Tuesday, January 31, 2006
Update bulletin at G-Maps: 1/28/06 Serverside Permalinks! Your routes will now be saved in a serverside database. This should mean that all you folks who have superlong routes that were getting cut off by browser limitations on the length of the querystring should see your problems resolved. Note that all existing permalinks and tinyurls will still work.
Monday, January 30, 2006
A lot of fun, and after my 3-day rest I felt wonderful!
Today's ride took me, on my virtual bike ride across the nation, into the spectacular Crater Lake National Park in southern Oregon... my first short-term goal and a heaven-sent place to rest up from "serious" biking for a couple days while doing some easy jogging, bike-cruising, and hiking. Please, please check the link to find out why I'm so enthralled! /Also check my sidebar link, Bike America under Training-Fantasy Maps, to see where I've been. In 1971 Steve was working in nearby Chemult, OR, for the summer; I was in Maryland, after our second year at Michigan State University, and we pretty much fell in love via mail that summer. I "rode" through Chemult on my way to Crater Lake.
Sunday, January 29, 2006
It's the same here outside of Apache Junction where I am. I wasn't here the last time there was measureable rain (defined as 0.01 inch), which was October 18. We've been here since Nov. 22 and I'd give a lot for a rainstorm.
I'm looking enviously at the green band "back home." Garrett County, MD is even within the area that may see thunderstorms today. ~Sigh~
If it would rain once in a while I'd be so much less likely to go out breaking my butt training all the time. I've deduced that my mystery ailment is probably overtraining syndrome. Duh.
Friday, January 27, 2006
Guess I'm fighting something off.
I do this.... I go hard for several days, or intervals of several days, then I crash and feel like I'm getting the flu. Despite my IronWoman veneer, I seem to be some kind of fragile wraith who can't go hard more than one day in a row.
I should know this from many training seasons. I can only train every other day, or two days in a row at most, without a rest day!!! Maybe especially considering I just ran a marathon......
Let's see, including and since RNR AZ:
Sunday: Marathon 15 minutes faster than usual, without my usual taper.
Tuesday: Biked something like 20 or 30 miles.
Wednesday: Tried to run, bailed, biked something like 16 miles.
Friday: Ran 7 miles.
Saturday: Hiked 5 mountainous miles.
Monday: Ran 2 miles, biked almost 44. Started pushups and crunches.
Tuesday: Ran 5.5 miles. More pushups and crunches.
Wednesday: Strenuous 5-mile mountain hike. Walked 2 miles a couple hours later.More pushups and crunches.
Friday (today): Caved.
Thursday, January 26, 2006
So I've been pondering some things for a while. Last week I posted about my need for feedback, and how I feel when I do or don't get it. Lots of people responded that they crave it, too. Right around the same time, Cliff posted about how someone told him the life of an atheist is easier than the life of a Christian. And Nancy posted some of her own thoughts on the existence (or not) of God.
And these three posts came together in my mind and took a new shape.
OK. Where to start.... Well, you gotta review these other three posts to get where I'm coming from.
So does God need people to tell Him how great He is and how much they love Him? No. God doesn't need anything. But He likes it when we do these things. And when I thought about this, I thought, "Bingo!" Because, if there is a God (I believe in God but I'm being broadminded here) and if the stories are true, then humans are made to be reflections of what God is like ("Let us make man in our image and likeness"), which implies, since we have emotions, that God has them too. He can be sad, and happy, angry, and excited, and proud, and concerned. And if, as we are also told, He is a loving father, then He is subject to all of these feelings towards us, just as we are towards our own children. Hey, when we have children, we think of producing a being who will embody, to a certain extent, who and what we are. And we love it when they tell us they love us, when they come for hugs and affection, when they ask us for help, when they show pleasure in gifts we've given them. We are sad when they ignore us or rebel against us. Go back to the idea of being made in God's image..... we have these feelings because God has them! God likes positive feedback! Bingo! That's why we like feedback. I feel a lot better now.
