Thursday, August 30, 2012

Checks Okay

I had the doctor visit with the surgeon today.  He drained the cyst, and the ucky green fluid that came out of it checked okay.  I concurred with him; I did not feel any further testing of this needed to be done.

He also told me the cyst can reform, which I had already known, and I should continue with my monthly breast exams and get in touch with him or my GP if this cyst re-occurs.  And also follow up with my ultrasound in six months.

So ends ugly August for me.   As I returned to work, after my doctor appointment, I took a nice deep breath, that finally seemed to release.

What's the take away from all this?

Well. I am relieved. Happy to NOT have any bad news come out of this.  I really did stay away from Google;there is too much information-of ALL sorts-out there.

It didn't matter; all the scenarios went through my mind. 

I guess my main take away from this health scare is: be grateful for your health.

Second thought is,  DO STUFF.  Don't be sitting around on  your ass, go Do It.  I had to repost laz' quote back on the blog again:

"two things worth remembering:
1) you will never achieve great things with small goals
2) there is no guarantee you will have another chance tomorrow" 

 So go do something.  Hug your dog. Tell your friend you love them.  Smile on the trail. Don't take that sunset-or sunrise-for granted.

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Nice Story

 Link to Story:  Carrying the Fallen by Jordan Rapp  on

Nice quote too:

“If our lives can end so suddenly and so arbitrarily, then we need to take our chances when we can. You cannot wait for the perfect day to arrive because it might not.”

Sunday, August 26, 2012

North Country Trail Race

I signed up for this race almost one year ago; it was ostensibly, to spend more time with friends from the Columbus area that I didn't know all that well.

With all the issues I have been having in the ugly month of August, I wasn't in the mood for socializing.  In fact, if my husband had not made plans for us to spend Thursday night with friends in Michigan, who also went with us to the race,  I would have bailed on the whole event and went to West Virginia to volunteer for Cheat Mountain Moonshine Madness at the last minute.
I had bullied my way into an 8am doctor apppointment, who managed to make me feel a bit better.  Apparently one cyst is fine.  And actually second cyst is 'fine' too, (well, 99% fine..) but if  I want to have it drained (and then they will send it to pathology) she will set up an appointment with a surgeon.

Oh hell  yes I want that done.  While the cyst is not painful or bothers me at all, that means I get a 100% reading on the darmn thing.  So I left town feeling "cautiously optimistic" and in a far better mood oh, than the last 14 days..

Manistee Michigan is a LONG ways up the state of Michigan, once I actually located it.

Race Report:

So much for hoping for 80 degree weather.  Forecast was for 89 degrees.  When we stopped in at the Race Start/Finish to pick up bib and chip, it was very humid.  And buggy.  I made a note to remember the bug spray for the morning.

It was about 75 degrees at race start.  Due to a tree down on an access road, where aid station workers had to use to set up their aid station, the race was delayed.  Instead of the 50 mile race starting at 740 am, we started at 0750 am.

Despite the marathon runners starting only ten minutes or so prior to us, and hitting single track after one road mile (to help spread us out) the trails were really not that crowded.  There was only a few spots in the first 3 or 4 miles where we got into a little bit of a conga line.

Despite no conga line, it was very much a novelty for me to be at a race where I could see a line of runners in view, for most of the first loop.

The North Country Trail Race is a 25 loop.  1/2 marathon split off in the first loop (they started after the ultra) and we run with the marathoners.

It is a very runnable trail, very sandy, some roots, not technical at all.  And runnable!  No reason to walk at all, for about the first 18 miles or so.  In the second half of the loop, there are some rolling hills, where it felt good to change out and stretch some different muscle groups.  I thought my hip flexors would be more sore after all this running, but I think the very soft trail of sand helped with that.

Pretty uneventful first loop, I ran a bit of it with Tim and Kathy.  Tim was running his first 50 miler, and Kathy was also running, but also sort of pacing/supporting Tim.  Tim was having some issues with the sand getting in his shoes (and maybe the pace was a bit fast) so after showing trail with them on the first loop, I did not see them again.

Dave started the second loop with me.  He was the second Dave I had met that day, running their first 50 mile race.  He asked me if I had run a 50 mile race before..

