Monday, January 31, 2011

Just checking in

So I was bored and rearranging the page layout yesterday and realized that I now have 10 followers ... Whoo-hoooo.

OK, I really have no life, and something like that really does make my day.

I don't have a lot of training stats to share.  Today was supposed to be hill day, but it was windy and after just a few minutes of warming up my nose was plugging up, it was getting hard to breathe and I was getting a massive headache ... Oh well.  I definitely need to have emergency backup plans in case weather or other factors interrupt my plans.

Today wasn't a very good day in general.  I won't depress you all with all the boring details, but it started off down and went lower.  The high point was eating lunch with Pam - and that's a very high high point ^_^  The nice thing about days like today is it means tomorrow almost has to be better.  I'll make up the missed hill run tomorrow.

Saturday, January 29, 2011

A lesson in fueling

Training Stats:

Thursday - O.o  Ummm ... Not much ,,, nothing really (Unless lunch with Pam and a pedicure can be considered training ^_^ )

Friday - Walk / run / walk.  Almost nothing on the run end, but Friday is a rest day, but I wanted to do a little to make up for missing Thursday, so I did 30 min walk with a few short run intervals.

Saturday - LSD - 10k 1:1.

Today's run was way too rough, but I brought it on myself.  I could hear David and Richard and others from the old site uttering advice about proper fueling, but do I listen?  Nooooooo, of course not.  I decide to drink 5 shots of espresso (spread across the morning and early afternoon hours) and eat a package of ramen noodles and think I was ready to run.  I don't know if David would be laughing or shaking his head at this point, but obviously my methods didn't work.

I really miss David and his easy to follow, common sense advice.

Today I was luck enough to have Andrea (my niece) running with me.  I did warn her that I run very, very slow but she wanted to run with me anyway.  Keeping pace with her I was actually on pace to break my 10k pace from last week by nearly 5 minutes ... but I ran out of gas at 8 k or so.  Even walking the last 2k or so we still made 10k in 90 minutes - I'm impressed.  Next week I'll fuel better.  Maybe I'll eat beans and rice - and hopefully we'll have a tail wind, too.


I'm really glad this last week is finally gone.  By far not the worst week as far as any single event, but with all the stupid little stresses that built up across the week it definitely wore me out.

Thursday was kind of a spontaneous day off for stress release purposes.  I did have an appointment at 10:00, which is smack in the middle of my normal work day, but I could have gone in to work for a few hours ... well, I did go in to do one report, but it was my day to relax with Pam.  After a nice lunch Pam and I treated ourselves to pedicures - the massage felt soooo good, especially the plantar fascia massage.  They offered to paint my nails or do a cute design, but I declined ... I told them maybe next time ... I hope they don't remember that.

We both finally have our CPAP machines, but so far I'm too busy adjusting to the mask to actually feel like I'm getting better sleep.  I know it will get better as I adjust, I just have to be patient.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Stress? ... What stress?

Training Stats:

Spin class - 2 hrs.  1 hour self directed (and a bit intense) - 1 hour absolutely insane and absurdly brutal class directed by a strange mystical creature who is half peppy high school cheerleader and half medieval dungeon master.

I uploaded the info from my Garmin to my computer and found out a couple very interesting things.

1 - I apparently accidentally started my gps a couple times before or while I was driving - either that or I'm able to run at 53 mph.  Also, my heart rate actually goes down while I'm drinking espresso and chomping on a bagel - and I know this because I forgot to turn the gps off while I was visiting Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf.

2 - I discovered that I'm really, really slow :-(  OK - I knew that already, and that's not a bad thing in and of itself because I have time to get a little less slow.  What I did find out is that my "slow and easy" pace is right around 12 minutes / mile.  Not impressive by any standards, but better than I thought it would be because without trying I hit very close to the same pace every mile except up steeper hills.


I've been dreading today for a week or more.  I was scheduled to be on a conference call with the president of our company and a big wig from the parent company ... These are never good.  Today's topic, company reorganizing, salary increases and bonuses ... The short version of the meeting - our pay increase is about 1/4 of the amount my insurance went up 6 months ago.  Our bonus (which we've been screwed out of 2 years in a row) were not up for discussion other than there may be a discretionary bonus for those who qualify ... whatever.  And there will be downsizing and reorganization but we need to wait to here about it.  Boy, now I can breathe easy - it's truly a weight off my shoulders ... unfortunately it's still tied around my neck.

