Tag Archives For: running

The Rise of the Ultra Runners
27 Nov, 2019

The Rise of the Ultra Runners

/ posted in: Book ReviewReading The Rise of the Ultra Runners The Rise of the Ultra Runners: A Journey to the Edge of Human Endurance by Adharanand Finn
on May 7, 2019
Pages: 304
Length: 11:09
Genres: Nonfiction
Published by Pegasus Books
Format: Audiobook
Source: Library
Setting: England, U.S., South Africa, France, Spain, Italy, Oman

An electrifying look inside the wild world of extreme distance running.

Once the reserve of only the most hardcore enthusiasts, ultra running is now a thriving global industry, with hundreds of thousands of competitors each year. But is the rise of this most brutal and challenging sport―with races that extend into hundreds of miles, often in extreme environments―an antidote to modern life, or a symptom of a modern illness?

In The Rise of the Ultra Runners, award-winning author Adharanand Finn travels to the heart of the sport to investigate the reasons behind its rise and discover what it takes to join the ranks of these ultra athletes. Through encounters with the extreme and colorful characters of the ultramarathon world, and his own experiences of running ultras everywhere from the deserts of Oman to the Rocky Mountains, Finn offers a fascinating account of people testing the boundaries of human endeavor.


I’ve talked on this blog a lot about how I hate running with a passion that is only equal to how much I love reading about running.  This book was perfect for me.  

The author decides to learn about ultrarunning by getting a press pass to run the UTMB, a ultramarathon in the mountains in France.  In order to use his pass, he has to qualify by getting enough points in other ultramarathons around the world.  His journey to learn to love (and survive) ultrarunning and his interviews with the people he meets along the way are the heart of this book. 

He covers the different types of ultrarunning – running 50-100 + miles at once, running a marathon every day for several days in a row, and running a short stretch of trail or on a track for 24 hours.  Each has its own challenges.  

He meets up with some of the best competitors and realizes that their lifestyles help them with their training.  One person lives in a cabin 5 miles up Pike’s Peak.  There is no road.  You have to run in to get there and to leave.  Others travel the world racing the hardest trails and mountains they can find. 

He tries to talk top Kenyan marathoners into trying longer distances without a lot of success. 

He talks to coaches and health care providers about how to stay fit for this and whether all of this is ultimately healthy or not.

I loved this story.  I loved seeing what goes into pushing beyond marathon distance.   I would never do it but I liked reading other people’s adventures. 

07 Feb, 2012


/ posted in: Fitness

My fitness goals for last week were:

1. Set up my yoga space.

  • Didn’t happen.  I tried but unpacking my sewing room was complicated by the fact that I found out that part of my fabric had been dumped into boxes instead of being kept in bins.  Much harder to put away so that’s not done yet but I made a temporary space that will work for now.

2.  Run two times

  • Happened – One time I ran 1 mile and walked a mile and the other time I ran 1.5 miles and walked 1 mile.  I also went for a 2 mile walk with the SO.

3.  Do yoga twice

  • Happened – I did a 1 hour shoulder opening class and a 1 hour hip opening class from yogatoday.com.  The shoulder class was the free class this week.

Goals for this week

1.  The same ones as last week

2.  Go to a fitness class on Wednesday

3.  I’ve been being more meticulous about what I eat and I want to keep that up when I’m at the new house.

    09 Dec, 2011


    / posted in: Fitness

    I am still sort of following the plan that I found for learning to run a 10 K.  I haven’t been overtaken by a huge urge to run that far yet but I like having a plan.  I say I’m sort of following it because it would like me to run every other day.  I haven’t been able to manage that because some days I leave for work when it is dark and I get home in the dark and other days when I see daylight it is through sheets of rain.  I’m just not that dedicated. 

    But I did the two days of running 1.5 miles.  I timed myself on the first day.  My pace is still slow.  In fact it is just slightly faster than a pace that was referred to as “glacial” in a recent Runner’s World article.  I sort of resent that.  I think I could outrun a glacier – if I had a head start and I didn’t have to go very far!

    Anyway, the third step was run 2 miles.  That seemed a bit insane to me.  I was barely managing 1.5.  I thought that maybe I should do another week of 1.5 and work on getting a bit faster.  But when I set out I decided to see if I could do two miles.  It was cold that day so I also decided to run a bit faster so I didn’t freeze off any bits.  The first mile seemed to go by pretty fast.  I didn’t really have any trouble with the second mile either.  Maybe this program knows what it is talking about after all. 

