Wednesday, September 30, 2009

An alien baby. Blowing up balloons while sitting in a pool of Alka Seltzer. And yodeling.

This is how I feel right now.  I was all set to add a little piece to my earlier post today about how I thought I'd solved my tummy troubles.  And in that moment, my tummy informed me that I was wrong.

the CilleyGirl

Days 31 & 32: The start of bellydance and my first bonk

Ah, Day 31.  The first session of my Bellydance II class.  I am feeling it.  It's funny, most people (primarily annoyingly athletic people) just laugh when I say that bellydancing is a great workout.  Y'all, if you don't believe me, do this:  Stand up straight, shoulders back.  Pull in your abs as you tuck your pelvis under (aka, tuck your butt).  Slightly bend your knees so that you are about four inches down (while standing up straight with your shoulders back, abs pulled in and pelvis tucked under).  Now, stay like that for five minutes. 

Are your thighs dying yet?  If you're really not feeling it, put your arms straight out and hold it.  Or better yet, put them over your head so that your palms meet.  Five minutes.

Now walk while pulling up first your right hip and then your left hip.  Faster!  And you better still be standing up straight keeping those arms in position with your abs pulled in and your pelvis tucked under AND your knees slightly bent.  I dare you.

I've been more out of breath and sweating harder from dancing for five minutes than most times when I run.  I may be slow, but I'm packing 50 extra pounds with a lot of it up top so I do breathe heavy and sweat when I run.  You should see the sweat stains on my hat.  It's sort of gross in a kind of awesome way.  Bellydancing works your legs (particularly your quads and your calves), your bum and your abs.  You also need to have decent strength in your arms and shoulders.

I did realize that all my running has strengthened my core so much until I was doing torso exercises last night.  I looked like a snake sliding side to side. 

On to Day 32, a running day.  Forty-five minutes this morning and I ran every damn minute.  I also hit my first bonk.  I'm so proud.

It was cold this morning (it's still only 55 degrees heading into the afternoon) but thankfully not raining.  It had been overnight and it did again this morning so it was damp.  I definitely need a headband for over my ears.  As usual, I did a lot of mental work to start out when my mind and body were clamoring with "let's stop and walk now."   I had forgotten that my iPod was glitchy on Monday; Chip, the voice in my Nike+ that lets me now how long or far I've been running and my pace wasn't working.  I had to reboot the thing over the weekend and I'm guessing that was the cause of the problem.  I decided to switch to the female voice, which I don't like, in an effort to reset it so it would talk to me.  She told me I was beginning my workout when I hit the button, so I thought it was working.  I would be wrong.

I used to do the Galloway method of walking for X minutes then running for X minutes.  But I rapidly came to hate having to check my watch all the time.  A minute feels like forever when you're watching the clock.  I got the Nike+ which unfortunately doesn't chirp off the minutes (I'm not ready to buy a Garmin yet) but does tell me where I'm at (time or distance) at certain intervals plus my pace.  (Unfortunately it does it in kilometers when I'm doing a K distance race, but that's another gripe for another time.)  I've stopped wearing a watch when I run unless there's somewhere I have to be at a certain time.  I've apparently come to rely on my Nike+ for mental cues.

Worst yet, it wasn't telling me the pace I was running at.  Usually you push a button and the display pops up plus Chip tells you the info.  So I had to push different buttons but so that in addition to the display coming up it would skip a song or go back or change the volume or what have you.  Growl, snarl, etc. 

My iPod did save me when I bonked, which came at 37 minutes and some odd seconds, and even before that when I was constantly checking my time.  (I bonked because I didn't eat my usual granola bar before heading to the track.)   I had reloaded my iPod over the weekend and as opposed to Monday it hit on a lot of the new stuff I added.  When I bonked, just a few seconds later the lady came on to tell me I had four minutes left to go.  I thought "Yay!  She'll count down the four minutes and congratulate me when I'm done", like it supposed to.  And then the theme to Josie and the Pussycats came on.  It was fabulous.  The lady said I had three minutes to go, and the theme song from Ally McBeal came on.  I knew I would be able to run out the time.  The lady said two minutes.  I was enthuastically mouthing the words to the Ally McBeal song.   I calculated I would finish at exactly my starting point.  That was cool.  I would do this.

And then the song ended.  And the lady didn't say anything.  And I was still running.  Y'all, bitch didn't tell me when to stop!  Bitch squared!  It was 19 SECONDS after 45 minutes that I stopped.  Evil iPod lady!!

I showed her.  I rebooted that sucker when I got home and switched it back to Chip.  Chip better come through for me tomorrow, I'm telling you.

The bonk was odd.  I've never hit that wall before when my mind was going great but my body went, no, we'll be stopping now.  I've stopped because my brain talked me into it, and I've stopped from serious pain (when I tied my shoes too tight).  Not this.  It was literally like hitting a wall.  Tomorrow I will be having a granola bar pre-run. 

By the way, have you noticed that Clif Shot Bloks have a "cut here" at the top of the packaging?  I took a pack to work today, predicting (correctly) the headache I would have after I ran.  What genius thought up this packaging?  Who the hell carries scissors with them on a run? 

A mystery to ponder on my next run, I guess.  Get ready, Chip!

the CilleyGirl

Monday, September 28, 2009

Day 30: Who put the ram in the ramalamadingdong?

I don't know what it means either.  But there you go.

Day 30.  Redemption!  My alarm went off at o'dark thirty this morning and although I couldn't remember why I was supposed to be getting up, I did get up and I ran.  Around and around and around I ran.  Without stopping.  Yee haw!  Made up for that crappy run on Saturday.  I ended up running 5K, coincidentally.  Kind of cool, no?  New pants were awesome, new socks did the job.  I think I need some ear warmer thingies though.

Now I'm sitting here thinking about how annoyingly inconvenient eating is (I've got things to do, I don't have time for all this "cooking" and "shopping" and "eating" thing) and whether I should e-mail my aforementioned evil junior high PE teacher.  Who is at the same junior high.


the CilleyGirl

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Days 28 & 29: Phobias suck! But I have new pants!

Day 28:  I did my 60 minute run on Saturday and felt like nothing went right.  First, I had a difficult time finding where I was going.  On the Thomas Guide, there were no roads that actually went to the park where the trailhead was supposed to be.  I ended up on all these residential grave roads.  Finally found a park entrance.  Then, the trail branched off right where I was getting on.  Another runner stopped and didn't know which trail to take either.  We both decided to go right.  Wrong!  It probably eventually would have merged back up with the main (paved) trail, but after ending up behind a tennis club I decided to turn around.  Then I couldn't get back into my rhythm.  I hate that.  I finally started to find my pace when BOOM:  a bridge. 

See, one of the main challenges I face in being a runner (besides having major breastage, being 50 lbs or so overweight, etc.) is that I am afraid of heights.  Phobic about heights.  Which, if you do not have a phobia, sounds like no problem to you.  To the person who has the phobia, you would be WRONG.  Over about eight feet, my acrophobia kicks in.  Part of the time, it is manageable.  Desensitization, such as driving many times over the same bridge, helps.  If I can walk right down the middle of whatever it is, that helps.  If the height is on my right, that helps.  If the height is expected, that helps.  I could go on and on, because there are about two dozen variables that all go into whether I can shove the phobia down far enough to function or whether I will freeze.  I also have vertigo, which makes me feel like I'm falling.  Every see Jimmy Stewart in Vertigo?  Where the ground zooms back and forth towards him?  It's a lot like that.  Combining a sensation of falling with a fear of falling is not fun. 

On the path, there was a bridge.  Maybe 15 feet tall.  It's hot, it's sunny, it's wide open, I'm a little dizzy from the heat and the run.  Just not a bridge I wanted to cross.  I waited until no one was coming either direction, and then I ran down the middle of it, fighting down panic all the way.  But I made it.  Yay for me.  Then a minute or two later, another bridge.  This one is the same width, which was doable, but longer and with this narrow rails that formed an arch above the bridge.  It's maybe 18-20 feet above the highway and it's all very open around it.  The latter gives the feeling that there are no railings.  At the same time, the narrow arch of the railings made it feel more like one of those suspension bridges in Indiana Jones.  I couldn't step a foot on to it.  I had to turn around.  (And back over the other freakin' bridge, dammit.)

I still had quite a while to go on my run so I headed the other way past where I'd started.  And found the official trailhead with a parking lot (I was on the side of a tiny dead-end street) and bathrooms.   Realized I'd driven right past the damn thing when I was looking for the park.  Oh well, next time I'll know.  The rest of the run for that part of the path was fairly close to a busy road.  Little too much exhaust for the weather.  Overall, I think I ran less than five minutes out of the whole 60.  Sometimes you just have an off day, you know?

The corpses littering the path this time were caterpillars instead of slugs.  Those cute orange and black fuzzy ones.  Of course, they could be voracious plant predators for all I know.  They're still cute.  Even when squished.

Day 29:  Was a rest day.  Time to put the memory of yesterday's crappy run behind me.  It's also the start of Week 5.  All right!!  To celebrate, I did a lot of things well, like sleeping in til noon, eating much too big of a breakfast, and not showering until nearly 4 PM.  So, not celebrating so much as being lazy ;)  I finally got cleaned up and went off to look for some cold weather pants, since the forecast tells me it will be about 50 degrees tomorrow morning.  Brrr.  Reminds me, I should pull out some gloves for tomorrow.

