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Emotions in Motion 5k, at Alton Baker Park in Eugene

Monday, June 24, 2013

Today was awesome - and not awesome. It was definitely emotional. I spent the night at Mom's, close to the race.

Because I've been sick and really wanted a good night sleep, I made the mistake of buying some cold and cough medicine I'd never tried before yesterday and I took my first dose ever last night. It will be my last one. I am allergic to Nyquil and I am apparently allergic to this, too. I had hives and my pulse and blood pressure were very high. I could not sleep all night. I had the itches, the scratches, my heart pounding in my ears, diarrhea and my diastolic pressure was 107-120 for most of the night. (That's the number on the BOTTOM.) I was afraid to awaken Mom because Dad died of anaphylactic shock due to allergic reactions to medicine. He woke her up one night, said she'd better call 911 and died before she was even off the phone. So I felt stupid and full of dread. I kept the Epipen ready, but it makes my heart race even more, so I did not plan to use it unless I came down too low.

And I wondered: WHY do people ever want to be on uppers? I just don't get it. Yes, my mind was racing. No, it wasn't a bit of fun.

At 5:30 I had breakfast and tried to calm down with Tim Noakes' book Lore of Running, which is really incredible if you are into the physiology of the sport, although I don't agree with his stance on carbo loading. (He is for it.) By then I was coming down a little.

By 7:30 I was a little woozy feeling from lack of sleep, but it was time to go. My husband was going to drive up from our house and meet me there. I got lost on the way to the park. I ended up in a park that almost looked right. There were about 30 people stretching in the grass, but - funny - they were mostly doing the same stretches, and that didn't seem right for runners, who are individualistic sorts. I drove by really slowly, staring out my window. They stared back. Then I saw the park name. Skinner Butte. I didn't think my butt was skinny enough yet for me to stay there so I turned around and headed back the other direction. I was still apparently driving very slowly and got honked at several times. I couldn't decide on several occasions whether to turn left or right.

But I got there. I had preregistered and so they had my name and race number. I almost cried when I saw it.

Number 9. My dad called me Nine. It was my nickname my whole life. I may have felt like garbage, but I knew I was supposed to be there. They were expecting 140 people and I got to be number 9. I didn't know whether to cry or start laughing.

My husband showed up and promised again that he wouldn't go to meet me at the half way point. It was a GOOD THING, too, and not just so he wouldn't embarrass me. This was a race to benefit a suicide prevention awareness group and two families who had lost young men this year to suicide had quite a few runners and walkers participating. This morning the pregnant widow of one of the men who committed suicide went to the hospital with contractions. They sent her away, saying she still had a little time yet... so she called the person hosting the race and said she was bringing a nurse and she was going to do it.

I am not lying.

So they altered the course THAT MORNING so no one had to go on the other side of the highway. Instead, we went on Pre's trail for part of the trip. It was NOT on the original plans, but it was great. There were a few hills, but it was bark lined and shaded. There was, of course the symbolism and the wonderfulness. How could you not feel grand running past Autzen stadium, the home of TrackTown USA, while running on the trail founded by Steve Prefontaine, himself?

If my husband had brought his bike and biked to the other side of the highway, he would have been waiting there for a long time... no doubt fearing the worst, considering my medical history.

The person who redrew the race said it was almost 3 miles. We are not sure exactly how much. No one's pedometers and foot pods read exactly the same. I ran/walked it in 35.26 minutes. Lately, on a good day I have been doing about 3.11 miles in 39 minutes. I figure 2.9 is about the right mileage based on my time, the speed I feel I was running,'s pace calculator, and how much it looked like was cut off the original route when I looked at an aerial map. However, people reported mileage from 2.7 to 3.5 miles. So that tells you how accurate pedometers are. People set them once based on how they walk alone and then they walk completely differently with other people. I got my own foot pod yesterday FedEx, but didn't have time to program it.

Either way, I felt like I was doing a 13 minute mile... and that's about what it looked like according to where I placed. There were about 20 people very far ahead of me, people who were obviously much fitter, who had trained longer, people who were doing 7 minute miles. One woman came in ten minutes ahead of everyone else and no one even saw her but my husband because no one even expected her to come in. She was super fit - had six pack abs - and we were surprised she wasn't running the half marathon that was also scheduled for today. She ended up with her picture in the newspaper, along with pictures of some family members.

