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...