Time to Get Back in to the Groove!

30 08 2016

Well, now, it has been a while since I was writing this blog.  Interestingly enough, there have been people who have quoted the older posts.

I took some time off because I graduated from college, dealt with a lot of injuries and made a few discoveries about myself and my racing.  When I was first putting together this blog, I was chronicling, for the most part, a “middle aged” beginning race walker who chose to walk in running races. This was all fine and good, but then I realized something.

I wasn’t living my dream.

I was skirting around the edges, but not really doing anything real about it.  I was working on motivating others to find their dreams and live them, but I wasn’t doing it.

So, I decided to do it.

Actually, it was after a particularly irritating half marathon where everything started out OK, but I was just getting frustrated. Why can’t people accept that I’m walking faster than they can run and that I am genuinely polite about it? I found myself getting more sour through the event because I realized it really didn’t mean anything to me.

I wanted to focus on race walk events.  Judged Race Walk Events.

Then, as life does, things just kept cropping up, however I decided I would chip away and start making those dreams happen. No amount of wishing  was going to do anything, it is action.

So, I decided to start the blog. Register for events and learn as much as I could while trying to keep four jobs going and a remote sense of sanity.

This is a musing file. Will have race walking, but if I learned anything along the way, those speed bumps and pot holes of life make observing the wonderful world around us easier to do. As I type this, the world feels like it wants to rip itself apart. There is a lot of anger and frustration; dissatisfaction and separation. I can only hope that this blog about race walk, change, growth, the dog, and the fact it isn’t currently snowing in Denver helps folks.

Here goes. Change happens and I’ll be changing over time.

Cheers – Lizzy


February is the month that starts life a-new!

2 02 2011


February is a great month. One month in to the year, and the month set aside as the Official Month of Love. People buy cards for friends, loved ones, & significant others (& those we might want as signifigant others 😉 ). But what about the most significant one of all? Ourselves.

I picked up P90X toward the end of last year as a present to myself.  I was frustrated with how my year had gone and knew that I needed some inspiration. In reading the accompanying documentation (unlike many I really do read the accompanying documents), I started to feel like I was potentially in over my head.  By the same token, there was something really reassuring about what I was reading.

First and foremost, there are positive disclaimers.  The test to see if I can handle the program was well written and positive.  What I mean is that the impression I got was “OK – this is a really intensive program that requires a higher base level of fitness. If you aren’t there, yet, you can get there through strong building blocks.”

Friends are surprised to hear me state that although I could probably shove myself through P90X,  but I realized how completely out of shape I am. I could very easily do some nasty damage by shoving myself through.

A big part of any training is the patience gleaned by the step-by-step growth.  Wow,  did the forever impatient Dizzy Lizzie just peck that out on her ‘Droid? I learned this when I was at Caminata in January where my knee hampered keeping up with my pals. There was a concern that I wasn’t getting a lot out of my stay, but among the many things I came home with, I came home with a sense of self and the understanding that I have to build my foundation one reasonably patient step at a time. I had to watch, learn, ask questions, and try things slowly while I became one with ice packs. The trying things slowly made me really feel what was going on in my body and reconnect

I picked up P90 as my holiday present but didn’t have the time to really look at it until recently. I like some of the recipies, as they do fall in with my desire to eat better and are easy for a single person.  I don’t know if I will strictly be following the diet simply based on my schedule and budget, but you never know.

Today is Groundhog day, and the news media said that Phil saw his shadow. That means that even though it is -12 on my balcony here in Denver, Spring is around the corner. This also means that I am going to build this body into one I am comfortable living in, racing with & showing off!

Bring it, Baybee!

Vague be me

23 06 2010

“It is often scary to follow our intuition. However, it is usually disastrous not to trust it. Courage is key!”

I have always been a believer in quotes.  When my friend Brooke met me in Utah, she noticed I had a series of them I would put on my e-mails before it was popular to use signature files for that. This was about 10 years ago. They remind me of things or sometimes state things in a way I can’t phrase it myself.  Good quotes are observations made at one point which open doors at other points in time that might have been simply closed, not locked. The truly strange thing is when my own words have ended up as quotes on friends’ sig files! Even funnier is when I start quoting myself from a previous part of my life!

I have a series of them sent to my phone through texts. Kind of a long story how I found out about this guy, but all I am willing to say is that I can peg planting the seeds of change to meeting him at a Blind Coffee about 4 years ago. Since then, it has taken a while for things to shake through. Things take time. It isn’t fun, sometimes, to realize how any things I back-burnered because of the “emergencies” or “pseudo-emergencies” cropping up in my world.

Yeah – Vague be me!

I don’t always take the whole quote, but part of it that relates to what I’m thinking about. It is resonance. In this blog, readers might not agree with everything or understand what I’m writing, but sometimes things resonate later.  Then there are those things that resonate immediately but not for the reason I’m writing about. I don’t live your life nor have I had your life experiences.

“The only place where ‘Success’ comes before ‘Work’ is in the dictionary.”

I look at my “Ta-Do” list for this blog and see:
Colfax 1/2 Marathon
Broadmoor -> Cheyenne Mountain Zoo: Training at a Resort
Not going to Bolder Boulder 

I promise I’ll get those done! Yeah – you’ve read that from me before, but it takes time to get things normalized. The theme for this is taken from the photo M took of Bond-Q (me) last year. It’s what I’m working on – balance.

