I stepped way out of my comfort zone – and survived!

Remember back in December 2011 when I declared it All About Me time and I pledged to try new things, including taking a group fitness class?

Well, I’m happy to report that I FINALLY did it.  It only took me 3 years and 2 months to get up the courage. :-)  Disclaimer: it wasn’t a bounce around on your two feet type class, which I still don’t have the courage to do.  It was a spin sort of class (more below).  And not only did I survive, but I had fun!  And I’m combing the schedule to see when I can fit another one in this week!

I decided on a whim yesterday to look for something new to do during my self-imposed running hiatus.  I had heard about a local studio called Pedal Wild, but didn’t really know much, other than the bikes are funky, not your “normal” spin bikes.  Turns out that their bikes and the classes are just perfect for me – because they give you an all over body workout.  And it’s only minutes away from my house.  They are “Real Ryder” bikes – designed to simulate real riding, with more movement side to side that works the core because you have to stabilize.  The instructor would yell out when we were supposed to lean side to side and we’d hold it for certain length of time, switching hand positions. Video of them here:

When the instructor set me up before class, she assured me that no one had ever fallen on them.  I told her that I’ve fallen on my trainer in my house, so might very well be the first person ever to wipe out in her class.  She looked horrified. :-)

I didn’t fall.  I didn’t embarrass myself. No one looked at me and pointed and made fun of how uncoordinated I am.  Time flew by. It was a very good workout – working my core and my upper body as well as my legs.

real ryder

I’m so glad I stepped out of my comfort zone!

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I’m out for Blue Ridge.  A destination marathon isn’t in the cards (or, more accurately, the wallet) this Spring.  I’m disappointed.  But there will be other times.

I’m also taking a 2 week hiatus from running.  After running my 20 miler a couple weeks ago things have just felt off with my left leg – right where my tibial stress fractures were in 2013.  I’m probably just imagining it, but since I’m not training for a marathon anymore, and since it’s frickin freezing here anyway, I am going to be on the safe side and just bike for a couple weeks.

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Blue Ridge Marathon Training, Week #7

Bigger mileage week this week.  Didn’t plan it well with work and the weather, so ended up saving a longish run for the weekend, before my long run.  Not ideal.  I cut the long run short (from 18 to 15) because I seriously could not take one more step – it was cold (14 with zero degree windchill) and my legs were dead (from the hills or, more likely from having done 11 miles the day before).


Mile run: 47; Miles biked: 16; Core – only once;

  • M: lazy day
  • T: 10 miles (8:48; with 5 miles about 8:10ish)
  • W: 7 iles (9:24)
  • Th: 4 miles (9:34)
  • F: biked 16 miles
  • Sa: 11 miles (9:11)
  • Su: 15 miles (9:34)

On to week #8

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Blue Ridge Marathon Training Week #6

Blue Ridge Marathon training week #6 was the hardest week yet.  And it was a cut back week.  Funny how that happens.  Anyway, I was dealing with a cold, the uncertainty with the hernia and lack of motivation – so I cut back even on the cut back mileage.


29 miles run; 25 miles biked

  • M: 2.4 miles (10:14)
  • T: Bike 2.6
  • W: 8 miles (10:00); Bike 10.6;
  • Th: Bike 12.6
  • F: 8 miles (8:59)
  • Sa: 11 miles (9:43)
  • Su: rest

Restart button, please.

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My New Running Fashion Accessory

It’s your lucky day, blog readers.  You get a sneak peek of the SUPER sexy and fashionable item that I’m gonna start wearing during my runs.


umbilical hernia belt

I know what you are thinking.  WTF is that ugly thing?  Is she serious?

Unfortunately, I am.

It’s an Umbilical Hernia Belt.  Yes, I said hernia.  Apparently my 17 miles of hills on Sunday caused a hernia.  Which, frankly, I’m relieved about because when I woke up Monday morning and felt a lump on my lower abdomen about 2 inches below my belly button, I convinced myself I had cancer and the end was near.  So a hernia is a relief.  And an umbilical hernia (as opposed to an inguinal hernia) is even more of a relief.  (Because many people can have an umbilical hernia and not need surgery; with an inguinal hernia, surgery is necessary).

