Tuesday, December 29, 2015

A Year in Medals


I posted my yearly wrap up here  but I am linking up today with PattyErika, and Marcia to share my year in bling. 

Shoot, who doesn't like a little bling and sparkle, right?! 
4 half marathons and three fun runs...
Here we go 



February - Princess Half - miles of smiles 
Disney and bling  - so symbatico 
Repeat - no, a one and done, this bling was $$$


April The city of Petersburg is trying to do a little revitalization and I really appreciate the effort to make running part of that.
It was so hot for this inaugural half. I earned this one the
hard way!
Repeat - yes, already signed up for 2016 

July - Another steamy ☼ one earned
A virtual 7 mile run

October - A super fun one with my Honey! Halloween 5K turned 4.4 miler lol had a little course snafu. 
Repeat - I think I will! 

November - The  ★ PR event at home in Richmond. 
So pretty with the skyline, but was hard to capture a good picture of it. This was an awesome day where all the stars aligned :) 
Repeat - undecided, but I bet when it gets closer I will want to


DecemberEarned this climbing a mile and half all uphill at the end of the race. ❤ Repeat - undecided, I get tired thinking about that hill!

and my last little medal in 2015 was the fun Tacky Light run 
Repeat - yes, this is always fun!

How many repeat races do you have planned for 2016?  

Sunday, December 27, 2015

The Last Link Up for 2015

I am linking up today with my friends, Holly @ hohoruns and Tricia@ MissSippiPiddlin for the last link up of 2015! Join in and support other active women. Share your week!  ㋡ Check out the etiquette here












Last week I was cruising along feeling pretty good.  I had to run in the rain, something I don't love, but decided to embrace it, because I wanted to enjoy my break from work as much as possible.
I felt pretty good after my rain runs. There is a definite improvement with my foot. My runs were broken up this week. I would run 4 or 5 miles, walk a bit then run another mile or two. I was just trying to survive the heat, even in the rain it felt awful sticky, but it made my chart a little crazy to follow. 

MondayRest!
Tuesday4 mile run (39:31) - 10 min. walk - .50 mile run (5:31) - 10 min. walk - 1.25 mile run (12:00)
Wednesday Cycling warm up (15:00) - 65 min. upper body strength training/stretching - 1 mile treadmill walk
Thursday 5.5 mile run (56:04) - 3 min. walk - 1 mile run (9:48) - 5 min. stretching
Friday 5 mile run (51:25) - 14 min. walk - 1.5 mile run (15:00)
Saturday Rest!
Sunday 2 mile walk outside (37:00) - 65 min. leg and core work - 2. 25 mile walk outside (44:00) 
Tuesday - 6 miles 
Thursday - 6.5 miles 

Christmas day we ran and it was very warm. It was actually harder than the rain runs. It has been extremely sticky, that good 'ol dew point was almost at 70, and we only had a few brief moments of rain so there was little relief from the (75 degrees) heat. I felt fine when I was done and was patting myself on the back for doing it.
Friday - 6.5 miles 
About 6 hours later I started to get "sick". Christmas night by 7 p.m. or so, my ganglion cysts in my wrists blew up and I just felt nauseous. Usually I will get the sweats and chills, but this time I was lucky, none of that, just some stiffness in my knees. If you have been following me for any length of time, you already know I have a history of random flare ups after a very humid/hot run. My system and heat do not mix well. It is typical for me to feel fine for hours, then boom, I start feeling funky. The appearance of the symptoms are always very similar, and they usually take a few days to subside, and it just annoying. I can not make any sense about why my cysts get so swollen when I overheat. My left one in particular blew up like a balloon. The lump in the wrist hits the nerves so my hand feels numb and tight. I can not accomplish much when I am like this, it hurts, so I take ibuprofen non-stop and ride it out. It eats up time, the precious time I am off work, but I have no control ¯\_(ツ)_/¯  
Saturday we decided to go see Daddy's Home, which I loved  and the laughter was a good distraction, since I missed my long run for the week. 

