Sunday, April 24, 2016

Capturing Race Moments

Race, I have some bad ones!
In all my races, I only have a few that are okay. These are from my Petersburg Half.
I like to have at least one photo from an event...

This one cracks me up- I look like I am in lala land...a second sooner or later and it may have been a good pic LOL see the soldiers in the back ground!

I may buy this one..idk...maybe not, I don't love it

These three were all finish line approach. I smiled when I saw the camera, then I tried to get back to business...that is a gritty face lol

My feet were sore after my race for sure, but Sunday they felt improved, and seemed no worse for the wear, but I know I pushed them a bit past what I should. 
Monday morning this was all I could handle! Good thing, it was Boston Monday :) It was my little way of paying homage to the race. 

Tuesday I walked some our students to take water samples. It was a beautiful day, and it is just a mile and half round trip, but it was nice to get out.

I got a new bike helmet, with a good reflector on it! This one is really nice has a wheel adjuster, and fits much better than my old one. Now, if I could just get motivated to get on my bike!

Wednesday I ran again, and did that Galloway thing :)  That method helps me get further before my feet really hurt. Up to this point, I did most of my short runs regualr, but after using this method for both of the races the past few weeks, I thought I should try it for my shorter runs. That minute walk really helps reduce the impact. A post will come later this week about my feelings on this method. 

I like to walk the track on my break at work. I won't be able to do this much longer, it is getting tooo flipping hot now :( I do not like going back to work feeling sweaty. 
I have only run one lap on this track. Every time I walk it, I wish I was running...but they lock it after school hours. 

I got new glasses, bifocals...ugh! I can't see close up anymore either, and I felt like Mr. Moogoo all week, now everything is blurry! I am not sure I am going to get use to this. I may have to go with two pairs, one for distance and one for close up. 

Someone I work with turned the big 5-0 this week, I will be there soon enough...

I was excited to get out Saturday and run. The weather wasn't so great though, it had been raining all night and it felt really sticky. I was wiped out from the humidity. Hello summer running, I didn't miss you. 

I thought waiting until almost 8 a.m. was late enough to let the fog burn off, but that didn't happen until my walk home...of course Sunday when I woke up it was gorgeous out, but these feet are not ready to handle two days in a row. My feet were pretty tender on the bottom after 7 miles. I probably should have just stopped at 6, but I was feeling over confident at mile 5, and decided to do an extra loop. I ended up with a half hour walk home. I went from okay to burning, like a flipped switch. 

Once I get out there, I can't seem to find the discipline to keep it short. This week I will try to handle it a little better. 

Check out my yummy refueling after my 7 miles. Tastes even better when you are rungry! 

Sunday, I discovered my heart rate monitor is dead...big sigh...
My Honey and I worked hard, but I have no chart evidence LOL Ugh...I still tracked my time though lol ...hopelessly addicted to my tracking. I ordered a new one, problem should be remedied this week. 

Boston Day :) - 2.62 mi 0:26:50

Cool Down  0.18 mi 0:07:10
Galloway 5 5.01 mi 0:52:07

Cool Down 0.11 mi 0:07:39

Stationary Bike  2.75 mi

Upper Body Weight Training
0.00 mi 1:02:06
Stationary Bike - 7.00 mi 0:36:00

Core Work
0.00 mi 0:20:00
Warm Up 0.62 mi 0:10:50

Galloway 7  7.01 mi 1:13:53

Walking  1.56 mi 0:26:37
Treadmill Mile
1.00 mi

Leg and Chest Work 0.00 mi 1:14:06

I've always had a hard time "waiting" until Sunday to run, even when the weather is bad. I just want to get up Saturday and get that longer work out done. 
Do you prefer one day over the other? 

Any progressive or bifocal wearers out? How long did it take to get used to it?  
Did you watch any of the Boston race? or have someone you tracked? 
Do you get excited to see your race pics? 

Linking up with my gals, Holly @ hohoruns and Tricia@ MissSippiPiddlin for the weekly wrap up.

