Why am I Running from Cancer?

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

Monday, August 29, 2011

Our best bike ride yet! Almost ;-(

Hubby Todd, oldest son Joe and I again biked to New Glarus on Saturday.
It was a drop dead BEAUTIFUL August day in WI.  A 10 mile breeze out of the
north - 80 degrees and sunny.  Our plan for the day was to bike to New
Glarus, 26 miles.  Stop at the brewery for a couple of beers and some
pizza, then stop at the pet store where my son's girlfriend works, say hi
and then head back to Madison for a round trip of 52 miles.

Started the day drinking my favorite coffee - Bike Fuel, from Just Coffee a
local Roaster.

Remember last time we biked to New Glarus we biked through a downpour just

before arriving at the brewery.  Nothing like that on Saturday.  We cruised
the whole way there in beautiful weather.  We again got off the bike path
and took a couple of really big hills into the brewery - they were just as
steep as last time  ;-)  but not getting drenched made for a much nicer
ride.  The brewery has a pizza company visit the location a couple of
weekends a month and Todd had looked at the events calendar and said that
stone fired pizza would be there on Saturday.  Well he was off by a day,
they were there on Sunday.  Knowing that the local Subway was only a short
bike ride into town, we sent Joe into town to pick up a couple of subs.
After devouring our sub's and enjoying a couple of beers, we headed back
down the hill and into town, stopping at the pet store to say hi to Joe's
girlfriend and then proceeded to the fudge shop to pick up some Jalapeno
Fudge . . . it is really yummy . . .  you take a bite and it is
chocolate . . chocolate . . chocolate . . . and then . . . spicy!   Finally
ready to hit the trail and head back to Madison.  We again got to walk
through the tunnel and continued through the small town of Bellville and
towards Madison.  Both down and back we try to draft off each other as much
as possible.  Going to New Glarus, we were averaging close to 17 miles an
hour - since we are using a mountain bike(Joe), a cross over (Todd) and a
commuter (Linda) bike over the crushed stones / dirt / gravel . . . that
seems like a pretty good pace.  Coming back we were averaging close to 15
miles an hour, with a direct head wind.  Just about 10 miles from Madison,
Todd, who was directly behind me, crossed over and hit my rear tire with
his front time.  I felt a jerk - but kept going, while he did not.  He took
quite a tumble in the brush, landing hard on his right shoulder.  We
stopped and went back to him, leaving him rest for a little while.  Then we
had to decide what to do - he was able to move his arm, but said that it
hurt quite a bit - but he thought he could bike.  We hopped back on the
bikes and stopped a couple of times to check things out.  His shoulder
continued to get tighter and more painful - so once we got to a cross road,
he stopped and waited while Joe and I continued back to the car.  Joe
helped me load my bike up and then I headed back to pick up Todd and take
him to the Emergency Room.  After a wait in the waiting room, a wait in the
examination room, a wait to see the Dr., a wait for the X-rays and another
wait for the Dr to return . . . the diagnosis was a broken collarbone.
They put the arm in a sling and sent us home.  Just so that you don't think he 
was drunk!  He doesn't like beer and only had a couple of sips of my beer!  I 
said that maybe he should have had more to drink because it would have 
relaxed him when he went flying off of his bike!

So while the ride started off GREAT and we were all having a good time -
Todd is done with biking for awhile.  Hoping the healing goes well.  I was
getting use to having someone to bike with - it was nice and I was very
proud of him for making the 50+ miles, especially with about 5 of them with
a broken collarbone.

On RUNNING note - I missed my Sunday morning run.  Just too tired after
spending the evening in the ER.  Since Monday is a rest day, I thought
about running my long run this morning - but then I would have to adjust
the other runs during the week - So I followed the plan this morning and
rested.  I might pick up an extra run over the long Labor Day weekend next
week.  Tuesday morning is scheduled for repeats . . . 5 X 1000 meters with
2 min rest between.  I will start with 2 miles with Sophie - drop her off
and head back out for my 3+ miles of repeats.  While I have done repeats
before, I usually do shorter, 400 meter repeats - I'll see how I do with
these longer repeats.

