Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Can't Catch a Break!

So, I finished up my round of antibiotics on Monday night.

Only to start another one last night.

Yep, that's right.

I'm still sick.

Now it is with a bladder infection; which, I must say, is much more horrific and painful than anything I have experienced in a long time.

Please let this thing go away very very soon.

Until then, you will find me in the bathroom, as it has become my new home since I now have to pee every 30 seconds.

Saturday, December 16, 2006

Well, Finally!

Those of you following along for the long term will remember the post months ago about my weight loss efforts. I haven't given up, but it's been slow going!

I'm happy to report that I FINALLY crossed over to that 10 pounds lost mark.

GO me!

I'm not sure how much of the credit I can really take since it is mostly a result of being so sick. I haven't actually eaten anything other than soup and crackers for about 3 weeks, but I'll take it anyway it comes.

And to make life even sweeter, I'm feeling much better. Only 2 more days of antibiotics left, and I can breath again. Almost. At least one side of my nose is functional. And it no longer sounds like I am days away from coughing up a lung.

Things. They are a lookin' up!

Sunday, December 3, 2006

Still Sick!

I haven't fallen off the face of the earth!

But, this cold seems to have taken hold and I just can shake it. Just when I thought I was getting better, it seems to be getting worse again.

So for now, I'm just taking it easy and trying to recover. I've put everything else on the back burner, and I'm going to wait until I'm feeling better to make any decisions about when I'm going to start training again, and what race I'm going to do.

Until then, my cross training will consist of stopping my running nose, coughing up a storm, taking my medication, and changing the TV channel.

Friday, November 24, 2006

The Blahs

Everyone seems to be suffering from a case of the blahs lately.

Almost every blog I visit seems to be filled with words about lack of motivation and slacking on the running front.

Which I suppose is good in some small way, because it makes me feel less guilty about the fact that I am doing the same.

I'm still trying to come up with the perfect training plan, with no luck so far.

I'm a slow runner, so I really don't like the idea of running by time instead of miles. Run 30 min... etc, etc. I can't even run 3 miles in 30 minutes. I'm afraid I would end up losing out on the long runs. So, I've basically eliminated those as options.

And I'm a pretty simple runner.... put on the shoes and go until I can't go any more or until I've reached the scheduled mileage for the day. I'm really not up to trying to figure out what a tempo run, and race pace run, etc would be for me. My goal is to not die half way through the race. I don't have a pace other than keep moving the best I can. So, I've ruled out all the complicated training schedules.

Which pretty much leaves me with the basic run so many miles on such and such a day. But then those schedules never end up meshing with my work schedule and I end up changing them all around. Plus I seem to fall some where in between the beginner and intermediate level, with one being too easy and the other running too many days to fit in my crazy life.

I seem to end up using some put together training schedule that I make up on my own based on my work and life schedule. It is often a combination of several different training schedules, and it seems to work with my life and my ability level. But then, I certainly am not an expert, and really don't know what I am doing. So I wonder if I should really be doing this? Is it going to help me ever get better? Then again, do I even care?

And to top it all off, I'm sick. Happy Thanksgiving to me. I'm not surprised. I get sick every year for either Thanksgiving or Christmas. And of course I had a wonderful fun filled weekend planned, and now I think I'm going to be spending it on the couch with a kleenex attached to the faucet that used to be my nose.


Wednesday, November 15, 2006

The Contenders

I have a plan.

I think.

Here is what I really want to do....

Run the Sarasota half marathon on March 4, 2007.

And then possibly run the Bayshore half marathon on May 26th, 2007.

Obviously, this means that training must commence immediately for a race at the beginning of March.

So the tentative plan is to pick a training schedule and hit the road. I'm hoping that my ankle is willing to go along for the ride without complaint.

It has been feeling perfect for the past few weeks, but I haven't exactly been running very consistently, either.

So, I'm just going to start training and see what happens. The Sarasota race appears to be a smaller race that isn't in danger of selling out. They even have a price listed for registration at the expo, so that's a good sign that I'll be able to get in!

If the ankle is doing well, I'll sign up by December 31st before the cost jumps up.

If the ankle and I have a difference of opinion, then I am going to lay off the training, and consider one of these races instead....

the Kentucky Derby half marathon or Country Music half marathon which are both on April 28, 2007 and then eliminate the Bayshore half as an option and consider it next year.

And if all else fails, and the ankle still isn't up to par by April, then I'll plan on just doing the Bayshore half.

That's my story, and I'm stickin' to it.

Unless I decide to change my mind, of course.

Sunday, November 12, 2006

Queen of Indecision

I've turned into a total slug! My current exercise regimen for the past week has consisted of walking to the fridge and uploading pictures to my myspace page.

Not exactly productive, but there you have it.

I need to pick a spring race! I need to have a race to start training for.

I need a schedule to follow!!


I just can't seem to make up my mind about which race to do.

Do I want to run a large race? or a small one?
Do I want to run one close by? or make a vacay out of it?
Do I want to run a race I've already done? or pick a new one?
Do I want to run a race with a lot of RBFers? or go it solo?
Do I want to pick a flat course? Or am I up for the challenge of hills?

There are just so may choices. And this runnergirl seems to have turned into the queen of indecision.


Friday, November 3, 2006

Need Some Motivation?

4.5 Miles and nothing from my ankle.

Not. A. Peep.

The blisters, however, were screaming loud and clear. But another few weeks and my precious calluses will be back. Then all will be right with my world.

I have decided that Tomb Raider is the all time best movie to run to. It may not be winning an Academy Award any time soon. But it's a pretty darn good motivator.

Seriously, what female doesn't want to look like Angelina Jolie? Who wouldn't kill for those thighs? Who wouldn't want to ride a motorcycle like Lara Croft? Not to mention fight like she does?

Don't believe me? Rent the movie and just try not to be motivated to keep moving during the first scene.

Bet you can't do it.

Thursday, November 2, 2006

Now What?

So, it appears that my ankle is on its way to a full recovery. I can feel it if I push too hard, but in general it's been doing a-okay.

So that leads to the question...Now what?

I'm itching to start training for something. I'm getting pretty restless just sitting around doing nothing for the past 3 months. Plus my house is clean and my chores are all done, so I need something to occupy myself with.

Someone remind me I said this when I'm in the middle of training and everything has fallen apart again!

So, it's time to make a plan for spring. At this point, I'm only considering halfs. I don't think I'm up to the challenge of training for my first full marathon coming straight off of this injury. IF all goes well, I'm considering shooting for a full in the fall.

So, Here is the list of races under consideration:

The ING Georgia half marathon in Atlanta on March 25, 2007.

The Country Music half marathon in Nashville on April 28, 2007.

The Indy Mini on May 5, 2007 is an option, but probably my last choice since I did it last year. I'd like to see and do something different.

Another option I've been tossing around is the Bayshore half marathon in Traverse City, Michigan on May 26, 2007. I like that area of Michigan and haven't been up there in a while and I've always wanted to do this race.

A few RBFers might run the Martian half in Northville, Michigan which appears to be on April 1, 2007 and I've been considering that as well.

Thoughts? Suggestions? Comments? Let me hear 'em.

Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Mama's Got A New Pair of Shoes

With 4 pain free miles on them.


The longest pain free run to date.


Except for the blisters, that is.

Start over sucks!

Thursday, October 26, 2006

Invasion of the RBF

Firefly is one of the most diligent RBFers when it comes to reading and comment on others blogs. Rarely a post goes by where she doesn't leave me a comment, and it is very unusual to not see her name among the top of the comment list on every blog I read. She is great at motivating everyone else and she rocks.

Recently, she left this comment on my blog. Here's the part pertaining to the topic of this post...

"As I am going this crazy ankle incident, my mind freaked and thought of what you went through with your ankle stuff. This gives me the strength to stay off of my feet and listen to doc's orders."

and I felt honored and surprised that she actually thought of me in her "real life", outside of reading my blog.

But it shouldn't be surprising because many members of the RBF have invaded my life. Not just my running life, but my "life" life.

But I wasn't aware of just how much until just a few short nights ago.

I actually had a dream that Mouse and I were on our way to a race, and got a flat tire just as we were about to pull into the parking lot. We could see the runners heading toward the starting line and knew the race was about to start so we just left the car where it was and took off toward the start.

I've never even met her! And I'm dreaming about being late to the start of a race with her.

I have no explanation where the dream came from, but I do love her. She, more than any other, gives me hope. She once wrote a post stating that running 10 miles was no longer hard for her. And as a concept I get that, because running one, or maybe two miles, is no longer hard for me.

But 10? I live for the day!

And because of her I believe it is possible.

It's insane I tell you. This invasion of the RBF.

And she's not the only one. There are so many more.....

One of the first, and still a favorite is, little miss runner pants. She makes me laugh, and has, on occasion, made me cry, reading about her crazy antics and her never ending determination. And I find myself looking forward to her next post about her crazy weekend or her excitement over her newest bike accessory.

