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.


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