snow, running and pride – two of these are great

Last Wednesday it started snowing.

I absolutely get that I live in MI and this isn’t really abnormal per say.  However, I think this is the latest in the season it has snowed for as long as I’ve lived here.  That’s 13 years folks.  I’ve seen snow around the beginning of April and it always cracks me up.  Now, I’m getting a bit salty – pull it together Mother Nature!

On Tuesday I jumped into running clothes as soon as I got home.  I could feel myself slipping into the Tuesday slump like the previous two weeks and I was determined NOT to let it happen again.  It was close though.  I cleared off my treadmill and got 3 miles in of walk/run intervals.  I made the running minutes longer and increased the speed as well.  I was surprised I was able to (mostly) keep this up – when I first pushed the buttons, I was certain I wouldn’t last throughout the work out.  It was a good boost of confidence.  I did have to walk a couple of extra intervals but the pride was still there.

even Chuck is proud of me

Wednesday was a working late-I’m so exhausted-please don’t make me move kind of day.  I got some extra walking in but that was it.  No running.  I briefly considered it and then I decided Simon needed some snuggling instead.

Now, Thursday… Thursday was a GREAT running day.  Once again there was some snow lazily falling – it was taunting all of us.  Those snowflakes were serious jerks.  I had to work late again but came home and went straight to the treadmill for more walk/run intervals.  Get this:  I hit every interval!  I’m not sure I’ve ever, ever, ever done this.  I kept the same increase in time and speed as I did on Tuesday and I still didn’t give up on myself.  It was close a couple of times (I seriously need to believe in myself a bit more) but I kept pushing.  I was/am so excited!

My right calf got kind of tight during this run so I tried to get some good stretching in, hit the compression socks and rolled it out.  Friday it was still a bit sore so I walked a lot and doing some calf-raises seemed to help.  Friday I went for a 4 mile run – outside even!  The temps are back to a more acceptable level.  Truth:  this run SUCKED.  I half walked/ran the first two miles and then pulled it together for the last two.  I was pretty close to vomiting in the streets those first two miles.  I’ve done this before and am not a fan so I slowed to a walk to avoid it.

Saturday I was beyond exhausted and walked as much as possible but that was it.  Last night I went for a 4.5 mile walk, which was decent but nothing to go into further detail about.  I got 32.5 miles in for the week – yay!  Only 5 miles off of my goal.  The interesting piece, is I’m being a smart runner and not increasing my mileage ridiculously each week – not on purpose, mind you.  It’s been a decent progression so even though I am aiming higher, somehow I’ve reached responsible status.  I have no idea where this came from but it is radical.


I want to run fast again

***I’m typing this while on my migraine meds… you’ve been warned…

Once upon a time, I ran my fastest 10k in 52 mins.  At the time, I didn’t realize these were some quick miles for my short little legs.  I also hit 2:04 in my first 1/2 marathon.  Again, I didn’t recognize this was a decent time.

Right now, I’m lucky to hit somewhere in the 11 min mile range.  This doesn’t account for my walk breaks, which then throws me into the 12 min pace.  I would NEVER discourage anyone else for these times – I would say WAY TO GO!  And I am working on the self-talk to be encouraging, so instead of “why can’t I run faster??” I keep reminding myself, “hey!  you’re out there!”.  But still… I want to be faster.

This requires some effort on my part.  You know, like some speedwork?  Maybe something to increase my endurance?  Frankly, just putting in the miles.  It’s how I did it the first time and it’s how I will do it again.  But I’m impatient and I want those paces back NOW!

truth sister

Speaking of hitting goals, I fell short of my 37.5 miles by 8.  Improvement from the week before, so I will take it.  Yesterday I could have hit a few more – in fact, I was dressed and OUTSIDE.  I walked 1/2 a mile and knew I was done.  All day yesterday I was feeling nauseated and I thought fresh air and movement could help.  It didn’t.  I had a work event later and the moment I sat down for it, the pain hit right above my right eye.  Migraine-ville.

Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to get my special meds into me until 2 hours later so I missed heading it off before it got worse.  I don’t know about other migraine-suffers, but for me, it’s hurts when I shut my eyes.  This morning I woke up and thought I was in the clear but not so much.  I took some regular headache meds, but by noon, it was time for another dose of my special meds with a naproxen booster (recommended by the doc).  Currently, I’m a bit woozy (meds) but at least my eye balls aren’t falling out, I’m not throwing up and the top of my head isn’t caving in.

Okay, done whining.  Yes, I get sick a lot.  I really believe stress is a major factor in all of this.  Thankfully, this is the first migraine I’ve had in months.  I attribute this to giving up the gluten.  My sister has had similar benefits.  I also know the more running I do, the more my health will continue to improve.

