Positive Energy Activates Constant Elevation


Thursday, December 30, 2010

2010 Mileage and the Marathon Plan

So my grand total of miles for 2010 is…..1234.3 miles. I didn’t get my garmin till the second week of January of 2010 so that’s probably actually right around 1250..but whatever. Next year I’m shooting for 1500 I think.


I sat down the other night with 4 months worth of blank calendar sheets and finally got to work. My plan was to start the 1st of January…talk about waiting till the last minute. I don’t know why I put it off except for the fact that that’s when it gets really real..and I wasn’t ready to see it. I showed it to Skip when I was done and he looked it over…says it looks good. You don’t think it’s too aggressive I ask? Nope…piece of cake. That’s one of the things I love about this man..his unshakeable faith in me. I toss out a plan with 2 full race distance plus multiple runs in the teens and higher and he says it’ll be a piece of cake for me. Let’s see if he’s till saying that come March!

The plan.

Please remember that I’ve done a weekly base longrun of 10 plus miles once a week for over a year.

Four weekly runs, 18 weeks including a two week taper. Speedwork, mile repeats and hills introduced in the final 10 weeks of training. I have one scale back run a month of 8 miles. And the months that I do full race distance I have two scale back runs..one the week before…one the week after.

Long runs include..

1- 12 mile run
1- 13 mile run
1- 14 mile run
2- 15 mile runs
2- 17 mile runs
1- 19 mile run
2- 21 mile runs
2- 26.2 mile runs

Since my training starts the first of the year….my weeks will go Saturday to Saturday. My long run day is Thursdays. I run Saturdays, Sundays, Tuesdays and Thursdays. My weekly mileage will top out at 42 miles a week but most weeks will only be in the 30’s. I will post the plan for the week each week.

Week 1…January 1st through the 8th

Saturday- 3-5 miles easy. Sunday- 6.5 miles. Monday- cross train. Tuesday- 5.5 miles. Wednesday- REST. Thursday- 12 miles marathon pace. Friday- cross train. Total- 27-29 miles.

So there it is….week one. Ready? You bet yer ass I am.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Pics and Miles and Maggies First Giveaway

I wanted to add some more Christmas pics as to not leave out the boys…they didn’t get home till Christmas night but I didn’t want to not include them. 
V and lil T
Going through the stockings.
Dom and Skip
Jenga, Dom and Brian
SpongeBob Snuggie Pants
Children brought to you by Skip and Claire.

So last night I did one of the workouts we bought Dominic for Christmas. I had got him the Bootcamp series of Taebo….I’d forgotten how freakin wicked it is..I could barely walk today! I brought my running gear to work today in hopes of getting out a bit early to run….sooo didn’t happen. People were determined to slice their hands open and walk in at the last minute for drugscreens. When I did finally get out of there I had a good 5 miler around the hospital. After I hit that 5 mile mark I ditched my shoes and did a half mile barefoot. It felt good…freezing…but good. After I got back to the car I saw why..it was 22 degrees…holy crap!
And speaking of feet and running…I need to start thinking about my next pair of shoes.  I’ve got maybe 200 miles left on my Mizunos and I’m really toying with switching to a racing flat..or some kind of minimal trainer.  Any suggestions?  I’ve always hated Nikes but have been thinking about trying the Free.  Thoughts?  Opinions?

That’s it…all I’ve got on a Tuesday night. I hope everyone’s having a wonderful week! And check out this great giveaway from Maggie at Run Happy!!

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Merry Merry Christmas

Ahh….Christmas morning. We’re down to one child in the house this year. Every other year my boys spend Christmas with my ex-husband…which is every bit as bad as it sounds. As a single gal….I used to buy a 6 pack of beer and spend the day at my parents drinking myself into a cherry stupor….missing my boys…but since I met Skip….and especially since lil T came along…it’s not as horrible….more quiet…less mess. ..crazy little girl to make me smile. We don’t buy our children boatloads of things..never have never will. This partly stems from the fact that we’re broke…but also stems from the fact that in our eyes…Christmas is more then the presents…better to give then receive and all that. Skip and I don’t buy gifts for each other….of if we do it’s something very small and thoughtful. Instead we take the money we’d spend on each other and buy for children that get brought up through the church..or Skips work has a program as well….that’s what we did this year. We had a 14 year old boy and a 9 year old boy this year…awesome. Much better then getting something else that we really didn’t need to stuff into this already full house. And if I have one thing that I’ve done with my children that sticks….I hope it’s that.

So yesterday I knocked out 10 pretty decent miles at below marathon goal pace. I know this doesn’t seem to be the normal approach…but I do ALL my longruns with the target at getting them below my goal marathon pace time. Especially the last few miles. I want to know exactly what that pace feels like..and I want to be able to maintain it for the entire time baring any catastrophe. But then I’m a psycho that way. That’s how we’re training with Dragon Boat as well…..why should race day ever be a surprise? I mean any more then it’s going to be anyways. I also intend to do at least one full marathon distance training run during this cycle…hopefully two if I can work it.

On the barefoot front….the gravel marching is going swimmingly. One thing I didn’t anticipate was that this first batch of gravel that I’ve been marching in is turning to dust! If I can get another week out of it I’ll be surprised. So I guess it’s a good thing that it came in a 50lb bag because I’m sure I’ll use all that and probably more. After I finished the 10 miles I had on tap yesterday..I took of my shoes and socks and finished barefoot to my house. I had no foot pain and felt great!! It was only like .35 mile but that’s ok..it was 27 degrees….HA!

So I was wondering what other peoples thoughts were on race pace training? Do you do it? What about full race distance?

Anyways…I hope everyone is having a wonderful, peaceful Christmas. We’re heading over to my moms so she can feed us and the boys will be home tomorrow afternoon….I can’t WAIT!

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Gravel Marching for Dummies

Disclaimer: I really have no idea what I am doing. Like many..or most if you will…things in my life…I am winging it…and hoping for the best.

