Tuesday, April 29, 2008

longer runs, shorter blogs

Somehow I'm really having trouble keeping up with this blog! The good news is that I'm getting most of my workouts in, at least...

Sunday was our LSD run; got up, ate some oatmeal, and then got ready to head out. Passed Kory a few doors down, she said we were out early (we were on the road before 9 a.m.) and we told her we were headed out for a ten-mile run. I think she may have thought we were kidding.

So out we went, heading west towards the locks, then across the locks and through the industrial area at the foot of Magnolia, out past where the school buses sleep, and out to the waterfront park. We turned around at the 5.75 mile point (I think?), then ran back across Dravus, across the Ballard Bridge, and then (the only really frustrating part) had to do some aimless running near Fred Meyer to make sure we'd hit 10 miles before we got home. Felt really good until the Fred Meyer meandering... and then really hit the wall on the uphill home. Passed Kory again, who said "Wow, you guys were gone for a long time!" I mean, yeah, we're slow, but we did go TEN MILES...

The best part was not feeling sore at all the next two days -- I think we did a good job of stretching when we got home.

Monday I skipped my ride. Left work early with a banging headache and in a foul mood; did a bunch of little tidy projects in the basement but never managed to motivate myself to get in the saddle.

Today got home and the weather was grim. Wil was excitedly playing Grand Theft Auto IV, so I got caught up on some reading and played with the cats. At some point I noticed that it had stopped raining so I quickly changed clothes and headed out for a 55-minute run. Walked 5 minutes, ran pretty much straight through 55 minutes, and then cooled down for 4 (I got home). Ran uphill for the first 20 minutes; Very Slowly. Sped up quite a bit in the last 10 minutes (downhill and close to home). Feel pretty good about the run. Had to struggle to keep with it; really wanted to quit after 25 minutes, but decided if I could just make myself keep going for 5 or 10 more, then I'd be out for the entire planned workout because I was so far from home! Only had to do some meandering when I got back across 15th.

Tomorrow I have a Very Important Meeting so I'm not going to swim before work. (It really wouldn't do to turn up with swim goggle face!) Depending on how things go I'll try to squeeze in a swim in the evening.

The OTD Run is just around the corner -- feeling nervous, but having had a good 10-miler on Sunday I am confident that we'll have no trouble finishing. Sure, they may have sent all the volunteers home by the time we finish, but we'll finish!

Thursday, April 24, 2008

playing catchup

Another busy week, workwise -- but at least this week I made sure to plan ahead and fit all of my workouts in. (So far!)

Monday after work I came home and rode my bike on the trainer for 45 minutes, which made me feel okay. I still have some funny creaky noise to work out, but we'll get there.

Then Tuesday while Wil went to the ball game, I went out for a run in the neighborhood. I think I really need to plan my runs better -- I felt like I was just meandering, running up and down streets with little clear plan, feeling bored and alternating between running too quickly and running too slowly. Clearly I need Wil to serve as my pacemaker! Ended the run feeling tired, extremely sore in my right hip, and a little dispirited.

Wednesday morning I went for my weekly swim; at some point I decided that I should practice my breast stroke. In last year's Chelanman, I found the swim leg scary and I had a hard time staying calm and just swimming steadily -- so I switched from freestyle to breast stroke during the race. But I never practice it. Maybe practicing it will make me faster... and maybe I'll also feel calmer and braver about my freestyle in this year's races.

Then today I knew I had a work dinner, so I brought my workout gear to the office and ran on the fitness center treadmill before work. I had foolishly forgotten my badge, so I was really dependent upon the kindness of strangers. First I tried to sweettalk the guard into activating the gym function on the temporary badge. No go. Then I went into the locker room, where I asked a total stranger to let me in to the gym. She kindly did. Then, after my run, I got the very last towel in the gym... but a woman also offered me a clean towel from her bag in case there weren't any towels left. Phew!