Sunday when I woke up, my right wrist was improved, but my left one was still swollen. I taped it up and Kenny and I headed to the gym. The sun popped out for a little while (Yay! had not seen any in a week) so we took a two mile walk outside to warm up before our work out. It was too hot for me to run, and I figured it was good for my system to have some time to calm down anyway. 

I did get some leg and core work accomplished, so at least today was not a total bust, and we took another walk before we went home. Good vitamin D time 


The swelling is going down now, so hopefully things will be back to normal Monday γƒ„

After a solid week of rain this past week... the the forecast for next week (drum roll) ...rain, most days (sigh).

Soggy in VA,
Karen

How was last week for you? 
Who got to see some sun this past week?
Was Santa good to you?
Anyone have Ganglion cysts?

Wednesday, December 23, 2015

2015 That's A Wrap!

Remember when you were in school and a year used to feel so long, September to June felt eternal...
Around the age of 30 or so, it seemed those years starting cruising by, and now they happen in almost a blink. Scary...
The year didn't start off well, I went from attempting to marathon train to a boot. It's funny how years fly, yet when the Doc said no running for six weeks, time crawled. 

January - A week after this run I was in a boot, trying to figure our what went wrong. I didn't have any discomfort on that run, scary but true...yet a scan clearly showed a tibial stress fracture. 



February - Lots of this started for five weeks...



The week I took my boot off, I flew to Florida to run the Disney Princess Half.


I was tickled pink to visit Disney for the first time at the age of 48

It was 11 degrees when we left Richmond, and 75 went we got to Florida :) I like cold and all, but 11 was a little over the top. 




I seriously never stopped smiling during this race. I was so happy to be running again. Now, was I supposed to be putting all those miles on my leg!? Heck no.... and I don't recommend this recovery plan to anyone, but I was not going to miss this. 


I did run/walk and took picture breaks. It was my slowest half ever and the one I really enjoyed the most.


March - I started to resume a routine of running before work. I was supposed to be run/walking and keeping my mileage low. It was so hard to be patient when the weather and sunrises were so beautiful, but I tried. I logged 36.95 miles in March and hoped my bone was growing stronger. 

April - I was restless! Yep, that fast. I missed distance running. I was just a few months out from my injury and I was worried about all the endurance I lost...CRAZY! I ran my 5th half marathon on whim. It was close to home and I figured, why not. I knew the heat was coming full force,  and I would not be doing any more races or long distance runs all summer.


Petersburg, my 5th half marathon - it was hot and humid that day, but I did it! 


May - June - July - August - September I kept my running mileage around, or a little above 70 miles each month, and I struggled to do it. My longest run all summer was 7 miles, which felt harder than all the races I ever ran lol 


October - I was in half marathon training mode, but started to have some foot issues and setbacks, but I forged on as much as I could. Running was challenging, but I loved October because I went to Montana to see my mom and had a fun run with my hubs.



November - I ran half marathon number 6 and it stands as my PR  


I had struggled so much during training: I had a huge cut on my right heel, left ball of foot pain, then the right foot was hurting under the ankle bone, and my left hamstring kept tightening up. UGH! The last four weeks of training was a constant battle against pain and a lot of missed runs. I could not believe how great the race actually went. It was an awesome day. About a half hour after I crossed this finish line, I tried to freeze frame those last few moments in my mind and replay them. I just wanted to fully enjoy what had occurred

December - Half marathon number 7 - Boom! Turned out to be my second fastest half ever.


As this year comes to a close, I will fall about 200 miles :( short of my 1,000 mile goal. As I post this, I have logged 814 miles (still working on it :D) for the year. 836 841 miles.
  • I spent five weeks in a boot
  • Completed 4 half marathons including my PR  Yay! 
  • Had 3 4 fun runs: Black Light Glow run, Halloween 5K, Tacky Light 6K, and I almost forgot the fun Sole Sister 7. 


  • and visited Skyline Caverns and Dollywood this year







  • and had lots of fun roller coaster rides!