Another of the first was Trizilla, who is among the most inspiring! This girl never gives up, no matter what the challenge facing her, and her ability to write a race report makes you feel like you were on the course with her every step of the way. When I am having a tough run, she sometimes pops into my mind and helps me grit my teeth and get through it.

Mike and Lisa hold a special place in my heart because they remind me of home, and through them I get to hear about my old haunts. And also because I have so much enjoyed following along with them on their training adventures for the Chicago Marathon. I look forward to eventually getting my butt back home for a race and actually getting to meet them.

Liv is just plain awesome, and hysterical to boot. She has an energy that is contagious. And she gets my sense of humor. I mean, she got my toilet paper joke in the middle of my pity party. And because of a post of hers about an awesome running poster she bought, I now own the same one. (Sorry, Liv, I'm a copy cat - but imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, as they say.)

Jess keeps me smiling with tales of running with her adorable dog, Scooter. And makes me miss having a dog, and think about getting another one.

And then there is Running Jayhawk. Where do I even begin? I'd think we were long lost twins separated at birth, except I'm 7 years older than she is, almost to the day. She shares my love of carrot cake, she runs the same pace as I do, and many of her posts ring so true to me, that I could have written them myself. Not being able to meet her was one of my main disappointments about not being able to run the Chicago Marathon.

There as so, so many more.... Jelly, Yumke, Sunshine, Running Rabbit, Tara, Sonia, Nicole, Running by, OOSG, teacherwoman, just to name a few. It would take me all night to list everyone.

So, I just wanted to send a huge hug and a big thanks out to each and every one of you. You have more of an impact than you could possibly realize.

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Spilling of the Guts

Ok, so I'm sure that everyone has noticed that I've gone MIA recently. I've been reading and commenting, but I haven't been posting. I just haven't had anything to say lately.

I'm mildly depressed over the Chicago Marathon coming and going without me. It was supposed to be my race, Damn It! Who wrote the effing rules, and decided that I didn't get to play? So, I spent the entire day Sunday checking everyone's progress in between feeling sorry for myself that I wasn't there running, too.

I kept feeling like a quitter and wondering if I could have done something to run it anyway. And then kept trying to remind myself that every time I tried to run for the first month after the injury I literally couldn't walk for two days. But my mind was still full of the what if I had.... thoughts.

And I've been checking everyone's blogs like a drug addict needing a fix. I need to read everyone's race reports so I can live vicariously through everyone who did run it!

So my disappearance is a result of regret and self pity over not being able to run the marathon combined with all of the following...

My weight loss is at a stand still and I haven't been running, so what is there to say, really?

Oh sure, I've lost weight. Probably about 40 lbs by now. But it hasn't been 40 consecutive lbs. Instead, I just keep gaining and losing the same 3 lbs over, and over,

and over.

So for the past month now I have been stuck in the same place. I just can't quite kick myself over that 10 lbs lost mark. I keep knocking on its door, but it's just not letting me in. So, I persevere in my attempts to regain my wardrobe, one item at a time.

And I'm not running. I have no real excuse. If I get right down to the truth, I've just been lazy.

But beyond that, much beyond that, is that I'm finding myself in a strange place.

I seem to be in this weird nesting phase. I have this fire under my butt to clean and organize every square inch of my house. And I am stocking up on everything from shampoo to napkins to Campbell's soup. I could get snowed in until April and never have the need to visit a store.

I may not need to buy toilet paper again until the next century!

And I know this is a weird place to be, but it's where I'm at right now. I admit that I am a neat freak, but this is getting ridiculous even for me!

In the past few weeks I have cleaned every room of my house, vacuumed under all the furniture, organized my closet, cleaned my oven, scrubbed the stains from the carpet.

I've even changed the dirt in all of my plants.

I wish I was kidding.

I think all of this is coming from some external circumstances affecting my mental stability. Controlling my surroundings seems to be my way of trying to grab onto something and hold on tight, when it is being thrown in my face over and over again how little control I really have over things.

As a child, I grew up in a great neighborhood where everyone knew everyone, etc. etc. There was a large group of kids that hung out together that was about ten years older than I was, and than there was another group about my age that I was part of, plus a handful of kids in between the two age groups. So, I knew the older kids, but wouldn't call them my "friends".

So, time goes on we all grow up, blah, blah, blah. And two of the "kids" from the older group become friends with my dad. We will call them TB and RF. So, those two, plus a few other guys spend a lot of time together in the upper peninsula of Michigan snowmobiling almost every weekend and staying at an apartment that they rented together. So, because my dad got to know these two guys better, so did I.

Time goes on, things change. TB and RF get married, have kids. My parent's buy their house in the U.P. and my dad no longer needs to rent the apartment since he now lives up there. Blah, Blah.

But, the group of guys stays in touch, and through my parents I hear about them, and see them on occasion. I really like both of them, as they are good guys, and a lot of fun.

On Father's Day of this year, as the result of an accident, my parents and I attended the funeral of the younger brother of RF. He was electrocuted fixing his boat. He was only 38. It sucked and it was hard, but it was a weird freak accident, and accidents happen. Plus, I knew RF, the older brother, not the younger one. So, I was there for moral support mostly.

At the funeral of RF's younger brother, TB looked awful. Had lost a lot of weight, poor coloring, etc. And it was explained that he had just gotten out of the hospital with a bought of pancreatitis. I was skeptical, but took the explanation at face value.

A few weeks later, we got a call that TB, in fact, had pancreatic cancer with only a few months to live. He was 42.

So, the summer goes by and the younger brother enters my mind on occasion. He was so young! Only 6 years older than me. What if I only have 6 more years to live? Am I doing what I want with my life? Am I wasting time? Am I doing what I need to do to reach my goals? Blah. Blah.

TB enters my mind. Cancer. At age 42. That's just wrong. WRONG! Did you hear me? WRONG I SAY! He has two young sons. He's a great guy. He has dealt with so much emotional pain in his life, and so much physical pain from past health problems. He doesn't deserve this!!

Then back in August... Remember this post, where I was discussing getting my hair cut? Well, I went into the salon that day. And I'm standing in line to check in and I see a note posted to the desk stating that one of the girls in the salon, that I know extremely well, had suffered a stoke, at the age of 39, one week after giving birth to her second child. She was undergoing rehab and they did not know if or when she would be returning to work. So, my head is already spinning from this news and I get up to the desk and tell the receptionist my name and who I'm there to see, only to be told that my hair stylist was not in because her 39 year old husband had just been killed in a car accident a few days before. In a matter of 2 minutes time I find out that 2 people that I knew very well, just suffered major tragedies at the ripe old age of 39. My head was reeling for days and I didn't know what to do.

Fast forward to my birthday in September, where I turn 32. Repeat re-evaluation of life. How the hell did I get so old? Where did the years go? Am I where I want to be? Is there something I want to change? What do I really want out of life? Blah, Blah.

On October 11, I attended TB's funeral. The funeral of a 42 year old, stolen away by cancer. Leaving behind a 12 year old and a 7 year old. I sobbed. I was in shock. And I'm still reeling.

I can't get it out of my head. What if tomorrow is my last day? What if I only have 1 more year?

It may seem odd, that I'd want to spend that last day or week cleaning and shopping. But I think it is my strange way of trying to gain some control over something. Anything. And the stocking up is my way of reassuring myself that tomorrow will come. Because who can die when they have 300 rolls of unused toilet paper, right?

So, to say the least, my head's not in the game. But it will be. I promise you that.

In the back of my mind the wheels are a churin' and the gears are a grinidin', and I'm pondering over what this runnergirl is going to start training for next. It's a small quiet hum right now, but it'll be get gettin' louder and soon I won't be able to ingore it any more.

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Chicago Marathoners...

GOOD LUCK this weekend!

And don't forget you rock! You have worked so hard training all season and I know that you are all going to do awesome. So go out there and kick some Chicago Marathon butt.

I wish I could be there with you, but I'll be cheering each of you on from here. I can't wait to read all of the race reports!

Wednesday, October 4, 2006

Boo Yah!

3.5 miles before a mild ankle twinge got me to stop.

I rock.

Seeking Advise

Calling all runners...

This means EVERYONE, even you lurkers out there.

I need some help.

My ankle IS going to get better.

(please, oh please let it be soon!)

And when that happens I'm going to need a race in mind. I'm thinking that I want to do another half marathon in the spring/early summer 2007, because even if the ankle takes the whole 6 months to recover, there will still be time to train for it.

So, come on guys.... show me some love and toss me some ideas.

Tuesday, October 3, 2006

The Beginning

2.15 miles.

No ankle pain.

Woo Hoo!

(And please... don't anyone ask why I stopped after only 2.15 miles if my ankle wasn't hurting! Because then I'd have to admit that I stopped because I was tired and mentally I'm just not ready to go there.)