Preface: I started barefoot running for no particular reason except that I was mildly interested in seeing what it was all about…I ended up addicted. I tried it before I researched it…but after a bit..I went back and did plenty of reading. I was up to doing all of my runs except my longrun barefoot and was having a wonderful experience until I developed some top of the foot pain that scared the shit outta me. I still can’t leave it alone….but with marathon training looming…I’ve laced back up at least for the winter. But during my months of barefootness…I have managed to retrain the way I run to a midfoot strike…even in shoes. I live in Wisconsin…winter here is no joke..and I’m just not badass enough to loose the shoes when it’s say 6 degrees. But I don’t want to loose what I’ve gained during my excursion into the nekkid side…so even though there’s not much out there on it….I decided to try gravel marching over the winter as to not loose the thickness I’ve developed in the soles of my feet. It’s not pretty…but here it is.

The tools-

50 pound bag of basic gravel- purchased for 4 bucks at your local Menards/Lowes etc.

Dishwashing tub- purchased for 3 bucks at Walmart

Nekkid feet


What I’ve been doing in the week or so I’ve been at it…is hopping my ass in there and marching.....for 5 minutes in the morning and 5 minutes at night. Like I said…I don’t know what I’m doing and someone PLEASE chime in if you have some ideas or tips. I plan on increasing my time over the winter and eventually getting some more heavy duty gravel…and as soon as I’m done with this marathon…loosing the shoes and attempting all the distances I’ve already done shod…barefoot. This is one of the many things I love about running..it’s ever changing. You can always try something different…make the old new…tweak tweak tweak until it’s your own.

It’s different then running barefoot. You’re not trying to be light on your feet. You’re pounding the gravel…actually marching in it..to toughen up your feet. Does it hurt? Some…but nothing I can’t handle…and the alternative of loosing something that I worked hard to get is just not acceptable to me..so there you go. It is also dusty…have a towel handy to wipe your feet off unless you want gravel dust all over your house.

So that’s my gravel marching in a nutshell. Happy marching!

Tuesday, December 21, 2010


I had the most amazing run tonight. V…my oldest…actually wanted to spend some time with me and when I said I was going to run tomorrow night he asked if he could go with. Not wanting the moment to escape…I told him that I’d drop lil T off at church and when I got back we could head out.

We knocked out 5.5 snowy miles and I finally got to show him the trails behind his high school that I’ve been telling him about. They hadn’t been touched so running on them was no picnic…he couldn’t understand why it was so hard…LOL. But leave it to that kid to be able to not run for months and then go 5.5 miles like he does it every day. His natural ability just staggers me and I wish a little of it would rub off on me! I can’t wait to see what he does under the hands of a real coach when track season rolls around. Although he handles distance so beautifully that I wonder if he’ll be able to sprint…although I’m unsure what distances they do in high school..we’ll have to wait and see. He really enjoyed the cooler weather..it was about 33 degrees which is darn warm lately. It’s funny though..he was a little wiggy in the places we were running….told me he would never go back there alone and wonders why I do. I told him the good thing about winter running is that it keeps the crazies inside..and the only other people out in this mess are just as screwy as we are so we’re safe. Lots of tracks…none of them human.

One more day of work and I’m off for 4…don’t know what I’m going to do with myself.

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Braggin on A

So I had the most exciting thing happened yesterday…but let me back up a bit.

Amy was one of my newbies from my very first group of newbies. I have known her for 16 years. Her husband Rod was my friend first…known his crazy ass for 20 years…how’s that for making me feel old? I’m not sure exactly how she ended up with Julie (my original newbie} and I…but she did..in the middle of January or the beginning of February of last year. She came every week but one…braved that bullshit cold and did plenty of running on her own. Ran her first race *this one* and her second race *this one* and the last one that I ran she ran too *this one*. And now…drum roll please….she’s running *this one*. That’s right..she’s running her first half marathon…not even a year and a half after starting running.

She sent me a text yesterday asking if I was sitting down and tells me that she just signed up for the Wisconsin Half Marathon…..the same race that I’m doing the full. She thinks she’s crazy….I think she’s amazing. Of the 5 people that I’ve worked with….she is my only consistent runner….the only one that has stuck with it…and I couldn’t be more proud of her. She did her longest run to the tune of 8 miles yesterday…when it was about 12 degrees.

She's going to be outstanding!  And I stand in awe of her taking on such a huge goal as a newer runner.  You go Ames...you are going to KILL IT!!

Friday, December 17, 2010

Are We Really Crazy?

Took all my mojo and some I stole to get my ass out there yesterday for my long run. Sometimes it’s hard to get out there when home is so inviting and warm. All I wanted to do was clean and bake but alas…my inner compulsive asshole got the better of me and I headed out…although it took me till 11 AM to do so. 10.3 miles below marathon pace at 25 degrees.

My in laws were with me all week this week…so they got a taste of what my exercise/running routine is all about and if they were unsure before…they now officially know I’m insane. But are we really crazy…those of us that make fitness a part of our daily life? I can count on one hand the people I know in real life that follow any kind of exercise regimen and most of them are recreational at best. My little brother is one of these…but even he allows himself some flexibility. Where are the people that are like us? Do they exist outside of bloggy land? I’m beginning to wonder.

So Skip came home from D.C. last night and I was thrilled to see him. He’s been gone since Sunday but I’m more then ready for him to come home. I’m all ready to settle in and finish getting ready for Christmas. All my shopping is done except for a few stocking stuffers. Lil T and I made ginger bread men the other night but we need to do some more because we ate all of them.

In other news…I made my 3 year post gastric bypass appointment to see my surgeon. Once a year I have to check in with him so he can see that I haven’t ballooned up again and I’m not dead. He also orders a slew of blood work to make sure I’m taking my vitamins and am not deficient in one thing or another. Then he proceeds to bug me for before and after pictures and to come to the meetings so I can talk to people…to which I nod my head and promise to do so. Then I run out the door and disappear for another year. I just can’t bring myself to do it. I’m no miracle..I paid him to fix something that was wrong with me. The fact that I do what EVERY gastric bypass patient should is a side benefit….and honestly..not the norm.

Anywho…that’s all I’ve got. Stay tuned for a soon to be post on my excursions into gravel marching…exciting stuff.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Stomp of Approval and Gravel Marching

So I got an email from the Barefoot Runners Society offering me their ‘stomp’ of approval. What this means exactly I don’t know….but it’s pretty cool to be acknowledged by like minded folks. The sight is awesome and I look forward to exploring it more over the next few days.

