Monday, October 31, 2005

Less Than 300 Days Left... Ironman Canada. That's only 10 months left to train.

I had a chance to speak with my new coach this weekend. We talked a lot about how my focus is going to have to be on getting me through the bike as my swim and run, while maybe not fast, are at least consistent and I have a solid base in those two disciplines. The bike, though, well that's another story. We will start me out on the trainer two or three times a week, for probably 30 minutes to an hour to start. That's all. At least for the bike portion. Of course, weekends will be when I will want to try and get a ride in, but we won't worry about those too much until the weather improves. Of course, I don't stand a snowball's chance in you-know-where of doing anything like qualifying for Kona, but I should at least be able to finish the darn thing this time around!

At least she didn't have any problem with me signing up for the Seattle Half. Now I'm the only one that has a problem with it. I ran a week ago Sunday and haven't run since. Starting about Wednesday, I got a cold and it kicked my butt throughout the entire weekend. Now with the time change, I admit I'm feeling a little off center. But the half mary is only 4 weeks away. I'm very obviously not going to have a PR. Thank goodness Darcy has agreed to keep me company.


This weekend I took the "BIG" step. After a year or more of trying to coax my computer along because I was a) too busy to fix it and/or b) too lazy to do what needed to be done, I finally broke down and bought a removable (meaning external) hard drive. I then began the process of moving the files I wanted to keep onto the removable drive, because I was going to REFORMAT my hard drive.

While in this process, I made an interesting discovery. Granted, my computer was purchased around 2001 or so, but is still a good machine. I could stand to upgrade the memory (for video and dvd burning, etc.), but other than that, it does everything I need it to do. What I learned, though, was that the external drive that I purchased was some 80Gb while the internal drive on my computer was a mere 40Gb. Go figure. I thought I had plenty of room to back up my whole hard drive onto the new external drive. Some two hours later, I note that the back up process has halted. Huh? Argh. Seems my computer's hard drive was NTSF or NTFS or whatever while the external one was FAT32. That meant the backup file was limited to 4Gb. Oh, well. Nothing to do for it.

Anyway, I'd finished moving all the files over and now I was ready to do what I dreaded to do. As always, this is a move of the last resort. Hard drives rarely need it unless you are giving them away. I was going to reformat my hard drive. EVERYTHING would be lost. Going back to a restore point was no longer an option. I had so many extraneous, superfluous, redundant, unnecessary (how many other adjectives can I use for the same thing) irrelevant, and non-essential files on my computer that it had slowed to a mere crawl. I had trojans hiding in the corners along with a few viruses, not to mention adware, spyware, and TWO (count them, TWO) operating systems. My computer was a mess.

For too long I had let the task go for fear of losing some important piece of information. Let's face it, I had all my contacts, e-mails, training plans, pictures, and race reports stored on this computer. Having a hard copy of any of these things would be nice, but could you imagine retyping all those race reports or re-entering all the data from my training logs? The thought alone was enough to make me cringe.

However, after spending most of Sunday at the task (Thursday through Saturday were spent being mostly sick), I was finally at the C:> prompt where I needed to type in the Y (for yes) when asked the question, "Do you really want to reformat the drive." Closing my eyes, I hit the enter key, then walked away from my computer. This was going to take a while.

Wow! What a difference a few hours can make. Yes, it's a pain in the kazoo because I have to reload all my software. I have lost some data (a year's worth of diet info in Fitday), but most of my pictures, race reports, and training journals are safe. I even managed to salvage all the data in my Outlook with the exception of my rules. Already I can tell a difference. Web pages load faster, programs open up quicker, and jpeg transfers are no longer sluggish.

To bad we can't reformat our lives sometimes. Wouldn't it be interesting if we could simply wipe out all the bad stuff, the extraneous, superfluous, non-essential stuff? But what would we learn if we did. I think we'd always have to be starting over from scratch. It's okay to do it to a computer, but human beings are a little different. Ya think?

Wednesday, October 26, 2005

Biggest Whiner

Okay, I admit it. I watch one of those reality TV shows. I'm not crazy about most of them, but I do like watching "The Biggest Loser." Why? Because I can relate to their struggles. Because I continue to relate to their struggles. Because I'm envious of their opportunity to workout with a trainer. Because I'm envious of their controlled environment. Because I would love to have a chef cooking for me. Because I used to BE (and still am, to an extent) like them. But that's another story. This is another rant.

