October 31, 2001

Not much to say. Foot still hurting, not much improved, but not worse. Patience! (Okay, so I just wanted to write something…)

Oooh, I guess I can say that I’ve been making up my Christmas list. Yay! And yes, with the exception of a few CDs and (non-running-related) books, it’s all running stuff. First, I want a good sports watch with a 50 lap split timer thingy, and I found the perfect one – the Timex Rush VO2. It’s only $45, and it’s made for women (therefore it’s preeettttty) and it’s not overly complex. The Timex website is wonderful – I got to play with the watch and practice timing splits on the site! Fun! And it’s not too expensive, but compared to my $6 watch from Wal-mart that I’m using now, it’s a real luxury.

I’d also like a basic heart rate monitor, but the one I want tells you when you’re in your target range, and it’s a bit more expensive than I’d like. I wish Timex made one that was not too too expensive but also had the lap timer, but they’re all expensive. Then again, how many watch like devices do I want to wear? Plus, I suppose it’ll be around $100-$125 with both devices no matter what, whether they’re in one watch or two. Also, SportBrain is finally coming back (yay!!!) and they offer a heart rate monitor situation with that device, so maybe I’ll just use that. That way, I don’t have to wear a second watch. But…it won’t tell me anything useful while I’m actually exercising. Hmmm….we’ll have to see about that. I’m such a gadget-fiend. I don’t really need any of this, do I?

But…if anyone reading this has any advice or suggestions regarding the above products, please drop me a line!

October 30, 2001

Status of the foot: still not purple. Hurts when barefoot, not so much when I have shoes on. I think I’ll be able to do more next week. We shall see.

Status of my life: good. Mood is good, weather is gorgeous, wish I could run! But, I’m alive. I’ve been surrounded by illness (or news of) so much recently, it seems like. Notwithstanding the whole anthrax business, there’s Paula’s baby, and Anne’s dad, and okay, so that may not be a whole lot, but it’s more than normal. And last night, I started thinking about my dad, and for the first time in a long time, I cried. I miss him so much, you think you’re over it, but I guess you never really are. Maybe it was Anne’s dad that made me think of him. Well, isn’t that cheerful?

Oooh, I can say something about running! I’ve decided to run the half Mardi Gras Marathon, on February 17. It actually works out perfectly, it’s the weekend of my 14 mile run. I’m sure I can squeeze in the extra .9 miles warming up or cooling down or something. And Chris is going to run it with me! So he can get used to running at my snail’s pace. I’m excited. I’m paying for his entry as a birthday present, since the one I bought is stuck somewhere and I won’t be able to get it for him until Christmas. Can’t say any more, it might give it away!

October 29, 2001

My foot’s not purple! Wonder if that’s a good thing or if it doesn’t really mean anything? Actually, I wish it was, since Kristina laughs (rather cruelly, I think) at me whenever I ask her if it’s purple yet. Hmmph. I just want some drama! Ha ha. Well, it’s definitely feeling better today, so I’m not so worried. I can walk on it (but I suppose I shouldn’t) and it’s not too bad. And on Saturday, I was standing on my tippy toes trying to get something out of my closet and I felt something pop in my foot and a muscle on the side of my calf cramped. But my foot felt much better. So today, my calf is sore but my foot doesn’t hurt. Gary says I stretched a ligament or tendon (in a good way) so I’m not worried. Hopefully, it’ll be better by next week. Enough to go walking, at least, if not running? Hmmm.

This was a pretty busy weekend, so I didn’t have much time to rest, unfortunately. Anne came in Thursday night, then our friend John came in Saturday afternoon, and Anne’s friend Rebecca came in last night. And everyone stayed with us last night, so we have a full house right now. Saturday night we went to the French Quarter in our costumes and the Popeye’s box (don’t ask) we made for Anne’s sister Becky (in five minutes, for free) was a much bigger hit than mine and Kristina’s expensive, time-consuming teabags. Ah well. Typical.

So I guess for the next few days, this will be my “foot journal” rather than my running journal. Fun!

