Tuesday, December 30, 2008

On the move

The new site is up and functional, check it out here.

Saturday, December 27, 2008

An epic picture post

Despite both Josh and I suffering through nasty colds and a migraine (me), our Christmas was relaxing and stress free this year compared to previous years. I attribute it all to the fact that we didn't travel this year as we did in years past. Traveling over the holidays is a royal pain in the ass - it's expensive, the weather usually is horrible, people are crabby and nothing ever turns out the way people expect it to. For those reasons, I highly recommend staying at home and doing what we've been doing - sitting on our butts, eating naughty food and watching reruns of Star Trek. You just can't go wrong!

Santa was good to us this year. He brought teapots and tea, sports equipment and booze, purses, jewelry and tools.

We also got a yummy plate of Christmas cookies from Mr. & Mrs. Dorf.

Josh and I both noted how the gingerbread man had a eerily familiar stature. Ginger Dorf?

Ginger Dorf has a tasty head!

Since I've been sick for pretty close to two weeks, I haven't done an ounce of running. I've been looking at my new shoes longingly, though. I am gearing up to participate in a New Year's Eve Fun Run with a few people. It should be a really good time and a great opportunity to burn some calories and ring in 2009 with some guilt-free boozing!

Happy New Year, everybody!

Now this is annoying

Taken from www.sfgate.com

Michigan city bans being annoying in public

Ticking someone off could get you a ticket in one Michigan city. The Brighton City Council on Thursday approved an ordinance allowing police in the Livingston County community to ticket and fine anyone who is annoying in public "by word of mouth, sign or motions."

The Livingston County Daily Press & Argus of Howell reports the measure is modeled on a similar ordinance in the Detroit suburb of Royal Oak.

A city attorney says there could be situations where the measure would violate freedom of speech, but that those cases will be reviewed by the city.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Boring stuff I do when I'm sick

I came down with a nice little cold yesterday and my head feels like it's inside a bubble. Instead of moping around the house because I feel so crappy, I decided to put up my Christmas tree.

It's small, but it does the job. Since we're not traveling this year - can you blame us after last year's travel nightmare? - I thought it'd be nice to have a little something Christmasy.

That's about the most productive thing I've done today, besides blow my nose. Oh wait, I did the dishes. I'm on a roll.

Friday, December 12, 2008

Dueling snowblowers

We were only 30 minutes from being done with snow yesterday when Dorf came home. I thought that maybe he'd notice how close we were to finishing and not start his snow removal until we were done. WRONG.

The remaining half hour was spent mostly waiting for him. His snow blower has a top speed of 1 mph, and it kept on stalling. I'd been running my Yooper scoop doing cleanup, but I got the boot when Dorf decided to join in the fun. There's hardly enough room for two people out there, let alone three. So, I was able to sneak a few pictures while they were dueling.

Dorf chugs along, Josh waits

Dueling snowblowers

Eek! It's the abominable snowman! Pretty cute, no?

When we were finished, we made and ate dinner and watched a bit of tv and Dorf was STILL outside doing his snow. I think it took him 2 hours to finish.


Saturday, December 6, 2008

Score - Even

Woot! I evened up the score in the 09 GSRM yesterday. But now I think the joke's on me because everything I did yesterday has been negated by the 3" or 4" we got overnight. We're supposed to get a blizzard today, so it should be interesting to see total accumulation come Monday. Last year, we didn't have any significant snow until Christmas. Right now, we probably have close to 10" on the ground. I have a feeling it's going to be a very long winter.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

2009 Great Snow Removal Race

I have a neighbor named Dorf. That's actually not his real name, but he looks like Tim Conway's charater Dorf, so the name stuck. I also have another neighbor, Sarge. Again, not his real name, but he's a former Marine hence the name. My house sits between Dorf's and Sarge's house. The lots are narrow and our yards connect. Dorf and I share a driveway. Dorf has a snowblower, I use my trusty Yooper Scoop. Dorf never takes his snowblower out of first gear so he's painfully slow. Seriously, snow removal takes me 30-40 minutes, it takes him well over a hour. He also makes a mess of the yard, I might add.

Last year, I started to notice that every time I was outside scooping my snow, Dorf would also come outside and start doing his snow. Not a big deal, except that every time I got ahead of Dorf, he would have to wait for me to get done so that he wouldn't shoot snow on my head. Conversely, if Dorf was ahead of me, I would have to wait for him to get out of the way so I wouldn't have to push snow around him & his snowblower. We got home from work about the same time, so at first I just figured it was a coincidence that he would come out every time I was doing my snow. But then I started to notice that even on the weekends, he wouldn't go outside until I went outside. Then he got laid off and I thought that since he had all day to do his snow, he'd do it early in the day I wouldn't have to deal with him. Wrong! I would get home around 4:30, and start to put on my snow clothes and I would hear his snowblower start up. Every single time.

After a while, it became like a race. Leave work! Race home! Get dressed quickly! Hurry, must make it outside before Dorf!! This went on the entire winter.

Fast forward to today. We got quite a bit of snow overnight, so I knew I had snow to move when I got home. Just like clockwork, Dorf's snowblower started up as I was getting dressed. Instead of getting frustrated over it, I sat around for a hour waiting for him to finish. Then I decided to turn it into a little competition and thus the 2009 Great Snow Removal Race was born. Dorf was out before me today, so he gets a point. But, not to worry, I've got my spies to keep an eye on him. I'll even the score before long.

Today's tally: Dorf - 1, Me - 0

In other news, it's snowing and blowing like a mother outside. Nasty.


Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Snowy night run

I have a 4:30 cut-off time for running during the winter.  If I don't get out of the house by that time at the latest, it ends up being too dark and I don't like to run in the dark.  When I got home at 5:00, I felt like I needed to burn off some frustration after a particularly aggravating conference call with one of our vendors (stupid vendor).

The neighbor I share a driveway with was out snowblowing when I left and when he saw me in my running garb, he gave me one of those looks that people give you when they think you're doing something insane.  Yeah, that look.  I just smiled and waved, which is what people do when they get that look.

I decided to stick to lighted streets only, and to my surprise, I was able to figure out a great route that took me through East Houghton, campus, and downtown Houghton.  It's mostly flat with with minor uphills, but if I want to run some hills, the route conveniently ends at the bottom of Sixth Street.  So, now I have no excuses to not run when it's dark because I can always take this route.  Yay!  (..or maybe not?)

Knock on wood, but my new Asics seem to be working out.  In the Mizunos, I always ended up with lower leg pain the day after a run.  When I ran, my push offs were especially tender.  Today I didn't have any issues whatsoever, and that's after a run the day before.  This is a very good sign.

Anyway, 3 miles @ 11:17

Weather report:  16 degrees/5 mph wind/3 degrees windchill/lightly snowing

First snowy run

I took my new shoes out for a spin last night.  I ran three miles from my house to work, then caught a ride home with Josh.  The shoes felt fine, although it was kind of hard to tell as I was wearing my YakTrax and running through ankle-deep snow almost the entire time.  My usual running path has converted to the snowmobile trail now that we have enough snow.  It doesn't make for a pleasant run - the surface is soft and squishy and I have to really pick my feet up to make it through, so my legs are really working hard.  I was happy to reach the parking lot and finish the last .75-mile on pavement and ended up with 3 miles @ 10:47.

When I got home, I did 20 minutes of weights, then 10 minutes of stretching and called it good.

While I was waiting for Josh in the parking lot, I discovered an old John Deere snowmobile somebody rode to work/school.  I don't know what year it is specifically, but I think maybe around 1972.  Anyway, I took a couple of photos as I thought it was funny how much these things have changed over the years.

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Black and Tan sushi love

My latest obsession, besides my new running shoes (hi shoes, love ya!), is sushi.

We stayed overnight in Madison on our trip back home last week and went to the best sushi bar ever. It was called Sushi Muramoto and it was totally awesome.

Here's a shot of the bar.

Our first round was the chef's choice 9-piece nagiri sushi meal. I forget which types of fish there were, but among others there was salmon, two types of tuna, red snapper and shrimp. We also got a seaweed roll (maki sushi). Mmmm, yummy. I had nice glass of chardonnay and Josh had a Sapporo (Japanese beer).

Next, we had a plate of tuna and avocado California rolls and scallion and yelllow tail tuna maki sushi rolls. The difference between the two types of rolls is that the California rolls have the rice on the outside, maki sushi has the ride inside the roll.

The rolls were surprisingly filling so we decided not to get dessert. :-(

We headed back to the hotel and then to the Irish Pub next to the hotel. I thought we were going to get a traditional dessert, but we ended up getting fried calamari instead. I was amused by the baby calamari - all those legs! so cute! - and almost felt guilty eating them. Until I had one, then they were done for. They were way too tasty to feel guilty about.

After that, I had my first ever Black and Tan. Holy love. The picture does not do it justice.

I liked my B&T so much that I had at least four of them. That I remember, anyway. All I know is that our bar tab was over $50. Whoops! Oh well, we were on vacation!

We had nice greasy breakfast at McDonald's the next morning (the best hangover cure ever) and we bade Madison, sushi and B&Ts farewell.

I still haven't gone running in my lovely new shoes. I'm afraid to get them dirty! I think I'm insane.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

.......all good things must come to an end.

My affair with Mizuno Wave Creation 8 neutral running shoes is over. *sniff*

I've suspected for a few months that my running gait had changed and my beloved Mizunos were causing my lower leg issues rather than helping them. When I found out there was a specialty running store near Waterloo that offered video gait analysis, I knew that it was now or never. So, off we went to the Runner's Flat in Cedar Falls.

The result? I've developed a nice, little over-pronation issue. That means my ankles roll inward. Excessive ankle roll = lower leg pain.

Behold the Asics Gel-Kayano 14.

It's a stability shoe and it cost me a boat-load of money. But, it works. I witnessed it, thanks to video gait analysis.

Old shoes: ankles roll inward badly.
New shoes: no ankle roll at all.

No ankle roll = no lower leg pain.

When the shoe dude showed me the two videos side-by-side, my response was...."Oh wow. I'll take them."

Did I mention they were expensive? They cost me just about as much as the whole-house humidifier I bought last week.

So, good bye, my dear, sweet Mizunos.  You were the first shoe I ever got professionally fitted for.  You helped me go from 13 minute miles to 9:30 miles.  You carried me through all my personal records and running firsts, my first half marathon and my first winter running season.  But, as my title says.......

Saturday, November 22, 2008

They said it was a meal in a glass...

...and they were so right.

- two dill pickles
- one cherry tomato
- one green olive
- one pearl onion
- one celery stalk
- spicy Bloody Mary mix
- and Smirnoff vodka, enough to make me forget that I had a nasty headache

So good.

Also, so necessary after braving evil Walmart at peak shopping time.

Friday, November 21, 2008

It's my cat in a box

When I get packages, it becomes Christmastime in Spencerville.  It doesn't matter what shape or size the box is, he wants in.  I barely had the stuff in the box out before he had hopped in.

I have a picture of him squished into my sink somewhere.  The sink is small, he's big so my sink looked like it had a white, furry muffin top.

Silly kitteh.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Snow, snow, snow

The white stuff is here and it's probably here to stay.  As a result, I've run approximately zero miles this week.  But it sure hasn't been from lack of trying!  Every day this week I planned on going but I either had to work late or it was too stormy to go.  So frustrating!

We're heading down to Iowa to visit Josh's grandma next week.  While we're there, I'm planning on visiting a specialty running store to see if I need to change shoes.  I'm still experiencing some mild discomfort in the lower calf/Achilles area and I'm thinking that my shoes might be too firm in the heel.  They say have video gait analysis, so I'll run for them on the treadmill and see what they have to say.  It's supposed to be nice in the area next week, so I'm also hoping to get some runs in, too.

On the way back, we're going to stay the night in Madison, WI and visit the New Glarus Brewery, which is located just South of Madison.  New Glarus's beer is not sold in Michigan (BOO) and we're only able to get it when we go to Wisconsin or Minnesota.  So, being able to visit the brewery is a real treat.

In home improvement news, I bought a whole-house humidifier which arrived today.  It'll attach to the furnace and, in theory, bring the humidity level in my house up to a normal level.  I have forced air heat and it's so drying in the winter.  My skin is itchy, my plants need constant watering and everything is staticy, including my cats!

In new website news, Josh finally got everything moved on to the new feep.org server and he's looking into installing my blogging software.  Maybe I'll actually have my domain up & running by the end of the year.  If I do, you, my loyal reader(s), will be the first to know!

Thursday, November 13, 2008


I think I might be dying. Or dead, I'm sure sure which. 

After a 4-ish mile run, I decided to finish it off by tackling Sixth Street again.  Man, that hill is tough.  My goal was to not stop when I reached the top of each block, but rather do a little recovery jog down the street until my heart felt like it wasn't going to explode.  On Tuesday, I made it up three blocks, but stopped between for 30 seconds or so.  Today, I made it two blocks using a recovery jog and then I had to switch to stopping and did two more blocks before finishing up with a half-mile recovery jog back home to give me a five mile total for the day. 

I walked into the kitchen dripping in sweat, face beet red and utterly exhausted.  Josh looked at me and said "Holy cow, how far did you go?" or something like that.  What I suspect he really wanted to say was "Holy cow, you look like death.  What the hell did you do?" but he values his life too much.