Anyhow, I ended up with this fabulous pair of running pants from Mizuno that the running store guy steered me to.  They are Mizuno Breathe Thermo Pants.  He said they get warmer when they get wet.  That sounded fabulous to me.  Even better, they fit like my favorite tech shirt feels:  snug but not clingy, kind of slidy over your body, warm but breathable.  They are hanging on the treadmill drying right now.  I also picked up a new Moving Comfort Maia bra, my favorite sports bra, and two pairs of socks.  One is my favorite SmartWool sock (ultra light cushion micro PhD running sock in a footie length) and WrightSock cushioned DLX double layer sock.  I haven't tried that one before and am concerned that double layers will bunch up.  I might try those just out and about before I try them running.

I've been keeping track of my weekly mileage and here's where I am right now:

Week 1 - 12.24 miles
Week 2 - 11.62 miles
Week 3 - 14.24 miles
Week 4 - 14.47 miles

I was really hoping to get up 15.25 miles in week 4, but bad days last Sunday and this Saturday conspired against me.  For Week 5, a 10% increase would put me right about at 16 miles so my goal is 15.5 miles.  My long run next Saturday is for 90 minutes.  I think I'll go back by the Sellwood to run that one.  I should be able to do six miles on that one.

Almost forgot -- I ordered a RoadID bracelet last week and as my "thank you" I get to give a whopping one dollar coupon to all my friends.  So, if you want to get your very own RoadID, leave me your e-mail in the comments and I will send you the details.  It can be used for up to 20 people and is good through October 25.  I won't get mine for at least another week, so I can't sing its praises or even know if they should be sung.  Once I get it, I'll let you know.

the CilleyGirl

Friday, September 25, 2009

Day 27: It's a big pants day!

But not in the usual manner.  No, today is not the day where I needed to wear my big pants, it is a day where my usual pants (already in one size smaller, thanks to the torture of running) are much too big.  I love that, don't you?  Especially since I felt progressively more awful all day yesterday and consumed about 1,900 calories for dinner.  It was very tasty; Round Table Hawaiian pizza and honey BBQ wings, the latter of which they gave me nearly twice what I ordered.  The fact that I felt lousy didn't necessarily have to do with pizza and wings for dinner, it was more that I would have needed to cook at home and my head hurt too much.  If I had had an entire healthy meal (I had maybe 1/3) in my fridge, ready to go, I would have had that.  But I didn't.  So neener.

My day yesterday started with my freezing my hipsies off in my morning run, and went downhill from there.  My legs were stiff and achy and they just got more so as the day went on.  My legs and particularly my feet were also swollen for some reason.  Too much salt?  I have no idea.  But the pants I have on today felt like sausage casings yesterday, as did my shoes (I wore flip flops today even though it's a little chilly for it).  A headache came on suddenly in the afternoon, flirting with migraine status fairly rapidly.  My eyes were all gummy and tired from allergies.  My glasses are too heavy, and when my sinuses ache the glasses are very annoying.  Plus one of the earpieces is all funky and it makes a very tender spot behind my ear after a few hours.  My low back went wonky and every time I went to pick something up it threatened to go out on me.   I couldn't get warm, and my coworker had the heat up so high in her office the air conditioner kicked on.  To top it all off, I have a freakin' spider bite on my left shoulder.  It's right where the shoulder meets the arm so it is either stretched or compressed all day.  And it is also right where the seam of a shirt rests (though thankfully not a bra strap; that would really suck).  Oh, and I'm allergic to insect bites; if I itch them at all, they swell up horribly.  Bastards.

Those wings, they were damn good.  I ate them all as my CBS dog drooled.  I didn't even give either of them any pizza bones.

As soon as I finished with dinner (and wiped up the dog drool) I put my legs up, which helped tremendously.  I took off my glasses and watched blurry TV.  I took the heavy-duty headache medicine and got a good night's sleep.  I woke up feeling so much better (still with the damn spider bite though), mainly just some muscle stiffness in my legs.  The day is already half way over, I'm having leftover pizza for lunch, and I am supposed to sush (we've decided "to sush" is a verb) with some friends tonight.  I'm even having a good hair day.

Tomorrow is another 60 minute run.  So far, the weather is supposed to be cloudy but dry and somewhat warm.  I may even be looking forward to it!

the CilleyGirl

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Day 26: I'd like new legs please. Bionic legs.

Almost through the end of Week 4, one-fifth of the way through the 20 week training program.  Wow.  I need a nap.  And a massage.  Or maybe a masseuse. 

Hmm.  Maybe I will get a massage this weekend.  At the moment, that sounds fabulous.

It was butt-ass cold this morning.  At 7:30 a.m. when I got back to the house, the temp read 56 degrees.  56 degrees!!!  No wonder I was cold.  I could not get my muscles completely warmed up, particularly at my hips.  I guess I'll be shopping for some running tights soon.  Maybe ones with a built-in masseuse.  (there's a visual)

While I am running around and around and around los trackos, I think of all these things I want to write about.  Which I promptly forget when I sit down to write the day's entry.  Let's see.  Cold, cold, cold.  A few other crazy people on the track when I got there.  More cold.  I did a smidge over four miles this morning.  I calculate I should have gotten in at least another quarter of a mile, but did I mention it was cold?  Four miles right now isn't actually too bad.  I was worrying about the upcoming increases in mileage and how I would ever get up even earlier than I am now to log those miles but now I'm certain I'll be able to do it in the same amount of time.  I know I'm getting faster every time I'm out.  Or maybe that's going farther?  Either way, I'm usually walking less and running more.  More so when my legs don't feel like meat popsicles.

Yesterday I signed up for my first 10K.  It is put on by a new running group in the area.  I did their inaugural run in the earlier in the year which actually was the worst race I've ever had.  It was cold, I didn't have my inhaler, and I just could not get my rhythm.  I'd like some redemption.  Plus I like the course and I'm scheduled to run six miles on that day anyhow so it seemed perfect.  They had a beautiful tech tee last time, but the women's sizes ran INCREDIBLY small.  Like I could win any wet t-shirt contest I enter if I wore that thing.  If I would wear it in public ever again.  I ordered a size larger this time.  Here's hoping, because I could really use another good tech tee. 

Oh, I almost forgot to mention:  I officially have 100 miles logged into my Nike+.  Yay for me!  I wish I could put the Nike+ Mini widget on here, but so far the code isn't supported by Blogger.  Too bad, because now that I've hit 100 miles I get to pimp my Mini. 

Tomorrow is a rest day, so I'm looking forward to an evening filled with new TV.  My legs are rejoicing at the thought.  Saturday I'll be back out at the Springwater Corridor Trail.  I might take CBS dog with me.  And then maybe a massage.  For me, not the dog.

Stay strong, keep running (or whatever blows up your skirt),
the CilleyGirl

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

The Biggest Loser, week 2

Aww, you didn't think I'd forget, did you?  Actually I did until I was looking at the guide last night.  I was tired but I stayed up just for you.  My three fans.

Okay, on with the show!

We open with a recap of last week's premiere.  Alexandra's leaving and Julio's ass-hattedness.  Yeah, yeah, yeah.

This week, if the 15 players lose a combined total of 150 lbs, no one goes home.  Remember that week two is notorious for miniscule (relatively speaking) losses.  Jillian and Bob are not thrilled about this development.  Neither are the players.

I still really like Rudy.  He's just an all-around nice guy.  Meanwhile, Julio is an ass hat.  Someone mentions how they take in 1,200 calories a day but are supposed to have 6,000 calories going out.  Are you kidding me?  Okay, I burned about 530 calories this morning for 3.79 miles.   I would have to do more than ten times more than that to burn 6,000 calories.  Yikes!

The contestants strategize how they will make this 150 lb goal.  (ooh, there's a woodpecker outside my office window)  Hey, Tracey lives!  Everyone else thinks Julio is an ass hat too.   Shay's milkshake is better than yours.  I like Daniel too, he has a great attitude and I bet he'd be a great trainer.  Since he's survived a week two last season, the players look to him for guidance.  He says, don't expect much in week two.  Some people may gain weight.  I hope it's Julio.

Nutrition challenge.  The cute Aussie chef from last season (he's hot, I can't be bothered with names) is back and he lectures about calories and stuff (hot, remember?).  I'm also reading my ChiRunning book while watching.  The players are quizzed on what they just learned.  Hopefully they were paying more attention.  If they get five out of eight questions right, they win a 15 lb advantage at weigh in.  They win.  Now they have to lose 135 lbs this week. 

Group challenge!  There are balance beams and rafts and water and odd looking life jackets.  Everyone has to get out on the balance beam, and once they are all balancing then they can get onto the raft thingy.  First and second rafts, they win a 5 lb advantage for each.  Third raft is calls home, fourth raft is a 10 lb advantage and that happy feeling you get from working as a team.  Each balance beam gets progressively more narrow.  Any one falls off and the game is over for all.  Everyone really wants calls home.  I briefly wonder who Abby has to call.  Long story short, everybody makes it.    They can't wait to reach out and touch someone.