Monday, October 2, 2006

The New Plan

The current status of the ankle is that I can run 2 - 3 miles before it kicks in. If I stop as soon as the pain starts, there is no residual effect. But, I am unable to run farther than that no matter how much I might want to.

I was hoping by now to have some idea of when I could start really training again! I've been wanting to pick a race and get back in the game.

I realize I'm being overly anxious and extremely impatient, as the doctor said 3 - 6 months recovery, and it's been a little over 2....

but I can't help it!

I'm anxious to get back to running again. But, at the same time I am busy. So, without a training schedule to follow, I haven't been doing much of anything. I have decided that I need some extra motivation to get me moving again. So I have given myself a new goal, and a new plan.

So far this year I have ran just under 350 miles.

The goal...

By 11:59 PM on December 31, 2006, I want to have made it 500 miles.

The plan...

If I divide it out evenly it works out to be 11.5 miles a week. I think that is manageable, and if I struggle a little on the front end, I'm hoping the ankle will be better healed in the later weeks and I can make it up.

I'm also going to FINALLY get myself that new pair of shoes in the next week or two.

So, wish me luck. Call me names. Give me a guilt trip. Bribe me. Resort to blackmail. Whatever it takes to help push along on my new path!

Here's to having a new goal!

Wednesday, September 27, 2006


Ok, campers..........are you sitting down?

If not, I suggest you take a seat, because you are about to be shocked.

I am writing a post in my running blog, that actually has something to do with running.

Imagine that.

Tonight I had a meeting for work. We went to dinner and listened to a lecture about contact lenses. Surprisingly, the lecture was extremely well prepared and informative. And the dinner was amazing. It was held at one of the best restaurants in town, where two people are lucky to sneak by with a bill less than $100. So, of course I had to take advantage of the fact that someone else was footing the bill!

I managed to forgo the wine and appetizers.

I even avoided the bread.

But my meal was to die for, and no sane person would have left a bite of that decadent chocolate dessert on their plate!

So, I rolled out of there feeling like I needed a wheelbarrow to get me to my car and my pants felt like the seam was in danger of splitting the whole ride home!

I decided that I had to try to burn off at least a few of the calories...

I do have a bridesmaid dress to fit into on Saturday, after all.

So, I thought I'd blow the dust off the treadmill and give it a whirl.

And as an added bonus, I have significantly increased my DVD collection recently as a result of an extremely boring work project. I did a coupon mailing, and in a matter of a week's time, I labeled, stuffed, and sealed 3700 envelopes (with a little help). Talk about boring! So, as a reward, I decided to buy myself a ton of new movies to watch while I was working to help ward off some of the boredom.

So, I put in a DVD, hopped on the treadmill and took off. My goal was to go as far as I could before my ankle started in or I was going to pass out from exhaustion.

Starting out, I was more worried about my knee than my ankle. It has been hurting pretty much non-stop since the walking over Labor Day, and I was expecting it to kick in with some serious pain, but it never really got that bad.

I was going strong thinking that maybe the ankle was on it's way to recovery, but right as I hit the 2 mile mark it started in. I'm sure I could have kept going, but I decided not to push it.

I do have those 3 inch heels to wear at the wedding, after all.

And a girl has to have her priorities!!

Monday, September 25, 2006

Light the Night

Last night I participated in the Light the Night walk with the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society. I'm not exactly sure how far we walked, but it was about 2 or 3 miles. I participated with Team "Never Give Up", which was lead by the mother of my first honored hero, Matthew. Our team was the top fundraising team that wasn't a corporate or school team. Yeah! This is a cause that has become very near and dear to me since first getting involved with Team in Training.

Matthew was there walking, along with my current honored hero, Greg, and his family. The cancer survivors carry white balloons, and the rest of us carry red ones. The balloons all light up, and are supposed to glow, but the walk started before it was dark out, so it kinda lost it's affect. It was still impressive to see all of the supporters out there, and very heart breaking to see all the young children with their white balloons. Sure makes you stop and think about all you have to be thankful for!

I must begrudgingly admit that the back of my legs and butt were slightly sore this morning when I woke up. I really must get back to doing something! Anything! It is really quite pathetic that a 2 or 3 mile WALK can make me sore these days. Next week, I plan on going out for another trial run. I just need to get on the other side of the wedding that I am in this coming Saturday the 30th and regain some sanity first!

Friday, September 22, 2006

The Best Gift Ever

Today is my birthday.

I am approaching it with mixed feelings. Who doesn't like a day all about them? But, at the same time, I keep looking back at the last 15 years and wondering how I got here so fast. It feels like I was 18 just yesterday; now I'm not.

Not. even. close.

Don't get me wrong. I don't want to be 18 again. (Well, maybe there's a little part of me that wouldn't mind.) But I don't like watching the years slip by so quickly either!

At least I can say that I woke up to the best gift ever. Do you remember those pants I mentioned a few weeks ago?

You know, the ones I couldn't breathe in?

Yeah, those.

When I put them on this morning, not only could I breathe in them, they just slid right on up with no tugging, and zipped like magic.

The birthday gods love me!

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Great Epiphany

So, I'm sure many of you have noticed that I have been mum on the weight loss issue the last few weeks.


That would be because around about Labor Day, I just might have fallen off the wagon.

And I just might have gained back a few of the pounds that I had lost (ok - it was more like 5 of them).

But, I'm back on track now (once again lost 3 of those lbs)!

And I had a great epiphany over the weekend...

Needing/wanting to lose weight isn't necessarily a bad problem to have because it is one that I have the ability to change.

It is much better than say, secretly wanting to strangle a family member every time they ask you why you aren't skinnier when you run so much. Or possibly better than harboring a secret desire to throw your boss's computer out the window so he/she will stop sending you all those emails about late meetings that keep you from your runs.

I now have a new attitude. I'm looking at wanting to lose a few pounds as a good thing compared to numerous other issues that I want to change, but may not have it in my power to easily do so. At least I control what I eat, and have no one but myself to blame if I haven't been the epitome of health lately. But, I also can rely on myself to change that, and I feel good about that.

So, onward to battle that extra weight one little pound at a time!

Sunday, September 17, 2006

A Farewell Letter

My dearest calluses,

I know that our relationship is not what it used to be and I acknowledge that I have been neglecting you. I realize that I have been slipping in my efforts to maintain our friendship. I apologize profusely for this recent oversight, but you must agree that it wasn't always like this. Our relationship was a good one, built on a strong foundation.

I suffered through blister after blister during your painful development. I spent many cold miles working for you this past winter. And during the summer, I continued to nurture you, mile after sweaty mile.

Never once did I bemoan your appearance or visit the pedicurist demanding your removal. Instead, I displayed you proudly, as a badge that I had finally earned the right to carry.

And how do you repay me? You just up and disappear after 2 little months of neglect. It isn't like I meant to stop paying attention to you. It isn't like I purposely deserted you.

I don't understand how you can do this to me after all that we shared. Does our time together mean nothing to you? Do you not look back fondly on all those miles that we logged together?

I fear that by now your decision has been made and I will be unsuccessful in persuading you to remain.

This parting is such sweet sorrow. I will miss you terribly and I hope that your replacements will be equally as dedicated to protecting my feet during all those future miles.

Farewell my friends.

Your faithful companion,

Friday, September 15, 2006

Shameless Plug for Donations

Since I can't run, and I have to do something with myself, I am participating in The Light The Night Walk to fundraise for The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society. The race is a 2 mile walk that will be held on September 24, 2006.

I am doing this because when I first got involved with TNT, my honored hero was this cutie, pictured here on his first day of high school!

And I feel in love with him and his family. I hate that he has been battling leukemia for the past 6 years, and that it has stolen away so much of his childhood. I want to do anything I can to help. His name is Matthew and you can read more about him here.

If anyone has some spare change burning a hole in their pocket and feel inclined to donate, you can do so here. **link removed**

I hope everyone has a great weekend! Happy running.

Monday, September 11, 2006

True Confessions

I've been running off and on for the past 8 or 9 years.

Until recently, I wasn't a very consistent runner. I'd run a few days a week for a couple of months. Then I'd get bored with it and quit. I'd start back up and be going strong. Then I'd be swamped with life, and I'd end up quitting again. I'd put on a few pounds, and start running. Then I'd get back into my clothes and quit.

But something has always pulled me back.

Part of it has always been the challenge of running; it is something that I feel a need to conquer.

But the other part was that it was something in my life that I felt had been left undone. I have always wanted to run a marathon. And that little voice in my head would start calling out to me, reminding me of my unobtained goal, and I'd start back running again.

In January, I finally decided this was the year to get serious. So, I joined TNT, trained my heart out and ran the Indianapolis half marathon in May. It was awesome; I was thrilled.

But I wasn't satisfied.

