$50 Well Spent 
Sunday, September 21, 2008, 07:23 PM
Posted by Administrator
I have to say, I was apprehensive about spending $50 on a pair of compression socks. I mean...they're socks! After my first long run in them, however, I'm pleased to report that they were worth the cash.

Paul and I were up before dawn to meet about 20 other members of the Tucson Trail Runners for the Sabino Basin run. It took my calves five days to fully recover from the last trail run, and so I knew this would be a good test. I ran with Ross for about 10 minutes until the Phoneline Trail started to climb and then he gradually pulled away. I didn't mind the solitude. I'm used to being near or at the back of the pack with this group, and so I just enjoyed the beautiful, relatively cool morning in the shadow of the canyon.

Where the trail meets the top of the road, we continued on the trail for another few miles to Sabino Basin. At this point, I began to see others on their return trip, including Paul and a guy I didn't know who apparently lives near us and recognized me from running in our neighborhood. Tucson really is a small town sometimes - gotta love it!

I was just starting to get that "Are we there yet?" feeling when I turned a corner and there was Ross taking my picture. Seeing Ross, I knew that I had to be close to the turn-around and, in fact, it was just another two minutes down the trail. I caught Ross on the way back and we parted ways at the top of the road as he took the Phoneline Trail back and I opted for the road. I didn't want Paul to have to wait around too long for me and knew I would be much faster if I wasn't rock-hopping and wading through tall grass.

With about 1.5 miles to go, Paul came trotting up the road to run in with me. Is he a great husband or what? Although he has teased me about the fashion statement made by my compression socks, he was happy (and intrigued) to hear that my calves were pain-free. So much so, that he may be picking up a pair himself! My hamstrings were aching, which tells me that, typically, my calves would be too. But they felt just fine! Yes, $50 is a lot to pay for socks, but when I think about all of the massages I've had to work out the pain in my calves, this may actually save me money!

So what's next? Mystery Weekend 2008 Part II! Paul took me on a mystery trip to Denver this past March and now it's my turn to whisk him away on a surprise weekend - we leave Friday! Check in next week to find out about our adventure!
1 comment ( 11 views )   |  0 trackbacks   |  permalink

Stylin' Socks! 
Thursday, September 18, 2008, 11:25 AM
Posted by Administrator
At the tri camp last weekend, Kim from TriSports.com talked about using compression socks to aid in recovery. My calves can ache for days after a long run and so I decided these socks were worth a shot...even if they look totally goofy.

I purchased a pair a few days later and tried them out on a short run yesterday just to make sure they're comfortable. (If clothing is going to cause chafing or blisters, then it's much better to discover this during a short jaunt around the neighborhood than on a 13 mile trial run.)

So far, so good...stayed tuned for a product report after my next long effort.

(I apologize for the angle - it's not easy to take a picture of your own legs with a camera phone!)
1 comment ( 8 views )   |  0 trackbacks   |  permalink

17 Miles! 
Wednesday, September 17, 2008, 10:24 PM
Posted by Administrator
Not only did I run 17 miles on Saturday, but it actually felt pretty good! Of course, this is relative to my last three long runs which have been miserable. Why the difference? Who the heck knows, but some contributing factors were probably a new pair of shoes and cooler temperatures. It turns out that the weather is beautiful at 4:30am! I don't typically drag myself our of bed this early for training runs, but the Tucson Tri Girls Triathlon Camp was scheduled from 9am to 5pm and I wanted to enjoy that event without my long run looming over me. So, I sucked it up, woke to my 4:00am alarm and headed out the door with my headlamp and my trusty running companions - Rex, Mielo and Molly. Paul? He was saving himself for a time trial on Sunday and so I had five miles under my belt before he crawled out from underneath the covers.

When it became light enough to ditch the headlamp, I swung by the house and traded it in for my MP3 player. The dogs had had enough and so I hit the road again, solo this time, with 12 miles to go. I usually run with a hand-held water bottle, but opted for my Camelback this time and enjoyed having my hands free.

Throughout the run I was just amazed at how good I felt! Around mile 12, I started to get aches in my hamstrings, calves and feet, but that is all manageable. I called Paul with one-half mile to go (convenient pockets are another benefit of the Camelback) and asked him to start an ice bath for me. I was a little stiff and achy for the rest of the day, but nothing like I had expected. I'm feeling much better about the marathon in November!

Sunday was another early morning (although not quite 4am), as we drove to Picacho Peak for Paul's second time trial bike race. We are both new to these types of races (Paul as a competitor and I as a spectator) and we're both still learning. Thanks to knowledge gained at the first race, Paul showed up to this one with a new tri bike and aero helmet; and I arrived with a folding chair, cooler and reading material. Of course, I had to lug everything a mile to watch Paul start and finish - these races are not very spectator-friendly.

