Friday, April 25, 2008

Time's just flying by.....

Yeah! Another week closer to my 1st marathon!!!


  • Monday: Went for a brief run, basically to stretch out my calves after last weekend's long run. Ran 1.44 miles when I met up with my neighbors walking their dog. So, I stopped running and walked around the island with them. I chatted with the "govenor" about running; he's run many marathons and always has good stories about them.

  • Wednesday: Another timed 2 mile run for karate. Since I have already made my "time" and won't be testing for my belt until November/December, I'm not going "all out" and risking injury with my timed runs. Instead, I'm going to help the candidates for the August cycle to get their times under 16 minutes. This night, I ran next to a young boy (I don't know his name yet). He's a cute red-head, probably around Ryan's age (11). He ran well, but after 1 mile, he was starting to slow down. I would "encourage" him (OK, I kinda yelled at him!) to pick up the pace. I kept on him because I know how "easy" it is to slow down or quit and how "hard" it is to keep going. But we both kept going and finished in 15:49.

  • Thursday: This was the only "sore" spot for the week. Before starting my run, I went to turn on my Garmin and it was dead. Not again! I was so mad!! I charged it Monday after my run and saw the display reading "Battery Charging Complete". I disconnected it from the charger to make sure the charge wasn't getting "drawn down" from the contacts. This is like the 6th time this has happened in 4 months. I think there's definitely a problem with this product. Problem is, I can't start the process of getting it fixed because I'll most likely have to send it in and I'm only 5 weeks away from my marathon and really need it. So, I'll just have to make sure I keep the watch/timer on the charger every night. Anyways, getting back to my running. I ran the "alternate karate route", down 15th ave from the dojo to Pine Crest and back, 2 times, for a total run of 4 miles. I'm estimating the time to be around 36 minutes. Overall, it was a very nice run; but afterwards I felt some pain in my right heel.

  • Sunday: 19-mile long run day!!! I had everything prepped and was out the door at 6am. Temperature was 75 degrees. Parked at the Sea Ranch Lakes Publix (grocery store) and ran south down the beach to the Southport Publix. I hit the 17th Street Causeway bridge at around mile 8 and then again on my return at mile 9.5. It's a pretty high bridge so that was my "hill" training! On my "northbound" return on A-1-A, a cyclist was hit by a car pulling out from a hotel. He was lying on the road, not moving but people were talking to him; he was wearing a helmet (thank goodness). It was sad. But, I had to continue running. My knee started hurting again; noticeably around mile 9 and got progressively worse. So much so that at miles 12 and 15, I stopped running at my "water break". That of course, only made it worse when I started running again. I had to stop running at 17.06 miles; my time was 3:12:47, for an 11:18/mi average pace.

  • Later in the morning, I stopped by my local running store. I showed one of the "experts" where I was feeling pain in my knee; I was told (confirming my suspicion) that it was an IT band injury. He showed me a stretch to do but basically the "treatment" is to stop/cut back on running. Needless to say, my "age" is finally sinking in to my brain (and the rest of my body). As much as I want to think I am this late 20's/early 30's athlete that can just start running cold. The truth is that I am a 42-year old who now really has to stretch her calves, hamstrings, quads, and now IT band before she runs/does karate/etc. What a bummer......
  • So, for the week, I ran a total of, drum roll please,.......25.5 miles, another record week!


  • This was an "average" karate week. Started with the 8:30pm class on Monday. On Wednesday after the timed run, I SWATTED the 7:45 class. Stef asked me to gear up and that's when I realized I left my gear bag at home. Ugh! This was not good. Wednesday night's class was a candidate check. I couldn't go home; I had to stay and take class. So, I went through the lost and found to find gear and luckily found a "full set". But, it really STUNK!!!! Class was ok; it was Bugo (not my favorite or one of my "strengths"). I was happy to "survive" class.
  • Thursday: Normally, I only go to one "B" class a week; either Wednesday or Thursday. This week, to get in all my required classes, I had to got to class on both Wed & Thurs. I was not looking forward to 2 "B" classes; especially 2 days in a row. Thursday's class was ok. First, I brought my own, "less stinky" gear. Next, because I had taken class on Wednesday, I knew what to expect; I knew the drills that we would work on. At the end of class on both Wed & Thurs, everyone went to the "wall" and then certain people were called to spar. Both nights, I was not called in the initial "round". I was in the 2nd group. I know I'm not the best at sparring, but it's getting frustrating always being picked "last".
  • Friday: BBC night......Tonight was MMA (Mixed Martial Arts) #4. I'm not a huge fan of MMA; especially the ground work (jui jitsu). But, it's required for black-belt, so I have to learn it. I partnered with Janine and actually had a pretty good class. We did the sleeper hold and take downs. The thing I most dislike about MMA is that it's not a class that works the cardio, compared to the normal, Friday "Happy Hour" class. Most times, I barely break a sweat. And tonight was no exception.
  • This week there's no candidate class on Saturday morning. I think Ma'am is out-of-town. And, that's probably why the "candidate check" was on Wed. night. I'm kind of bummed because Saturday candidate classes are the best; they have tons of cardio, work the abs, hit the push-ups, practice katas, etc. Basically, after class and into the next day, you really feel that you have had a good work out.


