Monday, May 21, 2018

Recovery Week 4/Race week The Bill Synder Highway Half and 5K

Another Race week!  Welcome to my crazy life!  This week I am pacing the 2:35 group for the Bill Snyder Highway half.  This is a point to point race that is super fun and downhill for the beginning.  Going to admit, kind of happy to be pacing a faster group this week, so I can run a little bit faster!

Topeka Discovery Center
Monday:  School trip with Andrew/Rest day.  Every class at Andrew's School gets to pick a field trip that the PTO pays for.  Andrew's class rented out the Discovery Center in Topeka and we had SO much fun!  The kids rode down on the school bus, but then got to ride back with their parents, and Andrew's favorite friend Dash got to ride back with us.  I am really surprised that as much as they played that they weren't all asleep on the way home.

I wish i could sleep like that in the car! He got a nap while I drove.
Post trip, we took a brain break and then headed back to Manhattan to Sylvan for an hour of tutoring and then dinner and then grocery shopping.  I was one worn out momma!

I love this time of year when the storms try to build and break afternoon early night.  The clouds are amazing!

Four easy miles with the girls.  I honestly didn't know where my foot was and didn't know what to expect.  I wanted to see if would hurt on a short run and prepared Mel that I might not make it the whole 4.  Oddly enough, my foot didn't bother me at all, go figure.  I did try to sleep in a strassburg sock (homemade at that) versus the night splint and I must say, I slept so much better and my foot felt great upon waking.  I also did a barre class called RUSH and it was again amazing!!!!

Wednesday:  Chiropractor day!  Dr. Needles was mad at me for staying away since last November.  He quickly got over it when I told him about my theory about my shoes and my possible PF.  I had brought the new version of the Triumphs and the older versions so he could geek out on them and geek out on them he did.  He took measurements and weights and pictures.  This is why I love this guy!!!!  He truly is a scientist and dr!  He feels pretty confident that the shoes did cause this, and gave me even more exercises on top of all of the healing PF exercises to try and counteract this mess.  His biggest worry was that this could become a chronic issue and that total rest is really the only way to get rid of this.  My coach did bring up that barre may even be aggravating this too as we are always up on our toes and pointing, so I may have to modify my barre exercises because I a NOT stopping now.  Even though he was talking about a break, I never felt that normal panic I feel when I am trying to get things accomplished.  Let's hope I can stay that way.  After some horribly painful trigger point massage and some ultrasound diagnostics, he taped my foot really, really well and made me promise i would take it easy especially after my last pacing duties on June 2nd.

While coach likes for me to do 18 week training cycles, she assured me that we could get by with a shortened 14 week cycle if needed, and I could still be okay to pace my friend Lindsey in early September.  Whew.  I also ordered a specific heel cup that my chiro recommended, and I am probably going to see him weekly for a few weeks.  Finger's crossed that this all worked as he is very against steroid shots and orthotics.  He is very into fixing what causes this verses a quick fix, and that is why I love him. I may spend all day doing PT though but if it works, it works.

This was pre track practice.  Last week was a huge bust with lots of crying and frustration.  This week?  All smiles, lots of running and lots of jumping.  What was different? I have no clue but I LOVED it!  He tried, he worked hard and there was little to no complaining or tears!  He got to do long jump and had one 7 foot jump!!!!!  We need to work on form but at this point I am not nitpicking and just letting him give whatever he wants to give.

Trying to get work done at the shop with a monkey on my back!
Thursday:  After talking to my chiro and my coach, we decided to dial back the runs and just run as needed to try and rest my foot.  No runs over 4 miles except my half marathons I am pacing.  Probably 3 runs total a week.  We are hoping this strategy plus all the PT and some complete rest post Hospital Hill will get this PF to go away.   Mel and I decided we would sleep in and run after work, and then my hubby had to work late and the last thing i wanted to do was run on the mill.  I opted for a 20 minute barre class called Recruit Your Core (BURN) and did some stretching instead.

