Monday, September 26, 2011


I am still a very slow runner.

That being said, I love making progress. Yesterday, I went on a five-mile run with my sister Jenn and our nephew Alex. My run pace is about Jenn's walk pace. That's not embarassing. But whatever; I'm still moving.

And that's the thing; I've gotten so much better. In the beginning, I couldn't run for even a minute without feeling exhausted. We were out for well over an hour, and I only took three walk breaks. Bam; five miles.

What's more, I did that the day after running a 5K. That's eight miles in one weekend, and today? Yeah. Not sore. Can't hardly believe that. So here's to progress. Here's to improvement. Here's to positive change.

And none too soon; I'm feeling under the weather, so it's a good thing I got my long run in before the nastyass snuck in. Send good thoughts of healing my way; I don't want the death plague to interrupt my training.

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Midtown 5K

This morning, September 24, I ran another 5K. And had an amazing time.

I like this run length. Having consistently run or walked or run/walked several 5Ks over the course of the past year, I've learned a lot. I've also seen a lot of progress. Like back in the beginning, the first one I ever did. That was the Mad Dash to Madison, the race associated with Blackhawks Training Camp. It was great fun ... but it was also the longest three miles of my life. I had no idea what I was getting into, apparently. I could hardly run any of it. I was in pain the next night. I was, quite simply, not in good enough shape to take on a race like that.

But I kept going ... I kept trying. I started this endeavor pulling in a 16 minute mile, wondering if I would ever consistently do better than that. My eye was on a 15-minute mile; if I could just do that, I'd be happy.

Back in March, I started to do that. Then I got injured, and I started the long crawl back to wellness.

I will never take the ability to run, walk or otherwise move my body for granted.

Anyway, today I ran a 5K. I got lost on it, so I don't consider my official time a true official time. I do, however, consider it an accomplishment, because I actually ran the full race for the second time ever. It felt amazing. I had great music on my iPod, including "This is Your Life" by Switchfoot; "Born to Run" by The Boss; "Where the Streets Have No Name" by U2; and "Unwritten" by Natasha Bedingfield, which oddly enough was playing as I crossed the finish line. Amazing.

Anyway, I finished with a time of 43:43, and a pace of 14 minutes and five seconds per mile. That's a little slower than the 5K I did on September 5, but no matter. I ran; I finished. That's the only goal.

Oh, and to have fun with these amazing, crazy women. Here's to a great, productive and active day!
A gathering of running buddies: Pam, Shelly, Dee, Meg and me.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Weighing in and other tales

Lately, it seems like life is just whooshing past me. Work is amping up in crazy fashion. I've been having a "stop the world I wanna get off" couple of weeks. Blargh.

Controlling my food intake has been difficult, too. I take comfort in food, and I've needed comfort lately. Plus, there have been a lot of birthday-related celebrations and the like, so it's been cake and fried deliciousness and I think people might be trying to kill me.

My last weigh-in? No surprise, it's not stellar: 208.8. That was Tuesday night. As if my slow-down weren't already bad enough, it seems I've come to a screeching halt. Which sucks all the more because my running has amped up!

Not sure how I feel about that, but here's where I think I'm at: Poop but fine. I want to take off the weight, but oddly enough, I'm feeling pretty awesome. I have consistently stuck with my running program for the 15K in November for three weeks. Doesn't sound like much, but my run length has increased a lot, in my opinion. Instead of three half-hour or two-mile runs each week, I have one two-mile run, one three-mile run, and one five-mile run. And they will continue to get longer as I get closer to the race. My appetite rages, but the weight seems content to stick. Okay. Be that way; I'm just gonna keep running.

Which I can do, because as of this moment, I am finished with physical therapy. I graduated last night. I'm still nervous, and I need to be very mindful of the Achilles, but for now, all systems are "go".

The really cool thing last night was that after that final therapy appointment, I went to my car to head home and just as the engine roared up, the radio started playing the intro to "Born to Run". I sat in the parking lot and cried a little; thanks, Bruce, I think perhaps I was. It was meaningful, like a message from the universe that I am supposed to follow this path, wherever it leads.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Lost in the Woods: The accidental long run

So this week the training starts to amp up mileage. A three-mile run was scheduled yesterday (Monday) with a two-miler midweek and a long run (four miles, but that's long when you've never done it) on Saturday. Last night, Linda and I met at the forest preserve to do our three miles.

And we got lost.

We were running and talking and enjoying the scenery, and it didn't even occur to us until we were pretty far off course that we were ... well, off course. By about a half mile. When the Forest Preserve Police showed up to close the joint down, we still had a mile or so to go before we got to our cars.


Yes, I was sore and out of energy. (Thankfully, we had brought sufficient water along.) If I'd known, I would have packed some Sport Beans. But we did it! We got our long run out of the way early! So now, we don't have to do a four-mile run on Saturday ... although I might go for it, anyway.

