June 2010.  I definitely want to get a few more 5k races under my belt and hopefull a few 10k as well. 

I hope everyone has a safe and happy Thansgiving.  I have plenty to be Thankful for this year - my Dad survived his heart attack and surgery, and continues to gain in strength every day. 

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Puppies can be hazardous to your health!

Yesterday I brought home a little red puppy...and promptly tripped over her and wrenched my bad knee.  I generally tear the cartiledge at least once a year anyway, but this could really impact my next event.  I am registered to walk a half marathon on November 29th, and my friend Maureen is going to walk it with me.  I have to hope my knee will allow me to train - or it could be a very long day!  Here is the culprit - Little Boots when she was 6 weeks old. 

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Runner Girl is back...

I had lost my focus and momentum over the last 6 weeks due to multiple stressors, but I'm back.  This morning I ran my first 30+ minute training run, and it felt good - both physically and mentally
Friday I worked out on the treadmill upstairs, and it wasn't bad.  I have been worried about how I was going to keep my training up during the long, dark, rainy winter - and had lost my will power over food yet again.  Last week I ate a whole package of Oreo cookies - the cream ones not the chocolate.  I love them!!  Today I feel much better and will get some healthier foods in the fridge to keep me on the straight and narrow.  I am on my way up to see my Mom & Dad, so hopefully she has not baked anything I can't resist.  That Woman can COOK! 

In one month I will walk the half at the Seattle Marathon.  My friend, Maureen, is going to walk it with me.  I am looking forward to it...but it is going to be COLD.  Then it will be the Jingle Bell Run in Bellingham WA on December 12th.  I am also registered to run the half at the Vancouver BC Marathon next June.  That should be good motivation to keep me going!

I am so glad I started down this road - it feels good to take control.

Monday, October 26, 2009

I ran my 2nd 5k and lived to tell the tale...

The weather was suppose to be 90% chance of showers, but thankfully the rain held off until later in the day.  I may be forced to admit that if I am going to run during the winter months I will need to wear a warm hat.  I really HATE wearing hats - I don't have good hair for it.

The run was held in Kirkland Washington @ Marina Park.  This is a really beautiful place to run as the view is of Lake Washington and the surrounding areas.  The vendors and speakers were all under the building in the background of the above picture.

I must admist that I was apprehensive at the start of the race.  I have been having breathing issues, and was worried my lack of training would make it worse - especially since the air was so cold.  I started to have trouble in the first mile, and then settled in to a slightly easier pace and it wasn't so bad.  I did get a cramp in my lower left leg about 1/2 way through, but was able to work through and keep going.  It hurt like a bugger when I finished, but today it's very minor.  In the end I was only 1 minute slower than my first 5k, which I think is a victory given the stress of the last 4 weeks.  Now I am thinking of walking the half marathon, November 29th, as part of the Seattle Marathon.  I know I am not in condition to run that distance yet, but I know I can walk it.  Hopefully I can talk a few friends into doing it with me.   

I am going to my Doctor to have my breathing issues checked out on Wednesday.  Hopefully it is just something very minor.  I shouldn't be huffing and puffing after 10 weeks of training that's for dang sure.

Friday, October 23, 2009

Ooops I did it again...

On Wednesday I signed myself up for the next 5k run.  Only problem is the run is THIS Sunday.  My training has been very sporadic for the last few weeks, but I figure I can use it as just another training run - albeit a very painful training run.  It is going to be pouring down rain (90% chance of showers), so lack of training won't be the only consideration.

Wish me luck - I'll let you know how it went.

I have also registered for the Vancouver (BC) half marathon on May 2, 2010 - so I have that goal sitting out there waiting for me.  I figure I'll need it to get me through the winter training season.  Hopefully we won't have anything near the amount of snow we had in the photo below!

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Today was a good run...

Even though it was in a torrential downpour!  Since I have lived in Washington my whole life running in the rain is pretty normal.  I even managed to go out in the short window when the wind wasn't blowing sideways.  My dog, on the other hand, is a rainy day wuss!  We were about 11 minutes into the run when he just sat down in a puddle and said he wasn't going any further today.  No amount of cajoling would get him to listen to reason.  Poor boy thought it was raining acid and he was getting burned. ;)  I did decide to indulge him and ran back home.  I felt good about the outing even if it it was not quite as long as I wanted it to be. 