I laughed at myself going slightly spare when Padfoot – my Sony Vaio laptop – got the Black-Screen-Of-Death. I now have an I-thingie as well as a Samsung version of the smart phone. I am plugged in but still hate answering the phone! Not that I don’t like hearing from folks, just so many things at once. I have been dealing with e-mail hell because of virus’ floating around and hitting friends’ e-mails, and I think one of mine being grabbed. Crap. Sometimes I truly wish I was back on my Mac platform, but I’ll get over it!

“Remember: when you point your finger at someone else, you are pointing three other fingers back at yourself. Take a look at yourself before you go about damning or hyper-criticizing others.”

Part of my being vague is based on picking my battles. It makes life a whole lot easier. It is a very hard time to make changes, but if not now; when? Snarky folks can say what they will, and, let’s face it, they will anyway.

When you realize you’ve been putting your own dreams aside because of life or trying to fit in or whatever, it can either be depressing or a catalyst for change. I’ve experienced both, but now am tempering my catalyst with some reality. I think it is going to work. Clean up the mess. Take what I love and walk with it – fast! 😉

Cleaning out and getting going ….

5 01 2010

Ok … so this is a little fuzzy …. but that’s the way things are at the beginning of the year.  My buddy Jon came out from Sonoma County for a weekend visit.  Kind of a trip actually.  He was my first SysAdmin when I was playing in the land of UNICOM …. when c1-shep became unicom!giggles.  I’d not seen Jon for nearly 25 years.  A real trip to go from thinking your friend was scary intelligent … to realizing that I’m just as intelligent as my friends … just in my own way.

This photo was shot where I was standing on the stage at Red Rocks … kind of a cool thing actually.  Looking around at the blank space with next to nothing on the stage … but ice … Sometimes I wonder what would have happened if I’d been more of a ball buster and pushed my way though audio … then I realize that I didn’t enjoy it truly enough.  I’ve got great ears and the rest, but everything happens for a reason.

I was talking with a new bud of mine today.  The topic of drek and messes from the past came up.  We all have them and I’m sure that there are a couple of readers who will attempt to take me apart by my talking somewhat openly.  Today was a bit rough and I would have far preferred to have gone to the gym for a couple of hours.  It was more important for me to hold my own at work and academically.  The nonsense really didn’t bother me much except I just see through things … and I’m just setting good boundaries.

So – what am I skirting in this public forum?  Because I’m careful.  It’s how I am.  

2009 was a true shake out year.  I had to come to grips with a lot of things that are not exactly pleasant, but that’s fine.  I was betrayed by people I thought I could trust.  I cemented some of my new friendships, fortified some old ones, and opened up some places for new people to float on in.  I came very close to completely leaving racewalking because of this injured leg, but if it wasn’t for these various injuries, I probably wouldn’t have found some of my closest friends.  They are the ones who know how hard it has been for me to write many of the things that have appeared in this blog and how hard it has been for me to state a lot of things.

One of the hardest things from last year was not my being attacked, kicking back, and finding myself in court for protecting myself because I cracked a couple of the gang-banger’s ribs.  It was the still unsolved murder of my mother’s best friend, her “everyday” friend, of 43 years or so.  Mom having to identify the body.  Her friend being murdered in the protection of her gated courtyard; shot through the head.  When you don’t live near your folks … and you know you really don’t have any way of doing anything … really makes one feel useless.  My friends with cancer this year said the best gift I can give is to just be me.  I guess I don’t understand, but maybe I’m not supposed to.  After depressing race after depressing race, and then being able to read between the lines with Mom … because we’re a lot alike.  Hurt more than the embarrassment of being carried across the line in Virginia Beach … but that very act of being carried across by one of my best buddies and a racewalking buddy of hers taught me a whole hell of a lot.  I wouldn’t have met her if I’d not taken the risk on myself with racewalking. 

But that’s what life is about.

Life’s about the little things in between.  It’s about how we interweave with others and learn to trust and care.  Acceptance and moving forward … Things we used to depend on maybe aren’t as stable anymore … or maybe we’ve just grown out of them.  It’s not fair to damn using the past as the battering ram.

I’ve got a lot of messes that just are going to take time to clean up, but I’ve got some amazing folks who are moving forward … and we’re having fun.  This year, I know where I’ve been … so I’m surrounding myself with some amazing characters …. I’m not perfect, but neither are they.

A commitment to my exercise is a commitment to myself.  I can honestly say I’m staring at Disney with a completely different outlook.  I have a lot to learn but I’m surrounding myself with some of the most amazing … and quirky … people.  

Take the time … smell the roses … look at the leaves … marvel at the trees … and laugh with friends …

Changes are a foot …  Let’s get moving!

A Discussion of Zombies & Visualizations; Cookies & Environment: A refusal to let this get me down!!!

11 07 2009

zombiemary.jpg Zombie Mary image by DeadMeatDigs

Okey dokey – it’s interesting how changes that just happen by chance can really help one out. What I mean is this has truly been a crappy 1/2 year with respect to my being injured, being frustrated about it, general depression that comes with the lot of things, and, most of all, really crappy races. Attitude, which I’ve written about a lot, has a lot to do with everything, however that attitude has to be real … the “fake it until you make it” doesn’t work when there’s a lot stacked against it.

