Friday, July 1, 2016

June In A Blink

Injury doesn't really seem like the proper word for my situation anymore, but I haven't come up with anything better yet to describe it.
Sorry for the mini rant...
The plantar fat pad under my foot is thinning (has thinned). The fat I actually want and need on my body is going away, however, I am really good at growing an abundance of body fat in every. other. place. on my being...just not the one place I could really use it! The irony!!!
Anyway, I still have the sensation of  bone to pavement if I go without my orthotics, even for a short time, and my toes will let me know if I push it too much,  so really,  I marvel at how much I have been able to run lately.

My number one goal for June was to figure out, how much impact I can handle without repercussions. I don't want my toes any more mangled.

When the Doc said go, I tried, but to be honest March, was probably a little soon in the healing process. I would run, get nervous at how much my feet hurt, take a long time off, try again...
I ran 18 miles in March. 

April, I tried to run 3 or 4 times a week and a lot of my runs were intervals (I ran two races with intervals) No real racing involved though, just survival.

When May rolled around I kept to much shorter distances (except for one half with HoHo, that I walked a lot of)

I needed to rebuild.  I felt so weak, especially in May, I felt a huge decline in my fitness and endurance capabilities.

I made some specific June goals
  • Run 3 x's a week (and check toes obsessively)
  • Two runs a week non-stop, preferably 4-6 miles each
  • One longer run each week with intervals easy paced
  • Work on controlling my heart rate better in the heat
  • Adjust goals to more intervals anytime the feet revolt
  • Do some push ups! 

This month a change in me took place. I have always been, a run off feel kind of person. I typically would find what felt sustainable on any given day, and would push up to that limit. This month, I have really worked on not being in the red zone my entire work out. I am getting better at it, I often spend almost equal amounts of time in zone 4 and 5 throughout a run.


I also learned getting wet helps me tremendously with regulating my body temp. I have always enjoyed going through a sprinkler and letting hit my arms and legs a little to cool off, but I have taken it to a whole new level.  I go intentionally slow now, and get my back and head, good and wet, and it does wonders. Why didn't I do this a few years ago? I am actually enjoying some of my summer runs! I bet when people pass me dripping they think I am sweating...gross, LOL  maybe that is why no one ever speaks!

My runs in the beginning of the month were hard! Many, many times, I was not sure I would ever be able to handle 5 or 6 miles of steady running again. I could barely tug myself through 3 or 4 miles. It bugged me how weak I felt, but you all know I am kind of hard-headed, I was determined to try to get "back" some of what I lost.

I realize NOW, that  may never happen, and I am actually in a good place of acceptance with it all, but that is a post for another day.

Anyway, I have struggled a bit with the snooze button, seriously, freaking 4:45 a.m. is so early! However, knowing my feet are going to hurt no matter if I run 3 miles or 6, has motivated me to get up and get going. I need to make the most of the time I spend on my feet.

As this month closes, I actually feel more confident that I can keep myself moving for 5 or 6 miles, and I am relaxing and enjoying my runs.

 I didn't do as well with:
  • One longer run each week, with intervals easy paced
Looking back, my goal list sounded simple to me, but honestly, I never felt good enough to do a "longer" run. I really just needed to get some strength back. 

Overall, I feel like June has been a success.
All the days with checks, I met my goals! I ran 4-6 miles.
The happy face days, I did intervals.



I am slower than I use to be for sure, but that doesn't bother me right now. I am really content to have a regualr routine going again :) I actually ran 79 miles in June. I was stunned when I checked.

As I head into July, I plan to stick with three runs a week.

  • one 5 mile run
  • one 6 mile run
  • one interval "longer run" 

I still want to see if my feet will tolerate a higher mileage run, but I didn't want to rush the jump in mileage in June. Hopefully, July will reveal the answer if double digits will work for me.

Oh, and that push up goal...

the last day of June I took a walk and did 6 sets of 15 :) and of course, I threw in 10 more to close the month with an even 100 :) Thanks Marcia, and all my push up buds, for the motivation :)

I sure I hope can conquer the snooze button in July, because in a blink it'll be August!

How do you feel June went for you? 
What are your July goals?