Join in the fun and share something from your week! 

Thursday, April 21, 2016

Signing Up While You Are Still High ")

All runs have some tough moments.
Sometimes you finish up and feel like, Whew! Thank goodness that is over! Sometimes, regardless of the tough moments, you just can't wait until the next run!

You know you had a good run, when the high lingers,  and you forget all those tougher moments!

After my half last weekend, I was on a pretty good high. I almost signed up for another race. Luckily, I talked myself off that ledge and didn't do it, but it is weird how that works! I bet you all have done that :)
I mean seriously, I am not even supposed to be running long distances, and I am looking at half marathons LOL crazy...

Way back in November and December I decided to was going to race more, and I picked a bunch of races I wanted to do before it got too hot.

March should have been my marathon month, and April was supposed to be my 'big' month, three half marathons and one trail race. Park to Park Half Marathon is one I planned to run at the end of this month, but I got injured before I signed up. You know if I sign up, I am probably going to try, even if it is not the best thing for me.
I swear I looked at the web site a zillion times after I got home from running plus, a few others.

There is a 15K I really wanted to run next month! 15K has always been one of very favorite distances and it stinks I am going to miss it, but I guess this just wasn't meant to be my "racing year" like I planned.

How many races do you think you signed up for while on a runners high?

Monday, April 18, 2016

Petersburg Half ❤ 2016

I ran the inaugural event last year and really enjoyed it, even though it threw some challenges at me.

Last year, I was still in recovery mode from my tibial stress fracture, so I didn't get to formally train. I had not run any long distances, just a 10K and few 5 mile runs, but my short runs were going great and I really thought I might be able to knock out a good finish.
It ended up being freakishly humid and hot, very swampy like, and I ran a 2:14:51. I turned on my timer at mile 7 and used the Galloway method and survived.

I signed up for this year a few days after I ran last year, hoping I would be able to kick butt this year!

Yet, here I am recovery mode with no training, so I had zero expectations going in to this.

The course is laid out so I could cut across at several points, and have a short walk back to the car if anything went really wrong.

This year our weather has been great and race morning it was an amazing 32 degrees and 100% humid, but you can't feel it when it is that cool :) The temp was quickly climbing, the humidity dropping, and it was sunny and clear. ❤ 
It was 54 degrees when I finished.

The course goes through rolling hills in Battlefield Park as a civil war reenactment is happening, and then through old towne, Petersburg. 

I took an extra tinkle break and started behind the crowd...the whole crowd. I was 1:40 seconds behind the clock. 

The elevation gain was 438 ft. Hilly for sure, but not too crazy ;)

My official time was 2:10:11

I have run that pace when I have trained, so I 'll take the result and be thankful, but the course was short! It bugs me!  ٩(-̮̮̃-̃)۶
If I had been running this as my very first half, or run a PR, I would have been really ticked.  I'd rather run long, than be shorted any day.  At the finish line, I chatted with a few runners and their Garmin's were reading 12.92, and 12.90. A few folks heard us talking and they were just a tick less...I was the shortest by far, so again, like my trail race, I must be good at cutting corners (or my Garmin is wearing out) lol 

I was too tired to go run to make it up though, my feet were done. The reality is I should probably add a few minutes to this. 

So there you go! Now the nitty gritty stuff. 

I am icing my feet Saturday afternoon as I type (most) of this. 

10:05   9:48   10:19   10:21

The first mile was very crowded, and I felt claustrophobic. That is what I get for starting in the back. There is a lot going on back there! Groups walking the start, lots of strollers, just a thick wall of folks. I passed a lot of people.  I did't turn on my timer on until mile 2, I just needed to get to a space that wasn't so crowded. My plan was to use 4 x 1 intervals. 

