HILLSLUG98239   35,726
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Wednesday, May 07, 2014

Last Sunday was Bloomsday. We stayed at a hotel about .8 mile from our starting area. The Hubs was in the starting group behind mine. It's okay to move back, but not forward. If you start before your color group starts, you will not be timed. I'd been warned that the crowd is so thick I'd walk the first mile, so I figured I'd start with The Hubs.

I planned to walk to the start. The Hubs went back & forth about walking or taking the bus. Ultimately, he agree to walk. The bus would have required almost as much walking. With 45,000 people on the course and thousands of spectators, Spokane gets really crowded on Bloomsday.

We stood around in the staging area for nearly an hour, but our group got the "Go" sign pretty close to the targeted start time. Twenty minutes later, we were at the start line. About a half-mile later, I kissed The Hubs and we proceeded to run our own events.

I'd been warned that running Bloomsday - which is a 12K - means running at least 15 km because you're constantly running around people. I believe it! I gave up on any kind of "plan." Whether I ran or walked was dictated by the crowd and my heart rate. People were pretty polite though: Often, when I ran through a gap between two people and accidentally bumped one of them, the person I bumped would apologize. emoticon As if it was their fault I bumped them, even though they clearly have the right-of-way.

I ran up the first hill, which isn't much of a hill. But then came Doomsday Hill. I used to hate riding my bike up this hill. It's three-quarters of a mile, 6.5% grade. I only ran to get around people. There was a giant vulture decoration at the top of the hill and lots of "Congratulations!" banners. At the top of the hill, there's less than two miles to go, and no more hills. At this point, the course is through the West Central and Felony Flats neighborhoods. There's a real celebratory and party atmosphere along the course from this point on. (There were two dozen musical acts along the course, in addition to folks blaring stereos and providing other "entertainment.") I missed the folks handing out paper cups of beer in Felony Flats.

I was really feelin' it by this time. At the start, there was tightness in my upper outer quads. No idea why, other than the 19+ mile bike ride home several days before. There was no reason for my legs to be tired. Once I started running, that feeling dissipated. Unfortunately, I felt it every time I walked. It got to the point where I didn't want to walk because my legs hurt, but I didn't want to run because my legs hurt. emoticon Obviously, I pushed through it.

Past the courthouse, the course makes a final turn to the south, down the hill and to the finish line. I knew there would be photographers at the finish, so I did my damnedest to look happy. In fact, I was delighted to see that finish line! There's a video of me approaching the finish line, high-fiving everyone along the course. The joy on my face is genuine. I earned my finisher's t-shirt.

My final time was 1:43. I'd estimated I'd finish in 1:45, so I was glad I met that. (That's how the organizers sort the start groups.) The Hubs finished about forty minutes behind me. I stood near the finish line, doing dynamic stretches and moving constantly. I saw him approaching the finish line, prepped my cell phone to take a picture, and completely missed the opportunity to take a picture of him. Fortunately, the event photographers got a couple of good shots of him.

We headed back to the car. That may have been the longest mile I've ever walked. Both of us agreed we were really at our limit. We refueled at Dick's Hamburgers. (If you're from Seattle, Dick's is a treasured cultural icon. There's one Dick's in Spokane, and while it's been there forever, I never got the impression Spokies love Dick's the way Seattlites do.) I asked that we stop every hour or so on the way home so that I could walk around a little bit. The Hubs agreed. I put on compression socks, and put my feet up on the car's dashboard. I never do that, because it's incredibly dangerous. In this case, I decided the benefit of elevating my feet outweighed the infinitesimally small risk of catastrophic soft tissue damage if we were in an accident on the interstate. My legs are still a little stiff, especially if I sit for too long. I managed a pretty good time (14 mph) on my ride home last night, though.

My bib number is up on the wall in my office. We're planning to do this again next year, but we're going to splurge a bit and stay at the Davenport, which is right next to the course. My goal for next year is to be twenty pounds lighter and twenty minutes faster. But I'll still go to Dick's afterwards. emoticon www.ddir.com/

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SPEEDYDOG 5/10/2014 5:54PM

    Thanks for such a nice race report. How many people were there? My, oh my, that is a gigantic field!

Running in events is always a good motivator for positive lifestyle changes. I like you big smile a wave in the photo!


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SEATTLESIMS 5/8/2014 4:26PM

    Way to go on your race! totally cool to meet your goal time especially with that crowd! Wowza! that is an event!
Here is to making next year's goals!

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DDOORN 5/8/2014 2:10PM

    What an AWESOME accomplishment! Is this your first time or have you done this distance before?

After doing my annual 5K for the past few years, although I still maintain I am NOT a runner, I have to confess with toying over doing longer distances, since in my prep I'd been doing 60 mins. of jogging or probably close to 10K.

