March 2006 Archives

Monthly Report: March 2006

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Running: 15:43:00 | 103.77 miles
Walking: 08:38:28 | 34.91 miles
Elliptical: 2:15:00 | 9.41 miles
Weight lifting: 8:42:00
Total activity: 35:18:28

Rainy day

It started raining during lunch today, and other than a brief interlude this afternoon, has continued to rain all day. There were some thunderstorms while I was still at work, and apparently the power in the Chem labs flickered briefly after one loud crash. One of the chemists came over to see if anything had happened in my lab, but our power hadn't and since I have no windows to see what's happening outside I had just assumed someone upstairs had either dropped something or blew something up. Luckily the rain stopped when I left work, so I was able to take Molly out without getting soaked. We walked 2 miles with a few running spurts. I'm so glad I wasn't really running though - we went to Indian buffet today, and while I didn't feel stuffed after eating, I felt kind of ugh while running with Molly.

I was supposed to do weights, but I slacked. The Engineer and I got to talking after he got home, and then it was late enough I really didn't want to lift. I could still do some lifting tomorrow, so it's not necessarily a loss.

treadmill @ 1% | 4.58 miles | 42:00 | 9:10/mi.

walk with Molly | 2.01 miles | 28:18


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This picture cracks me up. I don't look at Cute Overload that often, but I like a lot of the dog pictures. They need more border collies, though.

Did my usual 5AM run on the 'mill this morning. As usual, nothing too special or interesting. I'm still feeling like I could be getting sick, as I keep getting overly warm (even while not running, but it was more noticeable while running). I increased my minutes; I think I need to start getting up 5-10 minutes earlier so I have time to get my run and stretching in without rushing too much.

treadmill @ 1% | 4.52 miles | 41:29 | 9:11/mi.

I took Molly over to the bike paths for our walk this afternoon. I didn't take the GPS since the trail is marked; we walked 3 miles. We did more running bursts, so it was a much faster walk.

walk with Molly | 3 miles | 41:10

I think it's funny that my 2 workouts were almost identical in length.

Interval Tuesday

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Just a note, for anyone using RSS: I changed some settings around, and my RSS feed now only publishes the first 255 characters. So if you're using Bloglines or something, my posts are going to look like they end abruptly. I don't have a specific reason for the change, but I kind of like sites that only publish half of the post because it forces me to go to their actual site, which in turn means I'm more likely to actually read instead of skim.

Busted bracket

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So I'm completely done with my NCAA bracket ... none of my Final Four teams (Duke, Gonzaga, UConn, Villanova) are left. I scored 60 points on Yahoo, which has me in 4th or 5th in the 2 brackets I'm playing in there. I'll get an update on my work bracket tomorrow, since we're not playing online. I would be surprised if anyone from work is left in at this point, though - the majority of people had either UConn or Duke winning (I listened to the Engineer and picked Villanova - I can't believe the Eyeball failed us! I wasn't as surprised to have the Mustache screw up, although his being such a big crybaby was a big surprise). At least I won a dollar for having the highest round one score (thank you Bradley for taking out Kansas as I selected!).

Yesterday, I ran 10 miles. It was a decent day out, and I managed to not overdress for once. But I felt pretty crappy - really sluggish with tired legs. I'm sure all the walking Molly and I did this week played a large part in that. I really dragged while running uphill, and then the last mile was just crap.

36-37 degrees | FL 30-33 | 7 MPH NNW - 6 MPH NW
1 | 9:08
2 | 9:16 | 18:24
3 | 9:17 | 27:42
4 | 9:11 | 36:53
5 | 9:30 | 46:23
6 | 9:07 | 55:30
7 | 9:05 | 64:35
8 | 9:35 | 74:11 (uphill)
9 | 9:08 | 83:20
10 | 9:39 | 93:00
10 miles | 1:33:00 | 9:18/mi.
walk with Molly | 2.04 miles | 31:11

Today was my XT day. I decided to skip the elliptical, since I was going to take a long walk with the pup. After lifting, we headed out to an even nicer day (sunny with temps in the low 40s). We did a few 1/10 mile running spurts, but we mostly walked. Other than our climb up the misleading hill, it was a pretty nice, relaxing walk.

