Tuesday, November 30, 2004

Deck the Halls! Posted by Hello

Ordinary Tuesday

Not much to say about today. It was a cool wet day and not conducive to going for a walk at lunchtime. But the day moved along pretty quickly. It was one of those quiet, steady days when there was plenty to do but none of it terribly urgent.

Dan took some of the lasagna to work, then called me halfway through it on his lunch break to tell me it was so good he wanted me to marry him. I said okay. Since I'm already married to him, what do I have to lose?

I was disappointed but not surprised to read today that Tyler Hamilton and Phonak have parted ways. I really want to believe Tyler, but it sure doesn't look good and it seems like things just keep getting worse. I know he's limited in what he can say since his case is pending and I'm sure the lawyers have told him not to talk too much, but I'll be glad when the whole matter is over and resolved. I'm sure someone already is writing the screenplay to make the whole fiasco into a movie. It's the American way.

Today's Workouts:
Morning: 45 minutes core and stretch cords
Evening: Spinervals 7.0 The Uphill Grind

Monday, November 29, 2004


I spent this evening in the kitchen! A strange place for me to be, aside from the fact that the kitchen is so small. But I'm committed to cooking fresh foods instead of buying so much deli and frozen food, so I made a veggie lasagna and a butternut casserole tonight. They're easy dishes that don't require a lot of counter space, which is a good thing since I don't have any. One good thing about a small kitchen though, is that it forces you to be efficient and clean up after yourself right away. Back in my big kitchen on Woodhead, I had acres of counter space and while I cooked more, I also left more messes. If you leave so much as a teacup sitting out in my kitchen here, it looks like all hell broke loose.

I saw Mary after work today and got the knots worked out of my legs so I should be ready to start training again tomorrow. I was pretty bad off but I feel much better now. My foot aches a little because I didn't tape it up when I came home, but I'll tape it after my shower this evening and I'm sure it will be fine. I probably won't run again until the weekend, though. I'd rather save what I have for my long runs rather than risk an injury on a faster short run that won't do as much for my marathon preparation.

It was 80 degrees today and so humid I was wishing I had gills out there! It's nice to have the compression problem on the car fixed though, so I can run the a/c without having to worry that the engine will falter on idle. Anyone who read my earlier offer of an RX-7 is hereby notified that the offer is rescinded. The car runs great and I'm keeping it. For now, at least.

Work was quiet today. No one wanted to be there and I don't think anyone was feeling very motivated. I know I sure wasn't. I got a few things done, but not as much as I would've on an ordinary Monday. Well, there's always tomorrow.

Today's Workouts:
Morning: 45 minutes core, stretch cords

Sunday, November 28, 2004

Thanksgiving is over! Time to start Christmas shopping! Posted by Hello

Back to the salt mines...

Well, it's back to work in the morning. The daily routine is nice, because I'm in many ways a creature of habit. I get a little lost with too much time on my hands. But four days off is just a tease. It's long enough to be very productive, but not long enough to finish the backlog of projects and just relax. I feel like I spent the weekend catching up on everything and only just this evening finally reached a point where I could consider maybe taking a little break. Too late! Now it's time to steam some veggies for lunches this week, iron some clothes for tomorrow, feed the bunny and have my bedtime tea.

Where does the time go?

I was lazy today and didn't work out. Too many things were sore, so I decided to rest and just work on my website and various things around the house I had been putting off. I don't know how I ended up so sore. I don't feel like I did very much this weekend. But I'll get it all fixed tomorrow and start training fresh and pain-free on Tuesday. At least I can run again. I'm so happy to think maybe my marathon registration fee won't be wasted after all!

Saturday, November 27, 2004

On the road again!

