Getting Race Ready…

IMG_20141120_172012

I’m doing laundry and trying to prep myself for a race that idea looking like it’s going to be wet and cold on Saturday. Fingers crossed that my shin splints are going to be ready for me to run…even if they’re not, I’m still running so they better get ready.  With any luck I’ll stick with the 2:15 pace group.  If not, I hope to not be far  behind.  As long as I can finish, I’m happy.

I haven’t run in 5 days.  I’m pretty sure that the only reason I’m still sane at this point is because I’ve done everything possible to stay super busy.  I’ve cleaned my kitchen and my dinning room from top to bottom, did the floors and ran the vacuum cleaner.  I took the dogs to the vet and dyed my hair.  Today is the first day that I haven’t been going non-stop.  It feels good to rest but it’s also giving me time to think about the things that could go wrong and it’s making me nervous.  I’m trying not to dwell.

Tomorrow is race packet pick up day.  I’m planning to head over to Fleet Feet Davis after work.  One bonus of having a job with non-traditional hours is that I can avoid most of the traffic.  I like that part but other than that I hate going to Davis.  It’s alway impossible to find parking and since it’s a college town there are bicycles every where.  I’m afraid of driving where there’s a lot of bikes.  I’m scared I won’t see them and hurt someone.  But I’m willing to risk it because race packet pick up in Davis also means Dutch Brothers Coffee.  I always treat myself to a cup anytime I’m in Davis.  And with this weather it will be a real treat.

Cross your fingers for me, I’m racing on Saturday!

Anyone else racing this weekend?

What’s your favorite run brag?  The time you got a new PR when you didn’t expect it?  Running a favorite race?  Disney?

I Broke It…

I broke it.  After something like 56 days of daily running, I broke my streak yesterday.  My half is coming up this Saturday and my shin splints are making life really difficult.  I’m in pain every day from it and I decided that it was time to break the streak and actually rest my legs.

On one hand I’m really bummed about breaking the streak because I’d put a lot of work into.  On the other I’m trying to think long-term and do what’s best for my body.  At this point, I’m feeling like my half might not even happen…But to be honest about it, I’m burned out on running.  I don’t feel like running anymore.  I spent most of my weekend lying around and watching TV, which is something that I don’t do a whole lot.

Generally on Saturday morning, I’m happy to get up and do my long run.  I love that time I get to spend with no distractions (even on the tough days) and the feeling after I finish is heaven.  But this Saturday, I didn’t want to run and only dragged myself out of the family around at about 6pm to run a single mile.

Sunday was basically the same thing.  My shins were hurting and I’m limping even just walking around the house.  So I finally decided to talk to my husband about it, he provides good prospective on stuff like this even though he’s not a runner.  He asked me the question that I’ve been trying not to focus on, is my half going to happen?  At this point I don’t know.  I’m going to do my best to rest, ice, compress and elevate all week but honestly…I just don’t know.

I’m really hoping that I can just wait this out and by Saturday I’ll be fine.  If not, I’m going to call it and pick up my race packet.  I wish they offered deferment but since that’s not the case, at lease I can get my very expensive t-shirt.  But I really want to add a 3rd Half medal to my collection for this year.  I’ve worked so hard to come back from my groin pull (which has been fine) and I need this for my brain.  But for now, I’m going to leave it up in the air.  It will be what it will be.

Weekly recap for 11/10 – 11/16/2014

Weekly Recap - 11-10 - 11-16

Total miles run:  21.2

Percentage from last week: -28.1%

Have you ever been sidelined from a race due to injury?  If I don’t run this race this will be my second race this year where I was sidelined from a race.  The first was a Half Marathon in Lodi in May.  Plus a couple of years ago I was sidelined from a half when I tripped over my dog two weeks prior to the Parkway Half in April 2012, sprained my ankle and then didn’t run again until February of 2014 due to extreme laziness.

Friday 5 – 5 Tips for Cold Weather Running

It’s Friday again (thank goodness it happens every week)!  And Friday means Friday Five Link up with Courtney at Eat Run Pray DC, Cynthia at You Signed Up for What and Mar at Mar on the Run for the weekly link-up. If you haven’t checked out these ladies blogs yet, you totally should. They are fun, feisty and not afraid to call it like they see it.

Cold Weather Running

I love winter running, of course I live in California in the central valley which means that our temps don’t drop that low and we don’t get snow at our extreme elevation of about 50 feet above sea level.  So winter running is fairly easy here.  The one thing in addition to rain (please God, let us get rain this year) that we get a lot of in the winter time is windy conditions.  Our average winter temps here are highs in the 50’s and low’s in the 40’s.  So they’re pretty mild compared to else where in the country.  And temps in the southern part of the state are much different then the temps here in the northern part.

