Adventures In Running

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays 2012

Wishing all my family and friends a Merry Christmas 2012.

Friday, December 21, 2012

Review of UP by Jawbone

I purchased an UP device by Jawbone a month ago. For $129.99 I was expecting great things.

It advertises sleep tracking, 24/7 activity tracking, food and drink tracking, smart alarm, power nap, stopwatch mode, idle alert, nutrition database, barcode scanner, and an insight engine. For full disclosure, I purchased this right when I was having foot surgery. I only have experimented with the sleep tracking, 24/7 activity tracking, smart alarm, power nap, stopwatch mode, and idle alert.

Given all the talk I was hearing about how awesome this device is, I've been pretty disappointed. Basically, it is a wristband (available in multiple colors) that you can wear non-stop (except for swimming and deep sea diving). You download an app on your iPhone/iPad and can plug it in once or twice a day to do a sync. You also plug it in to a charger every 10 days and charge it from your computer. Those parts worked well. Here is what I found on the various options I tried:

  1. Charging cap – the stupid charging cap falls off all the time. I lost it 6 times in the first five days and was not happy hobbling around trying to find it. I finally kept it off. Either figure out a way to keep this cap on (screw method) or get a better cap or provide all users with 20 free caps. EPIC FAIL
  2. Sleep tracking – didn't work so well. Some nights it seemed to come out of sleep mode even if I didn't get up. I would be told I only slept 1 hour or so a night. It's amazing I am still functioning. They state that walking over 250 steps will take it out of sleep mode. Either I walked to the neighbors' bathroom if I got up or I sleepwalk. And what's with this 11 minutes to fall asleep every single night? FAIL.
  3. 24/7 activity tracking – I didn't do a lot of activity because of the foot surgery, but it seemed to do OK on this. PASS
  4. Stopwatch mode – I only did one calibration using the stopwatch mode, but it was ok. However, it takes a lot of button pushing to get it in the right mode. MEH
  5. Smart alarm – It is supposed to wake you up during a certain time period when you are in a lighter sleep mode. This seems to work well if you are still asleep. However, if I have already gotten up and turned on awake mode, you would think it could figure out it didn't have to wake me up. MEH
  6. Power nap – wakes you up after 30-45 minutes when you are in a lighter sleep mode. PASS

Luckily, there is a 60 day money back guarantee. Mine got packed up this morning and is being shipped back. The charging cap falling off constantly was actually the deal breaker for me.

Let me know if you have any questions or if you have had different results.

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Baby It’s Cold Outside + Post Surgery Follow-up 2

Once the boot was off, I was allowed to walk one slow mile a day. Monday – very miserable. The foot hurt a lot and Twilight kept looking at me with an "Are we really going to walk this slow?" look of disbelief on her face. A very unimpressive 2.3 mph pace. Tuesday was slightly better and I got up to 2.7 mph and it hurt a bit less. Wednesday I had to walk a bunch for other things, so didn't walk.

Today was my second post surgery follow-up with Dr. Royall. I was expecting to hear that I would still be limited to 1 slowwwwww mile a day. Instead, he said my foot was coming along well and that the plantar fascia was nice and soft – which meant it was healing well. New rules:

  1. Walk one hour a day at 4 mph for therapy.
  2. I can still only do two hours at the New Years Revolution Run.
  3. No running until pain is no more than a 1 or 2 at the worst during the day. Then only increase no more than 20% every 2 weeks.
  4. Sleep in a night splint/Strassbourg sock.
  5. Stretch the foot before getting out of bed.
  6. Ice the foot 1 or more times a day, ibuprofen as needed, Biofreeze 3 times per day
  7. Start stretching the calf and ankle.
  8. I can start riding the Elliptigo again for cross training since it is not a pounding motion. Yay!

He thinks that the numbness I am experiencing on the top of the foot is from the boot and that it will gradually go away.

At the end of the appointment, he asked if I would consider being a sponsored athlete for him. In exchange for some race entries in local races, I would wear a shirt advertising his podiatry services. I indicated that this is definitely something I would be interested in.

One month more until the next follow-up appointment.

Taking my "therapy" to heart – Twilight and I bundled up and headed off on a walk to the library and back. The heel is still tender a bit and I had to push myself to get up to the 15 mm pace, but soon got in the swing of things. Dang! It is cold outside. Usually by now my body has started to adjust to the cold, but not running for four weeks has put me behind. This is going to take some adjusting to.

Coming back was when I realized how quickly the body gets out of shape. The last two miles were harder than the last miles of my last two marathons. The legs are stiff and heavy. Speed was okay – but it was definitely forced. I'm going to feel it tomorrow. However, it sure feels good to be getting back on track.

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Post Surgery Followup and Plans

I had my Plantar Fasciotomy on November 21st.  I think I hold a record or something because people are amazed that I voluntarily had surgery on my birthday.  My feelings were: What else do I do for excitement at my age? and I get four days off from my primary job with pay that I can use to recuperate because of the Thanksgiving Holiday.

Surgery went well and my sister drove me home to start the recuperation.  I was placed in a surgical boot and basically climbed into my bedroom to hide the next couple of days, only emerging to show up to Thanksgiving dinner for an hour on Thursday.

Not a lot of pain - for which I was grateful.  Just one really nasty bout of nausea the first night - which led to the joys of cleaning up my carpeting because I couldn't crawl quite fast enough to my garbage can.

I tried to stay off the foot as much as I could the rest of the week and used crutches or a crutch to help keep the pressure off.  I did work a lot on my second job starting on Friday - but actually took two full days to relax and rest.  I even got bored enough to go through my Amazon Kindle account and delete 150+ books that I had already read and wouldn't reread or didn't plan to read.

Fast forward to today.  I had my post surgical follow-up with Dr. Royall.  I did chew him out for not giving me any post surgical instructions and he admitted he messed up there. Luckily - this was foot surgery number 3 on the left foot and I was a pro at knowing most of the routines.