I forgot my gloves, but I had a throw away jacket on, and I let it hang off my shoulders so I could wrap my hands in it.  I didn't need the jacket, if I had gloves on, I would have been 100% comfy. 
I carried a flimsy water bottle with a Nuun tablet in it, so I could collapse it as I drank.
I ditched my jacket and water bottle around mile three, I did not want to deal with holding anything. I only drank a little of the Nuun; I just wasn't feeling thirsty. Miles three and four are all uphill, no break, 36 ft and 59 ft. Running uphill made me warm enough. 
Mentally, I was bouncing all over the place. Happy to sad. I was passing spots on the course remembering how hard it felt last year in the oppressive heat. I marveled at how wonderful I felt in the present. I was sad I wasn't in shape to take full advantage of the great day. 
I wished I could run faster and push myself, but I knew that would be a disaster. I stuck with the Galloway method (4 x 1), and tried to replace the frustration over the last three months of injury, with positive things.  

Man! It was beautiful out! 

9:53   9:45   10:23   10:32

At the mile 6 sign, I was close to an hour (and the mileage was close on my watch). I was elated! I also realized I better slow down.  I ate a few jelly beans at this point. A mile later I ate about eight more, and that was it for fuel. I didn't feel like digging in my running belt anymore. I didn't even take out my phone to take pics during this section.  

The battle reenactments are fun to watch.  This section is shady, you can smell the gunpowder, dressed up civil war soldiers are everywhere,  it is very hilly, very enjoyable, yet the injury frustration kept creeping in...

Mile seven, I started to pray. I was determined to shed the negative and enjoy the run. I thanked God for my family, that I ran a good first half, that the day was perfection, that I was out there moving, and that my feet had given me minimal protesting. 

Mile eight takes you out of the battlefield section, and back on busy streets, but runners have their own lane to run. I felt a boost as I passed the spot where I saw my hubby on the course last year. I told Kenny to stay home in bed this year, his foot has been hurting quite a bit lately, and I didn't want him to have to stand around. Just passing the spot made me smile though. 

9:43   10:49    10:37    10:37  and I finished running with a 9:15 pace...

I started praying for my hubby when I thought about him, and I was so engrossed in my thoughts, I ran right through my walk break :)
This part of the course is really busy. There is traffic on the roads, and the course goes through neighborhoods where folks are hanging out, and there are lots of cheerleaders waiting for their runners to pass. I felt a little pressure on the top of my left foot, but it was manageable. The right foot however was feeling tender on the ball, and it is more of problem now than my original injury, so I slowed up. I dismissed that nagging voice that said, "GO!" 
I had run a good race to that point, but I needed to let the pace go and ease up, so my feet could chill.

At mile 10, the course gets narrow.  I was surrounded by a group of tutu friends, a stroller a couple was pushing, and another group of chatty friends all running in a pack, and it was like a rolling road block. It was good for me! I slowed down. I chatted with one nice tutu runner, and I thought we might stay together, but I lost her after just a few minutes. I also chatted with some men who were interval running (3 x1). We talked, intervals, pace, timer, etc...
I passed the 2:15 pacer and I realized I would beat my time from last year. That made me grin. 

My mantra at this point was progress, walking or running, you are still making progress. I said that to myself several times. 

My right foot felt a little better after going easier, so I decided when my watch beeped at mile twelve, it was go time.  I was booking along as fast as I could and as I turned the corner toward the finish line. I braced myself to run across the rough cobblestones, but I didn't have to!  The finish line was much closer than last year, and I guess that accounts for some of the distance loss. My feet were grateful, because the cobblestones hurt last year, but I was freaked out to see my run shorted.

I chatted with my my fellow interval runners to see how they did, and they said just take the official time and don't worry about it! 
Good feet were tired.
I am proud of my finish, I did the best I could. 

I saw my friend Carlton and his wife. (I use to work with him) This was his first ever half!

I drank a bottle of water and walked back to my car. 

There was amazing food, but I just didn't want any, I just wanted a shower!

Kenny and I went to Waffle House after my shower, and it was a yummy eggs and cheese recovery meal :)

Like my trail race, I have no regrets about running this event untrained. 

I enjoyed it!  I would rather try and have to bail, than not try at all. 

The Galloway method got me to the end and I felt great other than my feet. My legs were ready to roll!