upper + lower body weights | 50:00
walk with Molly | 3.10 miles | 49:17

Training Week: March 20 - 26, 2006

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Running: 3:57:00 | 25.86 miles
Walking: 3:24:21 | 13.31 miles
Weights: 2:30:00
Total activity: 9:51:21


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To respond to Bria's comment from yesterday's post, I don't currently run with an HRM. I do own the Polar 625, but I don't like heart rate training so I don't use it anymore. I tried heart rate training last spring, and since I had to run so slow to be in the right "zone," I feel all I got out of it was a loss of speed and endurance. Granted, I only tried it for ~2 months, but I didn't feel like sticking it out because I HATED running that slow and it wasn't any fun. The only thing I really liked about the Polar is the chest strap - the flexible material is a much better fit for me. I have a lot of trouble getting good readings with the hard, plastic kind because they don't fit my ribcage/chest right (I'm small framed). I found the footpod pretty annoying (I never found a comfortable position for it on my shoe), but it was convenient that it could work in the woods where my GPS gets spotty. I had thought about buying the 301 when it came out last year instead of the Polar, but the pictures made it look like the 301 had a hard plastic strap which would render the HRM part of it kind of useless to me.

Overall, I prefer GPS to footpod, but flexible chest strap to plastic. I really like my Forerunner, and might upgrade to the new 205 sometime, because it looks pretty spiffy. I think Garmin might be the way to go if you are more interested in analyzing your run routes and stuff (like with Motion Based), but the Polar might have better options for analyzing heart rates. I didn't play much with the Polar software, though, so that's a guess. From my short time with the Polar, I found the Forerunner easier to use for reviewing workouts on the watch.

Don't know if any of that makes sense, or is of any use.

A sign of how addicted I am to the Forerunner/I'm such a nerd, I wear it when I walk with Molly. Since we don't stick to a consistent route, it's nice to know exactly how far we walk. We walked a similar route to yesterday, minus the mushy field and adding a different section at the end. It was a good walk, other than the scary dobie/rottie and the white lab that charged at us while snarling and showing teeth. Both were on tie-outs, or I'm sure I'd have a different story.

I ran on the treadmill again this morning. I actually woke up before my alarm and decided to get an early start on my day. Figures that would happen on a day I planned to run less, though :) I listened to my MP3 player as usual, but I decided to "read" some TV, too. One of the guys at work likes the OC and since he was working today I knew he'd ask if I had watched it. So I put that on with the closed captioning (the treadmill is right underneath our room - the Engineer can kind of sleep through the hum of the 'mill, but I watch TV so loudly that it would be hard to sleep through). But adding to the "go figure," I only saw OC Guy once today so we didn't talk about the show. Anyway, the time passed by a lot quicker, and I shuffled music a lot less, with the TV. I need to find more shows with good closed captioning. Soaps actually have the best CC because they include the character names, but I don't want to get sucked back into watching them again.

AM - treadmill @ 1% | 3.59 miles | 33:00 | 9:12/mi.
PM - walk w/Molly | 2.56 miles | 38:41

Cold Feet

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Today's title comes from my walk with Molly this afternoon. I didn't think things through enough, and we walked out too far. So as not to make the walk too long, I decided we would cut back across a field, cutting off about 1/2 mile. This was a bad idea, because the snow has been melting over the last few days. So not only was the ground muddy/mushy, there were puddles everywhere - which I discovered when I stepped into the middle of an icy puddle. So the last 1/2 mile or so of our walk today was kind of miserable since my feet were soaked and cold. Even worse, Molly got even muddier and she made the whole downstairs smell like wet dog.

I say even muddier because yesterday I took her out to the lake, where she got pretty muddy. She preferred to walk alongside the bike path, where the ground was kind of mushy. And the sidewalk right at the end was basically all mud. So her white parts are a little tan right now. I don't think Molly was a big of a fan of the lake, mainly because of the geese. She sees geese fly over the house all the time, but when she saw them on the ground she refused to move. I expect that at some point, her herding instinct will kick in and she'll become more interested in them, but for now they are scary. Luckily, the geese really only hang out on one side of the lake, or our walk would've completely sucked.

I've run 4 miles the last 2 mornings, but since it is on the treadmill it hasn't been too interesting.

