Friday, January 31, 2014

Loving the Finisher Video

A finisher video from the Frostbite 15K :) I love it! I was pleasantly surprised when I received this in my email. I am in the pink shirt and visor.

The cold temps remained this week so my streets were still to icy or slushy on the sides to run. I am leery when I feel like I can't stay to side and give cars enough treadmill doomed. That actually turned into rest days because I am still battling the motivation a little.

On my way to work - really VA isn't usually this cold

The sun was shining but it wasn't helping
Wednesday I did 37 minutes of treadmill intervals and 35 minutes of strength training. I pushed that 50 lb. bar up again :) I did intervals at an 8:57 pace. I was exhausted after three at 5 minutes each.  So I did a few more 3 minutes each. Should intervals make you so out of breath you can't talk or a pace like 9:15 you can sustain running??? I alternate, not knowing what I really need. 

Thursday I did 45 minutes on the treadmill and left. I noticed a strange sensation in my sports bra while running. I looked down to an oozing strange brown substance. My hubby had just replaced my heart monitor battery and I guess the battery, although brand new, was bad. The thing exploded...weird!

So I've ordered a new heart monitor strap. Now I anxiously await the mail next week...a new heart rate monitor and new running shoes. I ordered Altra's a brand I have never tried, but come highly recommended. Fingers crossed. 

Saturday It's supposed to be in the 50's - outside run here I come :) 

Monday, January 27, 2014

Trying to be Carefree

I try to just roll with it most days. I have limited options; I have to get up earlier than I want, show up at work dressed presentably, smile through a thousand interruptions, field phone calls and listen to a lot of grumbling that I do not contribute to or have the power the fix. Time is a precious treasure and I often wish I had more to do with as I choose. 

Lately, my routine has been wearing on me. Honestly, I feel a little drained and that leads to the poor use of the free time I do have. So here I sit while I am supposed to be working out. 
Maybe I need a pedicure or something "/

Last week's work outs:
Monday 5 miles on a hilly path (my legs were tired from my race Sunday)  1 mile cool down walk

Tuesday 2 quick miles on the treadmill to warm up 
An hour of weight training - did bench pressing, back, legs... and 15 minutes of stretching. I have to be careful doing legs I can't lunge at all it leaves my knees in a lot of pain. (my knees are fickle)

Wednesday - Thursday - Friday 
Wednesday was my son's birthday (which made me really happy) and we were supposed to go out, he ended not being able to make his own dinner because he had to stay to cover for someone at work. Thursday we went out. Friday I went to see him play a gig. It was a fun show and as much as I love seeing him get "older" it makes me miss the "younger" him. I know I am full of issues today. 
That's my 24 year old baby-I can't believe how the years have flown 

All three of the guys are Andrew - "Bandrew" 

Saturday Treadmill 10K then I walked for about 20 minutes, did 20 minutes of alternating leg lifts and bench pressing. I finally pushed up the 50 lb. bar ;-) Trying to build up my strength! 

Sunday 8.6 miles and a 15 minute cool down walk 

I actually like to work out, rest a day, work out, rest a day and even though it sounds easy I don't seem to be able to pull that off most weeks. 

Not sure what this week will hold but I am still trying to talk myself out the door to the gym...

Tell me what's your favorite go to exercise that makes you feel like a superhero. What do you do when you have a little case of the blues? 

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Yep, Crazy Race Pictures and Day Dreaming

As predicted I have a few more crazy race pictures to add to the collection. Click here to read about my Frostbite Race :
Mile 3 of the race - Fists clenched, still feeling a little chilly.

Reminder to self: next time I will not pin my number over my zipper. I didn't want to lose time trying to unpin my bib so I just slipped my arms out. Live and learn...
Mile 7 - I was working hard 

Yesterday I went to a neighborhood that has a paved trail. A small portion is near the county reservoir. It's really pretty but also the most congested so it's hard to run it. The rest of the path just travels through the neighborhood, it's hilly and challenging, but it has shade so as it gets hotter it may be a good option. Anyway, walking in the area by the lake after my run, I just started thinking about how awesome it would be if a huge path was built all the way around it. Heaven!
I like to dream big - I want a path around the whole thing

I just wished counties/communities planned better for those who want and need places to work out. 
Running options are pretty limited near me so I am trying to branch out. Sometimes I get runner's envy as I am reading blogs seeing all the cool places everyone has to run. 

Do you enjoy a stroll when you are done running? Do you day dream about where you can run? or am I just loony?

