But they that wait upon the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint. - Isaiah 40:31

Monday, March 31, 2008

Things I Learned Today

  1. ~ Running into the wind is really, really hard to do.

  2. ~ Running with the wind at your back is actually fun!

  3. ~ Sunshine makes me happy.

  4. ~ Flowers make me even happier.

  5. ~ A good day running makes you forget about a bad one.

Today, for the first time, I finally am able to imagine that I can run longer than three or four minutes at a time. I actually visualized myself running around "the block," which for me is four miles. We live out in the country in northwest Ohio, and thanks to the Northwest Ordinance of 1787, roads are laid out in one-mile square grids.

After Saturday's disastrous runs and feeling so discouraged, even to the point of thinking I just couldn't do this thing, today was FABULOUS! I was amazed at how good it felt by the time I finished. I wasn't really that tired and nothing hurt.

It went like this:

Run 2:00, Walk :15, Run 1:45
Walk 3:00, Run 2:50, Walk :30, Run 1:00
Walk 3:00, Run 4:00
Walk 3:00, Run 4:00
Walk 3:00, Run 8:08.

See that? I was feeling so good on that last run that I decided to see just how far I could run before I felt just like I did at the two-minute mark on the first run of today. Yes, the wind was at my back, but still... EIGHT MINUTES and EIGHT SECONDS! Then I got in the car to figure out the distance I had run in that eight minutes. A little over ¾-mile!

Life is good.


Saturday, March 29, 2008

Tough Stuff

Today's run was torture, all the way around. My legs were dead, I had no air, and everything hurt. I didn't enjoy one little bit of it. And that's all I have to say about that.

I've got one word for the great way the day ended though: LobsterFest!

Thursday, March 27, 2008

It Was My Shoes!

At group training tonight, we started by walking/running for about ten minutes. I wore different shoes than I'd been wearing and to everyone's amazement, my running was much quieter! Jamey had been calling me "Kloppy" because I made so much noise with my running, and he could tell a big difference just with my wearing different shoes.

The ones I wore tonight were Skechers cycling-style shoes and are really lightweight, but they don't have good support for running. So I think this means that I'll be getting new running shoes. We are to have someone come and talk to us about shoes in the next few weeks, so I'll wait until then to start looking for some.

Also tonight, Jamey set up stations where we would do a certain exercise with equipment for one minute, then we would rotate and go to the next one. It was fun doing this. Except for the push-ups.

We had partners and Sharon was mine. In one minute, I think she did fifteen push-ups and I COULDN'T DO EVEN ONE! I could let myself down to the floor, but absolutely couldn't push myself up again. I knew my upper body strength was lacking, but this is pathetic!

I liked working with the big ball the best. The other ones were okay and I didn't have any trouble with those. These were considered core strengthening exercises, but when we were done, I could really tell that I'd given my arms a workout, too.

Photos by Jamey Gordon

The "E" Word

Do my friends know me or what? LOL!


Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Workout Wednesday

This was the best weather day we've had all year. The sun was shining and the temps neared 60°, making for a great day for running. Ashley and I were infected with a little bit of spring fever, which puts a little more energy and enthusiasm into everything you do. So when work was over for the day, we changed our clothes and headed outside to run.

As usual, Ashley could go longer than I could, but I did manage to make it through a four-minute run during the thirty minutes we were out there. Mostly though, I ran as long as I could, which was right around three minutes, then walked 15 seconds and finished out the four minutes running.

After I got home, Romie wanted to run, so I tried to do a couple more 3-4 minute runs with him. I managed a three, but the second one had me running/walking/running/walking.

It's such a good feeling when I've gotten my running out of the way for the day. I feel almost panicky as the day progresses and I know I've got it yet to do. I can't
not do it, but that option always exists in the recesses of my mind, and that's when my self has to talk to me. "It's only thirty minutes..."

Monday, March 24, 2008

Run Some, Walk Some, Run Some More

Romie accompanied me to group training tonight. I think he would love to be a part of the group, but I'm happy that he's being so supportive and is training right with me at home. It definitely helps keep me going.

We did more drills tonight - different ones. I like the variety that Jamey's presenting to us, because it's this kind of stuff that has turned me off so much about exercising in the past. Not that I like the running part any better, but doing anything as a part of a group helps a great deal.

