June 2004 Archives

Monthly Report: June

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Running: 10:20:15 | 67 miles
Elliptical: 3:55:00 | 15.21 miles
Walking: 0:08:13 | 0.57 miles
Weights: 7:28:00
Swimming: 0:15:00
President's Challenge points: 10831

The President's Challenge site seems to be down, so I'm not able to report my points yet. June kind of sucked for me. While on the one hand, it's good that my weight lifting numbers finally got back up there, it was my lowest mileage month since coming back from last summer's hiatus. June was also the second time this year I didn't get over 100 miles (January I just missed due to snow). Hopefully the injury will recover quickly and well so July doesn't turn into a repeat of June.

Running Break Day #7

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I decided to do one of the non-heart rate controlled programs on the elliptical today. I decided on the Hill interval program, and set it at level 16. The first 10 minutes were kind of lame, and I was annoyed that my heart rate wasn't going above 130. Then the actual "hills" started and it turned into a really good interval workout. On the hills, my heart rate climbed into the 150s and 160s (on the highest hill I actually saw 170), but on the flats it fell back to the 130s. I didn't realize that the program had a built-in cool down. With the heart rate programs, the program ends at the time you set and then pushes you into a 5 minute cool down. The hill program didn't do that, I guess because the last couple of minutes were flat and should be used as a cool down. So the next time I use the hill program, I'll have to remember to set it for 5 minutes over what I want, and to actually slow down at the end. But not a bad workout once I figured out what was going on. Maybe next time I'll use the random option.

weights | upper body | 31:00
elliptical | Hill level 16 | 30:00 | 1.95 miles | 429 cal.

Leg Update

So I am back from the doctor ... and don't have a whole lot to report. The short news is that there is no stress fracture and it's very unlikely that it's compartment syndrome.

Running Break Day #6

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Eating yesterday was much better, in that I only ate one popsicle. (Check out yesterday's comments if you want a list of all the kinds of popsicles I've been eating). I also started eating my Health Nut bagels instead of my wheat tortillas after working out; I like to eat both of those with peanut butter, which the Engineer thinks is really bizarre. I think I need to give up on my peanut butter jar, though. I've been scraping the bottom of the jar (a difficult task when using a tablespoon) and I think I've finally reached the point where there isn't enough left in there to make the effort worth it. I've been eating Skippy Roasted Honey Nut Super Chunk, and next up is Jif Extra Chunky. I think I prefer Skippy, but I had a coupon and Jif was on sale.

My workout this morning was blah. I decided to change things up and use one of the elliptical's programs. I chose the Interval program, where you switch from a higher target heart rate to a lower one. I forgot that I hate using the interval/hill programs, because they never work how the book says they will. Supposedly, you spend 3 minutes at each target heart rate. That isn't what happened today - in 30 minutes, I only had it change the target 3 or 4 times. That's not right. I know I'm doing things correctly, and I stared at the display so as not to miss the change (it doesn't beep at you, so if you don't watch the display you'll miss it). And while at the lower rate, my heart rate kept dropping too low. And then I couldn't get it back up high enough. So that was pretty annoying. I should try out the non-HR programs, but I'm not sure how hard I'll need to set the resistance to keep my heart rate high enough. Maybe tomorrow.

elliptical | 30:00 HR Interval/5:00 CD | 24:27 in zone | 2.13 miles | 497 cal.

Running Break Day #5

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Good workout this morning. I changed my target heart rate on the elliptical by 6 beats, and that was enough for the resistance to be much higher. The increased resistance led to my heart rate staying above 150 for the entire workout, and getting above 160 for parts.

I've been feeling really unfocused lately. I'm sure a large part of it is that my training is in question; until this injury/leg problem gets resolved, I don't know what kind of training I'm going to be able to do for the next few months. And that makes it hard to set goals and plans. I'm normally not real gung ho on lifting or cross training, but I've had a real tough time being motivated to do either thing this past week. I've also been eating kind of crappy. I'm not over-eating in terms of calories (I haven't gone over 1700 in awhile), but I'm kind of overdoing the Blue Bunny popsicles. So I need to clean up my eating this week. I hope to get an answer tomorrow because I need some kind of target or goal to work towards to be on top of things. Last fall, I had weight loss to motivate me and this spring I had the marathon. Bleh.

weights | upper body | 31:00
elliptical | 30:00 cardio/5:00 CD | 26:51 in zone | 2.43 miles

Running: 0:19:12 | 9.39 miles
Walking: 0:08:13 | 0.57 miles
Elliptical: 1:45:00 | 6.8 miles
Weights: 1:35:00
President's Challenge: 2444

Running Break Day #4

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I haven't worked out today, although I may go use the elliptical later. I went into work this morning for a training session, and then stayed an extra bit so I could learn some more stuff. I was only there for a little over 3 hours, but my leg got kind of stiff/tired. I don't know if that's because I'm not used to standing for hours, or if it's related to the "leg issue." I'm thinking it's some of both. My feet felt okay, but I think that's because I got new shoes. I got a pair of Danskos, which are supposed to be really good for people who work on their feet. The thing that sucks is that it started raining while I was at work, and I hadn't used the protector spray on my shoes yet. Hopefully the water didn't stain them too badly. These are the first pair of "grown-up" shoes I've bought in awhile. The last few pairs I can think of have been either running shoes or flip flops.

Running Videos!

While browsing the Runners World forums today, I came across The Extra Mile, a site with videos of some famous races. I just watched Alan Webb's 2001 mile (where he broke the high school record). I'd never seen it before and it was pretty awesome to watch. Now I'm off to watch some more clips.

Running Break Day #3

Cross training in the basement on the weekend kind of sucks. During the weekdays, I work out in the mornings, and the Engineer works out after work. But on the weekends, we both work out in the morning so I have to share the TV and the elliptical. I hate going second on the elliptical because then the chest strap is already sweaty. Sharing the TV isn't that big of a deal, except that when I'm doing upper body weights, I like to have the TV on something I don't care if I can't see every scene or if I miss some dialogue. So I usually have the TV on soaps or the music channel; he doesn't mind the music station, but he will not watch soaps with me. While we do have some stuff on the TiVo to watch together, there weren't any shows that I wanted to watch while weight lifting. I decided to let him watch a movie he recorded, and I put on my MP3 player. I forgot that I hate wearing that thing when lifting - I felt my arm spasm during some lifts, and I think it was from having the arm band on. My legs felt fine on the elliptical, and I even went an extra 5 minutes. I kind of wanted to go a lot longer (to make up for the lack of a long run this week), but decided not to push my luck as far as my left leg is concerned.

weights | upper body | 32:00
elliptical | 35:00 cardio/5:00 CD | 31:51 in zone | 2.57 miles | 569 cal.

