About Me

Wednesday, March 1, 2017

12 Minute Recovery Run

Good morning!

This morning's run was a 12 minute recovery run. It was supposed to be a nice, slow run that felt very comfortable. It definitely felt comfortable and was something that I could have continued doing for quite a while longer. Unfortunately, I got a late start this morning, so 12 minutes was actually all I could fit in anyway.

It was a 12:50 pace, which felt good, because once again I ran right outside my house. This means that I spent most of my time running uphill. For training runs, I suppose this tends to slow down my overall time, since I don't push my effort when I'm on the downhills, but I think really helps me in the long run. Why? I get really used to running hills and finding a comfortable pace. When I find myself on flat paths, I tend to go at the same effort, because it's something I'm comfortable with. That's when I look down and see much faster paces than I'm used to seeing.

It was cooler this morning, so I wore running tights, a long sleeved mesh shirt and my husband's bright yellow running t-shirt over it. My beloved Launch 3s are still doing well and don't have too many miles on them yet. I still think that I'll get a new pair of shoes a few weeks before the half, so that I have fully supportive shoes.

Oklahoma City is hosting its annual car show next weekend and they're also sponsoring a 5k race! I'm pretty sure I'm going to participate in it. It's only $30 and there's a finisher's medal! It would be my first medal, which has me a little excited. I love the car show, but this has me really excited. This way, my hubby and my daughter will have stuff to keep them busy while I'm running and I'll get to do something I really love.

My foot is doing really well and that has me super excited. I didn't share yesterday (probably because I was in a strange fog all day long), but the jeans I was wearing were jeans that haven't fit me in well over a year. I've lost 3 pounds in the last week or so and it feels amazing. I know it isn't all about losing weight, it is about overall health and fitness. When you weigh over 200 pounds at 5'6" though, weight loss is important. I'm down to 179.5 and that matters to me. I'm doing it by eating differently and exercising and it isn't just about the numbers. The numbers do matter though. I look at the scale and how my clothes fit and how I feel when I move. It's all used to indicate my level of health and fitness and each time one of those gets better, I'm going to dance with happiness.

Tuesday, February 28, 2017

7 Minute Tempo Run

This morning was a scheduled 7 minute tempo run. I felt silly running for only 7 minutes, but I reminded myself that the plan decided it and I'm still recovering from tendinitis.

I am lazy and frequently run in my own neighborhood. It sounds great, but there is one problem: hills. I live in a very hilly area. So today my run was mostly uphill because I wanted to finish on a downhill. That didn't happen either because I overestimated how fast I would be going.

I ran by feeling, because tempo runs should be uncomfortable. So I kept up a hard pace, but one that I knew I could improve upon during speed work. My predicated pacing, based off of my 5k run in December was supposed to be 11:48. Imagine my surprise when, sure I was struggling to meet that, I ended up with a 10:38 pace.

I was beat up a bit when I was done, but I felt good. I was also pleasantly surprised to find that my foot didn't require icing or even hurt today. I pushed it hard, both up and down those hills, and I was sure I would be slow and need ice. It feels really good to know I did better on both. Luckily for me, today is a jeans day at work, which means I can also wear sneakers. I need to invest in some supportive flats for work, but I haven't yet.

How has your running been? I'm looking forward to incorporating more strength training into my plan. I'm horrible about cross training. What about you?

Friday, February 24, 2017

Benchmark Run

Another short run that didn't hurt my foot and left me feeling pretty good. It was coached, so I wasn't actually paying attention to my phone and I don't actually know how what my pacing was for each section of my run.

The scheduled run was called a benchmark run and my app is supposed to use it to measure my progress as I run. I'll be honest and admit that is the reason I didn't bother to check my phone. The app is tracking it and it felt great to run without checking my phone to make sure I was on pace.

It was a 7 minute warm up at a nice, easy pace, followed by a 3 minute "all-out" run that I was supposed to increase pace each additional minute, ending with a 5 minute cool down that could include walking (the voice coach actually encouraged it). All of this meant that my overall 15 minute run pace was a 12:51 pace. I walked a few times during my cool down and at one point I do know that I was going at a nice, slow 14:07 pace. I'm taking this as a sign that I was doing pretty good, speed wise, during my 3 minute all-out attempt.

It felt good. I was tired afterward, but I felt good. My foot wasn't hurting, though it did feel a little sore (there is a difference, as anyone who struggles with injuries knows well). When I got home I did chocolate milk and iced my foot for about 10 minutes. After my shower I also massaged it and stretched it out.

My foot is still doing really well and I'm pretty excited to see it healing. I'm still adjusting my view on focusing only on a finish for this upcoming race, since I was so determined to aim for a specific time. This was a good wake-up call for me. I ended up permanently injured because I didn't listen to my body. I need to remember that I am already at a disadvantage and I need to always be extra cautious and pay attention to all the little things my body is telling me. I knew better than to do what I did, but I was so focused on that time goal that I ignored myself and now I'm paying the price.

