Long Weekend! 
Monday, June 29, 2009, 10:47 AM
Posted by Administrator
Taking advantage of some hard-earned comp time at work, I enjoyed a 3.5-day weekend. I kicked it off by picking up a new pair of running shoes at Performance Footwear. I wore Brooks for a long time and then, after some injury issues about a year ago, switched over to Mizuno. While comfortable, I don't think they've been giving me quite the support I need and so I'm giving Brooks another shot. I'm curious as to whether I'll notice a difference...but not too curious apparently, as I forgot to wear my new shoes on yesterday's 6-miler. The comparison will have to wait a few days.

With new running shoes checked off my list, I headed to LA Fitness for the 4:15pm spin class and enjoyed the more mellow atmosphere of this during-work-hours class. It was only half-full and allowed for some casual chit chat with the instructor. Before we had wrapped up, there was a mob of post-workday spinning enthusiasts outside the door, anxiously waiting to pounce on their favorite bike for the 5:30 class. I felt quite satisfied to have my workout behind me and to be starting my weekend.

On Friday, I had a great swim and then thoroughly enjoyed trying out two new recipes, both of which turned out fantastic. Paul is quite happy that camp season has ended because he knows that having me at home means new, yummy food. Check out my latest!

ITALIAN TOMATO TART


CHOCOLATE PANFORTE CANDIES


We dusted off the tandem on Saturday morning - it had been weeks since we'd ridden together - and headed out for a 2.5-hour ride over to the Avra Valley area. Though a fairly flat ride, I was completely spent toward the end. Having slept in and left later than planned, the mid-morning heat took its toll. Not to mention it was my longest bike ride in at least a month.



The rest of the weekend was spent cleaning and cooking in preparation for a post-camp BBQ with some of my lead volunteers. Only five people were coming, but it was a great excuse to give the house and the back patio a much needed deep cleaning. I don't expect it to last for long, but, in the meantime, walking into a clean house makes me smile.

Now, just four days of work until the next long weekend. I could get used to this!
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Home Sweet Home 
Sunday, June 21, 2009, 12:22 PM
Posted by Administrator
For the past two months, my mind and body have belonged to MDA Summer Camp. I spent most of my evenings and weekends at the office, except, of course, for the two weeks I spent at camp - one in the White Mountains of Arizona and one in Salt Lake City.

During the short periods that my body was not at the office, my mind was still on camp. This includes the dreaded camp-related dreams. With 25 activities throughout the week, 83 campers with neuromuscular diseases and 120 volunteers, there was a lot to think - and worry - about. Long story short...camp went well and it feels amazing to be home enjoying my first work-free weekend - for both mind and body - in a very long time.



Summer camp is not conducive to maintaining my daily exercise, my healthy diet and my 9 p.m. to 5 a.m. sleeping schedule. Despite squeezing in a few short runs during each of my camps, I returned home feeling out of sorts, but also very motivated to get back on track. The fact that the Firecracker Tri is just two weeks from today also inspires me to get my butt in gear.

I eased back into the routine with a 800 meter swim on Friday morning, followed by a brick workout on Saturday (12 mile bike, 2 mile run). The rest of Saturday involved swinging by Howard's Orchard in Catalina for fresh veggies, clothes shopping, laundry and cooking. It did not, in any way, involve MDA.

This morning, after giving Paul his Father's Day card from the dogs, I hit the neighborhood streets for a 5-mile run. After 3.5 miles, I made a quick pit stop at the house to run cold water over my head and drink some juice. My legs were heavy, my face was red and I was sweating profusely. It was only 80 degrees, but I apparently need a few more days to acclimate to the desert heat after my two weeks at higher elevations.

I was hoping the few weeks of low mileage would cure my IT band issues, but I can still feel the tightness. Luckily, I discovered that a small strip of Kinesio Tape works just as well in preventing knee pain while running as the big, ugly, uncomfortable knee brace does. I start it in the middle of my hamstring and pull gently as I wrap the tape forward to the middle of my quad.



Tomorrow's plan: morning swim and evening 5K with the Meet Me at Maynard's group.
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Brief Hiatus 
Saturday, May 30, 2009, 01:06 AM
Posted by Administrator
Tomorrow morning, I drive up to the cool White Mountains to co-direct a week of MDA Summer Camp. Please send good thoughts my way for good weather, healthy campers, well-behaved volunteers and a smooth week!
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A Sub-30 Minute 5K 
Sunday, May 24, 2009, 11:28 PM
Posted by Administrator
After finishing the Dave's Run for ALS 5K in 30:00.4, I was determined to add some speed to my weekly workouts and run a sub-30-minute 5K. However, between my work schedule and my IT Band, I never made it to the track. Shocking, I know. I showed up for the Tucson 5000 feeling not very confident about a fast time, but feeling just fine with that. That's one of the advantages of being slow - no pressure.

We lined up on Country Club for the start of the square course around Reid Park and the race director announced that the race's only water stop had been stolen - water, cups, table and all. Who would steal an entire water stop?

When the gun went off, I tried to find a comfortably hard pace and chose people in front of me to stick with for motivation. I felt great on 22nd Street, but started tiring as we turned onto Randolph Way which has a slight incline - very slight, but I could feel it. I was not having much fun, but was on pace for the sub-30 and so kept pushing it. On the bright side, this part of the course was on a nice, shady path, which was very welcome considering the above average temperatures.

As we approached the turn onto Broadway, I was relieved to see that the race volunteers, not to be outdone by the somewhat unusual vandals, had made it to the store and back, and had set up a new aid station out of the back of a truck. I walked long enough to get some water in my mouth and over my head, and then picked it up again. Luckily, we were on a slight decline, but it still felt hard.

With about 1/2 mile to go, my heart rate was skyrocketing and I decided to walk for a minute to get it back to a sustainable pace. It wasn't long before a woman twice my age ran by me breathing like an asthmatic. This sight shamed me into running again - no matter how bad I felt, it was clear that I wasn't pushing it nearly as hard as she was.

I passed her and a few others and kept looking at my watch as I approached the finish. I crossed in 29:32 feeling pretty much like crap - yet pleased to have accomplished this goal. It took a few minutes to catch my breath and about half an hour for the light-headedness to go away. Did I mention it was hot? My time was good for 252 out of 337 total racers and 15 out of 28 in my age group.

Next up on the race calendar is the Firecracker Tri on July 5. (I've stuck faithfully to my twice-weekly swims for over a month now!) However, next up on the endurance event calendar is MDA Summer Camp from May 30 to June 6. Which is why my guest bedroom looks like this...


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A Quick Weekend Report 
Sunday, May 10, 2009, 10:15 PM
Posted by Administrator
Although I didn't engage in any traditional exercise on Saturday, I was on my feet from 7:00 a.m. until noon working at the MDA Stride & Ride. It apparently had some effect as my legs were pretty tight this morning. And there's no better way to loosen them up than going on a tandem ride!

Paul and I hit the road this morning around 7:15 a.m. while the temperature was still a lovely 73 degrees and our forward motion created a nice, cooling breeze. By the time we returned home, two and a half hours later, the temperature had risen 20 degrees. And while our motion did not offer quite the same cooling effect, it was still preferable to the oven-baked feeling we got when stopped at an intersection with the sun beating down on the asphalt.

Today was a banner day for wildlife sightings on the bike. We started off the ride with a bobcat and finished with a rattlesnake. Unfortunately, we forgot my camera and so the photos, taken (from a safe distance) with Paul's IPhone, are not the best quality.





Plans for tomorrow include a morning swim at L.A. Fitness and an evening 3-mile run with the Meet Me at Maynard's group. A great way to start the week!
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