Time for Rest

I’ve finished one of my fall half marathons and I’m in the last 3 weeks before the finale of my racing season. I’m relieved to see the end nearing. I intend to keep running after the final race, but I only intend to keep in 10k condition for the coming months. I am looking forward to the break from longer runs and dedicating more time to injury recovery and prevention.

Tuesday was speed work. My muscles were not happy that I was trying to run again after the 16 mile weekend (a 5k and a half marathon over 2 days). I managed to push myself to complete the workout. It was a hot evening. I drank all of the electrolyte drink I’d brought along. I ran 4 miles with an average of 11 minutes per mile and I walked 30-45 seconds after each pick up before running back to complete 4 of the pick up repeats before running a mile for cool down.

A friend offered to run with me on Thursday morning after I got the kids off to school. It was so chilly that morning, I don’t think I’d have run if I didn’t have plans to meet up with Jess to do it. I dressed well for a run in the weather with long sleeves and pants that both had mesh panels to offer some air circulation through the hotter spots (armpits and backs of knees). I told Jess that I was going to do 4 miles because I couldn’t remember what my training calendar said. I later realized it said 5 miles. I once again averaged 11 minute miles for that run and didn’t worry about that missed mile.

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Same Jess as in the Whiskeydaddle 5k.

Friday, I saw my physical therapist. I am close to being discharged from their care, but I’m basically listed as independent/home practice for two weeks before it is official. My foot hasn’t been too bad. I just need to actually remember to keep doing the exercises.

Saturday morning was even colder than Thursday, so I wore a warm 1/2 zip top, pants, gloves, and a winter headband. We had 8 miles. The first 5 were south of where we parked and the next 3 were supposed to be north. Around the 5 miles, we had to stop because I needed a tissue, but I also needed to ditch my headband and gloves because I was hot and sweaty. When we reached a train crossing on the north part of the trail, there was a seemingly endless freight train preventing our crossing to continue. We opted for turning back to our starting point and heading east on the trail to complete our 8 mile run. It wasn’t the plan, but it worked out fine. We caught up with someone else from the group and we all ran together and talked while we went along. I felt the familiar feeling of just wanting to stop because I didn’t want to go any further, but I somehow recharged and finished strong. I also started walking the second my Garmin hit 8 miles despite having another 1/4 mile back to the starting point. I averaged under 11 minutes for that run. I was pleased that I’d actually kept up the effort and even came close to averaging the speed I would need to in order to get a personal best at my race in Indy.

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Sunday wound up being hectic. Much of it was kids. Not all of it was my own kids. The message at church was about rest, which was timely considering I was completely exhausted and irritable. I think the message was more about living out the calling that God has for us and being patient with His timing. I’m still trying to shake off the irritability late on Monday morning while typing this post. No, it isn’t “that time of the month” for me. I sometimes get overwhelmed and it leaves me feeling this way. I am not one who enjoys being busy constantly. I like my peace and I like having time for rest. I don’t do the competition to see how busy I can be or how tired I can get before I explode. I just work in rest like I do exercise. I make it a priority.

I’m excited to have my last two long runs leading up to the race on November 3rd. I let my friend talk me into a 5k this coming Saturday. It wasn’t difficult. I have been doing the race yearly for a few years and its kind of a tradition. I have a 12 mile run on the calendar, so I suppose I’ll need to do it Thursday or before the race starts on Saturday. I want to place in the 5k, though.

Are you still training? Do you have a plan for the lull in races that comes until the spring? Do you prefer running in the heat of summer, coolness of fall, or something else entirely? I am not a fan of cold weather in general, but the running conditions are pretty good when it is cool and not yet bitterly cold.

Have a great day! Hope you can work rest into your schedule!

 

 

Race Day(s) in week 12

Week 12 is finally through. When I signed up for Whiskeydaddle in Peoria, I entered a challenge where I’d do a 5 k race on Saturday and a half marathon on Sunday.

Tuesday’s training run was near our local Fleet Feet for four miles. The weather was hot, but the run felt great. Four miles gave me confidence for the upcoming weekend because I managed to do well in the heat. The group I was with ran and commented on the bulk waste sitting on the curbs. We saw a couple of bowling bags, a lot of furniture, and even more luggage. It was fun to point out the little treasures we saw in the trash.

My oldest daughter was unhappy with her choice to stay with family out of state that she’d made last week. She asked to return near the end of the week and was encouraged to try to make things work out. She returned to the area over the weekend. I had spent the weekdays placing her things into boxes and rearranging things to utilize the emptied space. The finished product was my kids playroom being moved to the less visible basement from the room directly beside the entryway. I was wiped out from all of the cleaning and organizing I had done through the week.

The entire week, rain was in the entire weekend forecast. Friday morning, I set out on a 45 mile drive to packet pickup. Rain poured down the entire way there and got so heavy, I couldn’t see the tail lights in front of me and I couldn’t hear the radio over the rainfall. Once I was in Peoria, it wasn’t raining. I picked up race packets and headed back home without being rained on for the 45 miles back.

