Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Being Careful

It's tempting to title my post rest and/or recovery, but if you don't know me very well then please note that I don't do either very well.  If you do know me, you're thinking....ya right, that girl can't rest if her life depended on it.  Besides, my definition of rest & recovery are extremely slightly different than your normal average person.

So to better sum things up, I am being very careful right now.  I mentioned yesterday that fine line of crossing over into an injured state.  I'm definitely guilty of getting as close as possible to that line with out actually going over.  Kind of like the kid who gets as close to touching their sibling with actually touching them.  And one kid is yelling "Moooooooom, they're touching me" and the other kid is saying "No, I'm noooooot" with that smug grin on their face and their finger one millionth of an inch from the other person.  So my body (certain parts in particular) and saying "Hey, I'm injured!" (said in it's best whiney, irritated voice) and I'm saying "No, you're not!" (said in my best matter of fact, quit being a drama queen about it voice"). 

I will agree that my body IS being pushed to it's limits and even when it's ready to be done I keep on going.  Mostly because I'm not done with said run yet.  When I need to get from point A to point B I have to keep going to get done.  Plain & simple.  Walking is an option, but that just prolongs my finishing so I usually keep going.  Is that not just common sense or am I just coo coo for Cocoa Puffs?

When I need to and my body insists on it I will run at a much slower pace than normal.  My base pace has slowed as it is, but sometimes I'm moving 2-3 minutes slower than that norm.  So I DO listen to my body.  And when need be I shorten my distances.  Running 4 miles after my second 20 was like a walk in the park.  Because I am pushing for a distance goal it weighs on my mind every time I go out for a shorter distance.  Shortening my distance now will only catch up & hurt me in the long run.  So that's been motivation to go out for no shorter than 5-6 miles.  I do shorten it when I "have" to, but I'm very aware of the deficit it creates against me.

Upon the very wise wisdom of a friend, I have been shortening my distance & going out more than once during the day.  It seems my body needs more time to warm up & handle the distance I want to complete so breaking it up has helped a lot.  My body is tolerating 6-7 miles daily, but it's not all being ran at one time.  For example, yesterday I ran 3 miles before class, 2 miles after class, then 2.5 miles after I took the kids to school.  7.5 miles over the course of 4 hours.  In between those runs I'm able to stretch and/or rest a little bit in there.  My hardest miles are actually my beginning miles.  I'm stressing what is already stressed, but about the time it rears it's ugly little head and  is about to revolt & refuse to keep going without a bunch of pain I stop & give it a break.  So, yeah, I'm toeing that line, but then backing off.

For me it's working.  In the big picture & over the course of the last week my body is recovering very nicely.  At first I had some consistent aches, pains, soreness, etc. that was bothering me even if I wasn't running.  My knees, my IT band....yeah they were awfully ticked off and not speaking to me pretty much non stop for a few days.  But now that I've been nicer to them & only subjecting them to 2-3 miles at a time (instead of 6-7) they are starting to come around and like me again.

How do you rest and/or recover?

Any tips or words of wisdom to pass along to help me out?

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Double Trouble

Last week I started a post titled:  The Good, The Bad, The Ugly.  I was going to tell you all about my 20 mile run that I had completed on Sunday, October 20.  For me it wasn't that great of a run.  However I tend to stick with my plan once I mentally say that I'm going to do it.  So here's my route from that 20 miler.

When it was all said & done I was really glad I had gotten it done. It was just during the run I was having one issue after another that had me feeling defeated.  Some other time I'll have to lament about the bad & ugly.  I guarantee it's an issue that's not going away any time soon.

I do have a 50k coming up in 2 weeks so it's nice to have gotten a long run in before then, plus if I can, I want to be adding chunks of mileage to my 2013 Run This Year goal.

Fast forward 5, yes FIVE, days & I was ready to take on another long run.  Ok, wait.....ready may not be the right word, but I was willing to do it again.  I had reservations because my knee had began to bother me at the end of my last long run.  However it didn't bother me too much during the week (maybe a tweak here or there, nothing alarming).

On this particular day (Friday) I was missing out on a racing opportunity with my running partner & some friends.  It was my choice to miss this race, but I was bummed about it.  So I made myself a deal that if I was going to miss this race (and opportunity to be with my running partner that I miss so much) then I was going to give myself a memorable big run.

