Monthly Archives: October 2010

10/27/10 Opportunity

I was out doing my run early yesterday morning.  Didn’t get too far.  Decided if I wasn’t feeling it I wasn’t going to push it.  I got to 2 1/2 miles and started to feel dizzy so I went ahead and SAT DOWN!  Yep.  Parked my butt on a park bench and waited for it to go away.  It did.  I got up and continued home, not feeling well and taking a few breaks.  I had so much on my mind I kept thinking How am I going to fix this?  I have too much going on right now.  A long list of VERY IMPORTANT CRAP to take care of  and taking care of other people and every little project is oh so very important and yes the world will stop spinning.  Then it occurred to me, what if I just gave in?  What if I just let everyone have their own way and stop trying to do what’s best for them and them fighting me on everything?  What if I move to California?  What if I just start over?  Okay, you don’t have to go that far.  But I went down my list of so very important things one by one.  What if you just let that go?  There were a couple harder than others, but for the most part I was able to let most of them go.  No attachments.  Let it go.  Was hard (and a little sad for some things).  But after thinking about it I realized I was faced with a golden opportunity.  I could create my own blank slate.

Training wise I have no commitments to anyone other than myself.  I don’t have a team I have to report to.  I don’t have any goals set in stone.  (Yes, I really want to do Rocky Raccoon but I just found out they hold the same race every single year so if I’m not ready by January I could just go down and do 32 miles instead of 50.  Or I could just do one loop and just do 16.  It doesn’t really matter.  I am not getting paid.  I have an opportunity here to take care of myself at my own pace and do whatever I have to do to get better.  Hmmm, this could be really cool.  There are a lot of things I want to do and if I want to take a week to experiment with some stuff, I could do it.

I’ve been struggling with diet.  Actually it’s not going that badly but I’m not losing weight fast enough.   I know some of this is metabolic changes going on and some of it cause by Stacie’s pita chips and humus.  But nonetheless, I feel that old creeping need for a “plan.”  Geneen warns about this.  Our need and desire to put the thinking on anyone but ourselves.  Ugh… What to do?  I pull out my Dr. Fuhrman books.  I like the way he thinks but I don’t have 40 hours a week to prepare stuff.

I thought for a moment about a juice fast.  I’ve always wanted to try one of those.  This would be a great time.  Then I thought no, I really don’t think they are healthy and I think there are better ways to get healthy.  

I have an opportunity right now to explore many options (that’s besides eating beef or chicken so I’ll just save you all the emails!)  To really work on becoming a nutritarian.  Work on becoming a whole foodie.  I would love to dabble in raw but I think I have plenty of room for improvement without going there.

I went to see my acupuncturist Mark Thompson yesterday.  4 weeks now and we are seeing huge improvements.  The tingling in my feet and the cramping seems to be dissipating (granted I haven’t run 13 miles either so we’ll see).  But my legs do feel better like the blood is flowing.  My legs most definitely feel better I just don’t know how much I can push them.

I finally told Mark about the dizzy spells (I usually only complain to him about muscle aches but I was getting desperate).  Somehow I felt it was related to my head — maybe sinuses?  Because muscularly I was okay but I would first feel dizzy and then drained.  I was feeling pressure in my head like it might be sinus related but I didn’t have stuffy nose or anything.  We theorized together for a bit.  We think it is not just one thing.  First, obviously, the lack of iron is probably contributing to my “crashes.”  I use up the oxygen in my blood and at that point, I kind of crash.  Basically not enough oil in the engine.  I conk out and stall.  Okay, we’ll work on that by taking my vitamins every day (day 9 of taking my new vitamins).  But I think the underlying problem with me and vitamins is I just don’t absorb them.  We are now moving on to working on my Iron absorbtion.  I think of Mark as the acupuncture version of the iphone — whatever you need, he has a needle for that.

Then we discovered something verrry interesting.  He felt the back of my head and there were two really sore spots — almost felt like someone had hit me in the head there with a board.  He explained that these points can capture tension, cut off blood flow and could cause some kind of dizziness in my head if I was tensing my shoulders.  I admitted that I have been very aware of tension in my shoulders when running and have been working very hard on keeping my shoulders down and relaxed.  But added pressures of life were kind of getting to me and now maybe that was causing me to tense up more.    Not saying that is the answer at all but it might be a contributing factor.  He showed me some pressure points in my hands that will effect my head and I’ve been massaging my head on those two spots and I really do feel some relief.  I press the spots on my hands but it is not as good as pressing the spots on the base of my head.  It’s like little miracle cure.  We’ll see.

