Tuesday, February 26, 2008

A big Hip Hip Hooray!

I really need to leave for work or I will be late but I just wanted to put out a big congratulations to Mr. KT (still needs his own name, I think) for doing his first 2000 yd set in the pool last night!

Way to go!!!

Sunday, February 24, 2008

Wait... what?!

I had this weird feeling while I was running yesterday afternoon. It was about 3:30 pm and I was running thru the University campus to get to the loop I like to run. It is February and we live in the midwest so I had on running tights on the bottom half and a tank top and a long sleeve t-shirt on the top half with arm warmers for good measure, and my Nike stocking cap to top it off. This is minimal compared to the layers I usually wear this time of year. I was running with my husband and our two dogs when I said to him, "I feel weird".

He looked at me funny (although he would be the first to admit that he is used to me and my strange comments) and said "what?"

I said, "I think I might be hot but I can't be sure."

He just laughed and I am sure he was thinking, "I told you not to wear those tights!"

The same thing happened today when I went out in my shorts, tank top, and long sleeve t-shirt. So, yup, pretty sure I was warm. I checked the weather when I got home and said that it was 47º (feels like 42º) with an 11 mph wind. Yay, I will take it. That is about 70º warmer than last Wednesday when they called off school because of the wind chill. =0)

Granted, it is supposed to snow tonight and tomorrow but I will sneak those days in whenever I can. Even our dogs have been eatting it up. They spent the entire weekend outside. Everytime I would offer to let them in, they would come over peek in the door and then turn around and go back to their sunny spots. Smart babies! Even nicer, is that they then crash out in the evenings because they aren't used to being awake all day. I just love them.

Saturday, February 23, 2008

It burns!

Trek Up the Tower hurt. I took Steve's advice and took the stairs two at a time for as long as I could. I pulled with the railing and I passed as many people as I could. The race was 40 flights, 633 feet in the air, 870 steps. I have to admit that I had no idea what to expect. I registered for the women's recreational division based on times from the previous year. I had no idea. I definitely ended up sand bagging. Oh well. I learned for next year I guess.

I also learned that the mayor of Omaha always gets to run up first and the news anchor for channel 7 always gets to go 7th? Lame I know. There were also 3 or so fireman that did the entire thing in their gear with tanks. It seems like having an O2 tank would make life easier, other than having to drag the stinking thing up the stairs but they were telling a buddy of mine that it was not continuous flow, that you had to exert extra effort to suck the air in. Yikes. That is hard core.

When I got to the 38th floor landing, there was a girl standing there with her hands clasped behind her head really struggling to take some big breaths. She was starting to cry and as I went around the next landing she was sobbing. I told her how great she was for getting 38 floors up and that she was sooo close. What I wanted to tell her was that she was wasting all sorts of energy crying and that she only had two floors to go before it was all over. That she should take all the time she needed and then get her booty to the top. After I finished I really wanted to go back and cheer her on but i didn't figure they would let me do that. I waited and she came out of the stairwell a couple of minutes later. Way to go, girl I don't know.

Here are the top ten female recreational times...

Trek up the Tower
February 23, 2008 - Omaha, Nebraska

Female Recreational Results

Place Name City Age Div/Tot Finish
===== ===================== ================= === ======== =======
3 MANDY ROSSO OMAHA NE 32 2/60 8:09
4 ERICA FLECK OMAHA NE 26 2/43 8:29
6 DANA VOTAVA OMAHA NE 30 3/60 8:41
8 JEAN PECK OMAHA NE 45 2/55 8:52

I am still coughing and my chest sounds all rattly but my legs aren't tired at all. I ended up winning my age group (1/43) and the women's rec division (1/190). Next year, I think I will have to do the competeitive division because I would have been 3rd in my age group there and about 8th overall. It was alright. I am not going to do professional stair climbing but the exertion time is so short that you can't hardly pass it up.

And oh, by the way, the overall winner for competitive men was a guy named Ivan who runs lots of the local races around here. He finished in 4:40. Holy crap.

Anywho, time for a real run. Gotta test out the new shoes and the foot and burn some of Kona's energy off. Yay, two birds with one stone.

Up and at 'em

It is 6:15 am on Saturday morning. It is the perfect time to be... well, sleeping. I obviously am not. Really? What the fruit? This morning is the big stair climb race. I don't have to leave until 7:45 or so and so what is the difficulty?