Okay, Suzy is driving me crazy. Stop with the whining already! She complains about how it is oh, so hard on poor, poor Suzy (and the other girls) to watch the guys win the weigh-in every time. Those boys are just being so mean for not thinking of the poor girls' feelings while they celebrate their wins with victory dances. And as she continues to lament, her voice keeps getting higher and higher and higher until the woman is practically screeching. Somebody put a cork in it for her, will ya?

And Shannon has such a chip on her shoulder. She is absolutely convinced that all of the guys are against her. She complains about being dis-respected, but won't offer up even a smidgen of respect herself. Well, duh, honey, that's a two way street. You know, it's a wonder the Shannon and Suzy ever get any sleep as they are constantly partying. Pity partying, that is. I've never seen such water works. Between the two of them, they must have cried a river! OMG, ladies, GET OVER YOURSELVES.

Of course, Mark wasn't much better, coming right out and calling the girls "dirt bags." Like, dude, that's just so rude! Whatever your personal opinions might be, restrain yourself, okay? You're a cop. These girls aren't criminals. No wonder the girls are upset with attitudes like that coming from the boys. However, I did like Caroline's response, "Suck it up." Yeah, duh, huh? That was a toughie.

What saddened me, was the inidividual they let go. Pete had done such a great job making the pairs (okay, so you have to watched the show to know what that means, but it doesn't really matter so I won't go into it) that everyone involved actually seemed pleased. It was really sad to see him go, but wow! You should see him now. He looks spectacular. I wonder if my lamenting his departure makes me the Biggest Whiner?

Monday, October 24, 2005

Ghost Whisperer and Ghostly Research

I'm incensed. Okay, maybe it's stupid and I'm just being a triathlon snob, but I hate all these screenwriters trying to incorporate the sport of triathlon into their stories without doing the proper research. The episode I just watched (I DVR'd it so the episode was a week or more old) was about a guy that died while doing a triathlon. Seems some numbskull kid on a Stingray-type bike (um, dating myself there) was allowed into the the path of the cyclist(s) and the cyclist ended up head over heels over the guardrail. Point is, the cyclist-now-ghost is saying how he was just finishing a 112 mile bike and getting ready to go on a 26 mile run. Give me a break. This guy was riding a road bike with flat handlebars (guess he didn't believe in going aero) AND riding in a pack. Can you say "drafting?"

Okay, like I said, I'm just being a snob, but I have yet to see a flat handle bar at an iron-distance race. You'll find them aplenty at sprints and olympics, and maybe even the half-iron distance, but not usually at an ironman. Drives me nuts. Right along with all those folks that pronounce triathlon as tri-ath-A-lon instead of tri-ath-lon.

I'm done ranting. I'll go to bed now.

Sunday, October 23, 2005

Completed Races (2002 - 2004)

My athletic/racing career (such as it is) begins in 2002 when, at the ripe old age of 45, I ran my first race, the St. Patrick's Day Dash in Seattle. Heck, it's when I started running at all. However, I had so much fun at that first race, that I haven't stopped racing since. The bib numbers (and t-shirts) just continue to collect.

2002 Completed Races
3/17/02St. Patrick's Day Dash5k+37:51
8/3/02Sumner Fun Run5k31:21
8/10/02My First TriathlonSprint1:46:06
3/17/02Danskin Triathlon (Seattle)Sprint1:53:18
9/8/02Bank to Bay 10k 10k1:04:03
9/28/02NW Trek Run Wild8k48:13
10/6/02Portland Marathon5 miler49:25
10/26/02Halloween 5k5k29:26
11/25/02Turkey Trot at Norpoint 5k 30:37
11/28/02Seattle MarathonHalf Marathon2:30:03
12/10/02Christmas Rush Fun Run



