Tag Archives: 26.2

I’M IN!

2 Mar

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I can’t even believe it!  The entertaining part was I was sitting in the free clinic as I’ve managed to get sick again and they made me wear this:

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yes, apparently they thought I was contagious – could’ve been my nasty cough.

I was laughing at this piece.  Then I almost started crying happy tears.  I am SO FREAKIN’ THRILLED!!  I am still in shock – I mean, I don’t know the odds of getting in, all I know is I’ve tried before with no luck.  I’m positively over the moon.  And I have this huge, gigantic urge to make the most of my training cycle so I can make this epic race even more incredible.

Oh my gosh – can you even believe it?!  THIS IS HAPPENING!

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Oh, and the dramatic mask?  The doc did a (very quick – too quick?) listen to my lungs and they are clear.  I’ve managed to catch a nasty cold.  But guess what?  I only partially care at this moment!

bride of frankenstein walking here

30 Oct

I was struggling to walk after the race and the med tent was not close to the finish line.  I finally found it and I iced my knees for a few mins.  After changing in my hotel’s (nasty, nasty, nasty) public restroom I got on the road.  My knee was HURTING.  Why do knees have to bend and then unbend?!  It even hurt to move my foot from the gas pedal to the break.

I still didn’t regret this fancy piece of frosting

oh so pretty!

oh so pretty! and a bit blurry…

Sunday night, my knee was trashed.  I decided to make a doctor’s appt for the next day even if I was jumping the gun.  I felt silly considering I ran a marathon – of course my body would hurt.  But even I knew this was mighty different from my other aches and pains.  I saw a P.A. first and I told her the story.  She said she would have pushed through the pain and finished as well!  Ha!  A kindred spirit!  I’ve noticed P.A.’s are much nicer than doctors.  I prefer them.  The doc came in and wiggled/bent/almost made me cry moved my knee around.  I had a ton of inflammation under the knee cap.  She said some kind of name for it but I forgot to remember.  They had me change into a pair of giant shorts so she could better evaluate my knee and with my stripped compression socks and booties, I was looking HOT!  Oh and I was offered a wheelchair twice as they watched me (try to) walk.

yes, don't be shy, of course I will give you fashion advice!

yes, don’t be shy, of course I will give you fashion advice!

The plan for x-rays fell through as the tech was at lunch, so I was instructed to go to the sports med clinic (down the hall) where they set me up with a knee brace.  My knee felt less wobbly – a positive, and I was scheduled for my first PT appt this pas Wednesday, but work got in the way.  The PT guy was great and he said my knee was too swollen to start prior.  (They were very kind to add me to their schedule this upcoming Monday morning.)  Since the brace helped as much as it did though, I thought I would be okay to walk to my next meeting and then across campus.

I am delusional.

No running for 5-10 days – PT guy’s orders.  Heck, even walking has been rough.  So, I’m looking forward to PT.  I’ve known for a while that certain muscles in my legs aren’t very strong but I thought running would take care of this.  PT guy told me he is going to teach me some strength exercises and some stretches.  I think it says I’m supposed to go for 6 weeks.  Thankfully, the brace and PT are all completely covered by insurance and it’s on campus.  Lucky me!  Let the healing begin!  I also promised my brother I wouldn’t run for a bit.

I know I will come back a stronger runner.  I want to learn to better care for my knees, since the other one is kind of pissed it had to carry the weight during the marathon.  Seriously, it’s acting like a petulant child.  I’m going to teach my dad these exercises as well since his knees need some TLC, too.  I was icing quite a bit the first week and a half… now I need to rejoin that party.  Smarty pants, right here!  Although, walking like the Bride of Frankenstein is right on time for Halloweenie!

okay, I’m not this mobile at all but I like to think I’ve got a bit of this sass!

my detroit 26.2 recap… I cried triumphant tears.

25 Oct

Settle in… Are you ready for this?  I crossed the finish line.  I completed my 4th marathon.