Paul did great, although he has spent a lot of time since the race thinking of things he can tweak to buy him the 3 minutes that separated him and first place in his category. He knows it's time for him to start focusing on marathon training...but he's itching to squeeze in another time trial to redeem himself!
add comment ( 2 views )   |  0 trackbacks   |  permalink

Apple Picking & Trail Running 
Sunday, September 7, 2008, 08:09 PM
Posted by Administrator
Thanks to a recent newspaper article, I discovered Howard's Orchard, a small farm in the town of Catalina. Yesterday, Paul and I strapped on a pannier and rode our tandem there to check it out. The owner is a really sweet man who instructed us to "treat it like home" as he gave us some plastic bags to fill with apples. Rumor has it they have amazing peaches, but we were a little late in the season for those. And, at other times of the year, they also have blackberries, pecans, tomatoes and cucumbers. We'll definitely be back - it made a great pit stop during our ride!

For any locals who want to visit, take Oracle north to the town of Catalina. Go past Golder Ranch Road and take your next right onto Hawser. When the road ends, turn left on Columbus. Turn left onto Pinal Street, which is a dirt and gravel road. The farm is just about one-quarter mile on your right - look for the signs.

We rounded out the weekend with the first run of the Tucson Trail Runners' annual series - Mount Wrightson - although neither of us fully participated. Paul wanted more time on his new tri bike to prepare for his time trial next weekend, and so he rode from our house to the trailhead - a distance of about 60 miles, with the last 10 miles being up a gigantic hill.

While the rest of the group ran to the top of Mount Wrightson, I opted to go only to Josephine Saddle and then take the longer, more gradual Super Trail back down. This amounted to only 6.2 miles, but it's been a long time since I've run trails or hills and so I wanted to ease myself back into it. Also, while the view from the peak is spectacular, I just do not enjoy the hike from the saddle to the top. It is steep, rocky and, for me, extremely slow-going. I've done it twice and have no desire to do it again...although I hear I missed some spectacular wildflowers.

I finished my run in just under two hours and then found a shady spot in which to sit and read while I waited for Paul to climb the gigantic hill to meet me. Just after he arrived, the other runners began to emerge from the trail and so we hung around for a while to catch up with friends. For me, this is one of the best parts of running - the socializing! It was great to see Renee, who came out for her first TTR run and I'm sure we'll be seeing her at others!

On the way home, we decided to make a detour and stop at Eclectic Pizza for lunch. It's on the opposite side of town from us, but we recently discovered that they serve gluten-free pizza and Paul was anxious to give it a try. We ordered a Greek salad that was absolutely delicious, as well as two pizzas (to ensure leftovers) and a gluten-free beer. Paul was in heaven. However, the pizza was a mixed bag. The toppings were extremely fresh and the sauce was probably the best I've ever had. However, the crust was clearly a gluten-free crust...which is not a good thing. It just didn't compare to the crust we get at Picazzo's. They make it on site (although, unfortunately, none of those sites are in Tucson) and you really can't tell the difference between it and "normal" pizza. If only we could combine Picazzo's crust with Eclectic's toppings...
1 comment ( 38 views )   |  0 trackbacks   |  permalink

Just Me and the "Kids" 
Saturday, August 30, 2008, 11:26 PM
Posted by Administrator
As an employee of MDA, I will spend much of the Labor Day weekend working the MDA Jerry Lewis Telethon. Having experienced the past two Telethons, Paul got smart and has skipped town for the weekend. While I supervise the "green room," he will be enjoying the GABA Blue Loop Bike Tour through New Mexico and Northern Arizona. So, it's just me and the dogs this weekend!

I had a 17-mile run on my training schedule for today and I felt rested and ready for it. But it didn't take long for those feelings to change. The wind sucked my energy, and my legs and feet just plain hurt. I attribute the latter to the need for new shoes. In fact, I'm really hoping that's the reason as it has an easy solution. I managed to eek out 15 long miles - it took me 20 minutes longer than my 15-miler two weeks ago.

I hate not sticking to my training schedule, and spent the last few miles convincing myself that it was okay to stop at 15. The internal dialogue went something like this: "I have plenty of time before San Antonio to make up the miles, and pushing myself on old shoes could lead to injury...right? Right!" I'll give 17 another shot in two weeks (with a fresh pair of shoes).
add comment ( 33 views )   |  0 trackbacks   |  permalink

<< <Back | 17 | 18 | 19 | 20 | 21 | 22 | 23 | 24 | 25 | 26 | Next> >>