Monday, August 16, 2010

An athlete?

We did it! Katie and I completed our first ever Covered Bridge Metric Century bike ride in Lancaster, PA. The ride included three possible distances for us to choose from; 25k (17 miles), 50K (31 miles) or a 100K (62 miles). It took us 5 hours to complete it and it rained for probably the last 10 miles, I mean, really rained, but we finished the 50K; 32 miles (the route ended up being 32 miles, instead of 31)… This was quite an accomplishment for both of us, as the most either one of us has over done before was 20 miles.

We were greeted at the finish line by Katie’s mom and two little girls that joined us for the weekend. Also joining us were two other lady riders, who completed the 100k; that’s 62 miles. Should I mention that they completed it in less time than it took us to complete the 50K? Nah….haha. I have to admit I find that a bit embarrassing, but at the same time, I’m still amazed that I did it at all!

I’d like to say that I lost a couple of pounds riding a bike for 5 hours, but not so. I was so hungry FROM riding a bike for 5 hours that I think I consumed enough food to make up for every calorie burned during the ride. The sugar cookies, pretzel sticks and turkey hill ice cream they provided after the ride were damn good and well earned!

The volunteers working the water/snack stops were friendly and helpful. The riders were supportive and friendly. If they found you resting along the side of the rode, they’d ask if you were OK as they whizzed by. I assume if you were to say no, they’d send some help but not sure I believe they would have actually stopped. There was the sac wagon that cruised by every once in a while making sure that we were all safe and feeling well.

It was pretty clear from the beginning that I didn’t really fit in with these riders. First off, I wasn’t wearing the right clothes. I had on my ¾ length exercise pants that are really yoga pants apparently and a yoga tank top, belonging to another exercise outfit of mine. Apparently I find yoga gear to be very comfortable to wear when running. All the other riders had their spandex shorts and spandex shirts with cute little pockets on the back to hold stuff. I’ve decided while I can do without the spandex, I need one of these shirts!

Not only were my clothes all wrong, but apparently my bike was too. I believe it was at the first rest stop when a rider noticed that I was sporting a mountain bike and I was then told that I was “ambitious”. I am pretty certain it was a nice way of saying “stupid”. Most riders had what I am told is called a “road bike”. It’s a much thinner, lighter bike; the frame is smaller and the tires are probably half as thick as mine. However, considering the rainy weather, I’d like to think I had the advantage of having the safer tires. *smile*

I am trying to convince Katie that next year, we will be ready to ride the 100k – 62 miles. Guess I will be adding that on to my goals for 2011, right along side my goal to run a full marathon.
Next up, is the half-marathon scheduled for October 16th, 2010. I began my 12 week training for it this past Tuesday. Unfortunately, I wasn’t thinking clearly and miscalculated just how much time I had to train. This means that it will actually be only 9 weeks instead of 12. Considering all the runs I missed and the multiple injuries I endured, including the concussion, while training for the 10 miler in June, I can’t say that I’m all that concerned. I say lets get it on!

There are also a few smaller races before then. There is the Race for the Cure (5k) on October 3rd I’ll be participating in. I also received a notification in the mail about a “Run to Remember – 5k” on 09/11/2010 to begin at 8:46 am. Having been living in NY and working at Morgan Stanley when the Twin Towers went down, I found myself registering for this run as well.

During a conversation this week I mentioned that because I had plans after work, I had to be up at 6 am to run my 4 miles on Tuesday. It was then said that I didn’t “have” to but that I “chose” to. I replied with, “No, if I want to run a half marathon, I HAVE to run. If I want to stay healthy and keep the weight off, I HAVE to run”. This isn’t a choice. It’s something I HAVE to do to, to maintain my health, both mentally and physically.

So, here I am; having run a 10 mile race, going to run a half marathon in less then 9 weeks, having biked 32 miles along with having run various 5k’s, even a 10k and doing some hiking. Who’d have ever thought it? Certainly, not me.

Within the last week I’ve had three separate people call me an athlete. This word seems foreign to me and all I think is, really? You think I’m an athlete? Nah….

I suppose in the back of my head I secretly want to complete a triathlon – maybe then I’d consider myself an athlete. In fact, I’d be a tri-athlete, haha. But that thought also terrifies me at the same time and I think might just be a goal for 2012.

Right now, I am just someone who is trying to be healthy and fit. Does that make me an athlete? Nah….but it’s nice to think about. *smile*

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

California Tortilla - Good but Bad!