AM - treadmill @ 1% | 4.08 miles | 38:00 | 9:19/mi.
PM - walk w/Molly | 1.75 miles | 27:15

AM - treadmill @ 1% | 4.03 miles | 37:00 | 9:11/mi.
PM - walk w/Molly | 2.01 miles | 30:43

upper + lower body weights | 50:00


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I feel cruddy today. I got up at 5AM to run, but decided that sounded like a terrible idea. So I went back to bed for another hour of sleep (even though I went to bed before 9, so I'd gotten 8 hours of sleep). So I had to run after work, and ugh. I decided to do a tempo-type run instead of intervals. I felt slow and pokey - and now feel really negative about my upcoming 20K. I hate how it takes twice as long to regain speed/fitness as it does to lose it.

I've had a sore throat, so I might be getting sick. That could also explain the pokey feeling.

31 degrees | felt like 19 | 18 MPH NNE
1 | 9:09
2 | 8:02 | 17:11
3 | 7:55 | 25:06
4 | 9:26 | 34:33
4.16 miles | 36:00 | 8:39/mi.

I stopped inside to pick up Molly for a walk. She was being kind of bratty today, though, and kept pulling really hard on the leash. That alters my stride, which is probably why my calf has been feeling kind of weird when I walk around during the day. So we came back early. Hopefully she'll be nicer tomorrow, because I was thinking of taking her over to the lake.

walk w/Molly | 0.82 miles | 13:12

upper + lower body weights | 50:00

Training Week: March 13 - 19, 2006

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Running: 3:20:00 | 22.18 miles
Walking: 0:48:50 | 3.27 miles
Elliptical: 0:45:00
Weights: 1:39:00
Total activity: 6:32:50


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I have March Sadness right now :(

Letter to KIMT

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Why are you not showing the Illinois game like the schedule says you are? I can't even watch the game online because you claim to be showing it. I do not care about Tennessee or Wichita State, and neither team is regional. In case you forgot your coverage area, Illinois is a Big 10 school and Iowa and Minnesota have Big 10 schools. I hate your station.

I actually sent this. I e-mailed them on Thursday when they cut from the Illinois game to show Duke to tell them that I don't care about Duke, and "it's bad enough I have to watch your station." If they even read their e-mails, something tells me they aren't going to like me. Stupid Iowa-based CBS station.

Snow sucks

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I attempted to walk with Molly after work today. What a pain! Molly loves snow, so she wasn't content to just walk in a straight line, she wanted to explore everything and anything. I could've dealt with that, but a lot of people haven't bothered clearing the sidewalks and the snow was kind of deep in parts. So we turned around early ... looks like she'll be running around in the yard instead of walking with me for a few more days. Clear the sidewalks, jerks!

treadmill @ 1% | 4.03 miles | 37:00 | 9:11/mi.

walk w/Molly | 0.60 miles | 9:30
upper + lower body weights | 50:00

March Madness

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First of all, sorry fellow Minnesotans. All this crappy snow is my fault, because I took Molly to get bathed today. Like washing a car, it always seems to rain or snow when Molly gets cleaned.

(On a sidenote, the people at the new place seemed really nice and they do "doggy day care" for $10/day. I think we might take Molly in every once in awhile so she can play with other dogs for the day instead of hang out in the laundry room).

So March Madness is about to start ... not quite as exciting as last year. Big surprise, eh? Not really, since we got screwed by the committee. Hopefully we'll still be able to watch the game(s). I signed up for March Madness On Demand, but I bet my work's firewall blocks it. Not that I'm supposed to use the internet, but work blocks everything good anyway. As opposed to the Engineer who has a total ghetto office but could probably look at porn if he wanted to. (I visited his work over the weekend, and was surprised by how 70s the place was. When I think of his company, I think of high tech stuff, not ghetto, one step above rotary dialing phones). Anyway, I need to figure out who I want to put money on for my work pool. It looks like a maria's doing a RBF bracket, which I signed up for. My picks are kind of laughable, though.

Someone needs to confiscate my Girl Scout cookies, btw.

