Friday, September 30, 2011

I < 3 GOOD!!!

I have known for a long time that I lead a charmed existence. I decide that I would like to find a 30-day challenge for October, but struggled to find the right one. The good people at GOOD have solved my problem.

The October 30 Day Challenge from GOOD is .... GET HEALTHY!!!

Bless. I pledge to follow their lead for the next 30 days. And run 2 half marathons. :)

In completely random news... Wil and I are spending the weekend on the Olympic Peninsula... and just had a great chat with "Chris" and "Ally" next to the fire here at Lake Quinault about running. Yay for random meetings!

Thursday, September 29, 2011

30 day challenges...

The other day I got an email from Athleta with a "30 days of new challenge", which I thought was intriguing... even if a number of the items were "mommy" related and therefore not relevant. I also laughed that it came on the 23rd of the month (rather than around the first), and in the month before a 31-day month. But whatever.

I wanted to look at it again, so I searched for "30 days challenge" and was astounded by the number of hits. Apparently a lot of people do 30-day challenges. Some take the angle of "try something new every day for thirty days", while others try to develop a habit by doing something for thirty days straight. 

I do like the idea of trying something new every day -- or, if not new, something different (if you know what I mean). I also like the idea of following someone else's list -- I mean, if it's just my "to do" list, it's less... serendipitous... 

While searching for more guidance, I came across September's GOOD 30-Day Challenge -- late at night on the 29th of the month. Boo. 

I'm a Capricorn -- I like order. Of course I have to start on the 1st. No, really. I do. 

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Three Things Thursday - Squats, Lunges, and Crunches

Just home after another Body Revolution session with Dillon at Soma Training -- and again I feel totally happy. Sore, tired, but HAPPY. There were 6 of us tonight, and Dillon set up 7 stations: a kettleball lunge and lift, pull-ups, a "goblet squat", crunches with a medicine ball, running a ladder, forward/backward lunges, and triceps pulls. We warmed up outside (it's really hard to do backward lunges up a hill!) and then went in for the three circuits. Hard, but I was able to do most of the exercises.

Again, Dillon is great -- she walks around the gym, correcting form as needed, cheering us on, telling us when we're working hard / looking good / finishing strong / etc. Again, really nice.

I expect to have very sore abs in the morning. :)

I decided to sign up for one session a week -- seems like a good start -- and then I'll do the 21-day jumpstart  starting on November 1. Anyone up for it?

Soma Deal on "Green Lake Moms"

Well, that's amusing... anyone want to join me for a 21-day series at Soma Training?

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

I Tried It Tuesday: Body Revolution

Several weeks ago I purchased an "Ideal" -- a group deal that actually gives back to the community -- for 2 weeks of Body Revolution classes at Soma Training in Seattle. I went to a class last week with a substitute trainer -- a real butt-kicking workout, but given that I limped in (as I had walked a brisk half marathon the day before) I don't think I really was able to review it for real.

So -- I went back last night and... it was amazing. I should have written this blog post last night because I came home all glowing and endorphin rushy. I felt like I had been through the wringer, but was really blissed out afterwards.

We started by warming up on the various cardio machines, and then all did a group warm-up. Some kicks, some running in place, some lunges, some push-ups, etc. Then Dillon (the owner / instructor) quickly set up some stations and explained what we'll be doing.

Last night the stations were: push-ups, side lunges with kettlebells, a wood-chop/circular motion with medicine balls, squats / throwing medicine ball agains the wall, sort of hanging chinups, stepping up onto a high bench, and jumping jack squats. Each interval lasts a minute, I think, with 15 seconds of recovery between intervals where you move from one station to the next. During the interval you do the exercise as much as you can. Because it was my first time with her, Dillon had me do some of the exercises without weights -- so that she could check my form. I still feel like I got a killer workout!

We did a full circuit, then took a break for water and air, and then started again. It was all very high energy. I noticed that the women didn't talk to each other much, and Dillon did some talking, but mainly kept time, checked people's form and corrected it as necessary, and kept people moving and motivated. I liked the way she worked with all of us -- urging us to keep going ("I didn't say to stop!" "A little higher, ladies") and gently correcting and praising.

At the end of our third circuit we did some stretching and cooling down. I had to leave the studio to get a little fresh air -- I had that vaguely queasy feeling I sometimes get after working out really hard -- which, to me, is the mark of a fine, fine workout. But, no, I didn't lose it. :)

At the very end we were stretching our hamstrings -- mine are notoriously tight -- and she came up behind me, put her hand on the small of my back, and said "A little lower" with a gentle push. And I did. It wasn't comfortable, but I did get a deeper stretch. I read back over this paragraph and it looks silly -- but it was somehow ... compelling?