I’ve written about the little milestones and have been really slammed about them. I’ve had more things thrown against me than I let be known because they truly are stupid. I just keep getting off the ground and pulling the shards of glass out of myself to try to move on. There are a few which I’ve let my true disgust and frustration with the situations at hand be known to … in differing levels. So much of the nonsense is coming up because of my off-loading garbage and finally doing whatever it takes to get me back on track.  I really don’t expect anyone to understand why things affect me the way they do.  The “oh just get over it” is fine when dealing with your own life, but when applying it to someone else’s … it’s important to know what’s going on. 
Interestingly, as I’ve been going through the hard part of dejunking and doing those things I’ve been procrastinating about, I’ve started having some amazing people just kind of show up. It’s that situation where you get rid of crap … zombies of the past realize you’ve gotten rid of them and try to waddle back into your life … but somehow, some amazing new folks have kind of knocked some out of the way.  Ok – so I’m just a little too visual, hu?

The Zombies – By Gang:
Lack of Motivation
Trying to Fit In or Be Accepted
Conform or Die
You Can’t Leave Us Behind
You Can’t Do That ….
Fear … You might not be fearful, but you should be … and why.

Oh No You Don’t!
You Can’t Do That – You’re Broken Remeber???

We’re Right; You’re Wrong … Remember That
The PAST = The FUTURE … so always remember every little thing you’ve done wrong … and if you forget … we’ll make sure you remember