Dr. R removed the stitches and showed me that there was good "squishiness" in the Plantar Fasciia - which is a good sign.  Normally he only uses the needle in a surgery between 1 minute 45 seconds and 2 minutes 30 seconds and he had to work on me for 3 minutes 30 seconds because my Plantar Fasciia was pretty solid from scarring.

We discussed my theory that trying to switch this year from a heel striker to a midfoot striker probably aggravated underlying conditions and caused this injury.  I'm going to go back to being a heel striker and proud of it. It worked for me for 7 years.  I shouldn't have messed with it.

Next Steps

Dr. R seems to know I need to be told specifically what I can and cannot do.  Here is the plan for the next little bit:

  • Wear the boot for 2.5 more weeks.  I can start wearing a shoe with my orthotic on December 17th.  Still not supposed to walk more than necessary (yeah - life is really cooperating with that).
  • Starting on December 17th, I can slowly walk one mile a day. No running and not much more than that.
  • Starting next Wednesday I can swim as much as I want as long as I don't push off with the left foot.  I think I'll throw pool running in.
  • I can ride a recumbant bike as much as I want - but not on heavy settings.
  • I can start doing core and upper body weight lifting - just can't do any that require standing or putting stress on the foot.
  • I did get permission to go to the New Year's Revolution Run - but am limited to two hours of easy walking and no running.
Time to start eating healthy and use the month plus off to get off the extra weight, so running will be easier when I can start up.

More Stress

Of course, after being told to stay off my foot as much as I could, my son called in the afternoon in serious pain thinking he tore his rotator cuff as he pulled off his shirt.  With his dad out of town, I rushed up to Woods Cross and got him to a doctor.  Lots of praying on the way up there - we really didn't need another surgery on top of mine.  I was so relieved when he came out with a sling on and said it looks like a serious sprain.  

I decided I needed to get a few groceries. I'd been hoping earlier in the day my son could help me - but he was in worse shape than me and I dropped him off at his house to rest. 

Naturally - the motorized cart I picked had a dead battery and some woman who was walking really well grabbed the other one.  Had to hop around Smith's with my foot on a grocery cart - that didn't make me happy and I only got a few groceries to carry me through.

Need an Easy Button

Just kidding.  A friend of mine wrote a blog post yesterday on how so many people want things easy in life.  Check it out here at ireaderreview.

I wonder if some of the issues with my foot this year have been a result of my taking things too easy.  Four years ago I was in about as good of shape as I can recall. Heck, I was working 2 days after a hystericalectomy and running after two weeks.  But then I got lazy and quit spending time making sure I ate healthy and regained all the weight I had lost.  I don't organize menus and I don't cook healthy meals.  I'm not going to let myself be lazy in 2013 - I can't wait to see the changes. 

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Plantar Fasciotomy anyone

I saw my podiatrist on Thursday and he asked how the foot was feeling from wearing the pressure pad on the orthotic as much as I could.  I told him that the foot still ached most of the time and that I could feel it tearing a lot. It had improved, but not as much as we had hoped.

We talked over options and the plans are for me to undergo a plantar fasciotomy with F.A.S.T. technique on my birthday. (I like to party in style on my birthday and drugs seem reasonable).

This is different than the release technique where they cut the fascia.  Basically, they take a long, hollow needle and poke a bunch of holes in the plantar fascia to get rid of the scar tissue and flush all the bad crap out.  Then - two weeks in a boot and two weeks in a stable shoe with my orthotic and I will be allowed to start running and walking again.

DNF at Fort Bliss Marathon

On November 10th, I participated in the first ever Fort Bliss Marathon.  It seemed like a great idea at the time.  I was visiting my daughter and son-in-law at their new duty station in El Paso, Texas and the marathon occurred during my visit.  When else will I be able to get in a marathon for only $45.

My son-in-law took me over to the base gym for the start of the race.  It should have been a clue that at the race meeting, there were less than 200 people listening for the marathon, half marathon and 5-K.

The marathon and half-marathon started at 7:30 a.m.   I was joking with the only other female marathoner that I saw that we might be in competition for overall winner.

This marathon covered a lot of the base.  Pretty soon, the other female and her husband and I were playing leap frog during run/walk breaks.  No one else in sight.  The roads were not closed, there were no sidewalks and the race was on concrete.  Also - no shade (although one water tower at mile 17 provided an entire 60 seconds of shaded bliss).

The first five miles or so were pretty nice.  It was still relatively cool out - although I dropped my long shirt and gloves at mile 1 because I was already getting warm.  We ran towards the mountains and had the sun at our back, so the view was fairly nice - although I was already getting tired of red sand, cactus, weeks and rocks - about all you could see except for barracks, buildings, and lots of army vehicles.

Around mile 6 we went under the freeway and I was a bit concerned when I went through the aid station because it was the first aid station with gatorade and they were out of cups.  I was desperate enough to drink out of the drizzle from the cooler.  Luckily - this was a solitary incident.

This was a flat course.  The only hills were up and down on overpasses over and under the freeway.  The concrete was brutal.  I had taped my foot well (or my daughter had), so I was not in pain, but I could feel the pounding.  At 11.5 miles the half marathoners headed back to the gym and finish line and the marathoners continued on to the other side of the base.

I had passed Erica and her husband at mile 6 and did not see them again until an out and back section at mile 16.  At that point I could see she was struggling and almost a mile behind me.  Turns out she dropped at that aid station.

About mile 14 one of the volunteers told me that I was the third woman.  I was kind of excited to actually have a chance to place in a marathon.  That didn't last for long.  Jenn and Jeremy caught up to me at mile 18 and started to leap frog each mile to the aid station.  About the time they caught up to me, the idea of taking third place was not very exciting any more.  About mile 19 - the idea of continuing on lost all enjoyment.  I was not having fun and the thought of pounding out two more hours on trashed legs no longer had any appeal.