I’m really trying to focus in on the slow-down-and-take-care-of-me mantra.  Today’s goal (well okay the entire last year’s goal) was to start making more soups as easy ready to eat meals full of vitamins.  Today’s soup is White Bean and Kale.  Holy Moly this came out good.  I don’t have an exact recipe — I kind of winged it but here is the “method.”

  • First chop up a medium-large yellow onion.  Put that in a small bowl.  Chop up equal amounts of celery and carrot.  
  • Heat large soup pan on medium and add some olive oil to the bottom.  Don’t go crazy, just trying to not burn the bottom of the pan.   Throw in the onion, celery and carrots.   Saute for a bit.  (If I had fresh garlic I would have added to but I didn’t so I threw in a little freeze dried garlic.)
  • My only goal in cooking was to soften anything fibrous like the celery and the Kale.  Otherwise I could have just made in my blender.  Plus there is a nice taste when you sautee onions and carrots and celery in olive oil.
  • After a bit when the celery looked like it was starting to soften up.  I threw in a box of vegetarian stock.  (Low sodium ’cause I would be adding some salt later).  Here I added spices.  Salt, pepper and herbs de Provence (tyme, basil, savory, rosemary, lavender) —
  • Then I added a rinsed can of beans.  I’ve heard okay to add not rinsed and it will make thicker soup but I didn’t like the murky look so I rinsed.
  • No real cooking since those ingredients were already “cooked.”
  • Chopped up an entire head of Kale into one inch pieces.  Plopped it in and tried to dunk the leaves into the soup.  They fought back so I put the lid on for a bit.  Five mintues late came back and dunked them more, they were more cooperative.
  • When I felt the Kale leaves were softened enough without being mushy I started to ladel the soup into my Vita mix.  Did in two batches.  Pureed until just flecks of green. 

Done.  Holy Moly, it is delicious madness!!!   I thought I would have the pot for the week but I fear it is not going to last through tomorrow!

I feel good enough to go swim before work.


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10/24/10 Blow by Blow

Sunday.  Here is my training timeline for the weekend.

Saturday morning.  Pumped up.  Training schedule says 90 minutes for Saturday, 3 hours for Sunday.  But I know that Runner Magazine is basing that on a 10 minute mile so I know I better do 2 hours for Saturday and 4 hours for Sunday.  I want to try to do as many trails as possible.  I head out for Penwood State Forest, probably not my best choice.

Metacomet trail in Penwood goes straight uphill for about a mile, then about 2 miles of nice rolling trails then another mile of  kind of downhill and then the last mile straight downhill.  I hiked the uphill, felt like a rock star on the miles of nice rolling trails and then I felt like a grandmother clinging to the trees trying to navigate my way down the final descent.  I went up the yellow trail and down the blue trail. The exact opposite way of what I should have done.  After 90 minutes and about 5 miles I was ready to call it a day.  I felt okay though — I did not feel exhausted.  Just had a enough of rock navigating for the day.

This morning was day 7 of taking my new vitamin mixture.  I was convinced that I was feeling different.  For about 15 minutes on Saturday I was running great!  Uphill too.  I woke up this morning feeling great.  Here is how my morning went.

7 hours of sleep woke up feeling ready to go.

6 a.m. — Vitamin cocktail.  It’s not that bad but it is a large glass I have to down every morning.

7 a.m. — Breakfast — blueberries, granola, soy milk.  Green Tea. 

8 a.m. — Arrive at running trail.  Feeling good.  Took two Tylenol before I started and also put a little of my Ayurvedic pain reliever on my knee (it had been feeling wonky).  Drank my 5 hour energy shot.

8:15 — start running. 

Mile 1 — Feel like a rock star right out of the box.  I’m doing BOTH Galloway 1 minute run/1 minute walk AND Mark Allen keeping my heart rate between 125 and 135.  I’m dialing into a nice 133 and am finally figuring out how to stay there.  I’m going for the 4 hours, no, wait going for 15 miles.  That will be enough.  Hopefully I should finish that in about 3:45.  15 miles will be awesome!!

Mile 2 — Yeah, 13 minute miles.  Who’s the rock star here?  Tunes are cranking.  I’m feeling good.  These new running shoes are the bomb.  (Saucony Echelon 2).  No knee pain, feeling good.

