February 28, 2011

The hip bone's connected to the ... foot bone

Last week was pretty crazy, and I never did write about my first deep tissue massage. It was marvelous, which I suppose almost goes without saying. He spent a lot of time on my feet, then surprised me by saying "your hips and pelvis are very tight. That's what your feet are telling me." I wasn't surprised to hear I was tight, but I didn't expect him to know that just from working on my feet. I've had the Dry Bones song bouncing around my headbone ever since.

I walked out of the spa feeling much better, and my knees have barely twinged since then. Sunday I actually rested, doing homework instead of working on the home. Monday's run was 2 miles, which I did on the mill due to an ice storm. I pushed the speed up and felt good at just under a 12-minute-mile pace. I didn't really think about what the masseuse said until my run on Tuesday. Tuesdays are progressive quarter mile splits, and I had 3 miles on the calendar. I run a quarter mile, walk a tenth, bump the treadmill speed a notch for the next quarter mile, walk a tenth, etc. etc. Halfway through, I felt my hips relax. I've been aware of them ever since.

photo credit

I've always focused on releasing tension from my shoulders and back. Occasionally I'd roll a ball around under my feet. I did not know how much stress I carry in my hips as well. Now when I stand up I feel them tighten, and have to consciously release them if I'm standing for any length of time. This has been something of a revelation. I am stretching with a whole new focus, making sure my hips are relaxed before anything else. In the past, stretches that are supposed to work my hips and hamstrings have pulled uncomfortably on my knees. That no longer seems to be the case. I believe having my hips locked up like they were was a large part of the problem with both my ITB and knee pain. I've been up and down and up and down and up and down stairs this weekend while Mr. Math worked on my plumbing, and while I'm not quite 100% I feel almost normal.

Speaking of plumbing, my bathroom should be back together within the next week or so. Mr. Math fixed the plumbing. The holes are boarded, and I will use a thin-set concrete mixture today to finish those repairs. Tomorrow I start mapping out the tile, and since Mr. Math also knew someone with a tile cutter I can get started on that whenever I'm ready. The biggest problem will be the floor. I'll have to pull the toilet to tile, let the tile set for a day, then spend a day grouting before I can put the toilet back. Makes me wish I'd pulled the trigger when I considered having an upflush toilet installed in the basement.

Saturday's 3-miler on the mill was at a 11:31 pace. Today is 4, outside. The snow that buried us Friday is almost gone already!

February 24, 2011

Yes I CAN!

Photo Credit
Yes I CAN take my bathroom to pieces and put it back together again (with some help from family and friends). I'll have the floor and at least some of the walls tiled this weekend. I won't have a shower until the plumber does his bit, but what I do have is a plan.

Yes I CAN handle another small setback, i.e. my 10 year old dishwasher gave up the ghost today. After much running and calling around, I'll have a new one delivered tomorrow. $100 less than quoted price, with free delivery and disposal of the old dishwasher included. 

Yes I CAN seriously start thinking about replacing the tile in my kitchen. Moving the dishwasher showed where the old tile is pulling up. I have the know-how. All I need is the funds, and I think I have that worked out as well. Bathroom first...

Yes I CAN run a sub-10-minute-mile pace, at least for a quarter mile. I rocked yesterday's progressive quarter-mile intervals, starting at 5mph and ending at 6.1mph with .1 mile walk between each quarter.

Yes I CAN run 2 miles at a faster than 12-minute-mile pace. Proved that today. Uphill, then back down again, with at least half the path covered in snow and ice = 11:49 pace.

February 22, 2011

A whole new world...

We had an ice storm the night before last. The world was like a fairyland, with the sun glistening through every ice encrusted tree.

98% of the adhesive is off the bathroom walls. I'm at my parent's tomorrow, but Thursday I'll be able to sand and mud. Can't patch until I get the right materials Saturday, but progress has definitely been made!

I got my first paper was posted last night, an hour before it was due. The 2nd paper did not, however, get written today. Luckily my team is ok with it being late, and we don't get graded for the pieces, just the entire project. That isn't due for several weeks.

I did not run my 3 miles either, mainly because I wanted to get as much done in the bathroom as possible. I'll run them tomorrow before core work. I has a plan!