Detroit marathon

Let’s get down to business.  I took Friday off from work to mentally prep for the weekend ahead and to rest my legs.  Saturday morning I woke up with a wicked headache.  I mean, the start of a migraine and it freaked me out since I had a drive ahead of me.  Then I also started to get really nauseated.  I’m certain it was all stress related so I tried to nip the headache away along with the tummy troubles and I managed to only be behind by about an hour or so.  The drive to Detroit was also weighing on my mind as drivers there and along the way take no mercy.  The speed limit is 70, I drive 75, maybe 78 and I get passed like I’m going 50.  Scary.

I arrived safely and found the expo easily enough (thank you GPS!).  Parking was a whopping $10 in the garage but finding parking on the street would be silly.  My trepidation grew as I climbed the stairs to the expo and then it greeted me with open arms!  Bib pick up was first and I immediately considered mine a good omen.  It was blue, my favorite color and my age was part of my bib number.  I then purchased the following sweatshirt:

the magic sweatshirt

the magic sweatshirt

This is important as it plays a role in my finishing this race.

The expo was larger and it dawned on me how big this race was.  Also, I realized this was my first non-specialty race – I’ve only done the Nike Women’s marathon, the Disney full and then the Dopey.  I don’t know why, but this felt different.  A bunch of places were selling these throw away gloves because it was going to be 35* at the start.  I caved.

runner girl detroit gloves

My right knee has been hurting me since June (well, off and on for some time before this actually) when I ran the duo 5k/10k on the slanted sidewalk.  There was a sports PT person there and I had him tape up my knee – my pesky patella. It felt better (driving over had aggravated it) and stabilized.

pretty tape always saves the day

pretty tape always saves the day

My hotel room sucked.  I learned the shower head didn’t work, so a bit of sponge bath was needed in the morning.  It wasn’t all the way clean and there was shenanigans the whole night through from other guests.  It was only a mile away from the race start though so I pushed those concerns aside.  Since I gave up gluten I can’t figure out a good pre-race meal and I chose this:

umm... yes, this is a cheese covered omelette...

umm… yes, this is a cheese covered omelette…

Bad idea.  Why didn’t I just put a lead ball in my gut and call it good?!

Race morning.  I woke up on time, got dressed in my splendid new compression tights, thanked my good sense to purchase the gloves and finally got out the door.  I packed up my car and started along.  I was slightly nervous about walking through downtown Detroit in the dark but I quickly found a fellow runner to walk with.  We got to wait inside the conference center until it was time to hit the starting line.  First of all, it started snowing a bit, which just made me laugh.  I looked around me and I didn’t see any other blue bibs – just the orange international 1/2 marathon ones.  Was I in the wrong line?!  I was in one of the last wave of runners so maybe this was part of it?  I still asked three different people and remained confused for a good chunk of the race. My anxiety was a bit high anyway since the cut-off was 6 and 1/2 hours and my lack of training gave me reason to believe I was in danger of not making this.

I tried to memorize these cut off times. I also sent my friend a

I tried to memorize these cut off times. I also sent my friend a “WTF am I doing text”.

Go time.  I started out at my manageable pace.  When we hit the bridge to Canada, the Ambassador Bridge, the sun was peaking through the clouds and I couldn’t believe I was really doing this!  The bridge is long and up hill for the first part.  I walked it.  Then ran down the other side – yay! I love downhills!  We ran through Canada for a few miles and then we crossed back onto U.S. soil through the underwater tunnel.  Everyone talks about how bad this part was but I didn’t mind it – I was warm (I was cold the entire race).  When we came out of the tunnel we ran through customs and then they had a sign welcoming us back to the U.S.  They were announcing some names as they crossed and I was one of them!  “Welcome back Amy German”!  It was neat.  It was a beautiful, albeit chilly fall day and the hilly course was great.  I love the international aspect!

