Monday, September 26, 2011

Definitely not the bee's knees!

**Update** - saving you from reading my whining below lol:

I called the doctor today and got an appointment 1 hour later - sweet! I just needed to make sure, for my own peace of mind, that nothing was injured with my knees and that I am ok to keep training. I also needed to talk about my new and ongoing knee pain (2 different areas) and find a solution.

Before I went I did some research and it seemed like my under the knee pain is just runner's knee, need to strengthen my thighs (quads). The inside on the side of my knee pain is just due to stretching.

... paid $30, doctor checked out my knees, bent my legs, moved them around all weird (awkward in a skirt, yikes!) ... and agreed with the above. He prescribed me 12 visits to P/T. I called when I got back to work and found out that it is a $50 copay per visit for P/T. Nope, I will not be going even once - thanks tho doc! :-p

Honestly, I'm glad I went and eased my mind about my knees. I don't have crappy knees... just weak thighs. Apparently sexy muscular thighs are useful, not just good looking... I need both of those benefits so time to start on the thighmaster! Haha just kidding... I found some good exercises online for both stretching and strengthening my quads so hopefully by the time we run the race ( 5 more weeks of training, ahhh!) my knee pain will be gone gone gone gone GONE.

AND knowing I don't have bad knees gets me more excited for a long running career and who knows... maybe one day even a full marathon! No worries... that's even further off than my "one day I will get pregnant" and we all know how far THAT is...(if you don't, its VERY far off in the future, so far I can't even imagine it lol.)

Anyway... peace of mind was worth $30 and now I just need to do daily exercises to work on those muscles and maybe I too can have the bee's knees type of knees ;-)

... speaking of which, do bees even have knees?

***End of update ***
Is it weird to be jealous of someone's knees? Haha. Luke is doing great during training and doesn't mind going slow with me which is a huge help. We are both adding on the mileage together and feeling good about our goal. Unfortunately for me, my knees are just not the bee's knees... meaning they suck... majorly lol - and I am super jealous of Luke's pain free knees :(

Usually I get the "under the knee cap" type of pain but starting last Friday I have developed this weird "on the inside side" of my knee pain. After doing a 5k on the treadmill both of my knees hurt in the same spot, as if I had been banging them together while running - which I assure you I was not haha. Then we went to a movie on Friday night (The Help - so good! :)) and I felt like an 80 year old woman trying to stand up afterward... pain, so much pain.

No clue what I've done or am doing to cause this pain... just wish it would go away. Its ok that I'm wheeze-mc-fatkid and need to run slow and build mileage slowly, but this knee pain is really putting a damper on my half marathon training and I don't like it one bit.

Our 6 mile run on Saturday turned into a 3 mile run - partially due to lack of time but also because I could not handle the extra distance. This week our mileage should be 5/6/4/8 -... do you see that big fat 8 for Saturday? How can I do that if I can't walk after the other 3 days of training without pain? *Giant Sigh*

Whine whine whine whine.... and now that that is over... what do I do?

Friday, September 23, 2011

Purple People Eater!

I think my love of running may stem 50% from my love of work-out clothes haha. Maybe I just run so I have an excuse to buy cute things... hrm... o well, at least its a healthy habit ;-)

Our 1/2 Marathon is scheduled for November 5th, which I'm thinking is not going to be track shorts weather. I LOVE my new shorts for training and will wear them until it drops below 60 but I figured I may want something a little warmer for the race.

I found these lovelies on and knew they needed to be mine:

Nike low-rise running capri - so comfortable and super cute! I love that they come below my knee and are snug, have a zipper on the back waist band for my house/car key, and sit right on my hips and do not ride up at all. Fantastic all around!
Nike had them on sale for 30$ but they did not have my size. I found a coupon and went to buy them at Dick's Sporting Goods on my lunchbreak yesterday and found out they were on sale for 30$ there too - jackpot! I ended up getting a matching purple sports bra and the pants for the original price of the pants, what a deal! Super happy kid... now I wish it was cold enough to wear them!! :)

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Get out of your head and on the road!