The Haunted Hustle on October 29th was my next 1/2 marathon and I wanted to
train pretty hard for it especially since I had so many hamstring /
piriformis issues over the summer and wasn't able to get the training miles
called me Friday afternoon and asked me if I wanted to join her and her
daughter at their Florida condo over the last week of October for about 5
day of relaxing at the ocean - of course this falls right over the weekend
of the Haunted Hustle.  I told her I would think about it and would let her
know today.  Dah!  Although I really wanted to run in the Haunted Hustle -
it was a really fun run last year - it isn't like I was going to win the
race - there will be other runs.  I am heading to Florida for a mini
vacation - October 26 - Oct 31.  Looking at replacing the Haunted Hustle
with the ZOOMA Lake Geneva 1/2 marathon, HERE on October 22nd.

Stay tuned
Enjoy the moment!

Friday, August 26, 2011

After the Mini

Saturday was the Madison Mini Marathon. I posted the recap HERE. I felt great Sunday morning - got up, took the dog for a walk / little run and went to church. Husband and I then decided to bike to Sauk City. From the park and ride where we started from in Middleton it was a 35 mile round trip bike ride. I looked up a couple different routes using Map My Ride and after some deliberation decided on the path that DID NOT include biking along State Hwy 12. This is a busy road and I didn't really think that was the best option. There is a bike path along some of the route, so we stated on a paved bike path and then turned off onto county roads. Holy cow - hills, hills and more hills. To be honest they were not too bad, but I felt pretty sorry for my husband. I bike a lot - he doesn't and he weighs a lot more than me, so it takes a lot out of him to bike up hills. Added to the hills was the STRONG wind coming out of the North / northwest - which was exactly the direction of the wind, which was blowing close to 13 mph with gusts up to 18 mph. At the summit of every hill, I would wait for my husband - we would head down the hill together and just about every time, there was another hill. We took a couple of breaks, where we stopped for water and to regroup and then kept going. He was a trooper. Once in Sauk City, we stopped and spent some time watching the Wisconsin River and then headed to find someplace to stop for a bike to eat and to figure out a different route to get home. We settled on Culver's, a local "fast food, made to order" restaurant offering sandwiches, burgers and frozen custard . . . neither of us ordered frozen custard. ;-)

We decided that we would head back to Middleton on the other route, biking on Hwy 12 for 2.3 miles. WOW oh WOW was that a different bike ride home. Granted we had the wind at our backs, which clearly make a difference, but this route was considerable flatter! We were on a bike path for about 2 miles coming out of Sauk City, then a couple of back roads for another 4 miles (with all of these being very flat to moderately rolling), then we turned onto the Hwy - which has really wide shoulders (a car width) and as long as you are mentally OK with cars buzzing by you at 55-65 mph it is OK. Once off the Hwy, another section of back road, and then we crossed over and were back on the bike path for the last 9 miles. What a difference a route makes.

It took us close to 1hr and 20 minutes to get to Sauk City and a little over 1 hr to get home. We will do this ride again - I would be fine with the hilly route - husband would like to stick to the flatter path. ;-)

On running news - I took Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday off from running. I got back into the swing of things and ran both yesterday and this morning. I looked over some training plans - in preparation of the Haunted Hustle, which is my next half marathon at the end of October. I am going to actually train to cut time off of my 1/2 marathon pace. Last year I finished the Haunted Hustle in 2:07:41 and would like to break that record this year. So I need a plan - I am going to try and follow Ryan Hall's Half Marathon plan from Runners World - hardest part will be "really following it". I tend to modify things as I go - don't wake up early enough - skip that particular workout. So far so good. Although I "missed the Tuesday workout - I did both the Thursday 30-40 minute easy run . . . doing 3.8 miles in 37 minutes and this morning doing a 1m warm-up - 4 mile tempo and then 1m cool-down (cut a little short). My avg tempo pace was 9:34 for the 4 miles - pretty happy with that.