I am currently trying to put together a winter time indoor workout plan.  I got my mountain bike back from my sister, my roommate got her treadmill fixed, and I have a weight bench, weights, and rehab tubing.  I think I can keep my workouts interesting even if I can't get outdoors.  I still need to get a trak stand to turn my bike into an exercise bike.  I used to have one, but gave it away...part of the reason I turned into a middle aged couch potato in the first place...

Gotta go - UW vs Arizona State football is about to start.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Calgon Take Me Away.....

I can't seem to get myself back together after the last two stressful weeks.  My goal is to go backwards to the week before I ran my 5k and start over.  I tried several times to run last week and I just didn't have it - my feet hurt again, couldn't breathe, basically looked and felt like I was in the first week or so of training.  I brought my mountain bike back from sister Julie's yesterday, so will have another way to exercise this winter when it's too dark to run outside.  I am going to get a trak stand and use it indoors.  My oldest brother will also send the Nordic Trak back to me.  This old machine has made the rounds of most family members over the years, but is still in pretty good shape.

My Dad is out of the hospital and into a rehab facility in Stanwood  and will hopefully be home in no time.  I think the fact that my sister refused to bring him a computer to use while he's there will give him the motivation to get stronger and get HOME!  Mom is coping, but very tired. 

Wish me success in my renewed focus on my work out schedule.  I'll (of course) let you know how it goes.

Hopefull I won't have to run in anything resembling last year's snow this winter - I'm pretty sure I would stay indoors and drink hot toddies instead!  Here is a shot of the front steps on Christmas Day 2008. 

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

How JueSue got her groove back...

Not really, but it made a great sounding title wouldn't you say?

Still not doing well on my running for a number of very valid reasons.  I had to euthanize my whippet, Gracie, on Monday night.  That is one of the hardest things you will ever have to do, but I couldn't watch her suffer anymore.  Hopefully she is having a great time chasing bunnies pain free now. 

Last night I took a run and was suppose to do 18 mins run, 1 min walk, 12 mins run.  Wow!  I could barely run for 5!  Everything hurt so I just decided I could give myself a break for now and not push it.  I will get to where I was, but it will take time.  Of course it is pretty much dark when we finish now, so I will have to move my workout indoors or run at lunchtime and force my co-workers to endure my sweaty self all afternoon. Either way I will not stop.

Oh yeah...most of you won't know who the heck JueSue is.  Well, in my family there are 6 kids (now old farts) and the names are Jim, Jon, Julie, Jeff, Jerry, and Sue.  Can't you just hear the song 'One of these things is not like the others, one of these things doesn't belong'?  In correct order I come after Julie. I fought like hell at age 6 to get Mom & Dad to name the youngest Michael, but it was a no go.  My parents and brothers would always say the wrong name first - so either JueSue or SueJue.  Some of my friends thought that the perfect way to give me a J name, so now I am JueSue to the Bellingham gang.  I rather like it.

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Not the best week for running...

Or anything else for that matter.  I have not run or even stretched since the race last Sunday.  I gave myself Monday & Tuesday off...and then my Dad ended up in the hospital on Tuesday night.  He had a stent put into one coronary artery, and then a quadruple bypass on Thursday morning.  He had no symptoms whatsoever, and the surgeon told them they are seeing more and more that diabetes masks the symptoms.  I'm thinking I should have my heart tested...I don't have diabetes but I do have sleep apnia.  It wouldn't hurt since I just started my little exercise program.  I also have a little flutter that makes me cough every once in a while.  My Dad just said "Oh, you got that from your Grandma Hopper".  Great. 

I am on my way out to run right now.  I have found that I missed it this week. 

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

To Gu, or not to Gu, that is the question...

Gu = goo  which is a type of energy replacement for runners, and anyone who needs it for their performance event of choice.  My friends had a big bowl full of this stuff.  In the olden days I guess we would use things like honey to do the same thing.  I didn't run far enough to need Gu, but will in the future as I up my mileage.  Another good question...Is it better to under Gu or over Gu?  I would say over Gu'ing would be best.

What a great weekend!  Saturday was spent picking up our race packets and hanging out with good friends up in Bellingham WA in anticipation of the race on Sunday.  We had spaghetti for dinner along with a bunch of other great foods.  Carbo loading anyone?  We watched the UW Husky game...the less said the better.  And laughed a BUNCH! 

