Wednesday, June 29, 2011

I'm Confused

Am I injured? Or not?

On Sunday my knee really hurt. Monday morning, I was feeling pretty good. I wasn't sore anymore, and I could straighten my knee without pain. Great. I dance on Monday, and felt just fine. Tuesday, more rest-mostly because of the awful cold I came down with on Saturday night.

Today I met my friend Lisa for an easy run. I told her I would give it a try if I was pain free. We did 4.5 miles at a nice easy pace. She is a little slower, and I was coughing enough where it felt good to go slow. My knee? Felt totally fine. I had a tiny little twinge around mile 3, and then nothing. No pain afterwards, no swelling. Nothing.

What the? I'm confused. On Saturday I wanted to saw off my own leg it hurt so freaking bad. I mean bad! It was swollen and angry on Saturday night and Sunday morning. And now it's, good? I'm not sure what to think, other than I seriously need some better Race Mojo.

My body is messing with me.

Hopefully I will have time to finish my Seattle recap soon. Right now, my kids are driving me CRAZY. My hubby gets here tomorrow night, so I will have backup with the kids-just in time for the insanity that is all of us being in a wedding. Awesome.

Monday, June 27, 2011

Seattle RNR Quick Update

What a great weekend! The expo was a lot of fun, the Bloggy dinner was a fantastic party, and the race was pretty great too.

Okay, the race did not go as I had hoped-but I finished, and got a pretty medal for my effort. I will take it! My time was 2:15ish. I am not on my computer, so I can't load my official Garmin time, and I dont' have the patience for the RNR website. I'll do that later.

My knee was unhappy with my from about mile 7 on, making it a battle of wills to the finish. The will to keep going, but at the same time not to push too hard through the pain and hurt myself more. Success on both accounts! I finished in a ok time, and my knee is already feeling better. I haven't run, but I am feeling better than Saturday and Sunday for sure!

Most importantly, I am done beating myself up over having a few bad races. I have been plagued by injuries all spring, and I have not trained well. Or really, at all. I have gotten mileage in, but in quantity, not quality. No speed work, no tempo work.

So next goal? Get healthy! And then work hard to train better. I will write a full race report with pictures later.

Monday, June 20, 2011

You have Got to be Kidding Me!

First of all, I hope everyone had a fantastic Father's Day spent with family. Our day was great. I woke up early to run, but had a killer headache. Ow. So, I went back to sleep. It didn't take too much convincing to not get up at 5am on a Sunday.

I got up and made my hubby french toast. Yummy. (after that I felt a little bad about missing my run) We headed to church, and did a barbecue afterwards. After nap time we dropped the kids off with some friends, and we went for a hike.

The big hill/hike around here is called Hogsback. You can go straight up the face and along the ridge line, or go around the side where it is slightly less steep. I hadn't done the easier route before, but knew it was a better choice for hubby.

It was a gorgeous day! Warm and windy, but the wind felt good while we were climbing. We saw a lot of wildlife: deer, 4 snakes (almost stepped on one), 3 lizards, 2 rock chucks, and various birds. The wildflowers were amazing, and I was enjoying our date. So much more fun than a movie! Hubby had to rest a few times, the hike is steep.

The top was awesome, and a huge accomplishment for him! Almost 3000ft vertical climbing in 2 miles. Yeah, and that's the easy route. I was feeling fantastic the whole time, so much that sometimes I forgot to wait for him. Oops.

We started down, just enjoying everything about the day. We were 3/4 of the way down, and I had to stop. Ouch! My knee! I hadn't fallen, or done anything to it, but suddenly it felt off. Like something had shifted? I don't know, just off. We stopped for a moment, and I stretched it out. I wiggled it this way and that until I felt like it was fine. We kept going, and it felt pretty normal. We ran the last few flat spots and raced to the car. Hubby cracked me up, he said "I gave up being competitive when I married YOU, knowing I would never win at anything again." I felt proud and sheepish all at once.
We headed home, and fed dinner to the family that was willing to take our three monkeys for the afternoon. I went to bed, happily exhausted, but with my knee feeling a little funny when I straightened it. I didn't think much of it.

