Monday, January 15, 2018

I'm Okay πŸ˜…

I am linking up with Holly and Wendy for the Weekly wrap! Join in the fun! Click here for more info

Monday - I'm Outside! - 4.01 mi 0:39:46
Tuesday - Training session #7 - 0:32:35
Wednesday - healing
Thursday - healing
Friday - Systems Check - 2.01 mi 0:20:50
Saturday - Goodbye Mild Temps - 5.75 mi 1:00:27, Training #8 - 1:00:33
Sunday - nope...

I was so excited Monday to get outside! I have been inside all week because we had packed snow and ice on our roads due to the deep freeze. VA doesn't salt or plow neighborhoods (or all the main roads for that matter) and I run these roads with vehicles, so I do not venture out when drivers could be slipping and sliding. Monday, sadly as soon as it got warm enough to start the melt it also rained. I found road that was a little more clear and ran back and forth and got in a soaked 4 miles. I only ran 6 miles the first week of this year on the TM, so I was dying to get a few miles logged.

Monday my school system put students and teachers on a 2 hour delay for staff ( me) is expected to arrive on time unless otherwise noted. Sadly, the rain froze overnight and I guess no school officials went out to check road conditions, because they had put students on the delay. Since it had been like 9 degrees and less here for a whole week I guess the ground really didn't get "warm" at all from the few hours the temp rose on Monday afternoon. To be fair, there was no ice warnings as I stepped out the door. I leave about 6:40 a.m. so it is still dark, and I went sailing off the top step of my porch and slid across my front yard. It knocked the wind out of me. I was so upset as I drove to work, all the roads were a sheet of ice. The news was starting to pick up on all the accidents by that time and at least folks had some warning. I actually slid off the road and sat there a few minutes to get myself together. I FB posted to warn others, hoping they would just stay put. When I got to work and shared with officials I had fallen and had so much trouble on my very short drive, they sent out the message for everyone who had not left home to stay put. It wasn't long after that they called school off again for students because they couldn't risk buses going out.

The irony...I stayed inside the entire previous week because I am scared to death of falling or getting run over in the neighborhood and when it finally started to melt I get injured. UGH.

Flying off the porch Tuesday morning really threw me for a loop and I battled a serious case of the blues all week. I felt wiped out.  I just want to feel good and do my thang...can anybody hear me up there?! I told someone at work, if guardian angels are a thing, mine is fired...seriously, I do feel fortunate I have no stitches, staples, or broken bones. My backside and arm were swollen a few days and a spot on my foot and knee are very sore, and  they actually concern me more. I can feel progress in the areas that were swollen, but the knee is lingering.

I pushed on and went to my training session Tuesday after work because it was already scheduled and it was tough. The trainer was modifying and keeping everything light weight so I could get through it. I moved my next session to Saturday to have some healing time, but unfortunately my right knee was still hurting dead center when I tried to squat, so I couldn't do my usual kettle bell swings and dead lifts. I did Saturday's session after my run and I was exhausted when I was done. Slept a good long time...
Friday was my first run after my fall - yes, it was warm but it was also raining, I was drenched

Saturday I made it for an hour run, warm enough, but raining...this weather is dreary. 

This year is starting off so slow, it is making me feel antsy. I have not even run 20 miles yet for the year, but I'll keep pushing on.
I haven't chosen a word for this year yet, but right now it would be F***! up rules, I am supposed to keep it clean. πŸ™ˆπŸ™Š
Any suggestions for a happy word for me?
I have a few races I am eyeing so I need to get busy.

Stay safe and warm,
Tell me anything to distract me πŸ˜ƒπŸ˜ƒπŸ˜ƒπŸ˜ƒπŸ˜ƒ
or help me out with a word!

Monday, January 8, 2018

Is Week One Really Over?!

I am linking up with Holly and Wendy for the Weekly wrap! Welcome Wendy! Join in the fun! Click here for more info

Last week I had a pretty awesome New Eve's trail was close to teens cold and my hair got hard and crusty where I sweated and it froze, but even so... I had a few of those moments...where your legs glide and you feel no resistance. I was soaring.

The run did not begin that way though, in fact one of my feet was so numb during the first mile I wondered if I should quit. One foot was a lot colder than the other..☃ is that weird? I kept going hoping it would get warm and was rewarded with some happy miles. The frozen hair was hilarious, but no picture.

Then I did not run for 5 days. I finished 2017 with a bang and then poof! My wick went out.

