30 weeks of Marathon training.

just a spot to write about the next 30 weeks….of running.

Could I be winning?

So yes, I am still sitting here in Florida.  

Limbo Limbo. 

I go back and forth, i want to go, then part of me doesn’t. 

In part because training is going pretty much better than I expected this week.

Tuesday I awoke and was disappointed to find out my left back tweak was still feeling lousy, and my left knee wasn’t really improved.  I was at a loss for what to do.  Logic states to rest this stuff.  Reality told me that I had a few days coming up that were not going to allow for working out.  I also wasn;t sure that the back muscle was even really related to running.  

All of this debate at 4:30 am…made me feel a bit grumpy.  grumpy_bear_vector_by_catnipfairy-d52v8mb

I got to the gym…still grumpy and decided just to try and see if I could run the 5 miles.  

Oddly, I could.  The knee pain went away and my back pain while it was present was not actually affected by running.  The run felt good.  

So was entirely stoked to get that done.  My arms workout that evening was super super duper.  I saw Lance Brauman, and he mentioned that I looked like I was “getting fit”….(which is kind of an athletes way of saying “you look as if you are about ready for the race season”).

Some of the gym guys also gave mea few lifting tips, nice.  

Wednesday I did the laundry generator…swim, run swim run…

THursday… I went to Miami.  right?


I will spare you the Will Smith “going to Miami” song.

I got my passport renewed.  Negotiations are still occurring.  Trip has been postponed to Wednesday…Looks good for going though.  THis guy is a go go getter, and I’m finding him fun to deal with.  Nigeria here I come on Wednesday.

Ran 2 miles while awaiting the production of the same day passport.  

then drove home.  I am so so freaking tired.  

WTF moment

I’m currently living in Limbo.

Not as much fun as the limbo at a party.

I’m waiting to hear if our trip to Nigeria is a go or a “no”.   I’m at a point where I don’t care either way but I don’t particularly want to waste a lot of time getting the one vaccine I feel I need and driving to Miami now for a passport.  I’ve noted a lot of disorganization from this group and that also doesn’t please me.  We were contracted to teach about protective equipment, and I see several members trying to go off of a 2 week trip to East Africa, to relate to what they will find in W. Africa.  Let’s just say I have concerns.  They wanted to Depart on Wednesday but yesterday I realized they don’t have a prepared program, so what they really thought they were going to do bothers me.  So we’ll see.  If I can not get my work letter from them by tomorrow, I am just going to forget about it.

That said…yesterday was Monday. I got to do a 3 mile run and then immediately after hit the pool for 3600 yards-about 2 miles.

It went well.  The run went especially well. For the first time since JUNE my hip felt perfect. Now, my knee was bothering me some, but really it was inconsequential.  The swim was OK…


These are my goggles I’ve been using and this is exactly what happened for probably the first 20 minutes of my swim.  Fill up with water.  Can’t see, eyes sting and burn.  They are good goggles…the key is as always to put them on with a dry dry face.  Having just been running and sweating buckets, my face…not dry.

Eventually I got them to work, and the workout got done.  It was a long haul and I got out of the pool thinking, “Wow, that was some morning workout”

Weirdly and scarily, at work several hours later, I turned in my chair and noted that my left lower back felt some tiny tiny pricking pains.  YES.  I have tweaked out my left lower back.  (Always has been my right lower before.)

WTF?  I didn’t really do anything.

So…had massage and he couldn’t find any knots or anything tight.  I know that it is just something small, but darn it all, I am so so sick of these little things.

My coach is all about me heading to Nigeria, for one main reason.  I probably wouldn’t be able to run much, so he feels I’d “totally heal up”  I’m starting to think he is right, but at the same time.  I have no idea.

I just try to remember all things come together for good…


So getting schooled a little by “hardship”.  Pretty sure I’ll come out right in the end…..


No Small enemies.

I started this post back in May.  Discarded it because I thought it no longer relevant.