The sport tape is working! Yay, me! I ran six miles today at the park with no pain. Well, no pain in my foot, at least. Plenty of other things were hurting from recent sessions on the bike and at the gym, but I don't count any of that. So I'm going to keep babying this foot, it's staying taped up at all times, and if all goes well I should be able to do my 20-22 miler on schedule in late December. I had hoped to go under 4 hours for this marathon, but since I haven't been able to do hills or speedwork, I'll just be happy to get there and finish without further injury.

Thanksgiving was good. I had dinner with Dan and my immediate family. My father wasn't there because he decided to spend a long Christmas break with us rather than two shorter breaks. I missed him, but I talked to him on the phone, so that was okay. Mom made a pie with the apples Dad sent her from the farm last month. It was great! There are some wild rabbits that feast on the windfall apples every autumn, and boy do they get a treat!

I'm enjoying this long break from work, but it sure is going by fast. It feels like I'm going and doing every second of the day. When I mentioned this to Dan, he said it's because I am going and doing all the time. Go figure.

Recent Workouts:
Thursday: Spinervals 9.0 Have Mercy, 45 minute abs, legs and upper body
Friday: Body Pump class, 700 meter swim, 3 mile walk
Saturday: Spinervals 5.0 Mental Toughness, 3 mile walk, 6 mile run

Thursday, November 25, 2004

Happy Thanksgiving, everyone! Posted by Hello

Tuesday, November 23, 2004

'Twas a dark and stormy night...

We had quite a storm blow through here tonight-- lots of wind, rain, hail and lightning. Luckily it didn't last long. Just long enough to scare the bunny. I held her and rubbed her ears until the worst of it was over.

One benefit (although I hate to admit it) of not being able to run is that my legs are finally feeling springy again. The last few times on the bike I've been back to my old speed. I had a great Spinerval session tonight! I also haven't had as many ITB problems, although that's probably due to adding 5 minutes of myofascial release with my foam roller to my morning workout, and not due to lack of running. Before I took up cycling, I never had a moment's trouble with my IT bands.

The taping seems to really be helping my foot. The first day I was kind of stupid and taped it like I taped my other foot last year for the weird problem no one was ever able to diagnose. The taping helped, but that evening I had sort of a "duh" moment and remembered that plantar support taping needs to be X-shaped across the sole of the foot, not lateral only. First the anchors, then the X, then some lateral, then another X, then tape over all the loose edges so it doesn't come apart when you put a sock on. Voila!

Now that I'm taping it properly, my foot feels really, really good. I feel like running in the halls at work, it's that good. It's hard to hold myself back each night from running, but I'm doing my very best to be patient. I want to feel good for the weekend and try an hour on the trails. If I can start running again this weekend, I just might make the marathon after all!

Speaking of the marathon, I noticed that my birthday is the Friday before the marathon and MLK day is the following Monday. I'm going to ask for Friday off and make it a four day weekend. Whether I end up running that weekend or not, it will be nice to have a long break!

Today's Workouts:
Morning: 30 minutes abs, upper body, legs
Evening: Spinervals 3.0 Suffer-O-Rama

Monday, November 22, 2004

A very thirsty bunny! Posted by Hello

Sunday, November 21, 2004


This was one of those days I just couldn't get motivated to do much of anything. I did an hour on the elliptical trainer and a little leg work at the Y, but that was it. Pretty lame, huh? Well, I wanted to swim but all the lanes at the Y were double-occupied and I didn't want to sit around all day waiting. And I probably would've done some more work at the gym tonight, except that I had a lot of cooking to do.

I did a butternut squash casserole tonight. For such a simple dish, it sure takes a long time, mostly in the cutting, cleaning and cooking of the squash itself. I've decided that cubing and steaming the squash is the best way to cook it. Baking is easier, but heats up the whole house-- not a desirable thing when you live where it never gets cold. After I did the squash I steamed some broccoli, yellow squash and zucchini for lunches this week and then cleaned the kitchen and ran the dishwasher. I would love cooking if my kitchen were any bigger than a shoebox. Well, you can't have everything.