The run didn't go super well this morning -- I felt really tired and sluggish, which was strange because I had gone to bed super early last night and slept for nearly 8 hours. But then I realized that we ate dinner absurdly early, so I hadn't eaten in nearly 14 hours. Spent much of the day feeling tired, actually. But, still, a bad run is probably better than no run at all.

Wil was a superstar and ran home from work today!!! So proud of him!

As the deejay said on my drive home tonight, we're nearly at the weekend. I'm really looking forward to this one!

Sunday, April 20, 2008


I know we're softies here, that out winters aren't harsh when you compare them to other places.

But it's April. April 20th, to be exact. And today we ran in the snow. Little hard pellets somewhere between snow and hail. What's up with that?

Green Lake had several diehards out walking and running. We should have gone around 3 times, sorta hoped to go around 2 times, but felt so miserable and weatherbeaten that we just made it around once. So not the best workout, 3 weeks from our half marathon. Wil and I swore to each other that we won't miss another workout between now and the half. We'll see. I'm starting to worry.

My ankle felt fine, but I have a nagging little pain in my right knee. I wonder if I'm still favoring the ankle and little, and have therefore started running in a way that hurts my knee? Who knows. At least the weather will be warmer at Grand Coulee.

Thursday, April 17, 2008

mental health day

Having discovered that I have maxed out my vacation time -- meaning that I am essentially volunteering one day every two weeks because I am no longer accruing vacation -- I decided to take a little mental vacation day and stay home.

I really wanted to ride my bike, but I chickened out and ran my errands by car, and then rode my bike in the trainer. Not sure why I'm having this mental block. It makes me feel bad about myself. Oh well. There's always the weekend (if it doesn't snow...).

But I rode 45 minutes "hard", and then stretched out. I must have the cleat in my right shoe in the wrong spot because my knee starts to feel funny towards the end of my ride. There's also a funny clacking noise when I pedal, which I can't seem to identify. Given my knees, I should note that the clacking noise comes from the bike, not my creaky legs... But we'll sort it out.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008


Another busy morning at the pool... so busy that I had to park down the hill. Weird. A bunch of Speedo Dudes in the fast and medium lane, feeling huffy that a third person dared join the medium lane (me), and loudly complaining about having to swim around us. Which was especially funny because I wasn't even in the pool yet, just sitting on the side, putting on my swim cap. Also funny because they were swimming the same workout, so you'd think they could easily all swim together. Anyway, they finished shortly after I arrived, so I just shared the lane with one woman.

But what a woman. And perhaps as I swam along with her I came to understand the Speedo Dudes' exasperation. She was swimming nice and steady, but also swimming... um... broadly. Backwards breaststroke (or whatever that's called). Which means that, even though I was literally scraping against the lane marker, she was still hitting me or kicking me as we passed. I mean, it wasn't like a triathlon or anything, and I need to get more comfortable with being hit in the pool, but it was weird.

Anyway, on I swam, doing 1250m of freestyle, then 500mm with the pull buoy and swim gloves, and a final 50m to round out the day. I felt pretty good, even if I felt really aware of my arms. This might be a good thing -- maybe I was concentrating on moving my arms to propel me through the water. Or maybe I was just feeling weak. Who knows.

Back feels a little tight, but legs and especially my right ankle feel fine.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

rest and rehabilitation

Took the rest of last week off. Other than dancing in high heels at Rebecca's birthday party on Friday night, the most energetic I've been since Wednesday's swim and water walk was lounging on the beach in the sun on Vashon Island on Saturday...

So today I was determined to try to run on the treadmill... gingerly... downtown. I took it really easy, walking for 5 minutes, running for 30, then walking for another 5 to cool down. I felt really good the whole time, and even now I feel pretty good. A little stiffness in my right ankle, and of course my IT band is a bit funky, but otherwise okay. I think I'm ready to do a proper long run at the weekend.

Tomorrow I swim...

