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Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Last Run of the Year!

Last night I did my last run for 2014. It was very anti-climatic for a last run, partly because I didn't realize before hand that it would be the last run of the year.

In preparation for my new years goals (which I'll get to later) I set up an alert in my google calendar to have the Hubs pick up the Munchkin on Tuesdays and Thursdays so I can get a run in.

The alert went off at 4 to remind me, and so, dutifully reminded I made sure Hubs was picking up the Munchkin, headed home and hopped on the treadmill, queued up Fringe, and settled in for a nice comfortable 3 mile run.

At the one mile mark, my phone let me know I was averaging around a 12'20" pace, so I bumped up the speed a tiny bit, and settled in to a nice comfortable gait. Around the two mile mark, I realized I wasn't working very hard, so I pumped up the speed a bit again, and went for a while at a faster pace (around 11'50", dropped down to around a 12' pace for a minute to recover after a sprint then bumped it back up to around 11'40" to finish out the milage.

The run felt good, solid. I know I didn't push as hard as I could. It was a comfortable run. It let me know I have more in my legs, which I plan to use on the first run of next year on Thursday.

Now, my goals for next year. They can be summed up almost entirely with: Be more consistent.

I have a lot of great habits, that move me toward my goals, but I do them maybe 60% of the time. And usually not all at once. So breaking my goals down (in no particular order):

  • Run 500 miles in 2015 (since I missed that goal this year)
  • Bring more home made lunches to work (I get too much pre packaged crap for lunches)
  • Eat cleaner (more veggies, less take out)
  • Run another Half Marathon (targeting the same one I ran last year right now, but being flexible about which one I run, so I don't get super stressed about the training)
  • Add cross training at least one day a week
  • Sit still less
I've been working lately on setting myself up for success with these goals. I ordered a fitbit (which should arrive friday) which will help me with the sitting still issue. For Christmas I got the Believe Training Journal which should keep me on track for both running, cross training goals and half marathon goals.

The eating goals should be ok, as long as I make it a priority to meal plan and prep once a week.

The next step will be to break those goals down into mini goals, with weekly and monthly targets. I'll save that for another post.

I still owe the race recap for the reindeer run. Hopefully I'll get some uninterrupted computer time at home New Years day to get that typed up.

Happy New Year everyone!

Monday, December 29, 2014

The wrong tendancies

I'm working on my goals for next year right now, and it's making me take a long hard look at where I am right now.

I don't like it.

I don't like how badly my exercise routine has suffered since summer. I don't like how out of control my eating has gotten. I don't like the fact that I'm pretty sure I gained 10 lbs over the Christmas weekend. I don't like how all of this has become a lower priority as other things have muscled their way to the top of the list.

Yes, some of those things, like sickness, job related stuff, and family time, are often out of my control, I need to start forcing myself to prioritize fitness again.

I need to stop with the "Oh well, today got away from me..."

I think all of my goals for next year will reflect that. Hopefully, all of them are attainable. I plan to break the big ones up into mini goals, shorter term things that I can realistically attain and keep myself motivated.

I owe a race recap for the Reindeer run (which was also my daughters first run.) I'm hoping to find some time tonight to sit down and wright it out, because there is a lot I want to say about it. In the meantime, I'll just post this picture of me and the girls (My daughter is the one in the white vest, who looks like she's about to cry. She was cold!)

Friday, December 19, 2014

I'll be running, till the love runs out

Last nights run was awesome. I felt good for the whole run, I hit my stride early and just kinda cruised. I was only planning on running for half an hour, but I was feeling good so I pushed it and finished out 3 miles instead.

It feels good to be back in the habit again.  Even more, it feels good to want to run again.

I'm working on putting together my goals for next year (I refuse to call them resolutions!) I think I can still manage to get trained up in time for the Half marathon I want to run in April.  I'm going back and forth about signing up for the training group I tried over the summer. It was a good experience, but I think I signed up for the more aggressive program, which lead to me burning out. I think if I sign up for the "Beginners" half training it'll go smoother. On the other hand, I did have a really hard time getting myself to go to the group runs, the weekday ones were either super early in the morning or right after work. I've got about a week and change to decide if I want to do it, or just use the training plan I have by myself.

Either way, I actually feel excited about running again, and that's a very good thing.

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Getting my Mojo back, and a long overdue Turkey Trot Recap

First, People, I do believe the malaise that I had fallen victim to these weeks gone by has finally lifted. I went for a run last night, and it was good.