The good news is, I don't feel tired. I went to bed at about 10:30 last night, which is definitely NOT early for me. That is 7 1/2 hours of sleep, about my normal. (And I might add, I need every minute of every hour in order to be a happy, functioning physical therapist/triathlete.)

Let's think about this logically...



Ah ha! The pool has been closed and my foot has been "injured". "Wait, what?", you ask. I swam Monday and Tuesday but not at all since then. I haven't run since Sunday and I have really only been on my trainer once this week. The rest has been yoga and weight training. Yeah, so the aerobic workouts have significantly decreased, more of a nose dive if you will. Actually, I am considering it a taper for the stair climb craziness I am about to embark on here in 3 1/2 hours. Yeah, that's it.

I think I am also excited about the prospects of another "race". Although a little nontraditional for me, I am looking forward to competition of any sort. Haven't had much of that in the last few months.

Woot, woot, bring it on.

Sleeping in on Saturdays is for wimps!

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Odds and Ends

Alright, interesting week all. Let me recap.

First off, I took my running shoes back to the local running store and told them about the problems. I told them that despite the numerous pairs of Nimbus I had owned and loved, I HATED these shoes. They had 65 or 70 miles on them but the store was super awesome and took them back minus 15%. I tried on a few other pairs and ended up with the pair just below the Nimbus. It has a tiny bit more stability and came in a narrow width! Yay. He said that the toe box of the shoes I was wearing were too wide and that was why I was getting blisters. Anywho, with my super sore heel (plantar fascitis in the making) I haven't run in them. I am going to give it a go tomorrow morning. A super short distance just to give it a try and see how everything feels.

Secondly, for those of you in warmer climates, this next part may be a bit shocking but here goes... school was cancelled on Wednesday due to the cold. It was a balmy -30º F wind chill and they called off school due to the number of kids who walk and have to wait for the bus. I learned that when it is this cold, somebody has to go start the buses every two hours all night long. I hope they rotate that job. Brrr. Anywho, I still have to go in to work but it is alright because I can stay in my warm office instead of traipse around to the different schools all day.

Third, as Blink would say, it is game on. Saturday morning I will be racing up 40 flights of stairs because it sounded like a challenge and because I can. I will put up a race report but I don't expect to be nearly as fast as Steve.

In the meantime, try and stay warm and if you live in a warmer climate, go out and take advantage of it. I am jealous and impatiently awaiting spring or another good snow, whatever comes first.

Sunday, February 17, 2008

When Good Shoes Go Bad

As I have written before, I love Asics running shoes. Specifically the Gel Nimbus variety. I have had pairs in blue, green, orange, purple, you name it, sometimes multiple pairs in the same color. I posted a while back on the ugliest shoes ever, yes that would be my root beer/latte colored Asics. I should have known better. Any shoes that ugly cannot do good things to your feet. I have blisters across the tops of two of my toes on the right foot and serious inflammation at the insertion of my plantar fascia on the bottom of my left heel. NOT GOOD. I did my long run yesterday, 7.15 miles in 1:08:56, at about a 9:30 pace. Not bad, I was having a little tenderness on the bottom of my foot and my hamstring was tweaking a little bit but not a bad run. I really felt pretty darn good. After I got home though, yikes. It hasn't stopped hurting since then. I can live with blisters, eventually you toughen up to those but this inflammation stinks. I really haven't increased my mileage or changed my routes. Maybe it is all in my head but I HATE my shoes. I asked the guys at the local running store and they said that Asics didn't really change this model from last year. I am just wondering if I got a dud pair. Blast! I am not all that interested in paying for another pair. These only have about 65 miles on them. However, better than having to take time off for injury or the medical bills that I could potentially incur. Annoying. Is that even possible for a pair of shoes to just plain suck. So, here is my plea. Asics, make a pair of red women's shoes. I guarantee they would be better. Trust me.

Editor's note: After more looking more closely at my training log I realized that I ran...

week of 01.27.08 - 13.09 miles
week of 02.03.08 - 7.52 miles
week of 02.10.08 (last week) - 20.35 miles

My long run last week got changed to Sunday and then I did my next long run the following Saturday. So, I suppose that I should stop blaming my shoes (although I still don't love them or think they are great) and reevaluate my training. Who here thinks that might be a bit more than a 10% increase? Yeah, that's what I thought. Self proclaimed dork.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

I figured it out!!!

Ok, so my text teacher for journalism in college said that you only get to use two exclaimation points in your career as a journalist (thank God that is not the profession I ended up in because I love a good exclaimation point) and they should both be used when Jesus returns.