Mile 3 & 4 — starting to draft my letter to my doctor.  I’m doing 4 hours today.  Stuff that in your Impossible pipe and smoke it.

1 hour — stop at car, refuel.  Drink some of my Odawallas protein shake.  250 calories worth.  Stick a gel in my pocket just in case but I’ll be back at the car in another hour.  Have hand-held  water bottle filled with Nuun, refill it, stop at the loo.

Mile 5 — here we go, I’m ready to work this out.  Hmm, yeah it’s much colder now that I stopped.  Just get back in the groove.  Some power walker lady passes me during my walk portion.  Dang she’s good.  I catch up during my run portion but then she just leaves me during the next walk portion.  I realize I’m not walking as strongly as I usually do.

Mile 6 — okay where is that mile 6?  I really though we’d be there by now.  This is taking a while.

Mile 7 —  Wham.  Something hits me between the eyes.  What the heck.  A wave of exhaustion comes over my head.  My legs feel good.  My body feels fine.  I’m dizzy and light-headed.  It’s like someone hit me with the exhaustion zapper.  Whoa…  I try to do an inventory.  Do your legs hurt?  Nope, not at all and they feel fine.  I just feel like someone has drained all the blood out of my and the trees are moving but there is no wind.  Oh crap, not this again.  I could lie down and go into a coma, right here.  Don’t lie down, it’s too cold.  You only have to go 1 mile and you’ll be back at your car.  I take the gel in my pocket and take it. It has zero effect.  It’s not my muscles it’s my head…  I’m drained, just drained.  I have no blood.  I know my face is white.  Yep, I’m dizzy.  Darn it.

Mile 8 — back at the car.  Some vampire has drained me of blood.  Really?  How could this be?  How could I go from feeling like a rock star to feeling so bad in such a short time?  2 hours?  Really?  2 hours?  It’s my head, I feel like I need to go to sleep.  Like I have that sleeping disease.  My muscles feel 100% fine.  I do not feel lethargy in my muscles it’s behind my eyes.  If you could just chop off my head, I know I could run more.  I go to my car, if I can just sleep for 1/2 hour I know I’ll be fine and then I’ll get up and run another 8.  Yeah, I read an article once that is okay to do.  Split your workouts up.  I’m too tired, need to go back to bed.

So my 3+ hour 15 mile run turned into a 2 hour 8 mile run/wwwaaallkkk.  Back to the drawing board.  I crumple up the mental letter I was writing to my doctor.  I’ll finish it after my nap…..  Just need to shut my eyes for a minute….


Favorite moment from my run on Saturday.  My 15 minutes of fame.

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10/22/10 Oh No She Didn’t!!

Friday.  In CT for hospital visit for my Mom that didn’t happen.  They didn’t think she was up for going under so they sent us home and we postpone for another day.  So less work than I had thought I would have to do up here but that’s good ’cause I can use a nap.

Got a call from my doctor yesterday with all my blood tests back.  Eh.  Was looking for an A and I’m getting a make up exam instead.  I need another bump up in my medicine because I’m still slightly hypo and they want me slightly hyper.  The bummer is my antibodies went up instead of down (not to worry she said, at this point these tests are not that accurate, we need to wait and see).  We are looking for them to get to zero or undetectable.  They are not with the program yet so now my next procedure has to be postponed again because of the freakin antibodies — bad antibodies, bad, bad antibodies.   When she told me that I couldn’ t have the next Thryogen test until antibodies are gone I almost screamed “but you said that could take up to 3 years!”  Cool as a cucumber she replied “we’re not going anywhere.”  I had hoped to graduate to the next class of only having to be tested every six months — that’s where I should have been 3 months ago.  Instead she says, “we’ll test again in January.”  Farump. It’s been almost 18 months already so I guess another 18 months is not the end of the world.  I hate being off the curve though.

Meanwhile she tested everything else under the sun trying to figure out my mysterious cramping and difficulty in losing weight.  Everything came  back fine.  My magnesium, potassium, calcium and whatever other ium.  The only bad things are my stupid Iron and Vitamin D  and apparently she is not happy with that.  They are still too low.  My Iron did increase from 26 to 29 but she said that is still too low.  (Though on the report it says the acceptable range is 13-150  She says I need to get my Iron up even more.)

