Escape your life for a little while — come play in mine.

Posts Tagged ‘Adventures in exercise’

Operation Giveback! (aka the Wounded Warriors Run/Walk/Roll)

Posted by Lissa on May 15, 2012

Good morning all! Sorry for the missed post yesterday; I had a doctor’s appointment before work and when there’s not time for typing AND baby-examining . . . well.

I’m proud to say that Mike and I along with his parents attended the Second Annual Operation Giveback race in Orlando. We attended last year too – Mike ran the 10K and I (with my injured feet) cheered from the sideline. This year (due in part to Mike’s calf injury) we all four of us walked the 5K.


As always, we started at 0-dark-30. I’d really been hoping to run this year – damn I’ve been injured for a long time – but it feels a lot better when 1) I’m at least participating, even if it’s a walk rather than a jog; 2) I have a much happier reason than misbehaving feet to sit out a 5K.

I will admit to puffing a bit – my heart wasn’t working hard but pregnancy-breathlessness does hit me sometimes – but I finished the 3.1 miles in just under an hour. No matter how airless your lungs feel, the sight of a Bionic Hero chugging along always makes you realize you should just stop freakin’ whining and get on with it, already.

And speaking of Bionic Heroes . . . I admit this next part is silly, and a bit vain, but whatever.

I’ve been told pretty frequently that I have a nice smile. That’s a very nice compliment, and an amusing one, insofar as my teeth are crooked and I’m no Cover Girl. But it’s always fun to hear. And I was really grateful for my nice smile when I walked past a Wounded Warrior hiking along with one leg and two sticks. He was flanked by two soldiers in fatigues – I imagine to make sure none of the psycho/stumbling runners ran into him – and when I smiled my prettiest at them and thanked them for their service, all three of their faces LIT UP. It was wonderful and humbling and makes me tear up just a little.

Anyway. Vanity aside over. It’s a great cause; I hope anyone in the area will come do it next year. At that point, I’m aiming to have a jogging stroller!!!


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Little steps forward

Posted by Lissa on October 25, 2011

Eleven months.

That’s about how long it’s been since I had my one perfect, glorious, graceful run of four miles.

It’s been ten and three quarter months since my feet started hurting with what I thought was plantar fasciitis.

Ten months since I started resting for a few weeks before trying again.

Seven months since I first called the podiatrist.

Six months since they stuck me in an MRI machine. Six months since the podiatrist put me on strict exercise and footwear bed rest.

I’ve cried, cussed and despaired along the way. And gotten good ***damn sick of my Crocs flats. But it paid off.

As of this week I’m allowed to start the elliptical. If no pain develops then next week I can try the treadmill.

There’s a 5K in three months that’s got my name on it, baby!!

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Posted by Lissa on May 17, 2011

Every muscle in my body is in massive, screaming pain. I could study for my A&P Muscles test by tracing each individual path of agony through my limbs. Even my FINGERS AND FINGERNAILS hurt, for cryin’ out loud!!

Why? What did I do?

Well, I killed three birds with one stone:

1) I worked on my tan
2) I got some serious, SERIOUS exercise
3) I ripped out about twenty-five feet (and eight years’ worth) of matted, overgrown ivy and weeds.


See, there’s a boxed-in raised bed behind the lanai. I never really went back there, but vaguely assumed that it had the same type of bushes found in the front and along the sides. I promised myself that at some point I would ditch the bushes and replace it with happier stuff, and this weekend was the time.

Imagine my shock when I examined the bed and found nothing but WEEDS. Grasses. Ivy. Most of which had decently shallow roots . . . but those shallow roots were UP TO FIFTEEN F***CKING FEET IN LENGTH!! WTF?!?!?

So I slipped on my gardening gloves, grabbed the hedge clippers, a shovel and a trowel, and started ripping away.

By the time I was 90% done my hands were shaking so much that I dropped the small rose bush (in its pot) rather than gently lowering it. Oh, and it slashed both my lip and my hand as it fell.

