Final Shred Week

I keep referring to my shred as a “cut” and I wonder if people think I’ve lost my mind saying that I’m still cutting until Saturday, but I’ll have ham and casseroles on Sunday. I’ve been so busy through this process. I’ve hit the gym every other day during the week and I grocery shop more often for fresh items. I’m holding at 5 lbs lost so far, but I’ll see how that figures in fat loss at the final weigh in on Saturday. One thing I’ve noticed is that my wrist is smaller because one of my bracelets I was wearing daily slides all over the place now. It can be easily adjusted. I was impressed that it was noticeable and somewhat regretted not taking body measurements at the start.

I have been a bit cranky this week. Not unusual for this time of the month, if you know what I mean. (PMS, guys. I’m talking about PMS.) I’ve been emotional and depression creeps up on me out of nowhere. I was worried that the darkness would stick around after thinking about how my absence wouldn’t be more than an inconvenience for the people I’m closest to. Yeah, dark intrusive thoughts come by without warning and definitely no invitation.

Fortunately, I’ve had a couple of good days. I’ve enjoyed my workouts and made progress. My Tuesday run wasn’t fantastic because it felt difficult, but I needed the run and it did what I needed it to for my mental state.

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When I got to the gym on Wednesday, the coach was laying on the floor from the workout. My brain was instantly thinking that I should turn around and walk out because I couldn’t put up that kind of work and I’d just be embarrassing myself. On an overhead press, I completed one full set before failing to press the bar up beyond nose level for the rest of the time. I tried repeatedly and couldn’t break my mind of “I can’t do this.” We started another part of the workout that involved squats. While trying to improve my form, I lost my focus and fell on my butt with a bar overhead, but somehow was fine and it only made me try harder to get it right. I was exhausted, but I actually made it through that portion despite feeling like I couldn’t do another rep without falling over for most of the last portion where I had dumbbells to press.

Wednesday night, I had a trail run. My friend asked to ride with me, so I picked her up on the way. When I got lost, I was glad to have someone with me in the car. We were able to use trail shoes on loan from Saucony and go on a path Fleet Feet had marked out for us. It was muddy. There were hills and branches. When we hit 1.26 miles, I’d felt like I’d gone 3 miles and was feeling done with the experience. I was mostly hot because I’ve always taken a while to get used to changes in weather when I run. It was still fun, though. I got to chat with people I haven’t seen in awhile, splash in the mud, and give the shoes back to someone else to clean the mud off. I’d do it again even if my running partner for the evening would not. I also really liked the shoes I borrowed. They had a way to fasten them that made it easier to operate when they’re muddy and not have to tie them. The shoes were also not filled with water or mud despite the number of times I put my whole foot into the wet puddles. When I got home to clean up, I found a single thorn poking out of my knee and just laughed as I plucked it off. I required a bit of scrubbing to see the skin under all the mud I’d gotten on me.

All in all, this week has been ok. I am exhausted today and the gloomy skies don’t help that at all. I finished getting Easter items for my kids [and dogs]. This weekend is going to be busy, but I am excited to see my results from the shred as well as to watch my kids hunt for eggs stuffed with candy. I’m thankful for so many blessings and the ability to recognize them when I was feeling down.

 

Thanks for reading! I hope you have a great day!

Post Race Hiatus

I have not run since the race in Indy at the start of November. I’ve been off a little over two weeks. I haven’t worn my Garmin every day. I plan to start again on Thursday as part of my usual holiday streak from Thanksgiving through New Year’s Day. 

Not much activity there

I can feel the difference in me when I’m not running. I feel a little less optimistic and energetic. I feel a little more isolated and it makes me want to isolate myself more. It’s the right time of year for depression to creep up on me. That unwelcome and uninvited guest sneaks in during the extended dark and tells me that I’m too tired or not good enough to complete everything I need to. I have to force myself to override the exhaustion on most days.

Fortunately, my prayers were answered for my oldest daughter. God placed the right person in our lives to help at the right time. She’s living in a safe environment and has even secured a full time job. It has been an incredible relief to my husband and me. I think recommitting to my faith this year has shown me why faith is important. God is good and this is me witnessing that.