There were also at least 100 people very far behind me, although to be fair, only about 20 of them were runners. (The newspaper reported about 50 runners total. They were being generous and including the people who ran when they saw the finish line. The race management crew gave out 147 numbers, I believe.) One man in his late 70s probably ran the whole way. Very slowly, but he never stopped. We talked a couple times. I eventually passed him for good, but when he came across the finish line, I started up a big hoot and hollar for him. He was the next person behind me, about 21st. They didn't keep track of our places or give out any age prizes. But I thought he deserved at least recognition for his steady effort.

The pregnant woman was NOT last. She came in about an hour later, in a small group. We roared with applause for her. We whoop whooped. We jumped up and down. We embarrassed the daylights out of her. We loved her up. I had tears in my eyes and I didn't care who saw. She is my new heroine. Some of her family whisked her away a little afterwards.

I don't even CARE that this wasn't a regulation race, although maybe one or two of the faster runners might have. I am so inspired by the thought that people would redraw a race for this woman and that she would complete the entire course, 3.11 miles or not.

When I got to Mom's, she took David and me out to lunch. David bought me a pair of Nike Flex shoes that I adore. I love the pair I already have - the only pair of shoes I have ever worn that have never pinched or rubbed my huge honkers. And they are so light! So I got pampered a little bit, as if I had run a half marathon or somehow done something awesome!

And then I relaxed before napping and read the Sunday paper... and found out in the Sunday paper in Oregon that the mother of a friend in Virginia died in a rather horrific plane crash. Complete with firey photo.

So today was a day of thinking about people who died and shouldn't have. Not Garrett Big Guy Brandt, whose widow finished the race today. Not my father. Not my friend's mother. All of these people died suddenly, unexpectedly, and none of us saw it coming. What can we do about it? We can honor their memories and do the best we can to love and care for the families that remain behind. We can take care of ourselves as well as we can, vowing to be healthy for ourselves and for our families.

I made a little collage. I could have just posted me coming across the finish line, but since I am all by myself, it looks kind of staged... like SURE she didn't just show up all by herself and pretend she did a race! Up in the left hand corner is the father of the soon-to-be-born (tonight?) baby. I promised a week or two ago that I would keep running until I caught Bigfoot. In the lower hand corner is Bigfoot, sneaking off before I could catch up to him. I guess I will have to keep on running.

And a close up of me trying to sneak onto the moonbounce:

I was going to go farther in, but it started to sag, so I backed up and my husband caught me with a silly grin. I am glad I didn't go any farther. I coaxed two very small children in a few minutes after this picture was snapped and it collapsed on them. I would have been mortified if I had caused the collapse!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

PDQ1203 6/26/2013 9:58AM

you did it!

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LINDAKAY228 6/25/2013 10:32AM

    Wow this is awesome. Your struggles to get there with the medication and getting over being sick, the change in course, the awesome fact they did this so the woman could go on the course, the cause that it was for, everything. I can see why this is a day of mixed emotions. I'm so sorry about your friend's mom. I feel sad for the woman who gave birth whose husband should have been there with her but was gone. I feel so much reading this blog. Suicide is so tragic for those left behind. A lot of the races I've done are about the size of this one as I live in a rural part of the state without many races without having to go 4 or 5 hours or more to do one. Congratulations on getting out there and being a part of this event, not for glory, a prize, or a sanctioned race but just to be a part of something that has such a meaningful purpose.

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BROOKLYN_BORN 6/25/2013 10:02AM

    What a great blog - full of ups and downs just like your day.
Your terrific attitude will take you a long way.
Congratulations on your finish and I'm glad your medical problems subsided enough for your to participate. Good job!

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ADAGIO_CON_BRIO 6/24/2013 3:46PM

    You did a great job! I am so with you in dealing with the complex fabric of life--the losses that come too soon and unexpectedly--the unanticipated moments of joy and surprise.

Take exquisitely good care of yourself.

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MONIKA1948 6/24/2013 2:39PM

    Congratulations!! What a wonderful blog! Thank you so much for sharing it with us. emoticon emoticon

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AMARILYNH 6/24/2013 1:19PM

    emoticon Love your spirit AND how you look in your running skirt!! Good job!!