Hoping that Irene backs away from the East coast and that all the bloggers running the Hood to Coast relay on the West coast have a great time.

Those of us in the middle have a super beautiful weekend coming up. We are going out to eat with some friends tonight - taking the boat out for a little ride on the lake and then heading to Nau-ti-gal, a local restaurant on the lake for dinner. Then tomorrow it looks like we are biking to New Glarus again. Hubby picked up a New Glarus Spotted Cow t-shirt on our last trip to the brewery (I got a "I got Totally Naked at New Glarus Brewery" t-shirt (my fav beer)) but he picked up a 2XL size . . . soooooo big . . . while he isn't a small person - he isn't that large! Obviously we could drive there - but biking is so much more fun!

Looking forward to tonight's dinner with friends

        tomorrows bike ride

                  and Sunday's long run - 8 miles

Enjoy the moment!

Sunday, August 21, 2011

3rd Madison Mini Marathon

This was the third running of the Madison Mini Marathon.  I have run it all three years and enjoy it each and every time . . . actually liking it better each time.  It doesn't get boring - maybe it is the idea of a "home field" advantage.  Not like I am setting any records - but running through the streets of Madison makes me proud to call this city my home.  All of the major attractions / locations that the mini travels through mean something special to me.  I have no pictures from the Mini - maybe I will be lucky and actually have a NON-embarassing finish line photo - or one on the route that I can share with you when the photo's are posted.

The race was scheduled to start at 7:00 on Saturday morning.  Although I don't lay things out ahead of time, I am usually calm and collected the morning of a race - but for some reason I was disorganized on Saturday morning and felt like I was running behind from the start.  I headed downtown and had to stop to pick up some gatorade, while on the way to the local PDQ store, I saw a fox - right in the city.  I thought this might be a sign - I was going to be fast as a fox . . . even though I didn't really get many long runs in.  Well that was what I had hoped it meant.

Once I got downtown, I parked in a ramp a little ways away from the start location, so that I had a chance to walk / job to the start.  As I said I was running late and heard the singing of the National Anthem from State street and still had about 3 blocks to make it to the race start.  I made it to the G corral right aroung 6:55 and settled in . . . for a couple of minutes, until the anouncer came on the microphone and said that due to an approaching storm, they were going to delay the start of the race.  They instructed us to go to the Memorial Union, Red Gym building or the Lakestreet parking structure.  They said they would give people plenty of time to get back to the start when the race was back on.  Well I headed to the Lakestreet parking garage, sat down and settled in . . . chatted with a really nice women, Kristy.  The rains came - the thunder came - the wind came.  We waited.  Somewhere around 7:45 I left the parking structure to use the porta pottie.  I figured no matter whenever we started we were going to be running in the rain, so getting a little wet didn't really matter.  I headed back over the the finish area and used the facilities - then headed to the Red Gym to wait it out there.  Found a spot to lean against a door, then settled in on the floor.  And waited - Finally about 8:15, the race was on and we all headed to the start.  Since I was really close - I did take some cover from the rain for a while, until more and more people were there.  The rain continued - not too bad . . . until the start.  Then it poured and as we rounded on corner the winds blewwwwwww!

The run started at 8:30 - I crossed the start at 8:33 and was off . . . slowly.
I usually don't run with my hat, unless it rains.  The forecast was a chance for showers so I thought I would bring it and I was soooooo glad that I had it on to keep the rain sort of out of my eyes.

The rain subsided after a half hours, eventually the sun appeared and it was a beautiful day - full of sunshine.

Here is a list of some of the places we passed and their meaning for me.

