Days 308-310: Born-Again Swimmer

I looked to the sky through my clear Swedish goggles. Low, dark clouds. Threatening, but that’s all. My left arm, teen-aged slender and dangerously tan, hooked over the side of the pool gutter while the rest of my body stayed warm and relaxed tucked under the rocking surface of the water at Del Oro High School in Loomis, Calif.

Two hundred human limbs slapped and kicked the water, creating white noise — like ocean waves crashing on a beach immediately one after another, no break in between.

I was waiting.

It was my turn to lead lane 6 in a warm up as directed by Coach, so I was waiting for the final swimmer to come in before we started the next set of laps. Other swimmers waited in my lane, too. But there was no talking.

A cool breeze stung my cheeks, nose and one shoulder. My head was covered in a bright blue, glittery silicone cap.

I don’t remember how old I was or what time of year it was or what grade I was in. Maybe I was 15. It is just one of those moments from swim practice that I remember 16, 17, 18 years later that makes me ache to be a part of a swim team.

I don’t think about it all the time, but as soon as I’m within a nose-length reach of a pool, I am whisked back to the days of lane ropes, early morning practices, the feel of sandpaper starting blocks under my bare feet, the warmth of a parka over a wet Speedo and a tired body, the cool scent of chlorine clinging to my skin long after a pool workout.

I’m doing my best here to paint you a picture of swim practice, but words don’t do it justice. Of course, I didn’t feel like that at the time. I don’t know how often my mom had to yell at me to get me to the pool on time. Probably a lot.

But now it’s different.

DAY 308
Early Monday morning, I went to the gym and recumbent-biked for 32 minutes (9.04 miles/17.1 mph pace). At home, I did 75 crunches, 20 pushups (the manly kind), 50 jumping jacks and 50 jump ropes.

Later, I took T Junior to the Tahoma High School pool. It’s a Washington pool. An indoor pool, not like the kind I swam in when I was growing up. California pools are outside. At least, they were where I lived.

Indoor or outdoor, though, it doesn’t matter. Chlorine can permeate anywhere. It’s the smell that gets me first. But then I get in the water and I just want to stay there forever.

Monday, I held on to T Junior, his eyes wide, lips quivering and tinted blue (the pool is heated, though, so not sure what that’s all about). It was shallow, so I walked and held him horizontal and told him to, “Kick! Kick! Kick!” Or, I let him stand on my thighs and “waterski.” Or, I tucked him under my armpit like a football and ran in the pool.

Thirty minutes is about all he has the patience for. That evening, when Mr. T was home, I said to T Junior, “Tell Daddy what we did today.”

He took his two fingers out of his mouth. “A swimming.”

I beamed. He did have fun! He remembered. (The entire car ride home after the pool, all he talked about was the shower we rinsed off in afterward. I thought that must’ve been the highlight.)

“And, what did we see?” I asked.

“A people swimming, too.”

“That’s right!” Then, I explained to Mr. T that I had lifted him up so he could see the other end of the pool with the lane ropes and the lap swimmers.

I want to be a lap swimmer.

DAY 309
Me and Mr. T had another miscommunication about the time I needed to rise in order to go to the gym before work. I actually got up after the time I need to get up just to get ready for work. So, I switched gears. I wore comfy clothes and my running shoes so I could walk at lunch. I stashed AJ II (my Garmin) in my purse.

But at lunch time, it was raining. I hadn’t brought the gear for that because it is the end of May when I don’t expect sideways rain. So I blogged instead, of course, and I thought about swimming.

I really want to swim laps. Especially now that I’m going to be “off” running for a while. I don’t know what’s stopping me. Well, besides scheduling, as usual. Oh, and shaving my legs.

I’ve been thinking a lot about what I want to do. I think marathons are out until next year unless I want to run the Seattle Marathon, which I don’t think I want to because I ran the last 10 miles of it during the Seattle Half and it is painfully hilly. Plus, I don’t know if my legs will be better by the time I need to register. Who knows?

So, yes, I’ve been dreaming about triathlons. Well, sprint tris. The run is only 3.1 miles, typically, and I know my legs can handle that. Plus, I really, really want an excuse to swim laps.

My one and only triathlon experience thus far: IronKids.
I was in the 8th grade. I’ve written a little about this before here.