Oh well. It was worth it — I’ve got (more) basil, and German thyme, and sweet mint, and spicy globe basil plants all situated. I took my two strawberry plants and my (really tall and healthy! Yay!!) rosemary plant and bedded those as well. I’ve already mentioned the small rosebush (red, of course!). And just for fun I sowed seeds for lettuce, alyssum, poppy and lupine. And hanging by my front door i’ve got some pink zinnias and a small aloe plant.

So — aching painful muscles, a kind of serious sunburn on my lower back, and a garden planted with pretty things and tasty herbs. I’ll take it!!

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Mike runs the Wounded Warrior 10K!

Posted by Lissa on May 16, 2011

While Lissa has been languishing with her wounded feet, Mike has really gotten into this distance-running thing. He’d done a 5K on March 5th and pushed really hard to be ready for this 10K.

And so, bright and ungodly early, we piled onto the UCF campus for the Operation Giveback race.

They started off with a host making a speech (punctuated by calls for HOO-AH, which were fine, and once the phrase “very, very hoo-ah,” which was not!) and introduction of the Bionic Heroes participating in the event:


(They tended to use “wounded warriors” or “wounded heroes,” but I like Bionic Heroes better.)

They lined everyone up with the Bionic Heroes in front (they got a five minute headstart):


I captured Mike as he broke from the starting line:


And again as he approached the finish line (marked by the metal latticework you see):


He says, by the way, that I cheered loud enough to penetrate the exhaustion and tunnel vision; he heard me. Along with everyone else in a 10K radius. 🙂

Overall, just a great, great day. I’m so proud of Mike for pushing himself to be ready and SO proud and happy that he did it for such a great cause.

And Bionic Heroes are The Shit.

The End

UPDATE: The World’s Most Dangerous (Bionic?) Librarian links; thanks!

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Workout Wednesday and Delicious Meat

Posted by Lissa on December 8, 2010

Helllooooo everybody!  Between stabbing myself in the palm with sewing shears and spearing myself on straight pins, it’s been a Christmassy workshop around here.  But we’re still finding time to work out 🙂  In fact, last week I jogged 4.0 miles without stopping — that’s the longest I’ve ever done.  I would like to thank the Academy; my husband Mike, for being my running partner; and beautiful Florida, for providing perfect 55° weather and flat sidewalks with no hills.  It’s really pretty awesome when setting out for a 2.6 mile run with no stops is a “short” run.

One thing I’ve noticed, technique-wise: I have to start very, very slow.  Jogging-at-the-speed-of-powerwalking slow.  If I start super-slow then I can concentrate on form and focus on quick, light footsteps with a fast turnover.  Once I settle into rhythm then I can speed up and go from there.  If, instead, I start at a normal speed?  Disaster!  I gasp for breath, my feet start pounding, my shins ache, I can’t flow, and all I want to to do is stop and walk.  Seriously, the first 5 minutes of my run can make, or ruin, the next 35.

And why do we need to make sure we work out?  Well . . .

Chianti braised short ribs coming up!

. . . it just so happens that short ribs were on sale this week 🙂  I couldn’t find any recipe I really liked, so I kind of made it up as I went along.  (Sliced onions across the bottom, topped with sun dried tomato spread, sprinkled savory, marjoram, thyme and a bit of mustard, browned short ribs, sauteed minced garlic, halved baby portabellas, a few sliced carrots, fresh chopped rosemary, beef broth, and Chianti.  Low and slow, baby!)

Oh, and since The Runt Compound was showing off knives, I’d like to show you the best use for a watch that has a dead battery:

Hideaway beneath watch

(That’s my little Hideaway knife, set to be grabbed with my right hand.  Damn I love that thing.)

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One of the many reasons I love my husband . . .

Posted by Lissa on September 29, 2010

. . . is that he doesn’t indulge in “I told you so.”