Because, as we all know, a half isn't a full.

And it's just not the same.

So along came that nagging voice again, and I was off and training for Chicago.

Insert 1 knee problem related to over use, and lots of PT.

Insert 1 ankle injury, with a 3 - 6 month recovery time.

And I'm back on the bench.

By the time the ankle injury came about, I was at an all time high in my frustration level. Nothing was going as I wanted. My knee was giving me constant problems. I wasn't seeing any improvement in my running abilities. I was having a hard time with the summer heat. I wasn't doing very well completing the scheduled miles on the long runs.

In a matter of 2 days time, I went from running to not being able to walk because of my ankle.

My instant reaction was devastation. I sat down and sobbed and sobbed, as I watched my dream slipping away. I cursed the thought of having to start over again as I watched all my hard work disappear.

But then..

something else entered my mind. Another emotion all together.

One that quite surprised me.


Because, all of a sudden I had a legitimate excuse to quit my training. My life would be mine again. No more getting up at 4:45 AM to try to beat the heat. No more free days given over to running all morning and recovering all afternoon. No more trying to fit the training into a crowded schedule.

In the immediate days, as that relief and freedom continued to wash over me, I began to doubt my status as a runner. I began to wonder if a "real runner" would be having those thoughts.

Then as more time went on, and I was reveling in all the extra time I had, I started thinking that I was never going back. I started to extract myself from the running world. I stopped blogging, stopped reading other's blogs.

But, then I started missing all of the blogs that I was following. I started wondering how everyone's training was going. And I began missing reading all the posts of everyone's defeats and triumphs. So, I started checking back in on everyone.

And one of my absolute favorite bloggers, Running Jayhawk, posted two back to back entries that just hit a chord for me. The first was about her Runniversary and it really got me thinking about what running means to me, and how far I had come with my own running. Then she posted this and it made me want to cry for her. Because I know exactly where she is and how she feels.

The combination of the two posts is the epitome of what running is to me. The triumphs and the defeat. The celebrations and the frustrations.

And I know that I don't want to live my life without feeling those things again.

I want to feel the pride and accomplishment of a new first - a new distance completed for the first time, or a PR at a race, or a new fastest split.

I want to feel the devastation. I want to sit down on the road side and cry because I don't think I can make it one more step. Then I want to get up, dust myself off, and run the 5 more miles anyway.

I know that I will never truly feel whole if I never again experience these things. And knowing that deep down, those feeling were there all along, brings me the biggest sigh of relief of all.

I guess I really am a runner after all.

Wednesday, September 6, 2006

Vacation - Part Three

View Part One, View Part Two, or continue on for Part Three...

Day 4 started off with a nice leisurely 2 mile walk along the shore of Lake Michigan.

The rest of the day was spent relaxing around the camp fire recuperating from yesterday's hike, and preparing for the following day's walk across the Mackinaw Bridge.

Day 5, the final day of the trip, started with the alarm going off at 6:30 AM, and a big groan that it was time to get up and get moving. The morning got off to a slow start, but we finally made it to the starting line.

And we're off!

View from the bridge

A few new friends!

We're almost there; we can make it.

By the time we hiked across the bridge, and back and forth to the bus and car, it was probably about 7 miles. Happily my ankle did great, and the blister wasn't too painful. My knee, however, was another story. It was pretty sore by the time I was done. I haven't really been stretching since I haven't been running, and I don't think my knee is very happy with me!

We drove back to my parent's house, got cleaned up, packed our stuff, and headed out for the looonnngg 6 hour drive back home. We made it back in one piece, but my knee didn't feel very good while I was driving. I'm hoping that with a few more days rest and icing it'll be back to normal. But at least my ankle didn't bother me the entire trip!

We had a great time, and it was so nice to get away for some relaxation and some exercise. I have to admit that this trip was the first real exercise I've gotten since my ankle injury. Sure, I've walked a little, and ran a little, but nothing that was a challenge. It was awesome to get back out there and really push myself. I can't wait for my knee to get to feeling normal again so I can test out the ankle on another run. The ankle injury occurred on July 20th, so a few more weeks and it will have been 2 months, which is impossible for me to believe as the time has flown by. The doctor said 3 - 6 months recovery. I'm hoping for the shorter side of that! I've already been tossing around a few ideas of possibilities for my next race.

But I'm probably getting a little ahead of myself.

Tuesday, September 5, 2006

Vacation - Part Two

View Part One or continue on for Part Two....

Day 3 started out with a breakfast of blueberry pancakes and sausage cooked over the fire. Yum!

Then we set out for our day of hiking at Tahquamenon Falls. We drove to the lower falls where we parked our car, and walked around to all the different viewing areas.

We then set off on the "moderate level" 4 mile trail to view the upper falls.

Where we ducked under fallen trees,

and climbed over others.

We walked down a bunch of stairs,

And up a bunch of stairs.

For a hiking time of just over 2 hours, so that we could see the upper falls, but blogger apparently does not want you to see them because I have been trying for 2 days to upload a picture and it will not let me.

After wandering around to the different viewing areas, we decided it was time for the hike back to the car. We opted for an easy 4 miles back along the road instead of taking the trail. Over all, we hiked about 10 miles total. My ankle held up just fine, but my knee was talking to me a little bit by the end. Plus I ended up with a pretty nasty blister on my heel, but all in all it was a good day. We got back home, went out for dinner, and then fell into bed for a good night's rest.

to be continued...

Monday, September 4, 2006

Vacation - Part One

Over the big bridge, and through the woods,

to Mom & Dad's we went,

for a fun filled weekend in Michigan's Upper Peninsula.

We could dwell on how much weight I probably gained back (I don't know because I'm too scared to stop on the scales), or on how many Mackinaw Island Fudge Ice Cream Cones I had (three), or on how much fudge I ate (1 1/4 pounds), or on how many smores I ate (four), or on how many pasties I consumed (one). But all of that would just be too depressing.

So, instead....

We will recap the fun stuff I did on my vacation. No running was to be had on the trip, but miles and miles of walking was done!

Day 1 started off on Thursday morning with a trip to Mackinac Island, were we spent the day hiking around and viewing the attractions.

We made friends with the butterflies at the Butterfly House

We climbed about a million stairs...

to see Arch Rock.

And we looked around Fort Holmes.

The island has many hills to walk and sets of stairs to climb, and by the time we had to catch the ferry back to St. Ignace I had walked about 8 or 9 miles and was completely exhausted. But in a good way! It was the first time that I had really felt spent since my ankle injury. It felt great to get out there and push myself to keep going when I could feel myself getting tired.

Day 2 began with a walk down my parent's steep stairs

for a 2 mile walk along the shore of Lake Michigan.

Followed by a day of wandering around Mackinaw City checking out the shops, where we probably walked another mile or two. Of course, the only time the entire weekend that I actually did my hair, and we didn't take any pics. Figures!

The afternoon was spent napping and working on a puzzle and the evening was spent around the campfire eating smores.

During the first two days of the trip, we walked 12 - 13 miles, and both my knee and my ankle did just fine. I didn't hear a peep out of either one of them, which made me very happy.

to be continued...

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Beautiful Day

Sunday was a beautiful day!

I went out to breakfast wearing a pair of jeans that I haven't been able to fit into for quite a while. I got them zipped for the first time in months! I couldn't breathe in them, but whatever.

Then I went to a bridal shower wearing a skirt that has been hanging in my closet for months, but I haven't been able to wear since I bought it. I love to buy clothes when I'm at a lower weight, so I go a little nuts. Then I sometimes gain weight back before I can even get around to wearing all the clothes I bought. Stupid habit, but what can I say. So, it was great to wear my "new" skirt for the first time.

This losing weight thing is turning out ok. I seem to have hit a plateau the past few days, but I'd be thrilled to stay where I'm at through the holiday weekend.

I'm leaving tomorrow for a much needed escape to Michigan's upper peninsula for the holiday. It should be fun, but the Mackinac Island Fudge Ice Cream will probably be calling my name loud and clear the entire time I'm up there. Not to mention the smores, peanut butter fudge, and pasties.


I'll do my best to resist the temptations.

I've decided that I am walking the Mackinac Bridge on Monday, ankle be damned. I'll crawl across if I have to. It's just such an amazing experience that I don't want to pass it up.

Here's a picture of the bridge from last year.

So, my friends and fellow bloggers, enjoy your holiday weekend and run a mile for me!

Saturday, August 26, 2006

Change of Focus

I have turned into the most horrible blogger! I'm not running, so I feel like I don't have anything very exciting to share and haven't been posting.

Since I can't run, I have changed my focus to losing weight, and who wants to hear the boring details of my daily caloric intake?

I am ashamed to admit that I had been using my training as an excuse to eat everything in sight for the past 9 months. Dairy Queen? Sure, I ran 8 miles today. Pizza Hut? Why not? I ran 9 miles - two days ago. Chinese Buffet? Sure, I'm training for a marathon. I deserve it.