I think that this revelation deserves the attention, so follow me here. As posted a few blogs back, the temperature has been seriously cold. I am cold from the time I get up to the time I get in my new fancy bathtub at night until...

...a fellow swimmer talked me into taking a Bikram Yoga class with his at a local yoga studio. 105º F, 40% humidity in the winter for 90 minutes! Now, the first 45 minutes I thought this is great, I am warm and even sweating. The second 45 minutes I was trying not to throw up or pass out. (I don't ever want to hear any of you say that yoga is not a workout ever again.) I kept thinking, what in the H-E-double hockeysticks am I doing here but it was somewhat like an endurance event. I got home, drank a gallon of water and started to feel, well, awesome. I slept like a rock, I had minimal soreness and had a great run this afternoon. Now I am thinking, "bring it on, I can't wait until next week." Like I said, an endurance event where in the pain of the moment you swear to never do it again and then you sign up for the next event hours after you complete the first one. I know, I have been there.

So for those of you are skeptical, lets talk about what goes on in these hot yoga classes. From what I understand, Bikram is a form of hatha yoga. It is 90 minutes of twenty-some (26 maybe)poses and two breathing exercises each done twice. There is a specific dialog which is good for beginners and did I mention it is hot? I was just fine during all the standing poses it was the second half on the floor that was hard. That was when I about tossed my cookies 3 times and considered for a brief moment passing out. Looking back, if I had known what I was in for, I would have drank a lot more water during the day and I think that would have helped. I also had a pretty sweet headache by the end but that was also a dehydration issue which was solved by several glasses of water.

You may still be wondering why would anyone even do this? The benefits are that the heat helps you sweat out the yuckiness from your body, it also makes the stretch deeper without as much strain on the body. (That second part we learned in PT school, although in another form.) Plus, as the swimmer friend that convinced me to do this in the first place noted, "you are wet for 90 minutes". I mean, that seems like a good reason in itself, right? But really, I have never been so sweaty in my life. I looked like a stepped out of the swimming pool, my clothes had to be rung out, I am not kidding. Not even after an August triathlon do I lose that much fluid or electrolytes. Wow. I mean, I couldn't even hardly hold some of the poses because the sweat made it so slippery.

So if you choose to go to a class like this, take your mat, a full sized towel to put over it, a bottle of water from which you only get to drink from once (after the 3rd pose) and from which you will want to suck dry after the class, and as few clothes as you can bring yourself to wear. Prepare to be a little miserable, prepare to suffer, and prepare to be addicted because you won't be able to wait to go back for more.

Saturday, February 9, 2008

February Update

Happy February.
The weather has been either;
kinda cold,
really cold,
really, really cold.

It snowed early last week and was awesome outside. The roads were crazy all day Tuesday and then the pool was closed that night so I went for a run with Mr KT, Brick and Kona. We got icicles in our eyes and wind in our faces but it was a great, great run. I absolutely love running with my husband. I know that he has to run slowly to let me keep up but it is so fun to take the whole family running!

The next morning I went xc skiing. It was so beautiful outside, a great morning. I love my new skis.

Saturday, February 2, 2008

February Rally

Well, my motivation these last two weeks has been rather low. I am struggling to get up in the morning and go for my run, which is so unlike me. That first plunge into the pool has been tricky and my trainer is gathering dust. I have just felt off. Usually I don't mind this time of year, but for some reason this year I find myself wishing for more sunshine for both the warmth and the light at both ends of the day. I have seriously had dreams about riding my bike on the highways with the sun shining down and I can tell you with certainty that I wasn't wearing 50 layers of clothing.

Conveniently yesterday was the first day of February. New month, new motivation. I reloaded my ipod with different stuff (leaving room, of course, for my favorite podcasts) and headed out the door this afternoon for a run, not long, not short, not tempo, not anything... just a run. I accidently threw my running tights in the wash this morning and they weren't dry so I cowgirled up and wore shorts. It was 23 degrees but I didn't look at that until I got back. Kona and I headed out for a run with no time and no distance in mind. 4 miles (and a 9:45 pace) later we cruised back into the driveway, feeling much better. I mean, I have still been running, but without much enthusiasm. This is just not in my nature. So, with a "glass-half-full" kind of approach I am going to go look at my new Triathlete magazine until I just can't take it anymore and I have to go workout again.

Happy February everyone.

P.S. Blinkster. I am thinking about you today and channeling you strength and patience! I know that you are doing great.