The adventures of an unlikely pair. Follow us if you dare....

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

The One with a 3 mile bust

So last night I had 3 miles on my schedule. I looked at it and laughed. Three miles you say? “Easy”, “fun” and “fast” were the thoughts running through my head. Michelle was going to meet me and I figured we’d do the old neighborhood loop for old time’s sake. We started out and we both had good energy, yet I instantly knew that this was it, this was the bad run I had been waiting for. It had arrived. Little did I know this run was going to bring me to tears. Mile 1 was painful, but usually it just takes me a while to settle in, and besides, we were only doing 3…famous last words! We did mile 1 in 12:19 and when I saw that my instant thought was, “oh crap!” It was too fast, no wonder I was hurting. Yet again my mind said, only two more, hang on, because you are strong. Yet last night, my pain was much stronger than I was. I barely made it another quarter mile before I had to pull up and stop.
My whole right leg, and by whole, I mean everything from my glutes, to my IT band, to my quads, to my groin, to the ligaments around my knee, to my calf, to the outer part of my ankle just hurt. Painfully! I have an extremely high pain tolerance, good? Maybe, but it’s probably more of a bad thing than it is good. Mile two was trying to run some but mainly just walking. And even walking hurt tremendously.
My mind began racing…”why now? I have 7 races in the next 8 weeks! I can’t be injured now. What am I going to do? This is awful! What about my marathon……!!!” I was a mess, to say the least.
I was able to run the last mile and actually did it in fairly decent time (not completely sure the pace, but I know it was fast). I immediately got in my car and called Alex, and then proceeded to lamented to him for the next half hour (the poor guy!) Every thought and possibility went through my mind and you better believe he heard it all:
 What if I go to the doctor and they tell me I can’t run? (Well they probably would tell you not to run)
I can’t NOT run, that’s ridiculous!! (Well, then maybe you need to cut back some)
But I have paid for these races, I can’t just skip those (what if you didn’t run during the week and then just ran the races)
That might have to be the solution for the moment, but what about my training plan and my mileage? (Well what if you injure yourself even worse?) ß Ah the annoying voice of reason!
And it went on like that; Jumbles of thoughts running through my minds. I went home and then cried to my mom (I can’t cry in front of the boyfriend yet, he’s not ready for that!). The control freak in me is just so scared and discouraged. I was improving. I was enjoying the runs. And it’s just what I do; you can’t take that away from me.
I spent the next hour and a half icing and foam rolling and lathering up with muscle rub, all of which did help, it’s not better, but it helped. So that made me feel a little bit better, at least it made me feel like this might be a manageable thing if I am extremely diligent about icing and foam rolling.
So where does that leave me? Well for this week at least I’m going to take it easy. That being said, my normal Wednesday night run will be skipped, I may attempt a few miles on Thursday, but I may just cross train instead.  I have a half marathon on Saturday which I have already planned to do at an easy pace. I’m doing this race with my dad and stepmom and I have told them that this is their day, so I go at their pace and do what they do. I’m not racing and I have no intentions of beating any certain time goal. And from there, well icing and foam rolling every day will be done. Cross training will be done. And I will also not be doing any back to back running days; clearly my body needs to recover. But from there, only time will tell. I hope that I find relief soon and if you have any advice for me, please, I will welcome it!

Monday, October 17, 2011

The One with a weekend of wedding stuff

NOT my wedding, my sister’s weddings. That’s right, both of them are getting married next year. Sara and Luke are getting married in April and Rachel and Matt are getting married in August. Oh and my really good friend Karen is getting married in April, too. I’m the Maid of Honor in all three of the weddings; I guess I shouldn’t tell anyone how much I dislike weddings and the process that leads to them…
Anyways, so my sisters were here to do “wedding stuff” this weekend. Sara specifically needed to find a caterer (done!) and “The Dress” (done!). Dress shopping took most of Saturday and after three places and countless dresses and styles she found “the one”. My mom cried. She cries easily but hadn’t cried all day until this dress, I think it was meant to be.  Originally it was just Sara that was looking for a dress, but Rachel actually found hers as well, double score!!
Earlier that morning before the marathon dress shopping began our cousin Taylor happened to be in town for a couple hours and we met up with her and her mom for breakfast. It’s always good to see Taylor, she’s always been like another sister to us and so it’s fun to spend time with her.

