Adventures In Running

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Making friends while running

There is something about running together that allows you to get to know people on a level that is just not possible in any other way. You see the real person and share thoughts that you might never share if you just hang out together.

Running is also a great way to make friends. Last weekend one of the Vice-Presidents from our Wichita branch came to town for meetings. She was training for her first sprint triathlon and wanted to know some running areas. I made plans to run with her on Sunday and Monday evenings.

Sunday she called to let me know her plane would be getting late, so we put off that run and agreed to talk on Monday. Monday evening I took Lea Ann over to the Jordan River Parkway. We did a 4 mile run. Since it was 5 p.m. and in the mid-90's, the run was pretty hard on her and she couldn't tell if it was asthma or the altitude that was making it hard to breathe.

Tuesday morning we ran again. I picked her up at the hotel and took her down to the Trax trail and showed her some of my favorite runs there. It was much better with the heat not yet affecting us that day.

Wednesday morning we did a shorter run before she flew home to Kansas. I brought Twilight along and took her over to Wheeler Farm. We did 2 easy miles on the trails and I think she enjoyed the nature run better than some of the other runs - even though they were not on roads.

I have another co-worker in Michigan that I talk running with and we are making plans to run together either on my next trip to Michigan or his next trip to Utah. It is fun to get to know people outside of the work atmosphere. That is - when it is someone you actually like. :)

2nd Annual Sandy to Provo Self Supported Ultra Run

This weekend was a 3 day weekend in Utah because of the Pioneer Day holiday. Thursday I started debating the benefits of doing long back-to-back runs on Friday and Saturday, or doing a challenging training run on Saturday. I ended up deciding to do a really long run on Saturday.

The plan: Run from my house in Sandy to my dad's house in Provo. Previously done in February, 2009 - with mild winter weather. A little over 8:15 in trip time.

The distance: 35+ miles

The challenge: Heat was going to be in the mid to high 90's.

After arranging with my father to drive me home after the run, I started packing my Nathan running pack for the next day. Included were several packs of Gu/Shot Blocks, S Tabs (salt tabs), emergency running supplies, Ibuprofen, gum, charged iPhone with a couple of good books for listening to, 70 ounces of ice water. In my insulated Nathan hand-held bottle, 2.5 cans of Ensure - frozen overnight.

I wanted to get up around 3 a.m., but had a hard time sleeping the night before because of nerves. I reset my alarm to 4 a.m. and focused on resting and dozing as much as possible. I did my usual job of vaselining areas that are prone to chafing, used a coban wrap in the right ankle for insurance, put on sunscreen and found a bandana at the last minute.

The run starts down 7th East to Draper. When I passed the train tracks in Draper, I switched over to the Trax Trail. I shifted over to 9th East at 12300 South and then ran by the Draper city buildings up to the Porter Rockwell Trail. I alternated between the Porter Rockwell Trail and the Draper Canal Trail to Point of the Mountain. My goal for most of the run was to run 8 minutes, walk 2 minutes and I did not want to push speed much because I knew the heat of the day would be hard on my body for as many hours as I would be out there.

Once the PR Trail ends, I switch over to Frontage roads until Lehi, then over to State Street and then Main Street in American Fork. At mile 18, I stopped at the Chevron in Lehi to refill my water pack, load my hat and neckerchief with ice and get some Gatorade. The heat was starting to build up and I knew that I needed to work harder to prevent dehydration since I hadn't needed a bathroom break until then.

In American Fork I stopped again to eat some mashed potatoes and root beer at a KFC and picked up a cup of ice to chew on for a while. I walked for about 20 minutes after this stop to allow myself to digest food.

Once I got on Geneva Road in Pleasant Grove I knew I would be able to finish the training run, but knew I would end up walking more because the heat was really getting to me. I started taking a sip of water or gatorade in every 10 minute cycle and that seemed to help. The last three miles I ended up doing a lot of run 200 steps, walk 100 steps cycles. I wasn't sweating as much anymore, so knew that my body was struggling with the heat.

Finally - arrived at my Dad's house. He came home with some ice for me, so I took an ice bath and shower and then he drove me back home to Sandy.

The total run took 9 hours exactly. A little slower than the previous run, but I think the heat was the main cause of that. The legs felt strong. No pains or aches.

I didn't sleep well last night. I never do the night after a marathon or ultra-marathon. Today I have mainly been resting, but took a 2 hour nap in the afternoon. The good news, I have a couple of aches, but no stiffness or pain. I am really happy about that because the worry with a long training run is that you injure yourself and not be able to train any more.

BodyBUGG data from 5 a.m. to 2 p.m.:
5165 Calories Burned
79621 steps

Friday, July 23, 2010

A mom for 23 years

My daughter turned 23 this morning. It made me think back to the excitement of 1987 when we first welcomed this little girl into our lives and I became a mother. Let me tell you – being a mother is the greatest occupation and avocation in the world and I am so blessed to have two wonderful kids. Jennifer and Kevin – I love you both so much.

Mixed Emotions

I am doing a big run tomorrow. And I mean BIG. One I have only done once before and doing it unsupported. I am hoping to leave between 4-5 in the morning and run down to my Dad's house in Provo. This is a 35 mile run and it is going to be a hot day, so I want to get out as early as possible.