Ugh, I'm exhausted and my legs are throbbing.  Time for drugs and sleep.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

A whole lotta nuthin' going on

I haven't had much going on lately, with running or life.  I've been trying to run three times per week, but the weather hasn't been cooperating so I've only been getting in two.  Oh well, I guess it's better than nothing.

Last week I set new PRs for 3 miles - 29:37 (first mile 9:25!) and 4 miles (40:41).  When my run was over I checked my watch and thought..how the hell did I do that?  Crazy, but I'll take it!

We got snow over the weekend.  I don't know what the official accumulation was, maybe a couple of inches.  Either way, it was enough to make my running path very slick for my Tuesday run.  I must have looked like a drunken goofball slipping and sliding down the trail.  Since I took it slow, I decided to throw in a little hill work at the end.  I usually finish my run with a cool-down walk up Sixth Street in my neighborhood.  It's three steep blocks up to my street.  So, I figured I'd try running a block at a time and see how far I'd get.  I really wasn't expecting to make it all the way up, but I did!  I felt like my lungs and head were going to explode at one point, but I did it.

Until next time..

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

The weather hates me

How come it only rains when I want to run, not when I have to run?

Stupid weather.

Monday, October 27, 2008

The weekend update

I'm slowly getting back in the running swing of things. I'm kinda planned on a pre-dinner 10-miler on Thanksgiving day, but I'm not going to push things as I have been off for a month.

Today I planned on heading out for a quick two-miler, but some frustrating work-related news really had me wound up and when I reached two miles, I felt like I needed to keep running. I quit running when I realized that I wasn't consumed by thoughts of the day. So, I ended up with 3.25 miles in 37:37 minutes for 11:33 minute/miles.

Weekend update:

On Friday we went to Diwali Night, a dinner and performance put on by the MTU Indian Student Association.

The dinner was awesome, here's a shot of my meal, other photos in the gallery:

The performance was okay. It got too long and a bit after-school special-ish, which was definitely a beer buzz killer.

Saturday we had dinner at the Michigan House and then went to the Ghosts of the Great Lakes Music Festival at the Calumet Theater. Three folk rock bands played for three hours or so. Good times!

Up this week, trying to figure out what to wear to a Halloween party on Friday. I'm thinking going as a pregnant nun might be fun. ];->

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

And my legs were like... WTF??!!

I had an annoying day at work and kicking my cats is not a optional stress-relieving activity, so I decided I might as well go for a run.

I should add that the last time I ran was for the Fox Cities HM on September 21.  That's over 30 days.

My legs were obviously enjoying their hiatus and they were like...

WTF do you think you're doing?  After everything you put us through this spring and summer, you want to start this shit again??  We're on vacation!

In fact, if you insist on continuing with this ridiculousness, we're going to make each one of our muscles complain loudly.


And that pretty much sums up my run.  Well, that and 3.02 miles in33:50 for 11:13 average pace.

Oh yeah, it was also nasty cold and windy.

Afterwards, Josh and I went out for a healthy dinner of Bell's Oktoberfest and popcorn at the Dog.


Monday, October 13, 2008

Coming soon to an Internets near you!

How exciting! I bought my own little piece of the Intarweb!


I'll be moving my current blag over there eventually, but for now you'll have to show some patience, Grasshoppers, as there's nothing there yet.

Finngarianmama, it's your turn now!

Wednesday, October 1, 2008


So, I have three of them now and I'm not sure what to do with them. 

Anybody have any suggestions?

New steps

I have an old house.  I've been slowly updating it as my funds allow, but sometimes (actually most of the time) the fixes exceed the funds.  Anyhoo, my back porch steps have been slowly disintegrating over the past year.


So I finally got around to calling the concrete guy and now I have fancy new stairs! 

The concrete was still a little wet when these pictures were taken, but you get the gist of it.

I also removed the window at the bottom of the stairs and replaced it with glass block.  I don't have a photo now, but I'll upload one later.

So glad to not have to worry about this for another winter.

Monday, September 29, 2008

US Cellular Half Marathon Redux

I suppose it's about time to write my race weekend report.  Okay, here goes.  I ran, my calf muscles didn't fall off and I earned myself a nice little PR along the way. 

Ha ha, just kidding.

Friday.  We arrived at High Cliff State Park around 4:00, set up camp and head to the expo.  We would have arrived earlier in the day, but we got a late start because Josh decided to buy this pimpin' new truck before we left.

We picked up some goodies at the expo.  I got The Stick, a new running top and a cool license plate frame.

Silly, huh?  Oh well.  We runners are.

The rest of Friday was spend killing time at the mall and eating at Texas Roadhouse.  Yummy.

Saturday.  Shop, shop, shop.  That's pretty much all we did for the entire day.  I made out like a serious bandit at TJ Maxx and added a few good pieces to my winter running collection.  Since I only started running in the winter last year, I only had a few things I could wear that could stand up to the cold and sweat.  By the end of the week, those things could go running all by themselves!

We had dinner at Koreana, which was delicious.  We had a sushi plate which consisted of tuna, salmon, squid, red snapper, mackerel, eel, and shrimp and I had Bi Bim Bahb rice bowl.  Yes that is a fried egg on the top.  Deelish!

Sunday.  Race day!  Got up early and had a bagel, then headed out to the starting line.  Silly me, I had a complete brain freeze and sent us to the site of the expo and not the site of the starting line!  WHOOPSIE!  What can I say, I was nervous about my legs falling off.  Since my little snafoo cost us about 30 minutes, the shuttle buses ended up arriving before us and all the indoor bathrooms were packed.  So we stood in the port-a-potty line for 20 minutes before we got to the front of the line.  Note to the race directors for next year:  DO NOT LOCK HALF OF THE PORT-A-POTTYS ON RACE DAY.  Sheesh.

There were a little over 3,000 people participating in this event.  1000-ish in the marathon and the rest in the half.  We were all packed into the start corrall and when the gun took off, it took me 3 minutes to cross the starting mat.

I spent the first few miles dodging and weaving my way through the sea of walkers (seriously people, do you have to walk four or five abreast in the middle of the road?  And, why are you lined up before the runners?  The rules clearly state that you need to be behind us.  Good job and all, but CRIPES.) and slower runners (that was me last year!)  Things cleared out a bit when the marathoners split away from those of us running the half. 

The first five miles was like sensory overload for me.  Tons of spectators, tons of runners, lots of stuff going on.  People were pretty chatty at this point, so I talked to a lot of people.  Crowd support was incredible.  We ran past a local church where the entire congretation was standing by the road singing hymns.  Lots of people had dragged their lawn chairs down close to the road and cheered as we went by.  Some just sat there and looked at us with bewilderment.  Funny.  Anyway, before I knew it, I was at seven miles.

Which is about when things started to fall apart.  My troublesome calves, which were doing okay, decided that they'd had enough and they started to get angry.  I had some stuff called Bio-Freeze with me but I didn't want to put it on myself because I didn't want to risk getting it in my eyes.  Josh, who found me somethere around 7.5 miles along the course, rode his bike up to the 9 mile mark and smeared it all over my lower legs.  That stuff actually worked, for about 2 miles.  Then I basically just gutted it out for the remaining miles.  My pace, which was averaging around 10:40-ish per mile was dropping quickly, but I was determined to finish under an 11-minute mile.  Man, I had to dig deep to keep up that pace.  The last 3/4 miles seemed to go forever and I was so happy to round the corner and see those balloons!!

I ended up with a PR of 2:23:27 and averaged 10:57 miles.  Last year, I ran this race in 2:39:48 and averaged
12:12.  How's that for improvement?

We headed back to the park and changed spots, then headed out for some more shopping and some good Mexican food and margaritas, woo!

We came home on Monday and I promptly got the cold from Hell and missed three days of work.  After running 13.1 miles two days before, on Tuesday, I couldn't walk from the living room to the kitchen without being out of breath.  How retarded is that!

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

This is exactly how I feel

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

US Cellular Half Marathon

I picked up a cold on the way home and I'm not feeling very bloggy so for now I'll just post my official results from the race on Sunday.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Another test passed

I decided to head out for another run this morning to see how my leg handled yesterday's run. My left leg was again fine, yet my right is still showing signs of ... something. I still can't quite put my finger on what I'm feeling there. I think I'd have to say it's a burning feeling in the Achilles region. It's not painful nor does it alter my gait, but it does force my undivided attention.

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I wore my compression brace again and this time I just left it alone and didn't stop to adjust it every 10 steps. Even though it screams "Gimp!" it's still pretty hot, no?

Oh yeah, so my run. My miles were 10:19, 10:31 and 10:45. They felt good and I wasn't pushing. I could have (and felt like) going farther, but I decided not to push my luck.

I found a neat feather in the grass by the park. I think it's from a goose. I took it home and gave it to Spencer. He promptly chewed it to pieces. Ha.

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Saturday, September 13, 2008

Testing out the legs

My legs are feeling pretty good now, and I'm completely pain free walking up & down stairs so I decided to go for a little run today.  I went for around a mile, then it started to rain so I bagged it.

My left leg felt great, my right leg felt just okay. There was something there which I wouldn't classify as pain. Maybe tightness? I dunno. I wore the compression brace I picked up last week and I kept on taking it off, then putting it back on to see if I noticed a difference. I can't really say that I did.

I was pretty careful to not run up any hills, even the little ones. One thing I noticed is that after doing nothing exercise related for over a week, my legs feel pretty heavy. I need to get my ass on my bike and get them moving again before I start to lose muscle.

So now, as I lay here on my bed with my feet propped against the wall, both lower legs wrapped in ice packs and compression bandages, bloggity blogging away, I'm wondering if running next weekend is going to be worth all the effort I'm taking.

Maybe I should just forget about it and spend exorbitant amounts of money at the mall!


Finally, here are some gratuitous shots of Simon being way too cute.

Friday, September 12, 2008

Deep tissue massage - it's where it's at

In an effort to throw everything but the kitchen sink at my calf injury, I got my second deep tissue massage this afternoon.

I didn't go back to the place I went to last week. I just couldn't deal with the massage lady telling me that the solution to all my problems was running backwards and wrapping my legs in vinegar soaked towels overnight. Seriously. Also, I had a bruise on the top of my left foot due to an unfortunate run-in the the closet door in the middle of the night while I was on my way to the bathroom. I told her to please avoid my left foot because it was tender. Where's the first place she goes? My left foot. I reminded her again and five minutes later she's poking around my left foot. Her deep tissue massage didn't seem all that deep, either. I left there thinking that I must have a really high pain threshold because I really didn't feel much of anything while she was massaging away.

Anyway, my hair chick told me about a new massage place that opened up and I decided to give them a shot. They were able to get me in on short notice, which was a bonus. And, the message was what I initially expected from a deep tissue massage - some parts were painful, others uncomfortable, and others felt great. I left there with tingling in my toes, jello legs and an appointment for next week. I'm a believer.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

It's my leg!

I quickly snapped a few pictures of my x-rays when I was waiting in the exam room yesterday.  They were on a laptop and the camera on my phone sucks, so it's not the greatest image, but it's my leg!  Sexsay!

No stress fractures either!

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Diagnosis: Not bad

According to the sports doctor, I have gastrocnemius and soleus muscle strains in both legs.  "Your symptoms are classic" he told me.  I'm happy to finally have an answer.

I was pretty sure it was relating to biking, but the doctor didn't think that was much of a possibility.  So, now I'm back to blaming it on my Burma Road run as I noticed my pain the day after that.  Or, it could be from dragging my tube in the Otter River.  James said he had some calf soreness afterward.  In any event, it's nothing major and nothing that rest won't cure.

He recommended I use a compression sleeve when I run in order to keep the muscles warm and stable.  After dinner I'll head out to the shops to try and find one.

As for the half marathon, I'm going to go ahead and do it.  I'll start biking again tomorrow, but will lay off the running completely. 

The worst that could happen is that I completely overload the muscle causing it to separate from the tendon and require emergency surgery.  No big deal, I have really good health insurance.

Just kidding Mom!  Hahahaha!!!

Monday, September 8, 2008


Some notes for my Dr. appointment on Wednesday.

Run (miles)
Bike (miles)
July 7th157
July 14th168
July 21st480
July 28th1724
Aug 4th *
Aug 11th90
Aug 18th068
Aug 25th1758

* pain first presents itself on Aug. 4 run. Aug. 2 run was on an uneven, rocky surface.

Symptoms (day after running):
  • pain in base of mid-calf (both) to base of calf which radiates down to heel (does not venture past heel or into foot/arch)
  • tenderness on the inside of calf where muscle narrows, including some swelling (right leg only)
  • Pain highest upon waking, lessens after moving around
  • up & down stairs causes pain
  • currently (day 5 of rest) pain exists, but is in a low level controlled by Ibuprofin
  • Ibuprofin
  • Ice (20 minutes every 2-3 hours for the first day after running)
  • Heat (20 minutes each calf before running)
  • new shoes & insoles
  • calf & hamstring stretching
  • foam roller
  • deep tissue massage
  • arnica gel

Thursday, September 4, 2008

What to do, what to do

I was able to do my 9-mile run on Sunday after four day of rest. It was purposely slow - my average pace was 12 minute/mile. Cripes, I haven't been that slow in ages. Of course, I did stop and stretch every mile, so that probably added to my slowness factor. I was supposed to run seven miles last night, and I only made it to two before I stopped. My legs are in bad shape.