The thing about all these Zombie Gangs is that they have a lot to do with self esteem and the people you meet along the way. Since I’ve admitted that self-esteem for me has always been an issue, most of my zombies have something to do with this. 
Why am I talking about Zombies? Well, because I’ve been chunking them away over the past month. Taking away their food, putting away the hurts of the past, taking stock of now, clearing up the messes the best that I can and … well … not damning myself about it. What it has to do with my racing and exercise is this: Last year, I “dealt” with a lot of things by not dealing with them! I raced and raced and raced and defined myself by the next race. I didn’t take care of me really and the Zombies just waited for me to truly fall over and swooooooooop!
Over the past few weeks, I’ve started to connect with some amazing people – a new group of professionals, friends and connections. Yeah, MacQ – you’re the ringleader of the goofy friends team … I can see you now making sure the party in the front yard of my mind is not only fun, but making sure the Zombies aren’t invited … their party is someplace else!! In their own way, by accepting me as I am, they’ve been helping to push some of the Zombies back just by taking their space in the front yard. The Zombies aren’t really happy about this, so they’ve been rallying.
In taking care of me, I mentioned that I’m back under chiropractic care. I am a believer of chiropractic medicine, however after feeling a bit taken advantage of, I’ve gotten skeptical. Actually, I’ve gotten skeptical about a lot of things. The thing is that right away they determined the issues with my back, hips, knee and feet. This week, I started wearing orthodics which make changes of their own. The thing with the orthodics is that they’re to be worn 1 hour incrementally for 8 days *normal wear* for this week and then next week I can toss them into my sneakers and  repeat the 1 hour incremental for another 8 days. In two weeks, I’ll be the queen of swapping cookies (orthodics) from shoe to shoe!
Doc said that sitting down didn’t constitute any of the hour, so I wore them to work … and I got about an hour maybe an hour and a half. I also got seriously irritated and swapped out to slam 100-meters as fast as possible … not one of my brighter ideas, but it kept me from screaming! Friday, I wore them for what was supposed to be two hours before starting a new Pilate’s Allegro Reformer class. I think I wore them maybe three hours walking/standing/moving because I was doing errands.
The Pilates class introduced me to the next really good Professional on Team Shep – Cathleen. I ended up with a “private” lesson where we were able to get to know one another and she said I’ll have no problem with the regular class. The time of it (Noon on Fridays) really cuts the day apart, but … She also teaches private yoga and Pilate’s … and it turns out she’s the gal that Jill from the Rec Center has been trying to get me to go to since December … and Jill’s been telling her about this “crazy racewalker” … I got a good vibe here.
Since I was at the Rec Center and it was really hot out, I decided I was going to do my miles on the indoor track. I get seriously bored doing this and will find myself on the treadmill when it’s either too hot on the glass lined track or too full. It was swamping hot, so I popped to the treadmill and BOTH my knees were hurting a bit. When I was leaving the chiropractor, I felt a twinge at the top of my right hamstring — which makes me nervous — but he said it was normal because we were making changes in my legs … but to heed it!!!!  Having both knee areas hurting really started to get to me, but I really wanted to think … and I do think well by going around in circles or kind of mindlessly being on the treadmill.
Several Zombie Gangs started to converge and almost fight in the front yard of my mind. You’re broken … you’re worthless … you’ve pushed too much and you’re going to pay for it for forever … why are you bothering? Time to just give up this silliness and eat bon-bons on the couch … You’re wasting time/money and other peoples’ time trying to do something you’re obviously not capable/motivated/determined enough to do … You should be taking care of things that mean something to other people or are ‘socially correct’ rather than beating your head against the wall … you’re fat … you’re never going to catch up to where you were last year and all you do is let people down.
Oofah! Pretty harsh words in my own head just from a little issue. I guess it’s because I’ve been exploring all those dark parts of my head and putting light on them. It really took a little out of me. Those oozing, pestilent Zombies kept floating about as I was walking along … then I started thinking about the new folks who have accepted me – warts and over-thinking and all – into their worlds. I don’t really train with other people just because I need the room in the schedule, but I’ve got an amazing group of Gals that keep me going with what they’re doing via Facebook and e-mail. I’m surrounding myself with good professionals who have actually taken the time to get to know me and are helping me figure out goals, dreams and things for me. Becoming re-acquainted long distance with old friends and making new ones … well … the Zombies don’t have much of a chance … unless *I* let them in the gate.
I was talking with my buddies who have me in a sports psychology study of theirs. They’re really  interested in my Zombie theory because it makes a lot of sense … they’re only visible and felt to the particular person and not understood by anyone else …. you know, the Dementors of Harry Potter books. I felt the weight of these Zombies and the starting pain in my knees … and immediately told them “Hey … You’re NOT getting this kitty down! No way! I’m just going to back off the mileage, pay attention to what I’m doing, and know that this is short-run NOT long run! If I listen to you guys … it’s long run! I’ll push too hard and be out of sneakers for days-weeks-months again! I’ll do nothing and put on another 10 pounds! Forget you all!!! I’ll admit there’s an issue. I’ll admit I’m frustrated. I’ll make the adjustment and be the positive force in my life that friends say I am in theirs!” …
Shouting down imaginary bi-polar Zombies … Shep’s truly losing it this time!
I felt pretty embarrassed, mind you, but they want to know what is going on to help me flip it to my advantage. It turned out the guys said they liked the honesty and visualization.  When I got home, there was an e-mail: “Lizzy – only you can start out with a situation where some will either shove too hard through or just give up and turn it in to a Zombie Drama Abatement session stemming from minor pain of  wearing a pair of cookies to straighten out your gait! Must admit, at least you’re willing to picture it to get rid of it. Visualization is a large part of success in sport and life. Most people talk about visualizing the finish line, getting the medal, meeting the goal, ZombieCat.jpg Zombie Cat image by Mewzikcatand the like. Right now you’re doing that by visualizing exactly what you are ridding yourself of, making it disgusting in a way that you can deal with it and doing it. We always knew you were a visual person! Now that you can visualize the horrors and abate them … time to visualize good racewalk form, being surrounded by good people, and completing races … the Zombies have no place in training or life … close the gate. Off you go Padawan … take your light sabre to them!!! Cheers – Yoda and Obi-Wan” They sent me the Kitty Zomby photo … Giggle.
So … where am I going with this … There are a lot of things that are involved in success. We all handle things differently. I’m one of the handful of single friends and most have said “Wow, Shep, you really do go through things alone, don’t you.” Yeah, kinda. I’m the only one who can slay my own Zombies, but it’s nice to feel like I have a team around me who are working on their own things. It’s the power of the environment and I’m really affected by my environment. I might be really perplexing to most folks that are on my Team, but it’s simply because there are so many things at cross purposes … Zombie Gangs.
Last night, I couldn’t sleep. Zombies and nightmares … heat and nagging feelings … ok … it’s just I’m clearing away a lot of messes. I checked my e-mail to find out if I’d gotten an e-mail about where the group a friend of mine asked me to monitor next week was and there was nothing. I did get an e-mail from a racewalking friend from Alaska who I’m really proud to have on my Team. She asked me point blank what was going on …  not going to let me fall into depression or whatever. 4:00 a.m. Colorado time, and I just wrote … hopefully it made sense! Wow … blew me away she took the time to say “OK – we’re gonna talk … NOT ON FACEBOOK!!!”
When I left at 6 a.m., I still didn’t have a hit in the in-box about the Saturday morning group. Since I don’t usually work out with people, it’s not a natural for me to hook up with a group (even TNT!) … I guess it’s because when I was doing TNT, I was in a strange place.  The first go with TNT, I was told I would be running even t 

hough I’d stated emphatically that I wanted to walk. Bad taste. Next time would have been fine, but I was kind of between groups – not exactly a walker and not the speed of the runners … and I also have my own training schedule. One of my goals is to get over my feeling like I’ll hold people back and go out and walk with folks. It’s kind of a big one. When it comes to my training, I tend to be alone. When it comes to being with others, I’m more concerned about them. I just need to find a few training partners and get over it … not to self, contact Becky!  At any rate, I hit the track and during warming up, nothing felt right. I stretched and tried again. Ok – this isn’t feeling good. The Zombie “Quitter” seemed to wake up and I just walked “normally” for a bit to see if things would abate. A guy showed up with a dog and just let him run around the track without calling him back. I had to stop several times as I was being jumped on by the dog. There are reasons I rarely use this track!

I went home, checked the mail again. No note in the in-box. Grabbed Bailey and went to clear both our heads for a little. I can give the track a try later this afternoon even with the heat. I’ll do miles tomorrow. I refuse to hurt myself, but I refuse to hide behind it. I’ll work on chipping away a bit of one of the Zombies this afternoon … then go back out later.

6/22-6/28 – A week in Review

29 06 2009

Okeeeyyy Dokeeeyyy — Well … this was an … um … week!

