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   


Bolder Boulder – Lookie Coach – No Med Tent!

25 05 2009

Yeah! Finished!


  1. Have Fun
  2. Stay out of Med Tent
  3. Have Fun
  4. Hydrate, Hydrate, HYDRATE
  5. Have Fun
  6. Pay attention to the body and if I have to slow down, do it.
  7. Have Fun
  8. Don’t kill myself

  10. oh yeah … HAVE FUN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


  • Overall Place: 31,807 of estimated 55,000 people
  • Division: F44: 241 of 431
  • Gender Place: 14,744 of 25,050
  • Time: 1:19:23.21 (PR: 1:15:00)
  • Pace: 12:47

I’m happy really. HONEST! There were a lot of things I was dealing with this go-around, but I think they will all make me a stronger competitor in the future as they have to do with paying attention.

I didn’t do exactly my usual morning routine … bananas died in the heat we’ve had recently.

Rode up with a couple of running (A and AA wave respectively) friends instead of the bus (YEAH David! Love your parking spot!! GREAT idea!!!). Scott, David and I all rode up together (YEAH Scott!! You’re the driver man!). We parked by the finish and then walked the maybe 2 miles to the start.

Story Time:

Scott was in the A wave and David in the AA. I actually checked a bag. It was a good thing. I was in FD … which was (obviously) a bit fast for me this year, but I was only a smidgebehind my buddy Becky G. who started behind me and finished in 1:17:07.52 … more on Becky in a moment. We walked part way together, but then the Speedy Sneakers needed to warm up, so I meandered with the crowd. It was actually nice. I didn’t think I’d get to really “warm up” my legs per se, but the longish walk got me comfortable.

lizzy and becky superbowl 2 09I dumped my bag and wondered if I’d see Becky or Mike Mc. I thought Mike was in the race, but wasn’t sure. Taking some time to stretch, I saw the familiar figure of my buddy. Becky is an amazing person and really has reminded me what friends, competitors and teammates are all about. We’re not really team-mates until we form a club, but that SO made my morning.

When last I’d seen Becky, she was in her Broncos stuff for the Super Bowl race last February. She and I came in 1-2. Over the past year, she’s become an amazing bud and I’m hoping to figure out training with her … she’s just a lot stronger and faster than I am right now … but not a hell of a lot faster … her big love is skiing double black diamonds … and I’ve pretty much put skiing behind me.

Anyway – middle of the street, my quiet voice yelling over music! We were screaming big hugs in the middle of the street not caring if anyone was watching. Who gives anyway – it’s all positive! I got asked if Becky was my big sister ones, and my response “I wish!!”

It turned out she was a few corrals behind me. She started 6 minutes after … When she noticed I was starting in front, I said “Becky – my calf still hurts, I’ll be taking it slower. Anyway, if you do a Typical Becky you’ll be flying past me at mile 2!!!” Well … I never did see her go flying past and it appears she only made up 2:16 or something like that.

I really felt relaxed starting. Calf felt a little twingy here and there. It’s like it doesn’t like it when I go up high on it. I need to get it looked at when I can but I’m taking detailed notes from now on (after stopping at the Sports Medicine booth for the University of Colorado at the Expo). Shoulders felt good. New version of the ST’s were blinding me (first wear) and I was ready to go.

I was up further than I ever have been, and I’m going to be there again next year. I need to meet this challenge. I like that. It was a bit strange as there were a handful of little kids running with their parents. I mean little  and they were having some problems. I think it would have been kinder to the kids to start further back, but whatever. Sucking carefully on a shock block, I warmed up my shoulder and arms. I said “carefully” as I had to remember to not pop the gooey cube in my left cheek as I’ve got a temp crown over there again! I must admit that I didn’t fee the swoop  that I associate with a race, I just felt … happy peace. Ok that sounds oovy-groovy, but I truly felt this was a walk in the park and I was testing to see where things were settling. I am not going to lie, I wanted  to PR … but I always would like that … I just wanted to finish happier, reasonably healthy and smiling more. I started in the back of my chipped wave and was off and walking.

It’s Map Time again!  The times are from my preliminary race results per mile. The Bolder Boulder is a tougher race than it appears just with the sheer volume of people (est. 55,000 of my closest friends) and the altitude of Boulder … and the really nastily placed hills! Sorry, Lisa, it’s in miles!


