Sunday, April 29, 2012

When Life Gives You Lemons...

     I've been feeling pretty sorry for myself for the past couple weeks.  After logging 27 miles one week and feeling like I was gaining on my stamina, I was plagued with soreness in my hips, back and feet.  I kept thinking that maybe age was creeping up on me and that this wasn't such a good idea after all.

    Instead of throwing in the towel, I've seen some medical professionals.  I'm having orthotics made for my very flat feet - which should help a lot of the other problems.

   After several unsuccessful chiropractic trips, I went to my massage therapist, Trish Zennie  We concurred (intuitively) that it seems as if my pelvis is twisted.  I went to Mountain Valley Therapy to visit my buddy, David Ebel, and he agreed.  I have both a tilt and a twist in my pelvis, rendering my right leg to about 20% efficiency, and my left about 50%.  While I was feeling that this was really bad news, David was really optimistic for me.  He feels that this is perfect timing - with the marathon 6 months away.  He says I will feel as if I have wings on my feet, once my efficiency is 100% in both legs.  I can live with this outcome!
Sure wish I looked like that in a suit!

So - I'm grounded to the pool or the eliptical for a bit.  I just ordered a couple of suits on line - I'll keep you posted on how that turns out.  Trying on swim suits is such a humiliation that I prefer the privacy of my own home.  No matter how big they SAY they are, I always feel like I'm trying to fight my way back into the womb!  If all else fails - I'll wear a jog bra and shorts.  I'll do some pool running, yoga, and eliptical and see how it goes.

Meanwhile...Lilly thinks I'm cheating on her.

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Mountain Valley Therapy Fun Run

I used to be one of those people who found the term fun run to be oxymoronic.  The two words just didn't seem to fit together.  My mother in law and I had that conversation just the other day.  She said no one can convince her that running is fun since runners all look like they're having an awful time.  I thought about that this morning.   I was having a great time.  Our valley is lovely and it was a perfect day for a run.  I don't know what my face conveyed, but I was happy on the inside.

Lilly and I after the run
Now that I've become a running convert, I have to say that I totally enjoy fun runs, even if I don't really socialize on them.  I'm not great about running with other people.  My running buddy has four legs and she's always available.  I don't have a training partner to get me out the door each day or to hold me accountable, but in the end, it's really my own responsibility.

Even though I participated in this fun run - which was in celebration of Mountain Valley Therapy's new athletic facility - I still ran with my dog and my ipod.  I must say, I do enjoy being in the vacinity of other runners, as I know we have that one thing in common.  I love seeing couples, sisters, friends, and families out enjoying the spring air, and not sitting at home in front of the tube.  I appreciate knowing I'm not alone in the quest for health, and that's what this fun run was celebrating - healthy choices in Union County.

I'm happy to report that Mountain Valley Therapy was packed for their open house!  I finished the run, ran Lilly home (to get in an extra 3 miles) and then came back with my camera.  The pool is lovely, and the room is WARM!  I hate being wet and cold!  The locker rooms are awesome, and the workout equipment is amazing.
A nod to our aquatic friends!

The suspension room has me captivated!  I want to know about this!
Congratulations to Mountain Valley Therapy!  Your community loves you!

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Cross Terrain-ing

My winter running shoes!

If there’s one thing I’ve learned after living in Eastern Oregon all these years, it’s that you have to make peace with the weather.  This week was no exception.  March came in like a lion, and went out like a cranky lion.  April snow showers will delay May’s flowers.  The weather can wreak havoc on one’s psyche this time of year.  One morning, I was all dressed for spring, then, opened the blinds to find a fresh blanket of snow on the ground.  Change of plans, and change of clothes.

Tuesday afternoon I ran in shorts and a t-shirt after work.  It was a balmy 64ยบ.  We had snow showers the rest of the week.

My hubby and I had made plans for a walk on Mt. Emily Thursday afternoon.  I have a four-day work week, and Thursdays are my Fridays.  I came home feeling tired and ready to collapse in the recliner and call it a week.  My sweetheart, however, was already changed into play clothes and hiking boots, had gathered our snow shoes, and was ready to go as soon as I got changed.  I brooded to myself as I changed clothes and prepared for a death march.

We loaded up the dogs and the camera and headed up the hill.  We walked uphill quite a distance before we reached the spot where there was more snow than road, and we put on our snow shoes and the workout really began.  Snow shoeing is a really great workout.  It’s fun, but – boy, is it a butt-burner!  No matter how cold it is, your body heats up in minutes, and before you know you’re shedding layers of hats, gloves and jackets.

