Thursday, December 31, 2009

Race Goals for 2010

Taking after my fellow bloggers I am going to list my goals for 2010. They are as follows:

1. Run in at least two more marathons, I would be happy with one as I have found it's pretty tough on my body. I want to run in 4:30 or faster.

2. PR in a 5k. I can't believe how long it's been since I have PRd in a 5k. I am embarrassed to admit that my best time is only 28 minutes... yeah, I'm slow!

3. PR in a half marathon. I think the 1/2 is the best race distance. I need to go faster than a 2:13. So far the last three 1/2s I have done have all gotten slower. Here is to a fast 2010 for my half marathon.

4. Sign up for and finish my first half ironman. I just got a new bike trainer and I am hoping that will keep me in bike shape until I can get outside.

5. Swim a sub 6 minute 500 free at a masters meet! I haven't done this since high school. I think I can do it for sure. My first meet in 2010 is in April.

That's all for now! Maybe I'll add some the faster I get!!! Here's to a healthy, fast and fit new year!! Congrats to all of you who have stuck through your training and made some awesome accomplishments in 2009!!

Monday, December 28, 2009

Non-Running Related: Starting Accutane

I usually wouldn't post something like this but maybe some people can relate.

I am starting Accutane tomorrow morning. Acne has been a struggle for me for many, many years. And it's not little break outs here or there, it's ugly, cystic, scarring acne. It's Yucky! It always makes me mad when people complain about one little zit that they have. Ummm, hello! I have a whole face full of them, they are ugly and painful.

I have tried everything under the sun to make my face look and feel better. Oral antibiotics, topical antibiotics, vitamins, birth control, no birth control, elimination diet, intense pulse light therapy and on and on! I have even had a prescription for accutane before but decided against it because of all the potential side effects. Nothing has worked.

It's hard to look in the mirror because all I see is a red, zitty, scarred face. Most people say " Ohhhh, it's not THAT bad!" Well it shouldn't even be a little bad. I look like a teenaged boy. I ALWAYS exercise with make-up on, ALWAYS! I never leave the house without make-up, covering up the yuck, makes me feel a little better.

It has been quite the process to obtain accutane, as it can cause some pretty severe birth defects. I am sure it's easier to buy a gun legally than it is to get accutane. So after 2 negative pregnancy tests, blood work and registering for the IPledge Program (a government run website to track pregnancies while on Accutane) I finally received my pills today and I will start tomorrow. Apparently, it gets worse before it gets better. How can my fact get any worse? I am soooo dreading the next few months. It would be nicer if I could just go into hiding for 60 days and re-emerge with beautiful skin! If only!!! I thought about posting before and after pics but it is just way too embarrassing to take my make-up off for a picture.

Anyways, I don't want to turn this into a blog about zits, I want to keep it fitness related. But maybe someone out there can relate!

Happy running and exercising!

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Team Whimsy Races Again!

I am so excited! My mom and I are signing up for the Resolution Run 5k on January 1st! We will be running as a team, so our times combined will decide our standings. Last time we ran as a team we placed third!! There is an option at the end of the race to do a polar bear dip in Lake Washington, I am all for it, but my mom will not be doing it. I think as a team you have to decide if you both are doing it or not. So I probably won't be dipping!

I have been doing some very short runs during the week on the treadmill. A little boring since I can't find my ipod shuffle at all. Hopefully Santa will bring me a new one!

Monday, December 14, 2009

Starting again today!

I have been taking it real easy since our marathon. At the most I have been going to Zumba 2 days a week. No running. I finally feel like I am ready physically to start again. With my knee hurting the way it did on marathon day I knew I needed to take a much needed break. I am going to start slow today with a Zumba class and a 2 mile run on the treadmill and probably just stick with shorter treadmill and outdoor runs the next couple of weeks.

The next race we want to do is "The Capital City" marathon on May 16th. I don't think I have to start really training until mid-January. We haven't signed up yet but we know we will be doing this. My mom is going to really try to qualify for Boston at this race. From what we hear it's flat and fast! I am just hoping to go for a sub 5 hour marathon! This time I will be following a strict plan, I think that will be the only way I can reach my goal!

Happy Running and Resting!

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Girls on the Run Fundraiser Brunch

Now that the marathon is over I/we can concentrate on other things. It's been so nice to have some time off of working out. I plan on taking some more days off and then start slowly back again.

Team Whimsy's next endeavor will be hosting a fundraiser brunch for the Girls on the Run of Puget Sound ( Girls on the Run "uses the power of running to educate and prepare girls for a lifetime of self-respect and healthy living." So far we have come up with a date, created a list of friends and family to invite and have been in contact with the director of the Puget Sound affiliate. We will also be racing a 5k with graduates of the fall program on December 12th. This is a great organization. Think about volunteering or even starting your own where you live.

Monday, November 30, 2009

Seattle Marathon Post Race Review

Morning Wake-Up Call: My husband and I stayed over at my parent's house so we could drive to the race together. I woke up at 5am. Had my coffee and an egg and bagel sandwich. It was hard to eat because my stomach is always so upset on race days, but I knew I had to eat the whole thing. I'm glad I did.

Off to the Races: The traffic wasn't too bad and we got to the race at 7:15 with an hour to spare. The weather wasn't too bad. A little misty, not too cold.

There They Go: I was feeling really good about this race. I knew it would be hard, but I didn't know what was in store for me a few hours after the gun went off. Our plan was to stick to the 4:45 pacer group, it was a great plan until my knee started to hurt. We also trained using a 4:1 run/walk interval. But we wanted to not stop at the beginning, it's too hard to do that with so many people around and it's too exciting. We stayed with the pacer group up until about mile 7. It was a perfect pace, I wish I could have kept it up.

Mile 13: "If I signed up for the half, I'd be done!!" The first words out of my mouth. I knew that my husband and aunt and uncle would be waiting for us here, so that got me more motivated. My knee at this point was killing me. I have been going to PT for my hip, and that didn't even hurt, but my stupid knee HURT. I am pretty sure it is due to my tight IT band.

It was wonderful to see my family at this point. I really needed it!

