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Archive for the ‘running’ Category

My hip (said in tone of the lady who has fallen and can’t get up)

Posted by pjcloud9 on October 21, 2010

Just ran the second half marathon of my life, precisely one year later.  Same race:  IMT Des Moines Marathon/Half-Marathon.  I don’t know what the hell I was thinking that a year later I could beat my time.  I mean last year, I was not working a full-time job and could train all the time.  This year, not so much, I basically have done a long run on the weekend all summer leading up to this, with my longest training run a couple of weeks ago of 12 miles.  So I came in at 2:02 versus LY of 1:59.  3 minutes, and yes I was disappointed.  I am pretty much over it now, sorta.  Looks like I am going to have to run another half-marathon now to prove I can finish in under 2 hours.  And that is just proving it to myself.  I really don’t care what all y’all think.  No offense.

So one of the issues I am experiencing is in my hip.  When someone says their hip hurts, doesn’t that sound like the great-granniest-gray-haired-90-year-old crap?  Seriously, it is as if I need a Medic-Alert necklace.  It is hurting pretty bad when walking and is going to take a while resting to recover.   My chiropractor said she thought I was limping.  UGH.  Will see if I can resist running through the week (weather is making it difficult, gorgeous autumn out there).  Has been a week or spin & swim so far.

If anyone has some ideas on recovery, stretches, etc. please let me know.  I am too young for a granny hip.


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Stories from the course

Posted by pjcloud9 on October 4, 2009

In awe.  Inspired.  After watching the Twin Cities Marathon today at the midpoint of the race, the feelings I have about setting personal goals and getting out on the race course to attain them are stronger then ever.  Thousands of people for countless months, days, hours trained for this day.  They had it circled, highlighted, alarmed on every calendar they own.  Their best friends, spouses, co-workers, grandparents, kids, boyfriends, girlfriends, roommates, parents knew about their training.  Their commitment.  The days they had to get their miles in – from 6 to 13 to 24.  The days their knee hurt.

And the loved ones were all there today.  With signs, cheering, whistling, watching.  Hoping they would not miss their person run by so they could just get one look at each other and both know it was going to be OK.  They were going to make it.  All the work was worth it.

Then there are others that line the race course.  The strangers.  These are the people that can also help to make the race happen for you as an athlete.  I know.  I have experienced it out there every single time I race.  You see, unfortunately the ones you love can only be so many places at once.  Uncle Jerry can be at mile 6, while your best friends Kate and Cindy can station themselves at mile 15, and everybody rushes on to the finish line.  You get your look, then they are gone.  When you are out there, working through the mental gymnastics of it all, you never know when the rough moment is going to hit.  May not see your sister or your girlfriend just then.  In your mind, you talk yourself through it, keep it positive, but sometimes it just hurts.  The littlest bit of eye contact and encouraging words from a perfect stranger can take you further then you thought you could go.

I remember the gals at the 2007 Life Time Fitness Triathlon in Minneapolis.  I had just hit the run, about a third of a mile in, two laps around Lake Nokomis in my future.  One said, “Looks like you just started the race!”  The other just gave a “Whoot, whoot!”  I smiled.  It carried me.  Far.  And it has happened time and time again, race after race, never fails.  Someone will look at me, and I look at them, they say a few words of encouragement and whoosh, the moment is over.  They become a part of my story of the day, I remember them and am thankful.

The next time you get the opportunity to get out and be a spectator of a race, do it.  Whether you know someone participating or not.  Grab a cowbell and a coffee.  Be ready to yell.  Smile, and then just encourage people.  Be that person, make that moment, and keep someone going.  You will feel amazing.  A natural high for days, perhaps.   You may not know any of their names, you will probably never see them again, but you just became a part of the story that they will tell.  The day that they attained their goal.  The day they made it.

And it will all be worth it – far more then imagined.

Posted in racing, running | Tagged: , , , , , | 3 Comments »

Mistakes were made

Posted by pjcloud9 on September 21, 2009

Just got back from a LONG run (half marathon training – UGH!), so plenty of time for thinking.

At one point on the run I was reflecting on my experience on the seventh grade track team.  I was thinking I may be a better runner now if I had participated more enthusiastically at that time.