2003 Completed Races
1/1/03Resolution Run5k33:26
2/2/03Las Vegas MarathonMarathon5:26:07
3/16/03St. Patrick's Day Dash5k+31:59
3/30/03Mercer Island Run8k51:29
5/18/03Capital City Marathon5(.2)m55:18
6/1/03Blue Lake TriathlonOlympic3:49:56
6/14/03Sound to Narrows12k1:27:51
7/4/03Firecracker TriathlonSprint1:26:27
7/26/03Seafair Torchlight Run12k53:12
8/2/03Sumner Fun Run5k29:31
8/9/02My Next TriathlonSprint1:24:49
8/17/03Danskin TriathlonSprint1:27:51
9/7/03Tri-America (Lake Stevens)Olympic3:41:27
9/28/03Inexpensive 8k8k48:13
11/27/03Turkey Trot at Norpoint5k 34:35
11/30/03Seattle MarathonHalf Marathon2:27:25

2004 Completed Races
1/11/04Rock-n-Roll ArizonaMarathon5:59:15
4/17/04Y Run for Kids5k32:20
5/16/05Capital City Marathon5m53:42
6/06/04Blue Lake TriathlonOlympic3:15:00
6/12/04Cascades Edge TriathlonSprint1:34:45
7/18/04Seafair TriathlonSprint2:02:14
8/1/04Troika TriathlonHalf Ironman7:39:12
8/7/04Sumner Festival Fun Run5k29:56
8/29/04Chicago TriathlonOlympic3:30:28
9/11/04Black Hills TriathlonOlympic3:39:00
9/12/04Bank to Bay 10k 10k1:07:05
9/25/04NW Trek Run Wild8k53:53
10/3/04Inexpensive 8k8k55:06
10/31/04Run Like HellHalf Marathon2:28:20
11/25/04Turkey Trot at Norpoint 5k 31:23
11/28/04Seattle MarathonHalf Marathon2:22:04
12/10/02Christmas Rush Fun Run



Soos Creek Trail Run

Let me start out by saying that "trail run" is a bit of a misnomer. The trail is nicely paved. I was expecting a trail much like the paved trail I normally run on in Orting that is all flat. That was a mistake. This was much more rolling. It wasn't bad, but it meant my already sluggish pace was even more sluggish. My major difficulties were in the downhills and when the trail canted to one side or the other. Those two things would put added stress on the knee and it would twinge some. Not bad, but the twinges were there. In spite of that, I felt like I had a good run. I managed to put in 5 miles in about 62 minutes (told you I was a slug). Normally, I can at least get close to 6 miles in that same time, but I guess this is just my "recovery" pace. Yup, that's my story and I'm sticking to it.

Here we are congragating after the run. This is when we do our stretching, chugging of post-run hydration/nutrition, and general catch up which usually entails discussing which Starbuck's we will descend upon that day. I was very glad of this opportunity to chit-chat as I didn't meet up with them yesterday (when they run and I usually swim, but I still meet them at Starbucks afterwards).

Once we arrive at Starbuck's we tend to take over the place. Imagine, if you will, a lazy Sunday morning when 18 people suddenly swoop down on your estabilishment without any warning, and keep your barristas hop, hop, hopping!

Today was also the day my friend Barb, whom I hadn't seen in many, many weeks, and I had agreed to get together and run. Barb and I did our first marathon together in Las Vegas 2003, along with Lori, Darcy, and Seujan.

Today was a particularly fine day as there were about 18 of us that had gathered at Starbuck's . One of things I like about these group runs is the sense of camaraderie that exists. We enjoy each others company and love sharing our stories. In addition to talking about running, we also solve all the world's problems, come to conclusions about how to avert the next meteorlogical tragedy, and figure out which races we want to do next, either individually or as a group/team. In this fashion, we have decided upon races like the Rainier to Ruston Relay (50 mile relay or ultra), Rainier to Pacific Relay (150 mile relay), NW Trek Run Wild (8k), Y Run for Kids (5k), and Sound to Narrows (12k), just to name a few. The next group race up is the United We Run Marathon and Relay.

Going for coffee after our runs is not only social, it is often educational. Here you see Darcy (IronAyla) giving blogging lessons to Rob (RunningFurther).

But the really BIG question for the day was what to bring for next week's potluck. Food. We are all about the food. And coffee, of course.