At the medic tent at 19.5, I sat down, told them I was DNF'ing and called in my ride.

J&J took me to the finish where I got a nice rubdown and stretching from the massage team as they were shutting down.

I think there were less than 30 participants in the marathon and quite a few dropped.  It was brutal.  I was going to be in last place within a minute of dropping and there were only about 6 people left on the course at all.

My first DNF in a marathon - but no regrets, no tears, just tired and shaky legs.

Friday, November 2, 2012

Running Buddies Rock at the St. George Marathon 2012

Going into St. George this year, I knew I was not in the condition I wanted to be - so plans to PR went totally out the door.  Instead I was willing to hang with several friends at the back and motivate them. 

Marcia and I drove down on Friday afternoon.  We ended up eating dinner with my nephew Jon, Janilee and Olivia Miles - my nephew and his family.  Visited with my former neighbors, Vic and Judy Mason for a while.  I sure miss them. 

After dinner we hit the expo and I picked up some Brooks shoes and a couple of pairs of cheap sunglasses.  (Good thing they were cheap because I have already left one pair on a plane).

Saturday morning, Marcia dropped me off at the finish and I met my friend, Leslie Peterson, and we rode the bus up.  Leslie ended up being the only runner that I hung with - and we had a great time (even though the stupid timing chips said she never made it past 10K).

It wasn't too cold up at Central that early in the morning, but colder than the previous years - so temperatures should be better.  We saw Smooth (Suzanna Lew) right before the start and visited with her until we all wandered across the start line (10 minutes after the race began).

I had my Gym Boss set for run 2 minutes, walk 1 minute.  Leslie hadn't done anything over 13.1 miles since last April - so we expected the day to be a challenge for her.  Good thing I love talking to her for hours on end since we were joined at the hip all day.

I always love the start of this race since you can often see runners spread out for miles.  We ended up both wearing pink bike shirts and became known to those around us as the pink pair.  Since we had no time expectations, we just enjoyed ourselves through aid stations, taking pictures, etc.

One thing new on the route this year - some unthinking cheer groups had painted encouragement signs on the road instead of just using signs on the side of the road.  This made me mad - because I knew that was semi-permanent and was going to be the responsibility of the race crew to clean it up. 

Marcia was waiting in Veyo with a sign and cheered us on.  She is always so good to come out and support me in races when she can. 

I don't know why it was - but I swear they put more uphills into the race this year.  I kept saying, "Yep. St. George is a downhill course."  It does have a lot of downhill - but there is also a lot more uphill than people who have not run it are aware of.

At mile 9 my left foot started hurting.  I thought I had bruised my heel a month earlier and figured the bruising was coming back.  This would hurt me the rest of the race.  Painful, but something I could handle.  It did slow me down some.

Then, at mile 14 - just when the race gets really beautiful and the serious downhill sections start up, the left IT Band began to flare up.  I was so annoyed with myself for not bringing an IT strap or KT taping it.  I knew I had to manage it or it would take me out of the race.  At mile 15 they found some tape and put as much pressure on the IT band as they could.  I also started running the downhills with a straight leg, which took pressure off the IT Band, but put more pressure on the sore heel.  No winning whichever way I looked at it.  I would occasionally feel the left knee starting to give on downhills which also concerned me.

The first half of the race, I was there to support Leslie and keep her moving.  The second half of the race, she kept me going.  I had to avoid thinking DNF several times and Leslie and I both slowed down significantly.

The race committee and citizens of St. George were much more prepared for heat after the previous two years.  We loved the ice water and ice in the last 6 miles. 

I saw Marcia a couple more times and Leslie's husband rode alongside us for several miles on his bike.  The slogfest continued and we finally finished at around 6 hours 20 minutes.  Leslie and I cracked me up because we would be debating if we should start running at the end. We finally agreed we would run after we got into the corral.  Luckily - they had taken down half of the finish chute - so we had to run even less.

St. George Marathon number 6 and marathon 20 were in the bag.  My second worst marathon ever (worst was my first SGM).

Pacing Big Cottonwood Half Marathon

On September 22, 2012 I had the privilege of pacing the 3 hour group at the inaugural Big Cottonwood Half Marathon.  This was an exceptionally great pacing experience and one of the reasons I opted to pace.

Met my pacing partner, Molly Bitton at the buses and got to know her. She is a kick and I had a great time pacing with her - a very positive person to be around.  (Luckily - most pacers are positive).

My initial impression of this race was that it was very organized for a first year run - and this was before it even started.  Bus loading and parking went well.  You could see they had race banners already designed - instead of something cheap for the first year.  When we got dropped at the starting line - they even had space blankets so we could pretend to be burritos and keep warm (wish St. George would consider this).

This race is basically downhill for 11+ miles, then two miles on paved trails to the finish.  We had two runners hang with us most of the race.  Amanda Bjarnson and Liz Wolfgramm.  Amanda is/was four months pregnant and running her second half marathon.  Liz is in her 60's and had never done over 6 miles.  They were celebrating the one year anniversary of her husband recovering from serious heart issues.

We actually had to hold our pace back because of the downhill.  This was probably good for Liz because she knew it was going to be a struggle - but she gamely held on without complaints.  Aid stations were well run.  People did get a bit confused because we had marathon pacers passing us and they weren't sure if our pace time was for the half or full.  Beautiful colors in the canyon. Gorgeous day. Fun runners around us.  Helping people out.

It was a joy to help Liz and Amanda finish the race.  Liz was so thrilled to actually accomplish this major undertaking.  I wish I could have seen her face later when she got news that she actually won her age division.

I was very impressed with this race.  I'm thinking next year it would be a great race to try and PR at and maybe even break 2 hours in the half.

Race pacing is so fun.  And a great way to give back to the running community.