As I have mentioned before, I was a thicker girl than most, not fat, just bigger, thicker.  Instead of running much, as I was not naturally gifted, I was designated a high jumper for the team.  After a few weeks of practice, I hurt my back and was unable to continue.  I found out many years later that I have some weird vertebrae thing that probably caused it.

Anyway, rather than bore myself by actually going to track practice most days after school, I spent my time hanging out/flirting with eighth grade boys in the old band room.  Practice rooms, to be specific.  (This is a theme for me, see Let’s Hear it for the Boy.  Yep, same boy.)  Yes, Mom, it is true.

I realize now that as a thirteen-year-old girl, I made some errors in judgment.  It is either good because I had fun, or bad because I did not act as an upstanding member of the track team.  Although if I had, I may have burned out on running long ago and would never be doing it now.  Let’s go with that theory.

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Nice new shoes

Posted by pjcloud9 on August 15, 2009

If you can’t think of anything else to motivate you to run, get yourself some nice new shoes.  A girl has to treat herself, right?

I always purchase two pairs of running shoes at a time – same style, different colors – and rotate from pair to pair on a weekly basis.  This allows the shoes to bounce back during their rest week, plus I only have to buy shoes once per year instead of every six months.

The shoes of choice?  I am on my fifth & sixth pairs of Mizuno Wave Riders, year three.  The current model is Wave Rider 12, found the best deal via Google Shopping at Goodden’s.   Their price is currently $70 and they arrived quickly.

I like the pink ones best!

I like the pink ones best!

If you have been running or walking for fitness for awhile and you have never switched out the insoles, I highly recommend it.  The insoles that come in the shoes are flimsy and do not hold up for long.  I like Superfeet – they are extremely durable and provide great arch support.  Watch out because you may want to purchase these to put in your casual shoes as well.

I chose Superfeet Blue because I have low to mid arches.

I chose Superfeet Blue because I have low to mid arches.

If you have never shopped with assistance from an expert for walking/running footwear, I highly recommend a trip to The Running Room.  They are very knowledgeable and extremely helpful in finding the right footwear for your foot and your stride.

Happy running!

Posted in running | Tagged: | 1 Comment »

Will Run For (fill in the blank)

Posted by pjcloud9 on June 21, 2009

This is the week I live for.  This is what this comes down to.  The week before a race when I begin to taper off the number of miles and I add more carbs into my diet.

May I remind you I am an AMATEUR triathlete, this is likely not the approach the pros take.  But it makes me happy and it works.  (My apologies for those of you trying to lose weight right now, this may not be the blog entry for you.)

First, if you dial back to November, you can read about my love affair with Chipotle.  What changes with my Chipotle order this week is I add the limey, delicious cilantro rice to my salad – mmmmmmmm.

How can you resist the deliciousness of Chipotle?

How can you resist the deliciousness of Chipotle?

Then it is all about sugar.  A couple of new products first, then a couple of classics.

Have you seen these Cinnabon bars from Kellogg’s?  I was running through Cub Foods last Sunday night late to get laundry detergent, and these little suckers were oh-so-strategically placed on the aisle.  Pop on in the microwave for 15 seconds – delish!

Cinnabon-y goodness in a convenient, individually wrapped bar!

Cinnabon-y goodness in a convenient, individually wrapped bar!

When Blue Bunny started cranking out Birthday Cake flavored ice cream about 2 years ago, I was so thankful.  The Cold Stone Creamery near my house recently closed and seriously, what could be better than cake flavored ice cream other than cake itself?

We're gonna party like it's your birthday.

We're gonna party like it's your birthday.

Now on to the classics, layering in some chocolate.  Little Debbie Swiss Cake Rolls have been around forever.  They are cheap, probably loaded with saturated fat, and full of white, sugary cream.  I think I can eat a pair of these babies in less than 30 seconds.  They satisfy!

Hey Little Debbie, you have never lost your charm, girl!

Hey Little Debbie, you have never lost your charm, girl!

And finally – the Oreo.  No post of mine about packaged food products with sugar would be complete without a mention.  Oreos are childhood in a box to me.  They were my grandpa’s favorite, I remember exactly which drawer and the Tupperware container my grandma would put them into.  I love them in the morning.  I love them at night.  I love them with milk.  I will even eat these bad boys with a Diet Coke at times.