Saturday morning was the 5k race. I found friends at the start to chat with leaving my husband closer to the front since he’s much faster than me. My friend, Jess was doing her 2nd marathon on Sunday (after a 12 year marathon hiatus). I mentioned that I average 11 minutes for my first mile and that she could run with me to ensure no break neck speeds were had the day before her marathon. It was a hot and humid morning and I was sweat soaked by the end of that 3.1 miles, but I had fun and felt encouraged about the next day. It drizzled and felt cooler after we’d finished, so I put hope in the cooler feeling sticking around. I read my devotional for the day and it was titled, “Run” and included Hebrews 12 where it says “…and let us run with endurance he race that is set before us, Looking to Jesus…” I was amused at the timing of that particular message.

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Jess and I post race (with our Goodr sunglasses)

Sunday was the big 13.1 mile race I’d trained 12 weeks to run. I barely slept the night before. The weather was difficult to predict even with the forecast rain. I arrived to a fairly cool, but very humid start line. At the parking lot, I told my husband that all I could hope for was to finish the race and not cry or give up. He told me I was definitely too stubborn to give up, but to cry if I wanted. This is just how we joke with one another about running sometimes. I found friends again at the start and chatted it up. As the gun went off, most of the people I knew took off ahead faster than I allowed myself to start out. I spotted my friend, Wendy. She was running intervals and kept catching up to me on each of her runs. I decided that instead of chatting and splitting up on her walk breaks, I’d join her on the intervals. She was happy to invite me to run along, so that’s what we did. She informed me that she would be running her intervals for 10 miles and then walking the other 3 miles. Her goal race was Indianapolis Monumental, which I’m also running, and Whiskeydaddle was a training run leading up to it. Glad to have someone to chat with that was going to do 13.1 miles, I spent the rest of the race with Wendy. We did a fun photo during a walk interval.

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I hit a point where I was fighting my brain to keep going and I couldn’t think of anything except how much I wanted to just give up. Wendy kept my distracted from those thoughts and kept up the conversation even when I wasn’t actually talking much. She’d assumed I was annoyed with her, but I was just trying so hard to keep going that I just needed the talking. When we hit the 10 mile mark, we agreed to walk the remaining 5k to the end. We ran a few times when there was a downhill or just to stay loose, but the intervals were gone. My personality came back and I was able to form words and carry on a conversation more easily. We ran in the finish happily enough that the announcer said, “This is why you run with friends. Look at those smiles.” I raised my hands over my head for the finish photo and it was done. My time was over 25 minutes slower than my personal best. I made it 13.1 miles, though. That means I have a few weeks to work out the kinks before I run Indy and I could still reach for that personal record time. And Wendy will totally be there, guys. I could torture her for another 13.1 miles.

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FINISH!

I didn’t get the PR I’d hoped for when I started training 12 weeks ago. I finished, though. I had another half marathon finished and another one planned. I got the medals I’d signed up for and my training continues tonight with speed work. I’m looking forward to more training and more races. I push through the challenges in life with endurance and I run the races with endurance (even if the speed isn’t there).

The medals:

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5k was called “The Shot” and the Half Marathon was “The Bottle”

Thank you for reading! I hope you’re enjoying the fall race season and maybe even planning for the spring. I hope you can push yourself a little past your comfort zone to achieve things you want to. It is worth it each time!

 

 

 

 

Week 11 Taper starting

Last week was lively. It felt like at least 9 days instead of 7 in my opinion. I wound up missing my Thursday run by putting it off until Friday and running out of time.

Tuesday’s training group workout was hills. We typically run to a grassy hill that is popular for sledding (and hill repeats) and some distance afterward along the nearby trail. I decided not to aggravate my foot and did my hill repeats with a friend on an incline along the street near the grassy hill. It was challenging, but not painful. Success! Almost immediately after the run, the clouds poured down rain. I drove home in the pouring rain thankful that it hadn’t started before I’d completed the run.

Wednesday, I woke up in pain in my mouth.  I went to the dentist for a filling. It was awful. I didn’t say much when it felt like nothing was numb when the work began. I winced and wiggled in the chair. Once it was over, I started to feel a brief numbness. By the time I got home, it felt like my face had been struck where the guilty tooth was located. I quietly sobbed as I took two ibuprofen, iced my cheek, and took two more ibuprofen after 15 minutes of no relief. It actually let up and I was able to sleep without taking any more anti inflammatory medicine.

Thursday, I felt crummy most of the day and I was exhausted. Things were taking me longer around the house and I wound up not getting out for my run and I put it off until the next day.

Friday was more busy than I intended and I didn’t run as I’d planned. I had my first physical therapy appointment. The analysis showed that my foot was not flexing as well as it should on either side, but that the left side (where the pain is) was slightly less mobile. The therapist did iontophoresis, ultrasound, and electrical stimulation on my foot. I was sent home with 4 pages of exercises to help with my pain and scheduled 3 appointments a week for the next 2 weeks.

