What I can do

“Lisa, I hate to tell you to stop working out …”

This is the statement my doctor kept repeating yesterday while she was checking out my foot (turns out I have developed plantar faciitis … boo).  I looked at her with a steady gaze and asked, “Can I still swim?  How about cycle?”  She looked at me, thought for a brief moment, and said, “Well of course you can do those!”  I asked her, “Just to clarify, the only thing I can’t do right now is run, right?”  She brightened up and replied, “Yes.  You’re still good to swim & cycle.”

Well, that was an easy fix!

So the Mission 10K on the 9th is out … unless I want to continue training and make the plantar faciitis worse. I’m not willing to play that game … especially since I’ve already registered for the Wine Run on May 14th and I have no plans to miss that!

I must confess, I’m not used to people telling me what I can’t do.  I don’t look at life through a glass half-empty.  We all have our limitations.  So what?  Even mountains can be scaled by blind men.  And men without limbs can travel the world to share an incredible message.  Who needs limbs? Or sight?

I am an educator.  I work with children with disabilities.  I have spent the past dozen years of my life helping my kids (and the teachers that work with them) find ways to be successful in spite of their physical or intellectual obstacles.

I agree whole-heartedly with Taylor Mali. I wanted to shout at my doctor to not tell me what I can’t do but what I CAN!

“Lisa, I hate to tell you to stop working out …”

Okay.  Then don’t.

Learning to Fall

Hub commented while laughing yesterday that I need to learn how to fall.

I took a tumble off my bike yesterday toward the end of mile 3 in the parking lot at Crescent Bend.  I had glanced at my Garmin, saw that we had only been riding for 25 minutes or so and we hadn’t even gone 4 miles.  I was attempting to ride between the concrete parking pylons when rather than riding past one, my front wheel clipped the corner of one.  Bike fell over, I slammed into the ground and just lay there.  Managed to scrape my arm & leg during the fall.  Thank goodness I had my gloves on or I’d have scraped my palms, too.  I rolled onto my back, my bike on top of me, and just looked up at the sky.  “Ow, that really hurt” was all I said.

This isn’t the first time gravity has had its way with me.

Hub gave me what I still consider the coolest birthday gift ever a few years ago … a pair of roller blades.  We took them out for a test ride/drive at the local community college parking lot.  All was going well until I realized I was rolling downhill, wasn’t sure how to slow down, and before I knew it was face first on the pavement.  I remember crying because I really managed to hurt myself pretty badly.  Almost broke my face (seriously!  slammed my face into the pavement and almost broke my orbital socket).  Hub was very close to being accused of wife abuse when I went to the hospital for x-rays on my knee and face.  The staff wanted me to bring him back to the hospital so they could “talk” to him.  I told them that all of this was because of my rollerblades … honest!  I never did go back to that hospital.  And I definitely didn’t send Hub in!

At any rate, after Hub patched me up yesterday afternoon, he said I need to learn the art of falling.  There’s apparantly more to it than just slamming your body into the ground.  I’m supposed to be able to tuck myself into a sort of ball and roll.  Like a gymnast.  Hmmmm.

I’m actually not convinced.  Surprised?  Me, neither.

I think I’ll focus on the opposite: learning to ride and not fall.  You know … so I can finish my ride.  You see, I’ve got another ride planned for today because and I can’t believe I’m saying this … I’m still healing from a foot injury that occurred last weekend on an evening run and I promised myself I wouldn’t put any significant distance on my feet until tomorrow.

Maybe I should stick to swimming.

So long Saucony

Let me preface this with:

I love dogs.  Ask anyone, they’ll tell you.  Heck, ask my dogs.  If they could talk, they’d tell you!

And kids.  I love kids.  I’m an educator … it’s kind of part of the job description, ya know?

What I don’t like are dogs and strollers in races.  If the race is designed specifically for dogs or kids in strollers, then so be it.  I might or might not enter depending on whether or not I’m interested in the venue.  If I enter, then I’ll deal with the poochies or the strollers and not complain.  But when the venue states no dogs or strollers and people show up with them anyway … I’m gonna say something.  Granted, it might be under my breath.  Or I just might say something out loud.  Depends on how “punchy” I happen to be at the time.

Today’s race was chock full o’ dogs & strollers.  And I want to personally thank the two runners with dogs that almost tripped me from behind … twice … because they didn’t pay attention to where their dogs were in relation to me and them.  Yes, tatertots, you read correctly … tripped from behind.  Thankfully crisis was averted each time by me being wise enough to scoot out of their dogs’ way.  Can you imagine?

But that’s not the real reason for today’s post.

The real reason is because I said “goodbye” to a brand of running shoes that I have worn since I began this journey back in 2006.  This is momentous because I’ve sworn by Saucony for years.

I haven’t been able to resolve my blister issue despite the numerous tips from runner friends.  I’ve tried new socks (the wicking kind), petroleum jelly on the soles of my feet, lacing my shoes a different way, layering my socks.  None of these worked.  I have over the past four weeks blistered on the sole of my foot on every run or walk over 3.5 miles.