  • My 1st week at the new job was GREAT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! It's a smaller organization than my last employer. But, we are being "acquired" by a new company this coming week, which should result in new business. And, it sounds like the new business will be added in a "smarter" manner than at my previous employer.
  • I spent much of the 1st week training in the different departments and getting a good idea of the work flow. While there are a number of "scheduled responsibilities", there seems to be ample time available to dedicate to special projects and continuous quality improvement. I know it's only been 1 week, but I really get the sense that there is a "team mentality" here. Yeah!!!
  • I have 8 pharmacists that report to me, as well as the inventory supervisor. Much more reasonable than the 162 persons that I had reporting to me at my last job.........

Time is slowly ticking away till my marathon......5 more weeks. I can't get over the fact that it's almost May......Dear Lord, where did the time go. Speaking of going, it's my time to sign off till next weeks blog. Cioa!!!

Saturday, April 19, 2008

Good-bye minivan


Monday: Time to break in the new running shoes! I ran the 2-mile loop from the dojo to 62nd street and back 2 times; so, I did 4 miles in approx. 36 minutes. I went straight from work to the dojo and didn't pack my Garmin with my running gear. The new shoes felt ok; definitely "lighter" than the brooks. I didn't put my orthotics in the Nike's, and I felt some heel pain.

Wednesday: Didn't go to work today.....After dropping the kids off at school, stopped by the drug store for some heel inserts for the new sneakers. South Florida was in the midst of a "cold front" and the temp was upper 50's, lower 60's, perfect running weather. So I put the new heel pads in the new shoes and went for a 7 mile run in 1:07:40.

Saturday: After karate candidate class, we had another 2 mile timed run. Since I already "made my time" last week, I figured I didn't need to go "all out". Instead, I figured I'd run a bit slower, especially since I knew I was going to do my long run that night and didn't want to "stress" my legs/knee. I pretty much ran the entire run next to 2 younger boys (9 or 10 years old). My "mother" instinct kicked in and I made it my "job" to make sure they didn't slow down. I finished my 2 miles in 15:38, only 14 seconds slower than last week. So much for "taking it easy"! Like last week, I was the fastest female. This still blows my mind. I know I have put a lot of effort into my running; all the miles I run, as well as quitting smoking. But the feeling I have knowing that I was the slowest during my 1st degree cycle and to now be the fastest female in my 2nd degree cycle, it's beyond words!!

Saturday (part II-The "Long Run"): I really had to push myself out the door tonight for my long run. I started later that I should have. And, Mark was at work, Lauren was at a friend's house, that left Ryan. Rather than take him to Grandma's, I let him stay home alone. He'll be 11 next month and knows all the rules; don't answer the door, don't answer the telephone unless it's family; don't use the stove/microwave/toaster. I started with a course similar to Wednesday's 7 mile run, and lengthened it. Still, because it was late, I ended the run at 11.37 miles in 2:00:35.

Karate: Exam/Demo Week

Monday: Demo practice! I was a part of the Muay Thai demonstration; each person did 3 combinations. My "side" did (1) Jab, Cross, Hook, Right 180, Lead Round kick; (2) Left front kick, left Axe kick; Jab, Cross; Left roundhouse kick, Right 180; (3) "thread the needle", right knee, left knee; right 180 low kick. Then I held pads for my partners 3 combos. I was also a part of Kamaset 2.

Wednesday: Exam night! Demo went well! The performance was high energy!

Saturday: Candidate Class.....started with the "obstacle course" run (trampolines & cones), then had some conditioning work and finished with first 4 katas (appreciation form, short 1, long 1, short 2).