February 21, 2011

Progress and setbacks

I have a new floor!
The Energizer Bunny and family came over yesterday and helped me make some decisions about my bathroom. Removing the water damaged floor seemed like a perfect plan, once we realized it was made of plywood. Turns out there was solid wood beneath, which was very good to know! I now have a solid subfloor and underlayment for my new tile floor. I laid the tiles out to see where I would have to cut, but cannot actually put the floor in without pulling the toilet again.

Mr. Math (Energizer Bunny's husband) suggested I simply cover the adhesive mess on the walls with greenboard, then tile over that. I went with that suggestion and got the greenboard, but have changed my mind. The room is small enough to begin with, and that would bring the walls out an inch on every side. At this point I plan to remove the adhesive, fix the walls, waterproof them and tile. It will take longer than the other plan, but I really believe it is the best way. The adhesive comes off with a little hammer action. There will be a lot of mudding, but I've gotten pretty good at mudding.


I've been doing a lot of emotional eating the past few days. I can blame the house full of building materials, the state of the bathroom, and lack of shower. I can blame Monkey Boy leaving, and not knowing when I'll see him again. The truth is I've run out of stress-bearing reserves. This has happened only a few times in my life. It's not fun.

Yesterday morning I was in the basement and heard *drip* *drip* *drip*. At some point Saturday my disposal had given way, filled the cabinet under my sink, and drained into my basement. There were a lot of tears while I researched how much it would cost to replace. Not a large repair by any means. Superman bought and installed a new one in no time. I knew it wasn't a major deal, but it was just one more thing, and I didn't have the emotional capacity to handle one more thing.

I've been riding the edge of that "one more thing" for the past week. I've cried more than once. Today I'm supposed to be writing 2 papers. I wiggled out of one (postponed until tomorrow) and have done everything but write the other. I spent some time talking to Dr. J, which was wonderful as I don't often get to chat with her. I spent some time talking to Ninja. I took a nap. I puttered. I'm writing this blog...

I avoided running my 2 miles for the better part of the day too, although I couldn't NOT run when I had to be at the Y to shower. I have not wanted to run, I think because it's doing something good for me, and I'm not in a place where I want to be good to myself. I know this will pass. It will certainly get better even tomorrow, as I make more progress on the bathroom, and on getting my house back. The important thing is I *DID* run. Not only did I run, I bumped the speed up to 5.2 mph, which was slightly uncomfortable but doable for 2 miles

February 18, 2011


Monkey Boy goes back to Germany tomorrow, to do this. I'm cheating because somehow, in all the actual visiting and spending time with him, I never managed to get a picture. We said our goodbyes tonight and I miss him already. Next leave, he says we're all going on a cruise together. 8-) That's my boy!
Tomorrow, this is what I'll be doing (after my 4-mile run, and before writing the first of 2 papers due Monday). I'm scheduled for my first ever deep tissue massage. I considered canceling after all the bathroom drama bit into my checkbook, but decided I need it now more than ever. Normally I like a lot of pressure in a massage. I've been working myself pretty darn hard lately though, and I'm a little concerned this will bruise already overworked muscles. I guess I'll just have to go with the flow, and let him know if anything doesn't feel right.

Speaking of bathroom drama, there is yet more.
See the water damage on the floor by the tub? That's the subfloor, and there is similar damage near the toilet. I'm hoping I don't have to do MAJOR construction here. I'm also hoping I don't have to remove the tub. I already have a hole to the outside brick, near the window. I've officially taken all the ceramic and metal tile off, the sink out, and am ready to start working on getting the adhesive off. If I can do this well enough, all over, I may not have to replace walls <crossing fingers, toes, and eyeballs>.

The good news is, I think that's all the surprises. I'll know by the end of the weekend if the floor will stand, and if the tub will stay. I have to have the plumbing exposed before the plumber comes back Monday evening. I'm supposed to have some help Sunday, so we'll see how much progress the weekend will bring.

February 17, 2011

It's been a hard day's night

My Mom took me shopping today for wallboard and miscellaneous tools. She put it on their credit card. I wasn't about to refuse, and am very grateful.
I didn't think it would fit in my little house!
The plumber was here to price the faucet replacement. That is going to cost a bit more than expected, and I am officially over budget for this repair. I can manage, providing nothing else goes seriously wrong...
This is what I found when I started breaking into the wall for the plumbing repair.
More wall!
I got my homework done before exhausting myself with more demolition work.
All ceramic and metal tile is removed,
except behind the sink and toilet where I can't reach
until I get the right tools to remove the sink.