Is it harder to be a Christian than an atheist? I guess maybe it depends in part on where you live... in some places you can get killed for openly practicing or professing Christianity. But in general, in this neck of the woods we're allowed to practice whatever religion we want as long as we don't force differently-thinking people to go our way or hurt them when they don't.
Now, that's a knotty question. Maybe I won't get into it because that's not what I'm about in this post. I thought about it a lot at Christmastime but that dust has settled for another year or so.
I think it's harder to follow many defined modes of behavior than not to follow them.... it's harder to follow a diet than not to; harder to follow a budget than not to; harder to follow a training plan than not to.
But my take on whether it's actually hard to lead a Christian life is, a great majority of people in America and and the rest of the developed world live their lives demonstrating Judeo-Christian values whether they believe in a personal, living Judeo-Christian God or not. Most people are kind, and conscientious, and reliable, and helpful, and they don't steal things or kill people or deliberately hurt people physically or spiritually. It's not all that hard to live this way because it's the most rewarding and the least likely to lead to trouble. And because.... back up a couple paragraphs..... these are attributes of the Judeo-Christian God in whose image, it is said, we are created. God is kind, and reliable (although a lot of folks would say they have to look real hard for that one), and helpful, and He doesn't kill or hurt people or willingly cause us grief or pain. The big difference is, we screw up. This is not a divine attribute.... this is a gift God gave us, the choice to do what we want and not be bound to act in a rigidly prescribed way, like wild animals. I'm thinking of a conversation between Laura Ingalls Wilder and her father in "The Long Winter." Laura wanted to be free like a muskrat, and her pa told her, much to her wonderment, that muskrats are not free. Look at that muskrat den, he told her. That's the only way a muskrat can make a den. Everything a muskrat does is because that's the way a muskrat must do things. For them, there is no other way. Humans are different.
God made us this way, free to decide, because He wanted us to choose to love Him, and go His way willingly. It wouldn't mean anything to God or to us if we had to do things in a certain way. Like our kids. We love it when they behave in ways that show they have absorbed our values, because it shows they believe in us and love us and want to be like us. This makes us happy.
Sometimes we do the wrong thing and that does hurt or kill us or cause us grief or pain. Sometimes pain and grief and death come to us even if we haven't done anything to bring it on ourselves. That is because it is not a perfect world, and sometimes we are in the wrong place at the wrong time, and sometimes stuff just happens. And in general, God does not do flashy magic tricks to bail us out of our mistakes or compensate for imperfections in the world. The world is a work in progress.
That brings up the heated question....was it created or did it evolve? Personally..... I find it hard to understand how either one could happen except in the presence of the other. I believe the two "theories" complement and complete each other as perfectly as male and female bodies, as surely as the outlines of the continents all fit together. I find it hard to contemplate that there could be any other answer.
Being Christian doesn't mean burning evolution-teaching schoolbooks or heckling women going into family-planning facilities or bombing abortion clinics or trying to persuade people to do anything by scaring or forcing them. These actions hurt people and therefore are not Christian actions. They also put a bad-looking pseudo-Christianity into the public eye.
Whether or not a person is a believer in any God or religion, what can it hurt to consider "What would Jesus do?" or for that matter "What would Buddha do?" To emulate a kind, peace-loving philanthropist can do no harm.
And even if one is not certain whether someone is listening or caring, no harm can be done by a quick, "Thank you, Lord."
Tuesday, January 24, 2006
Running, combined with laundry:
2 miles while the washer was running
3.5 while the dryer was drying
Also ran up and down the short hill (about 0.1 mile) to and from the laundry (except when I had the basket)
Then went for about a 45 minute hike in the desert w/ Steve and Journey.
Boy, I just want credit for everything, don't I?
TIME Crunches: I'm working on getting all my blog friends "fed" into Bloglines. I'm combining my Across the Nation and Run to Florida blogs into this one. I've got my G-Maps route figured out again, at least temporarily... it will accomodate a longer route if I map it in a smaller zoom that doesn't include every twist and turn in the road at small scale. How long it will let me keep that up remains to be seen. Anyway, it's back in my sidebar.
