Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Huge new milestone!

(Note: This post was originally supposed to have been posted last week, but for some reason was saved in the drafts folder)

I think I need to come to terms with the fact that I just won't be updating in this blog as often as I'd like. Rich and I had a conversation the other day about people who think that going out for a run is just that - going out for a run. You run for a half hour or hour or couple hours, whatever it may be, and that's the end of it. I guess for the actual "run" part, that's true. And maybe for people who were "born runners" that's true as well. I, however, was not a born runner. And there is just so much more that goes into running than the actual run itself, and so much of that is TIME! I need time to heal, with my legs up, not doing anything. I need time to ice my calves. I need time to massage my legs (or when it's real bad, have Rich massage them for me). I need time to map out my runs. I need time to plan for the big runs. And then I need time for everything else that got neglected during that time - making food, grocery shopping, cleaning/laundry, paying bills, checking e-mails, and then just plain old work too on top of it. Running takes up way more time than most people think!

Anyway, my huge new milestone... I did 6 miles over the weekend! Woo hooooo!! The whole week was kind of screwed up as I had to delay the prior Saturday's long run to Monday. I had a case of "fat foot" again after a 2nd trip to NJ. I guess being in the car that long, even if I do stop to stretch and move around, just isn't that good for me. So I let the foot heal over the weekend, and did Saturday's 5 on Monday. This meant that Monday's 3 was pushed to Wednesday, and Wednesday's 4 was pushed to Thursday. Keeping up? :) Saturday I was determined to get back on track despite already doing 12 miles in a week that should have been 7. I had planned on getting up earlier in the day to try to get the run done while it was still on the cooler side, but we slept in later than I had planned. We didn't want to go out right in the middle of the day when it was too warm, so we went out late afternoon. Rich did his run down at the trail, and left about a half hour or so before I went out. I did the loop within the apartment complex. Rich got back when I was at the end of 3 miles, and already feeling rather horrible. I kept on going though! Rich was nice enough to come outside at the end of miles 4, 5, and 6 with some fresh cold water for me, and a bowl of ice water with a washcloth to cool me down with. Long runs and heat/humidity are just not a good match for each other! Nevertheless, I was able to complete all 6 miles though! When I went inside, Rich had made me a makeshift medal to mark my first 10k run. :) It was one of the sweetest things ever, and I swear if I had an extra ounce of energy left in me I would have just started crying. It was one of my proudest moments - being able to complete that run :) Almost halfway there now!!

Saturday, August 3, 2013

It's been a couple weeks...

Hey all! I have been slacking with the blog posts but not with the running itself. I have done pretty well sticking to the plan, but needed a little bit of tweaking this past week. I went to NJ last week Thursday (7/25) to visit my BFF and see Bon Jovi at MetLife Stadium (which was AWESOME!). Thursday was a rest day which worked out well, and Friday was only supposed to be a one mile run. I planned ahead and brought my running stuff with me, and planned out a tiny route around Jamie's place so I could be sure to get my run in on Friday morning. Saturday was supposed to be a 3 mile, but that one didn't happen. The combination of being stuck on the bus for so long on the way home, plus the train that got me from NJ to NY, and I'm sure the number of drinks I had on Friday night also, did a number on my feet and they were just so so so swollen. I call it "fat foot". I had to change things up and take care of myself for a few days so I didn't cause any additional injury. So I just tried to load up on water, stay as far away from sodium as possible, and stay off my feet (keeping them elevated) whenever I could. So other than the mile walk between Penn Station & Port Authority on Saturday afternoon, no walk/run happened between Saturday & Monday.

The runs for the week were supposed to be Monday, Wednesday, Friday, & Saturday. Rich and I switched it up so that we'd end up doing a run on Tuesday, Thursday, & Saturday instead and still get the same amount of mileage in. Tuesday night was pretty nice - still on the warmer side, but the humidity wasn't as terrible as it had been in the past week weeks. We went to the track at the high school and it was a nice change. I used to love running on this track when I first started running. I know it doesn't really replicate what it'll be like to run on the actual ground, but my joints definitely appreciate the bounciness of the track floor. It's different than the track at the indoor gym - more bouncy I'd say. Thursday night we went to the indoor gym and did 2 miles there.