Start:  We start out at the Memorial Union.  Although I didn't graduate from the UW, my husband did and I remember spending time at the Union when he was a student.  We also like to stop there from the water and buy an ice cream cone.  I also attended a wine tasting class there - and it was a blast.
Next up is the Capitol.  Well - what can I say about the state Capitol.  It is a beautiful building - located in the center of the city.  When I drive to work, I look directly at the Capitol - and hey they changed the lighting to Green and Gold in honor of the Packers.
Mile 1:  We then headed down State Street.  Anyone who lives or has visited Madison has been to State Street.  It is downhill and many runs head down this famous street.
Mile 2:  We then headed near the Kohl Center, home of the UW basketball and hockey teams.  And graduation site of the local high schools - so in addition to watching great basketball and hockey games - both of my sons graduated from high school at the Kohl Center.
Mile 3:  We ran past the Space Science and Engineering Building (my husband works there) and then Camp Randall, home of the UW Badgers football team.
Mile 4:  Passed through the Henry Vilas Zoo - this is a free zoo and I spent a lot of time there when the boys were young.  Passing through the Zoo, one of the city's hospitals, St.Mary's is in view - both of my sons were born at St. Mary's.
Mile 5&6&7:  Before mile 5 we enter the UW Arboretum - this is a beautiful nature preserve area.  BUT I always find this a boring area for a road race - since there are very few homes - there are few spectators and isn't really anything to look at - trees - vegitation - trees - and more vegitation.  Don't get me wrong - I like to run through it - but for a race - it always seems like a long way with not much to distract me.  But on a hot day - it is always a cool location, due to the dampness and tree coverage.  Since I have been biking more the last couple of years I am quite familar with the Arb and feel like I know where the hills are and know the turns quite well.
Mile 8 & 9:  Just out of the Arb and running near the Nakoma Golf course and then though the Monroe St area.  Although I have never golfed Nakoma (private course) I have walked it when son #1 golfed on the East High School golf team - it is a beautiful course.  Then there is Monroe St.  In my mind - this area of Madison is made famous because of the red flags that are along the intersections - pedestrians carry a flag when they cross the road.  I swear they just walk - it doesn't matter whether they have a walk like or not - if they have a flag - they walk and as a driver - you slam on your brakes.  Can you tell this irritates me tremendously!!!!
Mile 10:  This section is mainly residential - but near Madison West - which is one of the other high schools in town - I spent a lot of time on their tennis courts with son #2.
Mile 11:  Brings us to the UW CoGen Plant - my employer MGE and the UW co-own this generation plant.  Next up is the UW Hospital - I spent a lot of time there with my mother (years ago) And the best part about mile 11 was looking forward to Chelsea, previously from Early Runner, HERE - BUT now from Theology and Geometry HERE.  She was not running the mini - but was going to be near mile 11 cheering us on.  I was so looking forward to seeing her - mile 11 is tough - so close - but still a couple miles to go.  And there she was - with a poster and all!
Mile 12:  Lakeshore path - cool temp's because of all of the trees - easy on your legs, because it is a dirt path - right on the shore of Lake Mendota.  Whenever I run this path I remember when I was training for my one and only marathon - I ran from my house to here and stood there and looked across the lake and thought wow - I have a long ways to run home!  I also say Kerri, from TutuRunner - HERE and her Team in Training friend Dano along the path - they came up behind me and were running STRONG, especially considering this was mile 12.  Kerri had a great run and a PR by 5 minutes.  :-)
And the FINISH:  back at the Memorial Union - the crowds cheering and the best part was the Milwaukee Brewers Sausages were there and I high 5's each one of them, including the Hot Dog, the Brat, the Italian Sausage, the Polish Sausage and Kerri's favorite the Chorizo.

I saw Kerri from TutuRunner HERE, and Dano at the finish - and gave her a good hug!  I had hoped to see Jamie from Running Diva Mom - HERE  - but didn't see her before or after the run.

I headed for chocolate milk (YUMMMMMM) a banana and picture in the big chairs ( a mini tradition) - then off to search for co-workers.

2011 - 2:16
2010 - 2:08
2009 - 2:12
. . . so this was slower then the past two years . . . but who cares!  I don't!

Sometimes it is ENJOYING the journey that counts!  I had a blast and must have high 5's at least 20 people - that is a GOOD DAY!

ENJOY the MOMENT!  Don't sweat the small stuff - running fast - running slow - it is all running!!!!

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Recent Happenings!

