Wednesday, July 26, 2017

To Train or Not Train


I really love winging it and I am afraid of training. Maybe I haven’t been able to wing it long enough to make me miss a plan, but it has been so long I should miss it by now!

Truthfully, even when I have done well with a plan, I make adjustments. I almost always get the required the workouts done, but hardly ever on the right day or right order. I’m like…meh, my legs are so sore; I’ll do my speed work later and run easy today…

2017-I set some loose goals for myself and in a lot of ways I am crushing it, so part of me feels like why mess with it.

Stay healthy – this one scares me the most! I have huge fears at every passing ache that I am going down again. Running "easy" is what I do 90% of the time.

Run all year (this goes with staying healthy) – I started the year off a little rocky nursing a very tender throbbing stress fracture spot, but so far (KNOCKING) since I recovered through December and January, I have felt mostly okay in that area. Just a passing pain every now and again…please, Lord let it stay that way! 🙏 I just want to be able to be consistent all year, 15 - 25 a miles a week.

Run four days a week – I’ve been able to do this more often than not. I have been forced to rest a few times and only get a day or two in, but I can live with that. I am also trying to run two or three days in a row now, which I didn't attempt for a very long time, and I am constantly worried it is too much but I enjoy being out more, so week to week I vary my running days.

Oust the intervals – I have not used intervals for months now unless it is a double digit run. I have come to realize it is realistic my feet will always need run/walk for long runs. I've played around a few times to see if I can push my feet farther than I did a year ago, but the pain is always present. I had hoped to try run a race this past Spring w/o intervals and just try, but it was so hot for the halfs I ran I needed the intervals to deal with the heat.
Who knows?! Maybe I will get a day where my feet will feel golden and I may try for a long run or race, but honestly, each time I have tested my feet the pain I typically feel in the toes and ball of my foot pops up right about 8 or 9 miles, and it comes on sudden. Once it throbs, it really throbs. I tested things again on 7-25; I had time in the morning, so I decided to run 8 miles. I have not done any long runs in over a month so I felt like my “rested” feet might feel different. But low and behold right at the end the pain started ramping up. Could I have gone another mile? Probably, but do I want to push that tender tissue that much, probably not.
So I guess when I get back to long runs, I guess will be using intervals for anything double digit.

Run 6 half marathons in 2017 - on my way...my next race I am registered for is the Richmond Half in November.

In a lot of ways I am so much more into the experience of running now then when I first started running. I have been out with stress fractures and the condition of my feet are touch and go, so I can appreciate that I can just be out there. When I first started running I was driven to see what I could push out! How fast can I go, how far can I go, but things flipped.
I will be okay in life if I never nail another sub 2:10 half, and I really think those days are gone for me, BUT I still have numbers I am more comfortable with. Even right now, with my slower summer pace I still have a target of 2:16 when I think about a half marathon. Is that realistic?? IDK...I wonder every summer if my pace will ever come back.
Truly my first three half’s of 2017 were not what I hoped.
Glacier (the 4th one), I expected!! I have never climbed 5 miles of uphill ever in my life and I don’t run at that kind of elevation, so I went with very loose expectations and finished right where I thought and hoped!
My first three half’s all very similar time wise...
2-26-17 Sentara Colonial Half Marathon 2:20:12
4-22-17 Petersburg Half Marathon
 2:22:17 
4-29-17 Run the Valley Park to Park Half 2:20:34


Each one held a different challenge, Sentara lack of training, it was hillier than expected, and my feet hurt! I felt okay with my time that day. 

April, I had high hopes I would come in under 2:15! And it was stupid hot in Petersburg, so humid that day I went into survival mode and the next week same issue. I was really proud when I finished both races because it was soooo hot, but I was super sad summer started so early here and I didn't even have a shot at running what I hoped.

Truthfully, I have been plagued with so many health issues, I really wish I could be all the way into just the experience of it, but the truth is, it is much harder to do that than say it! Even a race like Glacier, I attached a number that would make me feel good!
There is a part of me that still wants to challenge myself and push a little, although I can adjust those expectations MUCH easier than I used to, because overall health is always on my mind now, but I still want to throw a few faster half marathon times up this year!

Which brings me back to my love of winging it. Since I signed up for a November race, I only have two weeks to decide about training.  I will have to buckle down and be on a plan with intervals and speed work if I really want to have any hopes of running a strong Fall race. The possibility of injury increases for me when I do those type of workouts, so I have been wrestling with what to do the past few weeks now. I also get more hard headed on a plan. I don't want to miss anything or I feel defeated, happens every time, so I know I have pushed in the past when I should not. Seriously, if I can't check off the workouts it makes me nuts.

I can keep winging it and just increase my long runs, and I am sure I will be able to finish my fall races, but is that all I really want?! That is the question I am wrestling with now.