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My puppy ate page 1 of my workouts, guys… these 3 remain.

Friday evening, I went to a party and was able to bring my husband with me I was there to try to win a trip to Las Vegas. I didn’t win, but I had fun having a date with my husband and knowing the kids had fun while we were out. I had dropped the kids and their bikes off with a family involved in the same scout troop, so they knew them and their kids enough for it to be fun for them.

It would have been easy to skip running Saturday to sleep in and relax a little. A kind stranger had given me an extra drink ticket on Friday night and I totally drank that beer. I knew I didn’t have time to make up the run later in the weekend, so I got up and had a great 6 miles. The weather was what I consider ideal for running. The run was relatively short compared to past weeks and I felt great. That’s the beauty of a taper. Saturday afternoon had a full calendar and seeing my bed at the end of the day was a relief.

Sunday morning was an early day for church. There was a ceremony and our evening service was cancelled for that day while the other two services were moved by time in order for an 11 am ceremony. It was all part of this book we’ve all been reading as a church.

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After church, my teen was feeling cross and any attempts to reason with her were unsuccessful. I won’t go into it here, but there was a brief period where she utilized a public audience to express her dissatisfaction. Family that caught the post offered their assistance and someone took her in at their home.

And so September ended and October is here. Race day is Sunday, October 7th. My podiatrist was excited about the end of my training until I told him I have another half marathon on November 3rd. He told me to let him know if I’d rather defer my entry to next year and then nudged me off the chair*.

*That didn’t actually happen, but it probably could have because I actually forgot that deferring was a thing for big races like Indy.

How do you feel about taper week? Are you already winding down for the year or just getting started? Do you already have plans for a big goal next year? I want to do the Mo Cowbell race in Missouri next October. I’m from there, so I like to use races to go back and visit.

Have a great week! Next Monday or Tuesday should be my race recap and we’ll talk about my participation in Rachel Hollis’s Last 90 Days. Heck, maybe I’ll write about that before next week.

 

 

 

10 weeks into training

I’ve completed week 10 of training. I’m in the last weeks of training before the Whiskeydaddle half marathon. I considered bowing out or challenging myself at a shorter distance. At least I’ve been stubborn enough to stick with it even after I’ve experienced some adversity.

I went to the podiatrist about the chronic pain in my foot diagnosed as sesamoiditis. I’ve slept with a splint on my foot in a flexed position. The Dr. made modifications to my shoe inserts to take the pressure off of the area of my forefoot that was painful. I had less pain, but not total relief. Tuesday, I had a cortisone shot and was referred to have physical therapy over the next couple of weeks leading up to the race. I was impressed that he was able to get a needle from the top of my foot into the painful region on the bottom and precisely hit where the pain was centered. I was less impressed that the injection recreated the pain I had while running. Over the next couple of hours, my toes became numb. Doc told me not to run on it again until at least Wednesday.

My first run of week 10 was on Thursday. It was hot and humid outside and I set out to complete 5 or 6 miles since I’d missed 5 on Tuesday was due for 6 on Thursday. I completed 4 miles running and walked under a mile home. I felt no pain in my foot on the run. I was bummed that the weather was so gross when I finally felt no pain in my feet, but the heat was oppressive and I wasn’t going to push too hard.

Friday, was an event with Fleet Feet for “Run at Work Day.” [I don’t make these things up.] I enjoyed a 2 mile solo run followed by lunch and conversation with women who also run. Friday night was spent getting to know my neighbors while our kids ran around and played past their bed times.

Saturday morning, I’d agreed to time a race for my local running club. It was cool enough to need a jacket to stand outside. I missed my group run, but I wasn’t really ready to run 12 miles Saturday. I needed to rest and to reset. Also, I got to hold a time machine. See?

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Upper right. It says “Time Machine”

Since my usual morning long runs are Saturday, my husband gets Sunday mornings. He checked with me since I’d skipped my run, but I told him that I wasn’t enjoying running and I would make up my long run when and if I felt like it. My kids let me sleep in until almost 9am. I was feeling rested and refreshed. After his run and after a lot of back and forth with my best friend, Liz, I got dressed and set out for “whatever I could do just so I could tell her how gorgeous the weather was.” I knew it was supposed to be 12 miles for training. It is the last long run on the calendar before taper and race weekends. I drove to a local park and secretly hoped I’d make it to 13 miles with the beautiful weather. It was afternoon already. It was warm and running still felt hot. I enjoyed the first half of my run. I even made myself stop to take drinks even when I felt I was going at a good pace. Upon completing mile 10, I stopped at a fountain and messaged my Liz. She’d hurt her cornea and couldn’t run outside. She gave me crap for not wanting to run when she was missing her last long run before her half, so I muddled through the last two miles with a lot of walking and whining. The last two miles were speed walking, nearly crying, jogging, and feeling the sensation of pain again in my forefoot (which made me get a little teary eyed thinking about how the pain wasn’t actually gone). Finishing felt like I could see more clearly and had more energy walking to my car. I got my mat, walked to the trees, and did my post run exercise and stretch routine in the shade and took a selfie.