I'm going back on Wednesday, but then I need to make a decision. Do I continue? I mean, it feels like a lot of money. $90/month for 1 class/week. $180/month for 2. I mean, I wouldn't pay $840 for a year's gym membership (let alone $1680...). Which is silly, because there are plenty of things I spend that kind of money on. But I really enjoyed the class, the energy, and the workout.

Go on, someone. Tell me to just pony up and do it. :)

Monday, September 26, 2011


Waiting for my Body Revolution class to start, and feeling really anxious. At least those week I'm not limping at the BEGINNING of class....

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Chips and Salsa Half Marathon Race Report

When Southwest Airlines had a sale a few months back, I started looking for a race in or near Albuquerque so we could take a little trip down to enjoy two of our favorite things -- running and designer toys. The Chips & Salsa Half Marathon fit the bill perfectly. What's more, I actually managed to snag the $59 each way flights to ABQ -- and got a great advanced purchase on a very nice hotel near the Old Town -- so all the stars clearly aligned.

Except one -- Wil's poorly foot. See, I booked this trip a couple of weeks before the burn. And of course Wil hasn't been allowed to walk very much, let alone run. But the tickets were purchased, the hotel was booked, and the race had been registered for -- so we thought we might as well go for it.

To cut to the chase -- we're really glad we did. We had a great weekend and a fantastic time in Albuquerque. The city is beautiful, the sky feels enormous, the food is fantastic, and the people, well, they're cool too.

Packet pickup on the day before the race was a breeze -- very friendly volunteers, well organized. The rest of Saturday was spent doing touristy things -- so I will write about it on our travel blog. We attempted to get an early night, but didn't succeed.... and things weren't helped by having the hotel fire alarm go off at 5:10 am. 

But we got up, got dressed, and made our way to the Southwest Indian Polytechnic Institute for the start of the race. We parked in the neighboring gym parking lot -- there was a line of cars waiting to get into the main lot -- and walked the 100 yards. No problem. We picked up our chips and then went to find the starting line.

Eventually we joined the people waiting near this very handsome inflatable arch. As with everything in this race, the quality felt like a cut above average -- especially for a smallish event. 

Right around 7am, someone (Stephen?) from IRunFit came hustling over, megaphone in hand. He started by telling us that we were all on the wrong side of the arch, which made everyone laugh. So we dutifully walked around to the other side. 

Then he started talking about the course -- turn left, turn right, follow the cones, etc. Wil and I both got very nervous that we would get lost. After all, we don't know Albuquerque, and we expected to be at the back of the pack the entire race. But we needn't have worried -- the course was really well signed and coned throughout. Excellent work, IRunFit!

Some more chatter, and then, with a blast on an airhorn, we were off! First we made some loops around the neighborhood, chatting for a while with a woman who was doing 5 minutes of warm-up walking before setting off to run-walk the race. She's running Portland in a few weeks and didn't want to overdo it in this race. She is a cross-country coach in northern New Mexico and told us that they had had so much rain they had had to cancel practice and meets -- flooding AND lightning strikes. So Saturday's thunderstorm wasn't so atypical, I guess!

A little while later we crossed a long bridge over the Rio Grande. Other than a glimpse while crossing the border at Tijuana when I was a teenager, I've never seen the Rio Grande. It looked thick and muddy and red in the morning sun. 

The bridge was a lot longer than the river was wide, but I wondered if it floods in the spring or fall, and in late September is pretty dried out. 

Once across the Rio Grande, we turned off into a neighborhood full of big houses, all with gates and fences, and barking dogs. We wondered if they belonged to drug barons, what with all the bars on the windows.

Then we turned and ran along a wide boulevard -- one lane had been blocked off from traffic, but there weren't many cars at that time of the morning. What we did see, however, rising in the distance, were hot air balloons.

Another well-marked turn meant that we knew we were on the course, but had no idea where. We did know that we were ahead of pace -- I LOVE pace bands -- and going strong. More twists and turns, all with ubiquitous cones leading us along. Simple, nice. Oh, also -- LOTS of water stops. It seemed like there was one almost every mile. We had worried that there wouldn't be enough water, or that we would be too late on the course to get water, but there were loads of stops, well stocked, and with friendly volunteers.