The biking part scares me. I have a mountain bike hanging from the wall in the garage, but I’ve only used it twice — and that was within the six months me and Mr. T bought them about four years ago. I’m scared a tire will pop or a gear will break, and then what?

I haven’t mentioned this to Mr. T yet, though, and I’m afraid he’ll be anti-tri because he’ll think it will take more training than a marathon. I don’t think it will.

The pool opens at 5:30. I’ve already been doing my biking at 4:30 a.m. at the gym when — ahem — someone sets the alarm clock for the correct time. And, well, running is on hold right now. But training for a 3-miler should be just fine.

Tuesday night, since I didn’t go in the morning or at lunch, I went to the gym and sweated it out for 30 minutes (9.24 miles at an 18.5 mph pace). At home, I did 75 jumping jacks, 75 jump ropes, 75 crunches and 30 pushups (the girly kind).

DAY 310
The pool near work opens at 6 a.m. That gives me 30 minutes to swim. The commute from the pool to the office is 10-15 minutes. I know because I drove there on Tuesday on my way home.

I got all my clothes ready last night. I hung my black Speedo from the doorknob in the master bathroom. But I still wasn’t sure what I was going to do on Wednesday morning. Is 30 minutes enough time to swim?

After stumbling out of bed 10 minutes later than I wanted to, i decided I would swim. I didn’t feel like unpacking my bag and taking a shower and all that. I would go to the pool, swim for 30 minutes, shower there and then go to work. It was too late for the gym, I can’t go on Wednesday nights, and tomorrow is T Junior’s 2nd birthday, so I have some things I have to do in the evening anyway.

And, so I went.

I walked out of the locker room and into indoor pool area with my black cap on and my clear Swedish goggles in hand. Lane 5 was open. Hallelujah!

I eased into the water. I wanted to reduce any wave motion from disturbing the other swimmers. Besides, it was too peaceful to jump or dive. So quiet inside. Only the soft splashing sounds from about eight lap swimmers and some pool walkers in the shallow end.

I slid under the water and felt so happy. Then I popped up, looped my arm over the gutter and positioned my goggles.

That first push off the wall, streamlined under the suface, was glorious. I’m doing it! I’m here! I’m going to swim laps!

By the end of lap four, my muscl
es reminded me how difficult swimming is. It’s a whole-body workout. But I didn’t care. I pushed on, adjusting my goggles at the end of every lap for about the first eight until I got them to suction correctly.

I had to watch the clock, but as it turns out, 30 minutes is plenty for me right now. I was getting tired. I even did one lap of backstroke toward the end, and I hate the backstroke. Most of the laps were either freestyle or breaststroke, the latter being my stroke during my glory swimming days.

If you like to swim and are missing it, find a pool. It only cost me $3. It was a cheap visit down memory lane, and I highly suggest it!

And as for a tri? I definitely see one in my future.

PS: If you’re still here reading this incredibly long post, don’t forget to enter my flip flops giveaway here!

AND: I may be away for a few days. It’s T Junior’s birthday, plus we have a busy 3-day weekend planned. I apologize for my upcoming absence in bloggy-land. I may pop in, but in case I don’t, have a great weekend!

Orthaheel Tide Flip Flops Review and Giveaway!

I heart flip flops. I talk about it a lot. I’m not sure if it’s a Cali thing that’s stuck with me since my move to Washington or what, but I can’t get enough of them. I wish I could wear them year-round, but it’s too cold here. In fact, I was supposed to go for a walk during lunch, but it’s cold and rainy and  yucky outside and I did not bring gear for that because…IT IS MAY. It’s the end of May, in fact, which means it is almost June. Where’s the sun?

Aaaannnnyway…

Guess how excited I was when Orthaheel sent me a pair of their most popular flip flops to review?! Girly-mini-clapping-and-squealing-“Yay!” excited. You know what I’m talking about.

They sent me a black pair of theTide flip flops in a size 10. I’m more like a 9.5, but the 10s fit great!

Even my big, freakish toe looks nice when it’s all painted up and
in a cute pair of Orthaheel Tide Flip Flops!

