Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Thoughts on Today's RUN

Running Again

Tonight was my first run since the Great Injury of 2011.  I opted to run on the treaddy in case my knee completely gave out, or my spirit wimped out, or any other possible contingency that I could dream up.  I decided to get on there and just take it easy.  I wanted to run at a roughly 12:00/mile pace, nice and easy, 0% incline, and I intended to stop at the first sign of pain.  I felt much better than I thought I would and didn't really feel any pain until I hit 1 mile.  At that point I thought "why stop at the FIRST sign of pain...that's for WIMPS..." and I kept going.  Until mile 1.15 where I reminded myself that this was my first time out in 16 days and the whole point was to test out my knee function, not wind up back in bed with my leg propped up on pillows.  So, I went on until 1.2 (I like nice even tenths) and then I (very responsibly) stopped.  I ran 1.2 miles in 13:52 with minimal pain. 

I feel confident that if I take it easily and work back up at a reasonable pace that I will be good as new in no time.  I don't seem to have lost too much fitness, my lungs and heart could have kept going.  I actually expected that my first run out would include walk breaks, but it didn't which is great news!  Just have to get the knee conditioned to working out instead of laying down.

Running Scared

There was a degree of fear in the run, twofold:

  1. Physical fear: Watching my feet.  Wondering if I would trip and fall again.  Would I step off the side of the treadmill?  Would I re-injure my knee?
  2. Mental fear: Was I ready?  Was I still capable of running?  Would I be able to (eventually) hit the pace and distance from before the injury?  I mean, one glance at my recent training log was enough to have me quaking in my Ryka's...

I didn't work out the answers to these tonight, and probably won't until I have several more runs under my belt event-free and confident.

Running Goals Revisited

My half marathon is roughly 5 weeks away.  I was hoping to PR, now I'm hoping to finish without hurting myself.  My new goal is to safely build my training back up, run my half for training purposes, and then have a strong half in June.  The only problem is that I'm not actually registered for a half in June!

So...anyone know of any half marathons within the first two weeks of June that aren't A) sold out, or B) inhumanly hot?  A little heat is okay, too much...not okay.  Flat course and a hotel within walking distance of the start/finish earns you bonus points :-)

P.S. Have you checked out SkinnyRunner's biggest giveaway ever?

Friday, March 25, 2011

Five Things For Friday

Five things I learned from People Magazine today:

  1. Constantine Maroulis is apparently still news-worthy?  Who knew?
  2. Jennifer Hudson looks A-MAZ-ING!
  3. Chris Brown...too much Chris Brown.  Seriously.
  4. Brangelina believe in time-outs for discipline.  And they really just live an ordinary life.  I would not have guessed ordinary really.
  5. There is a Scream 4.  Which is probably the most shocking thing I learned today.  Apparently I haven't had a very educational day...
And now that I've shared all that nonsense, here's what I really wanted to learn (but not from People Magazine).  Should I give running a try tomorrow?  And how far should I go after a full 2 week layoff?  I'm torn about how much to push.  And still a little in pain.  I don't want to re-hurt myself, but at this point I'm terrified of losing fitness.  My race is only 42 days away.  42 DAYS!  I can't afford to take more time off and I certainly can't afford to lose fitness.  I've already lost time to increase my long run distance to where I want to be pre-race.


Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Meh, Part 2

Well, my little bit o' positivity from Saturday has come to its merry end.  My left knee is still experiencing tremendous pain.  The longer I'm on it, the worse it hurts.  Yesterday I finally broke down and went to the doctor, where I had x-rays.  I didn't catch everything but some words that stick out are:

"fluid in the joint"


"possibly 3 weeks off or longer"

a.k.a. devastation.

To be fair, I haven't gotten the x-ray results back yet.  But I'm definitely still in pain, I definitely haven't run in 10 days, and I definitely won't be back out there in the foreseeable future.

I miss running!  I miss the endorphins.  The sense of accomplishment.  The weight control even.  I think I've put on 10 pounds in 10 days.  Too much laying around I guess.

