Here We Go...

May. 8, 2015

"Ran with Riley for the first time in a month! It felt so good, but I was very fearful of hurting my back. I'm walking today - so far, so good! I actually outran Riley! For the last month I have been doing the elliptical for an hour and then walking at a semi-fast pace at a level 11 incline for 15 minutes. I ran a hill yesterday and felt so confident and strong. When you know that you can walk a hill on the treadmill for 15 minutes without stopping it really transfers to running up one for 5 minutes. I was also reminded yesterday about how the weather really affects performance. It was a cool 60 degrees and overcast - add another 10 degrees and things start getting harder. I've seen some charts specifically about heat and running times. I'll do some research and share it in the next journal entry."

Apr. 1, 2015

No, that is not me doing yoga.

Yes, this is a runner's journal.

No, I cannot run this week.

Yes, my pet peeve is when people get on a blog or Facebook and tell me that they have the flu - or something like that.

No, I do not have the flu.

Yes, I did do my 4 mile long run a week ago Sunday.

Yes, it felt pretty good and I ran 11 minute miles with 3 minutes total walking time.

Yes, I was happy about it.

Yes, I woke up the next morning and couldn't stand up straight.

Yes, I had worn my new fantastic running shoes.

No, I did not stop working out.

Yes, I do believe in the "pound it out" method of recovery, so I did the elliptical and limped along on the treadmill.

No, my back is not better.

Yes, I am getting a little worried.

Why the yoga picture?  Because perhaps if I had stretched before and after that run last week I wouldn't be limping around right now. 

My daughter in law and her mother posted the following yoga for runners link and I am doing it daily even though I can't run.  It is from an online yoga link called  You have to subscribe to the service to view all of the yoga videos, but if you go to YouTube and search for Ekhart Yoga for runners, you will find three videos, 20 minutes in total length, that are great for warming up and down, or in my case, rehabilitating.


Mar. 16, 2015

I had a great run on Sunday with my hubby.  He hadn't actually run outside for awhile, so it made me feel really strong to run with him, if you know what I mean.  We ran down a beautiful canyon trail by our house .  Grass meadows, cacti, pine trees, rosemary, wonderful smells and sunshine.  No rattlesnakes this time, but I did love the little lizards that darted across the trail in front of us.  It ended up being a 4 mile run, walk, jump over creeks type of training day!

Before I forget, I want to sing the praises of my new running shoes.  Being upwards of 50, I about hobbled myself when I started running again in whatever shoes I could find in my closet.  I really do know better.  I decided to bite the bullet and go to an actual running store where they fit you with shoes specifically chosen for the way you run.  I was EXTREMELY skeptical about the whole process, especially when I walked into the RoadRunner Sports store and immediately was put on a waiting list for the "SHOEDOG" experience.  While I was waiting several people at the counter bought memberships to the VIP club and someone rang a really annoying bell - like Trader Joe's on steroids.

Before I had too much time to get snarky about the poster with the cute dalmation dog sitting with his paws on a pair of running shoes (instead of chewing them) it was my turn.  A very professional employee explained the process.  We were going to measure my feet for width and length, discuss how much and where I would be running, making a custom pair of insoles that I could purchase or not, and take a short video of me running on the treadmill to see how my feet were aligning. 

After we did all that (about 10 minutes) I was passed on to another person who looked at my stats, and presented me with three pairs of shoes that fit my profile.  The first pair was like butter on my feet, and I ended up purchasing them, along with the custom insoles because I have a very high arch and it had been killing me!  I can use those insoles in any sports shoes.

I proceeded to the check-out counter where I was pleasantly surprised at my bill, and yes, I bought into the VIP club and they rang that darn bell.  I will get 10% off any purchase for a year, and can bring my shoes back for up to 90 days if I don't like them.