My vitamin D actually dropped (pooh) from 32 to 24.  She’s not happy with that either though she didn’t tell me what number to shoot for is.

I have a new set of vitamins I started this week.  I started Monday and they are isotonic vitamins.  basically they are powders you mix in with water and supposedly make you absorb them better.  Apparently I have absorbtion issues (funny my Statistics  professor said the same thing).  We’ll see. 

So my doctor gives me a name of sports nutritionist she wants me to go see. She’s into the Ayurvedic and yoga and all the stuff I like from Kripalu.  But ironically she works out of the same office as the sports nutritionist for Team in Training.  It can’t hurt to go see her but I think I can do better on my own. 

I told my doctor that I officially started training for my 50 miler this week and my race is in February.  “That will be impossible.”  She says matter of factly.  SAY WHAT?  Employing my best finger swagger I thought, Oh No She Didn’t just use  the “I” word!  (That’s the other “I” word that I hate along with “you Inspire me” — “IMPOSSIBLE.”)  Dead silence on my end.  She continued.  “With your Iron and Vitamin D deficiencies it will be impossible to train for that. Period.  How are your runs going now?”  Ugh, well, er, I’m just out of shape.  Has nothing to do with Iron.  I’m Gallowaying and Mark Allening and and, so I’m a little tired but that’s just because I didn’t take a gel or something.  I didn’t tell her about cutting my runs short and not being able to run up Harlem Hill last week.  I ran/walked for 90 minutes on Tuesday.  Yeah I was tired but it was the end of the day.  Of course I would be tired….  IMPOSSIBLE?  Did she really use that word IMPOSSIBLE?  I was stammering.  But, but, but, I thought Nothing was Impossible and Impossible was nothing….  I glared at the parade of vitamin bottles on my desk.  You posers.  Okay It’s only be 3 days but it’s all your fault!

I thought I had a decent run last night.  I did choose a flatter path because I was feeling a little tired.  But I did do 7.25 miles run/walk and I was still running at the end.  I didn’t have Garmin and I didn’t have music but I thought I did pretty well and I was pretty proud of myself.  But maybe this is the reason I’m still getting so tired all the time.  Maybe it is not just being out of shape?  (Though I still think it really is  just being out of shape.)  Okay, I’ll admit I’m jonesing for a nap right now but I had a bad night’s sleep….  I just have to get one project finished…

I don’t think I have been so mad in a very long time.  I don’t like people telling me something is impossible.  It just gets me riled up.   She could have said “that’ll be difficult.”  But no, she had to use the “I” word.   I’ll show her.  I lined up all my vitamins for the morning (each with a nice long list of rules of when and how to take them).  Along with my other meds I now have alarms going off day and night to get them taken at the right times.)  I will take these vitamins.  I will go visit Iyungar Ayurvedic Nutrition Lady.  I will go to acupuncture.  I will figure out how to get my Iron up and I will too run 50 miles in February.  Don’t you think for a second I won’t.  Impossible!  Bah! I don’t do impossible.


My Fall Collection.  I officially take more crap than my 90 year old parents.

My beautiful, perfect tree in the backyard. I tried to capture it before it started to lose leaves but I was a week late, she doesn’t do impossible either.

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10/20/10 Gadgets and Gear

Wednesday.  My sister-in-law likes to say “cooking is all about having the right tools.”  Not sure I totally agree with that (she’s an engineer and designs machinery so  I think she comes at it from a different angle.)  But I do have to say that technology can be very cool when put to use.

My garmin is one case.  I bought it over a year ago.  Never used it.  Thought is was too complicated (still do).  I like my old timex, take my lap splits with the chrono and has a timer for doing the laundry, what else did I need?  But I was lured by the backlight of the Garmin 310XT and bought it.  It looked great sitting in my drawer.

With all the Galloway and Mark Allen stuff I’ve been doing I’ve taken the watch out and have actually been using it for the last two months.  Two features that are pretty cool are the interval training (where I set it to beep for x minutes of running and y minutes of walking and repeat ad nauseam) and the heart rate alerts (where I set it to beep when I have gone over 135 and under 127 beats per minute.)  These tools take the “think” out of my workouts and I can just be totally present in my pain.  The watch beeps and I stop or go.