On my schedule page, I’ve given each month a general goal and I’ve truly fallen short of them up to this point. In updating, I realized that just before the end of the month, I’ve actually started them! Yippy Skip! The things I do when I’m not paying attention surely astound me!

This week starts a new schedule with the focus on getting the miles together for some long races starting in September. Ok – that sounds great, doesn’t it? That’s the polite way of stating “getting my s#%t together and getting the h#ll out of my own way while putting ME first!!!” Ok – maybe not, but that’s what I’m doing without being mean about it. Will be adding things every week. This week is as simple as possible.

Overall: Reasonably happy. Learning, growing, relaxing, and getting in the sneakers. Always a good thing! Mileage isn’t accurate because missing track workout …

Monday: First appointment with new Chiropractor for evaluation. Brought box of shoes with variety of insoles in them. I’m fairly skeptical with chiropractors and medical professionals mainly because I’m tired of spending money on things which appear to be very logical in the beginning, but are fluff & buff OR hearing how the best course of action isn’t exercise and paying attention to the problem but drugs and surgery or “just deal with it and stop exercising because you’re too old.” Too old my left sock!  Results will be in on Tuesday. Not going to the gym for weights until I’ve been evaluated.

Tuesday:Work, OK. Left early because of interview re: Clear Card issues here. Making up hours through the week. Got me thinking about things for me, etc. A handful of miles outside with Bailey, but not really what I’d call a workout. Overview appointment with Dr. Dokter (sp). It appears I’m ‘fixable’ and my legs are really out of alignment which has me putting more stress on the ligaments and tendons of my knee. This, along with my pronating, is causing me to spend more time on the outside of my right foot and toes which explains the new blistering problem and toe soreness. Dr. Dr. finds the racewalking flier I gave him fascinating and is paying more attention. Was able to print out my schedule for him and he’s got it in the file.  Really hot – did training sweating like a pig on the treadmill.
Knee at level 5 pain; middle of shoulders at level 4.  Miles: 4.70     60 minutes     Treadmill Random Hills

Wednesday: Work allowed for a very explosive Economy track workout. However, I didn’t get a chance to get it off the watch and into my log-book I write my weekly review to DMcG from and will be writing this weekly review from before it was stolen from a friend’s rental car in my gym bag. Ok, I could handle losing the gym bag – I need gym bags like holes in my head … but the watch was a real bummer. I know I stormed through the Economy workout with a full head of steam and a little aggression to deal with. The watch was a spare Garmin 205 … yeah, spare 205. A friend of mine was cleaning out his drawers and he had three 205’s … pardon me? Anyway, he gave me one of his spares to keep in my gym bag … and … now they’re gone. It was in his car, so I’m not concerned … however I would have thought someone who travels as much as he does, he’d remember to close the windows and lock the doors when leaving the car in a parking lot.

Thursday:It’s been entirely too hot in Denver and everywhere. I’m only in the rec center because I’m concerned about the heat and having to work out later. Ok – that’s what I’m saying and I’m sticking with it. I’ve also decided I *hate* cottonwood trees. No … not really. If I have to do treadmill work, I probably warm up better because I work on some exercises using the track. Englewood Rec is really quite nice.
Knee at level 5.5 pain;  Miles: 4.70     60 minutes     Treadmill Random Hills

Friday:Chiroand Housework! Great chat with Dr.Dr. We did the molds for new orthodics (sp. word cookies easier to type!) and it felt a lot … um … different than when I had them done the first time. There is a potential of taking the old ones and re-heating them to mold them for my feet now, but unsure what I want to do at this point. I’m just wanting to get going in the right direction. Left leg was a full inch off the right according to Dr. Dr. and he was able to get me back in line with an ecstatic “Sweeettt!!!” I must admit that it is nice to have a doc who is a little goofy and really enthusiastic. Middle of my shoulders not giving yet, but it’s going to happen. Slammed on time, so ended up back in the Englewood Rec Center this morning. A good thing, actually, because I could point out precisely where it hurt because I was only about 20 minutes off the treadmill when I saw him. He showed me how things worked on a muscle chart — I’ve seen this before, but he was also able to explain why my right foot rolls and hurts. I like he’s taking the time.
Knee at level 6 pain; right foot feeling slightly numb and little toe hurts like crazy.  Miles: 4.70     60 minutes     Treadmill Random Hills

Saturday: Upper d*#m hot – so I decided to really get working on the house, do some homework and go to the track when it cools off in the evening. Set up with a couple of runners to meet for my long day. They’ll be doing about 10 miles more than me, but after having problems last weekend, I’d like to have others out there, even if we’re all spaced out. One has a knee problem they’re just bracing and the other has a foot problem. Neither believe in chiropractic and both have teased me slightly for emptying my schedule and going for miles. Well, it’s great to see folks who live in other states, but I think I’m making the right decision. We’re meeting before they leave. Track was OK. I still feel like I’m loping to the side. Maybe I am, Maybe I’m not. I’ve got to be patient and keep going. Using the Garmin 205 just to keep track of things. Writing down *only* the amount of time per repeat:
To Do: Warm-up followed by 8×400
Lap 1:           2:41     
Lap 2:           2:40     Knee Level 4
Lap 3:           2:56     
Lap 4:           2:48     
Lap 5:           2:48     Knee Level 5; Not able to catch breath comfortably
Lap 6:           2:50   
Lap 7:           2:56    F*#king Cottonwood Trees!
Lap 8:            2:43

