Monday, March 25, 2013

Muddy Shoes

Yesterday, my run resulted in:
Muddy shoes and tights!!
Mud covered shoes
Trying to scrape some mud off before getting in the car!

I ran my favorite 4.5 mile route which includes a 3/4 mile jaunt through the woods!!  As is usual in the early spring, the woods were super muddy!! What is it about running in the mud and getting ones shoes all muddy?  I love muddy shoes!  I had a pretty good run.  I ran from Bandemer Park along Argo Pond and over the dam and along the headrace.  They have been cutting a lot of trees along the river; I wonder why.  I saw something that I haven't seen in a long time.  Along the river along the headrace trail I could see tents on the other side of the river.  The tents are where homeless people sleep.  A few years ago there were always tents along the river but you could barely see them because there used to be a lot more trees.  It's been some time since I've seen tents along there.  I also saw an old couch on the other side of the headrace which is kind of funny!  There were people sitting on it enjoying the new "rapids" they made in the headrace.  They were definitely not homeless people.  I continued on to Maiden Lane, crossed to Island Drive and down and back and on the way back to Bandemer, I took Argo Bluffs trail which is through the woods and that is where I got my shoes all muddy!!  It's my favorite stretch of that run! I saw several people in the river along Island Dr. and in Bandemer under the M14 overpass and it looked like they were taking samples or testing or something. 

My next event coming up is a week from today, Monday, April 1st, AKA April Fools Day.  I will be running the annual Twinkie run which is always run on April 1st regardless of the day of the week.  The race supports the ALS Foundation.  My Grandfather had ALS so I consider it a worthy cause.  I looked up Twinkies nutrition info and I am going to have to count 4 weight watcher points for each Twinkie I eat; good thing I'm running a race!!  I usually run a few more miles afterward since the race is in Gallup Park, another of my favorite places to run!

I am only 2.5 pounds away from my pre-college weight!!!!!!!  Last year I wore my running skirt to the Twinkie run and about fell over when I saw a picture that my friend took; I looked soooooooo huge.  It was awful.  This year isn't looking like it will be running skirt weather but if it does happen to be warm enough, I can wear my first running skirt again!!  It's not the one I wore last year; I wasn't able to fit in this one last year.  It would be so awesome to be able to wear it in the run!  If not the Twinkie run then hopefully the Detroit Race for the Cure in May. 

Runner Nerd
has muddy shoes and wants to wear blue Nike running skirt again

Sunday, March 17, 2013

Pacing Sucess!

Today was the 10K in which I was a pace leader.  I was really nervous about this because I am so bad at judging my pace.  There was one other 65 minute pacer and she also has a Garmin.  I set my Garmin to give me a split every 1/4 mile and figured out that it should be 2:36 per quarter mile.  We were pretty close most of the time.  Most of the time we were within 3 seconds of 2:36!  It felt like I was running so slow.  I could easily talk while I was running.  It was a pain to constantly be checking my Garmin but it was all part of pacing.
We came in at 1:05:04 which is pretty close!  The runners all sprinted in once the finish line came into view and some picked it up and took off after the 6 mile marker so all of the runners that stayed with us finished under 1:05.  It was hard not to pick up the pace especially when the finish line was in sight.  Another really STRANGE thing was to finish a 10K race and NOT feel like collapsing into a heap on the ground!!
It was a freezing 25 degrees this morning.  I ended up handing out the pacer bibs, their safety pins and their shirts and I didn't have my gloves on and my fingers were so cold and numb that I had to sit in a running truck belonging to the people setting up the finish line timing equipment so that I could pin my bib on.  We had a tent to wait in but it was still 25 degrees!  When we were standing in the starting area, my feet became sooooo cold.  I hate cold feet more than anything.  I have a pair of winter trail running shoes that keep the cold air out, unlike my regular running shoes.  A couple weeks ago, my feet were hurting in my trail shoes so I figure they are probably getting too old.  It's hard to know because I only wear them in winter.  So, anyway, I've been wearing my regular running shoes for all running now.  The days I ran in the snow, I wore two pairs of socks.
Here I am right after the race with my sign:
65 minute pacer


