Tuesday, December 8, 2009

A New Running Friend

I mentioned in a previous post that we had lost our wonderful dog Lucy recently. She was the greatest dog (I am now a dog person because of her!) I know I will always miss her. I knew I wanted another dog so over Thanksgiving week I took the kids to a local animal shelter. Our new dog would have to be a rescue like Lucy was. Anyway we head to the shelter and get checked in with badges and all then we proceed to the puppy area. The dogs all looked so ready to get out of there and it was rather distressing. I spotted a puppy in the corner just quiet in his cage and that was it he had to go home with us. He is very sweet and calm. The kids were not very picky, they just wanted a cute dog. Jake was one of only four pups there that day. The girls that worked there told me they were busy the day before. I guess because he was quiet people weren't interested but I liked his calm demeanor. So we get him home and he is really scared being in a new place. Gradually he starts to eat and feel comfortable around us. He starts to seem a little too quiet to me. A few days later we take him back to the shelter to have a vet look at him and we get some unsettling news. She thinks he has either Kennel Cough (not so bad) or Distemper (definitely bad). He gets some medicine and we are told he will either get better or much worse. Wow, so we are really upset and I watch him closely for the next week as he takes his meds. He starts to get more active and is still eating and drinking so I figure that is good. I also decide to take him to our local vet just to get their take on the situation. Our local vet says it is not Distemper, just Kennel Cough and he will recover in a few days. I am happy to say his is getting better and is now acting like he is ready to start getting outside and getting in shape. He is still really calm for a puppy and he actually does what we tell him to. He is good with the kids though he is weary of strangers (which I guess is good). I am still trying to figure out what type of dog he is, the shelter had him listed as a lab mix. I suppose I need to post some pictures and maybe someone will have an idea...

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Running State Of Mind

Lately I have wondered what attracts me to running. My motivation has been at an all time low yet running is still on my mind. I remember when I was fast (all relative I know) and I ran with the fast people. I enjoyed the competition and was constantly looking to improve and reach higher goals. I think the first thing that really hooked me 6 years ago was that running was an escape, a place where my mind was only in the moment. My problems were never solved during a run and I never thought about world peace or whatever only how I was feeling or if I could pick up the pace to catch the runner ahead. I would listen to my friends discuss their lives and comment if I had the breath. On an easy run I could joke and laugh and just enjoy the experience still never thinking of my non running self. These days I am happy if I get in 2-3 miles in a morning and I notice how much better I feel when I do. Maybe it is because I took a moment to just exist quietly in my mind and turn off the rest of the noise. I guess this is why I am jealous when I am speeding to my various appointments throughout the day and I catch a glimpse of a runner out my window. I always think about that state of mind and wonder when I will be there again.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

My Life as a Non Runner

Lately I would have to classify myself as a non runner due pretty much to running very little or never. When I do run I have to take walk breaks much like when I first started six years ago and that stinks. My clothes do not fit the same and I have been making lame attempts to run just to somewhat fit into my pants. Business has been challenging the last 2 months so that has taken away from workouts as well. For me I tend to loose focus in training when other parts of my life are distracting me. Some continue to be dedicated through good and bad times but not me. Things are picking up at work but it always seems to be something lately. Work starts to go better and then something crops up with the kids and so on. We lost our dedicated and loving dog Lucy on Friday. She was suffering greatly and now she is in a better place. We miss her. So this is how life has been for a non runner that misses running and sunnier days.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

XC Relay Report

Another weekend of hills seemed to be on the agenda for me. I headed to the Tornado's XC relay on Saturday after a day of setting up for another event later that evening. My formal attire was stashed in a friend's hotel room before I left because I knew there was no way I could make it home before the banquet started. The plan was to be the first runner and then get straight to my car afterwards and fly down the freeway in time to get there before the 6:30pm dinner. This race was much harder than I remember. The last time I ran this was year before last and I was in much better shape. This year I was happy to get through the race in one piece. Definitely not an easy time. Either way after the heat and hills and some short recovery it was back to Clear Lake for a nice dinner and good company. After the program my phone rang so I stepped outside and my friend Jackie told me we placed second overall. I was pretty surprised but I had a good team and they were able to really pick it up and smoke the course. I enjoyed meeting all the girls and I look forward to another good team next year! The rest of the night included some good beverages and dancing (as best I could on sore legs). All in all a really good end to the day.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Toughest 10K