She got my sisters these adorable hangers for their weddings!
She brought me a candle, I guess because I have dogs and they stink, or something, but it was nice, yet not picture worthy.

Saturday night was spent watching the Texas Rangers win the ALCS and make their way to the World Series for the second year in a row!! I love my Rangers and I’m so happy to watch them get this far yet again.
On Sunday morning the ladies and I had plans to run 7 miles….they both cancelled on me.

So as tempted as I was to just roll right back over and go to sleep I knew that I needed to take marathon training seriously and I wasn’t about to start skipping out on the shorter distances this early, so roll out of bed I did. I had a quick bite to eat and drank some water and headed out. I was actually planning on listening to music since it’s been about 3 months since I’ve run with music, but my ipod was dead, so I was alone with my thoughts. I was a bit nervous because I’ve never done more than 5 miles by myself. I was also nervous because as I mentioned before, I’ve been having all good runs lately and I figured it was about time for a really bad run. I started at a nice comfortable pace and just enjoyed the cooler weather and the dark and lonely trail. As I’m running along I knew I wanted to go a little bit faster but I kept telling myself that, “if I get to mile 5 and feel good I can speed up”. I quickly caught on to that and reprimanded myself, of course I’ll make it to mile 5, there’s no IF about it!! So I changed that to, “when I get to mile 5…” but I did not need that apparently. I had it in me, somewhere deep down that yesterday was going to be a good day. I wanted that push yesterday and wanted to feel my legs working.
My garmin beeped my mile 3 and I realized I’d gone from 12:48 for my first mile 12:43 for the second and 12:30 for the third. I told myself to slow down, but I couldn’t. Usually at this point in a run I’m bargaining with myself saying if I make it to this point I can walk, if I make it to this mile I can walk. But yesterday my thoughts weren’t on running, they were about life and about how full of gratitude I felt to be out running. During mile 4, I prayed for Sara and Luke; I ran it in 12:18. During mile 5, I prayed for Rachel and Matt; I ran that one in 12:15. During mile 6, I prayed for my mom; I ran it in 12:08. During mile 7, I prayed for Alex and our new relationship; I ran that mile in I don’t know what since my garmin died exactly at mile 6, but I know it was fast because I was pushing really hard at this point.  I’m not a hundred percent sure on my time, but given when my watch died and when I got home I did 7 miles in 1:26. I was very proud of that.
This was probably one of the best runs I have been on in a really long time (even thought all my runs have been good lately). I felt strong, I got faster, I enjoyed the beautiful weather and got to see the sun rise. I was able to spend time in prayer (thanks ipod!) and just breath in fresh air. It was a great way to start my Sunday morning and kick off my week.
And for your viewing pleasure…a race photo from last Sunday. I actually really like this picture, aside from the fact that I look pasty white, I look really strong! (sorry about the blur, since I stole from the race site it's poor quality!)

Friday, October 14, 2011

The One About the Tyler Rose Half Marathon

First off, I want to give Lesley, from Racing it Off a BIG THANK YOU for all the twitter shout-outs and then to all of you Racing It Off readers for stopping by and joining me on Twitter, I greatly appreciate it!
This past Sunday, the ladies and I were in Tyler for our third half marathon out of four in the Four Season Challenge; I can’t believe we have already done three!! Wow, we rock! Sadly, we haven’t been running together as consistently as we would like and I’ve missed my girls so I was excited to be able to race with them. Lisa left early on Saturday to hit up the expo and pick up our packets for us (according to her it was nothing special at all and we didn’t miss anything!) Michelle and I had things going on all day Saturday and weren’t able to leave Dallas until around 7; good thing it’s less than two hours away!  We made good time and rolled into town a little before nine. We may have also hit up the McDonalds as we headed to the hotel….not going to lie, that was some pretty good pre-race food right there!!
Once at the hotel we all chatted for a bit, laid out our race stuff ( I did some foam rolling, my poor muscles sure needed it!!) and then called it a night around 11. Our race didn’t start until 8 (for the record I much prefer earlier starts, I’m an early morning person anyways, so why wait? Let’s just get going!) and the town isn’t that big so I didn’t get up until 6. Once up it didn’t take long to get ready. Lisa and I moseyed to the lobby to see what was for breakfast only to find out it didn’t open until 7, ugh! We watched the weather channel for a bit and found out that it would be slightly warmer than we had planned on, oh well, anything is better than the Hottest Half right?
Once 7 am hit we were in the lobby scarfing down bagels with peanut butter and grabbing bananas on our way out the door.  We arrived at the race site in plenty of time and actually laughed at the sight of the start line (no offense to anyone, and we are most certainly not race snobs at all, but it was comical at how small and just uneventful the start of this race was). The parking was a bit unorganized but there was plenty of it. The porta-potties were clean, had toilet paper and the lines moved very well, I must say I was pleased with that.