Ms. BQ was sharing news this morning about a 10K in April she’d like us to train for (the three of us that have never run a marathon, that is).  I bit my lower lip thinking about the inevitable blisters I’d develop if I trained for a 10K right now and I wasn’t looking forward to that.  Thing is … I really want to increase my mileage but I’ve been taking it easy & limiting my long days to 5 miles because of the blister factor.

Ms. BQ swears by New Balance.  She & I have had several conversations about her passion for New Balance and I told her that I was going to give them a try.

Hub suggested we head over to the New Balance store to seek their advice on my blister dilemma.  So off we went.  And I am happy to report that I walked out with a new pair of running shoes.

I have a mile to run tonite.  It’s a dedication mile that I promised I’d do today in memory for the mother of a dailymile friend who lost her battle to leukemia this past week.

And yes, I’ll be wearing my new shoes.

Marathon Weekend

Before I forget, Mum!  I saw a tree full of cedar waxwings yesterday morning!  Looks like Spring is here.  Too soon, too soon!

I posted on DailyMile that I have been “talking up” my running group with my colleagues at our weekly campus audits.  I always end with, “You should join us!”  Well, my supervisor took me up on it this past Thursday.  I was pleased!  So we headed over to the Pearl after work and I told her I’d walk her pace and we would only stay out as long as she wanted to stay out.  Ms. BQ’s beginner 5k plan calls for 20 minutes on the first day, so I suggested we stick to that.  She asked me how far I planned to go and I shared I had planned on 3-4 miles but that I’d hang with her since it was her first time.  She said she wanted to do 30 minutes and so off we went.  After our 30 minutes along the river, I got her safely back to her car and headed for home.

I was telling Hub yesterday that I almost didn’t workout yesterday morning.  The road was wet and there was a nasty constant drizzle falling.  Those who know me will tell you that my least favorite time to hit the road is when it’s wet.

Yesterday marked day 50 of the 100 Day challenge.  I’ve been working on depleting my bank of missed days over the past couple of weeks and so I’m actually only on day 32.  But that’s okay!  My goal is to finish the challenge and that is what I plan to do. (speaking of, I really need to update my 100 days page …)

This is a marathon weekend for a few of my DM friends:  The Una Runner finished his marathon in Myrtle Beach yesterday with a Boston Qualifying time of 3:09, 45 minutes faster than his last fastest marathon time.  The guy took 45 minutes off his last race time.  Way beyond amazing! Rich & Kim are running the Austin marathon this morning … gun time in one minute.  Rich is also a Boston Qualifier and I think Kim is as well.  These guys are fast!  Jim is running the Hampton Half in Virginia as I type and I hope he has a great time today.

I share a little about all these people because they have been instrumental in keeping me focused on my goal of becoming a healthier, more fit person.  I couldn’t NOT get out on the road yesterday after telling my DM friends that I was going to be working on pace and distance this weekend.  Lenny wrote to me and said I should work on speed only once every couple of weeks.  Since my next 5K is next weekend, I opted to work on pace yesterday.  I’ll lace up and head out for some distance after I finish writing.

And as I headed out yesterday morning, I thought about each of these guys and the races they were doing this weekend.  Something inside of me “clicked” and before I knew it, my fast walking pace had turned into a slow running pace.  I didn’t run fast & I didn’t run far, but I ran.  I RAN!  As I was running, I started looking around at the countryside (there’s not much of this around my house anymore, houses are being built so fast that “countryside” can only be seen in short glimpses … and you have to know where to look) and I thought, “So this is what it’s like to be a runner!”  It felt good.

Seeing the tree full of Cedar Waxwings was icing on a very delicious cake.

By the way, I didn’t work on pace.  The very experience of running and enjoying it blew any chances of putting in an interval workout.  Oh well.  No worries!

I won’t run today … it’s a distance day and every training program I’ve read for beginning runners discourages consecutive days of running for the first several weeks until a mileage base has been built. So I’ll walk my mileage today.

And I’ll be happy.

Will work for stickers

“Hi, I’m Lisa and I’m a sticker whore.” {hi Lisa}

You would think I’m 4 years old the way I get all giddy for stickers.

Yes tatertots.  I’m talking about the silly little pieces of art that teachers put on the top of an assignment indicating a job well done.

I love ’em!  Ask my new running group to share my story about training for my first half marathon and they’ll tell you that the first thing I talked about was the fact that someone was going to give me a 13.1 sticker if I finished the race.  I was ecstatic!

I’ve spent the last week trying to figure out my fascination/passion/obsession with stickers and I think I’ve narrowed it down to these:

  • a sticker represents an accomplishment, a job well-done if you will
  • I don’t get a whole lot of verbal praise for what I do and so a sticker gives me the visual “atta girl” I need to keep moving on
  • stickers measure progress
  • stickers are cool

You don’t think they’re cool?  Then why do so many people put stickers of every kind on their vehicles?  See, now I’ve got you thinking, don’t I?

