Sunday, September 27, 2009

Blistering Speed

i took advantage of wonderful weather this past Friday to try to catch up on some litte chores around the house. After running a few errands, I got clearance to go for a run.
My goal was to use the run to test out Ensure again and to be out for longer than 6 miles. The out and back that i have done on the AT from Norwich south to the shelter and back gives a nice, slightly challenging, 7 mile loop. Seemed perfect.

note: it is now a WEEK since the activities i am about to describe.

off i ran. and ran. i was feeling GOOOOOOD. dashing up hills that usually slow me down. i could 'feel' the trail, if you know what i mean. i could anticipate the climbs, was ready for the down hills. it was nice.

i ran without headphones so that i could listen to the forest. chipmunks were everywhere, gathering nuts, running up and down the stone walls. i spooked a partridge, thought i saw a deer; you know, the usual fall activities in the Vermont woods.
did i mention that i was feeling really good about the run? at the ususal turn around, i was still going strong(ly?). i decided to extend my run, and gave serious consideration to going all the way to west hartford (the OTHER trailhead) and then turning around. that would have made the run into just over a half-marathon, right around 14 miles. i was REALLY considering this to be a good idea. (foreshadowing).

around mile 4, which isn't much beyond the shelter, i started to feel a hot spot on my left instep, at the height of my arch. hmmm. not good. didn't feel any debris in there. hmm. no socks. did i mention that i wasn't wearing socks? at this point i have about 20 miles on these shoes, all without socks, and have had no troubles. the day and the trail were dry, so...why not?

did i mention the hot spot? i now had one on my RIGHT foot, too. dammit. do i turn around, and go 4+ miles back, or do i just call Mike to rescue me in W. Hartford and make the mileage only 6? run, run, run, try not to think about it, run run run....

ut-oh. down hill coming up. long one. ouch. ouch, OUCH! stop. tighten laces. less slipping=less rubbing=less blister, right? TOO LITTLE, TOO LATE. decided to run until Teri (Garmin (p.b.t.n.)) chirped 5 miles, then turn around. make 10 out of it. why not, right?

blister central. ouch ouch ouch. managed to make the return trip in just 5 minutes longer than the first part, which i think is GREAT considering that my left arch had pretty much turned into ground beef. (see photo of 1 week old wound)

fast forward to today. one week has passed, and i am still limping on that foot. i have soaked in epsom salts, which helps, but maybe haven't done it enough. i am trying to air it out at night, which helps, but me thinks the clogs are not helping. too hot. the skin is nice, soft, and pliable, but it is ringed in RED, sensitive tissue. YEP...looks like a localized infection. bugs have taken up residency in my left foot. WHAT???

Wednesday, September 23, 2009


Monday, afterwork, I headed out to a local trail system. Hurricane Forest is a town park (i think) that has multiple trail systems, at least 2 ponds (no boating/swimming allowed, though), and some nice benches.
Oh. and HILLS.
Got a text from the Weeb-Meister just before i headed out, and she said that she was going to call me in a few. So i set the fazer to "stun" (cell phone to vibrate) and ran off into the woods. just before a big hill, the phone rang (buzzed). YAY! sweet reprieve!!!
we chatted for almost a mile, which translated into about a 15 minute mile....
then i picked up the pace, completed the loop, and then ran a second time around. saw NO other people. Amazes me how no one is ever out on this trail system. Very well kept secret, i must say.
Before the run I drank a vanilla ensure. The run turned out to be short enough that i am sure that things would not have been any different if i did have it, but i really wanted to see how it would sit in my belly after all that running around. it was fine. my belly was fine. no sudden urges to 'move things along', which is what i was totally expecting.
so, good.
good run, good trails, good chit chat with the Weeb-meister.