October 26, 2001

*#$%*&@! Oh, the pain! Today was our off day, but not that it matters. Even if we hadn’t scheduled it as such, today would have been an enforced rest day, just as the next week or two are going to be…

Last night, Kristina and I went out to eat dinner and as the hostess was walking us to our table, I did not notice a small step down to the section we were headed to. So I fell. Of course I fell! Not only did I fall down this little 3 inch step, I also fell off my 3 inch shoes. Not heels, just platform-y sandals. And twisted the crap out of my left foot. It’s always my left foot. When I fell off a curb in London, it was my left foot. When I totalled my car, the only casualty was my left foot. Sigh. (How many times can you say “my left foot” without thinking of that movie? Zero.)

It is now painful, very painful. Not purple yet, I still have that to look forward to (well, at least that’s dramatic) but I can’t put any weight on it. I have to hop to get around. Last night I took two Tylenol PM because the pain was so bad and I still didn’t sleep well. Gary (my friend Ren’s husband who’s a fourth year med student – they live downstairs) said it’s not broken, just bruised, thank God. Ren hurt her ankle in a bicycle accident a few weeks ago herself. Sigh.

At least this didn’t happen two months from now. And I learned a very very valuable lesson – I will not be wearing anything but the flattest shoes when I start the actual marathon training. I suppose this will be my time for strength training.

October 25, 2001

Ran at the park again today. Chilly today, at last. But with the humidity being as low as it was, I got pretty thirsty. You just can’t win! Well, give me cool weather any day. Plus I got to run in my new prescription sunglasses, which was exciting. I think those will be my running glasses. Let’s just hope I’ll need them for the marathon (i.e., it’s not raining…but cloudy would be okay, so I shouldn’t say that.) I think you could say we did a little fartleking today. (Can anyone really say that seriously, with a straight face?) Kristina is getting a bit frustrated with our lack of speed so we did a bit of running faster in spots. She didn’t really understand the point, but whenever I try to explain something to her, her eyes either glaze over or she gets defensive and argues with me (no matter how many books I’ve read it in.) It gets somewhat frustrating. But I feel like we’re getting stronger, as the 30 minutes is getting easier. Next week I’m going to suggest running for 32 minutes or something. And on Saturday, I’d like to run 45 minutes. On the levee, maybe.

Anne’s coming in today, we’re picking her up at the airport this afternoon (in the MardiGrasStore.com limo, yessireeee) and bringing her to a restaurant where she’s having dinner with her family. Her dad’s starting radiation treatments today, which may indicate that his cancer is treatable? Otherwise, what’s the point? Hopefully…

Also…if you haven’t checked out The Reluctant Runner website yet, you have to! Mike’s my male counterpart across the pond…training for the London Marathon, just starting out…(but already doing better than me. sigh!)

October 24, 2001

There’s nothing much to say about these early morning runs anymore. I mean, they’re getting easier, I think, or I’m getting used to waking up so early. Today it was pretty humid, which sucked. And Kristina and I took Tylenol PM last night to help us sleep so we both were pretty groggy when we got started, but we woke up about halfway through the run. I tell you, it’s not a bad way to start a run. That way, you’re only really awake for part of it, and the first half is only a blur. Ha ha. Don’t worry, we’re not going to become addicted to Tylenol PM.

I think we also went faster today because we hit our normal halfway point at 12 minutes, not 15, like we did on Monday. So we went a bit further today. It didn’t even seem harder! Nice. Before I went to work, I drove our route (which on Mondays and Wednesdays is the neighborhood route, plus a few extra blocks) and found that the running part was 2.4 miles. So that means our speed today was 4.8 miles per hour, which is a 12:30 mile. Yay! Improvement!

On a horrifically sad note, our friend Anne’s (who we lived in London with) dad was diagnosed yesterday with terminal cancer. Annie lives in New York City now, and is flying in tomorrow to be with her family and friends for a few days. Her dad is a really really sweet man (he helped me get out a speeding ticket – he is forever in my debt) and I am very sad about all this. Why do dads always have to die? Sigh. Anyway, obviously our trip to Houston is out of the question, but that’s okay. Houston will always be there.

