Turkey Day!

We are off to WI in a few hours, which means no internet 'til Sunday. I'm hoping to get 2-3 runs in, but deer hunting season and Christmas tree season makes it difficult. Run early or late and risk being shot, run in the middle of the and miss all the tree-selling fun. Ah, the holidays.

High temps in WI are in the low 30s, so it is thermal tights and stocking caps as far as the eye can see! I'm looking forward to some legitimately cold runs. Burns off more of the turkey calories. :)


Stolen Day

It is absolutely gorgeous outside today and I plan to take full advantage of it! Growing up in WI, a mid-November day in the 60s was almost unheard of. It's not the norm here, but much more common. And while it makes it difficult to concentrate on work, sitting at my desk and staring out the window, I am really looking forward to my run tonight. Whenever I know the weather is going to be nice now, I make it a point to get outside for a run.

On the schedule tonight is 2 laps around the airport (about 7.5 miles total). First lap easy, 9-10 min/mile pace, second lap negative split. I'm hoping to hit 8:30-8:45 min/mile on the last lap. I won't go to hard, I like to feel fresh for my Thursday night run with the Nerds. But then again, it's much harder to run "fast" on technical trails so I usually go harder on the pavement than I intend.

I have found a trail marathon to do! It's outside of Phoenix the weekend that my company is taking us to Phoenix, so the timing works well. I'm sure John and I will both like a warm weather run in January. So now my winter schedule is:

Dec 13th - 10 mile Alternate Chili Run

Jan 2th - Caves Creek trail Marathon (AZ)

Feb 14th - Psycho Wyco 50k

I'll probably take a week off after the 50k and then really start to hit it hard for triathlon season. Which reminds me I need to join a pool. I'm hoping to finalize all my races over Christmas and get signed up before Jan 1 (where possible).

On a different note, I found a great new doc. He was an engineer and he runs (6:34 pace for the Trolley Trot. Yes, I'm a stalker). He's general practice but is board certified in sports medicine as well. Turns out that having low blood glucose is not something to be ignored. They took 4 vials of blood yesterday to run a full blood panel. I should know more next week. But until I'm told otherwise, I'm going to keep on training. I feel fine, other than the occasional rough run. But who doesn't have those?

I have decided that this is a good wake-up call for better nutrition. I use the "I exercise" excuse for eating whatever I want, in moderation. But moderation doesn't seem to be working. So I'm going to try to cut out french fries all together, eating out as much, and no more Friday morning bakery stops. I'm also going to cut back to 2 or less drinks per occasion. It's not that I eat a lot of junk or drink that much, but my genetics have clearly shown that I don't have any wiggle room when it comes to food. If there is such a thing as the obesity gene, I definitely have it and I have to do more to keep it in check.


Spin me 'Round

Friday night I finally bit the bullet and actually got on the trainer. The DVD player is not in the garage where the trainer is, so no Spinervals, just me and my music. As much as I was dreading it, I actually had a fun time. I shouldn't admit this, but I haven't been on my tri bike since September. I did cadence drills and intervals and I was literally dripping in sweat when John cam home. I started to remember how much I like biking. Saturday, I woke up a little saddle sore and with a sore neck from being in the aero position. Ah yes, the joys of being back in the saddle.

This morning, John and I did at least 8 miles out at WyCo and it was a beautiful day. We saw no less than 6 other runners, several of which were other Trail Nerds we met in the parking lot afterwards. I love running out there. It's like belonging to a secret society. All we need is a handshake.

Now I am making brunch for John and I. Eggs with green peppers, onions, mushrooms and tomatoes, along with roasted baby red potatoes. Man, am I starving!


Home Sweet Home

After five days of travelling, it is good to be home. I did manage a short run while in WI. It was 34 degrees and raining but I still enjoyed it. I love winter running. As Bill Bowerman said, "There is no such thing as bad weather, just soft people." That's the only way I manage to kick my butt out the door some winter days.

When I got home this afternoon, I sorted through the mail and found the results from my insurance physical. I skimmed through most of it - I'm well aware of my height, weight and blood pressure. Check, check, and check. Negative on the nicotine, cocaine, and HIV. Big surprises. What was a surprise was my blood glucose was low, outside the normal levels. Now that was odd.

I remember my pulse being elevated that morning. Resting HR was 66 when measured around 8 am. I had shredded wheat and green tea for breakfast, with the usual morning grogginess solved with the usual morning coffee.

So I did what anyone would do, I did some research. I wouldn't even be concerned except my family is predisposed for diabetes. I called my mom to see if she's recently had her blood sugar levels measured. In fact she had, but her doc is concerned with it being too high, same for my grandma, who has been diagnosed with Type II. They both have been instructed that below 100 mg/dL is where they need to be. Mine was 60 while 70 is the lower bounds for normal. Diabetes doesn't make sense considering my age, weight, and lifestyle anyway. Ok.