Sunday:Ok -had to start after 3 p.m. when it cooled off because friends decided it was too hot to run. Frustrating, but not much I can do. Actually, really got me torqued, but put that energy into cleaning. Walked a new-to-me route and started out in level 5 pain with it jumping up to level 7 just after 10 miles. Nice thing is that calf wasn’t really a player – just the tendon area. Maybe it’s localizing. I’m down with that. Really pissed off with the blistering of the bottom of my right foot. thought I’d collected more blood blisters! Callous on edge of right little toe has a brand new blister under it and can still see the remnant of the blood blister inside. EERRRFFFF!!!!  HOWEVER – I got out there and got going. If I have to pop on flip flops to get down the stairs, so be it! Shoulders came in to the equation this go around. Very hot and needed to tell myself I wasn’t going slowly but was trucking along on an easy day.  EASY Shepard … oh my … maybe I’m going from being a binary On/Off to a rheostat shade of whatever starting to internalize what training is … starting … Used Nathan hydration vest. Will pop a photo in on another entry.
Knee at level 5-7  pain; middle of shoulders at level 7.  Miles: 14 (Lookie DMcG … a full long day workout!)    3:10:00 minutes   

Stadium Stampede 40:18 … for a 5k … with a bright lining

22 06 2009

I really didn’t want to do this race. I didn’t want to do it not because of anything more severe than being rather pissed off with myself. Since I have held myself to rather high standards – impossibly high standards at times  – I just didn’t want to further embarrass myself after the disaster of See Jane Run. I’m very serious about how I was feeling, and even wrote DMcG to use that nightmare as my ground zero to build the next schedule from.

I’ve had a lot of things on my mind and my most frustrating, as you can easily imagine, has been that I’m just not seeming to get over this damn knee thing and it’s affecting everything … because I’m letting it. That and other stupid stresses that I simply have problems accepting because they make not only  my life more difficult but are only short-term fixes … I know a lot about short-term fixes … with my walking, let’s face it, I’ve been short-term fixing myself for the past year.

I have spent a lot of time talking with Jack and Jake (friends who study sports psychology and interst in nutrition etc) … and it’s been rough some of the things that I’ve found out … and hidden behind, but I’m really done with it. Determining “mind virus’ ” and wiring, rewriting and restarting … fine and niffy … but that doesn’t stop the freaking pain that crawls up my leg at very inopportune times and the feeling like I’ve got a mountain of rocks building between my shoulders.

So – a bit of a chat with Da Coach … surprising him by promising that I’ll try another long judged race mid-kicking myself patter … he’s chosen October … ok … let’s get me there … dumping everything out of my schedule pushing toward my September –> January races … ok – that took care of “taking action” on myself …

However, I did say I’d do the Stadium Stampede even though I didn’t want to.

The thing is I get to see Lynn and Mike Mc as they are a part of Huff & Puff (the race is for St. Joseph’s Hospital). KristEn B. came out of Wyoming for her first ‘real’ 5k in years. When I got up, I realized that wearing black would be a huge mistake and, for some reason, I tossed my little rescue inhaler in my tinsy gig bag.

The course for the Stadium race goes up and around the Invesco football stadium, down to the bike path, one way out, over a bridge, back on the other side of the Platte (?) river, little up to the stadium, around the warning track of the stadium, up over the speed bump to the finish line and you’re done. It was fun last year, but I was in better shape … kinda … ignoring pain more.

Problems started when putting the chip on my shoe. There was only one zip tie and, honestly, I didn’t toss my spares in my tiny gig bag. Didn’t think of it. I ended up lacing the thing into my shoe thinking “I hope I have no problems at the end.” I saw friends and it was noticed I wasn’t wearing my usual water belt. It was hot, but I could use the water from the aid stations if necessary. I was going to just have fun and leave it there.

KristEn and I wandered about together as I explained, more or less, how the race worked. She knew I’d be there at the end cheering her in, so there was no problem. Since they were starting walkers and runners at the same time, I wiggled my way in right behind Darla and Becky. I’d seen Bob in the beginning so I didn’t think I needed to have my bib marked again for spotting … but fortunately Becky noticed that the spot had fallen off and the girls pointed out where I could get another …

Um … two problems and the race hadn’t even started … Relax … have fun … your friends are going to be in front of you … you’re here because you paid for it and to shake things out.

Yeah … right.

No matter what I told myself, KristEn said that I get this slightly glassy hard eyed look when I need to get to the line. She’s seen it at both the stair climbs and said it was probably there at the Gorilla Run, but I’m in full mask! I didn’t think about it … but I guess she’s right.

I’d not really warmed up well at all and that mountain between my shoulders hurt. But I was NOT going to stress it …

Race starts with that up-hill around the Invesco Field. Last year, the runners and walkers started separately, so I wasn’t surrounded by a bunch of fast runners. Becky and I waved at Darla’s back and got going. I started feeling a strange feeling in my chest and told Becky to get in front of me. I spent the first 1/3 of the race staring at her back then didn’t see her until an hour or so after the end.