I did end up buying the compression sleeves that had been recommended to me by several people. My calves have continuously given me problems and I was hoping they'd help. They don't do much to get me through the runs - I'm still feeling the calf tightness while running, even with them on. But I have found that if I put them on when I get home, and usually wear them to bed as well, that they help my recovery a lot more. They feel a little weird - I actually still feel like I'm wearing them even after I take them off. But my legs don't feel sore at all the next day.

Today is supposed to be a 4 mile run. I am pretty sure this will be the longest I've done since doing the Manchester Road Race on Thanksgiving in 2011. It's been a long time since I've done more than 3 miles! I think that being out there today doing that will really make this 13.1 start to sink in that it is an actual thing. Hopefully we can hold off until later this evening with no rain and do the run out on the high school track again. Will try to update tomorrow!

Monday, July 15, 2013

No blood, but lots of sweat and some tears...

Today officially started week 3 of training, and it was a pretty rocky start. The plan today was to do a one mile run and a one mile power walk. It was absolutely disgusting outside today, and is only supposed to be hotter for at least the next week (heat indexes going up to 105+). As of right now (8:00pm), it is 84* out, with a heat index of 90*. The dewpoint is 73*. It's just gross. Again we went to the gym, and I decided I'd try to switch things up a little bit tonight and try doing the treadmill (aka dreadmill) instead of the indoor track.

I got on the first treadmill and did 1/2 mile power walk. My plan was to alternate a half of each. I did great up to that point even though even with just the walk it was so hot in there that I was already dripping wet. I then ran for a quarter mile, but my calves started to seize up, so I wanted to stretch them a little bit. The touchscreen monitor on the treadmill didn't work and I had to stop the machine altogether so that I could stretch a little bit. I ended up just wiping down the machine and then switching to the other side of Rich. I got on that one and did another quarter mile of power walking, and another quarter mile of running, but this one was directly in the light of the setting sun. That whole side of the gym is just all large windows. This lets in so much sun/heat in the late afternoon/early evening that there's no way that the A/C can keep up in there. I felt like I was going to die after I did that last 1/4 mile. Rich had already finished his 2 miles at that point. I was only at a mile and a quarter. I switched on to his machine which was directly facing the wall so it actually had no sun on it. I ran .20 once I got on that one but couldn't do the .25. I then walked until .35, then ran until .45, then walked, etc. until I got to .75 and had completed the 2 miles.

I was DRENCHED! Through almost the entire workout I could just feel the heat coming off my chest. I just felt so hot; hot like I had never felt before. I had my water with me but drank almost all of it. I just could not cool down. By the time I finished the 2 miles I thought I was going to vomit. I was scared that I'd vomit right there in front of everyone. Rich was doing some shoulder work over in the corner so I let him know I was going to the bathroom. I wanted to put some cool water on my face. It was an automatic faucet that I couldn't control the temperature of - and it was just hot. Also, there were no paper towels in there either. Ugh. I could also feel my start want to start to cry when I was there. I didn't really know what I was feeling at the time. I just didn't feel good. Nothing about me at that moment felt good.

