Scatter my ashes here...

Scatter my ashes here...
scatter my ashes in the desert...

Saturday, March 31, 2012

We're Not Infallible

Update, 8:35 pm March 31, they found his body today in the Gila. More information forthcoming. Sad day for ultrarunning. Here's the text of what I wrote earlier today:

They're still searching for Micah True in New Mexico. Being the 5th day of the search, that's not a good thing. Especially with few clues. I don't like to speculate on things like this, it's best to wait for a conclusion, but it's possible at this point there won't be any information for a few more days.

I think it's great that his friends have joined the search, I hope ultrarunners everywhere would be willing to help a fellow runner in trouble. I hope they haven't put themselves in danger and are communicating with the local search and rescue people.

The Gila is big and there are mountain lions, which is what I'm thinking, but it could be anything, and hopefully unintentional. It's a reminder that we are all human, and vulnerable, even a "legendary" figure like Micah True. But he's a human being just like anybody else and we are all fallible.

Just a reminder to everyone, when you go out for a run, don't assume nothing will happen. All it takes is making a wrong turn, an unexpected injury, forgetting an essential piece of clothing or equipment, or a chance encounter with something, or someone...You can do everything right, but you're not 100% in control of your world at all times. Just be aware.

Friday, March 30, 2012

Moving Forward

I'm recovering slowly from this GI virus. My gut is making sounds I never knew it was capable of making...

I thought I'd be able to go back to work tomorrow, and was planning to. But after eating some soup late this morning, I changed my plans, because even though it did go in the right direction...I'll spare you the details. I haven't been doing enough speedwork to sprint to the bathroom fast enough if that happened at work. I think it's going to take at least another day.

Plus I still feel lightheaded and my headache hasn't gone away. And I'm getting all kinds of muscle cramps, in my feet, back, ribs, calves...

I hope Dennis doesn't catch this.

But the good news is things are going in the right direction and no more nausea. I'm hoping I can get back to work Sunday.

Last night I missed out on a chance to bid on a stroller/bike trailer combination on e-Bay because I was "occupied" at the time...but today things seemed to take a positive turn on the Batmobile building front.

First, Dennis found this blue baby jogger at work someone was selling for $25! I was looking for something that we could use for parts in case we decide to retrofit the trailer/stroller we really want.

Then I got an e-mail about something from and decided to check out their site for the same model of trailer/stroller I have been trying to find. They had a new one for much less than the used ones I was looking at on e-Bay, and less than the used ones I've been seeing around town. Plus with shipping it still came out to be less. So I decided to go for it.

I should have the trailer by late next week. And if we decide we hate it, which I doubt will happen, I can always re-sell it. I think we can use the wheels from the used baby jogger to create a fixed wheel for the front of the trailer instead of the front swivel wheels it comes with.

As soon as it gets here, Ed and I will take it for a test drive. We also got word that our friend Dale is interested in joining us, to crew, so we might have some help in the Black Hills, which would make our run so much easier and more fun. We're not 100% sure Dale can be there the whole time, but it's a possibility at this point. If Dale does the trip with us, it will be the giants and the pygmy amazon. As you can see in the picture, Dale(right) and Ed (left) are both vertically gifted, while I am vertically challenged. (Our friend Nattu in the back of the picture is vertically average.)

So at least in these days of being home sick, I did accomplish something, I've been somewhat productive.

The girls are getting very impatient with me. Mom has not had the energy to go for a walk. I probably did get sick because I was running too much- I was so tired, and didn't get the rest I needed. So I can probably blame myself for this.

I can forgive myself, until I look at these faces...

photo credit: Nathan Nitzky (top photo)

Thursday, March 29, 2012

The Sacred Bowl

Twelve hours ago I became better acquainted with this fixture. I just now managed to keep some fluids down without gagging. It seems like every 2 or 3 years I have a day of worship, whether I need it or not. I was supposed to work the evening shift. Now I need to recover before my work weekend.

