Saturday, March 10, 2012
When I left work on Wednesday, my stomach was queasy. I figured it was stress (I'd gotten my first "pop quiz" from our newest "OMG Most Important Customer EVAR!" around 7am which, though not nearly as bad as it could have been, left me shaking for a good 20 minutes and required a quick trip to the ladies room to fall apart and then put myself back together again) and even though my daughter had to work late so we'd already planned to skip the group walk that night, I was considering getting up for it anyway because it was such a pretty day. As it turned out, it was good that we'd cancelled, because the queasy turned into whatever 24 hour stomach bug 'Yote had 2 weeks ago (made all the less pleasant because I hadn't eaten much overnight at work, so I spent most of the day munching saltines just to give them back to the porcelain gods every hour on the hour). That and crying on the couch because I was so exhausted and just wanted to sleep. I finally was able to sleep more than an hour at a time starting about 7pm, and got up Thursday morning at 9am feeling back to human.
Or so I thought anyway. I ate very lightly to give my body a break most of Thursday, even when my son and I had our "Mom - Son Date" (we've been scheduling for me to pick him up from work one day every other week, because now that I'm not driving him home every day I'm off I MISS HIM!) I only had soup and a salad. Unfortunately that was enough to get me queasy again - not bad, but enough that the thought of the gym wasn't pleasant, so my daughter and I postponed for yet another day. Felt better enough for "date night" with the mate later that night (thank goodness), but still vaguely shaky.
And then woke up Friday with what I assumed was a hangover (yeah, from just one Bacardi Sangria...I'm turning into a total alcohol lightweight...not complaining actually). Except I just couldn't shake the headache no matter what analgesics I threw at it, it wasn't bad like a migraine or anything but it was enough to throw me off. Actually ended up taking a nap to see if that would help head it off, which meant I was finally able to hit the gym yesterday though I felt slow and weak. I did my 30 minutes on the elliptical but didn't worry too hard about pushing my heart-rate (still had it in my target cardio range for most of the 30 minutes, but when it started slipping the last 10 minutes I let it) and only got in about 6 strength training machines in the time it normally takes me to do my entire circuit. But hey, I did it right? I was utterly exhausted afterwards though, so I called 'Yote as I dropped off my daughter and we decided to let McDonald's feed us because I just wasn't up to cooking. So I ate my Fillet of Fish and medium fries and we moved on to date night (where I intentionally skipped the sangria and opted for a light splash of Irish cream in hot chocolate instead).
And found myself laying in bed with a rock in my stomach around 3am. Where it sat until I gave up and succumbed to the porcelain gods again about half an hour ago.
So I'm sitting up hoping that's the end of it for today, almost afraid to lay down for fear of having my stomach rebel again. I called my daughter and we're skipping the marathon training today. Which was a REALLY tough decision - I'm afraid of how far skipping the 16 miles today might set us back. Next weekend we're doing 13 miles on Saturday with the training group, and then we'll be walking in the AHA Heart Mini and Heartwalk (doing the 5K Heartwalk - not going to push after 13 miles the day before), and the following week we've got 18 miles on the schedule, 18 miles I'll be doing in Atlanta (quite probably on a treadmill, but our friend's gym has a cardio theater which makes that option less odious and probably the smartest choice since I'm unfamiliar with the area and would be walking around Atlanta alone - which just doesn't sound like the brightest idea).
So I think I'm back to suspecting the stress may be the likely culprit here, as this hasn't gone like the normal 24 hour bug.
Whatever it is, I sure wish it would go away already.
Tonight I go in to do my last ever time change at work. Kind of bittersweet, which isn't surprising. I am NOT looking forward to giving the team the news I received yesterday - that though my supervisor and boss were all for the idea of me postponing my end-date by 2 weeks so I could help cover a co-worker's vacation (since the new guys just aren't ready to handle a Sunday night cycle by themselves yet), the boss's boss refused the idea. The same boss's boss who basically undermined the entire team in a meeting last week by saying "What's so hard about the cycles, it's just a few commands...it's easy." Yeah, you think that because I've made it LOOK easy for the past 16 years, you mo' fo'. That'll teach me to pull miracles out of my A$$ for THIS company anymore. 16 years of blood, sweat and tears...and "It's easy" Nice.