It was a treadmill run, sure, but I was able to set my speed and cruse, and even do some faster sprints towards the end. The most important part, though, was that I enjoyed the run. I didn't just tolerate it. It left me looking forward to my next run, and super excited about the 5k this weekend.

Now about the Turkey Trot....

I was super nervous in the morning leading up to this race. First, it started way later than any other race I've run - it had a 10am start time. Second, I would have to take a shuttle bus. This was only the second time I'd had to take a shuttle bus to the start of a race, and the first time I would be doing it alone. Third, it was a 4.4 mile race, and I had not been running a lot, or long distances, for a while. I had done one 4 mile run on the treadmill the week before to make sure I could, but I had not run on pavement in weeks.

I packed myself up and got myself to the shuttle busses early, around 8:45, to make sure I got on a bus and to the start line on time.

This is where I made mistake #1, I left my gloves in the car. (This is foreshadowing. Yes it is.)

Proof that it was snowing!
The shuttle bus ride was quick. Once we got to the "start area" I kinda wandered around, half looking for some friends who were going to be doing the 2.2 mile route. Eventually I settled on tucking myself in at the edge of the "warming tent." I noticed right around this point that it was snowing. I took a photograph for proof, and because I was bored, posted it to Facebook. This would be my first ever race run in falling snow.

Freezing before the race
I was starting to get cold at this point. Really cold. Cold enough that I pulled my brand new buff up over my nose to try to warm up. I was really glad that I bought that thing. About 9:30 I started wishing I had brought my gloves with me.

The crowd before the start
Right around 9:50 people started meandering over to the start line, and I meandered right along with them. Apparently there were two start lines, with the 2.2 mile start line a little up the road from where we were starting. This proved to be problematic as they had to push the start time back a bit as people took their time getting off the road. But eventually we were off.

The race started on a moderate down hill, which made for a very fast start. Unfortunately that down hill was followed by a moderately steep up hill almost immediately. So right off the bat, I had to push hard up a hill, while still at that "OMG I'M RACING" pumped up pace, and no where near warmed up. I could feel the cold in my lungs, and I know it affected the rest of my race. I tried pulling the buff up over my nose a few times, but I was breathing so hard from that uphill that it just got in the way too much, so I settled my pace down a bit and just worked on recovering.

The race was a big loop, and after I settled into my pace, I started having a good time. The snow was falling gently, and it was just a really cool atmosphere. At some point in the race, the two distances merged for a while. Which was kinda cool and also kinda annoying. All of a sudden there were a ton of people, mostly walkers, in the road, and I had to do a lot of rabbeting back and forth to get around them. It was cool though, because most of the people doing the 2.2 were dressed up for the occasion, and were all in very festive moods.

The 4.4ers split off again after a while, and the crowd got thinner again. I spent a good portion of this second "4.4 only" bit leapfrogging a couple, the tall man type person was wearing a t-shirt that read "Operation Iraqi Freedom Veteran." I spent a lot of time thinking about how if he could get through that, I could get through 4 measly miles in the cold.

There were also a few firefighters running in full gear. They were from the Webster FD, which, in case anyone doesn't know was the department who lost two firefighters to a crazy ambush in 2012. It's also the department the younger brother of one of Hubs best friends. So I spent a lot of time thinking about that while I ran.

Let me tell you, this run was the perfect one to be doing on Thanksgiving. There were points when I was running that I was so thankful for so many things that I got a little choked up. When the snow was drifting down and i was just kinda cruising along, I thought about my Mom (who has Multiple Sclerosis and is wheelchair bound) and how lucky I am to be able to run.

We joined back up with the 2.2ers for the final leg into the park, where I had a few surprises. First was a big hill. Which was a bad surprise, but I managed to chug my way up it.

Then there was a downhill trail scramble. There were almost 5 thousand runners in this thing, and I was smack in mid pack, so around 2 thousand people had run down this hill before me. It was a muddy mess. I was doing ok, taking short, quick, light steps, when a real giant of a man went down, hard, right in front of me. I actually had to jump over him to avoid crashing down on top of him. I skidded to a stop and took a few steps back up the hill to make sure he was ok. He was, and was already getting up by the time I to up to him, so I turned back around and started down the final grassy stretch to the finish.

The crowd at the finish line was huge and really loud. I was able to kick my legs into a half sprint through the chute, and finish strong, despite the muddy conditions.