The dilemma of Sandy and the NYC Marathon

I am not a political creature - and I usually keep my opinions to myself.  However, there is one article in the news that is really annoying me.

With so much of the East coast being devastated by the effects of Sandy - I cannot believe that the city of New York and the race directors for the New York City Marathon are even considering trying to put on the marathon this Sunday.

Let's see - people are dead or missing, homes are destroyed, electricity and water are not fully restored, airports are still reopening, subways are not fully running, people are battling over gas, Staten Island is being ignored - and the concern is centered around the marathon? 

C'mon people - get realistic.  Yes, losing money is a pain for either the race or the runners.  Training for an event to not occur is frustrating.  What if you broke your foot today?  You would whine, but you would not run.  I cannot believe this is being considered.

The time being spent by the city of New York, the consideration of using the police, fire and medical support to work on a marathon when the city is in crisis...ridiculous. 

What are your thoughts?

Plantar Fasciosis

This has been a frustrating year for me with a lot of foot pain. I started experiencing Plantar Fasciitis in the left foot earlier this year, then the right foot.  Right foot no longer bothers me.  The left foot got a little better.

While running the Wasatch Crest with Leslie one day in September, I thought I had a bruise on the instep of my foot - near the heel.  Every once in a while, I would run over a rock that hit right on that spot and it would hurt for a little bit.  I picked up a pair of Hoka Stinson Evos for the extra cushioning hoping that would help.

Then came the St. George Marathon (blog post to follow later today).  Starting at mile nine, my left heel hurt at every step. I just figured the bruising was getting worse and hoped it wasn't a stress fracture.  Painful 17 miles - but I was able to finish.

I cut down on running for a couple of weeks and at the urging of Davy Crockett, went in to make sure I didn't have a stress fracture. 

Diagnosis - the Plantar Fasciitis was now a more annoying Plantar Fasciosis.  The podiatrist built up my left orthotic to put pressure on the Plantar Fascia and has me massaging with BioFreeze and icing the foot.  Hopefully this will help. 

I try not to whine, but it has been frustrating.  I can no longer wear my Vibram FiveFingers (an entire summer without them) and can't walk around barefoot any more.

I'm hoping by wearing the orthotics and losing weight this winter that I can get this into remission and run without pain again.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Downhill and Dogs

Labor Day was the second annual running of the Downhill and Dogs run for Leslie Peterson and me.  Shuttle transportation and aid station provided courtesy of Harold Peterson.

This is one of my favorite runs and days the last two years.  Early on Labor Day morning, we loaded up the Peterson SUV and headed up to the top of Guardsman Pass.  There, Harold drops us off and we start the long downhill run into Midway.  

Leslie and I then spent the next hour and a half running 9 miles down the back of Guardsman.  Beautiful run with mainly downhill, occasional flat and rare uphill sections.  The leaves were already turning and we enjoyed visiting and running together.  The last mile or so we pushed the pace - probably my fastest mile in a long time.  Great downhill training for St. George Marathon. 

At the end of 9 miles, our chauffeur dropped us off at Soldier Hollow to spend the rest of the day watching the Grand Championships of the Sheepdog Trials while he went off for a day of biking and naps.

Leslie and I had a grand time watching the incredible efforts of the sheepdogs and their handlers.  Makes Twilight look positively lazy in comparison. 

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Plantar Fasciitis Fun

I've been struggling with a new injury all summer - plantar fasciitis. This first started in my left foot, then also started bothering my right foot, then decided it was happy enough just hurting the left foot.

What is plantar fasciitis? Not to go into a long technical explanation, but it ends up with the heel of your foot being very painful when the plantar fascia is contracted. First thing in the morning, starting up after sitting for a while, all seem to be the worst times. Treatment includes sleeping in a night splint (or stretching in the morning) that keeps the calf muscles stretched (instead of pointing your toes as most of us do when we sleep). Rolling your feet on a frozen bottle of water helps to keep inflammation down. I've also invested in some Birkenstock sandals with a high arch so I don't walk around barefoot, avoided my Vibram FiveFingers, using arch supports in shoes, and trying different arch supports to see what helps. You can also see me hanging my heels off stairs to keep the calves stretched. I have good days and bad days.

I was glad to get the right foot under control fairly quickly, but being slightly overweight, getting old, and not working on my flexibility enough means I go through phases when the left foot is hurting and other times when I think I have the PF under control. It has given me a new appreciation for people suffering from Plantar Fasciitis. I hope I can get it under control and lose the pain and not have to deal with this constantly. I guess we shall see.

Pacing Experience 1 - Bryce Canyon Half Marathon

Sorry that it has been so long since I have updated. Time to catch up on posts again.

I was invited to join the American Flyers Race Pacers group on Facebook organized by Walter Brown. The first pacing job I accepted was for the Bryce Canyon Half Marathon (surprisingly - down in Bryce Canyon). My daughter, Jenn, was going to be in town at that time and we thought it would be a fun experience. I don't remember ever going to Bryce Canyon before (and it doesn't count if I was too young to remember it) and Jenn thought the roadtrip would be fun.

We packed gear up for camping down in Bryce Canyon since we were given a tent spot as part of our volunteer bounty. However, on the drive down we were buffeted by some pretty bad winds and rain and decided that if we could find a cheap motel, it would be better to stay dry and not camp. Wuss out time! We enjoyed the drive down together. Especially exciting was to get the news that one of our Nook apps broke into the top five. Very exciting and signs that we are starting to make it into the big time.

As we neared Bryce Canyon, we drove through Red Canyon. That was spectacular. We kept stopping to take pictures and enjoy the sights. The colors and formations were incredible. Just the short drive through that canyon made the long trip worthwhile. We ended up staying in a hotel attached to the campground and spent the evening playing cards. I sure enjoy having my daughter in town. I miss having her around a lot.