It's always a bit awkward to answer questions like that.  I don't want to sound like some big braggart,.  So I said yes, I've run some.   He asked how many, and I said "not that many, maybe 5 or 6.  I tend to run 50K or 100 milers instead."

So we chatted a bit about 100 milers;  I told him you need to expect to be able to suffer a bit for a 100 miles.  Then Dave had to stop for a bio break, and I never saw him again.

I picked up my music for the second loop.  Now this was more like a typical ultra for me, all alone in the woods.  I turned on the music, and experienced, for the first time in a few weeks, a moment of total happiness on the trails.   That was worth the drive to Michigan for.

Despite the music, I was getting pretty bored.  Yes, me!  I was alone, on some pretty easy single track, running as quickly as I could in the 80+ degrees.

I got to mile 38, where my drop bag was.  I discovered I had gone through all my bags of malt dextrin, which was my main fuel for this race, and it was back to working well for me.  So I was able to ditch the hand held bottle.  I  had picked up my hydration pack, despite not wanting to wear it, but due to the high temps and humidity.

This race had aid stations 3 and 4 miles apart, again a novelty for me.  But with the 50 oz bladder in the vest I was able to drain it and refill at every other aid station, so with the MD fuel, I wasn't spending any time in aid stations.

I was having my typical race; I was starting to run very steadily and climb the little hills very well and  run the downhills in the last ten miles of the race.

I got a good giggle as I left t he mile 42 AS.  Last time I was mile 42 in a race, I had been on my feet for about 20 hours, and was contemplating a 4000 foot climb.  8 more miles in the heat and  humidity wasn't that bad.  And there was oxygen!

No one passed me from mile 42 to the finish.  I least 15 runners.  I would spot a runner up ahead, and that would give me a little bit of energy.  Nothing like decisively running by someone walking.

At least 4 people commented on my uphill walking.  Practice it, people.

But no one commented on my calves this race..

I did fail ultra lesson #5-that I just failed two weeks ago. Put lubricant on your under arms, so they are not chafing due to rubbing on your shirt and boobs all day long!  I had some blisters going on also, probably due to the sand, but nothing worth stopping to deal with.

The last two miles are pretty much a downhill, which was good, I was just glad to be done with,  I was ready to get off my feet and have a shower.  I was not quite sure of the time we had started out at, but it appeared I was going to finish my 50 miles in 12 hours and change.  By my watch, it was 12 hours, 22 minutes. so I was pretty pleased with that. Edit:  Just saw the official results, says 12 hours, 16 minutes!  There was no real taper for this, just limited running for about the five days prior to this. 

So the race that I could not generate any enthusiasm went very well.  It was very organized, nice aid stations and workers.  Nice easy runnable trail, not technical at all.  If you are located somewhere in the Michigan area, this would be a nice introduction for a trail race for the 1/2 marathon, marathon, or even the 50 mile race event.

Tuesday, August 21, 2012


My results of my mammogram and ultra sound came back.

Good results. I think.

Impression: probably benign finding.  Recommendation: recheck in 6 months.

While I am kind of relieved, I don't like that "probably" part of the finding.

What if the "probably" isn't probably, and I find this out in six months from now?

So I am talking to the doctor's office, and they ask if I want to make an appointment to talk to the doctor.

Yes, I do. The first open appointment is....August 31.

No.  I say this is unacceptable.  They give me another date, right in the middle of my work day-no that will not work.

"Fine.  I do not want to make an appointment.  I will find another doctor."

I was not threatening, I was just stating a fact. I'm a pretty low maintenance patient; I see my doctor about two times a year;  I pay my bills on  time; I'm a compliant patient.    But I have had it with the slow turnaround.

They put me on hold.  I'm just about to hang up (I'm in the middle of work) and I am informed I have an appointment this Thursday, at 8 am.

I want to have a biopsy done of this lump. My husband concurs.  I don't want the "probably" ;  I want the definitive benign reading.

I feel like I've been hit with a ball bat today.  I think part of it is some stress relief;  yet I still have some major annoyance going on. At least I have results, and it does seem positive.

