Tuesday, March 30, 2010


It has been a very traumatic day around here. Lily is lost. Who is Lily? My 2 year old's snuggle pet/blanket that she cannot sleep or live without. It is in our house somewhere, but we have turned the house upside down looking since yesterday afternoon and nothing. I'm sure any of you moms out there understand the implications of a missing snuggle. It has not been pretty. Added to the fact that the weather is still horrible, all three kids spent the morning crying and/or whining-spring break is not off to a great start.

As for running, I did go this morning. I realize I should have rested, but I just wanted to get out and try. How did I justify this? Surely it is just the shoes. I wore an older pair of my Asics to see how they felt. I ran down the block, and it hurt. So I turned around to head home. But wait, it doesn't hurt so much anymore! Keep running the other way, and maybe around the block. The big block. Ended with 3.65 miles.

My shin really felt okay until the last half mile which lulled me into thinking my shoes are just the problem. That still could be the case, (hoping) but my shin has been throbbing off and on since my run. Dang.

My husbands car broke down again, crabby kids and a toddler who won't sleep without her Lily, and a possible injury for me. Spring break, can I have a re-do?

(sorry for the whining this week. I'm working on it!)

Monday, March 29, 2010

March Showers bring April Flowers? Please?

Or better yet, BRING SUN!

It is spring break here. Yay! Except, the weather is not cooperating. Today it is raining and blowing like crazy. We are on a wind advisory all day, with gusts up to 55mph. Doesn't that sound fun? Three kids+no school+bad weather=restless grumps! I can tell I will need to get creative this week.

The good news, the rain held off for my run this morning. It was breezy, but not gale force winds which was great. Speed work in the wind makes a hard workout near torture. I did not have a super hard workout scheduled today, keeping in mind the fact that Saturday's run was TERRIBLE. Seriously body, get with the program here! The mind is willing, the body is whining.

And unfortunately, winning the battle for the moment. Saturday I set out for a "long" run of about 8 miles. The first two miles, my knee hurt. I told myself I would turn around if it didn't feel better by the end of town. It did, so onward I went. Then my left shin started hurting again at about the halfway point (isn't that always the case?). I ignored it, and tried to concentrate on my stride. I struggled to finish 7.8 miles. That annoyed me. I sat and stewed in my ice bath, angry at my shoes or my legs or whatever was making my runs so bad.

Sunday I rested and iced. Well, more or less. I was also on my feet a lot. *side note* I am a "yes" person (I'm working on that) so even though I had had a huge week, I had agreed to sing for a Haiti Benefit that was going on. Good cause, but huge time suck! I was gone all afternoon, and on my feet for a lot of it.

The grey morning suited how I felt about getting up this morning. But I was determined to get to the track, especially since I mentioned to one of the soccer moms that a few of us meet at the track Monday mornings. I couldn't not show! I normally run a 1.5 mile route to the track. Today, I cut it a bit short just wanting to get there. I was somewhat relieved to see that none of the regulars were there, and the soccer mom did not show.

I want to work on my speed so was starting with 200s. My first was almost 10 seconds slower than usual. Not a great start. On my second repeat, my left shin started hurting again. Uh oh. I tried one more, which made it very clear that speed was so not happening today. So here is what went on in my little brain-"I know! I'll do a fartlek. Nope, that hurt too. Bummer. I guess I'll just head home. Wait! It doesn't hurt so bad! Try to go fast again! Crap, still hurts. Go home. I know, I'll just try a tempo to get home faster. Oh, and add a few blocks. I might as well make it worth it! Okay, I added a mile. It isn't hurting so bad. (at home) I lied. It hurts."

Brain, you are a tricky thing, and not so smart sometimes. I am starting to worry about a stress fracture. The very thought makes me cringe. I have a visible bruise on my shin that has been there in varying degrees for a few weeks I think. I am a klutz, so I dismissed the mystery bruise. But it isn't going away, and is sort of a lump. Thoughts anyone? I told my husband I would call the doctor this morning, but am procrastinating. I don't like the doctor anyways, and especially not if they are going to tell me not to run! I know, not so smart. I'll call. Really. I am telling myself if I deal with it now, if it is an injury it can be dealt with before the Seattle RNR. But I don't want to waste money on the doctor if it is really just a bruise!

I am open to suggestions. Happy Monday-well, I'm trying.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Keep on moving on

This morning I actually managed to drag my sorry behind out of bed for a run, (for the first time this week-wow!). I am typically a morning person and don't mind my early morning runs. It is my quiet time-often the ONLY quiet time I get in a day. I have been so tired this week, it just hasn't happened.

I wanted to get back into my routine and make it happen today, even if I still felt sleepy. And boy did I feel sleepy. It is way too easy to get used to sleeping until 7am! I did manage to get out the door by 6:00 which is a little later than usual, but I'll take it.