Here’s what I learned about an umbilical hernia, in the lay terms that my (new and awesome!) doctor explained to me:  Umbilical hernias are common in babies and not super common in adults.  They happen more frequently with women who have had kids because pregnancy and childbirth weaken the abdominal walls.  They are often caused with activities that overexert yourself with pressure on the abdomen (a lot of times with obesity, which obviously isn’t my case).  The hernia itself is fat poking through a weak area of my abdominal muscle that created a small hole (and during the exertion the fat poked through).

I had basically self-diagnosed myself before seeing the doctor (thank you Google).  But she took a history, did an exam (classic sign: the lump is there when standing up, but when you lay down it disappears and can’t be felt), and then did an ultrasound to confirm with images.

The good news, in my particular case, is that I don’t need surgery because: it isn’t painful (the first day it was tender to the touch, but I can never feel pain when I’m just sitting here and living life – not touching it); it isn’t interfering with my bowel movements (TMI, sorry); the first layer of muscle is completely intact (the layer that keeps the guts in); it is TINY according to the doctor.  (Google “umbilical hernia images” and you will see some NASTY looking photos; mine looks nothing like that – it is mostly just something I can feel by touch and you can see a slight bump if you know where to look and are searching for it).  Some umbilical hernias “relapse” – where they sort of shrink and recede (the fast is going back where it belongs) and then appear again with exertion.  Some remain as is.  But as long as it’s not painful, obstructing bowels or interfering with life activities, I can just let it me.  If it gets bigger, interferes with bowels or bugs me, we can talk about surgery (from what I read surgery always and very easily fixes hernias).

The other good news is that she said I can run as much as always.   Whew.  She said if it bothers me while running, to wear the super sexy umbilical hernia belt.  It sort of is like compression socks, but for the abdomen.  Or a girdle. Tucks things in to where they should be.  She did say if it bothers me or interferes with running, to come back and discuss surgery.  She also said that I can and SHOULD do ab exercises like planks, etc (not crazy ones with swinging movements and weights – which I don’t do anyway) because if my abs are stronger, that, too, will keep things in place where they are supposed to be.

Always something to keep life interesting! :-)

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Blue Ridge Marathon Training, Week #5

How do you train for a mountain marathon when you live in Minnesota and don’t have a mountain near you?  Find the hilliest section that you can and run it over and over and over for 17 miles.  Blah.  That’s what I did for my long run today.  There is this stretch of road that’s 1.25 miles long and pretty hilly, with one bad ass hill right in the middle of it.  In my training for “normal” marathons, I’ve avoided this stretch of road at all costs.  Seriously.  It sucks.  But today I ran it over and over and over again.  Just as I was starting the climb up the bad ass hill (14% incline), another runner came up behind me and said “Hey.  You doing this hill first or last?”.  I felt like a bad ass when I said, “First, last and middle, I’m running this stretch of road for 17 miles!”  (I ran it 3 times and walked it twice)

So this week started off freezing cold (again!) but ended up gorgeous with sun and 35 yesterday and today.  Wheee!

Recap of Week 5 of Blue Ridge Marathon Training:

Miles run: 50.3; Miles walked: 4; Miles biked 12.6; core/strength 2 times

  • M: 5 miles (9:50 on TM); biked 12.6 miles
  • T: 9 miles (9:40 on TM)
  • W: 5.1 miles (10:16 footing was SLIPPERY and my legs were SO tired)
  • Th: walk 4 hilly miles on TM
  • F: 7.1 miles (9:52 on TM)
  • Sa: 7.1 miles (8:30 with 4 miles about 8:05ish)
  • Su: 17 HILLY miles (9:04 with 1492 feet elevation)

Cut back week next week.  I need it.  My body is tired.

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