I worked out last Monday with weights and pushed a little too hard. I was sore most of the week. I spent a lot of time foam rolling, stretching, and walking to relieve the pain. I was volunteering during most of the week, so I spent much time on my feet. Standing was fine because my rear end and quadriceps made sitting a chore. I intend to work out again this week, but I’ll choose a workout with less squats and lunges so I can actually sit down the next day. I think focusing so much on my calves, feet, and ankles during this past training session has left me weak everywhere else. I didn’t have sore calves or ankles at all from all the work. 

This Nike Workout

I’m in pain. I have a recurring pain in my shoulder and neck muscles. I’ve had a few migraines over the past couple of months, which is unusual. I get nervous about talking to the doctor about it because the answer I get most often is that depression causes physical pain. I’m not fond of that answer because I’m not sure that my depression isn’t a symptom of a greater problem. I know how weird that must sound to some. It doesn’t change that it is more optimistic than accepting that I have a disorder that can be managed and treated, but not cured. I don’t think that is true for every case of depression, but I think looking at it as a symptom could be helpful in finding relief.

I’ll soon be working on my goals for 2019. My goal for the remaining time of this year is to maintain my weight (no gain) and to complete the running streak. I’ve graduated physical therapy and I’m not under the care of my podiatrist anymore. I can start cross training as part of my workout regime again. I am aware that some of the therapy exercises are ongoing and I’ll probably have to work extra on my ankles and calves to keep my feet healthy. 

Do you have end of the year goals? Do you have goals for next year already? How does winter make you feel? 

I’m also hoping this little pup will be able to run with me in 2019. Aurora is already 6 months old and over 30 lbs! When she joined our family, she was 3.5 lbs! 

Another taper

This week was nuts. I’m exhausted. I’m relieved to see training wrapping up. Running was probably the easiest part of this week for me.

Tuesday, I needed to use the day to run because my evening was packed with appointments including parent teacher conferences. Speed work was the task. I’d decided to try to be in the moment for the duration of the run. I ran a 1 mile warm up followed by repeats of 1/2 mile fast and 1/4 recovery, and a 1 mile cool down. My total distance was 5 miles. I wore my Aftershokz for music and used a route long enough that I wouldn’t need to turn back until I had completed at least 2.5 miles. It was windy, but otherwise great. I felt energized by the run and I wish I’d tracked my speed during the fast portions to see how it progressed.

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Tuesday evening, my husband and I visited my kids’ teachers. Each of them were noted to be talkers. My son’s teacher said he needed enrichment in reading and comprehension. My daughter’s said she needed a little help in penmanship and reading comprehension. I went home and found workbooks to order online to help them over the upcoming breaks for holidays. They’re not going to love it, but I’ll try to come up with some incentive to do the work.

Wednesday, my adult daughter (she’s 18), came to the house with a man and a truck to collect her things to move with “a friend and her parents.” She didn’t say hello to her siblings or bye to anyone when the truck was full and she couldn’t fit any more boxes.

Thursday, I had a morning full of appointments and skipped my run. The family minivan had the dreaded “check engine” light and the location of the problem was too deep for me to even attempt a repair on my own. I didn’t make my run up later in the day as I’d planned, either. The elementary school nurse called to tell me that my son had been to her and the school counselor because he was sad his sister had moved out and taken her things. The nurse let me know they discussed adults going out on their own, but I was a little angry with the way she’d neglected them the previous day.

By Friday, the oldest daughter was saying the house she had moved in to had been involved in a raid by law enforcement. She said that most of her day was spent with the police. She was communicating only with her dad. She was using WiFi and a messaging app because her phone bill had lapsed since she took over paying. Friday night, I was stressed enough to know I couldn’t handle the extra anxiety of being around people. Wendy messaged to ask if I wanted to meet up with her for our 8 mile run. She was willing to go 30 minutes later than my group was meeting, so I skipped my group run in favor of less people and more sleep.

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I don’t know why my face can’t take a good picture lately.

