Tuesday, March 31, 2015

more pics from the race

Still kind of floating on cloud nine. Pictures like this tell why:
It was free too!  How cool is that!   I have been trolling the FB page and I have seen nothing but very very positive comments.  This makes me so happy.  I sure do love having a local well run race that I can walk to the start line to and back to my home from the finish line.  Wicked marathon, in a couple of years, I am coming for you!

Had to put these up too.  The joy we both had was amazing and captured well by Connie at Body First. I so wish I could race with her more often but it has to be smaller races for sure.  I had to hold her pretty tight for 3ish miles and my arm and shoulder are super duper sore today.  I pretty much have been sore in one spot or another all day, mostly the side of my left foot and my right hip.  I wanted to do a nice bike ride but the wind was too much today.  Hello Kansas spring wind, didn't miss you at all this winter!  I settled for a roughly three mile walk with the kiddo and stella.  The jogging stroller some times felt like it weighed 100 lbs due to that crazy north wind.  I feel 1000 x better today there from rolling and walking.  

Saturday, March 28, 2015

Wicked Half Marathon 2015

I am always a tad bit nervous the night before a race, especially if I think I am not 100%.  Laying everything out kind of makes me a little more calm.  Hard to figure out what to wear though because it was suppose to be 31-33 at the beginning of the race.  Layers win:)
Stella requested she got a flat stella too.
It was so nice to be able to get up, take my time, use my own bathroom, and then walk over to the start.  Still got there a little too early, but next year, I will know better.  It was kind of chilly waiting, but I didn't know if stella had pooped yet, so we did quite a bit of walking to elicit that response.
When we started, I tried to stay at the back to not get in any runner's way, but I was quickly feeling like we could and needed to be going quicker.  We ended up finding a pocket of no one around mile 4 ,and other than that lady in front of us  in blue and one other lady, we were pretty much on a long run by ourselves.  I fueled around mile 4 and mile 8.  When we turned around at mile 7, we were hit with a nice cool headwind.  It wasn't horrible, but it did slow us down going up those hills.  
My friend Mel G got these next two shots.  I was SO nice to have my BRF on the course cheering me on, the other local runners running cheering me on, and of course the hubs and andrew at the end (along with one of my student!)  Yes, that is a wicked witch chasing us. She had an AWESOME costume!
They had given me Stella's medal early, so we could put it on a collar for the end.  It's hard to see with all of her hair, but it is a little tornado and the words Wicked Marathon.   I got lots of comments on her before and during the race, all positive.  One guy even yelled, FIRST PLACE DOG lol!  I tried to be very very careful that we were not in any runner's way, or keeping anyone from passing.  We mainly passed people, and she did sniff a few people on the way by, but most people LOVED seeing her out there.  There was even a dog that was cheering  on a runner with his other master on the course, that barked at us every time we passed them (they drove down the course and cheered for their runner periodically).   It was so much fun having human and dog cheerleaders, and a beautiful perfect day to run.  Cold to start out, but warming up as the day went on, and that is how I like it.  I had layers, so I could shed based on how cold or hot I was.  We stopped at 4 or so water stops and drank a few sips of water and let Stella get some water.  Everyone was so complimentary of me doing that, but she gets thirsty too so it was a given:)
Overall the course was tough but fair,  and knowing the course was actually nice for a change.  While I did have a tiny A goal of 2:10, I was able to come in under that and get a small half PR.  I do think If I had not buried us at the beginning, we would have made better time.  We did make some new friends on the course and had a pace partner till about mile 10.  
I don't think I have to worry about calories today:)  I did try a recovery drink right afterwards, and some water and a banana and so far, so good.  After a brief walk and cool down and some pictures, we grabbed a breakfast beirock from our local bakery.  Stella got a sugar cookie and andrew got a frosted bunny cookie (that he later gave to stella too).
My tummy still isn't settled but I managed to down that mini peanut butter fudge shake, and half of those onion rings as a treat.  I need to take in more water today, as I do feel really, really thirsty right now.  
Stella is ready to run again right NOW.  Me, not so much.  Trying to ice and stretch and be proactive.  SO far the only thing that is really troublesome is the sides of my feet, the inside  part around the arch and the bottom of my feet up around my toes.  I don't think it is PF, but more just where that tendon attaches to my foot that is angry.  Ankle has felt fine and so has quad, whew.   Going to be careful to make sure those all stay 100% because my A race is in two weeks!  I have the confidence now that I can do it, so Rock the Parkway, here I COME!
This will be a yearly tradition for sure.  Great race, great support and great volunteers/water stops.  I am hoping to do the full after I have completed my final heartland series next year.  The only complaint I have was that it wasn't a fully closed course, so we did have traffic coming up behind us at some points. I do know that the whole city can't shut down every single road, so it was a given this might happen. I had a car trail me for quite some time up a huge hill from about mile 10.5 till around mile 12 and that is super tough section, so I was going a little bit slower than normal.  Stella was worried about the car so she kept turning around which would throw us off a little.  Other than that, everything else was great and i HIGHLY recommend this small town, small crowd race!  We will be back next year Wicked Half Marathon!