Race day started bright and early while it was still dark.  I stumbled down the stairs and Dawn handed me my "pre-race meal".  Personally I need to eat a little something and have a bit of coffee to get me going and get me through.  Don't mind the face I'm making in the photo...I had a mouthfull of homemade egg muffin and didn't want to show it to the world.  I was extremely pleased to see that the t-shirts we received were orange!  My most favorite color.

I wasn't feeling any pressure - at least I didn't think so - but right at the start of the race I began to hyperventilate.  The air was so cold coming off the bay that when it hit my lungs I couldn't catch my breath and at that point we had to go up a fairly steep hill.  It took the first mile or so to talk myself down and settle into a good pace.  About 18 minutes into the race we were pointed up a gravel trail and at the top I heard someone yell SUE!  It was Jody, a woman I had met at the Danskin 6 weeks prior.  Then up a little further and it was Lisa wahoooing and helping me along.  She yelled that it was the half way point and all down hill from here.  (Not exactly true on the down hill part - but it was the half way point).  Up another little steep hill and it was Theresa and Patty (sorry if I mis-spelled your names), who I had just met at packet pick-up the day before.  Having a cheering section is SOOOOO helpful.  Since I was feeling so good I just knew I could run the whole thing, so got myself into a rhythm and at about the the one mile to go marker I picked up the pace and passed a few people.  I may have kicked too soon, because my legs felt like they were completely dead about 100 meters before the finish line.  Not the best place to start looking bad since you have all the people cheering at the finish, a professional photographer with a really large lens, and they are announcing your name over the loud speaker .  In my finish line photo I have my eyes completely closed...which really does sum up how I was feeling at that point.  It  took me about 3-4 minutes to recover, eat a little bit of food, and drink some more water. 

I walked back to the 5k half way point to hang out with the volunteers who had cheered me on and to wait for Dawn, Bill, and Mie to finish the half marathon.  I was feeling remarkably good at this stage - my knees were a little achy, but that was to be expected.  I had felt no other pain during the run other than the hyperventilation.  I could have really used a pair of gloves though.  My hands were icy cold. 

We met up with the half marathoners back at the start/finish line and had a post race meal. (Have you noticed it is all about the meals?)  We ate at the Boundary Bay Brewery (Save the Ales), and I had a great french dip and a Scotch Ale.  That is me on the left, Dawn in the center, and volunteer extraordinaire Lisa on the right.

All in all I think it was the perfect way to experience my first race.  Thank You to everyone who helped me - and most especially to Dawn and Bill Wefer for walking me through step by step and having me stay at their house on the lake!  Love that place and the people who live there.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

38 minutes 17 seconds...

Just back from the race and it was fantastic.  I ran the whole way and had a decent time for my first 5k ever.  Had a fun time last night with good friends and good food.  I won't make any comment on the UW Husky football game we watched...

I think I'll take a little nap and write more later - hopefully with pictures..

Friday, September 25, 2009

On Sunday I run...

Well...what seemed so far away when I signed up and started this whole thing has arrived.  I will be running my first ever 5k on Sunday in Bellingham Washington.  Beautiful setting, good friends, good music, and hope for the best.  I truly believe I can make it without having to walk, but even if I do I will be happy to finish.  I had a good run last night, although for the first time my bad knee (cartiledge) started to hurt.  It's fine today, so we're a go. 

Hopefully I will have a great post and a picture or two on Monday.  Then I will start training for the next distance and keep this old body moving!

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

5 Days until my first 5k...

How did it ever get here this fast?  I can really feel the difference in strength when I run, but it does not feel like it has been 5 weeks since I started this little adventure.  I have not yet run 3.1 miles, but with the adrenaline and all the people cheering us on I am hoping I can run the whole distance without too much trouble.  Even if I have to walk a minute in the middle I will feel like I accomplished something big.  I am really looking forward to seeing all my friends this weekend as well.  They will be running the 1/2 marathon - at least some of them will, and it should be a great couple of days.

W6/D1  That was yesterday...Week 6 Day 1.  I ran 16 minutes/walked 1 minute/ran 13 minutes.  Not too bad.  I was at a big whippet racing event last weekend, and I still managed to get my run in while everyone was at lunch on Sunday.  I was pretty proud of myself. 

I won't be running like this on Sunday, but I will hold that feeling in my head to keep me going.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Monumental Brain Shift...

