Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Biting the Bullet

Women Run the WorldYes, it is official -- I have registered for the 2015 MORE/Fitness Magazine Half Marathon in New York City on April 19th.  Call me crazy, but I need a somewhat lofty goal to get me through the cold winter months.  The 12th Annual MORE/Fitness Magazine Half-Marathon is an all-women's race that brings together thousands of women of varied backgrounds, ages, sizes and fitness levels.  The entire race is in Central Park which is one of my very favorite places to run!  There will be plenty of spirit, support and fun during and after the race at the post-race festival.

I am up to three pain-free miles on the treadmill and I know that I can do this by April. It has always been my experience that all-women races are super empowering to the participants.  Who wants to join me?  Check out the link at: Registration will close soon, so why not bite the bullet too?  Hope to see you at the starting line!!!

Sunday, January 18, 2015

Great Etsy Store for Runners

I have been eyeing an item on Etsy for the past two years and finally bit the bullet. I purchased a running medal holder for my best running buddy as a holiday gift and of course decided that I needed one too!  What great gifts - we love them!!!

I hung the holder up yesterday and several hours later, proudly displayed some of my marathon medals.

I will definitely purchase another two plaques. The choices are amazing.  Here are my two other favorites:

Running Medal Holder race medals running gifts Find Your Happy Pace
                                                  and...Running Medal Holder - Steve Prefontaine Quote

You must check these out at:  Strut Your Stuff Sign Company - Running Medal Holders, Signs and Gifts. Happy shopping!!!  Let me know which one(s) you choose.

Friday, January 16, 2015

Bucket List

So, today was not one of my better days.  With that in mind, I decided that I needed to do some daydreaming and put together a bucket list of marathons that I must do before I am 90. Daydreaming always makes me feel better.  Here goes...

U.S. Marathons

SS14121.  Big Sur International Marathon - Big Sur to Carmel, California
This one is at the very top of my list because the course boasts the very best scenery.  I better run it sooner than later because it is very difficult.  I am not planning on any fast times in this one but will run it by 2017 -- that is a promise!

2.  Twin Cities - Minneapolis to St. Paul, Minnesota
Twin Cities has been called the most beautiful urban marathon in America.  This looks like a great fall race.

3.  Disney World - Orlando, Florida
Who wouldn't have fun running through the Disney parks?  And... the finisher's medal is so cool!  I guess I am a bit nuts since I really want to do the Dopey Challenge as described on the website:  Are you ready for the ultimate endurance challenge? Then take part in four days of fun for a total of 48.6 miles in the all-new Dopey Challenge! Participants will run the 5K, 10K, Half Marathon and Marathon, and if you complete all four races within the pacing requirements you will be awarded the Goofy Race and a Half Challenge medal and the brand new Dopey Challenge finisher medal for a total of six pieces of "bling."

4.  Flying Pig - Cincinnati, Ohio
I love pigs so I am intrigued by the name alone!  Actually, Cincinnati is a great town and I have heard rave reviews about this marathon.  Also, it seems easier to find good marathons in the fall than in the spring, so when I hear of a fun, well organized spring marathon, I am very tempted.  Okay, I must have the pig shirt too!

5.  Honolulu - Honolulu, Hawaii
The course goes along the water with a 5 am start -- who could ask for anything more?  I suppose that I can wait a while to run this one because there is an added bonus:  no cut-off time!!!                                                            
Honolulu Marathon 2014 start photo

Napa Valley Marathon
6.  Napa Valley - Napa, California
Known as the "biggest little marathon" in the west, this marathon features a picturesque point-to-point course that is primarily downhill except for the first six miles of rolling hills.
The race is limited to 2,300 participants so there is plenty of "elbow room."  I will have a big support team of avid wine tasters for this event!


My daydreaming continues with some international "flavor."  The list that follows will require a lot of frequent flyer mileage points, that's for sure.  Stay tuned for details on these marathons in a separate blog post.

International Marathons

1.  261 Women's Marathon - Mallorca, Spain

2.  Venice - Venice, Italy

3.  London - London, England

4.  The Great Wall - Tianjin Province, China

5.  Athens - Athens, Greece

6.  Berlin - Berlin, Germany

7.  Amsterdam - Amsterdam, Netherlands

8.  Vancouver - Vancouver, British Columbia

9.  Niagra Falls International - Buffalo, New York to Niagra Falls, Canada

So, what marathons are on your bucket list???

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Knee Surgery and My Christmas Gift

Well, I finally bit the bullet and, on November 6th, 2014, had arthroscopic surgery on my right knee.  My orthopedic surgeon said that my surgery would be a "slam dunk" and it truly was!  During my orthopedic consult, the doctor explained that he was extremely confident that the surgery would be successful since the pain I was experiencing was due to a medial meniscus tear and not at all due to arthritis; if I had arthritis in that knee, the surgeon would not have been able to guarantee such good results.  Fortunately, my right knee is arthritis-free, miracle of miracles with all the years of running so many miles, not to mention all the pounding from four years of college basketball and tennis.

The surgical procedure was only 45 minutes long and primarily involved cleaning up the torn meniscus.  I actually walked up three flights of stairs to my apartment post-surgery and then proceeded to become "best friends" with the IceMan ice machine, one of the greatest creations ever made.

DonJoy Iceman CLEAR3 Cold Therapy Unit
The IceMan

DonJoy Universal Pad

Knee Pad & Wrap for the IceMan

For three days, rest, elevation and ice were of paramount importance. After that, I was able to move around pretty well; the biggest issue was the swelling, especially because I always stand while working. 

I started physical therapy five days after surgery, but only went three times.  I found that I could do all the exercises myself and have been quite diligent.  The most important exercise is the Supine Straight Leg Raise - it strengthens the quadriceps (frontal thigh muscle) without putting any pressure on the knee. It is also critical to regain full range of motion in the knee joint as quickly as possible.

Supine Straight Leg Raise

For six weeks post surgery, I spent as much time as I could on the upright bicycle, trying to maintain some semblance of aerobic fitness.  Then, on Christmas Day, I decided that it was time to "test drive" the knee; it was an absolutely beautiful day in Fairfield County, CT -- the sun was shining and it was about 45-50 degrees.  I actually ran one-and-a-half miles outdoors and it was sheer bliss!!!  I cannot think of a better Christmas present to have given myself.  The best part was that my knee felt so great.

I know that I have to come back slowly so I am integrating a little running with lots of indoor cycling.  I must keep reminding myself..... in the long run, SLOW AND STEADY WINS THE RACE.  At this point in my life, it's all about perseverance -- I want to be able to run for as long as possible, so I must be patient.

Are you considering arthroscopic surgery?  Please let me know if you have any questions about the procedure or the recovery process.