Oh yes I did start out too fast … not terribly, but not sustainably. I caught myself almost immediately and slowed my self DOWN.

 You go down 30th Street and turn on to Pearl. The last couple of years, road dividers have been problematic. I didn’t have any problems here. What I did start having issues with early on was the humidity. It’s been soaking rain in the afternoons here and it felt like it just wanted to dump. Otherwise it was lightly overcast … watercolor sky … just the way I like it. One of my goals was to work on tangents, and I did the best I could but I couldn’t see exactly where things were.

Ok – first aid station and I was dumping 2 cups of water over my head. I kid you not! They were full too. I was overheating. I knew I had my gatoradecocktails on my hips so I took a swig and very soon after ended up with a side cramp. Hum …. I guess I got the mix wrong, eh?

From Kilmoeter 4 to kilometer 6, we’re mainly in a really pretty nice neighborhood. People came out and had their stereos playing or had “food” stops, beer give-a-ways (Yeah Linda – time for you to come out of VA for this one!). There was a lot of music, belly-dancers and spectators along the way. The problem for me was someplace between mile 2 and kilometer 4 someone decided to have their grill out and offer bacon slices to passers by. OK – I see the humor here but, for reasons left in a Denny’s in JapanTownafter a String Cheese Incident concert in San Francisco … at 2 or 3 a.m. when I was keeping an eye on a good friend of mine … I’m not much of a bacon eater. When I’m overheated and trying to race, the smell of bacon literally turns my stomach and I’d just popped 1/2 a razzleberry ClifShot mainly because I was concerned about the heat. I pulled over, lost about a minute or so yakking in some neighbor’s garbage can, then get back to it. I was barely over the side stitch so I was hoping my stomach would calm down, but wasn’t going to let it get to me. I did see the humor in it, of course… someplace close to the top of the Mile 3 hill wherein another bacon lover was giving away fresh fried “Other Power Bar” … AAAEEEEIIIII!!!!! Yeah – another garbage can!

Yes – that’s Lizzy … Yak-and-Go!  Thank God for cola Shock Blocks to take the taste out of one’s mouth!

Mile 4 is the “worst”. I refer to it as Port-A-Potty hill because the first year I did the race, I was concentrating so hard that I didn’t realize where I was until I saw all the potties lined up and people diving off. I actually did pretty well actually. I didn’t spin my feet like I wanted to, but, you know, I was still feeling really good, smiling to myself and enjoying the ride. I dumped 2 water over my head and made an on-the-fly cocktail with a third.

Coming off the Mile 4 hill looks like  lovely down-hill, and it might be, however that’s when you’re winding back into the business district of Boulder. I’m sure my times don’t really show it, but I was able to start seeing the tangents and nail them. My calf was starting to talk to me in its so subtle way. I was in about a level 4 pain and knew that if I tried to contract the muscle too much, it was going to grip and stay that way. Fortunately, my left was feeling good.

Headding in to Mile 5 and I had those tingling feet again. I popped the second half of the razzleberry Clif Shot and settled in. My head was starting to say things like “since you know you’re not going to make your time goal, just pull over and stop for a spell” … I hate when it does that … especially when the calf was starting to act up and I had the last ICKY hill to come.

Being that I’d walked down the hill that ends mile 6, I told myself “Lizzy, you walked down it, now you’ve got to walk up!” The bummer about the hill is that you’re not done when you turn right into the backside of the stadium. There’s also a speedbumpwhich I’ve gone flying over a couple of times. I had, walking with David and Scott, already tripped on it, so I got that out of the way early. Getting across those Mile 6 pads is a great feeling … one more left turn into the stadium, not slipping or tripping on the metal track laid over the football field warning track and you’re so done!!! 

There’s something about coming in to that last 200 meters or so that makes it fun. Getting in there early on a nice day had a lot of cheering people. I felt like I had all this strange room around me. I’d done it and I was damn happy about it. I’m used to not hearing any cheering for what I’m doing but this booming voice flooded my left ear as I was hugging the right inside rail. “YOU GO RACEWALKER! WE SEE YOU! YOU GO GIRL!!!” Calf starting to grip … but that put an extra bounce in my step. I came around the corner for the last bit of track and this gal plowed into my back to get the inside lane between me and the rail. I’m not, by nature, a mean person, but payback does happen. I was keeping a bit of distance between me and the fence because of the rectangular legs of the temporary fence sticking out … she nailed one and flew in to the fencing.