So that's that - I tried to help, but he'd rather throw the team under the bus. Let HIM come in and handle it then, since it's so easy.
Which means my end date of March 21st stands. And it can't come fast enough.
Okay, the tummy has been relatively stable for about 45 minutes now, so I'm going to try and go back to bed. Hope everybody else is having a far better weekend than mine! (Though I did get to see all my kids, and the tax return hit my account...it hasn't been ALL bad, truly, I just feel crummy).
I apologize to my teams (especially my fellow Gryffindors in the Challenge of Harry Potter) - I just don't have it in me to do much towards points right now.
Monday, March 05, 2012
Wow, those were SOME storms on Friday, huh? Added some excitement to Game Night with the kids, that's for sure (as the worst of the storms were hitting, I was picking up one of our cats from the vet - the kids, and our friend Jimmy who'd been invited to join in, all tried to reach me and couldn't get through - the cell towers were being bombarded by people who were checking on loved ones apparently). It didn't dampen the fun though - got to show the kids one of the DVDs I had made from one of our old 8mm movies (I've got 2 transferred so far, at least 3 to go and not all are labelled so it's a surprise for everybody to see what's on those), they played some Magic The Gathering, and we enjoyed a lovely meal of Chef Meg's Slow Cooker Lasagna together - perfect! Of course, I didn't get to bed as early as I should have, but it was worth it.
Saturday dawned with partly cloudy skies and temperatures expected from the mid-30s to low-40s. My daughter and I discussed it the night before and she dropped a layer from what she was wearing when we did the 13 miles, as she'd overheated a bit that day. I picked her up around 6:30 AM, and we got to the warehouse in time to get more sample packets of Gu.
And we were off! It was a BEAUTIFUL morning for a brisk walk! Here's the route we took - 14 miles from Oakley to Mariemont and back:
We spent a lot of time walking on Murray Rd. on the way into and out of Mariemont, which made me feel like my dad was watching over us (his name was Murray).
I'm really loving the chance to reacquaint myself with various neighborhoods in our city (and introducing many of them to my daughter for the first time). Mariemont is so pretty, and I've got some interesting memories - like seeing the Disney movie Sleeping Beauty at the Mariemont Theater when I was little (OH how the witch scared 5 year old me!), and having a fancy dinner at the Mariemont Inn with my parents when I was in elementary school. I LOVE all the Tudor architecture!
We had a couple of mishaps along the way. Right as we were getting to the water stop (this was the first route where they had a water stop provided other than the UDF on Erie), my daughter shrieked and started limping - she'd picked up something in her shoe. While I refilled her water bottle she sat down and took off her shoe - the two primary coaches happened to be at the water stop (we passed them several times as they were checking up on the group, I started teasing them about deja vu at one point) so Rich took the insole out of her shoe but he didn't see anything, so she put it back on and we soldiered on. After about half a mile, she was convinced whatever she'd picked up was still there, so she sat down on a stoop and both Brenda (the coach who stuck with the caboose this week) and I took a look - and we found a NAIL! A really skinny nail had gone all the way through the sole - happily it didn't puncture the insole but it was REALLY jammed in there, it took using a rock to push against the tip inside her shoe to loosen it enough to grab and pull it out - that thing was a good inch and a half long! She tossed it in the trash can nearby so no one else would step on it, and promised me she'd inpect her foot when she got home and wash any scrapes with alcohol (she didn't think it had pierced through her double layer of socks, but I wanted to be sure).
I had a bit of a mishap right towards the end - I heard a runner coming up behind us, and lost my footing as I turned around to check his location (he didn't call out or anything...bad runner, no biscuit!) and took a tumble. I'm getting better at this falling thing - totally rolled through it and practically landed back on my feet, I was already coming up as Brenda and KITTYWULF cried out and came over to help. Dude didn't even slow down. Scraped up my right palm a little bit and that's it - no other bumps or bruises I've been able to locate.