Here’s what Orthaheel says about them:
A summer essential, our comfortable, lightweight Tide sandal will look good wherever you go. This season, we’ve re-engineered the footbed shape to give your toes even more wiggle room! The built-in orthotic footbed promotes foot health and helps reduce fatigue. Durable TPR outsole with wave-patterned tread that helps improve traction, making Tide a versatile choice!
-Convenient, pain-free “natural healing” solution to many of the common aches and pains associated with poor lower limb alignment.
-Orthaheel technology is clinically proven to reduce excess pronation, a contributing factor to “flat feet.”
-Podiatrist-designed, biomechanical Tri-planar Motion Control footbed with a deep heel cup helps stabilize, support and realign the feet back to their natural position.
-American Podiatric Medical Association-approved.
-Lightweight, flexible medium-density EVA midsole absorbs shock, reducing stress on feet, ankles and knees.
-Soft woven toe post and foam-lined strap ensure a comfortable fit.
-Whole sizes; fits medium widths.
-Materials: woven/polyurethane uppers, padded neoprene upper liner, EVA footbed, TPR outsole.
-Care: Wipe off with damp cloth and air dry.

They come in a ton of colors: Green Tea, Cranberry (pictured below), Plumberry, Black, Natural/White, Teal, Sorbet, Metallic Pewter and Metallic Gold.

I got the black pair, which is perfect since I wear them with everything. They have a soft, comfy strap with a thin patent layer strap that I think spices them up a little bit. I mean, this isn’t your cheap drugstore flip flop. These can be dressed up or down.

The sole is awesome. It isn’t foamy or flat like most flip flops. It sort of reminds me of my Super Feet because it’s hard and curved. When I got my SF insoles, I thought, “How are these going to be comfortable? They’re hard.”

The Tide flip flops are the same way. But they are so comfortable. I wore them for approximately 12 hours straight a few weekends ago. (I wrote about it here.) My feet felt awesome. I had no back pain or anything from wearing flip flops all day or any of that. It was like I wore my running shoes.

Now I am spoiled. I will not be able to go back to the old spongy kind. These are a little more expensive ($54.99) than the drugstore kind, but that’s to be expected for great quality. I’ve been wearing them almost everyday for about a month and they still look new, too, by the way.

I love the shoes so much, I asked if Orthaheel could give a pair away to Mom vs. Marathon readers and they are happy to! Yay!

Okay, here’s how to enter. You can enter up to 6 times. IMPORTANT: leave a separate comment for each entry. The Tide Flip Flops Giveaway ends at midnight on May 31st. I will use Random.org to select one winner. The winner will receive one pair of Tide flip flops in the color and size of their choice. Sorry dudes, this is a women’s flip flop, but your wife or girlfriend or daughter might like to have them, right? So enter away!

1. Visit the Orthaheel site here. Check out the Tide sandals. Then, come back and tell me what color flip flops you want if you win.
2. Become a Virtual Running Buddy (follower) and leave me a comment and let me know or let me know if you already are.
3. Add Orthaheel as a Facebook friend, and let me know.
4. Share this giveaway on (a) your blog, (b) Twitter or (c) Facebook. Please leave a comment for each one (3 possible).

Days 306-307: So, Now What?

Warning: This post starts off fun, but goes quickly downhill after that…

DAY 306
Yesterday, I rested. It was rainy here and I felt like cooking something in the crockpot. I made Chicken Parmesan, but did not adjust the cooking time for my crockpot’s size. I think ours is a 5 or 6-quart and lots of recipes are made for 3-quart crocks.

Crockpot Chicken Parmesan fail.

When I took the lid off at dinner time, here’s what I saw: dried up spaghetti sauce with a black-crust edge. That doesn’t look good. I got a serving spoon and tried to scoop out the chicken, but it wouldn’t budge. I scraped at it and it fell apart, but not in a good way. It was dry and almost looked like it would disintigrate like that greedy Donovan dude does when he drinks the holy water from the wrong cup in Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade. “He chose poorly.”

I’m such a bad cook that I can’t even make dinner in a crockpot. I unplugged the pot and announced, “We’re going out.”

It worked out, though, because we decided to make it T Junior’s birthday dinner (his real birthday dinner at home with family will be Thursday), but when I was growing up, we always got to go out for our birthday, too. I wasn’t thrilled about where we ended up, though.

We went to Shari’s (if you’re from around here, we call it Scary’s, it’s sort of like a Denny’s). Mr. T wanted to take T Junior there so we could get him (and us, of course), a piece of pie.