The crowds around the finish line
As I walked through the crowd I saw two of the firemen who had raced in full gear. I decided, in my race addled state, to thank them. I must have seemed like a crazy person walking up to them, holding out my hand and saying "I just wanted to say thank you." But it felt important to me that I do it. So yeah, I was that crazy person thanking random strangers.

The hardest part of this run, actually was afterwards, when I had to wait for a shuttle bus back to my car. It was a long, cold wait. I did however meet some really interesting people in line! This guy asked me about my hat, turns out his mom has MS as well. His dad was there running with him, turns out the guy was a Marine (well they both were), who was stationed with my Uncle for a while at Camp Lejeune . Weird small world sometimes!

New shoes officially christened!
Proof of the mud!

Overall it was a great race. Not my fastest, I averaged just over a 12 min/mile, but a solid effort. I was also able to do something I have never done before in a race, I was able to actually start passing people towards the end of the race, and give a final kick at the end. Knowing I wasn't completely spent after the race was a great feeling too. Even after standing in the shuttle bus line, I was able to do Thanksgiving dinner without needing a nap!

Kinda towards the back of the 4.4ers (the 2310), but I know I was ahead of a lot of the 2.2ers ^_~

Monday, December 15, 2014

Getting Motivated Again

After the past couple weeks of sickness, both the munchkin's and mine, I'm staring down the barrel of a 5k I signed up for. I haven't run in two weeks. I know the 5k will be fine, I will most definitely not PR, but I will finish it.

The race will also be the munchkin's first. I signed her up for the 1/2 mile kids race! I'm super excited to get her running, since she is already (at 2 1/2) enamored with running in her own toddler way. She plays "ready set go" with her Daddy, Standing at one end of the driveway and running to him at the other end, and will run in circles around our house telling me she gonna run "two miles!" She also, as I've said here before, is fascinated with watching me run, and also with the very fact that I run. She'll point to my sneakers when I'm lacing up and say "You go running mommy?" I'm hoping to keep that love alive in her as she gets past the energizer bunny stage.

Which is why it's so very important to me that I find that love again myself, and I think I'm starting to. The newest issue of Runners World showed up this weekend, and while idly flipping through the pages I felt that pang. That longing to be running that I haven't felt in a long time.

So this is it. My declaration that I will not give up. That I'm going to get myself moving again, and keep myself moving.

This will be my mantra:

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

The struggle

I've been having some serious issues with my motivation lately. I've still been able to get it together and force myself to run, but the love? The love is missing.

I still feel great during and after a run, but that totally obsessed, reading everything about running I can get my hands on, dreaming of new gear and new races, LOVE isn't there.

It's resulted in me kinda dropping the ball with the whole blog thing. I still have a turkey trot to recap (and boy was it a doozy of a run.) I've fallen way behind on reading my favorite blogs (which I feel awful about because I honestly enjoy reading them!)

I just...can't get the motivation up to do more than the minimum right now. Which is awful. I had hoped the Turkey Trot would kick me back into gear, and it did, running wise I guess. I've upped my milage during my runs. But I'm having a serious "meh" about the whole thing. It's just this thing I do. And if that Turkey Trot wasn't enough to bring back the love, I'm worried that nothing will. Seriously it was an amazing run.

I'm hoping I'm just tired, the munchkin has been sick just about every other week for the past month and a half. (I say just about because she got sick three weeks in a row in there) Right now it's Croup, which any parent of a kid who's had Croup can tell you, makes for very long nights.

I'll get to that turkey trot write up as soon as I can. Hopefully that'll bring back the love.

Monday, November 10, 2014

One more step back towards where I need to be.

I did get my run in thursday, a nice solid three mile run. I just set the treadmill and cruised, which is odd considering how....not level my pace chart turned out. Yes, my treadmill is awful, but it still works(ish) and it's better than running after dark outside around where I live.

So. Yeah Thursday run. It was fine I guess. Really just another run, which is awesome, because it means I'm getting back to where I was. Just doing three miles easy.

The next chance I got to run was Saturday, and I did another easy three miles. Right around two miles I started feeling....sluggish I guess is the best word. Just, kinda not into it. Not like I was working super hard, just....like my legs were definitely not fresh.

It occurred to me later that I'm actually dramatically upping my weekly milage right now. Going from not running, to one run, to two runs, and now getting three, three mile runs in in one week. I'm not surprised my legs felt off.

Other than the sluggish feeling in my legs for the last mile, the run was ok. Not great, but not terrible.