Running Break Day #2

Fuck. My doctor is "sick" and can't come in today so they've rescheduled me for Tuesday. ARGH!


3:00 PM: Today is a strange day. The doctor's office called this morning, and my husband woke me up to take the call. I had to go downstairs to get my calendar to see if the new appointment would conflict with my work schedule. I almost ran into the walls because I felt really dizzy. It's gotten a little better since then, but I'm just feeling kind of off. I think trying to exercise would probably be a bad idea under these circumstances (I had planned on using the elliptical). I think I'm going to head to the grocery store and/or maybe try to track down some brown shoes. I have to wear plain brown or black shoes for work, and I don't think I have any that are solid in color and comfortable to wear. I had orientation last night, and was really amused during the section where we went over the dress code. The manager was telling us about how we have to wear khakis, and then she said that khakis are really easy to find, and everyone sells them. Ha! As you may all remember from my search a few weeks ago, that is not the case.

Running Break Day #1

Today is day 1 of my break from running. Yesterday proved that I need to not run until I see the doctor, and may need a few days off after that. So I went to my basement to weight lift and use the elliptical. Since we were gone for several days, I have a lot of TV shows to choose from. This is good, since it appears I'll be spending a lot of time in the basement over the next couple days. My leg didn't hurt on the elliptical like it did while running, but my knee did feel a little achy towards the end. I've got ice on it now, but I'm not too concerned about that feeling. I used to get that sometimes while running and it never got serious/interfered with running.

weights | upper body | 33:00
elliptical | 30:00 cardio/5:00 CD | 26:36 in zone | 2.30 miles | 510 cal.

Bad run, take 2

All you need to know about today is this: I had to start taking my pain-pause breaks around 2.5 miles, I had to stop around 3 miles because the pain was so severe, I had to walk home trying not to cry (can't have the neighbors thinking I'm even weirder), and trying to sit down to take off my shoes hurt enough that it did finally start me crying. This is ridiculous. I wish I had never entered TCM.

3.04 miles | 29:32 | 9:43/mi.
walk home | 0.57 miles | 8:13 | 14:27/mi.

Forgot to add ...

I was going to post an update about my toe. I followed the advice of two wise runners last night, and decided to drain the blister. I was a little nervous about doing that since there was blood involved. I sterilized my trusty safety pin, and poked the blister in several spots. (When draining a blister, I poke it a couple of times, instead of just once. I don't know why, but that's how I do things). I pressed a tissue on it to contain the blood that came out (gross!) but there wasn't much fluid. I then put on some Neosporin and a band-aid. I looked at it this morning, and it looked a lot better. It had shrunk down a lot. I didn't bother with a band-aid for running, just some more Neosporin. It didn't bother me while running, but apparently it did ooze since I have some bloody spots on my sock.

Sorry for the grossness.

I've calmed back down a little now, too.

Another bad run

I am so irritated right now. I had thought that everything was fine after Friday's stellar run. Well, ha! I'm stupid to think that. I got almost 5 miles into my run today and then my leg started acting up AGAIN. I didn't have to stop as often as last Wednesday, but I did have to cut my run short because it hurt. I actually walked the last 0.15 miles home because I couldn't take it anymore. STUPID SHITTY LEG. I'm seeing the doctor on Friday (just called for an appt) and am going to demand that he x-ray it this time because obviously something is not right. This is ridiculous. I shouldn't be having this much trouble with this little mileage.

No lower body weights until I know what the deal is with my POS leg.

58 degrees | wind 7 MPH | 70% humidity
6.35 miles | 1:00:15 | 9:29/mi.

XT Day

Back home ... a little tired since we didn't get back to MN until close to 12:30 AM, but that's okay. The weekend was fun, and it was great seeing our college friends again.

I'm following Pfitzinger's training plan right now, which has me running only 4 days a week last week, this week and next week (IIRC). I move up to 5 days after that. The non-running are rest or cross-training days, left to your discretion. Since I've taken the last 2 days off, I decided to use today as a cross-training day. By going down to my basement, I was able to kill 2 birds with 1 stone, as I also have a lot of TV to watch. So I did upper body weights and used the elliptical. Nothing too exciting to report this morning.

weight lifting | upper body | 30:00
elliptical | 25:00 cardio/5:00 CD | 22:16 in zone | 1.93 miles | 435 cal.

Running: 4:01:10 | 26.1 miles
Weights: 1:13:00
Swimming: 0:15:00
President's Challenge: 2865 points

Briefly checking back in

Once again, I'm supposed to be doing something other than using the computer, so this has to be short.

My leg is doing better. I didn't run yesterday because it was really stiff from being in the car for over 8 hours on Wednesday. Instead, we swam in the pool. Unfortunately, storms kept forcing us inside, so I only got about 15 minutes of actual exercise. I used the kickboard and went back and forth, using just my legs. I also tried to do a version of pool running. I think if I had more regular access to a pool, I'd probably get the aqua jogger stuff.

Today, I went to the fitness center and ran on the treadmill. My leg and foot behaved, but the stupid band-aid I wore to protect the ugly toe slipped and drove me nuts. I was so glad to stop so I can take the damn thing off! The treadmill I got to use actually did have a water bottle holder, but I hadn't brought a good water bottle for running with me. I had my big-mouth 32 oz bottle, and I'm sure if I had tried to drink from it while running, I would have ended up with water all over me and the treadmill. When I run on a treadmill, I like to have the "sports bottle" type bottles.

My weights workout was pretty weak, since they have less non-machine equipment than I do at home. (No stability ball, which sucks). They do have some machines, but I'm kind of wary of the older style Nautilus stuff. The gyms I've been a member of have all had Cybex stuff, where you can adjust tons of stuff. As a short person, I find that to be a necessity. A lot of the older style machines are too "big" for me.