I woke up this morning, and my knee hurts. It hurts to straighten it, it hurts to walk without a limb. Oh no, oh no. This cannot be happening! I did not just work my way back from a shin injury to hurt my KNEE less than a week before Seattle RNR! No no no no.

I have no idea what is going on with it. I was supposed to have a dance class this morning that I canceled, and I have a running date with a new running buddy tonight at 7pm. I will be canceling that too, although I really don't want to!

For now, I am icing like a crazy woman, and praying that whatever is tweaked in there, rights itself quickly. I am supposed to drive to Washington tomorrow morning! Sigh. Sometimes I think my body doesn't want me to be a runner. Isn't that silly?

Thursday, June 16, 2011

7 Morning Miles

Yesterday I knew I was not going to have time to fit in my run. The afternoon was busy, and warm. I not acclimatized to running when it is hot yet! Monday afternoon A and I ran our loop downtown and ran some errands, (literally). Run to the bank, the store, etc. We came home the trail and it was HOT. We finished with 8 miles instead of the 5-6 we had planned. which reminds me, how much do you taper before a half?

Tuesday we went shopping all day. I planned to run after we were home, but FAIL. My feet were tired. It didn't happen.

Yesterday I knew I had a fondue party in the evening to go to. Mmmm cheese and chocolate and all the goodies to dip in it. What's not to like? I wanted to get up early to run to make sure I was burning off some of the calories I planned to eat.

My alarm when off at 4:25. Wow, that is early. I had had a hard time falling asleep, so I only slept about 5 hours. Not ideal, but I got up anyways. I checked the temp outside-whoa only 35 degrees! I put on my fleece shirt and gloves.

With my hubby's work schedule, I have become an evening runner more often than not. This morning run felt like a special treat. The sky was just starting to lighten, and it was so incredibly quiet. I was wearing my ipod, but never did turn it on as I was enjoying the sounds of the birds, crickets and frogs.

About a mile in, I saw a herd of deer crossing the road. I kept going thinking they would move. They just looked at me like, "what? you want US to move?". It made me laugh. The deer around here are not all that scared of people. Maybe I should be worried.

They repaved the trail around here, which we were all excited about. New pavement to run on! But, they did a crappy job. I mean seriously. It is already cracked with dirt showing through, and it is not at all even. I ran downhill on it, and it did not feel great on the inside of my calf muscle. You know? that funny muscle that is impossible to stretch? Yeah, still hurts. Stupid trail.

I looped through downtown and enjoyed how quiet it is at 5am. No cars, no waiting at the lights, just being able to run and enjoy it. After downtown, all uphill to home. Very uphill. I love where our new house is, but being on top of a hill has it's downsides. Mostly that no matter which direction I run, there is a big uphill for at least a mile to home. It will make the hills in Seattle seem easy!

I got home at was at 6.42 for mileage. I hate ending mid-mile, especially with Dailymile. They either round up or down, either way it feels like being robbed. I checked inside, hubby was still in the shower. He obviously wasn't waiting for me, so I ran out and finished the half mile to end at an even 7.

There is something so awesome about being able to run 7 miles before 6am, when the rest of the world is still asleep. I should get up early more often.

The slight downside-it's 6am, and I can't shower or it will wake up the kids, or make any coffee. A pop tart was the only easy (quiet) thing I could find to eat. Going to have to work on that!

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Let Summer Begin!

Schools out for Summer! Ballet recital is DONE! Yay! I am so happy that I will not need to put my poor sore feet into pointe shoes for a good long while. This week was exhausting and I celebrated the end of it by sleeping in this morning. Sleeping in with three kids means interruptions, but going back to sleep after they are set with breakfast and cartoons. I'll take it!

I am thrilled school is out, but it was a little distressing that my two oldest were fighting in the first 45 minutes of him being out of school. About geometry. How many 7 and 5 year old argue about geometry?
K "Two triangles make a rhombus."
A "Two triangles do NOT make a rhombus, they make a square. Or a diamond. Are you sure you are in second grade now? Shouldn't you know this stuff?" (my 5 year old is such a smarty pants) Me telling them that they were technically both right did not go over well. I hope this doesn't set the tone for the whole summer!