Flashes of family as they make the calls.  Allen has a hot wife.  Abby makes us all cry.  Appropros of nothing, she reminds me of Goldie Hawn.  I may have spelled some of that wrong.  Danny tells of how he knew he needed to change when his little girl told him she wanted a big belly just like him.  That reminds me of when I was growing up.  My best friend was a big girl.  I was skinny; people thought my mother never fed me (seriously).  I wanted to be just like her so I ate a lot.  This did not stand me well when puberty came knocking.  Anyhow, back to the show.  Sean's wife is pregnant and has found out they're having a girl.  I hope Sean makes it to makeover week just so he can get a new haircut. 

Beatings commence.  Julio talking heads about how there is a rift in the house because he stayed and Alexandra left.  Yeah, that and you're an ass hat.  Every time he's on camera he's not doing diddly and everyone notices.  Jillian wants Bob to kill Julio with workout.  Bob is game.

Weigh-in.  With the challenge wins, they have to lose a total of 115 lbs. Shay is with me in hoping that Julio gets a bad number.  I'm hoping he gains weight.  Rudy has a mole under his left moob that I hope he's had checked out because it doesn't look good.  Except for the pink team, everyone pulls decent numbers for the second week.  Even Julio unfortunately; he loses 19 lbs and blathers on about how he does all of his workouts secretly and that's why everyone thinks he's not doing anything.  Whatever, ass hat.  The contestants meet their 115 lb goal, and in fact lose a total of 155 lbs.  No one is going home this week.  Oh well.  They've got Julio in their sights now. 

the CilleyGirl

P.S.  I've noticed I seem to get a lot of hits whenever I mention dog pee, so here you go:  DOG PEE.

Day 25: Do these legs make my ass look fat?

Good morning and welcome to Day 25. 

Do you know who is up at 5:30 in the morning?  Me, that's who.  Fifty minute run on the training schedule this morning, so between that and the ten minute walk each way to get to the track, I had to leave the house shortly after 6:00 a.m. to have enough time to run and hopefully eat something before I had to get ready for work.

Actually, I was up before 5:30.  I woke up from a disturbing dream that left me with a huge knot of tension in my left shoulder and an overwhelming urge to kick my ex-boyfriend in the 'nads.  I was hoping it was more like 2:30 in the morning because I was in pain and exhausted, but about ten minutes later alarm 1 went off.  Gah.  I got up and got some Advil and then used the foam roller on my shoulder.  There is no good way to use the foam roller on your shoulder laying down so I had to prop myself up against the wall.  It worked pretty well plus I could doze.  I started to think about how I did not want to run this morning, then it occurred to me that what I really did not want to do was run (a) with a sore shoulder and (b) in the dark.  I got the shoulder squared away, more or less, and figured it would be getting lighter about 15 minutes after I got to the track.  Plus odds were somebody else (not an axe murderer) would be at the track.

So off I went.  I got out of the house on time.  It really is frickin DARK at that time of the morning.  Makes me look forward to training later in the fall, but let's not think about that now.  Not even the crows were out that early.  There were however two other crazy people at the track so I wasn't alone, although I kept my headphones pretty low in volume until it really got light.  I did much better than the last time I ran; I think I ran a mile less in the same amount of time when I was out on Sunday.  Yay for me!   I kept thinking that I got up this freakin' early to run, dammit, so run; hence the better mileage.  My legs are achy now.  But I'll be up at o'dark thirty again tomorrow to do it all over again.  I think I even get to do it for five minutes less.  Something to look forward to!

the CilleyGirl

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Day 24: A brief note

A short post today.  I am still very tired, but I'm ready to run tomorrow morning.  And hopefully have more to report.  But not getting a lunch until 3 PM has left me all tuckered out. 

See you all tomorrow!  Stay focused!

the CilleyGirl

P.S.  No comments?  I see a lot of traffic.  At least say hello!!

Monday, September 21, 2009

Day 23: Tired!

Day 23 is a rest day, and I really need it.  The sleep aid I took last night didn't necessarily give me a good night's sleep and I felt a bit hungover from it all day.  I went into work an hour early today, thinking I had an early meeting scheduled.  Nobody told me it was postponed until tomorrow afternoon.  By 9:30 a.m., I felt like I'd put in a whole day already. 

I decided to switch my Monday rest day with my Sunday run.  Mentally it was just so difficult to know I should be getting up early both days of a weekend.  For the sake of my sanity, I need at least one weekend day where I can sleep in if I want to.  The first day of a new week is usually the lightest anyhow, so having it on Monday won't be so bad. 

Hope you all are staying inspired and staying on track. 

the CilleyGirl

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Day 22 and Week 4: Kind of blah

I think I need to change up my schedule, swapping my Monday rest day to Sunday to recover from Saturday's longer runs.  I've had a hard time getting my Sunday runs done.  I got up very late today and consequently did my run at three in the afternoon.  I've become not so very fond of running in the afternoon these days.  I got it done, but I walked most of it.  All around, kind of blah.

the CilleyGirl

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Day 21 and the end of Week 3: I didn't get wet!

I almost didn't get out today.  I had a route all planned, I took my dogs down there last night so I'd know just where to go and where to park, etc.  I set my alarms for early (for me) on a weekend.  I woke up and it was just.... gah.  I was tired.  It took me at least two hours to fall asleep last night, so I had had a lot less sleep than what I had originally anticipated when I set the alarms.  So I decided to sleep for a bit longer. 

I woke up around 10:30 and listened.  Was that rain?  A lot of rain?  Double gah.  As I've said before, I'm okay with running in the rain.  I have wet weather gear.  I just got a new rain jacket for running.  But I just wasn't in the mood this morning.  My shoes have a lot of mesh and my feet got soaked last time.  It was fine since I wear wool socks when I run, but I just washed my socks last night.  I don't want them to be all muddy and dirty already.

Last time I ran in the rain I got dumped on.  Then two hours later it was nice and sunny and NOT RAINING.  Maybe that would happen this time?  I thought about lazing around for a bit to see if it cleared up, or maybe waiting until later in the day, but I had a sneaking suspicion that if I didn't just go then I wouldn't go at all today.  I needed to get some errands done, which would necessitate not only a shower but a real meal.  I don't like to run on a full stomach and I'm not fond of showering multiple times in a day.  It just seems wasteful.  So I made the decision and I went.

I had decided to try out the Springwater Corridor for longer weekend runs.  It is a 40 mile loop trail in Cilleyland and supposed to be very scenic, very flat, away from major roads.  I was getting on the trail at Sellwood Riverfront Park (which also has an off-leash area, which is where I took my pups last night after work).  At least with the rain I wouldn't have to worry about parking.  And at least this time it wasn't pouring, just a light shower.

By the time I got to the park, it was barely sprinkling (and there was plenty of parking).  By the time I'd gotten five minutes down the trail, it wasn't raining at all.  And I, wearing my rain jacket, was already overheated.  I dithered for about five minutes as to whether I should go back to the car and ditch the jacket (also to pick up my iPod arm band; I had planned to carry my iPod in my jacket pocket which has a headphone jack opening in the inside lining just for this purpose).  Then I'd gone to far to bother with turning around.  I had to fiddle around for several minutes to take the damn jacket off and tie it around my waist so it wouldn't drive me completely insane.  Once I got started up again, I'd lost my pace and it took a bit to get it back.  Overall, that was okay because I'd been running too fast when I'd started out by at least a minute. 

Once I finally got situated and back on track, so to speak, I had a great run.  I headed towards downtown Cilleyland on the trail.  There were railroad tracks/a wetlands preserve on my right and the Willamette River to my left the whole way.  It was really nice.  It took me a while to figure out what the weird orangeish gooey splotches were all over the trail:  slug guts.  Bleah.  They looked like snot. 

I did 30 minutes out and back on the trail.  I was about two minutes slower coming back then I was going out, which worked out perfectly.  I figure I would have gone 5 miles if I hadn't had to fiddle with my jacket. 

So, week 3 is in the bag.  I'm still here.  I'm still running.  Hope you all are too!

the CilleyGirl

Friday, September 18, 2009

Day 20: Do you have people around you who want you to fail?

Today is a rest day, so I get to be philosophical (did I spell that right?  "fillohsawfickle") in order to have something to post here.   The topic for today is:  Do you have people around you who want you to fail?  I'm specifically referring to training and/or weight loss, but it can really be anything. 

And for me, it is.  I know a person who (for whom?  my grammar is broken today) clearly would be happy if I fail in whatever endeavor I undertake.  I try not to share my endeavors with this person, but I work in an office of only two other people in the middle of suburbia and dammit, I need some human interaction during the day.  So, cilley me, I tend to have conversations with this person.  Yesterday I inadvertently revealed something that led to me confessing that I have been getting up early and running four days a week for the past three weeks.  Gah.  I'm sure I visibly winced, because I know I was on the inside.

This led to a barrage of questions, which I reluctantly answered:  What?  You ran this morning?  You've been doing this more than once?  What time?  For how long?  Have you had any results from this?  Have you lost any weight?  Why are you doing this?

See, that last one is the kicker.  I haven't told many people in my "real" world that I'm doing this.  I actually don't have that many physical friends and family as it is.  (A good chunk of my friends are people I've "known" since I first got on the internet around 1993.  Many I've met in person, but there are many I have not, yet I consider them very good friends.)  I've told my best friend here in town and her husband that I'm doing the training, but they are the only ones who know why (the marathon thing) because I know they will support me in whatever I do.  My mom knows I'm running, but not the why.  Other than that, it's just you folks here.