October 23, 2001

This morning run business is getting easier and easier. Last night I went to bed at 10:00 or some strangely early hour (for me) and though I didn’t sleep very soundly (I seemed to wake up every 2 hours, like clockwork) I slept for long enough that I was well-rested. Now I’m not tired like I was yesterday, so this morning running thing might not be so bad after all.

Yesterday afternoon I felt downright lazy, seeing everyone running around and being outdoorsy. I forgot that I had already exercised, so that will take a bit of getting used to as well. It was a gorgeous afternoon, though. Sigh. How I wish New Orleans could always be like this. Well, maybe 5-10 degrees cooler. But the low humidity is beautiful!

We decided that on Tuesday and Thursday mornings, we would run at the park, since we don’t have to be up as early. We were supposed to run with Sarah, so we started at her house, but (surprise, surprise!*) she wasn’t there, so we went without her. There was some fog lingering in the grassy areas, and when we got to the golf-course side of the park, the sun was streaming through the trees looking rather fetching. We also went the opposite way that we usually do, which made the whole run just that much stranger. We had to go around once, then keep going for 5 more minutes, then turn around to make the entire 30 minutes. According to my (not entirely reliable) pedometer, we went 2.2 miles in 30 minutes, which is a 13:40 mile, approximately. I’m fine with that, I’m not surprised or anything, but Kristina’s getting a little antsy. She wants to go faster, which is fine, but I’m just not ready for that. But then she’s not training for anything, so it’s not surprising that her goals might consist of speed instead of endurance. Hmmm.

Anyway, the 30 minutes isn’t bad at all, we’re really getting used to it. I think in the next couple of weeks we’re going to have a few minutes to that, maybe 3-5 minutes a week? And longer on the weekends? Maybe 45 minutes to start with? I really do need to make up a training schedule for the weeks remaining until I start the marathon training. I have eight full weeks (not including this one) until then. Hmmmm. Will work on that.

Oooh – also, I think I’ve lost a couple more pounds. My scale sucks though, so I’m not entirely sure. I’ll pretend like it’s right. Ha ha!

*Sarah is always late. Always, always, always. You can set your watch by it. (Set it back at least 30 minutes.)

October 22, 2001

Today was the first time I’ve run since Wednesday. Ack! But I did run 4 times last week, so it’s not as if I’ve slacked or anything, really. Today was also the start of our new running schedule, which entails running in the morning. I don’t mind running in the morning, it’s just that I’m so tired for the rest of the day. But it is nice to get it out of the way so that our evenings aren’t completely taken up by running. I’m sure once I get into the new schedule, I’ll be fine. But on Mondays and Wednesdays, Kristina has class at 8:30, so we have to go at 6:30. At least on Tuesdays and Thursdays we can go at 7:15 or so. That’ll be better. I even had to come to work early today because I had nothing else to do. Well, it’ll just take some getting used to. And with the time changing this weekend coming up, we don’t really have much choice.

Anyway – about our run – we ran for 30 minutes, easily, no problem. So, really, it’s great! Perhaps I should be looking on the bright side – we do much better in the morning because we’re not already worn out from the day.

This coming weekend, we’re going to Houston. Can’t wait to run around Mike and Debbie’s neighborhood again. There’s a path around their neighborhood that I ran around last time I went but I wasn’t properly hydrated that time. This time, I have better endurance, the weather is cooler, and I know to bring water. And Kristina will be with me. Yay! Fun! And we’re going to a Halloween party. Last night I sewed our costumes. Well, part of them. I don’t feel like describing them now, so I’ll post pictures of them when I’m done.