Okay, who am I kidding?  Too much of this really:

Keeping my fingers crossed that my x-rays are clean and my pain goes away.  If you have time, send some positivety my way please!  And some Reese's... 

Saturday, March 19, 2011

What I've Been Doing

It's been exactly a week since my last run.  It's been almost a week since my last blog post.  In the interest of full disclosure, I've been laying around moping.  And I didn't want to get all down and negative on the blog, because of course the mopey feelings would pass.  And for the most part they have, so let's get down to it.

Here's what I've been doing since injured knees and strep throat have moved into my life.

Eating 10 tons of cookie dough that I made for the specific purpose of being able to eat the dough straight up:

Drinking unbelievable amounts of Hot Chocolate and Milkshakes:

Watching hours and hours of this:

Suzanne Whang was by the far the best host, p.s.

What a week, no?

Today is my scheduled 9 miler and I was (gasp) looking forward to it.  We were going to chart new territory on a brand new paved trail!!  Alas, there will be no long run for me.  In fact, there will be a goose egg for this whole week I'm pretty sure.  I'm still feeling positive though, because today when I got out of bed, I had no pain in my knees.  Now, 30 minutes later that twinge of pain is back.  But I experienced a few minutes of pain free bliss which means I must be on the mend.  And I'm hopeful that I'll be on the roads again in no time. 

Zack, AC, Screech, Suzanne Whang, Sandra Rinomato, Jeff Probst...our time has been special to me, but I think it's about time we all move on.

Monday, March 14, 2011


Today can be summed up in two words:

Strep Throat

What a week.

The silver lining?  At least I'm not missing two weeks of training by having hurt knees and THEN getting sick.  Better to get them both out of the way at the same time.  I'm grasping for something positive here...

Saturday, March 12, 2011

My First Time

Today I had a first while running.

You might ask: The elusive runner's high?  A new pace or distance?  Conquering an impossible course? 

But you would be wrong.

Because today was the first time...

That while running...

I beefed.

(Warning: blood ahead.  If blood freaks you out, you may want to skip the first picture)

You see, it was 60 degrees this morning.  Our warmest run of the year so far.  I was definitely feeling the heat, and I was very weave-y.  I would alternately run Dave off the sidewalk or nearly fall off the sidewalk myself.  I was thinking, "it will be a miracle if I manage to not fall today".  And, I kid you not, at that exact moment I was no longer upright.  It really was that fast.  One second I was up, and the very next second I was down on the ground.  I was tired, embarrassed, and defeated.  So I did what anyone would do...I think...  I laid my head right on down and cried. 

Dave tried to move me, but I kept saying "No, no, no, no, no" so he assumed it was too painful because I had broken a bone.  Really, my pride was the worst of the pain in that moment.

A nice older gentleman in a truck had apparently witnessed the whole thing.  He parked on the side of the road and ran back to us, cell phone in hand, to make sure I was okay.  Naturally, it only served to embarrass me further that he was a witness.  (In hindsight, I am thankful for him in case something had been terribly wrong.)

His witness of my embarrassing moment prompted me to get up and get ready to finish the run, so I wouldn't continue to be a spectacle for anyone else.  Because, unfortunately, we were still 2 miles from the car.  So...I just got up and started running.

A few minutes later it occured to me that I had never stopped my Garmin when I fell...so when I hit the button to "re-start" it...I had actually stopped it.  Talk about adding insult to injury.  We definitely finished our 8 miles, because we ran all the way back to the car.  But I have no idea how long it took us.  And we were on pace for a great finishing time.

Especially because those last 2 miles we were flying.  Something about having an injury to care for propelled me like nothing ever has.  I didn't feel pain, just an intense desire to be done running and take care of myself.

We went straight to CVS, where we bought some first aid supplies.  I could swear that I bought the non-stinging wound wash spray, but apparently I would be wrong.  That stuff hurts!  I felt much better after I got my knees cleaned and covered.