Back to running – my runs included a 4.5 miler, a 4 miler and a 6 mile walk.  The other miles were walking as well.  Looking at this, I can see why I’m not getting faster and am lacking endurance!  It’s always weird to type it out and realize where there is room for improvement.  No running today… I’ve still got my eye on that 37.5 mile weekly goal though.  I refuse to give up since I know it will feel oh so fabulous when I hit it!

Are you good at positive self-talk?

Do you get migraines?  Any magical remedies?

trying not to suck at running

I was planning to run yesterday evening.  Unfortunately, work took a different turn and running was no longer in the cards.  3 miles were still logged but I needed/wanted a few more.  Now I have to get 23 miles in the next three days in order to hit my 37.5 mile weekly goal.

if only my apt was bigger!

I realize that 37.5 miles seems a bit arbitrary but I have a few reasons to strive for this.

1.  I want to hit 150 miles for the month.

2.  I have a 10k coming up the first weekend of May and I would like to NOT suck.  This is the same race event where I ran my first 1/2 marathon.  They added the 10k in the last couple of years but work has kept me from being able to participate.

3.  I decided to sign up for this really stupid thing.  Wait, it’s not stupid – in fact it’s awesome.  However, I’m not sure if it was smart for ME to sign up.  I signed up for the Run/Walk 2,015 in 2015.

I know.

So, I’m behind.  I mean, this isn’t unusual for any area of my life, much less the running deal.  A few snags include, starting late (they accepted registrations through all of Jan so I only hit 19 miles for the month) and then my silly back injury that kept me sidelined for about 3 or 4 weeks.  Oh yes, there is my natural laziness to factor into the equation.  There are some people who have already reached 900 miles!  What?!  Crazypants!  When you signed up you had the option of ordering the medal to go along with it and I did.  Soooo, I will feel like quite the lame ass if I don’t make it.

It averages out to 5 miles everyday.  My goal of 37.5 miles per week for April won’t be all running miles – it includes some walking ones as well.  I’m counting all of my intentional miles.  Over the last few months, I kept concentrating on moving around as much as possible.  I know this helped.  During my bratty back days, I still tried to score at least a mile a day.  Not much but it was what I could muster.  I’m not going to give up though.  I know there is more running in my future and more miles to add to that total.  Yes, I’m currently an underdog but if anything, I’ve got the “comeback kid” title locked down.

To sum it up, I have to do 7.8 miles today, tomorrow and Sunday to hit my goal.  This feels like a hefty sum so maybe I’ll take it day by day.  Who am I kidding?  I can’t take anything day by day!  Today is a lovely day outside so I’m going after work.  I also walked to and from work today although this didn’t net as many steps as I would’ve thought.  Damn!

Do you have a certain number of miles you want to reach in 2015?

red pill or the blue pill?

These came in the mail today!

yay! new compression sleeves!
yay! new compression sleeves!

I took advantage of their 1/2 off sale and grabbed the two sets of calf sleeves I’ve been ogling for the last year and half.  Now I can sport my Irish roots AND rock some polka dots.  I LOVE me some polka dots.

For some reason, summer encourages me to spend money.  I don’t know why.  I realized this the other day when I not only purchased the above but also super cute red stripped new Sketchers.  I’m kind of obsessed with Sketchers (I think these are really cute too!) at the moment because I can wear them for work and they are comfortable and supportive.  The other day I wore heels for the first time in MONTHS.  While darling, I realized why I haven’t worn them in so long.  Supportive and comfy shoes certainly have their perks, even if they don’t uplift my buns in quite the same fashion!

Alas, now it’s time to put the kabash on the summer spending.  It was fun while it lasted…  This morning I woke up in a panic.  I couldn’t believe I missed a race.  It’s the Firecracker 5 miler (more on this later) and it’s such a fun race.  I was so disappointed in myself.

Then I realized, “hey!  It’s not the 4th of July yet!  That’s tomorrow!  You didn’t miss it!”  I also realized I had to be at work in less than an hour and the dimmer switch was hit on said excitement.  By the way – NO ONE is at work the day before the 4th of July.

Today is some serious prime running weather and I am determined to get my buns out there.  I’ve been so freakin’ lazy lately.  I don’t know why!  My procrastination is in high gear for no reason.  It hit me that yesterday was my last possible “lazy day”.  Otherwise, I am going to be in so much pain.  Remember when I spoke of the aggressive marathon training schedule a.k.a. run camp?  This might be part of why I’m procrastinating – I don’t feel like I can get any better and just want to put this training off so I don’t have to face failure.

Brilliant plan, no?

Ho-hum… I did join Jess’s summer challenge running plan so maybe this will offer a bit of inspiration, too?  This morning, I kept thinking, “I used to be SO motivated.  I used to just get out there or get up and JUST DO IT!  Where did all of that go?!”  I’m still not sure where it went but I’m guessing it’s largely habitual.  Maybe my earlier athletic self was all a facade… I took the blue pill and then somewhere along the line I decided the red pill was more me.

oh morphius, which one is the MOTIVATED pill?

