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Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Don't Call it a Comeback

The day after my letter to myself, my kind of declaration that I would push myself to find the time to run, my toddler got sick. Really sick. The kind of sick where the doctor has you come straight in and the words "we are going to do everything we can to keep her out of the hospital" are used.

The next week was a blur of doctors appointments, nebulizer treatments, missed days at work, and very little sleep.

Luckily, the Munchkin pulled through like a champ, and no hospitalization was necessary.

But a whole week disappeared. The only exercise I got that whole week beyond the normal exercise of schlepping a toddler to and fro was a two mile walk along the canal to get us both out of the house on Friday.

While walking along with the Munchkin tucked in the stroller, and admiring the amazing leaves on the trees, I got the urge to run. I really wanted to just book along the path with those super colorful leaves whirring past all around me. So I did a couple of short sprints (in jeans mind you.)

It was upsetting how quickly I got winded sprinting along, but I reminded myself that a)I was sprinting at top speed, and b)I was pushing a 35 lb. toddler in a stroller.

But those short sprints made up my mind. I was determined to find time to get myself back to running. Just as soon as I got my kid back to healthy.

So since she was healthy and back at Day Care on Tuesday, I decided that was it. I had to run. My (very understanding) Hubby agreed to pick the Munchkin up so I would have time to run before he got home and we had to head to his parents for Family dinner night. I get out at 4:30, he gets out at 5:00, we both work the same distance from home, so I'd have between 30 & 45 minutes before he got home, depending on how long it took him to get the Munchkin ready to leave Day Care.

It worked beautifully. I got home, changed and jumped on the treadmill. I queued up an episode of Fringe (which yes, I have been saving for the treadmill.) I set an easy pace, and decided I'd go for a time goal and not a distance goal. Half an hour to start.

New Shoes!
I am breaking in a brand new pair of Mizuno Wave Rider 17's, which I got on a super awesome sale online. When I first got on the treadmill, they felt a little bigger than my Brooks Ravenna's, but I think that's mostly because I haven't been wearing my running shoes a lot lately (I wear a size bigger in my running shoes than my normal every day shoes.) As soon as I settled into the run, I mostly forgot I was wearing new shoes. Which I guess is a good thing!

The run itself felt awesome. I averaged around a 12' pace. I didn't feel like I was pushing too hard, and, if I hadn't run out of time, I felt I could have run longer. My legs felt good, and so did my feet. There were none of the nagging aches and twinges I'd been having before my unexpected month long vacation from running. I did a couple of faster "intervals" towards the end of the run, just bumping the speed up a bit to stretch my legs out and get my lungs working.

After a half hour, The Hubby still wasn't home, so I had time to jump in the shower, ice my legs, and then take a full, hot, relaxing shower. It was awesome.


I'm resting the legs today, even though they feel good. I'm going to try to do some upper body strength work later tonight when I get home from work. Maybe some Yoga if I feel motivated.

It's not a comeback....yet.



Monday, October 13, 2014

A letter to my Running Self.

Dear Running Self,

I miss you. Seriously.

I know we're both busy, heaven knows, with work and a toddler, and a husband who all need some of our attention.

But without you, I'm not myself. I'm not running (ha ha!) on all cylinders. My temper is shorter, I find myself getting overly anxious about random things, and weirdly I have less energy.

I need you back in my life. I need to spend time with you to let out my frustration from the day, to help me work through the anxieties in my head, and to give me the stamina to keep going through my day.

So here's my promise to you, I will try to find you again. I will try to start waking up a half hour earlier so that I can at least try to start shoehorning in some runs around my schedule. I will make you a priority again.

I can't promise you that I'll be able to maintain a regular training schedule right now, Life it just too crazy, but I do promise that this will be more than a once a week attempt.

Sincerely,
Stressed and Tired Self.

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Group run with MRTT

In an attempt to get my butt back into gear, last night I joined my local Moms Run This Town running group for an "easy three miles" followed by drinks and food stuffs. It sounded like a great way to motivate myself and ease back into a running schedule.

There was a moderately sized crowd that showed up for this, maybe eight women. First thing I realized, I need to get some sort of reflective vest thingie. Everyone else was wearing them. I had my blinky light on my shoe, and there's reflective bits on my hat and Jacket, but that was about it for me and visibility.

We started out at a comfortable pace and I fell in with a couple runners and chatted for a bit about random things. I was actually having a relatively good time. About half a mile in we started going uphill. This almost immediately started slowing me down. I started hanging back with one of the other runners, who almost immediately told me I didn't have to hang back for her. I laughed and told her I was just glad there was some one else in the group that ran closer to my pace.

I made it up that hill, and we chatted on the way down the other side. We settled into a nice comfortable pace for us, and let the rest of the group pull ahead a bit.

Right around two and a half miles, I started having a hard time. We had been keeping a really fast pace, for me, and that combined with my lack of running for the past month was really taking it's toll. Me and the girl I was running with (who I totally forgot to ask for her name) dropped further back from the group as we turned a corner and started heading uphill again.

