Saturday, May 27, 2017

May Runfessions

It is Runfession time and boy do I need this!


















 I am linking up with Marcia's Runfessions to get this stuff off my chest 💞

May has been challenging.

I trained pretty well in March and April and I was feeling pretty strong on shorter runs, but May has felt like a setback. I unintentionally hopped on the struggle bus and the driver won't stop to let me off. My legs just want to walk.  I like to hit the button on my Garmin and go until I hit the desired mileage, but lately I find myself praying for a car to be coming when I cross a street, so I have a reason to stand still for a second! JUST a second...hahaha, a few times a second turned into 20 or 30 seconds, three or four times during a run 😜 I have no idea what is going on, but I am trying to  nip it in theeeee budd.


I am still feeling super weak on hills! Some mornings I can barely make myself gooooo. I runfess, I had hoped once I got my blood pressure under control and adjusted to my meds I would be zooming uphill once again, but it just isn't feeling easier.
After a few months of solid training aren't you supposed to feel stronger?! I just feel weak...it is annoying.
My next half has 1230 feet of elevation again LOL 😏 I have no delusions of running a speedy half marathon next month.

My streak of obnoxious race photo is going strong this year.

This was from the Petersburg Half I wrote about in my last post. How do I always managed to be captured looking CRAY - cray!?


How about this beauty!? This was towards the end of  a hilly half marathon I ran in February. I had a rough day, I was so over hills...I remember looking down, so I could not see the next one coming. The thought of any more uphill put me in overload! LOL I did not need this moment captured.























For the life of me, I can not take a decent race pic!

At my PR 10K in April I wasn't even in the pics. I also did not make the cut at Park to Park Half marathon...Argh...

At the Monument Ave 10K I was captured in heat misery...my decision to not wear a visor was killing me...terrible sun glare.























At least a photographer grabbed me at the finish line, but I still wasn't buying one, because every other pic looks like the one on the left! and marathonfoto is expensive. Maybe one day I will get an actual event pic that is good lol

And lastly, my motivation to get out and move this month had nothing to do with fitness goals. The desire to enjoy a few cake pops a week has been the driving motivation to get out and run.

What is motivating you lately?! 
What do you need to get off your chest this month?!

Keep on rocking!! 
Karen 


Sunday, May 21, 2017

Petersburg 2017

Throwing back this week to share my Petersburg Half Marathon experience.

https://hohoruns.blogspot.com/p/weekly-wrap.html

 This link was created to support active women. 
        Click HERE to see complete rules.
I am linking up with my awesome running gal pals Holly  and Tricia  Share your adventures and join the link up with Holly @ hohoruns and Tricia@ MissSippiPiddlin  

I ran this race April 22nd.

Throughout March, I was training with a dual purpose. Train for the Monument Ave 10K  and my half marathons in April. My track sessions and short runs went pretty well, my distance runs not so much, but I still felt fairly confident I could run decent races.

Saturday the 22nd I woke up and saw 72 degrees on my ceiling. I have a sensor on the side of the house that feeds temperature info to my clock :) I worried about my A goals for the race.

A goals:
run the whole darn thing without intervals
finish under 2:15 (10:15ish pace)

I have been using intervals to run distance for over a year now due to the issues with my feet...very sore toes, and pain in the ball of my foot. Since I had not done my long runs in March my feet were feeeling a little less tender. I had hoped to try to run a half just to see if my feet could/would hold up.

B goals:
run as long as I can without pain/switch to intervals if needed
finish under 2:18 (10:30ish pace)

My forever C goal:
finish
don't pass out
don't get upset about a time, it is just running
feel proud, you just ran 13 freaking miles

I went downstairs, fulfilled my morning cat duties, ate some peanut butter nabs, drank a little ice tea and 24 oz. of water w/Nuun stood on the porch feeling how sticky and hot it was, and realized it was a C goal kind of day.
That led to the decision to rely on course hydration support, I really didn't feel like wearing my pack or carrying my handheld unless I really felt there was a legitimate shot to push myself; given the heat that was not realistic.
I also started taking a beta blocker for my blood pressure four days before this race. The Cardiologist told me not to over exert myself until I adjusted to the meds and to be kind to my heart in the heat, "Walk more. Avoid big spikes in your heart rate."   The whole high blood pressure was still new to me...I was a little nervous.


