Sunday, November 29, 2015

Another Week ~ That's a Wrap!

I am linking up today with my friends, Holly @ hohoruns and Tricia@ MissSippiPiddlin to share my ongoing quest to be active and stay healthy.  Link up and support other active women. Share your week!  ㋡ Check out the etiquette here

Many mixed emotions about this past week, 
on paper it doesn't look so bad...

Monday Brrr Morning Biking - 7.71 mi 42:18
Tuesday Cycling - 8.50 mi 37:24
Core Work - 32:51
Elliptical - 30:01
Cycling - 8.50 mi 38:11
Stretching/Planks - 23:00
Warm Up - .82 mi 12:45
Turkey Day Run w/Kasey - 5.01 mi 48:53
Walking and Talking - 2.50 mi 44:09
4 Sunny Miles - 4.01 mi 38:43
Cool Down - .33 mi 5:28
Weight Training - 1:02:09
Saturday REST!
Cycling - 11.00 mi 55:26
Stretching/Leg Press - 39:26

Honestly though, I spent a lot of the week not feeling so good. I had a stuffy head, and I just didn't feel 100% energetic during my work outs. Thankfully I had off Thursday and Friday, I didn't accomplish much, but not getting up at the crack of dawn was much needed
I just couldn't bring myself to knock out a really strong two hour cycle ride.  I did try to pick challenging courses on the cycle and go hilly, but I have a half marathon to run this weekend and I don't feel my replacement cardio was stellar. I sure hope I've done enough to keep me smiling through the whole half...we'll see...

The lack of running really started to get to me this week. So many rest days, twelve days so far, broke up by just a few miles. 
I ran because my mood was plummeting...amazing what those short runs did for my state of mind.

I ran 5 miles on Thanksgiving with run buddy 

I felt a little panicky after this, because it felt tougher than it should have. 

SO, I ran again the next day...

4 miles on the hilly side of  my neighborhood. I held a pretty steady pace on the uphill and it was close to 70 degrees. This boosted my mood. I am hoping I have enough zip in my step, to run a 2:11 half next weekend...I don't know, that may be too lofty after barely running for two weeks, but that is what I am hoping for. 
Who knows, when I hit that 200 ft. hill on mile twelve, I may be happy just to get in done in under 2:15 lol 

My foot felt surprisingly good after running on it two days in a row. It still isn't a 100% but it is improving.  The heel tenderness and inflammation in the arch area is gone, but I still feel a sensation under the ball of my foot. Not dead center, but to the outside. It doesn't burn like before, but it still feels like a pebble sort of, but not disruptive. 
Why don't I just go to the doctor you ask? 
I know what his first response will be. Two weeks rest from impact, that is always his answer...I have not rested 2 weeks straight, but I did rest 6 days after my half, ran 5 miles, then rested four more days before I ran again this past week.  Since I am improving, I will just ride it out a few more weeks and see how I do.
I do wonder if I have sprung a new bone spur, or if I just had a bad stress reaction. 
I am prone to bone spurs. 

  • Had surgery in high school for a spur that grew huge on my big toe
  • In my 30's I had x-rays that showed large spurs on both heels
  • Last year a small one popped up on my right foot (about mid way) 
Weird, huh? I do wonder why I get them...

Scenes from Thanksgiving...

Turkey coma....

We got the kitties a new bed, we have to find the perfect spot in the house, 
but they seem to approve. 

This stuff with a a few splashes of OJ ~ yummmm!

Is your tree up? 
Did you score any great black Friday deals? 

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Thanksgiving!? Already?

I feel like I am the only blogger I know not in the hop.

If you have been stopping by here for any length of time, you may have figured out, I have a time getting myself to work, dressed with a lunch every day...

Soooo, maybe next year I will hop my way in...but for now, I just want to share with anyone who hasn't seen the link up. There are some awesome things being gifted this holiday season :) 
Stop by the hosts page and check out the great list.

If you have never seen this, I am sure you will get a giggle from it. It is worth the 2 minutes watch lol 

Four days off, I am hoping to get my house clean, it probably won't happen but I can hope...right!?

I am trying to use the same tactic I do when running...