So here’s my five tips for running during “cold” weather.

1.  Layers – even in california where our temps are pretty mild you need layers.  It might be 45 when you start out but if you’re not wearing the proper clothing you can put yourself at risk for injury if you don’t protect yourself from the cold temps.  It’s pretty rare for me to wear long leggings that go down to my ankles.  I prefer to wear capris during the winter time with a long sleeve shirt and a light jacket or even a short sleeve shirt and a jacket.  Gloves are a must for me.  If my hands are cold I can’t regulate my body temperature very well.  But after a couple of miles, my gloves will come off and the jacket will get unzipped or pulled off and tied around my waist.  Layers.  I want to have comfortable run, neither too hot or too cold.  Hats are helpful too for regulating that body tempature.

2.  Hydrate – even though it’s cold you still need to make sure that you’re drinking, especially during your long runs.  Each breath out is water out of your system, not to mention sweating.  Cold weather makes me not want to drink so I try to find a rhythm to it.  I try to take a sip of water every couple of miles and always drink when I eat or take Gu on a long run.  And don’t forget to drink your water before and after your runs too.  If it’s really cold out and I don’t feel like water, I’ll substitute cold or room temperature water for hot herbal tea.  Anything to get that water into my system.

3. Run into the wind – Winter here brings windy conditions.  I’m no meteorologist, but being close to the Sacramento River Delta, we get crazy wind in the winter time and boy can it be cold.  It feels like it’s going straight to your bones some days.  If you can, on your way out, run into the wind as much as possible.  For one, it’ll be at your back on your way home helping push you home and it will not be in your face when you’re at your sweatiest.  This will help prevent you from catching a chill on your way home.

4.  Visibility – With shorter days, chances are that at some point you’re going to find yourself running in the dark.  Wednesday, I got caught out without my reflective vest and while I didn’t have any close calls I felt like drivers just couldn’t see me while I was crossing the street and it wasn’t a good feeling.  Being seen can be the difference between being seen and being hit by a car.  There are a lot of different ways to be seen.  I like a reflective vest but there’s also flashing lights that attach to your clothing and shoes, knuckle lights, bright clothing and headlamps.

5.  Shower – After your run, if you’re feeling chilled, take a warm shower.  Get out of those sweaty clothes that are sapping your body heat and get into a warm shower.  Nothing makes me feel better than taking a nice warm shower after a cold run.  Slipping into cozy sweats or pajamas after a hard run makes me so happy.

Do you have any tips to make winter running more safe and enjoyable?

Weekly Training Recap – 11/03 through 11/09/2014

What a crazy week.  I finally got a new girl in my department at work after about 6 months of it being just me and training takes up a lot of my time.  Monday was her first day and I talked so much that it felt like I was swallowing glass every time I swallowed.  It was a crazy day.

My training is coming a long and we’re about a week and a half out from the 2014 Davis Turkey Trot.  My shin splints are not healing as well as I’d hoped but forward progress has been made in that area.  Due to the splints, I’m thinking that my hopes of a new PR is not going to happen.  I’m ok with that.  I PR’ed once this year and a second time would be totally awesome but if it doesn’t happen, it will give me some thing to shoot for next time.

Weekly Recap 11/03 – 11/09/2014

Weekly Recap - 11-3 - 11-9

I got my first ever 12 mile run last week.  Sure I’ve run multiple half marathons but I’ve never run a 12 miler before.  So instant PR!  Go me!  lol  I really enjoyed my run until I had to juke around a dead snake again.  Shouldn’t snakes be hibernating instead of hanging out in the middle of streets to get run over?  Sneaky little bastards just lay there all dead and shit waiting to freak me out.  Ugh!  Gives me the worst willies!  Gross.

My mileage was pretty low compared to the average week last month but it felt really great to be out running after being sick.  Thankfully, other than the shin splints, I’m feeling back to normal on that front.

Anyone else have a half marathon or marathon this month?

Friday Five!

It’s Friday again which means that it’s time for the Friday Five Link up with Courtney at Eat Run Pray DC, Cynthia at You Signed Up for What and Mar at Mar on the Run for the weekly link-up. If you haven’t checked out these ladies blogs yet, you totally should. They are fun, feisty and not afraid to call it like they see it.

This weeks theme:  5 ways to stay on track / healthy during the holidays

Norman Rockwell

1.  Pre-game a meal or party before I leave the house.  And by this I mean I don’t go hungry to a party or a meal away from my home.  I will have a sensible snack before leaving so I don’t hit the appetizers like a starving person.