Miles 14-20: Didn't feel too bad, except my knee hurt. We were doing our intervals and we just kept running along. We both made potty stops. Boy did it feel good to sit down! Oh, yeah! The last half of the race was all hills. Steep hills, long hills and hills in between. I knew it would be hard but this just about killed me. And it really wasn't the going up part that was hard, the painful part was trying to run down them! OUCH!!!!

Miles 20-24: Hurting pretty bad at this point. Everything, my feet, my knees my hips. My PT says I am hyper mobile in my joints and I keep reading that running is really painful for those of us that are hyper mobile. I would like to trade bodies with a speedy runner to see if they hurt as much as I do!

Miles 24-26: The most difficult and challenging of the whole experience! I am so glad my mom was with me to keep me going. I kept crying because my knee hurt so bad and I just wanted to be done, I didn't want to go another two miles. My mom and I crossed the finish line together and I cried. I cried because I was glad I finished. I cried because I hurt so bad. I cried because I got to do this with my mom and not too many daughters out there can say that their 59 year old mom is a marathoner!!

As you can see in these pictures I look like I am in pain, I could not even force a decent smile!! I tried, but my smile muscles wouldn't work either!

Things I learned:

1. Moderate hills mean "there are lots of them, train for it!"

2. I felt great with my nutrition plan, didn't feel hungry once during the course. Definitely sticking to this!

3. I don't need to use walk/run ratios, just walk at the water stops every two miles.

4. Don't train using your own modified training plan, use a tried and true training plan, created by someone who knows what they are doing! ;)

5. You can do ANYTHING you set your mind to!

6. Even though I didn't meet my time goal, I still finished and the next marathon I do I will get a better time, because the course will be flat ;)

Overall experience: I had fun. I don't think I will sign up for this race again. Mostly because of the time of year. You can't depend on the weather. We really lucked out and it was perfect. It was a challenging course. If I do this one again, I have to work on hills!!

Friday, November 27, 2009

Seattle Marathon Health and Fitness Expo

My mom and I headed to the Seattle Marathon packet pick-up and Health and Fitness expo this morning. We were really early which meant that we were about 15th in line to pick up our bibs and chips and head over to the expo to pick up our swag quickly without many people around.
For some reason I was hoping the the expo was going to be great. You know, we are running 26.2 miles so the expo has got to bigger and better than any other expo right? Wrong. Same old thing you always see, nothing too impressive. We got our free samples and looked at all the cool gear that of course I wanted but didn't get.

I did buy mom and I the obligatory "26.2" sticker to put on our cars after we finish the race. I know it's kind of cheesy, but it's well deserved!

I found some super cute shirts with great quotes on them. I really wanted to buy one, but I really don't need another t-shirt I probably won't wear very much. So, a picture will do just fine!

I liked this marathon quote the best! My mom and I had to get a picture together with this one!

I told my husband that he has to make signs for us. He didn't seem enthused about taking on this project. So we went ahead and made some for him! Aren't we nice?

I'm excited for the race on Sunday and can't wait to be finished! It's been a long process to get here, but I know we can do this for sure! Marathons are fun... or so I've heard!!
Happy Running!

Friday, November 20, 2009

Not much going on these days!

Well it now gets dark around here at about 4pm. It's icky! I've been really laying low in terms of exercising. I just don't want to injure myself even more and I want to continue to run for the rest of my life so it's not worth it to me to push through pain. I went to PT yesterday and she congratulated me on my resting. I am eager to run our race next weekend, take some more rest and start fresh again. My mom and I already have our next marathon planned, although we have not signed up just yet.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

T-minus 11 days!

Getting so close to race day! I am excited, nervous and as ready as I am going to be. I have been taking it real easy the past few days as directed by my PT. Perhaps too easy and it makes me worried? But nothing like a real taper to get you to the finish line!

Friday, November 13, 2009

"Back off the running and exercise classes"

Says my physical therapist! At my last appointment I kept telling her my hip hurt during and after dance class, running, zumba, and the elliptical. She told me to listen to myself talk and to just take a break once and for all. It's so hard for me to do, but I know I need to do it so I don't injure myself further. She reminded me that I have done my training for my marathon and I will finish, but I want to meet my goal of a 4:30 or under marathon time! It's so frustrating!

This weekend I am meeting up with my mom to go on a very quick 3 mile run and have some coffee (of course!!) afterwards. Only two more weeks to go until race day! I have even sent out a mass email begging friends and family to come and cheer us on. Hopefully some will show up and surprise us!!

Happy Running!

Friday, November 6, 2009

Marathon Swimming

Yesterday I was watching the Art of the Athlete and they were featuring Diana Nyad, Marathon Swimmer. She is amazing! She swam from the Caribbean Islands to Florida, which is something like 103 miles! That is a TRUE marathon swim.

For a swim to be considered a marathon swim it has to be over 15 miles, you cannot have contact with a boat and you can't wear a wetsuit. My husband asked if I would ever do something like that. I immediately shook my head no, but part of me is considering trying something like that at some point in my life. I have even (very briefly) considered the Manhattan Island Marathon swim (around Manhattan Island). Maybe after this running marathon I will have to think about what to do next!

Nothing like starting PT 3 weeks before your first marathon! My hip has been killing me, I hope I can get this worked out before the race. My mom and I completed our last long run and I was in some pain despite having bettered our long run time by 12 minutes!

My husband also asked me if I ever thought I would ever be running a marathon. I again sad no! A few years ago I would curse the ground I ran on. I could barely run 10 feet without huffing and puffing and hating every minute of it. It's been a long running road, but here we are running our first marathon!

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Costume Night at Zumba!!!

Tonight we were supposed to come in costume to Zumba class. I attend a pretty tight knit class and we have a lot of fun together, it doesn't feel like working out at all! It's definitely a party! I have been thinking all week about what I could be and for cheap. Ahhhhhh! An 80's Aerobics Lady!! Perfect!!!