Of course getting off the anti-coagulant and back to cycling will probably knock that notion right outta my head...lol!


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HILLSLUG98239 5/8/2014 10:40AM

    I have since been corrected: Dick's in Spokane is not affiliated with Dick's Drive-In in Seattle. But the Dick's in Spokane has the better sign out front - a panda offering a hamburger to a chicken.

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KANOE10 5/8/2014 8:46AM

    Bloomsday is a great event. We have people from our town going up for it. I have not tried Dick's but have seen them. You did great finishing the race with all of those people.

You are in great shape!


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    WOW!! What a great-sounding experience! Love the vulture at the top of the hill--that's funny stuff.

You are an ATHLETE who inspires me!!

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KELLISOR 5/7/2014 9:25PM

    This looks so fun! I was running the Tacoma City Marathon while this was going on, though, so I can stop kicking myself for missing it while I was in the area!

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ALICIA363 5/7/2014 6:46PM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon

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  Great job! And yes, I love Dick's Drive In!

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Success is not an accident

Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Last Sunday, two women at church asked me if I'd lost weight. I have, but more importantly, I was wearing pants that didn't give me a muffin top. But what struck me was that one of them, a woman about my age and shape, said, "I'm jealous."

Jealous? It's not as if I've done something that she isn't capable of. She's on my FB friend feed, so I'm sure she's seen how many workout-related status updates I've posted. Kim is at Tri-City Court Club. Kim ran. Kim rode her bike. Kim hiked Badger. Kim swam laps.

I know a lot of us get this kind of feedback from people: we somehow have discovered some miraculous truth and accomplished something the uninitiated cannot. Hardly. Ask what I ate yesterday - I can tell you. Ask me how many times I've run, swam, ridden, hiked, stretched, or strength trained this month - I can tell you.

Success is not an accident. While my bout of gastroenteritis two months ago gets some credit, the reason I didn't immediately regain the weight is that I made reasonable, healthy food choices instead of saying "I lost five pounds! Bring on the pizza and ice cream!" I still eat too much, but for the most part, I make good choices and keep my calories within a reasonable range. Some nights, I watch an hour of two of television; occasionally I splurge and watch three or four. But those nights are rare because I chose to do something different.

I give myself permission to skip workouts, but I don't do that very often, and I have to have a well-described reason for doing so (such as, I desperately need that extra thirty minutes of sleep, and that sleep will benefit me more than the run will). I've pushed through workouts I did not enjoy. I've ridden in 35-mph cross winds more than I care to describe. I've stared at the pool and wanted to cry because it was beating me. But day after day, I push myself. I work a little harder. I sacrifice the temporary comfort for long-term benefits (and big-assed bragging rights).

But here's what gets me: this woman is educated. Clearly she doesn't think she got her professional certification because she was lucky. Surely she's aware that it took hard work to get where she is today.

I wouldn't say any of this her, because that would be mean. But it saddens me that so many people continue to think there's some magic pill, some quick-fix, that will make them fit and healthy. There isn't. We all deserve to be healthy and fit, regardless of our shape and size. And that "secret" is already in us.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

_LINDA 5/8/2014 12:15PM

    emoticon Great blog! Referral from Don thankfully! I have had nothing but compliments and encouragement and quite a few of how I did it, then comes the Spark plug :) But its true they think maybe there is a quick fix especially as they have seen me recovering from so many surgeries and health issues they think it can't be just eat right and exercise lol.
Keep on being awesomesauce!

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HILLSLUG98239 5/8/2014 11:13AM

    I absolutely recognize it was a compliment. And I wasn't being entirely fair to this person: she has faced some huge struggles over the past few years, and she doesn't have the kind of support I do. If I was going through what she's been through, it's unlikely I'd be getting more fit. In fact, given the way 2010 went - when I got up to 210 pounds - I'm certain of it!

I wasn't trying to be mean. It was just one of those comments that set me to thinking. I've allowed myself to engage in the same self-defeating thinking. I battle against it all the time.

Quite frankly, as she gets her life back on an even keel, I wouldn't be surprised to see her taking better care of herself.

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SPINNINGJW 5/8/2014 7:46AM

    I have worked in health care for over 10 years. I KNOW what I am supposed to do to be healthy. I KNOW how to lose weight. I am well educated on a variety of topics. That being said "Knowing and DOING are two different things." Jealousy on the part of your friend may be "I am jealous that you seem to have the drive and desire to get thin and healthy and I don't." This lifestyle takes WAY more than education, it takes a DESIRE to truly change your life and how you approach food and fitness.

As ONEKIDSMOM pointed out, the comment was likely intended as a compliment.