In fact, I wish we were doing our running together on the days we have group training. I just do better mentally when I know I have to do it. The most difficult thing for me is to stick with it. As we add running time to our workouts, it's becoming more and more difficult to resist just quitting. I know I can't quit and deep down, I don't really want to, but it would be so easy to just give up.

Maybe I'm trying to push ahead too quickly. I'm struggling to finish running the three minute parts and by Wednesday, we're supposed to move ahead to running four minutes, walking two, and repeating that four more times. Unless a major miracle happens, I think I'm going to need to keep working on completing the three-minute runs before I add more time to them.

It was still sunny and nice outside when we got home, although a bit chilly at 39°. I didn't want to run at all, but Romie and I headed out and down the road. He had tried to give me an out, saying we could run tomorrow, but I knew it was supposed to rain then and I don't want to run in the cold rain. We didn't really do the running schedule per se, because I had issues that I won't go into here, but we ran some and walked some and ran some and walked some.

The last time I ran (Saturday) and tonight, I noticed my right foot seemed to be dragging as I neared the end of my running. It's like I don't have the ability to lift it and could be just fatigue and weak muscles.


Thursday, March 20, 2008

Daffodil Days

I just love group training. It's fun to see and talk with the other runners. We have a common goal and we're experiencing much of the same frustrations and triumphs.

Tonight, we did some more drills - different ones than the ones we did the other night, although we did those, too. After we did the new ones, we tried running using everything we'd worked on. The running felt different - better different. Easier, kind of.

While doing some new core strengthening exercises, I found something I'm good at! I'd not heard of "The Plank" before and it's something I've never done before either. (Remember, prior to this, I didn't do exercise.) You lie down on the floor, on your stomach. Then you prop yourself up on your elbows and forearms. Your feet are in contact with the floor by the toes only. You raise up your entire body until it's in a straight line and hold it that way as long as possible.

I wasn't trying to stay up any longer than anyone else, but that's what I did. Crystal was beside me and she stayed up pretty long, too. Jamey accused me of having a two-by-four holding me up. LOL. I don't know why I found this particular thing to be fairly easy, but I did. Finally! Something I can do well naturally!

My ankle was doing pretty well tonight, but the upper calf muscle on that leg was pretty sore and got more so as we continued. We didn't do our 30-minute run as a group tonight, so I planned to do that once I got home - outside - since it was such a nice day. (51° and sunny when I left to drive home.)
Once I got home though, my calf was too sore to run much.

Romie and I walked down to the next mile road and back, which was probably 1.7 miles (based on earlier walks). Romie couldn't keep up with my walking pace, even though he has longer legs. He just couldn't move his legs that fast, so he jogged to catch up every now and then. I did do some running, until my leg started tightening up and hurting. I'll try doing some more running tomorrow to make up for it.

It's Daffodil Days and before we left group training tonight, we were given bouquets of yellow daffodils from the American Cancer Society. To buy these fresh-cut bouquets would cost $10, so I think I'll make a donation. There isn't a single person alive that hasn't either known someone who had/has cancer or that hasn't had it themselves. Romie had his own bout with squamous cell carcinoma last year and my dad had melanoma nearly five years ago (and is still cancer free!).


Wednesday, March 19, 2008

One Minute More

Today - a running day - starts the second week of running for me, and now we're to run three minutes, then walk three minutes, rinse and repeat four more times.

At work, Ashley couldn't stay to run tonight, but Kerrie was expecting me to run outside with her at the end of the day. I told her no way. It was 38°. When Jenna and Kara were in their college golf playing days, they knew I was a fair weather golf mom and as long as I have an indoor facility to do my running, you won't find me outside unless it's
nice. Kerrie called me a weenie. LOL.

I got home, was sleepy, so I took a nap, knowing full well that it might affect my resolve to do my running on the treadmill. The call of the couch was just too compelling. I awoke at 7:00, went down to the basement, turned on Wheel of Fortune and got my legs moving.

My ankle felt a little tender, but as long as I concentrated on relaxing my calves and ankles, I was amazed at how far I could go. Three minutes. YEAH! And another three minutes. YEAH! And one more time. YEAH!

The fourth time, I got winded and my ankle was starting to hurt more, so I stopped at 1:45 and walked for :15, then ran for the remaining 1:00.
On the final three minute run, I was struggling about halfway through and then the tread on the treadmill slipped and I nearly fell off. That was enough for me to call it a day. But I really felt good that I was even able to run at all. More icing on the ankle tonight and we'll see how it goes tomorrow!