What I had chosen to do instead was go on our ladies retreat with our church.  It was being held out at Camp Summit, one of my favorite places to be.  It's about 20 miles from Galesburg (depending on which way you drive) so I decided to run out to our retreat spot.  Here was my route:
Looks pretty boring, huh?  It was far from it!  Most of my route took me up Hwy 150.  I was a little nervous about running up a 2 lane highway for that long of a distance.  I mean, it's a far cry from the Interstate (which is illegal to run down), but around here 150 is still a main highway that can have a lot of traffic.  Not to mention vehicles of all sizes (even semis) are flying along at 55 mph (at least, some maybe faster if they are speeding).  The route also had some hills along the way.  Nothing terribly steep, but good long inclines.  And the million dollar question:  would my body hold up on another (almost) 20 mile run?

For the most part it was very uneventful.  I had several lengths of time that I had no traffic at all.  The scenery was pretty with the fall colors in full bloom.  My body responded much better to any bad & ugly that was ready to rear it's head.  The last 5 miles or so were a lot more challenging, I was ready to be done!!  I walked a few times, but that just prolonged my finishing so I kept going.  Normally I'm ocd about uneven distances.  I wanted more than anything to get to 20 miles, but I was d.o.n.e!

I don't expect to normally be running to 20 mile runs in less than a week.  My body held up ok, but I realize it's a fine line that I don't want to cross over into injury-ville.  Happy I completed these runs?  Yes.  Ready to do it again soon?  No.

If you were thinking about joining Team Tough Chik & haven't done so yet.....GO DO IT!  Click HERE to register!

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Three Things Thursday: Rest x 2 & Fun Facts

1.  Rest.  So I'm all about pushing my body & doing amazing things, but I've had enough reality checks gained enough wisdom to know that I must equally counter act what I'm doing with plenty of rest.  How much rest is enough is the million dollar question that seems to change everyday with a lot of factors to that equation.  Lately I've been erring on the safe side.  I'm no spring chicken anymore & I'm trying to pull off something big in the next 69 days that will likely take just about every ounce that I have to get it done.  I need to always be on the safe side! 

2.  Rest?!?!?!  I'm sure to everyone else I'm just my usual mad crazy running woman who climbs Mt. Everest every single day while blind folded on no sleep.  Ok, sure I ran 20 miles on Sunday.  And I got up on Tuesday at 3:45 a.m. to run 8.5 miles before my 6 a.m. yogalates class.  Let's also please note that so far I've logged 190 miles for the month & I still have a week left (with another (almost) 20 miler planned for tomorrow).  So how exactly am I resting?  Oh, trust me, I am.  Yesterday I slept in until 6:30 a.m. and even though I planned a 3 hour workout (10 mile run & weight lifting) I "only" ran 7 miles.  Today I slept in until the last possible minute until I had to get up & teach my class.  Then after I got the kids all to school I crawled back into bed to watch 2 of my favorite shows that were DVR'd last night.  Let's also notice the half eaten bag of chocolate chips that are sitting next to me.

So, I think I might have issues with being extreme one way or another.  I might also be battling some emotional issues right now which is leading me to be extremeness.  Yep, that's going to remain vague.  I'm trying to be honest (never want to portray myself as this perfect happy little blogger), yet I firmly believe that some things don't need to be aired publicly.  So that's all you're getting.

3.  Fun facts.  My friend (how does that work when you've never met someone in person yet you feel so deeply connected to them) & fellow blogger Kim did something the other day in one of her posts that listed some fun facts about her.  So I thought, sure I'll throw some fun facts at you to give you some insight on me, especially things that don't come up in everyday conversation.  Here are 3:

*My favorite color is red.

*I play the french horn.  While most kids started in 5th grade, I didn't start until I was in 9th grade.  I didn't believe I could be an awesome player so I didn't try too terribly hard.  I have been trying to pick up the habit of playing again.  I'm sure I sound horrible, but it's the thought that counts.

*I was accepted at Faith Baptist Bible College, but never attended.  I was recruited to attend & run at Loras College, but never considered going there.  I've never attended college anywhere, with the exception that I once took french horn & vocal lessons through the community college so I was considered a student.

I should note that once I had said I would routinely blog about fun/interesting facts about me (I remember the post was titled 100 things about me.  Sorry, too lazy to look it up & link it for you).  I always have this intention, but don't follow through to well.  We'll see if I can't work more on this.

What are some fun facts about you?