I had a follow up appointment with my optometrist.  I was a bit nervous (ok - driving Pam nuts and making myself miserable assuming something was horribly wrong).  After dilating my pupils and doing a couple tests his diagnosis was that I'm getting old ... Geee, thanks.  I do have some normal age related issues that have to be monitored, but as usual I let my imagination run away with me ... I wish I could run as well as my brain sometimes.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Nearing critical mass

No, this is not a weight loss, nor a weight gain post

Training stats:

Run / walk - 30 min. 1:1 (although I'm not positive because my Garmin dies.  Might have been 1.5 to 1)  Approx 2.25 miles (although I'm not positive because My Garmin dies).


Before I go off on this micro-rant I want to say that when I wake up in the morning I don't think things like "What's going to go wrong today?" or "How bad is work going to be?"  I have my cynical side, my sarcastic comments and definitely would not consider myself an optimist.  I try to enter every day with the concept that regardless of what happens I deal with the issue and move on.  The problem lately is that I feel like there are no breaks - no chance to catch my breath between issues.  It's hard to move forward when you're not breathing.

Today was a day that started off alright - then I left for work.  I got to work but had no bus to train in - no problem - I'll just go over practice tests with the trainees until the bus arrives.  Found out that the video from one bus that was supposed to be done Friday was not done - OK, what happened to "Call me if you can't get this done?" - Oh well, no problem.  Did you get anything copied - Did you get it sent to the school?  The answer I got truly blew my mind - "I couldn't get it transferred from the computer to the USB drive."

At this point I was looking for the hidden camera because I was sure they were joking - and again, what happened to "Call me if you can't get it done?"  Still, no problem - I'll get the video onto the USB drive and copy the other video before it gets written over ... ... But the computer that the video was transferred to, which is also the computer that the software is installed on was not in the office where I last saw it.

Where's the computer?

"Oh, we had to send it out for repair - it'll be gone for ???"

By this point I couldn't do anything but shake my head.  I called the driver into my office and after shooting down his 18 very unoriginal excuses about why things weren't done, why I wasn't notified, why he isn't or shouldn't be responsible I set the record straight in a very blunt manner.

If ever there was a day that I needed a sanity walk it was today.  If ever there was a day that I needed to treat myself to a sushi lunch it was today - so I did!  I was tempted to not do my run (again) but after a brief debate with myself I trotted out of the bus yard during the gap between the usual end of my day and the safety meeting this evening.

I'm sorry for wasting a post with trivial whining, but I barely scratched the surface of today's frustrations - and haven't even begun to mention the other ongoing issues as of late. 

Monday, January 24, 2011

I can't think of a title for today :-(

Paula, Rick and everyone else, thanks for the encouragement.  It's strange how a simple "at-a boy" can really pump up the motivation.

Training Stats:

Yesterday - Stuck with a little Yoga but not a class.  I was a bit stiff after Saturday's run and didn't want to risk an injury pushing too hard.

Today - Hills, hills, hills - uuugh!!  I really hate hills - They are the enemy!  To quote Sylvester Stallone in the Expendables, "I got my ass kicked"  I just flat ran out of gas - so I had Taco Bell for dinner :-/


I really didn't sleep well last night.  I just have so many things piling up, it's playing with my brain ... ok - no comments.  I'm still looking for the rainbow at the end of the tunnel ... or is that supposed to be the pot of gold at the end of the light?  Anyway, it really seems like one stress disappears and two more rear their ugly heads.

Sorry for the griping.

Saturday, January 22, 2011


Long? - not really ... Slow?  - most definitely

Training Stats:

Run - 10k 1:1 out & back somewhere around 90 minutes.

I've got to change the settings on my Garmin.  I realized today that when the timer hits 1 hour the seconds disappear, so keeping my eye on when my minute run (or walk) is up suddenly becomes difficult.  Today I stopped the timer 1 just over 1 hour and restarted a different run to keep the timing accurate. 