I started the 100 Days of Movement Challenge on January 1st.  Someone created a simple 100 chart so everyone could track their progress.  I printed that baby off and went out and bought some puffy star stickers.  Little did I know that my stickers were larger than the boxes and so my progress chart is starting to look a little messy but that’s not the point.  I know that I have an opportunity every day to earn the right to put a sticker on my chart.  I’ve got a sticker on each day … for the most part.


100 Days Chart

As you can see, there was a string of days in the first week that I didn’t do what I was supposed to do and so I didn’t get a sticker.  And I’m okay with that.  This is the first time I’ve ever used a sticker chart to measure progress on anything and I’m amazed that 23 days in to the challenge I’m still as motivated by the prospect of getting a sticker today as I was on day 1.

I don’t know why stickers have such a hold on me.  I’ve tried other visual charts and they just didn’t appeal to me at all.

Can I predict that progress charts will continue to fascinate me as I train for my various races this year?  Who’s to say.

One thing’s for sure … they do now and I’m really thankful for the little reward at the end of each day I stick to the plan.

The Colonel was in town on TDY this week and so I invited him to join me and my running group after work on Thursday.  We all got our respective distances & times in and then we headed over to the brewery to chat and … well, what do runners do after a run?  Um yeah, drink beer!  (They did, I stuck to water) The Colonel picked Ms. BQ’s brain about ways to increase his speed and we all talked about our upcoming races.  One that we (sans Colonel) are planning to do as a group is the Beach to Bay marathon relay down in Corpus later this spring.  So cool!  We’ve got our team and we’ll get our lodging taken care of and pay our registration fee in the next few weeks.

But there’s still one unanswered question:  Do I get to graduate to the 26.2 sticker once we finish the relay?

Just sayin’



Another one for the books

2010 was by far, my worst year athletically speaking, than any year since I was diagnosed with diabetes. My goal has always been to show the world that diabetics can and should maintain healthy and active lifestyles.  I fell waaaaay short of this goal in 2010.

In addition, despite all my good intentions, I participated in only one race in 2010:  Mitchell Lake 5k on Memorial Day.  And have I mentioned that I haven’t been able to lose those blasted pounds I gained during my crushed foot fiasco?  Serious bummer!

I have no excuses and I won’t lament what could have or should have been.

I will, instead, do what we all do on the 31st of December: I’ll shrug off the old year and plan for the one ahead.

I’ve already committed to participate in John Bingham’s 100 Day challenge.  I’ve even created my own accountability chart and will post to it daily to both document my progress through the challenge and to show myself that 2010 was history, 2011 is my future … and it looks pretty darn bright!

I got really pumped when I received the e-mail from Aflac Iron Girl this morning notifying me that registration for the 2011 race series opened at 9am Eastern today.  Much like many who thumb through seed catalogs, I thumbed through and studied each of the events to determine which would be the best one for me to enter.  I’ve decided on Boulder in late August.  This gives me plenty of time to save up for hotel and gas.  Since it’s a triathlon, I’ll need to drive so I can transport my bike.  Two days of driving up & two days back … yikes!

Hub’s first concern was the short timeframe.  I understand his concern, but I know I can do this.

I’ll be finishing the 100 days in mid April which is just in time for the Komen 5k.  The sun will be setting later so I can start training on my bike after work.  Not to mention, pool temps should be rising so I can get my swim workouts in.

See?  No problem!

I can only enter two big events this year and so my second event will be the Rock’n’Roll SA in November.  I’ll do the half this year.   I can start planning for 2012 after the RnR, so let’s not get ahead of ourselves just yet.  One thing I need to keep in mind is I’d like to do Austin (half) in February, so I need to be cognizant of the timing to send in my entry fee.

2011: No turning back, no lamenting the past.

Good night sweetheart

Last night was the first time in a l-o-o-o-n-g time I’ve slept a solid seven.

I credit it to two things:

  1. I was bloomin’ exhausted
  2. All of my end-of-month stuff was turned in on time

Meeting deadlines might not mean much to some people; I stress horribly if I don’t meet my deadlines.  Which means I don’t sleep and lack of sleep makes me crabby (just ask Hub).

And can we talk about the cool weather?  My goodness it’s such a welcome break from the heat we’ve been having.  “Downtown” Steve Brown is predicting a mild winter.  I can’t say I mind so much.  Last winter was a challenge to get out and run because of the wind chill.  Since I’m planning to run/walk a half mary in April, I need to be out training as many days as possible (no access to a dreadmill).  The cooler weather has opened my workout window, meaning I can sleep in without feeling the guilt of missing that 60 minute window of time before the day turns so hot that the only thing I want to run to is the nearest fan.


Ah, the blessings of a good night’s sleep!

Up next:  Coffee time!