Running again

Today was a good day. My legs were super sore, and sitting down was quite uncomfortable (boy, could I feel those sit bones!), but it just felt great to feel my muscles again!! I woke up early enough to do some ab work, then immediately (this evenign) after getting the kids bathed, I ran on the treadmill for a bit. My legs felt good, although not as strong as I’d like. That will come in time. At least that’s what I tell myself It’s been two weeks since I’ve run, so I can’t complain much. Tomorrow I’ll run another 2 miles at lunch, then during the evening I’ll spend some time on the spin bike.

I finally found the courage to submit my name to the guy putting together our company team for the Texas Independence Relay. At this point, it seems I’d be the fifth runner showing an interest, but we’ve got plenty of time to add a few more. He’s hoping for eight in total. In order to do this, I’ll have to be prepared to run five legs of 5-miles each over a 2-day period in early March of 2008. I think that’s plenty of time to train for it, and hopefully the conditioning benefits of the cycling will work to my advantage.

Back to work for me. I’ve got stuff to finish before I drag myself into bed.

Today’s Workout
8 Minute Abs
10 Minutes Stretching
Running – 2 miles, treadmill

First Training Ride for BP MS150

My cold of the past few weeks turned into something more closely resembling a bronchial and/or upper respiratory infection, resulting in my having to work from home 3 out of 5 days of the week leading up to the Rockets Run. In the spirit of not making myself worse since the weather was still cold & wet, I stayed home and slept all day instead of running. I was able to return to work last week, and yesterday, I rode in my first training ride for the BP MS150.

It was so cold outside. Standing around waiting for the start, I had about 30 minutes of questioning whether or not I should even be there. Joel had picked up some leggings and shoe covers/warmers for me in San Francisco, and I’m so thankful he did! Now I just need to find one of those funky bright windbreakers. Maybe a scarf/neckwarmer of sorts too… or maybe I need to just suck it up and ride.

The ride itself was great. Standing around waiting to begin was not so great, but that’s to be expected when you have 100+ folks going out of the same location. It wouldn’t have been so bad if it wasn’t so cold, I think. The cold, combined with the fact that I was terrified I wouldn’t be able to finish because I’m so out of shape, made it all seem worse than it really was.

We started shortly after 8:00 a.m. with the “slow” group, and that was fine except for getting behind a couple of very unsure/unsteady riders. There seemed to be little reason to the slowing/stopping and even less communication of the fact that they were going to do it. On a few occasions, it was almost as though they didn’t realize there were people behind them. We were able to pass them and got on a stretch of road where we could ride at our own pace, which was still, admittedly, very slow.

At one point, Joel took off ahead of me and I was left to ride by myself. This wasn’t a bad thing, though. I was pedaling along and had time to think about my fear before starting the ride, my hesitance to even do it (remember how I procrastinate and avoid things since I know I can’t be perfect? perfect example here!), and my crummy attitude working up to the ride because of all of the above. What I realized as I kept spinning was that I was enjoying the ride, my body felt good doing it, and I have still been allowing my fears to keep me from doing things that are good for me, as well as fun. It was time to make a decision that was long overdue.

I decided to quit being a quitter.

It felt good.

Yesterday’s ride was just at 26 miles.

Next weekend we have the option to ride 29.5 or 41 miles. I’m planning to continue doing the shorter rides. I’m told what I should do is to spin at relatively high rpm’s to build my cardio-endurance, with a balance of resistance training to build muscle.

Looking forward to next week!

Today’s workout
30 minutes Pilates
30 minutes Core Training/Stretching

A cold… now??

Sniffles, coughing, aching, sneezing.. it could have resulted from any number of things, but it’s most likely a combination of many of them. Fortunately there’s a bit of the super-strength cough suppressant/decongestant left from 9 mths ago, which should knock this out quickly. In the meantime, it’s not going to interfere with running or spinning.