Monday, March 26, 2012

Peep of the Day

I'm taking the day off from running. The Surly is in the shop for a tune up, I'm getting some work done, and it's a gorgeous day. What better way to spend the afternoon than hanging out with the girls? Enjoy.

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Surly Siri

This morning I woke up late and felt all out of sorts. I have these back cramps in my shoulder blades that won't go away, and my neck is tight. My triceps hurt too. Maybe too much texting and playing with the iPhone? I also had an intense weight workout on Friday. I used to get back cramps when I was running when my thyroid was way off, but this isn't while running, and I know my thyroid isn't off.

My legs are tired. Even my ankle was complaining, barely noticeable, but it was there. What's wrong with me?

I've been struggling with my running so far this spring but I haven't really sat down to make a plan for training this year. All I wanted to do this spring was get ready for the 24 hour and the Double Mick. Nothing super fast, just good endurance. I feel strong, but I'm slow and starting to feel a bit stale. My legs feel dead, and I haven't been doing any high mileage, racing, or anything out of the ordinary. There must be a reason.

I decided to ask Siri. Dennis got an iPhone 4S, that's how I got to talk to Siri. My phone is Siri-less.

If Siri is wondering, then I need to do some research on my own.

Finally I got smart last night and looked at my running log. For the past 6 weeks I've been doing moderate mileage, between 50 and 75 a week, but I haven't taken any rest weeks since late January! I wasn't paying attention. That was dumb. I tend to do better when I have frequent rest weeks in between high mileage weeks, and I need to do that. Stat!

So I have designated this coming week as an official rest week. I will ride the bike some, and do a minimum of running. Weather should be nice for riding, except for some predicted wind. But as long as it's warm, it's okay.

This afternoon I got the Surly out to go for a short easy ride. Except after I inflated the tires on the Surly, I looked at it and realized that somehow the shifter cable became detached from the derailleur and I am not a bike mechanic, and I have a low frustration tolerance with mechanical things anyway. I was sort of pissed, grumbling about how I just wanted to go out for an easy ride and I have to deal with all this crap.

That's why I'm a runner. Plus this gives me another errand to do: get the Surly fixed and tuned up so I can ride! But I have my backup.

So I dragged the vintage Fat Chance out, inflated the tires, looked over it once, and took it out for the first ride of it's 27th season. But first I had to get out of my cleats and get into some old shoes, that slide in and out of the toeclips of the Fat Chance. I keep forgetting I have a blister on the inside of my big toe. I need to get back to doing pedicures and taking care of my feet before the Double Mick.

I did ten miles easy, no big hills, no hard efforts. It felt good to relax and be brainless for a while. I'm tired. I don't have to think, and I can ask Siri. She's got my back.

It's still spring. Did you know that Siri spelled backward is Iris? That's why Iris has all the answers. And she can be surly, too.

Saturday, March 24, 2012

When The Best Laid Plans Hatch...

...sometimes there are rotten eggs.

Since I've been on the topic of spring, and peeps, the best laid plans can hatch something unexpected. I was definitely WAAAAAY too ambitious in my running plans this week.

I thought it would be a good idea to do an 8 hour run today. I planned on taking it easy and including my break times in the 8 elapsed hours to see what my mileage was.

I woke up early, at 5 am, and decided to get going. I went to the lakes to start my run, driving by a fiery sunrise. It was cold near the water and I kept my warm clothes on for the first 3 hours. It always takes me forever to warm up, until it's 70 degrees.

I should have known better when I was sore through Wednesday and my legs were dead in Thursday's workout, and Friday's run was mediocre, that a long run Saturday was a bit premature. Well I figured that out the hard way this morning. I was moving well but it seemed like it was taking more effort with every loop to make my legs move. I thought maybe some food would help, so after the 5th loop I stopped and made a sandwich and ate it as I walked.

It didn't help. Two more loops and I was toast, again. This is the feeling I've had all week. I guess I needed more rest after the Walmart run. I didn't do a lot of miles, but my workouts have been pretty intense, with strides and fartlek and hills. So the total for this morning was 4 1/2 hours and 23 miles. Not what I wanted, but I haven't had too many bad workouts this spring.