Hope everyone has a great weekend!

treadmill @ 1% incline | 6 miles | 54:24 | 9:04/mi.
weights | upper and lower body | 30:00

My leg hates me, too

70 degrees | wind 8 MPH | 83% humidity | cloudy -> sunny

I am supposed to be packing so that the Engineer and I can leave town. Instead I am sitting here, still in my running clothes, with frozen peas on my leg. That's right, not only do my toes hate me (ex: the blood blister) but today my leg decided to rebel again. I am so sick of this.

Since we are going out of town and my running options will be limited, I decided to do my long run today. I planned on 9-10, which seemed totally reasonable since I ran 7 on Saturday and was fine. And the first couple miles were fine, aside from slight foot tenderness. The ugly toe was covered with a much better band-aid than yesterday, so it wasn't a problem.

Then just before mile 6, my leg kind of locked up. I don't even know how to explain it. But it started in the shin, and then moved around to the calf muscle. I stopped to stretch it, in the hopes that would help. Then it started moving up my leg, to around my knee area. It reminded me of the marathon pain, so you can just imagine how happy I was to have that feeling! I kept stopping to stretch and things would be okay for a few feet and then would hurt again. I was so frustrated, and a few tears did escape during one stretch break. For the most part, I was able to keep running (I was just hoping the stretching would make it easier), and surprisingly, my pace wasn't that much slower. It just felt odd, especially when the pain moved up towards my hip. I have no idea where this is coming from, either. It did lessen some as I kept going, which was good. I'll have to see if it returns tomorrow when I attempt to go for a recovery run. I'll be heading back to the doctor if it does.

10.02 miles | 1:35:05 | 9:29/mi.

Stupid foot and stupid Band-Aid

67 degrees | wind 7 MPH | 68% humidity | sunny

My feet hate me. So the toes on my right foot were looking a lot better. Even though I've lost basically all of the toenail on the second toe, that toe was recovering well. The blister had healed, and the skin looks nice and healthy. The big toe (where the monster blister was) wasn't looking as good, partly because the skin had loosened up and tore a little bit. I've been putting Neosporin on it and wearing a Band-Aid. The stupid Band-Aid part of my title is because while running today, the Band-Aid slid down and bunched up. I got home and took a look at my toe - and I now have a blood blister. Ugh. So gross.

I ran on the DT today, and it was nice and shady. I was surprised that my watch didn't beep at me for low GPS signal. I saw something funny - a guy riding his bike with a bottle of Propel shoved in the back of his jeans. For some reason, that just looked really funny to me. I was not amused by the clinic employees that brought out lawn chairs to sit along the DT while smoking. Go somewhere other than alongside the exercise trail, smokers! Geez.

Got in another weight lifting session today. It ended up taking about 10 minutes less than last time, but I only skipped one set (the lunges). So that's kind of weird. I must've been slower on Sunday.

5.06 miles | 45:47 | 9:03/mi.
weights | upper and lower body | 43:00

The Rules of Running

While looking for something else today, I found this Michigan Runner article which featured runners' rules for running. There are a ton of good items on the list, but some of my personal favorites include:

"Don't let a woman in make-up pass you."
This one just sounded funny. Probably because of the uproar on the Runners World Forums, after RW published that (stupid) article about the best marathon lipstick. The woman featured is a member of the 50 States + DC Club and has run a ton of marathons. Yet the only thing she'll now be known for by a large number of people is that she actually stops at mile 23 to touch up her lipstick. I can tell you that at mile 23, the last thing on my mind is lipstick.

"When running on a track, let the faster runners use the inner lane."
Ugh. I used to track repeats/intervals 2x a week in the summer. No one would yield the inner lane to me, even when I was the fastest one there at the time. I almost bowled over a group of people once who didn't respond to "track!" I probably should've run my repeats the opposite direction so they'd have seen me coming and that I wasn't going to move.

"When running into the wind, it feels strong as ever but dies down once you turn around."
This happens to me all the time!

"Carry ID."
This is so important - better safe than sorry. I finally got a shoe tag from roadID.com, with my name, address and the Engineer's phone numbers on it. We both feel much better about me running all over town with that on my shoe.

"As much as possible, patronize your local running shop."
I believe so strongly in this that I drive 80-90 minutes to get to my local shop. Oh how I wish we had a store here in town!

"If you feel good on a run, no one will notice. If you're feeling poorly, most of your friends will stop to help or tell you later how bad you looked."
Heh. It's like Murphy's Law of running.

Okay, I'd better stop before I quote the whole article. But just one more:

"Love the fact you can be active. Tomorrow it may be gone."
This is just a really great statement.

Monday Evening Check-In

I was looking at my SiteMeter stats today, and noticed something interesting - Bloglines. I'd never heard of it before, so I followed the link back to it and took a look at the site. It seems pretty interesting, so I signed up and started adding my regular reads. Then I added more sites off of Mark's list that I've been wanting to read. Then I started trying to get my site to have a feed, because it didn't seem to work correctly. While doing that, I discovered FeedBurner, which Blogspot users can use to get a RSS feed. I don't totally get all of this stuff yet, can you tell?

As a result of my playing with the site feed, I decided to start using the title field. I've actually been meaning to do this since Blogger added the permalink feature. Since I haven't been using titles, Bloglines and my permalinks use the first line of my post as the title. My titles are going to be super lame like today, but that's okay.

I found some pictures/descriptions of some of my weight lifting:

Ball Bridges

Ball Crunches
Ball Hamstring Curl (2L)
Ball Hamstring Curl (1L)
Ball Squat
Single Leg Standing Calf Raises
Ball Tuck

If I had a foam roller, I would do:
Dead Lifts, only I would do them with 1 leg at a time.
Hip Abduction, without the band
My trainer used to make me do 1-legged squats and I hated them.

There's a bunch more exercises on OnlineFit. I'll definitely be coming back to it for ideas. I like that they have a description AND pictures.

Sore legs, but decent run

64-69 degrees | wind 7-8 MPH | 78-63% humidity | sunny

It got warmer, but less humid, while I was running. I was tempted to take my shirt off, but couldn't find a good spot to do so. I didn't want to stop, but I also didn't want to pull off my shirt while running along the road. So I kept it on; it wasn't that warm anyway.

My hamstrings are feeling the effects of lifting yesterday. One of the reasons I hate to re-start lifting after a hiatus is that I feel so sore. I'm surprised it's just my hamstrings - I expected my glutes to hurt from the ball bridges. The hamstring soreness actually started last night, so I wasn't surprised to get up and have them be a little grouchy. The first few feet of running felt odd, but then I found my stride and had a decent run. I could still feel the hamstrings soreness, but it wasn't too bad and felt better as I kept going.