Thanks for stopping by and if you made through my ramblings, thank you! 
I loved any insight, tips, or ideas! It is all inspiring to me :) 
Are you a wing it kind of person, or do you stay on a schedule for your workouts? 
Karen


Monday, July 24, 2017

Senior Moments

Popping in to say hi! I am linking up with my awesome running gal pals Holly  and Tricia
 
The guest host this week is the lovely and inspirational Darlene @ My First 5k and More


My senior moments are increasing exponentially lately. I am getting worried about my mind!

Tuesday after work I started feeling awful when I got to my car. I was pouring sweat, and felt funky...I then realized I still had my work sweater on and it was 100 degrees. Womp, womp...crazy office is so cold some days...


 I wore my shorts inside out on a whole run and did not even notice until I got in the car!

We were too delirious from the heat to notice I guess. 

Then when I got home I was going to post a photo and all I saw were these strange images on my phone. 

Apparently after we stopped on the bridge and I took this pic of the James River 

 I did not close my phone when I put in my pack.  It kept snapping the whole walk. 
434 pics to delete! 
Arghh....
and finally... I feed my older toothless cat in the downstairs bathroom so he can take his time and eat in peace...and I forgot to open the door when I left to run. I came back and heard a distant meow...oh, I felt so bad! 

Last week the morning temps stayed close to 80 overnight, which is more cruel than usual. Truthfully, I don't even like the typical 72 or 75 humid mornings, but maybe the typical will feel "cooler" to me now. I am trying my best to do my thang and not let the heat get me down!! Summer has been making quite a gallant effort to break me though.

That is a.m. 


I am thankful I am not training.


I am enjoying trying to meet my very simple goal of three runs at least 40 minute each, and a one 10K each week. I am having fun trying new exercises in Clarinda's turns 40 fitness challenge! I will say it again, I am soooooooo thankful I am not training.

My one gym day 
A few scenes from last week 💜
                                                   









I finally broke out my hydration pack for the first time for our 10K run. I've been carrying a 24 oz. hydration bottle because I am soooooooo lazy, I don't want to clean the bladder and rinse my pack...truth. A bottle is so much faster!
Even though it was really hot (like mid 80's), this was the best I have felt on our "longer run" in awhile. I run about 2 minutes slower than my "normal" pace, which really doesn't feel that much easier LOL but I knew I could keep going when we stopped.
Hydration matters LOL who knew??! Seriously, 24 oz. was just not enough. 
I am on the hunt for a new clip hose, or screw on hose bladder, which should be a bit quicker to clean and fill. 
It was fun to run in Kasey's new neighborhood this week!
The trees on the other side of the bridge made a huge difference.







My one bike ride last week- hoping to do better this week! 
I was looking forward to my walk after this run!
I sweated buckets every outing!

Hopping into this week, I hope to do it all over again, expect the senior moments!
Thanks for stopping by! 
Karen 

Monday, July 17, 2017

Plain May Not be The Right Word

After I wrote my race recap I realized all these things I never mentioned...
Today I wanted to show you the expo for Glacier Half Marathon

I still have a few more tidbits to share from my week in Montana visiting my Mom, and then I guess I'll get some current content lol
Really though, I run a few days a week before work and then I sit for ten hours at my desk..it isn't very exciting! One happy little mileage note...I finally crossed 600 miles for the year last week! My mission is to stay healthy and keep running :)

The plains of Montana took my breath away.
I've been going to see my Mom for 10 years out in Whitefish, so I am use to the lake and mountains in her area now, but I don't drive the two hours to the plains often. I have only been a few times.

The wide open spaces are stunning and my camera doesn't really do this justice....well maybe if I had a better camera, but I had an iPhone, that has been soaked once LOL...

The land is rolling hills, interesting ridges, and grass that shifts with the wind. The sky and land seem to meet in way that you don't see in other places.










 The Bison moving across the plains







The sky seems bigger and the clouds make intriguing shadows across the mountains and the plains. It makes each day a little unique treat :)  Things looked really different when it was just blue skies.

The expo was held on the plains in Browning, Montana. Blackfeet reservation land. The campground was behind the casino. It was a breezy cool day.


The field is so big it seems endless...






This is also where we parked race morning to meet the race shuttles. There was a ton of space to park, so no issues there, as long as you remembered what row you left your car in. 


The expo was laid out nice. Bib pick up and registration were in a separate area from the few t-shirt vendors, jewelry vendors, and hydration bottle tents since this was a cup-less race. There was also a s'more station and I did enjoy one.



While I was walking around I couldn't help but think what a mess this could have been if it rained for the expo or race days, thankfully the weather was superb!
People popped their tents in the giant field not far from the expo and I also saw a lot of folks preparing to sleep in their cars. Porta potties were lined up in one area, but that was the only comfort. I am not sure I could have run a race without access to running water...but I am a wimp.

