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Fall Fun

Posted by annrose Nov 20, 2009

On September 12, my husband and I completed a challenging duathlon: bike: approximately 30 miles and run: 4.3 miles on trails (less than the 5 miles advertised, which I'm glad!).  My husband had a flat two miles into the bike course, just after I got called for drafting behind him.  (I didn't know that following less than 18 feet behind the cyclist in front of you is considered drafting, and I was farther behind him than I ride sometimes when we're just out riding/training.) So I had to basically ride the course alone, as it took him at least 15 miles to get going again.  I briefly glimpsed him behind me in the run, as part of the course was a loop.  I was slow on the run--did a lot of fast walking--as I'm not good on rough surfaces and my legs were very, very tired!  In fact, I didn't really run-RUN until the end, when the course goes back across the open field toward the finish.  I heard someone behind me and didn't want whoever it was to pass me, so I put the "pedal to the metal!" (Never did see who was behind me, although it wasn't my husband.  I had to wait at least a few minutes before he finished.)  We both won age group medals, because there were only three ladies n my age group, and my husband was the only one in his age group of the men!  (There were only 27 single competitors, and 3 or 4 teams, who were separate, of course.)


The following month, my husband and I both did a half marathon in the beautiful Eastern Washington town of Leavenworth (the one with the Bavarian theme).  We arrived Friday night, and camped in our trailer up in the canyon west of town.  The marathon/half marathon was staged at a fish hatchery just out of Leavenworth.  Race time 9 a.m. on Saturday, October 3.  The course had some hills, plus a mile or so of trails through a park.  Plus beautiful scenery!  I was doing well for the first 7 miles, then my muscles got really stiff, especially my adductors and my groin, so the last half, especially the last 3 miles, were tough.  I would jog a little, then walk, then jog a little.  My heart rate went way down because I was going so slow!  My chip time was 2:44:44, so I wasn't too unhappy. But next time I do a half marathon, I guess I'd like to be better trained so that my muscles don't complain so much, and so I can get my time closer to 2:30!


Lately, since the beginning of October, my husband and I have been doing a "boot camp" exercise class once a week on Monday nights, where we intersperse running with various strength exercises, upper/lower body/core, etc.  There is a lot of variety, so it has been quite fun!  I am hoping to strengthen my legs and core especially, and in addition to boot camp, I am trying to work in speed work.  I got new running shoes again--going back to a neutral shoe (Asics Gel Nimbus 11).  I went through 2 pairs of Asics 2140's in 8 months and the outside of the heel wore down excessively, so while the shoe "expert" thought I needed stability shoes, they seemed to overcorrect my pronation, so that I ended up supinating, going by the uneven heel wear.  I put Dr. Scholl's arch supports (orthotic inserts) into my new shoes, but am also going to try Spenco Q-factor insoles, once they arrive in my order.


Winter is coming, and I am thinking about buying snow shoes, just in case we get a lot of snow like last year.  Hard to tell whether the snow is going to just stay in the mountains and hills or hit us here down in the lowlands, too.


Next up: a 5K on December 5, in which I'll try to beat my time from last year!

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Finished My First Triathlon!!!

Posted by annrose Jul 8, 2009

Lake Padden Sprint - June 27, 2009


My time certainly wasn't stellar: 1:35:23 (1/4 mile swim, 10 mile bike with a couple VERY steep hills, 2.6 mile run on a trail that was up and down). My system was kinda yucky all week, and after a long swim on Wednesday, June 24, I felt pretty blah Thursday and Friday. Fortunately, today the soreness in my right calf from that doozy of a cramp I had Wednesday was gone.


I thought the swim would be great, but while I had a great start, I soon started feeling limp and floppy. So not my best swim. I actually flipped over on my back and kicked for a few seconds a few times, later I also backstroked. Never thought I'd have to resort to that trick. Funny, though, toward the last as the shore got closer, I started to feel better and stronger. Didn't feel dizzy when I stood up. Probably should have hustled more up the path (uphill) to the parking lot where the bike transition was. When I saw my swim time later, I realized that with "chip timing," I was still "on the clock" until I crossed the mat into transition. Total time 10:12, but my actual swim time was a little over 9 minutes by my watch. (Not sure exactly, because I didn't stop the stopwatch until I was starting to walk up the grassy hill toward the concrete path.)


I mostly enjoyed the bike leg. I passed several people and got passed by a few. On the first really steep hill, I rode all the way up, passing a couple who were walking their bikes. My gearing didn't feel right, though. I attempted to shift down from 2 to 1, but it didn't feel like it. By the time I was approaching the second really steep hill just on the other side of I-5 (in Bellingham), I couldn't get the front derailleur to do anything; also I was smack behind two guys who were going very slow. One of them pulled over in a park-in-ride lot, and I followed, unclipping and hopping off. My chain seemed to be stuck, so I started walking up the hill where I saw some race volunteers and told them about it. The two of them got the front shifted into 1 for me, but I continued walking up the hill until I got to the level intersection at the top before getting back on and riding up the third hill, which wasn't quite as steep as the first two, and was very easy in the low gear! Then I just took it easy the rest of the way back. (I finally figured out what I was doing wrong with the front derailleur a week later!)