Sunday, June 26, 2016

Tale from the Trail

While I was off running I had time to think...too much time (Jan. Feb. March) and I thought back to my days when I first started running, just four years ago. 
I use to trail run once a week. Running trails challenged me, the hills, the roots, the grip, all so different from pavement, and my knees which were a big issue at the time, liked the softer surface. 
I had taken a few trips through the air, you know how you catch a root and sail, but don't go down...
Well, after I had a stress fracture I worried about catching my foot and jarring that area abruptly, so I took a long break from anything other than trail walking. I just started running on the trails again a few weeks ago...and already took my first spill. 
"I'm Okay"


This is only my second fall over the years, actually drawing blood. All trail runners fall, right? Maybe not... maybe it is just uncoordinated me. 
It was a lovely fall, I hit the ground on my right side and rolled all the way over. It stung for sure. I came up covered in trail mulch. 



Last Man on Earth

I walked a mile and a half to the closest station where I knew the park police would be, in search of a band-aid. I saw a young guy coming out the door. I approached him and asked if he had a bandage, he took one look at me, and ducked back inside, and a girl ranger came out. Dudes man... LOL 
I guess he didn't do blood. I can't say I blame him. 
The gal ranger was sweet, put on gloves, and kept offering to clean me up. I washed the area off myself and gratefully accepted the antiseptic. I didn't want her to have to touch it, even with gloves. She gave me some anti-biotic cream and I made a thick coat over it. It felt a zillion times better in seconds.
After I walked for a while, I decided I could run again if I kept it easy, and managed  3 x 1 intervals for two miles back to my car. 

2 miles @ 11:44 avg pace
I only mention this because I thought it was funny I ran better after my fall LOL 

Before my fall...
4 miles @ 12:03 avg pace  

The real truth is I struggled from step one Saturday. The dew point was up...71, it was sticky feeling and I felt lethargic. 
I did all the things I do when I am struggling...
drank a lot of Nuun and had mini pep talks with myself. 
  • I feel great, just go easy.
  • This is my day for a long run, smile!
  • You can do this.

 I even paused and took a few minutes in the rest room to splash water all over myself.

But this stuff kept creeping in...

  • It isn't even sunny, should't I feel better?? 

I picked up another aggressive fly (like last week) and he was persistent. That little bugger kept stinging me right on the T of my tank top where I couldn't reach to swat him away. UGH! I fell after he had been trailing me for about four minutes, so I am blaming it on the fly! 
Maybe this is the wrong time of year to try to trail run again. The shade is nice, but the trails in winter are much less buggy. I took more pictures while I was walking though. 








Here is where I rolled. Sorry for the repeat FB friends. 

So no "longer run" this week, but thankfully my two weekday runs went pretty well. 


20
Warm Up - 0.24 mi 0:04:00
Full Moon Six - 6.02 mi 1:03:04
Walking/ Push ups - 0.36 mi 0:14:28
21
Biking - 7.27 mi 0:42:39
22
Steady Five - 5.51 mi 0:57:34
23
Lazy for no good reason, but I cleaned a little
24
Warm Up /Stretching/ Core Stuff 0:32:38
Upper Body Day - 1:32:37
25
3 X 1 Trail Time - 4.36 mi 0:52:35
Walking After My Roll - 2.32 mi 0:49:40
3 X 1 Back To My Car - 2.01 mi 0:23:37
Stretching - 0:10:39
26
Had not happened when I wrote this ;)

Sprinklers are saving me. Getting good and wet is keeping my body temp at a manageable level and making for halfway, fun summer runs, which is super weird for me!! 

Proof! Still smiling on Hump Day after 5.5 miles when it was over 70 degrees. My shirt is drenched. lol 

I have to wash my pack after each use in this weather. I've had my Nathan pack for several years, and lost count of how many times I washed it. It has held up well. 

Oh! Sunday's (today) workout ended up being grass cutting and some cleaning. I wore my watch to track my time. I am in a minute challenge at work and wanted the proof, but check out the burn! Motivation to cut the grass. 

oh and just because...

Princess Bagheera helping me blog

Oh, and I did my push ups four out of the last seven days. 
That is way more than I normally would do 

Okay. Sorry.  I will stop rambling now! I am like the person who wan't hang up when you say bye! 

That is a glimpse into this past week. 
I am going to try to finish June off strong! 
I hope this leg heals up, so I can get a few good runs in this week. 

I am linking up with my gals for the Weekly Wrap

Join in with Holly @ hohoruns and Tricia@ MissSippiPiddlin  


I hope you have a great week! 
Any plans to finish June off strong? 
Your feelings on trail running?! 
Do you like cutting grass? 
How was your past week? 


Friday, June 24, 2016

It Is Really Not the Dog's Fault

If you have stopped by here ever, you know I am an animal lover, but even I have some unpleasant moments with animals while I am out exercising.