I thought I might get 90 or more miles in this week. Sh-yah! And monkeys might fly out of my butt!

Right now I'm at 56 miles and tomorrow is my hill day. It's okay, and the lessons will be repeated until they are learned.

I came home, made an S-Cap smoothie, and hung out with the girls. And...Iris is obsessed with Peeps. I wonder where she got that from?

Friday, March 23, 2012

Digging Peeps, Peeping Dig

Easy 20 kilometers (12.4 miles) this morning. I didn't feel bad today. I didn't feel fast, but I must have recovered somewhat from yesterday. I wanted to leave my legs fresh enough to tackle an 8 hour run for distance tomorrow. I'm planning to go out on a fixed course and run for 8 hours at an easy pace I can sustain and see how many miles I can get, including any breaks I take. It will give me a more realistic idea of pacing my first half for the 24 hour.

It is most definitely spring, signs of it everywhere. I got my first watch tan of the season yesterday, and scorched the areas I missed with the sunscreen. Lots of people out on the bike path, little green leaves appearing, flowers blooming, and even the old reliable Peeps have appeared in the little grocery store near my house. They don't carry a lot of unhealthy seasonal crap like the big stores, only a few of the most popular diabetogenic items. When Peeps come to Sunflower Market, you know it's spring.

Not only that, but New Belgium has their spring seasonal ale out now, called "Dig". It's a hoppy pale ale, reminds me of Odell IPA, sort of grapefruity, but less intense than Odell's. It's like an India Pale Ale without the high alcohol content, but with better flavor. I like it. But then, I like 3.2 girl beer with pomegranate and raspberry flavor, so who am I to be a beer connoiseur. All I know is that I can't drink a 12 ounce bottle of most IPA without it knocking me on my butt, and this I can drink with only a mild buzz.

I was in Sunflower Market today and saw the Peeps, and couldn't resist. They had 3 different colors!

I brought the Peeps home to see what the girls would think of them. One year when we lived in Arizona I put a yellow peep on my car antenna and left it there. It stayed there for months. First I set the peeps on the table in the kitchen. It proved to be too much temptation for Iris. I managed to save the peeps before they got devoured.

Then I took the Peeps outside to see if the girls would pose with them in a picture. Again, too much temptation. The yellow peep disappeared first, and then the others.

Finally I took some Peeps outside, they were so colorful. Iris and Isabelle were far enough away I figured the Peeps were safe. As soon as I ducked behind the camera Iris leaped over and gulped them, inhaled them in one breath. They were gone by the time I could snap the picture.

Kids these days.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Just Another Thursday at the Track

Perfect day, awesome weather, and 20.5 miles today, mostly on the track. Not that you'd know it from the look on my face. I took the picture at the end, when I was fried. But I did wear one of my Walmart tank tops.

First I ran with the girls for a couple of miles. They were more interested in sniffing than running. When I walked in the door I saw a message light on the phone. Oh shit the mammogram, was the first thought that crossed my mind. I thought briefly about who else might be calling me on our land line this morning. Nobody. I listened to the message. Whew! BIG Relief. Something else, unimportant.

I took another deep breath and loaded my big pack with water, S caps, some snacks, and my phone, MP3 player, sunscreen, lotion, and a few other items. I was running over to the track to run for a couple of hours at a steady pace in lane 2 again, then running home. When school is in session, it's easier to avoid parking at the university because of the parking nazis, who will sneak up on you and write you a ticket, and there are few empty parking spaces after about 7:45 am.

I ran laps trying to keep a comfortable pace, but threw in strides throughout the whole workout. There were a lot of people coming and going the whole time, some have absolutely no clue about track etiquette, or common sense. If everyone is going counterclockwise, why is there always some crazy idiot who tries to run or even walk in the opposite direction in lane 1, when there are people coming toward them, going fast! Fortunately they (the crazy idiots) stayed out of lane 2, but they are usually found in lane 1, because it's shorter and they know that much. But being in lane 2, you have to watch out when there's a near collision between the fast runners and the crazy idiots.