I definitely did not want to tell this person.  I could only imagine how that would play out.  I just got asked the "did you run this morning?" question a few minutes ago.  And maybe I'm being overly sensitive (wouldn't be the first time) but I got the impression this person was really hoping I'd say no.  Now, I did say no, but that's because it's a rest day, which I told this person.  This person seemed disappointed to me.  We went through this whole routine when I was actively trying to lose weight last year (I lost about 20 lbs).   I don't drink alcohol much anymore for a variety of reasons yet this person is constantly trying to get me to drink.  Now, part of the time I would say yes except that lunch was several hours ago and I'd rather not have any liquor on an empty stomach.  Most of the time, though, I just don't feel like drinking.  I had one beer (the same beer) in my fridge for something like two years.  Just never felt like having it. 

Anyhow, my cilley readers, do you have people in your life like this?  Someone that professes to support you but really wants you to bomb -- even if they don't consciously know they're doing that?  How do you deal with it?   I'd like to know.  I find it easier to undertake some things privately.  I know a lot of people mean well but I find that being asked how it's going, have I lost any weight, etc., makes me less inclined to stick with it.  As though it verbalizes my own self doubts and makes them that much harder to resist.

Heavy thoughts for a Friday, eh?  Okay, here's something lighter:  Tomorrow I plan to try out a real running route rather than the local track.  Sixty minutes is my training time and the weather is supposed to be beautiful such that I can't imagine just going in circles for an hour.  I'll tell you how it goes tomorrow.

the CilleyGirl

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Hoping this link will work: See the giant angry beaver bite a man in half!

This is off topic for running, but I had to post it.  Actually, maybe it's not off topic.  Here, I'll explain.

I hate spiders.  Hate hate hate.  They spin traps for me every day, trying to catch me as I move around my house.  Just this morning, there was no web outside my front door when I came in from my run.  Thirty minutes later, I leave the house and walk through a web.  Bastards!

There is this gigantic spider hanging out on my rosemary plant in the backyard.  It has a huge bulbous body.  I've suspected this body contains many baby spiders, that it will soon lay its eggs and then I will have many, many spiders to replace all the ones I've killed over the year.  Yes, I know they are beneficial, yadda yadda yadda.  If they stay away from around or inside my house, they can live.  Otherwise, it's cake or death and we're out of cake.

Lately I've started to wonder if maybe it's not really full of baby spiders but is some sort of poisonous spider like a brown recluse.  So, I was googling pictures of spiders (which is creeping me out, by the way) and on one of the websites there is this hilarious ad for Duluth Trading Co. Fire Hose Work Pants.  Apparently their slogan is "Tougher Than An Angry Beaver's Teeth."  And, y'all, there is the funniest little animated cartoon ad for these pants.  You have to see it.  I can't find it on their website, so I'm hoping it is embedded in this page for a common garden spider (which I think I have, but I don't care -- it's still dying tonight) so that you can see it too.  Definitely watch it with sound!

the CilleyGirl

Day 19: I'm sore like a... uh, what gets sore?

All I can think of is "I'm sore like a 'ho" (but, you know, all rhymie and stuff) and I have no idea where that came from.  More accurate for me would be "I'm sore like a nun" but then that's really TMI, yeah?

Okay, getting on with it.

Check out today's mileage!  3.73 miles baybee!  In 47 minutes!  Well, that part is probably only awesome for me because I am a moose and a slow moose at that.  My legs are very sore and stiff.  Even my arms hurt, and I can't figure out why; the only thing my arms did were carry my big, meaty fists. 

Nothing exciting to report about the workout.  The crow brigade was back in force.  I figure they either watch us, thinking we're crazy, or they're looking for weakness and the moment when they can attack.  Yes, I did watch The Birds; why do you ask?  It was cold and foggy and DAMP this morning.  It took until my third alarm to figure somebody was serious about my getting up this morning, then I spent eight minutes snoozing and debating whether I really wanted to get up and run.  About a minute before the snooze went off I decided that while I didn't want to get up and run, I was going to get up and run anyway.  If Eddie and the Biggest Loser people can do it, I can do it.

But damn, it was damp.  I was shaking when I got home, plus I must have miscalculated what time I left the house because when I got back I only had ten minutes before I needed to get in the shower (and oh, it was a wonderful shower).  I had time to gulp down a big glass of chocolate milk and kick CBS out the back door to go potty and that was it.  I had to force down oatmeal and water once I got to work.  I could feel a headache brewing and I knew I had to eat and rehydrate.  Problem is, I don't like primarily carbs after a workout.  I want meat.  I want eggs.  I want.... well, anything but oatmeal apparently.  If I hadn't been running late I would have swung by McDonald's on my way to work for a sausage mcmuffin with egg.  Or two.  I have the calorie allowance. 

Oh hey, I do have something to report on the workout:  I ran out the timer.  Meaning, I stayed on the track the whole workout time, rather than heading home for the last ten minutes of time.  I even ran an extra half lap past the end of the workout.  My brain was pissed about that, and now I'm thinking my legs weren't so happy either, but I did it. 

And that's probably why I was running late this morning (pun intended?  sure, why not!).  I could still go for a sausage mcmuff.  But just one.  Good thing I foresaw the ravenous hunger and brought in a Kellogg's Fiber Plus Antioxidants bar.  (Are you listening, Kellogg's??)

I had a hard time keeping pace this morning.  First I ran too fast and got a side stitch which is something I have a difficult time running through.  I had to slow down and walk a lap, and then I couldn't get my stride back for the longest time.  I was running like a lumbering bear, I was too fast, I was too slow.  Some times all at the same time.  I finally got it together and then just kept going.  I still feel chilled. 

Tomorrow is a rest day (yay!), then a 60-minute run is on schedule for Saturday.  It is supposed to rain on Saturday, then jump 10 degrees in temp for Sunday.  That should be fun, no?

Off to earn my living (and drink more water; that headache is still lurking),
the CilleyGirl

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Seriously, my CilleyPeeps: We can DO this!

What's one measly little marathon compared to all this?  Read all about my secret boyfriend Eddie Izzard's marathon (pun intended) undertaking here

the CilleyGirl

Day 18 is in the bag. Can I have a nap now?

I wish I knew why I am so tired lately.  I'm eating vitamins and stuff out the ying yang.  I'm getting eight hours sleep a night minimum.  Yet I'm doing my best python imitation every time I yawn. 

Did this morning's run.  Almost missed it; I only managed to set one out of three alarm clocks correctly last night.  The very last alarm to go off was the only one that went off this morning, leaving me somewhat confused.  But hey, dog pee free.  She was working the cookie angle hard last night; I think she let herself out three times before I was done watching TV and went to get her her night-night cookie.  Yes, I some times talk baby talk to my dogs.  Deal with it.

Speaking of TV, I was watching the Season 8 premiere of The Biggest Loser last night.  Two minutes into the show and I am not only inspired, I'm really not hungry either.  There are some LARGE people this season.  At least three guys over 400 lbs and the heaviest person ever on the show is a gal named Shay who weighed in at 476 lbs.  She almost doesn't look real.  Her head looks relatively normal (a little chubby but I've seen MUCH chubbier).  Consequently, she looks like she's wearing a fat suit.  The freaky part was her MRI where you could see her skeleton and then all the fat surrounding it.  Y'all, her arms are permanently in the bat wing position, because with all the fat she can't get them any closer to her body.  Even though I have plenty of calories left in the day, I firmly decide against any kind of a nighttime snack.

This season, the contestants are all strangers.  They are very excited to be there.  Don't worry, Jillian will beat that enthusiasm right out of you. 

To pick teams, they have to run a mile on the beach.  First person over the finish line gets immunity for him and his partner.   The gal who led the run most of the way goes down and goes down hard.  Twenty minutes in and they've killed someone -- it's a new Biggest Loser record!  (I know how she feels; I went to the ER last year because they thought I had appendicitis.  I didn't but as they were getting food and fluids in me so I could go home my blood pressure crashed and they couldn't get it stabilized.  So I spent two hours getting tests about my appendix and then four hours getting my blood pressure back.)  She is lifeflighted out to the hospital.  Another guy finishes but then isn't doing so well so they call a garden variety ambulance for him.

The remaining survivors are taken back to the ranch.  They have a little meet and greet and then get paired up as so:

Orange:  Daniel from season 7 is back.  He was the heaviest contestant ever at 454 lbs last season.  He's lost about 140 lbs since then and looks great.  I'm rooting for him.  He won the mile challenge in 14:17.  That's damn close to what I ran a mile at this morning.  I vow to step things up a notch.  He picks Shay as his partner.  Reasonably good call.

Green:  Fireman Allen and Abby the widow.  Allen wants to lose weight so he can do his job of saving people without being too fat to get there in time.  Abby lost her entire family in a car accident two years ago, including her infant.  I don't know how she gets up in the morning.  Sounds like often, neither does she.

Red:  Sean the youth pastor with the unfortunate hair and Antoine, who looks like Chris Rock plus 150 lbs.  I have to say I called Sean as gay the second I saw him on screen.  Time will tell.

Black:  Alexandra, a very pretty girl with a very pretty tattoo (is it an orchid?  a butterfly?  I can't tell but I like it a lot) teams up with Julio.  Julio immediately puts me off, although I couldn't say why.

Brown:  Liz, a 49 year old grandmother with NINE grandkids (are they bunnies? WTF?!?) pairs up with Danny, a musician with an unfortunate soul patch.  I have a feeling Liz will go down early in the competition.  She just seems too nice.