Besides the workout, we got a big ole dose of peace and calm.  The dogs frolicked, and Annie enjoyed a snow bath.  She especially loves it when the snow is hard and crunchy.  The valley below us was a beautiful patchwork of colors.  Although we grieved some of the logging that’s being done on ‘our’ mountain, we were able to appreciate new views of the valley through the newly opened landscape.

Our goal was to hike until we reached a spot where the snow run-off creates a lovely, babbling brook.  We could hear the rushing water from a distance (it will slow to a babble in late summer).  We continued upward until the sound was deafening.  We stood quietly, inhaling nature, and exhaling the work-week.  There’s something so calming about the sounds of the earth.  We just stood there, grinning at each other, watching the dogs play, and filling up our souls with goodness.

I haven’t run much this week for a variety of reasons.  I have to make peace with that.  There’s always next week, and the week after that.  As long as I keep leaving the house in the pursuit of  physical activity, I know I’m building a base…a mile at a time.

Sunday, April 1, 2012


It's funny to think of how many times in my life I've said, "I will never..."  It's a habit I'm learning to break.  It's also a habit that I'm learning to forgive myself for by giving myself permission to grow, and then change my mind.
Some things I swore I would never do:
- watch 'reality' tv shows
- wear yoga pants (I prefer to call them 'buffet pants')
- have acupuncture
- get a tattoo
- own a gun, and learn to shoot it

and most pertinent to this blog...
- NEVER be a runner
Then as I started running...
-NEVER participate in organized events
-NEVER do a half marathon
- NEVER do ANOTHER half marathon
and now,

To be clear - I've only been running for a year.  I'm a naturally fast walker, so the progression to slow runner was realtively simple.  I started running because I had heard it was a great way to lose weight.  At this point, I had lost nearly 20 lbs. (see bio re: all things buttery!) and my weight loss had plateaued.  I wasn't willing to spend MORE time exercising ( I was working out 6 days a week for 1 1/2 - 2 hours between eliptical and yopi - I was also unemployed at the time!) so I wanted something more efficient.  I looked up the Couch to 5K program ( and found that I was too advanced for that - I was already off the couch.  Then I ordered the book Run Your Butt Off (, and found I was somewhere in the middle.

Unbeknownst to me, I began implementing the Jeff Galloway Run-Walk-Run method (more on that later!).  I would run until my heart rate was making me crazy, walk until I regained my senses then run again. [Consult your physician - I'm NOT recommending this - just reporting it!]

I was totally self-conscious when I started running.  I thought maybe real runners woud see me and ask me to stop muddying the name of the sport.  I felt like an imposter.  See, that's the thing that can keep people from trying new things - that inner voice that says 'you don't belong here.'  As I've grown older, I hear the voice and recognize that it's not my own.  It belongs to the mean girls from high school, or the overly competetive kids in PE or track.  They are nothing more to me now than bad memories.  I'm the one in charge.  I'm the one writing my own story.

So - back to my list of nevers...
I began run/walking, or wogging, as another blogger put it  ( in March of 2011.  In a book or running article, I had read that signing up for an event was one way to keep your running goals on track.  I could see the logic in that.  I began to look for an event -- maybe a women's event where I might feel like I belong.  I found one in the See Jane Run series ( called, I Run For Chocolate And Champagne, and I knew I'd found my people.  The event was in Boise, ID - just two hours away.  I signed up for the half marathon - which was eight weeks away.

My husband seemed worried.  He actually was worried.  He asked why I hadn't signed up for the 5K or 10K instead.  Honestly, it hadn't even occured to me.  I wasn't going to drive two hours and pay money to run 3-7 miles!  Nope - half marathon or nothing.

I looked up training guides on line and found that I was exactly where I needed to be in my training with the exception of adding longer weekend runs.  On June 12, 2011, I completed my first half marathon in 2:54.  No whirlwind pace, but I enjoyed ALL of it. I talked to people, encouraged those whom I passed, and accepted encouragement from those who passed me.  I stopped for drinks and restroom breaks, with the mind-set that this was all about me - my comfort.  My pace, my race.

My husband thought I had lost it because I was grinning from ear to ear as I crossed the finish line.  I had just completed 13.1 miles at 45 years old, and I was ecstatic!  I had done what I said I'd never do.  I wasn't fast but I had trained well enough not to be suffering.

I came home and immediately began to look for my next event.  That was four events ago.  At least this time, I've given myself 6 months to prepare instead of 8 weeks!