On the run portion, I just cruised along, dropping to a walk just briefly a few times. But I mostly kept up a steady pace, despite a crampy pain in my left abdomen (which mysteriously went away once I was finished and my breathing slowed down a little!). The trail was fairly smooth with some short up and down hills...very pleasant...a nice "cool-down."


The awards ("trophies") were only to the top 3 female/male finishers. No age group prizes. The results aren't even separated into age groups, just male/female. Then the race director started giving away stuff to various people in the audience, such as someone who raced with a friend, someone wearing green, someone who forgot their goggles, etc., etc. I didn't pay much attention to it; I was just eating and resting and hanging out with my hubby. One thing that was humorous, though, was when perhaps the very first freebie was announced-a "transition bag"-the race director said that some people sure had a lot of stuff in transition. "In fact, I could live for a week on what some of you brought for transition," he finished. Chuckle, chuckle...Well, it wasn't me who had all that stuff! I had bike shoes, run shoes, flip flops (that I'd used to go the lakeshore for a warm-up in the water), socks, helmet, Lake Padden tri race shirt with my bib pinned on it, small (hand) towel, water bottles, and a small Camelbak backpack...hey, just the necessities!


Overall, I had a fun day, and will probably do another triathlon this summer.





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Am I crazy or what? Why did I think this old lady (me) could do a tri? (Even though it's just an itty-bitty sprint.) My aches and pains are back, and so today was my second rest day in a row. When I think of getting my stuff ready for tomorrow, I feel like I'm getting ready for my funeral (almost), not for something fun. Hopefully, things will go OK, though, and tomorrow will be slightly more fun than a funeral.



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This event on Saturday, May 23, 2009 was hosted by the Marathon Maniacs (30K, full/half marathon).


It wasn't my very first time doing this distance. I had previously covered about 13 miles on my own back in October of 2007 (so it had been a while, with injuries in between). But this was my first time with a race number and a time, howbeit unofficial.


Saturday morning, my alarm went off at 5:15 a.m. so I would have plenty of time to wake up and get ready to leave by 7 a.m. for the 8 a.m. start. My breakfast was a "white breakfast!" (Just the way it turned out.) I had some leftover rice with some milk and a little brown sugar and cinnamon (OK, it wasn't pure white), plus half of a small banana, and one reduced fat string cheese. Surprisingly, since this isn't a normal breakfast for me (except for the cheese), my tummy felt extremely happy, plus I had plenty of energy, for the entire distance! But just in case, I had a package of Sports Beans, three Clif Kid Z-bars (like them because they're small and only have 130 calories, good carbs, and a small amount of protein), and a Gu that I picked up from a box by the water jugs. I knew I wouldn't eat that much, but I was carrying extra in case my husband needed something, as he only had a small pouch on his Fuelbelt, whereas I wore just my Fuelbelt, plus a small "fanny" pack. Turns out that I didn't even make clear through the package of Sports Beans, and my husband also got by on just one package of Beans, plus we had some Gatorade that was provided by the Marathon Maniacs.



Since I am not doing the Seattle Rock-and-Roll, I was happy to participate in this low-key event. As I just signed up for the Leavenworth Oktoberfest half marathon (on October 4), I guess this gave me a "dress rehearsal!" Plus, my husband and I practiced how we can stay together, when he can run so much faster than me. He is more than 6 inches taller than me, and even though he "officially" only took up running since the beginning of 2008, he is really doing well (for being 50 years old, too!). I, on the other hand, have been dealing with aches and pains this entire year. First I thought it was because my running shoes were too old, so I got new shoes. I felt better for a while, but for the past few weeks, I've been feeling more like I did when I was wearing my old shoes.




On the way to Bothell, while my hubby drove, I applied Flex-Power pain relief cream (touted as "warm-up-performance-recovery") to my knees and lower legs and took 5 Arnica pellets. (I re-discovered Arnica Montana recently. A few years ago I tried it for headache pain and didn't get any relief, but now I'm finding that it does seem to work for muscle soreness.) After arriving and picking up our numbers, I took a few photos of the park, and then returned my camera to the car, as it is too heavy to carry while running. Also tried to warm up a little, plus used the restroom.




Finally, the start! I told my hubby to slow down! I wanted to make sure I was properly warmed up, so planned to start leisurely-which meant everyone else left us in the dust. How could they run up and over the bridge so fast! After hitting the trail, I gradually started to speed up. Came up to Trista (a fellow Journey-Fitness member), made a few comments, then passed her. Next we met a husband and wife couple who were just doing 10 miles, and we chit-chatted for a while, until the first mile was over. Then I was ready to pick up the pace. The second mile was my fastest of the whole thing. On the way back, I found out why-it had some significant downhill portions, which on the way back seemed very steep in my tired and overheated state, so there were two inclines where I walked.