Other than that, though, it was a great walk. I didn't feel NEARLY as wiped out afterwards as I had on the 13 miler (though I did decide to take a nap after I got home since I'd not had a whole lot of sleep the night before and I had to go in to work that night). I noticed that I seem to drink a LOT more water as we get farther along - we passed the water stop twice, about a third of the way in and with a third of the way to go - I refilled my water bottle both times, though I still had about a third to go. By the time we got back to the warehouse I'd drained it completely dry (in fact, about a mile BEFORE we got to the warehouse). I need to pay attention to my pacing on that I think. Though, happily, The Pig is apparently one of the better run races and has water stations at every mile along the route. But for these training runs, I need to make a better plan. I tried two new flavors of Gu this time around - the "Jet Blackberry" and "Mandarin Orange" - and REALLY liked the orange. I was just on the Gu site, and there are a TON of flavors I want to check out - I think it may be time to make an order, or at least see what Bob Roncker's has in stock. The Gu really seems to be working well for me, and they are only 100 calories per pack, which makes it easy to keep track of what I'm ingesting.
OH hey, I promised you guys pictures of my favorite toy store, ice cream shop and children's book store on the planet, and I actually remembered this week!
King Arthur's Court Toy Store is the shop with the purple awning on the left. The pink building next door is Aglemesis Bro's Ice Cream, and the blue building on the end is Blue Manatee Children's Book Store. Ah, how I LOVE Oakley!
Thursday, March 01, 2012
Hills are our friends! That's what Rich (the primary walking coach) tells us, anyway. And considering The Pig is a hilly course (it's Cincinnati, not like you could really avoid hills here), it's good to practice right? Right!
But FIRST, we met up at the warehouse early for a clinic to review range of motion warm-up drills and post race stretching. I am REALLY glad we went - they went over at least 3 separate variations on stretches for each major leg muscle you want to be sure and stretch out after long distances, some of which I hadn't seen before. I was PARTICULARLY glad to have a new way to stretch out my shins (I've been doing what is more of a quad stretch, bending my knee and grabbing my foot from behind, which isn't especially helpful but it was better than nothing when my shins would tighten up on me when I pushed too hard before warming up sufficiently) - they had us try crossing one foot over the other (feet both facing forward), then whichever leg is in front, lift your heel so your basically pointing your toe on the ground, then bend the back leg forward - GREAT shin stretch! They also suggested walking on your heels (KITTYWULF started quacking like a duck, and I stuck my arms out straight like I was a penguin as we waddled around the warehouse) as a great way to strengthen those shins - good stuff!
I experienced a rather unexpected NSV (Non-Scale Victory) during the clinic. The quad stretch I mentioned above was suggested, as well as trying to grab your food by the OPPOSITE hand instead of the hand on the same side of your body as the leg you're currently bending. Now, this is one of the stretches Jillian Michaels suggests at the end of the Level 1 section (the only one I've attempted) on her 30 Day Shred DVD. When I was doing The Shred regularly, I never attempted that particular stretch - I was lucky to be able to get my foot in my hand at ALL, trying to grab it from the opposite hand just seemed to be adding insult to injury. Last night, I decided to give it a shot...and OMG. Really? I can do this? I can do this! That felt SO GOOD! (And hey, it's a good stretch, I may keep on doing it, just 'cause I can!)
So on that happy note, it was time to start an hour of hills. Here's the area we were walking - not far from the warehouse, where Brotherton and Paxton roads run parallel to each other. Thing is, between those two roads is a pretty hefty hill, so we were zig-zagging on the streets that cross them to go up and down those hills along the way...
When we started heading around the last street, we realized we'd only gone about 26 minutes, so we started doubling up on the loops - I totally lost track of how many times we did each one (good thing the coach with us had her Garmin, so I could get the actual ending mileage from her, there was no way I was going to be able to map it accurately for tracking purposes here). Not easy by a long shot, but I think we did a pretty respectable job, particularly considering we stayed at a 16 min mile pace through the whole deal. Now, when I do that distance at HOME (it was nearly the exact distance on my usual "5K +" route near my home) I run all the downhills, and usually aim to pull that distance off in 50 minutes or less. My daughter and I did a *little* jogging down the steeper hills to save our legs a bit, but we mostly focused on walking it this time, so I'm pretty pleased with 59 minutes. I felt GOOD at the end, sweaty and breathing hard, but I could have kept on going, and I knew I could have beaten that time if we'd have run more, so it was a definite confidence booster. At one point I got across a street before my daughter could get past the light, so we ended up separated for a bit - she apparently had the coach (who'd been sticking with the caboose again) really impressed that she's doing this specifically to spend more time with me (thus her disappointment at getting separated, happily it was the last few blocks of the walk so it was only for a few minutes). Have I mentioned how much mom's heart over here is just about bursting with happy that my kid is willing to do a MARATHON just to do something special with me? How hard does THAT rock? (Can't help but mention that the other two - plus the younger son's girlfriend - all seem to have the same motivation, they'll all be doing the Heartwalk with me on the 18th, and have been bugging me we're overdue for a game day...I so love the fact my kids WANT to spend time with me as adults, it's about the best thing evar).