    I used a very scientific timing method of adding up the run times of the songs I heard on each mile.  I still am glacial but it looks like I kept the same pace for both miles instead of slowing a lot in the second mile!

    Yesterday I was talking to a client who mentioned that she runs six miles in the morning.  I would never have imagined that.  She has always seemed frail to me like a stiff wind would knock her over.  If she can run six miles…. damn my competitiveness!

    13 Sep, 2011

    Working Out

    / posted in: Fitness

    Lake walk

    I found a park with trails by a lake and a river to walk on at lunch time. They don’t go very far but it works for a short break.

    I am totally confused by my running situation. Last year I worked really hard at trying to be able to run and totally sucked at it. This year I am much better without even trying.

    I haven’t run far because my shoes are old and worn out and are killing my feet. I have new ones ordered. The other day I did two half mile runs with about a quarter mile walk in between. Today I ran three quarters of a mile with really no trouble. I’m not looking at times or anything so I don’t know if I’m faster or slower than what I was doing last year. I know I’m still not fast but I’m not trying to be. I’m going slow so I can do the distance easily. I just think the whole thing is weird but I’m not going to argue about it if my body suddenly is able to run.

    I also found the Yoga Today website. There is a free membership where you can watch the class of the week and you can download hour long yoga classes for $3.99. There are classes for all different yoga styles and levels of ability. I tried one of the free weekly classes. It was for hip opening. You know when you are doing a class and the instructor says something that you think, “I must of heard that wrong because that’s physically impossible!” and you look up and realize that they are doing the physically impossible? That was happening here. About the eighth time I fell over I decided that maybe I wasn’t up to that level yet. But I did find I nice Kundalini shoulder opener class that was very nice. I haven’t looked around a whole lot because I know I could rack up quite the download bill.

    31 Aug, 2010

    My day

    / posted in: FitnessQuilting


    M-11 and A-5 of Dear Jane. A-5 is hiding a bit ashamedly because after fussy cutting lizards most carefully I trimmed the whole block off center. We will never speak of this again.


    The SO belongs to a gym. This is a bit odd because we have a home gym that is fairly extensive. But he wisely decided that he needs burly men around him when he exercised. (Not that I would mind that myself, I guess.) He decided this after a few times of asking me to spot him when he was bench pressing. Since he makes a habit of bench pressing around 350 lbs, my only assistance would be calling 911.

    So he goes to the gym and then regales me with stories of steam rooms and saunas. I can not go through another winter of shivering while he speaks of heat. Plus, the gym now has a lot of yoga classes so I decided to sign up too. I went this morning to sign up. I was going to get a couples membership. I was wondering if there was a test for that. Do we have to prove that we’re a couple? Do we have to pick each other out of a lineup and kiss? Anyway, it turned out that it was cheaper for me to pretend not to know him and sign up for their special of $99 for 3 months. He’s on his own.

    When I was walking in there was a guy I know leaving. He was a friend of the ex and was in our wedding. I haven’t seen him in years. It is a sign of our separate lives while married that this would be the second time I’ve seen one of the ex’s friends since the separation 3 years ago. I said hi to him and he slid to a stop. He’s always been shy with me but he was stammering. We talked for a minute or so and I let him go. I went and signed up. Then I went to the grocery store. He was walking out of the store. I just sat in my car and let him get in his. After not seeing him for about 5 years, I think running into him twice in a half an hour counts as stalking!

    I’m off now to get my knee acupunctured. “Going to the pokey doctor” as one friend calls it. Two Thursdays ago I did fast track work and annoyed the knee that had patellar tendonitis. Then I ran a 5K two days later. I’ve been lame ever since. No running, no anything and it still hurts. Acupuncture is the only thing that has helped it in the past so hopefully this works.

    21 Aug, 2010

    ROCC 5K

    / posted in: Fitness


    I can’t believe that I did this again. They got to me by hanging a flyer at the dog park so I saw it over and over again and it got into my brain. I knew that today I had to be at my parents’ house by three. I figured that I could run that and then make it to the parents’ in time to take a shower.