It is about a 35 minute drive and I arrived about 40 minutes prior to the 7 a.m. start time. I had to pick up my bib, the line was crazy!! It was 10 minutes to start time, before my bib and race shirt were in hand.  I bolted to the car to toss my shirt, and bolted back to the port a potty. I was in the POP listening to the National Anthem.
I caught the crowd moving across the line, it was much more crowded than previous years. This event has grown for sure.
I didn't even have time to think about how to set my watch (intervals or regular) I just started running.
There is a long incline uphill that lasts awhile close to mile two, it's only 50 feet up but it feels tough in the heat. As soon as I crested, I realized I wouldn't be running this thing without walking due to humidity, today wasn't going to be the day I found out if my feet could do it.
The third mile you enter Battlefield Park and it is rolling hills until mile 7 or so. The course as a whole has 426 feet of elevation gain, just enough to be a really fun challenge on a nice day...
I stopped my Garmin and scrolled to find my 4:1 ratio and hit start.
During the park section it became more humid and finally started spitting rain. A few times, it poured, but it never relieved the humidity, it just felt stagnate out. It would rain a few minutes, stop, rain again, stop... mile 7 is the last time I remember feeling any rain. I forgot to put my phone in ziploc and it got soaked! I took it out during the battlefield section to snap a few pics and all I could see was fuzz...
 Civil war doing a reenactment during the race - pics from my wet phone 

After it rained the sun came out strong for a few miles. I was super thankful the course had Gatorade at almost every stop! At mile 8, I passed a down runner who was being worked on, which bummed me out.
I dumped water over my head a few times trying to cool down at the later stages of the race. At the 10 mile marker I tried to dig a little deeper and pick up my pace, the energy stores were running low. I ate a pack of honey stinger chews running through the battlefield section, but I only had one pack.
Trying to run a little harder seemed to make me walk 10 x's slower doing my intervals.
I pushed on.
That last mile felt long! I told myself to relax, you are almost done, you feel fabulous (LOL), the Berry Gatorade at the last stop tasted wonderful,  stop worrying about your time, etc...
My brain was telling me: you are way too hot, this isn't fun, I wish this had been a 10 mile race, your feet hurt. When I realized I had about five minutes to go, I shut the brain down and smiled. I had to override all that crap and tell myself...enjoy it, you just ran 13 miles in the heat, and you are fine, always a win!
 I wondered if my phone would ever be normal again! 


I crossed the line and a volunteer tried to put the ginormous medal on me. I laughed and said I'll carry that! LOL Too tired to wear it. The medal was so big it made me smile. Every year it gets more over the top and I love it.



Volunteers were putting cans of ice cold Miller Lite in a coozie and handing them to finishers. Nice :) I took it and enjoyed every drop.

I knew from the clock time I had not maintained anything close to what I hoped, and I admit I was kind of bummed for awhile, but by the time I drove home and showered I was feeling better about the whole thing.
My official time 2:22:17 (a 10:55ish avg)

Link to my finishers video 

I was glad my average heart rate was nice and low, I got a red tech shirt, and I ran 13 miles, so all in all, it really wasn't a bad day at all :)



Thanks for stopping by! I hope you have a great week :)

Anyone have a ceiling temp clock?
What do you think of the mega medal?! Do you run a race where you receive a mega medal?
Ever soak your phone?



Monday, May 15, 2017

In A Nutshell

What I've been doing since my last blog!

https://hohoruns.blogspot.com/p/weekly-wrap.html
      This link was created to support active women. 
        Click HERE to see complete rules.

I am linking up with my awesome running gal pals Holly  and Tricia  Share your adventures and join the link up with Holly @ hohoruns and Tricia@ MissSippiPiddlin  


I cannot believe I haven't blogged since January. I never thought I would go away that long, but life happens...

Here is the condensed version of catch up from January! Ummmm, I am still trying to figure out my 'new year" goals LOL I made need to just wing it at this point, huh?!

January feels soooo long ago!