I did my 5 mile loop this morning, and by the end of it I felt like a runner again. Thank God! I knew my body just needed rest, but having a bad run is stressful to no end. Silly, I know. I did just race on Sunday-which already feels like forever ago.

My 5 miles was not fast, but it was not slow either. My feet remembered how to pick themselves up again instead of dragging and tripping their way along. (Tuesdays night run was really that bad) And now I am ready to start training again. I will take the rest of this week as a down week, but want to start picking it up again right away. Maybe. We'll see how it goes!

I am looking for a 10k or something of the like in April, but haven't found anything yet. I wish there were more races around here! A runner friend mentioned she might go to Trout Lake for the half marathon, just for the day. Oh..tempting. It is 3 hours from here, so I didn't want to drive it on my own, or pay for a hotel to go. I thought, perfect! I can do the 10k. Can I hop in the car with you?

But then I started thinking...if I'm going anyways, why not just do the half? I've already put in the mileage but haven't had time to work on the speed for a 10k. I did trout lake last year as my first half. It is a pretty flat course, only one little hill. (flat as a pancake if you compare it to Mercer!) Hmmm

I admit, I really hope she decides to go-and takes me too!

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Recovery Blues

Okay, calling it the blues may be a little overly dramatic. That being said, I am still feeling very "off". Monday I was seriously sore and walking like an old lady. I was proud to be so sore, and very willing to take Monday very easy with just normal activity. Tuesday morning I woke up to run and my joints were still hurting. My muscles felt better, but the bones in my left foot, my right shin, and left hip all ached so I turned off the alarm and figured I would take two rest days.

That seemed like a great plan, until the afternoon when it was sunny and 65 degrees. How can any runner resist that? I took my son to soccer practice, and left from there to do a 30 minute run. It felt like I hadn't run in a year. How is that possible? Aches, sore feet, and my stride felt weird. Even so, the weather was glorious and I was happy to be running.

This morning I set my alarm to run again. No go. I have never had a post race recovery like this. Normally I take one day off and start right back up again. My body has apparently decided not this time!

I am somewhat wary of the pain in my foot in particular-worrying about a stress fracture. I did a two hour ballet class this morning and aside from feeling tired, my body felt fine. I am planning on doing an easy run tomorrow, and hoping for the best.

Has anyone else ever had trouble bouncing back like this? It's kind of weirding me out!

PS My new runningskirt got here today. Very excited! For some reason I thought it had the shorts underneath, and not just briefs. Hmm. I clearly miss-read the website, looking at it now. I'm a little concerned about chaffing-thoughts? (even with bodyglide)

Monday, March 22, 2010

Mercer Island Half Marathon Recap

We'll see if I can get this post written before my the end of Super Why on PBS, and therefore the end of my quiet time.

It was great to get out of town this weekend and have a much needed kid break. My mom came through and blessed us by keeping the kids so my husband and I could travel alone. We stopped in North Bend and met a couple of friends for shopping. Well, the girls shopped and the boys headed on their way for "guy time" aka video games.

After shopping, we headed to Mercer and picked up the race packet. Hubby was a little mistaken in the directions, so it took a while to find where we were supposed to be. Oh well. I got my packet, that was the important thing. I looked at the map, but did not take the time to drive the course. I knew the course was hilly, and at that point figured ignorance was bliss. I'm not sure if it was the right call or not, but I like to think I slept with less stress.

Going into the weekend, I was coming off a two day migraine. Not fun, and I had missed my last two training runs. I was still head achy Sunday morning when I woke up, but it wasn't a migraine anymore. It did make it hard to eat breakfast, well that and nerves. I am not great about eating before a race, although I know it affects my energy later on.

We got to the race in plenty of time. In fact, too much time. Time to stand around and get cold! I did get to meet fellow bloggers Mel, Jill, Kerrie, and Zoe! Good thing Mel stands out in a crowd, she was easy to find. :) I chatted with Mel and Jill while we waited, and waited in line for the bathroom once more. We headed to the start, and realized how packed the start was. Oops! Should have gotten down there sooner. It was crowded!

It took a few minutes to cross the start, and off we went! I ran with Jill the first mile and part of the second, then lost her in the crowd. It was hard to weave around so many people! This was by far the largest race I have ever done, so I wasn't used to weaving around people the whole race.

The first 6 miles went great. I was relaxed, holding a good conservative pace I could keep, hoping for lots in the tank for the second half. The support at the water stations was good, although with so many people it was crowded. Then there was the people who just stood there drinking their water blocking the table. Um, keep walking people!

Mile 7, I really started feeling those hills. Ouch! My calves and left hip really started to hurt. I started trying to do the math in my head to keep my mind occupied, and to push up to the top of each hill telling myself I would get a rest on the downside. Then I tried to push hard until each water stop, promising myself I could walk through the water stops.