October 18, 2001

Woah! As of yesterday, I’ve run 4 days in a row! I think it’s been a while since I’ve done that. And since I’m planning on running tonight, that’ll make it five in a row. That’s usually what I do in a week, but I’m going to Baton Rouge on Saturday, so I probably won’t be able to run then. But I’d really like to run around the lakes while I’m there. I’ll see if Kristina wants to. Anyway, not important. Last night’s run was good for me, bad for Kristina. It was colder than it’s ever been, and Kristina is very sensitive to cold. Can’t understand why, really, since she’s from a cold place, seems like she should be immune to it, but anyway. She had a bit of trouble at the beginning with her knee but she stretched it, then she was just cold, and the shorts she borrowed from me were annoying her, so after we had gone about half way around, she just started walking and I ran alongside her. Ah ha! Now you can see that I just use the word “running” to make myself feel better…but I’m not going to say I’m “jogging” just because I’m slow. In fact, I was running somewhat slower than usual yesterday, so at least we do run a little faster than walking pace. And she wasn’t even walking that fast. Ha ha.

On to more serious stuff…I got an email today from my oldest friend in the world, Paula. Ever since high school, our lives have been wildly divergent…she got married about 4 years ago, and now she has two adorable kids, Cole, who is now about 5, and Caitlin, who is almost 3, I think. I haven’t seen them since my college graduation, over 2 years ago. Yesterday, I found Paula’s email address in my address book, so I decided to drop her a line and see if she still had the same address. I didn’t hold out much hope since it had been so long since I’d heard from her. But she emailed me back, saying she had a lot of news for me, and today I found out what that was.

I have to say I wasn’t surprised that she had big news, because every time I’ve talked to her, she’s had big news. The first time I talked to her (since college, probably) she had gotten married and had Cole. The second time, a year later, she had Caitlin. And now, as it turns out, she’s just gotten back from spending a year in Memphis with Caitlin at St. Jude Children’s Hospital. Caitlin was diagnosed with leukemia a year ago, a really bad variety of it, and she was in chemotherapy and all of that mess. She is in remission now, miraculously, and back in Louisiana with Paula and her big brother and her dad. Anyway, that’s the gist of it. I’ve probably messed up some of the details, but it got me thinking.

Ever since I decided to run this marathon, I have thought about doing it for a charity, but since I’m in the US, and the affiliated charities are in the UK, I wasn’t really sure how to go about it. Originally, I thought I’d probably do it for the American Heart Association, in my dad’s memory, since he died of a heart attack. But they get so much money already, and yesterday I read in the paper that the local Ronald McDonald House is sorely lacking in funds since September 11. And Paula and her family stayed at the Ronald McDonald House in Memphis for part of the time that Caitlin was in the hospital, so maybe that would be a good charity too. I’m going to wait to hear what she says, she might have some ideas.

October 17, 2001

It’s cold here! Finally! I’ve been waiting for cold weather (ok, cold for Southern Louisiana – it got down to the 50s last night, I think) but I forgot that cold weather also equals dry weather. Which means I’ll get just as thirsty as I did in the hot weather. But that’s good, really, because it will force me to stay hydrated. Must get some more nice winter moisturizer, though. My skin’s going to really dry out.

So yesterday after work I went to the park again, with the goal of going 30 minutes straight, and I was trying to psyche myself up for it, thinking to myself “I want to tell Chris I ran 30 minutes straight by myself” and that I wanted to tell Kristina too. But as usual, my brain got the best of me and made me decide that 20 minutes straight was plenty. I think it’s really because of the park. I’m sure I could have gone a measly ten minutes further, but that would have meant going around the park again, because I hit that 20 minutes exactly at the parking lot. And I was feeling pretty good too. I think that I will have to start doing out-and-back courses once I start my real marathon training so that this doesn’t happen. Also, I’ve decided I’m not going to take a watch with me when I do those runs. At least with an out-and-back course, if I want to get home, I have to run. 🙂 Or I might try the “drop me off 5 miles away” thing. That might be interesting.

Still, even though I wussed out of hitting my goal, I’m not unhappy about my run last night. These are my easy runs. Kristina’s back, so she’ll make me go the entire time, and this time, we’ll go around the fly as well or something, to make sure we get that 30 minutes in. Yay!