The funny part about this experience was that I was on the look-out to be taken to the bank with extras - you know - "You really need this running fanny pack with room for 10 energy bars, 5 water bottles and your dog."  The only item that smacked of this during my visit was a foot-roller-thingy that the girl who took all my measurements said I really needed because I had mentioned that my arches had been hurting.  This contraption was about 14 inches long, multi-colored, and looked like it was made out of legos.  I noticed that she brought it over to the person who was finding shoes for me and set it on the bench where I was sitting.  I purposely ignored it, and left it sitting there without bothering to try it or see how much it was.  Of course I didn't need it and it must have been horribly expensive... right??  I did pick up 3 pairs of ultra-thin running socks...

I leave feeling like I haven't been ripped-off, and I go home, run with my new shoes, insoles, running socks and VIP membership.  I'm pretty happy until the morning after my run when I'm walking around barefoot and start feeling a little tweak in my... wait for it... ARCHES!!! 

I haven't gone back to get the roller thingy yet, but when I do at least I'll get 10% off.  Maybe they will even ring the bell for me. 



Mar. 12, 2015

I grew up running.  Tracktown USA baby... Nike, Steve Prefontane, the whole nine yards.  My grandparents lived on Agate Street in Eugene, just a few blocks down from Hayward Field. Grandpa was a custodian and plumber at the U of O, and both my parents went to college there.  We were there all the time - I went to kindergarten at Condon Elementary School across the street from the track when my mom went back to work and my sister and I stayed with our grandparents during the day.

 My dad was a runner, an Oregon Duck, and a track fan.  He was a contemporary of the guys who started Nike.  We went to the Duck track meets - I ushered for the Olympic Trials a couple of times back in the 70's.  I ran what was called the 440 in the Steve Prefontane invitational meet and won at Hayward.  That place was just part of our life. 

When I got old enough (5 years old), my dad took me to Willamalane Rec Center in Springfield where they had a track club.  I was a fast little runner and I also did the long jump.  There were track meets during the year for the running clubs around the area.  These were held at Hayward field on Saturdays.  They were called "all-comers" meets.  I still remember running the 50 yard dash with a giant group of 5 year olds on the grass field in the middle of the track at Hayward.  Everybody got ribbons, but of course, I always wanted the blue one and I got it most of the time.  I beat the boys too.  I especially liked that.  I usually won the long-jump too.  And so a track star was born. 

My dad was my coach.  We would go down to the track at Thurston High  and I would practice.  We also did a lot of road running up the Weyerhauser logging road just down from our house.  There were always smashed rattlesnakes on this road - the logging trucks ran over them as they made their way down from the rock quarry up the hill.  I can't tell you how many hours we spent practicing - sprints, long distance, jumping, starting, etc.  I loved it.  My dad was the best coach.  I kept running and winning AAU meets until I was in Jr. High and I pulled a hamstring muscle and grew hips.  I was still athletic but that fierce fastness was gone.  I mourned it for a couple of years and then moved on to other sports like basketball, which I played for a few months my freshman year at U of O - but that's a whole other story.I used to hold the track record for, like, 10 year olds in what used to be called the 100 yard dash at Hayward field. I'm sure some little smarty has broken that record. 

So now here I am, ready to start running again.  I have had a love/hate relationship with running as an adult.  My husband and I did a lot of running together when we were first dating  and we got to the 12 mile mark when training for a marathon a few years back before my knees gave out.  I have run with my daughter when she was training for soccer, I ran in the freezing snow after having our third son in Michigan, and I'm running again now.  My daughter-in-law has inspired me this time to train. She has been using an app and having real success training for the first time.  I've been working out since retiring, but I have found that I need a reason... and a race sounds like a good reason this time.  I missed registering for the Princess half-marathon at Disney this spring so I'm still looking for the right race and just starting to train.

This blog will be about my memories of running, as well as my current experiences training again at 55.  Oh, and the dog thing.  I'm taking our dog, Riley, with me once a week when I run. (See picture)  On these days I just give in and "run like a dog."  This means running too fast for the first few minutes, stopping periodically along the way to pee (Riley, not me), and getting off course to avoid other dogs.  I actually love the days I run with Riley.  It is hard to take yourself seriously when you are running with a cattle dog :)