Tag Archives: races

a running plan is a’brewin’

21 Jan

I’ve wanted to get back to running.  The Turkey Trot went surprisingly well.  I thought I would barely huff and puff my way through it.  So, a happy girl I was, when things went smoother than my pessimistic premonition.

It’s also been a year since my last marathon.  The Dopey/Disney Marathon weekend was two weekends ago and my facebook Timehop-ped me back to those days and memories.  I am starting to get restless without a race on my calendar to look forward to.  Trust me, this is still an odd thing for me to say considering 8 or 9 years I would have scoffed at this type of statement about running.  Or any statment involving my name and running really.  This is calling my name:

I love that it’s local, the weather is amazingly cool, and it’s a beautiful course.  Oh!  And family can come cheer me on – yay!  I talked to a woman at one of my LuLaRoe pop-up boutiques this past week and she has only missed a couple of years of this race.  She raved about it.  Not to mention, she was very nice and told me to contact her if I had any questions regarding the race/course.  I love my fellow runners!

This nailed it.  I’m signing up soon.  For the full 26.2.  I’m a little behind in training, but seriously, when has that EVER stopped me?!

img_8387

this is a dynamic example of how I like to spend my free time  

Of course the lottery for the New York marathon is also currently open.  Yet another marathon call!  It stays open until February 17th.  I put my name in the year before last, but no such luck.  I’ll submit my entry soon for this one, too.  I’m thinking of signing up for it on the 3rd since this is my birthday.  Maybe it will be good luck?

I had visions of starting to run about a week and half ago.  In my mind’s eye, I was doing a great job of getting up and being outside pronto.  Mother Nature likes to mess with my brain and motivation.  The scene of my small town …

img_8437

this was my backyard. it makes me giddy to say “my backyard”!

The snow is finally rained out and the streets are clear enough for me to be up and off my bum.  I saw a few other dedicated individuals running when there was snow/ice on the ground but grace, agility, and balance are not adjectives used to describe yours truly.  Now the excuses are gone and the race is a day closer.

I haven’t thought about a training plan.  My best adherence to a training plan was 87% and it was when I was part of a training group.  My best training cycle when I was on my own resulted in a 68% plan follow through.  I would like to do slightly better this go around.  Any suggestions or “I swear by” training plans?  Do you create your own or follow a more established one?

quote-please-give-me-some-good-advice-in-your-next-letter-i-promise-not-to-follow-it-edna-st-vincent-millay-127098

okay, I’m teasing – I really do want your advice!  awesome quote though, yeah?!

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all the pretty races

10 Nov

For the last few years, I’ve packed my schedule with races.  Whether it was spring (one or two in the winter) or fall, I attempted to fill it with as many as I could afford.  All with the thought/plan to “REALLY train this time around” and make those PR’s happen.

this is how I feel about a PR…

This wasn’t the case.  And with each race there were a few more aches and pains because all too many times I didn’t quite prepare as much as I should have.

I decided to be slightly more realistic this year.  I did sign up for a mid-winter race and realized this was dumb and didn’t end up doing it.  Aside from that delusional moment, I did fairly well.  I signed up for the 5k/10k back to back in June with a 1/2 marathon the following weekend.

I trashed my knee (my poor patella) with some serious slanted sidewalk during that 5k/10k.  This race is HARD.  There is a reason the quote is “The Thrill, The Will, The Hill”.  The hill is a freakin’ beast.  I climbed it once during the 10k, a 2nd time to get to the 5k start and then a 3rd time because I decided parking near the start was a better idea than near the finish line.  Must learn for next time!

this race kicks my trash - every time.

this race kicks my trash – every time.

The 1/2 was a great time as I was able to escape “up North” –  Michandger speak anytime you head to the Northern part of Michigan.  It was in stunningly beautiful Charlevoix (go there – it’s listed as one of the most beautiful places to visit).  The race is really fun, has some sweet swag, an awesome medal and the course is nice.  I was worried about my knee but it wasn’t terribly bothersome.  Because of my lack of training, my goal was to hit under the 3 hr mark.  I did just this – yay!  Not to mention, I got to go with a great friend for a mini-break.

the front has the MI symbol on it and then on the back in the lower corner is Charlevoix piece. I did it.

the front has the MI symbol on it and then on the back in the lower corner is Charlevoix piece. I did it.

this medal is awesome! the bridge pieces go up and down!

this medal is awesome! the bridge pieces go up and down!

After this, it was onto France and then immediately back to work.  This is also when I dabbled/half decided to sign up for the marathon.  At this point, I had plans to sign up for two 1/2 marathons to help with marathon training along with my favorite 5k/10k Peacock Strut combo.

