Tuesday, July 25, 2006

A Look Into My World

Too many thoughts are on my mind - too many thoughts so intertwined . .

Over 90° fahrenheit for 4 days in a row. It hasn't happened in this city for 25 years - it said so on the news - and the news is always right, right? People here don't have A/C - maybe Bill Gates does - and people who live in fancy neighborhoods. But even most of them likely don't. Why would you in a city that's usually between 45° and 65° F all year round? When it's been 92° outside, it's also 92° inside. You try to open the doors and windows early to let a breeze through and then close up the house to keep it cool. Inevitably, when you have 3 active children, the door opens and closes all day long and it gets hot inside. It's hard to sleep - even with a fan on. And then you still wake up all night long. It's crazy.

I haven't typed a blog in a week and my fingernails have grown so long it's hard to type.

I mentioned in a previous post that my birthday was last week. We drove down the hill to have a picnic at the beach the night before to celebrate. I even made BBQ ribs - yummy. The kids and I picked blackberries the next day and made a pie. It's still a little early for blackberries - they're more plentiful in August. The kids were very diligent, though, and found some berries up behind the house. Blackberries are like weeds here - they grow everywhere. I don't like cake a whole lot so pie was a great birthday dessert. I think the most favorite part of my birthday was coming home from the gym. I took my 8-yr-old with me and we walked up to the gym to run on the indoor track. When we got home, my 5 & 10 yr. olds had decorated the house with ribbons, balloons, and hand-drawn banners. They were so excited - it was really cute. My 10-yr-old even opened up itunes, found a song I had just purchased from itunes, and added it to my playlist (Collide, by Howie Day), and had it playing when we walked in the door.

I've been running at the gym a lot since it's been so hot, and since I haven't been sleeping well, it's hard to get up and outside early when it's not so hot. Last Wednesday I got inspired reading about DGC's treadmill PR. I headed up to the gym and did a 10k workout. I can't really call it that 'cause I took a break in the middle. I did the first 5k @ 7:30 pace. Then I walked for a minute. I did the next 5k starting @ 7:20 pace and evenly cut it down to just below 7 minute pace by the end. I was sooo excited. It helped tremendously that Peter Gabriel's 'Salsbury Hill' came on my ipod right at the end - I was getting pretty tired. I remember telling Joe a week or two ago that the good thing about a treadmill is that you can't cheat on a workout - it forces the pace.

The next day was my birthday when I had my 8-yr-old at the indoor track. I intended to run easy. The track is something like 20 laps to a mile. The laps go by so fast, and the track is banked, so it's kinda fun. But you almost can't help going fast - especially when other people are on the track 'cause it's like roadkill during a race. However, I was sore from the day before, so I was planning on taking it easy. I forgot I brought the rabbit with me. The rabbit's name is 'Sydney' - named after the 2000 Sydney Olympics when they announced the city as the site several years prior to 2000. We should've known then and there that the child would love sports. Anyhow . . . she'd stop @ the drinking fountain on the track - when she'd see me approaching, she'd get a big grin on her face and bolt around the corner, taunting me to chase her. I'd try to catch her 'til she'd tire, take a water break, and repeat the process. It was a great 3 mile fartlek workout. I took Friday off, and ran an early and easy 5 on Saturday. I took the kids to the lake for several hours Thursday, Friday, and Saturday because it was so hot. Sunday I had a 12 mile run scheduled. I headed out just before 5 am. The first 6 miles were great - I even got to see one of the cruise ships come into the bay and run through the sprinklers in the park. At 6 miles I suddenly got tired. I stopped to stretch and walked a bit. I ran a little more, then decided I'd had enough. I walked a half mile home, and ended my run at only 8 miles. I brought in the Sunday paper and went to sleep. I spent the next day and a half with nausea, a BAD headache and sensitivity to light. I'm not sure if it was a minor migraine or just too much heat and sun. It was no fun.

I was able to lift weights and run an easy 4 on the treadmill again last night and then we took the kids to the pool and my husband snuck in a few laps while we played. The 2 mountain bike duathlons he had scheduled this summer were both canceled, so now I think he's training for a triathlon instead. I think I'm jealous. But truly I have more running goals that I need to meet before a tri. I just really want to swim more and I have a hard time with it. I think I need a coach. Maybe after our vacation next month.