I got a strange idea last week about entering a race. What better to do after several months of very little running but enter a race? Actually the slower more relaxed approach I have taken to my runs has been a good thing for me. I think I forgot how to enjoy just taking a nice jog with friends. Anyway I decided to run the Kemah bridge on Thursday morning with one of my favorite running friends. We survived (much to our surprise) and it put another idea in my mind. Maybe I should run the Toughest 10K on Saturday. I really had no idea if I could even finish. My long run has been only 6 miles and no hill training. I showed up at the boardwalk Saturday and decided to just run how I felt and walk if I needed to. I really enjoyed seeing all of the running friends I had missed over the last several months. A long lost family member even showed up (my second cousin). Very interesting. So we chat and catch up and then the race starts. I go out easy and just try to stay comfortable because I know the bridge is sitting there waiting and I have to make the climb 4 times. Ouch. I get through the first two climbs OK and I try to keep the fit people in view. The third time up I am starting to feel bad and I really want to walk but I keep chugging. Finally the last climb is behind me and I move forward to the painful finish. Thankfully my family is there to congratulate me on my finish. I hurry home and on the way I get a call that I left my age group award behind. I really did not even think I could place on such a tough course so I was happy. This was over 7 minutes slower that my 10K PR but I think my performance was better than I have ever done. Good times with friends and a workout that kicked my butt (in a good way)! All in all not too bad...

Thursday, July 9, 2009

I Got the Music Back

So I finally found my ipod in an old gym bag (been really long time since I showed my face at the Y). Now I am getting up regularly to run 3-5 miles most days. The run this morning did not feel good, the humidity really overwhelmed me. When I run a little later in the day (6:30 am instead of 5am) I can tolerate the heat because the humidity is somewhat lower. Anyway I am glad to be back in some kind of routine. I need to find a race to train for when it gets a little cooler. I am thinking something short like a 5K or 10K. Registration for Houston is approaching and I would like to register for the half but even that sounds so long. My long runs right now top out at 7 miles. I suppose January is far enough off that I may be in decent shape by then.

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Wii Fit Running

Our family decided to get on board with the Wii Fit trend even if a little late. I of course had to try out the running as my first activity. Oh let me back up I had to do my fitness test and get my Wii Fit age and BMI. Wow I am 47 with a BMI of 20, yikes. Anyway after a few more tests it seems for all of us the Wii added 12 years to your real age. So I get over this and go for a short run. With this activity you do not use the balance board you just run in place for around half a mile. The more you workout you unlock more activities. I am now at the longer runs (a few miles) and I have wised up and gotten on the treadmill while I do these. The running in place was not working for me and it killed my calves. I really like the Yoga and strength exercises and the kids love the balance games and running. Of course I like running outside better but lately with work there is just little opportunity.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Ten Things I Hate About Running

I actually love running but right now it is fighting me so I will list my hates related to this addictive and frustrating sport:

1. How slow it is to make progress

2. How quickly fitness is lost

3. Not being able to run speed without blasting my ipod (I can't find my ipod right now so speed is suffering)

4. How hard it is to get motivated sometimes

5. Seeing how easy it is for some people to run 5-10 miles daily for years on end (what is with that anyway?)

6. Being in a new age group and all of the really fast peeps turned by age right after me (or just before)

7. Hot weather

8. Early morning running ( I love my Clear Lake group but man I can never make it on time)

9. Realizing it will be years if ever before I make some of my running goals and by then I probably won't even care...

10. I forgot ten but you get the point...

A good thing - Having a sweet daughter that reads this over my shoulder and offers to loan me her ipod :)

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

A Missed Workout (Sort Of)

I have now caught up on all of my blog reading so now I can get around to posting something. I missed my track workout last night due to a late meeting. I was really bothered by this since I had just started to get into training again. I got home about 7:30 pm and quickly changed to do my track on the treadmill. This was a hard workout mainly because the treadmill is very hard mentally and I just wanted to be finished. The workout was 4X 400 meters, 5 minute rest, 4X 400 meters. The good thing about being on the treadmill was all I had to do was set the speed and keep up. I didn't reduce the speed the entire workout so I was happy about that. I even raised the incline for good measure. I felt terrible this morning but I still met the Kroger group for a 5 miler at 5 am. Today at work I am ready to just fall asleep but sadly I have another evening meeting and I just hope I can survive. Happy Wednesday to all!