I got up dark and early on Saturday morning and hopped on the bus to the starting line. Leslie Peterson was on the bus too and we visited as we went up to the start. I was one of three runners at the 3 hour pace group. We each had a pacing singlet, two of us had pace bands and one carried the pacing sign announcing our group I was teamed up with Walter's daughter and niece and they were fun teenagers to hang with for three hours. We didn't have any people particularly hanging with us during the race, but there were lots of people watching our sign to stay in front of us. Three hours was the official cutoff - but there were still quite a lot of people behind us. Leslie was not feeling well and ended up near by for the first half of the race and then she dropped out as she passed her hotel and called it a day.

Bryce Canyon has a lot of downhill and was very gorgeous. It was a bit chilly early on and sprinkling on and off, so we didn't know what to expect for the weather. We were staying in a town around 7 miles into the course, and Leslie DNF'd at the entrance to the town and Jenn was waiting near the end of the town and taking lots of pictures. We did some good jumps for entertainment and photo opportunities.

After we passed through town, it soon started raining and rained pretty heavily for the last five miles. The runners around us were starting to struggle and we entertained them by singing and dancing in the rain and getting all the vehicles that passed by to honk in support. Some of the runners said it was helping, so we kept it up. We finished within about 7 seconds of our goal and I immediately hopped on a bus full of wet, steamy, smelly half marathoners and got a ride back to town.

After cleaning up, Jenn and I loaded up the car and headed into Bryce Canyon itself. We weren't sure if we could see anything because of rain and mist - but wanted to see if we could see any of the beautiful sights. We decided to hike the Navajo Trail even though we couldn't see the bottom of the canyon. Once we got below the rim, things cleared up and we were in awe of the beautiful colors and intriguing formations and taking tons of pictures. We hiked down to the bottom and it was spectacular. As we were about to head up towards the rim on the other side of the loop, it started to rain. And then it started to pour. I was tired from running the half marathon that morning and Jenn was not used to altitude and was struggling with asthma. Add in being soaked and a trail full of slippery mud and it made for a challenging hike out.

We drove around for a while and saw some more of Bryce Canyon and then called it a day and decided to go home a day early. Great first experience as an actual race pacer and a fun trip with my daughter.

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Fourth of July trail adventure

With nothing to do on July 4th other than work, I decided to take some time to check out new trails.

Early on July 4, I drove up towards Park City to Lambs Canyon. My plan was to hike up Lambs Canyon, run down to Millcreek Canyon and then reverse my course. All this would be on trails I had never been on before.

About 1 mile up the canyon, I decided I was not in uphill shape and needed to do a lot more work on that. The uphills were really kicking my butt. For the most part I was able to keep going without having to take breaks, but my heart was working overtime.

Remembered I had not told anyone where I was going, so I left a message for my daughter when I had cell service at the top. I had a beautiful run down into Millcreek Canyon. I was feeling ambitious (silly me) and decided I would throw in the climb up Mt. Aire for even more vertical. About 1/2 mile up Mt. Aire - I decided that I had enough fun and headed back down.

The climb up Millcreek Canyon towards Lambs Canyon was really killing me this time. To make it worse, my new Garmin was not recording time, so I had no idea how much farther I had to go. It felt like I stopped every 100 steps or so (sometimes less) to rest and catch my breath.

It was sure nice to get to the top and start the run back down to my Jeep. Lots more people to visit with on the trails the second time and the run down was beautiful.

The next two days I became even more aware of how little uphill and downhill I had done. My quads and calves were toast and I could hardly walk for the next two days. Small price to pay for a fun run though.

Utah Valley Marathon

June 9, 2012 was the Utah Valley Marathon.

This was my second time to run this marathon. I ran it three years earlier helping pace/sherpa for my friend Marion McLellan running her first marathon. The course had changed quite a lot - so it was going to be interesting to see the differences.

The night before I picked up my race packet at the Marriott in downtown Provo. Very well organized compared to the nightmare of a few years prior. Met my dad, nephew (running the half marathon), niece and great niece for dinner at Brick Oven Restaurant. Jon and I were both spending the night at my dad's house to avoid the long drive in the morning.

Marathon mornings are equivalent to early mornings and we had to get up early. My bus pickup was by the Marriott, so got on the bus to head up the canyon. We were dropped off in Wellsville and I was concerned because I was not cold when I got off the bus - leading me to suspect it was going to be very warm out. I ended up huddled against a barn wall visiting with other runners. They introduced me to the Gym Boss - one of my favorite new running toys.

Headed up near the starting line to cheer on Kelli Stephenson and Walter Brown at the front of the race. Joined the throngs near the back and we were off. For the first seven miles we rambled through Wellsville and its surroundings. It was definitely going to be a warm day, but the early morning was cool and pleasant.

At mile 7 we turned into Provo Canyon and then the "real fun" began. The race is billed as a downhill race and I knew there was a couple of uphills, but there were more than a couple of uphills and they were long ones. To make it even more fun - once we were in the canyon we ran into headwinds. And not just easy and occasional headwinds - they were annoying and constant. The canyon was beautiful and tough, but I was looking forward to University Avenue - seeing my sister, and getting this over with. The heat and wind were taking their toll on me.

Marcia was waiting with cowbells and treats at the mouth of the canyon. Food was not sounding good to me but I got some ensure and later some powerade in me. She would swing ahead of me and cheer me on every mile or so.

My goal was to break 6 hours and I knew at that point I could do it. I was not really motivated - but was really drained and kept plugging away. I was glad to see the finish line up ahead. Finished in 5 hours, 47 minutes and 12 seconds. My 18th official marathon was in the books.

Expensive Faceplant

On May 5th, I went running on the Pipeline Trail with Leslie Peterson. The plan for the day was to do the first 9.4 miles together after which Leslie was going to head home and I was going to do the second 9.4 miles alone.