Sunday, January 19, 2014


The forecast earlier this week promised a clear and decent weekend with highs in the 50's so I decided to sign up for a local 15K on Wednesday, thinking it was close enough so the forecast should be reliable. Friday all of sudden the word "flurries" starts getting tossed around lol.  Saturday was clear and the air was frigid all day with a low hovering about 25 degrees, but no flurries came...crazy weather man trying to make me nervous! 

Needless to say my Sunday race lived up to it's name. It was a chilly start, but the temperature started rising quickly after 9 a.m. and about half way through I had to wrap my jacket around my waist. 

I really wanted to finish in 1:30:00. It was a hilly course and I wasn't sure what to expect because I never run this area. The tricky thing is knowing how much energy to keep in the tank. The course didn't have huge hills, but a lot of gradual inclines. The first half of the last mile was an incline that seemed to last forever! I liked that the race organizers had a clock at the half way point to help you gauge your progress. Some one was also stationed at the 10K point so you could check your time. I was mostly running off feel and just checked my Garmin at those check points. The last mile I started checking it but that gradual climb kept me from picking it up as much as I wanted to. 
The finish line getting packed up

My official time was 1:29:54 and I am grateful for it considering the funky extra piece of bone that's aggravating my right foot. I think I was compensating a bit trying to strike to avoid the burning sensation I've been experiencing and ended up with a big blister on my big toe...ouch! I never get blisters there.  

The event started with a moment of silence for Meg Menzies who was a local runner and a member of the club that sponsored the Frostbite. She was killed this past week during her morning run. It was sad to think about the loss her husband and children ( 3 sweet young ones) are experiencing. Our club asked we donate a dollar for the miles ran in hopes many would join in. I am glad to do that and many folks said they will up it a few dollars a mile. May God bless her family, they have quite a journey ahead trying to adjust and endure without her. 

I love races that turn out the way you hope they would. I can't wait till they post the photos. It's always fun looking through them. I usually look crazy but one day when I am too old to run I will be glad I have it.
Ready to run! You know what I love about this pic- my hubby's work jacket. Now that's some serious reflective power :) 

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Huummmp Day

Monday after work I needed to blow some stress off and ignore that bump sticking out of my foot. Mission - run hard! It was such a nice day and sometimes after a run like Sunday's I need a quick 5K to feel revived. 
I pushed hard and was rewarded with a good time and the awesome feeling that I am just completely spent. 
That's speedy for me :) 

After a six minute recovery walk  I was ready to roll again, mostly because I had run one direction, away from my house and didn't want to walk that far back. I didn't push as hard and enjoyed myself. Always rare to say I enjoyed myself on a Monday, but a quick run fixes much. 9:41, 9:15, 8:57 I can't maintain those kind of miles very long. 

Tuesday- too much happening at work and my pesky bump needed rest. 

Wednesday- I headed to gym to do some short speed work. I warmed up and ran an 8:34 pace for 3 min. x 4 because I knew it would feel tough and honestly I didn't want to spend more than thirty minutes on a treadmill. My heart monitor readings look pretty cool. 

I did about 30 minutes of back exercises, leg lifts, and crunches. Then headed home to my fuel my other addiction, hot showers. 
Still needed this week - a great arm and chest workout! 

Random - look at the cool cord my hubby gave me to charge my IPad.
 I love ♥ the lights. 

View from the treadmill - boring
Note how far the TV's are -yeah, I can't see them

How's your week going? 

Till next time, 

Sunday, January 12, 2014

Sweaty Sunday

I was feeling perky this a.m., had two days rest, and the sun was shining...and then I started running. My legs were feeling tight so I tried to ease into it, finally I just had to come to the conclusion today would be about just getting to the end. I didn't feel awful, I just felt like I had nothing left in the tank which is strange since I rested. I wasn't going to give up just because I wasn't able to go as fast as I wanted though, and seriously I was glistening when I was done, but my speediness seems hard to find lately.     
7.23 miles in 1:13:00
10:05, 9:31, 10:04, 10:03, 10:36, 10:32, 9:50 and .23 in 2:16 
Jan. no jacket - it doesn't get better than that

I do have a new issue going on and I am afraid to admit it out loud. I seem to have a new piece of bone growing on the inside of my foot (inside near my ankle bone) and I have been actively ignoring its presence for about a week now. It doesn't kill me, but I can feel it. Today it is larger for sure:(  I can't bear the thought of anything keeping me from running. I have worked so hard for two years trying to get my extra pounds off. My thyroid issues have made it extremely hard to lose and I can't imagine going backward now. 

