Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Back in the Gym

It felt great to get back into the gym this morning, eventhough it was only for about half an hour. 20 minutes on the bike and a few minutes of strength training were good for the mind as well as the body. While I've got a busy week ahead, I'm shooting for 10 miles of cardio this week, and hope to do at least one more strength training session.

I'm also happy to report that my weight is down a little from yesterday. Glad to see the upward trend going in the opposite direction now!

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Light Exercise

I'm still here, but taking it pretty easy these days as far as exercise goes. My right ankle still bothers me a bit, especially first thing in the morning, but at other times too, like when I take the stairs at work or home. I think it's Achilles tendonitis, so I don't feel too bad about taking it easy right now. I did buy a swimming cap and goggles recently at Wal-Mart, so I would be ready for swimming when I'm tired of taking it easy! :)

I have been taking some occasional walks, sometimes with co-workers during the day, and that's been nice. The weather's been pretty temperate during the day here this week, which has been nice.

Truth be known, though, I'm ready for the calorie burn of more intense exercise for the short term, and long term, I'm thinking about walking another half marathon in March. I've got a time to beat! :) Meanwhile, I'm in the middle of a really busy stretch at work and especially at home, so I am enjoying the extra time for other things. I sure do miss the exercise, though, and am looking forward to getting back on the horse soon.

Friday, November 19, 2010


I've been taking some short walks the past couple of days to recover, but am taking it slowly. My legs aren't sore, but my body still feels tired. Also, I have some tendonitis in my right ankle, probably from compensating for the pain in my toes during the half. Not as bad as it could be, but I'm taking it pretty easy for now. I'm eager to get back to the gym, though, so I can keep my endurance up.

Meanwhile, I'm looking at some other half marathons that I can actually walk and finish like the Outer Banks Half. One good possibility locally is the Tobacco Road Half Marathon on March 20, 2011. It's held on the American Tobacco Trail, which I love! Ya know, I was concerned about being goal-less after the Outer Banks Half, but I'm feeling better about things already. Meanwhile, I'm still eyeballing those custom orthotics after the first of the year.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Race Report: 2010 Outer Banks Half Marathon

Yesterday morning, I really surprised myself by finishing the Outer Banks Half Marathon! I signed up for this race back in the spring, before I was diagnosed with the foot issues. As my training progressed (or didn't, rather) I was doubtful that I could do this race. We were invited to stay with some friends in a oceanfront house in Nags Head, since George and I were both registered to run the half marathon. I decided several weeks ago that I would start the race and go as far as my right foot would allow me to walk My crosstraining since then has been less than spectacular, so yesterday morning, I was even less sure that I would finish. The weather forecast was beautiful, though, which helped me get into the right mindset. I decided to try to relax and see what happened. Before the half marathon started, I got to chat with several runners from the Raleigh area, including Pauline, Jeanette, Susan, Linda, Marjorie, Barbara, and of course George and Ashby. (Many thanks to Meri for the drop-off near the start in Nags Head!)

Once the race started, George walked with me for the first two miles, and I really enjoyed his company. He headed off to run at the beginning of Mile 3, and I started listening to music and taking in the surroundings. It wasn't long before I caught up with a combination of walkers who I enjoyed meeting and talking with, including Danny (from the Los Angeles area) and Susan (from Huntersville, NC), who I walked and talked with the most. Danny and Susan were planning to keep around a 20:00 min/mile walking pace, so I decided to see how long I could keep up with them. They were fun to talk to--and to listen to when I felt like being quiet.

Before I knew it, I had passed my first goal at the 3 mile mark, and was quite surprised to hit 6 miles and the half way point without enough discomfort to stop to rest and massage my foot. My next goal was the bridge, which I never made it to in last year's DNF of the Outer Banks Marathon. I wanted to see the bridge so badly this year that I could taste it, so it was good motivation to keep moving at a good (for me) walking pace with Danny and Susan! During this stretch, the front marathoners passed us, and it was a lot of fun to see and cheer them on!

Getting to the bridge was my favorite part of the course, I think! Before the ascent, Danny and I (Susan had dropped back a bit) decided on a game plan for tackling the bridge, which helped. We hit the 10th Mile Marker while on the bridge, and the view all the way across it exhilarating! Yes, I was still walking it, but the bridge wasn't as difficult as I expected it to be. My foot was bothering me, of course, but I still had energy left in the tank. (I had stopped and had my water bottle refilled at every water stop but the first one, and took a couple of Hammer Gels along the way, and that all helped, I think. )

After we hit the bottom of the bridge, we could see the stoplight where the runners and walkers were making the right turn to head into Manteo. It was a great feeling to know the end was near! I had been worried at the start about being able to finish, so hitting Mile 12, my last goal before the finish, brought a huge sense of relief, and I really enjoyed taking in the sights around me! By now, we were seeing people with finishers medals hanging from their necks, and that was great motivation too. :)

I called George and let him know that I had about a mile to go, and that I was still walking toward the finish line, and he was almost as excited as I was! When we passed Mile Marker 13 and could see the finish line, Danny and I took off and ran across the finish line, a great feeling to finish strong! My foot hurt, but I was done! That finisher's medal never looked so good!

I ended up finishing with a chip time of 4:24:15, and gun time of 4:35:18, 3747th out of 3757 overall, and 258/258 in my age group. Before the race, I told George that finishing before 4:30:00 was my over-the-top goal at a walking pace, no way would I finish by then. There ya go. :-) Kisses and hugs to George for walking with me at the beginning, and my gratitude to Danny and Susan for seeing me to the end!  Official results are here.

George met me at the finish line, and it was great to share war stories with him. We ate at the Full Moon Cafe in Manteo, before heading back to the beach house. The big group enjoyed a great meal together last night, and George and I returned home this afternoon.

I took a few pictures over the weekend, but as usual, I wish I'd taken more. They're stored online here.

Now I'll work on recovery and am looking forward to trying custom orthotics early next year. I'll be back in the gym soon, though! Maybe there will be more half marathon walks in my future!

Saturday, November 06, 2010

New Cardio Machine

I think I may have found a new challenge for me at the gym. It's the Cybex ArcTrainer. It's like the elliptical machine, but to me it's harder! I couldn't stay on it all that long this morning, and I felt pretty uncoordinated on it, to boot. Watch out, ArcTrainer, I'm going to tackle you!

Friday, November 05, 2010

A New Workout Schedule in the Works?

This week, it just so happens that I've only worked out three times since Monday (when I start my workout week). I'll work out tomorrow morning, too, of course. It's a big shift from my usual workout week of 6 trips to the gym or the trails. I've been busy with work after last week's vacation, as well as the start of National Novel Writing Month on Monday (November 1). I must admit that I've made good use of the time I missed my workouts, and have enjoyed getting a variety of things done. Is it the busy time of year? A shift in priorities? Hmmm. Part of what I'm thinking about now is how I can make the most of my workouts, and to maintain a minimum of 3-4 workouts a week.

I walked about 4 miles last Saturday, and my right foot hurt again. :( So, I'm still looking at orthotics after the first of the year, and we'll go from there with the running. You know what I miss? Having a road race that I'm shooting for! At some point, I'll need to look at how I can set other meaningful goals to shoot for.


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