I have pain which starts mid-calf and radiates down to my ankle. It's manageable with Ibuprofen, but only rest seems to make it go away completely. The day after a run, I can barely walk.

I'm throwing everything I can think of at this injury. I'm using ice, heat, I'm stretching several times a day and massaging my calves regularly. I replaced my shoes. I replaced my insoles. I'm taking Ibuprofen and Tylenol.

Nothing has worked yet.

I'm getting a deep-tissue massage this afternoon and I have an appointment with the sports doctor next Wednesday.

As I see it, I have two options.

Pull out of the HM completely. An option that's not looking too bad as I sit here with throbbing, burning lower legs.

Last year, despite all the b.s. I went through with the twisted ankle and knee and being under-conditioned and wondering what the hell I'd gotten myself into half-way through the race, I had a blast.

I really want to run this race.

So, option two is to completely rest for the next 15 days and run it. That means no running or biking. For 15 days.

It also means that I must seriously monitor my calorie intake so I don't gain any weight. Adios, cerveza. *weep*

I'm fairly confident that with that much rest, I'll be able to run (heck, I was able to complete 9 miles on four days of rest), but I won't be setting any new personal records. I suppose I could just attempt to beat my time from last year's race, but I was really hoping to do better than Eagle River.

But, 15 days of not doing anything? I'll go crazy.

Maybe I should take up knitting. Basket weaving? Embroidery?

Maybe I should just give up running.

What a depressing thought.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Scratch that

My legs are bothering me again. I think the climb from Bridge Street to Dodgeville was too ambitious. I can't afford to take any more time off so if I can't get my legs back under control soon, I'm going to have to pull out of the HM.

I just checked my last few reports. I haven't had a good run since the beginning of August. This is not good, peeps.

Not good at all.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Note to self

DO NOT eat an entire Pemmican bar 30 minutes before you head out for an 8-mile run. You will end up with horrible heart burn and nausea and have to call your boyfriend to come and pick you up after six nasty miles.

Seriously, I'm not even going to post my run statistics because it was so bad. I felt so awful that I was scoping out the bushes to see if I could find a secluded spot to go make myself throw up. I hate throwing up, so that never came to fruition. I would make a bad bulimic.

On the bright side, there was no sign of the lower leg issues I was having a couple of weeks ago. That's the only good thing I have to say about my run.

Yep, that's it.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

One more

19.5 miles, average pace 14.4

I need new bike shorts, my butt is sore.

Catching up AGAIN

I'm back after a short hiatus. I had to put my running shoes on the shelf for 10-ish days due to shin splits or Achilles tendinitis or whatever it was that I had. In the meantime, I rode my bike like a fool.

I did a 17-miler on the 18th

Then a short 12-miler on the 19th

Finally a monster 40-miler on the 21st. I actually think it was around 42 miles, because I forgot to turn my Garmin back on after I made a short water stop. Whoops.

Last night, I picked up on my running schedule again, with a short two-miler. I thought I ran it at a fairly conservative pace until I uploaded my track from my Garmin and found that I ran my fastest two miles ever. Go figure. Anyway, my legs were much, much happier after their running vacation and, aside from the normal twinges here and there, I experienced no real pain or discomfort. When I got home I stretched a bunch and iced both lower legs for 20 minutes. I have a hunch that my leg issues are caused by tight calf muscles, which I can't seem to get rid of no matter how much stretching I do. I think I might start using the heating pad on them before my runs and see if that helps. I've had luck with that method in the past on my hip, maybe it'll work on my calves, too.

I have eight miles on tap for Wednesday. I'm a little bit concerned about this run as it'll be the true test to see if my legs have fully recovered.

Ooh, I almost forgot that I wore my new, fancy heart rate monitor on yesterday's run. My highest heart rate was 181 (going uphill) and my lowest was 153 (downhill). It seemed to hover right around 165-170 on the flats. This information would probably be more useful if I knew
how to interpret the results!

Monday, August 11, 2008

Shins are STUPID

I am having a really hard time keeping up with my blogging responsibilities. I suppose it's because my last few runs have been horrible because my shin splints are back to haunt me. Posterior shin splints, to be precise. Argh, what a pain they are - literally. After the crappy run I had on Monday I again gutted out six miles on Wednesday with numerous stops along the way just to muster up enough mental fortitude to keep going.

I decided to bag my one remaining run of the week - an 8-miler and replace it with a long bike ride instead. We were camping in Copper Harbor, so I rode from the Burma Road to Eagle Harbor. 28 miles at around 16 mpg. That's not so shabby for a bike newbie.

I debated all day long whether or not to run tonight. Since I only had two miles on the schedule and my shins had four days of rest, I finally decided to head out and see how things went. I opted for the super soft surface of the Chassell railroad trail, one of my favorite routes from last summer. My shins were a little tender and burned the entire way, but it wasn't too bad. The soft surface helped quite a bit. So did the Ibuprofin I took before I left. Maybe the pre- and post-run stretching, too. I'm also hoping the six ice packs that are wrapped around my legs at the moment help as well. If those things don't work, I'm really hoping the new shoes and insoles that I have coming on Wednesday will take care of everything. I'm trying everything else, might as well throw some money at the problem, too.

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Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Sucky short run

I had a two-mile run last night which, considering the short distance, sucked big time. I was having some discomfort in the Achilles area of both legs, but mostly the right. I'm pretty sure this is from my run on Saturday. Since I do the majority of my running on the flat surface of the road, my legs aren't conditioned to handle the uneven surfaces of a logging road for six miles.

I iced and massaged both legs after my run and took a healthy dose of Ibuprofin. Hopefully that plus my day off today will allow my legs to recover for my seven miler tomorrow. If not, I'll just push it to Thursday.

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Monday, August 4, 2008

The weekend report

We were constantly on the go this weekend, which didn't leave me with much time for blogging. Once again, it's time to play catch-up.

Saturday was the Copperman Triathlon. James picked me up at 5:30 and dropped me off at the head of the Burma Road so I could start my 8-mile run. My grand plan was to run the Burma-Manganese Road to Copper Harbor (about 4.75 miles) and then pick up the remaining 3-ish miles running around downtown. So, after James went careening, crashing and crunching rally-style down the road to supposedly "..scare off any bears so they won't eat you...", off I went and immediately encountered a fork in the road. This was a tri-directional fork because I had three choices - left, right, or straight. I didn't remember that from any maps so I chose right. BZZZZT wrong choice! Unfortunately, it took me three miles to decide that I was absolutley not on the Burma Road. Then had to double back to get to my starting point. Fortunately my little gps watch has a navigation feature on it which tracked my route into the bush and all I had to do was keep an eye on it to get out. Once I got back on the road, I was at the six mile point and it's almost exactly two miles to downdown Copper Harbor from the Burma Road. So, despite my major navigational snafoo, I was able to complete my 8-miles.

Once I pulled my track off of my gps, I was able to see where I made my mistake. I definitley should have taken the fork to the left.

I've now discovered a neat little feature which allows me to create a route and upload it to my watch. While it doesn't give turn-by-turn directions, it does provide a navigational route line to follow. Too bad I didn't think of this before Saturday. Bah.

I made it to the start of the race with 30 minutes to spare. Josh showed up shortly after that and we cheered James and my high school pal Tina (Hi Tina!) on. Tina ended up winning the women's division (YAY!!) and James was much improved over last year. Here's some photos and videos of the race: 2008 Copperman After a short post-race party at Zik's we headed to the KBC for more celebrating, dinner and shopping for a new swimsuit for Josh.

The Otter River Pneumatic Yachting Club's Fifth Annual Gala and Regatta was on tap for Sunday. Since the afternoon was going to be filled with massive quantities of beer and food, I decided to create a calorie deficit and ride out to James's house. I was able to maintain an average speed of 17 mph to Chassell, which dropped once I started to hit the hills. In all, I was able to cover the 25-ish miles in an hour and fourty-five minutes. I guess that's pretty good - I think it worked out to an overall average speed of around 15 mph. We had a great time tubing. It seemed like the river was faster this year compared to others. We had four newbies on the trip who didn't have proper tubing equipment and their rafts looked like swiss cheese when we were done. I think all the newbies have experiences like that. I certainly did, and the following year I got a proper tube. Live and learn.

That's it!

Thursday, July 31, 2008

Catching up

I have not been feeling very bloggy the past few days so my runs have gone undocumented. Time to fix that.

On Monday, the day after my half-century bike ride, I had a short two-miler scheduled. I was a little wary of this run because of above-mentioned ride and previously mentioned ankle sprain. I am happy to report that neither was a factor. My ankle, although still a bit tender, was fine as long as I ran on a flat or right-sloping surface. Running on a right-sloping surface meant I had to run with traffic, which is a no-no. Oh well, I gotta do what I gotta do.

Yesterday, I had seven miles on my schedule. I'd rate that run as a solid meh. The first four miles were okay, I was maintaining my 10:15 or less pace per minute, but then I quickly started to realize that I did not eat enough carbs before my run to sustain my pace and soon I was feeling very doggy. I did bring some supplements with me, but since I was already running on empty (ha ha, that's so retarded), it only gave me about a 10 minute burst. I struggled through the last few miles. My pace per minute doesn't reflect how crappy I felt, but I really had to dig deep in order to maintain it. I felt really crappy the rest of the night and slept right through my alarm this morning. I still feel like I need another two hours of sleep, which I'm hoping to catch up on tonight.

Since my weekday runs are starting to rival weekend long runs in length, it's time to start experimenting with food during the day. I think I'll head to the Co-op after work to restock on Pemmican bars.

Next up, an eight miler on Saturday. I'll probably run in Copper Harbor while waiting for the Copperman Triathlon to start. James has entered again this year and we're heading up to cheer him on. Since I'm an early bird (...unlike some people I know who are coming up later in the morning so they can sleep in ... ahem), I'll ride up with James at seriously-early-o'clock and get my run in before the event starts at 9:00. I've just got to figure out a decent route. I'm thinking I'll have James drop me off at the Burma Road and run that to Lake Manganese Road then head toward the end of 41. About five miles of that is running through the woods, good thing I picked up some pepper spray to ward off the bears.

And finally, Sunday marks the Otter River Pneumatic Yachting Club's Fifth Annual Gala and Regatta. Beer, burgers, tubing and lighting James's lawn on fire. Summer is officially here!


Sunday, July 27, 2008


Miles, that is. That's how far I rode on my bike today.

The first leg of my journey took me to Laurium via M-203 & Calumet Waterworks Road. Aside from the enormous hill on Waterworks Road, the ride to Laurium was pretty easy. I think my odometer was right around 25 miles when I pulled into Josh's driveway.

I hung out at Josh's place for about 45 minutes before heading back home. I was going to take US-41 back, but didn't want to fight with the traffic, so I decided to take M-203. Lucky me, the wind shifted and was directly in my face and blowing hard. To say that my ride back sucked would be an understatement. My legs were on fire from the moment I left Laurium and by the time I arrived at McLain's Park, they were spent. Great, only 15 miles back to my house. I took a 15 minute break at the park and headed back out. More leg misery.

I got back to Houghton with 46 miles on the odometer and was within .5 miles of my house when my inner sadist took over and I decided it would be cool if I hit 50 miles on this ride. So, off I went to add another four miles to my ride. I promised myself that as soon as my odometer hit 50, I was getting off the bike and walking no matter how far I was from my house. I hit 50 about 25 feet from my driveway.

I have no idea how my legs are going to feel tomorrow. It's a good thing my scheduled two-mile run is supposed to be slow and easy because that's probably about all I'll be able to manage.


Thursday, July 24, 2008

First ride

I took a nice 22.5 mile ride after work today.

I finally figured out how to properly operate my shifters and trim but I keep on forgetting which ones make the gears easier and which ones make them harder. So, most of the time I spend correcting my shifting errors. Gah. I was able to maintain an overall pace of 13mph on the entire ride and I think my maximum speed was 31.5 or something.

Anyway, first ride, good ride.

I am with bike

Behold the 50cm Trek 1.5. Ain't it purdy?

It's going to take some time getting used to the shifters, they are unlike anything I've used on a bike before, and it'll probably take a bit more tweaking on the seat to get it just right. I took it for an 8 mile spin last night and I was able to cruise along at 14 mph without much effort. I had to really crank on my mountain bike to maintain that speed. I think the 15 lb. difference between the two might have something to do with it.

I also bought a new helmet. I'd been using Josh's helmet so I figured it was time to invest in one that actually fit me.

Besides getting repair-related equipment, I think my next purchase will be the shoes and pedals to be able to go clipless.

I also think it was fate that I bought the bike, because I was leaving my house to go on my ride and I rolled my left ankle coming down the back stairs. That's the same ankle I rolled on my 10-mile run last summer. I landed on the same knee and wrist that I did last summer, too. My ankle is slightly swollen and bruised and my knee has a lovely scrape on it which will add to the collection of scars from last summer. My ankle doesn't hurt like it did last summer, but it is a bit tender. So, I'm skipping my runs for the rest of the week and attempt to become one with my bike in the meantime. No biggie, this was a cutback week anyway.