One of our favorite rides this year was the Smoky Mountain Alpine Coaster in Tennessee! We rode in the daylight and at night, so much fun, you should try it if you ever get the chance. 



and in May we met Rush  Seriously, I could not believe I stood next to Geddy Lee.



As I go back through the memories it makes me wish I could just find a way to linger in those happy moments a little longer, they pass so fast.

Looking back, it really wasn't a bad year after all...

Are your years flying by? 
Do you forget stuff until you go back through your pictures? 

Sunday, December 20, 2015

Crazy Train

I am linking up today with my friends, Holly @ hohoruns and Tricia@ MissSippiPiddlin Link up and support other active women! ㋡ Check out the etiquette here


Lacey and Meranda over at Fairytales and Fitness organized their second annual blogger holiday card swap. I really enjoyed making a fun bundle for my secret pal, and I received a VERY sweet treat from Karen at ...Just Me and My Running Shoes


I love music when I run, so I truly appreciate the itunes gift! and your furry babies are adorable :) 
♥ (((Big hugs to Karen))) 


MondayRest!
Tuesday a.m.Morning Run - 3.40 mi (34:29)
Tuesday p.m. Biking w/my Honey - 13.24 mi (1:12:00)
Wednesday a.m.Bus Loop Speed work - 3.56 mi (33:25) 10 min. walking/stretching
Thursday p.m.Cycling 7.10 mi (32:00) - 60 min. upper body work
Friday p.m.4 mile run (37:12) - 1.28 mile walk (18:55) stretching
Saturday a.m. 5 mile run (47:47) - 1 cool down mile (9:51) stretching
Sunday p.m.Cycling warm up 4.2 mi (18:00) - 65 min. leg strength training and stretching 

This week I drove myself a little batty. Sometimes I hate to post this stuff, but this is the truth, so here goes...

I am sure you are tired of hearing about my foot issues, trust me I am tired of it too. 

I don't think I have mentioned that when I have pace issues it throws me into a bit of a panic.  Not because going "slower" bothers me, but because it fuels my fear something must be wrong with me. 

Last year at this exact time I was struggling with my pace, and I had been for a good solid month.

I couldn't understand at the time what was going on. When I tried to pick up the pace, I couldn't even crack a 10 min. mile. I eventually just settled into 10:30 - 10:45 ish and stopped worrying about it.  

When I was finally diagnosed last year (and ended up in the boot), my sports medicine Doc explained that lack of power in my legs was an indicator there was a problem. That was a completely new concept to me. It makes sense, but at the time it kind of blew me away. That little insight has led to a few freak out moments though. The foot pain coupled with a rough run can stir some nagging worry...

Monday I felt a bit rough after my run. I was aching and my foot hurt. 
Wednesday when I ran up to the bus loop to do my short speed work session, I wanted it to be easy so I could warm up, however, when I saw that mile was 10:25 I was surprised. I promise it felt harder than that. My fast laps around the loop that morning felt unusually tough. I had a time trying to pick it up, I just lacked stamina and power. It was just an off day I guess, but it really got my mind swirling that I am headed toward the same situation as last year. My feet felt tender and legs were sore all day. 

The swirling mess in my head. 

  • be patient 
  • rest
  • I have been resting
  • I am over reacting 
  • I miss running
  • my foot hurts
  • it feels better 
  • it hurts again
  • am I injured

Holly convinced me to make a doctor appointment and get checked, so I can stop making myself nuts.  My appt. is Jan. 20th. I realized after I made it, that last year the day I ended up in a boot was Jan. 21st, this all feels a little too deja vu. 

Worrying then spawned the need for me to run like a nut. Surely, if I can run hard, than I am not injured just over reacting

Friday I ran in the evening and it was really nice out. I didn't look at my Garmin and pushed myself as hard as I could...
9:48, 9:13, 9:25 8:40   
I was gasping like a nut on that last mile. That is all out for me. I felt spent, but my legs actually felt way better than they had earlier in the week. Thank goodness my splits seemed to be about right for my effort level or I may have cried. 


 It was 30 degrees when we ran Saturday morning and I am seriously in love with my Old Navy leggings. My tush was not cold a bit and they stay in place.