Here is a link to my finish video :) I love these!
Karen's Finish

I am ready to take a step back now, and try to weed my way through what next. I do want to run, but I don't want to run always worrying about what kind of damage I am doing. 

I wish I knew if they were going to get better than what I feel now, only time will tell. 

I appreciate you all hanging with me through this journey. I know you are sick of hearing about my feet, and I am very tired of them as well. Too bad they are attached and I am stuck with 'em. 

Thanks for reading! I hope you have a great day 

Progress, walking or running, you are still making progress.

What do you think of my new mantra? 

Sunday, April 17, 2016

Bling! Yes, Please :)

I got new shoes last week and I couldn't wait to run in them!
They are light and flexible, but feel supportive enough. 

I ran Monday, 3.66 miles morning, two days after my trail race. I made it further than I expected!

Tuesday I cross trained with my honey. 

Wednesday I rode until my butt hurt. 
Why can't bike seats be more comfy? 
I spent a lot of time stretching when I was done. 

Thursday I went and picked up my bib for Saturday. 
They had the medal on the table...
I decided I really wanted one, even if I had to walk a lot. 

The race shirt is really nice :) I thought about wearing it to run in...haha, I remember from the blog talk a few months ago, that is a no-no.

There was a place next door to where I picked up my bib...

It smelled good, the donuts were fresh and warm. 

Friday I wanted to work out, but I really needed to conserve energy. I took a half hour stroll with some of my work peeps. A beautiful day in VA. 

Saturday, I did it! 13.1, well not exactly, but I earned my medal. (recap coming very soon-I already wrote it!)

Sunday, I realized I didn't lift one flipping weight all week! 
I probably should have went to the gym, but I opted for a hilly little ride on my bike. 
It was another beautiful day.  
Besides, Misty likes to come outside 
while I put my bike away and stretch. 

My legs felt pretty darn amazing! It is just these darn feet holding me back. 

Morning Run 3.66 mi 0:37:39

Walking 0.46 mi 0:08:47
Biking Around The Neighborhood 28.22 mi 2:22:51

Stretching/Cool Down
0.16 mi 0:18:41
Wake Up Run 
2.02 mi 

Walking/Stretching 0.09 mi 
Petersburg Half Marathon 12.88 mi 2:10:14

Petersburg Walking 0.35 mi 0:18:35
Biking 11.13 mi 1:02:14

Stretching 0.04 mi 0:06:08

Oh, and hubby found another fun app! 
We are easily entertained folks! 
 #Keanu...we like stupid comedies, what can I say?!

Ever heard of Duck Donuts?
How did your week go?

Tell me anything!

As usual I am linking up with the awesome weekly wrap up ladies,

Join in! ㋡ Check out the etiquette here 

Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Level Up Virtual Runs

After battling injury for three months April has been a good change for me. I managed to complete a trail race, and while I didn't do it in the fashion I had envisioned when I signed up, I still enjoyed myself. 

I am giving myself until the end of the month before I make a decision about more time off, but I plan to end the month on a high note. 
April 30th I am running my own little 5K, and Level Up Virtual Runs is going to spot me this very cool medal for completing it!

I hope some of you join me April 30th and we can run virtually!
Sign up by tax day, April 15th! and plan your run! The time is now. 

This is a really awesome, rising sun style background shimmering with yellow and red glitter. What gal doesn't love glitter!!

This Level Up Virtual Run can be a 5K,10K, or a Half, the distance of your choice. It is only $25 bucks if you live in the US. $10 more for non US residents.

Register HERE

Level Up Virtual Runs is a company created by two brother runners, with a passion for running and sports. They grew up in a town where the local high school did not have the proper funds to support sports programs. Level Up gives back by donating a portion of the profits to schools around the US who are struggling to keep their sports programs alive.

If you join me you can mix running and a little philanthropy at the same time. 
Mr. Portokalos would tell you the Greeks invented philanthropy, which comes from the Greek word philanthropia meaning: kindliness, humanity, benevolence, love to mankind.

