November 2007 Archives

Near Wild Heaven


Cliffs in the canyon

I am thankful for an amazing Thanksgiving weekend.

Angie's ready for the race

I ran the Thanksgiving Day Race at the park, hopping over hay bales and jumping over water (or through water, at least on the second lap). Chris took photos on the first lap, then left to go play soccer. I went out too fast and ended up walking on the second lap, finishing in 35 minutes on the dot. Not my best, but not my worst, either. Plus it was fun.

My shoulder as I hop over hay bales

I joined the soccer game after that (my first ever soccer game!), and ran around for about 45 more minutes, before heading home to clean up.

Dinner on Thursday with Chris's parents was cancelled at the last minute, leaving Chris and I scrambling to create our own dinner at 2 pm. We went to the store, and cobbled together a hodge-podge of Thanksgiving foods. It was an adventure! Considering the circumstances - it could have been a lot worse - it ended up being a lot of fun and quite a bonding experience. Plus, I beat him at Scrabble, so it was a VERY good day :)

Thanksgiving Dinner

Friday, we slept in and decided to skip a run and a hike, and hit up the gym instead. We perused the weight machines and I learned how to use a few that will help my running muscles, before I headed to the elliptical machine. We followed that up with a trip to our favorite sushi restaurant (I don't eat sushi, but LOVE Japanese food) and then hit up Target, which wasn't too bad, considering it was "black Friday".

Saturday brought a trip to IKEA in Phoenix on the way to my parent's house. I'd never been; it was a blast! I found mini table easels - perfect for displaying my art - totally cheap! And dinner with my family was a total (loud, fun, dancing-to-surfing-christmas-music-while-doing-the-dishes) blast.

Phoneline Trail

Sunday morning...mmm...Sunday morning brought my nine-mile Phoneline Loop. I wasn't able to do this two weeks ago because I was sick, and I've been dying to get back out on this trail now that it's open! Plus, my Christmas gift arrived on Friday and I couldn't wait to use it:

My new toy!

The first part of the run was getting warmed up and I climbed up up up. At the right moment, just as the trail leveled off and began it's undulating portion, Queens of the Stone Age came on my iPod. It was perfect. I bounced, bopped and hopped my way over rocks as I danced down the trail. Then REM's "Near Wild Heaven" came on, and I just smiled smiled smiled my way across the trail. Better yet, just .10 of a mile from where I hit the road for an awesome downhill, Outkast's "Hey Ya!" came on, and I started FLYING down the rest of the trail and then down down down a beautiful hill on the road. I kept a 7:12/mile pace for .75 mile!!!! It was aMAZing!!! The rest of the run was recovery from that :)

I'm ready to run!

After a nap on Sunday and a great Eagles/Patriots game, I crashed. It felt good to just relax and rest that day.

Yesterday I wore my three-inch-high boots to work. Yeah, not the best idea after running nine miles the day before! :) The best part of yesterday was the rescheduled turkey dinner with Chris's folks. It was delicious and a great carb-loading dinner for this morning's 5-miler.

It was freakin' COLD this morning! I had to dig out my tights, mittens and skull cap. Barb and I headed out around the neighborhood; it was a good run. Slow, but just what I needed for my sore muscles.

Unfortunately, I think I'm getting sick again. My head is stuffy, my ears and sinuses hurt and sudafed's not doing much :( Hopefully it's just allergies or a light cold, and will pass quickly. I'm glad I still got up this morning and ran, even though I had numerous excuses not to (if you're sick, it's better to rest, running - especially in the cold - may dampen your immune system). The rest of the week will be hard to squeeze runs in, but I'm sure I'll be able to.

I'm excited about the upcoming holiday season. Lots of parties, Ash's birthday, a vacation, plus Christmas: should be fun!

Two months in: how are you feeling? Has your body changed? Are you stronger? Can you run farther?

This week is a 'rest week'. Every three weeks, I've cut your mileage back a little bit. You'll get a total of 12 miles this week, with a long run of 5. Break up the remaining 7 as follows (or really, however works best for you): 3, 2, 2.

Stretching. It's one of those things that runners and studies debate. Does it really work? When should you stretch - before or after a run? Why would I want to stretch?

I like to stretch by doing yoga. I get warmed up, I get to strengthen my body, I get to relax. I don't really like stretching any other way. Generally, I usually do some light stretching after my run (once I'm warmed up), if my muscles are aching. I don't like to stretch before my run, because my muscles are cold and I'm afraid of hurting them.

