Tuesday, October 19, 2010
Yesterday, I said farewell to a not so old friend that died too soon. One that I had come to rely upon greatly and I will truly miss. Yes, My HP printer gave up the ghost this weekend. It was less than 18 months old (but of course, out of warranty). Print head was the cause of it's demise, and the cost of repairing would be somewhere between $90 and $130. It's amazing how much we come to depend on these things, take them for granted, till they are gone. So, I'm looking for deals....getting information....in the meantime, my little sis has an older printer....like where you change out the cartridge depending on whether you want to print black and white or color. I honestly never knew anything like that existed, but it will do the trick for the time being and I won't be printerless.
The HRM came in the mail....it is a very basic model, but is all I really need, well, need is not really the right word, but it will do...as soon as I get a battery for it. I took it to the jeweler that does all my watch batteries, but he could not get into the thing. I could send it in to Polar, but I hear they want around $40. (for a watch battery that costs $3.60 at Home Depot) plus $7.95 shipping and handling and it will take two weeks. I don't think that the investment is worth it untill I know that the system actually works. There is another jeweler in town that I need to check with.
On a brighter note, the coat that I won is lovely and fits beautifully. I really will get pictures taken. I just need to catch my sister in the right mood. I got a lot of compliments on it. More than I would have thought....it's not like it's a fur or anything, but it is an attractive coat and people are probably happy to see me wearing an item that really fits me well instead of most everything being a tad large.
Also, a very dear friend was able to provide me with a great savings on some new running shoes, so this weekend, they will be ordered. THANK YOU - L!!! I'm going to check out a new model this time. Still Asics, because I love the cushion and stability, but I don't know how important the asymetrical lacing of the Kayano's is. I'm open to trying out something else...maybe a little less weighty.
Met with my new women's study group tonight. It's a small group, but we are really hitting it off after just two weeks. I've done the study some time ago, but it's been about a decade ago and I've gone through alot of changes, and hopefully growth in that time. It will be interesting doing it again and seeing where God has taken me, and where we are going next.
My sister's doc recommended doing some light weight training to strengthen and build up her done density....am going to try to use that to get her to let me clean out that area of the basement and make the workout area nicer for the both of us. It will definately make it more pleasant for both of us to further our fitness, health goals during the long, cold winter....wish me luck on this one...PRAY!
So, all in all, there have been some good points, and some not as good as I would have liked points, but in accepting that things just aren't perfect, nor am I, I have found that I can be grateful for the blessings and accept the rest of life and look forward to facing the challenges of tomorrow. Keep Sparking Friends!!!
Sunday, October 17, 2010
Okay, not much to report on except that today, in the truest sense of the word, I am "officially" a winner. My sis called up to me just before work to let me know a FedEx package had arrived for me. I was in a hurry to get to work, but the box seemed the right size for the HRM that I won on E-Bay, so I opened it quickly thinking that just the sight of it would lift me spirits till I had a chance to get it all figured out. It was fast coming, but what a nice surprise. SURPRISE!!! I opened it, and instead of a HRM, there was a BRAND NEW NAUTILUS all weather coat...price tag still attached! Now, I KNOW I didn't order myself a coat - especially one costing $100. THAT I would have remembered. I quickly reasoned that my birthday was comng up and maybe some very generous soul sent it to me....no, don't know anyone that generous who would have sent a coat especially without a note or card or something. Then I remembered, I subscribe to SHAPE and I regularly enter their drawings and one of them a couple of months ago was for a coat! Now, it DOES seem strange that they never notified me that I had won, but I checked the back months magazines when I got home and SURE ENOUGH...that was the coat I entered to win! BEST OF ALL, it is a size SMALL! Now, my sis said, maybe you can return it, when I first put it on (over my robe) - to which I said, "oh YEAH" - you've never seen someone change so quickly. I put on my work clothes and the coat on over and IT FIT!!! Now, I am 5'7", so no matter what, some size smalls just aren't going to fit, but this one does - and it looks !
It's really nice to have an article of clothing tht truly fits my new size - SMALL (can you believe it)?!? Is there a "pinch myself" icon? I'll try to get sis to get a pic tomorrow in the coat with the new hair style. Have an Sunday everyone! I know I will...get to see Brian "Head" Welch (formerly of KORN) at church service tomorrow and then a trip to the arboretum for purposes of relaxation and to enjoy one of the last weekends of color for the year!
Thursday, October 14, 2010
The past week or so since the race, I feel kind of like I've just been going through the motions. I'm trying to figure out how to handle the upcoming winter and just not feeling particularly motivated. I haven't set my sites on my next race yet and I know that I need to get better about cross training and strength training. My core is still very week and I'd love to join the local fitness center, but they require you to sign up for a year if you pay monthly and I don't have $390. laying around to pay the annual fee. In fact, I am still saving up for the next pair of shoes. I have been wanting a HRM, but the cost of a decent one is just more than I could consider spending. I have a watch that has a pedometer which works sometimes, but it shuts off if you don't keep moving and it has a HRM but that is a buttono which is not very reliable and you must be abolutely still to get your heart rate. A few days ago, there was a posting on FREECYCLE for a Garmin HRM...this is the second time I've seen one on there, but I've responded to both and didn't get either. Today, though, while looking for some Christmas presents online, something reminded me to check E-Bay again. Even on E-Bay, the prices of the Garmins were way to high, but I did find a POLAR Edge and bid on it. I got into a bit of a bidding war and figured that I would not win that either, set a high limit of $20., and believe it or not, when I checked back this afternoon, I had won the bidding - at $17.50!!!