official time was 1:05:04

Friday, March 15, 2013

Fun at the Factory - Seeing our new tractor being assembled

Yesterday, we loaded up and headed on over to Racine, WI to spend the night so we could be at the tractor factory at 7:30 AM to see our new tractor assembled.  My son had told me some time back that they had ordered a new tractor and would be going to the factory and see it being finished up and drive it off of the assembly line.  I had no idea that I'd be going too.  A couple of days ago, my son said, "Mom, you have to go too so you can take pictures and videos."  So, we lined up someone to let our dog out a few times so that I could go. 
They bring farmers in at the point where the cab is being brought to the tractor on an overhead conveyor and will be dropped onto the tractor.  After the cab dropping, we got to see the components of the exhaust system before they were attached to the tractor.  OK, I'm a girl and know nothing about exhaust systems except that it's where the smoke comes out of the tractor but this was very informative.  This tractor has a very efficient exhaust system and there is very little exhaust put out.  They said that it will not fill a barn with fumes when it is pulled in.  After that, we went off on a tour of the factory until it was time for the tractor to be started for the very first time!  The farmers got to sit in the tractor with an engineer who plugs a computer in and it checks everything.  The computer determined that there was a problem with the window wiper on the back window of the cab and that will be fixed after the tractor is finished.  Then we toured some more until it was time for the hood of the tractor to be put on.  Then the tractor got tires attached and then the farmers drove it off of the assembly line!!  I think they only drove it about 20 feet and then a worker drove it out of the factory to where it will wait to have the window wiper fixed.  In a few days it will be loaded up and driven to the dealership.  Our tractor will not get it's permanent tires until it gets to the dealership; they ordered tires for it that aren't put on at the factory.  (My son was quite disappointed that his big impressive tractor had such "ghetto" tires on it!) We will have it at the farm in approximately two weeks.  It was quite an experience! 
After the factory tour and driving the tractor off the assembly line, they fed us lunch!  Then we loaded up and headed home.  
I have many pictures but haven't taken them off my camera yet.  I will get that done soon and post some pictures. 

I am helping out at my old job tomorrow.  I'm doing some of my old presentations at a health and wellness expo tomorrow.  I'm not looking forward to putting on my old uniform; I work in scrubs now!! 

Runner Nerd
learned about tractor exhaust system

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Good Run Today

I dragged my feet, put it off all afternoon; I knew I had to go for a run today.  I checked the temp, chose my running clothes and was off to Chelsea to run on the streets there.  I just like running there; I get bored running around here.  As usual, I saw several other people out running and that always motivates me so much. 
I was thinking that I should try running my pace for the 10K on Sunday, 10:25, but the first time I looked down at Garmy, she said I was running a 9:10 pace.  I was feeling good and decided that I should just run.  All of my miles were in the mid 9s!!  I'm getting back to my old running ways!!  I planned to run a route I ran the other day that took me 35 minutes and was 3.5 miles.  As I was on the homestretch, I realized that I was going to be back before 35 minutes so I ran around a block to add a few minutes to my run and I ended up running 4 miles even!! The reason for 35 minutes of running is because of how it works into the plan I am following to lose this crazy college weight gain; weird, I know, but it works!
It snowed lightly the whole time and I just had a really enjoyable run!  I don't understand why I like to run when it's snowing because I really hate snow!!  I think there is just something about running along with white "confetti" falling all around you!  It's so cool when it's snowing those really big, fat snowflakes, although that wasn't the case today.  

Runner Nerd
just running

Monday, March 11, 2013

Nanny Duties

I spent the weekend being a nanny!!  I stayed with my niece who has a 3 month old baby.  My Nephew had been gone all week for work and she was way behind on everything.  The wastebaskets were overflowing, the sink and counters were overflowing with dishes, laundry was overflowing all over the house!!  Yep, sounds like there is a new baby in this house!!
I arrived late afternoon on Friday after a frantic call!  I was heading her way anyway because the massage therapy place I go to had expanded and was having a party that night.  She also goes there so we loaded up baby and went to see it.  It's been a really long time since I've pushed a stroller! We stopped at the grocery store on the way back to her house and I pushed baby in stroller while my niece got a few groceries.

the nanny
When we got home it was time for baby to go to bed and she set out on that task!  I started cleaning the kitchen first since I know it's the thing that bothers her the most.  When baby was in bed we were talking and catching up and suddenly it was 10:30.  My niece said that she goes to bed by 10:30 because the baby wakes up during the night to be fed and then is up around 6 - 7 am.  It was really hard because we are used to being up half the night talking and laughing and goofing around on the internet.
During the night I heard the baby cry.  It's been a really long time since I've been woken by a baby crying!  I didn't have to get up with the baby!!  I did go and ask my niece if there was anything she needed but she didn't. 
Saturday we took turns baby holding and cleaning.  She's breastfeeding so I can't help with feeding.  We got a lot done.  She wanted to do as much of the work  as possible, even though I was willing to do it, so when she wasn't feeding I was holding baby, walking around with her or playing with little tiny toys with her.  Baby doesn't like to be put down very much.  My niece says that the most she will lay under a little thing that has toys hanging from it is about 10 minutes.  Oh, I remember those days!  It is impossible to get anything done.
Sunday we went to church then back home.  She fed baby while I swept the kitchen floor.  We went out to get some lunch and went back to the house shortly before my nephew got home.  I scooped all the cat litter boxes and then it was time for the nanny to leave since she wasn't needed anymore!
It was fun to spend time with my mini-niece but I am happy to be back to my empty nester life!! 
My niece gets so discouraged sometimes.  I tell her that I've been there and I know what it's like and she's not doing anything wrong, it's just the way it is with a newborn.  I think that when baby is able to sit up by herself, she will be better at entertaining herself while my niece is close by doing her work. 