A few months ago I went to do an open water swim with someone I really didn’t know well.  She turned out to be a really fun person and we laughed about some things and had a few serious moments.  Her parting words were, “There are no small enemies.”

Apparently Benjamin Franklin first said this witty little phrase.  At the time that my new found pal said, it, I thought it was pretty profound, but at the same time, I giggled.  In the context it was said, it didn’t make sense.

Fast forward a few weeks and I found myself engaged in a strange sort of “Mean Girls” High School Musical” style battle that I do not wish to engage in.MeanGirlsSoundtrackI am an adult.  I would much prefer not to be but, adulthood happens.

Most of my adult life, I have been a bit of a loner.  I prefer activities like running, or swimming, or hiking about exploring, and reading.  Now all of these things can be done in a group setting indeed.  In fact, I know a lot of people who plan all their activities around others to be with others.

That just has never really been me. I have however, become settled in Florida.  Over time, ones makes many acquaintances, and some friends.  This is especially true of running people, since it seems people are always looking for someone to “run with”….So over the years I’ve gotten to know some people.  Now…I’m a funny person.  If you cross me and are a jerk…I’m pretty much done with you. I don’t do the Break up /get back together routine either, I just well, have better things to do than try to figure out why a person is a jerk.

Almost 2 years ago, I was able to start to train with my current coach.  He doesn’t coach a ton of people, I may have been his first client.  He has, however an extensive background that makes him ideal as my coach.

When I first started with him, suddenly my training looked really different from my friends. Many of my posts from that first year are entitled “And $&*(% just got real”

Fair to say I have never trained this hard in my life ever.

It paid off.  I’ve had a slew of PR’s.  I have most definitely gotten stronger.  In addition, I’ve really grown as a person. Since the coach and I share the same faith..we tend to really look at at the events that have occurred with a God-Centric approach.  As a loner, I was not used to having someone in my corner.  It was really something to run an event far away and be getting emails asking “How did it go” hours after the event.  Yes, he is compensated, but, just like a piano teacher they want their students to do well.  So Combination for success:


Occasionally, I believe I do disappoint him, but he really has always made an effort to tell me that I never have anything to be ashamed of with him.  This was huge when I had my overtraining issue and my marathon flop last year.  I cried.  He looked worried and then we dusted me off and moved on.

Some of this seems to have created some issues for others.  Several people have taken offense when I don’t “switch up my training” so I can do a “fun run” or “run with the XYZ group”.   Most eventually understood that it wasn’t about them, it was about me doing my training.  Last year, a few people were delighted to participate in my workouts, but wanted to malign my coach throughout the workouts and criticize what he and I were trying to do.   So, having been through that I thought this whole situation was over. I still see her around- she works where I work, but I find that I remain quite happy not training with her.  She wasn’t necessarily holding me back, but she was oddly creating a lot of negative energy for me around my coach. That break up was easy. She and I did not run in the same social circles.

In the last year, a friend of mine got a job at my hospital. I was pretty excited because she has always been working out and training.  We finally would have membership at the same gym and could do some workouts together.

Well.  I guess in the past I had only spent a little time here and there with her, and did not really know her.

Oh My Goodness.

The first month we were in the gym together, she really embarrassed me.  She’s pretty loud, and I could see that others were annoyed by the noise.  I’ve developed a friendship with one of the gym trainers, and we occasionally chat.  Immediately, she tried to discredit me with him through a variety of techniques… “I told her if she just…”  He is kind of a quiet guy and kind of looked at her and said, “Maybe she’s doing it right and if you just..”  While that stopped her in her tracks, suddenly someone was telling her they thought she was actually not correct. She stopped talking to him.  A couple days later, she annoyed the hell out of my coach by trying to discuss my training with him.  She annoyed the hell out of me too.    My coach and I work well together.  I do not want anyone messing with it.  I don’t think I said anything to her, but I sent him an email asking him to not discuss my training with her.  He never really said much about it but he seemed relieved. She was actually trying to copy my training plan, and I just flat out refused to let her do that.