Stupid weather

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Yesterday, was an absolutely gorgeous day. The high was in the 50s and it felt great. It ended up being in the low 50s when I ran, and I was happy to be out in shorts and a t-shirt. One thing I always love about the change of seasons is how a temperature like 52 degrees can feel HOT after months of cold, yet in a few months that same temperature will feel really cold. I ran for 76 minutes, and felt pretty decent. Despite the rolling hills of my route, I actually ran pretty consistently, too!

After running, I came inside to change shoes and grab Molly. We walked for a mile, and I'm kind of impressed with our speed (14:39). I'm thinking about taking her out after my workouts as a cooldown, to get her used to being outside of the fence again. We have to work on that whole "walking nicely on the leash" thing before running can enter into the equation, though! I'm kind of debating how I want to handle the walking with her - namely, do I count that in my exercise totals or not? My current thought is that when we are walking with purpose, and not just meandering around the neighborhood smelling everything, I'll count it. A pace like yesterday's would count if it were on the treadmill, after all.

Now as for why the weather is stupid ... it's snowing again. I don't think it's going to stick, since it's above freezing, but we do have a winter weather warning in effect. Go away winter!

This morning was my long day in the basement - 45 elliptical, 46 weights and 15 treadmill. I cut the treadmill short so I could walk with Molly again. We weren't quite as fast as yesterday, because she spent the first half of the walk looking for a good place to poop. I tried to get her to go before we left the yard ...

I spent less time "in zone" on the elliptical this morning because I got a phone call in the middle and it took a bit to get my heart rate back up after the pause. I don't normally take phone calls in the middle of workouts, but I'm on call for the lab this weekend. On a typical weekend, all this entails is carrying around the department cell phone in case anyone has questions. Most of the time, I never get a call; usually the questions involve the engineering people or the production manager. This weekend? I had a call from the lab weekend guy this morning, and I had 3 calls from the night team lead within 24 hours (the first at 1:30AM!). Almost makes me wonder if it's some kind of test!

start: 48 | FL 41 | 19 MPH S gusting to 26 MPH
end: 54 degrees | FL 54 | 20 MPH SSW
1 | 8:43
2 | 8:51 | 17:35
3 | 9:01 | 26:36
4 | 8:50 | 35:27
5 | 8:52 | 44:19
6 | 8:52 | 53:12
7 | 8:47 | 61:59
8 | 8:56 | 70:56
8.57 miles | 1:16:00 | 8:52/mi.
walk w/Molly CD | 1 mile | 14:39

elliptical | 40:00 HR Cardio/5:00 CD | 35:34 in zone | 3.08 mi
upper + lower body weights | 46:00
treadmill | hill interval 5 | 1.03 miles | 15:00
walk w/Molly CD | 1.09 miles | 16:51

Training Week: March 6 - 12, 2006

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Running: 3:38:00 | 24.16 miles
Walking: 1:21:30 | 5.53 miles
Elliptical: 0:45:00 | 3.08 miles
Weights: 2:09:00
Total activity: 7:53:30

Product Endorsement

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When I run, so does my nose. I'll spare you all more stories about snot, as I think it's sufficient to say the end result is a sore, chapped nose area.

Enter this amazing product:


I heard about this at a baby shower, and thought it sounded like it could solve my problem. I used it for the first time last weekend (after running outside for 66 minutes), and after the first application the chapped feeling was gone. I used it a few more times, and my nose looked and felt like I'd never been outside. After today's longer run, my nose felt pretty bad but this stuff has cleared it right up.

I think I should probably buy a few more tubes, just in case it goes away. This stuff is awesome!


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We're getting a new mattress tonight! We went and picked it out on Wednesday, and they're delivering it today. It could've come yesterday, but that would've interfered with my weights.

I also saw my doctor on Wednesday, and finally have a cure for my old lady hands. Basically, all the moisture had been sucked out of my hands, so they were very dry and painful. I have a special ointment to use, and I have to vaseline my hands and wear cotton gloves at night. Sexy! It did help me remember to do that with my feet, too, though.

Have to get back to work, but here's what I've been up to:

AM - treadmill @ 1% | 4.03 miles | 37:00 | 9:11/mi.
PM - upper + lower body weights | 44:00
treadmill | hill interval 4 | 20:00 | 1.37 miles

1 | 9:19
2 | 8:00 | 17:19
3 | 7:43 | 25:02
4 | 9:18 | 34:21
treadmill @ 1% | 4.07 miles | 35:00 | 8:36/mi.