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Thanks, Brett

Last night was a study in contrasts. Sure, my ankle got hurt, but there's something else I'll remember about the night. We had a very special person come and speak to us.

Brett Freiburger is a young man who's a runner. A very good runner. Seeing him run across the gym was like seeing poetry in motion. I'd love to run like he does.

He's worked very hard at it, harder than most. When Brett was a senior in high school, he was injured in a hunting accident. After all efforts to save his injured leg failed, they amputated his left leg below the knee.

A soccer player in high school, Brett was a competitive athlete before his accident. As the mother of a child that was an outstanding athlete in high school who went on to compete in college sports, I understood all too well what he was talking about when he described his personality to us. Determination and dedication are ingrained in people like that. Throw an obstacle in front of them, and they don't whine about it - they just work harder and work around it.

Brett had to learn how to walk with his prosthesis, then how to run. That cannot have been easy by any stretch of the imagination. I know many of us feel like this half-marathon is a tall and steep mountain to climb, but if I remember only one thing Brett told us, it will be this:

"If you think in your mind that you can't do something, you'll never do it. You have to think positively and know that you can." (paraphrased)

He knows what we're going through, big time. I'm sure he had setbacks, but he didn't let them keep him from accomplishing his goals. Brett runs for St. Francis University, where he attends college. He's on the U.S. Paralympic Team and will be competing in Beijing in September.

Wow. Not much room for whining now, is there?


Last night, at group training, things didn't go so well for me. Well, okay, they were fine for awhile. I enjoyed talking with Jane and Monique, and we found that we had some of the very same experiences as we trained on our own at home. Must mean we're normal! (Whatever that is.)

We started out walking for five minutes, then Jamey led us in some drills. Prancing and kicking our butts was fun. Then came the scissory thingies. You know...the kind the basketball players do sometimes. Cross your right leg in front of your left as you move to the left, then the left leg goes left. Then place your right leg behind your left as you continue moving to the left. Repeat. We walked halfway across the gym like that. No problem.

Then Jamey wanted to speed it up. I don't know exactly when it happened, but when I got to the middle of the gym, my right ankle was in pain. Crystal turned to me and said, "I don't think you should keep doing these." I went one more time, and I think Crystal was right.

Next was a two-laps-around-the-gym run and I was in pain just walking. I tried to run and just couldn't. So I sat down and was bummed. I just didn't want this to happen. Not this early. Not ever, really.

Jamey checked it out after the session ended and told me to ice it and stay off of it last night. I did that, took some ibuprofen, and stayed off of it most of today, too. Iced it again this evening. I can pretty well walk straight ahead without pain, but let me turn a corner and ouch.

I did my strength training exercises and stretches this evening and didn't have too much of a problem doing them. Thankfully, it wasn't a running day, but I don't think I would have tried that anyway, even if it had been. I'm thinking as long as I don't do any sideways motion like what caused the strain in the first place, I might be okay in pretty short order.

I don't know why this surprises me. I sprained that ankle a couple of times when I was younger and I never could ice skate because my ankles couldn't hold me up in the skates. Jenna said to ask Jamey about exercises to strengthen my ankles.

Anyway, it's better tonight and while it will probably be a little stiff tomorrow morning, like it was this morning, I'm thinking it will be good enough for me to try running. Tomorrow is a running day and I'm going to wait until evening, just to give my ankle a little more time to calm down.

It's all part of the "experience"!

Monday, March 17, 2008

Running on the Treadmill

It was pretty chilly outside this morning, so I did my running/walking on the treadmill. I'd not run on it before and I have to say I agree with others in our group, that it's much easier to run the two minutes on the treadmill as opposed to outside on the road. I don't get nearly as winded.

I did find myself leaning forward while running on that though, which put more stress on my calves than I ever notice when running outside. I tried to relax the lower part of my legs, including my feet and ankles and concentrating on letting my thighs do the work. That was helpful as far as the discomfort was concerned, but required a lot of concentration.

Once this weather shapes up for good, I will always do my running outside, because even though it's tougher to do, I prefer it to the treadmill. Mine only has a 12" wide track and it was hard for me to stay on it. I kept losing my balance, which has never been the best anyway.


