Friday, July 30, 2010

I did it - I'm going to TRI!

I signed up for my first Sprint Triathlon - August 28th. 1/4 mile swim, 13 mile bike ride and 5K run. I've been doing spin class twice a week and running 5ks twice a week with laps in the pool and cardio and weights. (Oh, and working 12 hour night shift too!)

The swim is going to give me problems. I was a strong swimmer until I was injured. I still have 2 tears in my left shoulder and herniated discs in my neck. I'm not looking to break any records - just finish for me.

REI had a sale on Tri suits and when I got there, they had 1 left - it was my size!!! I almost needed help zipping the girls in (I hope the zipper holds :) My younger son keeps following me to try and get a picture so he can put it on facebook. He just shakes his head and says "really?"

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

To Tri or not to Tri & fastest 5k yet

Yesterday hubby and I biked 10 miles before it got too hot. I have to get faster on the bike. Spin class twice a week should help with this. I ran 2 miles, went to spin class, and then walked the dog for 2 miles. Did a few laps in the pool and called it a night.

I ran a 5k (on the treadmill) in 35:44 tonight - my fastest time yet. Yeah me! My left lower leg started throbbing when I slowed it down. I might actually have to go see someone about this if it keeps up.

SOOOOOOoooo...... I am really thinking about signing up for the Medford Lakes Sprint Triathlon on August 28th. I've got five weeks to tighten everything up. The swim is a 1/4 mile - I think I can handle that - the tears in my shoulder haven't given me any problems yet in the pool (knock wood). I'm in for a shock switching to open water swimming after practicing in a 20x40ft pool.

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Down & Dirty Mud Run Report

OMG - fun, fun, fun!!! The 5k MudRun was on 7/18 in - yep - 92 degree heat. Every run this year has been in 90+ weather. Me and hot - unh uh!

Hubby and I sat on the highway for 50 minutes waiting to get off the exit ramp. 4,000 people were participating in this event, do you think Philadelphia could have posted a traffic cop at the red light to direct traffic? So we got there a little late, but the race did not start yet. We were in wave 12 (remember 90 degrees). They started the waves in 4 minute intervals. After running the race - it should have been longer in between. We bottled necked at the obstacles for 20 minutes. I'm embarrassed to put our time up because of this - 1:42 minutes for a 5K!!!! Two sets of friends were doing the race - but we didn't see them.
Hubs was a little concerned for me at the obstacles because of the two tears in my shoulder and the herniated discs in my neck (thanks obese patient). But I did them all on the first try!! I was a little too exuberant on the rope climb and when throwing my leg over the top, hit the guy next to me and missed the top three rungs on the way down. Can you say rope burn?! I was able to hop up and over a 5 foot wall that was slippery with sweat. The next obstacle was the "slippery vertical climb." A rope was attached to the top and you had to pull yourself up and over. One girl kept slipping, hitting her face on the wall and then sliding down and out onto the muddy grass. After about 10 time of this, a large man laid down on the wall, told her to climb up his body and then pushed her by the feet to the top where military guys were waiting to help if needed. A few more small obstacles and then the - dum de dum - mud pit!!
OMG, you had to crawl under a net and then into the pit. Military guys were screaming at you "if you were in combat, you would be dead, you can't stand!" I said, if I was in combat, I would be in the medical tent, not crawling through mud!! (hahaha) So you got a good crawl going on and then they thought they were slick, they dug a deeper hole so your head would go under the mud. I caught myself just in time :) The showers they claimed to have consisted of a water tanker truck with 50 hoses attached. If you tried to stand up and rinse off, the water was no more than a trickle. My legs got torn up. I look worse than an 8 year old. Scabs, scrapes, bruises, lumps..... But it was so much fun - we are going to do the 10k next year. A BBQ followed. And the bling bling finishers medal was a dog tag with D&D Mud Run Series on it.
The pics show us clean at the start, nasty and just plain eeeeewww with our legs and feet. My kids want to do it next year.

Monday, June 28, 2010

Melanoma 5K

June 27, 2010

So, lesson learned - I will not attempt a run after a 12 hour night shift in 90 degree weather ever again! I wanted to do the Melanoma 5K because I am celebrating 4 years melanoma free!!! However, I could not get off of work the night before, so I was going to suck it up and do it anyway. We were to run around the sports complex where the Phillies, Flyers and Eagles play.

My leg is feeling better - just a throbbing when and after I run. I have been running slow and low numbers - plenty for a 5k.