By this time, my knee was seriously bothering me.  I think it started around mile 6 or 8 – I can’t remember now.  My strategy for the race was to run/walk it and this was working well for me.  I even had a couple of negative splits.  The marathoners split from the 1/2 folks as the 1/2-ers were crossing their finish line (slightly cruel to us who were only half way finished) and I considered crossing this finish line because my knee was hurting.  A smarter runner probably would’ve quit but I knew I would ALWAYS wonder if I could’ve made it to the end.  So I kept running.  The miles ticked on and my knee got worse.  I would run for as long as I could and then when it started to give out, I would walk for a bit.  The first steps back into running were beastly but they eased as I kept going and the cycle repeated itself.

An awesome member of the crowd built a pretend brick wall to run through around mile 18.  I loved it.  Another 1/2 marathon (the U.S. only route, the other 1/2 was international) started soon after I got through the 1/2 way point, so they would go screaming past me at certain points.  Umm – rude, haha.  They had 18 water stops as we weren’t supposed to carry liquids across the border.  I did a great job of hydrating the days before the race and during.  I fueled decently – my 1/2 of a ham sandwich in the morning was brilliant idea!

The last 5k I was basically throwing my bad leg/knee ahead of me as I ran and even walking painful.  Right at this moment, someone along side of the course said, “Amy!  You’re DOING IT!”.  I teared up at this point.  It’s really hard to run and cry so I pulled myself together.  When the finish line came into view, I started crying again and of course as I crossed.  My official time was 6:02.  My Nike app said I completed all 26.2 at 5:58, which I like better!

detroit marathon finish

My heart didn’t swell with pride after my first marathon.  It didn’t after my second either – that one kind of crushed my soul.  Dopey did because of the major undertaking.  The Detroit 26.2?  It gave me the same overwhelming sense of accomplishment as Dopey.  I really wasn’t sure I could finish.  Everyday for three weeks I considered dropping out of the race.  I shouldn’t have finished – my last long run was back in the beginning of Sept and it was 11 miles.  The fact that I could barely walk after didn’t matter.  This race made me feel strong and reminded me of my fierce fighting spirit.  Grit and determination (support/cheers from family and friends, compression tights, extra strength tylenol and that newly purchased sweatshirt I wanted to wear with pride) got me through this race.  So many freakin’ emotions were going through my mind, I’m not even sure I can adequately express them.  I made it.

I think the medal weighs almost a pound

I think the medal weighs almost a pound

And I didn’t get swept by the people zamboni – WIN!

the wagon wheels came off

16 Oct

Whenever I use this phrase, I always feel sorry for Laura Ingalls Wilder.  I don’t particularly remember her family’s wagon wheels coming off, although I’m sure they did.  Life was rough for those pioneer folks.

I’m pretty sure this was EXACTLY how things were

Anyway, my wagon wheels coming off isn’t nearly as dire.  I’m speaking of marathon training.  I know, this probably isn’t a giant surprise to any of you who’ve been reading for a little while but STILL, I thought this training cycle would be different.  I WANTED this cycle to be different

After I got back from France, I was geeked about running.  I ran a fair amount while there – much more often than I’ve ever run while on some kind of vacation and I felt good about it.  I also ran with some very cool people so this helped motivate me even more.  Nevertheless, I know myself and didn’t want to come back and jump right into 26.2 registration.  I had my sights set on Detroit, since it was the race that got away last year during my sickness.  Not to mention, it allowed for a little longer of a  training cycle and considering I would be starting late, this was a blessing.  This 26.2 registration ended on Aug. 16th if you wanted to be able to cross the bridge into Canada, which, of course, I did.

So, I decided to be semi self aware of my lack of training abilities and use the 4 weeks to see if I could stick to the plan, most importantly hit my long runs.  I did it!  I didn’t miss any of my long runs by the time it came to sign up, which I did when I realized I was DOING IT!  Training like a good runner should!

Then the wagon wheels came off of my training cycle…  Here’s the deal:  I got back from France on Wed, July 15th.  I worked the next day (which I was barely conscious for so I don’t remember much about that day) and then took Friday off from work so I could actually read a computer screen come Monday morning.  Why?  Because training for our new employees started and one of my supervises is new this year.  Training only ramps up from here and reaches heights of intense exhaustion – I knew this.  There was also the added stress/work of opening a new building, which I oversee.  No, I didn’t manage the actual construction of the building (seriously, I would NEVER want that job!) but it’s under my supervision.  But I couldn’t completely foresee the future.