Friday, October 21, 2005

Take My Breath Away

I'm thrilled. I got to ride to work today and I got to ride on the newly paved portion of the trail. I'm thrilled because I pick up the trail just shy of 2 miles from my house. No longer do I have to ride along the two-lane, 50 mph highway. I don't have to dodge roadkill, broken glass, tire shreds, or copious amounts of gravel. I can now ride along, in peaceful serenity and (relative) blissful quiet all the way to where I work. It was absolutely wonderful.

This morning, I rode past Christmas tree farms I didn't know existed. Other fields contained bright orange globes among which, in the afternoon, children would scamper about looking for their favorite jack-o-latern-to-be. People were walking their dogs while others just ran. All of us are glad this part of the trail has finally been paved. I was filled with wonder, contentment, and pure glee. I smiled all morning at work just remembering the ride.

Of course, the ride had a bit of a down side. My knee caused me some pain. Not much and mostly just twinges, but I worried about how my activies the rest of the day might affect my ride home. I was slated to hit the mezzanine with 5 of my co-workers and begin cleaning it up. To tackle the job, I brought my grunge clothes along with gloves and a dust mask.

The mezzanine is a no man's land. It is where everything goes that no one knows what to do with, as we have little to no storage, and we have a legal requirement to keep the stuff. It is also where excess supplies go. But as time marched on, for at least the 8 months that I have been there, boxes got piled on top of boxes, and we started to lose things. They didn't go anywhere, we just couldn't find them in the ensuing mountain of stuff.

Well, to try and make a long story short, I got in a heck of a workout just breaking down boxes and moving things around so that there was some semblence of order in the place. All the toner, most of it obsolte as we no longer have the printers they supported, is all in one place. All the forms we use are now in one place. All the cleaning supplies were collected and put in one place. It's still dirty, nasty, filthy, dusty up there, but at least it's an organized filth.

All of that physical exertion, though, put a strain on my knee especially as I tried to go up and down the stairs that led to the mezzanine. The rise on these puppies is not exactly within code. I discovered that while I could go up more or less normally, I had to stiff leg it down, one at a time. So, the ride home might possibly be a challenge.

Once it was 5:00 p.m., I locked the doors, changed back into my cycling clothes and I was gone! Once again, I picked up the newly paved trail. It was just as wonderful tonight as it was this morning. When I arrived at the junction that was the turn-off to my street, I was compelled, in spite of the knee twinges, to just keep going. I couldn't help it. It was just so nice outside. The weather was perfect. I found it particularly interesting when I would hit pockets of really warm air. I mean a solid 10 degrees warmer. Had to be. Of course, I didn't have a thermometer with me (my Polar S720i doesn't count), so I can't really say. It could have been only 5 degrees difference, I don't really know for sure, but whatever the difference, it was striking. It was enough so that it took me by surprise.

When I got to the end of the newly paved trail, I turned around and rode back. That's when I saw her. She took my breath away. She always does. She is so solid, so striking, so absolutely magnificent. Mt. Rainier is absolutely one of the most beautiful mountains in the world. Majestic is an apt adjective. No matter how long I've lived here (30 years), the sight of her never fails to leave me feeling awed. Of course, living in her shadow, I admit to being slightly biased. Okay, a LOT biased. Doesn't matter. There is no denying the majesty of her presence. Of course, if you can't see her, it means it's raining and if you can see her, then it's going to rain. Only two types of weather forecasts in Washington; either it's raining or it's going to rain.

Anyway, after stopping to take a few pictures of Her Majesty, I rode on back to the intersection that would take me to my home. Once I arrived home, I couldn't help but think I should be doing a brick. My legs felt like jelly after even such a short ride.

Going up the stairs to the back door, my knee twinged again. Some of those twinges downright hurt. During my ride I wondered about the pain. I figured there has to be some pain, right? I mean, when people do PT as part of their recovery for a serious injury, there is always some pain, isn't there? I was just hoping I wasn't crossing the line between acceptable pain and unacceptable pain. How am I supposed to know?

Whatever the case may be, I managed, over the course of the day by riding to work (4.6 miles), riding to town for my lunch and back to work (6.2 miles), and riding back home via the end of the trail (7.9 miles), to put in a whopping 18.7 miles in one hour and 23 minutes. Okay, not breaking any speed records there, but at least I was back on my bike. That was a very good thing.