Nanny Auntie and Mini Niece
So, that was fun!  I hope the nanny is needed again!

Runner Nerd
the nanny

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Working on a comeback

This week, running group changed back to Thursdays like it used to be.  Tonight I ran the best I've run in a long time!!  5.5 miles in 52:19 or 9:24 average pace!!  ALL 5 miles were in the 9s!!
When we finished, I was spent but it felt good to push myself again!
It was 34 degrees and no wind so not bad.
I've lost 17 lbs now!!  Pre-college weight is getting close!!
I still have a while until a 16 or 18 week training program would begin.  I'm undecided on how to proceed until that time.  I'm super paranoid of getting my mileage back up because of the plantar fasciitis coming back.  My friend wants me to run a half marathon with her on June 2nd.  That's a week before an 18 week training program would begin.  It would be good to be up to 13 miles but then again, I'm not sure if I should because I'm so paranoid of the PF coming back.  Most plans begin with 6-8 mile long runs the first week. Every now and then I get some soreness in my heel.  It's nothing like when it was bad but it scares me.  Saturday night, it was letting me know it was there so I wore my splint to bed which I haven't done in a long time.  Sunday it was fine but I decided not to run.  I researched rowing machine workouts.  I found some you tube videos made by two gals on the USA Olympic rowing team.  They showed how to use a rowing machine and proper form and how to row.  I guess that should be a reliable source!  I found a "beginner" 20 minute workout.  It's much harder than it looks!!  It took me some time to get the hang of the form.  I could not get to the speeds in the beginner workout.  After I finished the 20 minutes, I just rowed for 10 more minutes.  I was dripping sweat!  I was sore the next day, in fact, I was still sore yesterday when I went back and did another 30 minute workout!  It was easier to get the form this time but it was still a hard workout.  I barely made it through the 20 minutes and by the end of the extra 10 minutes of rowing I was slowing down big time!  I do think rowing machine workouts will be good during marathon training.  I am looking into different things such as elliptical, rowing machine, swimming, biking.  I am thinking of running 4 days per week and cross training 2 days per week.  I hope that it will keep PF from coming back.   I just want to have a really good time with my Sis running the Chicago Marathon, especially after all we went through getting in!!  I saw an e-card on Facebook that said, "I hope running the Chicago Marathon will be easier than registering for the Chicago Marathon!"  Yep, that is how we feel!!

The former world's oldest college student and Valedictorian of her class is still looking for a job.  I've applied for a bunch but have yet to hear anything.  The two places where they were all excited about me when I was doing my clinicals and asked me to let them know when I have my Registered status haven't been back in touch with me after I called them.  Hopefully soon.

Runner Nerd
feeling like a runner again

Saturday, March 2, 2013

7 miles

I ran 7 miles today.  I tried to figure out how to run 10:25 pace which is what I will need to lead my pace group in a 10K in 2 weeks.  Sometimes I got it, sometimes I didn't!  There were some areas of my run where it was very difficult to run.  The dirt trail around the cemetery and the trail through the woods on the hospital campus both were difficult.  The snow had a frozen "crust" on top and the footprints that were there were all frozen; that is extremely difficult to run on.  I had a couple dirt roads on my route and they had icy spots.
The run actually went well and seemed to go by fast.  It was cold, 23 - 24 degrees.  I have the gear so I was fine but I did get cold toward the end and when I stopped running, I was freezing.  I did a few lunges and stretches - after I started my car and turned on the seat heater!! I drove home with the heater on high and I never got warm.  I couldn't wait to get in a HOT shower! 

I've lost 15 lbs!!!  YAYYY Weight Watchers Points Plus program!!!!!!!  I wore a size 10 skirt that I haven't been able to wear in a long time!  I had a funeral visitation so I decided to just try it and I didn't expect it to fit but it did!  I was so happy; I really like that skirt and it's very appropriate for a funeral visitation.  I also found that a running skirt I bought several years ago fits again!  Now I can't wait for warmer weather so I can wear it running!
This is a bad cell phone in the mirror self pic:
I can wear this skirt again!
Tomorrow I plan to run 3 or 4 miles; it looks like it's going to about the same temp.  Yippie.
I've had enough already.

Runner Nerd
not liking winter running