My Good-bye week....

Good-bye to work: Thursday night, a bunch of people took me to dinner. We went to a very nice Italian restaurant; they must have know Italian food is my favorite!!! It was great; good food, good people. Friday at work, during lunch break, David and Victoria got 2 cakes (one chocolate, one vanilla); they were yummy!!! Marina gave me roses; how sweet!!! I got 2 cards, signed by so many people. And, a book of quotes (I love quotes!!! How did they know!?!?) plus very generous gift cards. It was so sad; I really developed a lot of friendships there. But, I sent out my personal email address and cell phone # so they can all stay in touch. It was kinda surprising; I really didn't say where I was going or what position I was taking, but so many people came up to me to indicate that if my "new place" needed people, they would come over (because of me). I was told that Shirley (God love her!) went to the site manager and told her that "Dani was a good manager, everyone will miss her".

Good-bye Minivan: Yeah! Yeah! I traded in the '97 minivan and got back into my Jeep. I loved my 2003 Jeep Grand Cherokee. It had a few minor (expensive) mechanical issues and was labeled a "lemon" by a certain person who shall remain nameless. So, I traded it in for a 2006 Dodge Durango. But, since Mark took over the Durango leaving me in the minivan, it was time to get my Jeep back! And I did. This one is even better; it has more bells & whistles! It's got a power passenger seat, rain sensor wipers, hands-free phone, back-up monitor, plus, it's got a navigational system. On our California vacation, we called the rental car's GPS "Shiela". The Jeep's nav system has been christened by the kids as "Gina" the Jeep GPS!!!! The '06 is the newer Jeep body style which I originally wasn't thrilled with; I liked the '03 style better, it was less "boxy". But, the new style has grown on me.

Good-bye for this week!

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Speed Racer II

Running/Karate: Was last weeks timed run a fluke?
  • Wednesday we had another timed 1-mile run for karate. Last week I ran the mile in 7:15 but struggled the last 1/2 to 1/4 mile because I had started too fast. So this week my plan was to start "slower" and pace myself better. I put a different "secret weapon song" with a slightly slower tempo on my ipod. I hydrated well, used my inhaler, ran a 1/2 mile warm-up; all the same things I did last week. I ran next to Dylan (she's awesome!) and we were running what seemed to be a "good pace". I didn't hear the 1/2 mile split time, but I figured it was "good" (good being anything less than 4 minutes). Finishing the run, I felt very strong; sprinting the last 1/10th mile to finish with a time of 7:08. How could that be? It felt like I ran slower but I had a better time! I think when I run with other people, I lengthen my stride and do much better with staying on pace.

  • Saturday morning (after a pretty intense candidate class) we had a 2nd timed run for karate. Initially, we were told it would be 1 mile. But as we lined up, it was announced (Surprise!) that it was going to be 2 miles. I wasn't too thrilled to hear that for a several reasons. First, I hadn't eaten that morning and was feeling really hungry. Second, I hadn't used my inhaler. Third, it was sunny and hot. And fourth, I wasn't hydrated well. But, the run started and off I went. I had my headphones on and didn't hear any split times. But, I was in the front 1/3 of runners so I figured my time would be ok. I finished my 2-miler in 15:24!!! So, for my 1st degree black belt, it took me 12 weeks to get my run time; now for my 2nd degree, I have achieved the run time in the 1st week. Not too shabby!! All the miles I have run as well as my quitting smoking have definitely paid off!

  • For the week, I got in a total of 15.57 miles; another low-mileage week. It's getting really tough with scheduling to find the time to get in the miles.............

  • This week was "officially" week #1 for Black Belt cycle on my way to getting my 2nd degree. I had my 1st candidate class on Saturday morning. It was good; lots of cardio. I got in my 4 "regular" classes plus 3 "SWAT" classes. SWAT stands for Special Winning Attitude Team; basically, we assist the instructors in the lower classes. By helping to "teach" others, it improves & strengthens our skills. I enjoy SWATTING; I like being able to meet the new students and help them to improve their skills.

Pharmacy: A bittersweet resignation

  • So Monday morning, I put in my resignation. I was kind of psyched when my manager (TK) told me "she wouldn't accept it". I know how much I have contributed; it's just nice to get confirmation and hear that I was a value to the organization and would be missed.

