Friday, May 29, 2015

Summer Running

“It's not the load that breaks you down, it's the way you carry it.” 
― Lou Holtz

I just have to laugh about it! 

I. can. not. even. tell you how freaking hard my run felt on Wednesday morning. I tried to concentrate on my breathing, yet I would catch myself gasping. I did so much self-talking I never heard my playlist. I stopped and drank from sprinklers a few times and soaked my upper body in one, and walked a handful of times (and let the Garmin run). 
My attempt to run 6 miles ended at 5.75 - high five!

I need a special shot of tenacity.

Monday (Memorial Day) when I ran, it was late and hot, (I love sleeping in, but paid for it) the humidity wasn't rearing it's ugly head, I maintained pace fairly well, however, my run went like this...
I'll run 5 miles today, okay maybe 4, well 30 minutes of running is fine, 5K it is!  ¯\_()_/¯

I am a glutton for punishment I guess, because once something kicks my tail that bad, I just want see if I can redeem myself...even if just a hair...
I prevailed this morning, dripping in sweat, but I didn't stop for 5 miles :) 
Not even a sprinkler stop, cruel people...not a one running for me (the nerve)!
Side note: Now that I have washed and worn these super comfy, InknBurn shorts a few times, I can tell you I love them :)  
technically at my last half marathon the humidity kicked my tail all over the place, I trudged to the finish line

Maybe long run has a new meaning in my's now anything over 5 miles :*) Another month, it may be anything over 3 miles.

How are you all adjusting to the heat? 
Fire away :) Are you getting your butt kicked or winning?!
I want to hear all about it 

Thursday, May 28, 2015


No, not me, but my hubby went yesterday. 
He loved it 
This was his second jump, and it went flawlessly. (thankfully (•◡•))
Check out the views! 

Look at happy Kenny 

             Looks easy right?! 
Have you ever gone? I am considering it...

Monday, May 25, 2015

That's A Wrap

I have been reading Dr. Metzl's book, Running Strong, and I am trying to introduce some of his Iron Strength work out moves into my gym sessions. 
Baby steps...this is out of my comfort-zone, so I am trying to slowly introduce the changes and build as I get more proficient.

Here's how my past week wrapped up: 

Complete rest. I worked hard Sunday morning and ran Sunday evening, so I needed Monday off. 

Before work - walk/run 2.60 miles, 12:48 avg. pace. 
After work - I gave the treadmill a try, 4 miles in 42 minutes. I tried to warm up really slow, and ease the speed up, but it is still causing some aching in my shin after I use it. I am not sure the treadmill is going to be a viable option this summer. Spent about 40 min. working legs, glutes, and my calf muscles. 
Trying to focus my work outs to meet the big picture goal - run healthy! 

  22 minutes on the elliptical and about 80 min. upper body. Good, productive session with my sweetie.


 complete rest 

I was feeling good for this run, then had a very strange bonk...lack of long runs in my life maybe. I was feeling okay at mile 5. Mile 6 my legs started feeling  tired, so I turned on my timer, which is always set for 4 X 1.  I actually maintained a good pace even with the walk breaks, because the humidity was so delightfully low. Mile 7 my feet exploded. Burning, aching, they just hurt, especially the left one.  Finally, I hit pause on my Garmin, sat down on the curb, and took my socks and shoes off, wiggled my toes and loosened my shoe laces. It did the the trick, I felt revived, I was on my way until I hit 9.33 miles  :) 

It was odd the aching came on so sudden, maybe I am just not use to the mileage any more. 
Later I felt my picture was a farce...if I stop during a run, is my avg. pace really my avg. pace? Technically, that was my moving pace...maybe I shouldn't have posted the picture. 

  Cycling 5.25 miles.
Cycling up pretend hills makes me bust a serious sweat lol 
I dedicated about ten minutes to static stretching. Oh, how my legs love it  Spent about 70 min. working with weights, and on my new moves. 

Dr. Metzl recommends doing bicep curls and shoulder presses balancing on one leg. It's hard to do heavy, and balance on one leg for 12 reps, so I only used 15 lb. weights, but I am going to keep at it. 
I also tried a few dumbell split squats. Usually my left side gives me all the trouble, but I felt something dead center in my right quad as soon as I took my first step back. I can almost get my left knee on the floor, but when I tried to take my right knee down, it started to feel tight and tug when I was about two inches down...another weak link? or just sore from running Saturday?  I am not sure, I will have to try it again later this week and see what happens.
The good news from the book, I already do most of the stretches he recommends, and I love to ice, which he does too :) I iced that sore spot in my quad last night. Opinion time - if I stop during a run, is my avg. pace really my avg. pace? Have you tried to do curls and shoulder presses balancing on one leg?  Did you do anything fun for Memorial Day?