After you pass the park in Woodinville, farther on there is a restroom. My hubby needed to use it, but I didn't feel that I did, so I decided to go on and he could catch up. I really couldn't have afforded to wait for him. So it gave him a chance to really stretch his legs to catch up. Otherwise, he had to do a lot of walking. Sometimes I felt he walked too long, because I would pass him and be ahead for a while. Then he'd pass me, and I'd be behind him for a while, until he started to walk again. This wasn't quite what I had in mind as far as doing the half together, so not sure what we could do differently next time, except hope that I can run faster! (That is, if I don't have any injury issues.)




At the turnaround, we stopped to stretch a little, then we stopped to refill our Fuelbelt bottles. I had to hurry and drink one, so I'd have two out of three to fill. On the way back, saw Coach Tory and Erin (another Journey-Fitness member, who is training for the full marathon) at around Mile 7 or so-paused to pose for Tory's video! Started to feel sore after mile 8. Then I remembered that I had more Arnica pellets along in a little ziplok baggie. So I gasped to my hubby that I needed to stop. Unfortunately, I dropped one, so I only got 4 out of the usual dose of 5! However, I still felt better a while later. At mile 10, I knew that the hard part was coming up. We'd filled up with water and Gatorade again, and I was trying to drink, but it was hard, and I knew I was getting a little dehydrated. For one thing, I had not needed to use the restroom! Mile 12, my face was on fire! Drank more Gatorade. Finally, bridge in view! I told my hubby to please wait at the bridge! He slowed down, but then started up the bridge quite fast. "You're mean," I gasped. Made it to the top of the bridge, then gingerly down the other side. Once on the park concrete, I sprinted, my hubby just ahead of me-and we ran for the water jugs! My hubby was just slightly ahead of me, but they gave us the same time anyway. We came in at 10:54:40 (or 2 hours 54 minutes and 40 seconds), so I accomplished my modest goal of finishing within three hours!




Now cool-down and stretching time, plus drink more water. Unfortunately, the bounteous spread of food that had looked so appetizing before the race, had mostly lost its appeal. I didn't feel hungry. I just needed a well to drink! However, I forced myself to have one pancake and a few other things-shared a giant cookie with my hubby. On the way home I used two ice packs to ice my knees, etc. It wasn't until I was in my own house that I finally went to the bathroom! Interesting!




Next stop-Leavenworth!



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Marathon Training Begins!

Posted by annrose Jan 27, 2009

When I started this blog a year ago this month, I never thought I'd be training for a marathon a year later! (Of course, the 22-week training program just started Saturday, January 24, and anything could happen this year to derail my running and fitness endeavors--last year: fall from bike; hope it doesn't happen this year!) I wouldn't be in this marathon class, spending money on it, etc. if it weren't for meeting my lovely coach, Tory, last year. At first I just visited her website and blogs for several months, then finally she agreed to meet me in person last summer in July for a swim and lunch afterward in Starbucks. (It also helped that she lives in an nearby town.) Thinking back, it feels like such a gift that she even took the time to meet me, etc. So after she became certified as a personal trainer, I took one of her 5K classes, did a 5K with her last month (see last post), and so marathon training was the logical next step. The class is for a half or full, and although I don't have a marathon lined up, I'm going to try to follow the full marathon training plan. The 22 weeks culminates Saturday, June 21, with the Seattle Rock-n-Roll Marathon a week later, but I opted instead to sign up for my first triathlon which is the same day (6/27). In July there might be a half marathon I could all depends!


Meanwhile, I've been concentrating on getting back into running, after a hiatus in December due to snowy, icy conditions (did not get a chance to use a treadmill). Later I'll have to add riding my road bike, but for now, I've been riding my indoor stationary bike and trying to get a few swims in here and there.

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Running Dreams, Knees, and Shoes

Posted by annrose Dec 23, 2008

My 8-week 5K class went by fast. The last few weeks, the number that showed up was quite small. The lady that pushed me so hard on the first day never returned due to a change in her work schedule apparently. So that made me the fastest student. Eventually, a pattern emerged: I'd jog with Coach Tory during the first half of the run, then she would wait for the others while I added some extra loops on the way back and was the first one to return, unless I slowed down to keep someone else company. Anyway, running and chatting with Tory had been kind of a "dream" or wish of mine, which sort of came true because of taking the class. My sore knee eventually recovered, and I threw in some "speed work" or sprints the beginning of December, but it would turn out to not be enough to meet my goal of doing a 5K in 30 minutes or less.


Several days before the December 13 5K, the weather forecasters began predicting snow. (Snow is unusual in Western Washington near sea level.) Sure enough, it started snowing during the night of the 12th. However, the temperature did not get as cold as it sound like it might (that came later), so the weather was not bad enough to cancel the event. In fact, it was in the upper 30's, and because it was so damp, it didn't feel too cold. I was almost overheated while running; I guess I wore too warm of a shirt! The run was on a dirt and gravel trail, and there were some puddles and muddy spots that I traversed around. On the way back, one of the race volunteers called out, "Hey, it's more fun to run through the puddles!"