Sunday, September 20, 2009


so i did it. thank you, T.
left work a bit late on thursday, then drove straight to Newport. Parked, got my stuff situated, grabbed the map and headed up the trails.
i haven't ridden on 'serious' trails in many years. let's say a ba-jillion. the short version is that i had a great time. i got turned around a few times, nothing major, and i found that i was taking the map too seriously. bike survived, i survived, and i didn't crash. ALMOST did 3 times. but i didn't.
got back to the truck, and some dude who was putting his road bike away came over and started talking to me. i gotta work on that sign that says, "does not play well with others". anyway, it was a decent short conversation. he is racing as part of a team, doing the road bike leg. he seemed impressed that i had chosen this race as my first one back on the bike. why wouldn't I?
then i tried to salvage the little time i had left for a run. i ran 2/3 of the trail run course. by itself, the course is nothing really special. i could see myself running back there quite a bit if we lived closer. wish we had something like that around here. maybe i should explore Hurricane Forest more.
back into the truck (gotta name that thing) and ZOOMED back to WRJ to pick up Z and Justin from practice. I MADE IT! woot, woot!

took Friday off, and inadvertently Saturday, too. might try to squeeze in a ride today. somehow.
14 days left.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

2 fer

see my report card, waaaay down there in the bottom right? see how it barely fits? yea, i don't know why it does that. ANYWAY....
what i really want you to see is that i got in TWO DAYS IN A ROW! (today, the good Lord willin' and the creek don't rise) i will go for three.
my Coach (T) told me to go to Newport and "do something". So i think that i will hit the trail portion of the race. Look here tomorrow for some sort of report.
Are you making signs for the race? got cowbell? just sayinnnnnnn.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Gonna need a bigger drawer

for all of these ideas that i keep coming up with. they mostly need to be filed under "w" for "wth was i THINKING???"

as you probably know, i have a big race coming up in OCT. i am pretty psyched for it, actually, and can't wait for it to get here. the logistics for spectators sounds kinda funky, though. yes, the transition area (from sport to sport) is all in the same location, which is nice. same place as the start/finish. the course is so spread out, though, and since i am not the faster runner in the stable, Dad sightings are going to be few and far between.

unless....unless....unless they use the leap-frog method of spectating that T, Z, and B employed during the 08 CHaD Half. genius. so here, if you are planning to watch (anyone, not just me!), is my idea to optimize seeing your racer along the course(s):

Start. enough said.
Drive north on 10, turn left at the airport (2nd left), park by the covered bridge. nice little shady spot. kids can chuck stones into the river while you wait. yell, "GO DAD! (or whomever)" at the appropriate time. Clap, snap photo, get back in car.
Drive back to school, cheer as your racer transitions from running to Mountain Bike. Cheer loudly as they head off into the woods. Chill. Drink coffee. Bribe kids with gummies, etc. to keep them calm while Dad is in the woods for about 35 minutes.
Cheer like mad again when he emerges and scoots out onto the road. Don't get TOO close, or you might get splattered with mud/debris as he heads out onto the road.
Gather the little ones, get BACK into the truck, head north on 10 again, honk/yell wildly as you pass your athlete. TURN LEFT at the Croydon Fire Station (just past the lakes), and head UP the hill. While driving up the hill, think of how your husband will be pumping his legs to get to the top. ugh. gasp. he.will.NOT.walk.
At the top, there is a nice clearing on the left. park long there somewhere, and yell as he gets to the top and slowly passes you, on his way down. before it gets too steep for him to focus on anything but the road.
Get BACK in car, head BACK the way you came, and go to the school. CHeer like a banshee for the last transition, and watch as he heads out to the woods for a trail 5-k-ish run. this should take about 40 minutes. should.
Get ready to cheer like wild again when he crosses the finish line. Yes, it has been a LONG morning for spectators. Racers, too, but hey, THEY (we) want to be here. spectators might have something ELSE to do on a chilly Sunday morning.