Yesterday I had a 6-10 mile workout.  I got 6 in.  Was tired.  Because I was a little tired I was able to run at a little slower pace and my heart rate monitor was not beeping every couple of minutes that I was working too hard.  This brought up a new dilemma for me, how long am I going to run without it beeping?  I was staying in the right heart rate range and now I was stuck just running.  It was getting hard to keep going.  I’m not used to running that long without walk breaks and I found myself caught between systems.  Do I Galloway or Mark Allen this workout?  It was supposed to be about keeping our heart rate steady so I thought Mark Allen was the key but I was struggling to keep the run alive.  It occurred to me that at some time before all of these gadgets, people just ran and let their body tell them what to do.  I might try that for one workout a week.  It’s a work in progress.

Although it would be hard to imagine someone running my pace to every complete 50 miles, I have to remind myself that I have been here before.  Nobody is paying me.  I choose to do this.  And most important, if I just keep going, I will get stronger, I will get faster, I will regain endurance.  I am finding freedom in running that I really don’t get with biking or swimming. 

I got a new pair of running shoes and I have to say I really like them.  I’ve been a fan of Saucony for a while now but I have not been wearing my orthotics with them as they were motion control models.  I switched over to the Echelon 2 model which is a completely neutral shoe and advertises that it is deep enough to accommodate orthotics.  Have to say, I took them for a run yesterday with my orthotics and find them quite comfortable.  I would recommend for anyone who wears orthotics in their running shoes.

I don’t usually talk tech here (actually I never talk tech anywhere) but I just got my new G2 phone from T-mobile and I’m having such a blast.   I’ve been an android user from the beginning.  I bought the G1 when it first came out and I’ve been using for 2 years up until last week when I got the G2. This morning I had a real pleasant surprise.  (you should be able to find the same apps for your iphone –you just won’t be able to run it at the same time as other apps — sorry.)

I need to record the food I’m eating.  Arggghhh, I know, I really, really don’t want to.  Once again caught between systems.  Geneen Roth — learn to listen to your body and it will self-regulate vs. my doctor who is asking me to write everything down so she can see what’s going wrong — vitamin and nutrient wise as well as calorically.  I guess that doesn’t really defy Geneen Roth — as long as I keep to eating what my body tells me it wants, it can’t hurt to write it down.  But I was really trying to get away from all this “diety” stuff.  But for a couple of weeks I guess I can do it so my doctor can see where I might be having problems. 

This morning I downloaded an app called “Calorie Counter” for my android (I’m sure it is available for iphone too).  The coolest thing was when I wanted to add a slice of my ezekiel bread, instead of having to enter all the caloric info, I just pointed the phone at the bar code on the bread bag and the phone scanned the bar code and immediately put it into my tracker. Very cool.  And I think I can program it to beep at me when I’ve gone over my calories for the day!

Don’t get me started on swyping — I’m getting really good at that (swype is where you drag your fingers over the on screen keyboard and it figures out what you are trying to say — it’s really cool.)  I’m having fun with my new toy and its lightening speeds.  It’s helpful for filling in one or two word searches — not sure I want to type a novel that way.

So will all my new gadgets make me a better runner?  I don’t know but I figured they will let me have fun trying.


These are the apps that I was already using on my G1 but still my favs:

kindle app — yes I can really read books on my phone and it synchs with my regular kindle and my desktop pc.  very cool.

evernote — part of my attempt to create a paperless world.  synchs with evernote on my computer.  never have to be without my office anywhere.

meditation timer — free and it chimes at whatever intervals I set up AND keeps a log of my meditation sessions (why I would need that I don’t know but it’s nice to see that I’m consistent.)  I used to use my timex watch before.  It’s nice to have a real gong instead of beep, beep, beep. — listen to my audio books on my cell phone.  really nice. — listen to all my music on my phone.  i pay a monthly fee for a subscription service.  i can download any music I want to my mp3 player, listen on my computer or now on my phone.    no more cd’s for me.

splashid — synchs with my computer and maintains all of my passwords and notes for living in this high-tech world.

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10/19/2010 Kick Off

Tuesday.  Ugh, totally missed blogging last week so here is the two second recap.