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Tuesday's Tunes: Wellness Coordinator

I've been extra busy the last 2 days for 1 specific reason:  I started my new position at the Y as the Wellness Coordinator.  I'm sure I've mentioned it somewhere along the line (but here's a brief recap), but I've worked at the Knox County YMCA for over 17 years.  With absolutely no experience I answered an ad looking for a fitness instructor.  At that point if you were breathing you were qualified to teach at the Y, so lucky me, I was hired.  I worked my way up through the years & eventually was the Fitness Coordinator.  I was in charge of the fitness classes & instructors.  I gave that position up when babies 5 & 6 were welcomed into our family.  While I wasn't head of the department I did take on being a trainer (and eventually faculty trainer) for Y of the USA which gave me a lot of flexibility around my family.  And it still has brief times where I'm really busy with training, followed by months of nothing.

For many reasons I began to feel the need to take on the Wellness Center at our Y.  We've never had anyone to be the head of this area, it just feel under the leadership of our associate director (who does a great job, but has many other things that fall under him).  I was seeing a great need for a coordinator in the department, as well as, a need for some programming.  I drew up a proposal, presented it to my boss & wha-la.....I'm the new wellness coordinator.

This job is going to take up about 20 hours a week.  So far, it's not real cut & dry with set in stone hours, but it will eventually lead to this to some degree.  What this means for me is that I have to be a lot more strict with my time.  I no longer have "all day" to do "whatever" I want.  I now have to manage my time to get home/family responsibilities taken care of & head into work & get things done there too.  If executed properly I will be able to handle this job with no problem.  I'm fully capable, I just need to exercise a lot of discipline.  (Gee, I wonder if I have ANY of that - ha ha).

I've already mentioned that blogging is not a priority, not when push comes to shove.  But I don't plan to abandon my blogging by any means.  We'll see where we go from here, although it will likely look like it has been for the last few months when I was busy with training.  One thing I won't be cutting back on is my running!  This morning I was extra motivated to run before my 6 a.m. yogalates class.  I'm so glad I did because it then rained & was really icky ALL.  DAY.  LONG.  These are the tunes I heard on my 8 mile run this morning:

Made to Worship - Chris Tomlin
What I Did for Love - A Chours Line Soundtrack
Sound of Music Overature
Foolish Beat - Debbie Gibson
His Strength is Perfect - Steven Curtis Chapman
White Flag - Passion
Fast Car - Tracy Chapman
The Old Rugged Cross - 25 favorite hymns
O Happy Day - Shelly Hamilton
Feel This Moment - Pitbull Feat. Christina Alguilara
By Your Side - Tenth Ave. North
Quantum Leap - TV Tunes
There's Always Me - All Shook Up Soundtrack
Don't Forget Me When I'm Gone - Glass Tiger
Overature - Oliver Soundtrack
Live While We Were Young - One Direction
Our God - Chris Tomlin
There Is None Like You - Shane and Shane
Meet Me Half Way - Kenny Loggins
Now I Belong to Jesus - Instrumental
For the Sake of the Call - Steven Curtis Chapman

Thursday, October 17, 2013

I'm bored

I know we all cringe & *hate* to hear our kids say "I'm bored!"  Usually it's accompanied with a long whiny huff of exasperation (from them) & it brings out the urge (for us) to want to lecture on the topic. 

Why...when I was a kid......  
Do you know there are children in this world who could only dream.....
Oh, you're bored....let me fix that......

If you need to lecture me on any of the following, please feel free to speak up.  However when I state that I'm bored, I am not using it in reference of being that there is "nothing" to do.  Ha, quite the opposite.  I have plenty & so much to do.  Especially in terms of running.  I have many many miles to crank out in the next 74 days.  I have been extremely fortunate that I'm getting a lot of them run too!  No complaints there!  But that's a lot of time to be out there running-again, not complaining-except that I'm a social person & I love to talk (no comments from the peanut gallery on that one!).

It can be challenging as it is to find the right person(s) to even hold a general running talk with.  To take that a step further & find an actual person to run with AND talk at the same time.  I'd likely have an easier time finding a needle in a haystack.  Now, I do actually have a running partner (RP).  2, kind of.  I haven't seen my RP in months!  Not even in a non running sense.  (Ok, I've seen her twice, maybe three times, since early May).  It's not unusual for our relationship to have it's ups and downs.  Give & takes, but this has been crazy long.  And I really, REALLY miss her.  It's for no bad reason, just how it's been.  My other RP is a young mom (as in she has young kids) & that has a whole other level of challenges in trying to get a run in.  Plus, we all have this thing called LIFE that just takes us on different paths at any given time for any given reason.  So I'm feeling a little RP deprived.  I love these ladies to pieces & just want some good runs with them!!