Coming around that last corner, I knew that if I continued, I would be in very bad shape indeed. The calf was at level 6 pain and just starting to grip … but the sopping, soaking me was not only done, but I’d done what I’d set out to do.

I was able to catch up with Scott and David after several telephone calls. We hung out – David is the bomb with going through post race expos! We then hung out in a roped off section to watch the end of the race and see the elites. Kristen H. didn’t have a terrific race, but it was a family affair. We found each other in the stands, she wanted to whollop me soundly for being in new shoes, and gave me the quick 1-2 lesson using my bp cuff at home. It was great to hang out with her gang and I’m looking forward to coordinating our schedules to walk together. She’s got reat turn-over and she’s also a nurse for when dippy here does something stupid. We met through TNT and when I was so sick at the 2008 Disney Marathon, she was terrific keeping me together.

Very Wet Me post BBI’d had fun.
I’d kept smiling.
I’d come in reasonably healthy.
I’d come in with no Owies that were terrible.
I’d kept myself hydrated.
I’d had fun.
and Coach … fyi … I had fun … it wasn’t a pretty ending really, but I did have fun!

One of the things that meant the most to me was how amazing my friends are – those here, on Facebook … in a couple of countries and a bunch of states. You guys have really been great in getting this gal’s competitive head back on straight.

Cell-phone photo … one VERY wet me on a strange Colorado day!

ZZZZ … finally got full miles in!

11 04 2009

Ah … I’m sleeeeeeppppyyyyy with slightly sore feet … but everything is healing well!

I started out wandering around kind of warming up in the neighborhood with the Pup-O-Rama, Ms. Bailey Boo. I very quickly hit that high level of leg pain with its associated irritability. I think a lot of it has to do with other areas of my world are just taking up a lot of time – hurry up and w-a-i-t … and that just gets me.

I decided if my pain level dropped to the 4’s, I’d go maybe scout out an area of interest, bring my Nathan Woman’s Backpack Hydration Vest thingie (http://www.nathansports.com/our_products/hydration_nutrition/intensity.html ), and pay attention to how I’m feeling.

Training … new meaning to old word … means “getting self glued together so that races are much more fun!” I have to remember this when I’m just plain wanting to beat my head against the wall.

First things first: This Nathan Pack. As many will recall, last summer I walked into many problems due to being caught way out wherever with truly not enough water. I sweat. There’s no two ways to state it and when it’s hot, I can go through the water. Even close by here, the only water is at Bible Park if the fountains are working. Since I really don’t like having to stop all over for crossing the street, I’ve taken to places a bit more off the proverbial beaten track. The problem is, however, I really am not that comfortable with the 4 bottle Nathan belt http://www.nathansports.com/our_products/hydration_nutrition/speed_4.html (the “big brother” of my 2 bottle “security belt” http://www.nathansports.com/our_products/hydration_nutrition/speed_2.html). I keep hitting the bottles as I go along and on the front of my hips, I can feel the water sloshing. I have tried Camelbacks, but they just cut in. After one particularly frightening training walk where I found myself ENTIRELY too far out,  I was talking with John S. over at Colorado Blvd. Runner’s Roost about the problem. He mentioned that a Nathan Pack built expressly for women. I was skeptical because I do not have the “dainty woman’s figure”. But … John just smiled and said “Look, we’ll order one. I need them here anyway. Give it a shot.” I was still skeptical and didn’t give it a go until I was doing the stairclimb this year. You know that thing didn’t budge.

The bladder hangs in my kitchen. A word to the wise … make sure you’ve hooked up the feeder tube to the bottom of the bladder before filling it with Gatorade Cocktails … makes quite a mess otherwise!

So – after changing clothes … (giggle) … I pulled on these pretty comfy gloves, and promised Coach Bailey Boo that do what her human counterpart Da Coach has been trying to drill in to my metamorphic rock head … I’ll walk “normally” if the pain gets above a 5.5 or 6. She watched me as I popped my phone (complete with forever full messages) into the pack … of course, where I tend to walk, if I need a ride out I’m on State of Colorado land and would have to get myself somehow back to my car which requires a pass. Need to work on this!