Once we were there, though, it turned out to be great. Nobody cared that T Junior wanted to race his Matchbox car on the table or that he didn’t always use his “inside voice.” And, he got his favorite food: pancakes. It was one large pancake with a whipped cream smile, a scoop-of-yellow-butter nose, two mounds of mini chocolate chips for eyes and two mini pancakes for ears. He got a piece of bacon and a sausage with it. It did not need syrup. I quickly took that away and scooped the nose off.

But we let him eat the rest, and he loved it. He ate 98% of it; there were only a couple bites of pancake and sausage left. You only turn two once, right?

I can’t believe he ate the whole thing.

Then we ordered two pieces of pie to share (although, we probably would’ve been fine with one). He was taking bites of banana cream faster than I could push it away. In the end, me and Mr. T were shoveling pie so there wouldn’t be any left because he’d had enough sweet stuff.

We went out to the car and he was shivering with sugar, and way too enthusiastic about the crow on the roof and the dog in the back of the minivan parked next to us. “A dog in a back a car!” he squealed for 5 minutes after we left the parking lot. Actually, he was being pretty funny. “I goofin’ awound,” he told us.

We didn’t go home right away because he needed to work off some of that sugar. We went to Petco and he got super excited about the rodents and the amphibians there. By the time we were back in the minivan, he was crashing hard. Poor kid.

He doesn’t normally get a lot of sugar, though, so we didn’t feel like too bad of parents or anything.

DAY 307
I wanted Mr. T to set my alarm clock for 5:30 this morning, but somehow he forgot. Luckily, enough drool to fill Lake Michigan was gushing out of the corner of my mouth and creating quite a large a pool on my pillow, so I woke up at 5:45. Later, when I scolded Mr. T about the clock, he said, “But you were only running 3 miles. Seriously, how long can it take?”

I explained to him that I can’t just run and be done now. Nope. In addition to getting dressed, eating and putting on all my gadgets, I now have a warm up, pre-run stretching, walking, then the run, then post-run stretching and, finally, icing.

That whole routine took an hour and 15 minutes this morning. I warmed up with 50 jumping jacks and 50 jump ropes as part of Inperspire’s Virtual Boot Camp Challenge. Then I stretched my calves.

Since it was pouring outside and 45-degrees (F) and all I had for running bottoms was a skirt or shorts, I tried to think positive instead of negative. I channeled Penny and some of the other bloggy guys and gals who like running in the rain.

Soft and comfy bike shorts by Danskin from Walmart for about $7.
They inched up as I ran, though, which was annoying.
I do like them for biking at the gym.

I was cold as I did a warm-up walk. I stopped to stretch my calves again on a curb and the rain soaked my back.

Finally, I was running.

The run itself felt okay. It wasn’t as good as Friday. In fact, I could feel soreness in my shins while going up and down the stairs on Saturday. And I felt it right away on my run today.

I did my 1.5-mile Town Loop twice, focusing on my gait, trying to use my thigh muscles to propel each leg forward instead of the calf muscles. I thought about running from my core and paid attention to my arms, swinging them back and forth, not side to side like I sometimes do when I’m running lazy.

Those things made me faster, but it didn’t change the fact that I could feel soreness in my shins and calves. Again, my right one especially. At home, I stretched and then iced my right leg with my peas and green beans.

Then I went about my day, which didn’t really consist of much. We just sort of lazed around. I colored my hair (darker, in case you are wondering). Later, we went to our friends’ house. And that’s where I felt it.

I was sitting down, even. But I used my legs to shift my body in the chair or something and my shins and calves protested. Severe tightness and soreness. Not quite pain. But it felt like before.

So, I don’t know that I’ll be running a half marathon in two weeks. Walking maybe. Bloggy buddy Alma over at The Average Woman’s Running Blog offered to let me speed-walk it with her and some friends, and I might take her up on that. It would be fun.

(I just have to figure out the logistics because we never got a hotel over there — it’s about three hours from our house. The plan was to stay in our new RV, which we never purchased, and then I got hurt, so I didn’t bother to secure a place to stay. We could drive it, but that’s an early morning for T Junior and I also need to figure out packet pick-up.)

Here’s what I’m really sad about: I hadn’t announced it yet, but I really, really wanted to try for the Bellingham Bay Marathon on September 26. It would’ve been 26.2 on my 33rd birthday. Training would start next week. So I guess that’s out.