My day off is never my own….but I did manage to knock out 10 miles below marathon pace this morning. I froze my ASS off the entire way…..10 miles at 20 degrees is no joke…and I didn’t dress properly on the bottom..so it was literally my ass that froze. I was pain free except for my hamstrings but that’s from my footstrike adjustment over the course of the 10 miles. I felt good..my foot felt fine…and I actually took my shoes off for the last half mile and ran home barefoot in 20 freakin degrees. I don’t learn do I? HA! It felt fantastic to loose the shoes in spite of the cold and lord help me if Skip reads this.

I also went to Menards today and bought a bag of gravel. As soon as it thaws.….I’m going to pour it into a bin of sorts and start my gravel marching….and if my family didn’t think I was nuts before they sure the hell will now. I can’t wait! They had two different kinds…one with pretty large rocks and one multi purpose that looked like what you’d put in a driveway. I bought the multi purpose stuff for now. I’ll start with that and maybe start incorporating the bigger stuff in a month or so. I need to research exactly what I’m supposed to do with this stuff….but my plan is to not loose the conditioning that I’ve achieved on my soles over the winter and as soon as the temps stay above 30 degrees…hit the ground nekkid again and go to town.

In other news….lil T lost her other front tooth tonight…here’s the photographic evidence. I love toothless kids!


Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Fx Free is Me

So I talked with Dr. F this morning…..it went something like this.

Me~ Dr. F…will you order me an outpatient x-ray on my left foot if I promise to go to ortho if it’s fractured?

Dr. F~ Maybe I should look at it first.

We sat down in between patients and I told him my stupid foot history including dropping the frozen bag of beans on it. I told him about my barefoot running and he didn’t even bat an eye. That’s one of the MANY things I adore about this man….his ability to not judge or at least not hassle me about it. He gets it…..he’s a two time marathoner himself so he understands the running part…and he’s cool enough not to flip about the barefoot thing because that’s just how he rolls….and I don’t think it hurts that his son has been dabbling in it as well.

It’s not fractured. I know I’m freaky about starting my marathon training but I just need to pay close attention and listen to my body. I’m undecided about my long run tomorrow. Maybe I’ll just head out and see how it feels. Listen to your body…as the good Doctor says. Ease back in and if it’s still wonky…back off. Words to live by folks…words to live by.

Baby It's Cold Outside

So 5 miles at 12 degrees…and it wasn’t bad. The roads still have quite a bit of ice and snow…..but I did manage to stay upright this time. I was talking to Skip last night after I got back and was telling him that running in 12 degrees, for me, is really no more unpleasant then running in say 80 degrees. You warm up really quick all things considered. I left my house around 5:30 pm and it was hovering around 10 plus degrees. I wore a tank top, long sleeve tech shirt, light running jacket, headbandearmuff thing, running shorts and lined mens athletic pants that I love for winter and was comfortable. It’s always strange trying to dress when the weather starts to turn because I really don’t remember from one year to the next how to do it….you know…how much to wear at certain degreeage. But it comes back pretty quick.

On the foot front. I am sort of undecided if it’s healed. It felt good on the run…and I had decided to decide later if I was going to have it x-rayed again…until I got home and dropped a 10 pound bag of frozen calico beans on it. I think I’m going to talk it over with Foster when I get to work and go ahead and have it x-rayed. I have to know….for sure..otherwise I’m going to over analyze every little thing throughout this training session and drive myself and everyone else nuts. I have truly managed to change my running form to a midfoot strike and am almost to the point of not having to think about it most of the time…so it is possible to do. Running barefoot for the last few months has done that for me. I’m planning on getting some gravel pretty quick here and starting my gravel marching to keep my soles conditioned until spring and after the marathon…but I’m not going to dink with anything else until then. I need to stay injury free.

So lil T lost one of her front teeth last night….she looks awesome. I expect the other one will be coming out shortly. I love this age…and taking her to school and seeing all the other little toothless monkeys running around. Good stuff.

I need to get ready for work. We’ve been buried and I’m feeling some holiday burnout already..it should slow down a little bit but I’m happy to see some of our big companies bouncing back and hiring again….and I love to hear the stories of my patients that have been laid off for long periods of time so excited to be going back.

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Advent Week Two- Hope

Ugg…rereading my post from last night kind of turns my stomach. Not the running part…the facebook part. I’m struggling you see….trying not to hate on someone that’s hurting one of my loved ones in a very real and painful way. Its terribly hard for me not to judge this person when I have no right to judge anyone. I can’t hold anyone to the standards I hold myself to and it’s not fair of me to try. I don’t love this person….and even when they weren’t doing the things they are now…saying I cared for them would be a strong word and probably not really close. And I can’t honestly expect them to behave in a reasonable and honorable manner when they’ve never been required to. There’s something to be said about marrying someone that has the same morals you do..and maybe not the same code but close to it. Anyways….

So my thoughts for tonight as we celebrate the second Sunday in Advent and eat Dominic’s awful looking purple cake are turned towards Hope. Hope that I can control my frustrations and be a good sibling with an open non-judgmental ear when needed. Hope that this person can straighten out and find peace and honor. Hope that when they do…it’s not too late. Hope that the beautiful little children involved come through whatever happens unscathed…or close to it.

That’s not to much to ask….is it?

Saturday, December 4, 2010

A white out, a wipe out, and a pain free run

The first two kinda blew…but I was completely happy with the third. The snow they’ve been promising did indeed show up and hit pretty hard…although the lake effect is what really got us.

