Why am I Running from Cancer?

Why am I Running from Cancer?. . . check out this post for an explanation

Sunday, July 31, 2011

Broken Record - hamstring issues - but a good beer makes it better!

Just when I was feeling better I went water skiing and twinge went my hamstring.  ;-(  

Friday evening was a beautiful time to be on the boat - hot, humid, low winds and almost no other boats.  The family all went out of the boat to get some good water skiing in and cruise around the lake.  I jumped in second and immediately on getting up on the ski's I felt a tug to my hamstring.  DANG - double DANG!

I am taking it easy AGAIN for a couple days, I ran / walked 2 miles yesterday and decided to take today off.  I am going for long run Monday morning and hope that it feels OK.  The Madison Mini Marathon is on Aug 20th - JUST 3 weeks away and I am still committed to running.  I have come to accept that it will be tough and I probably won't be running very fast - but I am just hoping that I can run it without being in pain.  My mileage has been really low to almost non-existent for July,  between the heat and humidity and piriformis and hamstring problems I have not put in nearly the time I had planned.  When I look back over then month I only ran 7 times with the longest run happening last week with 6.65 miles.  I need to work out a new plan to fit some longish runs in between now and Aug 20th . . . oh and bike 150 miles in the MS 150 bike ride, which is August 6 & 7 . . . so obviously I won't be running on either of those days.  Wish there were more days in the week. 

I did put in 362 miles on my bike and feel ready to tackle 150 miles next weekend.  I biked to work 9 days and went on 10 training rides all in preparation of biking 75 miles on Aug 6 and 75 miles on Aug 7 in the MS 150 Bike Ride.  I am really REALLY hoping that this cross training will help me out during the 1/2 marathon.  

Yesterday my husband and son biked to New Glarus on the Badger State and Sugar River bike trails - it was hot and sticky - but our goal was to make it to town in time to get to the New Glarus Brewery - home of Spotted Cow and Totally Naked, to name a couple of my favorite beers made there - and we did.  The brewery stops offering tastings at 4:00 and we walked in about 3:50 and were able to buy a glass and get it refilled with a second beer before they closed the doors.  Since we were there I also bought a case of Totally Naked and got my son a sampler six pack with some of their other beers that he has not tried.  How did we carry a case of beer on our bikes?  (My son's girlfriend works in New Glarus and had our SUV with bike rack with her -  we got a ride back to Madison and actually stopped at a local bar in New Glarus for a burger and fries before heading home.)  I have got to say, that I can't remember the last time I ate a burger and fries and although I know I won't probably be eating another one soon - it sure did taste REALLY GOOD -  YUMMMMMMM!  
New Glarus Brewery - Hilltop

Joe and Todd on the front steps - it was hot and we were looking for shade!

Todd and me enjoying our brew after a 26 mile bike ride

Sample 6 pack and case of Totally Naked!

Totally Naked and a Raspberry Tart!
Since the MS 150 is a fundraising event to help find a cure for MS - I have been raising money and am including a link to my fundraising page.  If you know someone suffering with MS and would like to contribute towards finding a cure - check out my page HERE and leave a donation.  THANKS!  

Sunday, July 24, 2011

MS 150 Bike Ride Packet Pickup WINNER!

Two weeks ago was our packet pickup for the MS 150 bike ride.  It is hosted at a local Car Dealership - Jon Lancaster - HERE.  The dealership supports the ride and uses the packet pickup as a fundraiser, with silent auction goodies, a raffled bike giveaway and free bike tune ups.  Some of us met up at the dealership after work to pick up our packets and then headed out for a 20 mile bike ride . . .  which was of course followed by a stop at a local bar for beer and a few munchies . . . a must after a training bike ride!

I am a sucker for any silent auction - it raises money for a cause and maybe I get lucky and win.  I added my name to three silent auction packets - a really nice messenger bag and Road ID, a Planet Bike light kit and Road ID, and 2 oil changes, Muscle butter and a Road ID.  Well I won two of the packets . . .  Yahoo!  I won the Planet Bike light kit and Road ID and the 2 oil changes, Chomper Body muscle butter, and a Road ID.

I have been wanting a Road ID and just haven't gotten around to ordering one - now I have 2 $15 gift cards and will be picking out my Road ID today and getting it ordered.