All the ceramic and metal tile (except what's in the tub)
Owie! You can't even see the blisters...

I didn't want to run today, but it's on the calendar so out the door I went (albeit later than I should have). The first 2 miles were hard. My legs were tired and stiff... I was tired and stiff. Downhill for the last 2 were better, and the weather was a beautiful 50 degrees. After, I went to the Y and did the core work I missed yesterday.

Tomorrow is a rest day on the calendar. In real life I'll be at my parents for more mudding, though my Dad has threatened to send me home early. Once I get home I have homework, then sink and the rest of the tile to remove. I don't think I'll get much more than that done, as I have an appointment to take my car in. After that, I am looking forward to Friend's Night Out. Hopefully I won't fall asleep in my Shrimp Fajita...

February 16, 2011

Missed a day

My calendar shows today was core work, with swimming and climbing on the side. None of that happened.
I had the wings on my foot touched up Monday
Because I have new ink on my ankle, I cannot swim until at least next week. That meant I wasn't following someone else's schedule this morning, and could show up at the Y any time. I told myself I would do my core work when I went there to shower, after working at my parents'.

When I got to my parents' I decided today was the day to get rid of the ice on their steps and sidewalk. I spent a bit of time chopping, had my Dad pour boiling water on the worst of it, chopped some more, then salted and went in to sand and mud over the refrigerator. After laying about 2 lbs. of mud, I went back out and chopped again. I did manage to make the stairs passable and clear a path on the sidewalk. I also managed to give myself blisters on the tips of both pinky fingers. There was no way I was rock climbing with blisters. I called my sister to cancel as I headed home.

When I got home, since I was already in work clothes, I decided it was the perfect time to get started on the bathroom...
Oh the fun I found!
I've pulled about 3/4 of the tile down, and found I've got a bigger job ahead of me than I thought. The ceramic tile covered a metal tile (you can see it to the left of the window above), which is glued to the plaster wall. The back of the tub has a wooden board inserted into the wall, which shows water damage. The wall at the foot of the tub was patched with some sort of concrete, which is now crumbling. The wall under the window is concrete, but the sides of the window are plaster. My favorite part is the wall with all the plumbing in it, which is a concrete firewall between my condo and my neighbor's, simply plastered over.

There is no way to replace any of the firewall, nor the window wall, so I have to get all the adhesive off somehow. I will have to piece together concrete wallboard where the plumber goes in to replace the diverter and stems. The back wall with the wood piece is all coming out, and I will replace that with concrete wallboard. The remainder of that wall and the wall with the door on it will also be replaced (where the tile was, not floor to ceiling) with green board.

I don't usually count my domestic archeology (my mother's phrase) as training or cross training. I could very well say I worked my arms today, but I won't. I'm calling this a missed training day, because I could have done the core work even without going to the Y. Now, I'm exhausted and ready for bed. Tomorrow, I'll double up with core work and my 4-mile run. Then it's back to the domestic archeology. My mother is coming over with tools, and since her car is larger than mine she will help me get the wallboard home.

I already miss the ability to shower in the privacy of my own home.

February 15, 2011

My new bathroom

Ever since my shower wall fell out yesterday, I've been thinking of little else. I called my Dad, who has "a guy" for just about everything. Not one for tile work, apparently. He suggested I call my brother, who gave me a name and number. I arranged to be home this afternoon for a consultation. At the same time, I put out an all-points on my Facebook page, to see if anyone else knew anyone. I planned to get a few estimates, price out materials, and decide if I would pay for the work or do it myself.

An hour after my consultation was supposed to happen today, my brother's guy called to say the sore throat he started the morning with had developed into a full blown cold. He didn't want to come out today and maybe get me sick, but was more than willing to come out tomorrow. He already knew it was just a 24-hour bug? Because colds are always 24-hour bugs? Otherwise, he was just offering to get me sick tomorrow. He didn't sound sick and I can't stand being lied to, so I told him never mind.