Maybe I can get my head out of my ass and unwind and relax for this upcoming race.

More Waiting

So the doctor's office calls me this morning. They have now found my chart. I dont need more testing.
Apparently the radiologist is "new" and being cautious. That is why he needed more views.
What does "new mean? Like a new graduate? New to this hospital?
I should get a couple of days.

Monday, August 20, 2012


I had just started a blog post when my doctor's office called me back.  This is at 530 pm.

"You need to be scheduled for a diagnostic mammogram."

I think I had that last Thursday.  But I don't know, for sure, because I let the HCP take care of me.  Apparently I should have ASKED what I was having my breasts squeezed for, as the radiology department hasn't told my doctor office yet.  I was told it was a diagnostic mammogram--that's what the piece of paper said-and an ultra sound.

Meanwhile, Ann from the Radiology department, had called, and I had went back in for some more views via the ultra sound. 

My doctor's office didn't know anything about this.

I have only had ONE FUCKING apppointment and two departments can't communicate with each other.

OK.  I have learned.  I will ASK and get IN WRITING whatever the hell it is they are doing to me.  I don't know "for sure" whether it was a FUCKING diagnostic mammogram or a "regular" mammogram. 

SO.  I still KNOW NOTHING.  Yes, I am shouting.  I was trying not to shout at the doctor office person.  She is to call the radiology department, in the morning, and clarify, DID I have the diagnostic mammogram last Thursday?

WHY IS THIS SUCH A FUSTER CLUCK???????????????????????????

Other than this situation, cleverly situated to the dinner hour and ruining my appetite for the lovely dinner my husband made, I had a good day off.

Ran my 10K around the block in 1.19.
Found a spot for my slackline and the husband helped install it.

Need to gather my clothing and gear for the 50 mile race this weekend.

At this rate, I don't see any additional testing happening this week.  So another week marches on.

I know the same thing I did, on Sunday August 5.  Absolutely fucking nothing.

Speed work again

These were my splits from last week:



I threw out out the first lap (since I did 9 in all) and did my "track math" and now, this week splits should revolve around running a 1.46 400 meter.

I have not been able to hit any of my targeted "splits" yet for any of my sessions.  (But I have been faster than my target goal pace, overall.)

I find myself, at 200 meters, at 1.01 or 1.03, so then I run *faster* for the second half of the loop, trying to hit my target.

When I am running these, I just run them.  I hit the watch, record the result, and then mosey down the track to recover.  So I am not thinking so much.

So, I divided that 1.46 in half.  When I hit 200 meters, I need to be at 53.  Not 1.01. So I need to take it out a little more aggressively, than trying to make this up in the last 200 meters.

I still feel I have a bit (or maybe a long ways to go) on working with pace at a faster time.

Sunday, August 19, 2012

This week running plans

Since I have returned home from Colorado, I have found it very hard to generate enthusiasm for this week's race, The North Country Race, in Michigan.

This is no fault of the race itself. I signed up for the race, almost one year ago. There are about 30 of "us" runners, mainly female, from the central Ohio (almost Columbus) area signed up for this race.  A few veterans chatted this race up.

Sure, why not? I've not run a "marathon" length race (or more) in Michigan, and by running the 50 miler, this would give me my Michigan state marathon finish-whenever I get around to caring about those stats.

But in the meantime, Hardrock happened. And then, after HR, my *current health issues* whatever-the-hell-they-are-I-sure-dont-know occurred.

I am now left, five days out from a race that I am very apathetic about.

Do I go run it?  I've got commitments. Hotel reservations. We are actually supposed to travel to lower Michigan Thursday, hang out with friends, then all four of us (me, husband, and friends) drive up to Manistee, Michigan, still about a 4 or 6 hour drive from their place.  This would be with the expectation that I don't have any *doctor/lab appointments* to interfere.

My heart and my head is not in this race. Not yet.  I guess, if I get any sort of an answer from my tests last week, maybe that would help me structure my week in running.

I'm going to go run my regular 10K around the block tomorrow.  And yes, I will carry my cell phone, and turn it on, just *in case* the doctors office wants to call me in the morning and discuss my fate.