I've got two days off before the next run, so hopefully that'll be enough time for my legs to rest up and adjust. I'm going to try to add in one more run next week (run sat/sun.) And then, as long as that goes well, I'm going to go back to following a slow build up plan, and hopefully get myself back in half marathon shape to run the same half I ran this year, The Flower City Half. The race isn't until the end of April, so I should be ok stretching the plan out a bit, and working on increasing my speed after I build my distance back up.

More immediately, I've decided to throw caution to the wind and register for a local Turkey Trot. It's a 4.4 mile, relatively flat course. I plan on running it very conservatively, but I think it'll do my confidence good to get out there for a run on Thanksgiving.

It will also be a good test of how my body is dealing with the pace I'm putting miles back on. So far, I haven't had any bad issues, beyond the sluggish legs on saturday. I did get a wicked migraine on Sunday, but that had more to do with playing with the munchkin around than the runs. I really need to start working some strength training into my program if I intend to keep swinging my 35 lb. toddler around.

Maybe I'm getting ahead of myself, but it feels good to have a plan, and a few races to shoot for.

Thursday, November 6, 2014

Keeping it going.

Last week was kind of a bust run wise. A friend needed to do some emergency car shopping so we ended up watching her little girl (who is exactly five days older than the munchkin) on both of the days that I had runs planned. So, no runs, but plenty of toddler play time. Which I believe should count as a workout. For serious.

So far this week, I've gotten one run in, on Monday. I did an easy three miles on the treadmill, just kinda chugging along. The Hubs agreed that twice a week he will pick the munchkin up from daycare so I can go straight home and get my runs in. Tonight will be the second of those nights this week. I'm hoping to add in some outdoor runs on the weekend and get myself back into a regular workout groove again.

The run on Monday was good. It felt natural and comfortable. I didn't play with my pace too much, I just kinda cruised.

So far the new Mizuno's are working out well. They really do feel similar to my Brooks. Score one for Runners' World and their shoe reviews!

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.

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


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.

Monday, August 25, 2014

The Good, Bad and Ugly of the past few weeks

Lets start with the good.

I got two AMAZING runs in while on vacation in Maine. The island where I was staying had some serious elevation (one of my runs hit both 4 feet above sea level and 93 feet above sea level, and fluctuated between the two often!)

The first run, I had some issues right off the bat with my phone not finding the GPS signal, and not giving me accurate information while I was running. I got a few "Speed: Not Moving"followed by crazy fast times. So I just kinda ran an out and back at a comfortable pace. It was our second day on the island and I figured it was a good way to get acquainted with running on the island.

Since I didn't really know where I was going, I just kept taking the left option at every fork I came to, regardless of whether it took me higher or lower. I was rewarded with some awesome long climbs, some stunning views, the discovery of where one of the "Swimming quarries" was, and (right around where I decided to turn around) finding one of the working farms on the island.

On the run back I stopped to take a picture of one of the stunning views, but other than that, I did not have to stop or walk at all on the run. I felt comfortable during the run. I was able to enjoy the views, and reveled in the distinct smell of pine forest and ocean air combining.

When I got back to the cabin I was pleasantly surprised by my distance. 5.34 miles. Not bad for my first run on the killer hills on the island.

The next run I got in was on Tuesday. My SIL was out and wanted to do a run, so I did a two mile out and back, dropped her off and then kept running. The first two miles ended up being really fast. I'm horrible at pacing and with someone else there, I naturally run a little faster.

She just started running, and hasn't done a lot of hills. I felt kind of bad when, at the turn around, she had to ask me to slow down for her. She hadn't shown any signs of needing to slow down before that, but I know how it is when you don't want to be the first one to ask for a break. She hung tough though, and finished out the two miles.

The views made the hills (mostly) worth it.
I dropped her off at the turn off for the cabin we were staying at and kept going. I ran until I ran out of pavement, then turned around and headed back. I was purposefully not avoiding hills, and when I was short of milage (I had a goal of five miles) I ran up and down the hill by the turn off for our cabin.

Both runs felt great. For the first time in...well ever...The hills did not sap my strength. I was able to power up them and (in the words of one of the running coaches I've had lately) "Float over the top." I felt powerful, and fast, and free. When I got home I was not exhausted or drained, I was energized.

I had plans for more runs on the island, but they got side tracked, mostly, by all the good things that come with a huge family and lots of places to hike.

Now the bad.

I haven't run since the island. Not a single step. Part of it has been that we got incredibly busy when we got back, both catching up after vacation and preparing for the next out of town excursion (This weekend, to Chicago, for my BROTHERS WEDDING YAY!!!!) The other reason is....