Going up and around, I was getting strangely winded. It bothered me and I looked at my watch (which I’ve turned off the pacing beeping to pay more attention to what I’m doing) and I was starting out too fast. Ok … slow down …

A couple of kilometers in (yeah, I’ve got the watch set to ‘mark’ kilometers — whatever you think about Garmin’s, I do just about everything solo, so I need some sort of guidepost.) I was really not feeling right. Legs were behaving, shoulders loosening up, but I felt like I was either stomping down hard on my right (the bad one) or not being able to lift up the left properly … I’ve been complaining about this feeling since mid October, but even after seeing a chiropractor for a bit, it didn’t seem like it was getting better.

The real problem happened when I got a huge lung full of cottonwood tree fuzzies. OH MY GOSH! That blew my mind and I kept walking, but was hacking. Ok – so this is the third thing, right? I knew I had to keep moving forward because … uh … my inhaler thingie … it was in Mike Mc’s truck.

QUIT GLARING AT THIS POST!!! I’ve already been soundly reprimanded! I just don’t think about carrying it because although I’ve had “near” attacks, I’ve been able to get myself together. Also, when I was living with the asthma attacks previously, the only thing that truly worked to get me calmed down and breathing were the Asthmacort (sp) cortisone inhalers and I really don’t want to go down that road again …. anyway, I can’t get a ‘script for it.

One of the many things Jack, Jake and I have been working on when my head starts to take me down the road of mentally beating myself up for no particularly good reason are incantations. Yeah – an old thing, but it’s what we used to do when I was skating or we were all running and cycling. It really is just self talk to break the pattern of whatever is going on. There’s a simple one that I have been using when I’m stuck on a treadmill because it’s to freaking hot out or I just need to force myself to do some miles — which I always feel better after doing, but with the other distractions, I literally … uh … forget!

Spitting out cottonwood fluffies, having a guy trip over the chunk of sidewalk that bit me last year and grab on to my shoulder to keep from landing on his face, and having a small child – no fooling – stop dead ahead of me AGAIN … I let my mind click in to my couple of incantations and thought “just finish this pup and cheer in your friends, Lizzy!” Leg felt ok … incantation … still feeling like I’m a limping water buffalo … stronger incantation … shoulders feeling good … incantation … smiling … 😉

Feet kept propelling me along. Even though I felt like I was lopsided, I think my form was pretty good. I was able to relax a bit as I was starting to be able to breathe a bit better and I felt like I’d picked up speed. No land speed records this race … just getting through uninjured. Ok … I’m down with that.

4 kilometers down … incantation …

Deep breath in and it went NOWHERE. I felt like the brick that I’d been toting with my legs had come to rest on my chest. Oh CRAP! What is going on here? Keep calm … inhaler in Mike’s truck … since this is part of a hospital, there’s probably good med at the end … end this series of bad races with a trip to the med tent … Ok … just finish … you’ll be fine.

Up the little hill to the stadium … I knew *exactly* where I was going … fixate on that … across the street … mind the railroad tracks … CRAP! Another guy didn’t mind his feet and nearly took me out … hit the cop instead … He was Ok … I guess I’m getting back to being me on the race — yelled to make sure he was OK … he said he just wanted to catch up to me! 😉 Just try Runner Boy … I know where my finish line is and I want there … uh now.

Runner Boy caught up to me as I was hugging the edge going into the stadium. You go through the back driveway, around the field – or straight across if you see the line – and then up through the other driveway, hard right and you’re done. I hacked and smiled as he said “Caught you!” I smiled again … hacked … and said “Try again” and somehow sped up. I knew I was FAR slower than any other 5k I’ve done in a very long time, but I was really happy that my leg was feeling ok. I was very concerned about the fact that I was finding it harder and harder to breathe …

Yes, Sports Fans, I was headding head first into my first full blown asthma attack in a number of years and not exactly happy about it! 

I passed a gal who had been jog/walking ahead of me for most of the race at the last few feet of the race. That push that I just do as a matter of course probably started to put me over the edge. I quickly scanned to see if I could spot Becky and just gasped for air and hacked. Ok – I could handle this … Just keep standing …

The kid who was to clip off the chip just stared at my foot. I started hacking and said “Could you please untie it?” Very stupid look on his face as he said “Uh – why?” I felt my heart rate just jump – and I usually have it pretty high when I race so that says something and the ability to breathe became less and less. I found myself folding over toward the ground. If there had been 100’s of people – or even 10 coming in with me, I could understand he needed to get to the next person, but I was in distress. My Fathers’ Genes came through as I said “FINE – I’LL GET IT!” as I ripped the thing out of my shoelaces … hacking “OK – WHERE IS MED???” With an even more stupid look than before “Uh … I donno.” He pointed me over to his friend and I gripped his arm so hard I probably drew blood, but I was starting to have my vision tunnel. He pointed to an ambulance. So Bambi here – one shoe untied – started to stumble over.

When I got there, it was empty. I couldn’t believe it — third time I’ve gotten to an ambulance and it’s been unmanned … I guess God thinks I can handle things. I kicked off my shoes so I didn’t trip and remembered the Huff & Puff area where my friends filled up their oxygen tanks. If I could get there, I’d be closer to the inhaler and maybe someone could keep an eye on me while I tried to get my lungs together.