After all this time on the treadmill, I've become fascinated by it as a tool for training. I've run on treadmills before - in fact my college degree is in exercise physiology and I'm a certified athletic trainer - just not doing anything with that knowledge to earn money right now. (It sure comes in handy sometimes for training, though.) But other than the fact that the treadmill has umpteen hundred functions and settings for use - I'm noticing other stuff. I never expected to have it help me with pacing - and I do much faster workouts than when I'm on the track or the road. I have the perfect opportunity to practice my chi running when I'm running in one place. (If you ever see the book, it's a great read.) I can stare at myself in the mirror and watch my form. When I set the treadmill on the lap program, I can focus on something different every lap - stride, posture, footstrike, etc - it makes it go by pretty fast. I never think about that stuff when I'm on the road. I don't think I'd survive if I didn't have my ipod, though. It amazes me the amount of multi-tasking that goes on there - running without falling off, listening to my ipod, watching the tv up ahead of me while still not falling off, reading the closed-caption while I'm watching the tv, and then focusing on my form and my pace and gawking at all the other people around me on the other treadmills as I stare into the mirror. It's really fascinating.

More life at my house . . . the Tour is over - great year . . . the Mesa Falls marathon has an updated website - I'm getting excited for it just reading the course description. I've enjoyed looking at the badwater webcast - thanks to Angie's link the other day - another year in the books. The temperature finally cooled off today - to 85°. Trail passes to Mt. St. Helens are a hot commodity. I just finished a challenging read - really made me think about society in a different way. And while I'm doling out trivial details - for dinner tonight . . . chicken breast cooked in minced garlic and olive oil, tilapia - marinated and pan fried in lime juice, garlic, salt, cilantro, and sugar, boiled purple cabbage, and gluten free spinach-rice pasta tossed with finely shredded sheep's milk cheese. Bon appetite!


13akbal said...

OMG! How the heck did I miss all that.. dinner was yummy though.

IHateToast said...

how did i miss it was your birthday? probably because i read blogs after work and my mind is numb and dumb.
we don't have a/c or heat and we're in the subtropics. there are 6 weeks where life is really hard, but hey... we try to be sustainable. we could have $$ bills or open windows with a few flies. that's a no brainer. but modern houses are made like ovens. bricks?!?!? what were they thinking?

your squibbins did a good job. iTunes? Banners? do they love their mommy or what?!

careful with the iPod and the tread. i broke my second when i dropped it (not good) and it slammed into the wall behind the tread (really not good). screen broke but still played tunes. had to memorize the menus and clicks.

JustRun said...

MORE running goals before a tri? I know it's all relative but if I could hold a sub 7:00 pace for even a mile, I would be thrilled!

Also, that dinner sounds good. Next time, invite me, will ya? :-)

Sarah said...

Dinner sounds yummy! : )

My husband is into chirunning (he's read the book and watched the dvd). He showed me some of the techniques and I do think there's something to it.

So glad the temps are back to normal!

D said...

I need to move where you are with those typical temperatures being in the range you noted...perfect. I agree w/you on the treadmill thing - it is a great training tool. I used to do a lot more treadmill running, but the Y treadmills had no airflow around them so I gave it up. I finally decided to buy a new treadmill and what a difference. They also are good for your joints and bones - keeps us off of the concrete so much! I'm envious that your kids run w/you. My daughter won't run w/me...she says I'm too fast for her - funny!

Sarah Elaine said...

Wow... that sounds hot!

Happy (belated) birthday! A blackberry pie, with berries picked by the kids sounds like a wonderful way to celebrate.

I have opened the link to chi running and will check it out after I send this comment. Look intriguing...

Robb said...

I'm interested in Chi Running. My wife has a bum knee and her doctor suggested she consider Chi Running. She asked me what it was and I had to confess that I hadn't a clue...until I noted your ref. here today. I'm glad I popped in.

If you have any insight...or further info can you email it to me at robbcusack@hotmail.com

Anne said...

Those little details from your birthday -- the decorations and the iTunes selection will be something you remember forever. I think I may too. You have such a wonderful family, it sounds like. And when I'm finally able to run, I'm starting on a treadmill. Such a forgiving surface and, yes, it'll help me regain a sense of pace. Our gym, though, seems to heat up despite the AC

Josh said...

No A/C? Yikes! It's been in the 80's and 90's here and my neighborhood had an 8 day blackout. What a nightmare...

Happy belated birthday. Mine was yesterday... Go Leo's!

The headache and sensitivity to light was probably due to the heat... you're just not used to working out in those temps... It's really tough. Zaps you.

Jennifer said...

oh No AC-I remember those days from when I lived in New York- we only needed it a few days a year and those days were awful..I remember trying to sleep with a fan blowing warm air on me...now in Texas we use AC practically all year!

iliketoast said...

i can remember days like that when it is hot in and out and there is no escape .... apart from the pool the movies were a great option because those were air conditioned

Jessica Deline said...

Happy belated birthday. I can't believe how hot it has been everywhere. Even up in Seattle and Oregon. And dang that dinner sounded delicious!!

angie's pink fuzzy said...

my bloglines didn't notify me of a new post, so I'm late!

sounds like a beautiful week of running, albeit hot and tiring. that dinner sounds fantastic. and happy birthday again! (that description of the balloons and banners made me smile)