It started out as a great day. We were having fun running together and visiting. It was a bit cool at the start and we both hung our jackets up on trees about 2.5 miles in on the trail. People do this all the time on an out and back. It is accepted behavior.

We reached the overlook in good time and headed back. We passed the point where I thought I had left my jacket and I started to suspect my new running top had been taken by someone. When we found Leslie's older jacket on its tree - my suspicions were verified. This really ticked me off - I hate that I can't trust other runners, bikers and hikers because usually they are a very trustworthy lot.

As we approached the end of the first out and back, I was feeling strong and moving along well. With probably only 100 yards left, I suddenly found myself face down on the trail and thinking how bad my chest hurt. I don't know if I caught a rock, a root, or just a toe, but did a nasty faceplant. Dug myself out of the dirt and brushed off what I could. My upper left thigh, left upper chest and left hand hurt a lot. Looked down and the face of my Garmin was shattered.

Hobbled to my Jeep and had Leslie clean the blood off my hand and I pulled off the loose skin and we bandaged it up. I was determined to get in my next loop because I was hoping to do a race in less than two weeks and needed to see where I was at. I assured Les I was fine (silly me) and set off on round two while she headed home.

I did a lot more run/walk breaks on the next trip back to the overlook. I remember thinking that I probably bruised my pectoral muscle in the fall because it was bothering me some. Hit the overlook and turned back for the last stretch. About 200 yards after the overlook, I suddenly felt awful. I started walking and realized that I had probably been in shock and was going into more shock. Running made my upper leg and chest hurt really badly, so I knew I had to walk out.

I was a bit concerned in case I went into serious shock, so called my daughter in Georgia to let her know I was hurt and walking out and if she didn't hear from me in about 2 hours, to call for help. I must not have looked too bad because I passed all sorts of people who cheerfully talked to me. The last mile and a half were pretty bad, but I managed to finish.

As I drove home, I knew I was going downhill, but I called Jenn to let her know I was out of the canyon. Stopped to get a couple of meals in case I couldn't make it out for a few days.

I remember dragging myself into my kitchen and realizing I couldn't get off my compression socks or running bra because I couldn't lift my arm. Finally ended up calling a neighbor who came over and helped me. She wanted to take me to the hospital but I refused and told her I hadn't hit my head. After cleaning up and laying down for a while, I knew I needed to get some more help, so drove myself to Instacare. There was a very deep contusion over most of my upper thigh, hand just needed some disinfecting and taping. Xrays showed the ribs were not broken, but just bruised. They put me in a sling to keep me from hunching over and to protect the ribs.

So much for a race in a few weeks. Plus, between the stolen jacket, broken Garmin, xrays, medical bills and prescription - this turned into a very expensive run.

Sunday, April 1, 2012

2012 Race Plans

I decided that April 1 is a great day to finally put my plans out for everyone to see. That way, if I don't accomplish them, I can always say it is an April Fool'





Buffalo Run 50K

March 23, 2012

Self Supported – day before actual event

9:39:11 (after one month of being ill)

Zions 50 Mile

May 12, 2012


Utah Valley Marathon

June 9, 2012


Park City Marathon

August 18, 2012


St. George Marathon

October 6, 2012


Pony Express Trail 50 Mile

October 19, 2012


Across the Years 48 Hour Race

December 29-30, 2012


??? Ulcer 111 Bike Ride

August 4, 2012

Seeing if I can start early and try to join Elliptigo Century club


Monday, March 26, 2012

Biggest Loser Trainers Don’t Know Everything

Back in my TV watching days, I used to enjoy watching The Biggest Loser. Being a marathon runner, then marathon episode would usually leave me crying – knowing the struggles the competitors went through to finish.

Then would come the next weigh in and I would get mad. Sometimes competitors would weigh more after their marathons than before and Bob and Jillian would be yelling at them and looking disappointed, sure in the knowledge that the person they had trained had lied to them.

Really, Bob and Jillian? How do you know people are lighter after marathons? How many marathons have you run? How many people have you examined after marathons to see if they are lighter or heavier?

I know some people lose lots of weight while they run marathons. I also know lots of people that gain weight after running marathons. At least for about 5 days and then I start dropping again.

Friday I completed 32.5 miles without stopping. I had to force myself to eat and didn't come near to eating the amount of calories I burned. I didn't eat a ton of food on Saturday or Sunday either and yet today, when I stepped on the scale, I was 8 pounds heavier than I was last Monday. Gee – I wish I had enjoyed eating those 24000 extra calories. Somebody must have been feeding me in my sleep. I know I will be down again next Monday – but it is frustrating to work out so hard and see the gain on the scale.

Sunday, March 25, 2012

2012 Buffalo Run 50K

This weekend was the annual Buffalo Run out on Antelope Island. I remember participating in its inaugural running back in 2006 when I did the 25K. It was a tough run then, it is even tougher now. In the first year, there weren't a lot of runners, but (and I believe it is mainly because of this race), Antelope Island is now a hot spot for trail running in Utah.

I had good intentions back in January of trying to PR on this course. Then I got sick. And stayed sick. Did I mention I got sick? Four weeks of constantly being sick and three antibiotics took a huge toll on my fitness and training plans. I basically went into this race on what I call my "couch to 50K" in 3 weeks program.

The volunteer coordinator needed some help with the Elephant Head aid station on Saturday, so I got authorization to run the race alone on Friday. I had to work half a day and then headed out to the island. The wind was picking up, which made me a bit nervous, but it was overcast and not too cool, so that was okay.

The 100 mile race had started earlier and another 50K runner a little before me. Jim Skaggs, the race director, started my race and I headed out. I dropped a bag at a post where the turnaround would be the next day. Since that aid station would not be available, I had to guess my drink needs and food plans based upon what I put in a Ziploc bag.