It'll be okay though, because every mistake is just a chance to learn a better way to do something. Does anyone out there have any hard won lessons they think is worth sharing?

Thursday, February 23, 2017

Trying New Training

It's been a while.

For a few days, walking was so painful I was concerned that my foot might be fractured. I'm stubborn however and don't like to go to the doctor, so I told myself to give it a couple days and if it wasn't getting better, I'd go. Luckily for me, it did start to get better. I do not advocate self diagnosis for others, but for me? I'm fine with it. Based on my symptoms (location and type of pain), I'm pretty sure I had a fun case of tendinitis. So I took a break. No moving around unless necessary.

After over a week, my foot was feeling much better and I decided to give running another go. My original training plan was not going to work though, so I started looking around to see what I could come up with. I ended up getting a plan from my run tracking app, Nike+ Run Club. I've talked about the app before (I am doing this of my own free will and am not being paid) and I really do love it. I like the training plan it provided me and it's starting me out nice and slow.

I did a 12 minute "comfortable" run last night. There was no pain during my run and I ran based on feeling without trying to meet any pace goals. I ran near my house, which meant there were hills. I used to hate hills, but I find that I really don't mind them as much anymore during training.

I did 0.98 miles last night in 12:02, which is a 12:12 pace. I'm surprised I went that fast honestly, since most of my run was uphill. It was a warm night at 69 degrees and the entire thing felt great. After my run, I iced my foot and drank chocolate milk.

I've really missed running, but this tendinitis has shown me something. I was so careful when training for my 5k about taking it slow to avoid injury, but I thought I could just come back from a month off and run 11 miles in a week. At 182 lbs, that really wasn't my smartest move. I'll be scaling it down and working my way back up slowly. I'm still determined to run 13.1 miles at the end of April, but I don't think I'll be actively chasing a sub-2:30. My goal is just to finish now, which is good enough for my first one.

Monday, February 13, 2017

Saturday Bummer Run, Monday 2-miler and a Sore Foot

My run on Saturday was supposed to be a 5-8 mile long run. It was also supposed to be around 60 degrees even in the morning. I borrowed a pair of my husband's shorts because I don't own any. I don't own any because I hate my thighs, but I am well aware that I get super hot when I run and I thought that I would brave exposing my thighs in exchange for feeling slightly cooler on my run.

Big Mistake.

It turns out that I have thighs. When you run with thighs, they rub. They chafe. I've never chafed before, but I've heard the horror stories. So when I realized that's what was happening at mile 3, I called it quits. I ran a 12:18 average pace. 12:21 for the first mile, 12:09 for the second and the third is when the thighs started screaming, so it was a 12:13.

I intended on going back out Saturday evening to run, after it had cooled down a bit (we got up to 89!), but life got in the way and that did not happen. So my 5 mile run turned into a 3 mile run, but life happens.

Sunday was normal, though I'm actually proud of how fast Acacia and I got up and got to church. We didn't get up until almost 9:10. I got dressed, ran out to grab breakfast for the hubby, and she and I managed to get to church just after 9:45. My foot started bothering me a bit, but I didn't think too much about it.

That brings us to this morning. This morning was a 1-3 mile run at race pace. My foot was bothering me, so I set a goal of 2 miles and told myself that if it hurts, I'll stop. I ran both miles mostly by feeling, so I was pleasantly surprised when I got done and realized that I'd completed 2 miles in 23:26. Mile was 1 11:53, mile 2 was 11:31, for an average of 11:43. I think that was a little fast for me and I'm not sure if I could have kept up that pacing for another mile, so I think I'll need to slow it down a bit next time.

My foot felt alright for most of the run, with just a couple twinges, but by the time I was home, it was painful. It's still painful, but I'm not too worried. There is no bruising and no major swelling. I wore flats to work today and I think that with some rest and NSAIDS I should be fine. Tomorrow is supposed to be a rest/cross training day or 3 miles easy. I'll play it by ear and probably do some strength training, but no running.

How is your running going? I've been focusing a lot on the idea of self-care this month and I know that running is a big part of that for me. I love running and even when I'm gasping for breath and my legs feel like they want to fall off, I love it.

Friday, February 10, 2017

3.5 Miles Before Dinner (and being thankful for disabilities)

I was pretty sore all day yesterday. After having almost a month of no running for various reasons, I spent yesterday with some pretty tight and sore muscles. Overall, I felt good though.