Short report, since I need to be getting ready to go for my drug test. I hate doing them, since peeing in a cup is hard for women. Also, the only interesting thing they'll find is a remarkable lack of caffeine, since all I drink is water.

5.02 miles | 45:54 | 9:09/mi.

Running: 3:21:52 | 22.20 miles
Weights: 2:01:00
President's Challenge points: 2654


My shoulders are sunburned from yesterday. I guess I really should wear sunscreen, especially when running mid-day. At least it doesn't hurt.

This morning I did my first lower body weight workout in months. I don't feel like I can get a good workout for my legs at home. Today I did reverse lunges (only one set because I didn't like how my knees felt with them), hamstring curls with the stability ball, stability ball bridges, straight leg deadlifts, squats (with the stability ball between my back and the wall) and standing calf raises. I don't know what else I would do, especially since I don't want to do a real strenuous lower body workout. I think I manage to hit all the major muscles, so that's good.

weight lifting | upper/lower body | 52:00

Longer run

76 degrees | wind 6 MPH | 67% humidity | sunny

It felt pretty hot today! I guess that's what I get for not leaving my house until after 11 am. I did run with my shirt off today, and it felt so good to have the breeze blow across my middle. I think I'll be running shirtless a lot more this summer. I didn't feel nearly as self-conscious as I thought I would. I was pretty glad to get back to my house so I could drink my water. I may have to rethink my water-carrying guidelines, as water would've been pretty nice during the run today. Maybe I'll get one of those small hand-held bottles. Getting back to the house was great for another reason. I dragged one of the hoses out from the garage, hooked it up and then hosed off my legs and arms. I cannot even tell you how good the (cold) water felt on my legs. Hosing my legs off after a run is one of my favorite things to do in the summer.

Overall, my run went well aside from feeling a little tired in the heat. I think I'm going to have to start running around the lake/river again, because having to stop to cross the streets in the heat really sucks. I was doing fine until that happened, and then the pause for traffic made me feel a little crappy. But I was mostly okay once I got going again, and I wasn't in danger of blacking out from the heat like last week. My legs felt decent, and I maintained a pretty even pace - which is a good accomplishment considering I'm an uneven runner, it was hot, and I had some small hills to deal with.

I should weight lift today, but I'm hungry right now. I'll either do it later today, or tomorrow. I'm leaning more towards tomorrow because that lines up next week's lifting better for me.

Almost forgot ... one of the reasons I took so long to get going today is because I started fiddling with counting my lifetime mileage. It's not totally accurate because I'm still missing my 1994 log (I'm sure I kept one) and my records during college were kind of sketchy. I have a couple more places to look for the log, so hopefully I'll be able to get a slightly more accurate number sometime.

7.05 miles | 1:04:48 | 9:11/mi.

Site recommendation

I love that there have been so many discussions in the comments section this past week! I think it would be even more fun if all of us running bloggers chatted on a message board. Like, maybe the Complete Running Message Board? (Hope it's okay to pimp your site, Mark).

Looking ahead

59 degrees | wind 16 MPH | 96% humidity

If anyone's looking at buying a Fuel Belt, the National Running Center is having a special right now where you get a free gel flask with purchase of a FB. I don't work for NRC, but I'm on the sales mailing list and thought I'd pass along the info in case anyone's interested.

I have the 4 bottle belt, and sometimes I think I should get a 6 or an 8 bottle belt for my summer long runs. But I don't know that I'd be able to fit that many bottles around my waist. I still need to figure out where there are water fountains around my running routes. Back at school, I used to run by parks and would refill my bottles there. I have yet to find a water fountain around here. I still don't understand why they don't have them on the bike paths. The Chicago bike path has them, and so do some of the Twin Cities area paths. So it's not a winter issue. Oh well; at least there are bathrooms in some of the areas. (And all the construction around town equals lots of porta-potties).

Another short run today. I was going to do another 4 miler, but I decided to cut it down to 3 (as if that extra mile really makes a difference) since I'm running 5 days in a row this week. I should've gone downstairs to weight lift, since tomorrow will be my longer run of the week. But I don't feel like starting back up again, just yet. My hamstrings have been a little stiff at the beginning of my runs, so I think I should baby my legs a little bit more before adding weights into the mix.

I'm hoping to be able to run for around an hour tomorrow, to end the week somewhere around 20 miles. Next week, I'll hopefully be able to get around 25, and then start moving back up into the 30s. Next week is a little different as far as planning ahead of time, because the Engineer and I are going on a trip out of town. We're leaving here on Wednesday to go to his parents' house. They live in a rural area, and I'm scared of running in rural areas. There are always loose dogs around, and I'd probably get attacked and the owner wouldn't be around to stop it/help me. There actually is a fitness center in the town (or at least there was in November and December), so I should be able to go there and run on the treadmill. On Friday, we're leaving his parents to go to another small rural town for a friend's wedding. Our hotel doesn't have a fitness center, and I don't think there is anywhere I'd feel safe running around town. So I can run here Mon-Wed, and at the fitness center Thurs-Fri, and I'll have to take Sat-Sun off (2 days in a row - yuck). The part that is hard to plan is how much I'll be able to run on the treadmill, since it doesn't have a cup holder. (Who builds a treadmill sturdy enough for running, and then doesn't add a cup/water bottle holder?) I can run 2 hours outside without water, but I can barely go 3-4 miles on a treadmill without water. I guess I could bring my Fuel Belt, but that's just too dorky. I'm already something of a weirdo for going and running in the fitness center. Well, we'll see. I will get to swim in the pool on Thursday, too, which is exciting. I can't swim, but I love using my kickboard. Maybe I'll even be able to get rid of some of the running tan lines.

3.02 miles | 27:36 | 9:08/mi.

Shopping pains; setting/evaluating goals

I discovered this morning that my one pair of nice pants are slightly too big. While I'm overall pleased to be smaller, it's kind of upsetting shrinking out of all the clothes I've had for years. I have countless dress pants and skirts that I had to give up over the winter; while I rarely dress up anymore, I loved my dress pants. I bought a pair of black pants in December that I wore for New Year's Eve, and I thought they were a great substitute for my previous black pants. So I'm a little sad that they are a tad too big right now. I still wore them today, as they aren't in danger of falling down, but they'd look better if they were slightly smaller/I was slightly wider.