    My running week was bad. My dress shoes tore up my heels on Sunday so I couldn’t wear regular shoes until Wednesday. On Wednesday I tried to run and just … couldn’t. I don’t know what happened. It felt like I was using a lot of energy to go nowhere. I made it to a half mile and was dripping sweat. I rested and ran back. Thursday I did track work. It went well but on Friday my shin splints and knees were killing me. Not a great pre-race week.

    I decided that with two Advil and a bunch of arnica on my shins that I might be ok. I went to the church that was sponsoring the run. I registered and was number 68. Crap, I’m going to be last! My last run had 500 people. They gave me the dog tags as a “finisher award” when I registered. I found that cheerily optimistic.

    I looked around to try to find a person who I thought I could beat. I was looking for a fat person. Unfortunately at that point I was it. Totally going to be last. Eventually some walkers showed up and I felt slightly better.

    The race was fairly flat except for the first/last 1/10. I started running and was feeling sort of tired. I looked down and was passing the 3 mile mark. Unfortunately, that was for the return and I had only gone 0.1. It was looking more and more like a bad idea.

    I did manage to cross the one mile marker at the same time as the eventual winner. Sure, he was on his way back in while I was heading out, but we did it at the same time.

    My first mile was 11:30 according to official iPod time. After that I’m not sure what happened. I think the only logical deduction is alien abduction. My time at the end of mile two was 28 minutes. That means I ran it 6 minutes slower. Not only that but everyone in my group that I was with at the end of mile one was still there at the end of mile two. If I had slowed down that much then so did they. That’s not likely so I think aliens taking all of us for 5 minutes explains it nicely. Either that or I misread my iPod. I’m sticking with the alien theory.

    There were some run/walkers who were using me as a landmark. I didn’t figure that out for a while. I couldn’t figure out why they kept running until they passed me and then walked. I think whenever they’d decided to run they’d say, “Let’s run to the slow lady in the pink shirt. We can catch her no problem!”

    I ended up being the last of the runners. There was a pair of run/walkers ahead of me (not the ones using me) that I almost passed but they started running at the last minute and they were speedy little buggers. I was number 54 in out of 80 some. My time was 39:25. That’s my new world record (which sounds so much more impressive than personal record.)

    Good things:

    1. I ran the whole thing this time except for a few celebratory walking steps at the mile markers.

    2. My internal monologue did not consist entirely of cuss words this time.

    16 Aug, 2010

    In which I am not a TOTAL idiot

    / posted in: EntertainmentFitnessPets

    We went out and got us some culture yesterday. Not culture like we might be infectious but culture like arts and stuff. We went to see Wicked. I love the book and never really wanted to see the musical because they are so different. I loved that the book is tragic and almost everyone dies. The musical is a bit perkier.

    I really enjoyed it though. I’m a sucker for musicals. I got to dress up fancy. My standard for work clothes is, “Am I going to be sad if this gets hair and body fluids on it?” If no, it is ok to wear. So I get excited sometimes when I get to dress girly. I wore some old black and white flats. I always get compliments on them. I wore them to Jeopardy! They’ve been my friends. Yesterday they ate my heels for a snack.

    Fast forward to today. I wanted to go for a run. I wanted to go three miles. I came home and changed from my crocs to my running shoes and screamed. My heels hurt! I added more bandaids. They still hurt. Of course I then got in my car and drove to the bike path. I loosened my shoes so they didn’t rub so much but I was in danger of tripping. I still thought I could do it. I started to run. Within 10 strides I was saying, “Ok, maybe go fast for 1 mile and call it a day.” Within 30 strides I was done. My logical side of my brain asserted itself and said, “Hey stupid. They won’t heal if you run today and you are already limping which will lead to increased biomechanical stress on your joints leading to other injury.” (The logical side of my brain paid attention during my chiropractic training.)

    I listened and stopped. I’m so very proud.

    On a related note, I have a dog question. The SO and Freckles have this weird foot fetish thing going. Every night she licks his feet. He says that dogs have always done that to him to clean up any injuries or nastiness on feet. He says dogs will chew off dead skin and lick wounds. I say they are both just nasty. Last night I woke up to searing pain in my foot. Under the Bed Dog (who was briefly on top of the bed) was chewing off the flap of skin over my shoe inflicted heel wound. Since this skin was not yet dead or unattached it hurt! She also really wanted to lick the sore. It was too painful for me. The SO is now all like, “Told you so, ignorant vet person.” Does anyone else have any experience with this?