We crossed a freeway (which I have just discovered was the same freeway we followed across the Rio Grande...) and kept moving. Eventually we came to some wineries, one of which was hosting a fancy car show. We saw a guy driving a silver convertible Porsche around; he looped past us twice and waved. 

As we approached the first winery, we saw another walker ahead of us.... and started to reel her in. She seemed to be okay, so we exchanged friendly hellos, and moved past her. Another mile later we saw two people -- and we reeled them in too. I should point out that we didn't really see anyone else on the course -- other than a couple we occasionally glimpsed behind us, and a woman we saw at the very beginning. 

Our experiences on the Alaska Marathon Cruise really made us aware of others on the course. (Or maybe it was our experiences on the Carros de Foc, waiting for the hikers to come in off the mountain each night?!?!) But I feel very protective of people at the back of the pack, and want to make sure that they don't get forgotten, or lost. So I tried to keep track of the others as we went along.

Another nice thing -- at one point, a truck passed us on the course, and they were clearly from IRunFit. They didn't stop or check in with us (we were doing fine), but I was happy to see that someone was driving the far-flung course keeping tabs on the participants. 

Then, suddenly, we came to a freeway overpass manned by police -- and I realized where we were... almost to the bridge over the river! Fantastic! So we turned, collected some water at the final stop, and headed back to the SIPI and the finish. 

We crossed the Rio Grande again -- and in the bright sun it looked like the river in Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. Except no Augustus Gloop being sucked up the tube.

Then a few final turns... where Wil spotted two guys ahead of us we hadn't ever seen. We toyed with the idea of breaking into a run to pass them, but that made both of us feel a little dirty. Besides, when they caught a glimpse of us gaining on them (walking...), the started to painfully jog. 

As we rounded the last curve toward the finish line, the few people there started cheering and clapping -- nice. We smiled and gave parade waves and crossed the line in 3:11:40.

okay, okay, this picture is long after we finished -- but I wanted to show off the nice finishing arch!

First, we picked up our medals -- sure, they're catalog medals, but we liked the star shape and the custom year badging.  And then we got the best post-race food we've ever had...

chips and salsa (of course!)... and

breakfast burritos!!!!!

Since we were so far to the back of the pack, we wanted to make sure and watch the final finishers come in. Every time we spotted someone coming around the last bend, we all stood up and whooped. Finally, everyone was in except the last woman. One volunteer was holding a medal -- the last medal -- but they started breaking some of the things down. (The 5K clock, the 10K clock, some of the extra matting.) I got a little worried. We walked over to the portapotties (which are DIFFERENT to ours -- they look like something you'd see on Tattooine, all white and trapezoidal...) and saw her running down the last hundred yards or so.

We made our way back to the finishing area -- where, sadly, they had just taken down the arch -- and everyone started cheering. I especially liked that the high school kids made a corridor and cheered for her. And of course it made me weepy.

It's funny, I spent a little while at toward the end of the race mentally composing a "DLF" blog post. And I can't pretend that I'm glad I didn't come in DLF. But I've also realized that it would be okay -- WILL be okay -- if and when I get my first DLF.

All in all, a great event. Nice course, friendly staff and volunteers, and a good looking medal. And, two days later, I have a renewed respect for people who walk long distances. I think it's harder than running them!

course map
course elevation

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Mile High Half Marathon!


I'm working the expo at the Run Happy Cavalcade of Curiosities -- and in return I get to run the race. I'm both excited (another state!) and nervous (umm, no Wil? altitude?) but happy to have the opportunity.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

teeny tiny Tuesday treadmill trot

Came home and essentially willed myself to suit up. Couldn't will myself to leave the house again, however. So I headed down to the basement for a little run.

Warmed up just fine, and then midway through my first interval I had a bit of pain in the front of my left shin. Hmmm. I ran through it, and then didn't really feel any pain in the second interval. Still, I was feeling a little bored and a little antsy so I cut the run short.

Sure, I probably should have worked through it so I could write about how I overcame adversity (ha!) or got the job done regardless. But I didn't.

Sometimes it's about making the right decision for the day. Besides, I'm in my race taper for Sunday's half marathon...

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Iron Girl 5K Race Report

Suz picked me up at 7 so we could make our way to Green Lake for the Iron Girl 5K. We parked near the Bathhouse so we had a nice 1-mile warmup walk, then milled about for a while in the "expo". A bit of people watching, a bit of browsing, and then we lined up in the corrals.