  • I do appreciate all that my manager taught me about mail order pharmacy. When I was in a management position, she and I went through some harried times together; she saw me at my best and my worst. We were on conference calls at 6am on Sunday mornings, we were "pushing" orders through and running them to FedEx next door before they closed at 8pm, we were hiring, we were firing, we were training, we were handling escalated issues, we were doing the work of 3 or 4 people each. We "outlived" Frank the Finance "Meanie". I can honestly say that this was the toughest job I have ever had but it was also the job I learned the most from.

  • I put my resignation in with mixed feelings. While I am excited about my new position, I am sad that I am leaving alot of people that I really like and enjoy working with! It's kind of like breaking up with a boyfriend. The guy's a jerk, but you hate to "lose" his mom & sister! When I made the decision that I could no longer be a manager, I requested to step down to a staff pharmacist position. I wanted to stay with the company because I "believed" in the organization and liked my co-workers. The job "per se" wasn't very challenging and the facility's micromanagement style wasn't what I was used to working with, but the people I worked with were great, (well most of them!!!LOL).

  • Before mail order, I had worked for Publix Supermarkets for 21 years. Publix was my 2nd family! I started as a cashier in high school, moving up to cash office, HBC clerk, pharmacy technician, pharmacist and Pharmacy Supervisor. I was part of Publix Pharmacy from day 1 when they started putting pharmacies in Publix stores. Although I left Pubix for valid reasons, I have since discovered that the values and beliefs that existed at Publix are not embraced by other companies. Here's hoping the new position brings me back to the values I was "raised" on .......

.....7 weeks till my marathon.....time is just flying by....


Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Speed Racer

I'm like 4 days late in posting this blog, which means I either need to post it now, or just wait a couple more days and put 2 weeks worth of stuff into 1 blog. And that would just be here it is..............

Running: I started with a bang, did some speed, but ended with a bust......

  • I started the week strong; running 3.3 miles on Monday and 2.22 on Tuesday.
  • Wednesday night was the timed 1-mile run for Karate. During my 1st degree black belt cycle, the timed runs were something I dreaded. Mostly because of my runner's knee. It hurt to run, and it hurt badly when I ran fast. Now that I am "in training for a marathon", I've been running almost exclusively for distance, and very little for speed. But, I came to the timed run with the expectation that I was going to do my best and I still have time to work on my "speed". So I hydrated well, used my inhaler, ran a warm up 1/2 mile and had my "secret weapon" on my ipod. I started with a fast pace and kept it up; 3:38 was the 1/2 mile split time. The last 1/2 mile I really had to push myself; my lungs hurt a bit, my legs hurt a little , but I was running fast!!!! I finished the mile in 7:15; I can't remember when I ran that fast. I was so excited!!!! So excited that I came home and ran some more, finishing the night with a total of 4.7 miles.
  • Saturday was to be my long run day, 16 or so miles. I drove to the beach and it was way too windy. So I went to the running park and ran 4 miles in 35:50. I really need to find some more good places to do longer runs, like between 4 and 8 miles long. I didn't run at all on Sunday. I'm not quite sure why......
  • For the week, I ran a total of 13+ miles, far shy of what I needed to do.

Quit Report: 2 months and going strong!

  • As of April 6th, it has been 2 months of NO SMOKING!!!! It's funny because for the most part, I go through my day and don't think about smoking. But at the wierdest times, I will think about wanting a smoke; and it's not at the "typical" times, like after a meal.
  • When I walk by someone who is smoking, I still like the smell. I wonder how long it will take till I think that smell is repulsive; that is, how long till I become that obnoxious former-smoker, anti-smoking activist!!! I know it will happen, I've seen it before...... The ex-smokers are usually the worse!


  • Monday, I got the call! Yeah!!! But wait, it's just that they need me to complete an application, provide references and give my authorization to do background check. OK, I can do that!

  • Friday, I got another call. This one was the offer!!! The $$$ was right in line with what I was looking for and vacation time is very close to what I have now. I'd says this is a GO!!!! My next step is to go in and sign the offer letter and do a drug screen.

  • So over the weekend I typed up my resignation letter; nothing fancy, nothing saying that I'm leaving for another/better opportunities, etc. Basically I told my manager what my last day would be and I thanked her for all her "kindnesses". She taught me a lot about mail order pharmacy and was there for me during the struggles we had opening the new facility.

That's all for the week......stay tuned for future episodes of Dani Changes Her Job Again?!?!