Anyone just grow a new random piece of bone off the side of their foot? 

Thursday, January 9, 2014

Track Sprints

Track Sprints by Kareninva at Garmin Connect - Details

I have never ran on an indoor track until this evening. I went to my running buddy's (Kasey) gym and we decided to give the track a try.  I wasn't thinking and had my Garmin set for indoor activity, ummm because we were indoors, so it tracked my heart rate instead of my miles. We started running to warm up at our normal pace and because it's small, I mean real have to go around 16 times to make a spend a lot of time turning. It was kind hard on my ankles, so I got the idea to run as hard as I could on the straights and slow up in the turns. It ended up being a really cool experience...totally different feeling from the treadmill intervals I normally do. I wish I could have seen what my short sprints were because I ran really hard! I was too challenged to time it and figure out my speed, but I was dripping after 30 minutes (smiles). We got in a good upper body work out for about 30 minutes when we were done. Cheers to trying new things!

Does anyone ever run a track?

Till next time, 

Sunday, January 5, 2014

It's a Wrap

Since my Lose it app measures the week Monday to Monday that tends to be how I think of a week now.
In my yearly wrap up Running Over the Hill: Wrapping Up 2013: I forgot to mention my most important tip - never forget to wash your heart monitor strap after every workout. Seriously, it will give you a yucky rash. I forgot once...but I have never done it again!

3-30 Monday  Ran 10 miles average pace 10:08 

3-31 Tuesday  Treadmill intervals 5 minutes @ 9:22 pace x 4 then ran varied paces until I hit 3.5 miles. Tackled 38 minutes of upper body weight training and leg lifts after the treadmill. 

1-1 Wednesday Ran a quick 5K New Year's day before dark in 29:11 average pace 9:20 

Usually I try not to work out several days in a row and give myself time to rest but since I was off work it was hard to resist. 

1-2 Thursday Tired! and my pesky hip had a twang of pain.

1-3 Friday A very brisk (28 degrees) 15K average pace 10:03 and a very long hot addicted to hot showers after freezing runs, my water bill is scary lol

1-4 Saturday Ate a big brunch and shopped :) ate some more, drank some least I did make sure to drink about 40 oz. of water lol

1-5 Sunday Ran 7.10 miles average 9:45 pace and felt pretty good for once. Worked on a few short speed bursts and ran (in a tank top) it with my run buddy and she PR'd her 10K time :) Temperature changes are so crazy this winter, freezing rain in the forecast but it was about 57 degrees and fairly humid. 
Got my Sunday run in before the rain came 
My mood has been downhill this week, the thought of going to work Monday has me grumpy already. The thought of real clothes...ugh! Running attire and jammies, that's what I really want to live in. However, my Sunday run was a good boost. I love runs where I can just feel the stress leaving and enjoyment replacing it. I haven't experienced a good high on a lot of my runs lately, so this one felt like a treat :) 

Hope all my running buddies have a super week! 

Thursday, January 2, 2014

Oh The Places I Could Go

Running this past year involved a lot of similar routes and scenery for me. The best break from my norm was my vacation in October. Montana was such a breath of fresh air...literally and mentally. 
Scenes from Montana 
Kim of Running Hills and Hollars 
got my wheels spinning about where the 834 miles I ran in 2013 could have landed me if I experienced a Forrest Gump moment. 

I could have visited Chicago...
 ...or Memphis, TN
...or headed North to Maine 

Moosehead Lake in Maine looks really pretty so I am staying for a spell. 
Not bad for my first year running, but I'd really like to visit the Mall of America so I better be ready to up my mileage for 2014

Happy Trails, 

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Wrapping Up 2013

Pondering the past year makes me want to rejoice and cry! 

I've always been very intimidated by idea of running non-stop. I spent over twenty years walking and hiking long distances, taking step aerobics, doing lots of cardio machines and classes, but never had enough confidence to really try to tackle running. 
I kept watching my run buddy, Kasey (for a year) as she was plugging along at her running journey and she didn't die. 
See smiling, not dying 

I also began to notice people running as I was out and about and they were certainly not dropping over, so I finally got up my nerve to give running a shot.
I did hurt, but it didn't kill me so at 46 years old I caught the running bug. I was convinced after my first few runs three or four miles would probably be it for me. I often kick myself now that I didn't start running in my 30's. Why did I wait until after 45...

January through March I had several runs where my strategy was always the same, run as far as I could make it, then walk it out. My running pace: 11:00-12:00 minutes a mile. I kept working on making the shorter runs faster, but it was a challenge every step. I remember my calves hurting so bad it would take almost 3 miles to loosen them up. I was stretching a lot but still getting very sore through my my first few months of running. 