By the time I was done, it was warm and I'd gone through all my water. Fortunately the hose was out there, they filled the steeplechase pit recently so I knew the water had to be on somewhere. The drinking fountains are still turned off. I tried the pump and it was on! Lucky, otherwise it would have been a dry 3 miles home.

As I sat there drinking what was left of my cold water and thinking about putting on my pack to run home, I felt completely depleted. My legs were so tired, they were jelly on toast. On the way home I walked a few times, my legs were so dead. I ended up not running at all yesterday after my nap, so I don't know why I was so tired. But I survived.

I came home to no phone messages, and after a shower, had the energy to run a few errands and plant some blue flax and firewheel seeds in front of the woman cave. I'm hoping to get some good color out there. I played frisbee with the girls in the back yard. Some of the grass is turning green and a few of the plants are getting little green leaves.

If I recover by tomorrow morning I might go ahead with my long run plans but if not, I'll wait until Saturday. I have an idea for an 8 hour training run that will help prepare me for the 24 hour. No, it doesn't involve Walmart and it's not in Florida. I succeeded in controlling my impulses.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Work Hangover Wednesday: Performance Art

Holy whatever.

As a result of our clinic trying to be nice and accomodate another clinic's patients for one day, we had a scheduling fiasco that made the past two days of work over the top.

My hands would be bleeding if I had to work one more day. They already are so dry from washing them that they are cracking in a few places. And my brain hurts.

Last night after work the first thing I wanted to do was put lotion on my cracked, raw hands, and when I did, they burned. Then I wanted to cry.

I am officially toast. I am dehydrated, my lips are cracking, my hands are raw and bleeding, and I have brain fog. All I need is butter.

It's easy for nurses to get jaded, seeing the same patients day after day or week after week, for months or even years. You get tired of the little quirks people have, and the psychological baggage they bring with them. I'm sure they feel the same way about us. So it's important to constantly remind yourself what they are going through, what they need, and how you would want to be treated if you were in their shoes.

I can put lotion on my hands, chapstick on my lips, take naps, drink water, eat, pee, and in a day or two, I'll be ready to run 100 miles or so. I say this so cheerfully and casually, but I have this little thing in the back of my mind for the next few days...

Someone I talked to yesterday, who happens to be an artist, described my Walmart run as "performance art". Which I guess, in a way, it is.

Work is performance art too. Getting through a 12 hour day and not being able to go to the bathroom or eat when you need to. Then do it for two 12 hour days in a row and don't sleep much in between. You're on your last nerve and your last patient of the day brings a laundry list of new orders that you could never have anticipated and the patient has no idea how much paperwork it takes just to get those orders done, so it's the equivalent of dropping a small bomb on you, which under normal, early morning, well-rested, adequately staffed circumstances is not that big a deal. So you smile and say, "Sure, no problem!"

And you manage to keep moving, smiling and being accomodating and nice and caring and all that stuff when all you want to do is lie down and curl up in a ball under the desk and hide. Please don't ask anything else of me tonight, I'm empty.

I had a dentist appointment, and an appointment with the boob-smasher this morning. I like to schedule those fun things all together and get them over with. Especially on a day where my brain isn't functioning well and I don't have a lot of energy. I can just zone out through the whole process and wake me up when it's over.

So I went to the dentist, got my teeth cleaned, uneventful, then home for a big S-cap smoothie- I was starving but after having such clean teeth I hate to ruin that feeling by eating solid food for at least a few hours! I throw some frozen fruit, plain yogurt, a little orange juice, and some vanilla extract into the blender, open up a couple of S caps and dump the contents in, whirl it all together and I can solve my work-induced fluid, caloric, and electrolyte depletion instantly.

Then onto the boob smasher. I don't know what percentage of my readers are women who have had mammograms, but let's just say I often wonder if men had to get sensitive parts of their anatomy basically ironed in two directions, if they would freak.