How long does calf strain and shin splints take to go away? Could I do
the first half of the training on the bike maybe? Should I go to physical therapy sooner than later? Is it going to get better on its own? This is all so annoying. I’m impatient. I want to be a marathoner now, not next year or the year after or whenever.

Maybe this is God’s way of keeping me healthy since I need to stay in shape if I’m training to train for a marathon. Know what I mean? I’m pretty sure if I didn’t have a race to prep for, that I could do some serious slacking and fall back into my old ways of just sitting around staring at Facebook all day (I still do that of course, but just a half-day now).

Jill and Mel are trying to get a group together for a half or 10K that’s also on my birthday. Maybe I should shoot for the 10K. Maybe I should just be happy with 5 and 10Ks for this year and plan for a full next year.

Either way, I have to end this post because it’s getting late and I have to get up to bike in the morning. Maybe I’ll figure it out while I’m sweating buckets at 6 a.m.

Two and Seven Things

Everybody always does Three Things, but I only have two today. Actually, I have nine…

First, Karma at Inperspire is hosting a Virtual Boot Camp Challenge. I signed up. This week is:

  • 300 jumping jacks
  • 300 jump ropes (with or without a rope)
  • 100 push-ups
  • 200 sit-ups

Second, thanks to Tall Mom for this cool bloggy award!

I’m supposed to post seven fun things.
1. T Junior’s 2nd birthday is this week: Thursday. Every time a box comes (we shop online a lot), he says, “A birthday box!” He’s pretty excited. He’s been singing Happy Birthday and asking for birthday cake for a month. Yesterday, he even told the stylist: “A birthday haircut.”

2. I am excited for the World Cup, which begins June 11. I love soccer (or football…whatever). I started playing in the 1st grade. Our team mostly stayed together through high school, so we were pretty good. I played on intramural teams in college and indoor teams after college. It’s been several years, though.

3. I discovered my love to run during the required mile in 8th grade, or was it 7th? I can’t remember what year it was. Anyway, I won for the girls. I don’t know that everyone was putting as much effort into it as I was. I’ve always been competitive.

4. I ran cross country only one year in high school: the fall of my junior year. That spring, though, I got mono. My immune system has been whacked ever since. I developed allergies and I had asthma (although, it doesn’t bother me anymore, so I wonder if it was a result of the allergens where I lived then). When the cross country season came along in my senior year, I whimped out. I couldn’t handle the inhaler and I struggled and I quit. I’m not proud of this. I should’ve stuck it out.

5. These days, I’m loving our crockpot. It’s so awesome. You make dinner during the first part of the day when you have energy and patience, and then all you have to do is dish it up when it’s time to eat! We have the Taste of Home Slow Cooker Classics book. It has hundreds of recipes that don’t take a lot of prep time. I don’t like slowcooker recipes that require a lot of prep. That sort of defeats the purpose of a slowcooker if you ask me.

6. I like to have dessert every night. I know that’s not healthy, though, so I try to make it small and/or something light. My favorite dessert is a vanilla Skinny Cow in a bowl with a very, very thin layer of peanut butter spread on top (about a quarter of a teaspoon is all you need). Also, Costco has these mini angel food cakes that are about 140 calories. I also love one of those with a cup of Dunkin’ Donuts decaf.

7. I love shopping on eBay. I’ve purchased a couple of summer shirts, some NFL PJs for T Junior and I just won some Chloe perfume that I wanted to try (it retails for like $85, so that’s a little out of my price range). The other day, I saw a Running Skirt on there. I should’ve bid. Someone got it for $22!
 
And, if you didn’t see it, I added some tabs across the top of my blog (under the header). There’s 25 more things you never wanted to know up there.
 