The photographer sent me more pics from my marathon!  So many to chose from now!
Friday:  4 mile easy run.  I really needed to run to see what the tape would feel like on my foot.  After he put it on my foot, I could barely walk and then later, in taking my sock off, I ripped a layer of skin off of the ball of my foot where the adhesive was, and I really couldn't walk at all. I  wore flip flops all day the day before to try and avoid socks and sticking, but of course I needed to wear socks to run.  My foot felt fine, no pain over 4 miles of gravel and pavement, and my hip and lower back were sore but doable. I can't wait to go back Monday so he can work on whatever I have tweaked in my lower back!

Post work and sylvan Andrew and I went over to see the second corpse flower blooming at KSU!  I  got to see the other one bloom last year and I wanted Andrew to get to see one as this may be the only one in his life time!  Andrew was pretty nervous about the smell but he was brave and un-pinched his nose long enough to get a picture.

Two of my favorite team beef runners!
Saturday:  RACE DAY!  2:35 pace group! I was a lead pacer this time!  Read here about how it went!  Spoiler alert:  It was very humid, I came in a little fast as I was a lead pacer for the first time, but I had a great time!  One thing I left out of my recap was the intense pain from not my hip, not my foot, but the part under my calf muscle that Dr. Needles scrapped/fascia busted Wednesday.  At the time of writing this, it is still very sore, even though I have had it on the heating pad on and off all afternoon.  Glad I am going back Monday for some more help in getting everything under control. The taping job helped my foot because that never bothered me the entire race.

Sunday:  Rest day.  T ball got rained out so we took our show to the shop and practiced there.  Andrew hit two bucket of balls, which is HUGE for him, and took some good corrections without crying and whining.  I was pretty sore all day so took it easy and even took some dreaded advil to help with the pain.  Surprisingly, several of my other friends were sore as well so it wasn't just me, which makes me feel a little better. 

We ended the day just sitting around on the front porch enjoying the cooler weather and our new neighborhood cat "Buttons".  She showed up about a week ago and is always around when we are out in our front yard.  She LOVES andrew and is so gentle and sweet.  Our neighbors across the street are going to feed her and I guess we are going to take her in to get her shots and spayed.  I just wish the dogs would act better with her because she really would like to come in and cuddle in the house.  

Have a great week!  I will probably be doing lots of resting.  I have another chiro appointment and another pacing duty coming up.  Hold on body, we can do this!

Saturday, May 19, 2018

Bill Snyder Highway Half 2018 Pacer Edition

A little secret, last year was my very time doing this super fun local race and I knew I wanted to come back and either race it or pace it.  Last year I did the race with my great running friend Robin and paced her for a while and I knew then I wanted to come back.  The race course has some rolling hills at the very beginning and at the very end, but a BIG downhill portion that is FUN.  It is also a point to point race meaning you park at the finish and area bused out to the start. 

Packet pick up was quick and easy with packet pick up beginning on Wednesday through race day morning.  We got a nice Tech T (men's size so WAY to big for me) and a pair of race day personalized socks.  Parking was super easy and the finish line had lots of activities to do post race or while waiting for your runner to finish.  I wish Tony and Andrew could have been there as Andrew would have loved the bouncy houses but Tony had to work :( 

Let's start morning of.  We knew bad weather was a possibility as the start, and right on cue, I woke up at 4:30 am to the sound of rain. I don't mind rain at all, but there was some lightening accompanying said rain, which made the race organizers a little worried.  They decided to have everyone load the buses and instead of buses heading out periodically to dump us to the tent at the start, all the buses held and then unloaded all at the same time once the weather let up.  Luckily for all of us, the lightening left the area quickly, and we were able to head out pretty close to the original start time.  I kind of liked that strategy, because then we weren't just standing around waiting in the weather (the tent is big but not big enough for all of us).  I put my poncho on over my pacer shirt and stood out in the sprinkles till we were told to line up.  I was pacing the 2:35 group this time, and was excited to see how this would play out.  My fellow 2:35 pacer had never paced before, so she requested I be lead pacer, something I had never done before.  I was a little nervous, but since I classify this race as fast, I figured this one would be a good one to sink my teeth into as lead. 