Thursday, October 20, 2005

Amazing Amazon Dot Com

I ordered some books over the weekend from Amazon dot com. Pat wanted a book on peanut butter and how to make your own. Amazon was having a special and you could get it along with the Ultimate Chocolate Cookie book or some such thing. He has the sweet tooth (I prefer salty), so I got the duo combo.

Then I noticed the books I had on my wish list. There was Chi Running by Danny Dreyer and Slow, Fat Triathlete by Jayne Williams.

I added those to my order. After all, if I used their super saver shipping, which could take 6 to 10 days, I'd pay nothing in shipping. I wasn't in a hurry, so I opted for the super saver.

Well, Amazon came through again. Of course, it helps I live in the Northwest where many of these books are warehoused and where Amazon Dot Com is headquartered. But the 6 to 10 days shipping turned into 4. Yay! I'm quite anxious to read Jayne's book, "Slow, Fat Triathlete." I've actually had the pleasure of meeting Jayne. She is a delightfully frank and witty individual. I enjoy her company immensely.

I'll tell you more about Jayne some other time but, for now, I think I'll hit the sack and take Jayne's book to bed with me. I look forward to her making me laugh.

Wednesday, October 19, 2005

I Can't Find My Groove!

So Tuesday, I was going to go swim. But I didn't.

Today, I considered going for a spin class, but I was too hungry after work, so I just went home.

Tomorrow I'm supposed to run with my friend Darcy (Ironayla, shown here at Ironman Canada 2003), but I want to attend an open house at the local school. I live in a valley and developers are ruining it's character by building huge housing developments within the valley and on top of one of the (chain of) hills. Unfortunately, the current infrastructure doesn't support the amount of development going on. Commute times have increased dramatically. Thank goodness at least I go against the primary commute when going to and from work.

But the increased traffic has also meant the more savvy commuters are finding alternative routes around the main in/out access. One of them is down my street and surrounding roads. My road, somewhat rural, used to be a safe road to cycle on. Anymore, I won't venture out on my bike at going home time. It's just too dangerous. It's a 35 mph road and people do 50 on it. But they do 35 on the 50 mph freeway. Go figure.

However, this has little to do with my groove. I spent all last summer getting up early to hit the pool or to go running. I would get up early to cycle into work. Weekends were no exception. Saturdays were normally swim and bike days while Sundays were run days. Then I did Ironman Canada. Okay, so then I tried to do the Ironman. I didn't finish it, but I still did a heck of a workout that day.

Now the race is over. I can relax. But not too much. We didn't want to lose too much fitness, now did we? So I kept getting up early and hitting the pool. Well, I did as soon as my sunburn healed (oh, that's a story in its own). So I swam and I ran (mostly ran). And I did it up until the day before my surgery.

Now I'm three weeks post-op and I've been running 3 times and swimming once. I want to do more, but am finding it hard to get out of my warm cozy bed in the morning. And once I'm home in the evening, I do NOT want to go anywhere else. I just want to curl up in my jammies and call it a night.

In fact, I think I'll call it a night now and go hit the sack. The older I get, it seems the more I need to sleep. Maybe I'll get my groove back next week. I sure hope so.

Tuesday, October 18, 2005

2005 Race Schedule

So, this is (was) my race calendar for 2005.

2005 Race Schedule

01/09/05P.F. Chang's Rock-n-Roll ArizonaMarathon DNF*
01/29/05Resolution Run 10k1:08:03
03/13/05St. Patrick's Day Dash5l32:26
04/16/05Daffodil Dash5k29:46
04/24/05Mt. Rainier DuathlonShort Course 1:56:08
05/08/05Over the Dam Half Marathon Half Marathon2:36:35
05/15/05Capital City Half MarathonHalf Marathon 2:23:12
06/04/05Rails to Trails Relay 50 mile relay 7:59:36 team effort!
06/19/05New Balance Triathlon Half IM 7:37:59
07/16/05Sumner Festival Run/Walk 5k30:51
08/28/05Ironman CanadaIronman DNF**
11/24/05Turkey Trot at Norpoint5kTBD
11/27/05Seattle Half MarathonHalf MarathonTBD
12/10/05Christmas Rush Fun Run/Walk10kTBD

*DNF -- Withdrew from race because of possible stress fracture, which was later determined not to be one.