So I'm finding that all my running, while it's going great, has left me very bored.  Sure I listen to music to help pass the time.  Although lately I sometimes don't because as much as I love music it's become kind of stale feeling.  Which to me says a lot.  I have over 7,000 songs on my computer!  It's not from lack of variety!!  I do try to use my time in other ways.  Mostly in the form of praying, using that time to directly connect with God.  Not complaining about that either, it's very uplifting & I love it.  But after so long my mind just kind of wanders anyway.

None of this seems to be effecting my running or Run This Year goal, but I'm very aware of it.  Honestly, I'm a little unsure how to properly feel about it.  So, I think I need some perspective.  Maybe something I'm not seeing myself right now.  What do you think?

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Team Tough Chik

I'm not running until later, but want to blog now.  So Tuesday's Tunes are on hold this week.  I'm taking a gamble on my run today.  When I went to bed I told myself that AS SOON as the kids were at school I was going to run & get it done & over with.  I was even planning a longer run.  Like, hopefully 10+ miles.  When I woke up it was raining & it continued to rain for the morning hours.  It's not really that heavy of a rain & I'm not exactly 100% sugar so I'm not sure why I decided to wait, but I did.  It's looking like this afternoon things will clear up a little so I'm planning to head out then.  Worse case scenario I can go to the Y & hit the treadmill.  But for 10+ miles......nooooooooooo!  Hence, my gamble.  Keeping my fingers crossed that the radar is being truthful & this ickines is on it's way out.

Last week I hit another all time high mileage week with 57.25 miles.  My shortest run was 3.25 miles.  It's taking a lot of time & my body is a little testy with the increase, but it's holding out & overall I'm handling it quite well.  As of today, the middle of the month, I've ran over 100 miles & I'm on track to have my highest mileage month ever.  I'm pretty motivated to really crank up the miles to meet my Run This Year goal.  I'd rather get ahead of the game now then wait to cram it all in in December.  So I continue to run, run, run

For the last 2 years I have been a part of a virtual racing team called Tough Chik.  This has been one of the best & fun things I have ever done!!  Registration is open RIGHT NOW for the 2014 season!  Click HERE to read all about joining the team & HERE to sign up/purchase a team package.  For as little as $30(ish) (smallest package, plus some shipping) you can be part of this amazing group of women!  If you have any questions don't hesitate to ask me!  I will happily tell you all about Tough Chik & would love you to be a part of TEAM TOUGH CHIK 2014!  Sorry, guys, this is for my lady friends only!  You can tell your lady friends about it to, or maybe your wife, daughter, sister, etc.  Registration is only open 1 month of the year so don't hesitate, registration will close on November 1.

What makes you tough?  
(Anyone can answer this.  There is no right or wrong answer!)

We are half way through October.  How is your month going?

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Tuesday's Tunes

I was up early & had my run done before I had to teach my pilates class.  That meant being up early & running in the dark.  I love it!  And I love being done & showered by 7 a.m.  It also makes me feel more tired through out the day, but then again I've felt tired everyday since I became a mom 18+ years ago.  What's new?!?!

With a renewed sense of determination to complete Run This Year I've been running more.  My mileage has bumped up & last week I had my highest week without me running a race.  I've had another week or two where my mileage was up there, but it was more in part due to a particular race.  Last week was high (for me) at 52 miles & it was all just getting out there & running.  I'm feeling some slight resistance from my body as I push it to go, go, go.  My pace has also slowed & I'm ok with that.  I'm not in race mode, just get the miles run mode.  I find that if I give it some extra TLC is does much better with the running.  However I can still feel it giving me some attitude.

Here are my tunes I listened to on my 5 mile run this morning:
Blessed Be Your Name - Tree63
Heaven Came Down & Glory Filled My Soul - Instrumental Artist
Jesus Messiah - Chris Tomlin
Don't Forget Me When I'm Gone - Glass Tiger
Kiss You - One Direction
Getting to Know You - The King & I Soundtrack
Glorious Day (Living He Loved Me) - Casting Crowns
Prrrum - Cosculluela & Wisin y Yandel
U Can't Touch This - MC Hammer
Molding a Masterpiece - Shelly Hamilton
We Are the World 25 for Haiti - Mixed Artists

What songs have you listened to lately while you run?  Or exercise?  Or whatever?  I'm always looking for good music.  Tell me about it!