Pink:  Amanda, "America's choice" from last season's finale and Rebecca, a goth nanny who wears the biggest damn earrings to the weigh in I've ever seen.  I wanted to know how much the earrings weighed.

Blue:  Early on, my favorite team.  Dina and Rudy.  They did a big part of the mile together, encouraging each other all the way.  He seems like a genuinely nice guy. 

Purple:  This is the last team formed and is comprised of Coach Mo, who got sent to the hospital after the mild, and Tracey, who got flown unconscious to the hospital.  Coach Mo gets sprung at the end of the first day (I think, could be the second day), which Tracey never returns that week.

First weigh-in.  Everybody is heavy.  Lots of babies got back.  There are moobs a'plenty, but none as frightening as Evil Ron's from last season.  Speaking of which:  Ron was evil. 

Was there a challenge in there somewhere?  Or was it just beatings, beatings, beatings?  I think the latter.  There is no Bob vs. Jillian this year.  Guess he got tired of losing.  He and Jillian are training the teams together.  There are many F-bombs, mostly from Bob and Jillian, during the workouts.  Also vomit.

Final weigh-in:  Black team falls below the yellow line.  I think Alexandra deserves to stay.  She lost a lot more weight than the heavier Julio (who I keep wanting to call Mario).... plus I just don't trust him.  He reminds me of my ex-boyfriend.  Seems really nice at first, but with a spine of jell-o and a whole lot of selfishness disguised as caring for everyone else.   The teams don't agree with me and Alexandra goes home.  Boo!  I predict Julio's slimy colors will show through and they will regret not having voted him out early on.  Alexandra looks great after losing 60 lbs at home and apparently she has a secret crush on another player that will be revaled at the finale.  I'm guessing it's either Daniel or Antoine as I think all the other men are married.  Or, hey, it could be Rebecca.  You never know. 

Things I learned from this week's episode:
  • This is a choice you have to make.  No one can make it for you.  No one can help you until you make the choice. 
  • Their problems are not your problems. 
  • I don't need to see or hear other people vomit.  Ever.
Can't wait for next week's episode.  Will Tracey ever get out of the hospital?  Will Abby say her name in a southern accent so think I swear she's saying "Ivy"?  Will Bob burst a blood vessel?  Stay tuned!

the CilleyGirl

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Day 17: Again with the dog pee

Today is a cross-training day so all I really have to report at this time is that (a) I still have this freakin' headache and (b) my dog peed on me again last night.  Hopefully no one will ask me what my new perfume is.

Hello to everyone popping in from Europe.  Don't know how you found me, but welcome, read a few things, come on back and see me some time.  I've added a new weight loss ticker because I want to emphasize that anyone can do this running thing.  (Or die trying.)  I think my weight in kegs translates to 86.  Is that a lot?  It sounds much better than the American measurement system. 

I'm starting to keep my food log again.  I hate hate hate logging in my food.  Because it never correlates and then you wonder just why you're logging in your food when it's all a crapshoot to begin with.  Regardless, I'm allotted something like 2,200 cals.  I had 1,946 yesterday but with exercise it netted out to 1,584.  My scale was down 1.4 lbs from yesterday.  Yes, I know there are fluctations in water weight and tapeworms and what have you.  But it makes me feel better.  I was reading Chapter 3/Week 3 in the Whitsett book last night and it talked about not having an agenda as you go into this marathon training.  For example, don't make it all about something else (like weight loss) such that you do 26.2 miles yet still feel like you've failed.  I try to keep that in mind since my objective in all of this was to get healthy.   Particularly tough to remember when you've got a three-day headache and are covered in dog pee.  But I'm trying.

Ouchie cheers,
the CilleyGirl

Monday, September 14, 2009

Day 16, part 2: It's hard to run when you have to poo.

So I didn't go very far or very fast (except when I went home) but I did get out and do my training tonight.  Crossing my legs the whole way.  Aren't I dedicated?  I'll be gentle on my tum with dinner tonight, baked chicken and sweet potatos.  Debating on whether to skip the baked beans. 

The head is much better though.  I'm very very tired.  Hope I can stay awake long enough to eat dinner!

I updated my DailyPlate thingy and it says that to lose a pound a week I should eat 2,200 calories a day.  Hmmm.  That's before logging any exercise. 

Yours in poo and potatos (hopefully not together),
the CilleyGirl

Day 16: The headache still dictates my life. Which maybe I should tell you a little bit more about...

No running this morning, as my head was firmly against the idea.  The plan is to either run after work in order to get back on to schedule, or to run tomorrow since I'm not officially cross-training until the end of September when bellydance class starts.  I'll let you know. 

It is disappointing to have had such a great run on Saturday (I RAN.  The WHOLE 5K!!!) and then be basically laid up by that for the next two days.  But I knew that I was risking a headache when I didn't hydrate enough before napping.  I always feel like I can't get enough liquids into me as it is. 

Anyhow, since there isn't much else to talk about in the way of training and I've been getting a bit more traffic these days (hi everyone!) I thought I'd talk about why I got into this crazy thing.  The short answer is:  No freakin' idea.  The long answer involves nasal discharge and allergies and chronic sinus infections and my quads being so much hamburger and becoming a hermit.  Oh, and I turn 40 in 13 months. 

As I mentioned before, I was fairly athletic as a kid although never an athlete.  I went the couch slug route after puberty hit when an abundance of breastage and a thrown-out shoulder pretty much prevented me from doing any sports I actually found interesting.  I hit 154 pounds early in high school and stayed there.  Flash forward to college where I didn't gain the freshman 15, I lost it, thanks to Washington State's many, many hills.  Wazzu girls have the best legs, you know.  I dropped to 145 pounds. 

After freshman year was a different story.  Living on my own, I already knew how to cook but then came the realization that I could make whatever I wanted for myself and eat it.  Or buy whatever I wanted and eat it.  Or drink it; I'm a very good drinker, particularly of the alcohol variety.  The daily hills to and from campus kept it in check but the fact was I was probably eating around 3,000 calories a day.  Upon graduation, I stopped with all the hills but didn't stop with the food.  And it wasn't even necessarily junk food (there were a few weeks involving hot fudge but that was the exception), it was just too much of what I was eating.  Which was heavy on meat and potatos and light on veggies because I don't really like most veggies.  All my friends scattered after grad and, having always had difficulty making friends easily, I started to become isolated.

The weight started to creep on.  I think I've always had a good metabolism, since I held at one weight for so long, but when you're taking in more than you're burning off you will gain weight.  I went to law school and became even more isolated.   At 24, I found out why I'd never had regular menstrual cycles (I had my period every day for a year once); I had poly-cystic ovarian syndrome or PCOS.  You hear a lot about it these days.  In 1994, it wasn't even officially called PCOS; the original name is Stein-Leventhal syndrome.  I had to look it up in a medical reference book.   Among other things, PCOS makes it difficult to lose weight.  And other than staying on the pill to regulate my cycle, my doctor didn't prescribe anything else for me.

I'd join a gym occasionally.  Gyms were still scary places at that time, lots of free weights and big, intimidating guys using them.  Lots of skinny, perky girls using the treadmills and elliptical trainers.  I'd be shown around by someone on how to use the various equipment, although not what I really needed to know.  It was still all very intimidating.  I'd go for a few weeks, pay dues for several months longer, then quit.  On the whole, I don't really like gyms to this day. 

I graduated law school and moved to Cilleyland where I really became isolated.  I started practicing law for Satan and left that job four months later.  I found another job but my days were mostly go to work, go home, to go sleep.  My weight kept inching up.  The economy hit a blip and I left my current job.  In fact, I left law all together for a while to work in a different industry all together.  Unfortunately, I worked for insane people.  Somewhere in the middle of that, I realized that I too was crazy, although in a somewhat more normal way; I had severe chronic depression.  Since about age 7, we figure. 

On to drugs and off to therapy I went.  I'm happy to say that within hours of taking my first antidepressant I felt like someone had turned on the lights and helped me out of a deep, dark hole.  I believe in antidepressants.  I believe depression is a chemical imbalance in your brain and you just can't snap out of it.  I believe I will be on antidepressants for the rest of my life and I'm okay with that.  I don't ever want to go into the dark place again. 

I'm also happy to say that I was deemed too mentally healthy for therapy.  I had one and a half sessions with a therapist, who told me that I had excellent coping skills and to only come back if ever I felt like I couldn't cope any more.  In other words, I recognized the crazy in my life and I knew how to deal with it.  Yay for me.

Life got a lot better with a few more changes (I stopped working for the insane people), or at least I could deal with it better.  I kept sporadically trying at fitness because my weight kept creeping up but nothing ever stuck.  I've got on my sidebar information about my SLOW running times.   You don't have to be fast to be a runner.  You don't have to run the whole distance to be a runner.  You only have to run.  Same goes for weight.  I'm not a skinny minnie runner.  (I often want to knock those people down.  They're light, they fall down easily.)  At my heaviest, which was hmm, about seven years ago, before antidepressants, I weighed 210 lbs.  To put that into perspective, I'm 5'8". 

