Monday, January 16, 2012
This week started out a little hectic. On Monday, I had to have an ultrasound on my thyroid and then a trip to the endocrinologist office on Wednesday for the appointment. Back tracking a little, about 5 years ago when my son had just turned one I was working in an ENT's doctor's office and I got really sick. This was a busy office that had six doctors: four were ear specialists, one was for the throat, and one for nose. I had a bad sinus infection and when the doctor did his routine examination he checked my throat, he found a huge lump. Long story short, fluid was drained from my neck. Now I was referred to the throat specialist and he wanted to operate. I was on the fence about the surgery and I took a little time to think about it. In that time span we moved from West Palm Beach to Miami and I decided to get a second opinion. Well five years later, I still have my thyroid and I go in for annual visits to make sure everything is okay. So far so good. I still think it has something to do with my thyroid. I am losing weight, but VERY slowly.
I had my usual runs on Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday. I am due to run 5 miles on Wednesday, but have been cutting them to 4 because I am paranoid about getting over to my daughter's school early so that I can have enough time to find parking. The entire school gets out early every Wednesday and parking is already nothing to nil without the early release. I make up the extra mile on Thursday. I was getting a little bored with my 4 miler route so I changed it up a bit. Instead I ran down Doral Blvd for 3.5 miles and the last half mile in my community; big mistake. I usually only cross the street 2 times when I run through the community and I had to cross the street 4 times with everyone trying to turn into the plazas to go to lunch for the 1st mile of my run. Keeping it simple....I will run through my community from now on.
Now to Saturday's run. On Friday afternoon I get an email from my local running store stating they were going to have a long run on Saturday. Yay!!!!! I headed over to the store before I went to pick up the kids to buy some hammer gel and I made plans to meet up with them the next morning. I thought it was a nice turnout for a last moment's request; 10 people (7 men and 3 women) showed up. I was nervous because I was afraid I would be the last person running and holding back the group. There were 2 groups the fast group and then my group....the slow runners. We started out slow and then gradually picked up the pace. The men and one woman started to break away by mile 2. I ran with another woman and one man and right around mile 3 the other woman kept dropping back and eventually gave up. So I had my running buddy, Phillipe to keep me company. The run was going well. Phillipe struggled a bit because he did not run much over the holidays and his longest run was 8 miles. It was so sweet, one of the running guides dropped back so that we would not get lost. He was skipping at times to keep up with our slow pace....not kidding. Of course, we got off track, but at least one of us had a Garmin (me) so I was the distance keeper. We kept changing our route and by the time we made it back to the cars, we were on Plan G with all the changes. Lol!!!! It was fun. I will come back and run again next weekend if they are running. I think they want to start a weekly long run. I see the same people every weekend when I am doing my long run so it would be nice if we could all run together.
Well that is it for now.
Monday, January 09, 2012
I knew this week would be challenging. This was my first full week back at training since the holidays. My schedule was back to normal with the kids in school. Yay!!!
The weather last week was all over the place. Monday was my rest day and boy was it a beauty. The forecast for the rest of the week was cold temps warming up by the weekend. Tuesday was the worst. It was in the 40's with wind gusts up to 15 - 20 mph so it felt more like the 30's. I ran in a long sleeve turtleneck shirt, a tech shirt, shorts and pants (the pants are too big so I wear shorts to keep them up). I need to buy new running gear.
Wednesday was a great day. I went to my neighborhood running store and bought new shoes. Their shoe selection was limited so I had to be fitted for men's shoes. I tried on about 5 pair and the last ones (Saucony) were the right fit for me. I have a wide foot so I need more room in the toe area. I was supposed to run 5 miles that day. I had to cut it to 4 and make up the lost mile on Thursday because of my shoe shopping. The shoes felt great right out the box. I also picked up some Hammer Gel for my 12 miler on Saturday. I picked out the orange, banana, and raspberry flavors. Wow, the banana flavor reminded me of banana pudding. And the raspberry flavor was really nice as well. A big difference from the Gu which, in my opinion, is very thick. Sorry Gu lovers. The hammer gel went down smooth. I will be going back for more. The weather was a little warmer on Wednesday. I ran in a short sleeve cotton shirt, a tech shirt and shorts. It was in the 50's with a slight breeze. I am glad I had on another shirt underneath; I am used to running in the high 70's to low 80's.
Thursday was wonderful. The birds were back on the telephone wire in front of the Walgreens near my house. That only meant warmer weather was on the way. Yay!!!!! I ran in just a tech shirt and shorts. Now this is my kind of running gear. Since I left the cold weather of Chicago and Boston, I do not have much gear for cold weather so it was nice to be back to t shirt and shorts weather. Another great run with my new shoes. Without putting much effort into my runs, I was running faster and not feeling drained at the end of my runs.