Coach Tory also did the 5K, along with Kelly (the lady who "raced" me on the date of the first class), along with her two sons and daughter. My husband and older daughter also participated. They all beat me, except for Tory, who could have left me in the dust, but instead chose to "coach" me through the race!



I wore my Garmin Forerunner for the run, and my data ended up being 3.14 miles in 34:06 seconds. Really not too bad considering I was coming back from my back injury from last May, plus a knee problem from October! I had more problems with my breathing than with my legs (they felt fine, except for a little twinge in my left adductor). My nose was very congested, and I just couldn't seem to get enough air. I started out pretty fast, but by the turn around point, Coach Tory was ahead of me. To my surprise, she doubled back to join me as I made the turn around, which was on an uphill slope, and she continued to double back and/or wait for me in order to encourage me along throughout the second half. (She was also video-taping the whole thing with a small, hand-held camera!) She let me cross the finish line first and taped it!



Next I'm thinking about signing up for marathon/half-marathon training. But first I need to get some new shoes. I want to go back to the shoe store where the 5K class went for the shoe seminar (given by the owner). We learned about the three basic types of running shoes: neutral cushioned, stability and motion-control. I learned that my current shoes, Asics Gel Stratus, are neutral cushioned. However, I put inserts in them (arch supports), so that gives me a little more stability. Looking at the bottom of my shoes, the heels seem to be wearing evenly. (However, the heels on some of my dress pumps are more worn on the in shoes without support, I do over-pronate.) So before I buy a new pair, I want to have my stride analyzed to see whether I should buy stability shoes or not, which I can find out from the Run26 shoe store.



Right now my running has been on hold, as I don't have my own treadmill, and there's a lot of snow on the ground outside. My favorite running trail is now suitable for skiing or snow-shoeing! Because this snow is so rare, I don't have any special gear, except clumsy snow boots. I did jog a mile in them last week, but later my toes kind of hurt! It's supposed to quit snowing and start raining this Saturday; meanwhile it is heading into the second week of the unusual winter weather! Maybe I'll have to rent XC skis or snow shoes before the snow is gone!



Here's a link to my running coach's website with the 5K video:



Happy Holidays!






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To Run or Not to Run...

Posted by annrose Oct 30, 2008

...that is the question (and still is). Starting the beginning of August, I eased back into running with short work-outs on the nearby high school track. Plus I walked a lot, swam twice a week, and ended the month with a couple days of hiking. Unfortunately, I only went on three bike rides.


In September, I started getting more ambitiousrunning a little faster, trying longer distancesand I kept getting sore. So I'd back off, and just walk or hike for a week, then try running again the following week. My back and knees bothered me, unless I kept the distance to three miles or less.



On September 24 I got my Garmin Forerunner that I'd ordered from What a fun tool! Takes a while to figure out all the features, but I'm getting the hang of it, and it's really nice to know what my pace and speed is.



By October, I was getting tired of short runs and "granny" speed, but I continued to have "owies." Although my back seemed to be completely recovered, I now started having trouble with my left groin/adductor. Could have been caused by running counterclockwise around the track for my entire 3 mile work-out. Next time, I'll switch directions!



On October 20 I signed up for a 5K class, coached by the wonderful, famous teacher I met this summerTory.  I thought the evening's work-out was going to be easy, as Coach Tory was starting the group out on a walk-jog routine.  However, after the warm-up in the park, I found out there was a real runner in the group (except she'd been off for a while due to a sprained ankle), and I ended up jogging most of the entire route with her, including the ups and downs of the trail.  Running back down this hill into the park, I must have done something to my right knee, because it started bothering me later that week.  Now whenever I run, I have to try to take it easy because it hurts just to the left of the kneecap.  I'm using a knee brace and taking ibuprofen as necessary.  Tried ice a few timesno improvement.  (There's no swelling at all.)  Today I went in a hot tub for a few minutes at the YMCA, and tonight the knee feels a little better.  So we'll see if I can do four miles for my third run (jog/walk) this week.  (Wednesday night I did about 2.5 miles total with warm-up and cool-down.)




My 5K class is for 8 weeks, and next Monday, after the "run," we'll going to be treated to a "shoe seminar" at a shoe store called "Run 26." Should be interesting!



In August, I bought a tri suit.  Now I have about everything I need for a tri, and if I can just stay injury-free (or reasonably so), I'll aim for my first tri next summer!  I really enjoy logging my work-outs at Beginner












411 Views 1 Comments Permalink Tags: running, injuries

Running continues to feel like something "I did in another life." The week before last I did some walking, and when I tried to jog, it hurt, and all I could do was trot painfully a little. Then I went hiking on the 19th, using my trekking poles, and the trail turned out to be steeper than I thought it would be. The hike was only a little over three miles round trip, but the starting elevation was 2,400 feet and the ending elevation was 3,200 (great view!) To see photos go to: The problem is my right groin area has yet to heal completely, after being re-injured in my bicycle accident. Last week I went on a couple walks and was a little sore, but didn't get any worse. I walked with friends that I had once walked with several years ago. They don't run, so I'd kind of forgotten about them as I got more and more into running. But now that I can't run, having someone to keep me company on a walk, especially other gals, was fun, and we got to visit a lot more than we usually do (at church).