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

The Track

I went to the track workout at CL High School yesterday as I knew it was time and I needed a good kick in the pants. The workout was 6 x 800 with three minutes rest between. I looked up the splits I would need in order to be in shape to run a sub 20 5K. I know you are supposed to enter the time you have done for your best race and I couldn't stop myself from entering 19:45 for a 5K and seeing what the calculator spit back. I have not managed that time yet but I was curious. The splits it gave were between 2:59-3:08. This has been possible in the past but I have not been to the track in like 2 years so this could be very bad. The results were:

1st 800 3:00

2nd 800 3:06

3rd 800 3:08

4th 800 turned into 400 in 1:30 or so

5th 800 3:09

I only made it to 5 and I was done. After recovering a bit I wish I had done the last rep. Anyway I went and showed my face and I didn't do too bad considering my complete lack of track work. I am still alive to tell about it and I even ran 7 miles this morning with the Kroger group. I am making my way back to real training and I just hope I can stick to it. Tomorrow I am venturing to the tempo workout for more punishment.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Back to the Land of the Running

I am no longer directing any sort of race so now I can get back to actually running a race. I have to say I did like directing my kids elementary school fun run because the kids really got into it. Adults are very concerned with details like do we have their shirt size? or what will the course be? Kids are just ready to run. I think adults just think too much about it and let the mental things hold us back. I really wish I could run like I did when I was 7 and didn't have a care in the world except beating some boy to the finish that had talked trash about girls (wait that sounds familiar, I guess I still do that).

Anyway we had a relaxing beginning to spring break with a trip to the Hyatt Hill Country resort in San Antonio. This is a great family getaway with things to do for everyone. Mike and I played golf on Saturday and spent Sunday at the spa. The Fitness center is nice and since the weather was cold in the mornings I ran a quick 3 miles on the treadmill and did some weights. The weather warmed up enough on Sunday afternoon for the kids to play in the pool and lazy river. We were all ready to leave Monday and get back to the real world (well maybe not all of us). I hope it was a good racing weekend for all...

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Love on the Run 5K February 15th

OK so I had to do a plug for the race I am directing this weekend at the University of Houston Clear Lake. Sign up is still going on this week just email pschneider@5to50.com for details. The 5K will be entirely run on the UHCL campus and there will be plenty of refreshments and awards in 5 year age groups. There is even a special couples category for Valentine's day. The fastest couple will receive an award. This race was formerly known as the 5K 4 Fireworks last year. The theme has changed but it is still the same great course. We are expecting a bigger crowd this year and it should be a good time. I have gotten the opportunity to learn a whole other side of the racing world. This afternoon was spent learning race timing software and how to generate results. Being involved in this project has made me really appreciate the work that goes into organizing races. Next time you are at the races remember to thank the race director and/or volunteers.

Monday, January 26, 2009

Year of the Ox

Evidently this is supposed to be a challenging year for me being a tiger in the year of the ox. I read about this on the internet today while I was supposed to be working. I am supposed to have 3 neutral months and 9 unfavorable months. Yikes, this was a bit unnerving to see. The snake is supposed to have the best year of all with 10 favorable months and 2 neutral months. We shall see how this year goes, it should be interesting. Anyway I am back to running though not much lately as there is little time for it. Mainly I try to jump on the treadmill whenever I get a minute between work and family. Work has been nonstop and I would really welcome a vacation over spring break. Who knows if that is in the cards but it would be really really nice. I am off too sleep because it has been a long day and tomorrow will be even more so. Happy year of the ox!

Sunday, January 18, 2009

The Marathon is Like a Box of Chocolates....

You never know the weather you will get. I knew it would be a tough day when I woke up and it was already 60 degrees. This is a bad thing for me who has never been a warm (60+ degrees) weather runner. I decided I would just gut it out and if a good time was not in the cards I would just try to enjoy the run. Things went downhill around the half and I pulled my chip off to relieve any pressure I may place on myself abut the time. After that I just ran when I felt like it and walked when the urge hit. I stopped at mile 17 to give the kids a hug and then kept on chugging. I stopped a few more times to say hi to a few friends I saw. When I saw the beer booth just after mile 20 or so I pulled over and had some. I have never actually had beer during a marathon so that was a first. This was good because it was very warm and cold beer was my friend. The last few miles were pretty cruddy with much more walking than running but I bumped into a friend from BCRR and we were able to finish together (a PR for him, congrats Eddie!). I was happy to enjoy the day and I got to do things I never have in a marathon like high five kids and laugh with friends. This being said I look forward to shorter races where I think better times can be found. I hope those who were out there today had a great race!

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Yeah, I Really Love January at the Gym!

So I rush to the gym yesterday to try and get in 3 miles before circuit class. I drop the kids at the childcare room and head toward the treadmills only to find every last one taken. I don't remember ever having to wait for a treadmill. Then it hits me this is January and these individuals are all pumped up with New Years Resolution spirit or something. Now am waiting and wondering if I should just head to class or stick it out and try to get a treadmill. I am reminded of those times in Disney World when you had to circle the restaurants like a shark waiting to pounce on a table as soon as the people looked like they might be taking their last bites. Yes this was just like that. Finally an open treadmill! I jump on and think about how the regulars will have the place to ourselves when February comes around. I hope 2009 brings good things for everyone. Happy New Year!