It was kind of chilly. I tend to overheat and freeze … that doesn’t make sense, eh? What I mean is that I start out cold — needing gloves and really needing a long sleeved shirt — but will quickly warm up. The problem with long sleeved things wearing a hydration backpack is that it’s under it. Stopping to take the thing off, stuffing it in (the Nathan has surprising storage). I didn’t fully think I was doing a full walk, but that I’d just stop, stretch, pull off the shirt then trundle off.

As I was driving out to Chatfield Reservoir, my windscreen was getting dusted with quick raindrops. I wasn’t sure what the weather was going to be like. In an effort to remedy the “I need to get back to the car but the person I’ve called to rescue me doesn’t have a parks pass” issue, I contemplated walking from just outside the park. I drove in only to figure out where about 6 miles would be for my turn around point … then found myself up at the top of the dam because a really good song came on the radio!

Ok – last year, I’d started trying to do walks off the top of the dam. There are hills to be encountered both at the start and finish, a variety of surfaces, and room to maneuver. What the heck. I got out of the car, started warming up and was at really low pain – down to 3.5. Cool.

I was in “winter” for me clothes. I found a pair of medium to heavy weight pedal pushers (Capri’s) that really do the trick for outside in the medium cold. Gloves, black long sleeved shirt, cap, and a low-mileage pair of socks. One of these days I’m going to write on socks. I walked down to where the trail started knowing that the uphill was going to be a pain when I came back after however many miles. I had Easy 13 for the schedule … and I have become determined to truly understand the word “easy” as well as the word “training”. Easy means “relaxing, no stress, and limited pain” at this point … and that’s what I was aiming for. Pain is sooo 2008! 🙂

One foot in front of the other … This felt pretty good. I probably started out too fast, but it really felt good to be outside again. Yeah it was nippy … but I had my gloves on. I also could spit and air-blow my nose! One of those things quite frowned up on when you’re working indoors is spitting and air-blowing your nose! I literally forgot the Nathan Backpack was on. It’s got some well placed pockets (oohhh that’s where I put my driver’s license!), and the hydration spout crosses the chest. I did have a few problems with the bite clip and had to drag on the water, but nothing that caused problems.

Down and up and Up and down … oohhh this is going to suck coming back! Whatever. I ended up wandering about and found a really nice route. I kept checking in with both legs because I didn’t want to limp etc. Kind of like when Hermione Granger was going to be sorted in the first Harry Potter book, I kept reminding myself “relax … you’re having fun … you’re banking miles … you get a 20 gram protein chocolate Clif when you’re done!”

I hit the roadway and … turned left. What the heck. I kind of knew where I was. I kept going along and around mile 4, pain started to settle in. The bummer, of course, was that if I’d turned around, I had 4 miles to go. A well placed guard rail afforded some stretching and I was off again. Next thing I knew, I was nearly being run over by people who must believe the white line on a curve is for them to line their hood ornament with! The Jaguar that nearly hit me as I was coming to Waterton Canyon … well … let’s just hope he gets a few rocks in the windscreen!

I was feeling OK, so I turned in to the dirt of Waterton Canyon. About the time I realized this was probably a bit of a mistake, I checked the mileage on my Garmin and I was at 6.5 miles. Nice turn about point.

Wind was starting to pick up, which meant a headwind for the way back … oh that’s no fun. I’d been sucking on a Shock Block for quite some time (and, yes, both my crowns did stay in place!) and was taking a fair amount of water through the entire walk. Maybe it’s because I actually *had it* that I did it and I knew that I actually had enough.  Things were feeling kind of ooky and I popped the second half of the Clif Shot when it happened. Literally 7.9 miles (looked at the watch) my right leg said “HEY SHEP … This is what 7 feels like on a training walk in the middle of nowhere!” It didn’t grab per se, it just hurt this dead hurt feel. Ok. I’d promised two coaches … one with 4 furry legs … that I would walk any time without “penalty”.

I relaxed my arms to my sides and walked and thought. First, I checked in … I was not crippled  I just was hurting. This was good. If I had to, I would walk the rest of the way back. I would try getting back in some semblance of racewalk form at mile 9.9, but if it doesn’t work … then it’s walkety-walk-walk and still be proud of myself for getting off my ass, listening to myself and actually doing what I was told to do! I got to thinking about the world “failure” and how much fear is associated with it. It’s like you either do or fail and there is no middle ground. I have to keep myself in check on this one. For some reason, I’ve discovered the wiring that every damn good achievement gets wiped out with one stumble. I know I caught myself looking at my watch for my time when it binged for 10K … because that’s my next race and fortunately the little box that said Lap 10 (meaning 10K) obscured the time … “Hey Dizzy … this is training not racing and the first time you’ve done any decent distance reasonably healthy this entire year! BACK OFF YOURSELF!” I laughed. I also realized that the bottom little toe on my right side felt like it might have a blister. I laughed really hard  then because I truly thought I was only doing maybe 4 or 5 miles due to the pain of the morning and I didn’t put any Body Glide on my feet!

