Wednesday, August 18, 2010


Yes, that is right. I'm #27. Jerry had posted on how he made someone's list of the top 50 blogs about diabetes. I decided to click on the link because I wanted to see if there were any blogs on there that I had not read before. Guess what I found? My blog was on there, as #27. Maybe your blog made it, too, and you just don't know it, like me.

Speaking of blogs, I'm always looking for new ones to read. Do you have any suggestions for me?

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Treadmill Etiquette, Take Two

Many people have posted on treadmill etiquette, especially related to how a person smells and how much they are sweating. However, today at the gym when I was on the treadmill, I realized there was a different topic about treadmill etiquette that needed to be covered: noise. Specifically, how loud your feet are when they hit the treadmill belt.

In case you have not noticed, I'm a pretty picky person. The same is true for my running routines. I've been doing doubles everyday, running 5.5 miles at a forest preserve in the early afternoon and then doing another workout in the evening. (Side note: today I had an awesome run: 5.5 miles with a 7:46 min/mile average. It felt wonderful!) I always try to take one of four treadmills that have the TV screen at eye level. I just like the way they are set-up compared to the others, where you must look down at the screen.

After I was about half way done with my treadmill run, a woman got on the treadmill two slots away from me. I didn't think anything of it, as there was another man in between us who I see quite frequently. I did start to notice her when it sounded like stampede of slow elephants was running beside me. Clonk! Clonk! Clonk! Clonk!

I thought maybe she just needed to get into her running groove and then her footsteps would become lighter. However, this did not happen. I was watching TV at the time, but still her footsteps were louder than Pat and Vanna on Wheel of Fortune.

I got to thinking: why does a person's feet hit the treadmill that hard? I even took out my ear plugs at one point to see if my steps were loud, but did not appear to be. I remember when I ran xc in high school a person told me that your footsteps are loud if you are tired when you are running. I don't really know...I've never had the need to look into it. Do you know? Would a person who sounded like a herd of elephants bother you? I can say that I was happy to go to the StairMaster for once.

Monday, August 16, 2010

On Setting and Meeting Goals...

When I first started running distance races, my goals were simple: never walk and finish the race. These were pretty easy to attain, since the longest distance I have done is a half marathon. However, as I have started to run more, my goals have gotten more specific. There is always either exhilaration in meeting a goal or disappointment to some level when a goal is not met.

I ran in my first 10k on Saturday and was excited to do so. After thinking about my summer of running, finding out I'm anemic, and then being put on iron pills and feeling stronger, I knew I could turn out a good time for this race. I ran quite a few miles leading up to the race, but decided not to run at all the day before it. I have always ran 1 mile the day before a race, no matter what distance the race was. My goal heading into the race was 49-something. This would be about 8-minute miles, close to the speed I was running last year before my stress fracture.

I am happy to report that I achieved my goal! According to my Garmin, my race time was 49:48, an 8:01 pace. I was so happy that I ran well in the hot and humid water, out in the sun. There was not hardly any shade along the route. There were 500 runners between the 5k and 10k, and I was the 3rd female in for the 10k and got 1st in my age group. Not that the competition was amazing or anything, but it still feels good to have a good race where I was so happy with the result. It has been a hard summer in terms of running, and this made things look so much better again. After my run today, I was thinking how happy I am after running. It is definitely something I am thankful I can do.

Thursday, August 12, 2010


I've been running outside many days this summer, and, therefore, enduring the awful heat and humidity the Midwest has endured. Yesterday, though, when I was getting to ready to run in the late afternoon, I had no desire to be out in the hot sun. Instead, I got in my car and drove to the gym and hopped on the treadmill.

My goal was to do 7 miles at 7:50ish pace, and 3 more at whatever pace I could run at in preparation for my 10k on Saturday. I accomplished my first goal, running 7 miles in 55 minutes and realized that I had to get off the treadmill to get some water. I was so thirsty. When I got back on to complete my remaining three miles, my infusion site started to itch. I continued to run, only to realize that the white, round thing that sticks to my skin was coming up. I looked at it and realized it was completely out. My sweatiness had taken its toll on my pump site.

I carry extra pump supplies with me, so I went and put in a new infusion site and all was well again. However, I started thinking about my luck with the adhesive white circles this summer. I have had more of them fall out this summer than ever before. Is it due to the heat and running in it, and sweating in it? I'm thinking that is the reason.

Being a person who is cold 99.9% of the time and who can often be spotted in a jacket or sweatshirt in mid-summer, it is weird to say this, but I am looking forward to some cooler temperatures. You'll probably have to remind me of this statement in another month or two, but right now, a temperature in the 60s or low 70s would be welcomed by me with open arms.

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Another Race in the Books and a Funny Medal to go Along with It

This morning I ran the Epworth Town and Country 8k (5 mile) Road Race. It is a super small race - there were only 250 that ran, and half ran the 2 mile route. It was held in rural Iowa, about 25 minutes from the city where my parents live. Most people think Iowa and think "flat!" but this race (and the Bix, too) prove that theory wrong.

The race started at 8 a.m., so I got up at 5 to have my pre-race breakfast. Even though I slept like crap and was tired, I knew I had to stay up and occupy my time somehow. I left for the race at 7:05 and got there are 7:30, checked in, did some stretching, pulled up my iPod mix that I wanted to listen to, and started to run when the gun went off.