Saturday morning’s run was great. The miles flew by as we chatted. I needed to stop to use a restroom when we were only a half of a mile from finishing the run and I was so glad to see the bathroom when we arrived. I didn’t stretch when I was done. I went home and still didn’t stretch. I spent most of the day on the couch under a blanket and under my dogs. It’s Monday and my calves are still really sore. Lesson learned.

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The lesson is that dogs are freaking adorable. Wait…

Saturday night, my adult daughter posted to her Facebook that she was planning to end her own life. My response to her set off an intense argument with her. While I’d expressed concern, she implied my efforts were superficial and did her best to cut me down with insults. Since my husband and I were unsuccessful at locating her, I screen shot and re-posted photos of the entire conversation (including my comments that she deleted as soon as I posted them). She said she was at a local hospital, so I asked that anyone at a local hospital look for her and show security her comments so the correct actions could be taken. I had a lot of support despite being really nervous about posting the entire conversation.

I had also decided to tell myself that if anyone had an opinion, they could “eat it and eat it again after they shit it out.” Through these experiences with my daughter, especially over the past 3 years, I’ve started to realize that I don’t need opinions and they have no bearing on who I am as a person. It is liberating.

Sunday, we did morning church so we could bring the kids to a trunk or treat at a church one of my friends attends in a nearby town. We stopped in after church to have someone pray with us for my oldest daughter. The trunk or treat wound up being fun and the kids even thanked me for bringing them to it, so I was feeling pretty pleased.

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My son is a hot dog and my daughter a vampire. They’re fishing for prizes.

Nearing 10 pm, my oldest daughter called me from a facility asking to return to our home to stay. She stated the facility was going to release her at midnight. She hadn’t called earlier in the day because she was sleeping. I felt like a person who’s ex calls drunk in the middle of the night for a place to stay. Her words felt empty and she would insult me each time I insisted that she find other arrangements. A 45 minute long conversation ensued where she threatened to either kill herself or walk to our house and sleep on our lawn if we didn’t immediately collect her and give her food and shelter in our home. She hung up. My husband called the number that had called me and spoke to the facility, who assured us that she was not being kicked out and that she was safe. He reported to them her threats. Moments later, she called my phone and said that she would be staying there and gave me a password to speak to her and disconnected the call before I could respond. I know she’s safe. I wish I could lay out things to help people understand the place the decisions I’ve made have come from. I’m not going to, though. I’ve prayed and prayed and prayed some more. I can love someone and still refuse to help them repeat self destructive behavior. The best part is…the decision isn’t up to other people. My husband and I can do that.

So, this week, I’m just hoping to make it through my next three runs before race day. I’m hoping to have some fun with my girlfriends on our trip to Indy. I’m praying for direction and for something that will not harm the family as a whole just to help one member. I’m living one day at a time and I realize that God is in control. It helped that Sunday’s verse from Our Daily Bread was Proverbs 3:5-6: “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; acknowledge him in all your ways, and he shall make your paths straight.” This verse is printed on one of my walls and I think I get it now.

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Do you have struggles that sometimes making running feel more difficult? Have you forgotten to do something simple like stretching, hydrating, or something else that affected the way you felt days after a run? I hope you’re doing well and I can’t wait to share my race day stories with you! This will be my first Indy Monumental and I get a really cool hat at the finish [and a medal, of course].

Drop me a comment or even send me a message. I love feedback. Even the constructive criticism helps.

 

Present living

I got an email this morning saying that there are 12 days until Indy Monumental. I’m so excited! I think I can try to get my best time there and I intend to. I’m also feeling the need to pull back a little on my running and I am excited for not training for anything for awhile. My head is in the future and hoping for the next breath of fresh air or break.

I sometimes get caught up in the “tomorrow will be better” mindset and I don’t think much about the present. My foot pain is mostly gone. My runs this week were actually fun.

Tuesday was hills. Thankfully, it was road running instead of grassy hill repeats. I enjoyed passing the miles with my friend, Maureen. The hills and the miles passed quickly and more easily with her encouragement. I felt confident in my ability to take on the hills after completing the first round of the route.