I allowed the bunny to visit the bedroom this weekend. Actually, she darted past me and I just didn't feel like chasing her out. She had a great time investigating everything. She ended her visit by marking a few items by rubbing her chin on them. Tidbit is now the proud owner of a copy of Battle Cry of Freedom and a cowboy boot. What she plans to do with these items is anyone's guess.

Saturday, November 20, 2004

Rainy Day

I feel bad for anyone who had planned to do some sort of outdoor activity this morning, because it rained almost non-stop until nearly 11. The arch of my foot is still bothering me, so I had already planned to spend the morning on the trainer, so it was no big incovenience to me, at least. I went through three Spinervals and figured that was enough to be able to enjoy the Indian buffet for lunch. Is there anything better than saag paneer and some fresh hot naan?

I have discovered that taping my arch diminishes and even eliminates the pain, so I'm keeping it tightly taped now. Maybe I've been wrong to focus on massage, stretching, etc. My new strategy will be to keep it taped and immobilized so whatever is pulling will maybe have a chance to heal. Luckily it will be a short and slow week at work, so I can probably get away with dressing more casually and wearing shoes that won't make it obvious that my foot is bandaged. Thank goodness for the season change, too! Even though the weather hasn't been consistently cold, it's getting close enough to what passes for winter around here that I can wear black tights with my skirts and no one will think anything of it. The tights will hide the tape nicely.

I just hope this works and I can get back into my running soon. I don't know how I'll do the marathon if I can't train for it. I had been hoping to go under 4 hours this year, but there won't be much chance of that at this rate. If the tape seems to help though, I think I may go for a short run later this week and see if it might work well enough for me to resume training. If I can run pain-free with my arch taped, I'll just stay taped for the season. I can deal with that. What I can't deal with is all this down time from running.

Today's Workouts
3 hours bike (Spinervals): 7.0 Uphill Grind, 5.0 Mental Toughness, 1.0 No Slackers Allowed

Thursday, November 18, 2004

Time to eat! Posted by Hello

Back to normal

Or what passes for it around here, at any rate.

I got my car back Wednesday evening for about double what I was hoping to pay. They had replaced a lot of old, rotting hoses. No big surprise, given the condition of the big easy-to-reach radiator hose a couple months ago. The hoses were cheap, but the labor involved in removing various other things to get to them was not. Well, what can one do? I would love to be able to walk, run or ride my bike to work and back, but there is no safe route. And public transportation would take an hour and fifteen minutes. I can drive the distance in ten. Is it any wonder this country is at the mercy of petroleum-producing nations? This will all come back to haunt us someday.

We had a big party today for all business staff in what used to be our division and is now sort of a grouping in a larger division. Morale had been questionable lately and getting together for some food and fun cheered us all up. Since I hate party games, I agreed to be responsible for them, figuring that way I could make sure we had some good ones. I made Mad Libs out of some of our policies, including the Business Casual Dress Code. It was pretty funny.

Then I had to go get documents signed... in person, per the new decree. Well, at least our new CIO has a way of making me feel good about the decisions he makes, even when I don't agree. This is a very fine quality in a manager of any kind, especially someone in a senior executive position.

Nevertheless, I was dismayed when the meeting, which was supposed to run to 4:30, ran on until 5:30. I had thought it would run a bit late since we got started half an hour late, but even by that standard we should've been done by 5:00, which would've left enough time for me to get to the 5:30 kickboxing class at the Y. No such luck. But I went to the Y anyway, worked out in the gym for half an hour and then went to the other classes on my schedule, so it all worked out okay.

And then I came home, late and very hungry. What a long day! And tomorrow is our office Thanksgiving party! It seems that we're into the holiday food season now. This will be my third big office party this week and of course next week is all the family stuff. All this food, just when I finally lost last winter's weight gain and got back into my old clothes!

Today's Workouts
Morning: Abs, quads/hip flexors and upper body
Evening: 20 minutes elliptical, quads and hip flexors in weight room, pilates, body pump, 500 meter swim with focus on form

Monday, November 15, 2004

Sleep is important! Posted by Hello

Sans voiture...