I may not run again,(due to work schedule)  this week, until the 50 mile race, on Saturday.  Unless I decide to do a speed workout on Thursday morning.  Unless I am doing something else, like having a biopsy done.

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Corny Joke

So I saw this on FB, read it, paused, and then burst out laughing.

I haven't been amused in about 10 days.  I will take what I can get.

Friday, August 17, 2012

No news is good news, right?

No news is good news, right?

Um, NO.

So the mammography technician tells me my doctor should have the results on Friday, Monday at the latest.

So I patiently wait until about 230 pm, to call my doctor, to see if possibly she has my results.

The office closes at NOON, on Friday.  So even if the radiologist sent the results to my doctor, they are just sitting in a fax queue somewhere.

Which gives me another TWO FUCKING DAYS in FUCKING LIMBO.

I'm not happy. I'm very very unhappy. The nervous twitch under my right eye has been going almost non-stop.

I went to the woods to run, as I really didn't want to be around people because I just hate everything right now.

Even the woods didn't give me what I wanted.  I just wanted this vise I got going around my head and heart to loosen up.  I didn't say go away, I just wanted to relax. I'm wound like a very tight spring right now.

Okay.  I get to work all weekend.  That is fine.  Maybe it will be busy enough to engage my mind.

Just some more days to get through.

Thursday, August 16, 2012

First Step

I had my diagnostic mammogram and ultrasound today.

No big deal, I was more annoyed with the half hour time period in Outpatient Registration.

The mammography technician was very nice.  She kept telling me, if I experience discomfort, just tell her, and we can stop.  (This refers to the boob squeezing flat on the platter.)

Actually, it was about 0.5 on a 1-10 scale. But I have big boobs.  It's much harder on the smaller chested tribe, who must get their A's and B's onto the platter and then mushed flat.  Us C and D girls?  We got plenty to heft up there. 

She asked if I had any questions, I said no.  I was very quiet and not in any sort of chatty mood.

The radiologist asked for more views, so we took 'close ups' of the two masses.  Very efficient, this, even with waiting for the radiologist to look at the films, was only about 35 minutes. 

Then on to the ultra sound, where ultra sound goop was placed on my boob, and the little ultra sound handheld went over the two lump areas.  It also didn't take too long, the ultra sound technician was very nice also. 

Then I was done. And I went to the liquor store and bought some Dogfish IPA.

The mammography technician said my doctor *should* have the results Friday, Monday at the latest.  So I shall call my doctor's office tomorrow, mid-afternoon, if they have not called me.

All I expect to hear is,   I need to have a biopsy done next.  Don't get me wrong, if the doctor says everything is GREAT  I will be very happy.  But I don't see how you could say that, without a biopsy of the lumps.

So, onto next phase, first Waiting Period.

Speed Session Two

Today is the day for my second session of speedwork.

I am going to take the average of my six 400 m sessions, and make my goal the average of them.

Apparently I can't do track math.  I had to be corrected on this.  LOL. I shall endeavour to run 54-55 (the math was 54.555555) 400 m, with a half-lap ( or 200 meter recovery, for you track people).

I shall do EIGHT of these, not six.

Hopefully, the band won't be having pictures taken, or the track team on the track, or the guys paving the road outside the track this week.


Temperature: 66 degrees, although it felt like 80 on the track

Distractions: guy mowing the football field, and newby cheerleaders having a practice on the track (I overheard "keep smiling until you are all the way back to the bleachers Alicia!")

Lap One 2.02  legs are sluggish, and heavy.  Okay, concentrate
Lap Two 1.54  Okay.
Lap Three 1.50  Okay!
Lap Four 1.58  Oh no, I have to poop.

I'm sure you are not supposed to take a ten minute break in the middle of your intervals, but I first climbed the track fence on my way to the portopotty (nearest) located outside the track, then decided it wasn't in my best interest to try and scale the six foot chain linked fence.  So I then ran/jogged walked quickly to the high school, and finally found the restroom. (No, I did not go to high school here, and do not attend activities here, so I had no clue where the restroom was.)

Back to the track..