The first three miles is pretty well uphill, so I walked most of it. Just at the point that I could start running, there was a buffalo coming down from the upper section where there is an old cabin. I pushed to get ahead of him, since he didn't seem to want to stop his descent.

As I headed across the ridge into the White Rock Bay section, I turned on my phone to send off a text update to my daughter, son and sister. Alternated running 100 steps and walking 50 steps (running more on the downhills) into the White Rock Bay area and then started up towards Elephant Head, past Lone Tree. I really dislike this uphill, but was able to get a good picture of Karl Meltzer bombing down the hill in the lead of the 100 mile race and then a minute or two later, the second place person.

Didn't stay long in the Elephant Head aid station because it was so windy. Ran down into Split Rock and then turned on my audiobooks for the climb up the switchbacks. I had some serious stomach issues on the run down into Split Rock and had to do a couple of emergency pit stops, but was much lighter after that and didn't experience any stomach issues the rest of the race. Ran as much as I could once I got up the switchbacks and back to the aid station (mile 11). Requested a PB&J when I came back at mile 21. He was glad to be of assistance because there would only be a few of us through that aid station later in the day until the 100 milers started round 2.

As I crossed the ridge, received a message that my niece was in labor – so it looked like I would be a Great Aunt again before the day was through. I was feeling pretty good as I ran down towards the White Rock baggie aid station. As I approached the aid station, I started into a bonk. I really dreaded the idea of the long climb and doing the course a second time. It was emotionally very hard. I packed my headlamp and flashlight, stocked up on Ensure and Gatoraid and Gu's and forced myself to move. Basically – I told myself that I could walk the course and finish before midnight and that I would not let myself quit. This bonk actually lasted until mile 24 – at which time the PB&J kicked in and I was able to move better and be more motivated. This time, as I went up the long uphill, there was one buffalo laying a few feet off the path, with a fence to his back, and another buffalo downhill a bit on the other side of the fence in grazing mode. I decided to not interfere with the buffalo's rest and move off the path to get around him. He seemed happy with this choice. Shook my head in amazement when a group of teenagers behind me started yelling at the buffalo. Um – hello? There is a fence behind this buffalo – so he is going to stay on this side of the fence. Don't spook the big furry critters, you idiots!

This time as I crossed the ridge, I called my sister and daughter to get updates on the baby situation. Tried to force myself to run the downhills, but could only do about 50 steps at a time. Up the torture climb to Elephant Head and I dropped off an Ensure for my next trip through and grabbed my sandwich for the next portion. That sandwich was delicious and help boost my flagging morale. As I started up the switchbacks, I felt my energy starting to come back and was enjoying myself again. I kept wondering when Karl Meltzer would lap me. At the pace he was going, I knew he would pass me before I finished. I took a couple of neat pictures of the sunset and set up my headlamp and handheld in preparation for darkness. I had grabbed a jacket in case it got cold when the sun went down, but didn't end up needing to put it on. Windy, but great temperatures.

Running in the dark was a good experience. It takes practice and I need to get better at it. Davy Crockett had explained that he used a green handheld because it helped differentiate the terrain better and I purchased the same model he uses and had a new headlamp to try out too. Drank my Ensure as I went through the aid station and told the men there I would be back to relieve them in the morning.

My IT band started hurting earlier in the race around mile 11 and I was worried that I would not be able to run much the rest of the race. I did have an IT band strap and used it after the first downhill past Lone Tree. During the second half of the race, I figured out that if I ran downhill without bending the left knee that the IT band wouldn't hurt. I think this also kept the IT band from deteriorating and slowing me down even further the rest of the night.

At the top of the ridge, called to hear all about the newest member of the family. Karl Meltzer stormed by me again on his second 50 mile loop (probably about mile 64 for him). It was very different running in the dark. I was glad I was fairly familiar with the trail, but would be surprised at the different lights and when I would see them as I went around curves on the trail. It was nice to pass the aid station and head in to the finish line. Remembered to grab my bag as I went past and stopped my watch when I hit the tent. Talk about your precision race timing. I'm pretty sure I will have the slowest time for the race. According to my Garmin – I finished in 9 hours, 39 minutes and 11 seconds.

Friday night I spent huddled and sleepless in my Jeep. It was too windy for them to set up my tent earlier and I was too tired to do it at that point in time. The zipper on my sleeping bag broke and I was cold and miserable all night. I'd try and stretch my legs out for a while to keep the lactic acid from being too bad. Each time I dozed off, a car would drive by with someone going to or from helping out their 100 mile runners (plus some stupid dog that kept barking). Saturday morning I was pretty stiff and tired, but went back up to Elephant Head to volunteer. Luckily I was in a truck this time. We were slammed at that aid station. I had several friends pass by, but never even saw them we were so busy trying to keep food stocked and help fill bottles. Saturday ended up being very hot and we ran out of water, Gatorade and S-caps. Luckily they were able to get us some more water, but dehydration was starting to be a serious concern.

All in all – it was a good weekend. 12 hours of sleep last night did a lot to help me recover and be ready for whatever comes next.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

The Elliptigo

In case you have not heard of an Elliptigo, it is basically an elliptical machine on wheels. Mine has 8 gears and I can go better than 10 miles an hour on this fun machine.

Before Pictures

Thanks for all the support I am getting.

I'm on my third day of watching my calories and portion control.

I even started riding my Elliptigo to work today. This is for a combination of reasons, including to get me from sitting on my butt all day and to save on gas money.

My starting weight on this journey is 164 pounds. My goal weight is to get below 140 pounds and hopefully down to about 22% bodyfat or less.

Sorry if these pictures blind you, but here are my before pictures:

Sunday, March 11, 2012

My name is Maurine – and I’m an addict

I'm holding an intervention with myself today and starting a new journey back to life today and ask your support and friendship as I go on this journey.

What am I addicted to? Junk food and unhealthy eating. I could probably throw not loving myself in on top of that.