I’ve been a little worried about returning to running….nervous to be exact. Although I’ve been pain free for around a week, with my marathon training looming….I really don’t have time for this setback. I woke up this morning to a beautiful snowy wonderland that didn’t look like it was stopping anytime soon. I don’t particularly dislike winter running….as long as the roads, paths, sidewalks are clear I’m good down to just about any degree or lack thereof. But being the first snow of the year…they weren’t…and I went anyways. Skip was out snow blowing the driveway and I layered up and headed out….and made it exactly a half mile before turning around and heading home to adjust clothing. I wasn’t cold…but it was snowing like a bitch and my neck was exposed…so I headed home and exchanged my two shirts for a tank and lightweight jacket that zips to my chin. Back on my way and feeling much better although visibility was for shit…my sunglasses were a total wash because they kept fogging up. I headed over to my pike river trail in hopes that whomever kept it plowed last year had been out….but they hadn’t. It was good though…I felt fantastic and my foot felt fine for the whole 5 miles that I ground out. I worked on keeping my landing to a midfoot strike and this is becoming more natural….even in shoes…awesome. The wipeout came about 3 miles in on a road that had been plowed. I was trying to stomp the snow off and out of my shoes and damned if one of them didn’t go right out from under me. Another good thing about winter running…extra padding….HA! I didn’t realize it at the time but my right knee took a nasty beating on that wipeout…leaving me with a beauty of a bruise…and of COURSE it happens right in front of the giant Sears truck parked to deliver something or other. The two delivery guys gave me a big thumbs up when I went by after getting up off my ass….glad I could amuse you dudes.

And I just have to touch briefly….or not so briefly….on something that’s irritating me today. Facebook….or more correctly…stupid bitches on facebook. I’m sure everybody has them..you know the ones….that you just can not delete because it’s a sick fascination….like a train wreck…that you just have to look at….even though it makes you want to hurl.

So that’s my Saturday. I’m going to go crawl onto my husband and watch tv…or something :)

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Waiting, Not Running

So it’s been over a week…it was actually a week on Saturday…since I ran..barefoot or otherwise. I am pretty much pain free for a few days so baring any weird relapse..I plan to test out the foot this coming Saturday. In spite of thinking this 2 weeks off would drive me crazy…it’s been ok. Every time I get itchy to go…I remind myself that a little *or a lot* of self restraint is a good thing…that I’m not in training yet..and to just relax and let my body work it’s magic and heal. And if Saturday doesn’t go well…then another week it is. It’s not like I don’t have a TON of stuff to do. I haven’t been inactive though. I’ve been doing my Tae-bo to the tune of 5 times a week with at least one 1.5 hour session to substitute my longrun. So hopefully getting back into running won’t be a huge issue. I took 6 weeks off two summers ago and came back bulletproof…so this shouldn’t be bad. I still haven’t hammered out the marathon plan…but I’ll get there..it’ll keep.

It’s hard to believe that Christmas is right around the corner. I love this time of year…this particular holiday doesn’t bring me much stress…just joy. The first Sunday in Advent was this past Sunday and like my parents before me…we celebrate each Sunday with a special desert, lighting the candle on the wreath…and doing some reading and reflecting. This was lil T’s week and she picked cupcakes….red velvet. Dominic has next week but he hasn’t clued me in as to what I’ll be making for his week. Skip won’t be with us as he is leaving for D.C. that morning…or maybe it’s the following week..hmmm.

Our Christmas tree is a total Charlie Brown get up. It’s funny because before I married Skip….I was an absolute psycho about my tree. White lights, silver ornaments, silver beads and burgundy colored bows…that was it. When the kids started making ornaments at school I hid them on the back of the tree where no one could see…that’s right…hid them. Isn’t that awful? It had to be perfect. I also threw a HUGE drunken bash which included a punch that could put someone on their ass in 2 cups. I don’t do either of those things anymore. Two years ago Skip went out and bought a fake tree that already had white lights on it…the thing is both ugly and sad..so dressing it up was like putting lipstick on a pig. Now our tree is a hodgepodge of homemade ornaments…hung by the children…and I couldn’t be happier…although a few of my beauties still make it on the tree…if there’s room.

I hope everyone’s having a great week and here’s to Christmas being stress free and wonderful for all of those that need to be stress free and full of wonder.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

No Stress Fx....yet

So I tried to run on Saturday…I made it three miles before limping home on a very painful left foot. I won’t lie…that shit scared me…I could barely walk. Sunday I did an hour and a half of Taebo and iced it more and sat around hoping like hell I didn’t have a stress fracture. I figured I had about 6 weeks before I’m due to start marathon training….so I have time to heal…but anyways.

Monday morning rolls around and I’m still one gimpy mofo. I hobble my way to work and sit down with Michael and ask him to look at my foot. He does….I tell him what I’ve been up to with the running…he shakes his head and we make a plan to go over to x-ray after the chick that doesn’t like me leaves and we’ll shoot a couple films. He says he thinks it’s been long enough that a stress fracture would probably show up on x-ray. I disagree…we argue a few minutes and go to x-ray. We shoot 3 films…and go look at them. Nothing…not a damn thing except pretty white bone. So we decide to lay off the running for a week…and if it’s still hurting….x-ray again and see how that looks. If I’m pain free in a week….I’m going to lay off running for another week and start running again.

I’m not sure where this leaves me with my barefoot running. I don’t want to stop…I love love love it…but I’m scared that if I don’t lay off, that if I don’t already have a stress fx….I’ll get one. I thought I was doing ok but this really got my attention. I’ve already paid for the marathon….I will do it. Maybe now is not the time to be trying to fix something that wasn’t broken. Maybe I do my gravel marching through the winter..Concentrate on at least trying to change my foot strike even in shoes…and once my marathon is over….loose the shoes and do it right this time. I guess for now though…I get through the next couple weeks and see what that holds.

So tomorrow we’re heading up to Skips Dads for Thanksgiving. We’re bringing dinner so I have a boatload of things to pack and bring plus I have to work tomorrow. Ugg..I need to relax. Hope everyone has a wonderful holiday and remember to appreciate the things you’re thankful for!

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Barefoot, Taebo and Dragon Boating

Increasing my barefoot mileage....yeah…I don’t think I’m ready for it. After a very cold, 5 mile barefoot run on Tuesday night…I developed some top of the foot pain that still is lingering. I still did my 10 miler on Thursday in shoes and was ok. Taebo tonight and I’m undecided about what to do about my run tomorrow. I guess I’ll try scaling back and see how that goes..if my foot protests…I’ll stick with my Taebo for a couple more days and try again. I bought a new DVD that Dominic and I did on Monday night and it was awesome….very old school Taebo and I was dying…..fantastic! I saw him teach once…when Skip took me to California not too long after we married and one of the main things I wanted to do was to go to Billy Blanks World Training Center in L.A. and take a class. I ended up being sick most of the time I was there and didn’t end up taking a class….but I did go to the gym and watched him teach. I still kick myself for not just doing it anyways….missed opportunity…that gym is gone now and last I heard Billy was living in Japan…still putting out new stuff…but no US base anymore. Note to self and others…don’t let a small roadblock….block you from doing something you really want to…because you may NEVER have that chance again. Lesson learned.