Studies have shown that stretching may or may not cause less soreness (the recent ones are saying it won't prevent soreness). Studies have shown that stretching may or may not help to prevent injury. You can research it to find all the various studies.

I just know that without yoga, my knees and hips kill me when I up my miles. With yoga, it doesn't hurt so much. I don't feel achy and injured. But that's just me. This is another one of those experiment things. See what works for you!

Experienced runners - do you stretch? Why or why not? Let's discuss!

Recent Runs


Last Saturday, I had a beautiful 5.9 mile run. (It was supposed to be 5.5 as a memorium for Ryan Shay, but I added a little extra just to make sure I was getting the amount I wanted.) I slept in, then headed out at 8:50, knowing I needed to make sure to keep my pace steady in order to make it back by 10, when Ash was coming over. The sky was bright blue, the air was balmy and I was feeling good. The relentless forward motion was exactly what I needed in order to release the frustration and stress of the previous week. Usually, it takes a good hour to an hour-and-a-half to get really warmed up and for the endorphins to flow (the runner’s “O”), but this day it only took me about 45 minutes. It was gorgeous. After running around the park a bit, I took off for the U, where I wound my way around high school kids in uniform preparing for Band Day (was I really that young in high school? I felt sooooo grown-up back then). I made it back home at 10 on the nose. It was perfect. The rest of the day was wonderful as well, with Ash and Chris and I playing games on the living room floor for hours (Hi-Ho Cherry-O, Battleship, Sequence for Kids).

Sunday, I headed to the gym for a little recumbent bike exercise and wow, did that hurt. Made me realize that it wasn’t yoga last time that made my hamstrings hurt so bad – it was the bike! I was grumpy and didn’t last longer than 30 minutes.

I rested Monday and declined Paki’s offer to run that night, since I had planned to run Tuesday morning. But my morning running partner cancelled, and I don’t like to run along in the dark, which meant I had to figure out how to get my 3 miles in for the day. A field visit along a potential linear park gave me about 1.5 miles during the work day, and I headed back to the gym for about 20 minutes on the elliptical to round out the day. Today I’m resting again, before my big Thanksgiving/running weekend – Thanksgiving day itself is the race that includes jumping over hay bales and running through water puddles (I did last year as part of a team), possibly a soccer kick-around (maybe? I’d like to learn how to play…), dinner at Chris’s family’s house with the possibility of a short hike after dinner. Friday will either be a hike with Chris or a run (and working on the first of a friend’s two-part custom art order); Saturday is resting as Chris and I visit my family for their Thanksgiving day celebration; and Sunday brings 9 miles. Yay! I’m looking forward to this weekend.

Awhile back (eleven days ago!), I was tagged by Karin, a blogger I had not yet discovered. The rules:
• Link to your tagger and post these rules on your blog.
• Share 5 facts about yourself on your blog, some random, some weird.
• Tag 5 people at the end of your post by leaving their names as well as links to their blogs.
• Let them know they are TAGGED by leaving a comment on their blog.

1. I used to weigh 215 pounds (at nine months pregnant (my top weight ever), I weighed 235 pounds). When I was in high school, the lowest weight I achieved (via starving myself), was 118. I gained the weight of an entire (small) adult in about seven years.
2. I lost 70 pounds because of gallbladder disease (unable to eat saturated or trans fats), and got down to 128 right before my second ultra. Now that my gallbladder is gone, I’ve gained 24 pounds back. The first 10 pounds I was grateful to gain back – I didn’t like how bony I got at 128. I liked the softness and curves those 10 pounds brought. But now, I’m scared I’m going to gain another 50 pounds, and go right back up to where I was before, which is why I’m desperate to train for ZG this winter – to make sure I stay healthy. I REFUSE to be unhealthy again. (Tell that to my brain when I start stress-eating, wouldja please?!)
3. I am a high-school dropout. A few years later, I took the test to get my GED and scored in the top 1%, garnering myself a scholarship to the local community college, where I took one class, Western Civ 101, during the fall semester of 2001. Let me tell you, having history happen during the class (9/11) made for an interesting look back on how we got to where we are today.
4. I lucked into my career – I started at my firm as a temporary receptionist four years ago. Soon I became a permanent receptionist, then I was promoted to support staff in the department I’m in now. For the last year, I’ve been a project manager. Next up: department manager (my current department manager is aware of my ambitions and has promised to do everything in his power to help me learn and grow). I love my job.
5. I got married at age 17 and stayed married for 11 years, 4 days. This is the first time I’ve ever lived on my own, and so far, it’s been good.