Happenings since my last post on July 31st

It seems like forever since I posted on my blog.  Summer has been some sporadic
entries but nothing regular - so I thought I would post a summary of what I
have been up to.

House related happenings:
Fireplace replaced
Gas Insert with big boulders!  So 70's

New gas fireplace with stacked stones

Side pockets for glass shelves behind the fireplace
New furniture delivered
Electrician installed accent lights and outlets for track lighting and
ceiling fan (yet to be picked out)
Walls painted - beige and light mossy green
Carpeted stairs replaced with oak hardwood stairs

Carpeted stairs replaced with . . . 
. . .   with hardwood

Carpet installed in family room
Carpet installed in the boys bedrooms
As of this past weekend, most things have been returned to their correct home.

Here are a couple of pictures

Biking happenings:
Biked in the MS 150 bike ride - biked 75 miles on the first day and it was
a wonderful day - average speed was 16.7 and I felt great.  Sunday we woke
to rain and thunder and had a delayed start.  Then ran into roads that had
recently been covered with asphalt aggregate material, we were warned the
wipe our tires down as soon as we got off those roads, but it didn't help
me - Flat tire - I was pulling shards of sharp material (glass and metal)
out of my tires!  Due to delays and flat tire issue I only biked 45 miles
on day 2 for a total of 120 over the two days.  It is such a well supported
ride and the people are all wonderful - even with the road issues I had a
great time.

Stopped for a beer on Saturday.
teammates at end of MS 150 bike ride (love that it looks like I am the tall one!)
Popped tubes from the crushed asphalt road.

Biked to New Glarus with husband and son again!  Got caught in a DOWNPOUR -
totally soaked - but we had brought other shirts in my bag and we were able
to change when we got to the brewery - after a couple of beers and a chocolate cow, all was

Continue to bike to work 2 days a week.

Went out on the boat last Tuesday with a co-worker of my husbands and his
family. Kids tubed and he wanted to water ski, but thought I should go
first.  I brought my thigh wrap, wrapped my leg tight and skied and did not
have any hamstring issues - yeah!

Me on the jet ski
Jet skied.

Yard work:
My son, with some help from me, installed stone border around my back
flower garden.

Working on the edging

completed edging along the side

edging along the back

Due to hamstring issues, my runs over the last 4 weeks have been pretty limited.  I haven't wanted to PUSH it too much - but wanted to give myself the confidence that I could do
the Madison Mini on Saturday.  So I have been doing 2 longish runs per week of
7 - 9 miles for the last 3 weeks.  Other than that, my running has been pretty limited to usually 1 other day of  3 or 4 miles with days off in-between.  Whenever I do run, I feel a twang in my
hamstring, but I get used to it by mile 2.   It also causes me to take a shorter stride.  
Last weekend I ran and was heading back into my neighborhood at 8 miles.  I felt really good and thought about running 2 more miles, but left it at 8.  I was confident that I could do 2 more and didn't think I needed to prove to myself that I could finish 13 miles.
This week I ran 4 miles on Tuesday and have been taking it easy ever since.  I know that I have not adequately "trained" for the 1/2 marathon like I would have liked - but I have done some serious biking and am hoping that the cross training will pull me through.

Goals for the race:  None - Last year I ran it in 2:08 and the year before 2:12.  I don't think those numbers are going to happen this year.  I know I MUST start slow otherwise I won't make it.  I am not very good about starting a race slow - I get very caught up in the excitement and want to prove that I can keep up with those around me - but not this race - I am absolutely committed to starting out slow on Saturday for the first 3 miles and then go from there.  I will start in my coral, but will be paying close attention to my garmin to make sure that I go slow.

Family Happenings:
Let me introduce you to our new kittie - Cleo

Oscar, our older cat tolerates her and Sophie our golden loves to chase her around.  She is a lot of fun, but she wakes up in the middle of the night and wants attention.  She comes up to your face and meows and meows and meows until you pay attention to her.   

Busy summer - Happy days - Fun with family - Fun with friends - New Pets - Biking - Running - LIVING!  

Enjoy the moment!