So Saturday was my 12 miler. I run alone and to stay motivated, I run down Doral Bvld, the main street here for the first six miles. I turned onto the turnpike trail for one mile and then I headed into another neighborhood section of Doral on the "sidewalk to nowhere". I am trying to run at a pace that is slow yet comfortable for 12 miles. I am also making mental notes as to how I am feeling at certain miles. I struggled with this run. I could not wait for my Garmin to read 12.0. Last week my long run was only 6 miles. I was thinking of doing 8 miles on Saturday, but I was scheduled for 12 and I wanted to get in the miles in case I ran the Key West half on the 22nd. It is not going to happen. All the hotels are booked and my husband will not get up at 3 in the morning and drive me there. Sigh. So I will sign up for my 5k repeat the Tropical 5k, here in Miami, on the 28th (I would have signed up for the ING half the next day, but I already promised to be the photographer for a friend and her husband) and I am going to run the Carnaval 8k the weekend before my half. Comparing my time from my 11 miler three weeks ago and adding another mile, I would shaved off about 3 minutes. Woohoo!!!!! Maybe it was all of the military slogans I had going through my head on the turnpike trail, "Be all that you can be.....in the Arrrrrmmmmy. The few, the proud, the Marines." And the last slogan was, "Aim high". I don't remember anything for the Navy. It is crazy what goes through my head when I run. Since I still have a few weeks to run before I taper, I am going to run the full 13.1 next Saturday. It should be interesting.
Thanks for hanging in there and reading my long blog.
Saturday, December 31, 2011
So continuing on from my "Merry Christmas" blog, I will wrap up the vacation in the Smoky Mountains. I was surprised when my husband, myself and the kids did not have to tag along and participate in the activities that my mother in law had planned for the trip.....this is a first. On Christmas Eve, my mother in law, sister in law, and my nephew hopped in the car, early in the morning, and headed off to Knoxville to do the tour of the Biltmore mansion. It is a 250 room mansion that took them 4 hours to see. My two kids would not have survived that tour.
My husband pulled out the map and found a mountain for us to hike up in the national park. It was a short hike (1.3 miles each way) that went up a mountain and came down halfway on the other side to a waterfall. There was a bridge where you could take pictures or walk across and sit on some larger rocks. It was a sight to see and worth the hike. I was so nervous my 3 year old was going to trip and fall off the trail that I carried her most of the way. Got in a little cardio carrying 20+ lbs up and down the mountain.
On Monday, the day after Christmas, my sister in law wanted to go zip lining? and my husband did not so we found another mountain to see while they did that. I wish I could remember the names of the mountains...sorry I am horrible with names. This mountain was about an hour away from the cabin and took a while to get to the top. Another breathtaking view. We took pictures next to the stream that ran through the camp site. I don't know where my husband downloaded the photos.
On Tuesday morning, my mother in law, sister in law and my nephew had to pack up and head home. My sister in law had to go back to work on Wednesday. I was really bummed that I did not take my running gear....I did not think I would have had the chance to run based on our previous vacations together. We lounged around the cabin and then headed into Gatlinburg to walk around and peek into the stores.
Wednesday was our last day there so we chose another mountain to view. My husband did all the driving. Thank goodness; I would have either burned my brakes out or blew out the engine. His original intention was to head over a couple of mountains and drive somewhere in North Carolina. We did not have any snow this Christmas compared to our Christmas here last year. On the way up, we saw cars coming down with miniature snowmans on the car hoods. Yay, we finally found snow. This mountain had a nice observation area, restrooms and it was the border for Tennessee and North Carolina. It was about 27 degrees with a wind chill that made it feel more like the teens or colder. We stayed a bit and then headed down the mountain towards North Carolina.
I had a wonderful time with my family, but it was time to pack up and head home. We woke up on Thursday to pack up the car and do a couple of last minute cleaning and then we were on the road by 7:30. It was so nice to make it home late that evening and sleep in my bed. I have asthma and really bad allergies; I don't know what I was thinking, but I forgot to pack my inhaler. I felt a little uncomfortable after the Christmas Eve hike but not to the point where I needed to go to the hospital. This is the first time I have had to use my inhaler in over a year. Even with the extreme hot weather here in Miami, I do not need to use it. Lesson learned.... just like American Express never leave home without it.
Yay!!!!! I got to run on Friday and Saturday. I was so excited to run on Friday that I started out too fast...in the 8 minute/mile range. This is not my normal pace; I slowed it down to the 9 minute/mile pace. I run faster for my shorter distances and keep a nice steady 10 minute miler for my longer distances. I got in a 3 miler yesterday and 6 miles today. The legs feel good. I can't wait for school to start back on Tuesday so I can go to my local running store and buy new shoes!!!!!!
Well thanks for hanging in there and reading my long blog. Tuesday I will be back at my regular running schedule. Oh I almost forgot to mention that I was really stressed about my weight the whole trip. I was not eating as healthy as I should have and I was worried that I had gained at least 5 lbs. Not the case; just a one pound gain. I can live with that. While my eating was not the best, I tried to make sure I was drinking enough water. I guess I flushed the bad stuff out of my system and all that walking up and down the mountains was enough exercise to keep me active.
Happy New Year spark friends. Best of luck to you in 2012.....make new goals and go for it.
Sunday, December 25, 2011
This week was a short week for running. I ran on Tuesday and Wednesday and then started my vacation on Thursday.