Well, I am still among the carless. This morning they said it would probably be ready by the end of the day but then they had to get dealer parts which took longer, so my RX-7 won't be sprung until tomorrow, and for more than I wanted to pay. Well, what can one do?

I went and saw Mary today and she found a big knot in my foot, which she hopefully got out. Maybe this will solve the problem and I'll be able to run again. So far my marathon training has looked like just an extension of my tri training-- swimming, strength training, cycling, and very little actual running. I was supposed to start my speed work last week and here I am wondering if it's safe to try to trot around the indoor track at the gym tonight!

And in the comedy of the absurd that is my job, our interim CIO has decreed that documents requiring his signature can no longer be dropped off or sent via inter-office mail, but must be delivered in person at 3:30 pm each day. WTF? Is making me a gofer every time we want to buy paper clips really the best use of my time? So now we have Associate Vice Presidents who want to review each and every expenditure and sign it, no matter how small and pedestrian, and we have business managers who must personally shepherd the whole process. If I had known my place of employment had this much money to waste I would've insisted on a promotion. After all, I can sign orders for paper clips with the best of them!

Finally, in an effort to save money I've been doing a bit of cooking. I love cooking, don't get me wrong. But when your kitchen is the size of a shoe box and you have to leave the room just to have enough space to boil an egg, anything more adventurous than heating up a frozen dinner is an exercise in frustration. Nevertheless I steamed some veggies for lunches yesterday and made up a big butternut squash casserole. Tonight or tomorrow I intend to make a veggie lasagna. That should do us for the week without having to resort to frozen foods or takeout. However, I have to wonder if it's really any cheaper to cook vs buying frozen, if you use only high quality ingredients. Good pasta, good sauce, fresh organic vegetables and good cheese from the deli... it all ads up and probably isn't much of a cost savings in the end. Oh well. It's a quality improvement, at least. I like Amy's Organics and all, but frozen is still frozen.

Well, it's time to take a little nap and then consider what I'll do for the rest of the evening. Cooking, walking and working out with my weights are all options. I had wanted to go to the 4:45 Body Pump class at the Y tonight, but no such luck since I was carpooling with Dan. Carpooling is a bit of a hassle, but I'm glad we can do it. It wouldn't be possible if our hours were vastly different or if we worked on other sides of the city. And hey, since he goes in to work later than I do, it means I can sleep in a bit in the morning! One has to look on the bright side of things.

Sunday, November 14, 2004

A weekend without running

Well, this is the first weekend in a long time I haven't been able to do a long run. My foot was feeling sort of okay last night when I decided that maybe rubbing the arch would help. Big mistake! I was Ms Gimpy after that, and since it still hurt this morning, all thought of a run or even a long elliptical session was out.

So I went to the Y and did some leg work in the weight room, swam awhile and worked on some of the sore spots with the water jets in the hot tub. I was feeling almost well enough to run after all that. But I was hungry and didn't want to push things, so I went to Central Market and got some lunch for Dan and a couple of big salads for me. My roommate from my first year of college once told me I made the most appetizing salads she had ever seen. I was flattered but noticed she never asked me to make her one. Hmm...

I had hoped I could get a massage this afternoon, since I didn't run today, but I can't seem to reach Mary. Too bad. The 8 mile round trip walk would've been a nice low-impact substitute for a real workout. I know, I know... I could go for an eight mile walk anyway. But then what do I do if Mary calls?

Today's Workouts:
Morning: 30 minutes strength training - legs, and 1000 meter swim
Evening: 3 mile walk with Dan

Saturday, November 13, 2004

Everyone needs a friend Posted by Hello

Saturday musings

Today was a fairly typical Saturday-- long workout in the morning followed by Indian buffet with Dan and a long afternoon nap. Unfortunately I'm still having heel/arch pain, so I did two hours on the trainer and only ran 4 miles. Typically this would be my long run day, logging about 15 miles or so. Actually, since I'm in marathon training I would've like to have done around 18. But instead just a lousy four.