I really had a lot of good reasons to not start or complete the run - I'm tired, I have things around the house that need to be done, it's getting windy, my nose is running.  When I turned the corner and started heading to town the wind was picking up and was straight in my face ... I was tempted to quit.  After calling myself a few names and thinking about it, I realized that the wind would be at my back on the way home ... DUH!  Once I decided to keep going I felt a lot stronger - like I could actually run a little faster or maybe run 2 minute segments instead of 1 minute segments but stuck with my schedule.  The last mile was a little rough - and the last 2 run segments were really really tough because I was in the shade, going up hill and wanted to walk sooooo bad.

To my surprise the first hour I still averaged better than 15 minute miles and had a fast pace of 11 minute mile - not bad considering I was trying to keep the pace slow and the 1 to 1 ratio.  The last 30 minutes I still managed to have a 12 min mile pace, but my average time dropped quite a bit.

Non training:

Both Pam and I seem to over the intestinal issues we suffered yesterday.  I think that's part of why I felt tired, and maybe even a bit dehydrated.  We are trying to get a bit of rearranging and minor improvements type projects done.  Nothing major, but at least time consuming.

I've got to decide what I'm going to do tomorrow and when, because a chunk of my afternoon is going to be taken up by the Steelers game.

Friday, January 21, 2011

Food poisoning won't help with the runs ...

:-?  Maybe I should rephrase that.

Pam and I ate at a different sushi place today (sushi 2 days in a row ... mmmmmmm).  Anyway, a short while after we ate Pam felt a bit sick and had some physical / intestinal anomalies that one would expect to get from a mild food poisoning (do I need to give details ... post pictures or video??)  I thought it was too soon after we ate to get those types of symptoms so I didn't think much of it (not to be read as I didn't feel sorry for Pam or I wasn't concerned for her), that is I didn't think much of it until I was in the men's room sounding like an espresso / cappuccino steamer ... Was that TMI?

Today was a rest day so I didn't miss anything except a sanity walk.  Tomorrow is my LSD, and I can't let this situation interrupt my runs.


As a side note.  I'm starting to lose weight too fast ... I know, sounds like a horrible problem, but I know from experience that it works for a short while until the bottom drops out on my energy levels.  I've got to be careful to make smart food choices but still get enough calories to keep me healthy (don't look at the plate of frosted ginger-snaps in my kitchen).  I do want to lose weight, but not at the expense of my goals.  As I said very early on in this blog, I will not make this blog a countdown calendar for my weight.  When I get to or very near my goal I will fess up to how much I weighed and everything.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

So I had this epiphany ...

It is not wise to eat beans prior to Yoga class :-/

Luckily for everyone I thought of this before I ate the beans.

Training Stats:

Stepper - 15 minutes
Spin - 30 minutes (self directed)
Yoga - 1 hour

I actually did better than I thought I would on many of the poses, but had to take breaks during a couple of them.  Overall I really enjoyed it and will be going back next week. 

On the non-training side.  I have my follow up appointment with my eye doctor next Wednesday ... I'm going a bit stir crazy worrying about what the news is going to be.  Training is a good distraction, but nothing is completely taking my mind off of it ... Oh well, I just have to be patient.

And I forgot to thank everyone for the comments and encouragement the other day - So, thanks every one.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

So I put myself in the position of ...

... needing to come home after work, but before going to the gym ... the same trap I've fallen into the last 2 weeks.  I do the go home part pretty well but somehow mess up on the going to the gym part.  I had to do something that wouldn't allow me to just sit at the computer, so I parked my car where it was blocking the entire driveway - nobody could leave or come home unless I moved my car - kind of brilliant, but yet really sad at the same time that I have to trick myself into going back to my car.

Still, there was the moment of truth.  I grabbed my shoes (more on them later), towel, Gatorade and so forth, shuffled out to the car and started the engine ... now I had to choose ... do I put it in reverse and back up 20 feet or put it in drive and go the 5 miles to town?  Believe it or not I actually had to think about it.