October 16, 2001

I realized yesterday that Sunday was 6 months until the marathon! Ack! I know that doesn’t really mean anything, except that I will be starting my real marathon training in 2 1/2 months. It all starts the week between Christmas and New Year’s, which seems like it would be a hectic and inconvenient time to start it, but I think it will be good. And it’s not like I’ll be running much that first week anyway. In fact, I’ll probably be running less often, since the training program is only for 4 days a week.

But I’m getting ahead of myself now. I still have 2 1/2 months to get in better shape, to be able to consistently run for 30 minutes at a time. Actually, I need to be able to run 3 miles at a time, which I obviously can do (see 5K report, above) but consistency is the key here. Yesterday evening I went to the park after work, and went with the intention of running twice around. But without Kristina to pace me, I went out too fast, ran half a mile, got out of breath, and walked some. I walked to Sarah’s house, which is on the park, stopped and talked to her brother, and then continued on the dirt path that goes around the outside of the park, but then I felt a little silly. The only people who seem to use that path are good runners. I’m not ready for that yet. 😀 Plus, I’d probably trip over a root or something.

So I got back on the path, and finished the loop around the park. Mostly running. Just not all running, like I wanted to do. I really need Kristina to help me with pacing. Maybe that’s what I need to work on for the next 2 1/2 months – pace. I was thinking about asking for a heart rate monitor for Christmas, just a simple one to help me with that. We’ll see. This Christmas will be fun – last year I couldn’t think of anything I wanted except amazon.co.uk gift certificates (I love to read British books) but this year, it’ll be all running stuff. Shoes, clothes, little gadgets…yeah!

This afternoon, after work, I’m supposed to go running with Sarah. Yeah, we’ll see about that. She’s not exactly Ms. Reliable about these things.

Oh, yeah, and yesterday, I passed by LaSalle Park, in Metairie (or Kenner? not sure) and it has two running paths, one is 1.8 miles and the other is 1.2 miles. I’d really like to find a longer path (like the 6 mile loop around the lakes in Baton Rouge) but this one might be interesting. At least I can do 3 mile circuits instead of 1.77 mile ones.

October 15, 2001

Friday, we finally got to run again. The weather was so gross during the week, we really couldn’t run. Thursday it thunderstormed badly, but fortunately, Friday was clear and cool. We went to the park and ran for 27.5 minutes. Not bad! It was getting dark so instead of going around the park twice, we added the zoo parking lot, which made the total probably a bit over 2 miles. It wasn’t too hard, and we would have gone further to make it a complete 30 minutes, but it was dark by that point.

Saturday we didn’t run, but we went to Jazzland and I swear I got more exercise on the evil, evil, evil rollercoaster (which evil, evil Kristina make me go on, and sit at the back, which is apparently the fastest place to be) just clenching my stomach muscles to keep it in place and screaming my head off. Fortunately, it started storming right after that, so we had to go home and couldn’t ride it again. Too bad. I suspect we may go again this weekend, though, so I’m not really safe. I mean, I like roller coasters, but this one was a bit much. It was wooden, so it was bumpy. And it was really fast! Ack! I’m getting nervous just thinking about it now! Flashback! Aaaahhhh!

Okay, so then it was sunny again on Sunday, and this time we decided to go run on the levee. That was different, finally. I’ve been desperate for a new route, and this one will be good, I think, especially when I have to start doing long runs. Apparently, you can go all the way to Kenner on the levee, which is 20 miles away or so. We went out for 16 minutes and then turned around, but we weren’t able to run the whole way. Kristina’s knee was hurting her when she ran (I diagnosed it as her ITB giving her pain. Now my excessive reading on running is coming in handy! I have probably 4 books with stretches to help her with that. Yay!) We ran most of the way, though, and overall it was a good run. Almost 3 miles, I think. I used my pedometer again, and I think it’s almost correct now. I’m going to calibrate it at the park today since there’s a measured mile there. Kristina’s going to Dallas this afternoon for the Dallas-Redskins Monday Night Football game with Kettie and Maura, so I’ll be running alone.