My toenail fell off New Year's Eve...that was a new experience. It had been terribly loose a few weeks but it still freaked me out a little when it finally happened.

When I ran the marathon on October 28th. it rained about 6 miles. It started toward the end about mile 17, my feet were soaked and slipping and sliding around in my shoes for those end miles and two of my toes turned black shortly after the race. About a month later (almost to the day) I came home from a run with a bloody sock. My toe looked a lot better after that but ultimately after another month the toenail came all the way off. That took a long time right?!

I don't want to post lots of feet pics, but I will gladly email a pic to show what it was hanging like if you are curious LOL

Anyway...I thought I would take a day off and wrap it when I ran next...but that next run never happened all week. 
It snowed, so it was easy. There's ominous icicles hanging everywhere.

I could barely walk from the car to the gym without slipping so no snow running for me. If this ridiculous weather keeps up this southern gal may need to invest in a pair of the Yaktrax....who would have thought?! Certainly not me, I've lived here a lot of winters and never even seen flakes....these last few winters have sucked. Maybe I have the deep freeze blues?!! I have summer S.A.D. usually but I have always loved winter. This is weird!

Y'all, they don't plow any side streets here, and no melting has occurred since we are nonstop below freezing, and I run on roads with cars, no is just too dangerous to try while cars are slipping all over.

Luckily, I have a trainer twice a week for a few months and we are doing lots of functional strength sessions. I am clumsy, challenged, and lack balance but I already knew thatπŸ˜…I am going to try to work on it and see what happens. The extra recovery days were probably okay, I had some strange soreness after 3 sessions the previous week doing an evaluation and trying new things, but I am starting to worry about losing all my run fitness...and I miss my runs!
I can't jump so I step up and it winds joke
At a glance:
1 - Sleeeeeep
2 - Training session #5 1:21:47
3 - walking, rest
4 - Arc Machine - 0:23:04 - Training #6 - 1:10:36
5 - more rest
6 - First Run 2018 - 3.02 treadmill mi 0:34:49 - Mixed Cardio - 0:38:41
7 - 3 more TM miles - 3.20 mi 0:34:16 - Mixed cardio Again - 0:35:54

I am not powering head on into 2018, I am inching in. 

I am now signed up for two races in April. One half and the local 10K. I added my upcoming events to my Athlinks profile and bravely put in my anticipated finish time. I better start running!! I want to see a 2:15 half again so bad.

Athlinks and BibRave recently teamed up, but I was already an account holder! It is a great way to assemble all your race results in one place...some folks may have to invest some time to claim them all :) like our host  who has run a ton of races, but it is nice to have your stats in one place. I added a few races that did not show in the search and it was a quick easy process.  I have always tried to keep a spread sheet where I drop the link to the results in so I can find something quickly if I need too, but I started slacking at it and now I don't really need it.

Speaking of assembling stats, I am also a Smashrun user and I love it. It syncs with my Garmin app and I can see some cool things like all my 5 mile runs ever...the average paces for my years of running, etc...if  you like stats you will probably like Smashrun. It is not even a sponsored thing, I just like it!

I have a few things like run or workout on the last day of the year... or the first day I get quirky about ...there are just certain rituals I feel set me up for success or are good luck charms, and I blew them all this year! LOL

Thanks for stopping by! I enjoy connecting with you all. Have a great week!

Ever had a nail come off? 
Have a toenail turn black after running in the rain? 
Want to join me on Athlinks!?
Heard of Smashrun?
Yaktrax users- Will Yaktrax keep me from busting my tush on the snow and ice? 
How did your year start off? Anyone not freezing?! 

Sunday, December 31, 2017

One Gear

I tried to make a switch to use Tumblr which has a much easier friendlier type of blog commenting...except for some reason I couldn't get the link or comments (bahahaha) πŸ™ˆto work across all formats. I tried to do some troubleshooting but long story short I just couldn't make it full proof and I gave up. Hence it left my Panama City Beach recap a bit messy, but for now I am back at my usual spot.

I am linking up with my awesome running gal pals for the Weekly Wrap! But this week I am talking 2017! 
Join in with Holly @ hohoruns and Tricia@ MissSippiPiddlin

If I had to sum up 2017 it would simply be to say "one gear."
It has been a year of solid running, with 1,085 miles but it has also been a year of struggle.
One gear is all my body seems to have since last Spring. Who runs all those miles and feels weaker!? It is odd.

I have some theories but no real solid answers.
Typically when the temps cool, my pace starts getting faster...this year not so much. I still feel kinda weak. πŸ’© I am not even close to where I was pace wise in 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, and even the beginning of this year!