( Run 2 minutes / Walk 4 minutes ) x 5 = 30 minutes


Sunday, March 16, 2008

In My Dreams

Does it mean anything that I dreamed about pain pills last night?

Saturday, March 15, 2008

Working Up to 2:00

The weather was decent enough to allow me to run outside today. At 45° and no wind, it was really just about perfect. Romie ran/walked right along with me, which is a huge help. Once again, I wasn't able to run the full two minutes each time. It went like this:

Run 1:15 ... walk :15 ... run :30 ... walk 4:00
Run 1:20 ... walk :15 ... run :25 ... walk 4:00
Run 1:40 ... walk 4:20
Run 2:00 ... walk 4:00
Run 2:00 ... walk 4:00

So, by the last two runs, I was able to go the full two minutes, but I was definitely pushing myself. My thigh muscles began burning at one minute and by the time I felt like I needed to stop each time, I felt like they were going to give way. I was breathing pretty hard, too.

My right ankle, to the right front, just above the ankle is bothering me. That started about halfway through the thirty-minute run/walk. It feels to me like it's from my trying to step heel first, which I hadn't been doing. I don't feel that at all on the left side, though. I'll have to ask Jamey about it on Monday.

My hip pain has been much less though. Yay!


( Run 2 minutes / Walk 4 minutes ) x 5 = 30 minutes

Friday, March 14, 2008

I Can Barely Walk

I don't know if it was a good thing or a bad thing that I spent the largest share of today sitting in a chair listening to a dentist talk about lawsuits and lichen planus. I have a feeling a day with a little more physical activity might have been better. But I did need the CEUs (Continuing Education Units).

When I woke up this morning I could barely walk. When I got out of my car in the parking garage, I could barely walk. When we had our mid-morning break and I stood up from my chair, I could barely walk. And it didn't get any better as the day wore on. In fact, by the time we left to go home at 4:30, I could barely walk and I was making odd noises as I tried to put one foot in front of another. They sounded like moans to me.

This is the most uncomfortable I've been yet. It seems that every muscle in my body hurts. At this point, I don't know if it's from the running or the fibromyalgia. Probably some of both, based on my fatigue level.

I got home, got out of my clothes, donned a robe and curled up on the couch. For a split second, I contemplated whether I should forgo the nap and do my exercises, but the next thing I knew, I woke up and it was 7:00. I got off the couch and I could barely walk. (Are you sensing a pattern here?)

What is it they say? Something about the hair of the dog that bit ya... Or was it that you should get right back on the horse...

So, I did my exercises, ate some supper, and as soon as I finish typing this, I'm heading to bed, waaaaaay earlier than normal. But at least I can go to sleep with a clear conscience that despite the soreness, despite the fatigue, despite the disdain I have for those exercises, I still did them.

Good for me. Good night.

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Building Ourselves Up

It was interesting (and comforting) to hear everyone comparing notes as we dribbled into the gym for group training tonight. This was our first time seeing each other after starting to do some running and at least half were having problems running a full two minutes at a time. I'm in that half.

We ran together tonight and while it seemed easier doing it in the gym than outside like I did yesterday, there were a few times where I again had to stop running before the two minutes were up. While I was definitely out of breath, the reason I had to stop was because my legs just couldn't do it anymore. I need thunder thighs.

I went to Jenna's apartment after training, because I have an all-day dental meeting at the Grand Wayne Center tomorrow and didn't want to drive home tonight and turn right around and drive back to Ft. Wayne early tomorrow morning. Besides, I like getting to spend some time with my baby girl. I just wish she hadn't told me that she runs 20 minutes straight on the treadmill.

Oh, to be 25 years old again...


( Run 2 minutes / Walk 4 minutes ) x 5 = 30 minutes


Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Two Minutes Is a Very Long Time

I worked this afternoon, as usual. Last week, I talked with Ashley, another hygienist where I work, and she said she wanted to start walking after work on Wednesdays. Kerrie (another co-worker) does too, but she couldn't join us today.

Ashley and I did a couple stretches before heading outside, where it was a chilly 45° but the sun was out and it smelled like spring. We didn't even have to wear jackets since we were going to be exerting ourselves.

Before we got started, Ashley said to me, "You're gonna kill me," meaning she thought what I'd planned to do today was going to be tough on her. I assured her it wouldn't be and it didn't take her long to see that I was right.