I worked 3 nights in a row (12 hour night shifts) and brought my running stuff with me to get changed - or so I thought. Sneakers - check, sports bra - check, ipod - check, Garmin - check. Notice anything missing? How about clothes? I left them on my bed. So I was going to run in my scrubs - no biggy. Except that it hit 91 degrees by 9am. I checked in and got my survivors' tee shirt, bracelet and raffle ticket and went to wait for the start. I was dripping wet with sweat in 5 minutes.

So off we go.... I went out too fast, it was too hot (I so don't do well in the heat!) I made it to 2 miles before I needed a trash can. I threw up everything I carefully planned to eat over the night. I was shaking like a druggy needing a fix (sorry - ER reference) - my sugar felt like it hit rock bottom and I felt like I was going to pass out. I poured my water over my head, rinsed my mouth, and walked the mile back to my car and put the AC on full blast. So much for good intentions....

Monday, May 31, 2010

FitBit finally here!

I LOVE my FitBit!!!! I ordered this little piece of genius way back in February. I finally got in on Thursday. It rocks! It's this little clip that is a pedometer and more. It tracks steps, miles, calories, activity levels (sedentary to very active). You can input your food and more activities (running, weights, etc.) and it analyzes everything into neat graphs. You can also wear it to bed and it analyzes your sleep. How long it took you to fall asleep and how many times you woke up. There is a journal available to write in and also a "community site" to share with others.

The first day it came, it was late. By the time I had it charged and on, it was 5:15. Just in time to run to my spin class. Then the butt and guts bootcamp. Having fun watching everything download and graph - I realized I only needed 2000 more steps for 10,000, so I ran downstairs and jumped on the treadmill (I called the dog to take her on a quick walk but after I got her leashed up and to the door - the sky opened up and it poured. So after after apologizing to Ginger, I ran downstairs.) I think this will be good for me.

Everything is on (free website). You set the software up on your computer and whenever you walk within 15 feet of it - it downloads the information to your webpage. You can compete with "friends" and see who has the most steps, miles, active levels, etc. It's neat to see the different colors on the graph for the different levels of energy expended. It is a real motivator!!!

Saturday, May 29, 2010

VEGAS Rocks!!

My husband and I spent a week in Vegas with NO kids!!! First non-kid vacation in 19 years!! It was fan f-ing tastic!! The food was wonderful and the room at MGM was incredible. We saw Bite (a vampire show :) and Cirque du Soliel's Zoomanity :)) On the first night there, we had a comedy show lined up - we were running late and my cute little strappy heels tore up my feet. So for the rest of the trip, all of my cute outfits had flip flops and 27 band aids with them :( I am all for dressing up as a vampire - on Halloween. A couple sat at our table for Bite dressed in purple velvet capes and freakin fangs. They proceeded to tell the other 3 couples at the table that they were married as vampires. Well, that ended all conversation at the table.

I miss having the biggest decision of the day being "what pool are we going to" and "what is the drink of the day"? We woke up, went to the gym (yes we did), had a late breakfast and then went to the pool. I'm glad we did - I only gained 3 pounds. My liver is still recovering! :) had dinner and then a show then a club.

On our last night there, we went to Minus 5 - Ice Bar. Soooo cool! Everything there is made from ice. The bar, the tables and benches, and even the glasses. They gave you a coat, Uggs and gloves and off you went. Fuuuuun.

When we got home, I ran my first mile since the Broad Street run with only a minimal twinge! I have been able to run a slow mile every other day since then :))

Can't wait to plan our next trip!!

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Broad Street 10 miler done!

Weeeellll! I haven't been on in a bit. The Sunday before the big 10 miler, I ran 5 miles. At the end of the 5 miles, my left leg felt funny. It progressed into me limping. It felt like someone kicked me in the shin with steel toed boots. I didn't hit it or bang it. I was able to do my spin class on Monday night. It still hurt but didn't get any worse. I had a friend xray it for me - negative, nada. The 10 miler was fast approaching. No way was I going to punk out.

So I taped my leg up the wazoo. I didn't sleep much Saturday night because I was so nervous. Up at 5 and over to Phila. We parked and took the subway - can you say mobbed? I am still new to this and have never experienced a porta-potty debacle like the one at the start of the race. OMG. After a 50 minute wait in line, the dun went off promptly at 8:30am. The people near us didn't move. No one got out of line for the potties. By the time I got to one - eeewwwww!!! Humans actually did this????

Get in line to start the race with hubby. I was #27711 and he was 27712. They started our corral at 9am. Did I mention that it was 90 degrees out????? I don't do well in the heat. We brought our own water bottles with us and kept filling it up at the water stops. One really quick mile down and I started to limp-run. My left leg was killing me. So we slowed to a quick walk. That's the way it went for the rest of the 9 miles, run a little and walk a little. We finished in 2:23. It wasn't pretty but I finished.