I walked back out into the gym and Rich was on the machine for your back, and said that was his last one. I told him I was going downstairs to get some cool water & a paper towel, and my purse. Two out of three ain't bad I guess - no paper towels in the downstairs bathroom either. They did have some cooler water in there though and looking in the mirror as I poured it over my face, I just could not believe how red my face was. I started to fight back tears again while I was in the bathroom. I just wanted to get home and into some A/C at that point. I couldn't hold back any longer though once I was in the car. Rich was asking how my workout went, and telling me to just keep at it. And I just started tearing there in the car. I think I was just exhausted at that point. When I got home, I sat on the floor of the kitchen to do my stretching and I just started to cry. I know I had given my workout my all, and battled through the heat even when I wanted to stop. But I didn't complete the workout I was supposed to. More walking than running. And I was worried about how I'd do at the next workout because I know either the next one or two from now is supposed to be all running and my body just isn't there. And then I start wondering what will happen if the next 13 weeks all end up being workouts like today, where I feel like I just can't do anymore. And what if I just never improve past this point? Rich said that training isn't supposed to be perfect; it's just supposed to be training. I'm proud of myself for sticking with it though and giving it my all. I told him that I was at the point where I felt like I was going to vomit by the end of it and he told me that I should really give myself a pat on the back then if I was able to get myself to that point. I stretched, I hopped in the shower, and then I started to blog. On Wednesday at the next workout, I will put today behind me and let the new workout be a new workout.

Just keep swimming...

Sunday, July 14, 2013

Week 2 - DONE!

It's been a few days so I was determined to write something tonight!! The schedule had to get tweaked a little bit again this week but I am still pretty much on track. Wednesday night was another 1 mile jog/walk which felt like hell. My cardio/breathing was ok, but the calves again... ugh. I have been researching the issues I'm having the last few days and I think I'm going to try out a potassium supplement and the runner's stick. It seems that a majority of my running buddies with similar issues have had success with those so I'm gonna give them both a shot. I did stick with it the full time though - walking one half of the 1/4 mile track, and then running the other half. I have started seeing some other folks at the gym at the same time I go. A very friendly woman has been there the last few times with her 2 daughters. She stopped to ask me my name and introduced herself to me the last time I saw her. Her name's Sharee (sp?) and her daughter that plays volleyball there is Bailey, and for the life of me I can't remember the name of her younger daughter other than it starts with an A. Anyway, nice people though, and kind of nice to see familiar faces :)

Had to go back to the dentist AGAIN on Friday and given my anxiety issues, I had to take the Ativan on Thursday night and on Friday before the appt. I always think I can beat the side effects but it ends up wiping me out every time. I took a nap after the appt on Friday and then got up to get some stuff done. Rich got home and I told him I just wanted to lay down for another hour - this was around 4:15ish. I woke up at 8pm. So much for Friday's workout. It was supposed to be a 3 mile power walk, so we switched that to tonight instead and just did 3 miles on the bike. I was exhausted after work today but got the 3 mile ride in anyway. AND I added in an upper body workout as well. I have been neglecting that because I've really been taking my "rest" days seriously and not doing any cross-training. It felt good to get that all in, but good Lord was it hot at the gym tonight though! Yesterday we got in the actual workout we were supposed to of the 2 mile run/walk. Same calf issues still, but I pressed through it. I drove 4 hours round-trip later in the day which I don't think helped my legs too much, but they weren't sore or anything today. I am going to ice them a little bit tonight.

Tomorrow we will be back on track for starting Week 3. I feel pretty good about being done with 2 weeks worth of training already and for staying on track for the most part the entire time. I got all the workouts in, just had to switch up the days a couple times. I think the intensity might kick up a little bit this week so I'm a little bit nervous, but still gonna give it my all!

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Week 2, Run #1

I missed my post last night, so I'm making up for it today even though it's a rest day. It felt good to actually run last night. It was only a mile, but I am glad that we're finally to the running portion of this training plan. The plan was one mile walk/jog. Nasty hot/humid weather again, so we went to the track. It's 1/4 mile, so we walked half way around and then ran the other half. Almost immediately upon running I could feel the cramps in my calves. Other than the cardio/breathing aspect of running, this is usually my #1 problem I encounter during a run. I am hoping to figure out what really causes this issue for me the most, find a way to work through it, and overcome the issue so that it's not something I encounter from the start of the 13.1. From what I researched today (it was my day off) it could be a couple of medical-ish issues (I forget the acronyms), but dehydration is also a major contributor. I know I have trouble keeping myself hydrated enough during my runs, so I'm hoping that they actually are related and I can kill two birds with one solution.