So I've really been concentrating on swimming lately. Last Friday, I swam a total of 3,000 yards in the pool. It wasn't nonstop, however, as I had to take a restroom break, and then I decided to switch to another pair of goggles, and I had a hard time getting them adjusted so they wouldn't leak. On July 16, I was able to get together with three other ladies for an open water swim in a lake that's part of a county park. One of the ladiesTory I had previously met at the pool on July 7, and her husband went out in the lake with us in an inflatable kayak; they had kind of measured out a 1.2 mile course previously (it took four out and backs to do). Two of the ladies, including the one just mentioned, were wearing Ironman black fullsuits, which looked really professional (as well as expensive. Actually, Tory bought hers used for $150, and it cost $300 new). However, they couldn't swim any faster than me. In fact, I had to keep slowing down so I wouldn't get too far ahead, and I was always at the head of the group. I am satisfied with my wetsuit for what I paid for it. I swam all four of the competitive strokes. The suit is a little tight around the knees for doing breaststroke kick, but everything else was fine. I did butterfly a couple times, showing off, not that anyone really noticed! I did OK with sighting, even though despite playing around in lakes in the past, this was my first time to swim from point to point in open water. The only thing was trying not to bump into or get bumped into by one of the other swimmers, since you can't see anything in the water. I would think I was a suitable distance from anyone else, and the next thing I knew, I'd be almost colliding. For example, the second time we started out from the shore, I looked around to make sure I was in my own space, then next thing I knew I felt a foot hit my goggles (fortunately, it wasn't a very hard hit), and I looked up and I was right smack behind Tory! Well, it was good practice for a tri swim! If I ever do a tri, I'll have to expect a lot of bumping, jostling, and even swimmers swimming right over others!


When I first swam in the pool after the lake swim, it felt really weird without my wetsuit. Likewho turned up the gravity? I've been wanting to go for another lake swim, but wasn't able to get in on one last week. Tory sent me a message about swimming last Thursday, but then I couldn't get a hold of her, and later she sent me another message saying she decided to go to this track meet at the high school instead. (I found out later from her exercise blog she did go swimming on Friday, but she hadn't let me know as it was last minute, apparently.) Bought a life vest for my husband on the 20th, so maybe he could accompany me in our little inflatable rowboatthe weather was warm and sunny last Friday afternoon, but he didn't really want to do it, and so I didn't force the issue. (I'd already swam 3,000 yards at the pool.) But the weather was lousy the whole weekend; then when it was nice yesterday, we had to go to town to drop our car off at the autobody shop for a new bumper (got backed into last week).


Last Thursday, I had a really good bike ride. It was the only the fourth time I'd been on my bike this month (and since the "Big Fall"), but I did really great, and left my hubby behind on the long upgrade coming back. I actually had to slow down a little, because I was trying to go by his cycling computer as to my time and distance. I need a new computer, because the old one won't fit on the handlebars. I checked at the bike shop for a mount that would allow it to be mounted on the stem, but with no luck. It is a Specialized SpeedZone, but as it is three years old, the stem mount Specialized now makes won't fit. Guess I'll get a wireless computer this time; just need to make it back to the shop. They carry the Specialized brand, so I'd like to get it from them and not pay shipping. Should have bought one when I was last down there, but oh, well. Oh, yes, I had to take my bike in to get a shorter stem put on--that was on the 12th. Now I can reach the handlebars better. Also had the spd pedal tension adjusted. I think it was too tight before. Now it is a piece of cake to engage or dis-engage from the pedals. Just wish my hubby had more time to ride, since I still don't want to go by myself, especially without my own cycling computer. However, he is taking some time off work this week, so maybe we'll get to go on a different trail than we normally ride, one that is kind of a drive to get there, so isn't an option on weeknights after work.


Finally, some information about my newest blog:


After looking around on the Beginner Triathlete website for months, I decided to register and keep track of my workouts on their blog. Other sites, such as MapMyRun and have the ability to track exercise, but I decided Beginner Tri was the nicest, with the cute little pictures or "icons" (?) for swim, bike, run and strength training! Right now, of course, I'm not blogging any running. However, there's also a long list of "sports" that you can choose from, and I've done walking, stationary biking, hiking, Pilates, stretching and yard work so far this month. I also like how there's a calculator so if you enter your time and distance, you get your minutes per 100 yards in swimming, or miles per hour in bicycling, etc.



So I started entering my current workouts last week, and as I have time, I'm going back earlier this month, so that I will have the whole month of July accounted for (not going back any farther, as it's too time-consuming). I have always kept a handwritten record of my workouts for almost four years, and I will continue to do so, as I can't always get on the computer right away due to sharing one computer with three other people! Then I'm going to explore more about the membership options on the Beginner Tri website. I've also noticed you can leave and receive comments, like other blogs. Wow! Now I have a total of four blogs online! I'm thankful for the "copy and paste" feature, because I can just copy a lot of what I've written on one blog to my others, such as I'm "run45" on Beginner Tri (like on MapMyRun and Xanga), although, sometimes I wonder if I should change my user name to "swimmergal" or something, as seems like it will be "forever" before I can run again. Oh, well.... Here's the link (if it works) to my new Triathlete blog:






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Swimming: my "comeback sport!"