My husband surprised me by buying dinner (a nice big BBQ spread) and all I had to do was go pick it up on my way home. It made things so simple, because that meant that I got home, made sure they were eating and I got to change and go run before it got dark. I almost never run in the daylight, so this was a fun change and helped keep me motivated while running a farther distance than I've ran in over two months.

I did 3.5 miles at a 12:25 average pace. I realize that's faster than the pace I should have been running at, but it's what felt right yesterday. I don't regret it even though I'm quite sore this morning. I did my first mile in 12:32, 2nd in 12:30, and 3rd in 12:27. The last 1/2 mile was quite a bit faster because it was mostly downhill. It felt good to get out there and really push myself. Coming home was great because there was an abundance of carbs and proteins waiting for me.

Today is a rest or cross training day, so I'm not sure what I'll be doing. Tomorrow is a 5-8 mile long run (target pace of 13:59-15:36) and I'm sure we all know that I'll probably be doing just a bit over 5 miles. I'd attempt 8 if I hadn't spent the last two months battling various injuries and sickness, but I don't think I'm ready to push quite that hard yet. I will get myself to the higher end of my run distances, but it may take me some time.

I'm not disappointed though. My performance is definitely less than what it could be if I'd been able to keep running over the last couple of months, but it's actually above what I thought it would be. It's taken me a long time to accept that my body will never be what it could have been, because of everything that it has been through. I have two disabilities that I manage very well, but will always be there and will keep me from being as fast as other women my age. It's taken me a long time to accept that. Instead of looking at what I've lost, I'm trying to see how much I've gained.

I find that I tend to appreciate the good days more. I listen to my body a little better than a lot of people my own age. I'm also used to these aches and pains now, which is something that not many in their early 30's can claim, which means that while everyone around me is just learning how to work with it, I've gotten it down to a science. It's a tarnished silver lining, I suppose, but one that I actually really appreciate. I'm not scared when I wake up to a pain somewhere anymore. I've learned what to eat, what to drink and how to move to work with the damage. I've learned pain management techniques. I'm amusingly a source of wisdom for many of my older coworkers (40+) that are just coming into sore joints and back pain.

I appreciate my body in a way that I didn't ten years ago. Ten years ago I was angry at it and I was ready to give up and just accept that I would eventually stop walking. 30 year old me is appalled with 20 year old me's attitude. I'm not entirely sure what changed, but I strongly suspect it was having my daughter and knowing that she needed me to be the best I can be. Whatever it was, I have spent the last decade working very hard. I accept that I will never not be disabled, but it is comforting to know that I do have some control over how disabled I am for the time being. It was April 2007 when I was told that I had less than 10 years of walking left. It was April 2008 that my daughter was born and changed my entire life. It will be April 2017 when I run 13.1 miles.

I think I might just look up my old doctor from 2007 and thank him for giving me the tools to turn everything around, because it's his tips that I used to go from not walking (seriously - in 2011 I couldn't walk without crutches for about 6 months and they weren't sure it would get better) to knowing that I can run a half marathon. Not everyone will be as lucky as me, but I am sure thankful.

Thursday, February 9, 2017

Getting back into training

I'm a horrible blogger. I know. I get it. The problem I was facing is that I want this to be a running blog (or something along those lines, I suppose) and I wasn't running. A bit of that was laziness over the last week or so, but before that it was due to other issues. I was injured (the ribs have healed nicely and there is finally no pain) and then I got sick. Then I got sick again and it just kind of stuck around. I don't know about anyone else out there, but I can't run when I can't breathe. So while I actually felt mostly fine, my sinuses were so blocked that breathing while sitting was feeling harder than breathing while sprinting.

I have my goal half marathon coming up in a few months (April 30th) and my training for that was supposed to start on February 6th. That didn't happen. It didn't happen on the 7th either, but I pulled it together enough to go running yesterday on February 8th.

The training plan called for 1-2 miles Tempo. I used an online calculator to take my 5k race time and give me paces for all the different training speeds (tempo, long run, etc.), so according to that, I was supposed to run yesterday at an 11:48 pace. I'll be honest: that scared me a little. I haven't ran in a LONG time. I got dressed and was fortunate enough to finally have a headband to keep my ears warm! My baby sister got it for me for Christmas (I have a little sister and a baby sister - they're 28 and 26, but since I'm 30 we're sticking with those titles), along with a fuel belt w/ water bottles, and some running socks. I digress.

I did 2 miles at 11:51. So, a few seconds slower than my goal, but close enough that I'm satisfied. I'll re-evaluate my paces in about a month or so, but for now I think that what I have will work for me. It was hard and I thought about giving in a few times. I'm so glad I didn't. I felt tired at the end, shaky and quite cold (it was 35 degrees last night), but I felt accomplished. It feels so good to have done this and I can't wait for my next one. I'm supposed to run 3-5 miles easy tonight (13:50-ish), so I'm looking forward to that.