Rich and I watched a documentary tonight called "Running With Demons". It wasn't all that I thought it was going to be, but it was still interesting anyway. It was about an ex-addict who overcame his addiction with running, and this film documented him running a 300+ mile ultra-triathlon in Canada over the course of 3 days. I was hoping it was going to be more about Todd's running and getting others into running, but they did spend a lot of time talking about his backstory on the addiction. It wasn't a bad movie, just not really what we were looking for. While watching, we did some rolling out. Rich has a foam roller that I absolutely hate. I guess I haven't really given it a fair shot, and I know it's *supposed* to hurt, I just don't like it. He bought a 3-pack of tennis balls today, so I gave it a shot with one of those on my calves. I could definitely feel some sore hot-spots in there! Rich said we should be rolling out every night when watching TV. Hopefully I'll start feeling a little more comfortable with feeling uncomfortable?

Sunday, July 7, 2013

Week 1 - DONE!

Technically yesterday marks the end of week one, but we had to shuffle the days around a little bit with the holiday thrown in there this past week. So tonight actually ended up being the final night of week one. We had to double up - a workout yesterday and one day where there was supposed to be a rest day in-between. We also have one scheduled for tomorrow. Kind of a hectic three days, but it will be worth it in the end!

Yesterday and today's workouts were a 3-mile "power-walk". Weird. The whole time I just felt like I wanted to start running. It was a weird pace, not being a run but not being a walk either. It actually made me aware of some muscles I'm not used to feeling. Rich thinks this is because with running we strike about mid-foot and sometimes closer to the toe, but with the power-walking it's more of a heel strike. There was nothing painful about the workouts at all; just a little bit of tightness in the legs. I kept track of my pace while we were out also so I could make sure that I was doing the 2nd and 3rd mile at the same pace as the first one. Again yesterday & today we were at the gym due to the weather. Humidity is still brutal - right now it is 81* and the dewpoint is 76*. Yesterday I did the track and Rich was on the treadmill. Today we both did the track and kept at about the same pace. Neither of us put the ipods on today; we just went at about the same pace and got to talk most of the time. Rich said we'll blink and it'll be time for the 13.1 - that the time is going to fly by. I'm not quite sure how I feel yet? Right now it just feels like we're going too slow. But I know when we get up to doing about 5 or 6 miles straight I'll wish we were back at this pace!

For now I'm just trying to stick to the plan, watch my diet but not get incredibly anal over it, and keep up with the rest of life in the remaining time we have. It seems like whatever time is leftover we're either at the grocery store or doing laundry! I'm proud that we managed to get all of week 1's workouts in though even with the holiday this past week. It was a rather hectic one, but I know that if I can manage through a hectic week, that an easier week should seem like a breeze. So far so good on updating the blog on workout days also!

104 days, 8 hours, 28 minutes & change til 13.1!

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Week 1, Day 2

We just got back from the gym a little bit ago for workout #2 of this training plan. Still a pretty easy workout for the most part - it was a 3 mile walk at normal pace. It was actually supposed to be last night's workout and today was supposed to be a rest day, but I had a brutal migraine yesterday and we decided to reschedule a little bit.

We went to the gym tonight because it was about 88* still at 6pm, and humidity has been pretty high. Even as I write this now at 9:00pm, it is 79*, dewpoint is 73*, and it's 80% humidity. make the "feel like" temp 83*. Gross. So we decided to make today an indoors one. Rich did the 3 miles on the treadmill, and I did mine on the indoor track. It still started feeling pretty gross in there after the first few laps. Overall it wasn't too bad at all. Legs feel a little bit tired, but that's about it. Time for dinner now, and perhaps we'll catch some fireworks out the front window?

108 days, 6 hours, and 55 minutes til 13.1!