Lap 5:  1.55 Something magical happened here, all of a sudden my body felt warmed up.  My arm and leg muscles felt loose and oily and pliable.  I just felt very loose and comfortable.
Lap 6: 1.50
Lap 7 1.49
Lap 8 1.49
Lap 9: 1.49  I decided to run another lap because of my break in the middle and to see if I could hold the pace again.  I felt a little spent at the end of this one and was happy to walk again.

I think it is taking me a little longer to warm up.  I think I need to work on a longer warm up-I did jog, about 15 minutes, at around a 11.30 pace.  I think I need to run a slow mile, and then maybe a faster ten minutes or so, pushing it a bit more, to get warmed up.

I felt pretty good about this session, I was concentrating well on my running the loop.  A good little session.

I like to run these speed sessions in the morning, and it has just coincided with a day off work for me.  My 50 mile race is next Saturday, August 25.    I am off next Thursday, August 23. My question is, do I complete another speedwork this close to the race?  My only goal for the race is 1) finish it 2) finish in around 12 hours.
I personally don't think my version of "speedwork" would potentially hurt me for my 50 mile race, but I would like feedback.  I probably would not do a speedwork session the week after the 50 mile race, but I  might run a 10K trail race on the following Saturday, September 1, at Cooper's Rock, WV. This race in WV would be more to just get down to the area to check out the trail systems in the area.

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Ultra Lesson #5: Repeat

Today I relearned Ultra Lesson # 5:  when you are going to run a 50K, and it's raining on you, and your shirt is wet  all day long, apply the body lubricant to your underarms.

So you don't notice the chafe on your Sunday run!!  Owww.

4 miles around the block.  Legs feel pretty good, left knee a bit stiff for some reason.

Now off to sushi for lunch.

Saturday, August 11, 2012

LT Challenge

I finished the LT Challenge today, in 7.57.  That would be 18 loops, of the 1.75 mile trail loop, for a total of 50K.

I put the word out there on FB that I was doing this, and interestingly, got a few responses of people joining me!  Huh.  Were these people nuts?  I had my own motivations, but really people..

It was great.  Kali joined me, and ran 15 loops with me.  Mark ran with us for 11 loops, I believe.  Brandon showed up about Loop 10 and ran 5 or 6 loops with us. Wild Bill kept us company for two loops. Dan was there but too speedy for us.  I saw Barefoot Johnny and Pepper, on our first or second loop through;  Johnny wanted to join us, but Pepper (the dog) lay down on the trail and refused to go further.

Good day for a trail run.  I thought it was would be a suffer-fest, but the storm came through.  It rained on us for one hour or so, but the temperature was in the 60's so it felt great.  The humidity was high, but the temp stayed low, maybe in the low 70's. 

I steadfastly wrote my loop times down on my clipboard.  After a while, I started numbering the loops, to keep track of how many left to go.  Brandon and Kali left me on Loop 5, and I continued on.

It was good. I had enough technical footing to think about the trail, rather than other things, and then had to dodge around folks.  The loops clicked down.

I was actually startled to pick up my clipboard, and see I was actually on the last loop!  I thought I was on 17!  Wow! I consulted the watch, hmmm.  Can I beat Pebble's time?  (I thought it was 7.56)

Additionally, I was grabbing the camera to get some pics on this loop, since it was raining earlier, I had not brought out the camera.  Now I was faced with, do I take pics, or do I try to best Pebble's time on trail?

I decided to do both. I don't think I can best the 7.56, but what the heck.

I do get some pics snapped off on the trail, and once I hit the Overlook, I concentrate on running.  Can I do it? Can I?  (And reflect also, that us runners are a strange folk, I want to beat this arbitrary number out there..)

I click the watch off where I've had the clipboard behind the tree.. 7.57.  It turns out that Pebble ran a 7.58, not a 7.56, so I did best that record.

Pleasantly tired and distracted for the day.  I got to share time on trail with folks that distracted me from my current problems, and shared my story with Brandon. 

I got Skyline Chili (well I got cheese coneys!!!!) on the way home, managed to get the dogs out for their walk, after my bath, so now even the dogs are tired.

The husband will be home tomorrow, so that will be good.