Posted by annrose Jul 15, 2008

Swimming, besides strength training, has been my major form of intensive exercise for the past month since I gave up my crutches. (Hey, I was getting a good upper body work-out with those crutches!) It doesn't hurt to kick as far as my back is concerned, but now I'm having a little trouble with my ankle. Guess I kicked too hard a week ago, when I was imitating Michael Phelps. I'd read about his dolphin kick on the free-style turns, so I was dolphin-kicking hard every time I'd turn (mostly wearing my Zoomers, sometimes without them.) So I'm back to gently kicking, which is OK, because I want my stroke to be what mostly powers me through the water. The experts say that in doing a triathlon, you don't want to kick too hard, anyway, because you need to save your legs for biking and running.


Doing a tri isn't something on my agenda this year, though. I just want to get used to my new bike and get back into walking and jogging. I met a wonderful lady on July 7 whose blog (on Xanga) and training I'd been following for months. She is now certified as a personal trainer and is starting a running group. Maybe I'll try that...and eventually do a 5K. She also loves to do tri's, even though the swimming part makes her nervous. She gets together with some other ladies for open swimming in various lakes, and I'm hoping to join them soon. (Keeping my fingers crossed!) The wetsuit I ordered arrived last Saturday, so I hope to be able to use it. It's a fullsuit, so if I ever did a sprint tri, don't know if I would bother to wear it, since it's easy to get off until you get to the ankles and feet. Eeek! Also, it was only $99.99 and not really designed for tri's.



However, I'm interested in doing a 2.25 mile swim next month called "Swim for Life." It's a fundraiser for the "Puget Sound Blood Center." The swim is across Lake Washington, a large lake between Seattle and the city of Bellevue to the east. (There are two floating bridges across this lake, Highway 520 and I-90. When I first came to WA from Arizona, I was enthralled with driving across a floating bridge!) Anyway, to do the swim, they have people in small boats and assign four swimmers to each boat. It's not a competitive swim, so I could wear my Zoomers. (This Saturday, July 19, there is a competitive Masters swim in Lake Washington called the "Fat Salmon Swim." There's two lengths3 miles or so, and 1.2 miles or something. You can't wear fins, but you can wear a wetsuit. Not for me since I'm not a Masters swimmertoo expensive. But I gotta mention what the prizes for the winners are--actual salmon!)



Some new photos to add: my beautiful new helmet that matches my beautiful bike, and my new wetsuit!






434 Views 0 Comments Permalink Tags: swimming, triathlon

Never take walking for granted!

Posted by annrose Jun 27, 2008

Starting June 11th, (after lots of chiropractic adjustments) I started noticing a marked improvement in my walking ability, so returned the crutches I was renting on the 15th, and just used my walking pole. Last week, I also walked for exercise with two trekking poles. By Saturday the 21st, I was walking well without any aid, and also could go up and down stairs normally. (But I have to be careful not to do overdo it on the stairs, as my right leg/groin area is still a little sore.) I am still going to the chiropractor twice a week. I enjoy the adjustments as they make my back feel good, but I will still be glad when I get to taper down because of all of the money I have to spend on the co-payments. (Next week because of the 4th, I am only scheduled for one visit.)


I have almost full range of motion with my right leg now, so that I can get on my bike. Do I dare ride my bike again is the big question???? One suggestion I got from an employee at the bike shop where I bought my bike is to walk my bike across the intersections of the Centennial Trail with streets, which is a good idea. (He called the gates on the trail "tricky." I agree. They weren't so bad with my old hybrid bike, but on a road bike in a different riding position, plus the pedals, things definitely felt different on that one ride early in May.) I wish he could also demonstrate how to ride with my clipless pedals as it would be nice to see it done by someone else, rather than just me trying to do it with someone telling me what to do. (I sent him another e-mail today with some more questions.)


Yea, swimming! I've been swimming three times this month so far. The first time my leg hurt, but the third timetodayit was OK. Still can't kick very strongly, although I am wearing my Zoomers. But being on crutches did do something for my upper body. I've found that although I had a six-week hiatus from swimming, my stroke feels stronger than ever. I never was a great kicker, especially without Zoomers, so I think the key to going faster for me is a stronger stroke, as well as being streamlined in the water. That's another thing the Zoomers do: their weight on my feet keeps me more streamlined, because without them, my legs float too high in the water. (It's because I'm a pear: most of my fat is in my thighs/butt, and fat is buoyant.) I wonder what I could do if I ever decided to do a tri to keep my legs where I want them, since Zoomers are probably not allowed. (What about those water shoes???)