My next door neighbor has a son who does beautiful tile work. He did her bathroom, and at the time I suggested maybe he could do mine once I had the funds to pay him. She contacted him, and left me a voicemail saying he'd asked for my phone number. I never heard from him.

A friend responded to my Facebook post, suggesting I contact her handy person (who is also her Facebook friend). I wrote that person a message, which got no response. A later phone call also got no response.

It seems my decision was made for me.

My new bathroom
Monkey Boy, Ninja and I picked up almost everything I'll need to replace all the tile in the room. I already have the spreaders from when I tiled the window sill. The shelves will match that tile, which is white like the walls. I know someone with a tile cutter. All I need now are 2 towel racks, a soap dish, and a toilet paper holder.

I got enough tile to do the floor as well. The linoleum is worn through in places. Like the walls, I knew it would eventually have to be replaced. Since I have to take the sink cabinet off the wall to do the wall, now is a good time to do the floor as well. That job presents a few additional challenges, as I might have to do some leveling under the toilet, and the tub is curved. I'm considering breaking the tile and doing it mosaic style. Either that or lay the tile in a diamond pattern, as opposed to square.

Speaking of now is the time, taking the tile off also means it's a good time to replace faucet stems and a leaky shower diverter. I replaced the faucet handles several years ago, learning at that time that 1951 stems are smaller than today's. Mine are somewhat stripped. The diverter has been tightened and packed several times. Both projects require the plumber go into the wall to fix. Why not now, when the wall will be open?

Tomorrow I will be at my parents, sanding and mudding more of the hallway. My Dad is letting me take a few contractor strength garbage bags for my project. Either tomorrow night or Thursday morning I'll start dismantling the rest of the tile walls. Luckily, I can take showers at the Y, or my next door neighbor's, or my parent's, or at Superman's.

I expect to start tiling Saturday, though I have several other things planned that day as well. A 4-mile run and a deep-tissue massage, to start. Saturday is also game night, a monthly party our group of friends has been passing around from house to house. Luckily it's not at my house this month.
Today's run did not go quite as planned. My legs were heavy, and I apparently didn't have enough confidence in myself to run the speeds I wanted. After a short warm-up, I started at 5.1mph for a quarter mile, stopped to stretch, then bumped it to 5.2mph for the next quarter mile. I made it all the way up to 6mph, stopping to walk and let my heart rate go down between each quarter mile. At 6mph, I faltered. I probably could have made it, but stopped halfway through. I got back on and finished the quarter mile at the same speed, then ran the last 2 quarter miles at 5.5mph and 5.3mph, respectively. End result? I did actually run at a 10-minute-mile pace. Just not for as long as I'd planned. There's always next week. I plan to run these same speed quarter-mile intervals every Tuesday, as that is my low mileage day and it breaks up the exercises (along with trying to convince my legs I really do have some fast twitch muscles). 

February 14, 2011


Lots of adventure around here lately.
Can you see the red-breasted robin, just left of center?
I had 3.5 miles on tap for Saturday. On my run I saw a red-breasted robin. This, in combination with the passing of single digit temperatures, means winter is almost over! I believe it, and you can't convince me otherwise!

I haven't been using my GPS app because I figured out where the mile-and-a-half mark was at the park, and because I didn't want to know how slow I currently run. I wasn't sure where the 3.5 mile marker was though, so pulled it out for Saturday's run. Turns out my 3 mile runs have been 3.5 miles. The additional loops around the shelter areas Saturday netted me 4 miles. I'm ahead of my game!

Sunday, I volunteered for my first race, the Run With Your Heart Trail Challenge.

The leader won by a good 10 minutes.
I could have wished for better communication as I wasn't sure exactly where I was supposed to be, but it all worked out in the end. It was awesome to see all the runners, and the winner was just incredible! He ran 6 minute miles over snow, ice, and hilly bridle trails.

Today was my turn to run on ice. I had 3 miles on the calendar, so got myself up early and headed to the park. Yesterday and this morning the temperature was in the upper 30s, so the snow packed trail started to melt. The majority of the trail was a solid sheet of ice.
You can't really see that this is a glistening and glassy surface...
I ran when I could, but walked a lot more than I wanted. After what I thought was a mile or so, I gave up and turned back. As soon as I could, I made my way to the road and ran that back down. Normally I would consider this very dangerous, as the road has no shoulder, is twisty turny, and people regularly drive it faster than the posted speed. This morning, the road was less dangerous than the trail.