I am looking forward to the challenge of that many miles on my feet and all alone. At the same time I am really scared about that big of a run. It will be an interesting day!

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Is this good news or bad news or both?

I had Lasik surgery on my eyes in 2006 and was very happy to be able to go without glasses. Especially since I had worn them (or contacts) full time since I was eight years old. Starting about two years ago, I began to have to struggle to read smaller text and figured it was just because I was getting older and needing reading glasses. I've been using magnifying glasses off and on as needed and found the last few months that they don't seem to help as much as they used to.

I finally broke down and had a vision exam yesterday. The 'good news' is that my vision is still 20/20. The 'bad news' is that my astigmatism has come back and my up close vision is blurry from that. I ended up ordering some bifocals for computer/reading and will be using them. They will hopefully reduce the eye strain I am experiencing at work. And – no need for glasses for driving, running, distance work, etc.

BodyBUGG update

Some good news on the BodyBUGG front. On Monday I called Customer Support back and asked to speak to a manager. The woman that I spoke with was much more willing to listen and respond than the one I dealt with on Friday. Especially when she heard it had only been three weeks. She spoke with the manager and on Tuesday I got the good news that I will be getting a replacement BodyBUGG. Yay!

Friday, July 9, 2010

BodyBUGG review (and support SLAM)

I have been wanted to purchase a BodyBUGG from 24 Hour Fitness for quite some time after hearing about them on The Biggest Loser. Let's face it – I'm a running/workout technology geek. I like my running toys.

About a month ago, one of my co-workers told me that he had purchase a BodyBUGG and that the BB itself and the display watch were on sale for $250. I liked the discounted price and took the leap. I needed to lose a little weight and it only seems like I get the motivation when it hurts me financially.

Unfortunately, my new 'toys' arrived the day I left on a business trip to Michigan, so I had to wait an entire week to get my grubby hands on them.

From the beginning, I loved my new BodyBUGG. I liked checking the calorie burn on my computer and seeing how many calories I had burned and how many steps I had taken. I really liked that I lost 9.4 pounds in the first three weeks by focusing on exercise and diet.

Was I recommending the BodyBUGG to everyone? You bet. It was the greatest thing since sliced bread. Until this week….

I was back in Michigan again this week for some more testing of our new application at work. Wednesday night I went out for a late evening run to avoid the worst of the heat and humidity. The sky was overcast when I left, but did not look like rain. The weather channel did not predict rain. I knew the BodyBUGG was not supposed to get wet. 5 miles into my 7 mile run, guess what happened? Yep. It rained. Not just sprinkles, but a drenching downpour. I worried about both the BodyBUGG and iPhone I had on me, but I was on a path alongside the freeway with nowhere to seek cover and no way to protect my electronics. As soon as possible, I got back to the hotel and dried off my BodyBUGG and iPhone.

Thursday morning, I strapped the BodyBUGG on. No sound. A few beeps a little later. I decided to charge the BB at work. After a little while, all lights indicated they were green and happy. Still no response when I strapped on the BB. I sent off an email to their support team and got no response. (It turns out this is fairly common). Today I called the Technical Support line. After several attempts to reboot the instrument, put new firmware on the instrument, etc, etc, etc, I was told that I was out of luck because getting the BodyBUGG wet had voided the warranty. I politely complained and she spoke with her manager and came back with the same response. She directed me to customer service, where I was told the same thing. No offers of a replacement, no offers of reduced pricing on a replacement, nada.

This was a hard lesson to learn At $25 a pound of weight loss, I no longer recommend the BodyBUGG. I will sing loud and clear that Apex Fitness is a rip-off and has lousy customer support. And, several people that were considering a BodyBUGG are now jumping off that bandwagon.

All I can say is: "Shame on you BodyBUGG."

2nd Annual Red Hot Pink Chicks Half Marathon is tomorrow

This is the certificate I made up for the 'Virgin' half marathon finishers:

2nd Annual Red Hot Pink Chicks Half Marathon

Diamonds & Titanium Edition

Virgin Half Certification*

Provo, Utah July 10, 2010

Congratulations on completing your
Virgin Half Marathon run!

*Possession of this certificate verifies that the owner is no longer a virgin

Training Update

I can't believe I haven't posted for an entire month. I really should be ashamed of myself. But – I have to admit I just haven't been all that motivated.

The running training has gone well. I am lifting weights 2-3 times a week to get my muscles well balanced and increase my metabolism. I am running regularly and more consistently than in the past. In June I tried to have 3 or 4 of my regular runs be 6 miles or more in length. This week I upped that to 7 miles for my daily runs. I will probably hold at 7 miles until the beginning of September and then determine if I want to go up to 8 miles at a time. It seems like it was somewhere in the 7-8 mile range that I started pushing injuries last year and I want to avoid that problem this year.

The ankle is feeling pretty darn good. I get some twinges when I walk in flats or barefoot for too long, but no pain at all during runs. I think I want to start throwing more trail running in and get my ankles even stronger from the proprioception increases my legs get running on uneven surfaces.

I will be posting several updates this weekend and then want to get back to averaging at least one fitness posting each week.