My long run was good. Ten miles below marathon pace. It was chilly and I made Brian wear his sweater. He pranced his way through 10 miles like he does it every day and behaved himself pretty well. I ran along some of the marathon route and felt strong. I got an email from said marathon today titled “After stuffing, start a running”….HA! That kinda threw me though…made it a bit more real. I’m running a freakin marathon and in a few weeks I need to start training for it. I thought getting that 20 miler in would ease some of this…but it doesn’t seem to have. I really need to sit down and hammer out my plan….after Thanksgiving…I swear it.

So today we have Dragon Boat practice. How do you practice dragon boating in Wisconsin at the end of November you ask? You line up 10 rows of chairs two by two and have your drummer beat on a table while you all paddle with your pretend paddles made out of PVC pipe made by one of your teammates. You see the key to successful dragon boating is not brute strength…but brute precision. The ability to work as a team and paddle in unison is much more important then having a bunch of big ass dudes on the boat….although we have those too. You see, the person that paces the boat sits in the very first seat on the right-hand side. The drummer keys off of this person…and the entire boat keys off the drummer and this person. I am that person..not the drummer…the pacer. This is our first year putting together our own team. This will be my third year on a boat and Skips fifth. Other years we were on a VERY uncompetitive boat sponsored by his sisters accounting firm…get the idea? So after getting spanked by over 30 other teams last year Skip vowed never again and the idea of a dragon boat to compete was born. I’m just kind of along for the ride because he knows I will set one bitchin pace and I have the strength to keep it up for 3 different races. Skip and another fella from his work have hand picked a team of 20 paddlers with 3 or 4 alternates based on strength, ability and want. You have to have a minimum of 8 females in the boat and after 4 practices…things are looking pretty good. We figure that if we can get to the point of sticking together on land…the water shouldn’t be such a reach. I guess we’ll see…we’ll only have 3 water practices to figure it out..but by then we’ll have been practicing together for over 10 months.

Anyways…hope everyone enjoys their weekend. We’re in for a bit more soft weather before old man winter gives us a swift kick in the pants next week. Looks like it’s going to be a white Thanksgiving in Wisconsin…I’m so not ready for this.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Barefoot Glass Encounters

So it was supposed to be an easy 10 mile run at below marathon goal pace….that soo didn’t happen. I really wonder what is up on these kind of runs. Is your head just not in the game? Is your body rebelling against what your mind says it has to do? Either way…this run just wasn’t happening. I made it 3.6 miles before I stopped in by my friends work..tucked my shoes under her car and took off barefoot to complete a very unimpressive 8 miles. Now those first 3.6 I did manage to keep below pace goal…but it was SUCH a struggle. I ran on some trails behind V’s highschool which reminds me that I have to take him back there and show him the ponds so he can get some fishing before it gets too cold.
I noticed several things on this run. Ditching the shoes brought almost an instant relief to the bonk. I stopped worrying about pace because I know I can’t hit it yet without shoes. I relaxed without even trying and just enjoyed this beautiful day…even knowing it would probably be one of the last.

I also had a first today. I stepped on a decent shard of glass. I thought I’d hit a pesky little rock that didn’t want to shake loose and after a few steps of it still bugging me…I stopped to brush it off and saw a shiny chunk of clear glass embedded in the bottom of my foot. But instead of pulling it out and it bleeding..I just picked it off….it had not even broke skin! I was completely blown away and I guess I must be doing something right because if I’d stepped on that a couple months ago my foot would have been a bloody mess. I really didn’t have any expectations with starting barefoot running….so I really haven’t thought much about the physical changes happening to me…but it is crazy how different they are already. The bottoms of my feet are not torn up and ugly..or even hard. I told Skip about it when I got home and likened it to pushing something into play dough except that it bounces back better. Good stuff.

I’ve also been thinking more and more about winter. I think I’m going to try and find some water socks to do my shorter runs in. I have a pair from Dragon Boat racing but they’re too small when I tried them with socks…so I need to try and find some still for sale this time of year. As for keeping my feet conditioned..I’ve read about gravel marching…and I think that’s going to be the way I have to go. I just don’t think I can do the treadmill. Why am I going to invest hundreds of dollars on something that I will dread going near? Doesn’t make sense.

Happy running folks..however you go about it!

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Barefoot Running Around the Hospital

With daylight savings I am loosing my sunlight for my Tuesday night runs…which blows. I can’t run barefoot in the dark…not yet and I think probably not ever. So I took my gear to work and bolted out 15 minutes early in order to be able to knock out a few miles in the light. It was an EXCELLENT barefoot run. I think I did my fastest pace to date and went 4.5 miles. I truly felt like I was flying even though it’s still so much slower then my shod time…I wonder why it feels faster? The area around the hospital is largely unpopulated and wide open so it actually was and is a perfect place to run barefoot. There is nothing on the sidewalks and it was full dark by the time I was done and I had no mishaps. My feet feel great…no blisters…and I feel strong. And if I had decided to slice my foot open or some other weird thingy…I couldn’t have been in a more perfect place with the ER a stones throw away…HA! I think I may keep doing this as winter looms.
On the work front. I HATE Wednesdays at the clinic. There is SO much negativity and hostility amongst the old ladies that I can barely stand it. They are never happy…there is no workplace get along and they are all so stuck in their ways and NO one does it right but them..not even each other and especially not someone under 40! I don’t know how other people feel….but I’m of the mind that work doesn’t have to be a big stupid drag…and as long as you’re doing what you’re supposed to in a timely manner…there is nothing wrong with both having a decent time doing it….and enjoying the company of the people that you spend more time with then your family. And I think those feelings resonate to the patients who in turn feel more comfortable while they are there. I take care of the working man…you don’t get much more blue collar then Occupational Medicine, so generally speaking…my patients don’t work in the most wonderful environments….so coming to us may be the nice part of their day…when they get out of the heat of the factory or the cold of the outdoors…by god..can’t it at least be as pleasant as possible? Eh screw it….there’s really nothing I can do except keep being awesome and put on the happy face……and maybe someday…someday.