The last two weeks of August and the first week of September my brain and health were fried.  At this point, I’d been on call for 3 weeks in a row.  The work days were long and the late night calls were beyond frequent.  There were no long runs happening.  I knew I needed to do them and part of me really wanted to.  The other part of me laid on the couch and tried to convince Simon he was able to cook so I didn’t have to get up.  I was mentally, physically and emotionally exhausted and I paid for it with some health issues.  Migraines – ewww and a fire in my belly that wasn’t ambition… just pure stomach acid eating the lining for breakfast, lunch, dinner and couple of snacks.

Fast forward to today and Detroit is this Sunday.  When I signed up, I paid $10 extra dollars in order to be able to cancel my registration and still get a refund.  I wasn’t completely delusional with regards to what lay ahead of me in my work world.  This past weekend I ran a 5 miler and no, I didn’t blow that puppy out of the water.  I told my good friend who was running with me about the bailout contingency plan and she said, “yeah, but if you think like that then you won’t do it”.  Very true.

I already have my accommodations.  I want to do this race since last year, 4 days before it I was huddled up on the couch in so much pain I thought there was a gremlin inside my stomach trying to get out – and not cute and furry Gizmo but the one where it was fed after midnight and water was poured on it.  Yeah – the scary ones.

There won’t be a PR (I thought I might be able to pull one off originally) but I will finish.  Two weeks ago, I climbed on the treadmill and started freaking out at my lack of preparedness.  I’m certainly not a Doomsday Prepper in this scenario.  I suddenly remembered this is supposed to be FUN.  It took a massive boulder off of my shoulders, one of which continued to tell me how much I sucked at every footfall.  My inner lack of confidence and the rude voice in my mind are still providing a monologue consisting of a “you are probably going to lay on the side of the road and be picked up by the marathon version of the zamboni” but I’m getting better at quieting this sabotaging butthead.

And I am now the proud owner of some wicked compression tights too, so at least this will give me a boost.

There it is.  Another race I’m not ready for.  I talked to my brother about it while in NY.  He said maybe I’m not quite ready to really commit to training.  After my mom died, and the depression/anxiety took over, running was tough.  I said I “wanted to be ready for trainings since running is part of my identity”.  Kev said, “it isn’t WHO you are though”.  It has stuck with me.  Time to release the pressure valve, stop worrying about my slow pace and enjoy the moment.  And get excited!

ham… my triumphant return to the blog world

4 Oct

It’s been positively ages since I last wrote – in fact, almost 3 months.  This is the longest I’ve ever gone since I started this puppy and I’ve really missed it.  I’ve actually been writing posts in my head all of this time but committing the words to “paper” seems to be alluding me.  I’ll get into that more in the future.  Right now, I want to focus on HAM.

can you feel the excitement building?!

Why?  Because I adore ham.  It all started about approximately 7 months ago (It’s nutty it’s been this long).  I found some sliced ham at Costco that wasn’t deli meat.  I hate deli meat.  A year ago, while I was doing the Whole 30, I got some deli turkey to make some roll-ups.  I took a bite and suddenly I realized it was very slimy.  I was done.

I found the good stuff much more appealing.  Whenever I’m home and we cook a ham for dinner, I always look forward to the next morning for “ham on toast”.  Sliced cold ham on warm toast?  A divine breakfast!  So, I started making this in the mornings.  This went on for a month, however I was finding I didn’t have enough time in the mornings and I missed my gluten free oats.  Hence, I decided a ham sandwich for lunch.  A star was born.

I’m thankful for ham on a daily basis

Now, I’ve had a ham sandwich for lunch every week day and sometimes on the weekend for 5 or so months.  I get excited about this sandwich on a daily basis.  It keeps me full for a long time and recently I added some “calci-YUM!” (cheese) and now I’m in ham sandwich heaven.  It’s a solid choice friends.