I seem to have the worst luck with the Houston Marathon. I train for it every year, and only once have I actually run it, in 2001. Even that was a questionable choice, since I had been injured since November and unable to run during that time. It made for a painful marathon! But I had already paid, the race was on my birthday and even if my doctor hadn't cleared me to run, I might've still done it anyway. Runners are stupid that way.

But in subsequent years I've tried to be smarter, training for the marathon but figuring I wouldn't actually pay my money until I was sure I could finish the training without injury. I never have. I always turn up hurt somehow. But this year, with registration already over 70% and having had a biomechanical problem fixed last spring, I felt that I both could and should sign up early. So with $75 gone, now I have yet another one of my weird injuries that no one else ever gets. No, this arch pain isn't plantar fascitis. That would be too easy. This is something else and I haven't a clue what it could be. A bruise would be my first guess, based on the type of pain I feel, but I haven't had an injury that I recall.

So I think I'll play around with different combinations of shoes and orthotics tonight and see if I can come up with something that might feel comfortable for even a short run tomorrow, or at least a decent session on the elliptical trainer. Most likely I'll just end up at the Y. Swimming, maybe a bit of pool running and some weight training. Now I'm wishing the weather hadn't turned cooler. Deep water running can be fun in open water, but deadly dull at the pool.

In other news, the car is still in the shop. It's not a radiator leak, thank goodness. There are apparently two leaks, though. One is a hose leak around a clamp. That's a cheap and easy fix. The other leak is a little further back, where the radiator connects to the engine. The mechanic needs to remove a few things to get a better look, but thinks it's probably a flange. This will be a little more expensive, but shouldn't be outrageous. Of course one can never tell with an older car, but I'm feeling somewhat optimistic. At least it's not the radiator itself.

Having the car in the shop puts me in a bind for my Monday massage. I'm way too slow and stiff to forego it, and it will be a tricky thing to manage since Dan and I will be carpooling. And since he has a therapist appointment Sunday afternoon, I'm not sure if I want to try to get a massage Sunday instead. It would mean walking over there, which isn't so bad, but might not work with the other things I have to do tomorrow, or with the pain in my foot.

Decisions, decisions...

Today's Workouts:
Two hours on the bike (Spinervals 9.0 Have Mercy)
4 mile run

Friday, November 12, 2004

Car troubles - again

Okay, so I know there's no really good time to have car trouble. But with the all the Giftmas expenses coming up and having to register for classes so I can stay in student loan deferment, this is a lousy time to have to put my car in the shop. It's too soon to tell at this stage what's going on. With any luck it will just be another leaky hose like a couple months ago. Worst-case scenario would be a radiator leak. I think I would look into selling the car if it were a radiator leak, since there are other things that need fixing as well. I can live with cosmetic problems and little things that don't make the car undrivable. But this is starting to be more than I bargained for. Okay, the car was almost free, but still... Anyone want a used RX-7?

Today's Workouts:
Morning: 30 minutes abs and upper body
Mid-Day: 30 minute walk
Accidental Workout: 1 mile walk home from car repair shop

Thursday, November 11, 2004

A proper bunny habitat! Posted by Hello

Bunny Alert!

I got an email from Mary, my massage therapist, that there was a domestic rabbit running around loose at the picnic loop Tuesday night. Domestic rabbits don't live long in the wild, so I've asked Mary for more information and I'll try to go over there tonight and see if the bunny is still there. She said it was trying to cross the road, so I'm not feeling optimistic.

Not much else is going on. We had a managers' meeting here at work and luckily it didn't bore me silly. It didn't run on forever, either. On top of that, I've been asked to do only two impossible things today! Will wonders never cease?