So that’s my semi-midweek ramblings. Ten or bust below target marathon pace in the morning! Have a great week!

Saturday, November 6, 2010

20 San Fran Miles

Where to begin? This was not a couples vacation per say. Skip was working every day and I was trolling around the city. Now this sounds like it wouldn’t be any fun for all involved but that’s just not how the two of us are made. We’re both very content on our own…and the only time we saw each other in San Francisco was in the evenings for dinner….and very relaxing sleep.


Much to my surprise the plane did not plummet into the earth as I am always certain it will. It was a smooth flight with no hassle on either end. Skip had flown in the night before and started at whatever it is he does on Monday morning so I shuttled from the airport and got to our hotel in the financial district in the early afternoon. As soon as I put my things away I hunted up the concierge and told him I needed a 5 mile route for that day and at least an 18 miler on Wednesday that included running the Golden Gate Bridge. This dude wasn’t a runner but was a wonderful help. Took out a map of the city and routed me a 5 miler for the evening and what he thought to be about a 15 miler for Wednesday..he was wrong. It was a beautiful evening and I kept my shoes on for the first mile…then took them off and had an extremely pleasant barefoot run along the bay side of the city. Tons of runners….tons of people…awesome.

Love these guys!

I went back to the hotel…showered, took a nap. We headed down to Fishermen’s Wharf and Pier 39 for dinner at the Crab House and were eating dinner when the Giants won the World Series. The town went absolute apeshit and it was a site to behold. We didn’t get tons of sleep that night due to the shenanigans of downtown and a town that had never won a series before…it was so cool.


Coit Tower

Lombard Street
 I got up whenever….knowing there would be no exercise that day…I never do shit the day before a long run. I grabbed a map and my bag and headed out to see what the tower that was straight out from our hotel room was all about. Let me just pause and say that I have the utmost respect for the people that live in this town. These hills are no joke people. I consider myself to be in pretty good shape and I was dying trying to hike some of these streets…..so the no exercise the day before a long run was kinda a bust…but I saw TONS of the city.

Skip and I did dinner at the Fog City Diner…rest…repeat. Do you see the trend here?


I packed up my not inconsiderable amount of shit that I was taking on my long run and headed out…map in hand…for my attempt at a 20 mile run for no other reason then to see if I could do it. This was not a run for time…staying in downtown and the elevation difference would see to that, but I was ok with it. People were already lining the streets at 8 in the morning for the parade that was coming later that day…the Giants were coming home from Texas and this was serious business. What did amuse me was the other runners I saw that morning and how they were dressed. It was in the low 60’s I’d say when I started out and I was in a tank top and shorts and quite comfortable. The other runners were in running tights, long sleeve tech shirts and hats….too funny.

I made my way through town to the opening of Golden Gate Park. They had the most lovely paths and sooo green everywhere. It was a perfect start and by the time I got through the park I already had 7miles in and was staring at the Pacific Ocean. Now I’m not sure exactly what the concierge saw when he looked at me but he must have mistaken me for a trail running enthusiast because the next TON of miles was crazy off road trails and hills like nobodys business. SUCKED BIG TIME…but the view made it easier. I just kept looking off at the Golden Gate and thinking….that’s what you came here to do lady..now get yer ass to it. And I did….about 14 miles in. The bridge is about 3.5 miles or so if you run it both ways so by the time I was off it I had pushing 18 miles done. If I’d continued the path dude gave me it would have been closer to 22 miles then the 20 I wanted…so I rerouted myself and finished the 20…the last mile or so being uphill.
Heading for the Golden Gate
Finally made it!

A Bridge with a view
20.10 miles….elevation gain 1,707 feet….4 hours 6 minutes and holy crap it was something.

Went back to the hotel…took a nap…went to dinner with Skips work people. Hit China Town…I was tall there…first place ever. Went to bed..very content and not very sore surprisingly.


Got up at 5 AM god help me. Ground out 4 miles on the treadmill. Showered…got on an airplane and went home…hello Wisconsin.

So here's what I know this week. 

If I can run 20 miles in San Francisco I can run a marathon here...tomorrow if I had to.  Now I can relax till January when I start actual training.  I'll still keep my maintenance long run of 10 miles once a week until then.  I almost have my plan finalized in my head and need to get it down on paper before it leaves me.

I love California....but would never want to live there.

A treadmill will be a last resort with me..I HATE those things.

The people Skip works with are terribly impressed with him...rightfully so too.

I have a bit of a hard time knowing what to do with myself when I have nothing I HAVE to do.

Hope everyone is having a wonderful, relaxing weekend!

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Flying Solo and 50 miles Barefoot

So I shipped Skip off to San Fran this morning and will be joining him in the AM tomorrow. For some reason I’m not really nervous…YET. I plan on hitting my mom up for a few Xanax in case I loose it on the plane. Leave me on solid ground and I can rule the world….put me at the mercy of a pilot and I just go nuts.
Today is Halloween and as of last night Tinky was ready to come out of her skin with excitement. She’s going to be a blue fairy. Hopefully the weather cooperates and it remains decent out. I have 9 bags of candy at the ready and the boys are going to take her around for a couple hours. I need to pack her up because she’s going to be bunking with Xanax Grandma while we’re gone.

On the barefoot front.

I have not worn shoes to run in over a week. I attempted my longest barefoot distance to date on Thursday and ended up with 5.25 miles. I had a tooth out on Monday and by Thursday probably could have done a real long run but decided to keep the impact on the face minimal and go shoeless. It was good…I was sore…but from using and building muscles and not from my feet. I really feel like I’m getting the hang of this and I truly love it. It was about 47 degrees on Thursday and after a few minutes my feet weren’t cold. I’m starting to venture out away from paved paths and hitting the streets instead. This has posed no problems yet. I wonder what the winter will hold for this…I still have not bought a treadmill and Wisconsin winters are hard!! I guess I’ll wait and see how long I can hold out.