Sunday, September 13, 2009

Love, LOVE the pillow(s)

Quite a while ago T (aka MLW) came up with a top ten list for me of things to always remember. I wrote some of them down, and try to remember the rest. #10 was probably to NEVER forget the list. hmm.
high on the list (low in number) was "Love, LOVE the pillows". We had just gotten new ones, and I wasn't too sure about them. That was 3 pillow changes ago (I am not sure exactly why, either), and I must have learned to Love, LOVE the pillows. I can't get my lazy butt out of bed in the mornings. I set FOUR alarms. They go off. I turn them off. I go back to sleep. I stay asleep. I finally wake up in a PANIC, run around the house like a maniac, and dash out the door. If i had to actually put together clothes to wear to work, it would be a disaster. I am SO happy that i have to wear scrubs at work. easy-peasy, lemon squeezy.
Anyway, I need to find a better method to get myself out of the house and running or riding every day. Hear that, self? EVERY DAY. My 'big' race is 21 days out. I bought some new tires for the MTB that are 'comfort tires'. huh? well, that's what the box says, so we'll go with it. I am tempted to try them out, but a bit afraid, too. i did a coasting test down the driveway, and was still going pretty good half way down the street. hmmmmmm....might break a speed record. so far i think i have maxed out at 29mph.
At any rate (speed), i won't ever have to worry about it if continue my love, LOVE affair with the pillow(s).

Friday, September 11, 2009

shameless begging

Several months ago I was looking for a 'cause' to which i could attach my running. You know, a bigger cause than just "it will make me healthier to run".
I scoured the web, asked around, and came up with two worthwhile charities; The Lance Armstrong Foundation (of which I am certain you have heard (LiveSTRONG bracelets??)) and the other, not so famous Athletes for a Cure Foundation, which is an off-shoot of the Prostate Cancer Foundation. (They, too, have cool bracelets!)
I gave serious consideration to the LAF, especially since I lost a friend this summer to lung cancer, and then another patient to colon cancer. I have nothing against the LAF, and am an avid fan of Lance as an athlete.
But I decided to go with the AFaC/PCF for reasons. For those of you not aware, yes, i HAVE a prostate. NO, I don't have prostate cancer. But chances are good that I will get it. One in Six men will. The chances go UP if you are blood related to someone else who had it.
So i sit here on my couch and look at my family. There are 4 males in the house. Add in a brother in law and his 2 boys. And another brother in law. And 2 grandfathers, plus a great grand father. That's...wait...hold on....ELEVEN. Factor in the family history, and BAM! TWO or MORE of us are likely to be stricken with Prostate Cancer.
The choice was simple. I have aligned myself with Athletes for a Cure. I haven't tried to raise money for a cause since I was in grade school, jumping rope for HOURS in the gym, raising $$ for MS. Remember those days? That was FUN. And so it goes, and so it goes. This go round, my efforts are in running. I just raced in a half marathon that raised money for a local children's hospital. No extra fund raising by me, as I was saving my begging for my 'big' race of the year.
On October 4th I will be racing in the Pinnacle Challenge in Newport, NH. The race is a double duathlon, in that we run on the road, then mountain bike, then road bike, then trail run. For details and to register go to
But that's not why i posted this long note.
I posted it so that you will go to this site:

and help me raise funds. From there you should be able to link to the Prostate Cancer Foundation site to get more information. They can even send you brochures for free. Gotta love FREEEEEE! If you can't find the link, the site is Simple.

Again, thank you very much. Please FEEL FREE to send this to any of your friends. My shameless begging is not limited to you, my lucky facebook/internet friends and family. ALL are welcome and encouraged to donate.

Thank you,

Monday, September 7, 2009

contest and Labor Day

found a new blog to follow, over at OZ Runner. He's having a birthday contest, so i entered. why not? would be cool to win something!
planning to do a run/ride tonight after work, though i haven't cleared it with mission control yet (har har).
didn't get to do much of that over the weekend, but i DID manage to pull off a surprise party for T, watch Z's team triumph in a football game, and finish off the wood portion of the stairs in the yard. now we have to backfill, and we will FINALLY gain all of that yard that we have been lusting after since APRIL. wtheck???? and to think, as T put it, we could have done it ALL by ourselves and saved a few grand. live and learn.
ok, back to work now. sadly, finally, the end is nigh for one of our patients.
peace, yo!

