Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Medved Training

Our training organizer, Sherry, had computer problems and wasn't able to post our training schedule. But she posted it last night.
It's not quite as specific as I would like. She said she hoped we did our "long run" on Saturday (check!)
Then she said for Monday or Tuesday to run 1.5-2.5 miles (check! I ran 2 miles yesterday morning before my hour workout.)
Wednesday she said to cross train on an eliptical or a bicycle for 30 minutes.
I plan to run again this afternoon (Tuesday) just so I'm getting in 4 days of running a week. Then I can use the eliptical and stationary recumbent bike when I have my training session tomorrow and then run again on Thursday p.m.
Yesterday morning when I was running, I thought that cottonwood was blowing but it looked smaller. It was snow. Blech.
Today is warmer and sunny--kind of like Saturday--so I'm actually looking forward to running before the little reds get home from school.
I have an important phone interview tonight so I'm thinking the run will help me clear my head. Prayers, please!

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Saturday morning run

So today I decided to try a long run outside around the neighborhood. Hannah said she'd go with me on her bike and "encourage me." Which was really fun. I managed to run almost 3 miles in a little over 30 minutes so I felt great. Hannah would ride all around me saying things like "Way to go, Mom!" and "Be light on your feet!" and "You can do it, Mom!"
Sherry didn't send out any specific training program which is kind of what I thought she would do--maybe it will come later--she just said for the intermediate runners to try and go for an easy 20-30 minute run. So I think I'm going to continue to run for my 30 minutes at a time followed by extensive stretching until I get something more specific from her. But running in 56 degrees and beautiful sunshine this morning was perfect!

Friday, March 27, 2009

Group Training-night 1

Some of these people are hard core.
Memo to self: If it's raining and cold, wear a hat.
On account of I didn't do this.
Some of the "intermediate runners" (the group I'm in) don't seem so "intermediate" to me. I mean, just because it's been a couple of months since you ran your last freakin' marathon doesn't make you an intermediate runner. I may be exaggerating somewhat. But I was solidly in the middle of the pack so that was good. We all gathered (outside in the parking lot of a bank next to a field and a big school track and field where kids were having lacrosse practice) in the 45 degree weather. At least it was just kind of raining and not a driving rain. At first I was freezing. I had on running tights, cool running pants, a long sleeved tech t shirt, another long sleeved shirt, a jacket, and a vest. Sherry, the woman who is organizing the training, divided us into our beginner, intermediate, and advanced groups. There were about 30 people in both the beginning and intermediate, and 3 advanced. (They looked smug.) Sherry turned the beginner group over to another runner guy from Medved and they began their walk-run program. Sherry's dad took our group. He told us we were going to do an "easy warm-up, about 10 minute run, about a mile) around the perimeter of the field. Sherry joked that she loved mud so we would be getting a little muddy. We took off running. After about 3 minutes, this woman ran up beside me and said she liked my pace and wanted to run with me. I gasped that that would be fine. She had been a runner in high school and college but had gotten out of it and found that she didn't like running without a coach and thought this would be a good way to get back in. I gasped "great." When we finished our warm-up, I was burning up. I trotted over to my car and started shedding clothes. I got down to my sports bra, put a long sleeved shirt back on, and went back and joined the group leaving the other long sleeved shirt, the jacket, and the vest in the car. Then we headed to the track and Sherry told us about the importance of "pacing." We were going to run a series of "splits" which meant one time around the track (basically a quarter mile.) She wanted us to try to do "even splits" where we ran the same pace around the track each time. We were instructed to run our first time around the track and they would call out our finish time and after a short rest, do it again and try to run it at the same pace. Then we'd do it again, then we'd do two laps as a cool down. I ran my first split in 2:48, my second in 2:35 and my third in 2:23. So I obviously need to work on my timing better and push it a bit more in the beginning. After we finished, we stretched. Sherry told us we need to hold our stretches for 45 seconds to 1 minute which is about 3 times as long as I've been holding them so that was a good thing to learn. She'll email us our training schedules today.
I'll keep y'all informed!

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Glad to run again

So I did run yesterday afternoon--well, I ran 12 1/2 minutes, walked 5 minutes, ran 12 1/2 minutes for a total of 30 minutes. I found out that eating at the Indian Buffet 30 minutes before running wasn't such a good idea. If I hadn't walked those five minutes, I might have had a big mess to clean up on the treadmill...
I got the email this morning from the Medved folks about the training class. We meet at a TRACK. OUTSIDE. At 6 p.m. And it's supposed to be 40 degrees. I will definitely dress in layers. I'm nervous and excited. I have a workout at noon today and then have to chaperone "Jumprope for Heart" at my daughters' school. I think I probably won't run today since I'll be running tomorrow night and on Friday with my trainer. I'm ready to get back into a regular schedule both for sleeping and running! I slept a bit better last night but still woke up at 1 a.m. and 3 a.m. But I was able to get back to sleep.
Again, baby steps.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Getting back in the running game