Today's schedule begins a week of two minutes running, four minutes walking and repeating that four more times for a total workout time of thirty minutes. All along, I thought two minutes sounded like a short amount of time that wouldn't be too hard to do. Boy, was I wrong!

We walked/ran through the apartment complex that's behind our workplace, which is a good area because of the lack of traffic. The first two-minute run had me sucking air and with jelly legs after one minute, so I stopped and walked for about fifteen seconds, then finished out the two minutes. Ashley kept right on running.

By the time we got to the last two-minute run, I was able to go longer, but still wanted to stop before the two minutes were up. Ashley didn't let me. She kept encouraging me - "You can do it!" - and counting off the remaining time in fifteen-second increments. Except that when there was 45 seconds to go, she told me there was only 30 seconds left. She fooled me into pushing myself a little further than I thought I could go.

I checked my heart rate after the third two-minute run and it was 168, which I don't think is too bad. When we got back to the office to do stretching, I couldn't believe how red my face was, and I don't think it was from the cool air.

Ashley is a really good person to train with. She's so upbeat and encouraging! She's also exactly half my age, at 25. That's probably why it was easier for her to begin with, but I refuse to use my age as an excuse for my lagging behind. She's contemplating running the half-marathon in September, which I'm encouraging her to do.

( Run 2 minutes / Walk 4 minutes ) x 5 = 30 minutes

Tuesday, March 11, 2008


I didn't train today. That doesn't mean I did nothing; I just didn't do what was on the training schedule. Mom and I drove to Indianapolis for the Flower and Patio Show. I had my pedometer in my pocket and it said we walked over four miles, so my legs were moving back and forth a lot, just not very fast and there were a lot of rest stops.

It was a tiring day and while I didn't rule out doing something when I got home, it was late enough and I was sufficiently wiped out that once I got home and my butt came in contact with the couch, I just couldn't pry it off.

Back at it tomorrow...

Monday, March 10, 2008

We Run

Tonight at group training, we ran and Jamey captured the action on video. He is going to analyze our form and talk to us about things we need to correct. We stayed afterward a little bit to look at the videos of ourselves.

Apparently, I run like a girl. That's probably because I am a girl.

Romie has told me that I run on my toes - not tippy-toes, just that my toes touch first. So I tried not to do that tonight and running felt super awkward and clunky to me. I just wasn't comfortable at all and felt like every step was heavy and jarring.

Tomorrow, we start running during our training a little bit. For the first week of this, we run two minutes, walk four minutes, and repeat four more times (total of 30 minutes). We only do this every other day. We'll increase the running time and lessen the walking time each week.

Tomorrow, Mom and I driving to Indianapolis for the day, so I don't know when I'll get my running in.
We're going to the Flower and Patio Show, so we'll get a LOT of walking in, but I'm not going to run through the displays there. It depends on how late we get back, and we've been known to return from our jaunts in the wee hours of the morning, so we'll see. If that happens, I may do my running early on Wednesday, which would give me a fair amount of rest time before we run again on Thursday evening.

Several people complained of sore thighs tonight, and that's the problem I had over the weekend, too. Going down the stairs really made me feel it. I think we're supposed to be feeling like this and it's those darned lunges that are to blame. But no pain, no gain, as they say.

I'll bet "they" never had to do lunges.


Today: Walk 30 minutes √


Sunday, March 9, 2008

Get Yer Inspiration Here!

Someone sent me a link to a news story about a marathon runner this past week. I read it and was amazed. He'd recently completed a half-marathon, for which he set a record, in spite of stopping in the middle of it to have a beer and a cigarette.

Now he's training for a full marathon, to be run in London in April. Drinks a lot, smokes, and he's the father of 17 children, too. I'm not sure which of those things is harder on a person.

I'm going to be interested to see how he does in the London Marathon, because he's trying to set another record, and I'm totally amazed at how a smoker can do this kind of thing so well. I don't drink beer, I don't smoke, I've only had two children, and there's no way I would attempt to run a full marathon. I'll be doing well to finish this half one.

I'd use the excuse that I'm fifty years old, but I think Buster would find that to be pretty lame. He's 101.

Buster's advice to runners:

"Don't think about it too much. Just do it."


Today: Walk 30 minutes √

Saturday, March 8, 2008

Training in Chicago

I did my workout here today:

Just kiddin'. (But we did go there.)