The 50K effort was a good one. 18 loops of a course is good.  That will be my last long run, going into the North Country Trail 50 Mile Race. I've had an attitude adjustment on this 50 miler in the last week.  Run it. Do it.  You never know what may be around that next bend.  Brandon summed it up well today, with a statement that serves us all well (and me) "I'm just running to the next aid station".

Friday, August 10, 2012

LT Challenge Saturday

I'm going up north for The Ledges Trail Challenge.  This is 18 loops of the Ledges Trail, which is 1.8 miles.

This was dreamed up by LT actually, Lloyd Thomas, but named for the Ledges Trail.

The challenge is open to any and all. If you complete, just drop a line at the email address on the LT Challenge.

It seems like I may have a few people joining me for a few loops.  That would be good.  I've had enough time to myself lately, I would like to hear some trail talk and race gossip from some others.

Hitting some different trails, for me, would also be good.

I'm wearing my Hardrock shirt tomorrow.  Yes, this violates my (and Bad Ben's) rules of race shirt etiquette.

Ben has a very amusing list of T-shirt etiquette. My main philosophy has always been:  you don't wear a shirt of a race you haven't finished.  So, if I have DNF'd a race, I've never worn the race shirt.  That's been my rule, black and white. 

I'm in a big mood of FUCK IT this week.  So I'm wearing my Hardrock shirt tomorrow. 

(Now that I have thought about it, the HR elevation profile is on the back of the shirt.  I can write in "DNF" at Grouse Gulch on the shirt, that would accommodate the 'rules etiqutte').  Or maybe I won't.  But I'm wearing the shirt. 

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Speedwork Day

Okay, it's the day *some of you* have been waiting for.  I am finding it way  hard to generate any enthusiasm today, but it is what it is.  Since I don't know anything, then, it's time to carry on, bizness as usual.

I manged to find a watch with a stopwatch on it. I even managed to figure out how to start and stop it.

I'm hoping the track will not have the high school football or track team on it. Please please please.  I don't know what I am doing, I don't need to have a big audience watching. Or any audience.  I'm not in the mood for company right now.

I'm going with Mongold's initial specs: run 8 x 400 m at 1:53-1:56 pace.  That means, run around the track-ONCE-in 1 minute 53 seconds, to 1 minute 56 seconds.

(Are you starting to doze off now????)

Sitting in the doctor office waiting room, I calculated that half a lap (200 meters) would be either 56 to 58 seconds. So if I was off on the first half-lap, I could try to remedy it in the second half-lap.

Oh yeah, the most important part...200 m easy recovery. (Don't I sound all trackie and stuff??)   Gulp, that's just a half lap, it might take me that long to reset the watch.

The Results

Weather: 65 degrees

Time: 8 am.  Much  later than planned.

Condition: Tired and a bit hungover.  Sorry.  Real life.

Distractions: So there is a pop up tent on the field and some ladders on the track.  I find out the Band is having their pictures taken at 9 am.  Great.
The city is also paving and tarring the street right outside the track.  So much for no audience and a quiet, unsmelly morning.
Well, that was my fault for getting out the door late.'

1:58 Okay, just trying this out.
1:56 Ok.  Shoelace came untied
2:03 Ugh.  Okay, focus, it's just one lap.  Stop thinking about stuff.
1:52 Better
1:51 Ok
1:48 Ok!

It wasn't bad.  It was something different. I'm  willing to try it again, next week, same routine (but with more sleep and less wine.)

I have an appointment next Thursday, for an ultrasound and mammogram.  I'm not really thrilled with the delay, but I guess it's just time to compartmentalize this away.  It is what it is.

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Dr Appointment

I saw the doctor today, and she confirmed that I do have a lump in my breast. Two, in fact. One larger one, the one I detected, and a smaller, harder one.

I am to get an ultrasound and mammogram.

But when we try to call the local hospital, the person who does the scheduling has gone home sick. Call tomorrow.

what the Fuck people I would like to get a fucking diagnosis!!!!

and no, I don't have *hospitals* to choose from here.

Really, someone else can't open her scheduling software???

Ok. I expect a call back at 9 am. OR I will be om the phone at 902 am scheduling myself.  Or I will call next hospital, about 40 miles away and see when they can fit me in.