It's a really fun idea to look up all the places I "travel through" and tell about them and post pictures but.... it takes SO MUCH time. Even with satellite internet, my old decrepit laptop is slow to load and I can spend an hour on one post if I include locale research too. So after a couple more days I'm going to take them down and just map the mileage "as if" with the link in my sidebar, keeping an eyeball on the atlas with occasional posts here in my main blog about interesting stuff.
WIND crunch: When I opened the door this morning the wind yanked it out of my hand, banged it against the front wall, and practically knocked the trailer over. Santa Ana's are blowing hard in Southern Cal, and the cirular animation on the Weather Channel shows that's what we're getting, here, too. And I biked in it yesterday! PTL!!!
It's actually supposed to RAIN tomorrow. I was thinking, I'd better go run today. But then I thought, it's so long since I've seen, heard, felt, and smelled rain, I might just thoroughly enjoy running in it.
NESTLE'S crunches: Not. I'm planning today's food. I may even put what I intend to eat all together in one place in the fridge. Like one of those mail-order diet systems. All laid out. Again, Commodore's post today helped with my conviction/conversion.
Monday, January 23, 2006
OK, responding to Commodore's Challenge!!
Ran: 2 miles with Journey (Year to date 55.8 miles)
Biked: 43.8 miles (Year to date 124.7 miles)
The ~WIND~ was horrendous. Weather.com said it was ENE at 10mph but I don't believe it. ENE, sure (as evidenced by how hard I worked on my return trip after riding SW on the way out...) 10mph, no way. I just kept my thoughts on Barbara and Larry Savage riding across South Dakota.... you gotta read Miles from Nowhere.
And my bike got its first flat tire. It's gone 1650 miles (I think... somewhere right around there)since I got it late last spring, without a flat. I had practiced changing a flat a jillion times last fall in preparation for ChesapeakeMan, but I haven't done it since then, and I was all thumbs. But I got it changed and went on my way. I didn't even go home for safekeeping.... I went my intended distance before I turned around. The new tube held. Yay!
All in all, not an ordinary day.
I have given up trying to map my cumulative biking and running mileage. At least until I find a map program that will let me. There have to be programs out there other than G-Maps, where you can log a long trip.
I'm also working on my sidebar. I'm going to keep my daily (sometimes not daily, but you know what I mean) and year-to-date mileage current in my daily posts, rather than in my sidebar. That way I don't have to edit my template to update it every workout.
And I want to put my friends' blogsites in my sidbar, under the "I Love My Computer" cartoon that I've already put there, thanks to Nancy's instructions. I will work on that another day. Note my photo of Journey in the sidebar, too!
And now I'm gonna rest the remainder of the evening.
Or you haven't been able to because I can't get the Permalink function of G-Maps to work. After I update the line indicating my route and distance I click Permalink to save the new location and.... nothing happens. 99% of the time. This is the same thing that was happening when I used to have trouble clicking on the "Add Image" button to add a picture to my blog posts. Turned out the problem there was my popup blocker. But (a) my popup blocker is turned off and (b) the URL change effected by creating a Permalink isn't a popup function anyway.
I can't figure out what I'm doing wrong, or what I've done right on the rare occasion that it works right and saves the new map.
I am going crazy.
Sunday, January 22, 2006
This morning I was all excited to start on Commodore's No Limits "training camp." I asked Steve what he had in mind to do for the day and he said, "Watch the game." (Pittsburgh Steelers, who, it turns out, won and are going to the Superbowl.) So, if he was watching football, I would get to bike all afternoon and not feel guilty!
So I went to church and got home at noon, sat to update my blogs/email, and Steve said, "Wanna go to Wal-Mart?" But what about the game? "I don't have to watch the kick-off, I can watch whatever's left when we get home." So we went to Wal-Mart and I did the grocery shopping and we got home about 3pm and I put the groceries away and by then I felt whupped. And I had a bowl of ice cream and a Corona with lime and sat in the sun reading Miles from Nowhere, which I finally broke down and ordered for myself after wishing umpteen times in the past couple of years that I had my own copy to read and re-read whenever I want.