They had a marathon that day and I think about all of twenty people ran the marathon, but they started at 7:30. We saw them take off and then just walked around until it was time for us to start.  Our start was also pretty uneventful and I simply crossed the mat and started my watch and took off. I honestly didn’t pay too much attention to the first mile, I was trying to make sure I didn’t veer too far off pace (starts of races are the worst because I want to go fast with everyone else!).
I do remember miles 1-4 being pretty much a constant, giant uphill. It was the craziest thing ever. I knew going into this race that this course was going to be hilly, we had heard the rumors! But I was not entirely prepared to face what was actually in front of me. We maintained a steady pace and decided to walk for one minute every mile marker we came to. That seemed to work really well for us. The course early on was something that I wasn’t entirely impressed with, there were many twists and turns and some of the neighborhoods were not that great at all. However, as the race went on there were some very beautiful and amazing parts to this course. Nice neighborhoods and just over all pretty areas.
After 4 miles I think we settled into a pretty good rhythm and we weren’t constantly going uphill. There were a few downhills and they were much appreciated. I think I felt the strongest from miles 4-8. I kept right on target and before I knew it we were two-thirds done. Mile 8 Lisa started to speed up and I tried to keep up but knew I couldn’t maintain this faster pace for a whole 5 miles. So around mile 9.5 she stuck in her earphones and went on her way. I tried to keep her in sight but she was much too speedy for me.
This was about the same time that I ran past Lesley from Racing It Off, It was so good to see her and she was kind enough to text me a picture of my rear end. This picture cracks me up because I look so lame, I’m walking!!!! Way to go me!

Anyways, I trudged on until about mile 11.5 and then I hit a slight wall. I would like to say that I didn’t hit a wall at all but at least this is improvement, most of the time I hit a wall around mile 9 and seriously struggle through the last 4 miles, but not that day!
At this point I’m alone and with no music, and I’m watching my watch like my life depended on it. It was mental math constantly trying to figure out just how to keep my time under the 2:50 mark, I wanted a PR so badly.  The last .3 of a mile were the worst in my opinion, there was an uphill that seemed like Mount Everest and I blame it for stealing my 2:49 time!
I still did however manage a PR, it was only by 12 seconds but I will take it and be happy with that for sure!! This race course was by far the hardest race course I have ever run on, yet I still managed a PR. I am very proud of that. I kept thinking the whole time just how strong I felt. The hills were brutal and something I wasn’t used to at all, but I managed and made it work, that made me strong. I felt like time flew by on this race, it didn’t drag like it has in the past and before I knew it I was at the 12 mile marker and almost finished. This was an overall great race experience and I’m excited to see what I am capable of doing if I can have a great day on such a hard course!

So what’s next? 13.1 Dallas is next weekend! I’m very excited for this race because I will be running it with my Dad and stepmom Denise as they run their first ever half marathon! I am so proud and can’t wait to have this experience with them.
And stay tuned for my State Fair post!!! Here’s a preview….