So – Mile 9.9 hit right in the middle of a bloody hell hill on the roadway with wind in my face, but it felt good to try racewalk form again so zippety doo dah! I was camping out in that 5-6 pain, so I knew I would have to take it easy.

The last three miles, I won’t kid you, were hell for me. I know that I’ve not been eating really well (a lot to do with just how much can I eat without chewing), but the wind and knowledge that there were going to be more up hills than down hills coming up just was … well … I had to get to the car, eh? My chocolate protein bar was in there! I did whatever it took to get up the bloody hell hills. This course might be good for events with hills, especially at the very end, but I know it was a smidge too ambitious for me right now. Ok … I did it and it wasn’t pretty …. but I was far from crippled too.

I felt tired but … good!

2:52:06 for 13.1 miles according to my Garmin. Ok … probably faster than I should have gone, but I wasn’t paying a lot of attention to pace. I’m trying to feel good about training, feel my aches and pains, correct them on the fly and toodle on down the road. Love or hate a Garmin, I had mine set to beep if I spent time under 12:30 or over 14:00. It didn’t make a lot of noise, not that I probably could have heard it anyway!

At the end of the workout, I hiked up to the car. Ok – the route was a bit too ambitious, but I did it. My average pace was something in the 13’s. Ok. I feel tired, but pretty good and not beaten up. All I wanted to do was get home, take a shower … and a nap. By the time I got home, however, the nap thing was out of the question, but lying down, having snacks, and reading — all under the watchful eye of Ms. Coach Bailey Boo … was do-able. Yup – I’ve got a little toe just covered on the pad by a nasty blood blister. Yeah, the bottoms of my feet hurt. My right calf is down at a manageable level 3 pain and my knee a 2. I am OK with this.

EASY PEASY 45 minutes tomorrow … Taking Bailey to the Cherry Creek Dog Park for an easy walk on the trails …

Sauna Thoughts – Yesterday at the Rec Center

27 03 2009

Well … by now all know that Denver got a smidge of snow yesterday. It wasn’t until after I’d left for the gym that it started.

The gym that I use is the Englewood Recreation Center. I’ll always be a fan of Curves for getting my behind going and the Y, but I like the feel of this place. It takes a little for me to get to it and I am not an Englewood resident, but whatever. The problem I had with the Y by my house was that it felt like I was stepping way back in time. Usually I don’t hae a problem with this, but I guess I needed to hit the proverbial re-start. I still have my original photo ID card and I’ve not yet cancelled my membership because I got a great rate from working at the Denver Museum of Nature and Science … but it’s time to go.  The thing about the Englewood Rec Center is that I am going to have to pay extra for the pilates classes that I really want to re-start, but I’m OK with that.  They’re less expensive than the private studio I used to go to and I can wander out of class and down to the weight room or into the pool.

By the time I got down to the rec center — maybe 25 minutes usually — it was snowing. Um … ok. If it had stayed those fluffy flakes, I would have been more or less OK. My aging Mits gets 415 miles to the tank … but doesn’t have defrost or really heat. The rear window doesn’t have enough slope to do much other than catch snow … so I figured I’d just spend most of the day in the gym!

Before I go to play in the surprisingly well appointed weight room, I try to warm up a smidge on the track. The indoor track is interesting. 6.5x = 1 mile. Far better than the 17x for the downtown Y. There’s a green line where walkers are supposed to stay on the inside of, hugging the wall, to allow runners the outside. For the most part, it works. I kind of like walking right down the green line on the straight aways. The track itself circles the top of the building – basketball/volleyball courts on one 1/2 and the pool on the other. The basketball/volleyball side is open where there is glass around the pool for obvious reasons. It can get a smidge hot up there with the glass windows, but whatever. Trying to warm up, calf, knee, and quad on the right were all saying a rather impolite good morning. A little more stretching then downstairs for weights.