Thursday, March 26, 2015

The week of the Wicked half

There is always this part of me that freaks out the week of big races.  I don't want to run, walk, be outside, be inside, be around children or dogs or anything that might injure me or make me sick.   I have read so many blogs recently where people have gotten sick or injured the week of and have had to miss BIG races.  While this is just one half in a long string of halfs I am doing this spring, I really don't want to miss it, since it is a local race.  While my ankle is still cranky and hurts on and off, the pain has gotten much much less and has gone back to no pain during my run.  I am still doing ice, compression, and advil in the morning and before I go to bed, just in case.  I am also slightly worried about stella.  She's fine don't worry, but the prospect of a longer race with her is staring to worry me.  She has done almost 15 miles with me, so the distance isn't a problem for her, but I just worry about the what ifs.  What if she steps on a piece of glass and cuts her foot?  What if I don't fuel her properly and she runs out of gas?  What if, what if, what if.  It's kind of like dog agility, you are a team, both parts of the team have to be 100% and work together.  I know we will be fine, but I like to randomly worry about everything anyway, so I am choosing her at the moment.

And I got this this week too:(  No MCM for me but that is okay.  I knew it would be a LONG shot, but I went for it anyway.  Maybe I should do a west coast marathon, so I can use the time change to my advantage:)  Still waiting to hear about chicago and if that is a no, will go for a local marathon like KC or Wichita.  Not giving up on my goal at all!
I also started this last week.  I know it isn't the best way to loose weight, but it is time for me to do something, and this is a step in the right direction.  I like how it syncs to all of my apps, and I get credit for calories earned during running.  I also decided to get back into tracking how many steps I take a day, so after careful consideration, I bought a vivofit from garmin.  I did like my little fitbit, but the fact that this one doesn't have to be charged at all made it a winner.  I always forget to charge the dang thing and miss out on a whole day of steps.  I am not sure what happens when it finally dies but heck, it came in purple and that is another mark in it's favor.  I really like the band better as well, still hard to put on, but I really like the little sleeve that goes over the clasp, so it can't be accidentally bumped open.  
Anyway, back to my dieting (yes I call it a diet as it is a restriction in something and that is what dieting is).  I have only had one day that I went over the calorie allotment of the day.  I have decided that one day a week will be a cheat day, where I will still log but  not freak out if I go over.  I have made some decisions to not eating something because it isn't worth the calories (bye bye fru fru coffee and deserts I really didn't need anyway).  As with all of the other dieting programs I have done, the first week is always the hardest, and then my body adjusts and I am fine.   I seem to already be over that hump, thank goodness. I do know I need to be cognizant of just more than the calories I am putting into my body. I am trying to pay attention to the chart that this app gives you everyday of the types of nutrients you are putting into your body and the goals it sets for you for each of those nutrients.  
This was from a pretty good day.  I tend to take in more fats that I need and less protein than I need, so working on that for sure.  Most of my friends are using this app, which made it an easy decision to pick.  They all have lost weight and inches and look great.  For me, I like loosing weight, but it is more about how my clothes fit and boy were they super tight lately:)  Seems like I always pack on 3-5 lbs in a training cycle, so I need to be aware of that and correct that.  
This has been my mentality for a long time and I need to change it.  I had posted something on FB about calorie counting, and my favorite response from one of my friends was, "but you run, how could you possibly gain weight?".  Well, this mentality is why, and it is time for me to be more aware of what I am putting in my body and how it is affecting my running.  I have made some awesome changes over the years thanks to multiple times at Weight Watchers, and not one but two coaches that were very well educated on nutrition.  