The jet lag is kicking in pretty good and I have yet to run since we returned 3 days ago. I WILL run this afternoon after my meetings and before my meeting at 4:30 p.m. It's a beautiful day and should be in the 40s this afternoon so an outside run may just do the trick.
I begin my next training program (the group training) on Thursday night. I'm looking forward to it and to having a new program to follow. Unfortunately, I'll miss some of the weekly meetings because of travel and church responsibilities during Holy Week but it won't stop me from doing the training. As I have been showing myself, once I'm committed to something, I can get it done.
Desire, Determination, Discipline.
And please God, a return to a regular sleep schedule! Last night I slept from 8:30 to 9:30, 10-1, 2:30 to 3:50, 4:15 to 7:15. It felt like I had a newborn again just without the baby. My kingdom for 7-8 hours of uninterrupted sleep!

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Home sweet home

It is good to be home.
Thank God, kids were beautiful and healthy and in great spirits. Wonderful nanny didn't look like she was ready to quit and never come back. Pets are all fine (mixed emotions about the guinea pigs on this one but I'm working on it.) I woke up at 2:30 this morning and couldn't go back to sleep--it always takes me a while to adjust after being in a Palau since they are 13 hours ahead of us...Hopefully in a few days I'll be recovered.
Now I'm thinking about my sermon this morning and contemplating doing something I almost never do which is reading a fantastic sermon that a friend of mine preached in 2006 on today's lessons and then adding some of my own comments (and of course I will be completely honest with the congregation that that's what I'm doing.) We'll see how the Spirit moves.
I'll probably try to run some time today--I have an early workout and then hair appointment tomorrow and am just vain enough not to want to get all sweaty so that my great blow out will last a couple of days...but you never know!
I've got tons of laundry and unpacking to do but it's all good.

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Almost home!

Greetings, gentle readers! I'm in the Continental Lounge at the Newark Airport with access to high speed internet for the first time in a long time, Praise Jesus. The internet in Palau is so incredibly slow that my impatient self couldn't bear to be waiting for a connection when I could be connecting with live people instead. The folks who work at Neco Marine and the Palau Pacific Resort, not to mention my best buddy Bert, are some of my favorite people in the world. My husband and I were treated like royalty and the precious bartender, Randy, made up a drink for me that will be the featured drink special for the month of May! He's calling it the Cherry Blossom. It's made with vodka, cherry liquor, fresh squeezed grapefruit juice, a little lime juice, and a bit of triple sec. Add ice, blend, and decorate with an umbrella, long stemmed cherry, and an orange slice. I felt quite honored. Now lest y'all think I spent all my time at the bar, let me hasten to reassure you that was not the case. I am absolutely thrilled to announce that I continued my running training in Palau! I would get up at 5:30, eat half a power bar, drink water (unless the breakfast buffet folks had the juice set up in which case they would bring be a small glass of juice because they are the kindest people in the world,) do my stretching by the beach looking at the moon rising over the Philippine Sea (so incredibly beautiful) and then head to the activity center which opened at 6 a.m. Timothy was my buddy who staffed the activity center and was so wonderful and encouraging. Everyone was encouraging me to stay hydrated because Palau is 8 degrees above the equator and diving can be dehydrating. And since I was pouring sweat while running (the activity center was airconditioned but set at about 80 degrees and I'm used to running in my 60 degree workout room in the basement so it was tough!) I had to be really focused on taking a big bottle of my favorite iced-tea and lemonade mixture on the dive boat every day. There were two days when I had to combine walking and running because the heat was making me really feel sick to my stomach. Timothy was off that day and nobody had turned on the airconditioning in the room so it felt like a sauna. It made my respect for Rachel running that Chicago marathon and train in freakin Africa skyrocket. But I did stay on the treadmill for the entire 30 minutes--I just ran about 22 and walked 8 in different intervals. When I was walking, I cranked the elevation up to hopefully work some other muscles. I was really careful about stretching before and after. The other day I didn't run all 30 minutes I have to say I let myself get psyched out by this little Japanese woman who was older than the great wall of China and had on a Pacific Marathon 2008 tshirt. She didn't WANT the aircondition on. And she had the tv cranked so loud on the Japanese news channel that I couldn't hear my ipod! I had enmity in my heart towards her. And she kept increasing her speed, I'm convinced, just to intimidate me. At one point, and I confess this with a somewhat heavy heart, I was thinking "Desire, Determination, Discipline, Hiroshima, Nagasaki." I did ask God's forgiveness and tried to find room in my heart to admire her incredible fitness at such a very, very, very old age. Did I mention how old she was? She kicked my 43 year old butt from hell to breakfast. And then started lifting weights. Totally dominated me. Bless her heart.
But the last day, Timothy was back, the ac was on, and I did my 30 minutes straight and it felt great. So I have finished my 10 week training program, have run 3 days of week 11, and will probably plan to run tomorrow morning since my jet lag will have me up pretty early.
Our trip home has been uneventful. Our next flight leaves in about 40 minutes. It will be good to be home. As soon as my wonderful husband finishes downloading all the pics he took, I'll get some of them posted so keep checking!
Peace to all,

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Up and Running in Palau!