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I was actually pretty content after that long run.

I went into church with a wet head of hair barely dried from my shower, but I didn’t stink and I looked presentable. Our pastor talked about repentance.  At the end of the service, there was an offer for anyone who wanted to be baptized. They had spare clothes and towels on hand. I squeezed my husband on his hand and whispered, “I’m going to do it. I really want to.” He then asked if I was serious and walked with me to the changing area out of view of the congregation. They asked him if he was getting baptized. Without missing a beat, he said “Yes.” We changed into athletic shorts and t-shirts and were baptized before the congregation by a church elder who had recently prayed with us over our teen daughter and her recovery. I’m so happy that we did it on the same day and witnessed for one another. I’ve always been a Christian, but I haven’t always been good at staying in my faith. This year, we started going to a local church at the request of our oldest child after she’d completed rehab. While she hasn’t continued her attendance, we have committed to attending and teaching our younger two about faith and service. I’ve been examining myself and my faith and I really hope that I stick with it. I still struggle with depression at times. I’ve devoted more time to reading and praying and I have less time for being plugged in. That has helped.

Is your race coming up? Are you ready? I’ve noticed that each training session has had different challenges. This time, it has been harder to overcome the “can’t” in my head.

Enjoy your journey and share with me your thoughts!

 

Week 9 was alright

I have nothing clever to title my post this week. I barely have the words in my head to form anything worth reading this week. I’m not going to make an “at least I’m not,” statement because that would totally damn me for that thing to happen because that’s my luck lately. I had fun that didn’t involve running. I totally mommed like a pro (I know “mommed” isn’t a word, spell check). I accomplished running things I didn’t think I was going to. Overall…

Week 9 was alright. Tuesday was a hill workout. I was on time for the warm up, did my hill repeats, and ran the additional mileage to equal 5 miles total. I didn’t want to finish after the hill repeats, but it wasn’t physical pain, so I moved along. I was pleased with myself for actually pushing through the barrier and going for it. I was dealing with finding long term solution for my oldest child after her voluntary treatment stay.

Wednesday was actually pretty awesome because I went on a first grade field trip to the pumpkin patch with my youngest child. She learned, played, and picked out her very own pumpkin to take home. We played in a silo full of corn. Yes, WE. I climbed in and sunk down to my thighs in dry corn. No, I haven’t seen the movie “A Quiet Place,” yet. I am aware there is corn.

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Pumpkin Picking

I don’t even remember Thursday clearly. There were 6 miles on the plan. I’d announced to a friend that I was going to do 3 and call it a day, but I went out and ran 6 miles. It wasn’t pleasant, but I recalled that I didn’t want to do 5 miles on Tuesday and was still able to. I was fortunate enough to bump into a runner friend at one of the parks where I’d stopped for water. We chatted for a few minutes; Me declining her offers of NUUN electrolytes and an ice pop. I picked up the energy needed to take the 1.5 miles back home for 6 miles. Another run that was better after it was over.

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Friday, I had a conversation with my teen that did not go well. She was not wanting to be in treatment due to other clients there. It was unpleasant and generally stressful to discuss. We hadn’t settled on a place for ongoing help and I was working on budget forms to determine the cost of one option. My husband and I agreed he would drive the couple of hours to pick her up on Saturday morning after my long run of 11 miles. I’d need to be finished by 10 am for him to leave on time, which shouldn’t have been a problem. It totally was Setback Saturday, I tell ya.

Saturday at 5 am, I began to consider just getting my run over with since I was already awake. I still considered a solo run when I arrived for the group before meeting time. Running felt crappy inside of the 2nd mile, but I was with the group that keeps me accountable. I stopped for a bathroom break at mile 6 and my wheels fell off. I found company in another miserable runner who needed to be finished at the same time. We ran, walked, and talked our way to finish 9.5 miles of our run. I said I’d make it up later, but I didn’t. I was frustrated with that.

Sunday, we went to church in the morning instead of our usual 5pm service. Our pastor talked about Joshua 24:15-16 and contemporary idols we enslave ourselves to. I actually thought of the Nine Inch Nails song where he refers to “God Money,” as the pastor spoke. This didn’t take away from the message, though. After, I was a volunteer at a benefit concert for a local animal rescue called My Loveable Angels. (I know about the spelling, guys). It was nice to be busy and have the distraction. Then, my phone started buzzing with messages from my husband. I decided to forgo fast food on the way so I could get home. I realized a contemporary idol of mine was food. Now that I’m aware of it, I have to make the right choice to lower food on my list of where I turn when I’m sad, lonely, happy, or confused. I’ve known for a long time it was a problem, but I hadn’t seen it as turning to something instead of prayer.