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Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Barfy Wednesday

Up until yesterday, I'd never come close to throwing up during a run, no matter how hard I push myself. Yesterday, I almost broke that streak. I came seriously close to losing my cookies about 3 miles into my run. I stopped at the pavilion next to the Super 8 motel for a drink of water and took off again only to be overcome by a serious bout of nausea. I kept on running because when I slowed down, the nausea got worse. I finished up my run and sat down on a picnic bench for a few minutes until the worst of it passed. I met up with Josh as the KBC and felt better once I had some pop. So, I'm thinking that maybe I had low blood sugar (which I'm prone to) or was dehydrated.

Anyway, my time for the four miles wasn't all that bad despite feeling so awful.

Hopefully my Thursday run will turn out better.

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Monday, July 21, 2008

Weight Session

I decided to postpone running until tomorrow because I just didn't feel like going. Besides, I didn't want to risk getting caught in the rain. So, I just did a short strength session tonight.

125 sit-ups on the stability ball (75 regular, 50 oblique twists)
50 push-ups with the ball
3 x 12 back extensions on the ball
3 x 20 bicep curls with 10 lb weights
3 x 20 tricep curls with 10 lb weights
3 x 20 shoulder shrugs with 10 lb weights


The bike quest continues

After striking out at TBS on Friday, I was contacted by Cross Country Sports who informed me that they'd be able to get a Trek 1.5 in my size. It was pretty much out of my price range, but they made me a really, really good deal on it. It's a serious upgrade from the Trek 1.2 I tried out a few weeks ago

So, I told them to order one and if it fits me, I'd buy it. It'll be here on Wednesday.

Fingers crossed!

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Saturday, July 19, 2008

Running at the crack of dawn. Seriously.

I actually got up at 5:00 this morning in order to go running. Turns out, the sun doesn't rise until after 6:20 so I ended up sitting around for an hour waiting for daylight. Finally I said the heck with it and went out anyway. What's that time between dark and light - twilight? If so, that's what it was outside. It was a little eerie running that early. Usually when I head out at 7:00, I can hear the cars on the highway. This morning I heard nothing. The sun was rising just as I was running past Manninen's Junkyard.

I had a great run this morning. I don't know if it was the early factor, or the weather, right around 51 degrees, but I felt great the entire time. I didn't push things and I still averaged 10:35 miles. Awesome!

Weekly summary:
Run - 16.04 miles @ 10:38
Bike - 7.30 miles @ 10.4 mph


Friday, July 18, 2008

A short weight session

Just a short upper body strength training session tonight.

100 sit-ups on the stability ball (50 regular, 50 oblique twists)
50 push-ups with the ball
3 x 12 back extensions on the ball
3 x 20 bicep curls with 7 lb weights
3 x 20 tricep curls with 7 lb weights

I skipped the leg stuff because of tomorrow's long run.


Whoops, almost forgot Wednesday

My hamstrings have been bugging me for the past few days and I was a little bit reluctant to do my scheduled six miles on Wednesday. I eventually decided to head out and play it by ear; I could always walk if I had to. I am happy to report that things went well. I didn't have to take any walk breaks outside of my normal ones (one minute walk for every two miles) and my hamstrings were just fine.

I ran on the Houghton Canal Road and despite the mile-long climb around mile 3, I was able to keep my splits under 11:00 the entire way and I only ended up slowing down around 30 seconds per mile during the climb. In truth, I thought it was going to be worse than that, so I'm pleased.

I'm heading to The Bike Shop tonight to take a test ride on what I'm hoping will become my new road bike. Tomorrow, I have a scheduled seven mile run then we're heading to Marquette to be touristy and tour the Tilden Mine. I should note that in order for me to get my run in before we leave, I have to get up at 5:00AM. Joy!


Tuesday, July 15, 2008


Nothing exciting to report from my training sessions yesterday. I did a three-mile run followed by a 7-ish mile bike ride.

My hamstrings are upset for some reason. Both of them are giving me problems when I run. Not so much when I'm on the bike. I might need to take a few days off from running and see if that helps.

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Monday, July 14, 2008

The quest for a new bike

Since I want to start competing in duathlons, I need a decent bike. My current ride, a 15+ year old Giant mountain bike which I converted into a road bike by way of new tires, is not going to cut it. So, I've been on a quest to find a proper road bike.

I've mostly been working with The Bike Shop in Houghton. They opened their doors in the old Los Dos Amigos restaurant spot this spring.

I test rode two bikes they had in stock that almost fit me.

2008 Marin Portofina

Size: 51cm
Price: $650-ish
Overall impression: Too big, but it was a nice bike.

2008 Jamis Ventura Race

Size: 51cm
Price: Way too expensive for my budget

Overall impression: Too big, however if they could get it in my size and it fit my budget, I'd get it. Sweet ride.

I also tried out the 2008 Trek 1.2 at Cross Country Sports.

Size: 50cm
Price: $659
Overall impression: Pretty, but I was unimpressed with the components and the seat. Seemed like it might be overpriced for what was offered. At least it allowed me to get a size comparison and I know I need something that's 50cm.

Down Wind Sports had the 2008 Giant OCR3 which Josh said was "crap" so I didn't even bother taking for a test drive.

I was in The Bike Shop on Saturday afternoon buying some new running sunglasses and Gu and one of the owners told me that they would have a 50cm 2008 James Satellite Femme in the store on Friday. I can't buy it because it belongs to another customer, but it's in my price range so if it fits me well I'm ordering one.

Here's it is, in all it's glory

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Saturday, July 12, 2008


I had a nice seven-miler this morning.

I got up at 5:45AM (!) and was out the door by 6:40. I originally planned on running a route which would end near the Houghton park, making for a short walk home, but it was so windy outside that I changed my route after two miles and took the Denton Road loop instead.

M post-run strength training routine consisted of the following:

100 sit-ups on the stability ball (50 regular, 50 oblique twists)
50 push-ups with the ball
3 x 12 back extensions on the ball
3 x 12 squats with the ball
3 x 20 bicep curls with 7 lb weights
3 x 20 tricep curls with 7 lb weights
3 x 20 inner thigh squeezes with the ball

Weekly summary:
Run - 15.06 miles @ 10:33
Bike - 6.95 miles @ 8.9 mph

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Wednesday, July 9, 2008

A year in review

My five mile run tonight was uneventful. It was a scheduled tempo run where I was supposed to run slow for one mile, then around 11:00 for three miles, then slow for the last mile.

I totally blew that and just ran. Oh well, I had the best of intentions.

My feet have sufficiently developed enough callouses that I can run without tape. That's good because taping was a pain.

The last .75 mile of my run was down the left side M-26. I had a sharp pain on the inside of my left knee the entire way down. The sidewalk is apparently too cambered for my knee. I thought about switching sides, but there was too much traffic so I just kept on going. As soon as I got on a level surface, the pain went away.

Oh yeah..the title of my post. I was running some reports on my running and found some validation for all the hard work I've been doing on my running over the past year.

One year ago I ran 5 miles in 1:06 and my pace was 13:09 (ha, so slow!). Tonight I ran 5 in 53:20 and my pace was 10:39.

When I first started running around five or six years ago, my goal was to run five miles. I didn't care how long it took me, I just wanted to run that distance. It took me a while to get there, but I finally did it. But I was pretty slow. 12 minute miles were the norm, if I hit some 11's, I was feeling pretty zippy. I figured 10 minute miles were never going to happen.

Now, I'm churning them out regularly and sometimes, like on Monday, I hit the 9's. I think I may be a runner now, rather than a shuffler. And that is very cool.

Here's the entire report for 5 mile distances over the last year. Sweet validation, it is.


Monday, July 7, 2008

Not even gonna question it this time

Three miles in 29:50

Mile 1 - 9:52
Mile 2 - 9:52
Mile 3 - 9:55

Kick ASS

Followed by 6-ish miles on the bike.

Socks - yellow Smartwool micros
Tape - none
Result - no issues

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Saturday, July 5, 2008

Slow six

I ran a slow 6 miles this morning after the 26 miles on the bike yesterday.

My legs were a little tighter in the beginning than they usually are, hence the slow first mile. I did end up making it 75% up the Shopko hill before I had to stop, rather than my usual 50%. I'm sure it was because of the snail's pace I was running. That's pretty cool, but I'd rather keep my speed up.

I was worried about the traffic on M-26, but it was fine. I think I saw three or four cars the entire time I was out. I battled a strong head-wind all the way to Old Mill Road not to mention the humidity, which had to be around 80%. Whew.

Weekly summary:
Run - 14.25 miles @ 11:17
Bike - 33.70 miles @ 11.7 mph

That's it for the week.


Friday, July 4, 2008

Friday afternoon ride

This afternoon, James and I met up in Lake Linden and biked to Gay for the Gay Parade.

The ride out was fairly easy, once we got past the enormous hill on the turn to Gay. It took us just under an hour to ride the 13 miles. The ride back to Lake Linden was a bit more of a challenge as it's uphill for about 10 miles, which explains why the ride out was easy. The ride back took 10 minutes longer than the way out.

Ride summary:
26.11 miles in 2:07:19 for an average speed of 12.3 mph.

Josh rode his motorcycle out to join in the festivities. The parade was a hoot as usual.

My favorite entry:

My second favorite:

Josh and James:

Bonus for me, I bought $5 of raffle tickets and I won a $20 gift certificate to the Loading Zone! We blew it all at the Loading Zone after our ride. Easy come, easy go.

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Fast Five

I did a zippy five miles tonight followed by 20 minutes of strength training. My first two miles were totally uphill, and were my slowest. The remaining three were downhill/flat and I was able to crank out times in the 10-minute range for those. In all, I was able to average 10:40 miles overall. Not too shabby.

My strength training routine varies from session to session. Tonight I worked on my abs (100 sit-ups on the stability ball), arms (50 push-ups, then bicep, tricep & shoulder work with the 10 lb. weights), back (reverse sit-ups) and legs. Since that was my first strength session since probably April, I'll probably be sore tomorrow. No pain, no gain.

Foot report:

socks - yellow Smartwool micros
tape - big toes, one piece underneath

No blisters, no tender spots.

That's the third day of running with no foot issues. I think I finally found the recipe.

Next up, Six on Saturday. I'm starting to get bored running the same old routes. I think I'll head toward Atlantic Mine and Old Mill Hill. I figure if I go early enough, M-26 will be traffic-free. I was thinking around 6:00 AM ?



Monday, June 30, 2008


Today I did my first brick workout. Bricks involve running and biking consecutively.

The first part of the brick was the run. 3.25 miles (up the Shopko hill) and back to my place. That damn hill. I still can't make it up all the way, but I was able to make it up a minute faster than I did back in March. My recovery was also faster by two minutes.

The second part of the brick was the bike. 7.65 miles at an average speed of 10.2 mph.

Surprisingly, my legs did okay after all the flogging they took. However, tomorrow and Wednesday will tell the true tale.

The third part of my brick involved picking up a few things from Shopko then the grocery store. :)

Foot report:

socks - yellow Smartwool micros
tape - big toes, one piece underneath

No blisters, no tender spots.

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Saturday, June 28, 2008

Six on Saturday

I did a nice, easy six miles this morning. I got up at 6:00 AM (horrors!) hoping to be out the door in 30 minutes, but it was still raining and windy so I waited until 7:00 to head out. I love running in the early morning hours when the rest of the world is still sleeping. It makes me feel very empowered.

So, on the foot front: my feet are pretty tender at the moment. I've been taping my big toes and putting tape on all my tender spots (note to self: buy stock in the medical tape company). I've decided that I should make note of my taping and sock wearing after each run to see if I can pin down what's going on.


socks - blue Smartwool micros
tape - big toes, one piece underneath

Result: no blisters, tender spots but not as bad as Wednesday

I also discovered that a pre-run breakfast of a Pemmican bar bar + tea equated to a gastrointestinal "situation" which caused me to race to the restroom of the Citgo station around mile 3.5. The ensuing guilt for using the bathroom but not making a purchase is enough to remind me to never do that again!


Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Holy hot

What is the deal with this weather? A few days last week, the thermometer barely made it into the 50s. Today, it was over 80 and I ran a very 5 hot miles tonight.

I took water with me, but I felt really drained by the end of the run. 45 minutes after I got home, a thunderstorm rolled through. Good thing I went running right after work!


Monday, June 23, 2008

And so it starts...again

Day one of training for the Fox Cities HM was a nice three miler. At least it was nice until around 2.5 miles. Then the upset stomach I had all morning returned and I ran the last half mile trying to decide whether or not I should throw up. I didn't, but I think I would have had I continued. Bleh.


Wednesday, June 18, 2008

It's on !

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Ho hum

Two runs this week, Monday and tonight.

My Monday run was uneventful. Windy, if I remember correctly.

Tonight's run was pretty decent, except for the part when it started to rain and I had a mile left to go. I was completely drenched when I got home.

I ran an old favorite route of mine, the Dodgeville loop. There are some seriously scary looking people living in Dodgeville. I had neither my pepper spray nor my phone with me, so I felt a bit uneasy until I got to Green Acres Road. I need to find that pepper spray.