I went to Target and bought some super cute purple leggings and of course hairspray. I don't think I have purchased a can of hairspray in 15 or so years. I didn't even know where to look for it, but found a great deal on some Aussie Freeze It for $2.99. I was seriously thinking about getting a can of Aquanet, but the smell would be a bit overpowering, but the hold is amazing!! I have a pair of trunks (think the bottom half of a leotard) and a pink shirt that I did a whole lot of cutting and tying too. I have a pair of ballroom dancing shoes that I was going to wear but decided against since there is a heel and I didn't want to hurt myself right before our race!

Of course I was the first one to show up and lots of people at the Y were giving me the stink eye and then I thought "oh, crap! What if I am the only one??" Then a girl showed up in her pumpkin costume much to my delight! There weren't too many other that dressed up, I guess they didn't' get the memo!! Oh well, I had fun and looked fantastic!!

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Girlfriends Half Marathon and Other Running Related Updates

On October 18 my two wonderful friends and I drove down to Vancouver, Washington to run and walk in the Girlfriend's half marathon. This is one of my favorite races for three reasons. 1. It's an all women's race and it benefits breast cancer research 2. At the end of the race you can get a massage, get stretched, eat chocolate and see some gorgeous firefighters 3. you get some nice swag!

My two girlfriends had never done a half marathon before and one of them had never done a single race before. We were all very excited to be there, we had a ton of fun and can't wait for next year. My friend even said that she would be running next year. We are already in pre-planning stages for an appearance at the Seattle Rock N Roll half/full marathon.
As far as time goes for my 4th half marathon (WOW! 4 already I would have never thought I could do that even a year ago!!) it was not my fastest at all. I was nearing the end of a cold and was up all night coughing and didn't feel 100% on race day. Oh well! I loved being with my girlfriends!!
And in other marathon training news: After ignoring a painful and popping hip for a very long time I finally went to the doctor. I also asked about my painful and popping shoulder (from swimming). Doctor diagnosed my hip problem as a very tight IT band which is causing what is called "Snapping hip syndrome". Need to do lots of stretching and go to physical therapy. I can still run though. As for my shoulder, rotator cuff tendinitis. Need to do strength training and physical therapy. I can swim as long as there is no pain, once there is pain I need to get out.
Mom and I have one more long run to hammer through and then we are almost to marathon time. I really can't wait to get this over with!!

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Turn your iPod off and say HELLO!!!

My mom has been a runner for a long time, well before ipods became a popular item to run with. She never runs with music, she doesn't need to. She also gives a nice hello to every person she passes. Lately, we have noticed that most people we pass on our long runs are to into themselves and are listening to their MP3 players and don't even give a nod or a wave.

Ipods are a great tool for exercising they motivate a lot of people to get outside and to the gym and get moving. Along with this it has created much less communication with those around us. So, when you go on your next run, say a nice hello to everyone you see and take out those ear buds for one of your upcoming runs and enjoy the company and scenery!
Happy Running!

Monday, October 12, 2009

Three Marathon Goals

I was doing some reading about first time marathoners and came across some good advice about goal setting. Yes, we all want to finish and that is a fine goal but we can do better. Set three goals. The first goal should be something attainable, the second goal should be attainable but more of a challenge to reach and the third goal should be somewhat lofty. Here are my three first time marathon goals:

1. Finish in under 5 hours
2. Finish at 4:30
3. Sub 4 hour marathon

What are your three goals for your first race, marathon or otherwise?

Happy Running!

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Gut Checks!

Yesterday I made it up to swim with an old high school friend and her girls' swim team that she coaches. It was so fun, she even swam too! I didn't quite reach my goal of swimming those 100s on 1:15 but I did finish 22 100s, which was a lot more than some of those high school girls did! Go me!! When I couldn't make the last send off, I moved over a lane and finished up the set doing 10 more 75s.

I so want to get a t-shirt made for our marathon that says "I would rather be swimming 26.2 miles!!"

Happy Running and SWIMMING!!!

Friday, October 9, 2009

Swimming tonight!!

I was invited by a friend from high school to swim with her team this afternoon. It's going to be fun and interesting. She coaches a high school girls team and they are doing something called "Gut Checks" today. The last time I did this WAS in high school. Keep in mind I have been out of the water a good solid month so I can focus on marathon training, but I could not pass up this opportunity. Some would call me crazy, some would call it awesome, I say both!!

Here is how "Gut Checks" works:

5x100s free on 1:45

5x100s free on 1:40

5x100s free on 1:35

5x100s free on 1:30

and on and on until you can no longer make the send off. In high school I could get down to 1:00, tonight my goal is to at least do a few 100's on the 1:10, not sure if I can make the 1:05s, we'll see.

Training: yesterday did a nice 5 mile run with hills, swimming tonight, easy short run on Saturday, long run with mom on Sunday.

Monday, October 5, 2009

19 mile day

My daughter was such an encouragement yesterday on our 19 mile run. We had a beautiful run along the sound with the mountains in the background. - sunny--gorgeous. At the 15 mile mark we were both starving. She made some chocolate chip cookies and all I could think about was biting into one. Note to self. (eat more food before you leave 3 egg whites, a bagel and piece of cheese isn't enough). Today recovering, but looking forward to next Sunday's long run.

Mom and Daughter 19 miler yesterday!

My mom was able to come down to my house yesterday for a nice 19 mile run. My mom is a pretty fast lady but I urged her to go slow so we could make the whole way which she did. We were prepared with our gels, and our Nuun and went out the door. It was a beautiful fall day, slight breeze and tons of sun! Oh and I also had on brand new never been worn shoes. Note to self: Do NOT wear new shoes on a 19 mile run!

We did really well and had a nice steady pace, made it to the turn around, all the while my foot was aching, but seemed to ache more the further we went. I had to stop a few times and adjust the laces and that didn't help much.

Around mile 16 or so my mom wasn't doing too hot. She was really hungry, as was I. I have done a previous 18 mile run on Monday, I wouldn't say I was used to the distance but I knew to take it slow. She basically pooped out, which I have NEVER seen before. We have decided we must eat a bigger breakfast and eat better the day before and possibly try some chews every 20-30 minutes. Of course after our LONG run we went out to Starbuck's for some coffee and breakfast.