That's what I had this morning at the grocery store.  I used to eat very poorly - high fat, lots of red meat, bread & butter, very few veggies, etc.  This morning I needed to stop at the grocery store on my way to work because I was out of just about everything.  I walked in and realized I didn't even want to go look at the foods I normally purchased for lunch.  What I came out with was bananas, apples, blueberries, snap peas, and one energy bar.  I would not have bought the bar, but I was so hungry I was starting to feel sick.  I got the one with the least amount of saturated fat I could find - didn't even care what flavor.  Just wanted to have something in my stomach.  As I was walking out I started laughing about what a crazy change this is for me - I used to avoid vegetables at all costs as several of my friends can attest.  It felt good.  What an amazing thing is the human brain.  I really think the 'Pod People' have taken over my mind and body...but for now that's a good thing.

Today's workout is Run 12 minutes/walk 1 minute x2, then run 2 more minutes.  I can do it!

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

The halfway point...

At least for the initial 'get off the couch' plan.  So much has been accomplished in 4 weeks, but guess what...I have gained 2 lbs.  I know (at least I hope) this is due to fat moving to muscle, but it is a little disappointing.  I would have hoped for at least a little weight loss with the better meal plans and greatly increase energy output.  I have only 2 weeks to go before my first 5k race and I am looking forward to it.  It will be a blast as I will be going with friends - although most of them will be running the 1/2 marathon - but we will all be there to savor the moment.  The only real pain I am experiencing is tendonitis in my "good" knee, so I bought one of those little braces. Color me surprised when it really did work.

My friend, Dawn, emailed to say how proud she is of me, and my focus on the goal.  (OCD can help alot with focus).  Everyone has been extremely supportive and you all ROCK!.  It just doesn't feel the same without the well wishes (and goading when necessary) of friends and family.

Now I need to find the exercise plan that will move me up to the next intermediate goal.  A huge Thank You to everyone who has read my blog and given me great feedback and encouragement.
This photo is of Dawn and I just a few weekends ago - and if you look closely at the clipping below it you can see her on the right hand side of the front row below.  Seems we have been friends for a very long time.   

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Gather Ye Poopbags, While Ye May...

That is what popped into my head Friday night as we ran our return route home.  You see, HotRod poops alot, so I just bag them and leave them there along the road.  I pick them up, one at a time, as we go back over the same ground. After all...who wants to run through the neighborhood with 3 bags of fresh dog poop? I checked with Patience just to be sure it wasn't a line I had read on one of her "poop blogs", and she didn't think so.  I heard it in my head just as Robin Williams quoted the real words in "Dead Poet's Society".  Just a little surreal, but funny (at least to me).

There was one really excellent moment on the run.  It was a run 10 minutes/walk 1 minute x2, and then run 8 more minutes.  After the second 10 I exclaimed to HotRod, "the last one is JUST an 8!!  Can you imagine?  Three weeks ago I thought running for 8 minutes was a huge task sitting out there ahead of me...and now it was just an 8.  Wahooooo!

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Little voices in my head tell me bad things...

I'll just start out by saying I was not in the mood to run last night!  I hadn't eaten enough and wasn't hydrated enough so knew it was gonna be bad.  And bad it was.  About 2 minutes into the 2nd 9 minute run this little voice started telling me "Go ahead and stop running...nobody will know...you can make it up tomorrow".  I slowed down to a point where people walking WOULD be moving faster than me.  My arms were moving as if I was sprinting, but the feet were barely moving in a forward direction.  HotRod WAS walking. But I told myself it was now or never, and it would feel so good when I completed the workout as it is suppose to be done.  I am happy (and proud) to say I kept running.  The final 9 minute run really wasn't all that bad.  Never underestimate the power of the mental game.  It can make or break you. 
This is how I felt last night...just wanted to lie down and do nothing.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Yesterday I had a break through!

Better a break through than a break down am I right?!  Previously I explained that I am so not flexible that I can't even get close to touching my toes - ever.  Well...last night stretching was much, much easier and I can now get my hands on my ankle.  Whoohoooo!  I know that is nothing to a lot of people, but for me it is huge.  Hopefully that will transfer into an easier run tonight - run 9 minutes then walk 1 minute x3.  Should be interesting.
HotRod's Motto...Shut up and race!

Monday, September 7, 2009

And the wind doth blow, and the rain came down in sheets...

