Friday, October 30, 2015

This Training Thang...

I am 14 days out from race day. I have one long run left (12 miles) and then taper...
It is time for my runfessions to come out. 


I am linking up with Marcia

Be sure to head on over to Marcia's Healthy Slice and share your Runfessions! I promise you'll feel so much better!

You know that statement...at this point in training, you can't do anything else to improve your performance...(hear my big sigh)
That statement was mentioned in a training team email. It kind of bugs me; it isn't much of a comfort to hear, when you feel you had a less than stellar training cycle. 

I began to wonder, what would make me feel I had a successful training cycle? 

Should I really feel the training blues about the past 11 weeks? Are my feelings justified? 

I only had one really good "longer run" - my 8 miler. I was so excited, I posted about it.
My speed work has been OKAY, no sessions where I felt super amazing, but I tried to wake up my fast twitch muscle fibers and work on my breathing. DO fast twitch fibers really exist in everyone? I am not feeling super confident about it right now...

I have had several set backs through out training. 
August. Enough said. I don't do heat well and I started in August.
I had some heat exhaustion symptoms that forced a few days off, more than once. 
My left hamstring gave me trouble tightening up and I went to PT several times early on in training. I thought it was better, but later in training when my left foot acted up, and I had that stone under the ball of foot sensation, my hamstring started aching...darn kinetic chain. 
I have been stretching and stringing together rest days from running, trying to give my legs a break, but I didn't want to miss a bunch of runs. 
Oh, and I also took a chunk out of my right heel and missed several days. It took forever to heal and I limped through a week of runs. Thank goodness, it is better now. 
My tibia has this ghost pain. I feel a pulse in there on and off and it makes me nervous. Every time I have a few runs where I feel strong and I start to get excited it is gone...I feel that darn pulse. It is a very quick pinch, I feel it as I am typing right now. It is just enough to make me wonder if I am hurting myself, or just experiencing the "awareness" many people describe long after a fracture. It is so annoying not knowing...
Overall, it seems a lot time was spent not feeling 100%. I haven't been able to push myself, because I am too focused on trying to not make something worse. 

Dang, I wish that wasn't so, but that is how it has been. 

I wish I had some more good runs. You know the runs where your breathing stays smooth, and you feel in the zone...
The runs you finish and you are POSITIVE you could have run longer. 
Runs where you feel energetic after wards, and you are twitching to go again.  
I just want a few more of those. I need it!

According to my training plan I have eight more runs before the race. 

I am really hoping I can still make some magic in my next eight runs. 
(Knocking on wood) My hamstrings are feeling better, my foot has finally improved, and I am hoping that trend continues. 
Visualization. I am trying to keep that image of myself running strong, crossing the finish line, and doing a mic drop :)  on scroll - in my mind.

I don't want to believe my chances to improve my performance are over yet. 

At this point in training you can't do anything else to improve your performance...
At what point during training do you believe that is true? 
What makes you feel a training cycle is successful? 
Do you have a runfession you would like to share? 

Hope you have a great weekend
Karen ❤  

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

I Need a Vacation

Returning from vacation is tough stuff. I flew from Kalispell, MT to Salt Lake City, UT, then to Atlanta, GA and then Atlanta to Richmond, VA.
I slept late Thursday.  I planned to wake up early and try to get myself back on track from the two hour time difference, but my need for sleep won out. I didn't really want to run right back to work anyway...

Sprint shut my cell service down after my first days in Montana. It felt very strange to be so out of contact. I probably would have IG a lot more pictures if I could have. The phone thing was a bit annoying...
I am home trying to get back in the swing of things, but it is taking me much longer than I thought it would. How many times have you thought to yourself, "I need a vacation, from my vacation." 
I miss all the beautiful mountains and lakes...



and I will miss my Mom
I love those big sky views...


my Mom with her cat :) 

Friday, I tried to wake up and run before work and I had snooze button problems...I was so tired. I ended getting a mile and half run in and made it to work by the skin of my teeth.

Saturday, Kenny and I woke up early to run a Halloween 5K about 40 minutes from our house.
It was a very small race set up for a half marathon and a 5K. I just love  a reason to put a costume on!
 Riddler and nananananan...bat girl
We were directed up the wrong street, and our 5K turned into 4.4 miles. Kenny hung in there and we did a run/walk. The race results were officially changed from 5K to 4.2 miles.
Kenny 58:20
me 58:21
That time was good enough to get Kenny 3rd in his AG - he said he may end his running career on a high note ( small race, very small race) lol

Kenny had a motorcycle accident years ago and his foot was squished, his foot split open and he lost all the tissue under his foot. A crush wound is hard to recover from, and he had three surgeries trying to repair it.  He has gotten stronger over the years, but realistically he will never be 100% or able to handle impact without a lot of discomfort.

Biking is a lot easier on his foot, but he has a medal now!

After our race we we went to Denny's and had a big breakfast. I looked silly in my outfit, but I was hungry. I was basically lazy all day Saturday and took a three hour nap.

Sunday, I finally got my 8 mile training run done for the week. I wasn't feeling that great when I started, and it was raining for the first few miles. I had considered I would bail in about an hour. The rain turned to a very light drizzle about mile 3,  and I became determined to get my distance in unless my foot really acted up.  I just have a few more weeks of training to go. I was shocked to see my average pace when I was done.  I have been trying to work toward this pace my entire training cycle, but most often I have hovered closer to a 10:00, 10:15 pace. I tried to do this while on vacation, and it was a total flop. I wish I could say I knew how I made this happen, but I really have no idea. 