My mom also mentioned that she will not be signing up for a marathon, she says it's too much training. We'll see if this still holds true after she finishes Seattle.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Team Whimsy Succumbs to Minor Injury

A few days ago I posted that I had fallen on one of my runs and was just fine. Well, my dear mother was out on her long run and tripped over something and hurt her foot. Thankfully it wasn't very bad, but hurt enough to take some time off running and working out altogether. This coming Sunday we should be able to run together for the first time in over a month! I am really excited to run, hopefully there will be no falls involved on our next run!

We have a little over two months left for our training before the big day. I think I am a little ahead of myself with my long runs. I am already at 18 miles and I know according to some plans out there you only have one long run of 20 miles, but I think I am going to try for a 22 or 23 mile run before the race, because I am doing the Team Whimsy Training plan and I can!!

Happy Running!

Monday, September 28, 2009

Marathon Training the Seattle Way

Today I did my long run of 18 miles. I was doing really well until I turned at my half way point to come back. I had my gels, my water, my Nuun, everything was going as planned. Until I started thinking about food constantly, and my toe was killing me from a blister. I stopped and fiddled with my toe and popped the blister which made it feel much better. I still could not get food out of my head and my tummy was getting very hungry, and then I started thinking about coffee.

I brought $10 with me just in case and I ended up stopping for a sweet treat and a latte! Yum! It hit the spot and helped me power through the last half of my run! It took me forever to finish since I took a coffee stop but it was well worth it!!
Now I am hoping Starbucks will be adding a coffee stop come race day!!
Happy Running!

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Long run tomorrow...ooops!

After putting off my long run on Saturday and again today, it will have to happen on Monday. I did a breast cancer walk today with my friend who is training to walk the half marathon that we are doing in mid-October. We did the 5k walk and then did 4 miles after that and got lunch. By the time I reached home it was past three and didn't want to start running so late in the day. I cannot put off this run another day, I wan to do it, but there's no time in my day to start and finish it.

Our walk today benefited the Making Strides Against Breast Cancer organization. It was fun, but I would definitely rather be running than walking, it took way too long!!

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Tempo run blues!

So yesterday I tried a 3 mile tempo run. I've never really done one before and I am trying to do all I can do go faster than my mom at our marathon. Sorry mom, I'm 32 and your are going to be 59, so I need to go faster!

Anyway, it was a bit hot yesterday and I decided to go on my run in the late afternoon. I didn't bring any water, because I thought it's only three miles I don't need any water! I used my heart monitor as well I wanted to keep my heart rate up at 85-90% for the entire run.

Things I learned from my first tempo run:
1. Warm-up first. I kept stopping because I felt horrible. With a short warm-up I would have been fine.
2. Bring water. It's OK to drink water when it's hot and you are only doing a three mile run!
3. I don't need to stop!

I ended up running the three miles in 26 minutes with stopping, so I know I can run it much faster without stopping. This is the fastest I have ever done this loop!

Training: 8-9 mile run this afternoon. abs class and Zumba class this evening!

Happy Running!

Monday, September 21, 2009

No real training plan anymore...

Both my mom and I love to start things and then never finish them! We started out this whole marathon thing thinking we could follow the Jeff Galloway training program. We started out strong for a few weeks and even tracked the progress of each run. Well, that was very short lived.

I know when I do tris I don't really follow a set training plan, I look at a few plans and get an idea of what I need to do and then do my own thing. The same holds true for this marathon. I know one thing that is certain; it's that I have never done so much running in my life!!! That must mean I am going to get a rockin' time at this marathon and beat my mom right?? Because I am actually ahead of her right now in terms of longest runs. However, she is still faster than me!! She better watch out though I am what they call an "Outside smoker" the swimming world!

Yesterday I did a 17 mile run sans Team Whimsy running partner. It's been hard for us to get together every weekend as you know that thing called life and making money can get in the way of the things we would rather be doing! It was a tough run yesterday, it took about 3 miles for me to feel good and then at mile 4 I tripped and fell. My mom isn't surprised as I am very klutzy!! I got up, dusted myself off and continued running. I felt really good once I got going again. I brought along 2 Hammer Gels with me and I really noticed a difference in how my body held up during the run. The last two miles were really tough, but I finished!

When I got home I downed a 12 oz. Endurox R4 drink to aid in recovery. It didn't taste great but I did notice some difference this morning in how I felt when I woke up. I went to Zumba tonight and plan on doing some sort of speed work tomorrow, maybe a tempo run or intervals. I'll see how I feel!!

Happy Running!

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Amica Insurance Seattle Marathon 2009 Shadow Run in Baghdad

From the Seattle Marathon website : (I thought this was very cool that this is going to happen on race day!)

Date/Time: Sunday, November 29, 2009 @ 6:00 AM
Local Baghdad Time (10 hours ahead of Pacific Time) Location: Victory Base, Baghdad, Iraq Start Times:
Full Marathon Run - 6:00am Half Marathon Run - 8:00am Note: There are no walking events.

The Story Behind The Race Mark Piccone and some of his fellow service members stationed at Ft. Lewis, WA wanted to run the Amica Insurance Seattle Marathon 2009. The problem: They are currently deployed in Iraq. The solution: Bring the Amica Insurance Seattle Marathon to them! MORE