    10 Aug, 2010

    Running Proof

    / posted in: Fitness

    Well, sort of proof. We could have just been standing around with stolen race numbers.


    That’s Paige from St. Louis and me after the AVMA 5K. Note the redness of my face. I’m a super white person so I flush easily but that is my burn I got while wearing a hat, SPF 70 sweatproof face cream, and sunglasses. It hurt to blink for a day. I’m such a sun wimp!

    I went out this morning with Freckles to trail run. Freckles said it was too hot. We went 2 miles mostly walking since she was panting really hard.

    I’m scheduled to go to the track with the SO tonight. I think I’m going to work on couch to 5K again but this time use the distance measurements. The program gives you some options. You can run for so many minutes or you can run for a set distance. When I did it I did the time since I was on trails with no mile markers. I know that because I’m slow that I didn’t go as far. So now that I’m doing some track work I’m going to use week 4 as my workout. I have a hard time running a set distance. If you tell me to run for 5 minutes I say ok. If you tell me to run 1/2 a mile my brain starts whining, “But it is soooooooooooooooooooo faaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaarrrrr!” even though I’m perfectly capable of doing that. Week four is a good place to start since I know I can do this. I just have to convince my brain.

    It is 1/4 mile run, 1/8 mile walk, 1/2 mile run, 1/4 mile walk, 1/4 mile run, 1/8 mile walk, and then a 1/2 mile run. There will be whining in my head. I will ignore it. I have to. I’m going to tell the SO my plan and he’ll shame me into doing it.

    29 Jul, 2010


    / posted in: FitnessHorses

    I have a running coach.

    I didn’t really mean to have one. It started innocently enough. The SO wanted to go to the track to run when I did. The first time we did our own thing. The second time I decided that in the spirit of togetherness I would do whatever he did.

    Conversation while walking from the car to the track:

    Him: You are the competition.
    Me: I am?
    Him: Yes
    Me: What is the competition?
    Him: I don’t know yet.
    Me: So, are you just going to look over at me at some point and say, “I win”?
    Him: That wouldn’t be sporting.
    Me: ‘kay
    Him: At this point, you are the better runner and that’s just pathetic.
    Me, mock pouting: Thanks sweetie
    Him: You know what I mean.

    Ah, ego. This is why I hadn’t suggested running with him. He used to be really good. Like trophies around the house good. Now he is broken. He is not happy.

    We warmed up by walking a lap and then started running on the straightaways on the track and walking the curves. I stayed a few steps behind him. I decided that it would be bad for the male ego if I passed him right off. We alternated walking, running full laps, and running on the straightaways for a while. I decided to see what would happen if I sped up a bit on one of the straightaways. He sped up too. I decided not to push it too hard and backed off. He didn’t mention it but as we approached the next running point he hissed back over his shoulder, “Easy!” Then he added laps. That may have just been a coincidence or I may have been being punished for being bad.

    It reminded me of racing Spirit. He was always the fastest horse in the neighborhood. But as he got older young whippersnappers moved in. Then he was 20 years old racing 5 year olds and it was harder to win. He still could do it but the young horse would be close to him. I had to work out a system with the other rider before the race so that when we crossed the finish point that we had decided on they would stop their horse. If they didn’t Spirit wouldn’t stop. He would have killed himself rather than be passed in a race*. The male ego is a fragile thing.

    The SO told me afterwords that I was a good running partner because I was determined. I’m not sure what that means exactly. He pushed me to go consistently faster than I would on my own and to do more intervals so that is good.


    * Spirit got passed one time. I was 15 or 16. We had gone to a lesson and he was being a jerk. He wouldn’t listen at all. My instructor told me to take him into a large hay field. They had a path mowed around the edge. She said to run him all the way around to get some of his excess energy out so he could focus on his lesson. We were about halfway around moving at a really fast pace when I heard hoofbeats.

    I looked back in time to see a blur fly past us like we were standing still. It surprised Spirit at first and then he kicked into another gear that I didn’t even know he had. He went about 25 yards and the other horse was still pulling away from us. Spirit slowed back down to the speed we were originally going. He knew it was hopeless. He was very subdued and listened to his lesson after that. I don’t think it was shaking off the excess energy as much as being publicly humiliated in his mind that made him mild mannered that day. Turns out the other horse was a Thoroughbred recently off the track who needed to run to even be sane in regular work but I don’t think Spirit would have cared that he only ever got beaten by a professional racer.

