Monday, March 31, 2008

Isn't this a kick in the crotch. Went to the doctor today about my knee. It was pretty painful today so I thought I'd better get it checked out before I started training for summer races.

Right knee has a nice nasty case of arthritis. What can I do? Nada. Nothing. Okay, not really. Ice before and after a run. Take a pain reliever.

Shit.

Sunday, March 30, 2008

We had a good weekend with the pooches. On Saturday we met Jen and Clifford at the parkway for a nice long walk. It was cold, but gorgeous outside. It did the dogs a world of good. I was a little worried because John hurt his shoulder/neck the day before. See, the boy gets a little too excited and does very aggressive play bows to let me know he really, REALLY, wants breakfast. He did great on the walk, but we did have to give him an aspirin.

Little Lulu personality is really starting to emerge. She is a pip. This is the only greyhound that I have ever met that loves to sit. Yes. Sit. Outside. Inside. Whenever and wherever. Weird. She also is a collector. I pick up the toys, put them in the box, she takes them out of the box and puts them on her bed.

Bill and I are thinking of changing her name. Any suggestions? A friend of ours suggested Sophia. A pretty name. We are seriously thinking about changing it to Sophia.

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Finally put my sneakers on today and went for a 4 mile run with Trac. It was a challenge, but it felt pretty good. My right knee has been bothering me. It isn't like a pain you can't take, but it is uncomfortable. I am going to try a knee brace or wrap it to see if that makes a difference.

No matter, my training has start. Thinking I might do 2 on Monday, 4 on Wednesday and 4 on Saturday's to start. See how that goes.

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Have you ever had your life get so full of drama that weeks fly by without you noticing. It scares me when this happens. These are days that I will never get back again and they are passing me like shadows. Slipping in and out.
Work has not been a great place the past couple weeks. It is better, but that past two weeks the drama was one of the like I haven't seen before. Can't go into it here, but hopefully the road to repairing relationships will continue.

On the good news front, we have decided to officially adopt Lulu! We are going to fill the paperwork out this weekend.

Welcome to the family....little miss goofball.

Friday, March 14, 2008

Meet LuLu


Foster and very likely new addition to the Lichtinger household. I mean seriously, how can we not adopt her. Look at those big doe eyes gazing at you. She loves to look directly into your eyes. It is like she is trying to read your soul.
LuLu was returned to the Buffalo Greyhound Adoption group because she whined to much in her crate. The husband worked nights and when he would sleep during the day, LuLu would whine in her crate which was located in their bedroom. And no, they wouldn't let her out. By the way, she hasn't made a peep in her crate since we got her on Thursday.
LuLu is teeny for a greyhound, weighing only 53 lbs. It is like walking a chihuahua! She has only been off the track since September, retiring after a 110 races. Damn! 110! From what the adoption group tells me she was a kennel favorite in Iowa. We can totally see why. She is a doll. Good as gold and we look forward seeing her personality emerge.

Sunday, March 09, 2008

*&%$!@#! and other foul words

This morning I thought I would make my own vegetable stock. Have everything I need. Put it all together, let it simmer for an hour - strained it. Looked and smelled beautiful. Go to strain it again and accidently knocked the bottle of dish soap into the stock. SON OF A............... Then in my denial I think, well maybe it didn't hurt it. Stirred it and there they were. The unmistakeable dish soap bubbles.

I am going back to bed.

Race Photos

Photos from Syracuse.com - There is a picture of Sue and I. GREAT JOB SUE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Race Report --Tipp Hill Shamrock Run

Lets see if I can come up with some descriptive words for the race yesterday. Oh, I have a good one. PAIN.

Yesterday morning I get geared up with my husband to head out to Tipp Hill - the old Irish section of Syracuse. It is a great little neighborhood with beautiful old houses and pubs on what seems like every other corner. However, this section of town does have some serious hills. This course is not for the faint of heart. Hence why I was wishy washy about if I was going to run it right up to the start of the race.

We wake up and the weather is cold and freezing rain, moving over to regular rain. I am like shit. Can I run in this? Should I run in this? Here is the thing. Actually two. I haven't run regularly in months! Maybe a few miles here and there, but no way to prepare me for the race. The other thing is my lung condition. See, a little over a year ago I was diagnosed with Scarodosis of the lungs. Which in layman terms are hard little, what I call pebbles, in my lungs. I have several on both lobes. What happens is when I over work my lungs or it is too cold outside I start to cough, my chest burns and it is difficult to breathe. And afterwards, it feels like an elephant is sitting on my chest. However, if I train and work up my endurance it doesn't bother me too much. However, I didn't train and I knew if I did run my lungs were NOT going to appreciate it. I was right.

We get to the race and the weather is cold, but not bad and the rain has stopped. I see a friend of ours Sue with her sister and brother-in-law. I figure I can stick with them since Bill is wicked fast so I have someone I can run with and since the weather isn't bad I'll run.