Official Event Shirt $2 from the sale of each shirt will be donated to the Wounded Warrior Project .
EVENT DETAILS The Amica Insurance Seattle Marathon 2009 Shadow Run in Baghdad will be as much like a stateside run as possible, including a pre-race pasta party and entertainment along the route! The pasta dinner will be held in the Victory Base Dining Facility for runners and volunteers and will include a special room for the runners. There will be bib and race packet pick-up and inspirational running videos during the meal. Official Race Items provided by the Amica Insurance Seattle Marathon and its sponsors The Seattle Marathon Association, thanks to generous donations from Amica Insurance and its other sponsors, is providing official race items at a greatly reduced entry fee of $20 per runner. Official items include:
Finisher Certificates
Finisher Medals
Age Division Awards
Race Results posted on the SMA website
Participant Shirts
Filled Goody Bags
Volunteer Shirts and Certificates
Video from the Amica Insurance Seattle Marathon 2008
Event Guides
Results Issues
Event Poster
Runner's Bibs
Banners to hang at Shadow Run
Space Blankets
Powdered drink concentrate provided by Gatorade
Energy gel packets provided by GU In addition, Amica Insurance will be providing special care packages for each Shadow Run participant.Event Size Shadow Run organizers are anticipating 150-200 half marathon runners and 50-100 full marathon runners. Race Organizers For more info on the Shadow Run organizers, click here. Volunteers 50+ volunteers are expected to help with the race, including firemen stationed at the base. Race Day Temperatures Average high and low on November 29th is 73/52 degrees F. After the Race Shadow Run organizers will send the Seattle Marathon Association a video of the finish, the elite athletes, etc. Because of the time difference (Baghdad time is 10 hours ahead of Seattle time), we are anticipating being able to show the video and post race results on Race Day in Seattle.
The course will be a 13.1 mile loop around Victory Base and Camp Liberty and will include Lost Lake, the Al Faw Palace and the palace where Saddam was held by U.S. forces after being captured. On the course we will have our unit band providing live entertainment (including a bag piper) at 4 different points including the start/finish line. Volunteers will provide traffic control and water stations.
Show your support of the troops with your purchase of an official event shirt. $2 of the proceeds from each shirt will be donated to the Wounded Warrior Project, a nonprofit organization that honors and empowers injured service men and women through its direct programs and services. For more information, click here.
Course Highlights: Victory Base and the Al Faw Palace

Someone wanted a swim workout, so here it is:
From USMS Swimmer Magazine, September/October Vol. 5, No. 5

500 Free breathe every 3/5 by 5, long push-offs on each turn
200 kick- no board streamline (50 on your side/50 on your back, repeat)
100 drill of choice

IM Set
1x300 IM
4x50 fly 1:05 swim strong with relaxed face
1x200 IM
4x50 back 1:05
1x100 IM

Freestyle Set
4x (3 x100 Free) swim each round at the same pace- no breaks. Keep focus on the black line and relax your back and shoulders. The challenge is, as the interval decreases , to maintain the pace without starting too slow.

Round 1: 1:40
Round 2: 1:35
Round 3: 1:30
Round 4: 1:25

Easy 100 Free

Hypoxic Set
12 Doughboy 25s-no breath- with 20 seconds rest. Breath control with relaxation. (The Yogis say fall down seven times, get up 8, so if you need to take a breath just start again)

4x50s easy, then the hot tub!!!

I haven't had a chance to do this yet, but will be the workout I do next when I hit the pool. I've been running too much to have a chance to swim!

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

lazy days

I have done nothing this week. Food poisoning on Sunday. today finally working out abs class and spin class. Daughter doing fantastic racking up lots of miles. I am so proud of her. We are running together on Saturday. I think we will do 17 miles. I hope I never get to old to run, I would be impossible to live with. tata

Shhhhhhhh! Don't tell my mom...

I think I enjoy running more than ever since I started about 5 years ago! I'm not sure why this sudden change, maybe it 's the heart rate monitor, maybe it was how good I felt on my first 15 mile run? I don't know! But it's nice to have a change of heart and maybe this change will lead to some faster times and perhaps a skinnier me!

Training: Went to a dance class and abs class yesterday. I also did some minimal speed work on the treadmill. I had to pee so bad and I knew if I got off the darn thing I would not want to get back on. So only 2 miles of running yesterday.

I think I am going to do another 15 or 16 miles this weekend for my long run. I am also going to be walking 6 miles with my friend on Sunday. Swimming today, my goal is 4000 yards. I found a great workout in my USMS Swimmer magazine. Possible short run Thursday or Friday.

Happy Running!

Monday, September 14, 2009

The Spirit of the Marathon and Heart Rate Training!

My husband bought me a new heart rate monitor and how cool and simple are they to use!!! I ran 15 miles yesterday and it calculated my average heart rate, my percentage of my maximum heart rate and even calories burned. Oh how I love this little piece of technology.

I read a great article on the Runner's World website that gives some breakdowns of what percentage to be training at for a particular distance. I tried this on my run last night and I was AMAZED at how great I felt and how long I could go! I think I am officially ditching the Jeff Galloway method. Sorry Jeffy!! I just can't do it anymore. Here is the link to the article.,7120,s6-238-267--1039-0,00.html

I also watched a fantastic movie that was recommended by a poster on a Health and Fitness message board that I love! The Spirit of the Marathon. You can find it on
I was so inspired by this documentary. It features every day runners attempting their first marathon, to runners who have participated in multiple races and elite runners trying to win the Chicago marathon! I loved it, maybe that's why I was so motivated to run 15 miles yesterday. I think ANYONE can do a marathon, just watch this movie and you to will want to run, no matter how fast or how slow!

Happy running!

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Half marathon with my besty!

I convinced my best friend to sign up for a half marathon that takes place in October. She has never done any kind of running/walking race in her life! I think it's so awesome that she is doing a half for her first race! She will be walking, I will be running and our other friend will be doing a combination.

It's been difficult to try to get her to come out and start walking with me. But today she came out for a walk around Greenlake! We ended up walking real slow but I enjoyed our conversation. She asked how long it took us for 2.8 miles, and it was 53 minutes. And she said, "Holy **%&&! It's going to take me 5 hours to do this race!!!" I told her next time we need to walk a little faster and go a little longer! I think she will be more than fine and maybe I can convince her to become a runner!! We'll see about that one!! Of course every Greenlake adventure ends with a trip to Starbucks!!

Training: I was going to do 13 miles today but ended up walking with my friend instead. Going to move my long run for tomorrow. My poor mom is sick today, throwing up and all so she of courses is taking today off! Get well soon mom!!

Sunday, September 6, 2009

32 Today!!

I feel better and look better at 32 than I did at 25!! Go getting older!!!

Saturday, September 5, 2009

It feels like Fall!

I walked down to the pool today and it felt like fall, already! The picture above is what I get to look at on my walk down and during my swim, I'm going to miss it over the winter! It was cold, dark, and a little on the breezy side. The pool was packed for the second to last masters workout of the season. There are two lanes assigned for masters and there had to have been 10 people in each lane. Thankfully the water was nice and warm.