I manged to lose about 25 pounds thereafter going on eDiets (it was new then).  By changing my eating habits -- portion control, more fruit and veg, etc. -- the weight came off without any exercise.  And it held for about two years.  Then I got involved in a relationship and the weight started creeping back on.  A year and a half of the craziness with the BF and he's gone but the weight remains.  Back up to 200 lbs this time.  And I'm sick all the time.  I get the sniffles, I get a cold, it immediately turns into a sinus infection and I have no energy, can't sleep, have raging headaches constantly.  In the year 2008, I was on antibiotics almost constantly for sinus infections.

So, I said enough is enough.  And it will have to wait until the next post.

The CilleyGirl

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Day 15 and the start of week 3: A small setback.

I really have to write out my training plan so I don't have to keep checking my blog or counting on my fingers to figure out which day I'm on.

Anyhow, a bit of a disappointing start to week 3:  I have a migraine.  No run for me today.  I can run through a lot of stuff but not a migraine. 

I took a nap shortly after I got home from my triumphant 5K yesterday and that was probably a mistake.  I didn't get enough fluids into me before I did it and it was in the 90s yesterday so not only was I dehydrated from running but from the heat in my room as well.  I woke up with a headache, hydrated the rest of the day and felt better by bedtime but then I couldn't sleep.  I tossed and turned and only lightly dozed all night, despite two rounds of sleep aids.  I finally managed to fall asleep early this morning once I coerced my fluffy dog into bed with me.  She's like a blankie for me; I pass out the minute I get a handful of her fluffy fluffy fur. 

I stayed in bed until 1:00 this afternoon and now I'm hydrating again and trying to eat something.  I think after I eat that if I can manage a shower I can get out to do my grocery shopping and maybe pick up a new running book at the bookstore (going to check out ChiRunning).  If I manage not to throw up. 

All this means that today is a rest day and Monday I will do today's run.  A bit of a setback but manageable.

the CilleyGirl

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Day 14 and the end of week 2: I ran a 5K!!!

I've done lots of races (about 15 of them) in the past year, but today was the first day I RAN THE WHOLE FREAKIN' THING!!!  My Nike+ was telling me the course was longer than 5K (5.46K according to my footpod) but still, I ran it all!  I did it in 42 minutes and 48 seconds (with the extra distance, that is).  It was hard and it was hot but I did it.  I'm so psyched!

Now I just have to run about nine times longer and it'll be a cinch to finish this marathon.

Off to hydrate,
the CilleyGirl

Friday, September 11, 2009

Day 13: Sweet, sweet rest day.

My legs are sooooo happy today is a rest day.  Except for my left shin, my legs feel fully recovered from the two runs I put them through less than 12 hours apart.  Not planning to do that again unless absolutely necessary!

Speaking of my left shin, I have this weird pain/pull thing going on.  No, it's not my shoes being tied too tight, although I did just loosen up the laces on my left foot yet again.  I can not get the damn things tied properly.  It's much easier than you think to tie your shoes too tight.  It's not like my foot goes numb or anything to give me a clue.  I just start to get cramps in my lower legs, usually in the front.  Difficult to tell if it's really a cramp or shin splints or if my damn shoes are tied too tight.  But there is something going on with my left shin that now I'm not so sure is shin splints or shades of a stress fracture to come.  Usually when I have shin pain, I can push on a spot on my shin and when I get to the bone it is very sensitive and hurts.  It usually fades away to a certain extent.  Right now, though, I don't have that ouchy spot but I still have pain and kind of a pull in the muscle in that general usually-ouchy area when I walk.  I can't figure it out.  Maybe the muscle slipped off its attachy-point and is pulling oddly?  (like my technical terms?  this is why I abandoned my vet school plans and went to law school instead)  Stretching definitely stretches it and it feels a little tiny bit better, but it is as if I can't stretch it quite far enough.  Maybe I overstretched it? 

Beats me.  But now I'm jonesing for new shoes.  New shoes solve everything.  I was going through Runner World's fall shoe review again and I have three pairs I want to try:  Asics Gel Evolution 5, Brooks Trance 9, and New Balance 1225s.  Hmm, I don't have to pay for bellydance class until the first week in October; maybe my budget can let me shop now instead of next month?  Time to check the bank balances!  I could always shop after my 5K tomorrow....

the CilleyGirl

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Today's Zen iPod Moment and Saturday's FREE 5K

Right after I started my run this morning, this came on:
I'm not running anymore.
Thanks much, Mr. Mellencamp, but I will be running more.

In fact, I just signed up for a free 5K run for this Saturday.  While officially I live in Cilleyland, I overlook Cilleygard and most identify with it in my area.  Turns out their having their 5th annual familyfest (lack of capitals their's, not mine) this weekend and as part of it there is a free 5K run Saturday morning.  A perfect way to get in my training that day.  Even better, the first 200 peoples to sign up get a free t-shirt too.  And there is a free breakfast and a free bus ride back to City Hall right after.  So if you live in the Cilleyland metro area and want something to do on Saturday that is free, check out their website for more information.  Online registration closes today at 4 PM but you can register the day of the race at City Hall.

the CilleyGirl

Day 12: I think I'm getting faster.

Maybe not faster per se, but at least running more. I was looking at my past few runs in Nike+ and here are my paces:

16:00 min/mile
14:37 min/mile
13:45 min/mile
13:03 min/mile -- today's run

I did 3.03 miles this morning. My legs were protesting the 12 hour recovery time but on the whole it felt pretty good. I'm going to check the calibration on my Nike+ though; I just don't remember going around the track that many times. Although when I think back, I know I ran the first two laps, walked two more, ran another lap, then ran at least four consecutive. That's what, nine laps at least that I remember. I guess maybe I could have done 12. That's why I got the Nike+, so I wouldn't have to pay attention to distance. But still, no harm in recalibrating it on Saturday.

For Saturday is when I run again. Tomorrow is a rest day. Yay! Maybe something more interesting will happen for me to write about. Lately, there just isn't much. Got to watch a guy doing football drills this morning. That was a nice distraction but nothing to blog about. He didn't fall down or get mobbed by crows or anything. There was a guy playing fetch with his dogs, a rottweiler and a doberman. Because when you think fetch, you think rottweiler and doberman.

Okay, between the smoothie that's more like a shake and the post-workout cooldown I'm starting to shiver. Off to the showers and work for me!

the CilleyGirl

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Day 11, part 2: Blah blah blah. But it's done.

I couldn't think of anything I wanted to do less this evening than run. But I did it.

I actually didn't do too bad. Ran at least five consecutive laps. It was at a very slow pace with aching legs; I was doing the zombie shuffle there at the end and I'm icing one of my shins as I type. But I did it.

And then I went to Arby's. It was yummy.

See you tomorrow!

the CilleyGirl

Day 11: Not quite with it yet.

I woke up this morning with a sore throat and a headache so I haven't done my run yet. I'll go after work. Even if I walk the whole damn thing, I'm going to get my training in today.

Cheers (relatively speaking),
the CilleyGirl

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Days 9 and 10: Lots of sleep.

Today is Day 10, and with yesterday being a rest day and today being cross training there just isn't much to report. Yesterday I slept in, did chores, and got ready for the upcoming week. Today I'm back at work and still sleepy. The motto for this week per Whitsett's book is "but it doesn't matter." So, I'm sleepy and it doesn't matter. I took the happy peppy Vitamin C supplement this morning, I brought an extra soda to work in case I need a caffeine boost, I can always go to bed early. For tomorrow I run.

the CilleyGirl

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Day 8 and the start of week 2: Sprinkles and an excuse to go shopping.

MUCH better weather for today's run. We had sun, we had sprinkles, we had wind. Lather, rinse, repeat. Today's run was 35 minutes. I ran the first four laps at about a ten minute mile pace, which explains why I then couldn't breathe very well for the rest of the time. That, and the fact that I tried going without using my inhaler beforehand. I keep forgetting that I'm still getting over a sinus infection. In the fourth lap, it felt like a small animal was sitting on my ribcage. From now on, inhale before I go!

The rain yesterday gave me an excuse to go shopping. I headed out to the sales at Road Runner Sports to look for some socks, a new fuel belt, and a water resistant layer. Nothing much was on sale there that I could see, but I did get a belt and a jacket, plus an amphipod pouch so I can carry things like ID when I run. And maybe even my inhaler.

I made a trip to Whole Foods yesterday to track down some Ultima replenishment drink. I first had this back at the end of July at a race aid station. I thought it was just water, but at the first sip knew it was something else. It was light and lemony and not overly sugary (in fact, I later found out it is sugar free) like a lot of sports drinks. After a few sips of this, I felt as though I was just starting the race -- and this was a day where it was 85 degrees and about 90% humidity at 8:00 a.m. It's really damn expensive, but thankfully you don't need a lot. If sports drinks like gatorade or powerade are too much for you -- I like them after a race but not during -- check out Ultima.

I recently found out that there are two non-marathon runner's guides out there right now. I started on this round of training with The Non Runner's Marathon Guide for Women: Get Off Your Butt and On With Your Training by Dawn Dais. It is from the viewpoint of a non-runner, someone who just went "hey, why not?" and then proceeded to try to find an answer to that question for the next four months. Her humor in telling her story is great. It doesn't end with a wonderful marathon race for her. It ends with a brutal, barely finished it marathon race. Much like I picture how mine will be.

The second book is The Non-Runner's Marathon Trainer by David Whitsett, et al. It is much more training oriented, but also focuses on the mental aspects of training. It is also a four month program. One of the authors was one of the class participants and, like me, she's quite a few pounds overweight and pretty much not a runner.