I'm afraid I succumbed to the Common Man Syndrome. Faced with feeling like I didn't want to go biking after all, I bailed and just read about it instead.
Tomorrow. Definitely tomorrow.
OK. I got an idea. Maybe it's kinda like a new game of Tag.
Since we all love love it when we get lots of comments (and hits if we have a counter), how about we have a day of just going to all our friends' blogs and saying "Hi!" ?? And see if each of us gets a new record? (Except I've seen, like, 30+ comments on some people's regular posts.... hard to top that.)
But just have a day of making sure all our friends get lots and lots of "Hi's" on their blog. It'll be "Say Hi To Your Friends Day." It could take a few days... some folks won't even see this for a few days. And some people are really snowed with other things and just can't go to a zillion blogs. But say "Hi!" to them anyway!
Wow.... What a great response! Thanks for all the "Hi!" notes, everyone! Some new friends came, too! What fun!
Friday, January 20, 2006
I think I've figured it out.
It's about feedback.
I can't imagine how many emails I get in a day. I'm on about a dozen email lists, some with a hundred or more posts a day. And I do this blog thing. And I keep doing all of it more and more.
The more responses I get, via email or on my blog, the more successful I feel.
The more validated.
The more "noticed."
The more important.
The more liked.
Now the thing to work on is....
Why do I need so much feedback to believe I'm real?
Wednesday, January 18, 2006
Saddle Breakthrough: Fizik Arione.
Now all I have to do is find out who sells 'em around here. I could probably find one on eBay but if for some unfathomable reason I don't like it, I wouldn't be able to return it and would have to figure out how to sell it.
OTOH, I got a wetsuit on eBay for as much as this saddle will set me back, knowing the wetsuit wouldn't fit till I lost weight, and that it will be probably be early summer before I can wear it.
So maybe I'll look on eBay. Or maybe I'll look in Mesa....
Yesterday I took off my Bontrager Whatever saddle and put on the Terry Liberator I'd used while tri-training. It made me sore in the same places I was sore all summer. The Bontrager made me sore in other places. I've had it with saddle-soreness. It's one thing to be walking funny from a marathon which will go away in a day or so. But a bike saddle goes on and on.
Tuesday, January 17, 2006
OK. I'm thinking about simplifying my life. Here's the question:
Should I keep my separate Across the Nation and Run to Florida blogs, or just incorporate the info from them into my main blog here?
They aren't getting many hits or comments. I'm thinking, people already have plenty of blogs they're following without having multiple blogs per person.
To say nothing of keeping up 3 blogs myself.
"Across the Nation" is my virtual trans-America bike tour, to keep track of my training mileage with the perspective of where I could have ridden "if."
"Run to Florida" is a map of my goal to put in the miles from our home base in Western Maryland to Panama City Beach, FL, by the time IMFL arrives. Being as how IMFL is in Panama City Beach. Seemed like a logical way of getting from here to there, literally and figuratively.
What say you?
Sunday, January 15, 2006
I met up with a woman named Sue in the early miles and we ran the rest together, each of us pulling the other along at various times. She was running her first marathon just a couple months shy of her 60th birthday! It was something she wanted to to before she turned 60. She said early in the race that she hoped to finish. Afterwards she said she just might run the Lost Dutchman next month with me!!! Sue was awesome in her first marathon and I would have walked a lot more and run a lot slower without her. Especially right around the halfway mark, I went through a really bad stretch and thought, I better tell her to ditch me and go for it. But I took a couple Excedrin and an extra Succeed capsule and a calcium/magesium tablet (meant to take two but dropped one) and within half an hour I was feeling a lot better. For a while, anyway. :-) In the late miles we started getting ahead of and/or behind each other, and made a deal that whoever finished first would wait for the other. It turned out to be me after all. Sue came in about a minute and a half later and we hugged and clung to each other. It was just wonderful.
Anyway, seems like everyone had a great time, it did not rain, weather was super, and I am very, very happy.
Saturday, January 14, 2006
It has not rained here since October 18. So naturally, there's a 30% chance of showers tomorrow morning, clearing by 3pm. High of 63*, which is good, unless it rains, which will make it feel cold. I bought cheap gloves at the Expo.