So on the way to the gym I met Pam at Kmart so I could spend a few minutes before spin class and pick up a few things.  It's strange how something as simple as a hug can change your attitude for the better.  On a more random side note - buying deodorant should not be so difficult.  It seems like every time I find one I like they take it off the market.  So I'm perusing the deodorant aisle to find my latest favorite flavor ... and it's not there.  So back to awkward process of opening the containers and sniffing.  To my relief I found yet another one that didn't give me a headache or make me gag ... so I bought 46 of them.  OK, I'm exaggerating a tad.
Now I'm at the gym and I'm trying to put my shoes on - or more specifically I'm trying to undo the ratchet mechanism to open the shoe s so I can put them on and both shoes are jammed.  Now I'm sitting on the floor in the spin class frantically fighting with my shoes and I get this visual of my cats grabbing a shoe with their front paws and digging the poop out of it with their back paws ... Just to clarify - I didn't actually dig my shoes with my back paws, but I did feel the same frantic energy I picture the cats having while they do it.  Finally got the shoes undone and never did figure out why they got stuck.

Training Stats:

Spin - 2 hours.  1 hour self directed to mp3 player, 1 hour brutal butt kicking and horribly fun torture directed by my favorite spin instructor.

I'm debating about Yoga tomorrow.  I do feel a bit intimidated strictly because it is a great unknown ... and I don't like getting humiliated by a bunch of girls ;-)

Oh - as a final note.  I waited for the spin room to clear before I tried to take my shoes off just in case they jammed again.  To my relief they came off without testing my wrestling skills.  I probably would have just worn them home ... and to work tomorrow ... and ...

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

The truth of the matter is ...

I could easily write a 20,000 word dissertation about why I can't, won't, shouldn't, don't want to, could or should put off my training - and it would be difficult to squeeze out 10 words about why I should train, and even fewer about wanting to because I still really don't.

Why should I train?  I want to finish my first marathon this June.

See, told you - 9 words. :-P

Why do I want to finish my first marathon?  ??  ???  I don't know - it's just on my things to do list.  It will not make me a better person.  It will not make people look at me and say, "Wow!!"  In fact I probably won't tell most people - they don't really care.  Maybe I'm hoping it will make me feel better about myself - I just don't know, If I can't feel good about my ordinary accomplishments then how will finishing an insignificant run help me?

Anyway ...

Training Stats:

Hills - 25 min 1:1 up and down - uugghhhhh.  Really kicked my butt, but I did it.  Unfortunately I forgot to start my Garmin until about 10 minutes into it, but I did get some data.

Just to prove that I can occasionally produce good news - Work is getting a bit better.  In the last 2 weeks we gained 1 new driver and had 4 return from leave.  We went from a severe driver shortage to being fully staffed almost over night.  This will make it much easier to stick to my training plan - or at least give me fewer excuses for avoiding it. 

Monday, January 17, 2011

Due to circumstances beyond my control ...

Today's hill run was delayed due to needing to complete my LSD that I was supposed to do yesterday because I didn't do it Saturday.

Yesterday's LSD was delayed because I had several chores around the house that I wanted to complete before my day off today.

Yesterday's chores were delayed due to a certain familiar twinge that feels a lot like the beginning of a kidney stone

Today's chores were delayed due to being very tired from not sleeping well due to the twinging.

Today's LSD was delayed due to having a work assignment that was supposed to be done ... well, let's just say it was supposed to be done.

Today's work assignment was delayed because I took a nap.


I did do some exercising, but not the training on my schedule - I basically threw an entire week away, but I cannot sweat it - I just have to move forward and do better sticking to my schedule.

Now I've got to figure out when I'll have time to fluff my toilet paper

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Would somebody please ...

... come over here and kick me in the tuckus!?!

I won't bemoan or belabor the point that I haven't done much in the way of training.  I set up my schedule with wiggle room just in case work or life in general got horribly hectic for a short period.

I have managed to do my daily stretching and core work and a couple modified shorter run / walks, but not what was on my calendar.  I wasn't even worried about it because I'm ahead of where I expected to be - and my goal is just to finish the marathon and have fun with my brother, my niece, my 2 nephews and one of my nephew's fiance (will be his wife by then).

The reason I'm belly-aching is because of yesterday - I worked in the morning and hit the grocery store on the way home.  After I got home I watched the Steelers game - everything was going according to schedule ... but I didn't do my LSD!!  Why?  I don't know.  Maybe I thought I needed to monitor the slow cooker - you know, those things you use so you don't have to stay in the kitchen for hours cooking things.  Maybe I didn't want to be too far from my phone in case Pam called - you know, my cell phone that conveniently fits in my pocket.