Some of the ladies were going out for dinner afterwards, and we got invited to go along (yay for being included!), but we declined so I could get home to the mate - there will be other opportunities, particularly considering the fact I gave 3 weeks notice at my job yesterday. (And yes, a huge weight has lifted there - the next 3 weeks are going to be kind of crazy with the time change and trying to get documentation and training done so they can cope after I leave, but the thought of never having to darken the Evil Empire's door again is a VERY happy thought.)
It's all paying off - I weighed myself this morning, and have shed all 6 of the extra pounds I put on due to emotional eating from all the job stress a few weeks back. Back to 80 lbs lost, thank you very much!
Take THAT Emotional Eating Monster! It was a temporary set-back, NOT a defeat!
Saturday, February 25, 2012
First of all, if you're keeping track, we missed another mid-week group training run this week. Things at work came to a bit of a head on Tuesday and I worked myself into a headache that could have gone into a migraine, so I took Tuesday night off (frankly more of a mental health day than anything, though the headache could have become an issue but it mostly settled down once I'd made the decision and called my supervisor). Which under normal circumstances should have made things EASIER in terms of getting to the run on Wednesday night, but I got an emergency call Wednesday morning at around 11:30 AM from my sister's work - she was feeling woozy and nauseous and they wanted someone to come pick her up. So I headed north - picked her up at school, drove her to her doctor's office who recommended we take her to the ER (they'd get any blood work back far faster than the doctor would), SO we went to the West Chester Hospital (which I didn't even know was there), with my sister feeling like she was going to faint the whole time. Happily West Chester was fabulous - we hadn't been there half an hour and they already had her in the back, had done an EKG and had taken her back for a CAT scan already. They didn't find anything wrong really, her blood pressure was somewhat elevated for her, but other than that all tests came back normal. They think it was due to exhaustion and stress (she's had a lot on her plate the last few months), and sent her home - happily her best friend called while we were at the hospital and happened to actually be in town (she and her husband are building a house and moving back from Illinois), so she met us at the hospital which was REALLY handy, as we were able to coordinate getting my sister's car back to her house and she offered to take Debora overnight so my sister could just rest. I was in my car ready to head towards home by 5:45 PM (seriously, the hospital had us in and out in under 2 hours, I'm super impressed), not nearly enough time to get home, get changed and pick up my daughter in time for training even if it HADN'T been rush hour. SO, my daughter and I made up for it by doing our hour walk on the treadmill at the gym on Thursday instead.
*sighs* It's always something lately! But you'll notice, we're not letting that deter us! Go go Rose's Girls!
Today was a "scaling back" week - from Rich's e-mail:
"This is a drop back week so our walk is 8.5 miles. We drop the long walk mileage every 3-4 weeks to allow your body to recover so you are physically and mentally prepared for the next mileage increase."
I've spent the whole week chuckling about the fact I can say the words "we're ONLY doing 8.5 miles" and not be kidding. LOL What normal person would put "only" by the words "8.5 miles" huh?
So I got up bright and early, had my oatmeal and took my vitamins and then checked the weather - my phone said it was 30 degrees out there. Not THAT much colder than last week, so when my daughter texted asking if I thought she should use the sweater this week or not I recommended not (since she got so overheated last week during the 13.3 miles). When I went out to the car, I doubled back to get my scarf - I've been using a wool headband as a "gaiter" around my neck under my jacket and that's generally been fine, but it was a lot windier outside than I'd realized and I thought it would be better to have the scarf with me just in case (better to have it and not need it than need it and not have it with me). When we got to the Warehouse, one of the other walkers mentioned she'd heard the wind chill was 11 degrees. *brrrrrrr* Better than the 4 degrees we avoided a couple of weeks ago, but still pretty durn cold. Made sure we'd both hit the inhaler before we headed out the door, and then we were off.