As we began, I totally forgot to turn on my watch and had to start it before it found satellites.  Lucky for me, it found them within seconds and started recording.  The race starts with some rolling hills before you get a nice big down hill at mile 6.  I had talked to my group and let them know our strategy of taking it easy at first, walking through the aid stations, and banking a little bit of time, so we could end up walking the final two big hills towards the end.  I very quickly had a few ladies right at my heels and two ladies right up with me.  Some left us and some stayed behind and got swept up into other pace groups, but overall we had a good group again till about mile 10.  The rain stopped pretty quickly and i had to shed my poncho to stay cool.  I decided that my strategy from last weekend of pouring water on my buff and possibly my head was a good idea, since the humidity was pretty high and I could tell my body was struggling to deal with it even our slower pace.  I had also brought my hand held again, since it holds my two waffles perfectly, and that way I can have Nuun and water as needed.  One of the ladies that hung with me till pretty much the end talked the entire time and I really enjoyed her company, BUT we would get to chatting and next thing I would know, we would be going in the high 10s.  She lives near to me and we paced perfectly, so I think we need to do some training runs together!  She is fighting some issues in her hip and feet as well, so we had lots in common, plus she had 2 little boys, so she understood how much fun it is having kiddos in school and all of their activities.  My watch really was all over the place.   At times it would be in the 13s and other times in the 11s very quickly, so not sure why it was so crazy.  Cloud cover maybe?

My overall pace was suppose to be closer to to 11:49, so I was about 9 seconds too fast.  I did have to stop around mile 6 for a quick porta potty break and had to sprint to catch up so my mile 6 and 7 were a little bit fast, plus this was the big downhill that i didn't do a great job of holding back enough.  I wanted to bank a little bit of time for the later walking, and I think I just banked too much time.  You can see where we did walk around 11 and 12 for the two big hills on campus, but I ended up finishing at 2:33:14 instead of my time of 2:35.  I am trying to think about what I could adjust next time.  I think I should have walked prior to the aid stations a little more coming into them and a little more out.  I should have reigned it in a bit more on the downs.  Now that I have one race under my belt as a lead pacer, I have lots of ideas on making my next race better.  I enjoyed having a fairly large group for most of the race and I was super excited to get to cheer a few in at the end to meet and exceed their goals!  It is SUCH a great feeling to be a pacer!

Melly Mel and Jim at the finish
I love this race for so many reasons.  It's local for me and point to point.  It goes by all the fun sights in Manhattan so if you aren't from here, you get to see a lot of Manhattan and what has changed over the years.  Why the crowd support out on I77 was not as good as it has been in the past thanks to the weather, it was amazing in town.  Kudos to all volunteers that showed up with not so great weather happening.  I LOVE the medal with the power cat AND the fight song!  Even though my experience at KSU as a student was less than ideal, I am still a wildcat through and through and I love anything Powercat related.  Can't wait to pace this race again next year!  Thanks to our local running store Manhattan Running Company for putting on this awesome local race.  Maybe some day try for a PR here??? If the weather is right, it's the course to do so!  GO CATS!

Sunday, May 13, 2018

Recovery Week 3/Running with the Cows Race/Pace Week

Of course because I am crazy and have picked up so many pacing duties this spring, my recovery weeks are going to be a bit wonky.  I so love pacing though and will do whatever I need to do to get through them.  Hang on foot and hip, we are going for a ride!
I love the fact that in his interview he wants to become a Lego Master builder!
Monday:  Rest day.  If you have been reading my blogs and specifically my runfessions, I have been talking about my son and his troubles at school.  Upon my request, the school tested him for a variety of disabilities to make sure that his inattentiveness was not due to hearing issues, namely auditory disconnect issues.  I will write more later, but it was a good and bad news situation.  Good news is no disability, bad news is then what is the issue?  We are going to try and wait and see approach, with some re testing done maybe in 1st grade if the issue is still there.  I am not patient and would love some sort of answers, so say a little prayer for me LOL!