We're in Chicago for the weekend and I got to work out in a really cool wellness center that's associated with Delnor Community Hospital in Geneva. What a huge, busy place it was this morning! Romie and I walked together, along with Jim (our host), around their track.

Inside the track was the cardio workout equipment, so while we hoofed it 'round and 'round, others were running and walking in place, cycling, ellipticising, and climbing stairs.

One wall of the center is all glass, so it was kind of fun as we came around that corner and could look out at the ornamental grasses swaying in the breeze over the snow-covered landscape. Another wall was mirrored and I swear it made me look skinnier than I really am. (Maybe they do that so you'll feel like what you're doing is working, if you're trying to lose weight.)

After my half-hour of walking, I did my stretches. Romie lasted about five minutes with those and went off to practice shooting threes in the gym. On the wall, right in front of where I was stretching, was a visual chart of - oh, look - stretching exercises! They were nearly identical to the ones I was doing.

So, we finished there and then stopped in at the nearby Crate and Barrel where I rewarded myself with two new spatulas, a set of shower curtain rings, and some glassware.

I might be on to something here. Every time I complete my training session for the day, I reward myself! This might work! :-)


Today: Walk 30 minutes √

Friday, March 7, 2008

Working It Into My Schedule

I struggled mentally to walk more than ten minutes today. It was too cold to walk outside, so I had to do it on the treadmill in the basement. BORING! I kept looking at the timer on my watch and each time, it was only one minute later than the last time I looked at it.

I think it's because I had so much going on today. Haircut appointment, insurance forms to fill out and get mailed, pack for the trip to Chicago, and be ready to leave by 2:00. I forced myself to stick with it, though, because I knew I'd be upset with myself later if I didn't.

I managed to do most of the stretches at least a couple of times and we were out the door by 4:00. Just a little late...


Today: Walk 30 minutes √

Thursday, March 6, 2008

Photos, Bios and Up On Our Toes

Group training today. But before we started, we had to fill out bio sheets and have our photos taken for Mary (Collins) to put on WPTA-TV's website. Some of the women weren't too excited about the photo shoot, because we didn't know about it ahead of time. One didn't have her make-up on and a couple made comments about their hair.

Yes, these things are important to women. It's one thing to come to a workout without make-up once in awhile, but quite another to have it out there for all the world to see. (But I really did think she still looked fabulous.)

Jamey's getting tougher on us. Tonight at group training, he added strength training exercises. These are the very kinds of things that made me give up exercising years ago. If Jamey were not standing right in front of me watching, I wouldn't do them. Or I would only do a couple of them. I hate them. Hate 'em, hate 'em, hate 'em!

I like doing the stretching ones; they actually feel good.
But okay, I know I need to do all of them for several reasons. First of all, Jamey says we have to. Secondly, I know that they will get easier the more I do them. Third, each thing we do is a means to an end. And fourth, there's this hip thing I've got going on.

Jamey asked how my hip was doing. I told him it did fine while we were doing our exercises, both the stretching ones and the strengthening ones. Oh, I could feel some pain during those, but it was kind of a good pain. The painful pain comes when I'm walking, and it's in the joint, not the muscles. I really haven't had much muscle soreness, with the exception of my right calf muscle.

We talked some more after the training session was over and he did some further checking of things. What I have has got a name, but I can't remember what he called it. Some sort of gliding or sliding syndrome. Again, my weakness in the hip area on that side is the culprit. Maybe that's why when I tense up my gluts, as I mentioned in an earlier post, the pain disappears.

Ah well, it does feel good to exert myself like this.


Today: Walk 20 minutes √


Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Before or After?

I work on Wednesday afternoons. This means I have to make a decision about whether to do my walking before or after work. I would guess that most people given that choice would walk in the morning, and maybe I will when the weather decides to play nicely. But being a night owl (and procrastinator extraordinaire), of course I decided to wait.

When I got to work, I found another good reason to wait until after. I asked if any of my co-workers were interested in staying after work on Wednesdays to walk/run with me. Imagine my surprise when I found out that they had already discussed doing this, starting next week! I'm really happy about this, because it's more enjoyable to do this with someone. The time passes much more quickly and it seems less like work.

I got home from work tonight around 6:00, and Romie and I walked together outside. I like my new watch, because it has a countdown timer, so I just set it for twenty minutes and off we went. It was cold - about 28° - but the sun was still up and the air smelled so good.