**DNF -- Completed swim and bike, but failed to meet bike cut-off time of 5:30 p.m. (obviously need more hill work)

Monday, October 17, 2005

2006 Race Schedule

Okay so this is my proposed racing calendar for 2006 and doesn't include other events I might do (like organized rides, etc.), therefore it is highly tentative and subject to change.

Proposed 2006 Races
01/01/06Resolution Run 5kTBD
01/21/06Resolution Run10kTBD
02/11/06Resolution Run15kTBD
03/12/06St. Patrick's Day Dash5k+TBD
04/22/06Daffodil Dash5kTBD
05/21/06Capital City Half MarathonHalf MarathonTBD
06/04/06Blue Lake TriathlonOlympicTBD
06/18/06New Balance TriathlonHalf IronmanTBD
07/16/06Musselman TriathlonHalf IM or SprintTBD
08/27/06Ironman Canada IronmanJust to Finish
09/10/06Bank to Bay10kTBD
09/24/06NW Trek Run Wild 10kTBD
10/29/06Run Like Hell Half MarathonHalf MarathonTBD
11/30/06Turkey Trot at Norpoint5kTBD
12/03/06Seattle Half MarathonHalf MarathonTBD
12/10/06Christmas Rush Fun Run/Walk10kTBD

Sunday, October 16, 2005

Solitary Run

This is a picture of the trail I ran on this morning. It wasn't this nice out today, but it often is during the spring and summer. This particular shot was taken by the Tacoma Wheelman's Bicycle club. I just wanted to share the character of the trail with you. You can see the river peeking through on the right hand side of the trail.

Got up late this morning, but decided to meet the Y Runners even though I wasn't going to be on time. I wasn't sure until I awoke that I would even be able to run, considering how much my knee was talking to me yesterday. It didn't really hurt, it was just a little sore. So, I was just going to do three miles. If I showed up 20 minutes late, it would be no big deal, because I would then see everyone at the end and we could all go to Starbucks for our usual after-the-run social hour.

So, I get up, make my coffee, pop some bread in the toaster, and anticipated seeing all my running friends. I was excited at the prospect of running, because everyone should be back in town and I'd get to catch up on all their races. A couple folks had gone to California/Nevada for the Tahoe Triple. I had briefly considered going down to do the triathlon held that same weekend. The knee surgery took care of that idea. Other folks had been out of town at the Portland Marathon. I've done the 5-mile race there a couple of times, but have yet to attempt the marathon. It's just not been easy to work into my schedule.

Anyway, I head out the door and drive to the park in the nearby town where everyone usually meets. I'm stunned when I see only one car there and I don't recognize it. I realize that everyone must have met at another location that week and I missed the notice. I'm thoroughly bummed because it is now too late to figure out where they have all gone. Ah, well, nothing to do about it except go run all by my lonesome.

Funny, I use the term "lonesome" but I do so loosely. I'm rarely lonely when I'm running. I may be alone, but I'm not usually lonely. It used to be when I ran it was an arduous task. That was before I built up any kind of endurance or had any running friends. Now I find running is no longer a chore, it's a joy whether I'm alone or with people. I don't "have" to go out and run for 30 minutes or an hour. I "get" to go run for 30 minutes or an hour. The difference in perspective is what puts the joy into the run. I don't do it because I "have" to, I do it because I "want" to. I do it because I enjoy it.

Saturday, October 15, 2005

Tale of the Torn Meniscus

Ten days before my Ironman race, I discovered I had a torn meniscus. It wasn’t a huge tear, but the doctor didn’t hold out a lot of hope for me finishing the race. He didn’t tell me I couldn’t do it, only that if I did, given the condition of my knee, it would really be something worth bragging about. He cautioned me against making any sudden sidewise moves that would put stress on the knee. He suggested that to finish, I would need to make sure I kept my knee in a constant forward position. In other words, knee over the toe. Then he wished me luck, because I was going to need it.

Now, let me explain a little more about my silly knee. Both my doctor and the orthopedic surgeon said that in a “normal person,” they would leave the knee be and not perform surgery. However, because of my goals and aspirations (marathons, and most especially Ironman), I was not considered, um, “normal.” Okay, I wasn’t considered abnormal either; I was considered an “athlete.” Me, a middle-aged, slightly overweight woman was considered an athlete. Somehow, I’ve just never seen myself like that and it still blows my mind that others perceive me in that manner.