Sunday, June 30, 2013

111 Days Until Myrtle Beach!

As I write this tonight, Rich and I are watching "Spirit of the Marathon." We've seen it before, but how inspiring though! People of all shapes and sizes, training for the Chicago Marathon. It was the one that I was supposed to do last fall, and probably goes without saying that it was one that I didn't do. Lots of things got in the way of it, but they're all things that I let get in the way. Things that seemed, at the time, more important than my goal. I pushed off the running, especially longer distances, for too many weeks, and then there just wasn't time to train for the long distances that I would really need on a 26.2 mile race. In the end, we went to Chicago, but I stood on the sidelines and cheered, and Rich completed his second marathon. I'm disappointed in myself for not finishing something that I started, or completing a goal. But everything happens for a reason. And perhaps that reason was just to be there on the sidelines to cheer people along in preparation of their last mile of that course; or to give people homemade bracelets letting them know that they were inspiring me for the future.

And what happened last year brought me to where I am today. Today marks Day 1 of my training for the Myrtle Beach Mini Marathon on 10/20/13. This will be my first half. I'm not sure why I didn't aim for that first instead of a full? But anyway, my goal is the 13.1 in October! This will surprisingly, be Rich's first half as well, and I'm pretty sure he'll be training by my side for much of the next 4 months. I'm nervous, but also excited. Coming off the high from last weekend of completing the Down & Dirty 5k (I hope to do a separate post on that), I really do feel like I can do anything. I am confident that I now know the results I am capable of when I put in lots of hard work. I'm sure I'll make some people upset when I have to pass on some stuff that they'd love for me to do. But I know I wrote that same line when I decided to run Chicago last year, and I didn't stick with it, and that's what caused me to miss out. I won't, and I can't, let myself make that same mistake again this year.

I was thinking today when Rich and I were out for the first day of training - I had read quite a while back that someone had mentioned something about the "half" marathon. We don't call a 5k a "half 10k". We call it what it is - a 5k. So why do we call a 13.1 a "half marathon"? I feel like it kind of lessens how big the race actually is. A 13.1 mile race is a long race! So I told Rich today that I'm going to stop calling it the half marathon, and only call it "the 13.1" or "the race".

Being the first day of training, it was pretty simple. We just did a 2 mile walk, so we stayed here at the complex. The straightaway from the beginning of the complex up to the stop sign is 1/4 mile, so we walked down & back 4 times. In total we probably did closer to 2 1/2 miles if you count the short walk from that straightaway to our door. It was 76* out, which is a decent temperature, but the dewpoint was 70. This equals, disgustingly humid. The hills at our complex and the humidity (training in rough stuff) will make the race itself seem like a breeze hopefully. Consistency is key though, and even though I've said this many times before, I'd like to remain consistent with this blog during my training as well. Here's to an awesome next 111 days!

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Coincidences & New Beginnings

I'm going to try to incorporate a couple different things in here, so forgive me if I'm a little scattered! I meant to write on Saturday, but we rearranged the family Easter dinner to Saturday, and then on Sunday Rich and I just had a nice, relaxing day.

Between Rich and I tag-teaming with the flu in the earlier part of the year, and the numerous dental issues I had to deal with during this month, as well as getting used to a new schedule at work (promotion!), and any other random excuse I came up with, my running has been anything but "on schedule" for most of 2013. I started getting back on a plan, fell off track, got back on, fell off again - it's been like that for the last few months. Natalie, one of the running club coaches at work (who is also one of the Biggest Loser organizers) let us know a couple weeks back that there would be a running program starting up at Fleet Feet in West Hartford on 3/30. It's a 10 week program, and Natalie said that work might be able to pay the fee for us (~ $100). I debated back and forth for a little bit, as getting up at 7am on my day off was not on my list of priorities. The upcoming races I've already signed up for do happen to be on that list though, and my ass needs to get training! I thought that signing up for something, and having others rely on me to be there, would be a great way for me to commit to running again. So I agreed, and she said work would foot the bill. Sweet!