Despite signing up for the Peacock Strut and picking up my shirt, I woke up the next day with no desire to run.  I skipped it.  I still don’t regret it.  I also didn’t end up signing up for the 1/2 marathons and instead went to NY to visit my brother where I ran the Bronx 5k – a much better and more fun decision!

me and my little bro running the Bronx 5k!

me and my little bro running the Bronx 5k!

Suddenly October rolled around (I have no concept of time right now) and I ran three races – whoa!  The first was an impromptu 5 miler in Indiana with one of my great gal pals.  It was a very small, local race, which I always enjoy.  My knee was painful and stiff.  I couldn’t run the whole time (I added in some walk breaks).  It definitely made me nervous as the marathon was looming.  M and I stuck together and without her I would’ve walked a lot more.  Once again, I need to up my mental game.

Next up, the Detroit Marathon – have I mentioned this?!

Lastly, the weekend following the marathon was the Campus Classic here on campus.  I wasn’t sure I was going to do it, since you know, I could barely walk.  The Campus Classic is the first race I ever did.  I’ve told the story a couple of times here and I’ve never missed a race since.  I knew I wouldn’t be able to run it, which was a bummer but against my better judgement, I walked it.  The first mile was in the 17 min mile range.  I was being careful of my knee.  After I heard the time, I decided to screw my knee and the aftermath, I wanted to be done – faster.  I started focusing on catching people.  The second mile was in the 16 min pace and the last was a 15 min pace.  I was quite pleased with the negative splits, although the not so nice voice in my head provided some disparaging remarks regarding my overall time.  My friend used her real life voice to knock some sense into me.  Another race in the books!

probably my final campus classic -

probably my final campus classic

I don’t see the local Turkey Trot in my future.  I’m not sure if I’ve missed one since I started running though… if it does happen it will be another walking race.  I need to keep reminding myself that recovery is front and center.  Remind me of this if I start any crazy talk pretty please!

One last thing!  My medal for the 2,015 miles in 2015 came in the mail the other day – a lovely piece of hardware!

2,015 in 2015

the lighting sucks in my apt – there are some cute mountains in there, too!

i’m neurotic about my feet

14 May

When I first started running, I didn’t give much mind to my feet.  I was happy they got me from point A to point B and that was it.  My first 5k and all of the training leading up to it, I wore some really broken down shoes that weren’t meant for street running (maybe trail running?  but I really don’t think so) and they were OLD.  As in years old.

After that first 5k, I liked the running gig and decided it was time to have REAL running shoes.  I proceeded to search Kalamazoo over, looking for shoes I deemed appropriate for my new runner status.  I went everywhere – well, everywhere except my local running store.  Because I can be a dumb bunny.  After multiple purchases and returns (I’m pretty sure there are stores in my area that no longer want me to walk through their doors because of my returning issues), I went to Gazelle, my local running store.  It was a great experience and it increased my “I’m a runner!” feeling.

Even after this magical experience, I didn’t give much mind to my feet – or really, injuries in general.  I didn’t develop my first injury until 1/2 marathon training when I decided stretching was stupid.  Still, my feet were good to go.  Until the Headless Horseman 10 Miler.

happy cat lady runner - this was before I knew how much it was going to suck

happy cat lady runner – this was before I knew how much it was going to suck

This was an inaugural semi-local race that sounded darn cool.  The course was through a golf course, at night and you got a nifty little plaque.  I dug it and managed to trick convince two other runner friends to do it.  It was Halloweenie time so we kind of dressed up and were on our way!  The race sucked on so many levels.  I had a 1/2 a week or two before and then didn’t run much so the Monday of this week I decided I needed to squeeze in a 10 mile training run.  Unbeknownst to me, the route I chose had a ton of slanted sidewalk and I’d been slacking on overall training so this was a silly thing to do.

From that point forward, I’ve had troubles with my right foot.  I’m fairly certain my arch fell on that ill-fated training run as this is what all of the interwebs said.  It’s been problematic for the last 5 years or so?  I don’t know, it feels like forever.  It’s also what led to my ankle issues in this foot.  My neurosis officially set in after the headless horseman run.

Now, I’ve gone through a variety of different shoe styles to try to help it.  I’ve purchased all kinds of braces and arch bands.  My love for Tom’s probably didn’t help as the summer before last, this was all I wore.  I BARELY ever wear heels anymore as I know these aren’t good for my runner feet/ankles.  Any off feelings worry me and I immediately jump to some kind of worse case scenario.

cinderellaSince all of this, I’ve done few smart things: 1) I went with the special inserts.  As much as these initially pained me (literally) they have been a huge help.  My arch feels so much better and my ankle is hanging in there. 2) I’ve been stretching my ankles and rolling a tennis ball under my feet after running.  I hate stretching – no real reason, I just do.  3) I buy lots of Sketchers.  They have extra support and I’ve been able to find some cute ones to wear to work.  They are more comfy than typical flats and make my feet happier.

aaaaa – my eyes! I don’t hate, I just can’t handle it!