2.  Water: drink it, live it, know it.  Drinking water keeps you feeling fuller so you aren’t as likely to over eat.

3. alcohol.  I avoid it.  It’s full of empty calories that I don’t need.  Plus I’d rather have 100 calories of my moms pumpkin pie than have a glass of wine for the same amount.  Or mashed potatoes.  Or turkey.  Or stuffing.  Pretty much anything else.

4.  Get your run on before you eat.  Run a turkey trot in your area or just run for fun.  Burn off those calories so you don’t have to sweat it while you’re enjoying your family dinner.

5.  Offer to help with the dishes or clear the table.  You’ll be moving around and you won’t be sitting at the table picking at whatever you left on your plate.

What are your ways of staying on track/health during the holidays?  Share your tips!

Who’s running a turkey trot day on Thanksgiving day?  Mine is the Saturday prior since I’m going to be out-of-town on the actual holiday.

I’m a horrible sick person…

It’s true. I’m a horrible sick person. I whine, I cry, I act like my little head cold is Ebola. I’m a sissy, a wussy. I cry more than a person who’s been hospitalized.

Sick in Bed

I also won’t stay in bed, stay home from work or not run.  I’m a doctors worst nightmare.

Last Thursday I was feeling a little off and chalked it up to draining sinuses.  But as it turned out I was at the beginning edge of a full-blown head cold.  I was going to call in sick to work on Friday but it was graduation day for the latest set of cadets and being that I issue the badges, I had to be there.  As soon as it was done I went home…and ran.  I couldn’t help it, I’m streaking and I didn’t want to let the streak go.  So I did a quick mile and went home, showered and was in my jammies by 12:15.

I ran Saturday and Sunday too.  But again, it was shower and then in to jammies.  I mostly slept both days which is a nice change.  I haven’t been getting enough sleep over the last couple of weeks  which I’m sure contributed to me getting sick.  Not to mention running at 4am in 45 degree weather (in shorts).  I was supposed to run 12 miles on Saturday per my training schedule but I decided that in the long run it wasn’t a good idea.  So I ran two miles and called it good.  Trying to look at the big picture…

So here it is Wednesday and I’m still sick.  I’m getting a little bit better everyday but still not feeling myself.  I’m drinking gallons of tea while I’m at work and eating as best I can.  But I’m pretty sure my main food groups are yogurt and cough drops.  But even with all the tea, I can tell I’m dehydrated.  My lips are so dry and rough, I wouldn’t want to kiss me…and my hubby won’t.  He’s either afraid I’m going to give him Ebola or he’s thinking of divorce.  Either way, I can’t blame him.  I’m still pretty gross at this point.  I keep making that gross noise where you try to clear out your sinuses…not attractive.

I can’t wait to feel better.  I was scheduled to run 12 miles last weekend and I have a 13 mile run on the schedule for this weekend.  At this point, I’m not sure if either of those runs are going to happen.  My next half is two and a half weeks away.  I know that even if I don’t get a 12 or a 13 mile run under my belt, that I will still be able to complete the half.  But I will feel a lot better about it if I can get at least one more long run under my belt.  My goal for the next half is to beat my old PR that  I got at the Modesto Half Marathon back in March.  I just need to have an average mile time of less than 10:30/mile.  Most of my long runs have been averaging under that time during this training cycle, so I’m feeling confident about it.  I just have to get rid of this cold.

Weekly Recap for 10/27 – 11/2/14

Oct - Nov Miles

My longest run was a 5k last week but at least most of my short runs had average paces under 10.

On top of being sick last week the time changed.  We also had a “cold” spell here which means that I’ve been able to change my morning runs to evening runs.  But it also means that I’m still running in the dark.  I do not like running in the dark.  It makes a mile feel so much longer to me some times.  My goal for today is to get out by 4pm to run.   Fingers crossed.

By the Numbers…

I love statistic.  Numbers say a lot to me and as such I love SmashRun.com  If you haven’t checked it out, you should.  It’s free and it gives you lots of stats from your run and you can sync your Garmin account to it so you don’t even have to manually enter anything.  Love it.

October Miles

I know that October is not quite over with 2 more days to go but I’m loving my status for the month.  I’ve been #Streakingwiththecoolkids and Pink Cupcake Girl.  If you haven’t checked out her blog, you totally should.  The girl is hard-core and totally fun.

