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Profiles with Malone and Mantz

Day 3/90 – Phoenix Public Library

Day 3 of the 90 Days of Awesome is in the bank! What made today awesome? The Phoenix Public Library!

Only in Arizona do they have to tell you to check your gun at the library

Only in Arizona do they have to tell you to check your gun at the library

The public library may be the most under-utilized resource in the community. Thousands of books and movies are free for your borrowing pleasure! I’ve started using it on a regular basis in the last few years and I love it.

Through the Phoenix Public Library website, I have an online account that contains my lists of books I want to read and movies I want to see. When I want to borrow something, I simply reserve it and they ship to my neighborhood branch where they set it aside with my name on it. I can swing by on my way home from work and pick it up – and be in and out in less than 5 minutes.

When it comes to movies, a lot of people ask me, “Why don’t you just get Netflix?” No offense to Netflix, but why would I pay $8/month for something I can get for free? I’d rather put that money towards my next pair of running shoes.

I never got into movies as a kid. I was too busy with school and gymnastics – so now I’m playing catch up on my cinematic education thanks to recommendations from listening to Profiles with Malone and Mantz, my favorite podcast about movies.

Lately, I’ve been checking out 3-5 movies a week. It’s too hot to spend much time outside in the Arizona heat, so the summer is the best time to catch up on movies. Today I checked out American Sniper, The Book Thief, and Jerry Maguire.

Summer Lunch Program at my branch of the Phoenix Public Library

Summer Lunch Program at my branch of the Phoenix Public Library

When it comes to books, I generally only buy them if a friend is the author or if I’m going to a book signing. Otherwise, I start by borrowing the book from the library and then buy it if it’s something I’ll want a copy of on my shelf to re-read. When I did my big minimalism clean-out project when I moved into my condo, I set aside a box of books and labeled it “Read Me.” Any books that are still in the box at the end of the year will be given away. Because of this deadline, I’m working through these books instead of the library’s.

I want to give a huge hat tip to the Phoenix Public Library, not just for lending me awesome books and movies, but also for offering a summer lunch program to help families who rely on school lunch programs to feed their children.

Bonus: Did you know that the library has cultural passes? You can check them out to visit local attractions like the Desert Botanical Garden and the Phoenix Art Museum for free!

In case you missed it: Day 2 of the 90 Days of Awesome – Rosie Goes Where I Go!

Marathon Training Week 11 Recap – Geez that Hurts!

11 by MaretH. from Flickr (Creative Commons License)

11 by MaretH. from Flickr (Creative Commons License)

I am 11 weeks into Hal Higdon’s 18-week marathon training program. It was mostly a good week of training until this weekend when the excruciating pain started. I switched up my aural entertainment from podcasts to mostly music and it made a big difference.

Here’s the recap of the last week:

Monday: Monday is usually a rest day, but I knew I’d be hiking on Thursday so I did the 4.5 miles I was scheduled to do on Thursday today. I entertained myself with my race day playlist. It’s easy to zone out with good music and just run in time with the rhythm. It was a little chilly but it felt good towards the end. I didn’t have any real pain until Mile 2 or 3 when I started having a little discomvfort in my hip, left calf, and left shin/post-tib. I was pretty sure I was going to need KT Tape on my left shin and post-tib for Wednesday’s 8-mile run and Saturday’s 16-mile run.

Tuesday: I accidentally slept in today so I ran my 4.5 miles in the afternoon. It was an uneventful run – just my standard pain in my left shin and right hip.

Wednesday:  I ran 8 miles early morning and watched a beautiful sunrise. It had hip pain from Mile 1, but it wasn’t that bad. I wore KT Tape which helped but it didn’t stay in place very well. I ordered Tuf-Skin when I got home. That stuff makes tape stick like glue.

I’m stepping up my push-ups this week: 5 sets of 25.

Thursday: Today was the Annual No Guilt Thanksgiving Hike with my cousin Marian. We hiked 5 miles up Shaw Butte. It was a good trek with good conversation, and as a bonus, I felt no pain.

Friday: Rest day.

Saturday: I had a Forrest Gump moment during today’s 16-mile run. I started my run just as the sun was coming up and I was running next to a park that has some beautiful red rocks. There weren’t any cars or people around and I could just begin to see the sun peaking up over the horizon. It was very peaceful and gorgeous.

The run went well. I listened to Profiles with Malone and Mantz followed by my race day playlist. I put KT Tape on my left shin and post-tib and I was annoyed that it wasn’t staying on even though I followed all their directions – and then I realized that I got this roll of tape almost 2 years ago. The adhesive is probably drying out.

I felt good after my run until the evening when my entire body started to hurt – especially my chest. I felt like someone stomped on my sternum and kicked me in the ribs.

Sunday:  Holy crap my chest hurt this morning – but some ibuprofen helped take the edge off. Instead of biking, I went hiking with my friends at the Wind Cave Trail. It was 4 miles with a lot of rocks to climb. Toward the end, my legs and glutes could definitely feel it. After the hike my chest was killing me. Some of the people on the running Subreddit suggested that I might have a posture issue. I definitely plan to hit the Runner’s Den injury clinic this week to get their opinion about this.