Well enough for now.  T minus 2 days till Wicked!  See you after the race!

Sunday, March 22, 2015

Long slow runs

I really wasn't sure what I would feel like after this weekend.  Been kind of feeling defeated after working so hard for some half PRs.  I kept telling myself that the hard work is there, to not get down.  The pain has been on and off, sometimes worse when I am sitting and not doing as much, versus up and on it.  I have done intensive research on tendonitis, and I am pretty sure that is what is going on in my ankle.  It makes total sense, as I have put more and more work on my ankle, it has just gotten too over worked.
I had also read that on top of ice and reduction of intensity, that braces were very beneficial.  I went to our local running store and purchased one and boy has it made a HUGE difference.  
I also bought a "Stick" to roll out my calf muscles.  I still think that is also partial part of the problem.  
Stella also loves being rolled out.  Baring any disasters this week (i always hold my breath the week before a half) I think I will be okay to go.  Maybe not a PR but at least a finish:)
Got my last long run in of the cycle before the half (8 glorious miles) and it felt oddly great.  Little to no pain (and no advil) thanks to the brace and some nice rolling hills.  Can't wait to get some deep tissue torture tomorrow and pick up my packet!  Wicked Half, I am coming for ya!

Friday, March 20, 2015

Flip flop

I hope I am not posting this too soon but I am kind of excited about my leg.  After several days of freaking out constantly about the pain and the fact that it wasn't getting better, I have finally had a good day.  I haven't even taken a single advil today!  I am hoping this means that our plan of less intensity is working.  So far this week I have run an easy 3 miler and walked a couple last night on the treadmill.  I am planning on running 4 or 5 tonight but it is still raining, so may cut that a little shorter.  Still mulling over a long run.  Coach Jenny and I had settled on 10 but I want this progression of less pain and healing to continue.  I still feel that my leg isn't 100% so I don't want to push anything.  I found an article yesterday on tapering for a half.  While I have never tapered for halfs, this article was really good.  It said two weeks out, you should do 60% of your peak mileage which for this training cycle is about 30.  Then it said the week of, you should do about 40%, so that puts at me at 18 for this week and 12 for next.  I keep telling myself that I have put in the effort and even though last week didn't go as planned (only got 16 in total and no long run thanks to my leg) that my A race is the Rock the Parkway race in April anyway.  I want to do Wicked because it is in my hometown and I want do it as a long run basically.  I need my leg to be 100% in order to do that.

Sigh.  Okay, so the reason why the name of this post is flip flop is because I wrote this first paragraph yesterday afternoon.  Instead of deleting it and starting over, I thought I would add a post script.  After my 4 mile run last night, my ankle/leg was back to hurting again.  I called first thing this morning to get back into Body First.  I felt 1000 times better after my first massage so I am hoping another one that just focusing on my calf muscles will help.  My calf muscles feel super tight and even though I warm up and cool down and stretch, I think there is really something going on there.  Last night when I was running, I could feel a pulling that started in my calf muscle and went all the way down into my ankle.  Wouldn't it be so nice and simple if it is just a super tight and angry calf muscle that is causing all of this?

Well, have a great weekend!  I am not sure what my weekend will entail as far as running.  If I follow the plan I found online, I only need to do an 8 miler and a 2 miler.  If I follow my coach, it may just be a 10 miler and that is enough.  We shall see.

Monday, March 16, 2015

The Runs (or lack of) and Crank it down lady!