Friday, September 4, 2009


Daughter has been bugging me about not blogging. I am too busy training to blog. Half-marathon on Monday. bought new running shoes today. We ran today but only about 3 miles then of course made a stop at Starbucks. that always makes the run worthwhile. The weather sounds perfect for the run a high of 61 and maybe some rain. My daughter has been working hard to improve and I think she will be able to set a personal best this time. The whimsical journey continues.......

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

My future's so bright I gotta wear...

Shades!! I just ordered some new sunglasses today which has been a long time coming. I have the worst eyesight as confirmed by the doctor today. I have a really bad astigmatism. On a scale of 1-10 the good doctor gave me an 8! I even have to get high index lenses (a thin lens) so I don't look like I am wearing Coke bottles for glasses.

My current shades are so beat up and scratched that I can't stand it any longer. I must run and bike using my sunglasses as my regular glasses would just annoy me, slipping off my nose from sweat, and bouncing up and down from running! It just does not work.

So here are the new ones, both great for sports and for just wearing about town!
Training: I went on a long run on Monday and if my calculations are correct I could potentially run a 2:10 at our race next Monday. That is 5 minutes off my last half marathon time! I totally think I can do it!!

Saturday, August 29, 2009

My mother has been scouted!!

The other day my mom received an email from a local running group. Apparently this group really keeps track of race data and noticed my mom's name at the top of her age group in every single race she has done. They invited her to come and join them to be part of the club. Anyone can actually join the club but I thought it was pretty cool that she was given a personal invitation.

I think I am going to join the group as well and participate on some of the runs the group does. I definitely need some motivation. I know when I swim with a master's group it's much easier to go faster and keep training consistently. I am hoping the same goes for running!

A Lesson From Phoebe!

I love the show Friends! I was running last night (go me, it was hard to get my rear off the couch!), and I totally thought of Phoebe and how I should be more like Phoebe!

If you don't know what I am talking about take a look at the video. Phoebe doesn't care what she looks like, doesn't use any fancy gadgets, she is able to get her friend on board with her and she is having a blast! I need to be more like Phoebe. Well, maybe not so silly looking!! I want to be able to enjoy running as much as she does!


(for some reason I couldnt' get the video to post in the blog)

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Last Tri of the season: Done!

This past weekend I met up with a friend from high school swimming and her friends for an Olympic distance triathlon! It was great fun to meet new people who are into working out and doing triathlons! Camping was spectacular and the race was less than spectacular.

The race was super small, 75 racers in all! The swim was the worst open water swim ever. The Columbia river is freakin' cold! I almost didn't make it to the bike portion I was so cold! It's time to invest in a wetsuit! The bike was OK, except that it was on a highway in which cars were traveling upwards of 60 miles per hour! A little too scary for me. No bike support on the course either. The run was boring, two loops around a park. We all decided we were not going to be going to this race next year. I didn't improve my time, but I didn't do any worse either. The one good thing about the race is that my race pictures didn't turn out all that bad. I am considering ordering one!

Training: I am going swimming tonight as this will be one of the last times the outdoor pool will be open. I must run tomorrow for sure!!

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Ice Skating Sister!

I picked up my 12 year old sister yesterday from her ice skating lesson! Yes! I have a 12 year old sister! She looked so great out on the ice and she even practiced her axles yesterday for the first time! I am so proud of her. I took ice skating lessons when I was younger but never really liked it. I am so glad she has found something she loves to do!

She is spending two nights with us and we have some shopping, swimming and just hanging out with each other! Yay for sisters!!

Monday, August 17, 2009

8.65 Miles with Mom and my HUSBAND!!!

My mom drove out to our house this morning and we all went on a nice 8.65 mile jaunt down at Alki beach! It was beautiful! My husband rocked it because he usually doesn't run as much, or really not at all and he did 7 miles! We picked him up in the car when we finished, much to his happiness!
Then we all went to Starbucks (of course) for a nice cup of coffee and good conversation! Did I mention in any of my previous posts, this is really the only thing that keeps me running?
Training: I have ran a total of 15 miles since Saturday (I don't usually even run this much during the entire week, I'm a running slacker!), I feel great, but a little sore! Tonight I am going to my beloved Zumba class and new routine awaits me!
Next Sunday is my second Olympic distance triathlon. I am excited because I am going on my own and meeting some people I don't really know... well one I knew in high school as we swam together and we will all be camping together. There will be 4 of us doing the triathlon. It should be fun and quite the adventure! All of these plans put together through the social experiment known as Facebook!

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Really? We are racing in two weeks??

I'm back from Omaha and met my mom today for a run. We ran around Greenlake, but this time we did the outer circle, which we found out was a little longer than the inner. We did 7.5 miles today and I did my very best to not complain! My mom even said I did really good without much running the past few weeks! That was a confidence booster for sure.

As we were running we started talking about our races and then it hit me that not only would we be running our first in a series of two half marathons in two weeks but it also means that I will be doing my second Olympic distance triathlon next weekend!! How did that sneak up on me so fast??? Some how I thought I had a little bit longer before our races.
We then finished up our run with a visit to Starbucks, which is always my favorite thing about running with my mom!!

Thursday, August 13, 2009

I Fired My Mom

Not really! She hasn't been blogging and I keep telling her she needs to post something. She's been keeping up with her running... of course and she is kicking some marathon ass with the training she has been doing!! Way to go mom!!

Saturday, August 8, 2009

AWAY: Always Welcome at the YMCA!!!

I had heard through the grapevine that you can go into any YMCA and use the facility free of charge if you are a member somewhere else. Well, apparently it's true! I went to the YMCA of Greater Omaha today at their downtown location and was pleasantly surprised when they took my card!

The temperature today was well over 100 degrees with awful humidity and there was no way in hell that I was going to run in the heat. I ran on the treadmill, only three miles and hit the pool for nice easy 2400 yards! It was perfect. Definitely going back tomorrow!!

Too hot to run!

How do people do it?? How do they run or exercise in hot weather? I could wake up early and run, but it's still hot and humid. Everything feels wet and sticky the minute I step outside. I will take a day of rain in Seattle than a day of 100 degree heat and humidity!