It isn't the dogs that bothers me, it is the dumb humans attached to them, but we'll get back to that in a moment.

Typically, I do not fear animals. I respect that they have certain instincts.


I expect barking, but I confess I have been startled a few times by charging dogs in a yard, who are suddenly halted by their invisible fence. About the time I think...uh oh...they stop. Whew!
Ever had that pleasure?

Anyway...
Winter seems to be the time people assume no one is out in the wee hours and just let the dog out. Then along comes me, and the dog come barking full force out of the darkness as I run by. I've been chased by small dogs,  mid size dogs, a few that really made my heart pound, as I  hear the owner yelling for the dog to come back, as I truck on.

Small dogs have made me stop a few times, because they really go for your ankles and feet and I have witnessed them actually bite a few times in my life, so I am usually more leery of them. The motion seems to work them up. The two times I have seen someone actually get bit, it happened super fast. When a dog is barking and bouncing around that is a good sign.

I have a few people that walk around my neighborhood with big sticks or a club. Ever see them?
It really bugs me. I am not sure I could contain myself if  I saw someone take a swing at an animal, because 9.5 times out 10, a dog is completely harmless. They are usually excited to see you.


My worst encounter that comes to mind, happened a few years ago. A midsize dog came running full force from between two houses. He/she had my arm before I knew it. As the dog's jaws were locked on my bicep area, I was looking at him and I could tell he was young...he started tugging me back. I was kind of in shock. I could hear the owner yelling, "He won't bite!" and I am yelling, "He has my arm!" The owner was calling the dog from the yard, and I said come get him. At that point, I was fuming, completely boiling over at the owner.
A kid finally came and the dog ran off with them, and I took a breath and moved on. I was ranting in my mind. I am serious, I said every vile word a person can muster in my head. I thought about going back, I thought about posting a huge rant about stupid humans and responsibility on our neighborhood FB page, but by the time I got home, I talked myself off the ledge. I decided to do nothing unless it happened again. To date I have not encountered the pooch unleashed. I wasn't upset at the dog, it was all about the human stupidity. The owner has to realize the puppy will dart, what if he gets hit by a car?!
I did have a bruise on my arm and I was sore the next day, the puppy had clamped down tight trying to tug me, just being a puppy.

This time of year, I pass a zillion folks out enjoying a walk with their furry friends and I admire how pretty the dog is, how nice the dog walks leashed, etc...
Usually, I will cross the street when I see someone approaching with a pet, give them room, and just wave, but I always try to move some to give them space. I am not the rude person who plays chicken with people.  The last few weeks, I lost count of how many people would not tighten up the leash as I pass by.
I can think of three times I was lunged at or jumped on, and it was really getting on my nerves...until this...

A man walking his dog was approaching, cars were passing, so I stayed my course. Next thing I know the dog is wagging his tail out of control, trying to circle me, clearly friendly and quite adorable, but you know how it is when you are running...you don't want to stop. I paused and petted the cute creature, and took off. The older man was grinning ear to ear, and was clearly proud of his baby.  My heart kind of melted, I felt guilty I was momentarily annoyed.



Two weeks ago, I was in the zone on my bike. I saw a few neighbors talking in a driveway and a dog with them on a leash as I turned a corner. I went to the other side of the street and the next thing I know the dog is jumping on me. The owner had a retractable lease and she had let it all the way out...all the way across the street. I slammed on my brakes and started counting to 10. I went from the being in the zone, to anger in the blink of an eye.
The owner was a older lady and after she spoke a few words, I decided she was mentally impaired and I shouldn't rant at a challenged person. She continued to let the dog paw at me, which looked kind of like a Chow, and barely tried to retract the leash, and said to ME, "You were going so fast you sacred him"  ...huh??? See, I could only assume she wasn't wrapped right. I did raise my voice and tell her, I could have really injured the dog (I would have felt awful), and she shouldn't expect a person biking to stop. She started mumbling and was looking at me like I was crazy (BIG SIGH) so I just took off.
I hope the pooch has a good guardian angel.

~ I saved the best for last~

My most impressive interaction maybe ever, happened last week when I was trail running.

Coming down the trail I could see a man letting his two dogs free paw. As I got closer I heard him say, "Freeze." Both dogs stopped and sat down, tails wagging like little angels, as they watched me pass. My jaw dropped! I was seriously impressed that at one word they calmly sat. I told him I wish I had a treat for his dogs as I passed! Dog whisperer...for sure, and really smart furry friends.
My hat is off to you Sire!
I envy people with that kind of skill and patience, when it comes to training a pet.