Since I have another interview tomorrow, I thought maybe I'd go shopping to look for a different pair of pants so I wouldn't have to wear today's pants again. (I did change into jeans after the interview, because the black pants are also a little too long now, and too-long pants are not a good idea on a rainy day). I also thought I'd look for khaki pants, since that's what I saw all the store's employees wearing. I used to own several pairs of khakis but they are all too big now; contrary to the Engineer's ideas, a belt is not an attractive solution to that. I also thought it might be nice to find a new short-sleeve button down shirt. So dress pants, khaki pants and a dress shirt. Should be simple, right?


My first stop was Target. I figured that a store that requires their employees to wear khaki pants would surely sell them. Apparently, that was a stupid idea. They have capris, but no pants. No acceptable dress pants either. I saw one button down shirt, but the style was weird. It looked like it was missing a button, and I'd have to either button it all the way to the neck or show a lot of chest. I don't have a problem with chest showing, per se, but I don't think that's the look I want for interview/work situations.

So onto the mall. I remembered seeing some acceptable dress pants at NY&Co and thought I'd go there. Great idea, except that our location is being remodeled and is currently closed. So I moved onto the Gap. Nothing there. I finally found some khakis at Maurices, but I'm not sure if I like them. I'll have to have the Engineer look at them, because I can't tell if they fit right. It just seems so silly to have had so much trouble finding such simple items (I also checked out Sears and Kohls, and nada). I think I'm going to try to go up to the Gap Outlet this weekend to return a dress I got last month, and see if they have khakis. I've always had good luck with Gap Outlet khakis.

So that was my afternoon, pretty exciting, huh? It was raining when I left the mall, but I'd left my umbrella in the car. Normally, I'd run to my car. But with Richard's ankle incident today (and Rebecca's last month) in mind, I walked to my car, getting wet. Luckily I was headed home to weight lift anyway. I got in a decent workout, although I really do need to change it up. I've been following the same routine forever. It's hard to find new things to do when you only have a stability ball, a chair and some dumbbells. It's even harder to find good lower body exercises when you don't have a gym.

I want to do at least 2, but preferably 3, upper body workouts a week. I should do at least 1, if not 2 or 3, lower body workouts. Fitting in the UB workouts isn't that hard, as I can do them after running. The only thing I've learned is to not do them the day before a long run. For some odd reason, I found myself getting worse back pain if it was the day after an UB workout. Scheduling the LB workouts is a lot more difficult, as the legs are already getting worked from the running. I know some people say not to bother with LB weights at all, that running is enough. But I don't think it is enough for me. While my legs are decently strong, I think they could be a lot stronger.

Other things I want are a sub-1:45 half-marathon and a sub-4 marathon. As long as the weather is halfway decent in August, the half goal is in the bag. My 20K's half-marathon equivalent is in the 1:42-1:43 range, and it was run without any taper. I also have faith that my legs will tolerate fast running for that distance, because I've done it before. The marathon is another story. I would still like to run sub-3:45 (and 3:40 to BQ), but honestly, just getting under 4 hours is the most important thing for me at this stage. I think that some of the problems I ran into with the marathon were because I wasn't really mentally prepared to take a 30 minute chunk off of my PR. I should've just focused on breaking 4 hours, and using TCM for the 3:40-3:45 push. So running sub-4 is going to be my focus for TCM. I'm still planning on training hard, but I'm taking the time pressure off of myself.

I'm doing pretty decently with my mileage goal. I went over the 700 mile mark on Tuesday, for the first time since 1997. Yay! I already revised the goal from 1000 miles to 1200, and I might have to revise it again. If I pick one of the aggressive programs, I'll definitely be revising the goal because (holy crap! I just did the math) it would involve my first-ever 200+ months.

I wish I could find the NY Resolutions/goals I made, but the boards I posted them on have either gone down or deleted the posts. I think it would be interesting to see how I'm doing with those, as we near the half-way point of the year. I'm pretty sure I had something about weight lifting in there along with:
run 1, maybe 2, marathons and a 20K and a half-marathon
maintain my weight plus/minus 5 pounds
continue to eat minimum of 65g protein/day (I think) and 5 fruits/day

Now I'm sad that I don't have the real list, because I know there were a few other things on there. Other than last month's weight lifting slacking, I'm actually doing pretty well with the list.

This might have been my longest post ever, and the most all-over the place one, too.

weight lifting | upper body | 33:00

The Breast Cancer Site

E-mail from my mom:

Please do this... It means a lot.

Please tell ten friends to tell ten today. The Breast Cancer site is having trouble getting enough people to click on it daily to meet their quota of donating at least one free mammogram a day to an underprivileged woman. It takes less than a minute to go to their site and click on "donating a mammogram" for free (pink window in the middle). This doesn't cost you a thing. Their corporate sponsors/advertisers use the number of daily visits to donate a mammogram in exchange for advertising.

Please pass it along to 10 people you know.

Here's the web site!

I had the site linked on here, but it got lost in one of my template changes. Thanks for reminding me to add it back, Mom!

More about training plans

57 degrees | wind 13 MPH | 94% humidity | overcast

Kind of an ugly day. We've had a lot of rain here in the last couple of days. Yesterday we were under a flash flood warning, and the Engineer said a couple of the yards around here looked like marshes. Luckily, we live at the top of a small hill, so I don't think we need to worry about flooding. He IM'd me from work yesterday to ask about the roads because he had heard that some of the roads in town had closed. There was water on the streets, but it was all moving because of the slant. (The houses at the bottom of the street are the ones with the marshy/swampy yards). It wasn't raining when I ran this morning, but it looked like it might start at any time. I did like the slightly cooler temperature.

So yesterday I was talking about my potential training plan. I typed up the 12-week and 18-week schedules, in case anyone wanted to see what I was talking about when I called them aggressive. I'm still kind of on the fence about what to do, as far as picking a schedule or making one. I figure I'll be using the rest of this month as recovery/rebuild, so I still have a few weeks before making a decision. I think either of those programs would get me in great shape, but I'm also not sure I'm ready to make that big of a leap.