She and a mutual acquaintance  got into a thing several months ago.  Now, there is no lost love between myself and the acquaintance, but she really terrorized her.  Instead of just avoiding the lady, she first made all sorts of pointed posts on Facebook, designed to inflame.  Then, she and the poor lady had multiple heated text messages back and forth.  After that she insisted that the lady “De-friend” her on Facebook.  At this point, I was like…just de friend her and get over it. At some point, the woman got tired of it and did comply and unfriended her.


Well….after the de-friending occurred, suddenly it was important that *I* post things on Facebook  “so that she will see them”.  I am proud to say I drew the line at that.  This is just stir the pot behavior, and not very mature stirring of the pot.

After that, I became the same target.  Odd little pointed comments would be made.  Comments that others took as “aggressive” were made to my facebook page.  I was sort of surprised but then I started to put things together.  I came up with a “mean Girls action plan”.  I admit I talked to another friend about what to do.  That helped a lot.  I decided to simply not give the big reaction, or any big justification for anything anymore.

Oh Man, that is Soo So so so hard.  The neutral reaction when all you want to do is go open a can of whoop ass on someone.

It’s hard but it is working.  I’ve decided not to respond to her.  I “like” one or two of her photos daily (she posts about 10 a day so its easy to “like” one) but no commentary, or very neutral commentary.  She posts on my statuses but I never respond to her.  I’ve deleted 4 square because I realized not too many people were using it except for her and I and I found I rather didn’t like her knowing where I was all the time.  In truth, I don’t care what she does. Her training is sketchy, in part because she gives a lot of slack to herself  and she has a family she is also scheduling her life around which I recognize changes things.  So while I don’t care, I do get totally aggravated that she consistently compares and plays the one ups game.  Afriend of mine recently posted a great article about “losing weight with your spouse”  My friend lost 57 pounds! Her husband lost 64!  This mena girl had to announce that she lost over 100.  I have lost in my like a total of 30 pounds once, I guess I’m not as good….it is always a competition.


Has anyone ever encountered the ultra competitive, not very nice mean girl (guy)  in their athletic adventures?  WHats triply amazing is that neither of us is elite or competitive…so…why why why does anyone have to be this way?

I can not eliminate her entirely from my life.  She is toxic in her own way.  SO I am hoping I’m doing the right thing here.  The other option is to discuss with her why she is the way she is, but in my experience this has never created a genuine conversation, it just usually creates more defensiveness.

Interesting relationships….

What would you do?





Rest week working like it should

The first 2-3 days of rest week felt difficult.  More because I was tired, and my left leg was bothering me still.

Somewhere on Wednesday things started to feel really really good.  I had a tiny brick- 20 minute spin and 2 mile run. I thought the run would stink but it turned out fantastic. I ran the hilly hilly route and wow, it was especially warm.  BUt my pace stayed about where I’d expect it to be this time of year, and most importantly, nothing felt too bad.

Later in the day- several folks across Florida (running forum.) started to mention the miserable humidity/heat combo that has smacked us since August started.  While it didn’t make it easier, I did feel encouraged that others are noting the same thing.


Today was a very abbreviated speed work out, consisting of a warm up and cool down and 6 times 90 second sprints.  I intended to do it outside, but as I was driving to the gym decided on the mill.  Given the problems I had with the mill last week, I should have taken it outside, but…I got up a little late, so sticking to the stationary object seemed to ensure I’d be on time for work…

The workout was surprisingly FUN.

90 seconds is not a long time.  I was able to dial up the speed..and take risks with the speed.


When I do the Yasso workout, I really feel like I need to take it at a pace that ensures I finish.  But with 90 seconds only…well…bring on the speed. I played a lot with the speed and enjoyed running at a much higher than expected speed.

After the 8 hour recovery interlude called work…(where I sufferred through YET another call about Ebola, dealt with Hand Hygiene and also with a lecture that went awry. no sound on my videos!!!)

I did another short mile on the mill, and then a very fun arms and abs workout.  I started to notice gains in either the amount of reps I can do or the amount of weight I can lift.  Saweet.