Here's the route for today:
You'll notice a little loop at the top - we took a wrong turn off Robertson onto Millsbrae and had to head around the block to get back on track. Dean (remember the coach who stuck by us when we walked through Ault Park a few weeks ago - yeah, he stuck with the caboose again this week, I believe Brenda was off doing the Princess Half at Walt Disney World today) kept apologizing for throwing us off course, but my daughter and I both kept reassuring him we didn't care - hey, extra mileage isn't a bad thing, right? No worries. So OUR route today ended up being 8.93 miles (according to my tracking on the map anyway). We didn't do any running to catch up and we kept pace with Dean pretty well - a good solid average 16 minute mile pace (though at points he said we were doing 15 or 15 and a half). I'd LIKE to get to the point where our average is 15 (to hedge our bets - the minimum pace for the Pig is a 16 minute mile), but even at this pace we're dong pretty well, and if we run the downhills during the race I think we've got it pretty sewn up. I'm not going for any speed records, but I don't want to get "swept off the course" either. For right now, I think we're doing pretty good (and Karen, the other primary coach besides Rich, told us when we came in that she can tell we're picking up the pace some, which is not a bad thing).
SO, my daughter and I successfully did nearly 9 miles in the coldest weather we've braved yet. I'm EXTREMELY pleased by that!
Now to see what the rest of the day holds - I've eaten and I need to shower, and the kids were supposed to come over for Game Night (postponed from last weekend when the 13.3 miler kicked our butts too much to do anything but nap before I had to go to work). Unfortunately I came home to find 'Yote in bed, having been sick twice since I'd left the house (and once again since I've been home) and feeling generally chilled and crummy. So I suspect we're going to cancel/postpone again. Ah well, I got my time in with my daughter, my son took me to lunch yesterday, and the younger son and his lady stopped by last night when I texted her pictures of the Treacle Fudge I'd made, so I've at least spent a little time with everybody over the course of my weekend.
Oh, hey, that reminds me. Treacle Fudge:
Treacle is a lot like molasses, if that gives you any idea regarding the taste. The fudge is VERY rich, but very tasty. :) The next experiment from the Harry Potter Cookbook will probably be Treacle Pudding (another of Harry's favorites, and believe me I've got plenty - the fudge only called for 2 tablespoons so I've got most of that whole can left to play with).
Sunday, February 19, 2012
It was a BEAUTIFUL day for a walk when we got up bright and early on Saturday! I was READY! Picked my daughter up at 6:15 and we were at Bob Roncker's in O'Bryonville by 6:45 AM, plenty of time to check in, check things out, hit the potty and get ready to hit the road. This week they had samples of Gu for us to try so we can start experimenting on these longer training sessions to determine what works for us in terms of fueling for long distances. According to the information Rich gave us, your body stores enough carbohydrates to keep you going about 17-18 miles, so if you don't want to "hit the wall" at that point, you want to refuel to keep your energy up. He said the rule of thumb is to take one Gu (or whatever food or supplement works for you) about once every hour. The idea right now is to try things out so we'll KNOW how our bodies react before we're doing the 20 milers. So I grabbed 3 Gu packs, and my daughter grabbed a couple as well (though we both had other options with us - I brought honey sticks for each of us and we both had trail mix packs).
Getting ready to hit the road!
Here's the route we took - all the way from O'Bryonville to Downtown, across the river into Kentucky, back into Ohio and then a LOOONG way down Pete Rose Way/Riverside until we headed up Collins Lane hill and back to the shop.
Here, come along with me and see the sights of this beautiful city of mine!
Heading along Madison Road towards Victory Parkway
Victory Parkway turns into Eden Park Drive and rambles through Eden Park (where I STILL need to take 'Yote one of these days). Shots from the park...