Thursday, April 10, 2008


...when you say "rest an injury", you mean, rest the affected area. So running and swimming on the ankle weren't such a good idea? Oh. But dancing in high heels is okay, right?

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

water workout

Went to the pool today for my weekly swim. It was weirdly crowded -- I think I was later than usual, and the 8:30 class has been shifted up to 8:00 so there were more people in the space than I'd seen before.

Each of the three roped off lanes had 2 or 3 people already, and another guy was swimming in the area next to the lanes. I slotted myself in next to him. My ankle is still feeling a bit tender, but I figured swimming wouldn't be any problem. But when I jumped in the pool and the water hit my ankle, it hurt.

I swam a slow 200 meters, very aware of just what my ankle does when I swim. A lot more than I thought, apparently. So I decided to just use the pull buoy so I could immobilize my legs. Did another 600 meters of just arms. But the unroped part of the deep end was filling up with the 8am water exercise class, so I knew I needed to move. Meanwhile, the lanes were still 2+ full. What to do?

I decided to move into the separate shallow area and swim crosswise lengths. Swam a few more lengths using just my arms, but felt silly swimming on that side of the divider. Then I remembered something I'd read about water walking being a great rehab. So I spent the second half of my workout simply walking and running back and forth. It was surprisingly hard work -- hours later I can feel it in my legs. And my ankle, while still tender and seriously unhappy if I turn it, feels otherwise okay.

Not the best water workout ever, but 20 minutes of swimming and 25 minutes of water walking is much better than nothing.

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

gimpy girl

Wanted to get a little exercise in today, despite the blustery weather. So I paid a quick visit to the gym downtown -- the first gym visit in weeks, as we've been running outside. But I wanted some mellow, cushioned walking/running to see how my ankle did.

Did a 5-minute warmup at a 4.0 mph, then bumped it up to 5.5 for the next 5 minutes, and then up to 5.6 for 5 minutes. I got a cramp in the front of my right shin, so I decided to take a 1-minute break and walk at 4.0 mph again. That made my leg feel better, so I bumped back up to 5.5 for the next 10 minutes, even though I felt a funny twingy/cramp/pinch/weakness in my left glute -- I figure I was compensating for my right ankle and shin. But it worked itself out, for the most part. Did another 1-minute 4.0 mph walk break, then back up to 5.5 for 8 more minutes before cooling down slowly for 5. Not a huge amount of distance -- 3.59 -- but I didn't want to push myself and my poorly ankle. Feel pretty good about it now.

Monday, April 7, 2008


We're not sure how it happened. How it started. Maybe it was because we saw an ad for it in Runners World. Who knows.

But we started talking about it. And thinking about it. And in the course of 48 hours we made a momentous decision.

We're going to run the 2009 Walt Disney World Marathon.

See, originally, we planned to run the Seattle Marathon. Regular readers will have seen our stated intention in the header of this blog. Keen-eyed readers will notice that it no longer says Seattle. We're going to run with the Mouse.

But I'm getting ahead in the story. We'd decided on Seattle -- why not run your hometown marathon? It was the right time of year for us, training-wise, if not weather-wise. But the weather had been perfect in 2007 so we were decided.

Then on New Year's Eve, at a party with relative strangers (our new neighbors), we were talked out of Seattle, and talked in to Portland. Hmmm.... much more attractive, in a way. A really nice course, a really nice city, earlier in the year (early October rather than late November) so the weather isn't as likely to play a factor. MP3 friendly. Green. Lovely. So we settled on Portland as our marathon of choice.

And then our dearest friends, Rebecca and Eric, decided to get married. We couldn't be happier. Even *if* they picked the day before the Portland Marathon as their wedding day... So it was back to the drawing board. We were still soured on the idea of the Seattle Marathon, but then I saw an ad for the Las Vegas Marathon. First week of December! Race starts to fireworks on the Strip! Running as Elvis! A run-through wedding chapel! We were IN!!!!