I felt like my drive to Cut Bank to stay in the hotel was well worth it.  It was further away from my Mom's, but it gave me a new experience and a chance to see more of the land.


Cut Bank was a nice small town I mentioned in my last few posts, with hilly little streets about 30 miles from Browning, MT.





Options for hotels in and around Browning are very limited, so why not embrace the chance to see more. The plains are many things, but plain. 😉






Hungry Horse would be another option that would put you about 80 minutes away from the shuttles. The hotel and lodges in East Glacier book up fast this time of year because of Glacier National Park.
There were a few hostels available, but you had to share a bathroom with a lot of people. Getting up and leaving at 3:30 a.m. would feel uncomfortable to me.
The point being, if you decided to run this race- book very early!


I am linking up with my awesome running gal pals Holly  and Tricia and the guest host is the lovely and talented Janelle @ Run With No Regrets 



Would you pop a tent? 
Sleep in your car? 
Drive to hot shower like I did?! 
Have you ever been to an outdoor expo? 
Stay in a hostel? 

Thanks for stopping by! 
Karen 


Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Steps

I thought I would make the Weekly wrap link up this week, but life got in the way and I knew I wouldn't have time to blog read. I hate to throw up a post when I know I won't have time to read, so I am just getting to it this week.  I have a few more Montana vacation posts to go :)

Monday afternoon I had visitors at work...check out the cuties. I couldn't get a good pic of the kittens, I tried!  Our Vet Science teacher has five she is fostering. They sacked out on my lap for a nap:)




















Steps and vacation go hand in hand for me.  I love to stay on the move, that is relaxing to me...

I always knew I walked a lot when I visited my Mom, but this was the first year my watch recorded my steps each day, so I could actually see it :) My older model Garmin did not record steps. I had a few good days before I left to see my Mom. Often, I struggle to get 5,000 a day unless it is a run day.

6-1917,007VA - run day
6-2022,787Bush Gardens day
6-2116,232travel day- Montana at noon 
6-2224,540Montana
6-2319,336Montana
6-2433,290Montana
6-2524,653Montana
6-2631,027Montana
6-2727,216Montana
6-2818,379travel day/ 6 mi run in Whitefish
6-295,550home in VA
6-305,958
7-123,683
7-214,023
7-34,937

Last week I had four days I didn't hit my 15,000 step goal.

I was in step heaven while I was visiting my Mom. The breezes, the view, the clean air, it all encourages being outside as much as possible.

I fell in love with walking all over again. I can walk and not be dripping in sweat...it is a dream 💜


I walked to get a morning cup of coffee! 


I walked all around town and I walked to eat. 

 Spinach and egg crepe....mmmmmm

I will always be thankful for the race experience I had in East Glacier, MT., but the one thing about running a Saturday race, was I felt like I felt like I should rest a few days before the event...I didn't want to burn out my legs totally. I do have a twinge of regret now...(sigh) I knew I wasn't going run the race really hard. Part of me wishes I would have run as much as I wanted and not worried about resting up my legs! I have run as much as 40 miles in a week while visiting my Mom, but this year I walked more. 
I arrived in Montana on a Wednesday afternoon. 
Thursday I only ran 2 miles because my Mom had an early morning appt. and I felt tired. 
Friday I ran 2 more miles and went to the expo, then I hauled to Cut Bank, MT., to find my hotel and walked the town. I had the most pleasant evening walk ever!! 

Check it out... someone had a fire going in the neighborhood in Cut Bank. That nippy air was wonderful. 
I would never ever have a need for fire in VA in June, unless I wanted a s'more LOL 
If you missed my Friday Five post you missed a little story about Cut Bank. 

Anyway...
Saturday I ran the race 
Sunday I was so eager to be out in the awesome weather, I ran 2 miles and then I walked.
Monday I ran a 10K and I walked later. 
Tuesday I ran 2 more miles 
Wednesday (the day I left ) I ran 6. I could not get enough. I ran 33 miles the week I was there. 💚

...and now I am home struggling to get 5,000 steps on days I don't run. LOL 

One more awesome thing is the sunlight lingers until after 10:00 p.m. in the north west. There is a very nice glow of light and folks are out doing yard work at 9:30 in the evening. I loved being able to enjoy an evening walk ...most evenings it was in the mid 50's or low 60's.

These pics were all taken after 10:00 p.m.






My dream life would be 20,000 plus steps a day! Honestly, my active days in Montana were the best I have felt all year.  All the sitting at work is tough!!  

Does your step counts increase on vacation? 
Do you feel more relaxed if you are moving? 
Would you have rested a few days before the race? 

Thanks for stopping by!! 
Karen