It's not the fanciest or most elaborate, but it will be more reliable than my wrist watch which I paid almost $30. for at Wal-Mart. Not a bad investment, and now I am looking forward more to the exercycle etc......
Friday, October 08, 2010
So, now that the excitement of the race is over come the big question. What to do now? It was actually my third race, but definately the one that mattered most to me. Now I'm looking a winter fast approaching and trying to figure out where to go from here. I've considered maybe another race, but I'm not sure if I will ever learn to appreciate running in the VERY cold weather. I know that I will want to do a 10K this coming May(?) at the event where I ran my first 5K. I also know that next November, I want to run the Rock N Roll Half Marathon in San Antonio. Maybe I should look to do another event before the season is over, but I'm not sure if my heart is in it. Maybe if I can find a buddy or two to run with. I know that I need to work on the hills and start to get ready to do some type of formal race training come spring, but right now, I'm just hoping to keep it consistent through the cold winter months.
I also want to work more on my strength trainng...especially my core strength, abs and back. Went to the fitness center today and did a group strength class, some kickboxing and a pilates class. I was going to do an abs this evening, but for some reason, I thought that the class was at 5:30 and when I got in the car to (@5PM), saw that I was wrong and that the class started at 5. Oh well, at least I won't be walking around feeling like I got hit in the ribs for the next 2-3 days.
I guess I'm just feeling out of rhythm right now. Sis is in a bad mood....and for good reason, but only she can take the steps to correct the situation and for whatever reason she is reluctant to, so the rest of the world will suffer for it.
Going out with a friend for a bite to eat tonight. Not till around 8 or so, but still a nice chance for us to get together. Seems we rarely have the chance anymore.
That will probably do wonders for my mood, that and a nice relaxing run tomorrow morning.....let's hope....I really am feeling the need to get refocused.
Monday, October 04, 2010
OKAY!!! Here it is......(drumroll please)......
..........the long awaited "Official Post Race Blog."
A long, long time ago, (9 months actually),I decided that it was time to lose some weight. That was 40+ lbs ago, and never, EVER did I even consider the notion that someday I would be posting a picture like this on the internet. Of couse, nine months ago, I was thought that it would be nice to drop around twenty pounds, fit into my clothes better......and then I found Spark People. I didn't intend to take up running, it just kind of happened because walking took too long and I'm not a very patient person. Spark, and running changed ALL that.
....Disclaimer to those who aren't interested in running stats or what you can learn through running....feel free to tune out now.
This past Sunday, I ran the Morton Arboretum Fall Color 5K Run. When I first started C25K, back in March, I figured that by October I would be able to run in a real race. Might as well have a reason or goal for doing all that running besides helping me to shed some of those pounds. The timing seemed perfect...I would have long enough to get ready, it would be just a few weeks shy of my fiftieth birthday, on my older sister's birthday and I would actually be almost exactly the same age as my mom when she passed. The goal was set. I kept at C25K and actually was ready to run my first race, The Fox Valley 5 and 10 K which was put on by my church on May 8th. (I joked that if I died running this race at least I would be surrounded by my church family). My goal was to run the race-the whole way, no stopping in under 40 minutes. I did it!!! 36:21 and 262nd in a field of 319, 31st out of 49 women in my age group. I was really pleased and was ready to do another. So, a month later on June 5th, I ran the Crosley Run for the Animals. I just wanted to improve on my performance.
The weather was warmer and more humid and there was a hill a half a block long at the one mile point - whew! that was tough, but I DID IT!!! 34:49.2 and 856 out of a field of 1184, 49th out of 73 women in my age group. Got to say I was happy!
Fast forward many, many miles later. I signed up for this run and got the course map. I really wanted to do this one well....for many reasons. The course description said it was challenging, so I thought I better go check it out. Maybe practice run it. Good thing I did. In case you haven't read it on my other blogs, the ENTIRE first mile is an uphill climb! There is even a caution about it in the course description. The first time I attempted to do the course, I couldn't complete it without walking some and my time was near 45 minutes. How could that be, I had run up to an hour at a time, done 5K's runs in practice in under 30 mins. time and again. Even achieved a 7.1 mile run in 61 minutes.....I was beginning to doubt whether this was such a good idea. But I had set myself a goal, and one thing that I have learned from Spark is to persevere. Don't give up and you can't lose. So, I trained, and trained and ran that course and THE HILL a few more times. I even managed to beat the 30 minutes twice in practice. I trained and trained so much that I pushed too hard and the last week before the race I had to sit out totally to allow my body to recover. I had started to have knee and hip pain that I hadn't had in months and my last run before the race (the previous Sunday) was the worst I had run in months. It was hard sitting out the week, just doing some mild stretching and arms, but I knew my legs needed the rest.