I thought I was cutting my run short, but my GPS called out 3 miles just as I turned into the parking lot. Score!

After my run was swimming, line dancing, and more mudding at my parent's house. It's a good thing I've learned so much by remodeling my parent's house. Monkey Boy came home from working out today, and did this to my shower:

Luckily that's concrete behind the tile!
Unfortunately, I'm not confident in my ceramic tile work (you can see my work at the top - I tiled the wooden windowsill). I'm getting estimates tomorrow on redoing all the tile in the room. I knew it needed to be done. I just expected I'd get to choose when. Not what I planned to do with my tax refund, but at least I have my tax refund to tap for the repair.

Also tomorrow, 3 miles of speed work. Quarter mile intervals, each progressively faster than the last. I know I can hit a 10-minute mile pace!

February 11, 2011


Monkey Boy has never had any trouble falling asleep
On lazy days with nothing scheduled, most people like to sleep in. Sleeping in may mean until 6AM if you're Princess, who is up between 5 and 5:30AM every day regardless of schedule. Sleeping in may mean 1PM, if you're Superman, who likes to burn the candle at both ends. For me, sleeping in is 9AM. I usually go to bed between 11 and 12PM. I usually wake up once or twice overnight, sometimes having to get out of bed for liquid in or out. I usually wake up between 7 and 8AM, unable to get back to sleep. I usually feel I did not get enough sleep.

Lately this "not getting enough sleep" has been exacerbated by my training. I know I should rest and recover. I know sleep is an integral part of the rest and recovery process. Even on the days I don't set an alarm, I'm up and about by 8. If I go to bed earlier, I wake up earlier.

I rarely nap. Superman loves naps. He can lay down for a half hour and get up feeling refreshed. I am not capable of laying down for less than 2 hours (2 and a half if you include the half hour it takes to fully wake up again). Between workouts, schoolwork, working at my parent's, and all the other little things I do, I can't normally fit in a block of time that size.

It sounds like I'm getting enough sleep, but I walk around tired a lot. I think my sleep bank account is overdrawn. Sleep bank theory is based on the idea that sleep is cumulative. Supposedly, you can deposit sleep into your bank, like Superman does when he sleeps in until noon. He can then use that deposit at a later date, like when he stays out until 3AM at karaoke with me. I work the other way round. I stay out until 3AM, then sleep in until 9AM and call that done. If I'm lucky, I'll sleep until 10AM. There is often no going to bed early that night. There is no sleeping in the next morning.

I used to be able fall asleep anywhere, at any time. My parents tell stories of finding me in doorways (the dog made a great pillow), on the floor with my head on the seat of a chair... My mother once lost me at a quilting bee. I'd crawled under a stack of folding chairs and fallen asleep.

I have a reputation of running until I drop. Literally. I guess it's well deserved.

Do you get enough sleep? If so, how?

3 miles, down

Beautiful snow
Beautiful sunshine

The scarf was a mistake.
I couldn't breath with it over my face.

As warm as it got all day.

Another 3 miles down. Tomorrow's rest day involves stripping wallpaper from 3 more closets. This weekend I'm hoping get my first deep-tissue massage.

I'll be able to walk normally again eventually, right?

February 9, 2011

Do you 'zine?

When I first started running early last year, I did what I do whenever I find a new interest. I researched. I searched on-line for running related things, trying to figure out the best way to get where I wanted to be. Along the way, I found Runner's World.
Let me say off the top that I am not a magazine reader. I read books, when I have time off from reading textbooks. At that time I did not yet read blogs, but I read several on-line items regularly.

While researching and reading the Runner's World site, a pop-up advertised a year's worth of their magazine for $1 per issue. This seemed like a deal, though I now know that same advert pops up just about every time you click a link on the site. Being all new and gung-ho, I ordered the magazine subscription. When my first copy arrived, I read it voraciously. I visited their online site. I appreciated their knowledge and insight.