Tag, you’re it: Troy, Olga, Renee, Neese and Michelle.

Great job so far. This week, go for 15 miles total, with a 7-mile long run on hilly terrain.

How much water are you drinking when you run? Do you bring a water bottle out with you, or do you drink just before and after?

From what I understand, the body can absorb about 28 ounces of water per hour, tops. That doesn't mean you should drink that much, but I certainly interpret that to mean I should drink any more than that! If I do, it ends up sloshing around in my stomach and making me sick. I've found that 21 oz per hour is just about perfect for me (unless I'm really dehydrated). That's the equivalent of one hand-held water bottle per hour.

In the past, the advice was to drink, drink, drink until your pee is clear. WRONG!!! Doing so may cause hyponitremia, which is when you dilute your bloodstream and have too little electrolytes in your system. This can have severe consequences (Brian Morrison's 2006 Western States as an example).

You want your urine to be pale yellow. That's your goal. Everyone is different - you'll need to experiment to find out how much water your body needs per hour to maintain that clear yellow.

You can't really talk about water intake without also talking about electrolytes. "Electrolytes are minerals in your blood and other body fluids that carry an electric charge. It is important for the balance of electrolytes in your body to be maintained, because they affect the amount of water in your body, blood pH, muscle action and other important processes. You lose electrolytes when you sweat, and these must be replenished by drinking lots of fluids." (Medline Plus Medical Encyclopedia)

Various ways to replenish your electrolytes are through sports drinks, certain gels and a fanTAStic product called nuun. A word on sports drinks: not all are created equal. Gatorade? Maybe it's good for football players, but for long-distance runners, the amount of electrolytes are virtually nil. Many energy bar companies make much better versions of sports drink with more elctrolytes (PowerBar, I think Hammer may make one?, Heed, Succeed, etc.). I personally love nuun. It's a calorie-free way of getting what I need - just drop a tablet in my water and I've got refreshing fizzy water for my run. I often run with one water bottle and one nuun bottle.

What works for you? All you experienced runners out there - what's your favorite way to stay hydrated? Let's discuss!



OMG, the big event I've been working on went off this morning without a hitch, and was proclaimed the best ever by my clients and their agency. YAYAYAYAYAYAYAY!!!!!!!!!!!

Still waiting to figure out if/how my insurance will cover my laptop. No computer at home means I'm not keeping up on my bloglines as well as I'd like to. I'm readjusting to my new dayplanner and hoping I have everything in there that I needed to remember (have I forgotten a meeting? An appt? I hate my brain being gone!).

I've got most my Xmas presents bought, my Xmas cards ready to go and art pouring out of my hands quicker than usual.

Here are some new ones:


And here is Jessica's custom piece:
Custom for Jessica

Isn't she cute with her angel wings?! They're cut from an article written about her awhile ago. I had fun with this one.

5.5 tomorrow morning, then hopefully back into the swing of things next week. Can't wait!

It's official. I just registered for Zane Grey 50k!



They're gone. My laptop and dayplanner (and a work binder and two library books, to boot). Someone stole them from my car Sunday night/Monday morning. The laptop was hidden, but they found it. My car's window was wrecked. My brain - the dayplanner - with too many sentimental things to list - is gone. I feel rudderless. My laptop - full of photos and documents - gone. I'm sad. I'm grieving. Sure, it's a little melodramatic, but dammit, I'm sad.

I'm writing this while in Scottsdale for a work conference (which I'm quite excited to be at). Thank goodness I got renter's insurance a few months back - they'll cover the laptop (I think). I got a new dayplanner and have been trying to refill it. It had my entire run schedule for training for ZG. I never got it up on my blog, which means I have to recreate the entire schedule. F&*@.

Did you know police won't visit the scene of a theft if the thief didn't do any damage to the car (other than glass) and didn't leave any tools and/or blood behind? They're doing the whole thing over the phone. That's slightly disconcerting.

Chris was awesome Monday morning. He went and got my car all cleaned up, vaccuumed all the glass out, while I went to my previously scheduled dr appt (and learned I had a fever too boot "No dr, I'm not here for my cold - I have a fever?! - I don't care, that's not what I'm here for), then he drove me around town for errands while the glass guy fixed my car. I made it back to work in time for a few brief meetings before I headed up to Scottsdale for a fantastic meeting on Monday night to kick off my conference.