If I had started with the second book first, I wouldn't be doing this. I looked at the schedule, which is all in daily mileage goals, and was instantly put off by it. I couldn't explain why. By contrast, the Dais book schedule has daily minute goals for the first few weeks before switching to mileage. For some reason, my brain thinks that one is perfectly doable. I plan to keep following the Dais plan, but keep reading the Whitsett book to back everything up as it is more nuts and bolts, particularly on the mental aspect.

This also works better for me because I know I won't be doing a marathon at the end of four months. In my job, June and December are the busiest times of the year. I fully expect to end up doing very little training in the month of December, what with my job, the holidays, and weather (now watch, it will be the nicest December ever!). There also isn't a good marathon in my area in that time frame. My plan instead is to do a half marathon in January or February, and then do the marathon in March, April, or May. Right now, schedules for 2010 are a bit thin so I can't narrow it down any more than that.

Tomorrow is a rest day. Yay! Now I'll have all clean workout gear for Tuesday.

the CilleyGirl

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Day 7 and the end of Week 1: I'm soaking wet but not from sweat.

With Day 7, it is the end of Week 1. I made it! Yay for me!

I woke to the sound of pouring rain. Yes, it's raining here in CilleyLand. Quite a bit. But since I started this whole running thing in the month of January, I'm fairly used to running in the rain. I mean, after a while you just can't get any wetter. So up I got and on went the gear and out I headed.

I wasn't even the only person at the track. There was another gal running and she was quite wet too (she could even be my next door neighbor; I've only seen my neighbor once so...). After a few laps another guy showed up to walk the track, and after a few more laps another guy came to run. He had a very springy, bouncy running pace. The crows showed up too.


I realized rather quickly that my low back was going to be a problem. It was just enough out of whack that it would press intermittently on a nerve, at which point my left leg would go "Aha! I may or may not stay under you today." Consequently, today's run was mostly a walk. But I did my 45 minutes regardless, thus completing Week 1 of training.

Here is the schedule for Week 2:

Day 8/Sun: Run 35 min.
Day 9/Mon: Rest day. Yay!
Day 10/Tue: Cross training 45 min - 1 hour.
Day 11/Wed: Run 35 min.
Day 12/Thu: Run 40 min.
Day 13/Fri: Rest day. Double yay!
Day 14/Sat: Run 50 min.

The way this schedule is set up, Saturday is the long run day. It'll be a little weird to only go 35 minutes tomorrow. I've already popped my low back around so hopefully that little issue will not reoccur tomorrow.

Next I need to work on my diet. While I've lost inches and gone down a size, I haven't really lost any weight (and no breastage; damn things are still the same size). I strongly suspect that I'm not eating enough calories. Last year I was able to lose 20 pounds just by changing my eating habits; I wasn't really exercising at all then. Occasionally I'd have weeks where I'd mostly eat pizza and wings. As in, a whole pizza and an order of wings. In one evening. By myself. Yet I lost weight. An article in the current issue of Women's Running says that to calculate the calories you need to maintain your weight, multiple your current weight by a factor that depends on your activity level. Even using the low end of the moderately active factor, it says I should be consuming 3,040 calories a day to maintain my weight. For runners to lose weight, it says you shouldn't cut 500 calories a day from that but rather 200 or 300.

I've only been eating around 1,800 and 2,000 calories a day. Runners are also supposed to eat about 60% carbs; I tend to crave protein. Once I get the training schedule down (21 days to establish a habit, right?), I'll work on my diet. In the meantime, while I'm not trying to eat everything in sight I am working on not limiting things.

Well, my head is telling me I need to consume some more fluids. Chocolate sounds good too.

the CilleyGirl

Friday, September 4, 2009

Day 6: Sleeping in is tough.

Yeah, right.

As I've mentioned probably way too many times already, today was a rest day. Consequently I slept in til 8:00 a.m. It was glorious. Although I predict that perhaps I'll want to relive the gloriousness tomorrow morning and have a hard time getting up for my run. But it's supposed to rain all weekend so it should be just as chilly and miserable later in the morning as it would be early in the morning. My alma mater opens its Pac-10 season this weekend and I'd like to see that game, so as long as I'm done by 3 PM I'm good. Go Cougs!

Since there's nothing to talk about as far as actual training goes, I thought I'd write about me. What better, more interesting subject than that, eh? Seriously tho, since I've added a column about my race times -- which are incredibly, incredibly SLOW -- it occurred to me that some people might be wondering why I'm bothering. Or why I ever decided to start running in the first place. Well, I'll tell you.

I was a typically active kid up until junior high. That was the year we moved from Seattle to a suburb outside of Seattle. I don't make friends easily, and it didn't help that -- compared to our old house, across the street from an elementary school and five blocks from the junior high and high school -- we'd moved to BFE. Add in that I hadn't wanted to move in the first place, our house wasn't even built when we moved so my mom and I lived in a camper trailer for the first three months of school, part of that time in a trailer park nowhere near our house, AND puberty had just started. Well, I was not a happy camper.

On top of all that, my new junior high -- in fact, our school district in general -- was good at only one thing: Running. This was 1982. In the 1980s, my high school girls' cross country team had three state titles and two runner's up. It's considered one of the all-time greatest girls' cross country programs in the state. Consequently, not only did all of the PE at my JH believe that they could find the next Prefontaine if only they tried, they were determined to find the female Prefontaine. Remember, 1984 was the first year women were allowed to run the marathon at the Olympics, hosted that year by the U.S. in Los Angeles.

I came from an urban school. We had concrete. My only running to that point was done on a playground or home to be in by dark. I moved to trees and dirt. Every single day we had PE and every single day we ran. At least a half mile. Through the woods on a trail with lots of twists and turns and tree roots. One Friday we'd do a mile, the next Friday we'd do 2.1 miles. Who knew about shoes then? More specifically, who knew about shoes for a 12 year old in PE class? I think I had a pair of Nikes, but more likely something really, really cheap and flimsy. And remember that part earlier, about starting puberty? Hello, I am the CilleyGirl and I have breastage. Serious, substantial breastage. By sixth grade I was already a B cup. By the end of high school I was a C cup. Worse than shoes, who really knew about sports bras in 1982? In particular, who knew about sports bras for junior high girls in 1982? The damn things were only invented in 1977, for pete's sake.

So here's where we are so far: New school, no real shoes, breastage with no real bra, running trails and track when I've never run really at all, weekly distances of between 3 and 4 miles in a 50 minute class that was never the same time every day (we had a rotating schedule; you could be doing this at 7:30 a.m. and then sweaty and gross all day long), and -- least we forget -- PUBERTY. Oh, and running wasn't all we did in PE. Oh no. Except for the Fridays when we did the 2.1, running was just the warm up. Then you got to go embarrass yourself with flag football, basketball, whatever. Plus you still had to change clothes. All of this in a 50 minute class.

I learned very quickly to absolutely detest running (PE in general, actually, but let's focus on running). Which is sad, because I'd actually liked running before that. But being forced to run every single day, that I didn't like.

I figured out two years later, on the very last day of PE class at that junior high, why I hated running (although all of it didn't come together for me until much later). See, the thing is, I'm not a sprinter. Among other things, I have breastage. Living with a smoker probably wasn't helping. Except for the hurdles, which I was actually good at, I am not fast. At all. But on the last day of my last junior high PE class, we ran a 2.1. For some reason, I decided that I didn't want to drag along at the back of the pack and bitch and moan with my friends about how much we hated running and that Mr. H was really evil incarnate (he is). I decided that I would try to run the damn thing. I remember part of my thinking was that I'd have more time to clean up for class. It may have been that that particular PE class was the last class I'd ever take at that junior high.

The point is, I ran. I remember Mr. H being shocked as he shouted out encouragement to me. I remember being shocked when, after about the first mile, I suddenly felt like I could keep going. Forever. My first runner's high.That was when I realized I wasn't a sprinter. I was a distance runner. No wonder I hated running in PE where the emphasis was 98% on short distances and fast times. As long as I got past the first mile, I could keep going and going and going. I remember feeling a little resentful about a PE program where that kind of realization would probably never come for anyone other than completely by accident.

And then I finished the run, packed up my gym clothes, and went on with my day, basically to never run any sort of distance again. Until January 2009, nearly 25 years later.

But that's a post for another day.

the CilleyGirl

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Day 5, part 2: The Doggie Death March

aka, "The Tongues, They Are A'Hangin'."

They weren't being very cooperative in my taking their pictures. Mostly they just wanted their dinners. The brown dog is Schmart Dog; she's almost 13 and rather (ahem) fluffy with a bad leg so she can't go much more than a mile these days. The white dog is CBS -- Cute But Stupid. Sorry, but she is. She's 14 and getting senile, although really she's always been like this. She can go far, but tends to run in front of anyone and anything because she just doesn't notice anyone or anything.
Still got to do some booty shaking tonight to round out my cross training day, but the dogs, they are a'satisfied.
the CilleyGirl

Today's Zen iPod Moment

It's not really today's zen iPod moment, but I keep meaning to include these in my training recaps and obviously keep forgetting. Guess I'm just too caught up in the zen of it all.

Anyhow, when I train I like to listen to my iPod. For training, the mix is basically rock (classic and hard), rap and hip hop. A little country, a few new wave, some pop.