SO yes, some folks are clueless, but I try to contain my rantiness and be kind, because after all, we all have our moments where we lapse good judgment, right.



So fire away :) Tell me about your best/worse encounters. 
Ever been chased? 
Seen a club carrier walking in your neighborhood? 
Had the invisible fence scare? 
Stopped to chat with someone clearly lonely, wanting to say hello? 
Encountered an extremely well behaved canine? 
Have a fear of dogs? 

And remember, it really is the humans that are the most dangerous...

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

About Last Week

I am linking up with Holly and Tricia for the weekly wrap up. 
Join in and share something from your week.
It is Hump Day and I am just jumping in this week! 

Scenes from the week...
From pink skies to pounding rain in a hour...

Quiet mornings :) 

Oppressive humidity will make you get over body image issues.
There is really too much of me to run around like this, 
but I don't pass many people in the mornings.


I was overloaded last week as the school year ended. I went home exhausted a few nights from all the hustle and bustle and crashed by 9 p.m. ...and still felt tired somehow, but I did my best to stay active, because it helps me to deal with everything else.

I ran a lot this week! For me that is...

22 miles is the biggest week I've had since December, that feels like a really long time ago.


Monday
Running/Treadmill 1.50 mi 0:15:16
Upper Body Weights 1:02:16
Tuesday
Morning Five
5.02 mi 0:51:27
Walking - 0.38 mi 0:07:32
Wednesday
Treadmill 5K
3.11 mi 0:31:56
TM Walking 
0.50 mi 0:09:26
Treadmill Mile 1.01 mi 0:10:22
Stretching/Core 0:29:19
Thursday
Tropical 3
3.01 mi 0:31:09
Walking - 0.27 mi 0:06:40
Friday
Morning Bike Ride
8.22 mi 0:46:21
Saturday
Trail 3 x 1 Run
8.51 mi 1:33:41
Walking - 0.68 mi 0:12:20

...and I closed the week with a short bike ride - it is not about the speed for me, it is about the hills :)


Over the past four months, I have been able to log foot improvement week by week, but that has changed the past few weeks. I feel like I have leveled out now, but I still have quite a bit of tenderness. I am trying to let go of the annoyance I feel, and focus on figuring out how to work within my limits. Last week I only logged 16 miles, and this week I increased the time on the feet, with about the same pain level day to day. I am not in any big rush to try to increase the lengths of my runs right now, I just want to rebuild some of my lost endurance and make sure my feet can handle it. 

When you run at 5:30 a.m. on Tuesday, it feels like you've had a day off  by the time Wednesday at 4:00 p.m. rolls around. My feet felt recovered enough, so I hopped on the TM. I feel like I need to start giving the TM a shot and see how it impacts my feet. I won't know, unless I try!

My other motivation...the humidity was banging Wednesday and Thursday, and I have been very snooze button challenged lately. Much easier to get up for 3 miles as opposed to 6.

Saturday I tried the 3 x 1 interval ratio again on the trails near me, and I think I have found my happy place for now. My feet held up fairly well for about 8 miles, and I didn't feel fatigued when I finished, (other than my feet)
but I must runfess that I picked the smoothest elevation trails in the area to run lol There are some very technical, hilly @s$ trails near me, and I not ready to try to run them yet.

Trails this time of year are a little challenging, I had an aggressive giant fly (?) who had no problem pacing me for a few miles, continually zapping me. I was like a cow, shaking my pony tail trying to make it go away. I have some welts from that thing or mosquitoes...I am not sure. 
I also had a big spike in my heart rate, as a brown bundle bounced off my right shoe. Passing by tall grass, I apparently startled a bunny, and he couldn't decide the best path to get away from me and ran right into me. It happened so fast, I didn't realize what he was. I let out quite a loud yelp and his little white cotton tail hauling down the trail made me laugh. I was looking all around to see if anyone had witnessed this sideshow... 
I think this may be my closest wildlife encounter to date. I am thankful if I had to collide with something, it wasn't a snake, or the bear I saw a few weeks ago! Poor little guy. I am not sure which one of us was more scared.  




This is one of the only spots I have to run without worrying about traffic. 
I like being able to zone out a bit. 
I saw a bunch of deer, but they were way too fast for pictures. 




soaked shoes and dirty legs lol


I have also come to the realization I am not a streaker...these old muscles just can't do it. I am still trying to do work on increasing my push up numbers (just not daily). My shoulders started rebelling, so I am treading carefully.