#1 most valuable fact I've learned this week about running - it's hard!... and your head makes it harder than your body!
Its fun (most of the time), its rewarding, sometimes its easier than others, but in general it's hard... and it should be!

Some days are more difficult than others tho... and yesterday was definitely one of those days.

Issues that caused a bad run:
1. Weather - only in the low 70s but overcast, humid and sticky
2. Knees were sore from Monday's 4 mile run
3. - and the most problematic - Bad day at work, no motivation to run, and I just could NOT get out of my head!

1.2 miles into our 5.2 mile run I gave up and walked. Luke did not abandon me, just kept going and circled back for me... so after .1 of walking I started in again. Jogging... walking... jogging... walking. Finally Luke just stopped and walked with me the last .4 of our 2.6 mile lap. I grabbed a quick drink at the car and started up again - the next 2.6 mile lap was way better - hard physically but easier mentally and I finished it. I ran 4.6 miles of our total run and only walked .6 so that isn't so bad for such an awful start. Sometimes you just have to give yourself that angry walking time, get over it, and keep going.

Things that made my run better:
1. Walking a short distance and then going again
2. Walking the last short stretch of the lap and starting fresh on the next lap
3. - and the most helpful - a supportive husband who does not push me or get upset with me, just sets a good  example and circles back for me once I've had time to cool down/calm down.

Thanks sweetie - you are the best running partner I could ever hope for :)

So, note to self: Not every day will be your best running day, not every day will make you happy and feeling awesome, but if you calm down and keep on going, you'll feel a lot better in the end instead of giving up and being frustrated.

2 more training days this week - 5k at work on the treadmill on Friday and a 6 mile run on Saturday.
I can do this, I will do this, and it will get better.

After this week we only have 5 more training weeks and then a slower rest week before the race... yikes!

Alaska Day 7 - Farewell dear friend!

Day 7 - our final day in Alaska and with MC - sadness!!

MC was able to take Friday off too so we went exploring. I could finally walk just fine so we decided to do some more hiking.

First however, we headed to the Alaskan Pipeline - can't miss a chance to see that!

Trying to figure out which way to go?

I guess Germans can't read signs - get off that pipe Lukas! :)
It was interesting to see and crazy to think of how far this pipeline stretches! Apparently there is some controversy about wanting to route the pipeline through Canada - hence the "Canada my ass, its alaska's gas" sign in some very well-educated person's yard ;-)

Next we headed toward Chena Hot Springs and stopped off at Angel Rock for some hiking:

Hrm... could this be a dead end? :)
No pictures of the hot springs - we were too busy enjoying their mineral bath-water like goodness. It clouded up and started raining while we were hiking so it was perfect weather to enjoy the naturally heated baths. We stayed in for over an hour, chilling on some chairs and relaxing after a long and adventurous week in Alaska. A great way to end our stay for sure!

Thanks so much to MC for hosting us and showing us around - you rock! So glad we got to spend time together... muahhhhh for having good friends so far away :(

Dear Alaska - you were awesome, we will be back one day - love, The Fischers

... and now its back to deary every day work life... *le sigh*

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Alaska Day 6

MC had lots of research and a conference to prepare for so Luke and I chilled most of the morning/afternoon on Thursday, which was really nice! Remember, we are on VACATION! So that meant sleeping in, eating breakfast, watching a movie, then taking a nap hehe. In the afternoon we went to campus and walked around, checked out the university bookstore and then picked MC up from the lab.

For a fun little trip we went up to Murphy Dome and picked cranberries on the tundra. Awesome, I know :) Another picture string for you if you aren't sick of them already:

Murphy Dome

The lovely view from the tundra

Cranberry Picking

More cranberry picking

My feet sinking into the trampoline like moss - very fun to bounce on, I tried it ;-)
After a lovely little hike we went back and chilled at MC's. A lovely relaxing day if I do say so myself, just the type of day one MUST have while on vacation!