For several months, I read the magazine cover to cover the moment it arrived. Then, for some reason I started reading just an article at a time. This made the magazine last a week or more, but that wasn't the reason I slowed down. My interest had not waned in the sport. It had, however, in the magazine. The latest copy has sat on my desk for a week now, unopened.

I don't think this has anything to do with the woman's health magazine snippet they include in every copy of Runner's World, replete with "make him happier in bed" and "10 foods for a slimmer tummy" garbage, though that doesn't help their case. I find a lot of the copy is available on-line, for free, long before the magazine hits my mailbox. I find a lot of the copy is repetitive. The phrasing is different. The pictures are different. The message, however, is the same. I'm not learning much of anything new. Maybe an exercise here or there. What I am learning is from the blogosphere, from the Endurance Athlete Project site, from researching particulars here and there.

I'm starting to think I'm not the market they are looking for, and that having the magazine delivered is a waste of paper.

Do you read magazines? Do you still learn from them, after say a year's subscription?

Today was a cross-training day. I swam about 20 minutes easy laps (real easy, as in head above water) using my arms almost exclusively. Then water aerobics. Then 20 minutes of core work with the 3 Musketeers - Ninja, Monkey Boy, and Monkey Boy's best friend from grade school, the poster child for ADHD. I'll call him Bad Boy. He'll like that. Anyway, they kicked my butt, which was a good thing. Tomorrow, 3 miles on the park hill. The forecast says a high of 18. 

February 8, 2011

I'm a supplement junkie

I want to be healthy. I want to make sure my body has everything it needs to function well. I realize my body would have everything it needs if I ate a wide range of fruits and vegetables every day, but that doesn't always happen. I eat a lot of good stuff, but I eat a lot of bad stuff too. Because I want to be healthy, I supplement.

I spend a lot of money on supplements. I research every new one I see on the drug store shelf. They all sound so good for me! I think if I could get all my nutrition from supplements, I would. It would certainly eliminate that nasty tendency to overeat...
This is the handful of supplements I currently take
  • I take a Multivitamin, sans iodine because my overactive thyroid thrives on iodine, which I don't want. There aren't many of those out there.
  • I take extra E, because I fear the heart disease that runs rampant in my family.
  • I take extra Calcium because I worry about osteoporosis. It's good for bones, teeth, muscles (including the heart), and possibly metabolism. I've only ever had 4 cavities. That says something...
  • I take extra D, because my family is known to be deficient in D, because it helps with calcium absorption, and because it's supposed to reduce inflammation. I get a lot of arthritic inflammation.
  • I take extra Iron, because every time I've tried to give blood, they said my iron was too low. They don't want my blood now because of the thyroid condition, but still.
  • I take a B Complex because it helps with metabolism, skin, muscle, the immune and nervous systems, and because as an active woman, I'm "supposed to."
  • I take Potassium because I run, and because it helps reduce calcium secretion in post-menopausal women. That would be me. See Calcium above.
  • I take a Multi-Omega (3-6-9) because it helps with arthritis (See D above) and is good for the heart, reducing bad cholesterol
  • I take Glucosamine because of my arthritic hip and problematic knees. 
  • I take Copper, because I've heard it helps with both overactive thyroid and arthritis. These claims haven't been proven by studies or my experience, but I'm still taking it (at least until it's gone). 
  • I take a massive dose of Biotin, because my thyroid makes my nails brittle and the biotin counteracts that. Measurably. Like I can see the difference within days.
  • I take 5-HTP because when my thyroid first went wacko, I could not sleep through the night. Melatonin did not help, but this does.
Some of these I know work. Most of them I simply hope work. I realize a lot of what I take may do little more than create vibrant, vitamin laden pee. Still, most days will find me popping a handful of pills. The composition of that handful has changed over the years. Sometimes I've stopped taking them all for months at a time. I always go back to them, though.

What is your take on supplements? Do you take any? Do you believe they work?

Today's run was 2 miles of progressive quarter-mile sprints, with a few quick stretches or a walk around the room in between. I started at 5mph and finished at 5.7mph, feeling I could go faster at the end. Next Tuesday I'm doing the same thing, with the 3-miler on my calendar. We'll see if I can go 6mph, at least for a quarter mile!