I'm okay. I'm not real happy. I don't have any more knowledge other than the doctor confirmed the lumps.  

Sunday, August 5, 2012

Today's Workout

I have been remodeling the spare bedroom.

I finished the painting, and we tore up the carpet.  It was at least 12  years old, as it was here when we moved in.  It was not brand spanking new then either!

 You win some, you lose some.  There were two carpet pads.  One side peeled right up.  The second pad was stuck to the floor, and we had to scrape it up.

I have found that equal parts ammonia and water and elbow grease will remove the carpet pad residue.

 I still have alot of work to do!  Cross training!

About three hours later of scrubbing..

 Yes, the ammonia/water combo worked, but stripped the varnish right off.

Now what to do.  I'm in the process of Googling "refinishing hardword floor".

I'm kind of done for the day.  As I showered today, after all this work,  lathering up my boobies, I felt a small knot in my breast.  I got the husband to confirm yes, it does seem to  be a lump. So now the main focus for tomorrow will be to call the doctor and get an appointment as soon as possible.    Might be nothing, I hope, might be my hydration pack rubbing on my boob. But need to get it checked out.  So that is that.  No more work for me today.

Saturday, August 4, 2012

Run at Mill Creek Park

Today was our volunteer run/course familiarization run at Mill Creek Park, Youngstown.  I don't believe we had anyone not familiar with the course or the park today..

Evidently, I am the one not familiar enough with Mill Creek Park since I thought it would only take me 1.5 hours to drive there from my house.  I got to Akron and realized I was not going to make the "early" unofficial second start at 530 AM.  (The first unofficial start was 4 am.) I left a message with Slim, and he called back and confirmed, so the 530 group started without me.

I arrived about 605AM.  I was still in a crabby mood from Friday night, so I thought it was for the best that I was on my own.  Surely, running in MCP would lighten my mood.

I ran into Moose, and turned and ran back to our vehicles with him to wait on the group for the 8am start. Still in the crabby mood, I was not in the most talkative mood for the first mile or so.  I also could not figure out why I was leading the group. 

Then Val started asking questions about Hardrock, so I started loosening up.  I think it's a bit hard to describe the HR experience.  It's just hard to put into words, there is just no frame of reference.  But it got me chatting, so that decreased the crabby factor quite a bit.

I let most of the pack go by as we started "The Crime Against Humanity"Loop, aka the 4 mile loop around Lake Newport.  I got to share trail time with Frank and Slim for the next miles back to the Log Cabin.  The crabbiness was just about gone.

Slim had just offered a beverage to me when I shook my head and said I was going out on another loop.  Since I had not gotten my full 7.75 mile loop in before the group start, and since I was already completely drenched in sweat and smelly, and had a headache, I thought I might as well run another 7.75 mile loop!!

Slim, despite already getting his 50K in for the day, decided to go back out with me on my loop.  It was rather slow going, because now it was nearing 11am and a bit warm out.  I also have a big piece of all meat pizza laying in my belly that needs some time to absorb.

What I don't have in my belly are any sort of electroyte or salt caps!  About one mile into this loop, I lift my leg up, over a log, and instant cramping in my inner abductor muscle!  Owwwwwwwwww!! 

Wow, I never cramp.  This cramp takes about one minute or longer, to subside. Owwwwwww!! 

I have no S! Caps with me.  I usually have a bag of these, in my pack.  Slim has none, either.

I do have a Clif Bloks of the "Margarita" flavor on me, and I eat it down, despite still having the tummy full of meat pizza..I need the sodium more.  I get a few more muscle twitches on the rest of run, but nothing like that full seizing of the muscle. 

I tell Slim of my new training plan of "speedwork".  He's immediately pumped as Mongold, hearing this!  He outlines several ideas of what I can do, including the workout known as the Yasso 800's.  (I've actually heard of this and know what this is, surprise..)

So I ask Slim the biggest question about this "speedwork thing"  "how do I, as someone who has no idea of pace, figure out what pace I am running on the track?"

And he answers it, and I understand! And I won't write it here, because it probably won't be correct, and the rest of you will do what I would do, just completely skip over the rest of this paragraph..