I started over and two women spotted me. One worked for the event who had seen me hula-hooping previously and the other had come in about 5 minutes before me. I was starting to recover, but was looking at my heart rate which was still entirely too high … damn HRM watches! I think it was because I was truly scared more than the attack itself. Once over at Huff & Puff, a wonderful gal – I have forgotten her name, but she had a knee brace – took charge of me. She gave me the Evil Eye when I said my inhaler was in Mike’s truck and after an issue with finding a pure air tank for me (which would have been too strange), she had a rescue inhaler and had to practically force  me to take puffs and hold them as deeply as I could.
I know that I got moving before I probably should, but I wanted to get my inhaler in my pocket and little bag out of Mike’s truck. I also wanted to scream, but didn’t have the air to do it. I felt weak, light headed and frustrated because my leg had behaved more or less, I’d behaved by taking it slowly, and now my lungs took this time not to behave. CRAP IN A BASKET! I was not interested in feeling sorry for myself, I just wanted to go hide and beat my head against one of the supports of the freeway! But – I couldn’t do that … I had friends still out on the course and I wanted to cheer them in.
I got back under the covering of the Huff & Puff booth, showed the nice Nurse Lady that I had my inhaler and even took a deeeeeeeep hit off it smiling and she laughed. I also saw my friend Mike Blanchard and wanted to see how he’d done. As Darla commented as the race started – many of us were walking wounded. Michael had a problem with his back, but I knew that wouldn’t get in his way (it didn’t. He won the thing like Darla did for the women). He said “Lis – you’ve got to check out these Massage folks!” His animation was what I needed and I wandered into the expo area with him. I said I’d had the first asthma attack in a long time, and like he did when he said “DNF is better than DQ if you’re injured!” he reminded me that with all the water, this was a nasty year for allergies and the cottonwood trees got him too. I don’t usually think about allergies because what I’m allergic to you rarely find being a complication in a race.
Splut, splut, squish! We walked across the sopping wet grass to the Exercise/Chiropractic/Chair Massage folks … it wasn’t Colorado School of Massage where people were starting to gather. Mike left me in their capable hands and wandered away.
I stood, squishing into the mud wearing my socks, in front of Dr. Joshua Doktor — Seriously, Dr. Dr. – who towered over me by at least 6 inches … which is saying something as I wasn’t sinking that badly into the mud! I’m used to the “sales pitches” that happen at expos … heck, I’ve hawked friends’ businesses or places I’ve worked for over the years … but there was something different here. We started talking, and I seriously got the feeling that this wasn’t just another chiropractor who was trying to grow his practice with athletes, but someone who actually understood athletes and the mindset. That’s been a problem with me and doctors … I’m not interested in fluff & buff, meds, short-term fixes, or maintenance for forever. I’m a lot more proactive than most patients and am willing to do the work necessary and go through the pain because I want to be FIXED thanque-very-much!
I took his card and said I’d think about it as my turn with the chair massage happened. The poor gal tried to get in to my shoulder and asked if they’d done the electro-check on my neck … nope. Well, Dr. Dr. was free when I was done as was the machine … OOOHHHHH machines, programs, gadgets, data! … and he explained what he was doing. After the first reading, his comment made me think there was something a bit amiss, but I was far more concerned not with the long black lines but the short red one.
Dr. Dr. – “Have you had a car accident?”
Lizzy – “Yup. 20 years ago last May.”
Dr. Dr. – “Nothing more recent?”
Lizzy – “uh … just stress.”
Dr. Dr. – “ummm…” (calling his partner over)
Lizzy – “Uh … when do you want to see me?”
Dr. Dr. – “Um … Tomorrow morning.”
Lizzy – “Should I bring my shoes?”
Dr. Dr. – “Yup.”
We laughed. I told him I was concerned about the red line and he said “You’re little red line is ‘good’ the big long black ones are the problem!”
So … It’s appearing that why I went to this race was to have a few things kicked in to gear …
1. Carry the damn inhaler … short race, long race … I’m under a lot of stress while off-loading the crap of my past and moving forward AND there’s a boatload of crap in the air … carry the damn inhaler!
2. It’s time to get things properly repaired. Standing in front of him, Dr. Dr. noticed things that surprised me. He and his partner are interested in athletes … normal people too, but athletes who are interested in being the best they can be … and since they’re growing their practice, they’ve got the right attitude … not the stuffy doctor one.
So – the race was slow. I felt like a lumbering ox. I checked off another of my fears – panic and asthma attack of sorts at a race. I got to hang out with Becky and Darla for a bit. Becky and I frequented the Coors tent (regular and diet … what the heck, free) However, I was bummed that I didn’t get to see Lynn, Mike or KristEn come in – but KristEn knew there had to be something off because I would have been there … so it’s great to have friends … and now I’m looking forward to tomorrow.
I guess this means that any way I look at it … I win.
PS: KristEn and I finally got a chance to hang out. It was good to be around someone since I still didn’t feel right and was hacking here and there. We went to Brooklyn’s, which is probably the only place down there. Actually, not too bad … still covered in Cottonwood tree fuzzies through the open door. One of the barflies was trying to hook one or the other of us up with the bartender – a nice guy, but I’ve gone out with bartender/proprietors and I’m in the market to get me where I want to be, thanks! As we were the last two cars out of the parking lot, there was a question that we wouldn’t get out. I took the lead and we got out just fine … Thanks KristEn!