Also, I will hopefully be working soon which may change how I'm able to train. I have an interview today for a part-time cashier job (which is why I skipped weight lifting this morning - I need to do that this afternoon). It's not a big deal, just something to get me out of the house and to help fund my running (it's almost time for another pair of shoes) and pay my student loan. But cashiering involves standing for hours, and I'm not sure how that will affect my training. If I'm hired, I'll be trying to get the schedule to work around my running, but there is no getting around the standing. I have cashiered full-time while being in "active runner mode," but not during marathon training. So who knows how that's going to go.

I was going to join in on the goal posting/discussion, but that will have to wait until this afternoon. Maybe I'll talk about that when I add my weight lifting.

4.03 miles | 37:15 | 9:15/mi.

Picking a training plan

67 degrees | wind 10 MPH | 93% humidity

Another 4 mile run today. I took too long to get out the door today, so I was kind of hungry. That helped keep me from running farther, which is probably a good thing right now anyway. It rained almost all of last night, and it was still drizzly when I got up, which explains the high humidity. The slightly cooler temperatures kept it from feeling too nasty, though. It was also overcast. Needless to say, I kept my shirt on today. If I'm going to run around shirtless, it has to be hot/sunny.

I'm still trying to figure out the TCM training schedule situation. I read my book last night, and thought it was pretty neat. It talked a little about nutrition, but the frustrating thing to me is that it seemed more focused towards men. I don't care what a 150 pound man should eat, because I can't translate that into what I should eat. Figures based on 150 pound women are at least a little more informative, because I can assume it's a proportional relationship. But there are too many differences between men and women to compare. Ok, that's more of a general nutrition rant than one about the book. I'll have to find the exact reference, but one thing I found really interesting was it seemed to say I should consume around 1600 calories from carbohydrates if I'm following their program. If I remember the Engineer's math, if carbohydrates make up 60% of your diet, that's roughly 2600 calories/day. That's a lot of calories!

But back to the training schedules. I'm looking at the 55 mile program, because I want to increase my mileage and I think some weeks in the 50 mile range would be a good step for me. The book has 24, 18 and 12 week schedules. I plotted the 18 and 12 week schedules out this morning. Obviously the 12 week works better for me because of the short time I have since I need some recovery weeks. But the shorter schedule lacks some of the things that I thought were cool about the 18 week schedule, namely the marathon specific runs (example: run 15 miles with 12 miles at marathon pace), and it only has two 20 mile runs (I'd like to do at least 3). I know that Higdon recommends following a post-marathon plan and then jumping into the applicable 18 week plan afterwards. But it seems like doing that with the Pfitz 18 week plan kind of takes away some of the point of using his plan. But at the same time, I'm coming off of marathon training, so I already have a decent base ... I think I need to read through some parts of the book again, and maybe e-mail the guy that recommended the book to me. He also ran a Memorial Day weekend marathon and is now training for Chicago, so he's in a similar situation as I am.

I took another look at Higdon's Advanced program, and I don't know that I want to use it. It has 6 days of running, and I don't feel like I want to move up from my current 5. Also, something about the distances of the long runs feels off to me, like there aren't enough runs over 16 miles. If I don't use the Pfitz programs, I might take some elements of the Advanced program (the hill repeats and possibly some intervals) and try to fit them into the Intermediate-II program. Lots of stuff to think about.

4.08 miles | 37:23 | 9:10/mi.

Site Stuff

I've been playing with new templates and colors and things, so stuff might not work right or look right for a bit. I liked my other template, but felt it was kind of dreary because of all the dark colors and grey background. I wanted something brighter for summer ... not sure if this is where I'm going to leave it, though.

Trip to the doctor

Okay, I am back. Nothing to report, really. The knee thing isn't exactly a knee-thing, as it was just below the knee. The doctor said that it was a good sign that the area never swelled. Basically, it was mostly a fluke thing. I wish I had brought a notepad with me, but he said that the ligaments in the area felt strong, and that if it were higher up we'd be concerned about the ITB. But basically I don't need to be worried about my knees, especially since I haven't had knee cap issues. He said if there is pain, but I can run through it not to worry, just ice it. I should come back in if I can't run or it swells.

As for the foot, I need to look up the exact term, but it's most likely a form of tendonitis. He said it wasn't a stress fracture, because the pains weren't in the front of my foot and because he was able to push on the bone without it hurting me. If it were a stress fracture, that would've hurt a lot. (I know this to be true because a guy on the cross country team had a stress fracture, and I remember after a race him screaming when someone touched on his foot in an attempt to figure out what was wrong). He said that ice works well, and I should just take it easy for awhile and rest/ice as needed. I can run, I just need to gradually increase the mileage, and I can also resume lower body weights. The doctor said I should focus on my quads, but not to do leg extensions. Luckily, I don't have a leg extension machine so that's not a problem. He suggested I do quarter squats, as opposed to lowering all the way, and that I be careful about lunges, as they can aggravate knee caps. So now I just need to figure out a good lower body routine.

Oh, according to their medical records I have shrunk. I like to say I'm 5'4", but I was measured as 5' 3.75" at my last physical, and they called me 5' 3.5" today. I don't want to be shorter!

One other thing. A few weeks ago, I was recommended Pfitzinger's Advanced Marathoning for my TCM training schedule. I checked to see if the library had a copy, but they didn't. My library lacks a lot of the running books I want. You can request books to be sent from other Minnesota libraries, but I put some books on request in February and they still have not come in, so I didn't have high hopes of seeing the book soon. I went over to Barnes & Noble, our only book store, to see if they had a copy, but they didn't. I know I can get it from Amazon, but I wanted to see if I thought the book was any good before actually buying it. Four Months to a Four Hour Marathon was recommended to me, and I hated it so I was glad I got it from the library first. (The author says that cotton is an okay clothing choice and cotton socks are perfectly fine for a marathon. I couldn't take anything he said seriously after that. Plus, I didn't like his schedules). Anyway ... I got back from the doctor's office and had a notice that the book had come in! Yay! Now I have something to read. I briefly thumbed through the book and it almost looks like I could jump into his marathon recovery cycle and then do the 12 week program. I'll have to read the book, see if I understand the training, and then plot stuff out on a calendar and compare it to the Higdon programs I was thinking about (Intermediate-II or Advanced-I). I'm so glad my foot felt better today, so I can be excited about planning a schedule.