After 6 flights and lots of hours of travel, we are happily and gratefully in Palau. It is so good to be back!
We decided not to dive yesterday since we didn't get settled into our room until close to midnight. I felt kind of bummed because since we went over the international dateline, we left Monday morning but arrived Tuesday night and I knew I needed to run. It is incredibly warm and humid here. But I got up yesterday morning, had a light breakfast, and headed to the activity center to check it out. They have two great treadmills with a beatiful view out of picture windows. The room is airconditioned, there is water and towels available, and Timothy, the staff member, was wonderfully kind and encouraging. So I went back to the room, put on my running clothes, grabbed my music and did my running. It felt GREAT! And I was whooped when I finisihed. I went back to the room, laid out my clothes to dry, slipped into my bathing suit, and then took a nice relaxing swim in the pool.
I spent the afternoon working on the sailboat (more about that later) that the Survivor folks have rented from us for the next few days. The boat looks great and I can't wait to get to go sailing. Last night we had a fabulous dinner at this little Thai place that is one of our favorites.
The internet has changed here at the hotel and now is no longer free. We have to pay by the hour and it is incredibly slow so that might alter my ability to post quite so much but my beloved husband is incredibly invested in us staying in touch with friends and family and knows I enjoy my blogging. He'll be taking lots of pictures today so hopefully I'll have some to post soon.
God is good, Palau and our friends here are like family, and we're having a great time. Now it's time to do some diving! Can't wait to see some sharks!

Monday, March 9, 2009

I tried

In the hotel in Houston. Today we fly to Palau! Our travel yesterday was uneventful and the only unfortunate thing was that we couldn't check our luggage through so we had to drag all the suitcases from the airport to the hotel and we'll have to take them all back this morning on the shuttle.
I set the alarm for 4:30 to go run on the treadmill in the fitness center which was just down the hall from our room. I didn't sleep well last night because I kept wondering if it was time to get up...
When the alarm went off, I got up, went into the little bathroom and turned on the coffee maker that I had set up last night. There was only one little pack of white imitation creamer and I knew my beloved husband would want that so I tried to drink the coffee black and eat part of a power bar. I put on my running shoes, got my ipod shuffle (along with the new sport headphones that my beloved got me which work GREAT!) and walked down the hall. Nobody else was there. CNN was on the TV so I turned that down and began to try to figure out the treadmill. It wasn't too hard and I did my five minutes of walking and then began my first time ever of running 30 minutes straight.
I tried.
Since it was my first time to do it, I didn't have a lot of markers. I knew the first 10 minutes would be tough. The music helped. But the next 10 minutes were tough, too!
I tried.
And, I'm thrilled to report, gentle readers,
I succeeded.
It liked to did me in, but I kept thinking about how glad I was going to be later that I didn't give up.
It was harder than I thought it would be but I believe it will get easier.
However, even if it doesn't get easier, I will just have to get tougher.
(That's me embracing my tiger.)
Off to Palau.
Alii! (That's kind of like "aloha" in Palauan)

Saturday, March 7, 2009

week 9 done!

Just finished.
Not quite gasping for breath but close.
Sweating onto the keyboard.
But I did it, gentle readers.
I completed week 9 of my training.
From now on, until I start my next program, I just run 30 minutes at a time, 4 times a week. I'm sticking to the M-W-F-S program.
I seem to do best when I run first thing in the morning so I'm going to try to stick to this even though God knows I love my sleep--I'll have to keep finding out what works for me.
I tell you what, I have to struggle to get through the first half but then it's downhill from there. I have to continually self-talk ("You've got this. You can do this. You will feel so good when this is over. C'mon. Desire, Determination, Discipline. Only quitters quit. You're not a quitter.") I'm not sure where I came up with the "only quitters quit"--not exactly profound wisdom but it seems to work for me.
The music really does help. The problem is finding headphones that work. The ear buds start to come out when I start sweating and I find myself continually having to push them back in. The regular ear pieces that come with the i-pod and i-shuffle don't really work for me either. Any suggestions?
Okay, time to finish the packing for Palau. Be well, gentle readers. I'll try to blog from the federated state of Micronesia!

Friday, March 6, 2009

Running toward the plane!