Last week was kind of a bust running wise. I only ran twice due to leg pain, once on Tuesday for hill repeats (5.2 miles total, 10 repeats) and Saturday (2 mile race and 6.2 mile race) and Sunday (3 very slow miles with the pups.
 I wasn't too sore Sunday so we did some hiking out at the Tall Grass Prairie Reserve.  They had just burned, so it wasn't too impressive, and I wasn't wanting to do too long of a hike with the kiddo and brother in law in tow plus, I didn't want to push it with my leg for sure.  We still enjoyed it thoroughly and Andrew loved the nature center.  His favorite part was a series of buttons you could press and listen to the bird sounds.  He LOVED the owls the best and kept asking to hear them over and over again.
We also found this super cool playground in Council Grove that had a train in it.  Guess who didn't want to leave?

We may have to make one of these for the backyard.  
We also did some of the river walk in Council Grove.  I had raced a race there before and hope to run it again this spring.  

Lastly, today I had my massage for the first time in a few months.  It was tough.  It was so painful and my left leg was a mess from my glutes down to my toes.  I was told that i need to bring the intensity down a whole bunch of notches.  It was hard to hear.  I really, really like my new work out schedule.  I really, really like pushing myself.  I do still want to run and I know I will find joy in just running, at least for now.  I don't want that to go away but man, I was in the groove work out wise and this weekend showed it.  I wasn't even really pushing and I almost got a PR on the 10 K.  Dang it!  I know for doing my first marathon that speed work will be dialed back, but there is something so exciting about nailing a hard speed workout.  I am going to miss that intensity for sure but will savor the fact that i can still run when others can't.  I am looking foward to getting some mileage this week and enjoying the taper.  I have never tapered for a race so this should be fun.  Bring on Wicked!!!!

Saturday, March 14, 2015

St. Pat's Aggieville Race

I am kind of excited.  Well, okay, after my last post, I really didn't know how today would go.  I probably shouldn't have run and I may or may not be lame tomorrow, but I feel great right now.  A few weeks ago, I coerced a running buddy of mine, Mel G to sign up for the local St. Pat's day races.  Our town, being a college town, does two St. Pat's days, one for the college kids called Fake St. Pat's day, and one for the townies, where they have family oriented events, a road race, and a parade.  They have had a 2 mile and 10 K for like 30 or so years (or so I was told, may be wrong), yet I have never run it.  I had decided that not only did I want to run both, but i wanted to dress up.  I never get silly or dress up, and i decided it was time.  Then this week happened, and i thought what have I done?  Not only had we bought stuff for our costumes, we had signed up for both races, the 2 miler and the 10 K.  As any good runners do, we both decided to take some rest days, and hope by race day that we would be okay.  I also started taking advil along with my icing, and hit the bike to cross train.

My plan was this, take it easy.  I have always had trouble not racing races, so I knew this would be hard.  My leg doesn't really hurt when I run, so that makes it even tougher.  We had the 2 miler first, and boy were there TONS of people, including some very slow people who had no business at the front and some walkers at the very front.  Why do they even give instructions if NO ONE LISTENS?  Well, most did, but some didn't, and that made it super hard to pace your self at the beginning.  Lesson learned, even though I am not technically "fast" I will still try to gravitate closer to the front.  I really didn't decide on a specific pace for this one, but tried very hard to take it easy.  I ended up running about my 10 K pace, or a little under actually, and i am shocked because it did not feel hard at all.  The course was super flat, one and a half times around the city park area on the side walks and then back into aggieville.  Speedy Mel ended up winning her age division and I ended up 7th.  
Next up was the 10 K.  We had about 20 minutes post 2 mile race to rest and then line up again.  I was shocked at how many did the 10 K.  I had always heard there weren't as many for this race but 514 is a pretty good number for a small town race, especially when most of the population is students and they are all gone for spring break.  Again, I hadn't really a plan for this race, other than take it easy.  I didn't really feel tired until probably mile 5 and that was hard because we crossed through aggieville on our way back to City park for the last mile.  The first few miles took us out of aggieville and through campus, all the way almost to the KSU animal units.  It was  very nice out and back course with nice gentle hills and nice flat places to pick up speed.  I took it easy and tried to stick to around my HMRP which was 9:30.  I even had a sprint at the end with a dude that ended up time wise beating me, but I beat him across the finishers mat.  We hugged and high fived afterwards because that is what runners do, even if we don't know each other at all.  
Afterwards we had some water and doughnuts.  
Why doughnuts?  Because Varsity Doughnuts is nationally known and Mel had never been so she had to experience the goodness.  AND of course, hello carbs post race?  YES!
We also had to partake in the awards ceremony.  They had a podium and medals for those who finished 1-3rd.  They even had ribbons for those who finished 4-10th.  
I don't think I have gotten a ribbon since my horse showing days.  I was way to excited about this little ribbon LOL!  My leg was fine during the run, although my ankle is now at almost 10 pm hurting a little.  We did walk around quite a bit afterwards, partaking in all of the st pat's festivities, and even having a little girl time minus the kiddos. Then after returning to wamego, I had to get in a nice long walk with my BRF to catch up after we got back.  I really, really liked this race, both courses, and hope to be back next year when I am not lame, so I can really push it.  I enjoyed doing the combo today as basically my long run and really happy that I had 0 amount of pain during my run.  If my leg is okay tomorrow, will do a nice SLOW, short run.  If not, the bike it is and then monday, bring on the master of pain!

