Tuesday, September 29, 2009

bumps in the road

it's been a few days since i blogged, maybe because i was trying not to beat myself up, or maybe just cause i was lazy all weekend.

i left off last week on thursday with a sore leg and a day off from running. thursday evening, i rested and did some stretches at home. grey's anatomy was really good btw. friday, i took a complete rest day in prep for a 20 miler on saturday. it was hard to tell how my leg felt until i started running. my plan was to run 8 miles with vicki and her man, bill. then meet kily to run 12 to finish out my 20. it was a perfect plan, but everything else was much less than perfect. first of all, it was muggy and warm still. second, i felt the tightness in my leg upon the first step of running. it wasn't halting stiffness so i kept on going, and we were having a great run. near the end, however, i got that feeling we runners dread the most. dead legs. i honestly feel my dead legs were a result of the pain and stiffness in my right leg. my gait was off, and i know i was compensating big time. kily showed up, we headed out, and i was no better. not even 2 miles into it, i decided to scratch 20 and stop at 12. running became impossible. pain developed in more areas of my leg, and i wasn't willing to risk anything.

kily was great. he talked me through the guilt, frustration, feelings of failure, etc. i'm 8 1/2 weeks out so i made myself understand that i have time. i already have one good 18 miler under my belt. so i left with positive feelings about everything. however, it was difficult to walk the rest of the day. i took it easy, napped, watched football, and ate as light as i could. sunday, i rest some more, stretched, and tested it out on a 4 mile run. i took it SLOW and EASY and then came home for more stretching. it was a bit tender on the run, but seemed to loosen and feel better.

so here i am in week 7. i plan to attempt the 20 miler again on saturday so the days leading up to it will be important. monday, i taught two spin classes where i felt some tightness during certain aspects of the class, mostly tempo work. today i will run. my fingers are crossed, and i am prepared to stretch, stretch, and stretch some more after the run. tomorrow should be a tempo run, but that is currently tbd. let's hope the week continues on as it should. the good news is, we FINALLY have a taste of fall, and i'm encouraged by that. i know that will help my legs to feel lighter and give them a bounce that only cool temps can give!
this pic is from my drive home yesterday morning from teaching. the sunrise was as pure as it could be. no clouds, bright sun, and the promise of good things to come!

run for your life!

Thursday, September 24, 2009

week 6

i'm about 1/3, a little over, of the way into my training. i knew my training would be aggressive, and now my body knows it too.

this week, i started with teaching a spin class on monday. i had decided that after the tough 18, i wouldn't run until tuesday. spin was good, pretty tough class, but it felt good on my legs. tuesday was the day i was going to do my 3x1600 meter repeats at the track. of course it was raining, but i went on out, even though i DID NOT want to. i made it through one repeat, 7:44 pace, but the second one, i strugged, 7:50. still happy with those times, i had been debating the third 1600. after encouragment from ginny and vicki, who were doing 800's, i went on with it. i suffered. 7:56. i was a bit discouraged with that time, but it was honestly all i had. legs were tight, especially the right one, and my gait was way off because of it. the cool down even hurt. the air was as thick as it could get, and it never stopped raining. the rain is a blessing, keeping it much cooler than it could be. all in all, i was proud of that workout because i did it when i didn't want to, and i kept going when i wanted to throw in the towel. 6 total miles.

wednesday morning was my weekly class, which was more on the moderate side, but still a good workout. that afternoon, yes, more rain. i had a 7 mile run to do, easy pace, and i wasn't expecting anything great. jim went out with me to do about 5, with the option to leave me if i got too slow. i kept it around 9:40, and i was pretty ok with that. the down side, my right leg is not in good shape. the 18, speed work, and steadily increasing miles over the weeks are catching up with me. my body doesn't react or recover like a lot of other runners. i tend to have to be conservative which is usually ok with me. my leg isn't injured, but it's very sore, tight, and it makes running difficult.

so today, i had wanted to wake up early to run my 7 for today. no one could go with me, so i opted for bed instead of doing it alone. probably a good idea since that will give me a full 24 hours of rest before i attempt another run. i will decide today what i do after work, if i run or go to yoga instead. i might have to drop my miles back and run 4 or 5 instead of 7. sucking it up and going with it would be ok, but i have 20 miles on saturday to consider. this run is TBD.

either way, grey's anatomy's 2 hour season premiere is tonight. something to look forward to!

stay tuned!