In the aftermath, I found that I had skinned (as in, no skin left) both knees.  My right knee is bruised and swollen up nice and huge.  The palms of both my hands are skinned and only a little bloody.  It hurts to walk or bend my legs.  And it has probably ruined my weekly mileage.  Pretty sure I won't be able to hobble out my last run tomorrow.

At least this arrived in the mail today:

We are going to go watch Just Go With It and eat copious amounts of popcorn while I also eat that entire chocolate bar. 

Happy Birthday Grandma!

Tonight we had my Grandma Brown's 78th birthday party.  Just a little get together with the family.  A pitch-in dinner, good conversation, and even a game to see just how well we know Grandma.

This is me and Grandma (and my mom) then:

This is me and Grandma now:

I love you Grandma...happy birthday!!

Thursday, March 10, 2011

A Lunchtime Run

Sorry for being so delinquent in reading everyone's blogs and commenting.  I'm not feeling that great this week, plus having major work stress, and I've gotten so behind in my Google Reader.  But I'm working on it! 

Tuesday I laced up my shoes and went for a run on my lunch break with Work Friend and 2 of her old coworkers that I had never met before.  Work Friend assured me that I was totally going to be fine because they would probably run 11 minute miles...maybe even 12 minute miles.  Ummmmm......

3.5 Miles in 35:23 (10:07 pace)

Mile 1 - 10:42
Mile 2 - 9:59
Mile 3 - 9:53
Mile 3.5 - 4:50 (9:40 pace)

That also includes a roughly 30 second stop at a stoplight to wait for traffic where I forgot to stop my Garmin.  So?  Probably less than 10 minute pace in reality.  Yowza! 

The thing about running with new people the first few times (at least for me) is that I'm really self-conscious.  I didn't want to be the loud-breather...I mean I didn't want to sound like I wasn't in as good of shape as they were.  I didn't want them to take off and leave me-I had to prove I could hang!  I didn't want to be the last one up any hills.  I didn't want to be the "annoying look at your watch every 2 seconds girl" but I just had to keep my eye on that pace!

Not being the loud-breather really messes with your breathing too.  I probably would have had a much more comfortable run had I not been trying to not breathe.  Okay, when you're 30 years old you're too old to get caught up in games like this, right?  Apparently not right.  Meh.

In the end, I did keep up with everyone, I did eventually return to my normal breathing, I did post one of my better paced runs of the season, and I did have a really great time.

I'm looking forward to many more lunchtime runs with coworkers in fact.  It was all very Runner's World lunch breakesque. 

On a related note-today I found out that Work Friend got a new job.  We'll still be close enough to run together (if she doesn't forget me) but we'll no longer sit in the same building or work together daily.  Sad day.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

"The clock on the wall has been stuck at 3 for days and days"

Insomnia.  When I'm supposed to get up and going at 5:15 I will suddenly get very, very tired.  But for now, it's wide-awakesville.  Random thoughts while not sleeping:

  1. I have two kids sound asleep.  They feel all safe and protected and carefree because they have a grown-up to take care of them.  It's so weird when you stop and think about it.  Because, you know, I am the grown-up.
  2. My GU sampler arrived in the mail today.  I just ordered it yesterday.  The shipping details said I would get it in 5-7 days.  I got it in 1 day.  Go to Road Runner Sports and order something now.  At the very least, you won't be disappointed with the shipping speed.
  3. Today A. asked for a baby brother.  She wanted the one we saw in the waiting room at T.'s dance class.  I told her we couldn't take their baby, so she asked if she could have her teacher's baby because she would really like him to be her baby brother.  I explained that if we got a baby brother it would come from the hospital.  She asked Dave to go to the hospital and get her a baby brother, to which he responded "good luck with that".
  4. I think I have only put gross, sweaty post-run pictures on here.  Here is a picture where I have at least washed my hair:
  5. I am so very far behind on my blog reading/commenting.  It is becoming very stressful wondering if I will ever catch up.  Right now would be a good time to work on that.
Good night!