After a nap I felt much better and cranked out 4 sets of 25 push-ups.

Weekly Totals:
Running:  33 miles (130.6 miles total for November)
Hiking:  9 miles
Push-ups:  225 push-ups

Marathon Training Week 10 Recap – Masochism Begins

under 10km/h by kssk from Flickr (Creative Commons License)

under 10km/h by kssk from Flickr (Creative Commons License)

I am 10 weeks into Hal Higdon’s 18-week marathon training program. I needed KT Tape last week and after a few days, my leg felt well enough to run without it. Yay for that! I’m still having ongoing hip pain but my physical therapist friend suggested a stretch that helps a lot.

Here’s the recap from last week’s training:

Monday:  It was a chilly 46 degrees this morning. I didn’t feel like running in the cold and I definitely didn’t want to take the time to find my cold weather running gear. So I ran on the treadmill for 4.5 miles, and I ran my face off. I was done in 37.5 minutes. I wanted to be done so badly I cranked the speed up to 8.5 for the last few minutes. Hat tips to The Creative Giant Show and The #AskGaryVee Show for keeping me distracted and entertained.

Tuesday: Rest day.

Wednesday:  I ran 7 miles today. It was 52 degrees outside when I started so I ran in long pants and long-sleeved shirt. I was warm enough that I could have been in shorts and t-shirt by the end. I was entertained by an episode of the Dr. Drew Podcast with guests Anna David and Mike Carano. I laughed out loud several times.

When I got back from my run, I cranked out 100 push-ups: 4 sets of 25.

Thursday: It was another chilly morning, and since I worked from home today, I waited until 9am to run my 4.5 miles so I could run in the sun. I made the mistake of listening to my Christmas playlist today. Although it has some awesomely powerful songs, there were way too many ballads in the mix to be good for running. Plus it made me sad because it reminded me that I’m away from my family on Christmas.

Friday: Rest day.

Saturday: I ran 15 miles today – the longest run I’ve ever done. Ever. I filled the 2.5 hours by listening to episodes of The Dr. Drew Podcast, The Daily Show Podcast without Jon Stewart, and a repeat of Profiles with Malone and Mantz featuring John Hughes. My hip handled the pain pretty well but it still hurt, as did my foot and my knee by the end. I started hating myself around mile 11. The last few miles were not pretty, but they got done and that’s what matters. It takes a true masochist to voluntarily run this far “for fun.”

Sunday:  I did a 19-mile bike ride today for cross training. It was only about 50 degrees when I started and I was only wearing shorts and a t-shirt, so it was pretty chilly. On the upside, it was like I was icing my body as I was inflicting pain on it. I can definitely tell that my quads are getting stronger and have more definition.

When I got back, I finished my push-ups for the week with 4 sets of 25.

Weekly Totals:
Running: 31 miles
Biking: 19 miles
Push-ups: 200 push-ups

Marathon Training Week 7 Recap – And the Pain Begins

Lucky 7 by Jim68000 from Flickr (Creative Commons License)

Lucky 7 by Jim68000 from Flickr (Creative Commons License)

When I was in college, my friends and I were frequently flyers at the piercing parlor. (I’ve had 14 piercings in my life but I’m back down to 2 currently.) After my last piercing they gave me a sticker that says, “We put the ‘f*ck’ in ‘That hurts.’” That was theme this week.

Monday:  I had early plans on Tuesday this week so hit the gym today. To my dismay, the treadmill was taken so I jumped on the elliptical instead. I did 4.5 miles in 32 minutes (~8.5 mph). The last time I ran on the treadmill average, my average speed was 7.1 mph. I burned fewer calories than running but I was super sweaty by the end of my workout. Hat tip to Dr. Drew and Gary Vaynerchuk whose podcasts kept me entertained.

When I got back, I knocked out 100 push-ups: 5 sets of 18 and 1 set of 10.  It was challenging at first but got easier by the third set. I hope to be up to 5 sets of 20 next week and build up to 4 sets of 25 within 3 weeks.

Tuesday: No workout today. I spent the day at Shankminds Phoenix.

Wednesday:  Back to running in the real world today, but I accidentally ran 6.7 miles instead of my usual 6.5 because I told a wrong turn into the condo complex next to mine and I got half way around their parking lot before I realized what I did. I did some speed work until I experienced a bit of hip pain around Mile 4 and took it easy for the rest of the run. If this issue keeps up I’m going to hit the injury clinic at Runner’s Den next week.

After my run I finished my push-ups for the week:  4 sets of 19 and 1 set of 24.

Thursday: I went super pathetically easy on today’s 4.5-mile run. I’ve been trying to research hip pain related to running and I wonder if my pain is caused by doing speed work and running on hills. Everything from my waist down seemed to hurt today with a 2 or 3 out of 10 on the pain scale. Hat tip to The Daily Show Podcast without Jon Stewart for entertaining me today.