    24 Jul, 2010


    / posted in: FitnessPetsPhotos

    I did speed work today. On a track. Like a real runner. And I got up at 7:00 AM on a Saturday to do it.

    I walked a lap and then ran a timed lap at my normal pace to see how fast I run. It was about what I expected. I was doing about a 13 minute mile. Told you I was slow! I would like to get to a 10 minute mile as my first mini-goal. So I walked another lap and then started running faster. I cut 45 seconds off my lap time so that was a 10 minute mile pace. I don’t think at this point I could maintain that for more than a quarter mile. I started walking a lap again and was fully recovered by the time I was 1/4 way around the track. When I got back to the start, I ran another 10 minute pace lap. It was hard for me to do but I kept telling myself that I was going to be really mad if I stopped and promising myself that if I did it I could stop. I walked another cool down lap and went home.

    I told the SO what I had done and he was interested in going to the track too. I so went back with him and walked while he did his workout. I walked another 2 miles. I’m glad he wasn’t there for the speed workouts. I’m not ready for that yet. I’m embarrassed by how slow I am and he was a former fast, long distance runner before the army broke him. He’s trying to learn to run again and I could keep up with him right now but I don’t know if that’s a good idea. My dad is threatening to run with me sometime. In my last conversation with him he was talking about slowing down his first race mile to 9 minutes so he has the stamina to finish with consistent 8 minute miles instead of going out fast and running out of steam. I don’t think we are running-compatible yet.

    There was a guy there running who was slower than me. That was good for me to see. I read Runner’s World and read the blogs of fast runners so I think that everyone is super speedy. I need to realize that that’s not true.

    Afterwards we had to make amends to Freckles. We went out walking, TWICE, without her. We took her to the waterfall trail we found. I hoisted her up on the rocks by the falls. She was horrified. I took her leash off so she wouldn’t get tangled and that convinced her that we were planning on running off without her. We ended up walking down a trail to the river. It is a nice area where kayakers can come ashore and walk up to see the falls. She refused to go in the river either. Eventually she decided that she could drink it but she wasn’t going in. She fell in once up to her elbows and was unimpressed.

    We went back up the trail to the falls and by this time I think she had gained some trust in us. When the SO went up on the falls she followed him.


    She decided that hanging out by the base of the falls on the cool wet rocks wasn’t so bad afterall.

    22 Jul, 2010

    This week

    / posted in: FitnessPhotosQuilting

    Today’s Workout – Ran 1.5 miles and walked 1 mile (warm up and cool down – getting to where I wanted to run and getting back)

    I decided that I should go out and run on a flatter part of the park which is mostly mowed grass trails. I could work on some speed then. That totally didn’t work out as expected. Those trails slope sideways and there are vines that kept reaching out and tangling up my shoes. Very rude. I ended up running even slower.

    So, I ended up going slow and easy. My next major running challenge is going to be pushing myself. I’m at the point where I can consistently run 1.5 to 2 slow miles without being winded. Wow. Ok, now I need to work harder since obviously this isn’t helping me lose weight. But I’m a wimp about pushing hard on cardio. As soon as I start to breathe hard my brain decides that I’m dying and starts screaming at me to stop. I need to look up some speedwork routines because I need structure to make myself work harder. Just going out with a vague idea to “run faster” isn’t going to work for me.



    I made three more Dear Jane blocks this week. Clockwise from top left they are A8, A2, and K10. I copied A2 from a picture on the internet that I thought was the right size. I made a paperpiecing pattern from that. Turns out that picture was actually too big so I lost my points when I trimmed it to size. Someday I’ll have to decide if that bothers me enough in the grand scheme of things to redo it.


    Random confusing vet conversation of the day yesterday:

    A kid asked me, “Why do some dogs have dark patches on their gums?”
    Me: “It’s just pigment.”
    Him: “Like Freckles?”
    In my brain: “How does he know if my dog has dark gums? I don’t even know if she does. Oh, wait….”
    Me out loud: “Yeah, like freckles on your face.”

    17 Jul, 2010

    A Miracle!

    / posted in: Fitness

    I ran 3 miles today! I can work that into any sentence. “I need to take a shower because I ran 3 miles today.” “I’m too tired to do the dishes because I ran three miles today.”

    When we left off I was planning on going for a run on a flat bike path to see if running hilly trails all the time (where I can’t do two miles without stopping and breathing like a freight train) actually made me fit enough to run three miles on flat ground.