However, neither of us was super excited about it. We figured we'd go down, have a long weekend, and then feel funny about telling people we ran the Las Vegas Marathon. And everyone says the course gets really, really boring out in the subdivisions...

Then this weekend, seeing the Mickey Medal, thinking about it, and then looking at the dates... hmm, early January. That means not doing a marathon this year. And Florida is a long way away.

But then I looked at the course map. I couldn't believe how beautiful it was -- running in and around the parks in Disney World -- running through Cinderella's castle! Running "backstage" at Animal Kingdom! Running with characters and bands and lots of other first-timers...

We were sold. Completely obsessed. We needed to wait until today to make sure Wil could get the week off in January (9 months notice? shouldn't be a problem...). Within 10 minutes of hearing that Wil got his vacation request approved, I had registered us for the race.

Okay, so I won't run a marathon before I turn 40. But we're both ridiculously giddy at the idea of the WDW Marathon... and a jolly holiday in Florida in January.

Sunday, April 6, 2008


Went out for our run this morning -- 3x around Green Lake, or 8.4 miles. Easy. Ha.

Once I loosened up -- after about a mile or so -- I felt good, I felt relaxed. I felt as if I was running easily, and like I could go on and on. The path around the lake was pretty crowded, despite the grey, drizzly weather. But on we went. Once around, easy. Then about halfway around the second time, I moved to the right to avoid an oncoming pair of runners.... and twisted my ankle on the edge of the paved path.


I could tell nothing was broken, just a bad twist, so I hobbled back around to the car and we went home. I'll spend the rest of the day with my foot up and iced. Boo.

Friday, April 4, 2008

slow week

The month started off promisingly... but here it is, the 4th, and I already feel as if I'm off the rails.

Didn't run yesterday ... felt restless when I got home and just couldn't bring myself to channel the energy into running. It was one of those days where you know you should just get changed and go out the door, but I could't make myself do it. Slept badly, worrying about work. Again.

Then today -- didn't go into the office as we had an all-hands meeting in the morning on this side of the lake, and then I had to deliver some stuff to one of our agencies, and then I met Wil for lunch... I had meant to sneak in a short run at the gym downtown... but felt stuffed after a tasty tasty Indian lunch so went home instead and put in a few more hours of work.

However, I did manage to motivate myself to get on my bike. Just in the trainer, mind you, but I got on the bike and rode for 45 quick minutes. There's a strange clicking noise when I pedal, possibly from the pedal/cleat interface itself. Couldn't really sort it out myself, and since I was in the trainer, I just kept pedaling. My legs already feel a bit sore. But happy that I got a little exercise in.

Wednesday, April 2, 2008


Wil rode his bike to work today -- bravo Wil! I'm still putting that off for a while. I went swimming in Issaquah, upping my time to 45 minutes and swimming steady for 1800 meters. I kept thinking about my whalesong friend, and how I missed his melodious swimming. Instead I had 15 minutes of dancy pop music accompanying the "Fit to the Core" water exercise class at the beginning of my workout, and a few minutes of mellow pop music accompanying another water-ex class at the end. The "Fit to the Core" class looks pretty cool -- lots of young people, not just the sweet little old ladies of the later class. Not sure if I could be in the pool by 6:30, however... getting there at 7:00 is tough enough.

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

No Foolin'

Took advantage of the gorgeous late afternoon weather for a 40-minute run at Green Lake. We walked for 5, ran for 40, and then walked for another 5. Had a little pain in my right hip, and felt really stiff at the beginning, but after the first mile I felt good and relaxed. Still, we took it easy, doing 3.7 miles in 40 minutes. 

I think we both lost our focus a little towards the end, but then Wil really picked up the pace in the last couple of minutes, leaving be running behind him. 

I know we say this all the time, but it astounds us that a 3 or 4 mile run is nice and easy... when it used to be a real challenge. It's amazing what you can train yourself to do!