This afternoon I have 12 miles with A planned. It will be my longest run since my injury, and my last long run before Seattle. Normally I really enjoy long runs, but this one I'm a little nervous about. My legs are tired I know, and my toes are not loving me either. We will see how it goes.

Normally before a half, I like running a long run of at least 14 miles, knowing I won't have to go that far on race day. This year, obviously I'm of out time. I know I can finish 13.1-I've done it many times. Seeing my goal time and corral start made me a little sad, knowing that my "a" goal of 1:50 is not even a slight possibility.

So what are my goals for Seattle? Finish, obviously. As for time? I don't really know. I have done no speed work, few long runs, and my running schedule is a mess. So should I just run and enjoy it, or try and race and hope I don't bonk? The lack of altitude will work in my favor, but I don't know how much.

We'll see how 12 goes this afternoon!

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Lake of the Woods Race Recap (finally)

First of all, Friday I got a brutal migraine. Not cool. Unfortunately said migraine usually arrives around that time of the month. Awesome timing, huh? I took my meds, tried to eat anyways, and hoped for the best for Saturday morning. I told my hubby if I woke up with a migraine, I would just bail on the race. (the advantage of it only having a $15 entrance fee)

Saturday morning I woke up with a medicine hangover, but very little headache. I was still a little on the fence about racing-which is unusual. The kids got up ridiculously early for a Saturday, so that sealed the deal. May as well drive to the race!

The race was only about 45 minutes away, and we got there in plenty of time to get parking and pick up my stuff. Pretty low-key start, which was great. They did a kids dash around 9am, and started the 5k and 15k together at 9:30. I lined up at the front not because I wanted to go out fast, but because I didn't want to dodge people, strollers, and dogs. Yeah, people did this race with their dogs. (only 5k)

You know sometimes you start out in a race, and you can tell in the first mile it just isn't your day? It was like that. I didn't feel bad, but I didn't feel good either. My legs felt heavy at the very beginning. Not encouraging! My friend Amber and I pre-race. She won first place female, 5th overall!

The first 2 miles are uphill. Not super steep, but a steady climb. After that starts the rolling hills. Lots and lots of them. The course loops the whole lake, but you can only see the lake from certain points.

"Make sure you keep the kids out of the water-I didn't bring extra clothes" (yeah, I wasted my breath-they were soaked)

I decided to try the Galloway run/walk knowing I was going to have trouble racing the distance. Since I have not practiced doing this, it didn't go all that smoothly. First, I would forget to stop at regular intervals. Then, my walks were poorly timed with the water stops, so I would have to walk again. The water stops were off the road, so you really did have to walk through them. (the road was not closed to traffic). When I would start running again, I think I would take off too fast, wanting to make up the time, and it was driving me crazy having people leapfrog me. I looked down and was running a 7:42 shortly after a walk break. I am NOT in shape to maintain that!

We looped around the back side of the lake around mile 5, and then it got ugly. More rolling hills, but more uphills than down. The downhills were short, but steep. I was trying to take it easy on the downhills to save my shin, but that meant I trashed my quads instead. Crap. I slowed down.

Lake of the woods is about 6000ft in elevation, so pretty high up, and cold. It was about 40 degrees at the start. Running around the back side of the lake, we were having to run in the tire tracks that were mostly clear of snow. Otherwise there was between 2-3 feet of snow on the road. Nice, huh? Some June weather!

So add snow to that back loop with punishing hills, and I was suddenly really wishing I had run the 5k. I felt like I was getting a blister on the ball of my left foot. It was on fire! Not a good feeling.

We come down off the back side, and have to run along the highway for about 1 1/2 miles. As soon as we turned that corner, the wind was blowing hard in your face. Awesome. That mile and a half felt like forever, but I did not want to walk on the highway with all that traffic.