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MARGARITTM 6/24/2013 11:27AM

    What a mixed emotion day. Glad you got to participate!

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AQUAJANE 6/24/2013 8:30AM

    Perfect title, emoticon concerning the race. Must've been a welter of feelings between your own overnight/morning experience (dare I call it near death?) and hearing about the plane crash. Personally, I wonder if Solly helped! emoticon

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FELINEBETTER 6/24/2013 8:22AM

    Wow! Quite the blog here! First of all, emoticon on your run! Your cough medicine ordeal scares me a little. I would feel better if you went to the hospital next time! With all you were dealing with - I'd be afraid that your epipen might not be enough! But I guess I should mind my own business! (I never do, but I think about it often! lol)

As for the gone but not forgotten -- very, very moving. I made light of a woman in labour running a race but after reading the entire background story -- wow! It brought tears to my eyes!

You Girl - are accomplishing so much and have such a great attitude! Just remember to take care of my friend, Larisa! (almost "Skinner Butte") lol emoticon

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IFDEEVARUNS2 6/24/2013 8:15AM

    What a wonderful race and what a great day!
I can't imagine what your night was like, though.

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CAPECODLIGHT 6/24/2013 7:38AM

    What a fantastic blog. Anyone reading this will be moved to reflect on their own life as well. Those meds are dangerous. I am not allergic but highly susceptible. It's like they have a triple effect on me.
Congratulations on your triumph!

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CHERYL_ANNE 6/24/2013 6:57AM

Well done, you!

It was meant to be! emoticon

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PHEBESS 6/24/2013 4:21AM

    Perfect title for this blog!

YAY to running the race, boooo to being sick, and more booooos to being allergic to the meds!

And yes, all we can do is carry the memory of our loved ones in our hearts, and live in ways that honor those memories.

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FUSIONFITNESS3 6/24/2013 3:04AM

    Understandably a day filled with varied emotions.

Absolutely awesome on completing the 3.11 mile run/walk. That in itself is quite an accomplishment which in and of itself can be quite emotional. I've just experienced that last month on my first every 5 km race.

Just think if you've completed this race what possibilities lie ahead for you. Way to go.

And a huge congrats.

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MELP06 6/24/2013 1:32AM

    Great job! emoticon

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I'm friends with the President, I'm friends with the Pope...

Friday, June 21, 2013

..we'll all make a fortune selling Daddy's dope!
emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

Please remind me not to sing this aloud when I'm on the course on Sunday. I dug out my Nano, which I had shoved in a desk drawer. It was given to me as a gift and I had not used it. I was annoyed by my hubby and kids with those dang earplugs shoved in their ears all the time, and besides, I have one busted ear drum that makes loud music annoying, anyway.

I have a race on Sunday and I've been sick most of the last two months. I have life long asthma and I've been dogged by a respiratory illness that just won't go away. It's not really bad, just persistent. But I'm going to run, anyway, if I can. I've been running all along, just not fast - more like slogging - and I've been doing a lot of walking. I was actually doing BETTER at the beginning of my running than I am doing now.

I have told my husband he is ABSOLUTELY NOT to check up on me at the half way point like he wants to. I will show him that I put my inhalant in my pocket. After that, I want to be NORMAL! I will be embarrassed if he makes a fuss. I'd rather he shows me he thinks I am Bad to the Bone by waiting at the finish line with a camera! If I find he DOES wait for me at the half way point, I'll "tan his hide when he died, Clyde, and that's it hanging on the shed!" Oh, well... maybe not. I just wanted to use another lyric. But you get the idea.

However, my breathing problems really have become a BELIEVING problem. So I decided I needed some distraction. I was a DJ waaaaaaaayyyy back in the day, when I used to bring my own LPs and occasionally 45s and even 78s and tapes to the studio to augment the stations' collections. (Two stations, one college, one non-profit, both underfunded.) So I chose some music that was FUN, that made me remember being young. I chose music that was appropriately about 120-130ish beats a minute, paced right for a slow but steady runner.