I knew where we were and knew what was in front of us. A really long grueling hill. When our phones beeped to let us know we'd hit three miles, we were still no where near the restaurant which was our start and end point. We could still see the rest of the pack up the hill ahead of us (they actually kept stopping to wait for us, which while nice made me feel awful for holding them up with my slowness.)

Not too long after the three mile mark, me and the girl I was with called it, and started walking. We would do short bursts of running interspersed with walk breaks. That hill is a beast. An entire mile of up, capped with a quarter mile of steeper up.

We caught up to the group again at the top of the hill (where they had waited for us) and kept pace with them on the down hill back to the restaurant. Turns out we had ran a little over four miles.


I grabbed my wallet from my car and headed inside with the group and some women who had missed
the run but were joining us for drinks. At this point however, I was tired, and more than a little upset with myself for how hard the run had been.

It was also starting to get late, the run had started late (we had met up for the run at 6:30 but waited till about 6:45 for some stragglers), and we had run further and longer than intended, so it was about 7:45 when we were seated. At first I intended on having a drink and some loaded fries, but when I did the math on the time it would take to order, get my food, eat it, and drive home, I decided to duck out before orders were taken. So I finished my glass of water, said my goodbyes and headed home.

I had my dinner and drank another large glass of water with some Mio in it, and watched some TV on the couch. And then, as we were getting ready to head to bed, I had a headache attack. That's pretty much the best way to describe it. One minute I was fine, the next, raging migraine style headache. I have no idea what caused it, but it was a monster. Luckily it was bed time anyways, so a couple of advil, some melatonin, and a back rub later I slept it off.

As much as I'm happy to have gotten the run in, I still feel a little dispirited about how the run went. As nice as everyone at the run was, I still have a hard time socializing and running. I'm sure that'll come though, as I get faster and stronger and more able to keep up with the group.

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Ugh.

Really the post title says it all.

Hubs started his new job, which has precipitated a new schedule for us all (he's going in to work at 8 instead of 9 now.) This means early mornings, ok so 6:30...which isn't that early for a lot of people, but it is to me! Which has, in turn, translated into earlier bed times...ok so 10:30...it's been more like less sleep than earlier bed times. We really should be in bed before 10.

Add in a new diet...since we're trying the low FODMAP thing (Hubs has IBS, and we're trying to mitigate it.) The new diet has require serious amounts of cooking on my part for at least three evening meals a week. We did manage to find somewhere we could do (relatively) safe take out from, so I ended up not having to cook Friday, which was awesome.

And, the Munchkin has hit a rough patch with her sleeping habits. Her routine has been altered and that always results in some...toddler-ness from her. So we've had to drag her out of bed in the morning, fight her to put on clothes and brush her hair, usually endure a tantrum or two on our collective way out the door ( usually along the lines of "This is cereal. I want cheddar bunnies. Daddy's having cheddar bunnies!" "No hun, Daddy's eating cereal, just like you have." "CHEDDAR BUNNIES!") and then at the opposite end of the day, spend an extra half hour at bedtime as she gets out of bed, opens her door and stands at the baby gate wailing until one of us comes up to tuck her back into bed. Honestly it's not that bad, or that extreme for a toddler, I know. I also realize this is not a parenting blog, but bear with me as I rant.

All of this (and a huge lack of motivation I'm sure) has combined into another week without exercise. Oh sure, I did a 5 minute arm video at one point, and some crunches here and there while watching tv, but really, nothing substantial until yesterday.

Yesterday, while home with my daughter (Wednesdays I go into work late) I managed half an hour of 10 minute videos. I worked my arms, abs and Legs.

I have not run since the fourth.

I feel frustrated and lazy, simultaneously. I know, if I could just make myself get up earlier, I could get some exercise in to start the day, but I'm so damn tired in the mornings right now as it is. The idea of loosing even 15 minutes of sleep (as happened this morning) makes me irrationally angry. (Seriously, I had to work at not snapping at the Hubs for waking me up before I absolutely HAD to be awake. Have I ever mentioned I'm not a morning person?)

I know I could (theoretically) get some exercise in at night, in the hour between when the Munchkin goes to bed and when I need to be in bed, but after the sprint that comes from the "Pick up from day care, cook dinner/get dinner on the table, get the Muchkin in bed" whirlwind, by the time she's asleep all I want to do is relax for a moment and then get my own butt in bed.

I'm trying to figure out a way to carve more time into our schedule, to find time for me to lace up and enjoy this awesome weather we've been having. It feels like a impossibility right now, but that might just be the frustration and exhaustion talking. I'm hoping, as we get used to this new schedule, things start to even out for us, and I can start cramming workouts in all the empty spaces again.

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Stutter step start

Well, my recommitment to fitness is not going as well as I'd hoped. Sunday I got a lot of "activity" in (lots and lots of walking) but ended up falling asleep around 9:30, which is super early for me. Then Monday, I didn't do anything because I fell asleep at 8:30. Yes, me of the late night runs and trouble getting to bed before 11 fell asleep at 8:30.