So there I was on Saturday morning at 8:45am - at the Fleet Feet store with way more people than I had expected to be there! The program started out with "Week 1" being a 1.5 mile walk/run which I thought would be a piece of cake. We'd alternate 2 minutes of running and 2 minutes of walking. About 4 minutes into it, the reality of how much time I'd taken off from running had set in. I was at the back of the pack already and got back into my old mentality. I became the girl I was when I did my first 5k. Why did I decide to do this? I'm too fat to be a runner. I'm not ready for this. Look how far behind I am already! Why did these other people sign up for this group when they're so far ahead of me? They ARE runners! They don't need this! They're not like me. And then I had to give myself the little pep talk. I am better than this bullshit voice in my head that keeps telling me I can't do it. I CAN DO IT! And I HAVE done it! And at that moment, as one of the trainers' iPod's went off signaling that we were switching from walking back to running, I heard "Let Love In" by the Goo Goo Dolls. As weird as this may sound, it let me know that I was right where I needed to be. Meeting the Goo's back in 2011 was something I was able to cross of my bucket list that I NEVER thought would ever happen. And in that same year, I crossed "finish a 5k" off the list too. Something else that I never thought I would do. Those two things went hand in hand - and were the reason behind me getting my latest tattoo in the latter part of that year. It was my symbol that anything is possible, and that I am capable of anything that I set into motion. As I crossed the last street this past Saturday, and headed back to the start/finish at the Fleet Feet store with 2 of the coaches at my side, I was the last runner. But I still knew that I was a runner. And actually, the timer beeped that it was time to walk again, but I ran that last little bit just because I knew I could :)

Today was my day off. It's a little weird having Tuesdays off and not getting 2 weekend days like most people do. But I normally get a lot of errands and stuff done on Tuesdays. I got my run in today like I was supposed to, and then I tackled getting rid of a lot of paperwork that I had been hanging on to. The amount of paper I've accumulated since the injury back in 2009 is astonishing. But my case is finally settled. I am putting a very rough part of my past behind me and moving on. It was tough going through all that stuff - it made the wounds of all I went through feel very fresh. I could feel the sting of my old bosses' lies. I could feel the pressure from each time I received another doctor's bill, wondering if my credit would become even more fucked up with each passing month. I could feel the stabbing pain in my leg as days turned into weeks, weeks turned into months, and months into years as I waited for the surgery. But with each piece of paper I tore up, I felt just a little bit freer. Each shred that went in the trash made me feel a little bit prouder of who I've become. Before my injury I don't know that I ever would have dreamed of doing a 5k, a marathon, or even a lap around the block. Everything we go through teaches us something, and I learned a lot about who I am and what I am capable of over the last 4(ish) years. When I arrive on Fleet Feet this coming Saturday morning, even if I'm still at the back of the pack, I will be proud that I'm not sitting on the couch and that I am doing something I wasn't sure I'd ever be able to do. I will be proud of who I am, what I have accomplished, and all that lies ahead of me.

Saturday, March 9, 2013

It's been a long time!

I cannot believe how long it's been since my last blog post. What happened to 2012?! Rich started a blog of his own this past week (HopAndRun) and it made me want to start writing in mine again. So I am going to try to make a conscious effort to write here more often, even if they are just some short and sweet posts.

For now, just a list of the runs I plan on doing this year. Is it just me, or has the cost of registering for races gone up drastically in the last couple years? I swear when I first started they were only $20 or so, and now it seems most are close to $40 - for a 5k! So cost is a major factor in the amount that I choose to do. The other major factor is that I work on Sundays, so it's tough when you need to request a day off (and usually not get paid) in order to run a race. At this time, my plan for 2013 is as follows:

  • Color Me Rad
    4/27/13 - Rentschler Field, East Hartford, CT (This will be my 2nd year running this one)

  • Electric Run
    8/10/13 - Rentschler Field, East Hartford, CT (A nighttime run that looks AWESOME!)

  • Myrtle Beach Mini Marathon (Half Marathon)
    10/20/13 - Start Line at Coastal Grand Mall and finish line at Plyler Park, Myrtle Beach, SC (This will be my first half marathon!)

I will do my best to continue to post on a much more frequent basis. For now, it's time to get ready for the Health and Wellness Expo!