My selection is all on shuffle, to surprise me. It includes:
Zydeco: several Beau Zocque - Boogie Woogie All Night Long is my favorite one
Paul Simon - That Was Your Mother

Reggae: Desmond Dekker - 007 Shanty Town - and YES, I DO know the words
Bob Marley - Buffalo Soldier

Silly Sixties: Coasters - Three Cool Cats and Yakety Yack
Clarence Frogman Henry - Aint Got No Home
Rolf Harris - Tie Me Kangaroo Down, Sport

Alternative: Dave Mathews - Tripping Billies

Swing/Country: Bill Kirchen: Swing Fever

Rock: George Thoroughgood - Bad to the Bone, Move it On Over, One Bourbon, One Whiskey, One Beer - he has GOOD running rhythms
Kenny Wayne Shepherd - Spank
Ramones - We're a Happy Family (me, Mom and Daddy!)
Red Hot Chili Peppers - Aeroplane
The Kinks - Lola
The Presidents of the United States of America - Lump
Paul Simon - Ace in the Hole
The Police - Roxanne
Santana and guests - Smooth and Why Don't You and I

Blues Rock: Stevie Ray Vaughan -Let Me Love You Baby

Funk: Wild Cherry - Play that Funky Music

Folk Opera: Porgy and Bess - I got Plenty of Nothing

If you know the lyrics to these songs, at least 70% of them are ridiculous. How could anyone feel miserable running to these? They come from a disparate mixture of genres, but are close enough in tempo and mood so they segue pretty well. I did have to drop a couple of old songs I wanted to keep because the sound quality was so low that it sounded awful in the mix. And I couldn't find a GOOD copy of some peppy old favorites like "Who put the Benzadrine in Mrs. Murphy's Ovaltine?" But this should keep my busy for a couple of runs. Anyway, I ran out of time to add any more!

One thing about the silly ones: I have to watch my form! It is hard not to want to get bouncy and silly while listening! So if you see someone moving more vertically than horizontally, with a goofy grin, mouthing occasional nonsense like "kangaroo" and "piranha pajama", well, it's probably me.

Edited to add: I got good copies of Mrs Murphy AND Ain't Nobody Here But us Chickens! Ha! (Nothing worse than straining to hear a quiet old scratchy song with one good ear and then being jarred afterwards by the Ramones! But these are good!) Re: Play that Funky Music, I'm sure it was at least half satire. At one point he squeals incredulously about playing it until he DIES?!?

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

MUSCLE-UP 6/21/2013 11:47PM

    Yesss, to Stevie Ray. I'm flickin' my BIC in tribute. Great playlist. Wave to the crowd when you pass that finish line. The applause and cheers are for you.

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FELINEBETTER 6/21/2013 7:35PM

    LOL LOL I can just imagine the goofy grin on your face as you run while listening to these! lol lol

You GO Girl! Good for you for pushing through this and strategizing to find a better way.

And hey! I could tell your husband you're "bad to the bone" -- so tell him to just call me! lol lol

Enjoy the run for all its worth!

You Go Girl! emoticon

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AMARILYNH 6/21/2013 5:17PM

    I, on the other hand, "LOVE Play that Funky Music" as well as a number of others!! Have fun Sunday!! emoticon

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PEGGYO 6/21/2013 3:40PM

    fun remembering

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IFDEEVARUNS2 6/21/2013 3:38PM

One of my favorites: Louis Jordan - Aint nobody here but us chickens!

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    My witty friend, that's quite a mix you've got there. The only thing I'd delete is "Play that Funky Music." Somehow it offends me. But the thought of you running your heart out with your hips shaking to the music makes me smile. (Was the non-profit one of the Pacifica Foundation stations?)


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Vision Collage for BLC

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Shirazsolly's vision collage shows my goals:
1: enjoy exercise and running!
2: goal weight 140
3: find Bigfoot

The last one is a joke, but when I moved in, I did hear from the locals that Bigfoot had been spotted not far from my property several times in the last several years. I think it was a bear on his hind legs. But I could be wrong!

By the way, I took pains to find muscular women. No ephemeral, diaphanous, see-through-body princesses and underwear models on my collage. Nope. I'll never be one of those critters, so why daydream about them for even an instant? I didn't put any sprinters on there, either. I'm too stiff for those quick starts and I have short, big legs and big arms so I looked for endurance runners and female gireviks.