Also, today when I was swimming at the LSHS pool, I saw a lady swimming wearing a bright yellow Danskin cap. So in the locker room I commented about her hat, and she said, yes, she got it doing the Danskin tri! Turns out she's also a teacher at GFHS where my older daughter goes, and her daughter was in track with my daughter!



Yea, the sun is out! Maybe I will try out my bike this weekend!






513 Views 2 Comments Permalink Tags: swimming, bike, road, walking

Well, since today's my birthday, I'd better not put off updating this blog anymore. (Actually, I have one excuse: I have two other online blogs to keep up!)


At the end of April, I was pretty much on target with my training for the 10K, pushing myself a little but holding back still. I wanted to save my energy for the race. On May 5, I logged about 7.75 miles, including warm-up and cool-down. If only I had known that the next day all my hard work would go to waste.... On May 1, I'd made a down payment on a new road bike, and on the 6th I went back to the bike shop to be fitted. Because I wanted bike shoes I could do a little walking in, I went along with the salesman and got mountain biking shoes with cleats and SPD pedals. I got to practice clipping in and out on a trainer in the store. Later I went out and practiced on some streets away from traffic.


When my husband came home from work, I suggested a ride on the Centennial Trail. We rode about 7 and a half miles to another trailhead for our rest stop and turnaround point. I practiced a little more with my pedals before we headed back. I was doing great and loving the speed and lightness and smooth shifting....until about one and a half miles to go, disaster struck. As we approached the last street crossing on the trail, I flipped my shoes to the side to detach them so I could put my feet down in case a car was coming. Sure enough, we heard a vehicle approaching from the west, where there is a somewhat of a blind curve when you're going north. We stopped, and my husband went on after the car passed. I planned to start out with my shoes "unclipped" and reattach them at a later point, like after that stupid gate thing. But as I pushed off, suddenly another vehicle came from the west, so I decided to wait (don't like to cross unless I'm sure the driver sees me). However, in trying to put my feet back down, my right shoe attached itself to the pedal (or else it had happened when I'd began to push off); suddenly I was falling without a chance to catch myself. Wham! I hit the pavement quite hard. The driver stopped and asked if I was OK as I shakily got up to my feet. "I'm not sure, " I mumbled. The car continued on as I saw my husband coming back. My rear reflector had fallen off, so I gave it to him to put on, while trying to assess the damage to myself. Then he left again, and I pushed my bike painfully across the street and through the gate, then re-mounted. I attached my shoes and let the bike do the work the rest of the way back. Once back to the trail head, I found out that I couldn't get my right leg over the bike, and also I couldn't walk, and my husband helped me., etc., etc.


Once home I did a lot of icing sessions that evening and the next day. Also went to the chiropractor and had some one from the office take me in a wheelchair. X-rays didn't show any fractures. But my chiropractor says I twisted my sacro-iliac joint on my right side. So he has been treating me for that and my back for nearly a month now. I had to use crutches to walk for a couple weeks and still use one crutch because my hip doesn't seem to work normally yet, and I also have groin pain off and on. I have no idea how long this is going to last. Even riding my recumbent stationary bike seems to aggravate my injury. (I overdid it a couple weeks ago and had to back off.) I am getting really good on crutches. I still use both crutches for an upper body workout--if I can't do other forms of exercise, at least I can get a strong upper body. I was going to try swimming toward the end of May, but I came down with a really nasty cold on the 24th, and am just now getting over it.


So what happened to the 10K I had already signed up for on May 17th? Well, we also had camping reservations to camp at the state park where the race was going to be, and the weather turned out to be beautiful...just like summer! So we went, and I managed with my crutches. And there was also a two mile walk besides the 10K, so I did the "walk" on my crutches! It took me nearly 70 minutes, including a few stops for photos and water. It was quite warm. With my training, I felt I was on target to do the 10K in about 75 minutes or less (a PR for me). But the weather being warmer than usual might have made it difficult. I don't do so well in temperatures over 70 (or even over 65) with the kind of humidity we usually have in Western Washington, and I probably would have had to have slowed down to rehydrate, adding seconds here and there to my time. Now I have no idea when I'll ever be in shape for a 10K. In fact, I'm sort of turned off on the idea of training for races. When exercise becomes more important to me than just for health reasons, when I'm thinking about doing a race, things just have to go wrong. So maybe if I just exercise for fun with no specific goal in mind, then I won't have to worry about getting injured...but what do I know?



Also, I have a brand new road bike that I've put a couple dents in just sitting around, a waste of money. I'm pretty scared of those shoes and pedals right now. I was talking about it to my dentist the other day, and he mentioned someone who broke her ankle with similar pedals! I'm thinking about going back to platform pedals whenever I do start riding again, because I'm not going to be in very good shape anyway. But will probably talk to the guys at the bike shop about what to do, because I don't want my new shoes to go to waste either. (Perhaps the cleats could be removed temporarily or something.)



So that's about it for this old lady on her birthday.

