So, I have stupidly gained about 15 lbs since January. That added to the 5 lbs or so that I had already gained from the holidays, and now over half of the clothes in my closet no longer fit!!

Here are the stats, as frightening as they are:

Height: 5'7"
Starting Weight: 152 lbs (Yikes!)
Current Weight: 144 lbs (Yeah! Much Better!)
Goal Weight: Whatever will allow me to fit back into ALL of my clothes!

I'm feeling a little bit better these days, and can actually breathe in the clothes that I can still get zipped, but so far I haven't gained back any of my wardrobe. But, I'll keep working on it!!

As far as my ankle goes, it's getting better. It is still a little swollen, which worries me, but it hasn't been hurting for the walking. I haven't tried to run in a while so I have no news to report about that.

I didn't end up getting my hair cut short. I'm in a wedding at the end of September and decided to keep it long so I can get in put up for that. I'm still pondering going short once October gets here.

I think that's all the news from this runnergirl. I feel like I am so detached these days. I haven't been reading everyone's blogs or keeping up on my own. It's just too depressing! Every time I read about everyone's runs it just makes me miss my own. So, I apologize for going MIA, but I'll be back! Don't worry.

Thursday, August 17, 2006

The Walk

Before I get started on today's post, I just wanted to say thanks for all of the support I've been getting in regard to my injury. It's been THANKS!!

Last night I went to group training and did some walking to test out my ankle. I am happy to report that I walked about 2 1/2 miles without any major pain or discomfort. I could feel a mild tightness toward the end, but it went away as soon as I stopped walking. Plus, my ankle felt fine last night and this morning. Yeah!

So, it looks like it might be ok for walking. The only thing that concerns me now is how I'll do on an incline since the first 2.5 miles of the bridge are up hill. I'm going to get on my treadmill and try some walking at an incline to see how my ankle handles it.

For the training session, we went to a new park that I had never been to and it was awesome. It had a mile long paved loop that we used. There were a lot of people out running, walking, riding, etc. I normally run by myself around home, so I rarely have other people to interact with or inspire me. So, it was great seeing everyone out there getting some exercise. There was a girl out roller blading and it made me think that maybe that is something I could do that wouldn't hurt my ankle. So, I'm thinking about blowing the dust off my rollerblades and taking them out for a spin here soon.

The park was about 30 minutes from my house, so not very practical for me to be using all the time. It's hard enough to fit in the training sessions without adding an hour drive on. But it did get me thinking that I should be seeking out some new places near home now that I have all this down time that I'm not using for training. I know that there is a park about 15 minutes from my house that I keep intending to check out, but haven't. I have heard that there are a lot of trails there but not a lot of paved paths, but I've never gone out to see for sure. So that is in the plan, as well.

I'm off to get my hair cut in a few hours, and I am thinking about chopping it all off again. Someone stop me! Quick!!

I hate my hair. It's the one thing I'd change about myself if I could. So, I go back and forth between growing it out and chopping it off. When it is long, it's thin and stringy and ugly looking, but oh so easy to manage! A scrunchie, and I'm out the door. When it is short, it looks SO SO much better, but it is harder to do. Add gel, blow dry, flat iron, spray. Ugh! Not to mention that I have to run with 20 bobby pins holding all the layers off of my forehead because I can't stand when the sweat makes it stick to my skin. But on the other hand, when it is long it is always hanging in my face at work so my hair style consists of it tucked behind my ears.

When I cut it back in February, I loved the look of it and it was great at work, but I swore I was never cutting it again because of not being able to pull it back for running. Now, that I'm not running I'm getting the itch to go shorter again. But I'm afraid that I will regret it if I do and it'll take another 6 months to grow it back out. Maybe I should just shave my head. Of course, then I'd be complaining I was cold in the winter. Guess I just can't win!

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Trial Run Results

Do you have songs that remind you of certain times in your life? As soon as you hear those first few words, they transport you back to the junior high school roller rink or that college bar. They take you back to your first love or first heart break.

Or maybe remind you of those 5:00 AM long runs?

I have listened to the same radio station at work for the past 3 years. This morning, for the first time ever, they played one of my all time favorite songs to run to: We Will Rock You by Queen.

So, it must have been destiny for me to test out my ankle tonight.

I came home from work this evening, ate dinner and fell asleep on the couch. I'm turning into a lazy slob now that I'm no longer training!

I woke up from my nap feeling like a total slug and decided I better get moving before it got too dark outside. So, I dug out my mp3 player and my Garmin and laced up my shoes.

I was standing in my driveway waiting for my Garmin to get it's signal, and I actually felt cool. It felt so good I wanted to cry. Cry because of the relief from the heat felt so amazing and cry because I have been missing out on the enjoyment of running in these cooler temps of the past week.

The plan was simple: run as far as I could until my ankle starting hurting.

The result was that I made it to 1.60 miles before my ankle started talking to me. I went a little further to see what would happen, and it really didn't change much so I stopped at 1.75 miles. I walked the .25 mile home and my ankle didn't feel perfect, but it didn't hurt as much as I was expecting. Sitting here I can feel a twinge of discomfort, but I expect by morning it will feel fine again.

So, the final verdict is that I will not be running the Chicago Marathon. I have missed almost 4 weeks of training, and there is just no way I could ever make that up. Not to mention that running 1.75 miles pain free is a long way from what would be needed to pick up where I left off in my training.

I am disappointed, but not devastated. I have come to terms with this over the past few weeks and realize that there will be other races in my future. So, once my ankle is back to normal I'll pick a new race and start training again.

In the mean time, my current goal is to try to get out and do a few small runs a couple times a week, along with some cross training.

I'm hoping to loose a few pounds now that I'm not concerned about proper fuel for running. In the past I've had some success with South Beach, so I have decided to go back on that since low carbs aren't a concern at the moment. Plus, it makes me eat my vegetables that I often otherwise neglect in lieu of other more enticing carb options.

And I'm really really hoping that my ankle will feel good enough to walk across the Mackinac Bridge on Labor Day. The walk ends up being about 6 miles by the time you park your car, walk to the start, walk the bridge, walk to the buses to ride back over the bridge, and walk back to your car.

For anyone not familiar, the Mackinac Bridge is a 5 mile bridge that connects the lower and upper peninsulas of Michigan.

Tomorrow evening is a team in training group training run, so I intend on going to it and walking as far as I possibly can to give my ankle the walking test. That way I will be able to better judge if I think I can do the Labor Day walk or not.

Thursday, August 10, 2006

Catching Up

I've been a bad blogger! A whole week without a post is just so unlike me.

I haven't been running and I'm in the middle of a big project for work that is taking up all of my time, so I haven't had much of anything to share.

I did go swimming for the first time on Sunday. My boyfriend and I went on one of his friend's boats to a nearby lake. We dropped the anchor and I swam in circles around the boat for a half hour or so.

I kept changing up the strokes I was doing with each lap....trying to remember all the things I had been taught as a child. I still couldn't bring myself to do the "proper" swimming technique with my head in the water and breathing to the side. The few times I tried it, all I kept doing was inhaling water and then stopping to cough. I was surprised how out of breath I kept getting. I didn't remember swimming being that taxing in my younger years. But I was probably just in better shape back then!

It was a good reminder of how much I do enjoy being in the water, so at least now maybe I will be more likely to seek out swimming as an alternate activity. But, I think I may need some coaching if I am going to actually have any success at swimming as cross training. Otherwise my "swimming" will consist of frolicking in the water and doing the back stroke!

The most important thing was that the swimming didn't hurt my ankle! Yeah!

I have actually been pain free while walking for the past 5 days in a row! Woo Hoo! So, I'm very happy about that. My plan is to start doing some walking as cross training now that I am able to do so without limping.

I've been thinking that I'd go out in the next few days and do a little test run. Just see how far I can get before my ankle tells me to stop. I'll run the 1/2 mile loop around my house, so worst case scenario would be my ankle starts hurting at the farthest out point and I'd have to walk 1/4 mile home. I'll post about how it goes.

Thursday, August 3, 2006

This Just Plain Sucks!

I went to my doctor's appointment this morning and received some depressing news. I saw a different doctor and instead of confirming the diagnosis of bursitis, he is convinced it is something else.

He thinks that I pulled my posterior talotibial ligament. He said it is an unusual injury for a runner, but due to the location of my pain and swelling he is pretty sure that is what has happened.

He actually told me that it would have been better if I had broken my ankle.

Apparently this stubborn little ligament doesn't like to heal!

The typical recovery time for an injury to this ligament is 3 to 6 months. Yikes!

The doctor didn't tell me not to run, but he told me to allow the pain to dictate my activities. If something hurts my ankle at all, then don't do it.