In order not to end this on a really whiny note, here is a picture of my super fat and adorable cat, Simon



“lazy, lazy, lazy, lazy, lazy, lazy jane.

She wants a drink of water so she waits and waits and waits for it to rain.”  For those of you who may be unfamiliar with Shel Silverstein, the poem “Lazy Jane” is his (it’s in Where the Sidewalk Ends).  I’ve had it memorized since third grade.  Impressed with my skills?!

you shouldn’t be… I was too lazy to look up the poem and thought I had it memorized correctly. I definitely missed a few “lazys” along with some “waits”. Classic me.

Yesterday I said I was going for a run.  Well, I didn’t.  I feel a bit guilty about this considering I know there are others out there who WISH they could be out running but can’t for some reason or another.  But I didn’t want to.  And I was feeling lazy.  I didn’t want to  get all sweaty.  I was productive around my apt and then sat around for a while.  Then I was productive again and by that time the running motivation left me.

This probably wasn’t the best life choice since the 1/2 marathon (that I mixed up the dates) is this Sunday.  And get this – it’s supposed to be in the balmy range of 6-17*.  Eww.  For the record, I hadn’t even looked at the 10 day forecast until now and I’m thinking I shouldn’t have.  Good thing I’m giving one of my friends a ride to the race or there is a chance I would skip it.  I also convinced another friend to run it so how crummy would it be if I didn’t show up?!  Amy… REMEMBER THE T-SHIRT AND MEDAL!  And the feeling of accomplishment of course – can’t forget that when I’m feeling like a human popsicle.

seriously Rose – there was totally room for both of you. It was a decent size piece of wreckage and with a bit of kicking could have supported you both! And Jack – c’mon dude, you don’t need to be a martyr!

I need to get over the aforementioned guilt though.  It was my choice and feeling guilty only makes me resent running a bit.  Like it’s something I’m obligated to do rather than something I enjoy doing.  I feel guilty about a lot of things so it’s something I need to work on… Anyway, there are miles on the agenda today and although my motivation is wavering I’m looking forward to it.  I’ve also decided to commit to Jillian Michaels 30 Day Shred and some cross training.

Beginning tomorrow (hopefully in the morning!  I am going to give up my snooze button – ha!  My snooze button and I are in a long-term relationship so it’s going to be a tough break up.) I’m starting the 30 Day Shred.  Here is the current state of my arm muscle.

I didn't take a crappy pic for a "whoa is me". The heat is broken in my apt and it was all I could do to bare my arm even this much!
I didn’t take a crappy pic for a “woe is me”. The heat is broken in my apt and it was all I could do to bare my arm even this much!

Yes, I am flexing…

This is the only picture I will post of the current state of my muscles.  I think I have one muscle in my stomach and possibly another one in back – maybe.  I’ve also taken all of my measurements so I can actually feel and see some progress.  I do much better with knowing progress is happening.  During Dopey training I didn’t put any effort into strength training.  I find I undervalue it and don’t pay much mind to the positive effect it would have on my running.  I know, people are screaming about the benefits from the rooftop about the benefits but I am good with denial.

So there it is.  Running the miles tonight and Jillian tomorrow morning.  On my training plan, I also have speed work which I will be doing in the eve.  If my calculations are correct, it is going to be painful considering Jillian will have kicked my booty.  If I live to tell the tale, you will be the first to hear about it!

hmm… the first two are definite possible options!

Are you good with cross training?

Do you feel guilty when you don’t run because you simply don’t feel like it?  Or do you push your way through the feeling and go?

no resolutions here – 2014 is doomed!

I spent all day traveling yesterday to get back to incredibly chilly and snowy MI.  During this time, I napped, listened to some tunes and did some thinking.  Being on a plane for over four hours with delayed flights, driving for over 2 and half hours and taking the train and a boat to get home gives you time to think.

oh yeah and I walked up 3 GIANT hills in Seattle to get to the train pulling two suitcases – brutal!

There were all kinds of ideas floating around in my head about what I wanted my resolutions to include.  Weight loss, running PRs, saving all the monies, cranking up my domestic and decorating skills, being a better daughter, sister, friend… the list went on and it was kind of overwhelming.

Today, I started watching the Lord of the Rings trilogy and came to a very important conclusion.  I’m not making any resolutions this year.

Each January I make lofty goals about how I am going to change my life in the upcoming year.  Don’t get me wrong, I don’t see anything wrong with this practice.  In fact, I even accomplish a few of them.  But yesterday as I was sitting in the airport reading over all of the fb posts about how fabulous years were, all I could think about was how my year WASN’T fabulous.  This was the approximate time when I started feeling sorry for myself.