Edited to add: I should give credit where credit is due: the girevik is Lauren Brooks. She is not a Shape and Cosmo girl, underwear-posing kind of "athlete". She is the real deal, in My Mad Methods for April. I have no clue who the runners are and the woman flexing her biceps came off a "risky" website (my McAfee software told me AFTER I clicked on it to find out who she was so I didn't stay to see who she was).

P.S. Notice the man running BEHIND all those women! I don't know if he's enjoying the view or he can't keep up.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

JUNEBUG0511 6/21/2013 3:58PM

    Excellent vision board! I SO need to do one of these! emoticon

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ADAGIO_CON_BRIO 6/20/2013 5:52PM

    Excellent board! I really enjoy it and it's really all attainable for you.


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HICKOK-HALEY 6/17/2013 7:30AM

    Love your collage. Makes me smile. I used to have a waist like the first runner. Wish I still did lol.

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OWL_20 6/16/2013 6:33PM

    Oooh, excellent vision board! And I love the find bigfoot pic--you know you could really get some steps doing that emoticon !

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BROOKLYN_BORN 6/14/2013 12:08PM

    Celebrate strong females! YES!!

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MIRAGE727 6/14/2013 8:01AM

    Great board!
Athletic course runners & walkers are way hotter than runway walkers! There! I said it! I own it!

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GSPEIRS 6/14/2013 2:22AM

    Great Vision!

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PHEBESS 6/14/2013 2:16AM

    Nice job! May you live long and reach these goals!

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SPARKLECHANGE 6/14/2013 12:57AM

    May your vision board illuminate the way to becoming your reality!!! emoticon

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VEROUY 6/13/2013 11:17PM

    WELL DONE!!!!! LOVELY!!!! emoticon

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BECKYQUIGLEY 6/13/2013 8:38PM

    Shiraz, you are my kind of runner! Sounds like we're built alike. I also sweat a lot and get all red-faced. I love your vision board! emoticon

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FELINEBETTER 6/13/2013 8:10PM

    Well done, Girl. My favorite of course is the canines! lol lol emoticon

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MONIKA1948 6/13/2013 7:22PM


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AMARILYNH 6/13/2013 6:29PM

    Love it!!

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    Girevik, Bolshevik. They're all the same.

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MINANCY 6/13/2013 6:19PM


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CHERYL_ANNE 6/13/2013 5:44PM

    What a great motivational resource for you!

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AJB121299 6/13/2013 5:14PM


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Presidential Challenge for BLC

Wednesday, June 05, 2013

The first day assignment for BLC didn't make me very happy.

My hubby and I are both sick. For two weeks I thought I was having a bad time with perimenopause. Really exhausted, late period, stomach upset, grumpy, having extra bad allergies, hot flashes that were straight from Hades, couldn't sleep. But then my husband got the same exact symptoms. (Of course, his period's always late!) Unlike me, he went to the doctor and the doc put him on antibiotics. I just kept slogging away on the treadmill 'cause I'm stubborn that way. And I gained 2.75 lbs anyway! In less than a week. Yeah, I went over my calories 4 or 5 days in the last 8 - but I tracked, and none of those days were by more than 200. And I kept working out despite feeling terrible! Grrrrr...

And my waist is BIGGER! DOUBLE GRRRRRR...

And today's Presidential Challenge meant I had to measure my fitness levels on a bunch of stuff that I can't do like normal people can. Then these levels were placed on a percentile with others in my age range and gender. Since I'll have to redo the same exercises later, I kept track of my modified versions. Here's what I did:

Plyometric wall push ups (due to neuropathy, I can't do standard pushups, but regular wall push ups are too easy). I fall on the wall, bound off, clap, fall back on the wall, etc... hands wide apart, over and over again, for one minute as directed.

Lying leg lifts from floor to 90 degrees straight up and back to floor. Again, due to neuropathy (I have spinal disc degeneration C3-7 and T8-10 so my neck and back do not curve much and I have significant pain when I try. Also I have left side weakness). I thought I did great, but Pres Challange didn't think so!

My sit and reach abilities obviously suck. I can hardly reach my knees whether standing or sitting.

And kept 13.2 pace on my run.

Pushups: _95__ (%)
Half Sit-ups: _30__ (%)
Sit and Reach: __5_ (%)
1 mile walk/1.5 mile run: _20__ (%)
BMI 25.3 "Overweight, risk for disease."
Overall score: _37__ (%)

What a downer score! I don't think there is a lot of chance I can improve these, except my BMI and my run time by the end of my 12 week BLC.