It could be several factors.
Post menopause...sure, my numbers say I have been in this phase for more than a year now but I still feel like things are changing. It has become even harder to keep my weight in check and my energy levels are low, low, low. I have some symptoms, like the morning hangover feeling (when I have NOT had a drop of alcohol) that can be very intense some days but it comes and goes. I am not sure if this fatigue is really impairing my running, but it is present in my daily life.

This past Spring I started on two blood pressure medications. I was thrilled I experienced minimal side effects from the meds...but it is curious that is when the big change seemed to take place in my running. I went for several tests and scans and the cardiologists did a thorough job making sure I was okay to run. I do have an enlarged heart (from the untreated blood pressure) but the cardiologists didn't feel it was enough damage to keep me from my normal activity levels. I do wonder now (after months and months of dealing with this) if I am just a tad weaker overall...I certainly feel more challenged during high intensity activity.

The first few years I ran my yearly mileage was almost always evenly split between the treadmill, trails, and pavement. Since my stress fractures I have shied away from trails and the TM because it seems to aggravate that area on my tibia. Maybe the trail and TM runs were making me stronger?!

This year out of 1,085 miles only 80 (mi) were on trail...and 12 (mi) were on the treadmill.

Last thought, the issues with my feet are progressing, slowly (luckily), so maybe I just can't expect much from my tootsies anymore. I don't know which issue is the culprit...maybe it is all of them.

While I am grateful I can still run, I would be dishonest to act like my lack of progress this year has not impacted me, it dampened my spirit a bit. I never give up, but sometimes it is good you don't know what is coming down the road. I started 2017 so optimistic!

There are lots of awesome moments I accumulated along the way even with all the challenges, so part of me says just keep pushing on...

If I had to pick the best race from my half marathons I guess it would be running Glacier in Montana. What a fabulous course!!  I felt great for most of the race and I loved every second of the views and milder June temps. I wasn't speedy, but with more than a 1,000 feet of up I wasn't trying to be. I am very sad the race date was moved back a week for 2018. The race is being held during the last week of school for me, so there is no way I can repeat it. I would have gone back for sure!

What's not to love!

High Bridge (trail race) in September was another awesome day. Again, I wasn't speedy but I ran every single step, no intervals, for the first time in a few years. Encouragement from Coach Holly, a less humid than usual morning, soft trail... it all came together for a pretty happy day.

When I was in good shape and running considerably faster back in March and April, it turned out to be a very brutal (HOT) Spring in Central VA. Heat destroyed any chance I had at capitalizing on my training.

2-26-17 Sentara Colonial Half Marathon 2:20:12 - not feeling great 
but I enjoyed the afternoon start time and some nice stranger gave me his banana while I was still on the course. I was abnormally wiped the last few mile of this one. 
4-22-17 Petersburg Half Marathon 2:22:17 - SOoo flipping humid and hot that morning...happy moment...I got a beer at the end lol  
4-29-17 Run the Valley Park to Park Half  2:20:34 - HOT! So hot...but I got to hang out with Mary, my Instagram buddy :) 
6-24-17 Glacier Half Marathon 2:30:53 - totally awesome :) 
9-9-17 5th Annual High Bridge Half Marathon 2:18:55 - pretty great ~ steady running :) 
10-21-17 Petersburg Halloween Half Marathon 2:19:43 - warm and humid ~I only had one gear...traffic was awful for this one.  
11-11-17 Anthem Richmond Half Marathon 2:20:51 - one gear is a fun course though, lots of race hoopla to distract me. 
12-2-17 Panama City Beach Half marathon 2:45:09 - no hydration ~ hot mess LOL ...but the best running buddies to hang out with ever :) 

Park to Park race course in Waynesboro, VA 

1-22-17 Frostbite 15K  1:33:02

During April I raced every weekend, but I only got one nice breezy cool day. It gave me a chance to nail the 10K PR I had been chasing
56:53  - I felt accomplished 

After this April day I only had a few more speedy runs in me and then one gear began. 

However, one gear served me well for my October marathon and I PR'd by 5 minutes. This was a pretty incredible day! 4:46:10 - I think I am retired from that distance..but never say never right!

I have gone round and round trying to decide if it was time to let the half marathon distance go and keep my focus on my daily running, then I received word I was going to be a Bib Rave Pro for 2018!

I thought... maybe I have one more year left in me :)

I am super excited for this opportunity and I am hopeful it'll bring new experiences my way. It gave me the boost I needed to try to reinvent myself a little in the upcoming year.

