Sunday, September 30, 2007

10 Miles - A vote for Intervals

Good-day, Gentle reader!

Dad had his 6 month followup at Duke this past week, and things continue to go as well as we could possibly expect. The tumor continues to shrink. Function is returning as Dad works on PT and home tasks. He's now on the right ritalin / zoloft combo to have him alert and not overly napish. We're now trying a longer, slower taper to get him off the steriods. That's the next big challenge.

Bad news for the week: my Uncle David (by marriage on my Mom's side, so no genetic double-jeopardy) was finally diagnosed positive for lymphoma this week. He's been healthy as a horse his entire life, but has been confusingly sick the past month or two. Early diagnostics were unsure, but this has come in as a pretty confident diagnosis. He's now my number two honoree for my Team In Training efforts.

Yesterday's training run was 10 miles, and (as you read last time) I ran it doing 3:1 (3 minutes of running, 1 minute of walking) and it went amazingly well. Amazingly, astoundingly well. I haven't done 10 miles in a good while (*last* Disney marathon, possibly?) and I finished yesterday's in good shape, and could have easily done another mile or two. I ran negative splits (barely) - 54 minutes for the first 5 miles, and 53:15 for the last 5. I ran pretty solid 10:45 minute miles for all 10 miles. This translates to a 4:41 marathon time, which I would be tickled pink to run. My goal had been to run it in less than 5 hours, so this 10:45 discovery is far better than I had thought. (Good marathon pace calculator.)

Now the challenge remains to keep training at this level for the next 3 and some-odd months. I can't deny how effective running intervals was yesterday, so I'll be doing that for all my long runs from now on, and, over the next few months, work the intervals longer and longer.

Fundraising continues to rock along and rock my socks off. The folks in my life have been nothing short of amazingly generous in response to my request. I'm up to $2335. If you haven't contributed to the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society in support of my fundraising efforts yet, please do. It's for a great cause, I promise!

Saturday, September 22, 2007

8 miles - Intervals or Not

The title rang a bell as I typed it, and this post has nothing whatsoever to do with the Eminem film. Just in case you were confused.

This morning's run with the Team in Training group was 8 miles, and it thoroughly kicked my butt. (But in a good way.) I ran the first 18 minutes with my lovely TNT mentor Courtney in sight of the fast group, and it felt great. I started doing run/walk intervals after that. At the half-way point, I found myself not wanting to willingly run anymore, and dropped back into the tried-and-true 2:1 intervals I ran for Disney last year.

I stopped at the 6-mile point and talked to Coach Elaine about intervals vs. straight running. Intervals work, and worked well for me last marathon (God, that 'last marathon' thing still sounds wrong coming from me) I have some sort of story about it not being "real" running. (Okay, Galloway people... I know it's still legitimate running if you can interval a marathon, so back off already.) I'm out to run all of Disney in '08, and my body isn't adapting to the run-only training regime nearly as quickly as I'd like. Just trying to "run more" isn't cutting it as a training transition plan.

Elaine had the best idea on managing this transition, and it's one that I'd had for a while, but just hadn't really wanted to do. She said
You know you can do the distance doing intervals, so go with what works for you. If you really want to run it all, then just work on stretching your intervals. You look pretty shot for this week, but starting next week go for 3:1 intervals for a couple of weeks, then go to 4:1 once that feels comfortable. Just keep increasing the run intervals until you get to where you want to be.
Smart woman, that Elaine.

In other areas, I'm getting my fundraising letters and emails out to everyone I know. I'm sure I'm bugging some folks - that's always a possibility when asking people for money. If you're just finding this blog because of my letter or email, then leave a comment and say hi.

Early fundraising response has been amazing. A week since the first email and I'm already at $1,500, which just absolutely blows me away. I'm still getting letters out, so it can only get better from here. A big THANK-YOU! if you've contributed already. If you haven't contributed, PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE do so. Just go here - it's really easy. Or throw a check in the mail to me. Email if you need my postal address.

Monday, September 17, 2007

Brain Dump

Hi random reader! Since it's been ages since my last post, this is a brain dump to get me kinda-sorta caught up.
  • Dad just finished round 6 or so of his chemotherapy and he's doing swimmingly. The tumor has decreased dramatically, and with ongoing drug tweaking, he's doing much better. Getting off the steroids has been challenging, so he still looks puffy. He's grumpy about doing his PT exercises, so it takes some hounding to get him to do them.
  • Mom still continues to be a champ through all Dad's treatments. It's awesome indeed how she's risen to the challenge.
  • Susie has a full-time job - or rather jobs! She landed two part time jobs with the Durham Public Schools doing ESL teaching - one at a high-school, one elementary. Other than the fact that I never really see her when she's not sleeping or planning for classes, it's great to have a gainfully employed wife.
  • Bonnie just start 6th grade. Major eeep! with that one. She loves it and is doing great so far. She's such a great kid.
  • I signed up to run the Disney Marathon in 2008 with Team In Training, the fundraising arm of the Leukemia and Lymphoma society. The $3,500 fundrasing goal is a little daunting, but I'm working on it! Please contribute!!
  • Relatedly, it's great to be back training again, this time in an organized program with group support and organized runs with folks at my training level. Hopefully when I get done, I'll be able to do the Godiva Saturday morning runs without being rock-solid DFL.
  • Susie's bailed on ILP, entirely because the new job is consuming her every waking moment. I certainly can't say I'm disappointed about that one.
  • I'm in the midst of a few days off to finish some home projects. The Green room storage is taking forever to finish, probably because a) I'm designing details as I go, and b) it's just a *little* over-engineered.
  • I found the long-lost gasket for the moped carburetor. Hopefully that'll stop the leak and get it ridable again.
  • I continue to not have as much time as I want to spend on packtopia. Sandi has taken the project and run with it, and we recently re-jigged ownership percentages. I have mixed feelings about how this has gone and where the project is now. Live and learn.
  • My boss is leaving for greener pastures. He's one of the reasons I was excited to take the job I have - to learn from him. That leave is as a group without an ACIO for a while. I'm just worried that they're going to wait until he leaves and break us up and rearrange us. That'd suck. Time will tell on this one. Meanwhile, I'm working my butt off to rebuild relations with all our key customers that have languished.
  • With no thanks to the deer that live near us, I got 8 tomatoes off our 5 plants this year. The deer were far worse this year than ever before. I'm wondering if the drought has them looking harder for food now? At any rate, I wish they'd stay the heck out of my garden.
  • My brother and his family moved to Raleigh over the Summer. It's great having them closer.
  • Susie had a kick-butt trip to El Salvador this Summer as a church mission trip building houses for Habitat for Humanity.
More to follow, including a longer post on Team In Training and what's going on with that. It's nice to be back!