We have had so much support from family and friends through all of this stress. We have a more positive outlook for how things will be moving forward despite not being sure how we’re moving forward at times. I appreciate it, though and I want everyone who has reached out to know that I am so grateful and blessed to have this much support. Thank you!

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Seriously….this corn. Every time I take the kids here, I’m in awe.

We, Kate….no, Week 8

My brand of humor could only be labeled generic if you meant that it’s weird and is not exactly everyone’s taste. Other than being a bit of a strange bird, I’m average. I’m mostly accepting of average unless I’m reading something where the hero emerges from ordinary life and does something extraordinary. Then, I dream a little bigger momentarily. I try to consistently set high goals.

This year, I set my eyes on beating my half marathon best time. I scheduled two half marathon races a month apart and signed up for training sessions that matched those goals. I completed week 8 of the first 12 week program. I’ve missed a lot of training runs over the past couple of weeks.

Tuesday was speed work. It was a one mile run followed by 6 repeats of 200 meters picking up speed and 200 meters fast running followed by 400 meters of recovery. Then, there was the mile back for cool down. I went all out until my nagging foot pain returned and I decided to cut one repeat from the program and just wait and run the mile back. I realized on my drive home that while I didn’t do the full workout, I’d spent all of my energy out on the trail. I’d worked harder than I had and I was proud of my hard work instead of disappointed in my early stopping. My best pace was actually really impressive and I only shorted myself 3/4 of a mile in the end.

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I missed cross training on Wednesday and my Thursday run. I’ve been physically exhausted from emotional hardship. Friday, my oldest child turned 18. I make birthdays special by cooking or buying a favorite meal, making a cake of choice, and gift giving. None of that happened Friday. I tried to find comfort in knowing that at least she was still alive and that addiction and/or mental illness hadn’t taken her life. I quietly mourned, praised God, and asked Him that she one day understands the things she resented the most were the things we did from love. A friend took my two younger kids out with her kids in the evening for some bounce house activities, so my husband and I had dinner and drinks out together. That was good for both of us on a rough day.

Saturday morning was chilly and there was a steady light rain falling. I had an 8 mile group run planned. I showed up hoping I’d be able to run unlike the previous week where I’d stopped short of 8 miles on a 10 mile run. The cooler weather worked wonders for the way I felt on the run. I not only ran 8 miles, but I held a pace close to my race goal pace for the majority of my run. It was so exciting! I got into my head and thought I couldn’t finish my run or that I should give up and stop trying to get a personal best time. What I realized is the goal and it isn’t over if I don’t reach it this year. I’m doing the best I can with what I have right now and that’s impressive. I’m really kicking my butt out there and I’m grateful.

Sunday, I went to church. The praise and worship, the message, and the time of reflection at communion seemed to fill the void I’d felt when struggling with the sadness surrounding the situation with my daughter. Some days, I get more out than I put in and I find that encouraging and comforting.

Are you chasing a goal? Can you accept that sometimes, all of your hard work will require more hard work before you can meet it? Do you stop to appreciate the progress along the way?

September 10th is World Suicide Prevention Day. Please check in on your friends and loved ones and let them know that they matter and that you want them to see tomorrow and the next day and so on. Heck, tell a stranger something positive you see in them. You never know when your kindness could save a life.

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Wonderfully Misunderstood [and week 7]

This week sucked. I thought last week did, but this week was the ‘challenge accepted’ week for “could shit get worse”. Much of the story belongs to my teen and I can’t go too far into it because it’s really for her to face and come to terms with. My teen daughter relapsed in her addiction and ran away when we confronted the issue and offered to get professional help.

Tuesday morning, she had been missing since the evening before. I was pouring through comments, messages, and information to attempt to locate. I messaged my friend, Jess and said that I didn’t know how I was going to fit 5 miles into the day with everything going on. She lives over 20 minutes away, but told me she hadn’t completed her own run for the day and that we’d meet me so we could go together. We knocked out 5 miles in the humidity and heat. I felt better after taking some time away and I was happy to have someone care enough to take time out to help me.

My teen turned up less than 36 hours later in an emergency room unwilling to talk to her father or me. She’s now in competent care that meets her needs. She will be 18 this week and this is an attempt to help while we still can in this capacity. Finding her in the state she was in brought a level of stress and lack of sleep that carried over into the rest of my life. Mental exhaustion carried into my physical being with brute force. I found myself tired from taking the stairs instead of the elevator and forgetting the day of the week. I was neglecting to eat meals because I was tired and trying to catch naps when I had time where I was without kids. Friday, I had no appetite and I forced myself to eat an apple and cheese stick for dinner despite knowing I had a training run the next morning.