    February 7, 2011

    Slowest 3 miles EVAR

    Saturday I had a 3-miler on the books. Since I am not EMZ, and I do not do well on the treadmill, I decided to run at our local park. This park is a 2.5 mile stretch, uphill. Some areas are of course more steep than others, and the really steep part starts at about 1.5 miles in, which was perfect for me.
    Superman ran ahead and did 4 miles to my 3
    This is what the path looked like Saturday. Icey, but flat and runnable.
    Saturday's run went well. The ground was icey, but runnable. I walked up two steep sections, but ran the rest of the way comfortably. I am focusing on distance, so didn't even measure my pace.

    This is what it looked like today.
    This morning's run, not so much. The path was not plowed, and there several inches of snow and slush covering the ice beneath. I know this is nothing to you guys in Canadia, but it was similar to running in sand for me. My legs were still tired from Saturday's run, and a portion of my energy went sliding out behind me with each footstep. I planned on spending the same amount of time this morning as I had Saturday. I even scheduled in an extra half hour to get ready for my swim class. I arrived at my swim class late.

    The good news is, I did not stop. At all. 3 miles. A first, this time round. Add in swim class, line dancing, and over 2 hours of mudding at my parent's house. My legs are tired.

    Sidewalks around here are not even as cleared as the park trail was, and I can't justify the drive for 2 miles. I need something to break the monotony on the treadmill, so tomorrow, 2 miles of quarter mile sprints.

    February 4, 2011

    One time, at band camp...

    A shy tuba player was assigned to his first marching band squad. His squad leader was a shy trombone player who hid behind a big voice, and bounced all over the field and stands.

    Fast forward several years. A chance meeting on the street freshens and deepens the high school friendship.

    Fast forward even more. Lives ebb and flow. The friendship renews through shared confidences about relationships, while trying so hard to make them work.

    Fast forward several more years. A sighting in a Chinese restaurant.

    Years later, a stalking on MySpace.

    A note. "Are you..." The one who got away? Yes.

    A public meeting made private.

    A public dinner made intimate.

    An orchestra concert. We walked in friends. We walked out more.

    5 years later, here we are.
    Happy Anniversary, Superman. I'm so glad you didn't give up on me!

    Also, Monkey Boy is coming home from Germany this weekend! He'll be home until the 20th, and promises to show me all sorts of new core exercises. I'm so excited!

    Zumba last night kicked my ass! The woman running the class had so much energy... She had me laughing, and I learned some new moves for the dance floor, to boot! It certainly warmed me up. I ran my 2 as 1 (5mph), 1/2 (5mph), 1/2 (4.8 mph). No stopping, but for the breaks indicated. That's progress! I'll be doing Zumba Thursday nights and Saturdays before my long runs, with these results!

    Today's a rest day from running. No swimming either, with the pool closed. While you read this, I will most likely be steaming wallpaper off closet walls at my parents. Then Superman and I have a date: dinner and a movie. It's going to be a great weekend!

    February 3, 2011

    Repeat after me...

    Running 2 miles does not = Wendy's
    Running 2 miles does not = candy
    Running 2 miles does not = double servings of taco salad, extra cheese and chips

    I've ordered pizza 2x in the last month, when previously I don't think I've ordered it 2x in the past 10 years.

    I have a tub of frosting in my fridge. I have NEVER purchased a tub of frosting before. I stood in the aisle for a long time, arguing with the self-destructive part of me. Ultimately, she won. 

    Needless to say, I've been having a hard time eating well, lately. I blame Thanksgiving and the holidays, but this started when Ninja moved out. I started buying things I never had in the house, because they never would have lasted. They still don't last, and I have no one to blame but myself.
    I make all sorts of excuses why I've let myself go. Lack of job, even though I'm progressing in school, and I'm keeping myself busy and productive remodeling my parents' house. Lack of sunlight, even though I'm home or out and about during the day, instead of locked up in an office building. Lack of comfort... That's a real one, though I don't think I feel much comfort by eating the way I do. I'm certainly searching for it, though. Searching for relief from my knee pain. Searching for relief from my loneliness. I didn't think I was lonely until I realized WHEN I'm overeating. In the evening, after everything is done and I'm sitting alone at my computer, playing an on-line game with real people who aren't here.