Back from my weekend trip to NC and pretty much healed from my recent knee injuries. All that’s left is a bit of scratch, definitely some bright pink scaring and some lingering pain in my right hand which the Good Dr. said is probably a strained tendon from the repeated falls. I chose to call them battle scars. *smile*

Despite skipping my Tuesday evening run this week, I have actually been pretty good about sticking to my exercising. My eating habits however, have seen better days. Lot’s of candy, maybe even a mint chocolate chip and pistachio ice cream waffle cone and well….two trips to California Tortilla in two days. Not such a good stomach and my weight seconds that notion.

I have not been on a scale in several days, but the last I checked, I was at 138. That was pre California Tortilla, of course. I’ve decided I’m going to wait until Monday to weigh in again. Give myself several days of eating right, a run and even a 32 mile bike ride. I hope to be back to 135 sooner rather than later.

Besides the fact that my numbers are creeping above 140, which is not an option for me, I have a wedding that my boyfriend has invited me too, in just over a week’s time. I need to make sure I fit into the dress I plan to wear at the wedding! It’s good incentive to pass on the candy bar, or the late night snacks. He and I even did some P90X last night before our dip in the pool. It was my first time doing P90X since the concussion/neck injury from the pool show in June and his first time seeing P90X. Felt great afterwards and I am hoping to get back to my 6 am workouts again.

Might be back to running without my running buddy. Unfortunately, changes in our lives often screw up our schedules and interfere with our day to day stuff. Hopefully we’ll be able to work out a new routine to keep us both running.

I was yet again at the Doctors office this past Monday and with all of the recent bodily injuries, the staph and so forth, I commented to him that I feel as if I’m at the doctors office more now that I’m “healthy”, than I ever was when I was 209 lbs. This thought has been bothering me for sometime, but does no longer. The Good Doctor pointed out to me that one doesn’t get staph or various injuries from sitting on the sofa watching TV, unless perhaps he stubs his toe on the way to the bathroom to pee. I like the way he thinks! LOL *smile*

Thankfully, the Fibromyalgia has been my friend lately and has been treating me well.

This weekend – The Covered Bridge Metric Century in which Katie and I will be completing a 50K (31 miles) on our bicycles in Lancaster, PA. This past Sunday, I rode 20 miles for the first time EVER, and it was great. The Monday after, my legs were definitely feeling it and I was wobbling a bit but still loved it. I can’t wait for this weekends challenge. Keep an eye out for pictures folks!

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Long road ahead...

I finally have some reprieve from the constant pain of the Fibromyalgia. I am no longer laying in bed near tears because my body hurts all over and there is nothing I can do. I am finally getting some much needed rest that allows me to function and get my arse to work and on the treadmill or outside to run. My knees were just about healed from my recent falls. The first while hiking with K&K and the second when falling on concrete while simply walking to my car. The first was mostly bumps and bruises and the second involved a bit of blood and a handy gentlemen nearby that as kind enough to patch me up. However, during a weekend trip to Raleigh, NC to see long time friend of mine, I took a couple of stumbles while doing some trail running. Loved the train, loved the run, didn't love the fall so much, lol. Unfortunately, this time I didn't have my handy gentlemen to patch me up and I had to do it all on my own. My right knee is now covered in a bandage the size of a tennis ball. Oh well, such is life of a runner, I suppose. Or at least, a clumsy one like myself.

While I've continued to run since my 10 mile race I have certainly cut back on the mileage. No more 8-10 mile runs. In fact, not even any 6 mile runs. It seems my body has limited itself to 4 miles per run for the moment. However, it seems to be working as certain womanly functions have returned and the pain from not having it, has subsided. This is good news as it means no return trip to the doctor for an ultrasound to look for cysts. Woohoo! I've heard its "normal" for women athletes to get to a point where certain functions cease to continue. However, I wouldn't have considered myself an athlete. At least I'll know what to expect this time when I begin training for my half marathon in October.

Yes folks, I did officially sign up for the Baltimore Runners Half-Marathon in October 2010. It appears I am right on track as far as my goals go. This year, half-marathon; next year, full on Marathon. That'll be 26.2 miles. Damn, the thought of it just exhausts me but excites the hell out of me at the same time.

Anyway, back on track….

I am currently training for a 31 mile bike ride through Lancaster, PA , to take place on August 15th. The bike riding has been a nice change from my usual Sunday run but will be coming to an end. The half-marathon is in mid-October and I need at least 12 weeks to train. Come the 1st of September, I'll be back on a training schedule running 3 days a week working my way back up to running 13.1 miles. I completed the 10 mile race in June and can't wait to do 13. In fact I think I'll start a tradition and the first time I will run 13 miles will be the day of the race. It worked out so well for the 10 mile race, why not try it again.

And so folks, I have a long road ahead of biking riding and running. Can't think of anything better.