Tuesday was a wash, we had too much to do. We are still adjusting to our new schedule (Hubs got a new job that starts at 8 instead of 9, and is close enough to my office and the daycare that we've been carpooling.) We also had to pick up one of the cars from the Mechanics and head over to the in-laws for dinner. I'm sure I could have made time in there somewhere if I'd tried harder, but honestly I was still weirdly tired all day tuesday ( and after getting nine hours of sleep monday night too!)

This morning I did manage to get my butt in gear in time to get about 15 minutes of videos in. One 10 minute arm workout and one five minute ab workout. I'm hoping to get a short run in tonight after the munchkin is in bed, or at the very least, do a few more videos to round myself out to half an hour of activity.

On the nutrition front, I've been doing...eh...ok. I was about 200 calories over my limit both monday and tuesday, but I try to cut myself some slack when I'm just starting a new diet, otherwise I end up feeling starving hungry and crashing and burning with the diet. The real challenge with this will be the weekend!


Monday, September 8, 2014

Making the call

As hard as the decision was to make, now that it's made I feel a million times better. I decided this weekend to not register for the "goal" race from my training group, a half marathon being run on Sept. 21st. I have also deferred my registration for my original goal race, The Wineglass Half, until next year.

I had a lot of reasons that I shouldn't run either race: I had injured my leg in August, I had not been following my training plan in about a month, I still don't know what caused my fainting spell early in the summer, and my heart was just not in it.

I had one big reason I wanted to run both: I had said I would.

I thought a lot about my reasons, and had a discussion with my mom which went kinda like this (paraphrased): "Well, can you do it?" "Physically? Yeah I can finish the distance..." "Ok, but how would you feel at the end?" "I don't know." "So you could go out there, have a horrible run, and feel awful about yourself and running, Or you can not do it, and still enjoy running?" "Basically." "Ok, don't do it."

And really she had the only important point in my entire discussion with myself over it. I *could* do it, but it might be the last run I do for a long time if I do, and do I really want that?

So I'm canning the races. I'm scaling back on my running for a while, adding in more cross training, and resetting my sights on the same spring half I ran this year.

All that being said, This weekend was a very active one!

Saturday, while my daughter napped, I decided to try out a new fitness app Popsugar Active (you can also get it for the iPhone here.) I thought it would be a good way to start my new commitment to cross training (read: everything that is not running.)

I really liked the way they had their video's organized, and the fact that most of them were short 10 minute mini-workouts. I stacked up four of them: Waistband Relief (5:00) Arm Jiggle (10:00) Lazy Girl (10:00) Vinyasa Flow (10:00). I really liked that by the time I was ready to quit, I was almost done with the video, so was able to push myself to finish it out. The Vinyasa flow was intense, and I had to modify a few poses. In all, by the end of my 35 minutes, I was tired and sweaty, and I'm still a little sore from it two days later!

I felt like a slacker still, so I hopped on the treadmill to get in as much running as I could before my daughter woke up, which turned out to be 20 minutes. I ran for right around 1.6 miles, and varied my pace quite a bit to keep my legs active. Not a bad short run, but nothing to write home about.



Funny story, when she woke up my daughter came and stood in the doorway watching me run on the treadmill. She was talking and I couldn't hear what she was saying so I paused the treadmill to let her talk. She got upset, and started signing "more" and saying "run mommy!" So I started running again, and she grinned and just watched for a bit, waving at me occasionally.

So that's where I'm at. This month is going to be about cross training, and getting the love back with the running. I'm also recommitting to watching what I eat, I'm back to logging my food at MyFitnessPal again. We'll see where I'm at by the end of the month, and then I'll decide on a training plan with a goal of the Flower City Half in the spring.

Friday, September 5, 2014

Fall Down Seven Times...

I ran last night. It was the first time since Maine. I can tell myself I took the time off to rest my leg and to make sure it was healthy, but honestly, I just fell off the wagon. I was too busy, too stressed, too everything to fit in runs.

And if I'm honest, a lot of it was that I was just burnt out. The training schedule that I had been trying to keep for the half marathon had completely worn away my love of the run.

I fell off the schedule about a month ago, and despite my best efforts, could not get myself back on it.

Last night I decided that I needed to run. It had been too long. I needed to see if my legs would be able to carry me in the half that is coming up in....two weeks now.

I have to admit I was a little nervous stepping on the treadmill. I had no idea how the run was going to go. I had decided to take it easy, and just do a short run. It was late, so I didn't want to do a full hour, but I really wanted to get in more than a half hour. I decided on aiming for 45 minutes.

I put on Fringe and set the treadmill to "easy". Surprisingly (to me) the run felt good. Comfortable, until the end, when I started getting overly warm in the stuffy back room the treadmill is in.

I cut the run at 46 minutes (one past my 45 minute goal) mostly because I didn't want to push it on my first run back. I was still worried that the pain in my shin would return post-run.


I did some stretching, some foam rolling, and a few gentle yoga poses (yay pigeon prep!) and then sat around and watched football until bed.

I'm happy to report that my legs are pain free today. I'm going to wait until after my Saturday long run to decide if my legs are really up to a half, but it's looking good right now.