    Before I blew my knee out, my running counter-acted my eating to some degree. I didn't gain any weight, though I stopped losing after a while. I don't know for sure when, since I refuse to have a scale in the house. Every day is a bad day with a scale in the house. I know my clothes are uncomfortably tight now, so I know I gained back most, if not all the weight I lost.
    I didn't change my eating habits when I had to stop running, and I didn't change my eating habits now I've started running again. I thought I was eating relatively healthy, (besides the frosting, pizza, and extra servings). I kept track this week. Boy was I wrong! Yes, my quiche has extra veggies, but it also has cheese and crust. And it's the only veggie I ate all week.
    I know the routine. I've just come from the grocery store, where I stocked up on veggies I can just grab on the go, along with salad fixings for a full meal. The frosting was scooped out into the trash. I also neglected to purchase diet soda. When what I have is gone, it's gone. I'm not hydrating enough with the increase in activity, and that's making me eat too much as well.

    Repeat after me:

    Running = taking care of myself
    Eating well = taking care of myself
    Drinking enough = taking care of myself

    It's time to start taking care of myself again.

    Zumba tonight, as a warm up for my 2-mile run. Should be fun!

    February 2, 2011

    Tid bits...

    I received my volunteer assignment for the February 13th Run with your Heart Trail Challenge today. I'll be a trail marshal, making sure runners stay on the correct path near the first mile marker. I'm excited, as this is my first time volunteering. Hopefully some of this snow and ice will be gone by then.

    Swimming was interesting this morning, as I was the only one there. It being a non-run day, I was perfectly fine just puttering around in the water, getting my exercise treading back and forth. The instructor had a plan though, and kind of insisted I follow along. It made me smile, and I followed dutifully along. I got some treading water and stretching in after. The pool closes today at noon, and won't be open again until Monday. They are replacing the boiler and some plumbing. Guess I'll actually have to rest on my rest day Friday.

    Core work... needs work. The list of exercises I thought would take me 20 minutes only took 6. I did them again, added a few sets of crunches, and stretched. I'll have to research additional exercises, and am open to suggestions. I have a week to come up with a better routine.

    And if anyone was worried, we did not get slammed by the snowpocolypse. Yes, a foot of snow. Yes, ice storms. Yes, it's snowing now, but we're only supposed to get a few inches. For all those who got it worse, be thankful this isn't you:

    February 1, 2011

    Day 2: Progress?

    When I hurt my back, the Dr. told me wearing a brace would only make the muscles weaker, by relying on the brace to support things. I go back and forth about knee braces, in part because of this. The other part is, I'm afraid I will change my stride because of the way a brace inhibits movement, hurting other things instead. I understand if I don't support my knee while it's wonky though, things can go awry. I decided today maybe a brace wasn't such a bad idea. I found one that supports my knee, without holding and pulling on my thigh or calf.

    Today's run was an improvement over yesterday's, in that it started with a full mile, non-stop, at 5mph. I then broke it down into half milers, each at the same 5mph. The 2nd half miler was more difficult, as my legs were getting heavy. I stopped at the .3 mark (just like yesterday). Instead of walking that last little bit, I started it back up again and ran the .2. My knee only bothered me as I got going the first time. I did notice I have to be aware of picking that foot up. I was skidding it on the tread, instead of placing it down smoothly. That means my form was off, as I was going for a forefoot landing. Once I got a good turnover and form going, I was fine.

    After running was yoga. I didn't realize a Silver Sneakers yoga class means they use chairs. No mats, and I was sliding all over the gym floor in my socks. I tried to get a good stretch out of it, but came away disappointed. It was also awkward because someone I used to work with finally realized who I am. She didn't recognize me because I cut my hair, and because she didn't expect me to be there during the day. She'd retired before I was fired, so didn't know what happened. I've seen her in the pool, but she was always in the deep end doing her own thing. This is the first class we've had the chance to talk.

    What I'm doing doesn't sound like much, but it's kicking my butt. I've come home yesterday and today, needing a nap. I have a friend who also just ramped his workout up, and he says it's like that for the first week or so. Getting up earlier, combined with working harder, means my body needs to rest.

    Tomorrow is something of a rest day. Core work and swimming. I'm writing out a workout, so I can check things off as I go. I don't want to spend half the time sitting there saying "what should I do now?"