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Hill, Schmill

On Sunday Dave and I drove to one of our state parks for our 8 mile long run.  We had mapped out a 4 mile loop that we would run twice.  Map My Run said that there was a Cat5 hill (which was new to me).  Apparently, of all the hills that are big enough to be rated (those are the key words) a Cat5 is the easiest and Cat1 is the hardest.  What they don't make clear to you is that "big enough to be rated" means you will absolutely cry like a baby when you run (read: hobble) up it.  I tried to capture the elevation change as we ran by the bottom of the hill but the picture just doesn't do it justice.

We were headed to the top of that line of trees but you just can't see the pain in the picture.  It was a little over 0.3 mile STRAIGHT UP.  We were cruising at about an 11:00 pace until we hit the hill (between mile 2 and 3) and then we dropped to around a 16:00 pace.  And it was so hard to keep running up it that it was mentally crushing too.  Dave was being the cheerleader (a role reversal) and we somehow managed to run the whole thing even though I so badly wanted to take a walk break.  The top of the hill felt grand until I remembered 2 seconds later that we were doing the loop twice...so between miles 6 and 7 when we were really beat down we would have to do that hill AGAIN!

We made it to the hill the second time and this time I had to be the cheerleader because Dave was beat down.  I stopped for about 3.5 seconds to walk and then mentally kicked myself in the butt and started running (clomping. hobbling.) again.  We made it to the top and celebrated that we wouldn't have to do that again.  At least not unless we're stupid enough to do a long run there again!

After we survived and made it back to the car we felt pretty awesome-tacular:

Nope, don't know why I look so weird.  I blame the tireds.  Yes, tireds is a noun.

The Stats: 8 miles in 1:34:39 (11:50 average pace)

Mile 1 - 11:35
Mile 2 - 11:35
Mile 3 - 12:41
Mile 4 - 11:24
Mile 5 - 11:38
Mile 6 - 12:08
Mile 7 - 12:16
Mile 8 - 11:25

Monday, March 7, 2011

To all of my candy loving friends...

I've been a little shop happy...I needed some new running type stuff!!!

1.  I finally bit the bullet and bought 2 real-life sweaty bands.  I chose a solid black band and a brown/navy/cream argyle band.  I love argyle, true story.

2.  I bought a GU sampler platter so I can nail down my favorite tasting and performing fuel once and for all

3.  Last, but probably most important.  I ordered a bar from Chocomize.  Heard of it?  You can make your own super awesome, candy filled chocolate bar!  You pick your base (milk, dark, or white chocolate).  Then you add up to 5 ingredients.  They have a list of different candies that you can add to your chocolate bar, or for the more health minded they also have fruits, nuts, etc.  AND you can put a message on there if you like.  They offer "Will you marry me?" "Will you go out with me?" and others.  It's been about 2 years since I last ordered one since they're kind of pricey.  But if you love chocolate like I do, they are a must splurge-on item every once in a while.  Today I chose milk chocolate with M&M's, toffee, and peanut butter chips.  YUM!  I don't know how I'll ever wait 5-7 days until it arrives!!

Sore today from yesterday's WHOA long run.  More on that later!

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Super Serious Athlete

Yesterday was one of those days where I just didn't want to run.  I knew I needed to.  I knew it was time after 2 rest days.  But I just plain didn't feel like it.  Then I came home to this:

What a great mail day!!  So glad I pre-ordered Dean's new book!  (Cause we're on a first name basis...)  I haven't cracked it open yet but can't wait!  Holy exclamation points Batman!

It was just the motivation I needed.  It was a totally gorgeous day, 52* and sunny.  I put on some shorts (first outdoor run in shorts this year I believe) and a t-shirt and headed outside for a quick 2 miler.  I ran in our neighborhood which has some massively steep hills.  And you know what?  Once I was out there it felt amazing!  I was so glad I went out for a run.  I soaked up the sunshine and all my steps felt light and great.  It was one of those runs where everything just came together perfectly.

2 miles in 21:30, 10:45 pace.  Although it was a decently slow and definitely short run, I definitely worked up a sweat:

Here is my Super Serious Athlete pose:

Look out Kara Goucher, here I come.