Proud of Me

I like to “toot my own horn” every now & again.  Reminds me of the good stuff I’m doing, especially on the days when there’s just so much going on that I can’t even stop long enough to take a breath, much less a bite to eat.

It’s nice to work for a school district that’s located in a city that shuts down once a year to party.  Today is that day.  I celebrated by sleeping in and then having the worst, junky breakfast (that wasn’t part of the celebration … oh, alright, yes it was) and topping it off with a couple of very good workouts.

I wouldn’t have done this a couple of years ago.  I did head out for a few miles and snap lots of pictures last year on the Battle of Flowers but I didn’t workout with near the intensity I did today.  Or lately.

Some folks might look at my current training as pretty light-weight but for me at my present fitness level, it is intense.  And I enjoy it!  Besides, unless they’re working out, who are they to judge?

I’m not “married” to a particular sport (running, swimming, cycling) and I’m happy exploring all three, trying other different workouts, and just plain having fun.

Bonus: the scale is finally becoming my friend.  It’s been a very hard three months watching my weight only drop by an ounce or half a pound each week but the accumulation of these ounces and half pounds is finally starting to build into something significant and I am seeing that progress.  Total weight loss since the Cobweb Chaser on January 1st – 10 pounds.  Trust me.  I worked for every pound I lost.

It would be nice, though, to start seeing more substantial loss.  Hence my stepping up my workouts and varying the stuff that I do.  Just walking wasn’t cutting it.  As long as I continue to heal from my injury and be wise about what I do, I’m confident I’ll continue to see progress.

Life is good these days, despite the lousy last couple of reports from my doctors.  I’m not letting their dire reports get me down, though.  They have a plan to help me and I have a plan, too.  Together, we’re gonna whip this body into shape.

This is me tooting my own horn:  TOOT, TOOT!


Wearing down the brakepads

I posted a note on dailymile on March 11th that my bike kinda scares me.  I wrote that statement a few days after my foot injury.  I knew I’d have to stay off my foot for the next few weeks and that the only way I’d really be able to work out would be to log workouts on my bicycle.

I’m not sure where the fear came from.  Actually, I do know where the fear comes from and ain’t comin’ from God.

I’m in the middle of Max Lucado’s book, Fearless, and I had a real come to Jesus moment the other day on my way to work: up to that point, I had let fear prevent me from doing a lot of things.

It started out fairly harmless: not wanting to ride the roller coasters at Fiesta Texas several years back.  But that initial fear metamorphosed into really irrational fears of driving over bridges … heck, just driving on the highway was starting to become an ordeal because I was afraid of getting into a car accident.  So all of this boiled down to the fear I had about getting on my bike and riding it.  Anywhere.

In addition to Lucado’s book, I have the plantar faciitis to thank for getting me on my bike.

I have, in a matter of a few weeks, come from the point of I can’t do it to I CAN and I WILL.  I don’t need no stinkin’ fear!

I do, however, need brake pads.

I got to wondering the other night on my ride if it were possible to wear down the brake pads on my bike by riding my brakes too much.  I pondered this for a couple of miles as I reasoned that car brake pads wear out if you ride them, so bike brake pads might as well.

That’s when I really and truly stopped riding my brakes on the downhills and started enjoying the journey.  It’s taken me several miles and quite a few trips alone to get to this point.  Do I guard my brakes?  Heck yeah!  Especially since my solo rides are in my neighborhood.  Just never know when a car will back out (happens all the time), a soccer ball will come flying at me (happened last week), or a pet will run from their owner or yard into the street (not yet, but I’m sure it will).  There’s a difference between fear and being safe.  Guarding the brakes is something taught in Driver’s Ed.  Guarding means I’m ready to use them if needed.  Fear means I’m gonna use them all the time, regardless of whether or not they’re needed.

I found a trail close to home that I want to do this weekend.  It’s almost 30 miles round trip and the guy who plotted the trail said it’s fairly flat and good for the new cyclist.  I told Hub and he got a little worried because of the location of the trail.  Will he ride it with me?  I’m not sure.  I told him I want to drive the trail first, so maybe if he rides along with me, he’ll feel more comfortable with repeating it all in the saddle.

A dailymile friend posted a link to a cycling challenge.  I’m passing it along to you in case you’re interested.  It’s a 30-day cycling challenge:  Ride every day of April.  Doesn’t matter the distance, just that you get out there and ride.  What could be easier?  Here’s the link to sign up:


Still not convinced?  Check out this video!

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.