Home again…

While I loved the opportunity to see new places, and of course, the work is always challenging, I’m so happy to be home. I really missed the kiddos!! Unfortunately, they’ve both gotten a bit of a respiratory infection and aren’t feeling as well as we’d all like.

So, back to running, which is the whole point of this blog, right? As I posted earlier, I signed up to run the Rockets’ Run this coming Saturday, and I’ve been more than slightly freaked out about running it. Not that I expect phenomenal results from my runs, especially after taking so much time off after my first year of running. But for crying out loud, I do NOT want to be the last person across the finish line! This is probably the whole reason I’ve never been able to be consistent about running (or anything??)… It’s the fear ~ the fear of failure.

Here’s where I admit that I’m a bit of a perfectionist. More than a bit, actually. In lieu of coming up short, I have often just opted not to participate in something that probably would have been fun. I’m working to change that this year.

This morning, I got up early and took Molly to the local 1k track and ran/walked 5 laps. The sole motivation was to see if I could do it, and if I could do it in < 40 minutes. To most people, that's nothing much, but considering how slow my treadmill says I run (and I have to assume I do!), this would at least be respectable for me. My time was 39 minutes flat… yes, I can live with that.

Now on to locating a babysitter and finding out where I need to be Saturday morning! Julie isn’t going to be able to run again until the end of Feb for the Rodeo Run, but she’s said she’ll be there to cheer me on. Joel has also said he’ll join me, so that will be nice, too.

Off to update logging stuff… have a great weekend!

Yes, I’m in Paris!

I think I might love this city. It’s rained and been fairly cold, and I’ve worked from 7 a.m until past 10 p.m. each night, so no time for running outdoors, but I’ve kept up with my cardio & crunches & band work and I feel good.

The Eiffel Tower was absolutely amazing! The picture here was taken by me (and is not up for grabs!) shortly before we made our way to the top of the Tower. The view – my goodness – it was breathtaking! I plan to head to Versailles tomorrow and then it’s off to Edinburgh early Sunday morning. I’ll likely spend most of that day traipsing around the town and visiting the castle, then it’s work, work, and more work.

Dinner was at Avenue (41 Av. Montaigne), which happens to be directly across from Dior and Jimmy Choos. It’s probably a good thing we were there late. Despite the distraction of the view, it is definitely worth mentioning that the dinner was fabulous. The service and staff were excellent, the atmosphere fantastic, and yes, I’m running out of adjectives. However, it was a bit odd to see a fairly large dog of some sort (larger than a bulldog but had that look??) wander in the restaurant, but he was well-behaved and didn’t bother the patrons. The staff all seemed to know him, and he simply made his way around and for the most part, kept out of the way. As we were leaving, we encountered another dog that had found his way inside. It was interesting!

There are no words to describe the heavenly desserts in this city. Fortunately, the portions are reasonable (compared to the gargantuan servings in Texas which have led to my ginormous bottom half!) and the guilt is not nearly as bad as when eating something that doesn’t quite taste as good at home.

Julie advised that she can’t make the Rockets Run, which is a bit disappointing since I’ve signed up and now appear to be running it solo. It’s only a 5k, so I know I can make the distance without question. I’ll just be a slow finisher. She says she’ll meet me at the end and that will be way cool (having someone there this time!), but if anyone else is thinking of running it, let me know! I’ll do my best to keep up!

Although I’m enjoying the city, I miss the kids… a lot.

Juggling

I’ve been back at work for a week and a half now, and I’m still struggling with prioritizing my fitness efforts. In my defense (or we can call it a half-hearted attempt at justification), I’m leaving on Tuesday for 13 days in Europe for business, and since I just found out about the first half of the trip, I’ve been busting my butt to prepare for it. Still.. just an excuse.

Julie and I confirmed we are running the Rockets Run and the Rodeo Run this year, so I have no choice but to be ready. All 4 hotels I’ll be at have fitness facilities, and I’ve purchased a good set of bands to take with me. As horrifying as this is to admit, I even plan to take the Cardio dvd I got from McD’s when they were doing their promotional thing. On a whim, I tried it recently, and it’s not a bad workout if you’re limited on time/space/equipment.