Saturday morning sucked. I had a 10 mile run in store. It was humid outside and I wasn’t paying enough attention to drinking water. I took my electrolyte pills at 4 miles and my drink had a mix in it for electrolyte replacement, but I was hit with muscle soreness and exhaustion of not being properly hydrated. I stopped my run before hitting 8 miles. I wanted to cry, but I had a lot of reassurance that people understood I was exhausted. From what I’ve learned about hydration, my pee was indicative that I should have had more to drink on my run and that I actually knew better than to ignore when I’m sweating heavily. I attribute it to the other things on my mind keeping me from operating normally.

Sunday, I set out to run after feeling irritable. I got out on the trail and I was running at a good pace. I enjoyed the run until my stomach gurgled and I felt the unmistakable need for a bathroom. I wasn’t on a part of the trial where bathrooms are near. I stopped running and sat along the side of the road. I messaged a friend who lived nearby, but she was not home. I assured her it was fine to laugh at my problem because I would’ve found it humorous, too. My husband picked me up with a plastic bag on his passenger seat as if it was already too late for a bathroom. Fortunately, I made it home and to the bathroom without any messes or need for plastic seat covers. My stomach was not having any more running for the day, though. I ate pretzels and napped. Then, I grumbled about how my runs were stupid this weekend.  This week, I didn’t run much and I seriously considered dropping the earlier of my two half marathons down to a 10k to lighten my load. I really want to PR my half marathon time, though.

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This could make me negative and want to sulk on the week past. I tend to go silent when I’m not feeling mentally healthy. I made a post to my Facebook on Saturday evening that said: “COMPLIMENT CHALLENGE Comment 👇👇 and I’m gonna tell you something positive that I like about you! Best challenge yet! We need positive energy in our lives.” Everyone started answering it with positive things ABOUT ME. It was heartening. I made sure to consider each person and highlight positive things I’d noticed about them. It was unexpected, but the timing was perfect. I still don’t feel well and things aren’t suddenly fixed. I had a shift in focus from the things influencing my feelings to view the way I influence others.  It is really something to have people say so many nice things.

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How is training going? Thank you for reading. Please feel free to comment and share. If you’re one of the people who gave me one of those positive remarks, THANK YOU! It touched my heart.

I hope you can find in yourself or have people who will point out the positive when you’re not seeing that light. I also hope you know that you’re here for a reason and that Tomorrow Needs You (please see: To Write Love on Her Arms Melbourne, Fl, USA).

 

 

Week 6 and Mental Fortitude

Not much is said in training about the mental toughness required to complete certain tasks including long distance running. Often, the thing that is preventing completion of a run or reaching a goal is mental. Of course injury and bodily pain and often hinder progress. More often, we find ourselves fighting something in our minds. This is the strength we’re finding when we ‘dig deep’.

I find it difficult to be mentally tough when I’m battling with stress in my life or a relapse in my major depressive disorder. This week was rough with getting the kids back to school and battling with my depression coming in a huge wave of exhaustion and feeling inadequate.

Tuesday was a speed workout with the group. It was humid outside and hotter than it had felt earlier in the day. My speed was declining within my repeats even with coming to a walk during cool down. I could sense that my body wasn’t up for the challenge. My legs never really loosened up and the pain in my foot was not lulling away as it usually has. I cut my own work out short by a mile. I wasn’t disappointed. I actually listened to my body and I didn’t give up because I thought I couldn’t. I stopped because I realized my body said I shouldn’t. How can I distinguish the two? I’ll get to that. I went and had dinner and a beer with a couple friends afterward and that was a good distraction.

Thursday’s plan said 8 progressive miles. I hit the trail heading east, circled a local park to add distance, and ran through a subdivision. I got to another park and had to use the porta potty with no soap for me to wash my hands. I couldn’t stop thinking about how germ filled my hands were using just the non alcohol hand foam. I went home, making my total 6 miles. I washed my hands and the mouth pieces on my hydration belt and added ice to my water. I could have just stopped and said that 6 was close enough. I knew I could get 2 more miles in, so I set back out and ran. My reason for stopping had nothing to do with listening to cues from my body. I needed to calm my mind to proceed and I did what I had to do and moved along. I was pleased with myself once I finished and realized how close I’d come to giving up.

Saturday, I ran a race along Old Route 66 from Funk’s Grove to McLean, Illinois. It was a 6.6 k, about 4.1 miles. I’d mistakenly thought it was 4.4 miles. Participants were offered a shot of sirup [that’s how they spell it] and a strong cup of cold brew coffee. Toward the end, as I was reaching the city limit of McLean, I saw a Blue Note painted on a pallet and I thought “Go Blues” feeling like the sign was just for me. The next pallet in their yard was the STL symbol for the St. Louis Cardinals. I felt like it was just the push I needed to finish strong. I ran the race averaging 10:45 per mile. That’s the pace I want to complete my upcoming half marathon. The post race food and entertainment were fun and it was quite the experience. I didn’t end up making up the miles to get in my 9 for the day and I didn’t end up doing it Sunday like I thought I would.