We have very little traffic on our road, and not one single car passed us while we were out. Some people might find walking down a country road to be boring, but we don't, and it's
way more interesting than walking on the treadmill in the basement.


Today: Walk 20 minutes √

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

On My Own

It's Day Two and for today and tomorrow, I won't have the benefit of my fellow runners beside me to make the training more enjoyable. At this point, that shouldn't be a deterrent. I'm excited about taking this on, and the training isn't that intense yet. On the other hand, it would be tempting to skip a day, because it doesn't seem like we're doing that much.

If you're an instant gratification kind of person (like I am), or a procrastinator (like I am), this can be a really lethal combination when undertaking something like this. Skipping days then cramming won't work for this like it did when I took Anatomy and Physiology in college.

My left hip is hurting quite a bit today, which doesn't surprise me, but after feeling so good last night after training, I think doing the walking and stretching will help. It's just going to take some time. After all, this is a half-marathon, not a sprint.

Today: Walk 20 minutes √

Monday, March 3, 2008

We're Off and Walking!

Day One of training is over and done with. I didn't really know what to expect, but can I say it was fun? It was! Not too tough yet, other than I found out I don't walk right. You might think that I'm upset to find this out, but I'm actually not. Here's what happened...

We started out by walking around the gym for ten minutes, concentrating on keeping our core muscles contracted. I'm a naturally fast walker and worried that my fellow walkers would think I was trying to walk fast, but I wasn't. In fact, I was making myself go slower than I normally walk. I suppose I shouldn't really worry about things like that.

Jamey walked over to me and asked if I realized that I swing my left arm more than my right when I walk. Nope. Never noticed that, but he's right, I do. I thought maybe it was because I have less range of motion in my right shoulder due to the problems I've had with it and the bulging discs in my neck. I developed that as a result of 25+ years of doing dental hygiene and probably not using the best posture when doing it.

He thinks I do it because of the mechanics of how I walk. My hips move up and down, due to weakness in the muscles of my left hip. I've had pain in that hip joint for quite some time now and tonight was no different. When Jamey held onto my hips as I walked, the pain disappeared. Amazing. If I can get rid of that pain by strengthening those muscles and changing the way I walk, I will be one very happy woman!

This isn't going to be easy, this change. I just walk, you know? Who knew that doing something that comes so naturally as walking could be so easy to do wrong and you not even be aware of it? I'll have to really concentrate on doing it the right way until it becomes second nature. Less pain will be a great motivator!

Then we did some core-strengthening exercises. I recognized a number of them from my Pilates DVD. By the time we finished with those, our hour was up. We'll be back again on Thursday for more of the same.

I headed north to Target, where I purchased a heart rate monitor. I looked at two of the Sportlines, including the one I pictured yesterday, but I settled on the less expensive 910 model. I also bought a pedometer, which I'd been wanting to get for awhile now anyway. As I walked to the checkout, I noticed the Easter candy and grabbed a bag of malted milk robin eggs - the kind with the hard shell that turn your mouth blue. Hey, I can only get those at Easter!

As I drove home, I noticed my body felt GOOD. My muscles were tingling, no doubt from being asked to do things they weren't used to, but it was a good feeling. The day may come when I'm not as enthusiastic and feeling as good about things as I do right now, but I'm going ride the wave as long as I can.


Sunday, March 2, 2008

In Search of a Heart Rate Monitor

As legendary as my dislike of exercise is my superb ability to shop. I can find the best deal on just about anything. But if you had to pay me by the hour for as long as it takes me to do research on whatever I'm buying, you could buy ten of them at Sak's. It's the thrill of the hunt, I guess.

I'm looking for a heart rate monitor. Ideally, it would have these features:

  • · Monitor with no chest strap
  • · Can check heart rate while running
  • · Tells time (Duh.)
  • · Gives speed and distance covered
  • · Stopwatch
  • · Is petite in size (I have the wrists of a child)
  • · Has fashion styling (subjective, I know)
  • · Costs $50 or less (you can stop laughing now)

So I've spent considerable time looking online at monitors and there are a couple that I could live with. I don't necessarily want to buy the cheapest one out there nor one that has all those features (because I don't want to spend that kind of money). I just want to get the best deal on whichever one I choose.

Right now, this one is the front runner :