It's supposed to turn cooler tonight, just in time for the weekend. I can't help wondering if the weather will ever turn cooler and stay that way, or if we'll just keep having these one or two cool days as a tease followed by a return to temps in the 80s. It's getting really old. It's not that I particularly like cooler weather, but I get so bored wearing the same things all the time. I know I'm not the only one. The instant the temps drop below 80, people start showing up in sweaters. We're really not that wimpy down here in the South! It just gets tiresome to wear summer clothes all year long. Being able to even remotely justify a sweater is a novelty. So quit laughing at us, Yankees!

Bunny Update:

Well, I walked around the area Mary described, as well as the adjoining areas, but no bunny. Hopefully someone saw it Tuesday or Wednesday and gave it a home. If Dan is interested, maybe we'll go back later tonight. It seems likely that it's gone, though. Hopefully a coyote didn't get it. I don't know why people insist on dumping pets when there are shelters all over this city. Domestic animals just cannot survive in the wild! I wish I knew what was so hard to understand about this.

It was nice up at the picnic loop this evening. I ended up wishing I had taken my bike with me because there weren't a lot of hammerheads out there zipping around in pace lines, trying to be like Lance. In fact, it wasn't very crowded at all. Maybe I'll go up there and ride one day after work next week. I don't mind being on the trainer watching a Spinervals video, getting yelled at by Coach Troy, but now that there won't be as many opportunities to get out on the roads, I should make a point of doing what I can.

Today's Workouts:
Morning: Abs and upper body
Mid-Day: 30 minute walk
Evening: TBA. Probably elliptical, since it's too late now for kickboxing or pilates class.

Wednesday, November 10, 2004

Busy day - what's going on?

So after several weeks of low-key days, I come in this morning and am hit with a hundred things to do. Naturally this was the day I had planned to take off around noon to run an errand. It figures. But maybe I'll get everything done or at least hit all the inevitable roadblocks in time to still drop by the bunny vet for flea medicine on my lunch break. Yes, my poor bunny has fleas. I've only had her since this summer, and the fleas are a legacy of her time in the dog kennel at the shelter. What kind of sadists keep a bunny with the dogs???

Anyway, I'm hoping to get a few things around here straightened out soon, but the boss is sure to be throwing fits today, since we're trying to understand the byzantine complexities of PeopleSoft's scheduled fee increases. Talk about a racket! Are these guys affiliated with the Mafia or something?


Well, I never did get out of the office to walk or to go to the bunny vet, so I left a little early instead. The PeopleSoft thing is crazy. And what's scary is that someone at the university actually agreed to these obviously unfavorable terms!

Dan and I went for a run at the park this evening. The weather was nice-- cool but not cold. They've resurfaced part of the run loop, which is nice. Then after we came home I made a big bowl of oatmeal with pumpkin butter and raisins mixed in. Good stuff. Now I'm sleepy.

Today's Scheduled Workouts:
Morning: Abs and upper body
Evening: 4 mile run at the park

Tuesday, November 09, 2004

Aren't I sweet? Posted by Hello

My first blog post!

I've been thinking about starting a blog for awhile, ever since I tried it on my website a few years ago but found it too much of a pain to keep up with. I can do HTML and all that, but I find it a hassle. Besides, with all my training, reading and quality time with the bunny, when do I have time to muck around with things like that? I haven't even gotten my summer vacation online yet, and it's almost Thanksgiving! Oops.

There's not much to say about today. The boss stayed out of my way and October finally closed so I could start getting the budget report ready. It was another beautiful day today-- too pretty not to go for a run after work, but I've had a bruise-like pain in the arch of my foot since last Saturday's run, so it looks like it will be me and Coach Troy tonight!

Today's Training Plan:
Morning: Core and swim-specific stretch cords
Mid-day: 30 min walk
Evening: Spinerval session (2.0 - Time Trial Special) and short run on treadmill. Maybe a bit of strength training after, if it's not too late.