I definitely feel violated. My stuff - taken. Sentimental, important stuff. Sure, it's just things, but they are pieces of me. Sigh. Oh well. I'll be okay.

I went to yoga Thursday night with Chris; it was great, although my throat was scratchy. I woke up Friday to a full-on sore throat. So Friday's 3.5 miles with Barb turned into 2 by myself on Saturday morning. Sunday's 9 disappeared.

But good things happened this weekend: My dad came to visit, yay! I also finally got to watch Chariots of Fire. Last but not least, I was incredibly productive with my art. I finished a custom piece, plus two more non-custom pieces, and also got about six backgrounds done and five photos altered. Eventually, they'll all come together. What fun! Here's where the magic happens:

My "studio" from the kitchen

My "studio"

My "studio" close up

This next week I'm in Scottsdale for training; not sure where/when/how I'll run. I'm looking forward to getting through this week (I've also got a big dedication for work on Friday), and then focusing on Thanksgiving weekend. I'm sans Ash this year (he's with his dad), and I plan on lots of running, in addition to hanging with Chris's family on Thanksgiving Day proper, and my family on the Saturday after Thanksgiving (when they traditionally cook the big dinner). Should be a lot of fun.

Then it's on to December, which is booked with an art fair, Christmas parties, Ash's birthday, our big holiday trip, Christmas itself, then New Years. Maybe then things will cool down? Nah, probably not. That's okay. I may be sick, but I'm feeling pretty okay right about now.

(PS, I've been tagged; I'm hoping to get to that this week...)

C2U: Week Six (fueling...)


How are you doing so far? Look! You've already built up your mileage into double digits!

This week we're upping the miles by 1.5 miles. We're (approximately) going by the 10% rule, which is to up your miles no more than 10% each week. So this week, you'll do 13.5. Do your long run of 6 miles on hilly terrain (gotta build those quads!), and break up the remaining miles however you want (3, 2.5 and 2 works well).

You'll want to start experimenting with your nutritional intake on your long runs, to figure out what works best for you. Do you prefer gels or shot blocks? Gummi bears or jelly beans? Or do you have an iron gut and can stomach solid food?! I like crank e-gels (they come with electrolytes!) and Clif Shot Blocks (great flavors, some with caffeine! Plus I feel like I'm eating real food!).

I try to intake approximately 300 calories per hour during my long run. I came to this number at some point in the distant past in one of the long training conversations my ex and I used to engage in (he's an ultrarunner, too). For some reason, due to my weight and approximate number of calories burned per hour, I determined 300 was right for me. (I really need to do some more research on this and figure out how and why, so you can tailor your caloric intake accordingly!) Until I find the formula we used, I suggest a few hundred calories per hour. Note: this is for my long run only. For 30 minute or shorter runs, I stick to about 60 calories (two shot blocks works perfect for me) and for runs of 30-60 minutes, I will intake up to 150 calories.

Questions? Comments? Any experienced runners out there care to add their two cents on the subject? Let's discuss!

...when I'm not sore in my hamstrings from a killer yoga class!

LOVE LOVE LOVE my new boots. Had to take 'em off after a half-day in them today, though. My feet'll break in soon enough :) I don't normally go for shoes that are initially hard for me to wear. I'm more of a comfort/birkenstocks/sandals/running shoes kind of gal. But I just HAD to get these. And just my price, too!

Chris and I will check out the Thursday night yoga class tomorrow night. Why they have to have it at 8 pm, I don't know. I sure wish it were at 6! Sigh. Oh well.

3.5 on the schedule for Friday, then Saturday off while my Dad visits, and 9 miles on Sunday morning on trails, yay! Next week's schedule is way crazy, between training in Scottsdale, Ash and other random happenings. Speaking of Scottsdale, does the TRC know of any cool places I can run???

jeff has a beautiful post on a memorial run for Ryan Shay. I'll be running 5.5 miles on Saturday, Nov. 17. Will you?

Check out Lisa's post on swimming this morning. What a hoot! And...drumroll please...her artwork is done and in the mail! Once she gets it, I'll post a pic on the blog. But we've got to wait until she receives it first :) Speaking of art, I got two custom orders (non-running related, but BEAUTIFUL photos!) for Christmas presents (thanks Joyce!). I'm so excited!!!

Ash has a cold. I am doing my darnedest to attempt to stay healthy. No touching my hands to my face, and my fingers are dry dry dry from all the hand-washing (lotion doesn't seem to make a dent!). I'm keeping my fingers crossed that I'll avoid this one!