We discussed PT, cortisone shots, referral to an orthopedic doc, and all other options, but it sounds like there really isn't much to do except wait it out. It sounded like the chances of a cortisone shot helping were slim to none, and he didn't think I had done serious enough damage to need surgery.

We discussed my running Chicago. What he said was, "Let's just wait and see what happens." I'm willing to bet that what he was thinking was, "There is no way in hell that this girl is running a marathon is less than 3 months!" But he didn't want to burst all my bubbles at once, since he already told me that the 30K I was going to run on September 2 is out.

So, I suppose I am going to become the cross training queen. Maybe this injury will turn me into a triathlete.

hmm...that means I'd have to learn to like to swim and bike.

Ok, then again, maybe not.

Tuesday, August 1, 2006

OK, OK! I Hear You!

All I am hearing over and over is don't quit, don't give up.

The comment section and my email inbox is full of advise and encouragement, which is entirely appreciated, but making me feel guilty at the same time. Like I am just tossing in the towel without any thought or effort to resolve things.

And maybe I am.

I am at an all time high in my frustration level. I just spent 3 months dealing with a knee injury. Hours of time, and hundreds of dollars, later and the physical therapy for it has left it better, but not great. It still hurts a little when I run. I still have to be careful to stretch and ice it. It still worries me a lot.

And now my ankle on my opposite leg is hurting. And honestly it's not the pain per se, as my pain tolerance is very high. It's that it is limiting my function.

Because I literally cannot walk.

I am limping around like an old crippled person and it is affecting my work. All day long my patients are asking me what's wrong with my leg. I have a job where I am standing on my feet all day, and one day last week I couldn't put any weight on my ankle. So I had to ask my staff to bring the patients back and forth to me. It slowed everything way down and we ended up getting behind schedule.

I was at a concert on Saturday night and stood up to try to dance and as soon as I started moving I had pain shooting through my ankle. Luckily we were still in the isle in front of the seats so my swaying back and forth without moving my feet wasn't too noticeable, but it would have been obvious something was wrong if I was on a dance floor.

I've been working on my landscaping, and both my knee and ankle have been hurting while I've been kneeling down digging in the dirt to plant new bushes or while using the shovel to dig out the holes for the plants.

But mostly I'm scared.

These limitations scare me. It's one thing to run through some pain, but another to have it affect the rest of my life so drastically. If my knee and ankle start acting up at the same time, I won't have a leg to stand on!

And, I am trying to be realistic about what is going on. I'm trying to at least have a positive attitude to the effect that there will be other races and the world won't come to an end if I can't run Chicago.

So here is where things stand.....

I made another doctor's appointment for Thursday. I am going to take my x-rays along and see what a different doc has to say. I'm going to ask about a cortisone shot, even though I dread the thought of that for many reasons. Mostly because of my osteopenia. Bone loss and steroids don't exactly mix. But, I don't think one more will kill me. I am going to discuss a referral to an orthopedic specialist, and possibly more physical therapy. Ugh.

I'm going to go dig my bike out of my parent's garage, where I left it last summer after the one and only time I rode it, and see how my ankle feels while riding.

And, I just might consider dragging my butt to the gym and hitting the pool, but don't anyone hold their breath waiting for that one. I really hate swimming.

Don't get me wrong, I love to be in the water. And I actually do kinda know how to swim. My mom is a little afraid of the water, and since I grew up on a lake, she wanted to make sure I could swim. So, I took lessons at the YMCA for years, and years.

And years.

Get my drift? I think maybe all the lessons turned me off, because...

swimming? Hate it!

I hate putting my face in the water and trying to breath out the side as I turn my head. I never quite got the hang of that. I just ended up inhaling water and choking. Plus, with my bum shoulder, I have a limited range of motion and really can't get my right arm behind me. So, I'm not sure how well I'd do, but I actually have never tried it since then either.

I'll leave you with this.....

On Sunday, when I had my break down over my ankle, my poor boyfriend just happened to be here to witness it.

I pity him.

During later discussion on the matter he asked me, "Why don't you just run Chicago and see how far you can go? Just stop when you can't go any more."

I pretty much snapped his head off with my response, "That's just stupid! Why would I start a marathon knowing that I haven't trained enough to finish it? Knowing that I am going to quit part way through? How dumb! I'd rather just not start at all!"

But after I calmed down, I've been thinking about his suggestion, and maybe it's not such a bad one. I've already been wishing that Chicago was a race that had a half marathon option, because I'm pretty confident that I could miss a few training weeks and still do a half.

I've already spent the entry fee money and I can't get it back. Plus, I've already taken the days off of work for the race.

Not to mention that, I want to meet the RBF members that are running Chicago!

So what do you guys think? Is it stupid to run Chicago, knowing that I probably won't finish because of missing too much training for this ankle injury?

Monday, July 31, 2006

Admitting Defeat

A week ago Thursday I ran 3 miles. When I was done, my left ankle started bothering me.

I got up Friday morning and the ankle felt a little stiff, but no big deal. I walked around a little and it loosened up and felt fine. So off on my 9 mile run I went.

By Friday night my ankle was killing me and by Saturday morning I literally couldn't walk on it.

I had an x-ray done and the doctor said it was bursitis. He seemed to think it would resolve quickly and told me no running for a week.

So, yesterday I tried to run 3 miles again.

It didn't go so well, to say the least.

I knew by .5 mile that things weren't quite right. By 1.5 miles, my ankle was hurting again. By 2 miles, I just had to grit my teeth and get myself home because I knew it was going to be ugly once I stopped.

And it was.

I stopped running and pain seized my ankle and it immediately started throbbing.

I came inside, stretched and took a shower. Half way through the shower, I couldn't put any weight on it.

I got out of the shower, sat down, and sobbed my heart out.

I have worked so hard for this. I want this so much and have for so long. And my stupid ankle isn't going to let me have it.

I'm not a strong enough runner to miss 3 or 4 weeks of training and still do this marathon. It's just not possible.

So, I'm giving it to the end of the week, and if I can't run on it by the weekend I'm kissing Chicago goodbye.

Then I'm going to get this @*&$# ankle healed, and I'm going to pick a new race and start over at mile 1 again.

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Oh Yeah?

To get accepted to optometry school, you have to go through an interview process.

You sit in a room, across from a panel of school faculty, and for an hour they drill you with questions to determine if you are worthy of being let into their school.

During the most horrific of my many interviews, the follow conversation occurred:

Interviewer, "What are you doing here?"

Me, "Excuse me?"

Interviewer, "Have you ever looked at your transcript?"

Me, "Um? Of course."

Interviewer, "Then you are aware of the fact that you have gotten an A in every class you have ever taken that is not a science class?"

Me, "Uh. Yeah. Ok?"

Interviewer, "And you are also aware of the fact that you have gotten a B or a C in almost every science class you have ever taken?"

Me, "Yeah?"

Interviewer, "And you do realize that you are applying to enter a school where the curriculum is entirely science based?"

Me, "Yes. Of course."

Interviewer, "Well it is extremely apparent that science isn't one of your strengths. So why exactly are you here?"

Me, "Oh. Well. Um. Just because English, and math, and psychology come easy to me doesn't mean I enjoy them. I may have to work harder at the sciences and they may not be as easy for me, but it is where my heart lies. It is what I want to spend my life doing. Therefore, I am willing to do the extra work, put forth a little more effort, because a life as an optometrist is what I ultimately want."

I walked out of the interview and literally broke down in tears, sobbing for half an hour. I'd deemed it a failure, the trip a waste. I was devastated.

I was shocked to get an acceptance letter a few short weeks later. My interview was on the first day of a 4 or 5 month interviewing process, where hundreds of applicants would be questioned. The school accepted 40 students into their program, 6 of those from out of state. They offered me one of those coveted 6 spots before they even spoke with a vast majority of the other applicants.

I have always wondered why.

I have always guessed that it must have been my answer to that one question. That my passion for my chosen career path and my blind determination must have come through in my answer and the panel knew that I'd never give up until I was successful.

That's great, runnergirl, but why are you telling us this?!

I'm getting to that.

Below is an excerpt from a previous post :

"... I run because I hate it. Huh? Say What? You heard me... I run because I hate it. It is my enemy, and I am going to beat it. The things with the most value are the things that I have to work the hardest for. I value my running because it doesn't come easy, because some days I do want to quit, because after some runs I swear I'll never lace up my shoes again. But it keeps calling me back, taunting me, begging me to defeat it, to prove that I'm not a quitter, that I can and will succeed... "

The running is like the science. I may not be good at it, but that is why I like it. I need the challenge. I need to defeat it. I need to prove to myself that I can do it. If it were easy for me, I wouldn't be interested in it. I wouldn't value it. I have a need to set my sights on a goal that seems just out of reach, and then work with everything I have to reach out and grab it at the last minute.

All of these struggles that I've been facing is just the running taunting me. Teasing me. Challenging me.