Thursday, May 21, 2015

I Am Enough
Project: I AM ENOUGH

I struggle with this.
It's nothing new, I've been squashing my inner voice for years, trying to replace it with happy stuff.

This topic produced some very honest and inspiring posts.

As I read through them, I started seeing my own lists of inadequacies grow in my head. Yes, that is a personal problem.

Sometimes a big thing, like injury, can really stir up self doubt and sadness, and cause you to question yourself. I have been working through this for months.

Sometimes small things can create quite the battle.

In the past month or so, I've gained some pounds, and no, it's not the good is, my pants are getting tighter, and my middle is getting thicker kind.

Pounds you can count on one hand may seem pretty insignificant, but I am 5' 2". It tends to all settle right in my middle. It makes it harder to run, it bothers me, it makes me less excited to wake up, get dressed, go out. I know in a blink it could be more, I have been there and done that. I had to shed a lot weight in my younger life. Even though I haven't moved the scale much the past few years, my weight training and running were helping me shed some inches. I have tried to keep my focus on getting stronger, and I eat pretty healthy a lot of the time, and I do log everything (thank you Loseit app)...but currently, I am losing ground a bit. Do I find it irritating that a few pounds can change how I feel about myself? Yes, I find it crazy even...but, it is honestly how I feel. Even at almost 50 years old, I still battle self esteem issues. I want to be the best me I can be. 

I haven't really changed anything so I am not sure if it's lack of hormones, or lack of running regularly, it's probably a combination of both, but 
I am not giving up. I am not throwing up the white and fitness is an ongoing journey that has an ebb and flow. I don't have to feel perfect to be happy. I can be content while I continue to try to chip away at it. 

I refuse to become a celery stalk eater. I will not over indulge in exercise. I refuse to get roped into unhealthy behaviors. I have collected the tools and knowledge I need to succeed. Emotions don't have to translate to bad choices.  

My plan is to forge ahead, maintain balance, and believe I am enough.

I will never be perfect, but I am enough, no matter where I may land.

Do you relate to any of this? or am I crazy? I am always okay with hearing honest opinions. 

Monday, May 18, 2015

It's The Third Week of May?!

It is the Monday morning weekly recap! Sorry, it's really not that exciting folks...

 Rest - my trip up the steps jarred my leg, which prompted some aching, which prompted rest. 

 Cycled 8.5 miles in a higher gear than normal and dripped with sweat on the pretend hills, tried out the lateral trainer for 20 minutes, and did some calf muscle work for 20 minutes. 

 35 minutes walking threw in random strides before work, after work cycled 5 miles and a good upper body weight session.

My legs were so sore! Not sure if the cycling got me, or the strides, but my quads were feeling toasty. Walked 3 miles before work and threw in some much slower strides.

 Took the day off work. Alternated walking and running a mile at a time, until I hit 6 miles. Then, we headed to Busch Gardens for more roller coaster tossing, flipping fun! Walking all over the park totaled 9 miles for the day.

 Rest, rest, rest, like a champ. Slept until 10:00 a.m. and was delightfully lazy. My legs were sore, that seemed to be the theme of the week, which was weird since I barely ran. 

 30 minutes on the elliptical and a good upper body weight session. 
Sunday evening I took a walk with run buddy, and of course we decided to run a little.
My leg is feeling better. I hope it stays that way...finally.
Sunday night 5K - 75 degrees,  89% humidity.  
I am going to be going through a lot soap in this humidity, I had to scrub several times over after this. 
I usually don't love to run in shorts, but I am loving my new Inknburn shorts. Ran in these Sunday night and they are really comfy
Hubby and I had fun at Busch Gardens on Friday. Tackling all the roller coasters at least twice, even though there was an endless sea of school groups in matching shirts running through the park like maniacs, making long human chains across the walkways, and just generally be annoying in every line we were in...twirling on, under, and over all the rails, the old folks prevailed and we closed the park down.
This was our Griffon photo from our last trip - this trip we rode in the front cart. 
At the top they stop the cart and hang you there for about 10 seconds before you drop - it's so incredibly awesome in the front seat looking down. 
The Griffon 
Somehow on Tempesto, at 62 miles an hour, Kenny managed a pose lol - I was screaming, not posing.
I made a new friend

 and asked myself why are turtles so flipping cute :) 

 Booo, they won't let you sit on the real ones...
and discovered a new favorite meal on Saturday

It wasn't a great week for running, but everything else turned out okay. 