I made a to-die-for reduced-fat yellow cake with chocolate frosting tonight. OMG, it's amazing. I also actually cooked dinner (fried tofu and sticky rice). And did the dishes. And cleaned the floor-to-ceiling mirrored doors on my closet. And did laundry. Wow. That's a lot of stuff I got done. Yay me!



The sounds of my muscles creeeeaaaaaking throughout yoga yesterday was enough to make me laugh through the pain. "C-r-e-a-k, c-r-e-a-k," they said as I moved my arms up over my head. "C-r-e-a-k, c-r-e-a-k," they said as I moved my arms into position for warrior two. "C-r-e-a-k, c-r-e-a-k," they said as I lay on my back, pulling my leg toward my face. "C-r-e-a-k, c-r-e-a-k," they said for 55 minutes, until, finally, we lay on our back for relaxation.

I haven't attended a yoga session since June, when my heart first started acting up. It feels so (creaky) good. Granted, my hamstrings are inCREDibly sore today, but my hips are open, my shoulders have the perfect amount of ache - not so much that I can't lift my arms, but enough to remind me that I worked out.

I also worked out on Saturday at the gym on the recumbant (sp?) bike and the elliptical. The bike managed to work all those hot spots in my legs - my hips, my inner thighs. Ouch. In a good way, of course.

And I ran 3.7 miles this morning with Barb; non-stop chatter about boys, half-marathons, families, various routes our lives have/will/may take. The run this morning was my best morning run yet. No need to walk parts of it, I was able to keep moving at a decent clip. I like getting back into training. This feels good.

I've planned my Christmas vacation with Ash and am so so so so excited!!! It's going to be a lot of fun.

It's been an interesting week, one full of emotions and fear and gunshots. Yeah - gunshots. In MY neighborhood! There aren't gunshots in MY neighborhood! It was something like 3 am Sunday morning when I heard the "pop...pop pop....pop pop pop...pop..........pop" and then the police sirens. Still haven't figured out exactly what happened or where. Frightening, though.

Anyway, with all the emotional stuff - I decided (what, two weeks ago?) I needed to nurture myself. I also decided to set boundaries and un-overextend myself. That was a relief. I'm still working on feeling better in general, but at least I know I'm unhappy and I'm taking measures to fix it.

I also think I need to work on my communications skills. With Ash. With my teammates at work. With Chris. With myself. And I need to stop judging myself. (Isn't that just such an easy place to go to? The judgment? The "you're not good enough and never will be so what's the use trying"?!) Sigh. Baby steps, Angie. Baby steps.

Finally, here it is! I’ve got the entire schedule worked out for you, and I’ll post it here for your reference. I’ll also post my own schedule, which varies from C2U, as I have my son every other weekend and cannot do a long run every week. You can follow either one.

Note: The mid-week runs can be on any day. Feel free to change the distances if you’d rather run two longer mid-week runs instead of three shorter ones. Also, the long run needs to be on hilly terrain and can be run on Saturday or Sunday; on my personal schedule, it will be on Saturday, since my mid-week moderate runs are Tuesday and Friday. This allows me to get good back-to-back runs in every other week, which will help strengthen me.

Oh, but before the schedules - Week 5:
Total of 12 miles. Make your long run 5 miles, on hilly terrain. Break up the remaining 7 miles as follows (or any way you want): 3, 2, 2.

C2U Schedule
Week     Mid-week Runs    Long Run     Total
5                  3, 2, 2                5              12
6                  3, 2.5, 2              6              13.5
7                 3, 3, 2               7              15
8                 3, 2, 2                5              12
9                 3, 3, 2                7              15
10                 3, 3, 3                8              17
11                 4, 3, 3                9              19
12                 3, 3, 2                7             15
13                 4, 3, 3                8             18
14                 4, 4, 3                9              20
15                 4, 4, 4                10              22
16                 4, 3, 3               8             18
17                 4, 4, 4                10              22
18                 5, 4, 4                12             25
19                 5, 5, 4                14              28
20                 4, 4, 4                10             22
21                 5, 5, 4                14              28
22                 5, 5, 5                16              31
23                 6, 6, 5                18              35
24                 5, 5, 4                14              28
25                 6, 6, 5                18              35
26                 6, 6, 6                20              38
27                 5, 5, 5                10              25
28                 5, 5                5              15
29                 2, 2                33 - ZG!             39

My Schedule will come soon....


angie's explored by trail running (and mixed-media art)


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