I love that all of the sudden Andrew wants to walk to school again!
Tuesday:  Easy speed work.  Wait what?  Isn't that any oxymoron?  Okay again, this one ended up being pretty fun actually, 1 minute hard, 2 minutes easy.  I can do anything for 1 minute right?  Again I didn't program a speed on my watch, just let my body go with what was hard and let that be that.   After the warm up and the intervals, we had only gone 2.2 miles, so we ended up just taking it easy and talking.  It's been a while since all three of us crazy girls that run at 4 am got together and with two of us coaching t ball, we had a lot to talk about!

Hi Kansas, where did spring go?  Did i miss it?
Wednesday: 5 easy miles.  I did this one post dropping Andrew off and boy was it already hot.  The humidity was pretty low, but it was in the low 70s and the dogs and I have not really had any type of acclimation to this weather at all.  I need to be acclimated though if it is going to be in the 90s on Saturday.  Yeesh.  We also moved into our office space at Coleman Electric!  I am so excited to be working somewhere other than my dining room table.  While there are perks to being at home and being able to do chores while I work, I am really digging our shop/office space.  Now if I can get use to the very large window unit right beside my desk that sounds like a freight train when it is running....

Thursday: 4 easy miles.  I was suppose to do this run Friday as a shake out run, but I wanted to run with the girls and the girls meet on Tues/Thurs, so that is that.

I laughed at my hubby for buying a recliner for the shop at a yard sale but it was well worth it!  Best place to nap for sure!

Friday:  Rest day/Travel day.  Headed to KC with melly mel.  We hit up a Trader Joes and a KC running store.  Got myself a Mother's Day present :)  Yes I have a problem when it comes to running jackets and hydration vests.  I truly feel like a girl simply can not have enough gear.

Saturday:  Running with the Cows.  This is my FAVORITE race of all of the KC races.  Tough course including rolling hills, heat and humidity, but wow what an after party.  I have my pacing/running recap here.

Sunday:  Rest day.  Happy Mother's day!  See my Mother's Day post here.  My mom and I are VERY close and I owe so much to her.  She is one of the best moms out there.   We had breakfast at one of my favorite coffee shops, did some wading/swimming in ice cold water, and had t ball practice.  It was a great ending to a wonderful weekend. 

Have a wonderful week next week!  I am not sure what my training will look like as my left foot seems to be getting worse.  I actually felt it during my run, something that previously hasn't happened.  I have been pretty aggressive with my ball rolling on the bottom of my foot, icing, and stretching, so I wonder if I have just aggravated it a bit too much.  Keep your finger's crossed that I get good news with it Wednesday when I go to my chiropractor and get some imaging done.  I still have two more races to pace before I am done with my spring running cycle! 

Running with the Cows 2018 Pacer Edition

This was my first time running this race as a Pacer and while I was slightly sad that I wasn't shooting for a PR at this race (this is the race my half PR comes from), I did enjoy helping others get through a tough morning on a tough course.  I am going to steal some pics from the website because I didn't get many due to having a hand held and a stick in my hands and also the threat of rain constantly kept my phone in a ziploc bag in my pocket.

 There were several days for packet pick up and while we usually do packet pick up Friday night when we get to town, we just didn't make it in time.  Lucky for us, there was packet pick up on race day morning and also gear check so we could just get our stuff then.  Once again they had bibs with our names on it (LOVE), shoe tags for timing, and super cute Tech Ts.  Of course I also had a pacer shirt with the RWTC logo on it that is super cute as well.  There was a bunch of coupons and leaflets in the packet bag, but I recycled most if not all as we are not in KC enough to use the coupons.