I cannot imagine my life without Oreos: regular, double stuff, mint, golden, golden with chocolate frosting, you name it!

I cannot imagine my life without Oreos: regular, double stuff, mint, golden, golden with chocolate frosting, you name it!

This is one of the only weeks of the year that I eat this stuff with no guilt.  These items will not make up entire meals for me, but believe me, they will sneak their way in.  Running for cake people, running for cake.

Posted in cake, food, running | Tagged: , , , , , | 2 Comments »

Want to run a 5K?

Posted by pjcloud9 on April 14, 2009

This past week, I had a friend ask me if I had any advice or a plan for running a 5K in the next 6 weeks or so. I could probably put together a program based on my experience, but instead, I went out and did some research online. I learned pretty quickly that any 5k training program I authored would likely be a bit aggressive, primarily driven because of my love for eating. Sweets.

According to the training plans I found out there, this is pretty doable quite quickly. The best ones I found:

Take a look, give one a try, and let me know how it goes.
As far as advice goes, here is what I can offer:
  • Be sure to rest. Resting allows your body to heal and helps prevent injury.
  • Listen to your body. If you are sucking wind during a workout one day and it feels impossible, listen to your body and ease up. Tomorrow is another day.
  • Don’t get discouraged. Focus on the positive stuff you are accomplishing. The tough stuff? It is just there to remind us that we are human.
  • Reward yourself. Set up milestones for yourself and pick some rewards along the way. And it doesn’t just have to be cake (which is my reward of choice), but you could allow yourself some time to watch some TiVo that’s been sitting there or take a night off of work e-mail. Be creative.
Please let me know about your experience, how it’s going, where you need more help, etc.
Write me:

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dark cold wind ice

Posted by pjcloud9 on November 18, 2008

I think the problem with the 20 degree weather in November is that we just aren’t ready for it. One day it is 60, the next it is 20. And 20 feels VERY cold at this point. In February, we will be dreaming of 20 and we will likely wear shorts when it hits this high of a temp. But for now – COLD.

I am trying to figure out how to get motivated to run outside more this winter. There are currently four deterrents that I am coming up with: cold, wind, dark and ice or any combination of the four. Cold dark icy wind. Windy cold icy dark. Icy windy dark cold. You name it.

Dark. Easy to see this is an issue in many ways. You cannot see where you are going, what you might step on. And the obvious personal safety concerns. But it happens to be dark nearly 15 of the 24 hours available in a day.

Cold. Requires an investment in UA cold gear. Then, you put the stuff on, the mock neck, the gloves, the hat, the running tights, etc. and you sweat like no other.

Wind. An exclamation point to the cold.

Ice. I am all about avoiding injury. With this as a big part of my personal workout philosophy, ice is completely non-negotiable.

Now to determine a course of action. Some ideas:

Indoors. Only an indoor track for me. I loathe the treadmill, especially for running. I will do it if there is nothing else available, but it is torturous. Life Time in Bloomington, here I come.

Spinning. Enjoy the fun of indoor biking all winter long.

Core. It is supposed to be the “Winter of Core” (more posts on that later, going to “Butts & Guts” tonight), so get over the cardio addition and relax.

Dark cold wind ice. Thicken up that skin (oh wait, it is) and get your substantial fat layer outside to run.

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Writer or runner? Both?

Posted by pjcloud9 on November 10, 2008

Trying to convince myself that being a runner means that I can be a writer. Here is my current argument with myself that is pretty convincing.

Mental over physical
Can run anywhere
Need fuel to keep going
Time of day/amount of sleep is material to performance
Technology helps performance
Looking forward to that “runner’s high”
something > nothing
Helps to wear comfortable clothes
Can run with dog on leash
Cake as reward is motivation

Mental over physical
Can write anywhere
Need fuel to keep going
Time of day/amount of sleep is material to performance
Technology helps performance
Looking forward to that “writer’s high”
something > nothing
Helps to wear comfortable clothes
Can write with dog on lap
Cake as reward is motivation

Posted in running, writing | Tagged: , | Leave a Comment »