Yesterday was my first bad weather run, and it really wasn't all that bad.  HotRod informed me that he doesn't run on Sundays (which we all know is a lie, duh!) so he stayed home.  Sunday is supposed to be a rest day, but I was busy at a whippet get-together (along with a beautiful old Red Setter & one rambunctious young smooth fox terrier) on Saturday and was too tired to run when I got home.  That's me with the big smile on the right with Gracie and HotRod.
I felt like I was back in College running intervals in the pouring rain - if you don't run in the rain in Seattle you just don't run.  What I was lacking was a lightweight waterproof jacket.  I may go down to REI today since they are having a big Labor Day Sale.  I have plenty of windbreakers in various shapes and colors, but none are waterproof.  I also have my rain gear for whippet race days, but they are a little too heavy.  For the time being I will probably just go with what I have and get wet.  Only 20 days left until the first 5k run.  I may have to start running on the treadmill when the weather gets too bad and it is too dark to run on the road.

Hope everyone had a good Labor Day Weekend, for tomorrow we labor again!

Oh Yeah!!  I forgot the best part.  I found a $5 bill during my run - it was in a ditch and covered with mud - not sure how I even saw it in the first place.

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Did I get the wrong shoes?

The right shoes can make a huge difference in how you feel when you run.  On the other hand the wrong shoes can make you miserable.  I bought a stability shoe - the ASICS Gel-1140.  Now that I am running more and walking less the arch of this shoe is really causing pain in my foot, and up the back of my leg.  There are so many different types of shoes now that it is difficult for me to find the right one.  Do you have a high arch and overpronate?  There's a shoe for that.  Or if you suponate and have no arch - there's a shoe for that.  I pronate slightly and have a medium to high arch.  Now I need to find the right shoe for me.  But...I paid a bunch of money for these shoes and can't really afford to be buying more.  This is basically the only pain I have when running, so I need to get this taken care of quickly.  Stay tuned for more as the shoe turns...

Thursday, September 3, 2009

I was dreaming that my knees were really hurting...

And then I woke up - and they really were hurting.  It pisses me off when I have pain in dreams.  If for some strange reason I manage to get to sleep despite the pain...I should NOT have to feel it while in said sleep state.  I got up and took some Advil, which did eventually help, but I'm still pissed off hours later.  I do think the pain is arthritis jabbing me due to the change in weather and not my workout regime, but I think I better back off a little until things stabilize. 

Only 170 more days until my 50th Birthday.  If I can't find an official half marathon to run by that time I am going to organize my friends and have them run one with me as part of my Birthday party.  I wonder what we should call it?  The Sue Hopper Doomsday Run? :0)  I think I will make up some t-shirts and goody bags!
I found this old, yellowed piece of newspaper recently when looking thru all my old pictures - taken in 1972.  I'm the cool one on the end of the back row on the right.  You can't tell but my sweatshirt was tie dyed, and you gotta dig those Daisy Dukes.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Good-Bye Shadow

Shadow was a feisty little whippet girl who belonged to my friend.  She lost her battle with lymphoma yesterday and will be greatly missed.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Don't neglect your stretching and cross training

Stretching after every workout is a must for me, and should be for everyone.  You will be more limber, which will help you run better.  Also, you will have less soreness in your muscles if you give them a nice slow stretch after you run.  I am one of those unfortunate people who is incredibly non-flexible.  When I try to touch my toes I can reach just about halfway down my shins...on a good day.  Slowly but surely I get a little more flexible every day, but it never gets to the point where I can touch my toes.  Mostly I have been doing my old high school track & field stretching with a few other stretches added to cover all of the muscle groups.  I may try added some yoga.

You should also be doing some cross training.  My bike is out of commission at the moment or I would be riding.  I add in some light weight lifting to increase my core strength and to strengthen my back - which is of major concern for me.  Sometimes I just turn on loud music and dance around like a crazy woman for a half hour to an hour.  The dogs and my cat run and hide, but it's something I have always loved to do.

Check out my knobby knees in this photo - I think I was about 10 years old at the time.  It makes my knees hurt just to look at them in this picture today. They don't look like they are even remotely in the right alignment!  

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Sometimes you need to take a step backwards in order to move foreward...