Truth be told even though my races weren't great this past year I still had a whole lotta fun!

I enjoy the challenge of 13 miles. I enjoy running different course and seeing new places. I enjoy all the race day hoopla. 2017 kept me coming back race after race, with one little hope...maybe the "next one" could be that awesome one. Even tough races hold some very happy moments :)

So far I've only signed up for one Rock N Roll race in Raleigh in April 2018.

I am not feeling ready to dive head on into a full race schedule yet...SO I  am going to try to ease on in, hoping the crescendo will happen.

I have my head down right now logging miles, putting around in one gear, trying to go with the flow. I am not pushing speed-work and I am trying to come to terms with the new me.  The way my running is going right now it will likely take me longer than 2 hours and 20 minutes to complete a half marathon. With all the issues my feet give me, spending more time on my tootsies to complete a race isn't totally motivating, BUT I sill have a mustard seed inside that believes things could still start clicking for me. I know if I start feeling stronger during my runs it will motivate me to start seizing some moments again.

I am not sure what 2018 holds, but I am ready to hit reset and see what unfolds.

Wishing you happiness, success, and achievement in something you truly desire in the year to come!

Tell me about it!! 

What is your first race going to be in 2018? 
Are you ready to leave 2017 behind yet? 
What was your low or high in 2017? 

Monday, December 11, 2017

PCB Recap #HolottaPCB

#holottaPCB Tumblr link

Update: I was trying a new format - but for ease of commenting I am pasting my recap in here!!
Spoiler alert!! I didn't finish looking happy like 2016. Completely different race this year...

#holottapcb ~ the race
I decided NOT to do an all out long story recap for PCB, but then I started writing…sorry! It is wordy but it hard to capture 13 miles in a few words. 
I am linking up with my awesome running gal pals for the Weekly Wrap!

Join in with Holly @ hohoruns and Tricia@ MissSippiPiddlin
I am trying out a new format in my never ending quest to simplify blogging.

The most important thing is this weekend was a blast! It would have been a bonus if the half marathon was also amazing, but I wasn’t going to let a bad race diminish the overall experience. I would take a rough race to do it all over again!

In case you missed our adventures click here to see some the pics!
Friday and Sunday in Florida it was about 10 degrees cooler in the morning than Saturday’s race day. 61 degrees or so when we left the house to head to the start line…and it heated up fast!
It was clear and sunny! Great for life, bad for running lol Sun and heat has always been my kryptonite.
I was extremely optimistic though because the humidity could have been much much worse in Florida. I hoped I could just run the Galloway method (4 x 1) and be happy.
Our race shirts made me so happy! The etsy shop did an amazing job and I loved the feel of the tech tank. I have a very hard time fitting clothes and I ordered a large but I actually could have got away with a medium this time :)

Karen - Holly - Teresa - Tricia
It is rare for me to know anyone at a race so seeing so many familiar faces and being able to chat is good times! I am so thankful to Holly for diving in and getting everyone together.

I ran with Jodi and Rick for a little over a mile. It was great to see Jodi doing so well after surgery and fun to run with my Instagramming buddies.