Did I mention it was 90 degrees? People were dropping like flies. The City turned on the fire hydrants to sprinklers all the way down Broad Street. While it felt good to get hit with the cold water, my sneakers got soaked. I have never had a blister problem before. Well, my feet blistered because of the wet sneakers.

We had to fly home, get showered and run back to Phila to make an appearance at my nephew's Christening party. My month long abstinence of alcohol was over and I couldn't wait. Well, lack of sleep and run/walking 10 miles will tire you out - I was too tired for movie night and fell asleep on the couch.

A week later and I am still limping. I am supposed to run a 5K in 7 hours (I am working a 12 hour night shift right now) and I don't think I will be able to do it. I may just walk it. It is in the park next to my house. I have lost 36 pounds so far and wanted to lose 5 more pounds before we leave for Las Vegas in 9 days!!!!! My exercising has been severely curtailed because of my leg.
Here were are after the 10 miles!

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Getting ready for my very first run!

After I renigged on my promise to run the Broad Street 10 miler with my friend Chrissy D - I decided to make it up to her by running the Ben Franklin Bridge 10k. Did you read below where I NEVER ran before? She told me that if I cancelled on her again, she would drag me across the bridge by my hair. Okaay then.

I was in shape until a work injury side-lined me (a patient decided to herniate two discs in my neck and tear my shoulder in two places - thanks!) So kiss that bikini goodbye. Pain and inactivity followed. I found myself unable to sleep and in front of the pantry at 3am - everything screaming "eat me!" My day consisted of Percocet, Valium, Red Bull. Percocet for the pain, Valium for the muscle spasms, Red Bull so I could pretend to play mommy for my children. So, physical therapy, epidurals, steroid injections and 40 pounds later, I decided that getting ready for this run was going to help me get back into shape. (I decided against 3 surgeries at this time.)

I had already conquered the ellipticals at the gym. I could do them for an hour on level 6 and barely break a sweat. Surely I could run a measely 6.2 miles. I moved on to the treadmill. I couldn't even run .25 miles continuously. This was a lot harder than it looked.

The Ben Franklin Bridge is almost 3 miles back and forth and it went up, up, up!! and then down. The first time I crossed it (walking, mind you) on the pedestrian cross-walk, my calves were cursing me in three languages. What did I sign up for - who was I kidding?

I downloaded inspiring, fast beat music to keep me pumped up and ready (Britney, Buck Cherry's Crazy Bitch (yep that's me), Pink, PCD, etc.) I decided that I would go for distance and not speed. I discovered that I had exercise-induced asthma when I pushed a little too far (anything at that time was too far). Soon I was able to run a mile, then 2 - at once. I continued to "do" the bridge and even took my kids a couple of times. I had to find a better way to keep my iphone close. They didn't make an arm band that I liked so I found a "runner's belt" online and soon had it. I tried it out one day in the park. My 11 year old was with me and started laughing when I put my iphone in it. "Seriously mom, a fanny pack?" It is not a fanny pack, it is a belt. It stays still, doesn't ride up and I can put my keys in it too. So there!

The weight was slowly coming off. I decided to take a drastic measure - no alcohol at all for the month before the race (oh no, what was I thinking.) My goal was 20 pounds by race day. I continued to plod along on the treadmill. I was up to 5k with almost no problems. However, when I tried to run outside, my body rebelled. The park trail was 1.3 miles - however, it was not flat (but hey - either was the bridge). I was a wheezing, sweaty mess .4 miles into the "run." I was running faster than I was used to on the treadmill. (GPS is a wonderful thing - an app I downloaded on my iphone let me know my distance, speed, and even mapped my route - love the gadgets!)

Strep throat struck my son (11) and he generously shared it with me two weeks before the race. I bought new sneakers (Asics Nimbus Gel 11) and my shins and calves let me know it was not a good idea to change things two weeks before the run. So I went back to my Nike Lunar Glides and made everybody happy. My 16 year old decided he would like to try on the Swine Flu one week before the run. My throat was still bothering me from last week and my chest was tight. I was having some serious doubts if I would be able to finish this race. Not to mention Lysol toxicity from degerming the whole house.

I completed 5.5 miles on the treadmill on my birthday, 6 days before the Sunday race, and for the first time I thought I might be able to do it. It rained for the next two days, so I didn't run the bridge (think shuffle up and run down). I worked Friday night and had off on Halloween. Was I ready? I made my goal of losing 20 pounds two days before the run - yeah me! (20 more to go!)
P.S. Read posts bottom up :)

Ben Franklin Bridge

Ben Franklin Bridge

Kids on the Bridge

Kids on the Bridge