A good day

73 degrees | wind 18 MPH | 76% humidity | sunny

Woo! Today was great. I ran 4 miles, I didn't pass out from the heat/humidity, my "easy" pace turned out to be sub-9mpm and my foot didn't hurt. It didn't feel 100%, but I'd say it felt in the 80-90% good range. (And to be honest, I'm not sure that my feet ever truly feel 100%). I kept expecting it to start hurting, but it didn't. I had headed out intending to run a little over 3, but felt so good I decided to go for 4. Of course, that meant running up and down the street because I hadn't run out 2. I'm just so happy to have had a good run again.

Of course, it would happen on the day I go to the doctor. I'm still going to see him, though, since I'm hoping he'll be able to give me some insight as to what started all of this. But I guess taking yesterday easy - no running, no cross training, no trips to the store - must have been what I needed.

I ditched my usual short sleeve shirt for a sleeveless shirt today. I had a nice mix of colors today - orange sportsbra, yellow shirt, gray shorts and pink hat. I'm so stylish when I run. I think I might start running around shirtless when it's this hot/humid. While the sleeveless shirts have less fabric than a short sleeve shirt (and I only wear Cool Max/Dri Fit), there's still enough fabric to feel yucky in the humidity. I don't know if I'm brave enough to not wear a shirt, though. I can only think of 3 times I've run outside in just a regular sportsbra and shorts: while doing quarters on the track at night, while running around campus at night, and running around campus in the early morning. (I do go shirtless when I run at a gym, but that's mainly because gyms are so incredibly hot and stuff that I'd pass out from heat exhaustion if I wore anything other than just my sportsbra on top. Also, I do have some sportsbras that cover my stomach, but since they cover as much as a shirt, I don't really count that in the same category). I can't explain why I'm so resistant to running around shirtless. It's not a body image thing, although that has kept me from doing it in the past.

I've already got a sockline and a line from my shorts. I'm sure the sportsbra line will show up soon, since I get that even if I wear a shirt. (It used to baffle me as to how I got such deep lines on my back when I never took my shirt off, until I figured out that I was tanning through my shirt). Running shirtless will give me a tanline along the top of my shorts, too. The bottom short line looks bad enough with a swimsuit, but to have one across my belly, too? Good thing I don't have much opportunity to go to the pool/beach. I guess I could just start wearing sunscreen when I run, too. That might take care of things.

I need to go eat lunch before my doctor's appointment. I'll update when I get back from that.

4.02 miles | 34:50 | 8:40/mi.
weights | upper body | 36:00

A day off

It is hot here today! It was almost 80 by 10 am, and it's close to 90 right now. Yuck.

I've taken the day off. My foot is still bothering me, and I think a day off is probably a good idea. I'm so glad my doctor's appointment is tomorrow!

Running: 1:27:26 | 9.31 miles
Elliptical: 0:30:00
Weights: 1:37:00
President's Challenge points: 1589

Running in the heat

66 degrees | wind 3 MPH | 88% humidity | sunny

Well that was exciting.

Today felt hotter and more humid than the conditions indicate. Towards the end of the run, whenever I had to stop to cross a street, I started to feel a little sick. I normally run up my street to my house, even if I'm "over" my planned distance (unless I'm short, and then I run up and down the street). But today, I stopped once I got just over 4 miles, and walked the rest of the way (maybe 0.08-0.10 miles?). My breathing was really ragged and then my vision started closing in. I thought I was going to black out in the middle of the street. I kept trudging up the street, hoping to at least make it to my lawn before passing out. I started cursing myself for leaving my water bottle in the garage instead of outside on the porch. Luckily, I managed to get myself to my house, use the garage door keypad, grab my water bottle and make it to the porch to sit down. Once I got some water, my breathing stopped sounding so terrible and I started to feel better.

The funny thing is I once I got inside, the Engineer didn't even know I'd gone running. He thought I had been back in our office the whole time I was gone. Good thing I didn't pass out on the lawn - it probably would've been hours before he'd have found me. (Although I would hope my neighbors might notice before that, especially since there were some outside).

Aside from the near blackout, today's run was a mix of good and bad. The foot wasn't too bad for the first half, and I felt much better today since I ate half of a Balance Bar when I got up. I left my house a different direction to avoid running downhill immediately, and the ugly toe was a little less grouchy today. I went down the DT, since I thought maybe running on the grass section would feel better. However, I found the uneven footing put more pressure on my foot. But around 2 miles, my foot started hurting more. And in the last half mile, my shin started to hurt, too. I'm sure that was caused by my foot. It's a little frustrating because my mind and muscles want to do more than my foot allows. I do know that taking an easy week is not only not a bad idea, but a good idea right now regardless of the foot. So again, looking on the bright side, at least the foot troubles are forcing me to take it easy right now, which will allow me to make a full recovery from the marathon.

4.03 miles | 37:52 | 9:24/mi.

weight lifting | upper body | 34:00

Checking back in ...


Forgot to update and reply to comments yesterday. I've been kind of MIA this week; I've been neglecting my blog, some of my running boards, and my e-mail. I'm back here now, and by the end of the weekend I'll hopefully get caught up with the e-mail and boards.

Yesterday, I needed to do upper body weight lifting. I decided to go downstairs and lift and then use the elliptical. I had a small amount of soreness on Thursday, so I kept most things the same. I think I'll be able to increase (reps or weights) next week. I never can make up my mind which way I want to be lifting though: light weight, high rep or heavier weight, low rep. I think the low weight/high rep is probably better for distance running, but I think the other way will probably help me get the defined arms I want. Then again, it's not like my heavy weight is much different from my light weight (maybe 15 vs. 10). I'm a weakling.

After lifting, I ellipticalled for a total of 30 minutes. The toe was okay with the socks and shoes. However, my left foot was still having issues. It was kind of a dull ache, which is better than the more sharp, stabbing pain I experienced the day before while running. I was also having mild heart rate issues. It seemed like it took awhile to get above 140, and then to get above 150. Towards the end, I was having trouble keeping it above 150. Sometimes I wish I had a HRM so that I could see what my heart rate does while running, so I could compare it to the elliptical. (It would also be nice to be able to accurately check it in the morning, as an elevated heart rate is a great indicator of overtraining. I cannot take my own pulse). However, the chest strap drives me nuts during a 30 minute elliptical session, so I doubt I'd be able to stand it for running. I don't think HRMs are very female friendly.