But I digress. I wanted to explain about my knee as I went into my Ironman race. It didn’t hurt. Some people have the same condition as mine and can hardly walk. I could not only walk, I could run for a couple hours before it would suddenly “lock up” and cease cooperating with me. Then it would hurt and I’d have to hobble back to wherever my car was. Twenty minutes later, though, it would be fine and I’d wonder why in the world I quit running. I could go on hours-long bike rides with no ill effects and no pain. But I learned at the first twinge, to stop and head home.

So, when I went into Ironman, I knew it was going to take me longer than it normally would to finish my events. But I was committed. I was not going to let a little torn meniscus keep me from my goal. But, during the race, I did favor the knee and I deliberately held back. I didn’t push during the bike, for fear of blowing out my knee before I ever got to the run. But holding back meant taking more time, and in the end, I took more time than I should have. I didn’t finish the bike in time to make the cut-off time (okay, so I need a little work climbing hills as well), hence I wasn’t allowed to continue on the run.

Less than 4 weeks after my race (9/23), I had surgery on my knee. I’m happy to say it went very well. I was bearing weight, with the help of crutches, the first day. By the second day, I was down to one crutch. Monday through Wednesday, I went back to work, albeit just half days. While I don’t have a stressful job, it does require sitting down for long periods of time without the opportunity to prop up my leg.

Last Sunday (10/9), I attempted my first post-surgical run. The doctor had told me to wait until 10/14 for my first run, but I felt so good, I just couldn't wait to get out there. I managed to cover 4 miles in about 52 minutes. Not exactly a blazing time, but I don’t blaze anyway, so I thought I did remarkably well, considering.

Swimming was another thing I was supposed to wait to do, mostly because they wanted to make sure the holes made by my stitches had properly healed. Trust me, they were good and closed, so on 10/11, I put in 1000 yards in the pool. Interesting thing about swimming with a sore knee; it really made me focus on my kicking form. When swimming, kicking should be done from the hips, not from the knees. As runners and cyclists, we often kick from the knees, but that’s wasted power. Having the sore knee made me realize how much I was kicking from my knees without realizing it.

Two days later, on 10/13, I did another 4 miles (maybe more, probably less) of running. I ran with my friend and training buddy, Darcy (Ironayla). We only did 3 loops of a downtown area, but it was nice to just get out and run and catch up a little. I would walk every 5 minutes whether I felt like I needed it or not. It gave my knee AND my heart a brief respite.

Today is Saturday. I was going to get up and go swimming, but my knee started hurting last night. Now, as I try to put together my blog and make this entry, I’m sitting here with ice on it. It doesn’t hurt badly, just enough to let me know that I have had surgery on it and I need to take it easy. I must remember not to be so anxious to get back to where I was, that I injure myself further.

Anyway, now that the knee is repaired, and I’m s-l-o-w-l-y getting back into the training/running groove, my goal is to finish the Seattle Half Marathon. I started doing this race in December of 2002. This will be my 4th year in a row and I’m determined not to miss it, even if I have to walk most of it.

Vegas Vixens

Here we have Barb, Darcy, me, and Lori getting ready to celebrate the successful completion of the Las Vegas Marathon (and Lori's birthday) in February 2003. None of us had run a marathon before so it was a first for all of us.

The Las Vegas Marathon of 2003 was known as the year of the wind. We had sustained headwinds of 30 mph and gusts of 50 for the first 22 miles. Port-a-potties along the course had been blown over. Sand was in all the water. Here is a photo of me just after I finished. You can see the wind whipping my hair around and all the dust flying around in the background. My finish time was 5:26 and change. Not bad for a first, especially since I'd only been running for about a year AND had to face that horrific wind. In spite of everything, I was delighted to have finished and was ready to go out and do it again. I was so elated and pleased with myself, that I don't think my feet touched the ground for at least a week.

Inspired by Others

I likely don't have time for keeping up a blog, but I'll give it a shot. I'm inspired by others that write about their comings, goings, and doings. Besides...I want the option of posting comments to OTHER my ultra-distance running and triathlon training buddies/neighbors/friends Rob and Darcy.