So…Rest week working like it should.  The only wacky thing…Broken toe. (oh and no pool, which created all sorts of drama.)


Rest Week

Of course a Rest WEEK, is not like a rest day.  I’m still working out.  Just very lightly.


This came at a pretty good time, I was feeling tired out, and also still trying to heal up my left quad leg thing.

The bad part is that the pool is closed for the week, due to need to maintain the pool.



The pool is almost empty so there is definitely no sneaking in to swim or anything. I tried to go to the Lake but my friend decided she was “afraid she would get sick from the warm water”  (She is afraid of the Ameoba.  which won’t make you sick, it will just you know, kill you.)  I found it HIGHLY entertaining that she an hour after refusing to swim in the lake responded in public that she wanted to go to a group swim our local tri-club is hosting (in abscence of pool) at Lucky’s but that she had to work.  The same damn ameoba lives there.  So BOO on her.  One should not swim alone in these lakes due to the other larger inhabitants of the lakes.

Monday I did a short cycle and proceded to DESTROY my diet entirely.  Ice Cream was on sale.  Maple Walnut to be exact.  I got some ad ate some and am gonna eat some more.  i just will need to make better choices. My lunch salad turned out to be a bit enormous as well… I am …HUNGRY.

Tuesday…I thought was a brick day so I pulled on my cycle shorts.  Not A Brick.  I had the sense to change and go with regular shorts.  I had only a 3 mile run.  Starting the run my entire body felt like Lead.  I decided to just cover the miles and not worry about pace…and after about 0.6 of the mile things loosened up and the lead like feeling left my limbs. Mile 1 was at a good warm up pace.  Mile two has a hill at the half way point that is tough for me, so I just put my head down and ran, no looking at watch..I was trying to go a comfortable pace.  I looked down and to my surprise I was finally running at my Half Marathon/10K goal pace..easily.  That entire mile was super speedy and ended up just a hair over my 5K pace.  Last mile involved some hillage that I dislike, but in the end it also went ok.

Had a very eventful day at work…appears I am getting yet another new boss.

After…hit the gym for some weights workout.  Lunges, planks, squats, you name it, I did it.

spent about oh 4 minutes with the coach.  He bemoaned my friend fear of the amoeba…and tried to explain how the open water entry would work in the ocean.  I am terrified of this now. Diving under waves.  This may have been one of my worser ideas….we’ll see if I survive.

He was also very concerned about my hip.  It is slowly slowly getting back to regular.

We;ll see how this week and next go.  Hopefully b the end of this week, that pesky hip thing will feel all normal.



Season of….

I seem to be going through an odd season in training.  I’ve been injured, and it just seems since then I have not been able to get on an even keel since then.

The hip injury has pretty much healed, but every day something seems to be hurting.  On friday my leg was reacting to the treadmill workout and it hurt. It hurts a lot less today, but today, while swimming in Lucky’s Lake, I noticed a twinge in my low back that progressed into a pinching sensation which is not at all pleasant.  None of these things are major, but they are all little niggles, and there is the usual concern that these niggles can suddenly become more than that.

I’m so so sick of this. I do think some of the stiffness and niggles are coming from coming off 3 weeks of mostly aquatic exercise.  Things are in general “sore”.


And I am working pretty hard so some twinges are expected.  I think I am just experiencing the anxiety of the recently injured.  The worry that one little twinge will result in another 3 weeks in the pool.

So yesterday I had a big brick.  I really did not get myself up awake and to the gym in time to complete it all without some time issues.  So I did the one hour cycle and hopped off and tried to start the run.  My hip flexor was so sore from the treadmill that I decided to call it quits and do some 25 minutes (the time I had left after starting the run and then calling it quits and changing into my swim suit) in the pool.

I sent my coach an email asking what I should do.  For the first time ever I didn’t hear back.  I finally sought him out at the gym, and I knew he hadn’t checked email yet because I said, “What do you want me to do?” and he said, “About the swim race?” So we talked about the swim race, then we talked about the hip the speedwork, the issue with the Friday Brick…and both of us got very confused.  In the end, I ended up doing 55 minutes on the elliptical.