With 2 more days to go, I figure I’ll be somewhere about 123 miles for the month.  Long runs are done so it’s just a two miler and a 3 miler left.  It’s been tough a few times to get myself out of bed to get all these miles but I feel super awesome knowing that I’ve run every single day and every single mile was mile.  It’s an amazing feeling.

My last long run for the month of October was last Saturday.  The forecast was calling for rain so I got up and out earlier than normal to try to get my 11 miles in.  Thankfully the rain held off and I had 11 amazing miles.

10-25 Long Run 110-25 Long RunThe Run was pretty good until I looked down and realized that my foot had landed right next to a snake.  It was dead having been run over by at least a few cars but that didn’t stop me from doing a crazy jitter bug move down the middle of the road trying to get away from it.  Snakes are not my friends.  The horror!  My skin crawls thinking about it.  I’m such a sissy sometimes.

Weekly Recap for October 20 – 26:

Weekly Recap - 10-20 - 10-26

Miles Ran:  26.3 (down 10.7% from last week)
Total Duration:  4:28:46
Fastest Average Mile:  9:27 (Treadmill) & 9:55 (street)

Shin Splints:

They are getting better and I’ve pulled my distances back trying to give them time to heal while not taking any time off from running.  This week is much better than the previous week which I’m attributing to the fact that I’m staying out of the gym and off the treadmill.  I know it totally seems counter intuitive, but it seems to be working.

Other than the shin splints I’m feeling great.  I may have been bitten by the marathon bug.  I’m starting to think that maybe I should run a full marathon in 2015.  So I’m shopping training plans.  If I do, I’m thinking about running the Modesto Marathon which is at the end of March 2015.  I ran the half last year and PR’ed, so maybe there’s good juju for me there.

Do you have a marathon training plan you can recommend?

What’s the furthest distance you’ve run?  I’ve never run further than 13.1.  Anything past that scares me.

Friday Five: Five Reasons to Run a Half Marathon

It’s Friday again which means that it’s time for the Friday Five Link up with Courtney at Eat Run Pray DC, Cynthia at You Signed Up for What and Mar at Mar on the Run for the weekly link-up. If you haven’t checked out these ladies blogs yet, you totally should. They are fun, feisty and not afraid to call it like they see it.

This weeks theme:  Five Reasons to Run a Half Marathon

Here's me setting a new PR at the Modesto Half Marathon in March 2014.
Here’s me setting a new PR at the Modesto Half Marathon in March 2014.  I look so happy to be done but in my defense I’d just PR’d by like 12 minutes. 

1.  Pride.  Saying you’re going to do it is a whole lot different from actually doing it.  A lot of hard work and effort goes into this.

2.  Post race food.  I like to eat as evidenced by my hips…j/k but I do love to eat.  Post race allows me to eat a special treat once in a while that I generally save as a reward for doing something awesome…like running a half marathon.

3. To prove to yourself that you’re capable of so much more than you ever thought possible.  It never ceases to amaze me that I can run as far as I do.  I’ve  never been particularly athletic.  I never played sports in high school and until I started running a few years ago, the only reason I ran was for ice cream.

5. Bling. I mean hellooooo! Who doesn’t love a shiny new medal to hang on the wall!

4.  To be the best me that I can be.  Simple as that.

What are your reasons for running?

R.I.C.E….

I’m not missing in action, I swear. But it’s been a bit of a tough week for me that’s left me feeling like I didn’t want to blog because I didn’t want to be honest with myself much less anyone else. I don’t want to blog a pretend life where everything is just wonderful and I run a million miles with little effort and I’m always happy.

Generally I am a happy person and often get comments about how I’m always smiling. I like to smile. My job is great, my husband and home life are wonderful. What’s not to smile about?

So here it is…I have shin splints.  Gah!

*Not my shins...
*Not my shins…

Specifically anterior shin splints on both shins.  So painful and annoying.  And I totally blame the treadmill.  It started about a week and a half ago, so I did all my runs last week on the treadmill at the gym thinking that my shin pain was from transitioning to road running from the mill.  I ran 10 miles on Saturday and 3 miles on Sunday on the road with some minor pain but nothing that would have made me not want to run.  In fact the pain would disappear completely after about the first mile on the road and I was basically pain-free for the rest of the run.

This last Monday, I went to the gym to run my regular 4 miles on the treadmill and it was so incredibly painful that I didn’t want to run anymore.  I muscled through the 4 miles and in hindsight it was a grave mistake.  I should have listened to my body and stopped.  Tuesday morning, I got up at my regular time (4am OMG am I crazy?  Don’t answer that) and could barely hobble a single mile.  It was so painful that my mile time was in the 11 min/mile area.  Yesterday was basically the same but with less pain.  This morning was much better.  I ran 2 miles with my compression sleeves and felt that I could easily have run further but I didn’t want to push it.  I’m trying to be cautious.  It’s a new area for me.