Rick, Holly, Me, Jodi, Tammie
I started intervals during the second mile. I told Jodi and Rick I was dropping my pace because I was struggling in the heat that early on. SO pretty out but oh so warm. I ran a very easy pace and thought I can do this until the end…LOL…that didn’t happen.
I took water at mile 3 (I think)…maybe 4, anyway I just know I had one cup and about mile 5 I saw Gatorade and luckily I grabbed two cups. I drank every drop and realized I really should have carried my own Nuun and been drinking a whole lot more. I was so sweaty!
By the half way turn around point on the course I had been struggling with my stinging eyes for quite awhile…I was squinting and I just couldn’t stop the sweat flow long enough to get any relief. My eyes were so bad when Holly went by me I almost missed her. She touched my arm and I was srurprised! “HEY!!” Truly my eyes were a mess. The hydration stop still had water at this point and I took a sip and used most of it to wash out my eyes. The eye burning hindered me for several miles until somewhere around mile 9..that is when the crazy amounts of walking started and at least it cleared up my eyes.
The best thing during this part of the race was seeing Holly, Tricia, and Teresa go by looking strong and smiling! I also saw Tammie, Jodi, and Rick (Instagram buddies), so I knew everyone was at least surviving!
Did I feel bad I was dead last?! Maybe a tad, but honestly I was more worried about getting so sick I wouldn’t be able to have fun the rest of the weekend. I am very prone to heat sickness and in the past I’ve had a few bad bouts of chills, sweats, elevated heart rate, nausea, and it has lasted hours.
When I started seeing a cardiologist this year he gave me a big lecture about never pushing myself in the heat and to never ever have those symptoms again w/o going to the hospital. I have managed the heat much better the past few summers and stayed healthy :)
Back to the half way point for just a minute…
The hydration table had peppermints. I thought it would feel refreshing, so I took one and sucked on it slowly. Well, I got horrible side stitch not long after that.
I also had no idea the turnaround point would be my last real hydration opportunity.  I may have cried had I known LOL
I was taking walk breaks and the pain in my rib wasn’t subsiding, then I got the really bad - breathe in breathe out pain- and it wouldn’t let up…I was so frustrated..and I desperately needed some electrolytes. I was feeling a bit nauseous and I started getting chills even though I was sweating excessively.
I was getting to place I knew I wouldn’t be able to recover from if I pushed too hard. I was defeated. I started walking more and more.
I took a P.O.P. stop during mile 9… I was so over being hot and of course there wasn’t a cloud to be found! I don’t remember any clouds floating by thick enough to really give me a break from the sunlight until the very end of the race!
By that time I had been past water stations that had no water or cups…I was worried.     Video below! 
The possibility of no hydration to the end was starting to sink in. 

Here’s the thing, I was already walking a ton, but my thinking was not really clear. There was a strip of stores along the course a few times. I could have hopped into a store and purchased my own sports drink and went on my way, but I never thought of it!!  I run in my neighborhood, never past stores, so the idea of stopping to buy anything during a run is foreign to me, about mile 12 it dawned on me I should have went into a store right after the halfway point and maybe I could have had a very different day. Of course at the time I wasn’t sure all the stations would be out of supplies…but still, I can’t believe I didn’t think about it.
About mile 11 the hydration stop had jugs with just a few sips of water left in them, there was a bunch of us and just a few jugs, so we were trying to throw some water in our mouths and pass it on. Crazy!! I felt sorry for the girl at the water stop there was lots of complaining.
I kept walking then running a few steps, on repeat. I was not following 4 x 1 ratio…four minutes was too long. I tried to run 4 minutes a few times and the weird chills started up, heat sickness was looming so I just walked.
At mile 12 I felt my phone vibrating and I knew it was the girls texting each other at the finish area trying to meet up. I was envious they were all done LOL I wanted to be done. I sent them a message to tell them I would still be a bit longer.

I felt bad I couldn’t dig deep and push through. I started thinking about all the hot races I had run during 2017 and in very humid conditions…and still finished way better. This was a low point, I really started beating myself up. As I was thinking about those races…Petersburg Half (HOT! But Gatorade at almost every stop) Park to Park Half~ I carried a disposable with Nuun in it, Highbridge Half~ I carried my handheld and refilled it several times with Powerade …I realized I really couldn’t compare experiences, I had plenty of hydration for those races.
All 13 miles of this race I had two cups of Gatorade and one cup of water, other than that just a swig of water! I couldn’t let myself be sad…being able to have fun the rest of the day was much more important!
As the finish line approached and I saw my friends…annnnd yep, I could be sad. LOL    I wanted to smile, but the tears welled up…I tried to hold them back but the tears were forcing their way out.

I had to go off to the side and get myself together for a few minutes.

Of course, the ladies were all supportive and made me feel better and the tequila shots helped lol 

The fact remains though this was the toughest and slowest race time I’ve ever earned. I nailed the backwards PR.
GO big or go home…I bested my personal worst by 7 minutes or so…and that previous personal worst was earned while stopping to get sick behind a bush!
I ran an 11:32 avg pace the first 6.55 miles - the second half my average pace dropped to 13:45.
Overall I finished in 2:45:09 (12:36 avg pace) …OOOOOiiiie.
I am not dwelling on it. I loved every other minute of my girls weekend!

And if I go run this next year I’ll be sure to carry my own hydration!

Have you ever had your eyes burning for miles from sweat?
Been at a race that ran out of cups and water? This is was a new to me, I hope I NEVER repeat experience!
Do you think the peppermint gave me a cramp or was it coincidence?
Have you had a time when a solution seem apparent but you couldn’t think of it because you were too hot? (like go in a store and buy yourself some Powerade!)
What was your personal worst half like? Tell me all about it!!
Ever been to beautiful Panama City Beach?
Happy Holidays!! Thanks for stopping by!