My soon to be sister-in-law LOVES high heels.  We talked about it recently and she said there are times when she can no longer feel her toes – even when not wearing heels.  The other day, I was walking behind a woman with those crazy heel-platform things and it was like watching a newborn calf try to walk.  Part of me wishes I could return to my high heel days.  But alas, this is not in the cards.  Not terribly high platforms do work well for me, so I can still be dressy but that’s it.  I’m neurotic about my feet.

You?  Do you love high heels?

Are you neurotic about your feet?

trying not to suck at running

17 Apr

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?

the race that wasn’t meant to be

8 Feb

Yesterday, my friend and I set out at 6:22 am to drive to Frankenmuth, MI for the Winterlaufe 8k.  With a 10 am start and a 2 1/2 hour drive there we decided to make a day of it and enjoy this random Bavarian town’s highlights once we froze our buns off for 5 miles.

lederhosen is common around them parts – kidding, I’m not

I mentioned I was nervous about racing again on Friday.  That evening I (over)packed a bag and got my running clothes ready.  This required an all-out hunt for my running pants and many changes to see what running jacket I would wear.  Also, a 3 mile run/walk on the tready to try to loosen my legs up a bit.  I packed way to much stuff and was ready to wear enough running clothing for 15* or below, weather.  Honestly, the drawback to having the treadmill is I haven’t had enough practice of being outside to see what is too much or not enough.  Oh well.

I was also very concerned about how chilly I would be after the race since baby wipes were going to be the extent of a “shower”.  No hot water available to soak heat back into my bones.  Naturally, I figured this meant I should pack a short sleeve t, a long sleeve t and then a hoodie along with my fleece to war afterward.

the temp was going to be in the high 20’s for the race and mid 30’s afterward – way to much fretting

Alas, 1/2 way there we had some car troubles.  Friend made some serious efforts to save the day – I’m not kidding, it was like traveling with MacGyver but these weren’t quite enough.  We ended up at a very random/small car repair shop.  There we got to watch what turned into some kind of auto repair shop soap opera.  It was highly entertaining.  A trip to Tim Horton’s on the way out of town and back to Kalamazoo we went.

While I was disappointed about the race/our day plans, hanging out with my friend is a good time no matter what the situation.  Hanging out with me is always an adventure – I probably should have reminded my friend of this fact.  I think I should start doing/planning the opposite of what I want the outcome to be and then it would turn out how I secretly wanted it to happen in the first place – reverse psychology on the universe?  Maybe?

very true

Oh yeah, and I ate a big fat gluten filled boston cream donut.  I couldn’t resist, it was taunting me from the case.  And a milk-filled coffee drink.  I was going to ask for some kind of special concoction but the cashier seemed only competent to fulfill the menu items and not any variations.  I’m not trying to be mean, I just didn’t want to be a pain in the ass for a drink that wouldn’t turn out anyway.  Stomach be damned.

I’m sure you are thinking I came home and ran on the tready to fulfill my planned miles.  Wrong!  I watched a mini-marathon of Supernatural and relaxed.  It seemed to be the universe’s plan all along.  Whenever things like this happen, and they happen a lot, I rationalize it that maybe something bad was going to happen had we made it to our intended destination.  You just never know, right?

see what could’ve happened?!

wellness update week 2

1 Feb

Snow day!  It was called last night at 7 pm.  This is huge.  Usually, if there is a snow day called I get the notification at 5 am because they wait to make sure there is no possible way to stay open.  That should give you a hint of the giant chunk of snow that fell.  As my dear friend said, “it’s the universe gift to you for your birthday!”  Good omen for a good year?

Anyway, we are here to talk wellness from this past week.

Mind

The first part of last week was pretty stressful.  I did some tapping & was pleased to see it helped.  The days went by quickly as I had twice the number of meetings during the week as before.  I also felt really productive this week, which is always nice.

check this out - an empty to do list!

check this out – an empty to do list!

Friday was an anxious morning.  I had bad dreams the night before & didn’t get to see some of my usual suspects who help ease some of it.  Instead, I broke down to office mate within 5 minutes of him coming to the office.  Don’t you wish you could share an office with me?!

A big mood booster mid-week was a yummy dinner with a dear friend!  Nothing like good food & good talk.