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Alaska Day 5

Back safely from Denali on Tuesday night, we went out to dinner in a lovely restaurant that looked like someone's house - pretty cool! I had the yummiest pesto pasta EVER and the desserts were pretty awesome too. A nice reweard after braving the wild and eating nutella sandwiches all night/day :)

We were ready for a bit of relaxing on Wednesday. I had a nice big blister on the side of my heel and my toes were super sore from my new hiking boots. The boots which are getting sent back tonight I would like to add - grumble grumble grumble. Somehow I also hurt both of my calves and had issues walking - needless to say a relaxing day was definitely in order.

We decided to do a bit of driving around with MC since she was able to take some time away from her research - dear girl! Here are a few of the awesome things we saw and places we visited:

We went for a little hike to start - lovely field and path in the woods

Finally found out why MCs car needs to be plugged in - apparently -40 is cold ;-)

Visiting North Pole, Alaska!

Luke chillin' in Santa's sleigh

I think this one was Prancer, he was not up for autographs tho

Those invisible reindeer are fast!

MC and I .. awww :)

Hanging out with Santa and his squirrel friends

Met my first polar bear, and got mauled!

FINALLY saw a moose - our only one while in Alaska

The hats say it all... hope Santa doesn't mind us borrowing his chair

O yes - these crossings really do exist
I refuse to take a picture of the moose crossing sign since the stuffed one in North Pole was the only one I saw the whole time we were there. We saw some antlers sticking out of the tall grass in Denali but that doesn't count really... ok it kind of does, I'll take what I can get haha. However, I hear that moose hang out in people's back yards, by the school, see them all the time around town ... nope, don't believe it, no moose in Alaska so not point for moose crossing sign pictures :)

Monday, September 19, 2011

Alaska Trip Day 4 - Denali Day 2

Welcome back to the Alaska picture sure, courtesy of the Fischers ;-)

Day 4 in Alaska - Day 2 in Denali National Park

The main season for the park ended the day we arrived and a new bus schedule for the final 1.5 weeks was posted Monday night. Unfortunately that final week+ schedule is a lot lighter than the normal schedule so our options for leaving the campsite were 8am or 1.45pm. Since its a 5 hour bus ride back to the entrance of the park and another 2 hour drive back to MC's place in Fairbanks, 8am was really our only option.

Bright and early at 6.30am we drug ourselves out of our tent to be greeted by this beautiful sight:

That's right - even tho only 30% of people get to see the mountain we got to see it both days! Love this sunrise photo - seriously majestic.

And then we got back on the bus... and here is another picture string of lovely things we saw:

6:30am - tired but excited to see Denali

Mt McKinley (Denali) at Wonder Lake

Caribou - Reindeer's wild cousin

Enjoying the wide open spaces

Apparently staking my claim on this valley :)

A little patriotism in the park

Awesome camper bus that got us in and out of the park safely!

Bear #3 - eating a pile of something dead

Pack of 11 wolves that chased bear #3 off and stole its food!!

Grizzly bear butt - #4

Side shot of silly grizzly #4 - sleeping right at the side of the road

Grizzly Bear #5

Grizzly #6 - collecting cranberries

Fall at Denali National Park

And that my friends is the end of our time in Denali - such an awesome park and a wonderful experience! We feel a little less like tourists and a little more like natives... ok not really, but still, we are awesome for surviving a night of camping and hiking in Alaska haha.

Stay tuned for more Fairbanks adventures coming up!

Run Fischers run! - A weekend update

Interrupting my Alaska posts for a little weekend update:

Friday - had a great 4 mile run in 46.5 minutes. That may be slow to some people but it was a good pace for me, especially since .35 miles of that was uphill in the beginning. Averaging around 11.38 min miles the whole way... not bad! That is probably the best we've been able to hit outside at the reservoir - that course is so short (1.1 miles) and slightly hilly so I'm usually super slow up there so I was feeling really good after we did so well.