But I "get it" and that's all that is important.  So I am going to try to do my first track workout on Wednesday morning, I sure hope the track/football/soccer/nobody team is not around.

 Slim and I finish our loop.   Slim's got 40 miles in for the day, and I've got 24 miles.  We eat cold pizza and drink beer in 90 degree heat.  My crabbiness is gone.  Thank you so much, Slim. 

What else? I'm pleasantly tired. I got trail time on one of my favorite local parks, Mill Creek Park. It's a gem of a park in the middle of Youngstown, Ohio.  I got trail time with my favorite ultra runner.  I got my long run in before my next race, the North Country Trail Run.  I got advice on my new phase of training.    NEO Trail bought me some beer and pizza.  Does it get any better?

(The only reason I can say yes, is I caught the mens 10000 m finals,as I started this blog post,  and saw Galen Rupp take 2nd in the Olympics.)

Friday, August 3, 2012

The S Word

Well, if you read my blog regularly (and I know it!!) you probably have an inkling of what the "S" word is, after my ruminative post of pace and improvement.

It's the S Word folks, SPEEDWORK!

OMG, just typing the word just kind of bores me.

Well, maybe not so much that it bores me, it's just I'm not big on the whole Numbers.  2 x 100, 2 mile repeats at tempo, 4 x 400 at 5K pace, ya da ya da ya da..intervals, pace, tempo, strides. 

I should explain.  I'm not a track person. I did not run in grade school, high school, or college.  When I had a plan for my first marathon, it did not involve in any sort of "speedwork".  The idea was to get one to the start line and finish.  I never really changed anything up for marathon #2, and by then, I had found trails, and then ultras, and then there really was no reason to move fast.

I did some reading earlier in the week, and it does appear that a "speedwork" session could actually benefit my ultra running.  I will not go into the premise why...all you trackies and college runners can smirk and nod your heads.

So the idea is to go to the track on my next day off, which I believe is Wednesday. Warm up for a mile or two.  Then do some "repeats" (is that right, trackies??) of one loop around the track, which is..400m?

Run 400 m, then walk a loop for recovery, then repeat.  My next big question is pace. How do I determine what pace to run?  I've read, run at 5K pace.  Well, okay, I ran 2 5K this year, finished them in 27 minutes and change.

So I should try and run each 400 m, at 5K pace?  Well, how do I know what that is?  I really have no clue. I did some math-which hurt my head- 27 minutes divided by 3.1 miles= 8.70 min/mile= 9.10 min/mile so each 400 m should be 2 minutes 27 seconds ( my brain is already clouding over with numbers..)  how on earth do I do that?

Okay, I also read I shouldn't "Sweat" the first couple sessions, I should just focus on form and bla bla bla (I forgot what the rest way, I kind of grayed it out..)

Okay.  The basic premise is, I go to track on Wednesday. I warm up adequately. I run 4 laps of 400 m (I'm sure I'm supposed to write "4 X 400m" or something cool like that) at a pace harder than my leisurely ultra speed.  Maybe use the Garmin and try and keep each 400 m in the 8** minute range.  Jog/walk one loop between each as recovery.

Feel free to chime in with advice. But put it all in  English.

I do think speedwork sessions can help with my leg turnover.I think I need to push myself a bunch.  I need to get out of the complacent endurance runner that I am.  I can go, forever (well, for a long time.) But can I go, faster?  That's what I want to now find out.  "If you always do, what you have always done..."

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Run Harder

Ok, I went for the premise of just running harder for this loop around the block.  I did this of the most part of not looking at my watch.

Weather: cool enough, about 72 degrees.

Pretty successful.  At mile 2.4, at the top of the hill, the Gump dogs were out.  I did glance at my watch, because I had to slow to a walk-about a 17.40 pace, for about 40 seconds.  The Gump dogs consist of two 70 lb Shepherd-Collie mix, and two beagle mix dogs.  They've always been relatively friendly to me, but they do tend to accost me head on, and I always slow to a walk around them.  So I would guess I lost twenty seconds or so to them.

End result: 1 hour 12 minutes.  Not bad when I just applied the "running harder" principle.