After our run, we went here for sustenance. ZOMG, that much delicious can't be good for you ... but it is. Dark chocolate with white chocolate chips and mango on top ... seriously. Want more now, please.

Anyhoo, I'm sore today. Woke up feeling like I'd been hit by a truck, but I'm chalking some of that up to not rolling out quite enough yesterday, and not getting enough sleep. Yep; that's my story and I'm sticking to it.

OH! Before I forget, last night at the gym I had my Video Gait Analysis. In about a week, I should have information about the way I run and how I can improve it to stave off injury. I would love some guarantees, but barring that, I'm just gonna keep runnin'! Will share the results when I know more.

So what I've learned is this: 1) the body is capable of more than it thinks it is, but sometimes you on

Saturday, September 10, 2011


Well, kids, we've completed Week Two of the for-real training for the Hot Chocolate 15K. It's still doable; after all, Week One was pretty much what I've been doing all along - three runs of two miles in one week. This week, we kicked it up a little bit. Monday was a three-miler (the Birthday 5K), Wednesday two miles and today, three again. I was a little worried this morning, because running three miles means I'm up kinda early. Really early, for a Saturday. But I did it! Feeling pretty good about that.

In fact, last week I did not miss any of my training or exercise. Two yoga classes, two strength training classes, three runs and one blissful hour of cardio dance. Yep; done.

Next week is much of the same, but we're ramping up pretty steadily from here on out. Monday morning is going to dawn pretty early, because I have three miles to get in before I head to work. Wednesday is two miles again, while a week from today brings me a four-miler. Can I do this? Am I nuts? Yeah, probably. But I gotta try.

My legs are sore. My head is tired. And yet, I feel sorta ready. (Sorta.) We're heading into this territory of beyond. Beyond anything I've done before. Beyond anything I thought I could do. I worry before and during every run about injury. But for the first time in pretty much ever, I'm pressing forward, choosing to take a chance rather than play it safe. It would be easier to stay home, curl up on the couch and remain un-injured.

That's just not me. Somehow, over the course of the past year, I've become this person who can't choose to be sedentary.

Nope. Gotta run.

Monday, September 5, 2011

Schaumburg Shuffle Birthday 5K

On one hand, I really wanted to snuggle in bed this morning. All morning. Who wouldn't? The air was crisp and cool, and breakfast in bed would ordinarily have been the order of the day. After all, it's my birthday!

But not this year. No, today I was registered to run a 5K. And run I did.

I don't know quite how it happened. Maybe it was the chilly weather, as opposed to the heat I've been "enjoying" all summer. Maybe it was realizing that it's my birthday and I may as well see what I'm capable. Maybe I was finally able to get out of my head. But the end result was me, running the entire 3.1 miles, for the first time since the run bug caught me.

I'm still in shock. Seriously. I can't believe I did that! I'm still among the slower runners - 42:41 for the race - but that is actually almost two minutes faster than the 5K I ran last weekend. Slow by most people's standards, it was a ground-breaking day for me.

Not gonna lie to ya ... I think part of it was that it happened today. This would have been my 10th wedding anniversary. I started today very mindfully deciding to do something I never would have tried 10 years ago, and I did the best I've ever done. I took on a challenge and pressed on to the end, still feeling strong when I crossed the finish line. It feels good. Hell, it feels amazing.

Yeah, sometimes I'm still bitter over being left. But it's never for long, because eventually, I always find myself back out there, trying something new, becoming Maggie. Life (and my ex) handed me a lot of stuff I wasn't sure I could handle. And I ran right past it all, on my way to today.

Friday, September 2, 2011

Weigh in, laughter, and could you please pass the tomatoes?

I weighed in on Tuesday. I wasn't quite sure what to expect. Of course, I never am. Anyhoo, down almost a pound and a half - 207.2. That's .2 less than the broken scale said I was, so definitely good news!

Last night, I saw the ortho doc. Things are looking good; he doesn't want to see me again for a long time. The first question he asked was, "Are you still running?" And little did I know, he already knew the answer. He is Facebook friends with one of my running buddies, and saw the pictures of our weekend race! Dirty booger. So it's a good thing I said yes, right? Anyway, he's advised me not to push too hard, and told me to keep up the hip and leg exercises, to avoid a setback. Am I nervous? Yes. But I'm also pseudo-confident. Training begins in earnest now for the half, and I am excited!

And in dietary news, the tomatoes from my sister's garden are just divine. Little yellow suckers, bursting with flavor. I am addicted. Last night after the doc, I stopped by Dad's and traipsed through the woods to pick some 'maters. I think they might be nature's perfect food. (And as an aside, I'm really quite regular.)

That's all for now, folks. Hoping to make it through the weekend without gaining 10 pounds!