Saturday -

In the morning we watched the Philadelphia Temple Groundbreaking Ceremony through a live broadcast at church which was awesome. If you would like to know more, please to go:

It was a great occasion to remember why temples are so important in our church and to strengthen my testimony of temples. It was also a good reminder to us to plan as a family to make going to the temple more of a priority.
The temple in Philadelphia will not be completed until around 2014 so we will still be driving down to DC for the next few years, but eventually it will be nice to have one less than an hour away. We will actually be heading down this Saturday since we just realized there are only 2 weeks left this month - yikes how the time flies!

After the temple groundbreaking broadcast, we went out to ice cream with some friends. A great way to get ready for our 7 mile jog in the evening! haha. Had a bit of lunch at home and then took a 2 hour nap... lovely way to spend the day.

In the evening we headed over to Glasgow park for our 7 mile run. That is the most either of us have ever run and the longest stretch of our half-marathon training so far. Over 1/2 of the distance we will have to run on race day.... and we made it! Slow but steady - took us 88 minutes - so about a 12.5 min mile average once you could in my quick potty break haha. The 2.6mile course makes it a lot easier to run long distances than our usual 1.1 mile course so it was not so bad running that long. In 2 weeks we will have a 8 mile run... hopefully we'll be up to it by then!  Slowly and steadily we are getting ready for this race... so proud of us, especially myself because I am definitely NOT athletic and am proud of the progress I have made so far.

Sunday -

No muscle pains after the long run on Saturday! Yay for us!

Church was good and we just chilled/crafted/etc. afterward for a nice relaxing afternoon.

I love weekends.... why is it Monday now? Why.... WHY!!!????

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Alaska Day 3 - Denali National Park

On Monday - Labor Day - Day 3 of our Alaska trip we picked up our rental car and drove 2 hours to Denali National Park for a day of bus riding, hiking, and camping. Are we insane... yes, yes I do believe we are. Was it worth it... yes, totally!

Weather... 60s? Weather at night... 40s or lower? Brrr...

So many pictures to show you - will try to narrow it down!

Fall from the bus - cranberry fields

Could not get enough of these fall colors!

First signing of "Denali" aka Mount McKinley from the bus

View from our first stop - gorgeous!

Let the windy "alaska hair" pictures begin! haha

These river beds look so fun to explore

Our first sighting of Dahl Sheep roaming around the hills
Stop #2 - man we love these mountain views

Dahl sheep chillin' by the bus

Hello there sheepie, want to come home with me?

Golden Eagle soaring by the bus window

Golden Eagle

Grizzly Bear #1

A crafty little fox sneaking through the bushes by the road

Stop #3, getting a little chilly and windy

Grizzly Bear #2 - sleeping about 10 feet off the trail

Bear sign keeping us off the trail due to Grizzly #2

Map of the 85 mile road our bus was slowly taking through the park to our campground

5 hours later - Wonder Lake Campground - Destination reached!

Closer view of Denali - only about 20 miles from our campground now

Happy to be off the bus in nature!

Wonder Lake

Feeling a little romantic ;-)

Start of our 3 hour hike

Bear paw on our path... look at those claws, yikes!

1.5 hours into the hike, cold and tired

Lovely path - does not give much visibility when looking out for bears tho!

3 hours later - the hike is done! And apparently so am I :)

Sunset in Denali

Sunset on Mt McKinley

Cold but excited about dinner

Bear Proof Food Locker

Staking our claim at the campsite

My first campsite outside of my backyard!

Cold and tired at sunset but loving the adventure

Changing pants behind tent while watching out for hikers

Denali - So clear and lovely!

And that my friends was our first day in Denali National Park!

My feet were pretty sore after the hike and we were pretty nervous looking for moose and bear along our path but fortunately it was a safe and beautiful hike. We were pretty cold and a bit uncomfortable while camping... espec. since we forgot to close the valve on our airpads and were basically just sleeping on the hard ground haha. MC gave me a sleeping bag that will keep one warm up to -40 degrees F... unfortunately we could not figure out which one it was when we got there. I def. did not end up with that one tho, it was so cold! Then the wind storm came... shake shake shake shake... all night long... yea, it was a rough night haha. We survived the night tho and lived to tell about it ;-)

Stay tuned for day two in Denali with more scenery and wild life sightings!