Mile 10 I was getting tired! This is normally when I bonk unfortunately. I was still doing okay, my legs were just starting to feel heavy and my hip hurt. Then we started up the big hill. It just didn't end. Most of the people around me were stopping to walk. That was hard enough to push through, but they were walking in the middle of the road, without much room to get around them. More people weaving. Trying to weave around people when everything in me wanted to stop and walk too was HARD. I wanted to stop.

I kept running, but it turned into a shuffle. My feet weren't wanting to pick it up! Miles 11 and 12 felt like forever. Just keep moving! I knew if I stopped to walk, it would be all over. At this point, my sub 2 hour was out of reach, but I still wanted to push hard.

My last mile was slow-a 10:something. I didn't mark the split. Finally going up the hill into the finish corral I gave it the best kick I had. However, the people in front of me were not going as fast. I tried to move around a couple of girls in front of me, but they were not overly cooperative. Oh well.

Finish time by my watch: 2:04:21 9:17 Average (13.3 miles)
chip time: 2:05 9:30 Average

Walking up the big hill to the tent was horrible. My calves were a knotted mess. I was proud of my finish time though. It wasn't the sub 2 hours I was after, but I know I gave it the best I had on the toughest course I have ever run.

things I learned:
  • Hills are HARD!
  • Eat more breakfast, even when it doesn't sound or taste good.
  • Even if it feels cold at the start, don't wear a coat. It was in my way the whole race
  • A big race means weaving around people-and that you will run further then 13.1
  • I need to keep working on picking up the pace on the last few miles of long runs when I feel tired.
  • Eat afterwards even when I don't feel like it. I make this mistake after most races, and always pay for it with a sick stomach.

Things I did Well:

  • I did not start out too fast
  • I kept pushing myself to the finish
  • I did well on the uphills until the last one and passed a lot of people. It made me feel strong!
I am sore today, but it is a good sore knowing I gave the race everything I had! The only soreness that concerns me a little is in my left foot, the bones on the outside of my foot are sore. Hoping it is just from the race, and nothing more serious.

Next up:
A 10K race in May, and hopfully one in April too if i can find one.
Seattle RNR Half Marathon in June

Training plans to come.

Monday, March 15, 2010

Who Am I?

Profound title, I know, but this has been something that has been going through my mind lately as more things are being added to my plate.

So who am I? Wife. Mom. Runner. Dancer. Teacher. Soccer Mom. Chef. Laundress. Maid. (to name a few)

How do we balance it all? How do we know when it is just too much? How do we find that perfect ratio of things that make us better wives/moms/athletes without overdoing?

I love my husband. We have been married almost 9 years, and he has been a huge help to me as I am finding my footing in this new schedule. My kids have been understanding on the outside, but we have been facing some escalating attitude issues we have not dealt with before. Is it too much?

My runner self feels a little bi-polar. I'll have a great running day where I feel like I can tackle anything! And then a day that feels like I shouldn't even bother to run at all if I can't finish that workout. Where's the balance?

Teaching ballet has been a good thing. It feels good to see improvement in my classes, and to know that they are working harder than they ever have. My legs are handling the extra workload well, and my feet are getting stronger. That will make me a better runner. I haven't seen the weight loss I was hoping for with the added exercise, but perhaps that will come.

Spring soccer has started for my son, which he is ecstatic about. He was up by 6am Saturday morning for an 11am game. It was a long morning. I love that my kids want to be active and busy. It's finding the balance with my activities as well.

Adjustments need to be made as schedules change. For me, that also means learning to say "No". Such an easy thing, but it is so much easier to say "yes". For example, I was asked to teach 3 Friday night dance classes, including Jazz. I have never taken Jazz. I told my boss this, and she was unconcerned, figuring I could work with their recital piece. Classes went fine, however by saying yes to that, I unwittingly said "no" to something else. My daughter had her preschool open house. No problem, it started at 6:30, classes were done at 6:30. I would just be a few minutes late. Oops-open house started at 6:00pm, and I missed most of the activities. She enjoyed doing the things with Daddy, but I felt bad.

Another adjustment that makes me sad, but is the right choice, is postponing my first full marathon. I will now be doing the Seattle RNR half, and waiting to do a full in the fall. Probably Portland. As much as this makes me sad, putting my dream on hold, I also realize that this will relieve stress for myself and my family. Trying to find training time that isn't there when I am already slow on prep time doesn't seem like a great idea. Plus, it does give me a chance to keep focusing on my half marathon time and to do some shorter races this spring also.

Mercer Island is this weekend, and I am nervous! I have been spread so thin that I have not given my training my all. Can I still get my sub 2:00 half? I want that so badly. I will give it the best I have on race day, and we'll just see. And I will make my workouts this week as quality as I can in preparation.

Today's workout was fabulous-6x400 @ sub 1:50 (1:47, 1:46, 1:47, 1:46, 1;45, 1:45). I felt great for all the repeats, even though I did my long run yesterday. I added 2x400, 2x200 that I ran with a friend at a slightly slower pace.