Thursday, Jess and I met up and ran 4 miles together. The weather was ideal for running and it felt less like a chore to do my run that it would have by myself.

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Jess and I after our 4 miles

Saturday morning, I got up early to meet with Wendy to do 9 miles before a 5 k race I’d signed up for. The miles passed so quickly and easily, I didn’t use any of my energy gels on the run and it didn’t really seem like it was 9 miles. I was able to run the 5 k with Barb, who I ran the 4th of July race with. Considering I’d run 9 miles prior, the race passed quickly and I was done with my long run for the day.

On those runs, I was in the moment. I was present for the present. So, the time went by and felt shorter. When I’m preparing to run or when I’m by myself, I often worry about the future instead. I look into what is left to do to achieve what I want to instead of looking at what I am achieving in the moment. Those times don’t pass as quickly and those times aren’t looked back upon as fondly.

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Bottom to top, my runs from last week.

 

Today, my training run doesn’t get to be with the group because of parent teacher conferences and other activities with the kids. My solo run goal will be to focus on what I am accomplishing in the moment instead of what is left on my “to do” list and what I want to do at Indy. I’m going to spend some time deliberately living in the present.

Do you catch yourself living somewhere other than the present? Is there something you do to help bring your focus back? I hope you are enjoying cooler running weather as much as I am. I think I need to go back to using my alarm clock that simulates the sunrise to avoid the seasonal depression monster. I’ve already caught myself being a little more cranky with less sunlight.

 

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 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.

 

 

 

Week 2 of 2018 Training

I’ll try to keep up each week in training, but it won’t always be just about how training is going. Today, I’m nursing my leg from a middle of the night ‘Charley horse’ in my calf and I still have some training miles to knock out this evening. It’s been awhile since I’ve been awakened by a sudden muscle cramp. I’d forgotten how annoying it is.

This is week 2 of training for my fall half marathons. My training plan is much different from ones I’ve followed in the past and involves more miles than what I’d anticipated.  The plan I’d chosen was one to help myself run a ‘fast’ half marathon. While I’d normally insist that I follow a training plan to the letter, I’m concerned about injury from over training. I’ve cut an entire day out of the plan for the duration of my program. I won’t run on Mondays. I’ll cross train, of course. A well rounded athlete is more likely to avoid injury. In the past, Monday runs were marked “only if you feel good,” and I think that’s been an effective part of past training.

I find it odd to describe myself as an athlete. I am a runner and I do races. I train for my races and I try to ensure that my body is strong and healthy enough to perform. I’ve just got the “mom bod” going on and I’m not meeting my time goals. I want to beat my personal best at at least one of the two half marathons I have on my schedule for this fall. I have time to work on that and there’s no way I would beat the time if I didn’t actually put in the work. I’m also more concerned about what my body can accomplish than how it looks.

I’m gradually getting faster and running is feeling less tedious. I enjoy the couple of group runs each week. It helps me to socialize with other adults, which is totally important in parenting life. Running with the group helps me adjust my pace and try harder than I do running alone. Group running holds me accountable for running on days when I’d probably find an excuse not to run. I had a 4 mile ‘speed work’ run this Tuesday. While it wasn’t as I’d planned, I had a bit of faster running than I have recently.

As far as mental health, I’d be doing better if I were sleeping right. Increasing my activity to more days and miles a week makes it harder to sleep. I’m often awake in the wee hours [that are too early to actually get up for the day] feeling like I could get up and go run. Then, I get to overthink all of the things I did and said the previous day before I fall back to sleep. It isn’t unusual for me to have that for a few weeks starting out in training, but it is annoying.

This weekend calls for a 6 mile long run on Saturday. I’m looking forward to running this and each training run. I’m looking forward to trying to beat my personal best. I’m looking forward to proving once more that my body can do amazing things. I’m sure I won’t always feel optimistic, but today I do. That’s really all I need. One run at a time and one mile at a time.

Thanks for reading! I appreciate your comments and suggestions. Keep them coming!

Here’s a dog and puppy photo because I take a lot of them and I can’t wait until she can run with me. My older dog is getting used to her. I might even say he likes her.

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