We were in a hotel over the weekend for a Mike Work Conference Thing-y and took the opportunity to play in the gym.  We do have a little gym in our apartment building here — one of the many things I’m going to miss when we move — but it has very few weight machines.  Thus, when confronted with the richness of row after row of Nautilus, I dove right in.

I was pumping out leg curls on this machine —

— when Mike wandered over from the free weights.

“Honey, you want to be careful on that one, or you won’t be able to walk,” he said mildly.

“I’m fine!!” I puffed.  “Feels good!” I panted.

Jeez, I know how to lift weights! Does Mike think he married some namby-pamby, delicate, fragile little thing? Hell no! I had a temp job moving furniture, for heavens’ sake!

I pumped out another set to prove my point.

Ladies and gentlemen, we all see where this is going, do we not?


We finished our workout and stretching and walked up the stairs.  I admit to feeling a twinge of misgiving, seeing as how my legs didn’t quite RESPOND the way they normally do.  I took some Aleve and was relieved that everything seemed okay.

The day after (Monday) I was substantially sore.  I could *feel* what a mistake the machine, and in particular the last set of curls, had been.

And Tuesday?


I spent yesterday walking around like a 90 year old after two hip replacements. I spent more time easing myself into and out of chairs than Nomar before receiving a pitch. I was munching Aleve like they were Altoids.*  Every time I sat for longer than an hour it was almost impossible to get up again.  I was tottering around like a toddler with a full diaper.

Thank GOODNESS it’s better today.  *sigh*

And what lesson did we learn from this, boys and girls?



. . .why, what did you think I’d learned?

*No, not really. But I wanted to!!!

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Workout Wednesday: Outdoors edition

Posted by Lissa on September 15, 2010

Good morning everyone!  Soooooo, Mike and I started running outside this month.  Hooray!  Mind you, we only did it after he promised me

1) We could go as slow as I wanted

2) I could take a break whenever I wanted

3) He wouldn’t complain about 1) or 2)

He was also nice enough to let me lead the whole time (except for up the two hills; he took over there because I tend to wimp out halfway).  I run so much faster and better when I’m leading someone than when I’m following someone.  I’m the same way in hiking.  Isn’t that funny?

We have a nice 2.6 mile course laid out by the Kitty Den and I’ve run it six times so far. Running outdoors is SOOOO MUCH NICER than a treadmill!!!  There are things to look at, and a breeze, and cars, and lakes, and geese!  (And hills.  I hate hills.  They kick my ass.)

I thought treadmill running was easier than outdoor running — a set pace, lower impact to your feet, and a/c — but I was wrong.  It’s so easy for me to quit halfway through a treadmill run: “I’m booooooored.  I’m tiiiiiiiiiired.  I ran for fifteen minutes already.  I wanna go eat breakfast!” Etc., etc.  Whereas running outside . . . well, if I quit halfway, I’m still gonna have to WALK the second half in order to get home.  This has a lovely effect on my mental hardiness.

I also recommend the iMapMyFitness app.  You have to start it up before you leave the house — if you don’t start with wifi access it doesn’t work so well — but it maps out the roads you jogged, how far it was, how long it took you, and — this is key — your elevation during the run.  Eventually I’ll crop out one of those elevation maps and show you exactly where I die every run.  Twice.

Strap on those shoes!  Get outside!  There’s a pretty and interesting world that wants you to jog by it!!

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Workout Wednesday

Posted by Lissa on July 28, 2010

I almost passed out on my run yesterday.  I think.

I’m not real familiar with fainting — I’ve only done it once* — but as I was finishing the last few minutes of yesterday’s 5K I started feeling nauseated and the world got a little fuzzy.  And cold.  Anytime things get cold after a half hour on the treadmill seems like it would be rather troublesome.

Not wanting to do this, I slowed down by a whole kph while I caught my breath.  After thirty seconds the nausea abated so I sped up again.  I ended up doing 5K in 30:05 — new record for me! Yay!