The miles are talkin' a little smack.

And you know what I have to say to that...

"Oh yeah?"

"We'll just see about that!"

Monday, July 24, 2006

Theme Song

I have a new theme song. It came to me while I was reading the comments to one of my previous posts, and someone mentioned a quote on Anne's Blog. The lyrics are listed below and click to the right if you want to listen to it.

Warning, Warning: It is a country song for all you non-country lovers out there.

And, I'm going to do just what the songs says. I'm going to keep on going. I'm going to get on the other side of all these injuries and keep rearranging things until I'm no longer in running hell.

Lyrics for Song: If You're Going Through Hell
By Artist/Band: Rodney Atkins

Well you know those times
When you feel like there's a sign there on your back
Says I don't mind if ya kick me
Seems like everybody has
Things go from bad to worse
You'd think they can't get worse than that
And then they do

You step off the straight and narrow
And you don't know where you are
Use the needle of your compass
To sew up your broken heart
Ask directions from a genie
In a bottle of Jim Beam
And she lies to You
That's when you learn the truth

If you're going through hell
Keep on going, Don't slow down
If you're scared, don't show it
You might get out
Before the devil even knows you're there

Well I been deep down in that darkness
I been down to my last match
Felt a hundred different demons
Breathing fire down my back
And I knew that if I stumbled
I'd fall right into the trap that they were laying, Yeah

But the good news
Is there's angels everywhere out on the street
Holding out a hand to pull you back upon your feet
The one's that you been dragging for so long
You're on your knees
You might as well be free
Guess what I'm saying

If you're going through hell
Keep on going, Don't slow down
If you're scared, don't show it
You might get out
Before the devil even knows you're there

Yeah, If you're going through hell
Keep on moving, Face that fire
Walk right through it
You might get out
Before the devil even knows you're there

If you're going through hell
Keep on going, Don't slow down
If you're scared, don't show it
You might get out
Before the devil even knows you're there

Yeah, If you're going through hell
Keep on moving, Face that fire
Walk right through it
You might get out
Before the devil even knows you're there
Yeah you might get out
Before the devil even knows you're there

Saturday, July 22, 2006


So, I have 2 days left of PT for my knee.

2 days!

Tuesday & Thursday.

Then I'm done. Dismissed.

Adios, happy running.

And the knee feels good. Finally getting back to normal pain free running.

But, then today...

I decided that my left ankle pain wasn't going away like it should be. As a matter of fact it is down right painful, and I can't walk on it.


I had it x-rayed this afternoon.

I have bursitis of my ankle.

3 weeks of anti-inflammatories.

1 week of no running, then re-evaluation. Steroid shot at that time if not resolved along with a referral to an orthopedic specialist.

I don't know whether to laugh or cry.

Friday, July 21, 2006

Full of Frustrations

A brief history for those of you who haven't been following along since day one:

I've been running off and on for the past 9 years. Never very far or never very consistently. Usually a 3 mile loop around my neighborhood to get some exercise and try not to grow out of my wardrobe.

Prior to January 2006, the farthest I had ever run was 4 miles, twice. The first time was amazing, with the pride and accomplishment I felt. The second time, made me want to kill myself to stop the pain.

I have always wanted to run a marathon, and thought that a good first step would be to run a half marathon, and see how it went. So, I did that and ran the Indy Mini in May 2006. It was an amazing experience and left me wanting more, so I signed up to run the Chicago Marathon and here I am.

Keeping all of that in mind, on to today's post:

Today's run was a slow 9 miles, and when I say slow I am so not kidding!


Mile 1 13:34
Mile 2 12:49
Mile 3 13:39
Mile 4 12:37
Mile 5 12:51
Mile 6 13:15
Mile 7 12:12
Mile 8 11:55
Mile 9 12:18

I set my alarm for 5:00 AM, and was up by 5:02 and out the door at 5:30, so I must have learned a thing or two last week to get out the door so quickly. I had planned out a new route to try, but I didn't realize how dark it was outside at that hour, so I changed my mind as I didn't want to be running along major roads in the dark. Instead I did the run up and down the streets of my neighborhood.

I was hoping to go 10 miles, but my goal was really just to make it farther than the 8 from last week. The first 4 1/2 miles were uneventful and pretty comfortable. The last 4 1/2 were pretty tough and it was all I could do to keep myself moving forward.

I stopped around mile 5 for some GU and water, and started back up again. I had literally taken 2 steps and my mp3 player battery died. I choose to just keep going, thinking I'd stop to replace it the next time I stopped for some water.

So, I decided to spend the next 1.5 miles of silence having a little chat with myself.

I'm not in a good place right now. And I'm slowly starting to hate all this and am wondering what I am doing.

I've really been struggling the past few weeks with my training. With the motivation, with finding the time to run, with the heat, with how hard it still feels, with how frustrated I'm getting.

By now I can comfortably run 4 miles without feeling too exhausted, and that is assuming that I am running at a slow pace. On a really good day, 5 - 6 miles doesn't feel too bad. Anything more than that is a struggle for me. So, on my long runs I spend at least the second half doing everything I can to keep myself moving forward.

On the long runs, I'm finding myself quitting before the intended mileage is complete because I feel like I just can't go another step. My body feels tired and my mind seems to be unwilling or unable to keep it moving.

So, instead of the intense sense of pride and accomplishment I felt while training for Indy - the excitement over completing a new distance for the first time - the amazement over what I was accomplishing - I am feeling frustration and self doubt constantly. I'm wondering what the hell I am doing this for.

I'm thinking about quitting.

Just unlacing the shoes and walking away. Because I don't have to be doing this!

But then I feel like a quitter, and I'm so not a quitter.

And I will be giving up on the biggest dream I have ever had, and it will haunt me for the rest of my life.

So, in all reality, for my peace of mind, I really do need to do this.

I just don't know where I am going to find the strength to get through this training. I keep trying to figure out what I am doing differently from last time to make it feel so much harder. Is it because I changed the days I run, and now do a short run on the day before long run day, where before I wasn't running that day? Is it because of PT the day before long run day, where Sean has me doing a lot of strengthening exercises that leave my legs quite sore? Is it the heat? Is it the fact that I'm not used to running in the early AM?

Or have I just lost something? Like my ignorance, perhaps? And now that the difficulty of the task I have set for myself has shown itself, I'm just not up for the challenge?

I sit here with my right knee aching, my left ankle down right hurting (ever since last night's orthotic trial), and my legs feeling like dead weights, wondering if I can actually make it through 3 more months of this.

Someone please, oh please, tell me that it is going to get better. Or if that's not true, then remind me how amazing it will feel to cross the finish line and help me realize why I am putting myself through this torture.

Thursday, July 20, 2006

Summer Heat: 1 Runnergirl: 0

I'm fighting a losing battle.

This heat is killing me, and I've just about had enough.

I'm having a really hard time getting my runs in with this heat. I'm bored with the treadmill, and as the mileage is increasing I'm feeling less and less inclined to run on it.

But I have PT two of the three weekday mornings that I usually run. My PT appointments are either at 7:00 AM or 8:00 AM, with the long drive I have to get up at 5:45 or 6:45 just to make it on time. There is no way I could drag myself out of bed early enough to get my run in, shower, and then go to my appointment.

Which is leaving me to try to run at night, but lately even at 9:00 or 10:00 PM it is still awful out. Tonight, I went out for a brief 3 mile run just to get a few miles in. I thought the temperature felt good when I left. But, I was pretty hot by the time I got home.


Mile 1 11:19
Mile 2 11:08
Mile 3 11:02

When I run in the middle of the night, I will run in just a sports bra. But, I never, never, never do this when it is light out. My stomach is the most unflattering part of my anatomy, as it is in desperate need of millions of crunches. So, I refrain from subjecting people to it.

This evening I finally just said screw it and went out for my run in my running skirt and sports bra. I'm sure I made quite the sight, but I was beyond caring. I think that was the first time my stomach had seen the sun since the late '90's. I'm sure it's whiteness was blinding the passing motorists, but maybe it was a good distraction from the flab.

The main purpose of my run was to, once again, try out my orthotics. Things are getting better, but they will not be accompanying me on my long run in the morning.

My physical therapist has been adjusting them in at attempt to make them more comfortable and to alleviate the blisters that they have been causing. We are definitely moving in the right direction, but I think it is going to take me a very long time to get used to them. They just feel so stiff, like there is no cushioning at all. It feels like my ankles, knees, and hips are being jarred, and now that I am done running my ankles and knees are aching again. But my knee doesn't hurt like it has been, so that is progress. I just don't know what to think.

It feels like it did when I bought a pair of shoes that had a lot of motion control stability to them. It was years ago when I was just running a few miles a few times a week. I tried running in the shoes for about 3 weeks, and got tired of my joints aching. So I turned them into kick around shoes, and went out and bought a new pair to run in.