  • visualize the finish 
  • picture myself sweating, smiling, and strong
  • tell myself, I love this, I don't feel tired at all 
  • visualize how I will enjoying relaxing while feeling accomplished
  • picture myself running uphill and nailing it
  • visualize my feet hitting the ground in good form
  • focus on the strength it takes to keep moving 
  • celebrate the movement
  • dig deep, feel the breeze, and smile 
  • visualize that happy finish 
Okay, maybe I am feeling a bit overwhelmed thinking about cleaning lol 

I hope everyone has a few moments to take a breath, enjoy someone and something you love, and take a nap! Your muscles will love for it 

To all of you running a Turkey Trot - have a great time! 

Thanks for stopping by, 

and here is a marathon story for ya...seriously, I am just not sure what to think about this one... 

Richmond marathon runner doesn't let fall, concussion stop him from running

RICHMOND, Va. -- One runner from New Jersey didn’t let his fall at the Richmond marathon break his spirit.

Mark Washburne, 59, was about 10 yards from crossing the finish line Saturday until he fell, breaking his nose and getting a concussion.

After a few minutes he managed to get up and completed the race in three hours, 40 minutes and 40 seconds.

He was taken to the hospital for an overnight stay.

But staying off his feet would have stopped his 9,450 day running streak, a streak that equates to just over 25 years.

Washburne said the doctors were insistent, no running, but he was too determined.

So an hour after his release, Washburne strapped on his shoes and did a three-mile run across the city.

Washburne said he's been running three miles a day since the marathon. He is planning to run his 12th consecutive Boston marathon in 2016.

Washburne’s finishing time during Saturday’s event qualified him for the 2017 marathon.

Sunday, November 22, 2015

Grumpy and Grateful

I am linking up today with my friends, Tricia @ MissSippiPiddlin and Holly @ hohoruns to share my recovery week. Link up and support other active women. Share your week!  ㋡ Check out the etiquette here

Recovery is boring necessary.

Last weekend I was blessed with all the things I wished for on race day (and more), and then…boom, it’s over in a blur. 

The post-race blues…

I remembered feeling a bit bluesy after this race last year, so part of my training mindset, was to plan recovery days and pick another event, so there is something to look forward too.

I signed up for another half on December 6th. My current foot issue had not presented itself at that time. My intention was to take my time and rest up after Richmond; however, I wasn't mentally prepared for no running between races. It seems I am going to need more time off than planned.

The course description for my next half from the web site…
“Mile 12 goes back up from 50 to 250 feet on what is known as hospitalization hill.” 

Not the actual hill, but what it looks like in my mind

I have been trying to psyche myself up for the big climb! 

Getting a PR in Richmond took the pressure off. I just want to have a strong, happy run. Whatever my legs will do that morning, I will be okay with. 

The reason I planned some recovery

Last year's recovery week

Race on Saturday

Sunday off

Monday ran 2 miles (45 min. weights/stretching)

Tuesday off

Wednesday off

Thursday ran 9 miles

Friday off

Saturday ran 3 miles (1 hour weight training)

Sunday ran 3 miles (1 hour weight training)

I mean really?! What was I thinking running 9 miles less than a week after the race. That was kind of crazy. 

This year I tried to be more patient

Race on Saturday

Sunday walked an easy, easy paced 5 miles with run buddy and stretched – it felt so good!

Monday off

Tuesday 20 min. elliptical (45 minutes stretching/core work)

Wednesday Cycle 6.5 miles (50 minutes of upper body work - all light intensity)

Thursday off  ate some dark chocolate and got a hair cut

Friday off went to see Mockingjay :)

Saturday ran 5 miles walked 2 miles (it was beautiful out!) gym cycled 6.40 miles (50 minutes upper body work)

Sunday gym cycled 10 miles and actually did some weight work for my legs

Picked a big hill to climb - I was drenched

My head was stuffy and I felt sluggish most of the week. Saturday, I finally started to feel like myself, and I just wanted to take a walk and enjoy the sunshine. A half-mile in I decided to run and see how the foot was feeling; I vowed to stop if anything hurt. My legs and foot felt pretty good until 4.5 miles, my left hamstring started to get tight, so I wrapped it up. 
 Sorry IG first long leggings and gloves run :) 
It was a good five miles - a little bittersweet 

I will have more run-less days next week. I really want whatever is going on in there to heal up. The inflammation and tender bottom (left foot) have tamed some, but I can still feel a sensation in there where it all started. 