I also won the Planet Bike Blaze Superflash headlight and tail light kit - HERE.  I have a flashing red light that I carry on my commuter bike but don't ride with a front light.  Last Friday I biked to work and it was raining and quite dark - I realized that I should have had a front light . . .  well now I have one.  I plan on using it all the time on my commuter bike so cars will be able to see me better - anything to make drivers aware of your presence on the road is a good thing.  These lights will definitely keep me visible when biking to and from work.

The oil changes will be very useful - the dealership is the Toyota dealer that I bought my Rav4 from and I usually take it there for work.  Score - since I just had an oil change in June - these two should put me into next year before i need to pay for an oil change!

Chomper Body muscle butter - HERE, says that it is recovery lotion - and encourages blood flow to sore and tired muscles and helps rid the body of lactic acid build up.  All I know is that is it really smooth feeling and smells wonderful.   It has hints of peppermint, rosemary and basil and feels great when you rub it into your sore muscles.

Some of the other free goodies included NOW Energy bars, HERE, which stands for No Opportunity Wasted, a energy bar developed by Phil Keogan, host of the Amazing Race.  Who knew he developed an energy bar.  Actually the website was quite interesting and informative, not only about the bar, but about Phil.  In 2009, he turned 40 and decided to bike across America - WOW!  Pretty interesting story.  And the bars are really yummy.  I am not a huge energy bar person.  I think you have to be careful with them, because they usually pack a lot of calories into a small package and if you aren't careful - you can eat lots of calories, without thinking you ate very much.  But as a snack on the bike - they are great.  I usually try to take a bar with me when I bike 30+ miles.  Under 30 and no snacking!  But over 30 and I need some energy mid-way through the ride.  These bars are yummy - peanut and caramel flavored, they are made with gluten free rolled oats and Manuka Honey, which is only found in New Zealand.   If you haven't tried them, I would certainly suggest that you pick them up.

As you can see from the picture - the goodies also included Quench gum, HERE - if you haven't tried it - there is no way of describing just how much saliva it creates when you chew.  Just typing about it and thinking about it is making my mouth water.

On the Running front:  I have been taking it easy - as I previously posted my hamstring, or what I thought was my hamstring has been bothering me for almost a month, to the point that is was painful to run.  Well after some research, I actually think that it is really my Piriformis muscle that is causing me the problems.  This last week I have been stretching it like crazy and feel pretty good.  Yesterday morning I ran about 1/2 mile and today I ran 3 1/2 miles and felt great.  I will continue to work back up to longer runs and will diligently stretch stretch stretch after all bike rides and runs.  Scouts honor!

Peace and have a great weekend.

Monday, July 18, 2011

DANG Hamstring!

My right hamstring has been making itself felt for the last month or so. Nothing major - just a constant irritant.

I finally listened and took 9 days off from running.

I had signed up for the June 14th - Movin Shoes 5k Full Moon run and decided that I would still run that race - just take it easy. No running for 9 days - as I mentioned in my last post the hamstring felt OK until mile 3, at which time it said "hey - don't forget me!" so I listened and slowed down.

After the race, it felt fine and Friday it felt fine.

Since biking never bothers my hamstring I road in the Boys and Girls Club 50 mile bike ride on Saturday and still no unusual hamstring pain. Since I am trying to train for the MS 150 bike ride, which is a Saturday and Sunday bike ride of 75 miles each day - it is important to get back on the bike the next day after a long ride.

So Sunday morning my husband and I hopped on our bikes and did a slow 7 mile ride. I then dropped him back off at home, adjusted my bike computer and hopped back on my bike for 10 more miles. Somewhere during the "hopping" onto my bike, I had to make a sudden jerky movement with my right leg and OUCH! there was that stupid hamstring laughing at me. "Ha Ha - I am still hanging around and if I want, I can make your life miserable". I continued on with the bike ride - because it doesn't hurt during biking.

Stretched afterwards, while watching the Women's World Cup :-(

This morning I got up with the hopes of running a slow 2 - 3 miles . . . but that was NOT going to happen.

The hamstring feels like it is right back where I started. DANG! So I will stay off of it for the rest of the week.

The bad news is that I have already signed up for the Madison Mini Marathon, August 20th. I am losing training and need to get some long runs in.

The good news is that we are expecting extreme heat and humidity this week, which makes running difficult for me. This morning at 6AM the temp was 81 with a dew point of 77 - which makes for 88% humidity.