So I have either an 18 or 20 miler planned while in Cali….but if I don’t get that in it’s not the end of the world. I don’t start marathon training till January so I still have all of November to get that last big run in before I scale back. Our hotel is 2 blocks from the ocean so I’m sure I can get some decent runs in. I really want to run across the Golden Gate and have built enough barefoot base that I could run an out and back on it *almost* 4 miles without shoes.

On that note…I need to get my arse going as I still have tons to do and my time before the kids wake up is dwindling. Have a great week!

Wednesday, October 27, 2010


I miss Skip. I’ll be perfectly honest and say that I usually don’t miss him when he’s gone for work. I’m so busy that I just don’t have time to sit and pine for him….not to mention the fact that I’m used to it as it’s been going on for almost all of the 7 plus years we’ve been married. Good thing we’re not the type of people that are at all jealous…or the type of people that need to constantly be up each others asses. But tonight…I wish he was home…and it feels nice.

We’ve had some crazy weather here in ole Wisconsin the last few days…including a touch down of a funnel cloud about a half mile from our house. Lucky for us we didn’t loose so much as a shingle although I’ll be damned if any of the leaves blew out of our yard. It’s a blustery day Winnie the Pooh…and it’s turned into a blustery night. Something about the wind…leaves me restless..and roamy..I just can’t settle in. Blah

Anyways…I really have nothing important to say and certainly nothing running related…but here’s a sweet story from tonight. Lil T followed me into the bathroom…unlike her parents she is both jealous and the type of person that need to constantly be up your ass…or mine anyways. So I’m sitting there…you know…peeing….and I look at her and say ‘Tinky…do you think we look alike?’ She looks at me and shakes her head no. ‘But our hair matches Mo’…she calls me Mo and our hair does not match. So I shake my head no. ‘Do you know what does match Tinky?’ No she shakes her head. I touch my heart…and then touch her heart….and look into those beautiful green eyes that look nothing like mine. She shakes her head yes….and wanders out.

The wind may make me restless….along with many other things…..but that little girl breaks my heart in the most beautiful way almost every single day.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Reflections at 3 Years Post RNY

So I received an email from ObesityHelp wishing me a happy 3 year surgiversary…I’d kind of forgotten.  Three years ago today I changed my life by having THIS done to my innards.  I am now the proud owner of a pouch that usually behaves itself and somewhere in a medical waste facility is 150 centimeters of my small intestine.  It was the best decision I have ever made and I have never regretted it for a second.  I don’t even think about it now….it’s just my life.  Avoiding the sugars, never drinking with meals, using small plates and eating all day long, protein protein protein…..it’s just me now.  So I’ll leave you with a few pictures….from 260lbs of flab to 160lbs of rad…HA…how lame does THAT sound!

And Now

Have a great week everyone!

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Rollin 18 Shod But Lovin My Barefoot Running

So I was a little bit daunted by the thought of the 16 miles I had on tap for this morning. Not sure why but there it is. I ran a 16.2 mile back in June so this distance wasn’t new.

But let me back up and start with my falling apart mouth. I have to have a tooth pulled next Tuesday so I figured that doing a full 18 miles like I’d planned next Thursday was out of the question…I’m only so rad you see. So on my way to the trail I decided that if I was feeling it…I would knock out the 18 miler this week and still try to hit that 20 out in San Fran.

I drove my car over to the start of the trail that I’ve been doing a lot of barefoot running on. I’d kind of figured out a 5 mile loop in the area using my car for my aide station. I planned to do three 5 mile loops and then do one mile down the trail. I brought my Nathan hand held with Heed in it, extra water, 1 Hammer Gel and 1 package of margarita flavored shot blocks…OMG were they good! I headed out and was feeling excellent from the very start. The sun was shining and it was in the low 40’s. The rail road tracks were being worked on on both sides of my 5 mile loop so I made friendly with the guys on both sides…they must have thought I was out of my damn fool mine after the first time they saw me…but it was cool….and I probably am. I took my gel the first time I got back to the car. Refilled my water, grabbed my shot blocks and headed out again. Holding my pace was easy for a change and the miles really flew by. I ended up doing the full 18 miles and felt fantastic.

So here’s what I learned..bullet style.

1. I beat my ½ marathon PR by 4 minutes on this run.

2. It took me 3 hours even to run 16 miles back in June, it took me 3 hours 3 minutes to run 18 miles today.

3. My pace was 10:11 minute miles…19 seconds per mile under my target marathon pace.

4. My fastest two miles were mile 17 and 18…I could have gone farther.

5. Margarita shot blocks are my new best friend.

6. I believe barefoot running is doing some amazing things to my shod running…and I mean amazing.

7. I loved looping and having my own aide station…so much easier then trying to carry everything with me.

8. I quite possibly am putting my dentists son through private school with all the money I give him.

So that’s it…my long run in a nutshell or so. Hopefully all two of you that read this are having a wonderful week. I really believe that about the barefoot running. I’m now up to 3.5 miles at a stretch without shoes. I do everything but my longrun at least mostly barefoot and it freakin ROCKS!

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Ice Baths and 14 Miles Below Marathon Pace

One thing I hate about doing my long run during the week is that it seems to take the whole day…even if it’s only a couple plus hours. Thursdays used to be my laundry, appointment, cleaning..and all the other bullshit day. Now it’s that plus a long run thrown in. But on the flip…I love not having to worry about it on the weekends.

So in going along with upping my mileage before I back off and start marathon training…I did 14 miles today below marathon goal pace. It was actually closer to 15 but I forgot to turn my Garmin on again after a bathroom stop and didn’t notice till about a mile later…whatever. It was an extremely good run..I didn’t bonk at all. It’s hard to keep that pace down so at mile 12 I did whatever I felt like and those final two miles were both sub-10’s. I don’t know if I’ll be able to hold the 10:30 or less for the whole 26.2..but that’s the plan. The plan also includes a 16 miler next week, an 18 the following, and a 20 miler the week I’m in San Francisco. Skip doesn’t think I can do a 20 mile run out there because of the hills…but I told him to get bent and watch me….HA! That will leave me the rest of November and all of December to do whatever….with actual marathon training starting January 1st of all days. I think having that 20 miler already under my belt will make my training that much less daunting. I was also reading in Runners World last night about doing speed training only in the final 6 to 10 weeks of your marathon plan…I liked that and am thinking that’s what I’ll do. My concentration will be my long runs and hopefully still getting in some barefoot miles.