    I got up at 7 AM on a Saturday (ponder the weirdness of that for a moment) to go for this run since it was cooler than the surface of the sun at that point. Later in the day running on asphalt loses some appeal. I had a special eclectic playlist on the iPod just for this occasion.

    I started with “Bad Things” by Jace Everett. That’s the theme to TRUE BLOOD. It has a steady beat but it is slow. I ran with it since I wasn’t going for time here. I wanted to make the distance even if it was in slow running motion. After that was “Bad Romance” by the Glee cast since I love Chris Colfer’s vocals on that. The half mile marker came up pretty quickly. I was going back and forth between the path and the shoulder since I like running on dirt and gravel better than asphalt. I run like a trail runner – short strides because you never know when something is going to try to trip you. I almost fell twice today going from path to shoulder. I figured it would be just my luck to hurt myself on the easy course.

    “Centerfield” by John Fogerty was next. Happy, bouncy, just makes you want to run. “Dime que me quieres” by Ricky Martin came up. When I was in Costa Rica in 1992 his first solo album had come out and was a smash hit. At 3:30 on weekday afternoons my job was to watch the music video show and yell for the females in the area when any of his videos came on. Every woman from 15 to 80 would come running to watch. This one was a favorite for the motorcycles, shower, and barely legal Ricky doing bad choreography. (I was looking up the link on youtube and Z was dancing around the living room. See, everyone loves Ricky.) This one distracted me because I’m trying to put all the Spanish words in when I sing along and it is hard for me.

    At this point I was in sight of the bridge! That’s the turnaround point. I was running to “Fame”. When I got there I collapsed on the benches. But the sun was beating down and I was hotter there than when I was running so I got up immediately and walked across the bridge and back to stay flexible.

    “Hollaback Girl” was the end of the mix and I started back and then started the mix over. I ran all the way back. I even passed someone! She was older, overweight, strolling, and totally unaware that she was racing me but I passed her and she didn’t pass me back!

    I felt pretty good on this run. Cardiovascularly I was just fine. My hamstrings and calves were tight. I need to do more yoga. Now that I know I can do the distance I can work on maybe getting faster.

    15 Jul, 2010

    The Workout Blues

    / posted in: General

    I signed up for jillianmichaels.com. I get a workout to do four days a week. I am free to add other workouts on top of these as I wish. It is also T minus 17 days to my first 5K so I am an exercising fool right now.

    Last night I had a workout that emphased a lot of lunges. I was cheating. The workout are set up as five circuits. Some of them have craziness like jumping rope or jumping jacks in them. I was doing this last night after working 10 hours and then eating. So I did all the leg and ab work but skipped the cardio stuff. I knew I was going for a run this morning.

    My goal today was to get up early and do two miles without stopping.

    First fail – I fell back asleep when the SO left so I didn’t get going as early as I wanted. But, I did make myself get out of bed and go.

    Then, thanks to Jillian and her lunges, my butt hurt! Not a great way to start off running. I walk about a quarter mile first to warm up. I was hoping that my soreness would go away. But halfway through the warmup I noticed that my foot was hurting like there was something wrong with my sock. I stopped, took off my shoe and found a cut on the top of my big toe.

    We get random foot lacerations all the time because we are attacked in the middle of the night. Powder, aka Death from Above, will jump from the armoire onto the bed with claws extended and lands on our feet. This looked like a cat injury. What I really needed was a bandaid to cushion it but I was sitting on a downed tree in the middle of the woods. I took a leaf off a bush, praying it wasn’t poisonous, and put it over the cut. It worked perfectly. Hillbilly first aid!

    I was able to run the first mile ok. That makes me laugh to type that because at the time of course I was convinced I was dying. The first 1/2 mile is a long gradual uphill with some rolling hills in the center. I stopped once to breathe but kept going. Turning around and heading back down that trail is nice because you think it should be a long gradual downhill but there seems to be a lot of uphill there too. I think it is just messing with me.

    When I got back to the main trail the next section is a very steep uphill. I walked up it. That felt like giving up. I’m not sure how much of that was physical tiredness and how much was mental. This park has benches at the top of all these steep uphills. I tell myself that at least I keep moving and don’t have a lie down before I go on. From there I started running again but this part of the trail is super hilly. I ended up walking a lot of the uphills that I can usually run. Of course I’ve never run a mile before trying them before either. They usually come early in the run.

