Saturday, March 28, 2009


As promised, I'm going to review one of the freebies I got at the last health fair-Cytomax. It's a powder designed to be dissolved in water and you drink it during and after running. So I mixed it up and dumped it in my water bottle, figuring my 9 miler on Friday would be a good day to check it out. I modified my run a bit so that I was at the in law's house a 1/2 mile into the run, allowing me to stash my water bottle in their mailbox. my loop takes me by their house about every 2 miles making it a good place for a water stop.

I FORCED myself to run slow from the get go. I have a habit of starting out way too fast on my long runs so naturally I usually burn out early and struggle at the end of a long run. My goal was to keep my heart rate below 140. So off I go and soon I was back at the water stash and ready for a chug of Cytomax. It actually tastes pretty good, a mild lemon flavor that went well with the Clif shot bloks I was also using. I don't know if the Cytomax break at 2 mile intervals helped or the fact that I kept my pace incredibly slow, but I felt really good at mile 9 and decided to bump it up to a 10 miler. I completed the 10 miler with no aches or pains and finished the last of the Cytomax on my walk home. All in all it was an excellent run and now I'm hooked on both Cytomax and Shot blocs. My heart rate did go over 140 a few times as the elevation increased so I wasn't successfull with that, but I can continue to work on it.

Next week is a fall back week-all easy short runs and an extra rest day-yay!

Wednesday, March 25, 2009


Many thanks to Sarah for the Sisterhood Award. It's always nice to get a little recognition and I appreciate it very much! Sarah, I do try to have a positive attitude. I'm a fairly upbeat person by nature and that helps. At one time in my life I was really unhappy with my job-I felt stuck in a dead end, low paying, unappreciated, difficult job that just plain sucked. I was complaining about this to a very close friend, really whining about how terrible my job was, and he gave me some advice-he said "you know, you have to work, right? So you can choose to do your job and be miserable and unhappy about it, or you can choose to do your job and be positive about the fact that you have a job and you get paid for it-your choice. Either way, you still have to do your job." That was an epiphany for me-we can't always choose our circumstances, but we can absolutely choose out attitude towards those circumstances. So thank you Sarah!

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Beeg Doggie

I did a very nice 9 miler early this morning, to avoid our current heat wave-it's been in the upper 70s the last few days and spring is definitely here. All in all it was a very good run so the sacrificed chicken and old running shoes I burned on the altar to the Running Gods must have worked.

I always see a lot of hispanic women on my earlier runs as they walk their grandchildren to school. This morning, around mile 5, a woman with 3 small children in tow and one in a stroller stopped me on my run. "There is a beeg doggie", she said, pointing up the road. "A beeg, mean doggie; bark! bark!". Yes, she barked to show me how mean the doggie was. I asked her if the doggie was loose on the street. "No, he ees in yard, but he ees beeg and mean. He scares the ninos". I realized she was probably talking about a shepard mix who challenged me every time I ran by his house-he was indeed beeg and mean, and he could easily jump the fence surrounding his property if he was smart enough to realize he could do it.

I thanked the lady for the warning and assured her I would be careful. I found her concern to be rather sweet, and from now on the shepard mix has the new name of Beeg Doggie.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

An Experiment With a .22 at 100 Yards

The Running Gods gave me a gentle tap on the shoulder this week, sort of a reminder to not get quite so cocky, missy. I did an 8 miler today and it was tough. I finished it, barely. I think I angered the Gods by bragging about how good my runs have been lately. I will have to sacrifice a chicken on their alter and burn a pair of running shoes (old ones, of course) to try and get back in their good graces.

We went to the gun club barbeque and shootin match Sunday and I did very well, if I do say so myself. I shot a couple of Hubby's big guns and I have the bruise to show for it. I still tend to snug the gun into the wrong spot and I always pay for that mistake. I did finally get off a couple of shots where it didn't hurt because I held the gun properly. I started by shooting at 100 yard targets with open sights with WWI vintage guns ( I can't remember which ones I shot-they were big and beefy). Then I switched to my beloved 22 target rifle, again at the 100 yard range, and I rocked. There were 4 large steel targets hanging on chains and I was shooting sub sonic ammo. This means that I would first hear the report of the rifle (pop!) and then a clear, bell like ping a split second later as the bullet hit the target-VERY satisfying!

My friend Hillary and I realized that the 4 targets each had a distinctly different sound. So we're discussing this interesting discovery, and someone tells me to fire off 4 rounds, one into each different target so we could all really hear the difference. OH CRUD, I thought. This is a test of sorts. I'm with some of the best shots in the county and they want me to pull off 4 shots, quickly, at 100 yards, without missing. OK, so I take a deep breath, aim carefully about 4 inches above and center on the first target, hold my breath for just a tick and fire. Ping! One down. Quickly on to target no.2-Ping! Target no.3-Ping! Target no.4-Ping! All 4 targets were hit and sent spinning a bit and I didn't have to go home hanging my head down in shame!

So after we did this purely non-scientific experiment, Hillary and I thought wouldn't it be fun to set up a whole row of steel targets, cut them to different sizes so we could essentially tune them, then have a row of shooters with 22's and see if we could play Christmas carols? I think it's do-able, given the talented shooters we have in the club. I'm thinking this would be a great U Tube hit!

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

The Running Gods

The Running Gods smiled upon me yesterday, and I managed a very nice, slow 7 miler. I planned a 6er, but it just felt so good and right that I went for an extra mile and I probably could have done more. I cut it short at 7, however, because I respect the Running Gods and I understand that if I get too cocky and proud they will smite me with an injury or intestinal issues or a very mean dog.

