Friday, August 19, 2011
As some of my friends who have been around a while know, and those of you who are new are about to find out, I'm a bit obsessed with Hood to Coast - the mother of all relays!
Here's my blog about showing up at one of the exchange points last year and meeting some SparkPeople.
This year, I'm a volunteering on behalf of our Sparkin' Hood to Coast team, and will actually be working Exchange 14 this year. Yay!
Then.. our Coasties and Ghosties HTC team put out a call for more ghosts. Ghosts run the same distance, at the same time, as the Coasties.
I signed up to ghost Matt, Z's husband, Friday evening at 8:17 p.m., for 7.25 miles. I figured I'm supposed to run 11 miles on Saturday with the Tribe anyway, why not simply do it Friday night, with/for Matt?
Here's the leg Matt will be actually running:
Bill and I plan on driving out to Exchange 14 this weekend to get an idea of where we need to be next Friday morning. Then we'll continue on, so I can get a look at Leg 15 to know what Matt will be going through.
As if that's not enough.. and it's NOT LOL I also ordered the Hood to Coast movie on DVD!
It arrived Wednesday! Hooray!
Bill took me to see the movie when it was in theaters back in February, I think it was. Loved it! Totally loved it, and was in awe of the teams and the stories. Fast-forward a couple of weeks and I went to the Galloway Training group run for the first time and met THE Kathy who was featured in the HTC movie.
She is the most awesome lady ever. So sweet, welcoming, and friendly!
I've been fortunate to be able to run a few more runs with her, and to watch her determination and drive to run run run. She'd mentioned that the makers of HTC the movie were doing follow-up interviews with her and the others, so I was looking forward to seeing the new footage.
It did not disappoint! 90 minutes of additional footage - outtakes and deleted scenes from the movie, the follow-up interviews, the making of the movie.. and HTC shout-outs from HTC 2008 and 2010.
I watched the shout-outs last night, and when they showed the shout-outs from 2010 I paid careful close attention. I'm glad I did.
That, my lovelies, is one half of the 2010 Sparkin' HTC team! I recognize Coach Nancy, and Mike. I recognize the other ladies, but do not know their names. That's a picture of them yelling 'go SparkPeople' while the DVD is paused on my TV LOL
Call me nuts (that is, if you haven't already) but I get the feeling that I have a HTC run in my future. Like, for reals. I've talked to a few people here at my work who are on a HTC team (The DEA Lightning Slugs) who are running, and they said there'd be a spot for me on their team next year if I was interested. That's awesome, truly. If I do it, though, I'd totally want to do it with SparkPeople. They.. YOU!!! are the reason I run... are the reason I have this obsession LOL.. are the reason my life has changed completely.
So, forgive me if I seem a bit myopic in the coming week. Seven days. Friday, August 26, 24 runners and countless ghosts will set out on an epic 2-day adventure, united by SparkPeople. I'm going to be a part of that adventure, and I cannot wait.
Tuesday, August 16, 2011
Or in my case, the shoes on my feet!
I blogged yesterday about my weekend, along with tidbits of trivial info. One such tidbit related to how I felt participating in Zumba classes was doing more harm than good for my legs, and making it very difficult to run the next day.
BigMamaT left a comment for which I am grateful. The best part was this:
3. What kind of shoes do you wear for zumba? There are special Zumba shoes that work well(so I've heard) or Tennis shoes that have the round circle on the ball of the foot help with easy sliding and twisting)
Y'know, I didn't stop to consider my shoes. They're older generic tennis shoes. They're not runners. They're stiff. When I first got them (well before I was Sparked!) they were stiff, and not that comfy, and I rarely wore them. For reals!
But my feet lost weight, so I decided to try the shoes again. I mean, we can't let decent shoes go to waste, right? Well, they're still stiff. They're broken in, it's just their nature I suppose.
I hadn't given them much thought until last evening. I was walking to the gym (I will always rather walk to get my cardio/warm-up out of the way than use a treadmill or bike, call me crazy!) and realized my legs were starting to hurt.
Really?? Yea. My shins started aching. I was pickin' em up and puttin' em down with a quickness. I don't lollygag about when I'm walking to the gym. I'm hot-footin' it! It dawned on me, thanks to BigMamaT, that it's the stinkin' shoes causing the problem!
IT'S THE STINKIN' SHOES, NOT THE ZUMBA!
There was much rejoicing with this thunderbolt of realization hitting me!
Yes, I've worn other shoes in which to Zumba. Yes, Zumba is now also a verb as well as a noun. BigMamaT is right - one needs the ability to slide and swivel and shake and shimmy and twist and shout (shout!) while Zumba'ing. My shoes were preventing me from doing these various required moves.