One of the lakes
Heading towards one of the bridges in the park
The tower off to the right of the bridge we passed under
**Edited to add - I totally forgot to mention the most incredible moment on the walk when I original wrote this! Right after we walked past that tower and under the bridge, as we were coming around the bend towards Krohn Conservatory, a HUGE white-tailed deer bounded from our left across the road right in front of us and up the hill towards the tower, not more than 10 feet away! It was SO FRICKEN COOL! My daughter was so excited "Everybody else always sees the deer and I always miss it - that was SO COOL MOM!"
Krohn Conservatory (such an amazing plant display)
Mirror Lake (obviously well named, particularly when the sun is just coming up)
One of the entrances to the park (right by the Channel 9 studio)
Out of the park now, heading down Gilbert Avenue towards downtown
One of my FAVORITE places - that Greyhound station meant trips to see 'Yote (and picking up the now ex-girlfriend when she'd come for weekends) - I have a HUGE affection for this buildling. :) KITTYWULF stopped for a quick potty break and I refilled my water bottle, so I took a picture of the entrance, and then the view of downtown from the front door.
Heading towards Pete Rose Way - another shot of my favorite building downtown (the new skyscraper for Great American Insurance)
Approaching the Purple People Bridge
Crossing the Purple People Bridge - looking west towards Covington as we crossed
Passing by the Newport Aquarium on the Kentucky side of the Purple People Bridge
Passing by the old Southgate House (which closed last month *cries*), the Courthouse in Newport and the Freedom Bell
Looking north towards Cincinnati as we approached the Clyde Wade Bailey bridge heading back to Ohio (and more pics of the river - this time looking east)
A neat sculpture heading east on Pete Rose Way (actually I think this may be farther along, where it turns into Riverside Drive - I'm pretty sure that's Mt. Adams up the hill so this is a WAYS down the road)
And the last picture I took - I finally found out where WAIF FM moved! WAIF is one of the public radio stations in Cincinnati, and my ex-husband used to have a pagan talk show that ran during the wee hours of Saturday mornings. It USED to be in the basement of the Alms Hotel in Walnut Hills (which we also passed walking...SCARY place frankly, they had a crow-bar attached to the bathroom key so you could defend yourself walking through the halls if necessary), and I knew the studio had moved but was never sure where - now I know it's on East McMillan! Sweet!
All in all, it was a GREAT walk! My daughter and I were the caboose again, but the one coach who tends to stick towards the back of the pack made a great "pace car" (we were laughing about that towards the end) - when she'd get too far ahead of us we'd run to catch up, so we were keeping a really decent pace - generally 15 minutes or less per mile. It was a tempo walk, so we were to do the first 4 miles at an easy pace, the next 5 miles we were to increase to "race pace" and then the end was to be cool down. I'm not sure how well we stuck to that, PARTICULARLY since the point where we were to slow down was on Collins and OMG that's a ridiculous hill! Which then turns on to William Howard Taft Drive and East McMillan, which were ALSO hills - every time we thought we'd reached the top we'd turn a corner and OMG it's STILL GOING UP! That seriously slowed us down towards the end, but we kept on going (my daughter went a little faster than I did and stopped a couple of times, I just kept on slow and steady) and honestly? Having conquered that hill, the last couple of miles felt SO much easier! Well, except that my legs were starting to feel like lead...but still. The Gu did me pretty well (I liked the Strawberry-Banana and the Vanilla better than the chocolate), but it seemed to cause my daughte gas problems, whereas she did better with her trail mix and nuts. I also needed more water towards the end - I know there will be plenty of water stops during the race, but even having refilled my water bottle at the Greyhound station I should have found someplace while we were in Kentucky or after we got back across the river to Ohio on the way back to refill it again. By the time we were at the top of Collins Hill I was empty - happily my daughter still had some left and she was kind enough to share, but I need to have more than that on me. Will have to consider options there since my water belt doesn't really have extra slots (and most water belts use special clip on water bottles, not generic 24-32 oz water bottles you can get at the grocery store like I use). Pondering is.
The really cool thing? We did a good portion of the course we'll be doing for the actual race, only backwards. The coaches have told us by the time we actually do The Pig we'll have covered the whole course during the training.
So yeah, my daughter and I walked 13.3 miles which is more than a HALF MARATHON on Saturday! My sister and I trained for 5 months to do just that in 2004. My daughter and I have been at this for less than 2 months, and we knocked it outta the park!
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