That is how I roll these days...I tread carefully.

Are you good with streaks? 
Ever had wildlife actually touch you? 
Do bugs find you yummy too? 

Monday, June 13, 2016

Here's What!

So here's what...

Doing a little foster care (cats) is rewarding, but challenging. 

This cat...
I love this little face! 















I am happy to report, George got adopted. 
He has a forever home where he is the only baby :) 

Little Bagheera (below) did not get adopted. 

(our last day of school is the 17th) 
Any kittens not adopted were supposed to be picked up by animal control. 




Well...my hubby didn't want her going with animal control, so guess what he got for Father's Day?!
It is hard to foster because you end up keeping them!

Ugh.. but she sure is sweet.  









And here's what... 
happens when kittens play in your office. 







Here's what...
Chart or no chart...I couldn't decide 


6

Biking Round My Hood :)
12.12 mi 0:59:45
7
Morning Five 5.01 mi 0:54:35

Cool Down
0.67 mi 0:11:32
Push Ups - 0:06:21
Arc Machine - 0:11:04
Leg Work - 0:38:06
8
Biking
7.45 mi 0:42:27
Push Ups  0:05:32
9
Warm Up
0.21 mi 0:03:31
Morning 10K  6.23 mi
1:02:08

PushUps/
Stretching  0:18:08
10
Sunset Ride 18.58 mi
1:31:42

Push ups/
Stretching 0:07:06
11
12
3 X 1 run
4.06 mi 0:43:40
Walking
1.07 mi
0:17:38

Push-ups/ Stretching
0:07:24













I started doing push ups on Monday and so far I have done some everyday almost everyday! 


Monday evening bike ride and push ups


















Here's what! When you do them everyday, your arms get tired. Go figure...lol
I would love to be able to do sets of 20 consistently. Is it weird that planking really hurts my toes, but I can do push ups, even though I am on my toes. I guess the weight shifting as I move, helps?? weird, huh? 






I got up to run and it was so flipping humid. I am so thankful for sprinklers! I need to remember to put my phone in a ziploc this time of year! 








Early morning biking was fun ツ I made my own breeze! 


It wasn't a long ride, but I felt good and got my push ups done before I took my shower.  






I went into work late so I had extra run time! Woooot woot!  


It was cool out for this run. A 10K and push ups done - booommm!
55 degrees you make my  heart sing! 









Robyn , fellow work runner, turned 30! 
Her birthday was a good reason to eat cake for breakfast :) 




















After work, I went for a sunset bike ride and ended up staying out longer than expected. I could see the wonderful colors of sunset peeking through the houses, it was peaceful, relaxing, ...well minus the squeaking nose my bike makes...lol but, after a long break from my bike, I think I have found a happy place with it again. 








I took the day off, got my hair done, and went for a late lunch with my Honey to Texas De Brazil...yummy. 
I really thought I would workout at some point, but when I got home,  I was in veg mode. 
I blew my push up streak...  
I can feel a little niggle in the shoulder, so push ups maybe 5 or 6 days a week until June ends! 
I am fragile, I guess. LOL I require some rest. 




I slept in and went for a full sun run, which is always challenging for me. I tried out 3 x 1 intervals and I liked! 
I am going to have to get up earlier if I want to last longer though. 

Heat is tough on my heart rate





















I feel like one run is not enough to draw conclusions, so I will try too use this ratio the next few weeks and go (hopefully) for some longer distances and see how I feel. 
I am just playing around, trying to see if I can find something that will enable me to try to begin training in late July. 


Here's what...
Recaps remind me it was an okay week. 
It is too easy to think about what I didn't do and where I lacked...no upper body lifting all week! In fact, I have been slacking the past two weeks, but I was still active. 
I can not remember Monday by the time Friday rolls around, anyone?? 

Here's what...
Three running days this week (15 miles) and I seem to be back at my "normal level" with my feet. I always have discomfort, but last week they were really not behaving. Ummm feet, I really need you to tolerate a little more than 15 miles soon. 

Here's what...I feel like I still have not regained any endurance as far as running. 

Here's what...
it is the last week of school here! 

I hope you have a wonderful week! 
Karen 

Anyone share my love of sprinklers on a run?
Ever try out an early morning bike ride?
What is your sweet spot mileage? 
Don't forget your body glide!

...and one more cute little Bagheera picture.


















I almost forgot to join the link up! Whew! Sometimes, I wonder about my brain...
Linking up with my gals, Holly @ hohoruns and Tricia@ MissSippiPiddlin for the weekly wrap up.