Oh oh oh!! And I also took my first icebath today. It totally didn’t suck…which surprised me. I dumped 3 trays of icecubes in after I’d already run the coldest water in there…and sat my ass there for about 15 minutes. That was a couple hours ago and I don’t notice any real difference in recovery…but I’ll try it again I’m sure.

Dom’s final cross country meet is tonight and I can’t wait to watch him run. He is determined not to be last but I keep telling him that doesn’t matter…but at 13…it very much matters to him. So here’s hoping he can beat somebody….go Dom! After that we take off to watch V’s second to last football game of the season. Maybe he’ll get some more playing time tonight…he’s so sunk his teeth into this sport…and although I’d rather see him running free then taking a beating from someone twice his size..this is his choice and I have to honor that.

Does anyone else ice bath?  What's your verdict?

Friday, October 8, 2010

1009 miles 21.5 Barefoot and the Pre-Marathon Plan

So during my long run yesterday…12 miles at marathon race pace..I hit my 1000 miles for 2010. This was not a specific goal that I had..but it is cool non the less. It was a fabulous run…all along Kenosha’s Lakefront much of it along the marathon path that I’ll run in May. Seventy degrees and sunny..what a perfect day! V’s team won the football game…they’re now 5 and 1 and Dom pr’d again at his cross country meet..although I wasn’t feeling too hot and didn’t make it to either. It was one of those really good days…the kind we all need more of.

So here is my revised pre-marathon plan. I’ve laid off the weights and am replacing it with sweaty weighted Tae Bo sessions. I really want to drop some weight before I start.

I’m going to start upping my long runs so when I start actual training…I’ll be reducing mileage at first. I know this sounds kind of strange..but those that went through my half training with me..know I do things a little differently. I would like to get one 20 miler in…or at least as close to it as I can manage. Before my half I was doing race distance for my long run one week..and 10 miles for my long run the next…and just alternated those for several months. The end result was a race that wasn’t necessarily a breeze….but it didn’t kill me…because I’d prepared to the best of my ability. I’d like my marathon training to be similar..and I think my body can hold up to those big long runs on a regular basis if I prepare it right. I have been basically doing ‘maintenance’ long run of at least 10 miles once a week for damn near a year…so there will be no base building…it’s already there. I’m going to do a 16 week but actually write in a couple of extra weeks in case I get sick or life just gets in the way of my buzinazz. I printed of 5 months worth of empty calendars at work today and am going to fill them in one of these days. I’ve looked over multiple plans and I’m just going to kind of take what I want from each of them and tweek it into my own. I don’t plan on ever running more then 4 days a week and my long run day will be Thursday s when I’m off. I’m going to try and make this as painless on the family as possible..although they are all crazy excited and super supportive…I am definitely blessed in that department. My marathon goal pace is 10:30 miles or less….I don’t know yet if that is realistic….but it is for 12 miles…what’s 14.2 more right?

I also booked my flight to San Francisco last night. I’m more than a little squirlly about this for several reasons. I have never flown without Skip..and I don’t really fly well even with him. I’m going to be doing this one solo both ways. He’s going out the day before and coming home the day after. It will be interesting….probably most interesting for the poor sap that will be stuck with me for 4 hours each way dealing with a crazy broad wacked out on as much Xanax as I can handle.

Have a great weekend!

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Bad Brian, Stupid People..and Barefoot Miles

I love running in the fall evenings..and I hate running in the fall evenings…with Brian. There are so many other dogs out this time of day that our runs are usually miserable and by the time we’re done I never want to see him again. He acts like such a shithead and just looses it when we pass another dog. He is 17 pounds of small man complex…and it drives me nuts.


I have consistently been splitting my runs…the first part of the run in my shoes…then I loose them for the last 2 plus miles. On Sunday I went to pick up the boys and ran in the lovely hilly town of Hartland, Wi…at least I think that’s what it’s called. I think I probably looked pretty tardley running down the bike path barefoot carrying my 100 dollar running shoes under my arm…but whatever. I had a first on this run…and very stupid couple with their very stupid little dog were coming towards me….I stayed as far as I could to the side but they still…while I was running mind you…let their dog on it’s little retractable leash…lung over to sniff me. Really people? WTF makes you think I want your dog near me…let alone while I’m running with no shoes and trying to avoid rocks? What made this worse…though I don’t think they knew he was coming….but there was a biker coming up behind them..trying to pass..and their little PookieWoo or whatever the hell his name might have been…lunged right in dudes path to get to me. This could have been a catastrophic for all involved if shit had gone down about 2 seconds differently. If people would just give a tiny bit of consideration for others…this world would be such a different place.  And I have to say...Brian at his WORST...has never gotten near another dog OR person!

I love it though…the barefoot running. I feel like I’m getting stronger and I really believe it’s improving my shod running..the form of it…the way I’m landing is more mid foot and not so much on the outsides of my feet..in shoes. What does that make me then….a hybrid runner? I don’t see ever giving up the shoes completely…although who knows what the future holds…but I can see myself getting to the point of doing everything but my longruns without shoes. This brings me to the thoughts of winter again. I’m a pretty badass chic and there wasn’t much of anything that kept me inside last year….so where does that leave me with my barefoot running? I have no treadmill….and really don’t want one…but am seriously considering it so that I don’t loose what I’m now gaining. Decisions decisions. I’m also thinking of finding a Turkey Trot 5K to do barefoot…if I’m up to it by then.

In ever present other news..I have almost talked myself into joining Skip in San Francisco the first week of November. He has to go out for a conference and I would love to get back out the West Coast for a couple days. What would I do for all those hours while he is at said conference you ask? Absolutely nothing…..I answer…nothing at all if I can help it.

Happy Running!


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