Okay, now to pass this award on to 15 bloggy buddies:
1. H Love at Keep On Keeping On, who has been dealing with an injury.
2. LB over at Muddy Runner, who completed a Mud Run with his two daughters today.
3. Lisa at Lisa Runs Wait…What?, who will be running the Nike Women’s Half Marathon this fall.
4. Robin at Running Circles Around the Turtles, who is always inspiring me.
5. Anne at Asthma and the Gift of Running, who is another inspiring and motivational bloggy buddy.
6. Ewa at Running Bunny, who is dealing with an Achilles injury.
7. Robyn at Ramblings of a Wannabe Writer and Runner, who is also injured…and just after returning from vacation, too.
8. Steel Springs at Springs. Steel Springs, who is looking for a good half marathon training plan. Head over if you have a suggestion.
9. Tricia at Endurance Isn’t Only Physical, who always has good running and eating advice, and great giveaways, too!
10. Mel at 2nd Chances, who’s story and dedication inspires me.
11. Alma F. at The Average Woman’s Running Blog, who I’m hoping I get a chance to meet at NODM!
12. Kelly at In a Field of Daffodils, who ran the Vancouver Half earlier this month.
13. Navy Wife at Navy Wife and A Running Fool, another bloggy buddy who lives in the Puget Sound area and I hope to meet someday.
14. Alison at Waisting Duxie, who also lives nearby and will hopefully meet up with me to run someday.
15. Glenn at The Running Fat Guy, who always gives me great advice on anything running or dieting!
 
Whew! That’s a long list, but it could be longer because I am blessed with so many inspirational, motivational (Muppetational?*) Virtual Running Buddies!
 
*Being in my early 30s, I love the Muppets and can sing the theme song. Naturally, Muppetational just popped into my head as I was writing “inspiration, motivational.”

Day 304-305: I Believe! I Believe!

DAY 304
I’m starting to like the recumbent bike. I get to read while I’m working out, and you all know what a fan I am of multi-tasking…or, maybe you don’t, but now you know. I figured out, through asking others and Internet research, that I need to ride at least three miles for every one mile I would normally run. I sweat like crazy on that thing, so I know I’m doing something right.

Thursday I got up at 4 a.m., took Bennie out, showered and went to the gym. I know it seems silly to shower before the gym,but there’s no way I could exercise, get home, get clean and get to work on time. So, it’s the only way. And my hair stays wet in a ponytail or bun, so I just take it out and sort of let it frizz curl naturally.

I pedaled hard for 50 minutes (12.12 miles), then did a 5-minute/1-mile cooldown. After I ride, I stay next to the bike and stretch. I started holding each stretch for 20-30 seconds. I hate to admit it, but my stretching was lacking before. I probably held each stretch for 3-5 seconds. I learned my lesson.

Thursday morning, I was tempted to get on the treadmill and just try out my calves and shins for 10 minutes. But I held back. I waited for Friday because I wanted to run outside, not on the ‘mill.

DAY 305
It gets light out around 5 a.m. right now. And it will get earlier. I like this. This means I can run outside in the morning on my days off and, actually, even before work if I want. I will be factoring in more time for my running — time for stretching and warming up before my run and time for stretching and icing after my run.

This morning, I rose at 5:30, took Bennie out, weighed myself (down 1.4 – yay!) and put my running clothes on. Downstairs, before I strapped on my watch, drank a glass of water and ate a banana. Then I put on my shoes, did 30 jumping jacks for a little warm up and did two nice ‘n’ easy stretches for my lower legs.

Outside, I walked quickly for about three minutes, then gently stretched my calves on a curb. I was nervous. Please no pain, please no pain.

I got started with a goal of 20 minutes of easy running on my regular 1.5-mile town loop. I stuck to the asphalt instead of running on the concrete sidewalk, which is what I used to do. I never really thought about it before, but I was running a lot of miles on those sidewalks.

I felt great. I could tell the bike has helped me stay in shape. I have not run in two weeks, but I felt pretty strong. My thighs felt strong. My core felt weaker, though, but that’s because I’ve slacked on my strength workouts.

Ever time I looked, my time was at a 10-minute pace or less and I felt like I was running easy!

And before I knew it, my 20 minutes was up. I hit stop on my watch and saw that I was at 1.99 miles. I couldn’t stop there, I hit start and ran for a few feet to get to 2. The run was over too soon! But I wanted to take it easy.

I walked again for about 3 minutes, then stretched my calves on the curb in front of my house before going inside where I stretched immediately. I did the stretch routine that I still remember from my cross country days in high school. It’s very complete and I held each stretch for a full 20 seconds. I felt relaxed afterward.

Then, I made some Nuun and iced my shins just in case. I need to get some larger Ziplocs because the only thing I had that was big enough were two bags of frozen veggies. I left them on for 10 minutes.

I feel so relieved. I know I still need to take it easy, but I’m excited to be running again. I’m still going to do a lot of biking, though. I believe in the bike!