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

The one about how this journey started

One year ago yesterday, I walked into RunOn, ready to take my very first Turkey Trot class. I was living in a new city, in a new place and my life was in shambles, or so I thought. Little did I when I walked into that room full of people that I would find friends that would be so important to me over this past year. I was completely unaware of what God was about to do in my life.
 I’ve mentioned before that things had happened in my life that had led me to a point of brokenness and that I was in need of something to move me from point A to point B, and that was why I was there. I had a goal in mind and I wanted to run the 8 mile Turkey trot, beyond that, well beyond that I had no plans; I wasn’t even sure I had the confidence and abilities to run all 8 miles, let alone go any further.
 But I was very, very wrong, and I’m so glad that I was wrong! Because what I found instead has truly changed me as a person. What I found was confidence in myself. What I found was an appreciation for myself. What I found was that I could actually be proud of myself. And what I found were friendships that pulled me through and made me be better and stronger. The depth of how my life has changed is completely lost on many, and that’s ok, I don’t expect others to understand. My family understands some of it, because they were there, they saw my weakest, most humble and torn apart moments. Yet no one was able to feel the vulnerability and pain that was inside of me, therefore no one can fathom the extent of the joy, love and appreciation that is within me now. But again, that’s ok. But don’t think just because people don’t understand that I will stop talking about how amazing running and my friendships have been and are, because that is not going to happen.
I feel so blessed to be able to look back over this past year and see such insurmountable growth and strength. To think that one year ago I struggled to run a mile in under 13 minutes is amazing to me. Yet this past Sunday I ran 13 miles, not just for 13 minutes. And it wasn’t the first time I had done that either! (I promise a race recap is coming!!)
So I sit here today because I’m thankful. I have a heart of gratitude for God’s love in my life. Had I not had this past year of learning about myself and making new friends and seeing how strong I truly was, I’m not sure where I would be; I would probably still be trying to run away, but I’m not anymore. Instead, I’m running with passion and intention!
*Every new beginning comes from some other beginnings end….

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

The One With My Thoughts On Running, As Of Late

I know I have been neglecting my poor little blog, however that is not my intention.  I am still in transition between jobs and still figuring out a new office, new responsibilities and a new routine. Hopefully things will settle down and I can actually have a few moments to devote some tender, loving care to this blog that I do in fact love.
As I said in a previous post, just because I’m not blogging doesn’t mean I’m not running, I’ve been running a lot actually. The other day while out on a run I just started contemplating what feels different about my running over the past month, so I thought I would share some thoughts with you.
Monday night I ran 9 miles, yes that’s right, 9!!! I was so stinkin’ proud of myself. I’m also proud because I kept a great pace (12:50) the entire time and still had energy to pull an 11:08 mile for the last mile!! This run felt almost effortless. The first 2 miles my right leg was in some pain, but I never let myself stop and eventually I found a great rhythm and just kept running. My legs felt strong and my endurance felt great.

This brings me to my second thought – I haven’t had one bad run in over a month! I’m not sure if this scares me or excites me. My runs generally fall into the pattern of good run, bad run, bad run, ok run, good run, etc. But I’m not joking when I say I haven’t had one bad run in over a month….I’m trying to relish the feeling without being too skeptical
On these so called “good run” I’ve found my endurance to be great. The pace is always conversational and I never truly feel winded. My legs generally ache from time to time but I feel over-all strong in my running and like I am able to continue on and enjoy it. This makes me excited to see what I’ll be able to do this fall as far as learning to grow and push my pace a little bit.
The cooler weather is making all the difference in the world when it comes to running. It’s so nice to be able to go out and just enjoy the weather and not be pouring sweat and worrying about dehydration.
I am genuinely excited about running a marathon, not even lying. It sounds strange, I know, but lately since all my runs have been good runs and I’ve felt so strong I can’t help but get excited about seeing how far my body will take me. A year ago I couldn’t even run a mile, today I feel strong and ready to conquer a marathon!
I’m still having lots of right leg pain; my IT band, hip flexor and glutes are a mess! And no, I still haven’t gotten that foam roller I said I would get two months ago. That is so happening tonight! The pain is manageable and not too intense, but I also know that it’s not normal and I need to do something about it NOW, lest I find myself sitting out of a lot of really fun races I have coming up. So today is the day, I will foam roll and work on being better about caring for myself.
On Sunday we have our 4th half marathon this year (4!! That’s crazy!!). It will be in Tyler and it’s a Boston qualifying course (nothing special really, it just sounds impressive). Two weeks ago I actually had the opportunity to run 8+ miles in Tyler, the hills were brutal! I’m not looking forward to that, but I am thankful I know what to expect. I’m actually very excited about Sunday because of all the good runs I’ve been having; I’m hoping that translates into a great race day!!
I’m still raising money for World Vision and so if you want to help out a good cause you can still make donations by clicking the World Vision logo on the top right of my page. The race is in 16 days. I will be running with my dad and stepmom as they complete their first ever half marathons! I’m so proud of them!
I have finalized, typed, printed and started using my official marathon training plan! I’m hoping to be able to get that onto my training page sometime in the next week (I would say by the end of this week, but let’s be real folks; I haven’t been too consistent with the blog lately!). I am excited to share it with you.

I think that’s about all I have for now….I probably could go on, but it would all be just ramblings, so I shall spare you.