"So, there you go!"

Sign up by tax day, April 15th! and plan your run! 

Have you done a virtual run lately? 

Twitter is @levelupruns
Instagram @Levelupvirtualruns
Facebook -

I was given a reduced entry into the Incredible Virtual Run by Level Up Runs in exchange to help promote their cause. 

Tuesday, April 12, 2016

Dogwood 10 Mile Trail Race Recap

Oh, this is so long, I apologize now! It has been so long since I had something to really talk about.

Months ago I signed up for the Dogwood 10 Mile Trail Run. It is part of a 12 hour race. The race director is a local around here, and he does this to support anyone with an ultra goal, and to encourage trail running.
The organizer picked a 2.5 mile loop in Pocahontas State Park, which has miles of trail: some fire road, some single track, some a little wider, and fairly technical. Our race loop was challenging, but not too crazy.

The race plan was to go around the loop as many times as you want and be sure to to be scored as you run by the base station. The race was clocked from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.
A few other folks were doing the 10  mile option like me, but most were going all day. 
This race was about 15 minutes from home and I run (walk lately) and bike in this park a lot, but I have not run in this loop since 2014. 

I woke and got my cats situated and ate a pop tart and had a little coffee about 6 a.m. I had not been shopping and I was out of every thing! I filled my Nathan pack with a liter of water and one tablet of lemon lime Nuun. 
I arrived at the park about 10 minutes before go time and realized I forgot my bib. Genius! The organizer just said to call out my bib number as I ran by, which I did and it worked out fine. 
The trail was marked with pink ribbon and had several turns. 
Dan, the race director, set up a tent in a grassy area away from the trail head and had us run across a field and turn back at a cone to begin each loop. It made it easier to score and gave everyone a place to leave drop bags with extra socks, clothes, etc...

That is me looping by the race station. 

He had made a great spread of food. Cut up oranges, bananas, trail mix, PBJ (with no crust) cantaloupe, Gu's, power drinks, soda, and had sloppy joes cooking with all the fixings for lunch. He did not skimp on food, he really went all out to support everyone, especially those attempting to make 15 or 20 loops. 

We took off a few minutes after 7 a.m. and as we started across the grass, I was thinking about my "race plan" and decided to not use my timer until the second loop. I really wanted to stay with the group for one loop, just to be sure I didn't take a wrong turn.   I realized I forgot to start my Garmin. I do this quite often at the beginning of races, I either get wrapped up with anxiety, or lost in my thoughts, you would think by now it would be second nature...
I started my Garmin a handful of seconds after we took off. 
One loop around and I felt very comfortable.  The pink ribbon was easy to follow and many folks walked the hills on the first lap. I actually ran most of the first lap and turned on my timer toward the end of the first lap. 
I had worried of using the Galloway method would be disruptive on the trails, but we had thinned out so much during the first lap, I realized it would't be an issue. 
My timer is always set for 4 x 1 (4 minutes run - 1 minute walk) I planned to flip that if I started hurting, but during the second loop I decided to walk the steepest spots and run the easier parts so I didn't stick to the timer exactly, but it really worked for me, and I feel like I ran a good portion of the race. 

Rain was in forecast and the temperature was supposed to drop during the day.   
I did bring a light water resistant vest just in case. Heavy wind was also predicted. It was hard to dress thinking it would get colder. 
In the woods it usually feels a bit cooler because that area of the park doesn't get a lot of morning sun, so I wore my high top warm compression pants and a long sleeve top, gloves, and my hydration pack. 

The first two loops were just a little under 30 minutes. I was feeling great.  I did worry I was over dressed during my second loop, it never rained, but the wind really kicked up about that time. 

My third loop was gusty!  I was glad I had my long sleeves on. I was feeling tired, and I was getting sloppy,  so I walked a little more. The extra walking did the trick and I got my second wind.

I was not surprised it felt hard, I have not  run more than 4 miles since January. Sometimes I walked really slow during my walk breaks and sometimes I was walking at a good clip, but the breaks really helped. 