5/21/10 – 2 Miles – 20:20
10:08 average pace
Mile 1: 10:10
Mile 2: 10:07

COMING UP:
-Look for a couple of sweet giveaways soon!

Days 299-303: My Cows Are Feeling Better

T Junior has been commenting on my calves lately: “A Mama a cows hurt.”

Ohmigod! I almost died the first time he said that. He’ll be two in a week. How does he know what baby cows are called? I don’t think we’ve ever covered that before.

Last week was such a let-down. And to top it all off, when I weighed myself on Friday morning I’d gained THREE pounds! So, now I’m back in the 170’s. Rrrrr. (I’m hoping my womanly…uh…”gift” and the fact that I’ve been drinking a gallon of water a day are at least partially to blame.)

I’m behind in my “daily” posts because there’s a lot going on in my head and I tend to want to write right when I am thinking about it. I’m hoping to catch up here. Here’s how the weekend went, and the first part of this week:

Cute and comfy Orthaheel flip flops!

DAY 299
Every year, a neighborhood in a nearby town holds a community garage sale. Hundreds of households participate. It’s like one-stop garage-sale shopping, and I always go with my friend Kallie.

I knew it was going to be warm out, so I dressed accordingly…in flip flops.

Now, before you get all mad at me because I have calf and shin issues, let me tell you that Orthaheel sent me some of their new flip flops to try out. They are comfy and super cute! I’d worn them a couple times before Saturday and knew they offered way more support than my old sandals or even my crusty walking shoes. These flip flops rocked. I wore them for 12 hours straight on Saturday (that was not all garage-sale-time) and my feet felt pretty darn good the whole day! (I will write a review soon.)

I also remembered to put on sunscreen thankyouverymuch and brought AJ II (my Garmin). I was curious to see how far we walked by the end of the day. I did have a couple problems with AJ II, but it wasn’t his fault. I had to turn Auto Pause off and a couple of times forgot to manually pause it when we got back in the car to drive from one area to another. Oops! But, give or take, it was only about three miles. And, that was over the course of seven hours! So, yeah, not really a workout.
One of the women who was selling stuff at her house noticed AJ II, though, and we got to talking. It seems like everywhere I go, somehow, running comes up in conversation. She will be running at Seattle Rock N Roll. Dude! EVERYONE is running that race except me, I swear.

Anyway, we had a blast on Saturday! My best buy was a $10 barely-used Roomba that just needs a new battery! Yay! We love ours and wanted to get another one for upstairs, so hopefully this one will work out. I also got a ton of Thomas the Tank Engine stuff for T Junior. A Thomas backpack, in particular, is a HUGE hit.

Seriously, he won’t take it off.

DAY 300
I didn’t get up early enough to get to the gym on Sunday. I stayed up too late and was really tired. But then I felt heavy and bloated and lethargic. It got better as the day went on, but I still wanted to do something, so I did some strength training: 90 crunches on the ball; then continuous 3 circuits of 15 lifts for arms — bicep curls, overhead tricep extensions, chest presses and shoulder presses with 5 lb. hand weights — and continuous 3 circuits of 15 lifts for legs: outer thigh lifts, glute kickbacks, fire hydrants.

DAY 301
I got up really early so I could go bike at the gym. Mondays I’m a stay-at-home mommy, but I didn’t want to have to take T Junior with me if I didn’t have to. I wanted to be back by 7 because that way I could shower before Mr. T or T Junior woke up.

I didn’t know how far or how long to ride the recumbent bike, so I did 45 minutes on Random, set to Level 7. I went 12.12 miles and then did an easy 5-minute cooldown.

T Junior and I had a few chores to get done on Monday, so I felt bad that the dogs had been locked up for a while, especially the puppy. It was such a beautiful, warm sunny day, so I decided to take T Junior and Bennie for a walk.
Stupidest idea ever.

Good thing he’s cute.

It shouldn’t have been. I originally thought I would push T Junior in his red plastic car, and it would just be a quick 15-minute walk around the neighborhood, but he wanted to wear his Thomas backpack, which meant he wanted to walk. “I walk,” he informed me.

You can’t really ditch the idea of a walk after you’ve told a toddler you are going to do so. I guess you can, but be ready to deal with the consequences.