On two separate days this week, Billy Joel's "Pressure" came on, which has this lyric:
You have to learn to pace yourself.... PRESSURE.

Which I thought was appropriate, since I was working on finding a good running pace.

On another run, Stevie Wonder came on with "Signed, Sealed, Delivered." That one has:
I've done a lot of foolish things
That I really didn't mean, didn't I?

When you've decided you really are going to train to complete a marathon, that just about says it all, doesn't it?

Thus ends today's (but not really) zen iPod moment.

the CilleyGirl

Day 5: No dog pee. No nuthin. (So far.)

And it's Day 5. Which I just quickly counted off on my fingers to be certain -- yep! Day 5!

What have I done for Day 5? Nothing yet. What was I supposed to have done? Hmm, that's up for debate. Since Day 5 isn't over yet. So neener.

Seriously tho, this particular Day 5 is for cross training. I say "this particular" because my schedule will be changing up next week. But for now, today is cross training. My original plan was to do some bellydancing exercises, in preparation for the class I'm taking at the end of the month. Some time yesterday, pitiful dog glances and pouts changed it to taking the dogs for a long walk in the morning for cross training day. Some time in my sleep that changed to taking the dogs for a long walk after work for cross training day.

So that's still the plan. I've mentioned before I have chronic insomnia, and all week I've been taking Tylenol PM so I could get to sleep in order to get up early in order to run. It worked for the sleeping part, but also left me somewhat hungover during the days. I decided last night to try sleeping au naturel -- not nude but rather without pharmaceutical assistance. It worked pretty well; I was in bed by 9:30, I fell asleep shortly thereafter and I slept through the night. With my insomnia, I either can't fall asleep for hours or I sleep lightly and then don't feel rested, or both. So when 6:00 a.m. rolled around and the alarms started going off, I decided the dogs would enjoy an evening walk much, much more and I set the alarms ahead an hour and got a bit more sleep.

Taking them out 12 hours later also cuts down on the amount of soaking wet dog and dirty muddy paws I would have had to deal with. They love to roll in the grass at the park. At 6:30 a.m., this grass would be sopping wet and soon so would they. By this evening, it will be a lot drier.

So, so far I'm still on schedule. Tomorrow is a rest day. Yay! I really need to ice my shins tonight and tomorrow. I'm feeling a few twinges in both shins. By the way, if you have shin splints, try FitFlops. I have very flat feet and started getting shin splints with my first pair of (not so great) running shoes. I got a much better pair of shoes (same brand -- New Balance -- but much better support) and also added insoles. Under the existing insoles. Yes, I know typically you replace the insoles that come with the shoes, but I tried that and it made no difference between the purchased insoles and the shoe's insoles. Mine are extra built up and they made a huge amount of difference for my shins. Anyhow, FitFlops are supposed to work and slim your legs and bum when you wear them. I'm guessing they're doing that, but what I really like is they make my legs feel better. I'll have tired and sore legs and put these on and by the end of the work day nearly all the ache is gone.

Plus, Oprah wears them.

As for the rest of me, so far so good. I plan to stay that way.

the CilleyGirl

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Day 4: Dog pee free, I run.

Good morning and welcome to Day 4. I did my run this morning, and I did it without the lingering odor of eau de dog booty.

After my training yesterday, I had a lot of energy all day long, but not necessarily in a good way. You know that manic, hyper feeling where you can tell if you stop you'll pass out? That's how I felt for most of the day. Lunch dampered it back a bit, but on the whole I was jittery all day. And thirsty. Thirsty thirsty thirsty. Comparisons of myself to a racehorse kept coming to mind every time I had to go to the bathroom yet again.

But I digress.

I had set my alarms (I had three) five minutes earlier to ease into getting up just a bit early for training (I had to wolf my breakfast this morning to be on time to work). Like yesterday, I couldn't quite figure out at first why they were going off since it was still dark out, but then I remembered. And then I almost talked myself into skipping this morning. But I remembered that I had planned for this last night: If I trained this morning, tomorrow is cross training (bellydancing and maybe some hand weights) and then Friday is a rest day. So all I had to do was get up this morning and I don't have to run again until Saturday!

It did the trick and I was up. Happily, pee free. I'd made the cute-but-stupid-and-now-a-little-senile dog go potty before bed last night so we woke up clean and dry. (Side note: All day yesterday I kept thinking I smelled dog pee. Or smelled like dog pee.) I got on the gear, told my dogs yet again that they couldn't come with me (no dogs at the track), and headed out the door. It was a bit chilly; I could tell that while it would feel good while I was running I'd be cold on the way home.

When I got to the track, I was the only one there besides a large flock of crows, but halfway through my first lap the clockwise chick showed up. She ran counterclockwise today. Three more people showed up towards the end of my run, and two more at the very end. Otherwise, it was mostly just me, the clockwise chick, a flock of crows, and an entertaining squirrel.

I ran the first two laps at around 11:30/mile. This is a great pace for me right now. I know I can go faster, in the nines, but I'm not ready to hold that pace. It's amazing how steady I can hold the pace. I kept checking and while I didn't really get below 11:30/mile I stayed within 15-20 seconds of it towards the end of the run.

I walked most of the third lap, then ran the rest of the third plus a fourth. Walked a lap, then ran a fifth and I think a sixth and a seventh and maybe an eighth. Did I mention I lose track easily? I know I ran three consecutive laps, all under a 12 minute pace, and I think I ran most of a fourth. It was awesome. At least, my brain thought so. My right leg wasn't so sure. It's still stiff.

So, tomorrow is cross training and then I get a day off on Friday. Yay! Today's goal was to train for 40 minutes, and I did that. For today's mileage, I logged 3.34 miles (excluding the half mile warm up walk to the track). That brings the week 1 total to 8.49 miles. Woo hoo! For Saturday, I will run three consecutive laps. For Sunday, I want to run a mile. Without walking.

Stay tuned for how it works out. Don't change that dial!

Cheers (and not smelling of dog pee, uh uh no way),
the CilleyGirl

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Day 3: Covered in dog pee, I ran.

And it's Day 3. And I did it! I got up and I ran. But not without a few interesting items along the way.

First, it seems I wasn't scheduled to run on Day 3. On the training schedule I am working from, Tuesdays would be a run day and Thursdays would be a cross training day. For me, starting at the end of September, cross training will be the bellydance class I'm taking. All summer, that was on Thursday nights, which would have fit perfectly with this training schedule. But now it's on Tuesdays, so I will be switching things up a bit. For this week, that should have meant:

Sun: Run.
Mon: Rest.
Tue: Run.
Wed: Run.
Thu: Cross train.
Fri: Rest.
Sat: Run.

But with my schedule, I'll be doing this:

Sun: Run.
Mon: Rest.
Tue: Cross train.
Wed: Run.
Thu: Run.
Fri: Rest.
Sat: Run.

So, as I iced and heated my excessively sore shoulder last night, I planned that while I would still get up early I would not run but cross train. But then the following happened:

1. I woke up at 3:30 a.m.
2. My dog had peed in the bed. On me.
3. It was 3:30 a.m.
4. Everything smelled like dog pee.
5. Including me.

Okay, not really. Well, mostly. She didn't pee quite on me, she peed next to me. The comforter soaked it up quite nicely so it was only damp. The freaking down comforter, but I'll deal with that. And it didn't quite smell like dog pee. I don't know what it smells like. It's not roses, I will tell you that, but not dog pee so that was a fraction of a plus in the situation.

It took me a bit of time to fall back asleep after that, so when the alarms started going off it was tough to remember why I was supposed to get up. But I did. And I decided since I smelled like dog pee (or whatever), why not go run? So I did.

The temp was nice, at first I thought I'd be too hot in my long-sleeved tech shirt and at first I was a little warm but I was really glad to have it on the walk home. I was glad to see there were other crazy people at the track; I like to run with my iPod but I'm not completely comfortable using it when there is nobody else at the track. But there were at least two other women there (including one running clockwise to everyone else's counterclockwise; I couldn't figure out if she was backwards or if we were) so safety wasn't a concern. I do turn down the volume significantly on the walk there and back so I can be aware of traffic and other people.

I ran the first two laps and it felt pretty good. I started out the first few steps going much too fast (and I remembered the inhaler this morning) so I cut back my pace and got a good rhythm right away. I ran two laps, then walked one, then ran two. At the end of one of the two laps (I lose track, no pun intended), I felt like I could keep going but decided not to push it too hard right off the bat and risk burning out.

Runs for Day 1 and Day 3 were for 35 minutes. Average pace this morning was in the 14 minute range. This is because while I'm pretty comfortable jogging at about an 11 minute pace I walk at about an 18 minute pace. But today's average was about two minutes faster than Sunday's average. The inhaler really helped.

Distance was 2.65 miles. I don't include the half mile walk to the track; I consider that warm up. For now I am including the half mile walk home. Added to Sunday/Day 1's mileage of 2.5 miles, I've done 5.15 miles this week. Tomorrow I run 40 minutes.

So, if I complete a marathon (notice I'm not saying I'll run a marathon, but I will complete one), will you send me on a cruise? Only a dollar a reader will do it!

Oh, instead of chocolate milk this morning I did vanilla protein shake. Should've done the chocolate milk. But I did have an egg mcblankie. And I've got the sugar cookie right here. It's even bunny shaped.

the CilleyGirl