I’d sent along my weight “routine” to DMcG. I got it back with the calf raises pretty much permanently lined out. Standing calf raises and I never really got along. I have never much minded dropping my heels down and stretching, but even as a kid I recall rolling up with weight was never something I enjoyed. I learned saying “Oh Bother” when going to a leg machine and having to remove the couple hundred pounds of weights before I could use it in a room full of Englewood Fire Department blokes will suddenly have a small flock of relatively tall guys asking if you need assistance! They were really sweet about it. I just kind of bop through with my little weight card … but today it was looking over at the piling snow by the Emergency Exit door while reminding myself just how much I detest the shoulder machine.

I wandered back upstairs to the track which had a few senior citizens tottering about on it. The trick with this track is to know roughly where they are and not to walk kind of clicked in so as not to walk right in to them. The big trick for me right now is to learn what an “easy” work-out feels like. The first lap wasn’t pleasant. I felt like someone injected tub caulking into my thighs. I’m under ordersto behave myself and to pay attention. First lap was figuring out who was on there with me and slowly things got better. I’ve always dreaded the around and around aspect of things because I get kind of bored. I guess I like looking at the trees because my workouts are partly to let go of the nonsense of life. I played on the green line, saw how close I could get to the wall on the corners and determined that I was in roughly level 4 of 10 pain … not crippling but there. The thing I like about the track over the treadmill is that it’s not spongy. It’s spongier than being outside, but firmer than the rolling conveyor belt. I figured something else out, and if DMcG actually reads these posts he’ll probably start doing a happy dance … or whatever. As long as I kept my strides smaller, the calf didn’t really hurt. I’ve had a bit of a problem with throwing my leg out like I did when I ran sprints. When I can get back on the track, I’ll play with this more. I did make myself laugh as I was remembering to drink my water through especially the later laps. I’d grab the bottle on one part of the ledge and drop it back off about 5 or so steps away. All was OK until I realized I was dropping it off really close to the edge where it would fall into the basketball court! Giggle! I still feel a bit stilted, but 2.5 miles in 35 minutes. I think I was on track for what I’m supposed to be doing.

Off the track and down to the pool. The indoor pool at the Englewood Rec Center is a Tiki theme … 🙂 … and rather warm at all times. I make it a point to end here as there’s a small dry sauna where I can crawl into a corner and … be … I actually like walking the length of the pool. The deepest part is about 5.5 feet. The only real problem I have is cross currents and the fact I can’t see too much in front of me. The rec center, however, usually has one regular lane and the far right side of the pool set off for water walking … turns out it’s pretty popular with the senior set. It was nearly empty, which was nice. There was a water aerobics class going on in the wider area, so I just took up residence in my lane. I simply love my surf booties I picked up in Huntington Beach in February. I’m not ripping apart my feet and since I really DO walk off the bottom of the pool, they give some traction. I feel a lot more comfortable with the water holding me up in the deeper end … and after about 45, I was done and it was sauna time.

The sauna was really peaceful as I was in there alone. I wasn’t looking forward to the drive back up to the house. My car, as I said before, isn’t good in the snow .. and I wasn’t brought up in it. I was, however, taught how to double clutch on some of the hills of San Francisco in the rain … I can stick it here easier, but it’s a knack.

Workout felt pretty good. I still feel wonky, but I’m getting why things are done. I don’t like feeling slow, but that’s a complaint I’ve had about myself since I started walking. It comes from the fact that I used to sprint comfortably and loved that fast feeling of freedom. I was talking with a guy who knew me from my sprinting days … he commented that I had a problem with my right calf waaayyyy back then! I completely forgot about it. He commented that I obviously still had my headstrong way (when looking at my Athlinks races for 2008) and was surprised I was “allowed” to do it. “But then again, Lilly …” he laughed. As he was sitting in the hospital having his second knee replacement (“Too much running, not enough paying attention to the ‘oh hell I’m hurt’ signals”) he read through my copies of racewalking books … the advice:

“Lilly – tell your coach exactly what is going on, make sure you’re listening to yourself & being heard and heal, damn it! Your speedometer needs to be reset … and unlike running you can have a lot more fun with this! Instead of just speed, it’s doing it right … now that’ s a challenge with your name etched all over it if I ever saw one. I think I might try this sport of yours.”

Yeah … just call me Eliza Doolittle … Here’s to healing.