Think I didn't shed my shoes for Zumba class last night and slide around in my socks? Oh yes I did!
I danced, I shimmied, I turned around, I wiggled, I shook my groove thang like I stole it!
My legs are happy today. My spirit is happy. I don't have to stop making a fool of myself in public while I fling myself about doing my version of dancing!
On a related, but not, side note....
I love you all to pieces. Some of your comments had me going 'pfffffft!' though.
I did 10 miles, yes. I was beat at the end, and how!
I do a run/walk/run interval of 30 seconds/30 seconds (with a few 1 minute/1 minute intervals thrown in for variety!).
I am slow. It took me 2:20 to run that 10 miles. That's an average 14 min/mile.
Many of you can WALK faster than I can run.
Do not be intimidated by that number. 10 is a big number, sure, but it is certainly within your reach, your capabilites!
Monday, August 15, 2011
I must say, I do like our 9/80 work schedule. It allows for every-other Friday off, and this past weekend was one of those 3-day weekends for me. Sometimes, they fly by pretty quickly and it doesnít seem like I had any time off at all. This one though, was just right (a la Goldie and the Three bears)!
Well, mostly just right. I did nada on Friday. We took Maggie to the vet for her check-up about her ears (theyíre all clean and clear now, yay!) and to get the results of her bloodwork to make sure the Phenobarbital was at an acceptable level in her blood Ė it is. Sheís a healthy lil furbaby now, so weíre very pleased with that.
Afterward, I actually found myself taking a nap Ė practically unheard of! The previous week had taken its toll on me though. Wednesday and Thursday, we had out-of-town staffers in town, so my usual schedule was thrown off. No Zumba or ST on Wednesday (more about Zumba later) and no run on Thursday Ė I ended up getting home far too late to accomplish either one.
Whatís that? Well, yes, I could have still gone to the gym Wednesday, or run Thursday night, we have reflective vests and flashlights, I could have managed, (insert whiny voice) but I was tired (end whiny voice).
It carried over into Friday, and I snoozed more than I should have. It was good, though, because I had to get up early Saturday morning to attend the Pineapple Classic 5K obstacle course with Team Kevin.
Team Kevin Ė pre-race.
Team Kevin consisted of (left to right) 4My2Kidzís daughter Syd, me, 4My2Kidz (Molly) and her sister-in-law, Kirsten. Kirsten was married to Mollyís brother, Kevin, who lost his battle against Leukemia several years ago. We participated in his honor, and had a great time. We had to carry a pineapple the whole way Ė Syd named it Jackson. We had lots of fun, and it wasnít nearly as hard or muddy as the Mud Run was, thank goodness!
Team Kevin Ė post-race.
We donít look much worse for wear, but we were wet and gritty, and happy to be done!
Guess what I did after I got home from that??!?!
Yep, another nap.
Ah well, I guess my body needed it. I did rise finally, and Bill offered to take us out for dinner. Sure, why not? Iíd blown the end of the week with eating out Wednesday and Thursday with the out of towners, and with getting a pizza on Friday from Papa Murphy, why not make it a four-day streak of bad eating? We hit SuperKing buffet down on SE 82nd and enjoyed very much. I .. ok, Iím not going to fib. Yea, I had fried things as well as healtheir fare. Meh. It happens.
Life happens, right? I mean, thatís what I tell so many people when they feel guilty or disturbed by their transgressions, whatever they might be. The same applies to me. I donít feel all that guilty, really Ė and that might be a problem! HmmmÖ.
So I had several Ďbadí days in a row Ė off-plan days, non-productive days, blah days, fat days, less than stellar days, or just.. days. How do we counter-act less than great days? We do something about it.
I got up at early Sunday morning and went for a run. Iíd told Bill that I was going to get up at 4:30 (regular time) and head down to where I work to run the waterfront and Springwater trail to get in my mileage. The Tribe ran 9.5 on Saturday, but Iíd missed it to do the Pineapple classic instead Ė and it was worth it! I needed to get my mileage in though. Bill thought I was nuts to get up at 4:30 just to go run, and I acquiesced and instead got up at 5:30 LOL Eh, it was worth it. I downed some cream of wheat with peanut butter and banana, got dressed, and headed out the door.
Itís been a long time since Iíve done a long run by myself. Iím spoiled by the Tribe! I had a route in mind, though, and it worked out quite well. I parked at work and took off. I ran from the far end of the waterfront, past all the bridges (and that was awesome, so see thousands of Bridge Pedal bikers riding along all the bridges and even on the freeways!) across the Steel Bridge over to the Eastbank Esplenade, out past OMSI onto the Springwater trail, then back again. I ended up with 10.5 miles in all, walking a half mile to warm up and cool down in the end.