Monday was a hard day for me. My husband had to go out of town even though his vacation started on Friday. To make matters worse he was traveling to my home city....Chicago. I really wanted to run, but I had no babysitter (my husband) and he was where I have not been since my dad's funeral in February 2007. I moped around the house all Monday.
Tuesday, my husband came home so I was able to get in a quick 3 miler. It was one of my fastest to date and I was not planning on running for speed just running at a comfortable pace. Wednesday was a quick 3 + miler. I had to cut it short because I needed to come home and get dressed to head to the hair salon to get my "hair did" for the vacation.
Thursday was a busy day of closing the house and packing the suitcases and then heading out the door. We are in Tennessee, the Great Smoky Mountains, and so I slowly started to accumulate winter clothes for the kids since October. I still have plenty of winter gear from my Boston days and from working in retail. Since the weight is slowly coming off I am able to get back into some of my older clothes. I went shopping in my dry cleaning laundry basket and found six sweaters. Yay!!!!
We drove from Miami on Thursday and stopped off in Savannah, GA for the night. After a good night's sleep and breakfast, we hit the road again and reached the cabin by the evening.
This cabin is beautiful. It has a bedroom on the first floor as well as the kitchen, dining room and living room. Downstairs have two more bedrooms, and a game room. Both levels have decks. Great place to visit, but I would not want to live here. We are up on a mountain and as a city girl, I do not know how to downshift and maneuver my way up and down the narrow roads. I am going to so enjoy getting back to Florida for a few reasons (flat land and getting back to my half marathon training).
Our cabin is owned by a family. It was one of the few cabins around us that had Christmas lights on the outside. They also put Christmas decorations around the house like snowman soap dishes and Black Bears mixed in with Christmas decorations for a "cabiny" feel with a bit of holiday cheer. Everyone went to bed on Christmas eve and afterward my mother in law put all the presents under the tree so the kids could come upstairs and see that Santa made a stop here. The kids had fun ripping the wrapping off their gifts. We had a quick breakfast and then headed out to see what shops were open on Christmas day. The weather was perfect, in the high 40's to low 50's. The only thing missing was snow, but at this point I have seen enough snow from growing up in Chicago and living in Boston to last a life time.
I had a great day and now I am going to spend a little time with the kids before they go to bed.
Merry Christmas and Happy holidays.
Monday, December 19, 2011
Last week was an interesting week. I had to change up the schedule a bit to fit in the kids holiday parties. My son's party was on Wednesday and my daughter's was on Thursday. Thank goodness I did not have them both on the same day. I ran my usual Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, and Saturday.
My runs on Tuesday, and Wednesday were 3 milers and went great. I had to shorten my 5 miler to 2 miles, on Thursday, so that I would have enough time to come home and get all glammed up for my daughter's holiday party; they even had Santa there. I got dressed, got in the car, and the car would not start. Oh no, this cannot be happening to me right now. I missed her party. Another mom was really sweet; she took photos at the party and she emailed them to me. I really wish I could have been there but having some photos and seeing she had a great time helped me feel better...a little.
I was a little nervous about my run. Last week I pushed my daughter in the jogging stroller for my 10 miler and I was hoping I would not have to do it again this weekend. She slept in so I was able to slip out the door alone. I did feel guilty because I know she would cry a bit after she wakes up and discover I am not there. So on to my 11 miler. I headed out the door and started forming a mental map as to which way I wanted to run. I do not like to run loops if I do not have to. The first 4 miles went with no problem. I am running on Doral Blvd (one of the main streets in Doral) when I go to cross the street and see a rooster in the middle of the road. It brought back memories of Key West where you see a rooster roaming the streets like a stray cat or dog. Okay so I see one rooster. I keep running and at the next light I cross the street to run next to the cow pasture. Yep, a cow pasture in Miami.
So I continue on Doral Blvd towards the turnpike entrance and just before the entrance starts a path that runs next to the turnpike. This is where I see two ducks. The male duck was protecting his girl; I thought he was going to peck my ankles to protect her. One rooster, and then two ducks....what is next. About mile six I run past 3 ducks. Starting to sound like the song "12 days of Christmas", so now I am wondering what I will see in four's. Nothing; that was it, but it was fun while it lasted. Mile 7, ends my run next to the turnpike and I am back in a neighborhood. I love running here. I can go at least a mile without crossing any streets. I still have to be cautious because of the cars pulling out of the gated communities. Most of the drivers are really cool and will even wait for me to cross their path instead of blocking my running path. I do my part and give a big friendly smile and a wave.
I finish my 11 miler and boy was I glad to see my Garmin read 11.00. My shoulders were screaming and my knees were starting to ache. I did not feel this tension until my 9 miler. By Tuesday's run, I am back to my usual self. I need to use the foam roller to work out the kinks, I know. I am also thinking it is time for a new pair of shoes. I just picked up a pair for $20 a few weeks back at one of the running stores, but the support is too much and the new shoes weighs more than the ones I am wearing now and I feel the difference. I will use them for walking and doing my strength training. Well that is it for now.
I am making it happen...at my pace!!!!!!
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