I went again Saturday morning...9:12, 9:07, 9:30, 9:35, 9:21 
I went to run with Robyn and her training team. This is easy pace for them, hard pace for me, but I was determined to hang on. I just needed to convince myself my legs would/could do it. I felt a little guilty I slowed Robyn down, but I really enjoyed the run. 

Even though I was breathing heavy, I wasn't completely on the edge like I had been the night before. The group helped me to pace much better.  I ran a mile by myself before I drove home just to cool down my legs...9:51

I am much more comfortable at that pace :)


Hopefully this was enough to convince my brain I am okay and I can get off the crazy train and relax a little next week.  
I need to work on letting my easy days be easy. 

Overall, the sensations and foot soreness have improved, not all the way gone, but better for sure. I am still going to keep the Podiatrist appt. though, I need it for my peace of mind. 

  (¯`•.•´¯)¸.•´ ♥ 
☆ ♥ `•.¸.•´ ♥ ΒΊ ☆.¸¸.•´¯`♥ 
I'm going off the rails on a crazy train
I'm going off the rails on a crazy train 

This is Karen, laying all my crazy out there...


Wishing you all peace, joy, and love 

Do you ever drive yourself crazy like this? 

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Tacky Light Run



#nevertotacky
Becoming a fun #RVA tradition. 

It took my legs the whole week to recover from my half last Sunday, but my legs were finally feeling okay Saturday morning.
I was in a bit of a funk because I had only run 3.13 miles all week.
Saturday morning I was just going to take a walk and enjoy the crazy heat wave, but when I went by run buddy's house, she said she wanted to run, so off we went for five miles.

My legs felt tired after I ran. Kenny and I ate a yummy lunch at Noodle and Co. so I could refuel, and then I came home and chilled until it was time go.  I didn't have any expectations for my little 6K evening run, I was excited for the spectacle of it :)


Amazing weather....check :) 


The run is well organized for the crowds and lots of shuttles are available to the start line. People come decked out for this. 


I did a little warm up (a mile) after I got there and my legs felt much better than they had in the morning. I was glad because I struggled a few times on my morning run just trying to keep moving.  I walked around and took in all the great outfits. People are so creative :) 






 There are decorations everywhere...







I was ready to roll. The event organizer had signs for corrals: Runners, Runner/Joggers, Runner/Strollers, Walkers, Families...I lined up in front with the runners. When I ran this in 2013, I made the mistake of lining up with the runner/joggers and it was so packed feeling. I had a great run experience being closer to the front and we thinned out enough, so I didn't feel like I got in anyone's way.  The guy driving the pace truck came back and said to the front pack "It is a fun run!" " I don't want to be driving over 10 miles an hour, runners take it easy!" LOL Several folks still took off pretty fast. A half mile in, I couldn't see the pace truck hardly at all...runners ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ 

The pace truck



They started the fake snow machine right before we took off. It was comical since it was so warm.


 
I forgot how darn hilly this course was, mile two has the biggest climb. I started having flashbacks to my crazy climb at the end of my last half. I told myself it is a short run, PUSH! I had a few rough moments on the hills, but I tried to hold on because my legs were feeling good (finally!). I laughed at myself at this point. This event doesn't even list results, but there was still this little part of me that needed to do the best I could muster. 

When I finished running, I walked back through some of the course (about 2.5 miles) and just enjoyed the effort. It is a huge block party and all the streets are closed. The folks in the neighborhood hang out, play LOUD music, ring cowbells, cheer, build fires, kids do cheers, like real cheer squads, and so many houses decorate really pretty. The run gives prizes to neighborhood participants as well. 
I did not beat my 2013 time, however that year I only ran 3.60 miles lol and it is for fun!! Tell me to stop. 






Neighborhood cheerers 











Walking back through the streets, it felt 10 x's more crowded, like you could barely move crowded. It made me very thankful I went to the front and had a really great run.

Thanks for reading!!
Wishing you all the best, 
Karen 
Are you able to just go run for fun? or does that time thing always kick in?