Next I hit up the Internet. I hadn't fasted prior to the blood work, or exercised that morning. This was before I started my training plan for the 50k, so it wasn't from increased activity. I was actually coming off a week of rest. I really don't know the cause. I guess now that my new insurance is in effect, I should go in for a physical and take my test results with. Looking at the last few weeks starting with my awful run on October 2, low blood sugar would explain the headaches, light headedness, fatigue, and the general off-feeling I have had.

So that's it. I have nothing more but questions, and until I find a dr. and have my blood checked again, I won't have any answers. But if anyone has had similar experiences or advice, I'm all ears.


Scary Run

On Monday night, the weather was so nice I decided to go run at WyCo park instead of pounding the pavement. John was travelling so I was on my own.

With the time change, it doesn't take long to lose all daylight after work. I was at the park by 6:30 and it was already pitch black. I parked under a light at the Ranger station and started up the trail we ran on Saturday. There was just a sliver of a moon, barley making a dent in the inky sky.

WyCo at night it is a scary place to be when you're alone on a relatively unfamiliar section of trail. I figured it would be good psychological training. I took my cell phone and an extra flashlight and hoped it would be a completely uneventful run.

I ran through Three trails, the Archery Range, and halfway through Fester's Wander before turning around. With the leaves on the ground and just my headlamp, it's easy to get confused. I stepped off the trails in Fester's Wander but only for a minute. Good time to head back. As I was on my way back, I started to get spooked by nothing. I swore I saw creatures in the woods and could hear someone behind me. So I scolded myself for being silly and kept heading back.

On a rocky downhill, I managed to roll my left ankle. This one hurt. I slowed down for a little while but kept moving. No big deal, I'll just keep on. It's not like there is a short cut back or anyone would come and pick me up. You're tough, Sam, suck it up. There's still 20 minutes of running between you and the car. Just keep moving so it doesn't get stiff.

I was about halfway through Three Hills on the way back when I heard it. Dogs, barking loudly and incredibly close. Holy Crap. Big dogs. Mean dogs. Run Sam, run! Run faster, Sam, RUN FASTER!! What a moron you are for running alone! At least Shane carries a knife. Should I look back? Keep moving! I wonder which Nerd will come across my carcass first.

Eventually, the barking faded into the distance and all I could hear was the thumping of my chest and my frantic breathing. My ankle was now throbbing, but I saw the last road crossing and felt relieved.

And then this thought: "I bet those dogs really spiked my HR and threw my average HR off." Jeesh, did I really just think that after having the daylights scared out of me?

From now on, I'll save my night trail running for when I'm with the Nerds or at least have John with me. Darkness and goblins I can handle, big dogs are another story. I'm taking it easy on my ankle, too. RICE and easy runs, hopefully no serious time off.

Happy Trails


Halloween Weekend

What gorgeous weather for the first weekend in November!

Saturday morning John and I got up and went for a run at WyCo. It was pretty cool - it was really foggy which made for a great Halloween run.

I wanted something a little different, so we started from the ranger station and ran the Three Hills section of trail (which I've never run before) to Shelter 10 and then to the archery range. I found a map of WyCo and it's currently on my fridge. My goal is to run the other sections I'm not familiar with on the weekend when it's light outside. Three Hills is much more difficult heading back towards the ranger station that it is heading out.

It ended up being a very enjoyable 6 miles or so. John still hasn't been feeling well, so he was fine with my pace. I had wanted to go through Fester's Wander, but John wasn't feeling well and I rolled my ankle, so we called it a day early. Next weekend I'd like to do the same stretch and add Fester's Wander. The best part was after the 6 miles I wasn't tired and definitely felt like a few more miles would have been fun. We weren't moving at a blazing speed, but I'm hoping that in the next few months I can put in a full loop at WyCo, or even more.

I had order a bun of stuff from Zombie Runner that came so I tried out my new water bottle pack and Moeben sleeves. The pack will take a little getting used to, but I really like running hands free. The sleeves I love! Mine are zebra striped. They were perfect with short sleeves in the 50 degree weather. I figure they will come in handy in the spring cycling season, too.

Then last night we had a Halloween party to go to and we were the Jetsons. Lots of food and beer but we were still in bed by midnight. Just goes to show we're getting old I guess. And if you don't know who the Jetsons are, then I'm afraid we can't be friends.

While the weather is so nice, I have a 4-5 miles run in town planned for this afternoon. That will give me about 25 miles for the week. I didn't get any long runs in, but that's the most consistent I've been since triathlon training. We all have to start somewhere.