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Omaha Masters

I found a team: Omaha Masters. Now I just have to get up at the crack of dawn to try to make it to a practice or two. I'm used to swimming in the evenings here and not so early in the morning. I found out that the coach has won a Masters Coach of the Year award, so I am looking forward to a workout!

To find a masters swim team in your area check out

Off to the Heartland

Tomorrow morning I leave for the beautiful city of Omaha, Nebraska!! Wooo, hooo!! My husband and I will be visiting family and I get to leave first at 5am. Then he will join me on Saturday. This was a last minute decision for me to go with him. I wasn't sure what my plans were going to be as far as teaching goes this summer. Now I get to vaca in the Heartland!

Training in Omaha will be interesting as it tends to be very humid and hot which I am not used to. My goal is to run as much as I can in the next seven days and I am trying to find a masters team to swim to join for a couple of practices. I won't be able to do any biking, I don't think anybody there has a bike I can borrow.

Monday, August 3, 2009

Monday Training

I have the next month off from work so time to concentrate on my running. My mom and I went for a nice 6 mile run today and of course we had coffee afterwards. We also signed up for a half marathon on September 7th. Tonight I am going to ride my bike down to the pool and do a masters workout.

Not sure what the plan will be for tomorrow, probably a 45-60 minute run, maybe a bike ride. Who knows!!

Sunday, August 2, 2009

2 Year Anniversary!

August 4th will be our 2nd anniversary. We just got back into town after a brief visit to the coast! The plan was to stay until Wednesday our actual anniversary. We couldn't believe how awful the weather was; cold, rainy, windy, foggy. Just plain gross! I even brought my bike and running gear to keep training while we were away. The small town we stayed in died at about 8:30 when everything closed and there was nothing to do, it was so boring.

We left yesterday afternoon and returned this morning at about 11:30. I forgot to mention the house we were staying in. My husband's co-worker let us use his beach house which was very nice of him and his family. We walked into the house and we were immediately transported to 1971. The carpet I am sure has not been cleaned or changed since the 70's, it was gross! It was musty, damp, cold and smelly. My husband suggested that we leave at around 9pm last night. We decided to see if the weather would improve in the morning and maybe we could hang out on the beach. No such luck! :( We left at 8:15 am and we were so glad we did, because back here in Seattle it's a hot 90 degrees!!!

I did receive a very nice gift from my husband a beautiful frame with pictures of me at my last triathlon! What a fabulous gift!

Training: I signed myself up for another Olympic distance triathlon. I am super excited as this race apparently has the best swag in the state! And the race description promises the fastest swim in the state as well. The swim will be located going downstream on the Columbia River!

I have fallen behind in my running. I haven't been on a run since my last triathlon. I've been able to get on my bike and swim but no running. The weather here has been really hot; 103 the other day and I am not a morning runner so no outdoor running in a long while. Mom and I will be running together tomorrow. We both have a half marathon at the beginning of September and I need to run or I will get another serious ass kicking by my mother!

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

First Olympic Tri on the Books!

My first Oly was on Saturday in Lake Chelan! It was a blast! My husband and I left on Friday night and actually camped. I racked my bike that night as well. One of the officials said that they may not allow wetsuits because the water temp. may get too high. I found it funny that so many people were freaking out. I have realized that many triathletes rely upon their wetsuits to get them through the swim. I have never worn a wetsuit, in fact I was ecstatic to know that it would be a warm swim! That definitely eased my nerves!

We woke up at 5am, ate breakfast and drove down to the race. I set up my transition area and was ready for the course talk down at the swim start. On my way down I ran into a friend that I used to swim with in high school. We chatted a bit and listened to the race director and then went back to get ready.

The Swim: The swim was one of the best open water swims I have ever had. The lake is clear and you can actually see the bottom if it's not too deep. It's so clear in fact that you can follow the buoy lines and swim in a straight line. I don't know how anybody could have worn a wetsuit, I was even hot by the end of the swim! I finished the swim 7th in my age group and 65th out of 350 men and women.

The Bike: The bike course was amazing; beautiful scenery all around. It was an open course so there was traffic but most people were going very slow and were being courteous. There were some gradual inclines but that always means you get to go downhill! I was able to pick up some pretty fast speeds (at least for me!) and finished with the time I wanted to. Not sure how I finished but my time was 1:30:21

The Run: Oh the run!! The worst part of a tri for me. Many triathletes are much better runners and can win a race with a great, fast run. However, that is not the case with me... at least at the moment! I am a much better swimmer than most triathletes and a much worse runner! By the time I got to the run it was very hot and I was hungry. I did walk several times during the 10k, but I didn't want to make myself sick. Thankfully, there were several water stops which included gels and of course water. There were also people along the course that sprayed the racers with a hose. My run time was really bad 1:13!! Eeeek, must work on the run!

My goal time for the entire race was 3 hours, but I finished in 3:20. Not bad for a first tri but not what I wanted. I LOVED this distance and I look forward to doing another one soon!

Marathon Training: Oh yeah! That!! Tomorrow going on a run with mom, probably 45-60 minutes!

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Nothing Like New Race Clothes!!!

New Clothes:
I bought some new shorts and a new top today for my triathlon on Saturday. I have a one piece tri suit, but it drives me up the wall and it's too big. Some of the employees at the tri store I went to were trying to convince me that I needed a once piece suit because I won't be wearing a wetsuit. Well, they couldn't convince me until this superstar pregnant woman who works at the store told me that of course you can wear a two piece without a wetsuit. I finally found what I wanted and walked away happy and of course cute! I have never tried Zoot brand but it is incredibly comfy and I hope I like it for race day because there's not much more time to try them out.

Swimming with an Ironman

The other day I went swimming with my cousin who is a multiple Ironman Hawaii triathlete. She is AMAZING! I suggested that we go for a masters workout at my favorite pool (pic below). She said she was super slow and would not belong in any of the lanes. This did not happen! We were able to do the whole workout together. She said she made it a point to wear a triathlon swim cap so people would know she's not a good swimmer! Whatever!!! She told me she LOVED the pool and of course the workout!

Sunday, July 12, 2009

A fun day at the races!!