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Week 6 at a glance

I spent more time last week resting than I would have liked. I did things that were good for my soul, though. I started reading a book loaned to me by a friend. I spent more time praying and less time worrying. I confided in people that I wasn’t feeling well. I could have been a little harder on myself to complete my long miles, but I can’t change that.

I saw the podiatrist today. No cortisone shot, but I got a boot to help me with my achy foot. I also got orders for physical therapy. I miss the physical therapist there, so I hope I get to see her. We spent so much time together after the cast and boot came off last spring and again while I was marathon training last summer. Hang on….you have to see the contraption I’ll be sleeping in to stretch while I sleep:

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This should be interesting.

Thanks for reading! I appreciate your comments and suggestions. I am halfway through training for my first half marathon of the year and then I’ll have a second one just 4 weeks after that. I’m hoping to beat my best half marathon time at one of the two. Best of luck with your training and I hope you can identify when you need to push yourself and when you need to give yourself a break. Is there something that you say or do that helps you to go that additional bit you need to? Do you have a mantra that you use? Mine is that “Tough times don’t last. Tough people do.”

 

 

Week 5 in the books!

I’m done with week 5 and on to the halfway point for the first race! That’s awesome!

Also, I had a lunch date with my husband and he encouraged my lunch beers, so I’m in a more chipper mood than usual on a Sunday. Yes. This post is brought to you by craft beer and a delicious sandwich from a hollowed out loaf of bread (known as a BraiZito).

I had three runs this week, as planned. Tuesday was a 5 mile run near a Dawson Lake at  Moraine View State Park. I wasn’t feeling great, but the run started 30 minutes later than usual. I set out with good intent, but aware that this course was hilly for the region and that it was late enough in the day to provide plenty of summer humidity and bugs. Then, I started to fall into step with someone I’d run with as a mentor in the past. He was mentoring the 10k group at the time and he really let me know how much my mentoring had encouraged him in the past. I suppose hearing someone actually say it made an impact on me. I felt a tinge of value in my attempts at helping people by just being who I was and saying what I meant.

Thursday was kind of nuts. I had one of “those” runs. The things I worry most about going wrong. Those were the things that went wrong. I didn’t get enough sleep overnight, so I didn’t get to run in the early AM hours like I’d planned. Dinner was later than I’d intended, so I ran sooner after eating than I would have liked. My newer headphones weren’t cooperating with the Bluetooth on my phone. The music was skipping on my run. I had a pain that I’d written off as phantom after my first stop and discovered was a hair splinter at my second. Nearly halfway into my run, I needed to eliminate and was not close enough to any bathroom to make a stop. I wound up inside of a CVS pharmacy after a rather uncomfortable jog to the building and feeling obligated to make a purchase, shoving stretchy athletic tape into the pockets of my Lucy shorts while stashing everything else into my Amphipod hydration belt and refilling my hydration in their fountain. I’d been blessed to remember to bring along knuckle lights with me since darkness set in prior to my run home from the CVS. Lights in hand, I set out for the 2 miles home. Along the way, one knuckle light completely died, leaving me with my left side illuminated and my right much less lighted along the way. A few houses from my own, I’d hit the mark I’d aimed for and started to walk. I was so thankful I’d made it the planned mileage instead of having to cut it short. Somehow, completion made it all okay.  I felt more accomplished having overcome the obstacles than perhaps I had just completing the run.

Saturday was the 8 mile run that my mind was prepared for 7. I know I ran 7 last week, but my brain was not having that because I did that one on my own. The course was a 5 mile course (including the 10k group) followed by a 3 mile course.  I spent much of my first 5 miles running with people training for a 10k. It was encouraging and kept me mostly close to my goal pace. Once back at the starting point [Fleet Feet store] I refilled my hydration bottles and once my hips started to stiffen up, I set back out deciding that the others I’d intended to run with would catch up with me if I’d started another warm up. They did catch up and we had an amazing run. The mentor with us spoke encouraging words when I started to feel like falling back. I followed her to the point where I was matching her footfalls to stay in my desired pace. I was actually telling myself that I had to override my mind to take my body where I wanted it to go. It worked. We finished the run near the average I’ve been looking for and someone I’d run with is willing to do the goal race with me so we can hold each other accountable. Last year, I’d had trouble with a 12 minute pace. Now, I’m closer to 10 and that’s really exciting! Mile 6 is obviously where I stopped and refilled, walked as I pleased, and recharged.

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I left this week of training with hope. I’m picking up speed. I might actually PR in one of my Autumn races. I am feeling physically more able than I did in my training last year, which gives me more I  in each run. I also still get to see my friends and talk to people in my training.

My depression and anxiety are not in remission. It is annoying how often I feel like my heart is beating out of my chest or that no matter how hard I try, I’m not good enough. I bash myself more than anyone ever could. I assume the world is not meant for me sometimes. I have a few close friends and I’ve discovered that it is plenty.