Oh! And last weekend was the bike safety training course for Team BP (related to the BPMS150). I feel much more confident on the bike now. I’m looking forward to that training also.

Best of luck to all of you who are running tomorrow in Houston!! Go Patricia & Tina & Julie & Trish!!! I know you’ll do fantasically well, and I’ll be cheering you on from home.

I think I am a turtle

Today’s workout: 5 min. warm-up + 4/1 x 4 + 2 min. cooldown (total run 27:00 min. 1.6 miles)

God, could I move any more slowly? Sometimes, I think not. I can just picture some nameless, faceless stranger out there (or Joel) reading this shaking his/her head and saying, “nope, Jude… you’re about as slow as it gets!”

Well, slow or not, I did the run for today. I didn’t even get started until after 10:00 p.m. I considered just crawling into bed and doing it in the morning, but since I didn’t drag myself out of bed to run when the alarm went off at 5:00 a.m. today, I was fairly certain tomorrow wouldn’t be much different. Just told myself it was only 30 minutes max, and I’m still only 2 weeks into this and can’t quit just yet. I’m glad I ran. It felt good.

Now off to bed – I’m beat!

Run a Marathon at the North Pole??

Just saw this on www.houstonrunning.blogspot.com and felt it was worth passing along. Julie? Olga? Anyone up to this??

Got What It Takes to Run 26.2 at the North Pole?

BOULDER, Colorado (January 1, 2007) — Who would like to run amarathon at the North Pole (for free)? Does spending several hours running in sub-zero temperatures further north than even polar bears are willing to go sound like a fun adventure? Brad Feld and YourRunning.com, a new participative online community and website for running enthusiasts, is giving away an entry to the 2007 North Pole Marathon and travel to the event — valued at well over $12,000.

The winner will be selected from applicants who submit their running resumes to YourRunning.com by midnight US Eastern time on January 31, 2007. A winner will be selected by February 15, and run in the marathon on April 15. (Contest is restricted to athletes from the USA and Canada, excluding Quebec.)

Background

Brad Feld, an avid marathoner and an investor in YourRunning.com’s parent company, the Enthusiast Group, was signed up to run in the 2007 North Pole Marathon. While initially excited about the polar run, he reconsidered the prospect of running for 8 hours (his projected time in that environment) in the sub-zero conditions at the top of the Arctic Ocean — so he decided to pass his already-paid entry on to andsponsor another hardy entrant.

He explains: “When I came up with the idea of running the North Pole Marathon last summer, I thought to myself, ‘This will be a fun challenge.’ As the time (and the miles) passed, I started to think itwas a crazy idea — which was reinforced by my friends who simply shook their heads (side to side) whenever I said anything about it. Last month, as I suited up to go for a run in minus 20 degree weather, I realized that it was a ‘stupid f*****g idea.’ So, I came up with a better one. Since I’d already paid for the entry fee, I’d sponsor someone instead to run for Team Feld.

“YourRunning.com is holding a competition among runners and will award Brad’s entry to the person deemed most worthy and capable of succeeding at running long distance at the top of the world — and documenting the training and actual Arctic marathon experience.

The race

The North Pole Marathon is run at … yes … the North Pole, making it the only marathon to be run on water! The winner will be flown to the Pole, where he or she will run on top of a thick sheet of ice on the Arctic Ocean. There should be no worries about polar bears — they’re usually not crazy enough to go this far north — but race organizers keep weapons handy just in case.

This year, some 50competitors are expected to run.

Racers will be flown to the North Pole where a 2-mile loop will be setup, with warming tents and runner support. Depending on snow and ice conditions, marathon entrants will run in either trail shoes or lightweight snowshoes.

More information can be found at http://www.npmarathon.com.