Everyone repeat after me: It is not going to rain. It is not going to rain. It is not going to rain. It is not going to rain. You get the gist of it.... you can keep saying it yourself!
Joke: "I hope the rain keeps up."
"So it won't come down."
Friday, January 13, 2006
I think I'm ready to go. I still want to put some phone numbers into my cell phone, but other than that... We're leaving early tomorrow morning, since we have stuff to do in Phoenix, including the expo, and we'll spend the night nearby in Scottsdale with sis-in-law Michelle and her husband who are running the half.
There's a bunch of Bloggers going, and planning to meet up Sunday evening for dinner after the races. How cool is that? Elizabeth, Kurt, Jayhawk, Commodore, Tammy, and Tri-Mama.
All my gear is packed. Since runner-types like to read lists of other runner-types' race gear, here it is:
In a little bundle for race day, fastened together with my race-number belt:
1.One-piece tri suit (swimsuit style) as all-purpose undergear and top, with my name stuck on the front to get cheers from spectators
2.Shorts (my Ellie-May cutoffs), in the pockets of which are already safely placed:
b. tube of Vaseline
c. salt capsules
f. A package of peanut-butter-cheese crackers (I get hungry)
g.To be put in pockets race morning:
1) Cell phone
2) Gel flask -- it's ready in the fridge with the honey-homebrew already in it.
h. My name is stuck on a back pocket so I can get cheers from runners behind me, too
I'm WEARING my running shoes as soon as I get dressed to leave tomorrow morning.
I have sunscreen and PowerBars and Imodium for race morning.
I almost never wear sunglasses for running..... can't find mine anyway.
In a bag to stow for the finish:
1. Sweats and sweatshirt
3. Hand/face wipes
For overnight at sis-in-law's:
1. Cosmetic bag w/ toiletries, including shampoo and conditioner
2. Change of underwear
3. Shirt for post-marathon dinner with Bloggers (yeah, a bunch of Blogspot folks are getting together!)
In the truck so there's no way I can forget it: RACE CONFIRMATION CARD
Steve has parking info and course map.
And it's all set to go and I can't think of another thing. This is unreal.
Thursday, January 12, 2006
Actually I thought it was pretty neat, in an academic sort of way, after I was through them and realized I wasn't stung. It was something to see (and feel), that's for sure. I mean, it's not like the sky was black with them or anything, but it's definitely more bees than I've ever seen in one place at one time and was definitely a swarm on the move.
So I looked up "Killer Bees in Arizona" and sure enough, there are colonies of Africanized Honey Bees in this area. They've been identified in AZ since 1993. In fact, Arizona's first AHB fatality was a woman in Apache Junction. Which, as you may know from some of my posts, is the closest identifiable town, about 20 miles away.
Being as how I've had iffy reactions to regular bees and to fire ants and have an Epi-Pen, I guess I better carry it with me when biking and maybe running. I should, anyway, being as how there are bees all around anyway. Cripes, one more thing to carry...
Wednesday, January 11, 2006
As my fellow bloggers know, I am training for Ironman Florida 2006 (November 4.)
It appears we are going to spend the winter in Florida after that.
This means I will still be in the neighborhood for the Disney Marathon in January and the Gasparilla Distance Classic in February.
Not just the Disney Marathon itself and Gasparilla Distance Classic (marathon) itself but...
Dare I even THINK about IMFL (swim 2.4 miles, bike 112, run 26.2) in November, and the Goofy Challenge (run 13.1 miles on Saturday, 26.2 on Sunday) in January, and the Chrysler PT Cruiser Challenge (run 15K + 5K on Saturday, 26.2 on Sunday) in February?
Could a (by then) 55-year-old grandmother do that?
Or is that a recipe for disaster in the form of death or disability?
Or is it just Goofy?????
Monday, January 09, 2006
Wow, coming the day after the year's first run.... I'm totally on a roll.
Until you consider that it was January 8 before my year's first run.
