Monday, December 22, 2008


The winter running journey continues. This time the Finnish Five Mile with my daughter. Conditions were wintery: windy, snowy, slushy, cold. We both stretched and jogged to "warm up." (I was kidding myself, warm up? To convince our muscles to work maybe, to feel warm, hardly!) We took off, but my Garmin thought it was too cold and had to be tapped and massaged into starting after we had begun running. Then there were those slushy uphill segments. Yuk! Lots more work, except for those veterans in front of us wearing their "Yaks." (A code work for chains for shoes.) Eventually they jingled out of sight while my daughter and I carefully sought out the less slippery, possible traction areas. Just as we got to the last 400 mark, the 28 years younger daughter says, "Let's sprint in, Mom!" I hated to tell her that the last mile was pretty much my sprint pace, so I said instead, "You go, girl!" Then as she made her move, something in me said, "Get over this age excuse and get going!" So I did and I managed to finish 8 seconds behind her. For us it was another learning experience: buy "Yaks" and "Finnish" well. (For my daughter, age group first; for me, age group third.) Not a bad winter day.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Cross-training: another way to be a novice!

I have to have options. I cannot run everyday and stay healthy. So... my CTS coach has helped me begin cycling. I have replaced my 25 year old 10 speed with a Trek 2.3; I now have lobster claw mittens, a helmet (yes, I should have had one all along), a cadence meter, new pedals and shoes that clip in them. My coach has warned me: every one falls. Lovely. On his advice I am practicing indoors this winter. I have not yet purchased knee pads, and I would hate to tear a hole in my tights or worse yet scar up my knees! Will practice make perfect? Will this novice avoid road rash and worse? Spring will tell.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Running Later: for real!

I am so not a winter competitor! I planned my warm up to take right up until just before the race. My husband was there to take my jogging pants. I was hydrated. I was cold, but I as ready. Sort of. I was about 1/3 of the way back in the group of runners waiting, when I noticed up front that a group had taken off. I asked who that was, and it was my race, the 10K! So I ran to the front and through the group of 5K runners in order to catch up. I ended up trying to pass dozens of slower runners and even the sleigh and reindeer runners! Not a good beginning, and not a good pace. I did finish; my time was not what I wanted, but I was in the middle of my age group.

What have I learned? Don't listen for an announcement. Don't expect a starter to fire a gun. Ask, and act! I don't ever want to be "running later" again!

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Learning My Legs

I have spent the past two weeks preparing for my first winter 10K. I even tried running outdoors on a trail by moon light, since that's the warmest time available to me when I am not working. Today is my race: the Jingle Bell 10K. It is a little intimidating to be doing this knowing that I will have some snow and ice to deal with! The week has also reminded me that I am still "learning my legs". On Monday I ended up with some numbness and foot issues on my right side. Between my orthotics and my exercises I have managed to manage by somewhat "off" biometrics. We'll see how it goes today when I try to run at a racing pace. My hope is that in year two of this journey I will know much better how to take care of my legs while I continue to challenge myself in terms of running proficiency and endurance.

Stay tuned for results. Please let me know, how are you doing at learning your legs?