And cut my grass before I get a ticket from the grass police.

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Tuesday, May 27, 2008


Six miles tonight at an average pace of 10:41/mile.

Then, 45 minutes of walking with Josh. He is in dire need of new shoes.

I got a big, nasty blister on my toe from the tape I was using to protect another blister.

One day I'll figure out the trick to taping existing blisters without causing new ones.

I glanced at my numbers for last week. 22.5 miles of running and walking. Jeepers, it's a wonder my legs haven't fallen off yet.

I bought two more pairs of the world's best running shorts. Bonus, they were on sale for 25% off.

I went to the dentist this morning, no cavities. Yahoo!

Garage sale is in three weeks. I have much to do.

p.s. the other night....we went to Schmidt's Corner :-D

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Sunday, May 25, 2008

Training, Josh style

Josh has been diligently following his training program for walking 6.2 miles in June.

I've been walking with him, in addition to running.

My post-run routine usually consists of 30 minutes of stretching, water, and a light dinner. When I go with Josh, my routine consists of ... the bar.

KBC on Tuesday and Thursday (their new Santiago lager is so good). Yesterday, Carmelita's. Mmmm, mango margarita.

Post-recovery fuel?

Training incentive?

Anyway, a little over five miles for me yesterday (10:34 pace!), then three miles walking with Josh.

I wonder where we'll go tonight? :-)


Friday, May 23, 2008

Not that I'm complaining, but how did that happen?!

I ran last night.

Three miles to from my house to Josh's office.

Didn't really set out to run fast.

I just wanted to get a run in.

Garmin said 10:04 for the first mile.

No big deal, most of it was down hill.

Garmin said 10:01 for the second mile.

Hrm. That's flat. It does feel like I'm running faster and my stride is longer. But.....

Garmin must be screwed up.


Garmin said 9:54 for the last mile.


How is that even possible?

My legs are short and stubby. They just don't go that fast.

And now the best.....

Garmin said that my average pace for those three miles was 9:59 minute/miles.

This is the fastest I've ever run. EVER.

And the best thing was that when I was done, I only sort of felt like puking.

That means that I can run that fast. I just don't push myself enough to do it.

And even if Garmin was somehow screwed up...

I'm keeping it.

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Monday, May 19, 2008

Back in the saddle, or whatever

I planned on taking two weeks off from the half marathon before I started running again but after about four days of doing nothing, I started to get a little antsy. I stretched that out another three days of being really antsy before finally caving and going for a nice 5-mile run after work tonight. My legs were cranky and they didn't seem to settle down until around mile 3. It was 58 degrees when I took off, which meant that I was able to wear the new shorts I picked up in San Francisco. They're really comfortable, and best of all, did not ride up. At $28 they're a bit pricey, but I think I'm going to invest in a few more pairs anyway. Shorts that don't up are really hard to find. I know because it's been my quest for the past four years to find them and I have 20 or so pairs of shorts that are too annoying to run in collecting dust in my closet to prove it, too. I don't even want to think about how much money I have invested in that pile. Oy.

Next up on the race calendar is the 10k (6.2 mile) Hodag Run on June 28th. It's a small race in downtown Rhinelander sponsored by the local YMCA. Rhinelander's a fun place, especially Lurv's Kozy Korner Bar, so it should make for a really enjoyable weekend.

I'm going to try to improve on my fastest 6-mile time, which was 1:06. This means I get to start doing speed work, which basically means run really, really fast for a short period time, then rest a bit, then do it over. And try not to injure myself in the process. Sometimes I really wish I had a coach because I really don't know what I'm doing when it comes to training. Until now, I've just found some plan on the intarwebz that didn't require anything but running and followed it. That plan has worked, but now that I know that I can run HM distances, I want to start improving my times. I'd really like to be able to run a 2:15 HM some day. That would require that I shave a minute off of my pace, which I think I can do, but I'm just not sure how to go about doing it.

Speaking of training, Josh is going to walk the 10k while I run and he's going to officially train! Using a plan and everything! I'm not sure he'll be as nuts about analyzing his data as I am, but he's already asked to borrow my old Forerunner 201, so there's hope yet!

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Monday, May 12, 2008

Journeys Half Marathon

My second half marathon is done. I ran in the Journeys Half Marathon on Saturday May 10th in Eagle River, WI.

My time wasn't as good as I was hoping it'd be. It was probably because I started out too conservatively with my pace and couldn't make it up in the later miles. That's annoying. The course was pretty flat aside from a moderate hill on mile 7. Thanks to my hill training, I passed quite a few folks on this hill. That was nice. There was about a half-mile stretch of the last two miles that was torn up due to construction. The ground switched from hard-packed to loose and rocky numerous times, which got really annoying. Good thing it was only a half-mile because anything longer would have been harder to take.

I was in much better condition for this race than the Fox Cities HM, which I ran back in September. My legs held out pretty well. My quads got a bit tight in the later miles but I was able to manage them doing some light stretching at the water stops. Last year, my legs gave out around the 9th mile and I did a ton of walking in the last two miles. That sucked.

My pre-race fuel was one and a half Pemmican bars. I had two Hammer Gels during the run, at miles 5 and 9. I also had one Shot Block for each mile that I didn't take gels, starting at mile 4. I probably didn't need to take that many Blocks, but I was bored. I had water at each aid station after the first one and had Gatorade at the mile 10 station. I walked for about one minute every mile, but after an hour, I think I may have walked longer than than. It was harder to tell because my 205 doesn't display seconds once it hits an hour and I had to estimate my time. I know I was over on some. I ended up with one blister on the second toe of my left foot which was caused by the tape on my big toe rubbing against it. I noticed it at mile 4 and finally stopped to fix it at mile 6. I didn't have any bandages with me, so I ended up taking the tape off of my big toe completely. Note to self: carry bandages next time.

Here are my results (12 minutes faster than my last race):

overall place: 299 out of 388
division place: 28 out of 37
time: 2:30:38
pace: 11:30

I'm taking the next week or two off while Josh and I finish up the drywall on my bathroom then it's back into training for the Fox Cities HM on September 21. I'm considering doing the Hodag 10k on June 28th. I might attempt a race in July and another in August, if I can find something interesting.

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Sunday, May 4, 2008

Trailer and running: check

We hauled the trailer home in a snowstorm yesterday. A snowstorm in May! Honestly.

It's pretty much ready to go. I didn't have much more to do other than put the stuff back in it. I cleaned it really well last fall before it went into storage so I didn't have much to do on that front. A big bonus was that we successfully plugged all the holes where the mice were getting in and I didn't have any mice poop to clean up this year. The only thing I really had to do was take the bedding home and wash it all, which I did last night. It's ready to go back in the trailer. There are a few things that Josh wants to do before we leave - check the wheel bearings and tire pressure, and grease the jacks and hitch. Oh, and my Tahoe needs it's oil changed and the summer tires put on. Hmm. I guess we're not doing as well as I thought we were. Oh well, still lots of time.

I got my 10-mile run in this morning. The first six miles went pretty well. Then when I turned the corner from Denton Road onto US41 toward Houghton I was met with a gale-force wind and the last four miles completely sucked. The wind relentless! I had to keep my head down to use the brim of my hat as a buffer because when I didn't, the wind made my eyes water. My legs were aching trying to keep my forward momentum and finally, with about a mile left to go and mentally and physically exhausted, I gave up and turned around and ran the last bit with the wind. I felt completely exhausted when I finished. More so than when I ran my 9-miler out to Chassell and that was completely uphill! I've decided that I'll take uphills over wind any day. That's my last long run before next weekend. I'll probably run three days next week, but only a couple of miles each time.

My hip didn't bother me too much, just enough to remind me that it was there. My blister situation is much improved, but I did get two small ones on my big toes. I'm not worried about them, I'll just tape up my toes on race day and I'll be just fine.

Six days to go!

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Saturday, May 3, 2008

One week to go!

The weather is not cooperating for anything I need to get done before we leave for Eagle River next week.

I need to get in a final long run this weekend but the weather has been awful. It's been cold, windy and rainy for the last two days. Tomorrow isn't looking any better. I don't want to have to run in this type of weather, but I may be forced to, I have to get those miles in.

I need to get the trailer out of storage and get it ready for the trip, which I was hoping to do last night but we decided to change our minds due to the giant thunderstorm that came through. I don't have a ton to do with the trailer because I always give it a good cleaning before I put it into storage in the fall, but there's still a lot of trailer-related things that need to get done before we take off.

Plus, now there's a chance I may need to work on Wednesday morning so our customer service department can send out the student bills. I'm the only one who can load and process the billing download into our billing system, yay. I guess it's my fault for telling them that I probably wouldn't be heading out of town until late morning/early afternoon on Wednesday. I told them that I'd come in if it was critical, but I'd prefer not to. We'll see how things go.

I've been obsessively checking the long-range forecast for Eagle River on the day of the race. There's three different weather sites I look at and each one of them has a different forecast. It'll either be sunny and in the 60s or rainy and in the 50s. This means that I have absolutely no clue what to wear on race day and I'm going to have to take all my running gear in order to be prepared to any type of weather. Bah.

I have a feeling that these next few days are going to be a crazy and I'm not going to be happy until we're settled in the campground.


Thursday, May 1, 2008

San Francisco

I posted pictures of my trip to San Francisco in my gallery on feep.org. The camera on my cell phone is pretty crappy, so the pictures are pretty crappy as well. I think it might be time to start researching my next camera purchase. I want something small that can slip into my pocket.

Today is massage day. Based on the therapist's evaluation, I'm either getting a deep tissue massage, a sports massage or a neuromuscular massage. They all sound equally scary and painful to me!


Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Day Off

I took the day off from running today. We went out for drinks with friends instead. Tomorrow is my sports massage. I've been doing some reading on the topic and it looks like it's not advised to run after a massage. I'll see what the massage therapist says.

My hip is feeling so much better. The heating pad treatment really helped. I wish I would have thought of it two weeks ago.

The weather's not looking good for a long run on Saturday so I may postpone it until Sunday. I can't decide what mileage I should for - 8,9,10 or 11. Guess I have a few days to decide.

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Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Finally, a good run

I had a good run tonight. I tried a few things with my hip and they worked out well.

First, I used a heating pad on low heat on it for 15 minutes before I left in order to get the hip muscles loosened up. Then, I started out running slowly, letting my body warm up. Next, I ran with traffic so that my left leg wasn't always on the down side of the road. It worked. I felt a few twinges here and there that I would lump in the same category as the rest of the twinges I feel during any run, but overall it was a good run.

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For the benefit of...

...the people who don't know the lingo (that'd be you Mom):

Running capris: They're for no-longer-winter-but-not-yet-spring weather. They bridge the gap between wearing tights, which go down to the ankle, and shorts.

I picked up these in San Francisco's Nike Town store: Nike Acceleration Running Capri

New running shorts also from Nike Town: Nike Tempo Track short

New insoles shorts from the New Balance store: New Balance Pressure Relief Insoles


Monday, April 28, 2008

I'm back!

After a 11-days off from running, I did a swift three-miler after work today. I'm happy to report that I didn't seem to lose any of my stamina during my running vacation. My bet is that it's partially due to my harder than usual cardio sessions in the fitness center of the hotel. Getting the old heart rate up to 170-180 bpm for 30+ minutes four days/week was the way to go. I also hit the weights pretty hard as well. I'd say my hip is about 50% better than the last time I ran. I'm not sure what to make of that. It feels like the muscles surrounding my hip are really tight and they're constantly being pulled. I'm going to try to get into the massage therapist in my gym and see if she can work things out for me because no amount of stretching that I do on my own helps.

I am worried about my endurance, though. My longest run to-date has been 9 miles, and while that was a piece of cake, between my hip and the rotten weather, I haven't been keeping up with increasing mileage on those long runs. Unfortunately, my schedule is now in taper mode and there really isn't any room for a long run. I might attempt a 7 or 8 miler on Saturday, just to feel things out. The key to taper mode is to run, but run slow short distances in an attempt to avoid all injury prior to the race so I am a bit reluctant to attempt any longer distances.

I bought some fancy new insoles from the New Balance store in San Francisco. These insoles fit my shoes perfectly (no trimming involved) and my feet were really happy (and blister free) during my run. I also paid a very expensive visit to Nike Town, which was a block from my hotel. I dropped around $85 on shorts and running capris (ran in them tonight, loved them!) that I've had my eye on for a couple of months now.

I took some pictures while I was in San Francisco, but they're on my work computer so I'll have to upload them (hopefully) tomorrow.

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Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Hips are Stupid

Despite my hip, I ran today. Also, despite my reasonably average pace of 11:15/mile, it was not a very good run. My hip was really bothering me and I decided to throw in the towel at mile 4 because I couldn't deal with it anymore. I wore my old shoes and my blisters seemed to be happier with that. Unfortunately, the bike trail was swamped and there was no way to avoid the water. My feet ended up soaked and that irritated my blisters. Also, hearing my shoes squish for the entire run was annoying.

The latest photo of my left-foot blister, in all it's glory. The left one looks about half as bad.

There's three weeks until the half marathon and I'm not feeling very confident at this point. Not sure what to do at this point.