My gun project is coming along nicely. I've stripped the wood of that nasty plastic finish; now I have to figure out what to do about the ugly black stuff someone used to fill in the dings and scratches in the wood. I don't understand why someone thinks they need to do things like that. This gun is over 100 years old. It is going to show its age, just as we all do. Why not allow a gun to age gracefully, with all the dents and scratches that come with a century of use? And as usually happens when I start a project, it's not enough now that I just refinish the stock. I'm thinking I really don't like the odd black finish on the metal parts. I'm wondering if I should consult my gun-expert friends and find out if I can strip the metal and reapply a nice subtle blued finish-nothing fancy, just a little bluing.

And finally-I've cobbled together a marathon training plan-I think. I have months to consider what to do; things could change depending on what I find on the internet. I will be posting my schedule over at my other blog just to see if I get any feedback on how my plan looks.

Saturday, March 7, 2009

I got a new gun-woohoo!

Ok, no running to blog about today, faithful readers; it's not because I haven't been running, it's just that there's been nothing exceptional to report about. I go out; I run; I come home. this is a fall back week anyway. Next week-a mighty 10 miler, or not. I haven't decided whether to tackle a double digit run or to start a new plan I found online, a sort of pre-marathon marathon training plan designed to build a base before marathon training. We'll see how I feel next week..

Now-the new gun news. Several weeks ago, Hubby was cruising the net looking at old guns. I glanced over his shoulder at the website he had up, and saw a very neat gun-honestly, it was just plain pretty. "What's that?" I quizzed the Hubster. "It's a Spencer lever action carbine", he replied. "It's civil war era, and it's the gun Morgan Freeman carried in that movie Unforgiven". "Wow, I says; I like that. Ya know, you could buy me one of those for my birthday and I would be a very happy camper".

So, next thing you know, Hubby is at a gun show last weekend and he finds one and buys it for me-and it's just as pretty in real life as it is in a picture. Mine has been modified so it shoots cheaper ammo than the original, so this will be a "shooter", not a "hanger", as in a gun that you just hang on the wall and look at. The only thing I don't like about the gun is some previous owner finished the stock with a very shiny varathane kind of finish-it looks like it was dipped in plastic, not a good look for a civil war carbine. So I'm in the process of stripping and refinishing the wood.

So I tell Hubby, "Gosh, if this is the gun from Unforgiven, maybe someday I could get the gun from Quigley Down under, one of my favorite movies"? And he says yeah, they're available, kind of pricey, but someday. So then I say, "Gosh, it seems we have a theme going here. How about the gun John Wayne carried when he was Rooster Cogburn"? Hubby tells me that gun would cost, oh somewhere around 30,000 bucks or so. I don't think I'll be getting that gun...

The cool thing, too, is this is my birthday present, and my birthday isn't until August!

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

A New Plan

Picking the right plan to train for a marathon is tough. There's too many choices, to many variables to consider. I finally chose a plan by Hal Higdon and figured ok, no worries; it's any easy beginner's plan that won't kill me in the preparation. Let's let the marathon itself attempt to kill me.

Then I had second thoughts. I had 2 concerns with the plan-it only built up to 35 mile weeks, and many of the long runs were 50% of the total miles for that week. I know from training for half marathons that I need lots of time on the road to really feel ready, and while this plan would probably get me to the finish line it would'nt do it very comfortably.

So I started looking for a new plan, one with more weekly mileage. I found one that builds up to 45 miles, but it seems too aggressive. I need something between these 2 plans-sort of like Goldilocks looking for the bed that's just right. I'll have to do some major tweakage with this second plan to get it to fit my needs. Mostly I'll add several weeks so I can get used to the high mileage. One of the things I like about the second plan is it comes with a base building plan I can jump into now; I'm fairly close to the biggest week in that plan. Once I get to that week I can maintain that weekly mileage until I start the marathon training plan.

Of course, this could all change tomorrow...

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Biggest Loser Controversy

Today's run was a nice, slow, easy 3 miler. I'll go into a fall back week, cut back on the miles, than back at it again-Hopefully my next long run will be 10 miles.

I know some of you, my faithful readers, watch Biggest Loser. I've been a fan of the show since it's first season, when I would watch while exercising on my elliptical. I've always found it inspirational and I admire the contestants, as well as the coaches. I've fantasized about having Bob as a trainer for a marathon. However, the controversy regarding Dane, the last contestant to be booted from the show, and his "marathon", ticks me off.

At the end of last week's show, they said that Dane completed a marathon with a time of 3:53. I was surprised and a little confused. I wondered just how much Dane had been running at the ranch to be ready to train for and run a marathon, and I couldn't believe he had that kind of time for a first marathon-I figured he must be a natural runner, to post that kind of time his first time out. But there he was, crossing the finish line with his wife, and proudly posing with his medal.
Then it all comes out-the producers actually picked Dane up in a van and drove him a portion of the course, something like 3 miles, then let him out to "finish" the race for the cameras.

What really annoyed me was Danes wife explaining that if Dane hadn't been held up during the race by the film crew filming at water stops and such, he would have been able to finish the race, so therefore, he did in fact finish the race. He did not finish the race. He and his wife were disqualified, as they should be. I just wish that when the producers tried to get Dane and his wife to go for a ride in the van, that they had said no thanks and finished the race under their own power. Even if they didn't make it in under the 6 hour limit, at least they could have said they did in fact complete a marathon distance. There's no shame in coming in last or not finishing in the time alloted. There's a great deal of shame in accepting a ride in a van and then posing with a smile and a finisher's medal around your neck. And that fantastic time they credited Dane with? His actual time was closer to the 6 hour mark. No shame there, either, if he had actually finished the race.