Monday, October 7, 2013

Monday's Motivation: Ryan Hall

My computer is in limbo right now.  We bought a new one & don't have it set up yet.  To prepare for the switch I am taking things off of this hard drive & storing it on our external hard drive.  I can still access all of my info, but it's an extra step I'd rather do without if possible.  So this makes it take more work to pull up all of my motivational pictures/signs/sayings that I keep on hand.  Instead I googled the topic to see what I'd come up with.

I came across this Runner's World article on Ryan Hall.  WHO IS RYAN HALL? Is what 99% of people I know ask when I excitingly squeal his name.  Yes, I get excited & squeal almost every single time I hear or speak his name!  He is, after all, my favorite runner EVER.  I don't know if I can even put a finger on the how or why I came to love this guy & his running.  I'm sure it has a lot with two main identities of Ryan: his running & his faith.  Both are near & dear to me as well.

I'll spare you my long & never ending ramble about Ryan & get to today's motivation.  I read most of the article I listed above.  After a point I started to skim the content, but since it's coming out in the next edition of Runner's World I'll be attacking it with full force, highlighter in hand & taking in every word.  In the meantime this quote stuck me on this wonderful Monday & was full of the motivation I needed.

Run up to your potential, 
not to beat the other racers.

I actually paraphrased the above from the article.  To give proper credit the actual quote was:  "Ryan seems to simply be looking to run up to his potential, not to beat the other racers."  by TV commentator Toni Reavis.

Right now, I'm not even race minded.  I have a very laid back 50k (it's more of a run than a race) planned for next month, but nothing is on my radar except to complete Run This Year.  However reading the quote is what I needed to keep going, putting one foot in front of the other & keep doing my own thing.

Do you have a favorite runner?  I do have many other favorites, some are famous & well known, some are not.

Any motivation you'd like to share on this Monday? 

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

September Rewind

September was an iffy month.  It started out slow and ended slow.  Not a ton of excitement in between.  You will probably laugh when I say that I was disappointed to realize that I *only* ran 150 miles.  I think that since the kids all got back in school that I'd really kick it up a notch and really pull in some miles.  I also thought that since pulling back at the end of August to fully recover that I'd come back nice & strong & kick the rest of my injury to the curb.

Even though I didn't mention it I've been having some lower back problems & it hurts to run.  It seems to stem from my pre-existing injury that apparently hasn't 100% healed.  So what do I do when something hurts??  Yep, I keep on running.  So perhaps someone needs to smack me upside the head & say "don't do that!"  Well, even if you did I'd likely roll my eyes & let it go in one ear & out the other.  Let me clarify that when something is bothering me & I run, I feel like I'm in complete control of said problem.  I take it easy or don't go as far.  I have been better about not pushing my body.  I've been sleeping in more often to be fully rested.  My pace is darn near pathetic (for pace doesn't compare to your pace!).  I've really, REALLY gotten better about lifting weights & stretching.  Taking care of the whole package & not just run, run, run.

It all boils down to I haven't run injury or pain free since I fell in May.  It's wearing on my last nerve!!  I realize there are worse problems to have.  So far the injury & pain haven't completely sidelined me from doing anything.  I just feel so tried & tested in this area & some days I really struggle with just wanting to turn my back on running all together (now there is some REAL crazy talk!!).  It would be ideal to scale back & have running at least take the back seat for awhile, but I am STILL chasing down my Run This Year challenge.  Oh, no....I have NOT given up on this yet.  Yes, I do still believe I can do it!  As of the end of September I have logged 1,362 miles toward that 2013 goal.  I'm constantly doing that math.  Only 650 more miles which equals about 7 miles a day from now until the end of the year.  Yes, I can do that!  I'm already averaging 5 miles a day.  I just need to add in some more miles.  Maybe do an extra 2 in the evening.  It doesn't take much.  I don't care if I have to walk or crawl those miles they will get done.

As you can see I don't plan to be scaling back my miles.  My pace?  My intensity?  Yes!  I know, go ahead, roll your eyes....I'm that special kind of stupid!  I really just want to finish out this year & THEN take it easy.  I do plan to keep my streak alive (speaking of which my streak is now 491 days strong), but cut way down on my mileage for next year.  I don't even plan to have any kind of goal dealing with mileage.  Next year is going to look completely different!  For now, though, I need to focus on the remaining 92 days of the year!