Stretching with Simon

Spencer in his box

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Monday, April 14, 2008


The four days of rest did my body good. My run tonight was decent. Not great, and not as bad as last week. It took my legs around 3 miles to settle into running and I got another blister on my left foot, which is on top of the blister I got last week. It doesn't hurt too badly, but it's going to need some serious taping on my next run. I think I'm going to switch back to my old shoes and what happens on Wednesday. Oh, and now my left hip is mysteriously bothering me. Cripes, I feel like I'm falling apart.

Running five miles at an average pace of 10:40 is really hard. Actually, I'm finding that it's not that hard while I'm doing it, but when it's over I am completely exhausted. It's going to be an early night tonight.

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

That's more like it

I ran today. I wasn't going to run today, but when I got home I decided that I wanted to give it a try, mostly because the alternative was to sit around and mope about not running.

I originally only planned on going two miles total, but when I got to two, I decided to stretch it to three, then four and then finally ended up doing the entire five. I had to do the last mile running up and down M-26 because I was out of route options. That hill is killer, but not as bad as I thought it was going to be.

My blisters are pretty much healed and I'm down to one bandage per foot now rather than the elaborate bandage and taping mess I had last week. However, my feet are taking a serious beating.

Behold the hideousness that is my feet:

After every run, I like to get in at least 15 minutes of stretching and rollering. I do this in the middle of my living room floor and my kitty Simon is always thrilled to have me down on his level. He comes over, purring like crazy, and bonks me with his head, which is his way of saying he wants to be petted. After a bit, he lays down on the carpet and stretches with me. This happens every single time I stretch. Josh once complained that I don't have enough pictures on this weblog so here's some of Simon and I stretching tonight.

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Still hate running

I did 45 minutes of weight training tonight in an effort to get rid of the bad attitude I've had since the Run From Hell yesterday.

Didn't work.

Still pissed off.


Monday, April 7, 2008

Sometimes I really hate running

And today was one of those days. Everything went wrong and my run was awful. Every step hurt, physically and mentally. I should have just taken the day off.

Saturday, April 5, 2008

Nine Miles of Hills

There is a 2.5 mile hill on Paradise Road. It consists of long uphills which crest to short less-steep sections which lead to other uphills. I think this repeats about four or five times. I thought it would never end. I was so happy to finally come to the top of that endless hill at mile 7.5 and then realize that the rest of my run was downhill.

The weather was wonderful. No wind and lots of sun. I actually had to remove one of my layers because I was too hot. Lots of traffic, though. That was annoying.

My blisters returned despite my best taping/bandaging efforts. They didn't bother me too much during the run - just enough to remind me that they were there. I have no idea if it's from my shoes or socks or maybe I just have tender feet. In any event, I need to do some blister prevention research before my next run.

This week's totals:
18.04 miles @ 3:18:01
Average pace 10:59 (Woo!!!) (5.5 mph)

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

A New PR!

My hamstring has still been bothering me, so tonight I decided that I was going to try and avoid hills completely. I also decided that since I was running mostly without hills, I would try to run 10-11 minute miles for the entire distance. I did it! My average pace for the 4.5 miles was 10:31 minute/mile. Rock!

On the down-side, I got blisters the size of dimes on the balls of both my feet. Time to invest in some medical tape. Hopefully they'll simmer down by Saturday, when I have my 9-miler scheduled. 9-miles. Geez, that's a long way. I usually try not to dwell on the distance and just tell myself that it's just another run and it's not that big of a deal. My plan is to run the back roads to the Citgo in Chassell and have Josh pick me up. All my long runs so far have ended up at one gas station or another. Gotta keep up the trend.

Monday, March 31, 2008

Monday, Monday

I had a decent run today, despite feeling a bit under the weather. I scooted out of work a bit early so I could get my run in before the Big Storm that's supposed to dump eighteen feet of snow on us. The weather held out while I was running, and it started to snow lightly when I got to my house. If I don't miss my run tomorrow because of the stomach flu I think I may be coming down with, I'll probably miss it because of snow removal duties. Bah.

Saturday, March 29, 2008

Eight in the Bag

Aside from the last 1.5 miles of my run today, everything went well.

The temperature was perfect, the sun was shining and again I was out early enough that I didn't encounter much traffic. I ran into the wind for the first one or so miles, which was really chilly, but once I hit Manninen Road the wind shifted behind me and I warmed up. My doggie friends from Denton Road came out to see me again but they weren't as enthralled with me as they were last week. The St. Bernard came over for a pat on the head, then he took off. Sheesh.

The last 1.5 miles were hard. My legs were burning, my breathing was all screwed up and I felt like I kept on getting slower and slower. I passed the 7-mile mark and thought about just giving up, but struggled for another half-mile then decided to turn around and end at the BP gas station again. As soon as I turned around, I figured out why I was struggling. I was running up a giant uphill stretch that kept on getting gradually steeper the longer I ran. I couldn't see this when I was running at all. When I run hills, I usually shorten my stride and drop my speed to conserve energy. Since I couldn't see the hill, I just kept on trying to keep my pace and stride up and I was slowly dying the longer I ran uphill. As soon as I turned around, everything fell back into place and I was able to finish strong in the last half-mile. That will teach me to pay more attention to what I'm doing rather than just zoning out.

This week's totals:
17 miles @ 3:09:33
Average pace 11:08 (5.4 mph)

Wednesday, March 26, 2008


I had a pretty speedy run tonight on my new shoes. I wasn't going to wear them until the roads dried up, but I decided that they were going to get dirty eventually, so it might as well be sooner than later. I like them. They're a bit different than my old ones. They have a wider toe-box and the heel seems to fit a bit more snug. The heel is also a lot firmer, and I thought that was going to be an issue, but it makes the shoe surprisingly responsive. I swear I could feel some sort of springing action on my toe-offs. That was really bizarre, but I ran 4.5 miles at a 10:51 pace (my fastest ever!) so maybe it is the shoes.

Anyway, done until Saturday. I hope the weather is as nice as it was last week.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008


I had a decent run last night. I'm only grading it as "decent" because it started out like crap, then ended well so I figure that averages out to be "decent". My first two miles were uphill and into the wind. That sucked. Then, my right calf tightened up so much that my right leg felt like it had a board strapped to the back of it. There was very little flex in the ankle, which meant that my push offs were slow and weak and my landings were flat instead of flexed. I finally decided to stop and stretch at the 2-mile mark. My calf felt so much better after that and my running got lots better too. I ended up with a split in the 9-10 minute/mile range, which is pretty much unheard of for me. Still, I'm a bit apprehensive about this calf issue. This morning it was pretty tight and weak feeling, even after 5 minutes on the slant board. I'm not sure what's going on with that. I brought my ice packs in with me today and I'll see how it responds to some ice treatments.

Aside from the wind, the temperature was a balmy 43 degrees and I was able to head out with only two light layers instead of the usual three heavy layers. This morning I woke up to see around 3" of heavy, wet snow on the ground, which means that the roads will be wet and yukky for the rest of the week. Joy.

Saturday, March 22, 2008

Seven on Saturday

I had a good run this morning. The sun was shining, temperature was perfect and I went out early enough that I encountered very little traffic. I did meet two very friendly dogs on Denton Road. One was a giant Saint Bernard and the other was a large mixed breed. They both thought I was there to play with them and were thrilled to see me. I stopped and petted them for a few minutes until their owner called them back. I'm sure they would have followed me down the road if their owner hadn't been around. My run ended at the BP gas station in Houghton and Josh gave me a ride back home.

I've been experiencing some soreness in my calf the past few runs so I replaced the insoles in my shoes. I don't know how many miles I had on the old ones - I think around 260. When I took the old ones out, they were hard as a rock. Running that many miles on them had completely compressed the foam and there was no longer any support left. Duh, no wonder why I'm having lower leg issues. I could feel the difference immediately with the new insoles and I didn't have any lower leg discomfort at all during my entire run. I've started tracking the miles on the insoles now to try to get an idea of how long they last.

My totals for this week:
15 miles @ 2:465:26
Average pace 11:06 (5.4 mph)

Not too shabby.

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Shoe Upgrade

I've been running in Mizuno Wave Creation 7s for a few years. I was fitted for them at the Fox Valley Running Company in Appleton and I love them. They fit well, they're comfortable and they don't aggravate my shin splints. I also love that I can put them on straight out of the box, run 5 miles and won't get so much as a slight rub on my foot. Anyway, it finally happened, Mizuno discontinued the 7s. I was fortunate that my running store had a pair in my size last summer so I was able to avoid having to switch shoes in the middle of running season last year. I was not as lucky this year, however, and I had to take the plunge and upgrade (I'm hoping not a downgrade) to the Wave Creation 8s. I should get them next week. I'll probably wait until next month when the roads dry up to start using them. I don't want to get them all dirty just yet.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008


I had another cold and windy run today. So sick of this weather.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Snow day

No running for me tonight, I had some heavy, wet snow to push around when I got home from work. It's not a big deal, my legs could use the break. I overdid (again) my leg workout on Sunday and they're pretty sore. It probably has something to do with the 10 lb. weights I'm using with my squats and lunges. I should probably lower the weights or lower the reps. The last thing I want to do is wind up with perpetually sore legs or an injury. I have about a month of solid running and weight lifting left before I start to taper. Geez, that means the half marathon is what, 6 weeks away? Yikes.

I also don't have any pictures to post, either, because the camera on my new cell phone sucks.

Monday, March 17, 2008

Four for St. Patrick's Day

Yay for St. Patrick's Day! This means the first day of Spring is only a few days away! Yes, I wore green on my run tonight. Now if I only had a Guinness.

I always carry my cell phone with me when I run, just in case something bad happens. I've never had to use it in an emergency situation, but it does come in handy for calling Josh when I need to make an emergency run to Arby's after my run. Anyway, I usually see one or two things during my runs that are interesting enough to snap a picture of, but I've never bothered to actually stop and do so until today. Remember in the movie A Christmas Story the dad wins a prize for completing a crossword puzzle and he waits and waits and finally his prize shows up and it turns out to be a raunchy leg lamp? He's in love with the lamp and the mom is mortified when he proudly displays it in their picture window? Too funny. Well, that same lamp is in the window of an apartment on Agate Street. It's an exact duplicate of the lamp in the movie. I snapped a few pictures, which I won't be able to upload until tomorrow at work. I hope they turn out. Also, I snapped a few pictures of the elusive Fur Hat Lady of Seventh Street. I'll post a story about her when I post the pictures tomorrow.

While I was stretching, I watched Paddy Whacked: The Irish Mob, a show about the legacy of the Irish Mob, on the History Channel. It was really interesting, I had no idea the Irish mob was so prevalent in New York. It probably had something to do with them being so ruthless and merciless. Seriously scary guys.

Saturday, March 15, 2008

6-mile Saturday


Damn you, Shopko hill, for causing my first mile to be absolutley dismal. I did made it about a quarter-mile farther up the hill than my past attempts, but I just couldn't hang on any farther. My legs were lungs were on fire and I was at point where I could walk it faster than I was running, so I just gave up and walked for a few minutes until my heart rate came back down and my legs felt better. I was able to run the remainder of the hill once I got that under control. The rest of my run was uneventful, despite the weather being cold, windy and snowy. Also, I should have eaten more than just a granola bar before I left, because it was burned off by the time I finished the first mile and the hill of doom and I spent the remaining 5 miles fantasizing about cheeseburgers and fries. Once I hit 6-miles and my run was over, I called Josh and he picked me up and we went directly to Arby's and I had....a salad. I just couldn't bring myself to blow the 600 calories I burned on a fast-food burger and fries. *sigh* Anyway, that's it for this week.

Friday, March 14, 2008

Wednesday's Run

I slowed it down on Wednesday's run, but not as much as I hoped. My average pace was 11.18/mile - I was aiming for around 12.00/mile - but it just got too annoying to be constantly checking my watch to make sure my pace was where I wanted it to be. When I got home, I did 45 minutes of weight lifting and 15 minutes of stretching. Next up - a 6-miler on Saturday. My only concern is finding a decent route because my usual ones are covered in snow but I'm sure www.mapmyrun.com will find me a good one.

Here's the report

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Hi Mom!


I promise I will update my blog at soon as I get home.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008


It's true, I'm faster. Lots faster. I've been running miles in the 10-minute range here and there during my runs, but never ran all miles in my run in that range...until today. Two miles at an average of 10:52 minute/mile for each mile! Equal uphills and downhills so I can't say that my pace was due to a giant downhill section. YAY ME!

However. Last year, about the time when I was starting to see some improvements, I ended up with a hamstring pull and lost some serious ground. I have two more runs this week, 3.5 tomorrow and 6 on Saturday and so I am taking it easy for the rest of the week. I'm going to shoot for miles in the *gasp* 12 minutes range. So slow! Better safe than sorry.

Here's my fabulous report.

Monday, March 10, 2008

On the flats

I strained my hamstring last week, I think doing my hill repeats, so I took the weekend off to let it heal. I missed a scheduled 5-mile run on Saturday, but I'm not too concerned about that. I don't have any trouble running that distance and last week was a repeat week, anyway. My hamstring feels much better and I avoided most hills (not an easy thing to do in Houghton!) and ran my 4-miler with no problems.