This week didn't turn out anything like it was suppose to.  Thursday I got food poisoning and threw up at work.  YUCK!  I missed my walk that day.  Friday I did my workout and then realized it was wrong.  I was actually doing the workout for NEXT Friday.  I thought it was a big jump in minutes...but didn't check until after I got back home.  Saturday I didn't know what to do with myself, so went out to dinner and had a wonderful blue cheese burger and fries.  And yes - I skipped my workout that day.  Today I decided my best course of action was to go back and do the minutes I was suppose to have done on Friday.  It was really difficult.  Of course I ran early in the day and didn't eat enough.  I was breathing so hard part way through that I scared HotRod with the loud noise!  But...I made it through week 2 and still feel like I am doing the right thing for myself.  My knees still feel pretty good - except those pesky little kneecaps that don't track properly making going up and down stair a bit of a painful experience.  Best bet...don't go up and down stairs.  Wanna bet Merril calls me a whiney ass again? :-o

2 weeks down, 6 to go.  Problem is my first 5k is only 4 weeks away....

Friday, August 28, 2009

Somehow I got it all wrong...

Week 2 / Day 5.  What I transcribed onto my schedule was run 6 minutes/walk 1 minute x6, then run 2 minutes.  It seemed like a big jump in minutes...but I didn't take the time to verify.  I ran that schedule tonight - it was hard but not all that bad.  I just logged onto Runners's World to see what it should have been today and tomorrow.  Uh Oh!  It was only suppose to be run 4 minutes/walk 1 minute x6.  Now what do I do?  I just just jumped ahead to Friday of next week.  Stay tuned...no telling where I go from here.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Who's Zoomin Who?

Basically that's all I heard last night.  With HotRod attached at my waist everyone - and I do mean everyone - wanted to know who was walking whom?  Toward the latter part of the walk/run workout HotRod was doing most of the work pulling me along.  But that's not really cheating is it?  I tried to get a picture of us "in harness" but HotRod wanted nothing to do with the camera.  Gracie, OTOH, kept jumping into the shot.  She's the lovely blur in the foreground.
Last night was run 3 minutes/walk 1 minute x 6, and then run a final 2 minutes.  The hardest part was minute 2 of the 3 minute run.  Not quite sure why that is.  Today my knees are a bit more sore, so not sure how I will do when I have to move up to 6 minute runs on Friday.  I may have to back off just a bit, but hopefully not too much.  Today it is my patellar tendons that hurt, and that hasn't been a problem in a very long time.  I may try a brace, or just see if I can work through it with ice and stretching. 

We did have a less than fun adventure as some Dick Head of a Yahoo decided it would be fun to scare us.  He swerved as if he was going to run us into the ditch.  At that point HotRod was already standing in the ditch sniffing and I was on the very edge.  This yahoo swerves to the point where his tires were right on the edge as well.  Of course I jumped into the ditch and he tore off squealing tires and laughing his butt off I'm sure.  The windows were too dirty for me to see the driver and I had my old glasses on so could not read the license plate.  I WILL recognize the truck when I see it again!!!!!  This is why I don't listen to music on my walks...there is no shoulder for most of the way and there are enough people who think it's fun to scare you.  I need to be able to hear them coming up behind us.  Luckily the one last night was coming from the front.

Just another day in non-couch potato land...maybe I should just stay where it is a little safer?

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

People who say they have more energy are liars!

All my life I have heard people exclaim about how much more energy they have once they get in better shape and how they sleep so much better...I say these people are liars!  I just feel more tired and I have never slept well...ever.  What's up with that?  Even when I was on school sports teams and working out hard every day I didn't feel more energized, and I have no clue what it feels like to wake up refreshed.  I sure would love to know that feeling!

Last night was a "walk only" night, so I took my older dog, who recently had surgery, out with us.  Gracie did fantastic and trotted the whole way.  Now that makes me happy and energized!

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Week 2 / Day 1

Things start to get a bit more serious this week.  I go from running 2 minutes/walking 1 repeated 10 times Monday, to running 6 minutes/walking 1 minute repeated 6 times, then running 2 more minutes by Friday.  Sunday is a day of rest every week.  Yay!

W2/D1 (week 2/day 1) went pretty well last night.  I was huffing & puffing by about rep 7 or 8, but nothing hurt.    The most exciting part - at least to me - is that more running means more eating!  I found out last week that I really do have to eat more, especially in the late afternoon if I want to be able to accomplish what I have set out for myself.  I had started healthier eating habits earlier this year, so that is a big help too.  I am eating the right kinds of foods at the right time of day to fuel the machine.

I'm still digging the new sports bra and fancy running shoes.  I did have to add a second sock on my left foot in order for it to fit the way I like, but that was easy enough to do.