Flat Michelle ready for some hot weather!
Set out flat michelle before bed.  Weather reports were all hot and humid, and of course I had a pacer's tech T to wear, so I kind of was locked into an outfit already.  I did want to try and use my new hand held with some Nuun in it this time to see how that worked with also holding a stick.  I am kind of not happy with any of my fuel belts right now (gained mucho weight so they don't stay put) and I didn't feel like wearing a pack for a half to hold my fuel and phone. I can always store my phone and fuel in my gypsy runner shorts, but then I kind of look funny with big bulging pockets.  Anyway, I could get both of my waffles folded in half in the pocket on the handheld so WIN.  I also wanted to try out my new headsweats buff that I picked up from Gypsy runner for keeping me cool.  My plan was to take a drink of water at the aid stations and then pour the rest of the cup on my buff to keep me cool.
From the Cows FB page talking about onsite parking.  SO CUTE!
Parking was very simple thanks to good dry weather.  We were able to park right behind the school and walk right up.  Since we were pacing and since we were also picking up a packet, we decided to get to the race a little bit early. Plus, since this race is so popular, the traffic can be a bit much.  We really had no issues this morning at all.  This race always has SO many volunteers that direct you exactly where you need to go at all times.  We quickly got our packets, gear checked our bags, and took a quick trip to the porta potties.....that did or didn't have TP.  Whoops.  Found some that did and got business done.

We lined up about 30 minutes prior to race start in the chute to let people find the pace group they wanted and chat for a bit about their goals.  There was lots of nervous energy and a few rain drops and lightning bolts here and there at the start.  There was rumor of delay due to lightening, but we were off a few minutes after 7:30.  They even rang the church bells, which I don't remember them doing before and I LOVED it!

The hardest part about racing and even pacing is starting out slow.  The energy at the beginning is always phenomenal whether you are racing or pacing.  I always have to keep a very close eye on my watch when we start, out so we don't push too hard.  That is the beauty and the beast of pacing.  You are responsible for people's goals and dreams and you have to concentrate on your time, especially when you are pacing a pace that is MUCH slower than your race pace.  I am finding as I continue to do this that it gets easier and I am not so anxious the entire race, but let me tell you, I am mentally exhausted after these pacing gigs!

For the majority of the race, we had overcast skies and warm temps, but a breeze would sporadically blow from time to time or rain drops would cool things off momentarily.  Unfortunately, as the storms passed, the humidity got pretty high.  I don't mind heat (i don't love it, but I can deal), but I am not a fan of humidity at all, and we have had 0 days to acclimate to this crazy summer like weather.  I am VERY glad I had my buff to keep wet and a handheld full of cold Nuun water to tide me over in between aid stations.  I had a core group of 2 or 3 ladies that stayed with me till about mile 10 and then, even though we were walking up the big hills, I lost everyone :(  I am still trying to figure out what went wrong, but i think it was a combo of the heat/humidity and some under training. I tried to pick up a few people that were walking or wogging on my way to the finish, but no one seemed to want to follow me in no matter how hard I tried.  The sun finally came out for the last 3 or so miles, and I think that just finished people off.  I finished in 2:46:08, which is where I should be as a back pacer.  I was excited to finish my 4th Running with the Cows!

As always, the post party was amazing!!!!  There were tons of photo ops and food, food, and more food.  Due to the heat, I still wasn't really into eating, but i did manage to drink 2 chocolate milks and some sort of healthy bar (that did have chocolate chips) that was YUMMY!  We hung around and cheered till all the pacers and most of the racers were in.  We had to bring the pacer sticks back to Manhattan for the Bill Snyder.  It was really nice to not to have to rush off and just be able to sit around and talk to people.  I really am enjoying getting to know my fellow pacers as it seems like there is a core of us who do most of the local races over and over again.  We are a special breed of crazy or so it seems.  

The medal was cute as always and I will be back either racing it or pacing it next year because it truly is my favorite half marathon  in our area other than Wicked in Wamego.  While the weather can be a huge factor in success of goals or not since it is late spring in Kansas,  the race is always worth trying no matter what! You can't beat the hype or the after party at all!

Saturday, May 12, 2018

Happy Mother's day!

 To the one that made me a mom and to my mommy, HAPPY MOTHER'S DAY!!!!!  Here are a few pics over the years of all of us!   I have had the privilege of being raised by the BEST role model of mothers that there ever was.  I love her SO much and I don't know what I would ever do without her.  She is the best and she deserves a million dollars, a massage every day, and chocolate, lots and lot of chocolate:) 

20 weeks

27 weeks
37 weeks

Just born!
Skin to Skin

Happy Mother's day to those who have human babies and four legged fur babies.  Have a great, restful day!