Before you go in they make you take off everything from the waist up and wear these little gowns that open in the front. It's always a moment of hesitation for me and pausing to take a breath in the dressing room. I guess because of my sister's experience with breast cancer, I go into each mammogram appointment with a bit of fear. I do my little moment of silence by myself before I walk out in my gown and wait for the smasher (the correct term is mammographer) to take me back. Unless they find something concerning, you don't hear anything for a few days, and that weighs on your mind. But it's better if you hear nothing for a few days, because if they do find something they call you back right away.

It's amazing all the fine details of positioning, as they make you contort yourself to get the best possible image. Sometimes it feels like they're going to rip your breast off of your sternum. Move your arm this way, relax your shoulder, move your chin back, point your toes this way...and then you have to hold your breath! It hurts too much to take a breath in when your chest can't expand because your boob is being pinched horizontally and then diagonally, before they tell you you'll have to hold your breath.

So you stand there and asphyxiate...and it all went well except for when she discovered the scabs that are healing from my latest episode of running bra road rash and gasped...I had to explain to her that it was from chafing from a running bra she was seeing, not inflammatory breast cancer. I showed her the other side, which was identically scarred. Bilateral, 8:00 on the left, 4:00 on the right. Once she believed me, I got "smashed" and was out of there in 20 minutes from start to finish.

So I guess mammography is performance art too.

For me the worst part of going to get the mammogram is seeing other women there who, by the looks on their faces, are not there for just a routine screening. They might be my patients in the near future.

After the boob smashing I went to Runner's Roost and bought a new pair of running shoes. I finally ran through that huge pile we bought last spring before Badwater. My gazillionth pair of Brooks Addictions. Brooks should definitely be sponsoring me by now.

Remember the old Palmolive dishsoap commercials? They'd compare the hands- are they 18 or 30? As if 30 was dried up and old? I don't know why I just remembered that.

Running plans for the week: recover from work for a couple of days with just easy miles, then 3 consecutive longer, more challenging runs over the weekend. I'm shooting for something like 90-100 miles in 3 to 4 days. We'll see what happens. The weather's supposed to cooperate.

That's all I have in me for now, until after a nap.

Life is performance art.

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Geritol vs. Testosterone: A Vertical Challenge for the Vertically Challenged

In my ongoing quest to prevent myself from flying to Florida to run a 100K race I decided that instead of running hills on the asphalt at Horsetooth, I would do Rock Repeats for the first time this season. We've had enough nice weather that the trails should be pretty clear, free of snow and not too muddy.

It was a good choice. It wasn't even that cold. I started out in shorts, but kept my long sleeved shirt and gloves on. There wasn't too much wind and the sun finally came out after a while. I felt amazingly good, it seems like my recovery has been so much faster than I thought. Maybe it was the refueling yesterday afternoon plus another long nap.

Yesterday right after my run Dennis and I went over to Tortilla Marissa's, a restaurant owned by our running friends Doug and Connie DeMercurio. They were having a celebration and fundraising event for a puppy rescue organization in honor of their daughter Marissa's dog, Tortilla, who was having her first birthday. Tilla looked adorable in her little green bandana. Tilla's grand-dogma (Connie), baked a chocolate cake with peanut butter frosting for everyone who attended.

I indulged in each of the three basic food groups, green chile, margaritas, and chocolate, for a well-balanced, wholesome and appropriate recovery meal on the patio, in warm temperatures, where I was wearing one of my Walmart tops underneath a sweater (Seventy degrees and drinking a cold margarita is not warm enough for me to expose skin). But it helped me feel like I was getting a little taste of Florida.

I took Iris for a couple of miles this morning and then came home and drove to the park trailhead. My plan was to run the first one and see how my ankle held up, and possibly do a second one, but I sort of doubted that would happen. Usually I start the year with just one Rock Repeat because my quads are shot after that. It's 1100 feet of climb in 2.1 miles and then you have to descend. The plan was to run super easy, especially on the downhills, so I'd be able to walk, squat, and crouch for the next two days at work, which really helps when you have to sit on those low stools to start IVs and do dressing changes and such.