483 Views 2 Comments Permalink Tags: running, cycling

Outdoor exercise has been a little challenging the past month due to the ever-changing weather and vacation. First, on March 28, we flew to Phoenix, Arizona. It was snowing in Seattle (fortunately, not sticking), and our flight, which arrived late, was further delayed by de-icing. By the time we landed in Phoenix, it was early evening, but the sun was still shining and the temperature was about 85 degrees. It was hot! So no exercise that day besides walking around the airports. The next morning (Saturday), my husband and I went out at 8:45 a.m., and the temperature was already in the upper 70's. I worked on Day 11Short Fartlekswhich I hadn't done yet.


Due to visiting relatives, the next time I was able to go out for a run was Tuesday, April 1. It was more like a jog with some walking, as I was huffing and puffing a little. I've noticed that I seem to breathe harder in Phoenix, and I'm not sure why; although, it could be the altitude. I'm used to nearly sea-level to about 300 feet above....Phoenix is about 1,100 feet in elevation. Also, on Tuesday, we went for a hike up a small mountain (elevation 2,608 feet). It's 1.2 miles each way with a 1,190 elevation gain. The trail was a lot rougher and more eroded than I remembered. One section was like climbing a steep staircase of rock steps, and there was no handrail! I regretted not having my hiking pole. (But it wouldn't fit into my luggage, and I didn't want to try to bring it as a carryon.)


The rest of the week in Phoenix, I just walked and went for a swim at the YMCA. The day after we got home, on Saturday, April 5, I went for an easy jog on the trail. (Week Three is just moderate runs.) The following Wednesday, I started the three week cycle over again with a longer run and also went for a swim. The weather was chilly and such a contrast to Phoenix that I felt as though I couldn't get warm! I did a couple more runs and also a long walk with friends. The last run of the week was on Saturday, April 12. My husband and I went to the trail at 10:15 a.m., and it was nice and sunny. (In fact, the temperature got up to 80 that afternoon, so it was good that we went out as early as we did!)  I also went to lap swim for a 30 minute swim.


The next day the rain returned, and the temperature dropped. On Monday I swam. The next day for my hill workout, I used a steep hill that was a 10 minute warm-up jog from one of the Centennial Trail parking lots. I got rained on, and I encountered a few cars (a few too many). My feet were staying dry, though, until on the way back I moved over to the grassy shoulder for a car to go by, and then I felt some dampness. My next run, on Friday, was a little wet, but I finished before the worst of the storm hit. April 18 was a wet rainy-snowy day, and so was the 19th, and I had to postpone my next run to the following Monday.  (But I did go for a swim).  Last week I finished Week 2, and started Week 3, Moderate Runs, again. When I finish Week 3 this time, I'm going to try some other things, but will definitely include some speedwork and endurance work-outs leading up to the 10K I hope to do on May 17.

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Looking for a Good Hill

Posted by annrose Mar 25, 2008


Last Saturday I was supposed to do a hill workout of at least four repeats of a minimum of 45 seconds.  So I drove to the Centennial Trail trailhead near the highway underpass.  I discovered the "hill" was too short, so I continued to run on level trail until I reached 45 seconds and a street crossing.  I repeated it four times, and although the hill wasn't as hard as it was supposed to be, I ran hard and still got a good workout.  However, I'm shopping for a new hill..... Fortunately, the hill workout doesn't come up again for another two weeks.



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Day 4 of Running Plan

Posted by annrose Mar 19, 2008


Centennial Trail Work-Outs:  After missing a day due to the weather, yesterday I got back on track with a moderate or tempo run, which I elected to do only 2 miles, with a 10 minute warm-up/cool-down  before and after.  Also, I walked a little more than 1/2 mile before the warm-up. 



Today was "Long Fartlek" (Day 4).  After a short walk and 10-minute warm-up, I did three, 3-minute "surges" (just increased my speed so I was breathing a little hard but not dying for breath) with 3 minutes recovery in between.  This program seems to be easily adapted to one's own personal fitness level, which is nice.  On my last 3 minute "surge," I saw a man wearing a back pack running toward me on the same side of the trail on the grassy shoulder (where the horses usually ride), so I moved toward the center slightly, and glanced at my watch a few times.  Just as we passed, he called out, "Good job and have a nice day!" I smiled back, but I don't know if he caught it.



One more work-out this week, besides XT....Hills.  This involves repeats of 45-60 seconds hard effort, walking or jogging back down in between.  So I have been thinking of an appropriate hill to use.  There's a steep one on a street 1/4 mile or so from my house, or maybe this one on the Centennial Trail where it goes under the highway.   Will have to keep an eye on the weather, as more rain is predicted. 






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A new running program

Posted by annrose Mar 15, 2008


Today I did a lap swim, and also a easy to moderate run on the Centennial Trail ( a little under four miles).  This run was Day One on a plan from Runner's World magazine that I decided to follow for a while.  (There's long runs, moderate runs, tempo runs, fartleks, etc.)  Today was supposed to be a long run, but I didn't have that much time.  I didn't have any groin pain when finished today, so that's good.  Tomorrow will be a rest day, then a tempo run on Monday (so hope it's not raining).



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