I am in desperate need of new shoes again, and think I should probably try something to help with my pronation, but I don't know if I can take this feeling in my joints for very long. So, I'm seeking advise from all of you over pronators out there who are used to the motion control shoes.........will I get used to this stiff feeling? Did it feel like that to you when you first started wearing them?

On a happy note, I was talking to a friend who just had a baby 2 months ago. She is trying to start running again after a long hiatus. She was complaining about hating the feeling of her butt bouncing and jiggling as she runs. I told her that I knew exactly what she was talking about.

Because I hated that feeling so much when I first started running. But my butt no longer jiggles when I run, and it hasn't in months. I don't know if one day it just stopped or if it was a slow decline in the amount of jiggle over time until it was gone. But it is gone.

It reminded me that I am making progress, even if there are a lot of days lately where it doesn't feel that way.

Now, if only my stomach would stop jiggling.........

Sunday, July 16, 2006

The Best Laid Plans...

Always seem to backfire in my face!

So, I'm in the process of working on my landscaping - adding a few bushes, removing a few others, re-edging it, adding some stones, mulch etc.

With this heat wave, there are about 3 hours of tolerable working time - from 6:00 AM - 8:00 AM and from 9:00 PM - 10:00 PM. It starts getting a little too dark to work on the landscaping in the evening, so I've been trying to work on it in 2 hour increments first thing in the morning.

Meaning that I've been trying to run in the evening. Today's schedule called for 3 miles.

Ok, great. No problem, right?

The plan was to run them at 9:00 PM, ouside if it was tolerable, or on the treadmill if it was still thick as soup out there.

At 8:38 PM my electricty went out. For no apparent reason. Me and 5 of my neighbors lost power, and that's it. Aren't we the lucky ones?

Obviously, there went the running on the treadmill.

I briefly thought about running outside, but quickly dropped that idea. No electricity means no water. No water means no shower. I wasn't really up for a 3 mile run in 85 degree weather that was going to leave me dripping in sweat with no way to take a shower, and no idea if the electricty was going to be back on before work in the morning.

Luckily, my boyfriend took pity on my and let me come stay at his house. So, now I am at least guaranteed a morning shower before work.

But, now I have to run tomorrow.

The day that I work 10 1/2 hours.

The day where I usually come home too tired to bother with dinner.

The day where my only goal for the evening is to stay awake until 8:30 because then I know I will sleep until morning. If I try going to sleep any earlier, I wake up in the middle of the night and can't get back to sleep.

Why? Oh why? do these things always happen to me?

Friday, July 14, 2006

Opinions, Please

This morning I was discussing my blog with someone I know, who just so happens to follow along with my posts, but isn't really a runner.

During the course of the discussion, this individual implied that my blog may at times be ....



That wasn't specifically said, nor was that the word used, but the implication was there.

Said individual suggested that I should post more about the rest of my life in addition to my tales about my running. This individual stated that it was enjoyable reading the post about my mom, and that I should include personal posts more often. It was stated that there was "nothing wrong with letting your readers get to know you more."

If you have been following along since the beginning, I'm sure you have picked up lots of little tidbits about me along the way. But I have never posted about my miserable days at work, or my vacation pics, or whatever because I figured the mundane details of my daily life would bore the most patient of individuals to tears.

But maybe I am wrong, maybe everyone would like to hear more than just running stuff all the time.

So, my question to everyone is this:

What is your opinion on this matter? Do you post a lot of "life outside of running" stuff on your own blogs? Why or why not?

Thanks for the input!

Making Excuses or Learning My Limits?

Today's schedule called for a 10 mile long run. So, that's what I set out to do.

It didn't go quite according to plan, but I feel like I learned a lot of valuable lessons along the way.

I set my alarm for 5:15 AM, only hit snooze twice (incredible for me!), and was out of bed by 5:32! I hit the floor next to the bed and my immediate thought was, OUCH!

Yesterday morning I had PT, and Sean worked me very hard doing strengthening exercises for my knee. I could barely walk by the time I left his office, and I know that the only reason I made it though yesterday was the ibuprofen I took as soon as I got in my car!

So, I woke up this morning to unbelievably sore calves, hamstrings, and glutes. It actually had me pretty concerned about how the run would go, but what could I do? I just stretched out the best I could and waited to see how it would turn out.

I stumbled around getting ready, eating breakfast, etc, and was out of the house at 6:15. No matter what I do, I can't seem to get out of the house in under 45 minutes. So, I started thinking about what I was spending that time doing and realized that a lot of it could be done the night before.

I started think to myself, "You could fill your fuel belt bottles, and pack your GU, extra gum (because we know I need it!), extra battery, etc, in the fuel belt pocket. You could lay out your Garmin and mp3 player, instead of searching about trying to remember where you left them last. Only to realize that the mp3 player is in the garage, of all places, because you were last listening to it while pulling weeds over the weekend. And the Garmin is probably upstairs next to the computer from the last time you entered your splits on your blog."

So, that was the first valuable lesson I learned before I ever got out the door. The second lesson learned was that the fuel belt bottles WILL leak if you fill them to the very top. Next time, I will remember this, as I would rather drink my gatorade than wear it.

I have set routes if I am running 3 or 4 miles. I can vary them up slightly to make up 5 or 6 miles, but the longer distances are new enough to me that I don't have any set routes, and I've been trying to figure out where I want to run them. So, I tried something different this morning.

I've not really done much running along the road side. I see other runners doing it all the time, but have just never really tried much of it myself, so I decided on a route that was mostly along the main roads, with a gas station at the midway point - thinking this would be good for bathroom stops or water purchases in the future if I liked the route.

I set off expecting it to feel awful with how sore I was, but the first 3 miles felt slow but great. It was along the stretch of road that I have run on occasion, with very wide shoulders, AND a turn lane most of the way. So I have an entire lane plus the wide shoulder between me and the cars, unless someone needs to turn into one of the neighborhoods.

I hit a point where I had to turn down a different road, and that's where things started doing down hill! The road was much busier than I expected and the shoulder was just too narrow. I kept ending up running in the weeds on the side of the road, which was pretty difficult because they hadn't been cut in a while. It felt like my footing was unstable and I was worried about twisting an ankle or falling. I was on that road for about 1.5 miles, and was so relieved when I finally could turn off of it.

But relief was short lived because even though the next road wasn't that busy, it literally had no shoulder and it is a very curvy road. I was worried that the cars were going to whip around the turns too fast to see me, so once again I was spending a lot of time jumping off the road into the weeds, and back again. All of the back and forth made me feel like I just couldn't get into a rhythm. But at the same time, dodging the cars gave me something to concentrate on and the time was going pretty quickly. I knew the route was curvy and was concerned about the shoulder, but it was actually hillier than I realized too. It's amazing how something that barely registers in a car feels like a mountain when you are running up it.

So, the next lesson learned was that I didn't want to repeat this route again, so I will be in search of something different before next week's long run.

I got to the end of mile 6 and the blisters from Wednesday's orthotic trial were SCREAMING at me, and my glutes were getting extremely tight and painful. I conned myself into making it another .5 mile back to the entrance of the neighborhood that connects to mine. At that point I took a walk break and drank some water. I convinced myself to keep going and managed to run another 1.5 miles around my subdivision, but by then I was completely exhausted, my legs felt completely spent, it was getting hot, and my knee was starting to hurt just a little bit.

So, I decided to stop after 8 miles.


Mile 1 12:49
Mile 2 12:39
Mile 3 12:16
Mile 4 12:35
Mile 5 11:44
Mile 6 11:48
Mile 7 12:28
Mile 8 11:06 (fastest - as usual)

I know that 8 miles isn't 10, and I'm not going to fool myself into thinking that it is. But I feel like I did the best I could with the sore legs and the new route and my knee kicking in with some pain.

The next lesson learned is one that came from my last training season, but I am just now learning it! My knee was giving me little signals along the way that there was impending doom lurking, but I didn't recognize the signals because I have always had problems with my knees. So, I was attributing the pain to some mild arthritis issues that I have always dealt with, instead of recognizing it for what it was. So, now I am paying more attention to my knee and I'd rather run 8 miles instead of 10 because my knee is hinting at me that it's not happy, than run 10 miles and they be the last 10 I ever run.

The final lesson learned was that I really need to try to get out the door by 5:30 AM on long run days or it just gets too hot at the end of the run. Just the thought of getting up early enough to do that makes me want to cry, but I believe it is necessary. Maybe I should just stay up! It would actually be easier for me to say up until 4:00 AM, than to get up at 4:45!

I hope that it was the smart thing to do to cut my run short, under the cirumstance, but maybe I'm just making excuses.

On a side note: My physical therapist decided on 2 more weeks of therapy to have more time to evaluate how the orthotics are going to work and to do more strengthening stuff now that my knee is feeling better and is more able to handle it.