So it was my vertical challenge for the day, and being 5'1" tall on a good day I am already vertically challenged. I also thought of Bob and Paul, my two vertically challenged running friends, both of whom have made this past week an extreme horizontal challenge to my willpower to resist a trip to Florida.

It was also a vertical challenge for my ankle, because the last time I ran this trail last June, it was screaming at me.

I started out on the Southridge Trail as usual, which is really not a trail but a service road for the park. A few yards into it I noticed the first changes since last season, which was the construction of numerous waterbars across the trail, which act not only to drain water off the trail, but also as giant speed bumps, which would have the effect of slowing mountain bikers who tend to fly around the curves of this heavily used trail.

The waterbars themselves made the trail even more of a vertical challenge, some of them were huge, big enough to swallow me up.

It was cooler today, and mostly cloudy. Whatever is causing that rain in LA and made the temperatures in Death Valley cooler than here yesterday is moving our way, with snow in the forecast for tomorrow. But I'll be indoors at work all day, right? It won't matter. I don't run on my work days anyway. I won't even notice, because it will be dark by the time I leave the hospital both days.

I ran the whole way up, taking it super slow and easy, stopping to take pictures along the way. It was uneventful, not too many people, just a big herd of deer in a snowy draw on the way up. They stopped to stare at me, acting more like cows than deer.

So I reached the top, snapped a few pictures, wondered how I ever survived my pre-iPhone days, and started heading downhill. Very cautious and slow, mindful of my ankle, because I wasn't wearing a brace and this was the longest excursion on uneven, rocky technical terrain I've done since last spring.

There are several parts of the Southridge Trail that are rocky and technical, but they are short. I did just fine, not a peep out of the ankle! Yay!

I reached the bottom and went to my car, feeling like I didn't do anything. I decided to do another Rock Repeat just as easy as the first one, hoping that running slow downhill would preserve my quads. But then I thought: if my quads do get sore, that will keep me from wanting to run a 100K in Florida next weekend!

At the beginning of my second trip, I started about 30 seconds ahead of a group of 5 cyclists. I was running easy, and expected them to pass me on the gentle grade at the bottom. I got to the first switchback ahead of them, and then going up the long, steep grade to where the trails fork, only two of them passed me at the top, the others were close behind. Again, I continued running on the next flat section and they were with me as we all made the turn to start up the next steep part. The whole way up these 5 guys were with me. A couple of them would be ahead by a few feet, and the others were right behind. A few times one of them would do a quick sprint and get ahead of me, and then fall behind as I ran past. Finally I think he realized he wasn't going to avoid being chicked and just rode a steady pace, which happened to be my pace.

When I got to the first saddle, before the final steep rocky technical climb, where there's another trail fork to take a gentler, less technical route to the same place, they stopped. They looked at the fork in the trail and started to go to the right. I couldn't help myself. The RPB (random perimenopausal bitch) was rearing her ugly head.

"You guys are taking the wimpy route! This way is more challenging!" I continued running up the rocks, enticing them to go with me. They waited for the rest of their group to join them, and I continued on to the top. When I reached the saddle for my turnaround, I looked at my watch. I ran one of my fastest times ever on the ascent. It didn't even feel hard.


I stopped at the top, took a drink, and started heading down. I decided to take it easy on the descent again, I didn't want to risk twisting my ankle and I could feel my quads at that point. Just as I made the turn onto the technical section, the first of the 5 cyclists was coming up the short slickrock section.

I cheered for them. "Good job!" (I'm so cruel and heartless. RPB for sure.)

One of them said to me, "I don't know how you do it."

I said, "Good riding, this is tough."

I reached the bottom again, uneventfully, feeling good about my run and my fast ascent. Judging from the look of the 5 cyclists, not only did I chick them, but I sharpei'd them, too!

Hey, when you get to be my age, you gotta take what you can get.

And if I can't walk tomorrow, I can only blame myself for getting caught up in the Geritol vs. Testosterone race to the top, but it will make me less likely to want to go to Florida, where the old people hang out...right?

Geritol wins!