Today I really wanted to do laps with measureable yardage, rather than that stationary rope-treadmill I invented for the splash pool here, so I went up to my mother-in-law's RV park, measured the pool at 20 yards long, and got in. 40 minutes, my watch set for 10-minute intervals, and I changed strokes each interval. Breast, Free, Back, Free. First time ever with bilateral breathing the whole time. At first I thought I was drowning but after a while I started to get the hang of it. My shoulder, which has given me grief since ChesapeakeMan, wasn't nearly as tricky when I breathed to both sides rather than just one.
Oh, wow... I had multiplied 20 yards by 33 laps and come up with 660 yards, but I forgot each lap was out-and-back, 40 yards... so that makes 1320 yards. Wow, that sounds better, for 40 minutes. That's much closer to my usual 45-50 min/mile pace. Don't ask me my 100-yd pace. Too much math...
Friday, January 06, 2006
Has anyone else had this type of thing?
It intermittently interrupts my athletic life for a week or so maybe once a month, not necessarily "that" time of month. (Yeah, I know, don't ask how old I am.)
This is one reason I'm a "sedentary marathoner." I get these symptoms:
Burning feeling in lungs on both inspiration and expiration
Shooting pains in muscles/joints
"Stinging" frontal/parietal headache (forehead and top of head), not relieved by Tylenol, aspirin, ibu, or Aleve -- no sinus congestion
Feel feverish and have chills, with no fever
Lack of motivation
Feeling of a lump in the throat
After a few days it goes away. I don't notice any of the symptoms (except the fatigue, malaise and lack of motivation) when actually running or biking. (Maybe I should run or bike all the time, then.)
I've had several workups for all of this over the last couple years. I tested positive for mycoplasma (walking pneumonia, while I was doing heavy-duty tri training) in spring of 2004 and took a course of Zithromax, and got better, temporarily.
It gets worse when I'm in a very dry climate, as I am now. But the only thing that actually went away in a more humid climate was the lump-in-throat feeling. I had a barium swallow and EGD for that last fall and it showed nothing.
It's really hard for me to go to a doctor when we're not "home," especially for things that might suggest a lot of testing away from my home doc. I'm just wondering, have any of my friends here had anything similar? I'm not looking for a blog-diagnosis, just anyone who's ever had or heard of anything like it.
Fibromyalgia? Simple mechanical stress from breathing hard in dry air? "Valley Fever?" (This is a fungal infection picked up from (usually) Southwestern dust.) Mycoplasma (walking pneumonia) that leeps flaring up? Has anyone else ever had anything like this? I had it before the Chicago Marathon last year, would have preferred to spend the day before the marathon in bed rather than at the Expo and dinner, ran the marathon anyway, about 30-45 minutes slower than I'd have otherwise expected. Now I've got RNR AZ coming up and am feeling punk... It's gotta have something to do with training. Overtaxing my immune system? My psych doc thinks maybe I'm suppressing fibromyalgia symptoms with exercise-induced endorphins, then when I go a few days w/o working out, the symptoms return. My psych doc is often very astute when it comes to symptoms affecting my athletic training.
Anyway.... anyone else???? Anything similar? It doesn't exactly stop me, just makes me back off for a few days or a week, then I'm good to go again. Weird.
Tuesday, January 03, 2006
Sounds like an oxymoron, but in my case it's kinda true.
On days I work out, if I work out, my run or bike is basically the only activity I do that day.
On days I don't work out, I hardly move. And there are as many of those days as there are workout days.
Maybe I take the dog ambling briefly in the desert. This hardly counts.
Or, maybe once a week, I go hiking (with Steve or with the campground hiking group.)
Question for everyone:
Not counting swim/bike/run/walk/weights or any kind of workout... just daily activity... like at work, or housework, or caring for kids, whatever is it that you do...
How much moving around do you actually do?
Monday, January 02, 2006
It may be nuts but it takes less guts....
Check out my new fantasy bike-ride blog to see my new nearly-totally-useless venture.
Except, as I've already mentioned in it a couple of times, I may really be planning something that could become actuality some day.
You have to start with the first post or it won't make any sense.