AM - treadmill @ 1% | 3.49 miles | 33:00 | 9:27/mi.
PM - upper + lower body weights | 39:00
treadmill | hill interval 4 | 15:00 | 1.04 miles

treadmill @ 1% | 4 miles | 37:00 | 9:15/mi.

It's in the low 40s and sunny today - I'm excited to run outside for my long run tomorrow!

Safety key + headphone cord = argh

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Two quick thoughts from this morning's treadmill run:
1) I hate that the treadmill won't run without the stupid "safety key" plugged in.
2) I hate that if the safety key does get pulled out mid-run, the treadmill blanks out your distance and time.

So yeah, my headphone cord got caught on the key, and caused it to fall and and the treadmill come to an abrupt stop. And if that weren't an annoying enough start to the day, I spilled my cereal all over myself this morning. This is going to be a long day!

The Misleading Hill

Even though there was still snow and slush on the roads/sidewalks, I took Molly on a walk to the Misleading Hill. (She's going to the groomer next Monday, so she can get as dirty as she wants this week. On an exciting note, the place we're going to try has been highly recommended and they are only going to charge $17 to wash/dry and trim nails. Since Molly's now 8 months/40+ lbs, P3tco would charge $42 for the same thing. Ouch! The guy said it would be only $4-5 extra to trim the hair around her feet and her "feathers" - whatever those are).

Anyway, so we went for a walk this afternoon:

This is the basically the start of our walk. We live at the south end of an existing development; a new development is slowly being built to the south of us.

Lots of things fascinated Molly, but she was pretty interested in the TV boxes. Silly girl doesn't understand that our TV comes out of the sky, not the ground.

Now we're approaching the hill. Our next door neighbor (second car) is coming up off the hill.

Almost at the top of the hill.

At the top of the hill. The grass kind of blocks the view, since the road is curvy.

Looking down the hill ... doesn't look like much, does it?

Looking up the hill ... still doesn't look that difficult, which is why it's misleading.

Another look up the hill.

Side view shot of the hill.

Boring, non-hill scenery.

Boring, non-hill scenery.

Boring, non-hill scenery. My neighborhood looks pretty ugly, huh?

My Molly.

"Can you please put the camera away now?"

Walking up the hill.

Molly wanted to run up the hill.

Escape artist

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Last night, we had another 10PM scare with Molly. (I wasn't blogging at the time, but we had a horrible, terrifying incident after her spay). She's gotten pretty good lately about being let out into the backyard, taking care of business and then running back up onto the deck. Last night, the Engineer let her out, and a few minutes passed without her coming back onto the deck. That usually means she's found something to play with or is digging in the yard, so I asked the Engineer to call her up. He opened the door and called her, but no response. We tried squeaking one of her toys, because sometimes that gets her attention more than being called. I got a little nervous when I realized we couldn't hear her tags ... when she doesn't want to come in, we can still identify where in the yard she is by the tags. I threw shoes on, ran down the stairs and over to the edge of the house where I found that the gate was swinging wide open. I yelled to the Engineer that the gate was open, and then tore to the front yard while yelling Molly's name. It's pretty dark at 10, and I realized with a sinking feeling that she could've gotten pretty far and I had no idea which way to start looking. Luckily, after a few calls, Molly came bounding from the south and followed me back into the yard. So good ending, but I can't tell you how awful it felt to see that gate just swinging in the breeze.

Today, I thought I would take her for a walk and take some pictures of the misleading hill. But it's been snowing all day (damn snow! go away!) so I didn't feel like going for that long of a walk outside. Instead, I ellipticalled for 45 minutes, weight lifted for 48, and the treadmill walked for 30. Nice, long XT session! My shins are a little sore today, which is kind of odd. I think I'm going to take tomorrow off, and I probably should start doing my drills again. (For track and cross country, we always did 4 types of drills after warmup: high knees, butt kicks, walking on heels, and walking on toes. I used to also do heels and toes following practice, and those are the 2 drills I should be doing now).