Saturday, March 17, 2012


Not too bad of a week so far. No snow, 70 degree temperatures, and feeling good on my runs. Running in shorts and t-shirts, using sunscreen, drinking plenty of fluids. I don't need a trip to a warmer climate or a more southern latitude. It's okay here.

Friday I went into work for an extra shift, but by 10:30 due to a no-show chemo they no longer needed me and sent me home. So I put a few easy miles in, took the girls for a short run, and finished all my errands for the week, leaving my weekend free to play. Woohoo!

I took another 3 hour nap Friday afternoon, too, and was able to go to bed at 9:30 and sleep for a full 8 hours. It amazes me how much sleep I need sometimes, and I'm lucky to be able to get it.

This morning I had a 20 miler planned at the lakes. I could have opted for the St. Patrick's Day 5K, but the solitude of the lakes on such a beautiful morning sounded more appealing. Plus I needed to get some fartlek in and the 5K wouldn't have been enough.

As it turned out I felt great for the whole 20 miles, did 45 minutes of fartlek pickups and a few strides at the end.

The lakes were calm and clear, reflecting everything. It's been so nice to get a break from the wind. It's supposed to get cloudy, cooler and possibly a little snow the beginning of this coming week. I'm trying to keep myself from being impulsive and hopping a plane to Fort Lauderdale, knowing my friend Bob has his Palm 100 race going on next Saturday. I can keep myself from flying to Florida and running a 100K race. I can resist. I know I can. I am so envious of my friend Paul, who is running it.

I might have to get creative to stop myself. Can I block the Southwest Airlines website on my computer until next Saturday? Or call my credit card company and have them stop any airline purchases for the next week?

It's very tempting but I'm going to resist (yes, I will) and stick to the training runs for now. I've been thinking about my plans for next year and have all but decided to put the 6 Day race in New York on hold for a while. I've been wanting to go to Florida again and run the Keys, and maybe the LOST 118 again, this time running the ENTIRE loop! I told Mike I really should run the last 4 miles in reverse just to make up for last year. There are so many races I want to run in Florida, I could probably make half a dozen trips.

But as long as this weather holds, I think I will maintain my sanity and save my money for big adventures later this year and next. And for warmth, I can always look forward to Death Valley in July. It's warm there, warmer than Florida. It's a dry heat. They have palm trees and sand at Furnace Creek. I don't need to go to Florida.

The geese are flying north. That's GOOD. I should follow their example. And it will save my back from goose poop diving practice when I run with the girls.

And eventually, the snow will melt and I'll forget all about whining about the weather, until next winter. Well, maybe not. This is Colorado. It can snow any time of year.

Tomorrow, hills and maybe a little tire dragging. And then I start another week. It's supposed to snow, but I'll be indoors at work both of those days. Then it's supposed to warm up again by my days off. Must...resist...

Thursday, March 15, 2012

The Bagoomba Training Method

If we were all perfect, life would be boring. No room for improvement, nothing to strive for, no challenges.

Yesterday I felt like crap in the afternoon, so I took a nap and woke up 3 hours later! I needed it. Dennis was on his way home, I took the girls for a short walk while I was waiting for him, and when he got here, I talked him into running with me. He rarely runs after work, but he's been talking about how he needs to. I agree, he does. He would feel better.

Plus, after he won that 5K in Arizona in January, he realized that running once a week, 10 miles of hills on Horsetooth, was enough to get him in shape to do that, so I suggested that he add one or two days of running each week, and he would probably see huge improvements.

We used to call Dennis "Bagoomba". Our friends Kirk and Keith used to go to races with us and we'd all sign up with goofy names. Kirk was Horace McGillicuddy, Keith and I were both Towanda, and Dennis was Bagoomba.

One year (1997) Dennis decided he was going to run the Leadville Trail 100. He had no ultra experience, and had only done one marathon. So he ran two ultras to get himself prepared. He ran a low-key 50K, and then a 50 miler, Collegiate Peaks, which he won in about 7 1/2 hours. To prepare for Leadville, I told him he would need to do long runs, not too frequently, but to get some time in on his feet. And those are some big feet (he wears size 14 or 15, depending on the shoe).