Bennie is a 25-pound, 15-week-old boxer puppy. He likes walks, but he’s curious about everything and scared of some of those things, and most of all, he just wants to jump on T Junior, like, all the time. He loves him too much.

The walk was a disaster. We went about a half-mile and it took 45 minutes. Bennie even broke his leash at one point. Then, he was so excited he could not calm down and I ended up carrying him as he tried to wriggle out of my arms, while I repeated, “Let’s go, T Junior. Stay on the sidewalk, T Junior. Can you walk faster please?” over and over. I was extremely stressed out by the time we got home.

Good thing he’s cute.

But I probably burned some calories yelling.

DAY 302
Back to reality, er, work. I got up at 4 a.m., took Bennie out to potty, showered, put on my gym clothes and packed my outfit for work. It took me a while. I was slow to wake up.

When I got to the gym, which is only about 10 minutes away, I took a towel out of my bag and suddenly remembered I’d forgotten to pack a bra. Crap. I stood in front of my bag for a second. What do I do? Go home?

I debated. Then I remembered I was wearing a tank top with a built-in bra and I was wearing my old, soft sports bra underneath. I don’t really neeeeeed two bras for the bike.

Quickly, I went to the changing room and packed the sports bra away for under my work clothes.

Finally, I was on the bike. I set it for 50 minutes on Random at Level 7. One minute into my ride and I knew reading Jane Austen’s Mansfield Park was not going to work. Need.Too.Much.Brain.Power. I didn’t know what the heck was going on. So, love the Kindle, I downloaded Run Like a Mother (RLAM), which was perfect!

The time flew by and I’ve never sweate
d so much in my life. After a 5-minute cool down, I got off the bike to stretch and my entire front and back were soaked. Disgusting. (I rode 14.6 in 55 minutes.)

I know it’s gross to workout before work, but it’s the only way I can get it done. And, yes, I wore my clean sports bra all day.

The reward for getting up at 4. I could hang out with Mr. T in the evening. We watched The Biggest Loser and I started crying when Alison Sweeney announced the contestants would run a marathon.

“It’s not fair,” I sniffed (because I was acting 12).

Mr. T was sweet. “You’ll get there,” he said.

Of course, I had to post how I was feeling here.

DAY 303
I didn’t get to bed early enough Tuesday night and Mr. T told me it was not healthy to get up in 5 hours and 45 minutes (and that was only if I stopped reading right that second, which, I couldn’t because Fanny and Edmund and Ms. Crawford were sort of arguing but in a really polite Austen-ish sort of way). So, I had him set the alarm clock for 4:30 instead. I knew that meant less time to ride, but I always figure some is better than none.

So this morning was rather uneventful. I mean, I remembered all my underwear and everything, so that was good. Since I only had about 30 minutes to work out, I set the bike to 25 minutes on Random at Level 10. That definitely got my heart pumping. I think I need to do Level 10 more often.

I was putting the finishing touches on my face in the gym bathroom when an older woman came in, breathing hard from her work out in her “day” clothes. She took her wet hair out of a braid and brushed it, then got out her makeup bag. I smiled.

“We gotta do what we gotta do, don’t we?” I said.

She laughed and we talked about how going home to change clothes and get ready for work would take too much time away from sleep. This is the second morning I’ve “met” her in the bathroom.

RLAM was inspiring me this morning. Dimity had an injury before one of her marathons, and she rode the bike all the way up to race day.

It made me think. Next time, I will cross train more. I will ride the bike a lot so I won’t get hurt. Next time, I will run early in the morning so I don’t have to sacrifice so much time with my family. Next time, I will stretch more, ice more, take more cold baths, drink more water. I hope next time’s not too far away.

I spent my lunch hour looking at marathons online. My calves feel pretty good. My shins, too. I think I’m going to run Friday morning.

I'm So Not Over It

Tonight, the last four contestants on The Biggest Loser will run…wait for it…

a marathon.

When Sammy, I mean Alison Sweeney, announced this, I felt it coming. Jealousy. It seeped out of me in the form of tears.

Instead of being excited and happy for these four amazing people, I’m annoyed. Annoyed that they will do it and I will not. I will sit here on the couch and watch them run.

Actually, no I won’t. I don’t think I’m going to watch. Besides, I have go to bed early again so I can get up at 4, get to the gym and ride the bike.

Nighty-night.