We went mattress shopping yesterday, which has to be up there on a list of least fun shopping ever. One of the stores was set up super poorly - the mattresses were lined up with maybe 3-5" in between. It's kind of hard to test mattresses out when you can barely climb on them! That store also had a saleslady that was kind of annoying. Luckily, I guess, they didn't have anything we'd want. I still haven't cleaned the office, so the Engineer doesn't want to buy anything yet. We also have to settle what size: king or queen. We currently have a queen, but I would love the space of a king. But it'd be a tighter fit and we'd have to get new sheets. We keep flip flopping on what to do.

elliptical | 40:00 HR Cardio/5:00 CD | 36:39 in zone | 3.12 miles
upper+ lower body weights | 48:00
treadmill @ 1% | 2.08 miles | 30:00

Running: 3:22:00 | 22.19 miles (151.48 mi YTD)
Walking: 0:50:00 | 3.47 miles
Elliptical: 0:45:00 | 3.12 miles
Weights: 1:34:00
Total activity: 6:31:00

Snapshot Saturday

So Tuesday night, the Engineer and I went to Minneapolis to watch the Illini beat the Gophers. Although we had both been told by U alumni that there isn't a bad seat in the stadium, people who went to other schools said "The Barn" sucks. And after watching a game there ... yeah, the Barn sucks and Gophers fans are lame. The most lame thing was the halftime show:

I don't know what the hell that was, or even how to describe it. I went to the bathroom after the half ended, and when I came back the "show" was happening. I guess I had a confused look on my face, because the Engineer said "yeah, we don't know what's going on either." I guess it was a magic show/dance performance? I'd rather watch our stupid hokey Chief dance than that crap!

Molly looked grouchy when she realized we were going to leave her alone for the night.

I found a really funny picture of her from back in September (~10 weeks, I think):

I don't know what was so fun about it, but she used to love hanging out under the bookcase. I'm glad she won't try it now, because the bookcase would fall over if she did! On a sidenote, I don't think they read my blog, but if they do, another RBF'er now knows that we went to the same high school based on the yearbooks in that picture. I kind of miss my tiny puppy; it was pretty convenient when I could pick her up with one arm. She's 42 pounds now, and it takes both arms to pick her up.

Anyway ... I went outside to run today. I wasn't sure how much I'd like it since I've never run outside with my glasses on and my distance vision is cruddy right now. It turns out it didn't matter, since I don't look too far ahead anyway. I'll have to check the weather channel's hourly reports yesterday, because I think the readings I read before running were too low. I should've been dressed appropriately based on previous runs, yet ended up overly warm by 4 miles. (I had on a short sleeve coolmax, long sleeve coolmax, windbreaker, earband/hat, tights and gloves). I ditched the jacket and gloves at 4 miles, and took off my hat at 4.5 miles (I wear an earband under my fleece hat to make it fit snugger). I should've left my gloves on to protect them from the wind, but I was just too warm! I ran around for 66 minutes (10% more than my long run 2 weeks ago; last week was supposed to be a cutback) and felt pretty good. I'm looking forward to sunrise happening sooner so I can run outside instead of on the treadmill; I run so much easier and more relaxed (not to mention faster) outside.

30-34 degrees | FL 20-25 degrees | 12 MPH S
1 | 9:09
2 | 8:55 | 18:04
3 | 8:57 | 27:01
4 | 8:58 | 36:00
5 | 9:06 | 45:06
6 | 8:49 | 53:56
7 | 8:54 | 62:50
7.36 miles | 1:06:00 | 8:58/mi.

Stupid eye

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I have inflamed my right eye AGAIN. Different type of inflammation, but same result: no contacts for a few days and bad vision until my eye settles down. My eye doctor thinks I might be having a reaction to my contact lens solution, so he gave me a new, weird brand to try once my eye has stopped being so irritated. He jokingly asked if I'd thought about LASIK, because he doesn't think I'd be having so many problems if I weren't wearing contacts. I've been wanting LASIK for awhile anyway, and I think I'm now 100% decided that the Engineer and I are going to get a Flex Spending Account next year with enough money set aside for me to get it.

5:15 AM - treadmill @ 1% | 3.55 miles | 33:00 | 9:18/mi.
4:45 PM - weights | 46:00

5:15 AM - treadmill @ 1% | 3.53 miles | 33:00 | 9:21/mi.