The temperature at the beginning of the race were excelled - low 70s, but they crept up as the race progressed. It was not horrible, though. I went out and felt good, visualizing crossing the finish line in 39-something (my "everything is wonderful and working 110% well" goal). My first mile was 7:33, followed by 7:49, 8:30, 8:55 and then 8:40. Everything is logged in my Garmin watch, which happens to be packed away right now, so I may be a few seconds off. My final time was 40:21. I got 2nd place in my age group (20-29) and a medal.

The medal, instead of having something running-related on it, like most would think, had 2 academic books and what appeared to be the Olympic torch. It wasn't engraved or anything. When I got it, I had to laugh. It made me think I won a Quiz Bowl or the National Geography Bee, not placed in a road race. I'll have to post a picture later to see what you all think!

I'm going back to Illinois right after I eat lunch - lots to do. Tomorrow I hope to log a nice, long run in preparation for my marathon.

Have you ever received any weird/funny medals for running races?

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Night Running

I am a creature of habit, especially during the school year. I set my alarm to the same time, follow the same routine, eat the same foods for breakfast and lunch and most dinners, exercise at the same time everyday, and go to bed at about the same time. During the summer I am not quite so anal, but during the school year it is a bit ridiculous.

Since I'm back in Iowa for a few days, I decided I wanted to mix some things up. I am running an 8k (5 mile) race on Saturday so I knew Friday would be a very light day. Today I got up and had lots of errands and other things to do, including going to the spa, and didn't get my run in. Therefore, I decided I would go running tonight, after my nail polish had fully dried. I wouldn't want to ruin a perfectly good pedicure!

I drove to my normal parking spot where I run and started out at about 9:45. I run a 5-mile out and back route along a nice street that is fairly busy. It is interesting how much I noticed at night compared to when I have run this route during the day. I learned many things...

The Good:
  1. The temperature was cool - 73 degrees and, of course, the sun had already set so it was not warm at all. Perfect running weather.
  2. Hearing the bugs/insects. I am not an animal person at all, but I did enjoy hearing all the noises. I usually run with my iPod, but decided not to tonight.
  3. Not obsessing over my times. Since I have gotten my Garmin Forerunner, I feel like I am constantly looking at it to see how fast I am going. At night, I have to turn on the back light, which I didn't really feel like doing. So I just ran. I heard my Garmin beep every mile, which was all I needed. I didn't post a blistering fast time or anything, but it was a nice run.
  4. Relaxation. My run tonight was so relaxing. I feel in such a good mood.

The Bad:

  1. My stomach. I ate more food today than usual and could feel it all in my stomach during the run. Now I realize even more why races are always held in the morning. My stomach couldn't take it!
  2. Darkness. I didn't really think about lighting being an issue before I ran, but it was. Some parts of the route were well lit, but about 2 miles was not. I did not want to trip on any sidewalks so it felt like I was picking up my feet incredibly high. It was also kinda hard to slow down for every dip in the sidewalk where the sidewalk meets the street - which there are many of on this route.
  3. Cars. I kept feeling like I had to look around every time I crossed a street to make sure no cars were going to be in my running line, which made for multiple pauses.

I hope to be able to run again at night soon. Do you like night running?

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Random Running Musings

An update on my life:
  • I think the iron pills are working...yes!! This past weekend I logged 15 miles on Sunday and played 2 softball games. FYI - I do not consider softball physical activity. It just means I was out in the sun for 3+ hours, enhancing my farmer tan.
  • I've been running at a forest preserve that has no trees, which I think is comical. It just has a lot of tall grass. It is relatively flat with some gently rolling hills. The path is 5.5 miles. The bad part is that there is no shade and I've been doing my first run of the day around noon, which is also the warmest part of the day. My times are getting better each day, too, which makes me very, very happy.
  • I can't believe it is August already. School starts three weeks from today. I need to have my classroom set up by the 15th. I feel like my summer is basically over. Back to the real world with busy days.
  • I'm going to Iowa to visit my parents/brother this weekend. I'm leaving tomorrow. On Saturday I'm running an 8k (5 mile) race. I'm looking forward to it. It'll be a PR for sure because I've never run a race that distance before. I'm hoping to run 41:00 or below.
  • Have you heard of Leadville? It is a 100-mile race in Colorado in a few weeks. My brother is running it this year. When he talks about his training, and then I look at mine, I feel like such a wimp. If you've ever done Leadville, I automatically think you are amazing.
  • Although my endurance is improving, I am still having a hard time running more than 10 miles at one time. Therefore, I've been splitting up my longer runs to make them into two shorter runs. For example, on Sunday I ran 7.5 before I played softball and then another 7.5 after softball, for a total of 15. I know that is the only way I'll be able to log in the adequate mileage I need right now for marathon training. However, I wonder how I'll do when I go out for my 20-miler in a few weeks. I'm nervous that I'm not training enough. Any thoughts?
  • Next weekend I'm going to southern Iowa to visit my Grandma. I love going to visit her so much. She lives in a small town and there is not much to do so we just talk and eat. This year I planned on visiting her when the next town over was holding their Sweet Corn Festival race. I signed up for the 10k. My aunt might run it, too, which would be neat. I'll log another PR for this race, as I've never done a 10k before.
  • Finally, a toe update: My big toenails are still holding on for dear life. I wish they would just fall off. It is so nasty. I have 3 toes that are so bruised. Thank god for nail polish. Also, I have 4 toes with blisters that just don't want to go away. I've logged a lot of miles this summer, both running and biking, and it has taken a toll on my feet.
  • I'm off to run 9 miles....many happy miles to you, too!