Monday, August 22, 2011
...Saturday morning :P
Which, by the way, I was caught out in! It didn't start out that way. The radar showed rain was coming our way by noon, and so we made the decision to ride early. Turns out radars can be wrong! What a storm that was... Ken and I were about 10 miles into our ride from Crystal Lake to Dundee when the storm hit. We knew we were gonna be in it as soon as the sky darkened and the wind really picked up (we were riding in an area of the trail with a lot of tree cover and it was already raining so it was difficult to see the sky and assess the "danger") Luckily we weren't too far from a park on the river where we knew there was a shelter, so we picked up speed and made it just as it started to DOWNPOUR! I was soaked through my clothes. We sat for the next hour in the wind/rain/lightening/thunder. Boy was that rough! I was so cold! A few other unlucky folks were with us waiting out the storm: some other bikers including a man and his young daughter, and a runner who is currently training for her first half marathon. There were a couple of vehicles in the parking lot with boat trailers hitched to their rears... no boats in sight though. Which means they were out on the river in this mess. Yikes!
Ok, so that was a really long hour!! When we finally got back on our bikes we made the decision to continue on 3 miles further to get to our original destination (a little cafe on the trail) ... I needed hot coffee! It was the right decision - no way could I have ridden the 15 miles home without warming up first. As it was I rode those 3 miles with teeth chattering and body tensed and covered in goosebumps! After filling up with coffee and the most delicious chicken & dumpling soup, we made the trek back home. Oh, and the sky was blue and the sun was shining!
I've had my fill of adventure for a while! :D
Wednesday, August 10, 2011
I finally went to the doctor last week to see what's going on with my shin... 18 days of guessing was long enough. He took an x-ray which showed nothing. Said it was probably a shin splint but ordered an MRI anyways to rule out a stress fracture (they don't show up on xray). A long weekend and 2 days later I get the results... it's a stress fracture. :(
I really, really, really was not expecting that outcome! Yet there it was nice and bright on my MRI - a crack in my bone. My doctor ordered me to stop any "impact activities" for the next 6-8 weeks. There goes my plan to run a 1/2 marathon on my birthday, which is this Saturday...I was planning on getting up in the morning and treating myself to a 13.1 mile run. I also had to cancel my plan to run the race I signed up for in September which would have been my first "official" HM. Super bummed!
Enough of what I can't do. I can still bike, elliptical, swim, weight train, row, yoga, and kayak. Looks like I can keep myself pretty busy with those activities for the next couple of months.
Plan B: After thoroughly healing, insert myself back into the training schedule. There are a few 1/2 marathons in my area this year still. Looking ahead to the following possibilities:
10/22 Moraine Hills Run for the Hills 10k, 13.1M
10/22 ZOOMA Great Lakes Half Marathon & 5K
11/5 Indianapolis Monumental Marathon 5k, 13.1M, 26.2M (not near me but near my daughter)
Also still planning on participating in a Duathalon on October 16 and a 10 mile trail run on Nov 6. Nice to have a plan :)
Monday, July 18, 2011
"When you lose muscle when dieting, it is because you are eating BELOW your BMR. ... When you weigh less, you have to eat less to maintain that new weight...For every pound of fat that you lose, you have to eat 5 less calories per day. For every pound of muscle you lose, you have to eat 30-50 less calories per day. So if you lose 10 pounds of fat, you need to eat 50 calories less per day to maintain your new weight, which is really nothing. Super easy to do! But if you lose 10 pounds of muscle, you need to eat between 300 and 500 calories less per day to maintain that weight loss which is a huge difference and much harder to do!"
Wouldn't you rather eat the larger number of calories every day for the rest of your life to maintain that weight?
Sunday, May 29, 2011
I cannot believe it's been a whole week already since Ken and I ran in the Merrill Down & DIrty Mud Run Chicago (actually, it was on a farm in Gilberts) This was a fairly large event with over 1500 participants. We were originally signed up for the 10K but had to change down to the 5K 2 weeks prior to the run due to a scheduling conflict with my daughter. I have to admit that I'm relieved that I didn't have to run the 10!