Have you ever done this to squeeze every last drop out of a tube? How was your weekend? 

Have a great week, 

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Walking Wednesday

I woke up today and walked...mostly. It was nice and cool, so I decided to throw some strides in to get my blood flowing. It was a great compromise that gave my leg a chance to rest. 

Monday at work I took a trip upwards on the steps. I actually missed the step and hit my foot with a hard jar. How klutzy, been walking almost 50 years and still can't get it right...
My leg ached all day intermittently after that. It made me nervous, it hasn't really ached that much in my "spot" since I went to PT and he broke the scar tissue loose. SO, Monday I knew I needed rest.
Hubby, so thoughtful, suggested I get my toes done.

If you are on Instagram you already saw this...sorry for the repeat lol
I love Instagram by the way...Karenrunsva  if you want to connect.

Megan  has been walking, being smart, trying to rehab some persistent niggles. She posts great stuff everyday and is a continual source of inspiration to me, as so many of you are.
Robyn who I work with, is also taking a break this week and walking...she became a first time marathoner this year with an amazing 4:08:42 
Positive peer pressure :) Anyone need a little walk break with us? 

Strides are awesome! Woke my quads up a bit, worked up a great sweat, and got my heart rate going, but, it stills feel like a lot less impact walking in between. Score! Think I'll do this again tomorrow. 
The weather has taken a turn towards phenomenal and I want to make the most it. 

I love this! 
I also caught some issues with my running form, that I am working on while I stride. I am tensing a bit downhill, and kind of reacting by "putting the brakes on" which sends bad energy up the tibia, so I worked on letting the natural flow happen. Maybe something good will come out of this...
I will have a great reduction in running this week, but I won't call it a wash. It's modification as needed. 


How's your week going? has your weather taken a turn towards phenomenal? need to join the "walking club" for a bit?

Monday, May 11, 2015

Rolling Into May

The first full week of May I had to say good bye to those lovely, cool, dim mornings for awhile.

I had my last run that started in moonlight and ended with daybreak. It's light now, even at 5:15 a.m. 

I didn't feel well most of last week. The pollen here is very thick and my allergies wore me down. I was fighting a cold and sore throat. By Wednesday, I just felt achy from head to toe, but I tried to keep pushing on. Friday my workout reflected it, I couldn't wait to get home, shower, and go to sleep. 

Ran 22 miles last week

Monday - 5 K run, 10 min. walk

Tuesday - 6 mi run before work, 8 min. walk - Evening, 4 mi treadmill run and 30 min. leg strengthening
Wednesday - 15 min. elliptical and a good upper body weight session
Thursday - 5 K run, 10 min. walk
Friday - 2 mi. treadmill run, 15 min. elliptical, and 30 min. walking treadmill w/incline (felt pretty blah the whole time)
Saturday - slept in and rested, I was aching head to toe
Sunday - 4 mi treadmill run and a good upper body weight training session

Not feeling well a big chunk of the week seem to steal my inspiration to write, and Friday I probably should have skipped the work out, but hey, all work outs shouldn't be full intensity anyway. 

Mother's Day I woke up to a thick layer of humidity, we just headed to the gym

and worked on being beastly...

Then I got cleaned up and dressed long enough to go to a great lunch at Longhorn :) 
Andrew has a fish eye lens, it takes cool pics

We decided to try these compression socks - as seen on TV, Brett Favre endorsed, miracle copper compression, and they work really well. A big $$ savings. 

The Pro Compression were a little gift to myself. They are a lot cuter. I can wear the miracle copper to work for recovery. 

My favorite Mother's day dessert 

and of course, my hubby has to get something to make me laugh...

and this book...I have no idea why the cats have guns lol 

I started reading my running book already. I hope it holds some wisdom to how I can stay healthy. 

I love my little family 
We all share a dry sense of humor

As May rolls on, I need to find a balance with my running. I do not feel like I am managing my recovery very well. I love running before work, but often because of  time constraints I can only get the 5K distance in, which seems to give me the urge to run more frequently.  If I can get 4 or 5 miles in, it's easier to be content with less days, but I am still working on discipline...some days the snooze button wins. 4:45 a.m. is so hard. 
More miles - less days...
Shorter distances - more days...
I wish I had a running genie who could say, "Follow this plan and run healthy my friend..."

Cheers to a wonderful week, 

Did you have a nice Mother's Day? 
Have any thoughts about frequency of running, verses distance? Ever read Running Strong?  
Ever purchased an as seem on TV item