The two days before the race I was a bundle of nerves. They were forcasting frost that morning, so I dug through all my clothes to find something warm enough that I could run in without worrying that my hamstring would knot up from the cold. Even the morning of the race, it took all that I could muster to convince myself that I had done all that I could. Sure, if I could do it all over there were things I would've done differently, but that's all a part of the learning experience. I was so scatter brained that morning that I even packed everything in the car and headed off down the road without my race packet. Turned around, got it, and made it to the rendevous point to meet up with my runnning buddy at our exact scheduled meeting time. We piled into her car and headed for the race site. The sun was just rising and the sky was streaked with reds and purples. One of the prettiest sunrises I'd ever seen. It was cold, but not really frosted and we got her signed in and walked around to warm up and do some light stretching while we waited to line up. The race is run on a narrow two lane road that winds throught the Arboretum and the race organizers had the area in front of the start sectioned off by mins per mile pace. Good idea! Little did we know until the end of the race that there were almost 1800 runners for this race on those narrow little roads. At times the crowd was too dense to even pass around others, but that may have been a good thing. My running buddy took off up that hill and I knew from the start that I would not be keeping up with her. But I ran my race as best as I could. At the end of the mile hill at the first turn, I even felt a little sick at the stomach, but I slowed my pace a bit. I hated doing it since this is where I hoped to pick up time, but I knew that if I got sick, that wouldn't gain me any time. I got into a rhythm and just kept moving...slow, but steady and saving enough to make the hills at the end. The last mile would be some rolling hills before the 1/4 mile stretch to the finish line. I managed to make all those rolling hills, never walked, and there were many runners who were walking by that point. My pace on the last hills seemed so slow, that I felt I might as well be walking, but I was gaining ground on the walkers, so I kept on trodding. The course phototgrapher was at the 3 mile mark and that last tenth mile was one of the longest I think I've ever run!!! There would be NO smiling for any picture there! I gave it every little bit I had left and focused on the finish line. As the timer came into view, I knew that I would really have to pour it on to cross the line before the timer hit 35 minutes! YUCK!!! 35 minutes!!! I'd really have to kick it to PR @ 34:48 or less.....and, I DID!!! The clock was right at 34:40-45 as I crossed the finish. Not what I had hoped for, but a PR none the less and on the hardest course I had ever run. I had to be okay with that.
I met up with my running buddy, she had finished some 4-5 minutes earlier. We grabbed some water and walked around awhile to cool down before I could even get a banana down....They definately had this race well organized, because just 15-20 minutes later, they were posting the preliminary results...not all the racers had even crossed the finish. AMAZING! We crowded around the boards with all the others and started looking for our times. I check at the 34:40 marks and kept going from ther 34:41, 42, 43, 44, 45, 46, 47, 50? 53?...35:00 ??? My heart was really sinking, could I have misread the clock that badly or was it simply that I couldn't find me. Then Heather said she couldn't find herself either. About that time, someone suggested "try a minute or so faster than the time you crossed the finish". Oh, yeah, with such a large field, we were chip timed. It was over a minute before we even got to the start, so that same time would be subtracted from the time at the finish clock. We looked, and sure enough, there I was - 33:25.5!!! A new OFFICIAL PR! Not what I had hoped, but I knew that I gave it my best shot. Sure, I made some errors along the way. I wasn't perfect in training, in running, in eating, in resting, in dressing, but I learned alot and I did well. I ended up 978 out of a field of 1780, 487th out of 1091 women and 38th out of 94 women in my age group. I'm surprised to hear me say it, but I'm quite pleased. I know I have a way to go, but I've come a long way already and NEXT YEAR, I WILL RUN THAT COURSE IN UNDER 30 - in a higher age bracket - and if the stats hold for next year, that should put me in the top ten out of the 90-100 women for the 50-54 age group. It's a sickness I believe, but I love it.
SO, WHAT DID I LEARN? Listen to your body. You are NOT Superwoman (but you ARE a super woman)! When it comes to training, more is not always better. Get your rest! Give that old body a chance to recover and.........do your best, everyday, it IS more than good enough. Slow and steady does win the race, eventually, because in running, as in life, you are really only competing against yourself.
AND, LAST BUT NOT LEAST, GOOD FRIENDS TO SHARE THESE EXPERIENCES WITH ARE THE BEST PRIZE. Thanks Spark Friends for sharing this adventure with me. And many thanks to my running buddy, Heather(17 yrs my junior), who kept me believing that I could take on this challenge. I'll forever be chasing her, but she keeps me moving forward.
Heather and Me (Post Race and Pancake Breakfast)
oh, yeah, and I learned that this chick
(10/3/2010 - Morton Arboretum 5K-135lbs)
can beat this chick's butt......
(me, far left, 11/21/2009 - pre Spark 177-181lbs)
.........IN SO MANY WAYS........EVEN ON AN OFF DAY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
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