It's hard for me to believe that in 3 days I'll be on a plane headed for Palau!
I just finished my run with my trainer. She pushed me and it was pretty tortuous at times but I survived and she was proud of me. Tomorrow I finish week 9 of my training! For the next 2 weeks I'll just be running 30 minutes straight.
The chocolate milk was great.
I'm almost all packed for the trip--I just have to put together my carry-on bag and my toiletries. But now it's time for a pre-Palau pedicure so perhaps I'll write more later.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

the joys of chocolate milk

Rachel had told me that chocolate milk was the perfect thing to drink after a workout. And I had dutifully purchased both Nestle's Quik no sugar added and Hershey's chocolate sauce to do a taste test to see which I preferred. The Nestle's Quik of my childhood won out.
But I kept forgetting to drink it after I ran!
Today, I remembered.
Ahhhh, nectar of life.
I finished my run (to music, with my new little red ipod shuffle,) stretched, and then went into the kitchen and made myself a glass of chocolate milk. It tasted great and made me feel energized.
So hopefully I can add this as a regular treat--although I won't have it in Palau because the milk there is more like evaporated milk--it's good in coffee but I don't like it just to drink or on cereal--so I think in Palau I'll be relying on some juice and half an energy bar before I run then I'll come back, shower, eat breakfast, and head to the dive boat.
Half way through week 9!
Thank you, Jesus!

Monday, March 2, 2009

Winning the Chili Cookoff

This past weekend was the Winterfest/food/fundraiser for my church community--all the churches pitched in together to raise money for our local food pantry, the Rochester Public Market, and Church World Services. I was asked to donate a pot of chili for the chili cook-off.
I love cooking. I love to cook for lots of people. So I was more than happy to oblige. And when I got the phone call saying my chili had won the cook-off, I was elated! I posted this on my facebook page and have had numerous requests for my recipe.
Alas, gentle readers, RevMutha doesn't normally use recipes.
A little bit of this and a whole lotta that...
Here are the ingredients in my cook-off winning chili. I believe the secret was cooking it in my crock pot all night long so that the ground beef almost dissolves and the flavors really develop...and I don't add the beans until a couple of hours before serving. So in the chili was:
Chopped onions, bell pepper, garlic
90% lean ground beef
Red Chili powder (from Indian food market)
Cumin (lots)
smoked salt (I make this in my cast iron skillet--liquid smoke and coarse sea salt)
Rotel tomatoes
crushed tomatoes
Tabasco sauce
2 bottles of beer
worcesteshire sauce
white beans, black beans, light kidney beans, dark kidney beans
and lots of love.
I think that's everything and it tasted mighty good.
But y'all can come over to my house and I'll fix it for you anytime.

I love running to music!

Trainer was SO right!
This morning's run was nearly enjoyable!
Okay, I'll just say it:
It was totally enjoyable. Either that or my post exercise endorphins are kicking in. My playlist ranged from Rascal Flatts to Akon--Kanye to Fergie. The only problem was that the tempos weren't all exactly the same so I think that once it's warm enough to run outside, I'll have an easier time pacing the running to music. But I ran faster than I have in the past and felt pretty relaxed. The time seemed to fly by. And the great thing was the divine way my playlist worked out: I was listening to "Jai Ho," the oscar-winning theme from "Slumdog Millionaire" and the slow part of the song came on at exactly my 1 minute cool down in the middle of the run. I thought "Praise the Lord!" Now I'm looking forward to running on the beach in Palau with my ipod.
Desire, Determination, Discipline.
And good tunes.

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Getting geared up for week 9

Tomorrow morning I will officially begin week 9 of my 10 week training program. Each week has gotten progressively more challenging and so far I've been able to rise to the challenge. I have to believe that I can do it tomorrow, too. Run 14 minutes, walk 1 minute, repeat twice. One minute doesn't seem like a lot of recovery time and it isn't--but I can do this. Especially since next week I'll be running 30 minutes straight. Desire, Determination, Discipline. I'll run in the morning and then go do a conditioning work-out with my trainer.
Next Monday I will be running at a hotel somewhere in Houston before we board our plane to Palau (stopping in Honolulu, Guam, and Yap before landing in Koror, Palau.) Then I'll be running next Wednesday and the the week after that in Palau. I'm hoping that I can stay on my program while I'm in Palau. It's all a matter of deciding to do it and then following through. Thank God my wonderful spouse is so supportive. It might mean waking up a little (lot) earlier because the dive boat picks us up at the dock each morning at 8:30 and we have to eat breakfast and get all our stuff together before then, but it can certainly be done. If I get up at 6, eat part of a power bar and grab some coffee, hit the fitness center by 6:30, back to the room at 7:30, quick shower, pack up dive stuff...well, might need to back it up by 30 minutes...but it'll all work.
Bur first I have to get through tomorrow morning!
I'll let y'all know how it goes.