Thank you for reading! Please share, comment, and suggest as you please. Remember, craft beer probably had a bit to do with my writing in this particular instance. I hope you try your local brewers and you like Hazy American Pale Ale.

See you next week!

 

 

 

Week 4 and challenges

I’ve completed week 4 of my training. I had speed work, an active vacation, and a visit with my podiatrist.

Tuesday was a speed workout with pick ups. Basically, we had to pick up speed from cone 1 to 2 and go “all out” from 2 to 3 and then cool down going back to cone 1. I was proud of that run. I had a great partner with me for the duration of the speed work and she really helped me rise to the challenge.

Thursday, I intended to wake early and run 7 miles, but I was struggling with some stress related exhaustion and I slept past the alarm.  I did 6 miles instead of the planned 7. I felt the need to slow down and I also just wanted to go home and get on the road for our vacation in Missouri. Trevor the dog was with a local friend. Aurora, my puppy was to stay with my friend, Liz. That meant I actually got to see her. I even ordered her a gift to show up on Thursday. The package arrived as I was talking to Liz. As in, not at her house, but at mine. I saw it on my front door cam. It’s the thought that counts, right?

Liz has a 95 lbs. dog named Buddy. Aurora took one look at Buddy, ran away, and pooped on Liz’s carpet. She finally got over her fear and they were friends over the few days she stayed there.

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That’s Aurora the puppy with Buddy the HUGE dog

Friday was our first full day at the cabin and it was great! It backed up to a small lake and was set back in the woods where we saw a lot of deer and I saw raccoon prints on the back steps. I got into a kayak for the first time and paddled around the lake. My 8 year old son was able to catch on to kayaking in the lake by himself [with flotation]. My kids, nieces, in laws, and I had a full day of play on the lake ending with a get together for my son’s recent birthday and s’mores by a fire after dark.

Saturday morning, I planned to run 7 progressive miles somewhere around the resort. I’d decided on a main road and estimated where the 3.5 mile mark would be for me to turn around. I was surprisingly close to accurate and turned around at 3.6 miles so I’d have less running on gravel than I had at the start. It was hilly. There were beautiful sights including deer so close I could’ve almost touched them and I felt guilty for disturbing them running by. The hills nearly did me in, though. I stopped and took a photo of a hill right before I attempted to surmount it. I made it partially up running, then fast walking, and then realizing walking was fine. That mile was still my fastest despite having walked up that hill. Nature apparently was a good run motivator for me.

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See the bluff? That hill was HUGE.

I made it back to the cabin where my mother in law had made my favorite breakfast of biscuits and gravy, which I ate gratefully. We all suited up and headed out on the lake for more fun. I took the kayak out further and tried going faster. I think I really got the confidence to be able to enjoy pedaling. After lake time, we went to the resort swimming pool in the afternoon and to an outdoor concert in the evening.

Sunday, it was time to go home. We spent time gathering our stuff and loading the vehicles for the trip. I was feeling pretty tired, but I think that was a bit of the introvert in me needing some rest after a social few days. We stopped back by Liz’s house and got Aurora, who had to gnaw on my ear and my ponytail as soon as I lifted her into my arms. The ride home was spend slipping in and out of sleep. When I got home, my neighbor delivered the box I’d meant to send to Liz. I opened it and sent her photos of what I’d bought for her. A 32 oz Blender Bottle with a Wonder Woman design and color scheme that I have since used for myself.

Podiatrist

I was supposed to see my podiatrist a couple of months ago for a checkup from when I tore my peroneus brevus tendon, sprained my ankle, and got tendinitis from running on it anyway [on the right foot] and he treated it. I started having pain in the ball of my left foot, so I thought it would be a good time to reunite with him despite not wanting to hear bad news. I described my pain and after an exam, he requested an x-ray. Soon after the x-ray, he said that there was a sesamoid bone that was in two pieces that shouldn’t be, but it looked like it had been that way awhile and the pain was located in the sesamoid bone opposite of that one. He mentioned that if I’d let it go on, he’d probably have immobilized [put a cast and boot on] my foot. We discussed treatment including him making adjustments to the inserts I use in my shoes and using anti inflammatory medicine. I have to be careful of which surfaces I run on. I have to go back in two weeks to have it looked at and possibly get a cortisone shot if it isn’t clearing up using the conservative methods. I didn’t want to go because I’d honestly assumed I’d broken it after getting my Google MD in the field of feet ouchies. I’m glad I actually went during training instead of spending my late autumn and early winter in a cast.

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I got this from the Dr. office. I must have seemed really confused about the name of the bones there.

How is your training going? Have you ever had an injury you didn’t want to know more about because of the fear of having to take time off? Tell me about it! Thank you for reading. I have a hill workout this Tuesday and an 8 mile run on Saturday. It looks like I’m staying at 3 days a week of running for now. Guess I’ll dust off my bike or maybe even go swim laps.