The Ugly.

I seem to have somehow injured myself. The day after the last run I did on the island, I noticed a shooting pain going up my shin when I walked. It was most notable when I was going down stairs. I didn't think much of it, figured I'd rest up for a day or two, and it would resolve itself. Except it hasn't. I still notice some pain when walking, and still get shooting pains up my shin when I'm going down stairs (landing on the balls of my feet.) I don't have time to see the doctor this week (see above note about my BROTHER GETTING MARRIED!!!!) so an accurate diagnosis will have to wait, however, I'm not taking any chances on making it worse. I'm going to try for some short runs this week/weekend (I really want to run the lakeshore in Chicago while I'm there.)

I'm almost definitely dropping out of the half marathon training group I'm in. With less than a month to go, there is no way I can sync back up with the plan and follow it through to the half marathon.

I think, if I heal up in the next week or so, I can get myself ready for the race on my own. Maybe. That's a call I'll have to make closer to game day. We'll see.

Monday, August 18, 2014

Back to Life, Back to Reality

We got back from Vacationing in Maine last night. I have so much to post about, I need to get it all organized and do a huge post.

There was a lot of hiking, relaxing, and lobster eating.

I actually managed to get two runs in during the week of vacation. That makes me a real runner, right?

Monday, August 4, 2014

A good couple runs, and a scare.

So I'm not doing the greatest keeping the blog updated...But I am managing to keep most of my running schedule.

Wednesday there was no run. I really do not have time for a run on Wednesday, even with trying to get up early. I get up, the kidlet gets up, it's all over.

Thursday, I hit the treadmill late, around 8:30, after the kidlet was in bed. I had four miles on the schedule, but I had missed a seven mile run on wednesday, so I decided to see if I could cram in some extra milage. I started out keeping the treadmill on "slow and steady", but I was watching Fringe, so whenever an exciting chase would come on, I'd bump up the speed and cruise for a bit. I really wasn't trying for any sort of speed or interval pace, so I guess you could call this a Fartlek run? I ended up hitting five miles right around one hour in, and realized that it was getting late. I needed to get off the treadmill and try to wind down enough to fall asleep, so I called it at the five mile mark.

Saturday, I was supposed to go to the Long Group Run, however, I was in rough shape when I woke up. Friday Night we had opted to go out to dinner with friends, something we haven't done in a long time. It was awesome to get out without the child for a bit, however it resulted in a late bedtime (11:30) and apparently a hangover (Two drinks, really?!) So I spent Saturday recovering.

Sunday, I did my postponed long run. I had eight miles on the calendar. I started out on my normal "long run" route, from my house to my parents. The first mile sucked, and then I got into my rhythm, and the next four miles felt awesome. I kept thinking about the last run, and how awful it felt, and how much of a difference the weather made in my run. It was cool, humid, but cloudy, so the humidity didn't feel awful.

Around mile six I started having to work for it. It wasn't awful, but I made the decision to deviate from my normal route (Up off the canal path through the village and to my parents house) mainly because of the thought of facing the long uphill at the end. I decided to stay on the Canal path past Pittsford. Right after Shoen Place in Pittsford, the trail stops being paved and turns into a really nice, freshly graded, gravel path, with plenty of shade. I finished out my milage doing a short out and back along that part of the trail, then called my Dad for a pick up. I ended up walking an extra half mile-ish to meet my Dad.

I ran the 8 miles a little slow (average pace 13:24) but I ended feeling good, and without walking.

Then the scariness happened. So, I have some sort of undiagnosed vertigo problem. I've been to the doctor several times to figure out what it is, but they've, so far, been unable to figure out what causes my occasionally intense bouts of dizziness. The most recent thought was that it was migraines, sans pain. Last night, well after the run, (and a shower, and dinner, and grocery shopping), I stood up from the couch, walked about three feet, and promptly realized I was about to pass out. I managed to hold onto the baby gate between our living and dining room and put my head down long enough for the Hubs to come over and "help" me to the floor. I was sitting, leaning against him when I apparently did pass out. I came to lying on my back on the floor, with a very worried Husband checking my pulse. The dizziness was in full effect after that, and I ended up just going to bed super early to try to shake it.

I do not believe the dizziness was related to the run, although it may have had something to do with the soreness in my shoulders and back from carrying the camelback. However, this is the first time I have actually passed out from it, so I'm going to be calling my doctor and pushing for some answers.