I went through a series of different apps and looking back through my stats I forgot how much I was still power walking. My version of power walking was short bursts of running and brisk walking so I would average anywhere from a 13:00 to 14:00 minute mile. I did a lot of two hour walks on the weekends. I loved putting on my camelbak and heading to the trails. I continued my power walking until April when I finally made the transition to all running. I also purchased my Garmin in April and I love it, having all my stats in one place is awesome. 

April I ran about 40 miles. I thought I was a bad **s.

May I ran 66 miles and that's the month my hip pain started in full force. The pain in my left hip kept changing from a burning sensation to sharp pains, to non-stop throbbing, then back to sharp pains depending on my weight distribution. I had it X-rayed and they said it wasn't a stress fracture. I still wonder to this day what was going on. Bursitis, weak IT band, strained ligament, I have no idea. I went through several different steroids and did lots of hip stretches, and periods of rest trying to get past it. It was totally frustratingI hurt all summer and in September I finally started to have long periods of time where I would be pain free. I still get a few twangs of pain at times, enough to take an anti-inflammatory, but it's not disruptive like it was over the summer. I started reading lots of running blogs during my pain experience trying to find someone who had similar issues and got hooked. I love the virtual running community. 
Before the Run Like a Girl Trail race
June was my first realization that I had a serious problem with the heat and humidity. I ran a 4 mile trail race June 2nd and I remember feeling pretty nauseous throughout.
My heat intolerance is likely because of my thyroid issues (diagnosed slowing), and struggling through VA humidity feels endless...May to October was rough and I am thankful for whatever reason, September took leave from the suffocating humidity and I successfully ran my first half marathon. 

My second half in October is still haunting me.  It was almost 90 degrees on a course with little shade and I got as sick as could be and there were no port a potties on the course so I had to find a bush and ended up finishing in 2:36:50. So discouraging. I have been hesitant to sign up for another.

Even with all the pain and very slow summer paces I made gains and kept at it. Most of the time I try to ignore that I am 47 years old, but going through the hip pain experience scared me (and still does) so I do realize I have to respect that my body needs time to recover. I try to make the most of my workouts but not over train. Age never bothered me until the past year of so. 40 was a breeze and I really didn't feel any different until after I turned 45, but now I am starting to show visible signs of wear and tear, wrinkly (very) skin, age spots...ugh, gray hair, random aches and pains, general fatigue, etc...and it's a little hard to take some days.

I ran 834 miles this year. 
October and December were my high months and I ran just a little over a 100 miles each month. 

Glimpses of progress 
April 7, 2012 Henrico 5K- 34:54
March 30, 2013 Henrico 5K - 29:52 

April 12, 2012  Monument Ave. 10K - 1:22:41
April 13, 2013  Monument Ave. 10K - 1:01:40
March 29,2014 Monument Ave. 10K- ? 
To date I have run 5 10K's in sub 60. Of course, I hope on race day this year to officially record a great time.

September 7, 2013 Farmville High Bridge Half - 2:13:03 

I ran over this bridge during my first half marathon 

Loved this trail 

Looking at the numbers I feel very content in my accomplishments and the fact that I survived! There were oodles of moments through out the past year where I was certain I wouldn't run ever again. 

I am not on a mission to be faster really (just the Monument Ave 10K), I just want my runs to feel a little easier. At times they do; I get the sensation I am just cruising and could go forever. Other days I struggle like I have never run before, maybe that will never go away. 

One of my best weight loss tools this past year has been my Lose it app. I have met some of the most delightful folks, who have encouraged me through my running and weight loss trials this year and I look  forward ♥ to checking in and chatting with all my virtual friends as often as possible. Tracking helped me to lose 16 lbs. over the past two years. I am only 5'2" so I don't carry extra weight well (I look like a meatball). It has been a slow battle with my thyroid issues and I've had to dip (calories) pretty low to lose a few pounds. I still have a few to go and I hope the running will eventually help me shed those.
Tacky Light Run my last event of 2013 
Click here to read about my drenched run
 Running Over The Hill: Tacky Light Run
My long term goal for the upcoming year is a pretty simple plan. Exercise four times a week. Run at least three days, become a stronger runner uphills, and tackle some strength training. 

 I haven't thought about how I will get through the summer heat yet, but I do hope to survive it running even if it means more treadmill. 

My hope is I will be injury free, feeling healthy and strong, and pounding the pavement (or trails) three or four days week.