Wednesday, March 5, 2008


After yesterday's hill routine, my poor legs were feeling fairly fatigued today. I wasn't looking forward to my scheduled 3.5 mile run and considered skipping it, but I am way too stubborn to do that. So, off I went. My usual route takes me up Military Road, across on Jacker Ave and up Dodge Street. I head by the transfer station and come out across from Houghton HS. This first one-mile section of my run is completely uphill. It was probably not the best idea to be running hills after the beating I gave my legs yesterday, and about 1/4-mile into my run, I knew I was in trouble. My calves and quads were on fire. I kept on thinking that I should stop and walk to the top, but again, I'm too stubborn to give up and walk. I have scheduled walk breaks in my runs, and it was not time! Anyway, I gutted it out up the hill and my legs felt a little better once I was on the flat, but the majority of my run was spent thinking that I probably should have taken a rest day. In any event, I ran to campus and caught a ride home with Josh.


Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Hill Repeats

I've been reading about the proper way to train to increase strength and stamina. One thing that was mentioned over and over again is the importance of doing hill repeats. A hill repeat is exactly as it sounds - find a hill, run fast up the hill. Walk or jog down the hill. Run up the hill again. Repeat until you puke your guts out or your legs give out, whichever comes first. I've been scouting around for a nice hill to do my repeats. The hill has to be about a block in length, and moderate in elevation. Something between flat and Agate Street, which I figure is just about as steep as you can get. I found the perfect hill down by the Super 8 Motel so I jogged the mile from my house to the Super 8 for a nice warm-up. The first three repeats were okay, then I started to get tired. I lost count after that, I think I did five. Maybe six. I just couldn't do any more, I was exhausted. I must say, that is a serious kick-ass leg work out. On the way back home, I decided to continue with the hill work out and ran up several one-block sections of steep streets in Houghton as I worked my way back home. Isle Royale Street (steep), Huron Street (really steep), Dodge Street (really, really steep). I was never so happy to see the perfectly flat Seventh Street in my life. At the end, my legs were spent. I basically wobbled home and collapsed on the floor.

Because I forgot to press the Lap key on my 205, my hill repeats aren't shown on the report. Oh well, I'll remember next time.

Monday, March 3, 2008


Another good run tonight. The temperature was fine but the wind chill was -9. I debated running on the dreadmill, but I decided that I just couldn't deal with that so outside I went. Aside from the nasty wind, all went well.


Catching Up

My 5-mile run on Saturday morning went very well. The only issue to speak of was my wet feet from the sloppy roads. That was a bummer, but it didn't cause any problems other than my feet looked like prunes when I was done. I was hoping to hit under an hour for my run, which I did by two whole seconds. I did lose a bit of time having to walk across the MTU ski trails. The snow was too soft to support me while running and I had to make my way across slowly so I didn't put giant holes in the trail. I didn't get impaled by a pole from an angry skier, so I guess I did okay.

Here's my report.

Friday, February 29, 2008

A Day of Rest

I moved my strength training day to Thursday this week, which means that today is a rest day. Woot!

Josh and I had a few of the last $2 pints at the KBC after work

Thursday, February 28, 2008

Rock it out

On Tuesday, I was convinced that my shin splints had returned. I had all the symptoms that I've had the previous four years I've battled the stupid things. But, after stretching the hell out of them Tuesday night and Monday afternoon, and switching back to my road shoes, I was able to run my scheduled 3.5-miler yesterday and I totally rocked it out. The report doesn't show pace, but I ran almost a mile-and-a-half in the 10:00-10:40 minute/mile range. Okay, it was downhill for a good portion of that stretch, but still. That's the fastest I've run for a distance longer than just sprinting across the street ever. This is pretty significant for me. Here's the report.

The only downside is that I'm now running in my road shoes. I didn't anticipate using them for another month, which means they're probably going to need to be replaced before the HM. These shoes have been discontinued and are rather difficult to find. I might have to consider moving to the newer model.

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Suck, suck, suck!

What made today's run bad:

- the blister from yesterday
- socks that wouldn't stay up
- running later than usual due to an after-work haircut
- slight stomach ache
- dead battery on the 205

I'm back to the slant board, Ibuprofen, ice, elevation routine which TOTALLY SUCKS.

This may mean I have to hit the gym tomorrow after work for some cross training on the elliptical machine in replace of my scheduled 3.5 mile run.


Monday, February 25, 2008

Week Three

Nice day, decent run. My YakTrax gave me a blister on my left foot. I'm going to have to start taping my foot until it heals up.


Saturday, February 23, 2008

Final Run, Good Run


My final run of the week was I had a nice one through Laurium this afternoon. I overdressed for the 26-degree weather so I was peeling layers off by the end of the first mile. I like running in Laurium. There are lots of huge, old houses to look at to take my mind off whatever part of my legs are aching. Everybody's yard is full of snow now, but it'll be interesting to see what's under all the snow come spring. Which, indicentally, can't come soon enough. I am so over winter and snow and cold.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

More reports

Two workouts to report. I had snow to do on Tuesday so I replaced scheduled two mile run with 70 minutes of snow removal. Today when I left work, it was nasty cold so I finally got that gym membership. Three miles on the dreadmill with a 10-minute walk on either end followed by 30 minutes of strength training and 10 minutes of stretching.

Tomorrow is my day off. Yay!

Monday, February 18, 2008

Slow, yukky, cold run

So, I probably should consider getting a punch-card at the gym. My run today was cold, windy, snowy and generally unpleasant. My legs were killing me from the squats & lunges I did yesterday and it was hard to keep them moving. I gutted out my scheduled three miles and caught a ride back home with Josh.

Here's the report

This was also my first run in my new Mizuno Wave Ascend 2 trail shoes. Smooth ride, but they'll need some breaking in.

Saturday, February 16, 2008

Week one, done

I skipped cross-training yesterday in favor of some after-work beers with Josh and James at the KBC. Added a set of sit-ups and push-ups after my run today to make up for it. My new shoes should arrive on Monday, yay!


Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Day Three

Day Three report

Ran in my old Mizunos. My feet stayed reasonably warm, but not dry. Need to get those new trail shoes......

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

New toys are fun

The new phone arrived yesterday. It's a Treo 680. One of these days I hope to have the thing figured out.

Day Two, I need new shoes

I need new trail shoes. Preferrably something with GoreTex weatherproofing to keep my feet warm. I've been running in my ages old Montrail trail shoes and, while they keep my feet nice and warm, they've had it in the cushion & support department. Bummer, because they (were) comfortable, the tread is awesome and when combined with my Yak Trax, I feel like I could run up a wall.

Here's Day Two.

Monday, February 11, 2008

And so it begins

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

What to do, what to do....


Journeys HM
Eagle River, WI
May 10th

Grandma's HM
Duluth, MN
June 21st

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Happiness is.....

...getting the new Forerunner 205 that you have been drooling over for ages for Christmas. Thank you, Joshua. *smooch*

Monday, December 24, 2007

Travel Nightmare

December 22nd, Saturday. With a major storm brewing and heading toward Houghton, Josh and I decided to leave Houghton for Wausau a day early hoping that we could avoid any travel delays due to the weather on Sunday driving to Wausau to make our 4:45 flight. We had rain the first half of the drive, which slowly turned to sleet and heavy, wet snow as the temperature dropped. Once we hit Hwy 51, the conditions deteriorated to heavy slush on the road. We saw a few cars in the ditch, but the scariest thing was when a small car spun around three times in front of us. They stayed out of the ditch and so did we, but it was a close call. We got a room at Motel 8, ate some pizza for dinner and went to bed.

December 23rd, Sunday. We woke up early and checked the flights. Two had already been canceled and ours was delayed enough that we were going to miss our connection to Atlanta in Minneapolis. I called Northwest and they were able to rebook us on a 4:00 flight out of Minneapolis. Off to Minneapolis we go. The car was encased in ice and covered with six inches of snow and the weather was in full-blown blizzard mode. The plows either couldn't keep up with the snow, or they weren't running, because the streets in Wausau were nearly impassable to all but those of us with 4WD vehicles. The drive to Minneapolis was awful. Visibility was zero at times due to the blowing snow and the drifting on the highway was quite bad. At one point, the 2-lane highway was down to half of a lane. We saw many vehicles in the ditch along the way. It was a white-knuckle drive the entire way.
We made it to the airport around 2:00, parked the car and made it to the ticketing agent for our boarding passes. Turns out that our 4:00 flight was canceled and we were rebooked again on the 7:00 flight. Josh didn't freak out going through security, so we made it through in short time. We had four hours to kill before our flight, so we decided to go hang out at the Rock Bottom Brewery and have some lunch and drinks. Good beer there. We found out that our flight was delayed until 8:10. We wandered around some more, poked around in the shops. Flight delayed until 9:00. Back to another bar for a few more drinks. Flight delayed until 9:30, 15 minutes later, flight delayed until 10:30. We rode around on the tram for a while, going all the way across the airport to see what those people were up to. They were waiting on delayed flights, just like we were. We came half-way back and decided to grab an appetizer at TGI Friday's. No sooner did we order, then we found out that our flight was bumped up to 10:00. We informed the staff and they went into super speedy mode and boxed up our food and rang up our bill and got us on our way. We took the tram back to our concourse and went to our gate, only to find that it had been changed to the opposite end of the airport. We ran down there, thinking that the plane was going to be boarding by the time we got down there. Fortunately, they weren't because we were waiting for the flight crew to arrive from the gate they just landed at. We finally got on the plane around 11:00 and proceeded to wait on the plane for an hour and 15 minutes for catering to show up. After catering finally showed up, we waited around for another 15 minutes while the plane was de-iced. We finally get off the ground around 1:00 AM. Original departure date: 7:00 PM.

December 24th, Monday:
We landed in Atlanta at 3:45AM at the last terminal. That last terminal is pretty close to a mile from the main terminal. Normally this isn't a problem because there's a really fast train that zips you to the main terminal but the dumb thing wasn't running at that time of night. So, we walked. We finally get to baggage claim and our luggage doesn't show up. We waited around for 30 minutes hoping that it would show up on the belt, but it never did. We ended up finding it at the Northwest baggage claim office. Apparently it got on the 4:00 flight. That's the flight that the ticket agent told us was canceled. Next, we head to the car rental desk to pick up our car. Closed. Josh calls to see what we do about an after-hours pick-up. No answer. Screw this we say, we're going to rent from on of the two agencies that are open. The lady at Avis was sympathetic to our plight and started processing our information right away. I casually mentioned what a crazy day it had been for us, and to top it all off, the Alamo counter was closed so we couldn't pick up our car. She then tells us that all we need to do is find the Alamo bus right outside the front door and it'll take us to the car rental lot. Well then. We left to find the bus, promising to rent from Avis the next time we needed a car. Outside the terminal, the Alamo bus was waiting, just like the lady said. It took us to the car rental lot and within 10 minutes, we were sitting in our car, a shiny little red Toyota Corolla. Kinda cute. We head out to find a hotel and grab a few hours of sleep. The Nuvi found one a few miles from the airport, and that's where we headed. After 15 minutes of waiting while the night clerk closed out the books, we were with room. As we turned out the lights to get some much needed rest, I looked at my watch: 5:49 AM. Oy.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

What the ... ??

I'm just not sure what to say about this.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

My hand thinger

I did this to my hand on Sunday afternoon while trying to compact the garbage in a garbage bag. I forgot about the glass jars in there from my refrigerator cleaning extravaganza a few days earlier. I guess a couple of jars banged into each other and broke and my hand had the unfortunate pleasure of running into one of the broken pieces. When it happened, there wasn't a sharp pain or blood or anything that would indicate that this was anything other than a slight scratch. When I looked and noticed how deep it was and saw this white thing that on first glance I thought was bone, I knew it was bad. Josh confirmed it and off to the emergency room we went. Ninety minutes and three stitches later, we were back home. Turns out that white thing I saw was my tendon. I was very fortunate that I didn't sever it. That would have required surgery to repair.

Funny thing is, it never really bled all that much, and didn't really hurt either. I kept on looking at it and thinking that it should hurt, but it never did. Except for the three days afterward. Then it hurt like a bugger. Not in a throbbing kind of way, but a dull constant headache kind of way.

My stitches come out in five days. I think I might let Josh take them out rather than go to the doctor's office. Too bad I can't have him take them out now because I am so over not using my right hand!

Friday, November 23, 2007

Creating a calorie deficit

Went for a pre-pig-at-the-trough run on Thanksgiving afternoon. 8.5 miles in 1 hour 45 minutes. My splits were okay, mostly in the high 11:00 range. I probably could have picked up the pace a bit, but I was shooting for distance rather than time. I really wanted to push it to 10 miles but I was short on time and had to settle for 8.5. The weather was a balmy 25 degrees and overcast. I didn't get cold until I got down by the waterfront and picked up the wind off of the canal.

I'm finding that my biggest challenge in running in the cold weather is figuring out what to wear so that I don't get overheated. I haven't quite got it down yet, but I'm zeroing in. I ordered a new running/skiing jacket from backcountryoutlet.com which will hopefully cure all my cold weather running problems.