Today, I wanted to see if I could run again. The stupid foot felt fine when I got up, but I iced it as a preventative measure. The ugly toe handle the run pretty well, with the exception of the start. I live on a small hill, so almost all of my runs start out downhill. Downhills put more pressure on the toes, so it was a little grouchy. Once I got to the end of the street, it was better. The stupid foot, though, was annoying. It had the same dull ache feeling as yesterday, but I didn't have any sharp pains. And once I got back to the house, I didn't want to fall over like I did on Thursday either. So I think it's getting better. I think it's just some fluky thing that will go away eventually, like the bizarre foot pain I got after Chicago '02. (Immediately after the race, I got this pain on the outside heel of my right foot. I could barely walk on it for the next few days. I don't remember what my doctor said, but it wasn't anything serious. It went away after about a week and a half, I think).

I did feel kind of tired, which worried me (in an "oh crap, I've already lost my endurance???" way) until I remembered that I didn't eat before running and I was hungry when I got up. Since I normally do eat before running, that seems like a likely culprit. I hope so, at least. But overall, I did feel better running today than I did on Thursday. If the foot feels better tomorrow, I'll probably try to run again. I've had ice sitting on it since I got back, and I'll probably ice again tonight. Maybe it helps, I don't know.

activity log:

Friday: weight lifting | upper body | 31:00
elliptical | 25:00 cardio/5:00 CD | 21:xx in zone | 1.90 miles

Saturday: 65 degrees | wind 14 MPH | 73% humidity
3.26 miles | 30:09 | 9:15/mi.

First post-marathon run

55 degrees | wind 6 MPH | 67% humidity | sunny

Ugh. Went out for a short run this morning. The ugly toe didn't like wearing socks, but it didn't bother me too much. My left foot, on the other hand, still hurts. I don't know how to explain it, but it's almost feels like a cramp. I'm icing it right now in the hopes it will feel better. I don't think I could've gone much farther than the 2 miles that I did because of it. I really wish the doctor was able to see me earlier than Tuesday.

2.02 miles | 19:25 | 9:37/mi.

More about the marathon ...

Thanks for the comments, Richard and Rebecca.

I'm sure that eventually, I will feel proud to have completed another marathon, but I'm not there yet. I don't know how to explain what I feel about it right now. I do want to clarify that it's not the 4:31 that I'm upset about. I would be perfectly happy if that's what I had trained for and if I'd run even/close splits. (My first was only 7 minutes faster - 4:24 - and I was ecstatic afterwards). But it's hard for me to feel good right now about a fifty minute positive split and an overall pace that is slower than my easy LSD runs. That 50 minutes is still so completely unbelievable to me; it has to be some kind of record for terribleness.

I said in an update to LCAR that while I kind of wish that I had dropped out at the 20, I never would have imagined that things would get so bad. And even if someone had had a crystal ball and told me what was going to happen, I wouldn't have believed them. And I know that it's a catch-22 when talking about a DNF because I honestly don't know that I would feel any better sitting here with my first DNF.

It's going to take me awhile to get over Sunday, and I'm not sure what it's going to take or how to proceed from here. I know the most logical thing to do is to take a few recovery weeks and then pick up training for TCM. But a large part of me doesn't want to wait 18 weeks for marathon redemption. I know 2 girls that are unable to run Grandma's; if I didn't have to go to a wedding that day, I'd be really tempted to see if I could run it under one of their names. Another part of me wants to go out this weekend while the marks are still fresh and re-run the course at long run pace so I could at least have an unofficial PR (which would make me feel better about my abilities because my confidence took a really big hit). I know that's not a very smart idea, but don't be surprised if I try that at some point this summer. I do feel like I need to do more long runs in the 20+ mile range, and a lot longer MP runs. I don't know; I doubt I'm making any sense.

Update on the injuries ... the knee feels back to normal. (And I think explains a lot of the conflict/odd feelings I'm having right now. A large part of me now feels like if it recovered that quickly, that means I basically wussed out on Sunday and it wasn't really that bad. I remember how bad it felt at the time, but it's hard not to think that way when it started feeling better the next day). The monster blister shrunk down nicely after an Epsom salt soak. (That stuff is amazing). The other blister is mostly healed, but the toe looks nasty where the nail used to be. It's kind of red, but it doesn't hurt to touch. I am having some weird issues with my left foot. It kind of hurts along the outside of my foot, towards the top, starting around mid-foot extending to near my ankle. I don't know what that's about. I did make an appointment with a sports medicine doctor, but I can't get in until Tuesday. I'm sure everything will have cleared up by then, but I figure I can at least talk to him about what happened and try to figure out why I had the problems that I did.

But enough of my whining about the marathon. I did go downstairs to weight lift for the first time in a month. I did have to make a few minor changes since I wasn't wearing shoes and I can't raise up on my toes for pushups or planks. I did less reps than the last time, just because it was the first workout in awhile. I'll see how sore I am tomorrow, but I'll probably do the same for the next 2 workouts and then either increase the reps or weights. I'd like to have nice arms this summer. I've also decided that I do need to do lower body weights, because apparently running isn't getting me the legs I want. I'm kind of frustrated that despite running 35+ miles/week, I still have a flabby ass and that I don't have the nice defined legs like the other girls I see at races. While I know genetics plays a role, I think weight lifting (and losing 3-5 pounds) will be the key to getting the legs I want. Of course, the lower body weights will need to wait a few weeks until my recovery is over.

Assuming the foot doesn't hurt too bad and the toe doesn't look too bad, I may try to run 2 miles tomorrow.

activity log:

weight lifting | upper body | 32:00

Toe and leg issues

The title of my blog is so accurate, because I have one hell of an ugly toe today. I ended up with two blisters on Sunday - the monster blister on my right big toe, and a smaller one on my right second toe. The monster blister has responded well to being drained, but the other blister kept filling back up. I took a better look at it, and realized it was because the blister went under the nail. So I trimmed the nail down, and I think it helped take pressure off of the blister. I now have 9.5 toenails, and the part of my toe where the nail used to be is really nasty looking.

I had a nice case of DOMS in my quads yesterday, which annoyed me. They are feeling a little better today. What is really confusing is that my knee started feeling better yesterday afternoon. With the pain on Sunday being so severe, I didn't expect such a speedy recovery. We'll see what happens when I try to run at the end of the week, though.

I wonder when I can start weight lifting again. I was going to give my legs a few weeks to recover, but I want to start upper body lifting again. I've read where I should take a couple of days easy (no cross training or running) to let my muscles recover, but I don't know if that applies to my upper body. I don't like being inactive.