Gun went off and we headed out. Right away I spot two guys in front of us and decided to let them pace us. Actually this was my strategy through the whole race. I would pick someone and keep pace with them. Anyway, Sue and I stayed with them for the first mile - 10:24. WTF! WAY TO FAST. And this is before the major hills. I knew we were in trouble and so were they.

Once Sue and I got into the neighborhood and after the first short slow incline we lost our pacing partners. They had to walk. Tipp Hill started to take them down. Sue and I headed on and I am not kidding you when I tell you I was S T R U G G L I N G. Fighting tooth and nail to move one foot in front of the other. We would head up those hills nice and steady. Not going fast, but not slowing down. Just trying to keep our pace and then using the down hill as a recovery.

Mile 1-2 isn't too horrible. Hard yes, but doable. Mile 3-4 is a fucking killer. The f-word is really the only appropriate word to describe it. Mile 2 you are running in the neighborhood and they have bands at all the pubs you run by. VERY cool. There were people out there cheering you on, toasting you with their beers. It was a great vibe. Between 2 and 3. You stop caring and you want to rip the beer bottles out of their hands and smack them over the head with it.

There are several hills in the neighborhood. Some are short slow inclines and some are quick and really steep. The steep kind you think you can power up. BIG mistake. What people don't realize is that there are more hills and the biggest, most painful one is soon to come. Big Mama is calling and calling you a big fat sissy.

Mile 4. Welcome to hell.

Sue and I pass the water station and round the corner to Nibsy's Pub. This is where the real fun starts.

Hello Big Mama. Shall I bend over now?

At Nibsy's. Slow at first. So slow that you ask yourself...is this a hill...then you body screams back at you...HELL YES IT IS A HILL YOU MAROON!

The casualties were scattered all over. I passed at least two people puking on the side of the road. Heard more people groaning and listened to people with desperation say, where does it end. Sigh. If the pounding in my ears and the pain in my chest wasn't so bad I would have offered words of encouragement. But at this point. It was every man and woman for themselves.

It literally was sheer will power not to walk, but I didn't. It wasn't pretty. It wasn't fast. It felt like I was in slow motion. My arms were pumping faster than my legs. When I reached the top I was near tears. Not tears because I did it, but tears because it hurt and I knew I still had a ways to go and another goddamn hill to get up. BASTARD.

The brief straight a way is used to recover, but I was alone. Sue was back battling Big Mama. Then I saw her. A woman to keep pace with. Thank you Lord! For awhile we ran in perfect harmony. Not knowing each other, nor acknowledging each other, but we both knew we were using the other to just get through. We stayed together through the straight away and the last hill. After the last hill I pulled ahead and kept going. To the woman in blue - thank you.

Finally the last turn then the finish. I crossed in - 43.33. Faster than last years time. WTF! I don't know how I pulled that out of my ass. I really don't.

The aftermath: Lungs are fine. Legs are not. What is hurting the most are my ankles and the Achilles. Could barely walk down the stairs this morning. I may have conquered Tipp Hill, but it certainly gave me a beating of a lifetime. Till next year Big Mama.

P.S. We don't the exact time, but Bill ran the race in: 31-32 minutes!!!!!!!!!

Friday, March 07, 2008

Say it with me - winter blues. That is what I am feeling. Winter blues. The weather has sucked every bit of motivation for running. This weekend I am registered to run the Tipp Hill Shamrock run. HA! Haven't trained ONE BIT. Pray for me will ya.

I do have to say that I haven't been totally slacking on exercise. Just taking a different route. Monday's I take a Pilates class, Tuesday/Thursday I take a Yoga class and Wednesday/Friday I teach a PiYo class (combo pilates and yoga). And you know what. I love it and I am finding muscles I never knew I had!!

It has been about 5-6 months since I have been doing yoga. I am now in love with it. The workout is amazing and it will kick your butt! No, it isn't an aerobic exercise, but it definitely makes you break a sweat. Oh boy, does it make you break a sweat. However, I do have to say I enjoy the more...athletic...version of yoga. Although I do appreciate the relaxation, get in touch with the universe, it isn't really something I focus on it my class. For me, I enjoy the deep breathing while working. Forcing you to concentrate on what your doing and what your body is telling you. And sometimes. It says -- "will you stop already!" or "No fucking way"

Friday's I teach a PiYo class to my co-workers for free. Why? Because I love to teach it and they are willing to take it. Well today they surprised me with a beautiful card and a $65 gift certificate to Spring Studio (this is where I take Pilates). I was so touched and felt a little bad. Today I was in a mood and the class was shall we say -- ummmm--challenging. They said they loved it, but they may not feel that way tomorrow.

Anyhoo, here is a great exercise to try if you want to work you butt --

Lie on your side.
Bring your knees in (like you are sitting in a chair, but you are on your side)
Raise your top leg.
Dip down your top knee to touch your bottom knee (you are bringing your top knee down at an angle-- your toes will be pointed up towards the ceiling)- bring it up
NEXT
dip down your big toe of your top foot (you knee should be pointing up towards the ceiling), to the big toe of your bottom foot.

So it is knee to knee -- toe to toe

Enjoy.