  • Monday & Tuesday — not feeling well, nothing.
  • Wednesday – Super rock star, did first hill repeats (easy effort) in a long time.  Was shocked I made it up, 8 times! 90 minutes in total.  Worked on basing my run/walk intervals on heart rate not time — this makes more sense to me.
  • Thursday — Fall from super stardom.  5 miles in Central park, had to walk up the end of Harlem Hill, heart rate way too high.  Felt dizzy, not good.  Remnents of a cold?  Start of a cold?  Just old?
  • Friday — great swim workout.  Took one of my old Ironman training workouts.  Note to self, don’t pick one with 300 meters of kicking day before long run.
  • Saturday – Joined the Galloway group.  Lovely bunch of people but I think I need to run solo for now.  I’m trying to go by heartrate now and even though I was almost keeping up with them my heartrate was much too high during our “on parts” and I need to work up to it.  Ended up only doing 10 miles with 4 miles of it too high heart rate. Eh.
  • Sunday –  4 miles recovery run/walk.

Except for my going in and out of feeling like I was catching a cold I was okay with getting the 5 workouts in.  This week I need 6.  I will get 6.  4 runs, 1 swim and 1 bike or bust!

Great check up with my doctor.  Well, I don’t have my blood tests back and I was feeling not so well that day so who knows what they will say.  But she said my ultrasound looked good and I only have to have an Antibodies blood test done soon and if that’s okay, no radiation!  Yeah!!!  Snoopy dance.   I can feel my Antibodies going down as I speak.  I really had my heart set against more treatment if I could avoid it.  The Antibodies test is painless, just have to go to her office two days in a row for a shot and then the third day they test my blood.  No weird diet, no radiactive iodine, no quarantine.  Awesomeness.  Only downside is the Thyrogen shot costs $2,500!! Thank goodness my insurance covers it though you have to go through equivalent of secret service  background check to get it.

Also made it to acupuncture and I definitely felt a big differnce in my my right leg.  This week we’ll work on my left.  I had minor cramping during my ten miler but still a little cramping.  I will keep going with it.  I think this will work.

Today is my first day of official training for my Rocky Raccon 50 miler!!  Ugh…  6-10 miles today in the park.  Fun and games overwith, now have to get serious.  Not that I wasn’t serious before but now there is a ticking clock.  Fifty in February!!!  This will be my first consecutive 50 miler.  I can’t say first 50 miler because I think I did 50 miles in the desert one day but I took a nap during it — at midnight, in the desert, just me and my sleeping bag under the stars, one of my clearest memories.  I still did it in one day but I don’t really count it as a 50 miler.  More like two 25 milers really close to one another.  Maybe it was only 50k, who cares, that’s history anyway.

I have to be careful and not let the generous time limit on the Rocky Racoon lull me into a false sense of security.  I truly don’t care how long it takes me, but I certainly would prefer 12 hours to 14 hours.  Time limit for the 50 miler is 29 hours.  Time limit for the 100 miler is 30.

I have new running shoes on the way and UPS says they are on the truck.  I’m going to see if I can wait until they come so I can take them out for a spin.  50 miles in Feburary.  Whew, I have a lot of work to do.

Let the games begin!!!


This is a cool little video a guy put together of his Rocky Racoon 50 miles in 50 seconds.

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10/10/10 Half of Hartford

Monday.  Saturday my friend Colleen and I participated in the Hartford Half Marathon.  I would like to say raced but really I didn’t race.  Had a great day.  It was a fantastic event and I would do it again.  (Next year plan on doing the full.)

The weather was perfect – sunny with high 50’s low 60’s.  The race is also put on by ING but it is nowhere near as chaotic as the NYC Marathon.

Everything about the race was easy for us.  We drove into Hartford on Friday, found the civic center with no problem, got our packages and bibs.  We decided we got the best race shirts EVER.  Long sleeved navy blue shirts that said Hartford Half Marathon with a drawing of the Bushnell Park arch on it.  Seriously, best race shirt I’ve ever been given.  (Full Marathoners got light blue).  Nice technical fabric, will be perfect base layer for long fall runs.

Race morning was equally easy.  We drove in and I chose a spot on Church street which turned out to be the best parking spot (easy in and extra easy out of the city)!  The civic center was open and they had tons of bathrooms in there so we stopped there on our way into the park (we were so glad we did because the lines for the porto potties were ridiculous in the park.)   Easy walk to the start.  Race started at 8 a.m. right on time.

My plan was to run/walk the first ten miles 1/1 and then just run the last 3 miles with whatever I had saved in my tank.  The 10 miles went really well.  I was very pleased.  I was averaging a 13 minute miles and was 100% pleased with that.  I was intent on sticking to my goal.  (If Garmin was correct I was running at an 11:30 which would be awesome but I don’t really believe it.)