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123ELAINE456 5/7/2014 11:20PM

  Awesome Blog!!! Well Done. God Blessings Always. Take Care.

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ONEKIDSMOM 5/7/2014 8:22PM

    How did I miss this one earlier? Don sent me over with his riff today! Absolutely emoticon

On the other hand, she might have meant it as a compliment. Well done on your hard work and the success that come along with it

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WATERMELLEN 5/7/2014 6:33PM

    Super blog and super comments from DDOORN who directed me here! Success isn't an accident -- your are so right about that, and deserve your pride in your accomplishments absolutely. Every person's path is different and I'm betting your good example will have an impact on your friends and colleagues who see what you're doing . . . we just can never know what's going on in other people's lives.

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KANOE10 5/7/2014 6:18PM

    Well said. It is not an accident. It is work and determination.

Great job on being healthy.

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VALERIEMAHA 5/7/2014 11:52AM

    Thanks to my friend Don for directing me to your fabulous blog with the "secret" that is already in us! I like what he said too:

"You've worked hard to find your unique path. This other person will have to do the same. There's no magic to this, just a few basic guideposts and the rest is up to us to hammer out through her own trial and error."

Dang -- I hate it that it's up to me (lol)!!!???

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HILLSLUG98239 5/7/2014 11:13AM

    Good points, Don. I've heard that ex-smokers are the ones most likely to be bothered by smoking. Maybe I'm one of those people who, having seen the light, cannot understand why people remain in darkness.

I don't think poor choices are the result of ignorance in all cases. I just expect intelligent people to have a better grasp of cause & effect. emoticon

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DDOORN 5/7/2014 8:48AM

    Very true words indeed! However, I will point out that education and intelligence isn't enough (re: you mention that this woman is "educated"). Food is steeped and wrapped into SO many layers of emotions and feelings that can skew our minds and thinking terribly!

Been there, done that for FAR too many years...and yes, I STILL struggle around those issues which continue to have the potential to knock me off the rails of my healthy and well lifestyle!

There is SO much more to making healthy lifestyle choices than intelligence. Which also speaks to the corollary erroneous belief that somehow people who make poor lifestyle choices, who are obese, are intellectually inferior to their peers.

You've worked hard to find your unique path. This other person will have to do the same. There's no magic to this, just a few basic guideposts and the rest is up to us to hammer out through her own trial and error.


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ALICIA363 5/1/2014 7:23PM

    I got the "you'd better not lose any more weight" comment at work today. Thank goodness for spark people helping me to prepare for some of this!

Let's hear it for big-a$$ed bragging rights!

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    Hey, Kim--right on.

I TOTALLY agree.

Like one of the totally ripped guys at the gym says, "When people say they're jealous of me, I think, 'Don't be! Do what I do!'" I love that.



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APONI_KB 5/1/2014 1:58PM

    This reminds me of how my mom was once looking at some of my photographs and said something along the lines of how well that expensive camera of mine takes pictures.

Sure mom and it has nothing to do with my spending hours pouring over photography books and websites to learn how and when to use various shutter speeds, apertures, and composition.

just point at the thing and fire away the camera is doing all the work

I choose to take it as a compliment that I make it look easy.
nothing else to do really

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EBRAINK 5/1/2014 7:59AM

    Well said, Kim. If it were easy to do what you've done, everyone would do it.

I never know quite what to do with comments like that - I think they're meant to be complimentary, since we all want to inspire envy in others, right? I sometimes hear a little bit of "mean girl" in them, too, since we're not supposed to make others feel bad (a co-worker once told me she thinks I'm losing weight because she has a weight problem - wha????)

I think the best response is yours. You're doing this for you, and you know how hard it is. Others could do it, too, but that's on them.

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Looking forward to the Brick

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

I'm riding home tonight. I had a meeting last night, so I didn't ride home. And because of the meeting, I didn't get quite enough sleep last night. I've been a little draggy all day, but I took myself to the gym at lunch for a quick swim.

This morning, I decided I would do a brick workout tonight instead of going to the gym for strength training. I've been slacking on the strength training, but at this point I think I need to spend more time on the activities. The ride will be easy. The swim and the run will not.

Next Sunday is Bloomsday, a 12K. Two weeks after that I'm doing a duathlon 5K/30K/5K. Between these two events, I'll know how ready my legs are for the triathon the first weekend in June. But I think I've only done one brick this year, so it's time to shock my legs back to reality.

But I'm really looking forward to this. It's 72°F outside with a barely-perceptible wind from the ENE. The ride home should be amazing. I'll run into the house, switch shoes, and then take off running. I'll be miserable at first, but after about a half-mile, I'll be glad I'm out there, running.