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Tuesday morning, hit the ground running

Yes, I got up for another am run! I think this may be a record! Bad news, I did not get up in time for the group run in the morning, but I did drag my carcass out of bed early enough to get the five miles I needed done on the treadmill.

Part of me is really enjoying the treadmill runs. It may be because I'm actually interested in watching Fringe, and I'm not letting myself watch it except when I'm on the treadmill. So, I end up wanting to get on the treadmill to watch Fringe....weird, I know.

Anyways, I dragged myself out of bed with the "One hour of extra sleep isn't going to do you any good" argument, and well I wouldn't say "hopped" on the treadmill, more like, "hoisted myself onto" the treadmill.

I wasn't feeling awesome, so I started out at a "slow" pace. My calves weren't feeling all that great, I could tell my legs were still fatigued from Sunday's long run, so I tried to take it easy.

Other than the tired legs, the run was feeling good, until I realized that I was rapidly running out of time before I needed to hit the showers before work. So I cranked the speed and did some "intervals" trying to power through the last mile and change.

And here's where I realize I really need a new treadmill, or at least a good accurate watch for tracking my speed and distance on the treadmill. See my treadmill is all wonky, so I never know how fast I'm going. The Nike+ app gives me accurate distances, and somewhat accurate speeds, but for some reason it's not giving me my splits and now the graph thing is all messed up too. The distance markers on the graph only to up to mile four for some reason, even though the milage accurately reflects the five miles I ran.

So according to their chart, I was averaging around 11:30 min/miles for most of my run (the 'slow' bit), and did between 10:30 & 10:50 on my faster bits. Who knows how accurate that is though.

My legs still feel a little off, so I'm going to do some stretching and foam rolling tonight to hopefully get them sorted. I'm supposed to run tomorrow, but it's going to be hard for me to fit a run in around my work schedule (wednesday is my late day,) so we'll see if that happens.

Monday, July 28, 2014

Run Run Run in the Sun Sun Sun

So my running week was a bit spotty, but I'm not stressing it. I got most of the work done, and even slogged out a horrifically hot nine miler on Sunday.

We'll start with Thursdays run. I didn't have time to do a run until late late late, after the munchkin was in bed. So I started my run at 9 pm(ish), and since it was a four mile run, didn't finish until almost 10:00. Woooo hoo! I was using my nike plus running app again, which is still messed up, so I don't know my splits, but you can see on the little graph how I ran. Kinda kept it slow and steady for most of the run, then kicked it up at the end. The ups and downs on the chart confuse me, since I'm running on a treadmill at a set speed, but whatever. The run felt good, and I felt good afterwards.

Friday was a rest day, and then, Friday night, Insomnia struck, and struck hard. I didn't manage to fall asleep until well after 2 am. Which meant there was no way I was getting up at 5 to make the Saturday morning paced run. In fact, I was such a wreck from the lack of sleep, and had so much other life type stuff to do, no running happened at all on Saturday.

So my long run was Sunday. I was aiming for 10 miles. I set out as early as I could, which ended up being right around 11 am. I suited up, filled up my camel back, promised the Hubs that I would take it easy and call if I got overheated, and headed out the door. My plan was to do the route to my parents (nine miles) and tack on the extra mile running around their neighborhood.

As soon as I started I knew it was going to be a rough run. It was hot, and humid, and I realized as I ran how little shade there was on the route. In fact, I don't think there was any in the first two miles. Also I was running too fast, I knew that. Kept trying to dial it back, but was having trouble finding that "happy pace."

By the time I turned on to the canal path around mile two, I started thinking seriously that I might not be able to finish out the run. I slowed down even further and some point around here took my first walk break.

A lot of this run bleeds together in my head, because I was way overheated. I was drinking water like a fiend (I think I just about finished the entire camelback), but at some point that stopped really helping much.

At mile three I did stop at a water fountain to run water over my hands and wrists and splash some on my face and neck. That (and I suspect standing in the shade) seemed to help a lot, and I felt better for a while.

I kept on with the run walk, walking whenever I started to feel overheated, I would slow down and walk for a bit. I really am not sure how often I was walking, I was doing it all on feel, just trying to get as many miles in as possible.

I made a deal with myself to finish out five miles at least. When I got to the five mile mark, there was a water fountain. As I was walking up to it to splash water on myself, another runner came up to fill his water bottle. I asked him if he wanted to go first, and he told me to go ahead. He asked how far I was going, and I said 10 miles. He then told me, "I'm 13 into 20, and I don't think I'm gonna make it." I think he was glad for the excuse to stand around while I was splashing myself with water.