The 5K had us up much earlier in the morning. We had an 8:00 start time and weren't sure what to expect with regards to parking and porta-potty's, etc and so we left our house at 6:30 to arrive on the farm by 7am. Turns out that early arrival was both good and ... not so good. Good because we had a great parking spot and had plenty of time to get comfortable and not so good because the anticipation nearly drove me nuts! Luckily we had time for a few quick pictures.
Our "Before" shot
An obstacle (turns out we did NOT have to do this one - only 10k racers)
The time to start came soon enough and with a gunshot we were off and running. It was a total fluke that Ken and I ended up in the front row of our starting corral. I had read a blog about a mud run by another sparker (DACIUS) weeks earlier and quickly remembered he had mentioned that pulling away from the group would be a good thing because we'd meet the obstacles with less congestion. So I had that in mind and when the gun went off I made sure to not blend in but rather, to stay ahead in the beginning. Worked out beautifully! We lost the crowd rather quickly as the first 10th of a mile or so was through a high grass portion that Ken and I had explored the day before. I was familiar with the area just enough to pull ahead early. Trick then was keeping our lead, and I was so surprised that it wasn't difficult to do so at all. The first obstacle was a mud pit to run through followed by a fence/wall to climb over. Looked simple enough. The mud was cold and messy but we ran right through (actually Ken JUMPED big and splashed another participant who wasn't very happy about that!) Over the wall in a jif and on our way with the tip from a volunteer that there were 3 big hills ahead of us. BIG! He wasn't kidding! The hills were BRUTAL! Got up the first one without stopping and I was so proud of myself, but then the second hill was right after and I had no energy left. Ken ran up and I walked it as fast as I could. Then we had to go down - much scarier! Had to take it slow- it was so steep and the grass was long and wet! Started running again once we were close to the bottom and from that point on all I can tell you is that we ran through more mud, crawled through more mud, climbed over a rope obstacle, crawled through a tunnel, jumped over a wall, climbed another hill, and headed back. All this time we were only passed by maybe one person while we passed by several from the earlier starting gate. Getting through all these obstacles was much more difficult that I had imagined, but at the same time I was able to complete them all up to this point. And then we find ourselves running back towards the main area where there are crowds of people watching and cheering. I'm thoroughly exhausted at this point but now that there are people watching me I feel the pressure to push on . And then I see the obstacle that's gonna beat me - it's an inclined wall with a bunch of knotted ropes dangling. We are instructed to crawl up the rope ON OUR BELLY! Use nothing but upper body strength to pull up to the top. I gave it my best ... grabbing each knot and pulling myself a little further. I grabbed the last knot and my arms gave out causing me to slip back a knot. Tried again and just couldn't pull myself up. A volunteer pulled the rope and offered me a hand and, *sigh, defeated, I took it and got over. One last huge obstacle left. The final mud pit. It was huge! Let me add that my shoes were wet and muddy and HEAVY since 1/2 mile in. I got ready to jump in as they were announcing my name and city (how cool is that!) and was corrected "NO! You gotta crawl!!" Darn! Looking more closely it was as series of mud pools divided by mud walls with flags stretched across the pools. Had to crawl under the flags, slugging and splashing through the water/mud and then climb out, up and over into the next pool! Getting over the final wall and I stood up and ran through the last big muddy pool and over the finish :)))) High fived Ken while shouting "Happy Anniversary" and we had a nice muddy kiss (actually, that was kinda yucky!)
WHAT A BLAST! I had the most amazing time doing this event! We cleaned up with garden hoses, changed our clothes and picked up our burgers, chips and soda. The weather was perfect - seriously the sky was completely blue without a cloud in sight. We just sat and enjoyed our food and the music and the sun and were completely content :)
Ok, so finally it's time to go. We headed out and saw the board with the time results and a crowd of people at it. So of course we wanted to check it out before leaving. Shocked when we found out that I had WON my division!!! WHAT??? Unbelievable! :0 Ok, that was fun. We're leaving now. Get to the car and "wait! What if there's a special medal or something?" So we head back and attend the "ceremony". They announce that they are awarding medals to the top 5 in each division and 1st place also gets a $110 merrill gift card! This day just kept getting better!
Waited my turn and stepped up on the podium to accept my prize- haha! What a hoot!
I seriously cannot wait to do this again!
And can I just add that this was hands down the very best way yet that we've celebrated our anniversary! Much more memorable than dinner out :)
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