The competition

YourRunning.com is inviting hardy marathoners to submit their runningand athletic resumes to a North Pole Marathon application. Entrants inthe contest must demonstrate not only their athletic prowess andendurance, but also their media savvy, for part of winning will be theduty to write about the experience of training to run 26.2 miles at the North Pole and to document the race itself, shooting photos andvideo, and recording audio reports.

Entrants in the YourRunning.com North Pole Marathon contest should demonstrate:

* Extensive marathon experience. The winner should be a marathon or ultra-marathon veteran, and perhaps harbor confidence of actually winning the race. This is not a marathon for beginners.

* Experience in cold-weather running. (Do we really need to say more?)

* Strong writing and blogging skills, with experience writing about adventure and sports topics, especially documenting their own athletic exploits.

* Experience with video and audio reporting. We don’t expect network-correspondent quality, but the winner should be comfortable doing audio reports, or shooting a video with a small video cam.

The winner will be expected to maintain a daily blog about training for the race, the race itself and the aftermath, as well as a weekly podcast audio report. Shooting photos and/or videos of the race also is expected.

Selecting the winner

YourRunning.com will select the winner from entrant submissionsreceived by midnight EST, January 31, 2007. The winner will be announced on or thereabouts February 15, 2007.

The winner will not necessarily be the best and strongest athlete; it could be a middle-of-the-pack runner with an unusual story to tell who demonstrates the fortitude to complete the North Pole Marathon. A marathoner with excellent and creative media skills could beat out a better athlete. In other words, the selection will be subjective on the part of the judges — and their decision is final.

In addition to selecting a winner to go to the North Pole Marathon, YourRunning.com also will choose a runner-up, who will participate inthe event that the winner falls ill (or chickens out). If the winner can’t participate, the entry fee and travel will be transferred to the runner-up.

The purpose for doing this

When Brad Feld originally signed up to run the race, it was his intention to blog about preparing for the race and give publicity to the International Polar Year (2007-08), a major scientific initiative designed to draw attention to the changes occurring in the Arctic region due to global warming. With Brad not running, this competition and the winner will serve that purpose, helping educate the world’s population about the situation and supporting polar research programs.

About YourRunning.com

YourRunning.com is an online community and resource for runners –from world-class athletes to passionate enthusiasts — and a place for them to share their tales of adventure, photos and videos with other runners. The site is led by “enthusiast-in-chief” Simon Martin, who serves as community chearleader and writes a regular blog about the running life.

The website is meant as a friendly place where runners can tell their own stories and share their experiences without needing a professional journalist to discover them. It is based on the concept of “citizen media” — which simply means that runners themselves are the authors of much of the content on the site.

About the Enthusiast Group

The Boulder, Colorado-based company was founded in early 2006 byonline media pioneer Steve Outing and Internet entrepreneur Derek Scruggs, with the goal of creating a network of citizen-media-basedwebsites serving adventure and participant sports.

YourRunning.com, YourClimbing.com and YourMTB.com are the first sites published by the company to open to the public. Sites covering additional adventure and participant sports — including road biking, horse sports, kayaking and skateboarding — are planned for roll-out early in 2007.

The Enthusiast Group is funded by a group of 11 investors, including Omidyar Network (a mission-based investment group founded by eBay founder Pierre Omidyar), DB Medialab (the new-media arm of Norwegian national newspaper Dagbladet), and Brad Feld.

Websites:

NP Marathon application form

Contest announcement

YourRunning website

Brad Feld’s 50 by 50 Blog

Simon Martin’s Run Time Blog

YourClimbing website

YourMTB website

Corporate website

International Polar Year website

North Pole Marathon website

Day 14 (of 3 weeks to a 30 minute running habit)

Today’s workout: 5 min. warmup + 3/1 x 6 + (2/1 x 1 unplanned but added) + 5 min. cooldown

Today was a good run. The schedule had me down for 3/1 x 5 + warmup and cooldown but I felt good and since I’d done the 3/1 x 6 – 3 days ago, I was certain I could do it again. I’m still working out on the treadmill and while it’s not very exciting and the scenery is only as good as my HDTV (which isn’t exactly bad!), I’m still looking forward to getting outside to run.