It was fabulous. Nothing hurt. See, after having a great calorie-zapping Zumba session Monday night, I could barely run Tuesday afternoon. I mean, it felt like my legs were painful lead Ė they were heavy and draggy and achy and just plain hurt. Iím worried that the twisting and turning that Iím doing in Zumba is starting to effect my legs negatively. If thatís the case, Iím going to have to ditch Zumba until after the Girlfriends Half in October. I canít hurt like that and keep training and gaining mileage and conditioning.
So to start off running pain-free Sunday morning really was fabulous. My legs felt good. Nothing hurt or ached. I think my only complaint is the way I breathe. Well, and my form, but mainly my breathing. Iím breathing fine, donít get me wrong. I just sound like Iím going to die! Wheezing and gasping and puffing. Other runners barely make any noise as theyíre running. Me, I sound like a freight train or something. I donít feel BAD as Iím running, but I sound awful!
As people ran past me (lots of people do, often, and Iím alright with that) Iíd see if I could mimic their stride Ė kicking back more, running at a faster pace, shuffling along, a little bouncy, a little stiff. Whatever. I always think I look very sloppy in race photos, mostly because.. I am! My form can barely be called a form because itís just not good. So for the majority of the run I was thinking ďneat and tidyĒ and ďtight and steadyĒ trying to not swing my arms wildly or let my feet flop around. Maybe at some point, Iíll splurge and hire a running coach for a couple of sessions to see what they can teach me and train me about better running form. Iím not hurting myself (Iím knocking all kinds of wood after typing that Ė does pressboard count??) so itís not dire, but Iíd like to represent just a little better.
10.5 miles later, I headed home. I felt so good, and still nothing hurt. I wasnít quite as lazy as the previous days Ė I didnít nap yesterday! Yay me! I did a few chores around the house, caught up with laundry, played with the puppies, helped with dinner, etc. Nothing spectacular, just normal Sunday things, but all the while I was very grateful that my legs felt so good. I donít want to go back to the pain I had from overdoing it last go-round. This, though, was what running is supposed to feel like Ė a sense of accomplishment, a bit of self-pride, satisfaction in getting it done, and eagerness for the next long run coming.
Today is Monday, and Iím hoping starting off this week with that great run will help set the pace for the rest of the coming week. Good food, good fitness, good attitude. May it be so!
Iím 43, getting fit, and being fabulous!
Sunday, August 07, 2011
I've realized that I'm going to be lucky enough to not only start my August off with a dose of Spark, but to end it that way as well.
Yesterday, August 6, was the Race for the Homeless 5K/10K in Vancouver, WA.
Kashmir had mentioned she and some other SP were going to be there, so I jumped at the chance to reconnect with them and signed Bill and I up.
Yes, Bill has learned to accept those moments when I start off a conversation with "By the way, I've signed us up for....."
Even though I did a successful 8 mi run with the Tribe the weekend before, I was still taking it relatively easy on my legs this last week during my maintenance runs. Tuesday, my legs hurt a great deal starting out. The only way I can think to describe it is as if I have to 'break the tension' in my knees in order to get to a normal running gate/speed. That may or may not make any sense to you, but it works in my mind LOL Think of the Tin Man in the Wizard of Oz - they had to get his limbs actually moving before they could continue to move even more.
Anyway, Tuesday was a rough start, but by the end of the 3 miles I felt pretty good. Thursday started off not hurting as much, but I cut it short to a quick 2 out of simply being very tired from the week.
Bill would go out with me, but didn't finish either run, cutting each one short. We had a couple of conversations about walking vs. running, and what I expected of him vs. what he expected of himself. For those of you who don't know me and Bill well, he's 20 years older than I am. While in the bigger scheme of things that has no real bearing, when it comes to running, it does bear some consideration.
I'm slightly obsessed with running. He does it, eh, now and again, it's sorta fun, but it's a way to participate with me. Or, as he puts it, to try and keep up with me. I truly appreciate this from him, I do. But, I keep explaining to him that even with all the heart and desire in the world, it's not enough to not put in the miles and time for training. He can't expect to just show up and do well without putting in the prior effort. Maybe that's more about being stubborn than it is about being older, although his knees are also 20 years older, and they certainly feel it even if he isn't willing to admit it.
Aaaaanyway, we were going into the 5K on Saturday to run it at Bill's pace, to run it together. This means I get to nag him... erm.. encourage him to keep moving, keep going, don't slow down, don't race off, just keep a steady pace and continue moving forward.
Ready to Run!
Ready to Nag!
We left the house Saturday morning about 30 minutes earlier than needed. Heh. That's so us. We got to the site around 6:30, and check-in wasn't until 7. We walked around the grounds of Ft. Vancouver for a bit and it was so very nice! I'd never been there, had no idea it even existed, so it was awesome to get to know a new place. I believe it's also the location of the Start/Finish for the Girlfriends Half in October! W00T!