I seriously haven’t run this far, or this well, since I was eighteen.  I remember training in high school and keeping a running journal — my goal was to run two miles in eighteen minutes.  (You cross-country people, shut up and stop laughing! I’m a sprinter, dammit! Distances are HARD!)  I remember being so proud when I achieved that goal.  I wonder how hard it would be to do nowadays.

Now that I’m all trained up on 5K, we might actually enter a road race.  Once Mike’s ankle recovers he’s thinking of bumping up to the C210K plan (couch to 10k, as opposed to 5K), but I think that’s more running than I want to do on a regular basis 😉

It’s a beautiful summer day, y’all!  Get up, and get active!

*Hmmmm. I don’t believe I’ve told the story of my fainting episode before. Or have I? I’ll do some searching in the archives and let you know.

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Workout Wednesday: Turning point?

Posted by Lissa on July 21, 2010

On Monday I jogged for 31 minutes and made 5K on the treadmill.  Hooray!!! Seriously, I think that’s the farthest I’ve jogged without a break since I was 18 and doing varsity track.  But that’s only half of it.

On Saturday I jogged for 31:11 minutes and made 3 miles.  And I was in the potential Lissaville South.

Last week I made my three days of exercise easily.  That included workouts in Canada and in Lissaville South.

I’m actually dedicated enough — or optimistic enough! — that I’m working out in foreign countries and trips to the South.

Does that mean exercise is the new normal?  Yes.

Does it mean it’s a no-brainer, a habit now?  No!  There is ALWAYS the chance that I’ll miss a few days.  And then a few more.  And that will turn into a week, two weeks, a month, and more. The Charity Challenge still provides necessary incentive.

But . . . I’m proud of myself for the 5K.  And I hope to keep going.  🙂

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Workout Wednesday: Cheating edition

Posted by Lissa on June 16, 2010

Good morning everyone! Here’s a curiosity question — does your spine crack both ways?  My middle-to-lower back does.  I mean, if I’m standing around for a while and then slowly bend at the waist, my spine emits loud snap crackle ‘n’ pops.  The same happens, although not as loudly, if I arch my back or twist from side to side.  It’s like a frickin’ Jiffy Pop shaker back there.

Running also makes crackly stuff build up in my spine.  It’s not too troublesome while I jog, but as soon as I stop and bend over to stretch, there’s a mini fourth of July celebration coming out of my back.  Now all I need is the 1812 Overture . . .

Anyway, like the title says – I cheated yesterday.  I didn’t mean to, not really, though I can’t promise I wouldn’t have slowed down.  Yesterday’s run was two ten-minute segments of jogging, separated by three minutes of walking.  I ran after work, which I never do; my exercise is always second thing in the morning.  (The first thing in the morning?  Caffeine and blogging, baby.)  So I pant my way through ten minutes of jogging, walk three minutes, and doggedly start jogging again. I have a towel draped over the display so that I can’t count the minutes, seconds and heartbeats until the next rest period; I wait as long as I can before peeking at the countdown.

OH JOY! Only 30 seconds left!  I’m so happy and so pleasantly surprised – I’d guessed three minutes or more would be left!  I finish the half-minute and slow the treadmill to a quick walk . . . only the c25k program didn’t beep.  Uh oh.  I check the iPhone and — CRAP! — I had three minutes left!  Dammit dammit dammit — my desperate mental math hadn’t accounted for the rest period when I thought I was done.  Crap.

So I walked a minute and then sped up to jogging again; I completed the last three minutes and ran way faster than normal for the last sixty seconds.  Then I keeled over and died.

Coffee has resurrected me.  😉

Songs for this week:

  1. People of the Sun by Rage Against the Machine
  2. Ray of Light by Madonna
  3. What If by Creed
  4. Chaiyya Chaiyya by Sukhwinder Sigh and Sapana Awasthi (otherwise known as the opening theme to The Inside Man
  5. Through Glass by Stone Sour

Go hit that treadmill, gym rats!

P.S. I’m running out of songs to share with y’all!  And I’m getting a little sick of my current mix.  Might have to do some Amazon browsing this week 🙂

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