On Saturday my mom, me and our cousin (a SUPER Ironman Triathlete) did a 5k race together. My cousin ran it in 21 minutes (she's 49!) and my mom ran it in 24 minutes (she's 58!) and I won't tell you my time, but it's much slower than these two old ladies!!! We all felt like crap afterwards, it was a little hot by the time the race started. It was a late start, 9:30 so it was very warm. I really wanted to just sprint the whole thing, but it just wasn't in the cards. Once we were all done we went to Starbucks and waited for the results. My mom was third in her age group, cousin was fourth. And again I don't need to tell you what I placed.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

5k on Saturday!

Maybe I will PR and actually go fast for once. I am just not a fast runner, more of a distance girl. I'm like that with swimming too. I could never do a 5o free super fast, but come those distance events I can hold my pace easily and still finish strong. It should be a fun race with family in town and my cousin racing with us. I will tell you right now the order in which we will finish:


Feeling lazy

Haven't done very well this week. Did a yoga class and a body works class and have only managed to run 4 miles per day. /saturday is a 5k my daughter, cousin, and i are running. Taking Thursday and Friday off to show my cousin the sights of Seattle. I will get back in the swing of things by next week. Maybe I need a new running outfit.

Sunday, July 5, 2009

ChelanMan Olympic Distance tri looming in the near future!

My first Olympic distance triathlon is scheduled for July 18th and I am slowly getting more and more nervous for this event. The training I have been doing is far from spectacular, but I know I will be able to finish for sure. This being my first Oly my only goal is to finish. I think there is a mass swim start too which makes me incredibly nervous and I will not be wearing a wetsuit in the very cold glacier fed lake. My very first open water swim was a mass start and I almost swam back to shore is was so intense. Once the chaos is over at the start it should be fine. I am excited for the bike portion as it will be nice and flat. By the time I get to the run I am expecting it to be very hot (much hotter than I am used to). I can't wait to cross the finish line!

My mom and I also decided to sign up for a half marathon in September. I have a full race calendar the next few months:
  • 5k next weekend
  • Oly tri July 18
  • Possible open water mile swim in August
  • Possible sprint distance tri in August
  • Half marathon in September
  • Half marathon in October
  • Marathon end of November
Training: 45 minute run on July 4th!
1 hour swim today!

Friday, July 3, 2009

Day of Rest

Happy Fourth of July!

Thursday, July 2, 2009

No running for me today!

Training: swam 3200 meters (masters workout)

I am sure my mom ran a ton today! 

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Crash, Bang, Boom!!

Yesterday was a day devoted to biking and falling. My husband and I went on a 2o mile bike ride on one of our fabulous local bike trails. It was a great ride because I was ahead of my husband the entire time ;)  I was averaging between 18-20 mph for most of the ride. We decided to break the ride up so we could grab a quick dinner. I had just gotten off work and needed to refuel. As we were getting back on the trail my tire lodged into a crack on the pavement and I was on the ground!

I scraped up my elbow pretty good and I have some bruises. Thankfully I didn't hit my head or twist an ankle! I can keep on marathon training! Yay! (insert sarcasm here!)

Training for today: 45 minute run

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Life is great

Yesterday ran with some friends. did about 6 miles. Went to the gym last night and did a body works class. Taking off today, need some retail therapy. The weather is beautiful and I know Hal says to rest today but....................

Monday, June 29, 2009

Book Review: Age is Just a Number, by Dara Torres

My first love is definitely swimming. I just bought this book and I really enjoyed it. Last summer my husband and I were able to watch the Olympic swimming trials and we saw Dara Torres win the 50 freestyle in the finals!! It was AMAZING!! She is an incredible athelete. This was her third Olympic comeback her first being in 1984! You should read this book!

Here are some pictures of the trials from last year. I thought I had some of Dara Torres but couldn't find any. The guy standing by the blocks is Michael Phelps. I am pretty sure that's a relay in the prelims.

No running today, but I will be hitting the pool!

Sunday, June 28, 2009


So my mom is really funny! Boston is OUR goal? I think my mom could totally qualify for this in her age group. The qualifying time for 55-59 year old females is four hours, fifteen minutes (9:43 mile pace). She could probably do that in her sleep!

The qualifying time for my age group 30-34 is three hours, forty minutes, (8:23 mile pace). I have never ran that fast in my life, let alone for 26.2 miles! That is soooo speedy!

I'll keep it as a goal though, I have to visualize my finish time and running fast without complaining! I think it would be fantastic if we both could qualify, but we'll see.

Training today: 6 mile run and a coffee stop!

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Our journey to the finish line

We are off to a great start. The New York Times has a great site for training. Check it out. My daughter is a fabulous swimmer and soon to be fabulous runner. She is right she does like to complain a lot. That's okay I just tell her to buck up. I believe over the next few months she will improve dramatically. I would love to run the Boston Marathon with her. That's our goal. I ran today with some of my friends who are all 50+ and tomorrow will run with my daughter. Life is great and keeps getting better.

Friday, June 26, 2009

Girlfriends Half Marathon

This is a picture of mom and I at our first half marathon: The Girlfriends Half Marathon in Vancouver, WA. This was a great event and women only, a fun and supporting atmosphere. 

Guess what? My mom totally kicked my you know what in this race too! The plan was to stay together and we did until mile 9 and I could no longer hold the pace anymore and told my mom to go ahead, which she gladly did. I didn't finish too far behind, but I was excited that we both finished our first halfs! 

I will be doing this race again in October with my best friend who will be walking the race. My mom was supposed to sign up and when she did it was already filled up. It should be a fun girls weekend and a chance to PR!

The marathon training plan for this weekend is as follows:
Friday: Rest (no running), I will be biking today with the hubs. 

Saturday: Bike and swim for me. We were going to do a five miler but the Rock N Roll half and full marathon is taking place in Seattle and  many roads are closed, which makes it difficult to meet somewhere to run. 

Sunday: Five miles at Greenlake. One of our favorite places to run. It's a nice 3 mile loop around a lake and we ALWAYS go to coffee afterwards. That is one thing that keeps me motivated to keep running... coffee and a snack!

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