Turn off the highway, last 1.4 miles or so. It felt so much longer! Gradual uphill, but it felt horrible. I was glad to not be the only one walking on this stretch. Finally, the last turn to the finish. It was blessedly downhill! Which hurt an amazing amount considering. I did chick two guys on the last half mile, that made me feel better after being passed by several people the last two miles of the race.

Final stats: 15k 9.24 miles

Time: 1:32 11

Pace: 9:57 So glad to be done!

Elevation: 2509 Ascent, 2451 Descent

Next year, I am going to be prepared to RACE this and kill my time. This year, not so pretty, but glad I did it anyways.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

When Hobbies Intrude on My Run

This week's schedule is a little insane. It is the last week of school for Monkey-boy, and hey, for kicks, let's throw in 3 field trips this week. Awesome. That adds some running around and some weird pick-up times to my week. Okay, no big deal.

But wait, there's more! (Don't you just LOVE infomercials?) This week is also the big ballet recital. Which means rehearsal EVERY DAY, and shows on Friday and Saturday. So, with rehearsals eating up all my afternoons, when will I fit in my run?

I am starting to feel somewhat time crunched with Seattle looming a few weeks away, and knowing I am not in top shape. Okay, not even close. The 15k this last weekend KICKED MY BUTT! I blame insane hills. (a separate race report on that coming) This post is partially to explain the delay in the race report. :)

Brainstorm! I can run to class. Sure, I will get there all sweaty-but hey! I leave all sweaty anyways. It is about 5 miles to the studio from my house if I take the trail, (slightly longer route). I think I can get home in 3 miles. Or, if my legs are dead-tired, I can call for a ride.

So I have a small hydration backpack, with the hydration pack out of it for space. I wadded up my necessary dance clothes, shoes, and baby wipes. (thanks Kerrie-I almost forgot wipes!) Of course today is the FIRST day we have had that is hot and sunny. And by hot, I mean we might reach 70. Not hot by most standards, but the warmest it has been here, and I'm not used to it. It will be worth it to get the miles in. I hope.

I'll let you know how it goes! And the Lake of the Woods Race Report will get done as soon as I can manage it. Maybe my kids will take amazing naps today? Maybe?

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Happy National Day of Running!

Happy first day of June, and National Day of Running! However, around here it looks more like March. I came out of the studio today and had to use my scrapper to get half an inch of hail and ice off my windshield. I kid you not. I NEED SUN! Hopefully soon.

The good news is, I have been running! Not a lot, and I'm trying to be good about not going on consecutive days. Mostly. Some days you just need a run! The official Doctors word was, run if it doesn't hurt. Duh Dr. Waste My Money. I have been been (semi)diligently strength training and cross training, as well as running a few here and there.

May Stats: 44 miles Running, 116 miles total counting Elliptical and Swimming.

This weekend is the Lake of the Woods 15k. My original plan was to just not go. Then I was going to go cheer on A. Now I am running a bit, so I thought, I'll just do the 5k. Then I looked at how many weeks I have to build up mileage before Seattle. Crap. Not much. Um, suddenly doing 10 miles is sounding like a good plan after all. Maybe?

It is discouraging how hard running feels, and how out of shape I feel after 5 weeks off. I mean wow. I have discovered that running a little faster makes it easier for me to maintain better form, IE not drop my hips. The bad news, I can't hold that faster pace for very long. It goes to show that cross training is not the same!

My friend A is a bad influence. Okay, mostly I'm just bad at saying I've had enough. We always leave planning around 5 miles, which turns in to 7 or 8. The good news is, I ran 8.5 on Saturday with no pain! Weird thing? 5 miles yesterday caused some discomfort. I think it was the hills, and the fact I was going as fast as possible due to the hail and rain pelting me. Ouch!

So back to Lake of the Woods. My plan. I am going to do the 15k as long as I am pain free on race day. And I'm not going to race it. No seriously, I'm just going to relax and do what I can do. Easy enough, right? At least I'll get the mileage in and get to enjoy a lovely run around a lake (at nearly 6000ft). Uh huh. Totally easy.