Have a great weekend!

Friday, March 13, 2015


she helps me ice correctly
Another crazy week here at work = no blogging:(  I am kind of sad because i miss it.  I have been waaayyyy to into my head lately and need to get my thoughts out.  So here it is.  My leg started really bothering me monday.  I figured it was from my 11 miler on saturday, as that would be two days post.  I respected it, took a rest day (mondays are my rest day anyway) and felt 100% better on tuesday.  I had hill repeats, 10 to be exact, and I ran over to my hill and did them and ran back. I had some pain, not localized, on and off during the repeats but nothing specific and nothing that made me worry.  Then wednesday came and I was on my feet ALL day at work, and the pain just kept getting worse and worse.  I had just switched out my shoes as they had hit over 400 miles, had also just completed my first 100 mile month and have just hit 200 miles for the year a week into march.
Did this picture jinx me?
SO. MANY. VARIABLES.  This scientist is going crazy right now.  My ankle hurts on and off all of the time but I ice it and take care of it.  This is different.  I don't think it is my old injury, it feels more muscle, but it is pretty much my entire lower leg.  I have an appointment with the master of pain monday and monday can't come soon enough.
Happy to be biking as cross training but would rather be running
I did a bike ride yesterday versus my 6 miler and rested on wednesday versus my 4 miler.  I do have a race this weekend, and I am still on slate to do this race.  I want to dress up and have fun and be silly.  I never get to do that.  I hope I don't regret this wish.  I probably won't do a long run the sunday either and will if I run next week, stick to just easy mileage.  I am hoping that this is nothing that  a good deep tissue massage can't fix.  It does seem to respond somewhat to advil and my compression socks.  I have been on my feet at work way more than normal so I am hoping that is why the pain comes and goes all day.  Okay enough of me freaking out.

These things happened this week:

EEEKKKK!  I got into the lottery!  I literally sat here till the link when live and hit send as soon as it did.  Still took about 15 minutes to get everything in (and I almost missed a work meeting entirely, yikes).
I also went ahead and entered Chicago.  Hopefully I will get into one.  If not, may just do Wichita Prairie Fire marathon.  Haven't done much running down in that area so would be new and fun.

So, I am really hoping my body cooperates.  I need to put in a fair amount of mileage to get to my goal of a marathon and if my body can't handle 30 miles a week now, how in the hell am I going to handle marathon training???  I want this so bad, so I will make it work some how.  
I am pretty stubborn like that.  I won't give up.  I don't want to be a wuss about my leg, yet I don't want to ignore pain like I did last time and have to be out almost 2 months from running, especially during the spring and right before my 4 half marathons.  I can stop the hard work outs.  While I really, really enjoy being pushed, maybe I need to back up and re evaluate how much.  I admit, I was initially scared that I not only had two speed work outs a week and speed work during my long run, but I grew to love it.  I grew to love pushing my body and meeting my goals, well when I wasn't sickly with this stupid cold that is still ever so slightly lingering.  Anyway, I know, verbal diarrhea going on right now but I am scared.  I don't want to be back in the boat I was in after my first 25 K.