In 1998 I joined Weight Watchers and did a great job of losing weight. The day I met my goal weight (under 130 pounds) I went out and celebrated with my sister and promptly started the journey back to being heavy again.

In 2007 and I found myself at 172 pounds. I had never been that heavy – even during pregnancies. Thanks to Lorin and Lifelong Fitness, by 2008 I was in top shape and under 140 pounds and racing well (for me). Then I had a hysterectomy and moved to Sandy, Utah and lost most of my friends and support group. Add to that a trip to Italy where I had to enjoy all the wonderful food and I started the slow slip up to being out of shape again.

I know some of you tell me that I am not heavy or won't feel any sorrow for me because you are even heavier – but for me, as a runner and a person – I am overweight and out of shape.

In December, 2011 I was told that I have high cholesterol. Have I done anything about it? Not really. I tried giving up junk food completely for two weeks in January and then ate even more junk food to make up for it.

For the last four weeks I have been miserably sick. It took three antibiotics to get myself feeling better – and I'm still not sure I have licked this completely. I self medicated myself and gained 5 pounds in that month from feeling sorry for myself and eating crap. Lots of crap.

Today – I am starting the year out anew. I can't give up my addictions totally, but I can admit them, confront them and control them.

This afternoon I will be posting my starting pictures and my starting measurements. By 2013 I am going to be in the shape I need to be for life and for running enjoyment. I am going to teach myself to eat properly and treat myself reasonably.

Welcome to my transformation journey.

Monday, January 16, 2012

More Draper Trails

Due to the wind and snow this morning, Leslie Peterson and I bagged our plans to run in Park City and instead met up at the Draper City Park. We did an out and back for a total of 7 miles on the Draper Canal Trails. I did one or two miles on the equestrian trails to get some trail time in. It was snowing pretty well and the trail got a bit icy at times. I was glad I had on my hobnail running shoes.

Leslie called it quits at 7 miles and I continued around the park. I had seen a new trail at the back of the park that I wanted to investigate. I was prepared to run another three miles at the most. The new trail is called the Willow Creek Trail. Guess what – it parallels what I think must be Willow Creek. The trail runs between subdivisions on the one side and farms on the other. The paved path only lasted about .75 miles and then I went a little bit further on a concrete trail that seemed to be petering out. Turned around and headed back to the jeep. It seemed to be getting colder and I was glad to be done. Nice to get in 9.25 miles on a snowy and cold day.

Dimple Dell Parkway

On Saturday, January 14th, I took a long run down to the paved Trax trail and then over to the Dimple Dell Parkway.

Every time I run it I think back to the first time I hiked this trail. I don't think we had moved to Utah yet from Illinois, but it was near my sister's house in Sandy and I went hiking there. Totally blistered my shoulders and love the quick ability to get away from the city without leaving the city.

I need to run these trails more. This last week I did a few short stints on the DDP.

Entered the parkway by the Trax station and headed East. I ran up until the big hill for the culvert/tunnel under 1300 East. I have to admit I have never actually run under the road on 700 East. I always went up to the park and over the road and down – I guess I hadn't realized it was possible.

It was a sunny day. I'm not sure it was particularly warm, but down in the gully it got fairly warm with all my layers on and I ended up running with just my lower layers and then down to a long sleeved running shirt on top. After I started down the hill from 1300 East back to 700 East I had one of those magical moments. I don't get them very often – and love them when they occur. Even though I was already 5 or 6 miles into my run, things just flowed. For one beautiful mile I was not tired and running was smooth and a total joy. I didn't have this feeling most (if not all of last year) and it was great. These moments make all the hard training moments worthwhile.

Ended up with almost ten miles on my run. It was a lot colder when I got back on 7th East and I had to put all the layers back on. I was sure glad it was a sunny day out. So were all of the bicyclists that passed me.

It's been a weird winter – but I can't say that I have minded the ability to get on trails still in January.

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

New Year’s Revolution Run

Leslie Petersen convinced me to sign up for the New Year's Revolution Run. This race was held on the track around the speed skating track at the Olympic Ice Oval in Kearns. I have run there plenty, but this was my first race at this location.

The group that put the race on (this was its first year) was hoping for 500 runners. I was hoping they wouldn't meet that goal because that is a lot of bodies on a fairly small track and would have been very crowded. Luckily only about 250 people registered.

Another running friend, Rachel Moody, was really bummed because she broke her right foot the day or two before Christmas and was 13 miles short of her running goal of 2011 miles in 2011. I encouraged her to find a knee scooter and one of her neighbors had one that she could borrow – so she ended up coming after all.

We picked up our packets around 7 a.m. on December 31st. Back to the old style leg chip to count laps, but I brought along my lap counter because I wanted to know how many laps I had done. My goal was somewhere between 16-20 miles in the four hours the race would be open. The purpose was to see how many laps you could run in a four hour period.

Shortly after 8 a.m. the race started and the gerbil imitation got going. I was passed a lot, but also passed other people. For the first hour I pretty well ran non-stop except for one lap walking with Rachel. She was using a lot of new muscles on the scooter and would scoot several laps and then walk a lap to give her muscles a break. I thought it very admirable that she was even trying to get her mileage in.

I'd say hi to Leslie each time I passed her and we would usually run a lap together (or walk it later on). After the first hour I would run 4 laps, then walk a lap and each hour I dropped the number of laps prior to walking. I could feel the hard surface of the track tightening up my back as the time dragged on, but kept on as best I could.

It was interesting to watch Seth Wold run by me constantly in his Altra's. He ended up doing something like 115 laps – incredible! When I mentioned prior to the race that I had two pairs of Altra's – he gave me a shirt and I wore it during the race.

Other than two long bathroom breaks for stomach issues, I kept going the entire time. Ran the last 30 minutes in socks to give my feet a break from shoes. I ended up with 63 laps for a total of 18 miles. Nice way to end out the running year.