    I’m discouraged because I’m not able to run as far as I think I should be able at this point. I keep telling myself that I’m running hard trails so doing this is like running farther on roads. Now I’m going to put that to the test.
    Saturday morning I’m going out to a bike path and see how far I can run on manicured trails. I know that 1.5 miles out there is an old railroad bridge over a stream. It is a good landmark to have as a turn around. There are alos lots of benches there if I need to pass out. I also need to learn what pace I can go on flat ground. I run really slow on trails because it is dangerous. I have no idea how to run in a road race.

    After my run I feel like a wreck. I’m exhausted. Way more than usual. I’m not sure what that’s about. My butt hurts even more after hill work. I’m telling myself that it is worth it to fit in smaller jeans everytime it hurts when I sit down!

    13 Jun, 2010

    Running Breakthrough

    / posted in: Fitness

    I’ve been being an exercise wimp. I’ve been running intervals because my brain is convinced that I can’t run for longer periods. As soon as I start breathing a bit hard my brain screams, “Stop!”

    So today I decided that I was going to fix that. I went out to the trail with no music, no dog, and no watch. I was going to run the one mile loop. I was not going to stop. I could run as slow as I wanted. I could run so slow that it would be faster for me to walk. I could run in place if I needed to catch my breath on this very hilly trail. But I was not allowed to stop running.

    I did it! On the hills my breathing sounded like a freight train. I went really slow. But now my brain knows that my body has no problems running a mile. Next time maybe I’ll aim for 1.5. When I get to 3.1 then I’ll work on speed.

    09 Jun, 2010

    Our Injury Report

    / posted in: FitnessPets

    Several months ago I signed up for a 5K race at a veterinary convention in August. August is a long, long time away. I recently came to the conclusion that August is now sneakily less than two months away. I haven’t been running since I hurt my hip this winter. That isn’t because the hip is still hurt. It is because I’m a slacker. You know, what finally fixed my hip? Fencing. It was my right hip. When you fence left handed you lunge to the left over and over. That stretches your right hip over and over. Problem solved.

    Anyway, I decided that it was time to start getting serious about this running thing if I didn’t want to look like a total fool come August. To make things worse this 5K is in Atlanta. In August. Odds of death? High.

    Yesterday I decided to go running formally and officially. Freckles and I have been doing lots of walking. We also run on the short trail in the dog park sometimes. She is not out of shape. We started easy. We did intervals of 1.5 minutes running and 1.5 minutes walking repeated over and over. Freckles decided to run at about 95 miles per hour. I was capable of about, uh, 1 mph. It was sad. But we got through about 1.5 miles.

    When we got home we went into the basement to see where to put a new freezer. I noticed that Freckles seemed to have a hard time going back up the stairs. But when we got to the top she took off running and wasn’t lame at all. Instead of jumping onto the couch she sort of slid up onto it. I said to the SO that I thought there was something wrong with her. He said that I was making her self conscious because I was staring at her. She had a nap on the couch and then walked normally and ran up the stairs at bedtime without a hitch.

    I thought she was fine until she crashed when she tried to jump onto the bed. I had to lift her up. She jumped down and chased a cat with no problems but I had to lift her up again. When the SO came to bed I said that she really was hurt. Then he went into crisis mode. His poor baby was hurt so he cuddled her. He questioned what I was planning on doing with her. My answer that she was getting mobility back since she could climb stairs now so she should just rest was not fully accepted.

    He has discovered the James Herriot books. He’s been listening to them back to back on CD. He thinks he’s a vet now. He probably could be a vet in 1930s England. Whenever I talk about a case he says, “At least you have sulfa drugs.” So this morning he wanted a better vet recommendation as Freckles looked at him mournfully. He wanted her to come to work with me. I said she acts a fool at the office and would probably hurt herself worse so she should stay home and rest. He gave me a stern look. “Am I going to have to call Mr. Farnon?” Seigfried Farnon was James Herriot’s boss and when old-timers didn’t agree with the young vet they called Mr. Farnon.

    I found a stash of pain killers that I forgot I had and gave her some this morning. She has heat over her left lumbar area. That fits with not being able to jump. It is probably a muscle strain and therefore she needs to rest. Like I said. Hopefully she’s better when I get home or he’s going to drive me crazy.