I had my heartrate monitor for the first time in a long time.  (My Garmin HR monitor had stopped working and Garmin finally replaced it.)  I was not too pleased with my heartrate.  It was 145 for the entire race which I know sounds low to the rest of the running world but that was my old 10K HR and I had hoped to have it a little lower.  I felt my breathing matched the heartrate (maintainable but perceived effort of an 8 out of 10) and I made the conscious decision to let myself have that day as a harder workout day.

I had been hoping to follow the Mark Allen plan of keeping my heartrate low (about 130) in all of my training until my fitness gets stronger.  But without an actual heartrate monitor I’ve just been going by feel.  His idea is you train at a lower intensity and you get fitter and faster at that heartrate.  He has a whole system for doing it.  You wait until you do not see any improvement in your speed or fitness at that hearrate and then you do some interval work to speed yourself up.  Then you go back to the working at 130.  (He has a formula, basically subtract your age from 180 and then add or subract 5 or 10 based on a bunch of variables.  I decided 130-135 max would be good for me.)  I remember back in 2008 I used to be able to do an easy recovery run at 123.  Not now.  I’d like to get back to that.  I’m okay with however long it takes.

At mile 10 my knee went out.  Bummer but I’m okay because I’ve been here before and I know exactly what exercises I need to do to strengthen it.  It’s back to the rowing machine and stairmaster.  I think I would have been able to stretch it out if my legs didn’t start cramping.  I wasn’t able to stretch, I had to keep moving.  Still not exactly sure what is going on with the annoying cramping but I’m not worried about it anymore, I think it is something I will figure out with some trial and error.  Instead of running the last 3 miles in I had to walk them (limping).  I was almost disappointed in my final 3:14 but the weather was so nice and the race course so nice that I really couldn’t be that bummed about it.  It was just a great day.

I feel really good an optimistic about my training plan for Fall/Winter.  I’m happy to have a plan and I am so looking forward to Rocky Raccoon in February.  I think Fall will be a great time for long runs and as winter sets in I am looking forward to cross-country skiing and snow shoeing too.  I’m loving the flexibility of running and the lack of required gear and guilt.  I feel surprisingly focussed and calm and just enjoying doing this for me and for fun.

I only got in 3 runs last week but I did get in 1 swim.  I’ll be in New York for an entire week so my goal is 4 runs, 1 swim and 1 bike (spin class okay).  I may substitute tennis for biking.

Food went pretty well this week.  The daily meditation is starting to take hold and I’m really starting to feel it throughout the day.  I was much more mindful and trying to bring my meditation practice into the full day not just the morning.  It’s definitely a practice in the truest sense of the word but I am keeping at it.  I joined a class on Wednesday nights with a friend and it is all about the Geneen Roth philosophy and it was a very good class for me.  I’m really glad I found it.  For the next 6 weeks I’ll be getting a chance to put Geneen’s ideas into practice.

Doctor’s appointment on Thursday.  Ultrasound results, time for more blood tests, see what my next treatment will be and when.  I’m not worried about that either.

Basically I’m just not worried about anything and that feels fine. I’ll get there when I get there. Today the pool for a recovery swim.


p.s.  aside, the guy who won the Hartford Marathon is someone I know from Marathon des Sables.  He is Mike Wardian who also happened to WIN six marathons this year in addition to running Marathon des Sables and a bunch of other races.  He works a full time job and has a wife and two kids.  He also happens to be one of the nicest guys you can meet.  I guess it is not all that time consuming for him when he can run 26.2 miles in 2:24 you have more time left to do other things!!,0,5024244.story



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10/5/10 Sold!

Tuesday. Had a decent workout week last week. I ran on Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday and did a recovery jog/walk on Sunday. Need to get more of the off day stuff going. I didn’t get as much yoga as I wanted, I had planned on a swim but it didn’t happen. Will try to improve on that this week.

Saturday’s “run” was the best. I finally bought the Galloway book and I’ve been reading and digesting. Trying to understand the math behind the formulas. I did 10 miles with no pain and feeling fine. Previous week I bailed at 7 and change. Granted last week was hot and humid and this week was perfect fall weather, but I still felt that my workout was less stressful. I can’t say easier because I still worked hard but it seemed to be less stressful on my knees and my brain.

I dropped down to a 1/1. Yep. A big ole wimpy run one minute and walk one minute. According to the book I’m really only supposed to do 30sec/30sec based on my pace. I couldn’t bring myself to do that so I did 1/1. What I learned.