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

got the t-shirt

well, thanks to T, i finished my first Half-Marathon this past saturday afternoon!

the morning was gloomy and very rainy. that slow, constant kind that makes you long for grilled-cheese sandwiches, tomato soup, and an ABC After School Special. But I digress....

The rain stopped about 15 minutes before the race started, which was particularly nice. When the gun went off, i think that my heart rate INSTANTLY jumped to 170. wow. Turns out there were only about 430 people in the race, but it seemed like many, many more. I can't imagine what it must be like to start with 5,000 other racers. yowzers.

Before we got through the first mile, there was a car PARKED in the travel-lane, smack in the middle of the road. Dunno how he managed to get stuck trying to swim upstream, but at least the driver was kind enough to just sit there.

First water station was just before Occum Pond. I needed it, too! Thing is, i still haven't figured out how to run and drink at the same time. I cruised around the pond and joined the masses as we headed back to the green for the first relay transition. As we ran along the green, it seemed that there were MOBS of people. Yelling, cheering, waving. I lost count at 35 Super Heros. It was cool.

Now we were on 'familiar territory', as this was the leg that i ran last year. I was fully ready for the hill after Big Ball Bridge, and it seemed like it did't even exist. At the next water station, i grabbed my cup and then pulled up on the curb to drink. MUCH easier that way. Didn't matter that it takes more time, as I was not in contention for the win. Just the FINISH. Memories of T, B, and Z pulling along side last year filled my head and heart and kept me going along this middle section. I had planned to eat my Clif Shot around mile 7, but opted not to do so just yet.

Also around mile 7, the big toe on my right foot started to feel like it was hosting a blister. Not hosting, cultivating. I hadn't noticed that my shoes were slipping, and they weren't wet, so I am not sure why I was blistering. Maybe my speed.

Garmin (p.b.t.n.) was VERY helpful to me, especially that it showed my pace. It helped me make sure that I was on track to finish in less than 2 hours. It would have been nearly impossible to figure it out on my own. Yea, yea, every 2 miles there were time clocks, but that means MATH, and I don't do math while running. That's what gadgets are for. jeeze.

Tuck Hill was a challenge, but as I was running it, yes, running it, i remembered LAST year. Last year I walked most of it. And i was only in it for 6.something miles. The hill comes around mile 9, i think, and it was refreshing to be able to run it. It was on this hill that one of the med students that has been in the ICU for the past two weeks passed me. She (yes, she) went on to finish 3 minutes ahead of me.

Running through the green to head out to the last leg was energizing, and off I went on the last, hilliest loop. Around mile 10, my right calf cramped. OUCH! not the whole thing, as i has in the past (1998-2001), but i could feel it headed in that direction. I blamed it on LOW, LOW e-lytes and an altered gait. who know. most likely the e-lytes, as i had only had water to drink thus far. at the next water station i took some gatorade and drank it. no real cramps after that. Psycho-somatic? who knows. who cares?

The last section, from the round-about to the green, was L.O.N.G.

But I made it. I could see that I was under 2 hours, and I did not kick it in for the last quarter mile. I s'pose that I could have, if necessary to meet the goal, but I didn't. Not quite sure why.

After I crossed the line, I was pretty choked up. I grabbed a bagel, some orange slices, and a banana. Bottle of water, too, and then staggered across the green to my awaiting bag. Another runner was there who offered me some Motrin, and I took two. I called T, but got vmail, and managed to almost get through the message without getting choked up. Almost. I sent a picture of my toe (seen here) and she called right back, wondering if I needed a ride home. She is always thinkin! I told her that I would be fine, and that I could get M to drive after work if necessary.

Which he did. Whew. In the truck, even! Got home, tried to sit in the kiddie pool (which is ice cold), but wasn't able to keep my butt in it long enough. Took shower, joined the fam for the rest of the evening.

Very much looking forward to doing it again next year, this time with MUCH more prep. Just read that one of my cousins (and probably more to follow!) have signed on to do the Disney Half in 2010. Major cool points!