I went through the last three weeks of training just. getting. by.

My foot was tender, or throbbing, or slightly aching, but it was always doing something. I still had a few good runs with all that was going on, so I owe it some rest. 

I don’t want it coming to collect! 

The weather was crazy this past week. It rained a few days, it was so humid you could cut it with a knife, then we had our first frost; it was a 
continual reminder what a gift the perfect weather conditions were on race day! 

Even though it as a low endorphin week, I felt too grateful to stay grumpy for long... I smiled every time I thought about running across that finish line last week.  

Do you plan your recovery periods?

Do you agree, part of your training plan should include what you do after the race? 

Do you have a race that makes you smile every time you think about it? 

Hope you have a great week! Don't forget to put your put feet up and pamper yourself a little. ❤  

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Have I Told You!?

Some random things I really wanted to mention in a post, but never did...

I love playing medicine ball catch with my hubby at the gym. Sometimes we use a 10 lb. medicine ball and sometimes when we feel super adventurous, we use 14 lbs.

When we don't feel like doing a lot of cardio, this really works. 

It is a fun way to get a work out in. Grab a partner and try it :) 

Junior adores my hubby.

My hubby got this plague in the mail for his AG in the 5K turned 4.2 miler :)  He has retired at the top of his game. 

My muscles are feeling great after my my happy PR run but my feet are still not quite right, so I am trying to take an extended break to recover. 

That most of my race pictures are atrocious! I just have to laugh looking at them. Sometimes they scare me so much, I think I shouldn't run. Nah!

I do kind of like this one though...

That I love working in a place where we have cute little guests visit the Veterinary Science class.
Yep, sitting on my desk :) 

I think my co-worker Robyn is going to adopt this cutie. 
If you have a name idea, comment below! 
We have discussed Betty White, Penny, Lucy...

Allow me to brag about Robyn for a minute, she is now a 2 X marathoner and she ran a sub 4 in Richmond this past weekend! Robyn's Post 

What would your, " Have I ever told you?"  post include? 

Sunday, November 15, 2015

Race Day!

I am linking up today with my friends, Tricia @ MissSippiPiddlin and Holly @ hohoruns to share my half marathon PR experience. Link up and support other active women. Share your week!  ㋡ Check out the etiquette here
I am also linking up with others who ran Richmond. Check out the link up host

I know this a long one, and if you don't want to read it all I listed out some highlights!
These are my good luck shoes now 
  • Got a ride to the race chauffeured in a buddy goes in style.
  • lost my people before the race started
  • tears on mile one
  • happiness over the weather
  • had a sip of beer at mile eight (just a sip)
  • ran as hard as I could
  • had a PR finish
  • Honey found me at the finish line
  • had a beer at the finish before 10:00 a.m.
  • I got carded at the liquor store (yes, for real)
  • I ate TWO donuts...
  • had lunch at the Egg and I
  • seriously, Saturday was a good day
  • I also started to make funny noises coming down the stairs...
I really did eat donuts...I rarely splurge like this

I thought if I could match last years time, I would be thrilled - 2:10:06. I truly thought that was out of my reach, my goal was 2:11, I thought that was realistic. This training cycle I have struggled trying to sustain anything 9:30ish pace. A big part of that is, 90% of the training it was warm and humid. 

Race morning was perfect, 45 degrees! SO, crazy gorgeous out. As I rode downtown, I tried to tell myself running would feel easier, I could push myself today, don't be scared to try...the worse that could happen is that I would have to slow down.

We got to the port of potties (I know that isn't right lol) and I was freaking out, I went like 6 times, my nerves...
Then a man in line said, "Your wave leaves in five minutes"....I went into panic mode (picture the opening Titanic scene), we were a few blocks from the start.
I needed a warm up! I have been battling the tight problem and I was in a lot of pain earlier in the week. I needed to wake my muscles up. I ran up the street and would look back and see my group. They didn't want to jog at all, but I needed it :( The last time I ran toward the wave sign (F) I turned back and they were all gone. I hopped on the sidelines and looked for them as I pinned my bib on, and never saw them.

Found them at the finish - left to right - me, Kasey, Chris, and Robert (his 1st half) 
I was running alone.
I finally decided to go.
According to gun time, I was about 3 minutes behind them.