Last, the whole birthday thing… It’s looming (tomorrow!!) & filling my mind with all kinds of doubts, big plans, angst, & being grateful to be around to see this day again.  However, it dawned on me that I’m now officially old enough to have a midlife crisis.  An actual MID-LIFE crisis-whaaa?!?!

Body

I worked out 5 days last week! I have no idea when the last time this happened.  Years?!  Monday was 3.5 miles-3 on the treadmill & a 1/2 mile around campus.  Tuesday was the same scenario/mileage.  Remember?  I don’t do Monday work outs.  Eww-gross.  So, my actions were worthy of these honorable mentions.  Wed, dinner & Thursday was another rest day.  I had no juice in the tank.  Friday looked to be the same-I was even in my running skirt but the couch was so inviting & Simon so snuggly.  BUT I made it, for 2 miles.

Science experiment: see the details here.  I followed through.  Announcing it to you all was a big help, office mate knew & wanted an update & my sister called to get some details.  Saturday-5 miles & most of those were running.  I put 1/2 of my running clothes on straight-away, only drank 1/2 of my coffee & then magically enough was on the tready.  My stomach seemed to do pretty well with this plan.  I was hungry afterward & downed 2 hard-boiled eggs quickly.  Too much for the ol’tum for a couple of hours.  I was really productive for the rest of the day, too.  Laundry, dishes, kitchen cleaning, energy bite making, Old Navy run & vacuuming.

Sunday.  I definitely had less enthusiasm for the experiment & I drew out my 1/2 cup of coffee for longer than I should’ve!  Nevertheless, as I was in 1/2 of my running gear, I got on the treadmill.  I wasn’t feeling good enough for running, so I walked 5 miles instead.  I did feel better after the walking session. And it made 19 miles for the week!  Wahoo!  I’ve made some good progress the last 3 weeks: 7 miles, 10 & now 19. I’m pleased.  31 miles for January!

The experiment was a success.  I’m going to give it a go for the next few wkends to see if this is real change and a real help to my health.  Yep, I did learn something in those bio classes – repeat those experiments.

No swimming though, as I’d hoped.  Part of it was I just too cold to want to get all wet in a pool.  Then there is this 8k on Saturday.  So I concentrated on running.  I also did better with following my combo diets so while I don’t feel excellent it was much better than the week prior.  Progress?  Better follow-through?  I’m playing it safe for a while in regards to food-apparently gut healing takes some time.  Must heal the tummy!!

randomness

28 Jan

Be prepared…

Get this – I worked out on MONDAY!  No kidding peoples, this is unheard of for me.  Now, I’ve worked out on both a Friday AND a Monday.  Man, I love cloneAmy.

I got 3.5 miles in on Monday and 3.5 on Tuesday.  Tonight will be a rest day since I’m headed to a friend’s house for dinner.  When she asked me about any dietary restrictions, I felt like a giant pain in the ass.  I sent her a list of the most problematic ones – not even a list of the bothersome ones.  I think this could eventually even itself out (foods on my no-go list might go to the every once in a while list) but if not then I will be hosting dinners at my place hence forth!

it will be waffles every time

The 8k is a week and a half away.  I think I said I was going to run outside before the race but now I’m not so sure.  I like being all cozy in my apt while watching  Netflix.  Sure, the treadmill is tedious and it is certainly harder for me to run on as opposed to running outside but it’s cold outside.  Please insert all of the whining here.

It absolutely will be a brisk slap in the face when I venture out in the tundra on the 7th but I might as well experience the chill along with running outside for the first time in months (seriously, this isn’t an exaggeration) for some double whammy fun.

press your luck reference – anyone?

I will say, while I am not in super great shape, I’ve been focusing on consistency so I will finish.  And hey!  It’s a distance I’ve never raced before – new PR!  I did order a new running shirt/jacket thing for the race.  I’m going to call it my birthday present to myself.

Yep, next week is my birthday.  It’s weird it got here so fast.  I’m a bit freaked out by it.  I’m attempting to age gracefully but all I can see is that I AM ALMOST 40!  I still don’t understand how this happened.  You know how older folks say they still feel like they are in their 20’s or something?  I do – I feel like I’m still in my early thirties.  Maybe my body is falling apart like a person who is getting older but that’s it.  The rest of me has no concept of where this aging came from.

I do recognize the alternative sucks, I’m being ridiculous and I should be embracing the day of my birth.  I just pictured my life being very different at this age.  I don’t think my life is bad but there are things I want and are ready for and I want them NOW.  Did I mention I am not very patient?

This is a weird post.  There is a possibility of a more coherent one in the upcoming days but the aforementioned birthday is throwing a weird wrench in my mood.  I’m sure things will be a bit all over the place for a few days!

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