Okay done.  I leave you with a picture of our first snake sighting of the year.  Why these guys love my yard so much, I haven't a clue

Sunday, March 8, 2015

The Runs

I am so excited that spring is finally kind of here!  My tulips are coming up and my bushes are starting to bud out.  The warmer temps are really, really motivating to get out and pound some pavement.  Sometimes the cold weather is just a kick in the gut to the motivation for sure.  Here are my weekly runs for my coach.  I am still harboring this stupid cold and am still coughing.  This is the cold that never ends.

She drafts off of me when it is very windy.  Very smart runner is she

Monday:Rest/hip strengthening exercises

Tuesday: hip strenghtening exercises, Tempo run, 5 minute warm up, 10 minute easy, 15 minutes at 6.4, 1% incline, 5 minute easy, 15 minutes at 6.4, 1% incline, 10 minutes easy, 5 minute cool down.  Still getting better at doing speed work on the treadmill.  During the second tempo, with about 5 minutes to go, Andrew decided to join me, so had to stop till daddy could come and get him.  Leg hurt after this one so lots of ice.

Wednesday:Recovery run on the dreadmill again plus hip strengthening exercises.  4 miles at 5.4, 1% incline.  Again, leg and ankle hurt after this so lots of ice.

Thursday: Was suppose to do 6 800 meter repeats at my normal pace of 8:00.  Due to violent coughing and no clear lungs, got 4 in and ran home with my tail between my legs.  Hip strengthening exerices


Saturday: Long run, 5 minute warm up, 3x 4/1, 20 min easy pace, 35 min at goal HMP (9:30), 25 min easy pace, 3x4/1 run/walk, 5 minute walk to cool down.  I was really worried about the speed work again since my chest does not seem to be clear.  Other than a few coughs, I was fine.  The wind was a little bit much, coming from the south and east but heck, that will be the direction for my first half so going to have to deal with it anyway.  Did feel a little bit more tired after this much speed work during the run so only got about 10.5 miles in without the warm up/cool down and a total of 11 with the warm up and cool down.  This was a good confidence boost though.  I was able to maintain and not feel like I was dying.  I also was able to gel with no problems during the work out.  I did fuel twice during this run.

Sunday:Recovery run with a friend.  We took it easy and talked for 6 miles.  Felt great but did NOT push it, let our conversation set the pace.  

Tues=5.3 miles
Wed=4 miles

31.35 total miles!

Have a great week everyone!

Saturday, March 7, 2015

Random before my run

Feeling better today.  Got some family matters discussed and out on the table.  That always makes me feel so better.  I don't like confrontation but I do like discussing the matter at hand and being honest about it.  Woke up with a cough again this morning but I am going to do my long run no matter what.  I swallowed the horse pill Musinex DM and am going to give it a couple of hours to work before I run.  Here is some random stuff for you this beautiful Saturday morning.
Yesterday the weather was so spring like and so perfect that we just had to go get mini shakes from Sonic on the way home from preschool.  Some days, ice cream before dinner is just a must

I love living a block away from the most awesome city park ever.  We followed ice cream  up with a nice long session in the park.  Trying to get the family to commit to walk across Kansas that includes 20 minutes of walking EVERY DAY.  I think they can do it!

I have never done the local St Pat's day race but have always wanted to.  This year, they are having an option that includes the 2 mile run and the 10 K.  Since I am crazy,  I had to sign up for this option and convinced a fellow local runner, Mel G to also sign up. We are going to have matching outfits:)
It amazes me that 6 dogs get a long in a house together.  Other than little spats that are normal, they all get along really, really well.  
It was a good week at work.  This is a pellet of nuclei from a plant called Amborella.  That is a ton of nuclei and that means success!!!!

Well off to get ready for my long run!  Hoping to get at least 11 miles in today!  Have a great weekend and enjoy the weather!