There is, however, a slight concern about the time/mileage on the treadmill being misaligned with that on my hr monitor. Strange, right? By 15 minutes into it, the treadmill is 10 seconds behind the watch. By 30 minutes, it’s over 35 seconds behind. It’s highly more likely that the problem is with the treadmill than the hr monitor, as it’s a Polar 625 and has always seemed pretty reliable. “Always” as in the last year since I purchased it. I haven’t been using the footpod with it since I’ve been on the treadmill, but this would explain why it was off after being calibrated on the treadmill last year. We’ve got a 1k track down the street, so I’ll use that and re-calibrate it soon.

Joel leaves for San Francisco again today – 😦 It’s been nice having him home for the past 2 weeks, but this is the norm. Unfortunately, he’s got to work through the coming weekend, so we won’t see him for another 12 days or so. I think he’ll return home on the day I leave for Edinburgh. This waving at each other and blowing kisses as we pass on the way to/from the airport really sucks.

Hunter has taekwando again tonight after 2 weeks off, so we’re looking forward to a busy evening doing that and getting her ready for school tomorrow.

PM: Nothing like getting home after having waited too long to eat dinner and then binging on chips & salsa. Can you say water-weight? I dread seeing the scale tomorrow. I might skip the regular morning weigh-in. LOL (Joel, if you’re reading this, we’ll blame this one binge on missing you, sweetie! The next one’s on me!)

The alarm is set for early in the a.m., and I’m going to get my run in before work. Tomorrow’s plan is a warmup, 4/1 x 4 and cooldown. I also will need to do an UBWO, which can happen in the evening.

Wow – going back to work after 14+ days off.. this should be interesting!

Happy New Year!

Today’s workout: 5 min. warm-up + 2/1 x 8 + 5 min. cooldown – DONE!

The whole family carted ourselves off to the Texans’ final game of the season today. The Texans WON! Yippee!! We have season tickets and usually try to go as often as we’re in town and able, but normally it’s just Joel and me without the kiddos. We’ve taken Nicholas a few times and that’s worked out well, but today was the first time in ages that we brought both of them along. Midway through the game, a guy sitting next to me complimented us on how well behaved the kids were. [For you non-parental types out there, this is every parent’s dream come true!] I was pretty impressed with the little munchkins myself – as far as kids go, they’re pretty cool. And now the little guy is all tucked into bed and Hunter is having a sleepover at a friend’s house. Things are quiet here, and Joel is watching football while I mull over my goals for 2007.

First, these goals have got to be specific and not fluffy. That’s worth repeating: NOT FLUFFY! “Consistent resistance training” sounds fine, but it’s not measurable. I want to define these goals in a way that’s not overkill, not fanatical and jumping in considerably faster than I can maintain, and most of all, I do want to challenge myself. Keeping that in mind, below is my attempt to list my goals, all of which are subject to change.

2007 Goals

Fitness

1. Lose 30 lbs PERIOD. [This one is non-negotiable and is entirely for health reasons despite the fact that Joel thinks it’s all about vanity.]

2. Train to run an under 10 minutes mile. [Yes, this is still phenomenally slow, but for me, it’s a huge improvement! Baby steps, right?]

3. Incorporate resistance training (i.e., weights) 3 X per week, with cardio (primarily running + cycling) 4-5 X per week.

Events

1. Cycle the BP MS150 – registered & ready to ride on 21 & 22 April! Safety training course on 6 Jan, and regularly scheduled training rides to follow.

2. Run 3 5Ks (races tbd)

3. Run 2 10Ks (races tbd)

Career

1. Maintain performance at current level consistent with requirements to retain position in employer’s high-potential program.

2. Better organize self so as to complete all work in office and not have to bring it home at night.

3. Identify position for next move and determine requirements for achieving a managed move into desired position. Discuss with mentor and map out plan for success.