I can pretty fast for 1 minute. Apparently I can run 10:30-11:30 for one minute at a time and keep that up for a couple of hours. I have to work on keeping my walking pace high because a couple of time I sunk into too slow of walk.

My breathing recovers pretty quickly. The 1 minute walk seems long but I just wanted to stick to it.

By mile 8 I was doing a happy dance because I knew I was going to finish 10 miles with no problem. Was even toying with going longer but I held back because I have a long season in front of me and I want to do this right. I even noticed (confirmed by my Garmin) that once I knew I only had 2 more miles to go my pace sped up a little naturally.

Although I did feel some niggling cramps and knees wanting to go out of joint, before anything could take hold I was switching to a walk. I could almost hear my joints going “huh? what? oh I guess it was nothing” and they would calm down. I smiled a little at my trickery. On Saturday I am going to do the Hartford half marathon doing a 30 second run/30 second walk.

This whole system makes sense to me and feels right. Sure if I was an 8 minute miler wouldn’t need to do this, but I’m not. (As a matter of fact his charts stop at the 8 minute mile but he talks about really fast marathoners doing this method too.) This feels sensible. It feels rewarding. I think it will work long term. No quick fixes. Just build slowly. I have nothing hanging over my head other than wanting to do this for me.

The general idea of Galloway is as you become faster your run portions become longer. I did some playing around with some numbers and I discovered that if I run a 10.5 minute mile for 2 minute and walk a 16 minute mile for 30 seconds. I can do a 5 hour marathon. It would be the same as doing a 4/1 10.5 minute run 1 minute walk. Or an 8/2 which is quite popular. I am more likely to be able to maintain a 10.5 for 2 minutes than I am for 4. (Right now). Amway this is my goal that I am working toward. It’s not going to happen tomorrow, but I think by Spring. At least it is something feasible that I can hook my ambition to. Just saying that I’m going to break a 5 hour marathon does not really seem feasible without a plan. I will adjust accordingly. First step, run 13.1 miles on Saturday. 30 seconds run/30 seconds walk and see where I am.

Other than the walk/run thing Galloway does all the same stuff we do in our regular training. Fartleks, intervals, hill workouts. I’ll be doing all that. Just on my long runs I’ll be a gallowaying… Right now I’ll be doing 4 days a week running. Not sure if I can expand it to 5. Not sure if that is even wise. I have to go do a timed mile so I know where I fall on his charts.

Galloway talks a lot about the older runners too and how we have to pay more attention to recovery and not causing injury. That’s nothing new for me, I’ve been paying attention to that for a long time. But it was hard for me when he called everyone over 50 an older runner. Made me gulp just a little. Hard to read that in black and white.

I finished 10 miles feeling 100% okay. But I wasn’t going to press my luck. I knew I had to get in the car and drive 2+ hours so I took the time to stretch, stretch, stretch like crazy. I made 1 hour driving before the cramps came. I pulled over and walked them off. Not as serious as other times but still cramping. Made the rest of the drive home.

The cramping situation is still bugging me. I have now resorted to the tonic water. I tested that on Sunday night. I think it helped but it might have been the gin. More testing required… (I’m going to see if I can find quinine in pill form so not requiring the injection of artificial sweeteners in tonic water or the gin…) Yes, I know you can drink tonic water without Gin but what fun is that? We were out to dinner.

So how’s the food going? I’m struggling. I am now seeing a direct correlation to my stress level, exhaustion level and meditation. The more stressed or tired I am the less likely I am to make something whole. I never thought of myself as a stress eater but I guess I am. If I don’t meditate I struggle. If I meditate and sleep, I do okay. I’m trying to concentrate on whole foods, eliminating sugar other than fruit. Just trying to eat clean but without making any hard and fast rules. I know me, the moment there are hard and fast rules I do everything I can to break them. Everything is a guideline ala Geneen Roth. Suggestions not laws. I am becoming more comfortable with that. I am still following Geneen Roth’s guidelines in Women, Food and God. Still doing the worksheets. I’ve taken out some recipes from Fuhrman. Although I’m trying to eat clean I am not saying I’m on a diet. I’m just trying to make little modifications to the way I plan to eat forever.

Had an ultrasound on my neck yesterday. More tests later this week and next. I’m feeling quite optimistic that everything will be good.

Today off to the park for a quick run.


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