Friday: Rest day.

Saturday:  Holy crap today’s 12-mile run was hard. My right hip and left post-tib hurt from step one. My goal for the run was just to finish without stopping – except for stoplights. I felt pretty pathetic sometimes but I got through it. The last three miles with the hill were really hard. That’s when my knees and quads really started to hurt and I was running so slowly. It barely counted as running. My thanks to Profiles with Malone and Mantz for their extended show about Alfred Hitchcock that kept entertained and distracted from my pain.

My New Shoes

My New Shoes

After today’s run, I checked my running log and saw that I’d run over 330 miles in my current pair of shoes. That doesn’t include wearing my running shoes out and about or walking Rosie. This pair of shoes has probably walked 400-450 miles since I got them in July. My post-tib has probably been hurting more because my shoes are dead. While I was out running errands, I hit REI for a new pair of insoles and Runner’s Den to replace my shoes. Nate at Runner’s Den said the wear pattern on my old shoes (Asics GT-2000) looked “perfect” so I’m definitely in the right shoes for me so we just replaced them. (I’m glad they still had them in my preferred color because it looks like next season’s colors for these shoes are ugly.) I also hooked myself up with another pair of Asics running shorts with the built-in brief and Feetures seamless socks.

Sunday:  The increased muscle tone in my quads definitely came in handy on today’s 19-mile bike ride. I’m able to ride harder and faster than before. (Wait, that sounds dirty.) More endurance + less pain = happier Ruth. And it was nice cool 68 degrees this morning – perfect for a bike ride.

Weekly Totals:
Running: 27.7 miles
Biking: 19 miles
Push-ups: 200 push-ups

Marathon Training – Week 1 Recap

Week One of marathon training is in the books! I’m pleased with how it’s going so far and I encountered an unexpected challenge with my strength training.

20130324-024-of-365 by Wilson Hui from Flickr (Creative Commons License)

20130324-024-of-365 by Wilson Hui from Flickr (Creative Commons License)

I was a gymnast for 17 years and I consider myself to be relatively strong. When I trained for the half marathon, strength training was on my calendar twice a week. The best upper body and core workout I know is push-ups. So I thought for the marathon I’d do 100 push-ups, 3 times a week.  That seemed easy enough.

And then Monday came. I made myself do 100 push-ups – taking as many sets as I needed and lowering down almost to the floor with each one.  It took 7 sets but it got done. It was a lot harder than I thought it would be.

By Tuesday I was sore. I ran my usual 4.5 mile while listening to the Invisible Office Hours Podcast. My legs have been doing well with running. I typically get a little bit of soreness in my shins or feet, but nothing worse than a 3 on a 10-point pain scale. The rest of my body was a different story. My triceps, chest, and abs were so sore that I felt like I was running with bruises all over my body. My abs hurt every time I sneezed.

Wednesday was a long run at 6.5 miles. It was sprinkling just hard enough that I didn’t want to bring my iPod. Only the diehards and people who don’t have treadmills seemed to be out on the trail. It was a nice run. When I got home I tried to do push-ups, but I couldn’t get into a push-up position without screaming pain radiating through my arms and chest. That’s when I remembered that my half marathon training only had strength work twice a week so I decided that I should do the same for marathon training and decrease my push-ups from three times a week to only twice a week.

I was a still sore on Thursday for a couple of reasons. I ran 4.5 miles and I could tell my body wasn’t used to running 3 days in a row. All summer I was running on Monday, Wednesday, Friday, and Saturday. For this race I have training runs scheduled on Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Saturday, and cross training on Sunday. My quad muscles could feel the difference – not exactly soreness but awareness of not getting as much rest between runs. I was surprised by how much my chest and arms still hurt from Monday.

Friday was a rest day and Saturday is my long run of the week – 6.5 miles this week. It was an easy 54-minute run. My new favorite movie podcast, Profiles with Malone and Mantz, kept me entertained. When I got back, I decided to split my 100 push-ups for the weekend over 2 days and do 5 sets of 10 each day. I still can’t go as low as I could on Monday but they got done. I’m thinking I should do 50 push-ups a day for 4 days each week until I get a bit stronger.

Sunday was my cross training day. I plan to ride my bike for most of my cross training days. I really don’t ride my bike enough; I love it. I did an 18-mile ride along the Arizona Canal. It was harder than I expected but it really shouldn’t have been since it’s been a few months since my last ride. One thing that’s nice about riding is I get to read everyone’s shirts. When I go running I usually don’t take the time to put in contacts so my world is blurry but they’re a requirement for riding. It was fun to see everyone’s shirts from past races. My ride took about 100 minutes and I knocked out my last 50 push-ups for the week when I got home.

I’d say it’s an excellent start to training for the 2015 Rock ‘n’ Roll Arizona Marathon.

Week 1 Totals:
Running Miles: 22
Bike Miles: 18
Push-ups:  200