So I will take this week off and work on biking and walking and icing my hamstring . . . in hopes that I can tackle a 3 mile run this weekend.


Saturday, July 16, 2011

Last week of biking and ONE Run

My ONE Run last week:
Since my hamstring was acting up I committed to taking a week long break from running.  Hamstring certainly stopped screaming at me.  On Thursday I had signed up for a local 5k, so with 8 days of rest I decided I would still run it - but make sure that I didn't push it too much.  The race is called the Full Moon 5k and it starts at 9:00pm on the evening of the Full Moon.  It was well run  - a fun little local race - organized by my shoe store, Movin Shoes and there was a raffle at the end . . .  but I didn't win anything  ;-(
I didn't run with my Garmin, because it was dead - and I was actually glad that I didn't have it with me because then I wouldn't "know" my speed and I could simply run based on how I felt.  There were volunteers at mile 1 & 2 yelling out the time.  Mile 1 was 9:05 and mile 2 was 18:20 . . . so I kept a pretty good pace for mile 1 & 2, but then I did slow down - I knew it and I was OK with it.  The final run into the park, was a pretty steep hill and my hamstring was making its presence known, so I took it EASY.  Final time was29:34 . . .  5th out of 18 in my age bracket - I am OK with it and really glad that I ran.  I will be doing this run again next year.  

I will probably try and run a little tomorrow morning and see how the hamstring feels.  I am keeping my fingers crossed.  

As always, I bike at least two days a week to work.  Thursday, was my second day of the week to bike and just like every other day, the first thing I always do is pump my tires.  When I took the pump off of the stem - the air just leaked out.  sppppppppppppppppp!  I thought about changing the tube, but decided I would simply ride my husbands bike.  So I pumped up his tires and biked to work.  At the end of the day I loaded my stuff up, hopped on the bike and just as I was exiting our parking garage . . . I head that familiar sound sppppppppppppppppp - yup 2 flat tires in 1 day.  Called husband, who was driving home and he stopped an picked me up.  Who gets 2 flat tires on 2 different bikes on the same day!  

Today, was the 50 mile Boys and Girls Club ride.  I used my road bike and glad to say I had NO FLAT tires!  I road with a co-worker.  There were 3 "pretty" good size hills - I kept pedaling, but it was slow.  We finished in 3:10 - for an average speed of 15.8.  Felt strong (other than the hills - and actually I didn't feel that bad on them).  It is a great fundraiser for the local chapter of the Boys and Girls club.  

This afternoon, Todd (husband) and I went to a local bike shop and picked up 2 new tires for his bike, they were pretty worn and replacement tubes for his and my bike and then we changed tires and replaced tubes.  I am embarrassed to say, that was the first tube I changed by myself.  Next week when I bike to work I will determine if I know what I am doing.  

Have a great weekend and stay cool.  We have an Excessive Heat Warning - Sunday - Thursday.  I just looked at the national map and it looks like we are pretty much ALL in this Heat Wave Together.  

Hydrate - Hydrate - Hydrate


Friday, July 8, 2011

June is done and it is already July 8th - oh my!

I have had a great couple of weeks - but just no energy or time to post.  I must do better - I will do better - it tends to keep me motivated and I really enjoy tracking my thoughts and experiences.

Motto for the summer - short and sweet!

The last two weeks have been busy - here is a recap by the numbers:

5 - times I road my bike to work
75 - total miles biked to work

3 - training rides
72 - miles on training rides

6 - times I ran in the last 2 weeks
35 - miles run

1 - races run - Run to the Rhythm 5k

1 - 1st place in my age category - it wasn't fast - but it was fast enough!

1 - Favorite tree on the lake 

1 - Favorite dog - Sophie on the boat

            2 - times I jet skied

1 - times I water skied - this is a photo of my son - of course no one takes a picture of me, unless I request it!

200,000 - friends that watched Rhythm and Booms

818 - miles biked this year
520 - miles run this year
7 - days that I am going to take a break from running due to a pulled hamstring - I have been running in "pain" for about a month - I am going to take a week off and hope that it gets better!

1 - number of branches that broke off of our tree - the tree trimmer has been called and will be trimming the other branches on Tuesday!

Peace - have a great day!
Enjoy every moment!