Today I swam 2 crossings at Lucky’s Lake Swim.  10551102_478642085613706_4860639144827873157_n

I should have done 3, but I was meeting with one of my new Relay buddies and I thought she was only doing two.  She did 3. So I ended up waiting.  Man, she is a lot faster than I am at the Lake.  So some more intense training is in order for me and the swim.  During the swim my low back just got tighter and pinchier.  Not too fun.  I finished the rest of the workout in our community pool, which is 15 feet long.  Thats right.  15, not the normal 25.  I finally grabbed an ice pack for the back and some motrin.  It is so strange how that came up.

All these little niggles and problems in training are making it hard for me to feel confident about any of my races coming up.

I also sometimes feel like my coach gives me “too much”  so…we’ll see how things go for next week.

Good news is that I instantly really liked the 1/4 of the relay group. I think I should post that on the other blog.

Nailed it! & massive excitement!

Today was a funny day.  I had 800’s on the schedule.  8 of them. Given that I have been pretty injured and spending time Aqua jogging, I was kind of like.  ah er….today is going to be interesting.  I really dislike this workout, a lot of it is simple fear.  Doing 800 repeats correctly means you will be feeling some misery.  Hard to catch breath, wretching, and such.

I had a lot of very negative thoughts.  Prior to the workout, I thought all of these things:

1. the Treadmill is going to hurt my hip.

2. I will feel sick.

3. I won’t be able to do any repeats.

4. I’ll be running a 10 min mile pace…(too slow)

5. This workout doesn’t give me results.

6. I will tell the coach I need a different speed workout.

7. Hal Higdon plans don’t have the awful Yasso 800’s workouts on them, and people do fine with them

8. People who train with Hal Higdon plans don’t typically run Comrades….

9. I can do 3 repeats and then do the rest in the pool.

10. I am so lazy.

My BRAIN was in overdrive. Seriously needed a visit from the Thought Po-Po


I hopped on the TM and oddly, all the thoughts disappeared and I started a Super duper slow warm up.

At the 1 mile mark, I slowed and walked a bit.  I still was feeling a bit concerned.  I decided I’d try 1-2 and then hit the pool if needed.

First one went pretty good.  I was pleasantly surprised.  The I Heart Radio played a bit of Rance Allen Group and I enjoyed that. I did take a longer than normal recovery for these, Boo Hiss on that, but I ticked off number 2 and 3 and 4 and realized I was half way there.  I looked at the pool…and thought, lets see how one or two more feel.  Then I hit 6.  I had only 2 left, so…I did them. The last two were the hardest.  FATIGUE! My legs felt less confident and were feeling kind of shaky.  Again, another sign that I was doing the workout right.

Never so glad to be done.  This evening I actually totally nailed a weights workout, so yay…back on track.

I am so so pleased.  I waited all day for the leg to rear up it’s tightness or anything, and while it is mildly sore, I explained to the coaching guy…”My body feels as if it ran 8 times 800 reps”  and well it did, so it feels right.

Second big excitement.  SOme ladies form the Lucky’s Lake swim were looking for a 4th partner for a 4 person 8 mile OWS relay in the Florida Keys.  I jumped at it.  (Coach still has to say yes..)


This is Islamorada Florida, one of the Florida Keys.  It is a swim around a lighthouse to raise funds for our older lighthouses.  The history of the old Florida is really fascinating and the lonely life of lighthouse keepers is part of it of course. Thats all lovely and good, but what I am REALLY EXCITED about is this video.  Look at the beauty in the water!!!!  it is so clear!!!

I’m waiting to hear more and I hope it comes together!!!!  Wheeee!!!!!  So glad My coach and friend pushed me into the 4 mile swim last month, it really has opened up some things I’d never have tried before!  hope coach man says Yes.  he typically seems to for OWS.






I may be finally “over” my month long injury that was never really diagnosed.  We can consider it sort of a quad strain, piriformis syndrome, ITB aggravation.