It took me another lay over to see I could think of this past year with a positive spin or a negative one.  Since I’ve been working to slow the negative thoughts down, I opted for the positive spin and it lifted my cloud of negativity.  Nevertheless, I am not sure I want to establish a check list for this year.  I think I want this year to unfold based on what is happening in my life and the direction it is going.  There is a scene in the last Harry Potter movie where Hermione says they need to create a plan.  Harry responds with, “when have any of our plans actually worked?  We plan, we get there, all hell breaks loose” – this is my life!

tru dat Harry

So, I’m going to make goals as I go along.  All of those things I mentioned above will be themes in the following days and being happy will be my main focus.  The rest will be gravy.

I like me some goals

Yesterday was one of those days where I was feeling both restless and lazy at the same time.  I WANTED to get up and do something!  But I wanted to lay on the couch and watch TV as well!

yeah, I wasn’t even this productive…

Part of it is I’m stuck in the “sickness cycle”.  Running myself into the ground and then attempting to keep on going has done a number on my immune system.  Now I’ve got a bit of a cold but honestly, this is just an excuse.  I’ve got some business to attend to and I’m procrastinating!

*Edited: I did get up and run last night!  Yay!  More on this tomorrow but I was pleased as punch to make at least THAT happen!

I never posted my goals for August but I do have some.  Here we go!

1.  Make it through this month!

Yep, a lofty goal!  I’m both anxious for the month to be over and for it to never end (wow – I’m incredibly wishy-washy right now).  When it ends it means school is back in session and the tykes are all back.  However, if it doesn’t end it’s simply a bunch of 10-12 hour days and pure exhaustion.  I know I’ll make it through – I have for the last several years but it never seems possible while I’m in it.

2.  More consistent with training

I’ll do approximately 3 days of training in one day and then not train again until the next 3 day maniac session.  Right now the mileage isn’t terribly high so it’s possible but in a couple of weeks this won’t be the case.  Not to mention, what is one of the top 10 rules of running?  CONSISTENCY!  (oh wait – haven’t I written about this every freaking month?!)   I’m being lame and I know it.  I get frustrated when I see people wasting their talents yet I’m doing the same thing.  Boo!

3.  Keep going to bed early

Weird thing – I’ve gone to bed a few times this month pretty early already.  Let’s see, there have been two 9:30’s and lots of 10:30’s.  Yep, it’s like I’m 11 years old, except even back then I never went to bed that early.  Nevertheless, this has been helpful.  I’m surprised that I feel better going to bed earlier then I do when I sleep in later.  Why is this?  No, seriously, I’m curious – why is this?  I’m still waking up 2-3 times a night either from nightmares or just really complicated dreams – stress dreams of course.  It’s still worth it to sleep early though.

4.  Cut down on the caffeine (hmm – maybe related to the above?)

I’ve started going back to the 2 a day coffee habit.  Not only is this an extra 100 calories that doesn’t quite fit into my “budget” (calorie budget) but I have tried to stay away from this.  However, it does make me much more productive during the afternoons/early evenings.  What’s a person to do? 

that’s Grace – she has a really funny youtube watchamacallit

5.  Continue to work on my anxiety

Believe it or not, I am making progress in this area.  One of my co-workers recently got promoted to the same position I am in at work.  He is a funny and positive person.  He can take things in stride but then brush them off – sound like the opposite of anyone you know?!  Funny thing, it has started to rub off on me!  I’m paying attention and learning!  But I also don’t want to keep talking about my anxiety with him since I don’t want him to feel obligated to try to “fix” me.  This isn’t his job and I want to be the one who learns to manage it better.  I know – running more would help and in turn managing it would help with the creepy dream issue.  Knowing this and accomplishing it doesn’t make it happen.  I’ve been reading about some supplements which have helped others – some complex B vitamins and magnesium.  Off to the natural store I go!

Five seems like a good number of goals to concentrate on for the month.  The good thing is most of these are about changing current habits into more productive ones (I mentioned this before, I’m sure of it).  I had a neurologist appointment on Wednesday morning.  I told her how 3 years ago when my epilepsy got more complicated coincided with my anxiety becoming more prominent.  She explained these feed into each other and most likely made one another worse.  When I mentioned how my mom had anxiety as well she said it is also a learned behavior – it was how I learned to process complications and life in general.  She certainly didn’t discount that a portion of it is how my brain is hotwired but did give some suggestions and names of cognitive counselors who can help train my brain to process stress/anxiety differently.  Nifty eh?  It’s worth looking into!

OH!  One thing I’ve been proud of?  This week I’ve been a hydrating fiend!  I started because of my sicky self but now I’m getting more and more used to and my body needs it.  I’m not doing a great job of explaining this!  I’ve been drinking approximately 4 water bottles (96 oz or so) a day!  And this doesn’t even include the other business I drink during the day.  Yay – progress!