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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.


  1. Well done on the runs while on vacation! I was just in Chicago and it was HOT! Be careful with your shin. It could just be shin splints?

  2. Youch hope you heal up quickly! I wonder if compression socks will help? Great job getting those runs in while on vacation though!