I really am my own worst enemy.  I don't understand my own mindset sometimes.  I'm getting off my duff and doing my LSD today ... that is, as long as nothing important comes along - like decrumbing the toaster or fluffing the toilet paper.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Slow and steady ...

Well, 1 out of 2 isn't bad :-P

Training Stats:

Yesterday - Hills canceled due to a 12 hour work day and insanely intense winds.  In it's place I split an al pastor burrito with Pam :-)  Actually, I'm kind of bummed about doing nothing.  Oh well.

Today - My 30 minute 1:1 was cut short due to a 10 hour work day and continuing winds.  I actually did my run / walk during my only break at work and didn't quite keep the 1 to 1 ratio.

I am keeping in mind that things will happen - and that missing 1 or 2 training sessions from time to time is not going to have a drastic impact on my marathon in June - or my 10k in August - or any of my longer term goals.  If I can keep my focus and not get frustrated when things don't go the way I want I might actually start to get the upper hand on one of my worst enemies ...

... Myself.

Sunday, January 9, 2011

It has begun

I figured that was the most motivating quote from Mortal Kombat.

Definitely better than, "This is where you fall down."  Or worse yes, "Fatality!"

Training stats:

I haven't done much more than my core work and stretching the past few days.  Today, however, was the first official day of my training schedule so I felt a bit compelled to do something.

30 min 1:1 ratio out & back.

Now I'll give you all a minute to stop ooo-ing and ahh-ing ... or to stop laughing.  Sunday is supposed to be an easy day after my LSD, so next Sunday it will fall into place much better.  The back part of the out & back was a (not so) gentle reminder of how much work I have left to do.  The very slight uphill (2% or a tad more) was enough to add almost 2 minutes to a meager 1.25 mile trot - wow!  If I could only find a way to counter the effects of gravity.

I will be posting my training info from my Garmin after I upload the data ... and figure out how to share it.

Non-training stuff:

I took Thursday & Friday off from work.  Thursday was pretty legit - I really felt wiped out and out of sync (my latest catch phrase describing when I'm not mentally focused, feeling down or just have a case of the don't want to's).  I was horribly tired - almost fell asleep checking my work email at home before I decided it wouldn't be safe for me to drive to work ... and even if I made it I would pre really pathetic and ineffective.  Friday I could have gone if they really needed me, but just wanted to have an extra day to rest.

We managed to get a couple of simple, but necessary chores around the house completed yesterday.  It's one of the things I'm really trying to work on - doing jobs or projects and getting them out of the way instead of letting things sit and build up.  Tomorrow is back to driving a route at work, so it will be a very early morning.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Call me ...

... crazy :-/

I really hope you weren't expecting me to say "Call me Ishmael"

I must be going crazy - Last night I registered for the San Diego Rock 'n Roll Marathon.  Of course I can claim diminished mental capacity on this one because my Ambien was severely kicking in before I actually hit the submit button - I have vague memories of Pam talking me through the last couple of steps.

Not crazy enough?  I have my gym's class schedule up on another screen and I'm seriously considering going to this Thursday's yoga class.  I mean really - how difficult can it really be?  How foolish can it make me look?  How much will it make me hurt?

Oh by the way - did you notice that any training info was conspicuously missing tonight?  Well, that's because I didn't train because I spent a chunk of the afternoon at the DMV registering my car ... The only problem is it was supposed to be registered a month ago :-?

Like I said - call me crazy.

Monday, January 3, 2011

Hills, hills and ...

... wind.  Aaugh, I really don't like the wind.

Training stats:

Hills- 1 min run up, 1 min rest walk down. 5 per set. 2 sets (was supposed to be 4 sets - cut short due to wind)

Core work & stretching routine (I'm not going to take a lot of time explaining what type of core work or stretching I'm doing pretty much every day - I will just mention when I do it).

I plan on focusing a lot more on stretching, limberness and flexibility this time around to help prevent injuries.  I am seriously considering taking Yoga, Pilates or some similar girly type class at the gym :-)

OK - don't start throwing things at me.  I know many masculine men take yoga and stuff ... They tell me about it at our belly dancing class ;-)