If anyone else in the Violet Venuses is feeling just as grumpy about their results, well, let's all just virtually paper the houses of who ever gave us such bad scores. Too bad there's no emoticon for that!


At least my weight, I hope, will be normal again next week. I suspect the 3 lbs is at least half water gain. I drank like a fish yesterday because I was so hot.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

MUSCLE-UP 6/5/2013 4:29PM

    Sorry to hear you have been sick. Glad you went out and did the fitness test anyway.

If I was not as flexible as a gumby doll I would have logged in a negative number on this Challenge.

Love your modifications.

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FELINEBETTER 6/5/2013 3:06PM

    Hey Girl!
Sorry to hear that you and your husband are both under the weather! What did the dr think this was? Was his white blood count up? Sounds very strange to me. Inquiring minds want to know...

I hope you're feeling better. emoticon emoticon

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AMARILYNH 6/5/2013 1:33PM

    I don't think my score on this test is truly indicative of my fitness either - but at least it gives us a base to measure against!! emoticon

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IFDEEVARUNS2 6/5/2013 12:34PM

    I'll have to try those push-ups. Shoulder impingement issues keep me from doing the regular kind.

You are you - not some percentage of someone else! Maybe you can improve some of these, maybe not. Just remember these aren't the things you are out to change.

Except the BMI and run time, LOL! emoticon

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ADAGIO_CON_BRIO 6/5/2013 12:33PM

    You really can and will improve your percentages after twelve weeks of paying attention to the various TNT challenges and other aspects of fitness. It's a long journey.

I think I always weigh more when I am feeling ill. There's water weight but there is also "gunk" weight, which is probably caused by your allergic reactions. Sinuses and other cavities get bloated with heavy viscous "gunk junk". May it leave you soon!

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My 5ks are turning to dust

Tuesday, June 04, 2013

Nope... I didn't say I'm leaving them in the dust. Two of the races I'd wanted to do this summer look like they're all junk and I'm trying not to be disgruntled. And the third organizers haven't answered their emails and the website isn't very informative. That's what I get, I guess, for picking them for convenience rather than for the event organizer.

The June 23rd race, Emotions in Motion in Eugene, Oregon, might still turn out to be an ok beginner's nonprofit race, but there sure isn't a lot of advance information. Oh, well. It is on a convenient day, at a convenient time, in a place not too far away for me to visit my Mom afterwards... so it won't be like all is lost. It was only $20 to register.

The July 20th race, Lighthouse and Lake 5k, apparently has been cancelled, but none of the running websites know that. It used to be listed on Reedsport/Winchester Bay's info, too, but has magically vanished off their tourist websites. I've already paid for registration. Unlike Emotions, I don't live close enough so I can just drive there the morning of the race.
I also reserved a place at the local state park for 3 nights and my husband and I were planning to make a vacation out of it. I've been emailing people for a week trying to figure out what's going on and tomorrow morning I'm going to have to restrain myself from calling and being irate. I'm just going to get my registration money back. Now we have to decide if we're going to go to the park for our little vacation, anyway or to change our reservations to a less crowded time? Because July on the Dunes is crazy! Everyone brings their 4 wheelers and cases of beer and it gets noisy. (Kind of mindbogglingly different from green and vegan Eugene!)

There was a third 5k/9k for which I hadn't registered, on July 13th. However, I almost did because it this race is a charity to benefit a lovely local park with peacocks, big trees dripping with moss, a creek and horses. I wanted to see the trail first, though, because the park website was unclear about where the race would be held and I remembered some of the park as being rather unsuitable for my plastic-wrap-for-cartilage- self. Fifteen years ago I would have done any of these trails with relish.

I had gone out to see the trail after heavy rain and wondered if the race would be held on the largest clear trail, which was made by cattle and horses, and was therefore full of hoof-print dents and debris. There was also at least one hill that did not seem to end, ever. I walked up it while my husband and the dogs stood at the bottom. I got to what they thought was the top, looked down at them and they were smaller than my pinky fingernail. And I was not even half way up.