It was nice to see these splits, and I am afraid it may not happen again.  This has not been the best training cycle, I feel like I am just slithering by. 
My left foot is still not 100%.  It felt like I was stepping on stone a few weeks ago during my ten miler. It still feels bruised under the ball of foot, and there is a tug  in the arch area, it has improved but I aggravate each time I run. Last week I cut my mileage and did let it rest three days in a row before I ran on it, but it probably needs more than I am willing to give it right now. I have my last long run this week, a 12 miler, and the following week is taper week (6 miles for my long run), I just need my foot to hold out till then...

I am linking up today with two wonderful ladies HoHoRuns and Misssippipiddlin 
Join in the fun! Link up and share your week. ㋡ Check out the etiquette here

Ever had the "I need a vacation, from my vacation." thought?

Friday, October 16, 2015

Glacier National Park

I am in Montana visiting my Mom.  
I took a little me time, so I could get a short hike in Glacier National Park on Friday.
 
It has been very dry in Glacier this season and it was the brownest I have ever seen the park, but it is still breathtaking.  I saw a wolf on some of the high cliffs - super cool - but no pictures.
 
My phone says no service a lot out here! I will be excited to catch up with you when I get home. I found some wifi so I could share some beauty with you in case you stop by...

Wishing you all the best :)
Karen

In every walk with nature one receives far more than he seeks.
John Muir

 



















Monday, October 12, 2015

I Love Sunshine

I am linking up today with two wonderful ladies HoHoRuns and Misssippipiddlin to share my week.
Join in the fun! Link up and share your week. ㋡ Check out the etiquette here




Sorry for the lengthy update, but I will be going on vacation later this week, so I probably won't post again till next week. 



Monday a.m.4.31 mile run and 10 min. cool down
Tuesday p.m.11.25 mile bike ride with Kenny in the park :)
Wednesday a.m.Bus loop speed work 5.11 mile run and 10 min. cool down
Thursday a.m.4 mile run and 12 min. cool down
Thursday p.m Cycling 5.11 miles and hour of upper body weight training
Friday Rest!
Saturday a.m.10 mile run and 1 mile walk
Saturday p.m.Cycling 4.5 miles and 40 min. core work/light weights
Sunday 30 mile bike ride with Kenny :) 
23.50 miles of running this week :)



Monday, after a week of rain, the sunshine finally came out!
However, my morning runs are by moonlight now, so I have to wait until after work to enjoy the sun.


I am looking kind of stiff here - maybe it is because my foot was still tingling. (from the cut)






Tuesday was the MOST beautiful day, the morning was glorious. I stood outside the entire time I did bus duty at work, the sunshine felt amazing.
My bus loop




















Tuesday after work, we decided to take our bikes to the park and soak up some sun instead of going to the gym.

This is what happens when you hit the timer, but aren't ready...




There, that's better lol



Somehow, cats always find Kenny! At the park this little girl was waiting at our car after our bike ride...sorry, cutie, the Inn is full.






Wednesday I tackled bus loop speed work again...















On my way home my head band went flying off my head, I had to loop back and pick it up. I think I sweated it off.

ewww...


At work I spent two hours chasing an escapee dog from our vet science class. It was craziness, we had some of our kids out searching and we talked to so many people, we were getting calls from the grocery store, Taco bell, and the carwash with dog spottings. I had my radio and was out driving and running after the dog. The dog crossed this busy road a few times and somehow survived. It was a miracle we got the dog back with just a few cuts from a fence...














I was exhausted after work.









I finally got my butt in the gym after work and did some upper body work.








Rest...puuuurfect. 





I overslept and missed training team. I didn't start my run until 8:30 a.m.

I made a split second decision to go across a field and go to a no outlet road. It's a very rural road and I was pretty nervous, but I only had to maneuver about 7 cars. It was very curvy at some points, so I stayed to the yellow line and moved as I saw cars. I am not sure I will take that route again, I usually run in neighborhoods that have roads a little wider, but the new scenery was a nice distraction




Mile 2 - I was trying to capture a deer, but I didn't want to stop...that looks like a deer in the background, right?!

I have to leave my hair down when I run, a pony tail or wearing my hair up for too long gives me a headache. Even if I wear it up loose in a clip to work, my head will start to ache after a few hours. It is always a mangled mess after a run. I need to figure out a way to tame it so it doesn't get so knotted, that doesn't hurt my head...or cut it.


after 10 miles @ 9:53 avg. pace 

thrilled with my pace, but not with my foot

My foot started throbbing about mile 8, right under the ball of my foot. At one point I even paused a second and looked at the bottom of my shoe to see if a rock was stuck in the tread...nope, it was just my foot. I didn't want to stop and walk because I had a good pace going and I was close to the end. I guess I just stressed the tissue or muscle, it sure was annoying. I have some odd stiffness (Monday as I write this) running up the side of my leg, that is probably from me trying to wiggle and flex my toes trying to relieve the pressure I was feeling.  I love running, but it is always something...I sure hope this does not happen next week for my 11 mile long run.



Kenny and I took our bikes to a paved trail about an hour from our house.  My legs were hurting the first few miles, but then they magically started to loosen up. The trail we normally go to is limestone; a paved surface felt like a luxury ride. We took our time and enjoyed the sunshine. 



This spot looked kind of creepy, see the trailer in the middle of the woods, looked liked a scene from a slasher movie to us...



Chickahominy River



We rode over the big bridge 


































The water is pretty high and muddy, storm aftermath and entire week of rain I guess. 



My legs survived 30 miles.  All I could think when I woke up Sunday was that I needed a rest day, but I am glad we spent the afternoon outdoors. My muscle soreness actually felt a lot better, after the ride, but the ball of my foot...mmmmph.


Ever felt throbbing under the ball of your foot that felt like a rock was stuck up in your shoe? 
Do you tie your hair up when you run?
Did you enjoy some outdoor sunshine time?