Dennis averaged about 30 miles a week of running the year he ran Leadville. He did a few "long runs", other than his two ultras, he did some runs at Horsetooth in the 25-30 mile range. Some weeks that was all he did.

At Leadville, he finished third overall in 20:59. He had some IT band problems during the race that slowed him down, and that injury persisted for a long time after Leadville. But Kirk and Keith and I attributed his amazing finish at Leadville to what we called "The Bagoomba Training Method". Run the bare minimum of mileage, and kick ass.

When we were first married, Dennis ran about a 29 minute 10K, and I ran about a 39 minute 10K. I used to run with him on his easy days and he would push me at my pace. At the end of the run I'd always see if I could outkick him in the last 200 meters or so. Of course he could have kicked my butt any time, but he ran harder just to give me enough of a challenge.

So we left the house yesterday evening and went for a 6 mile run on the Power Trail. Started out easy and gradually picked up the pace. We got away from doing that long ago, but last night felt like old times. I ran a lot faster than I would have by nyself. At the end of the run I picked it up once we turned onto our street, and kicked it in.

Today I went to the track after a 2 mile run with the girls. It's spring and there are so many things to sniff, it seems like our morning runs take forever. When I got to the track, I did 2 hours in lane 2, striding out for about 60-80 meters of each lap. It felt good. I kept a steady but easy pace, and just used the run as practice on the track curves, which I'll need for Iowa, which is only (gulp) 7 weeks away! How did that happen?

I haven't been doing much mileage at all, and I don't plan to train very hard until this summer. I want to run the Double Mick as a long training week, and I have one goal at Iowa, to run at least 100 miles in 24 hours. I'm trying to stick to the minimum I can get away with, focus on the quality runs and not worry about the mileage. It seems to be working so far.

Plus I am thrilled that I've lost 5 pounds since January, down to 125. Having my thyroid medication right made a big difference, too. I'd love to lose at least another 5, but I think I'm on track to do that. I still can't believe I'm carrying around that much weight on this short little body, but as long as I can run well, it really doesn't matter.

The Bagoomba Training Method. It works!

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

WHW: Work Hangover Wednesday

My name is Toast.

Just got back from a gazillion errands and I haven't even gone out to run yet, it's 72 degrees and gorgeous, and I can barely see straight from sleep deprivation. This time change has me all screwed up. I don't even understand why I keep waking up early. Seems like I should be waking up late. But the two days I worked 8 am to 8:30 pm, I woke up at 4 am and 4:45 am. I could not go back to sleep, either. And that really sucks when you have a 12+ hour day of work ahead of you, or two of them, back to back, in which you never get enough sleep between shifts.

So I'm having a bad brain day today. I'll try to get a nap so I can get out for some miles with the girls, then do a decent workout this evening.

Back to the grind this week. Lots of bills to pay, grocery shopping to do, which I've been avoiding, picked up the papers and found out the damage from the tax chick (not as bad as I feared), and so on. Generally not the most exciting stuff. But I figured if I got all the errands out of the way, I can enjoy the rest of my days off this week. The weather is awesome. I plan to get some hills, some faster paced running, and some long runs this week, but next week I'll start doing some consecutive long days. Today I'll shoot for 10 easy with strides. After a nap.

This morning when I took the girls out to get the newspaper, it was definitely spring. The birds were singing, and there was that feel in the air and that smell. That's the first morning I've been sure of it.

This morning I also went to the nursery to see what kinds of flowers I can plant outside the woman cave, complementary colors like blues and purples to contrast with the orange-ish color of the outside of the cave. It's still early but I got a few perennials and some pansies that I can move in and out until we're in less danger of a hard freeze. I desperately needed some color. I also got some blue flax seeds and some other wildflower seeds to plant nearby. I think some dark blue delphinium would look awesome in front of the cave!

And the next order of business is to work on the Batmobile project, now that Ed is back from Coyote Two Moon. Time to get serious about the Double Mick!