We walk around, up and down, warm up our legs, jog a bit, breaking the tension and getting things moving smoothly. Finally it was time to get our bibs and shirts, so we commenced our racing adventure. Taking our tshirts back to the car, we saw GayeMC. After hugs and laughs, she went on her way and we hit the car and headed back.
We hung about with Gaye, then HotRodSandy found us! She introduced us to GOOFIERNU as well, and we chatted a bit. KEakman arrived, and had HTC shirts for us - woohoo! Then Kashmir arrived, along with her son, and other friends. We ended up with a nice little huddle of talking laughing people, and it struck me how awesome it was to have found myself as a small part of a running community. Yes, SparkPeople ties us together, but running takes us offline and outside, and that is awesome.
As we continued milling about, we headed over to check out the 5K route, and were stopped by a loud 'hey!' and there was Courtney! She and several of her workmates were running the 10K, but neither one of us thought to tell the other one about the event, and yet here we were together LOL It was great to just run into her, pardon the pun.
More milling, more chatting. What a great way to spend a Saturday morning! Finally, the runners were called to the starting line to start the race. Bill and I, and Sandy and Gaye all headed for the back of the pack. I could see Kate and Robin and their gang a bit ahead of us. Finally, we were off, and headed down a slight hill to start the out and back route. Bill of course took off like a bat out of .. well, he just went out fast. I jogged slowly behind him until we reconnected and he was out of breath and I was ready to keep him moving LOL
We did our 30/30 intervals, and watched the herd of runners surge on ahead. Slowly but surely Sandy caught up and passed us, doing fantastic! The route was absolutely wonderful - one of the nicest I've ever been on. It ran through a field, where I think Bill had the hardest time with his breathing (allergies?) then up and over a bridge that crossed the freeway, then onto a part of the river walk to the turn around point. Gaye would catch us up, then we'd pass her, then she finally overcame us and we trailed her to the end. It was fun to cheer on people as they passed us coming back the other way as well.
The last part of the run was back up the hill we started down. I watched as Sandy, then Gaye made their way to the finish, and kept encouraging Bill to keep moving, don't stop. He was tired, but managed to finish off the run at a run. 48 min. later and we were done.
It was wonderful to have seen everyone, and to put new faces to names, all for a good time for a good cause. There was much watermelon munching and after-action talk. All good things must come to an end, though, so we all parted ways until the next gathering. Sandy and Gaye are also volunteering for HTC, so we'll be seeing them again for that great event as well.
Once we got home, we didn't even bother to go into the house. We grabbed our water, and headed off to the gym. I felt so good from the 5K still that I continued little runs to the gym for another 1.5 mi. We don't usually hit the gym on Saturday, but had opted out of our Friday evening workout for dinner out instead. It was noisier than usual, but we had a great ST session and headed back home again. Still feeling good, we goofed around with more brief spells of running back home another 1.5 mi.
THAT to me is what Spark is all about. We ran when we wanted to on the way down and back, because it was fun, we felt good, we were enjoying each others company, no push and no pressure, just pure enjoyment of our lives in that brief moment.
The rest of the day was spent doing the usual - a few chores, a few errands, and simply feeling good. What a great day.
Next weekend, I'm running the Pineapple Classic 5K w/ 4My2Kidz and her daughter and sister-in-law. It's another obstacle course, so that should be interesting!
A week and a half after that, IrishBeanerGal will be in town briefly, so we'll get to meet her as well. Yay!
Then life starts to revolve around Hood to Coast on Thursday, Aug. 25. People are coming into town to form the Sparkin' HTC and Coasties and Ghosties HTC teams. We're fortunate to be invited to gather with some of the teammembers Thursday evening before the grand event. I can't wait!
Friday we volunteer at Exchange 14. I've got an 11 mi run scheduled on Saturday with the Tribe, and I'm hoping I can do the run and THEN head to the Coast to see our teams finish. Two days after that, my Mom arrives for two weeks.
I hope I survive August LOL
Friday, August 05, 2011
I've been thinking about it, talking about it for a while now. I've finally done it.
That's me, earlier today. Disregard the fact that I look washed out and exhausted. Look at the hair. The bad sad bad (did I say that already?) hair.
That's me, after Lorraine worked her magic on me! Seriously, the woman understood exactly what I wanted; I had a picture that 4My2Kidz sent me earlier today (thanks Molly!) and explained I'm an athlete, I run, I Zumba, I sweat and I needed help.
It's like finding my hair's soulmate once again. My haircut looks like I feel now! I'm so stoked, and I can't wait to go to the gym to try it out as I'm lifting and sweating!
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