Do you have a food obsession that you just don’t feel complete without?!

Why am I writing about ham?  Because I talk about it all.the.time.  Officemate asked if I’d shared the word with all of you and I realized I was keeping this magical secret.  My ham sandwich gives me energy, allows for some down time in my apartment from the chaos of work and I don’t spend the rest of the afternoon searching for things to eat because I didn’t eat enough at lunch.  Not to mention, I don’t have to make any decisions – another perk.

I was a bit crushed when I walked into Costco a month or so ago and get this – NO HAM.  I talked with a Costco employee and they thought it would come in another shipment.  I went back two days later – NO HAM.  I wrote a comment card.  The next week, again the lack of ham and it was starting to worry me.  I had officially run out of the good stuff.  I wrote another comment card followed by a tweet.  I didn’t hear from Costco.  Alas, I’m not a fair weather fan of the place but I was disappointed.  Anyway, I dabbled in some other options but it just wasn’t good enough.   Thankfully, a coworker came through with the suggestion of Boar’s Head and I found local deli that has it.  My triumphant return to a tasty ham sandwich has returned – and not a moment too soon.

a ham celebration was in order

Then there are the blueberries.  Another obsession.  Blueberries are my after 4 pm snack and again, I can’t get enough of them.  I know they are going out of season and the price is increasing each time I go to the store but I can’t give up these little gems of goodness.  Thankfully Costco came through for me on this one with some bigger quantities or else I would be running to the store every other day.

turning blue is a an almost certain reality for me at this point in time

So there it is.  My first post in three months and it’s about ham and blueberries.  I’ve got more posts up my sleeve.  In these last three months, I’ve run a 5k/10k double, a 1/2, went to France, signed up for a marathon, went to New York, ran a couple of other races, bought a shiny new computer, and worked my ass off for more hours than I care to count.  Oh and made some giant life decisions.  But today?  It’s ham and blueberries.

fangirling & more

21 Apr

Yesterday I watched some of the Boston Marathon – so amazing!  One of my former Ragnar teammates ran and she kicked some booty!  It is just so freakin’ inspiring, I can’t even handle it.

It makes me want to RUN ALL THE MILES!  SIGN UP FOR ALL THE RACES!  DO ALL THE TRAINING!  In fact, last night I looked into a few fall marathons.  I have no idea what to pick, all I know is I want one on the calendar.  That and a 1/2 – it’s going to happen soon – there is no denying it.

Some positives after my headachy post…

Yesterday it was windy and rainy all day.  I loved it.  The sun never came out – just gray and wonderful.  I’ve noticed I am missing PNW-like weather more and more… I think it’s a sign.

Because of the aforementioned weather, I get to stretch some of my winter/fall wardrobe a little longer.  I dig it.  I love to layer.  In fact, I was talking to a co-worker last week and they were talking about all of the “elements” I wear.  I decided to adopt this word into my style vocabulary.  I like to wear a variety of elements.

Since the need to sign up for a 1/2 and a full is hitting me, I wonder if there is a giant surge in registrations across the country/globe after Boston.  Someone should do some research and get back to me – much obliged.

The Blerch looks at me everyday.  Everyone asks me what it is and it’s very hard to explain.  But it helps to keep me motivated.  Sometimes the motivation is to simply to get through a difficult work day, which is no small feat.  Good job Blerch.

blerch – reminding me to not give in!

I’ve lost some weight.  During the Whole 30 I dropped 9 or 10 lbs but I wasn’t sure if it was a lasting weight loss or simply a short term by-product of the drastic changes.  Now, a few months later, I can say it’s for real.  It’s a solid 10-12 lbs and I feel much better.  I’m shooting for 8 lbs more.  I once took a Self magazine health assessment deal to find my “healthy weight”.  I was certain it would be higher than my weight at the time, 125 lbs.  Nope.  It said I should be around 110.  Yikes.  Naturally, I tried to get down to 110.  After a surgery, I managed it.  However, this is not a healthy weight for me.  Despite being a shorty, I’m not structurally built to maintain a 110 lbs and still eat, run – all that jazz.  Lesson?  Don’t take those assessments in “health” mags.  A couple of lifestyle changes I took with me were measuring my coffee additions every morning, gluten-free, A LOT more protein, actually cooking meals and reading labels.