Scenes from the trail. 
Just one muddy section and a little stream to cross. 
No pics from the most technical sections, 
I was dodging tree roots :) 

About mile 8, I felt pretty tired. A half mile later my feet were protesting. My left foot was feeling pretty tender. I debated with myself if I should quit. I was almost to mile 9...

I got stubborn here, that runner mentality. 
I was close, I wanted to finish, and truthfully, I am so sick of my feet holding me back, I walked a little extra and ran easy.
As I finished my last loop I felt good enough to sprint across the grassy field and finish strong.

 This photo from above was my last lap. 

Then this happened 

I didn't clock a full 10 miles on my Garmin. UGH! 
It was making me crazy. I thought it was because I started my watch late. 

 I ran .25 easy miles for good measure and a little cool down.

After I saw the official race results I decided I must be good at cutting corners ;)

My official time was just a few seconds off my Garmin. 

1:58:40 - 10.28 miles

My loop times: 
lap 1 ~ 29:18 
lap 2 ~ 29:38
lap 3 ~ 29:56
lap 4 ~ 29:46

I was thrilled to see that time, two hours feels like win for me :) 

Some cool stats about the race! 
21 racers :) A very small field. 

The race winner ran 11 hours and 52 minutes - 77.10 miles 
Even though it was small,  FL, DE, PA, ME, and many VA areas were represented. 

There were seven 10 mile finishers. I came in 5th and I was the oldest runner (by 10 years).  

I don't really recommend running races untrained, but I can't say I regret doing it either. I don't know what the future holds for me as far as distance running, I think it is going to be pretty limited honestly, so I am happy I was able to collect a new experience. 
I am glad this wasn't really a "racing" type of event. I walked a lot, and sometimes pretty slowly, but that is what I needed to get to the end. 
I was tired but I wasn't dying. I have done two and three hour hilly bike rides, so my leg muscles are still prepared for the activity. 

I decided I wouldn't totally judge myself (as completely crazy) until I had a good nights sleep.

After the race, I was moving pretty slow the rest of the day. My left hamstring felt a bit tight, but not as tight  as I was dealing with back in training (Sept. - Jan.) so the work I have been doing must be helping ;) 

My feet were tender under the ball and my toes were shooting pain. I have felt this sensation many times over the past three months so it was not a surprise. I caved and did something I haven't done the whole time I have been injured. I took  two rounds of anti-inflammatory. One that afternoon and one dosage before bed.   Kenny and I went to eat and did a little short shopping trip Saturday and the activity was just enough...
When I got home I iced my feet and just chilled. 

Sunday I woke up, and my leg muscles felt just slightly used. 

Kenny and I went to the gym in the afternoon and I was surprised at how spunky my legs started feeling after I warmed up!   My feet were still tender, but felt improved, so I didn't push my warm up at all.  Toes two and three, the main offenders were still puffy, so I lifted upper body.  
Monday, I felt more improvement and I couldn't see any physical change in either foot, so I felt relieved. Remember last month I had a run where a change happened almost immediately. 
I went for a run before work, 3.5 miles pretty slowly, and my foot tolerated it pretty well. 
I can still feel improvement Tuesday as I write this. 

I am going to give my feet a break until this weekend, just for good measure :) This weekend will be my last brush with long distance for the rest of the summer. 

I don't have any race plans until December, so training doesn't need to begin until late July. I have toyed with the idea of taking another solid block of rest because foot tissue is probably the hardest thing in the world to heal. Even at "rest", I am still obliviously on my feet some. I don't remember if I have mentioned that this injury is permanent. My toes will only heal in place now, I will never go back to what I had before, hence the unknown of what to totally expect. 

I really do hope there is a "better" than how I feel right now. 

Walking is what saves me right now.  Trying to run without stopping aggravates my foot much sooner into a workout.  Maybe that will always be the case, I hope not, but I think it is too soon to tell. 

Have you ever run a loop race? or timed event like this? 
Have you done any trail running lately?