I have attached HotRod to my waist now, and it is taking him a while to get used to it.  He has found that it is not nearly as easy to go pee on something when he has to move me to do it.  It is much easier on me since I have both hands free to run - but can still grab him quickly and easily should that be necessary.  You can get "real" skijoring equipment to make this set up work, but I just use the shoulder strap from an old duffle or camera bag around my waist and it works just fine. 

Below is a link to skijoring equipment for anyone who is interested in the set-up.

Monday, August 24, 2009

How to tie your shoes...

Did you know there is a right way and a wrong way to tie your shoes?  All this time I have been doing it wrong!  Wonder if it will make any difference?  I'll try it out and let you know.


Glory Dayz

I was going through some old photos the other day and came upon some shots of me when I was actually fit and healthy at age 18.  I know I will never look like that again - and in the case of my hair in the volleyball pic that is a very good thing.  It does give me something to shoot for though.  I still remember the time some woman turned to my Mom at a volleyball game and asked "Who is that girl with the skinny legs and big boobs?"  All my Mom could say was "Um, that's my daughter"...

Tonight starts Week 2 of my training program.  Run 2 minutes/Walk 1 minute x 10.  I am looking forward to it.  Hopefully HotRod will be able to go with me.  Gracie opened up the pantry last night and they both ate some stuff they should not have eaten.  Gracie has a cast iron stomach so nothing throws her off her feed, but poor HotRod was not feeling at all well this morning. 

I so remember the feeling of crossing the finish line first.  I wish I could bottle it and take the feeling with me every day.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Day 4 vs. Day 5 - Night and Day

Day 4 was a run/walk day, and I felt awful.  The temperature was in the 90's and I had not hydrated well enough during the afternoon.  I also had on brand new running shoes. While they feel pretty good the left shoe is just a little loose around the heel.  Of course that foot is attached to the leg with the bad knee.  I mostly just felt tired and sweaty.  No two workouts are the same, thankfully, and day 5 turned out MUCH better.  I ate more - hurray for splurge day - and drank a lot more water.  I actually felt pretty good when I was finished.  Not sure how I will do today (day 7), but I am going in thinking I will feel good and comfortable.  I know HotRod (my 3 year old whippet) is really digging the increased pace of our daily outings.  

This is me last Sunday with my friend Dawn, who had just finished the Danskin Triathlon in Seattle.  It was an incredibly inspiring day and I hope to be a participant very soon...not just a bystander and cheerleader.
This is how HotRod REALLY likes to run, but no way I can keep up with that!

Friday, August 21, 2009

Is it wrong to love a bra?

I am in love with my new sports bra & I am not ashamed to say it out loud. Thanks to my friend Dawn, I now own the "Big E" as she and other friends call it. The Enell Sport. This thing is nothing short of miraculous in it's technology and architecture. It aint pretty, but for the first time since I was 12 years old I can run without all the bouncing and swinging just under my chin. The girls are held tightly, but I don't feel like an encased sausage. Pretty damn cool if you ask me. So now all I have to worry about are those pesky knees, and my lower back, and my feet, and...well you get the picture.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

How I got to this place in my life...

Once upon a time I was a jockette - when I wasn't playing sports I was watching sports. It didn't hurt to grow up with 4 hyper-competitive brothers and my one sister. I was even named Most Athletic Female in my Senior Class in High School. I was fearsome when I competed, and just a little TOO competitive. (or so I'm told). Then the knees start to hurt and a few surgeries later you don't participate anymore. Heck, I don't even watch much anymore, except a little college volleyball, football, & track. You can see me in the red uniform in the photo.  Don't you just love those uniforms?  NOT!

In my mid-40's I started competing in racing and lure coursing with my whippets, where I often found myself huffing and puffing to and from the track. No fun and just a tad embarrassing. But I love it, so something had to give.
In January 2009 I started thinking about thinking about getting healthy. I had good friends running half marathons and doing triathlons. It exhausts me just to think about getting in that kind of shape - but deep down knew I could if I just put my mind, and competitive nature, to the task.

Well...I have 6 months to get in shape before my 50th Birthday, and I have taken some bold steps to get there. I bought myself an iron bra and some fancy schmancy new running shoes, and most exciting of all signed up for my first 5k race at the end of September.

Wish me luck - my goal is to run a 1/2 marathon by that birthday in February 2010.