In other news, we received the first snow of the season and the cross country ski trails are officially open. As soon as my hand heals, I'll be on the trails trying to like skate skiing.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

The running gods were good to me today

So, tonight was the first night in about a million (okay, maybe three weeks) that it wasn't raining when I got home from work. So, I decided to throw on the running shoes and hit the road. I went for a file-mile loop around campus and back to my house. I've been consistently running around the 58-minute mark for five miles since just before my half, and I figured since I had three weeks off there was no way I was going to even come close to that. At the four-mile mark, I noticed that if I hauled ass for an entire mile, I could make 59 minutes. So, that's what I did. For an entire mile, I ran at at 10:0 pace. Granted it was on a slight decline for 75% of the way, but that doesn't diminish the fact that I ran at a 10:00 (!!) pace for an entire mile. Also, another first, Sporttracks says I ran 1.90 miles at a "Running" pace. Usually I run too slow for it to register anything other than walking or jogging. This time, I'm a runner. Woot!

In other news, since I'm feeling to proud of my running accomplishments tonight, I decided to change the title of this blog to something more appropriate. I got tired of the old "Blogs are Stupid" and decided that I'd had this stupid blog long enough that it should have a real less-stupid title. I'm not sure I'll keep this title or not, but I'll keep it for a while and see if it sticks.

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Motivation, where art thou?

I have lost all motivation to run or do anything exercise related. I'm sure it's partially because of the weather ( it never stops raining!) and that for the past five months I've done nothing but build myself up mentally and physically for the HM. Now that that's over, well, I've got nothing to motivate me. I'm thinking that I should find another race to run - a 5k or something and work on getting faster at that distance. Right now, the only thing I'm going consistently is my "8 Minute.." series of abs, arms, buns and legs dvds, which I suppose is better than doing nothing. Meh.

I did run once since the HM. Last Saturday I went for a quick 2-miler. I say quick because I hit a new PR in the mile - 10:23. I was pretty pumped about that, but then I ran/walked the next mile and ended up with a 17:09 mile, ha! Oh well.

Sunday, October 7, 2007

Fox Cities Half Marathon

I ran the Fox Cities Half Marathon in Appleton, WI on Sunday, September 23rd. This was my first competitive running race and, all in all, I think it went pretty well.

Outside of a few hills (which were overpasses) here and there, the course was mostly flat, and traveled through the cities of Appleton, Menasha and Neenah. Crowd support was fantastic - I don't think a quarter-mile went by without somebody cheering us runners on.

Here are my results:
overall place: 1442 out of 1726
division place: 145 out of 175
gender place: 785 out of 1027
time: 2:42:04
pace: 12:12
chiptime: 2:39:48
6.9mi: 1:21:14

And my splits:


And some photos and videos.

Josh chased me around the course on his bicycle. Here's his report.

I'm already making plans to run this race again. I'll incorporate hill running and weight lifting into my running regime and hopefully my legs will last past mile 11 time.

Monday, August 6, 2007

Long time, no post

I just noticed that it's been a while since I've posted. I'm such a bad blogger.

Let's see, what have I been up to since my last post. Camping in Copper Harbor and the Thimbleberry Jam Fest, went to JP and Danielle's wedding, the annual Tubing Extravaganza on the Otter River and oh yeah, running. Lots of it. It's a good thing I like running because it seems like that's all I'm doing.

Running: I've been dealing with some nagging aches and pains but nothing major. They seem to switch back and forth from the area around my left knee area (not the knee itself) to my right Achilles. I've started swapping out a day of running with riding on the bike so I'm now running three times\week rather than four. My PT says it'll help me in the long run with injuries. My longest run to date as been 6-miles. My time was around 1:14, which included two stops up the Festival Foods hill to get my heart rate back down to a reasonable pace, and another to chat with some women who told me that she wished she had my energy (ha). I also added another piece of equipment to my arsenal. A foam roller. Using it hurts like crazy, but it gets the knots out. Oh, and I spent $13 on some fancy Smartwool socks. I used them yesterday for my 6-miler and they felt great.

Saturday I went to cheer on James in the Copperman Triathlon in Copper Harbor. James picked me up at 5:30-ish AM. Josh and his dad showed up a few hours later, here's Josh's photos. After celebratory beers and lunch at Zik's, we hiked out to Hunter's Point and headed home.

Well, this blog is now up-to-date. Until next month.....

Thursday, June 28, 2007

Fuel Belt, woo!

My new fuel belt arrived today. Amphipod Run Lite 4

My hamstring has been bugging me so rather than risk a more severe injury, I decided to take the next few days off and pick it up again on Saturday. I'm not too concerned about the missed runs, this week was a cut-back week anyway. Next week I have a five-mile run and I'd rather miss runs this week than next.

Thursday, June 21, 2007

Running Journal

Until the new version of SportTracks is released, this is the best I can do for publishing my runs. It's clunky, but works. The week highlited in blue is the week of the half-marathon.

Running Journal

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

WTF 10:33 mile? !

Tonight I ran a 10:33 mile. That's my fastest time ever. And it was on the second mile of my two-mile run. AND it was into the super strong winds we had today. I'm sure it was a fluke, my gps was messed up or something and it'll never happen again. Wacky!

Monday, June 4, 2007

I got cut loose

I had my final PT appointment today. I didn't know it was going to be my final appointment but my PT decided I had recovered enough to make a go of it on my own. My goal for the last few summers, and especially with this round of PT, has been to get rid of the shin splints for good, but it's become apparent that I will probably always suffer with them. My goal now is to simply try to manage them.

This means:
- no more running on pavement or paved trails
- walking for at least 5 minutes before running and doing my first mile at a grandma-like pace
- walking for at least 5 minutes after running and stretching my calves
- icing for *at least* 2 hours after running
- doing shin massage after running
- using the slant board to keep my calves stretched at least 3 times/week
- doing my PT exercises to strengthen a weak gluteus medial muscle
- cross training on my bicycle
- doing toe-taps and shin stretches several times/day

What's the deal with my shins, anyway? Well, as the PT explained it, I have a whole lot of muscle in not a lot of space. When I run, the muscles expand and, since there's nowhere for them to go, they get constricted which causing the feeling of tightness and burning. The great news is that I'm not experiencing any pain during my runs, only after. I guess it's not even all that painful. On a scale of one to ten, I'd say it's probably a one. Nothing more than a low-grade headache, really.

So that's it. I'm going to continue with my training and exercises and try not to loose my mind constantly running the Houghton to Chassell trail.

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Dear Shins, I hate you

I found this post on some dude's web log and I thought it was hilarious, and exactly how I feel. Except the having to turn around on his run. I finished mine without much issue. It's after the run when my shins decide to get pissy.

Dear Shins,

I don’t know what I’ve done to you to deserve how you’ve been treating me for so many months. I’m tired of your behavior. I wish you would just tell me what’s wrong. I’m not a shin reader. I exercise you and your buddy My Calves. I put a compression sleeve on you to keep you warm. I ice you. I drug you with aspirin and ibuprofen. I feed you nutritious meals. I have even given you vacations. All you give me is pain.

I wish you’d just tell me what is wrong but you insist on behaving like a new born baby. All you do is cry and scream that you want something but you won’t come out and say what.

Today I took you for a 3 mile run. I was worried about you so I took it slow. After 28 minutes I had to turn around and go home early because of your behavior. I hope you’re proud.

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Half-Marathon Training

If my shins cooperate, I'll be running a half marathon in the middle of September. I am experiencing a little bit of discomfort in my right shin, but it's not bad enough to stop my training. I've been icing the area regularly, both after runs and on non-running days, and taking ibuprofen here and there to keep any swelling down. I've also been doing my PT exercises religiously and using my crude slant board several times a day
(http://www.return2fitness.co.uk/Rehabilitation/Stretching/slantboard) to stretch my calves while I wait for Josh to find some time to fabricate me a more useful one. I go back to see my PT on June 4th.

Today, I start week 3, which is a taper week after a mileage increase last week. http://www.feep.org/~nancy/run.png

Saturday, May 12, 2007

Minneapolis - Day Five

I did nothing exciting today. Worked out in the fitness center, and killed time in a few stores. The guys took their examination today. Josh passed, woo!

Oh, and we didn't go to the baseball game (sniff). Oh well, traffic was looking awful and we found out later that beer at the Metrodome is $7.00/cup. Hotdogs are $6.00. Include parking and tickets and we would have been pushing $100. We did get to watch a bit of it at the hotel bar and the Tigers won so we were happy.

We had dinner at the Olive Garden (again), cruised around Edina for a bit, hit the hotel bar and the pool then headed off to bed.

Tomorrow, we head home. But, not before we visit Ax Man Surplus and the Radio City, Inc.

Thursday, May 10, 2007

Minneapolis - Day Four

Today I did laundry. That's pretty much it. Oh, and I bought a Nike reflective running vest and a Nalgene knockoff at REI.

We had drinks and munchies at Chili's. Nobody was up for dinner at that point so we bought some beer at a liquor store that smelled like hamsters and headed back to the hotel and ordered pizza.

Tomorrow, Tigers game! Well, I suppose it's technically a Twins game, since we are in Minneapolis, but I'm a Detroit fan so go Tigers!

Minneapolis - Day Three...Or, Oh My Aching Feet

My feet hurt. Still. I was trying to avoid wearing my new running shoes for anything other than running, but I have to do something or I'll end up not leaving the hotel for the rest of the trip.

Anyway, I didn't have too much excitement today. Shuttled the guys to the training center, came back and worked out in the gym for an hour then went shopping for a few hours. I picked the guys up at 5:00 and we headed to downtown Minneapolis to buy some space pens. Traffic was horrendous. After that, we headed North to Rogers, MN and the Cabela's store. Traffic was even worse. After a quick stop at Northern Tool, we spent about an hour in Cabela's. The store is pretty neat, but I was not digging all the dead animal displays. Yuck. We had dinner at the Olive Garden in Maple Grove, MN and headed back to the hotel for a bottle of Two Buck Chuck on the veranda.

Suzanne sent me a note letting me know that my cats are still alive (Hi Suz!), which is good because my web cam died the second we pulled out of the yard and I haven't been able to check up on them.

I have no idea what we're doing tomorrow, but on Friday we're going to the Twins v. Tigers baseball game. That should be a lot of fun.

Wednesday, May 9, 2007

Minneapolis - Day Two

I bought some sweet new running shoes from Run N Fun in Saint Paul. They're Adidas Supernova Cushion. They'll go into the rotation with the Mizunos.

I also hit the mall in Eden Prairie, as well as REI, and TJ Maxx.

We had dinner at a Thai restaurant called Sawatdee in downtown Minneapolis. The service wasn't all that great, the place was filthy and the guys complained that their food wasn't as spicy as they wanted. It was a disappointment because the Minneapolis City Guide gave it the Best Thai Food award.

We had a few drinks at the next door hotel bar before calling it a night. Oh, and we found out that Josh can't wink.

Minneapolis - Day One

Old people who can hardly drive should not be employed as hotel shuttle drivers. Seriously, can't they tend to the shrubbery or something? The shuttle driver to the Mall of America proudly informed me that even though his wife doesn't allow him to drive anymore, the hotel lets him drive on short runs. Yipee for me! I think he had Parkinson's in his hands and feet because we were constantly swaying from left to right and speeding up and slowing down. Also, he was very chatty and insisted on turning around to look at me when as we were zooming down the expressway. Seriously scary. I still think it was a miracle that we arrived safely.

I must be getting older because the Mall of America does not have the same appeal it once did. I could never figure out which side I was on and once I did, I was always on the side which was the farthest away from where I wanted to be. I swear, I walked 10 miles. My feet are sore as hell.

Anyway, we went to dinner at Famous Dave's BBQ (meh), poked around in REI for five minutes before they closed and went to the next door hotel for drinks to wrap up the night.

Tomorrow starts my quest for new running shoes.

Monday, May 7, 2007

Minneapolis - Day Zero

We arrived in Minneapolis around 5:00 local time after an uneventful 7 hour drive. Well, maybe not that uneventful. We stopped for lunch at the Minocqua Brewing Company in Minocqua, WI. The beer was not good and the food was mediocre. Not impressed.

Anyway, after getting settled into our room at Staybridge Suites, we headed out to find some food and drinks.

We ended up at Brit's Pub in downtown Minneapolis. Old Speckled Hen is way better on tap than out of the can. We had dinner there as well, JP had fish and chips, Josh had Guiness pot roast and I had Tandoori chicken. Everything was delicious, although I was disappointed that I didn't hear any British accents.

Our quest for (good) beer continued and led us to The Local, an Irish pub about a block from Brit's Pub. This place was in an awesome old building with tons of intricate wood and glass work. I had a pint of the Finneagan's Irish Amber which was very good.

Continuing on with our American-UK pub tour, we headed a few blocks down the street to MacKenzie's, a Scottish Pub. Aside from a few Scottish beers on tap, I really didn't see anything Scottish about this bar. I had Bellhaven. It wasn't nearly as good as OSH or Finnegan's. JP introduced us to bar golf and the crabby bartender yelled at some guy trying to scalp Norah Jones tickets in the bar.

The Nuvi sent us on a crazy course back to the hotel. We stopped at Major's Bar for one final drink before retiring to our hotel room.

Tomorrow, I'm spending the day at the Mall of America while the guys are in class.

Friday, May 4, 2007


Blogs are stupid.