Of course I couldn't quit after that, so I kept up with the run walk, debating the whole time if and when I should call it. And I kept convincing myself to keep going. Even as the runs got shorter and the walks got longer.

I did call it at nine miles though. I just couldn't convince myself to do the extra loops to make the tenth mile. I dragged myself into my parents house, ate some ice chips, changed into my bathing suit, and got in the pool. I'm not going to lie, the thought of getting into that pool was what kept me going for the last couple of miles.

It was about this time that I realized I had forgotten sunscreen before my run, as there was a very visible line where my RoadID had been. Add to that that I also realized I was seriously dehydrated. Even with all the water I had been drinking I didn't need to go until around 9pm, which was the point where it really hit me just how dehydrated I had been.

Looking at it now, I should have called the run earlier, but I really felt like I had to make the distance, since I've been falling so far behind on my training schedule.

Looking ahead we've got a drop back week this week (long run of 8 miles) so I should be able to recover some ground.

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Solid AM run

I got to bed early last night, and even managed to get my gear laid out so it would be quick to get on for the morning speed work session. My stomach had other ideas.

I was up at 5:30, which should have been enough time to get dressed and out the door and to the Armory (which is less than five minutes from my house.) However, three trips to the bathroom later, I called it.

Between the time constraint (I was most likely going to be late at that point,) and the likelihood of another necessary bathroom trip, I decided to do the distance option on the treadmill. It was five miles, so I set my pace to what felt easy, set up the next episode of Fringe, and just chugged along.

Side note: Chase scenes in Fringe are great for making you unconsciously run faster.

Around mile 1.5 I had to jump off the treadmill for a quick pit stop. I was very happy with my choice to use the treadmill at that point.

Towards the end of my run, I realized I was running out of time, I still had to shower and get dressed for work, and it was getting awfully close to 7:00 (I have to be at work by 8, but I can usually make it if I leave the house by 7:30, yay for short commutes!) So I pushed the speed a bit, cranking it out to hit five miles.

It felt good to get the run in before work, and even though I was horrifically sweaty (still need to find a fan to put in there,) the run felt comfortable. Not easy like I should have been pushing harder, but a comfortable level of effort.

My knee felt good on this run, but since I didn't really have enough time to stretch, my calves are not happy with me now. I'm going to spend some quality time with my foam roller tonight.

In other news, I got an email back from the Trainer for the training group and She basically told me that it was awesome that I was listening to my body and not trying to push it too hard. She said she wanted to discuss it with me in person before she switched up my training plan.

Thursday is the monthly Pub Run, and I'm going to try to get to that. If I do, I'll talk to her then, if not I'll have to track her down on Saturday at the Long Run. Either way I'll have a plan to move forward with after this week, which feels good.

After last weeks Whine Fest, this week is bringing the positive back!

Monday, July 21, 2014

An Awful, No Good, Very Bad Week.

Last week was kind of a non-starter. I missed two runs entirely, and only managed three short runs all week.

Tuesdays speed work crashed and burned after the tempo repeats. My leg started bothering me during the last repeat so I cut out the "hill" section (sprinting for 20 seconds). Which left me with a short 2.86 mile run in the books.

Saturday, I was really busy so decided to move my long run to Sunday. I did a solid 5 miles. Nothing to write home about, but I did average 11'14" a mile. Unfortunately, there seems to be something wrong with my Nike+ app, so the splits are all messed up.

Sunday the weather was nasty rainy out, so I opted for a treadmill run again. I was going to try for the full long run distance on my calendar (13.1 miles), but figured I might have to cut it short due to time. (I could only really run until the munchkin woke up from her nap.) I settled into a nice 11 min/mile pace for the first 3 miles, just kinda crusin' and watching Fringe (I decided to start watching that from the beginning since I never really got into it before, I'm only on episode two right now.) Then my left knee (the bad knee) started bothering me. Not too badly, but just feeling kinda wonky.  So I slowed it down a bit, and kept chugging on. By mile five my knee was starting to complain loudly, so I made the call to finish out the hour and then stop (I was right around 50 something minutes at the time.) I ended up with an hour long run and 5.37 miles in the books.

I'm trying not to feel too defeated by my runs this past week, to just write it off as a bad week and move on.

Two weird things about the week, one is that I honestly think running on the treadmill is what's bugging my knee. I haven't had issues with it all season, and now it's acted up on two out of three treadmill runs. Also, I sweat a lot on the treadmill. I'm not sure if it's just because it's hotter in my house, or if I'm running faster, or the sweat evaporates better outside, but by the time I'm done on the treadmill, I'm drenched.