Oh, and that banana cream pie in the refrigerator? Yup, it's dinner.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

HILLSLUG98239 4/30/2014 11:37AM

    The brick wasn't terrible. But there also wasn't a corresponding moment when I thought, "ahhhh ... the lead is gone from my legs." I ran a little more than two miles - not much, but enough to call it a workout.

I skipped the pie. Had a chicken jalapeņo-cheddar brat with homemade bread & butter pickles. nom nom nom

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MISSG180 4/30/2014 11:00AM

    I'm happy for you but SO JEALOUS!!!!

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ALICIA363 4/30/2014 7:22AM

    Looking forward to the brick report!

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DLF > DNF > DNS > Never Got off The Couch

Saturday, April 26, 2014

I ran a 5K this morning. It's sponsored by my gym, the Tri-Cities Court Club. I signed up a while back because it's right here in town, the entry fee was only $6, and I'd been slacking in training for the run portion of my upcoming triathlon. I was hopeful signing up for an event would re-instill some urgency to my training.

And then I forgot about it.

A few weeks ago, I saw it on the calendar and my eyes got big. It certainly did create a sense of urgency.

The route was a local multi-use path. It's relatively narrow (12', tops), so getting out of the start required some near ballet-like moves. I was quickly passed by the stroller-pushers. emoticon One of them got a mechanical soon after passing me; the other stroller-pusher left them for dead.

I ran for four straight minutes at first. I usually run between 2-3 minutes, then walk for :45-1:00. But given I'd just passed someone, I didn't want to immediately drop back to walking and make them pass me. It worked out, though. Several times I ran for three or more minutes, and cut my walk to :30-:45.

I finished in 33:50, which is better than my previous 5K. The best part about the event was my self-talk. My Inner Coach kept catching me slouching: Head up! Shoulders back! Hips under your shoulders! It's amazing what a difference good posture makes in how I feel when I run. Thank you, Inner Coach!

I took third place in my age group. Maybe there were only three women in my age group. Doesn't matter: there isn't an asterisk on the ribbon, and I am keeping it. DLF beats DNF, DNF beats DNS, and DNS sure as heck beats Never Got off The Couch!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

EBRAINK 4/27/2014 5:39PM

    Pretty darn good for a slug! Way to go!

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ONEKIDSMOM 4/27/2014 6:01AM

    emoticon 33 minutes is not bad for a 5K, especially one you "forgot about". Train on! And heck, I'll take any ribbon they want to hand me, and wear it proudly.

Comment edited on: 4/27/2014 6:01:34 AM

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DDOORN 4/26/2014 10:45PM

    Awesome deal! My turn is coming up next Sunday. Your time is right around what mine usually ends up being each year...and I never walk, just plug along with my jog right on through.

I figure when I see somebody walking that is hard for me to pass, I'd better pick up my pace a tad...lol!


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TOWHEE 4/26/2014 9:39PM

    As a sailor we used the acronym DLBF (dead last but finished) but DLF works for me!

Congratulations on your run; any time is better than no time at all.

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ALICIA363 4/26/2014 8:16PM

    emoticon emoticon
emoticon emoticon

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NOT_A_LANNISTER 4/26/2014 4:54PM

    emoticon emoticon

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HILLSLUG98239 4/26/2014 3:41PM

    DLF = Dead Last Finish. It's not really a code. I made it up. emoticon

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  You're going to have to help me out here. I know that DNF means "did not finish". What does DLF mean? Good job on your 5K!

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  You're doing great, keep it up.

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This morning's swim

Thursday, April 24, 2014

When I took my swim lesson, the coach told me to not roll and breath with every stroke. The thing is, my heart rate really goes up when I start using my arms. I can go more than a few breaths before I'm gasping for air. And then it hit me: it's okay to ignore Coach Kathy.

It's more efficient to breath every third stroke. But if your heart rate is so high that you cannot breath, it's unrealistic to do so. As my fitness level improves, then I can work on the number of strokes I can take before rolling up for a breath.

I'm comfortable breathing on either side, so I'm confident that I will be able to get to the point where I breath every third stroke. But it will take time.

Now, if only I could find a tri that will allow me to use fins and a kickboard during the swim...

I've been sneezy all more morning. This happened last week, too. I clearly need to remember to take a benadryl before a swim work out. (At least I hope that fixes it!)

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

DDOORN 4/26/2014 3:04PM

    The message from our body trumps anything a coach might have to offer...good for you to pay attention to the IMPORTANT stuff! :-)


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MISSG180 4/25/2014 12:45PM

    Keep going. You're amazing!

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MNCYCLIST 4/25/2014 7:29AM

    Good point...


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ALICIA363 4/24/2014 7:42PM

    Way to go, way to break it down into goals that fit you!
emoticon emoticon emoticon

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