"I'm so proud of you, total stranger!"
As usual, we lined up in the correct spot... and as usual, a lot of people did not. So when we started, we had to work our way through a LOT of traffic. Women walking with toddlers. Really? You think you're gonna run a 10-minute mile? REALLY?

But we took it easy and just slowly worked our way through the crowd for the first mile. It was a warm, humid morning, and a little strange that so much of the run was on the outside loop. But around we went, cutting in by the golf course in time for the water stop by the aqua theater.

Suz kept us moving at a steady pace, while I just kept chattering away. We passed mile 2, then 2.5, and then we could start to hear the finish line announcer. I warned Suz that the finish area might be weird -- we might need to do some weird little loop -- and she said the thought that was the case. (I always think of the finish at Chelanman, with "just a loop around the parking lot" before the actual finish....)

who doesn't love a personalized bib?

But we got to the finish area and realized that it was just a straight shot to the line... and Suz took off. I mean, TOOK OFF. So we sprinted towards the line, while I kept saying "Nothing in the tank! Go go go!" Suz told me that she was concentrating on neither tripping nor throwing up. :)

We collected our medals, took a nice post-race photo, got our food bags, did a little stretching, and then headed home. All in all a nice 5K -- and a great job by Suz running a PR!

and a good-looking medal to boot!

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

sooo... about Sunday night...

Wil and I spent Sunday at Bumbershoot -- and then came home and sat in the garden to watch a movie. We sat until long after dark, then decided it was time to pack up and go inside. I was carrying a glass and an empty water bottle when I walked at full speed into the edge of one of our gorgeous Adirondack footstools. It stopped me completely in my tracks.

The neighbors were also outside, which is the only thing that kept me from shrieking several Olde Englishe words. I did, however, whisper them VERY LOUDLY as I struggled to stay upright. Wil asked what was wrong, and I said, "I think I just broke my effing leg."

Given that it was pitch black and he couldn't see where I was, let alone what position I was in, he asked me to repeat myself.

I said, "I just smacked in to the footstool -- I think I broke my leg."

Some more whispered cursing followed, and then I went inside. I had started to feel woozy -- so Wil told me to go sit at the foot of the stairs.... a wise move, given our concrete-floored basement and all the spiky things in the basement (bikes, tools, racks of plates...).

Within a few moments, apparently, I fainted. I remember feeling as if I was spinning -- and I could hear Wil but couldn't move my arms to grab him. Finally he was right there, next to me, and I had stopped. I kept trying to tell him that I couldn't stop the spinning, and he just kept asking my name. I kept saying, "But I was spinning -- and I couldn't stop it" and he kept saying "TELL ME YOUR NAME!!!". Finally I stopped and said, "It's Sunny. Sunny Delaney."

I sat there a few more minutes and started to ask what happened... but when I thought about it, I felt woozy again. Wil finished bringing everything inside and helped me up the stairs and into bed. I sat there for a while -- Wil making me eat something with salt and sugar in it -- some energy bar we had picked up at Bumbershoot earlier in the day.

I felt a lot better, but didn't move my leg -- and Wil had covered it up with a sheet so I wouldn't look at it and feel woozy again. Then, suddenly, I was rather spectacularly sick. Sure, Wil had been prepared with that, too, so I had a sturdy hole-less bag at the ready. But wow. Sick and sick and sick and sick. Wil reported afterward (since he valiantly removed said bag and took it outside) that it was "Heavy. And quite... solid feeling."


And then I was fine. Oh, and I ate a piece of toast with jam and peanut butter -- more sugar and salt. Wil is a very good doctor. :)

Woke up Monday morning with a huge bruise on my left shin, a bit of swelling, but clearly no break. Just a good, solid bone bruise. Good times.

It's almost funny -- if I had had a glass or two of wine, I wouldn't have been moving so quickly across the darkened garden and wouldn't have smacked my leg so hard. (At least, that's my theory....) It has also reminded me that I should be getting more calcium in my brittle old bones.

I haven't run on the leg yet -- might try a little loop around the block tomorrow -- but I'm sure I'll be fine and hopefully able to keep up with Suz at the Iron Girl 5K this weekend!

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Green Lake Run with Suz, week 2

Had another great run with Suz around Green Lake - and another gorgeous day!

Friday, September 2, 2011

Heavy Medal

Pleasant surprise in the post today: my "Rock Encore" medal for running two Rock 'n' Roll races. Always nice to get a bit of bling...

I feel that bonus medals make up for halfs that haven't had medals -- so I am especially happy to get these!