My legs hurt the first mile. I was so stiff on my left side, I even shed a few tears. SO much anxiety bottled up, losing my people, thinking I was going to end up walk/running...
I started to regroup after I passed the first mile marker.
I wanted to start at a good clip, set the tone, but I didn't want to hurt myself either. I tried to breathe deep and look ahead, and adjust my pace on feel, and thankfully the stiffness improved.

Mile 2 when my Garmin beeped, I peeked at my cumulative time to see if I was under a 10 minute pace. It felt like I was, but so often when I FEEL like I am pushing, I will look down and see 10:15. I just needed to know...

After that I decided I wouldn't look at my watch until I saw the mile marker 10 sign. I had those "good day" target times in my head.

Mile marker 3 and 4 came fast...
Legs and foot cooperating.
I had been carrying a disposable water bottle with 16 oz. of  Lemon Lime Nuun. Holly suggested I collapse it as I go, and it worked great. I had the bottle all smashed down in my hand. I swear it may be easier than my actual hand held. I tossed it by mile 4.

After mile 5, the course heads into a section called Bryan Park. This park is pretty, but the path is very tight.  You truly get stuck and can't pass unless you are willing to run off in the woods. I seem to have a talent at finding those walls of three or four, who are running side by side, who won't budge. 

In the park, I realized I forgot to fuel. I grabbed my sport beans and ate the whole pack between miles 6 and 8. I had intended to have them all gone by 10K point. I wondered if I had fueled too late...

The course comes out of park during mile 8 - it is the biggest climb on the course, a 65 ft elevation gain. My foot started to throb right before the big hill. I tried to take it easy and work on flexing my toes back and forth, my heel was burning. I knew I had slowed up, and I was feeling anxious. My foot kept aching, but my calf never got tight, so I tried to pick it back up.
Mile 8 is also where the beer family is...I took one good sip, the fizz is so refreshing.

Mile 9, I caved and looked at my watch, I was worried about how much time I had lost in the park. I was having a claustrophobic episode after being squeezed together like sardines, and feeling forced into slowing more than I wanted to. 
I was stunned at my cumulative time. I was on my PR 15K pace :) I told myself, PUSH and to stop worrying about what was behind me. Last year at the 15K point, I slowed down quite a bit. 
YES... I did obsessively study my splits from last year.
I ran hard. I kept asking myself can you do more?? I wasn't sure.

Mile 10
Mile 11 clicked off...
Oh, the mental part...
People will yell at you on this part of the course, "It is all down hill from here!" BUT it is not! Mile 12 you have a 30 ft. elevation gain and mile 13 starts with a 13 foot climb before it levels, and then downhill happens. I was trying to focus on not slowing down. My foot was really hurting in the heel area, and I felt like I was losing it. I didn't want to hear that when it wasn't true, but everyone yells it!

I heard Adam Lambert on my play list...My Heart is a Ghost Town...I thought, good song while I am tired, hit repeat when it is done, but I never did. My brain was all over the place, I couldn't focus.  I started seeing places on the course, and I would remember that last year I felt really tired when I was there. 
I told myself PUSH.

I kept wondering could I go faster? Try...
Mile 12, I glanced at my Garmin...I thought no way...
I kept wondering when the down hill was coming...I wondered if my Garmin stopped working. I started thinking, wait a minute, my watched beeped at each mile, right at the sign. Am I really going to finish with a big PR? I obviously was over-thinking things. I am bit frustrated as I look back, I did slow down on mile 12, and I don't think it was physical, as much as it was all the mental stuff. My brain couldn't accept how fast (fast for me) I was running. 

The downhill grade at the end is very steep, 87 feet down. It is a great way to end because you are tired, but you really have to be careful not to pound your legs. I did my best and let gravity do its thing...

The finish line area is congested! 

I crossed the line, collected my medal, blanket, and hat, but I could not process my finish time. I was overwhelmed. I had text alerts set up, so I could see my finish time, my avg. pace, but I still couldn't believe I had done it. I started to feel excited after I found Kenny and my group. It took awhile to sink in that I had run this course 7 minutes faster than last year.

Thank you Sweet Holly for my good luck skirt!

There it is! Half marathon number six, my new shiny PR :) 2:02:43

LocationNet TimeClock TimePacePace Between
10k58:181:11:369:23 /mi
9:20 /mi
Finish2:02:432:16:019:21 /mi

and my Garmin break down for you number junkies :) 
and YES, mile 8 really, REALLY, bothers me to see it.