It was December before I finally acknowledged to myself  I was injured again...stupid left calf...I took time off throughout November, December, and January trying to heal. I took off some long stretches, but I also ran some, so yep, I probably delayed healing some, but I didn't miss out on planned events and I did eventually heal. I don't advocate this, I am just being honest. I couldn't emotionally deal with being out completely.

January I was struggling with how I felt on runs big time. I gained a few pounds, and I just felt so weak. It was odd, usually in the winter I run happy and strong! I was puzzled, but I wrote it off as lack of consistency.

February was tortuous! This was the biggest loss of fitness feeling I ever experienced. I felt weak run after run, I began to wonder what else was wrong; but I would have a fun run every so often and it would keep me going. I spent all of February wanting to work on pace and incorporate speed workouts, but it was taking everything I had just to make my body go, survival running was all I had!

February 26th I ran the Sentara Colonial Half at the College of William and Mary in Williamsburg, VA

It was a tough run. Very hilly and I was coming into it with no long runs the whole month and this incredible weak feeling.  I  thought when I signed up for this race months before, it may be my shot to run a super strong race but it didn't work out that way. I just barely held on and finished.
2:20:12 and I was exhausted when it was over.

It ticked me off I felt so out of shape, and I was determined to get back to regular training in hopes of some good races before summer.

March I started doing track workouts and regular training miles. I was starting to finally feel better on the shorter runs and see some progress with my pace! However, I still struggled with the weakness on long runs and hills.  Even though I bailed on most of my long runs because I felt so weak, I ran 103 miles in March, hoping to make some noise in April and run a few fast races, but I still wasn't feeling 100%.

April 
The 1st weekend of April I ran the Monument Ave 10K  ~ it was hot that day! I ran a 58:39 and it was hard fought. I felt rough most of the run. I was thrilled to meet my B goal and sub 60 a 10K (it had been a long time!) but I missed my A goal of a PR. I had a lot of issues after this race...a huge blister, very sore feet and toes, I was bummed it took so much out of me.
Robyn and me :) 

I met up with Meagan and it lifted my spirits after Monument Ave
The second weekend in April, I decided I had trained better than my Monument Ave time, so I hauled my rear to Urbanna, VA to run another 10K. 
I pulled off a PR 56:53 and felt content!

I missed another chance to do a long run that weekend, but I was glad I did it. I considered doing a slow long run the next day, but hahahahahah...my legs were shot. 


After this race I decided to finally deal with an issue my eye doctor had been giving me a hard time about the past few years...my blood pressure. I've been getting high readings for quite awhile, and an increase in busted blood vessels and spots behind my eyes. He had a come to Jesus meeting with me. I told him my family doctor kind of excused the issue each time I mentioned his concern and he said... time to see a new Doc. I did, and ended up in Cardiologists office within a few days.
To make a long story short, I had lots of tests: a few EKG's, a CT scan of my heart, an echo cardiogram, all kinds of blood tests...and while I do have an enlarged heart, particularly in the left chamber, from untreated high blood pressure, I do not have any blockages. The Cardiologists said he wanted me to cut out my coffee, and keep exercising :) I am on two new medications and I am happy to report minimal side effects and a huge positive impact on my blood pressure :) My poor 'ol heart was working too hard for too long.
The Cardiologist said it was possible I might start to feel stronger once I adjusted to the medication, but so far distance runs have remained a challenge. I feel pretty weak.

I finished April with two half marathons. I was so sad my races ended up being in very hot humid conditions.  Spring in VA can be a toss up with weather, but usually we have some decent mornings...not so much this year. 

April 22nd  I ran Petersburg Half marathon in 2:22:17- it was all about survival in the elements.

April 29th, it was hot again and I ran Park to Park Half Marathon 2:20:34


One goal I did set for myself for 2017, run 6 half marathons. I have a good chance of completing that mission! I've already checked off three...not the way I hoped, but they are done, and maybe one of these days I will get around to writing some race recaps to share my experiences.

Another goal was to make something fabulous happen at age 50. Many of you know, I did train an finish my first marathon at age 50, and now I have set a 10K PR!!

How are you doing on 2017 goals? 
Tell about a goal you set for yourself so I can cheer for you :)