Sunday, September 20, 2009

stalkers, dogs, bathroom breaks, and football

today was my first 18 miler. someone told me recently on twitter that the first 18 miler seems more nerve wracking that the first 20 miler. i agree. something about 18 and over that just stirs the mind. the flip side is that when you're finished, what a feeling! any of you who do this often know EXACTLY what i'm talking about. you might feel sick, tired, pain, or something else, but you feel an incredible feeling of accomplishment to have overcome something big that day. today, there were several things.

stalkers - don't be alarmed, i'm fine. vicki was running 13 of me 18 with me, but she was coming after i had completed that extra 5. i hate finishing alone if i'm running with someone so i always do my extra miles first. we ran off the trail, on the bonhomie loop, so i went out early, dropped water and then parked. i didn't run down bonhomie at 5:40 cause it is DARK. i kept it on the roads where there are lights...running between highway 11 and 49. it worked out nicely, except for this car i saw about 4 times. it was probably nothing, but i was thinking i had a stalker, the entire time. this caused me to run a bit faster than i needed to that early in the run, but i wasn't playing around either. i was armed with pepper spray, but i took it mostly for the dogs! which is a good segway into my next obstacle.

dogs - the last time i ran the bonhomie loop was back in may, with jim and ginny. we made the turn that day onto jervis mims and were ambushed by two mid-size dogs. i was the one who kept jogging along, not worried about them, and i was the one who got bit! still got the scar. so, vicki and i met and headed out down bonhomie after a couple miles in the other direction. we were both quiet, which isn't a great sign usually. you see, it was HUMID and on the warm side. i didn't list that as one of my major obstacles cause it's always an obstacle if you run in the south. vicki knew of my dog attack, so she grabbed a stick a few mile down the road. we weren't expecting to see two little dogs on bonhomie, but we got ambushed early! these dogs were small, but aggressive and had sharp looking teeth along with a pretty nasty snarl! i sprayed, vicki swatched. we were spared. i was mostly ticked off by the owner in the yard laughing! so we pushed on. the site of my attack was quiet, to my relief. on the way back by, we saw my attacker, but apparently he had been napping so wasn't ready for an attack. he just barked and looked at us from under a bush. i remember that one as the one who left my scar. we turned back on bonhomie several miles later came back across our previous ankle biters. just as aggressive. vicki was hilarious. i heard her growl, 'go on you little bastard' and she was DETERMINED to make contact. she about knocked herself on the ground trying to get a hit. we were in the last few miles so that perked us up a little, and as usual, we shared some laughs.

bathroom breaks - i apologize for anyone not reading this who isn't a runner. runners are very open with each other about most things while running, bathroom issues being one. you know where i'm going. and you know that because i wasn't on the longleaf trace that there were no restrooms. i'm from the country so i'm not scared to do what i have to do. and i did, 3 times! i have no shame, and feel like what needs to be done must be done. long hard runs are tough on the body and....well, it happens. vicki was proud of the last bathroom spot she found for me. it was a good one...good leaves too. ok, enough.

football - not an obstacle, but a challenge. we had a good run, tiring, slower than i wanted, but overall good. it was warm, muggy, dogs, bathroom issues, but we lived. i basically came straight home, showered, swallowed a couple of pop tarts, and left to go to work. i had to be there for noon. we are doing some membership promotions so i had to help manage the people hired to man the membership tables in the football stadium. part of the job was assisting them in set-up, on the upper and lower levels. the only way to get there? walking stairs!!! i think i went up and the stadium steps 5 times, not to mention the walking back and forth to my seat, the office, etc. each time was harder, sweatier, and increased the pounding in my head. it wasn't great for my recovery because i'm sore today, and i know it's mostly from the walking. however, the game was UHHMAZING! i got to hang with some great friends and lose my voice!

so far this week, 39 miles running, 3 spin classes, and 1 yoga class. if i get out of bed anytime soon, i'll try to get some walking and maybe a mile of running to get an even 40. good to rest today. tomorrow, back at it!

run for your life!!!

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

yee haw!

boy am i tired! last week was nuts as well as the weekend. we hosted the ogletree house ribbong cutting / grand opening events thursday through saturday. they couldn't have gone better! it was a big moment in my job, and i'm happy to say it was pretty good job. the moments where the alumni are thrilled are what make the job worth it..the stress, lack of sleep, worry, fatigue, etc.