SplitsTimeCumulativeDistanceElev Gain

It was a good PR day for run buddy, too - 2:01:19 (9:15 avg pace)

I am curious about all kind of things, so tell me anything!

Do you ever go into a fog during a race and not really remember much?

Do you like to see your lap times as they happen, or do you try to NOT look?

Does weaving around people wear you down?

Did your PR happen completely unexpected? or after hard training?

Saturday, November 14, 2015

Finally, Half Marathon Time!

Overall during this training cycle I had more setbacks than successes, but I was still excited to get to race day. I was trying to be optimistic and believe ❤

Friday, I was super anxious! Like a kid waiting for Christmas morning.

I rested my aching left foot, calf and tight hamstring all week...

I got a massage, 60 minutes of pure awesomeness, seriously, why haven't I been doing this all along?!

Dick's blew up a huge wall banner of all the marathon and half participants. I found my name on the wall at the expo.

Thursday, I ate and didn't worry about the calorie count. This meal was so good! Quesadillas with spinach and tomato with grilled asparagus.

I even had some Raisinettes. I love the dark chocolate ones.

Thanks Nestle for trying to keep me honest about my serving size!

I actually tried really hard during this training cycle to lose 2 or 3 lbs. About 6 weeks in, I started to see lower numbers and I was all excited, but last week I had a 4 lb. gain...

I am not sure why, but this happens every time I get near my goal weight, without changing what I am doing, I just spring back up.

It is such a mental boost with those few pounds gone, but they won't stay gone.

The past few weeks in Richmond it has been very rainy, humid, and warm. Two days ago the weather took a nice turn (thankfully) and I woke up to crisp, clear skies, and a dew point of 20! Pure heaven.

I checked off my list and went out the door at 5:50 a.m.

Then I ran...

Harder than I've ever run in a race.

The awesome weather gave me a boost of confidence...
...and at mile 8 my foot started to hurt, but nothing really tightened up, so I tried to work my toes back and forth in my shoe, breathe deep, and keep pushing.

2015 - 45 ❤ degrees (my new PR day)

half marathon #6 will stand as my best  - a 7 minute PR!

I nailed a time I didn't think possible.
I am so sore, so happy, and wishing for another massage.

Stay tuned...
I have some blanks to fill in about race day!

What do you think, massage before or after the race?
Are you a Hunger Games fan? I can't wait!
If you could pick your favorite race temperature what would it be?

Tuesday, November 10, 2015


The word of the day is ageless...

Thank you to Deb Runs for the Wednesday Word
You can join in the link up and 
read some great posts by clicking -->

Deb Runs

Ageless - never growing or appearing to grow old.

I know nothing about this.

I have wrinkles, snow white hair, a bit of an extra chin, age spots the size of darn quarters...
...all I see these days is how much I have aged. It is a kind of a snowball effect, it feels like the aging process have gained momentum on me these past few years.

Even though I am losing the physical battle, the fire inside me remains unchanged.

Passion is ageless.

Passion also unites us.

Our passion to run.

Our passion to improve our fitness.

Our passion to be active.

Our passion to be strong.

No matter our age, we bond through our common goals.

“Friendship is ageless. It is the spirit we should like and care for, not the shell that encases it.”
Robert W. Sweeting 

The spirit in us craves to be heard, acknowledged, and understood, no matter if we are introvert or extrovert, young or old.  

It is hard to explain to someone who has never poured their heart into 16 or 20 weeks of training, what a race or running means to you. 

The heart has reasons that reason does not understand.
~ Jacques Benigne Bossuel 

Sometimes what we do does not seem logical to others; why would someone enjoy sweating, feeling exhausted, and pushing past what is comfortable...

We are fortunate to have a community that embraces and does understand. Although, we all have very different backgrounds, education levels, and beliefs, we are bonded together by a common passion.

To be able to celebrate our victories, bounce training ideas off each other, 
applaud the happy moments, to share solutions, to understand and empathize with the struggles, and the injuries,  and to offer encouragement to each other, is a blessing and a gift. 

That commonality is ageless.

So cheers to our ageless community.  
You all are rock stars

Wishing you happy trails,

Karen ❤