It still “hurts” on impact a bit, but the aftermath is not like before, and each day it feels a wee bit better.

Mama Cass sings a love song to my leg.

Monday I did a huge 80 minute cycle and a 1 mile run off the bike.  Felt pretty great.  I was loving the feeling of getting my running legs back as I plowed up the hill route.  Then I laughed because well, when you only have one mile to run…very easy to push it and feel great.

Today was a “tempo” run.  Right.  It was 81 degrees at 5 am with about 99% humidity.  Every time I tilted my head down a river of sweat drenched my eyes and face and everywhere else.  I was able to run about 3 of the 5 at a good tempo pace.  the other 2…well.  They were “ok”  I took heart in the fact that my pace improved slightly from last weeks 5 mile tempo run.

This evening I had some weights and I just felt like an older person.


My back felt stiff and un yielding, and I also admit, i felt a little tired.

I started by doing the inch worms exercise.  It is supposed to be for abs, but it isn’t that challenging.  What it does do is stretch out my hamstrings and hopefully also my low back some.

After a bit, I was in Business!  everything felt fine, I did a “baby” weights workout.  had a discussion about protein in my life with the physiologist at the gym which was actually productive.  And then after doing the workout, i headed home.

My life seems to be normalizing now that I can train properly again.  Not always thrilled with the time I’m putting in, but…very relived that this pain is subsiding.

Failed workout.

Well, it’s one of those odd ones. I failed but I feel I won.

I had a workout of a warm and cool mile and in between 2 sets of 2 mile repeats.

I’ve been waking up achy.  Given that yesterday I did leg weights, I really really was sore and achy.


I got up and got ready and of course got going later than I would have liked.  The DOG…Was entirely restless ALL NIGHT and kept me awake.

I started and noted that I was a bit slower….but whatever, I was running and it wasn’t horrible.

I felt pretty sore and not too peppy overall…so when I started the two mile repeats…I struggled to run them at the pace I was supposed to.  Ireally just couldn’t.  It was BOILING hot and very humid.

the first 2 repeat went OK.  I was definitely feeling it and so the effort was there, even if the speed was somewhere else.

The second two, I really had to admit defeat.  I just could not get going at an appropriate speed….

and then based on my route, I was done.

Not the workout planned. but…I was so glad to be able to run it at all with the amount of leg pain I’ve had recently.

Feels great. next week, will have to work harder on doing the actual workout.

Fingers Crossed….


images-3Fingers Crossed, I ran on Monday and Tuesday.  Today I had 3 miles on the schedule and as discussed with Goof-ball coach, I did it in the pool after a 30 minute spin.


At work, I was walking with a curious gait.  So, I decided that Motrin was in order.

IbuprofenI theorized that if I could walk normally my back would start feeling better, and thus things would shake themselves out.


As the Ibuprofen kicked in, any aching, pain etc, seemed to totally disappear.


After work, I hit the gym for “stretching”.  Other than having to deal with one person who I find ultimately annoying…my stretching and rolling went well and I went home.  I couldn’t recall exactly when I took the Motrin, so I was waiting for it to wear off and the pain to return.  At this point…it would seem that the major pain is finally finally gone.  My leg and back are still tender, but not like before.

I can choose pool or run tomorrow, and if it feels this good in the morning, I am definitely running.

This is a great thing.  I have to laugh too because this morning is the first time I really really prayed for the pain in my leg to disappear.

prayer request image

Lately I have been praying for a lot of hurting people in this world, also for people going through life changes, etc.  My leg…well, I had not thought it that important.  I was getting beat down by it though. It is very hard to even want to get up and respond to things and walk about when each footstep jars you.  So while acknowledging my little leg pain is nothing compared to the pain and grief in the middle eastern areas now…it was really hurting me.  So that’s what I changed.  Prayer might not be for everyone, but for me, it seems to have really worked.

Tomorrow is another 5 miles.  I’m curious to see how it goes.

In general feeling pretty darn good these days.  About to dial it in.


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