last week was a down week, but this week, back to it! i promised to hit it hard, and i'm doing my best! monday was my double spin class day, and i survived. tuesday was an easy 7 miler, and i survived. it was one of the muggiest runs i've had in a long time! i took the opportunity that i was presented last night and came straight home after work to REST! it paid off. taught a great spin class this morning to a male outnumbering group (rare), and tonight was a tempo run. now, i was a bit nervous cause i knew this was the time i really needed to start working hard. i've justified half-assed attempts at tempo runs or mile repeats in the previous few weeks, and it's time to put my money where my mouth is. so i did. i headed out for 8 total and decided to make 5 of those tempo miles. vicki joined me for 6 miles. i told myself, no expectations, start out the first mile shooting for a 9 min. mile and go from there. first mile was 8:52, then it started raining, and then it started storming! the second mile was 8:32, cause i was running for the rain shed! the lightening got scary so we had to seek cover for 5 or so minutes until it passed. we headed back, and the third mile was 8:24, and the fourth mile was 8:33. vicki decided 4 tempo was enough, so i ran in the last mile - 8:15. i finished 5 tempo miles at an average of 8:32, total time 42:44. i was very happy with that considering i had low expectations.

i always say if i can make it through wednesday (that's usually the hard workout day), the rest of the week is gravy, including the long run. tomorrow, i will run an easy 6 after work, then do a yoga class right after. i imagine friday will be a total rest day in preperation for saturday's 18 miler! i know, 18 already??? vicki will be running 13 to prepare for a half marathon in a couple of weeks. we'll be heading to bonhomie for this run, the scene of the dog bite back in may. i still have the scar! i will be armed this time.

i feel like i'm becoming a runner i used to be. i'm waking up and going for runs even though it's raining. i'm going after work even though it's hot. i'm not finding excuses to skip. vegas is probably not going to be a PR or a stellar race, but it will be a huge return to marathoning for me. i'm excited and gaining my mental strength.

run for your life!!!!

Thursday, September 10, 2009

out of control

to quote my friend margie, life has been 'out of control' lately. it's been a while since i last wrote and so much has happened. to avoid crying, i probably won't dive into too much detail.

in the time i've been away, i've continued tending to a sick dog, working hard, and running when i can. also in the time i've been away, i had to make the hardest decision ever. to put my dog out of misery. this is where i won't go into much detail to avoid more tears. i will say that after everything that could go wrong went wrong, i had to make the hard decision to put my best bud to sleep. there just wasn't much more we could do that we hadn't tried. it was one of the hardest days of my life. i will leave it at that.

during these times, i've tried to keep running. i have missed a run or two, and made up a run or two. last week, i ended up with 33 miles, but was supposed to hit 36. my long run was 16 miles. i did 13 of those miles with a friend i've never run with before, and it was a very pleasant and enjoyable run. it started out dark and rainy, so me getting out of the car was a big deal and giant step toward my old running self. celebrate the victory!

this week is a down week, and i've already missed a 7 mile run, but after a 12 hour work day, there isn't much i can do about all that. tuesday's and wednesday's runs were both 8 miles. tuesday, which was the awful day, was a pretty good run. for those who don't believe it, running really does help the mind as much, if not more sometimes, as the body. tuesday's run was a HUGE help in dealing with my grief. wednesday's run, not so great. i was thrilled to be running with vicki who i hadn't seen in almost a week, but i felt terrible. i blame it on work stress and grief fatigue. i will keep plugging this week, hitting a yoga class tomorrow, and runs when i can. next week, maybe life will begin returning to normal so i can return to normal training. i should say life will become a new normal. the old normal would include my dog, who i'm missing tremendously.

this week has also been joyous. a co-worker and his wife, also my friends, became parents to beautiful twin girls. i'm thrilled for them and this wonderful new addition to their life. they've had a long, and often exciting journey to parenthood.

this week has also been stressful and exciting at work. my building, the Ogletree Alumni House, which was built in 1912 and housed the university president until the 70's, was recently reopened after an 18 month restoration and expansion project. for weeks, we've been preparing for this week's festivities. tonight, we hosted upper level donors for a special reception, which was wonderful. tomorrow, we cut the ribbon. tomorrow is the BIG day, and to say nerves are on fire is an understatement. so as i write this, my mind is racing for all i need to prepare for mentally tomorrow. i'm also propping up my feet to allow them recovery from the 3 inch heels i wore today and will again wear tomorrow.

i'll never forget this week. the week i grieved and celebrated all at once, literally. the same day i began grieving to my best friend for 9 years, i also rejoiced with friends for the birth of two new lives. the same week i cried and shed more tears than ever in my life, i laughed and smiled with friends in celebration of exciting times with the alumni association. it's been an array of every emotion possible, but that's when life is it's most challenging and rewarding. you learn how strong you are for sure.

i truly hope this is the end of my trials for quite a while. i'm ready for something good!