I thought there was more of a point to this post.  Oh well.  Running on the docket for this eve, although it will be some inside miles since it is cold and windy outside and I don’t feel like freezing my buns.  I’ll leave with this pic of Simon.  He was giving me the ol’ ‘you don’t give enough attention’ look yesterday.  Yep, my poor chubby bunny of a cat totally suffers from lack of attention!

silly cat

silly cat

26.2 minutes

16 Oct

You know, it’s incredible how life can poke you in the eye when you don’t expect it.  To be fair, I kind of expected it but was living on prayer that I could avoid the whole “change of plans” kind of thing.

I can’t run the marathon this weekend.

It seems real now that I’ve posted it on here and facebook (when did virtual become reality?!).  I went to the doctor yesterday because Monday night turned ugly quite quickly.  My stomach went all apocalypse on me and if I wasn’t so lazy, I would have rushed my hurting self to the ER.  Did you know, stomachs aren’t supposed to feel like Hulk Hogan is twisting your insides all up?

After not falling asleep until 4:30 am and then waking every time I moved (or took a breath) I didn’t make it into work.  I called my doc and secured an appt for yesterday.  I went in and essentially I told my story and was then referred to a GI specialist.  I need to get the scope-down-the-throat-test to take all the pretty pictures of my insides.  I wonder if they will let me keep one… wouldn’t this just look lovely hanging on my walls?  Conversation piece for sure.

it’s quite possible at this point

I asked the doc, “so, I have this marathon on Sunday – can I still run it?”  I hadn’t even finished my sentence before she was shaking her head no and giving me a grim smile.  Her response, “I think you already know the answer to this”.  I did but was hoping beyond hope there was a magical pill that would keep me in the upright position for the duration of the run.

All of this took place in 26.2 minutes.  Or close to it – I’m not even joking.  I might be a couple of minutes off but that doesn’t have the same dramatic effect so please bear with me.

A fellow marathon friend asked me if I was going to listen to them or if I was going to run it anyway.  Trust me, I did and have considered it.  What about the half?  Why should my stomach get to make all of my decisions for me?  Don’t we live in a democracy?  But I’m not going to.  I don’t want to end up being the poster child who was carried off in an ambulance that non-runners can tout as the reason people shouldn’t run long distances.  Plus, it would be embarrassing and everyone would mumble, “why was she so stupid?”  Because that’s exactly what it would be – stupid.  I’ve spent many a day putting my health on the back burner in hopes the troubles would just go away and now here I am.  A bit of poetic justice?  Not to mention, my ankle is still bothering me and a stress fracture I do not want.

Ultimately, I have extremely mixed feelings about this.  I’m relieved because during the 1/2 a couple of weeks ago, my stomach HURT SO BADLY.  I barely made it through the 13.1 and doubling that distance would have been challenging.  The other part of me is completely disheartened.  I am so tired of feeling sickly and I’m distraught that it’s now taking away something I enjoy.  I’m trying to start to look at it as an opprotunity to get healthy so I can be a comeback kid.  I’m going to wallow this weekend though.  And sign up for a 5k – she didn’t say anything about short distances!

The doc also suggested I give up or at least cut down on coffee.  Ummm – dashing my marathon plans and cutting coffee in one appt?  Why doesn’t she just rip out my soul?  I have a pinterest board titled, “coffee is a lifestyle”!

Needless to say, I won’t be cutting it out but I have started using tummy-friendly roasts.  And I’m making sure to stick with the one a day (20 oz).

So there you go.  No more Detroit.  I’m not signing up for any longer races for a while.  Health has to come first at some point, I guess.

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