Ok, putting this behind me and moving on.

Monday, July 14, 2014

A long run, and some sore shoulders

My long run this weekend was supposed to be an 11 miler. Spoiler alert, it wasn't. However, it was an awesome run.

I stayed with the 13 minute pace group for this run, both because I feel more comfortable at that pace, and because I really enjoyed the group when I ran with them a couple weeks ago.

I had made the decision to wear my camelback for this run. There was no way I was risking running out of water again! This is the first time I've run serious distance with the pack on, and I was a little worried about it.

I told the pacer that I was supposed to do an extra three miles (the base run for the majority of the group was eight miles.) When we took off, I settled in right behind the pacer to talk to a woman I'd talked with a bunch the last time I ran with the group.

At first, like before, the pace felt super slow. I spent a lot of time keeping myself from speeding past the pacer. Eventually I ended up running right next to her and talking with her. She is a beast! She was telling me about all the races she's run, including 50k races and mountain races.

A little less than half way, we had a "photo Op" stop, where they had all the pace groups taking photos for the Fleet Feet 10th Anniversary. The 14 min mile pace leader (who had no one in her group today!) had been trailing right behind us (running much faster than her pace I'm guessing,) and took the picture for us. I took the opportunity to start "sippin" my Gu that I had brought for the run.

This was the first time I used Gu while running somewhere other than the treadmill. I actually had a lot of trouble "eating" it fast enough. I did find myself needing to take a drink of water with each "sip" from the packet, and found my mouth felt really dry while I was taking the Gu. I ended up only having half the packet. Which presented a problem, as I had to cary the half full packet of Gu as we ran, looking for somewhere to throw it out. I'm still not completely sold on the Gu, but I'm not ruling it out yet. Next week I'm going to go with the Honey Stinger Chews and see how those work out.

A little past the half way point (so about a mile after the photo op) one of the Coaches had set up a water stop. She was almost out of water (the sucky part of being in the "slow" group I guess.) But had enough for a few people to fill up their water bottles. The Camel Back was still pretty full, so I didn't bother trying to fight for water.

When we started running again, my legs felt awful. For the next quarter mile I felt like I had lead in my shoes. It was a really odd feeling. Luckily, it wore off relatively quickly and I was able to get into a nice rhythm again.

The second part of the run had some serious uphills, but I was still feeling strong. I stayed right with the pacer and was still able to have a conversation, even while powering up a few hills. The only hill I really had a problem with came around the six and a half mile mark. It was an underpass along East ave, going under the highway. It was really sunny and warm at that point and after we passed under the highway, the road went up sharply, for a really long time (it seemed.) By the time we crested the hill, I was more than grateful for the brief stop we had to make because of a red light.

After that hill, I was feeling it, but I was still able to hang right with the pace leader. I wasn't quite as talkative, but I was still keeping up. The last hill, over an overpass, took a lot out of me, and I really had to push to crest it, falling a little behind the pacer. She thought we were short on distance (although my map says we weren't) so she lead us on a tour around the parking lots to make up the 0.2 mile distance.

Unfortunately, this tour lead us right past a rank dumpster.

As soon as we got next to the dumpster, I gagged. The smell totally did me in, and I had to stop, almost dead in my tracks, and put my head down to keep from puking. It was awful.

So I stopped my run right there and walked my way across the parking lot to the store. My legs were pretty spent at that point, so I called it, and did not go back out for the additional three miles. I felt good about the eight miles, but I wasn't ready to push it any further.

I'm actually really glad I didn't, because there was an unexpected side effect of wearing the camelback. My shoulder started aching later that night, and by Sunday morning were so bad off they were sore to the touch. So I canned my planned run for Sunday in favor of some light yoga and rest.

Unfortunately I have a toddler, so there wasn't much rest, and the shoulders made sleeping Sunday night problematic. However, I'm feeling much better this morning, so I'm going to try to do a makeup run tonight.

After chatting with some of the other people in the pace group, and evaluating how burt out I've been feeling, I have come to the conclusion that I may have signed up for the wrong training plan. There are two half marathon training plans, Beginner and Advanced. I signed up for Advanced based on the description (for people with one or more half marathons under their belt and 20 miles a week base milage.) I met both of those requirements at the time, however I now believe that I belong in the beginners group. I've emailed the coach about it, and am waiting to see what they say.