I couldn't find anyone to ask so I wandered around, looking at various places that had trail signs. One was really nice, bark chip lined and wound through a treed area, but it was too narrow for a crowd and was heavily slanted to the right, in the direction that my ankles unfortunately turn. I noticed my right ankle was somewhat swollen the next day. I started across the street at another trail, which was completely unmowed and was barely recognizeable. I thought, well, this is Oregon... maybe a crew will come out and clear the area up.

I went back a week later and asked the groundskeeper if there would be any maintenance done before the race. First he was confused. "What race?" Then, after I told him what I read on the website, he laughed. "Oh, no", he said, as if that were completely preposterous, as if I were a city slicker... "what you see is what you get." So I won't be signing up for that one. Meanwhile, a peacock pecked at the door of my car. I guess he didn't like what he saw, either.

Grumble... there are two other convenient 5ks, but they are $40! For a 5k! One of them isn't even for charity! Gee Whillikers!

(5k and 9ks are bad enough... Can you even imagine MARATHON event planners being this lackadaisical about their runners' feelings, efforts, time and money? And having hundreds of marathoners show up in an idyllic seaside town on a July weekend, expecting the perfect race after months of hard training? I'm picturing a biker movie riot scene ... but with buff men and women in tiny shorts!)

There's another race coming up by Eclectic Edge in August (Umpqua River Run) and they have a very good reputation as event organizers. Their entrance fee is $30 and it is for charity. I think I'll sign up for that. At least I know they'll be there on race day. Their website ALREADY, in June, explains registration, parking, packets and footpods. This one has real money prizes, so I don't have a prayer of placing well (competition will be steep in a poor economy area like Douglas County!!!) but it will be a real, professional race.

Oh, well... I am a member of the the Violet Venus BLC team now, so even if I don't currently have a slew of good races to look forward to, at least I have 12 weeks of other reasons to keep on running... until I stack my schedule full again. I do like a full schedule... keeps me on track.

Today I walked for almost ten minutes straight . That wasn't in the plan, but my first supposed 4 minute run ended up being less than 2 minutes because I had to blow my nose repeatedly. Solly enjoyed chasing the tissue that I dropped because it raced to the back of the treadmill and fell off. Once I decided I was "done" I put my treadmill on 4 and slogged (jogged at a very slow pace, like running through slush) for most of the next 30. Solly watched the treadmill for more tissues a few minutes, gave up and wandered off. Sometimes I increased the incline to 5, but lowered it again soon. Once I got to 3.1 miles, I decreased the incline and my speed for a cooldown.

Afterwards, I did assorted strength training and a few stretches and went outside to weedwack. So I had a good exercise day and felt a little better about running in general. Maybe I deserve better races, right?

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

AMARILYNH 6/4/2013 5:02PM

    Wow - NOT good!! Especially the race you've paid for that seems to have disappeared!! That's a new one on me - I've simply never heard of it. Do you think its the economy? But if they canceled the race you'd think they'd have returned your fee!!

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MUSCLE-UP 6/4/2013 3:49PM

    Wow! Oregon has changed since I lived there. Everyone used to be hitting the trails and creating fitness events that many attended.

Here in Texas where I now live and there is actually a lot of dust there are tons of running and cycling events.

Well, Oregon is still incredibly beautiful and you rarely have a 105 degree race day like is so common here in Texas.

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MARGARITTM 6/4/2013 9:46AM

    I just read an article on how to pick a race;

What I rememberis:

longevity....if the race has been run the last few years most likely it will again.

Also if the Race is being timed by a reputable group they will do their best to put on a properly timed and measured race.

I would pursue getting your money back. ...ya I know only $20 but it's your twenty bucks that you were donating to a specific charity and you expect to get what you paid for.

C U @ the finish line!

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IFDEEVARUNS2 6/4/2013 9:26AM

    You've stumbled on the most important thing: event organization! Funny, I just listened to a podcast about that issue yesterday. Imagine folks running a marathon and finding out at the end that it's not official because the course wasn't regulation length.

You do deserve quality races!

Good luck with BLC.

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FUSIONFITNESS3 6/4/2013 1:22AM

    Yes you did have a great exercise day all in all. How unfortunate to run into all these troubles with your anticipated 5 kms. What a nuisance; especially with the loss of the registration fees. That's just not right!
Despite all the obstacles keep training and running for yourself. You can do this.

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