So to say the least I’ve been crabby, angry and irritated.  I do not like not being able to run.  I do not like a forced taper mid training cycle.  My poor sweetie…having to put up with me.  I feel for the guy.  You know its got to be tough.  And in the middle of all this crankiness the man buys me a bread maker for no reason at all.  He’s awesome!

In my down time I’ve mainly been feeling sorry for myself and eating a whole lot of stuff I shouldn’t and also doing basic R.I.C.E.  I also need to work on being more diligent with stretching and foam rolling.

Running Recap for last week:

Last Week Recap

I’m super happy with Saturdays long run.  My pace came down from my previous week while my distance increased.

10-18-14 Long Run

I always have a hard time running in the dark so my first two miles were really slow but once the sun started to come up, my times came down considerably.  I did stop to walk when I refueled during miles 5 and 8.  But I’m totally stoked that I was running 10:15’s for miles 4, 6, 7, 10.  Even mile 9 wasn’t too bad.  If this had been my next half I would have come darn close to a new PR.

My mile times for my 9 mile long run the Saturday before were in the high 10’s, low 11’s for the whole run.  Improvement!

Usually on every long run something weird or funny happens.  This week was the fact that I left and realized that I forgot my water bottle.  I had to go back to the house for it and of course, I had to use the rest room again.  I basically had to rewarm up for a second time which is why I think I had two really slow miles that beginning of the run instead of just one like normal.  I know it’s not funny or weird but it’s always something.  Last week some guy stopped me to ask directions to down town and made me all weird and nervous for the rest of my run.  The week before that I slipped in some mud and almost fell on my face.  It’s always something…

Speaking of it always being someing…Sunday I had a very scary experience while running.  I left the house with the plan of running a simple 4 miles, easy run.  No biggie.  But during mile 3 I experienced a very scary cramp in my diaphragm.  I couldn’t get a breath in and the pain was at least a 9 on the scale of 1 to 10.  I actually had to call my sweetie to come pick me up because it was so bad.  I scared the daylights out of him.  I’m pretty sure that he was convinced that I’d been hit by a car or shot or something.  I was gasping for breath and grunting.  I went so far as to lay down on someones lawn to try to stretch out my ribcage.  Awful.  Of course by the time I got picked up and we drove the .25 mile home, the pain was gone and I felt fine.  So annoying!  But I got fancy coffee and a toasted bagel from the coffee shop out of it so it wasn’t a total loss.  And I spent  most of the rest of the day laying on the couch…

IMG_20141019_073056

Less than 30 days until the 2014 Davis Turkey Trot.  As long as I can get my shins to play nice, I’m on track to possibly PR again which would be so awesome.  I haven’t allowed myself to think about this possibility a lot.  I prefer a no pressure training cycle.

What weird things have happened to you on run?  The weirdest was getting passed by a jack rabbit once.  He just looked at me as if to say, “Move your ass, lady.”

Have you every had a close call that involved you having to call home for a ride?

The one in which I admit something shocking…

I’m going to admit something to you guys that you may find shocking.  I hope you’re sitting down for this because I’d feel bad if anyone fainted and hit their head.  Sitting?  Good.  I’m 38 years old and I go to bed at 9pm religiously.   Wait, that’s not the shocking part.  Afterall, this is a running blog and lots of us go to bed early and by early, I mean grandma status early.  No this isn’t the shocking part at all.  The socking part is that I stayed up last night to watch the season opener of The Walking Dead that started at 9pm and I stayed awake for the whole thing!!!!  (insert dramatic music here)  Did you watch it yet?  So good, right?!!!  Love it.  I hope no one has fainted or thinks that I’m clinically insane.  Other than being kinda sleepy today and chugging coffee, I’m ok.  So if you’re panicking, you can relax.

Saturday was long run day per the usual and it went off without a  hitch.  But Sunday…oh my.  I “slept in” on Sunday until 6am.  I figured with a short run there was no real need for me to be up and running before that.  So when I finally drug myself out of bed I discovered that my Garmin was dead.  I figured what the heck, I’ll just hit the gym and run on the treadmill.  So I grab my phone and it’s dead too.  At that point I plug-in all the gadgets and take a nap.  Seriously, took a nap for like 2 hours.  Finally took myself to the gym around 9 and ran my 3 miles.

Weekly recap:

Monday: 5 miles in 28:30 at 9:42 pace (treadmill)
Tuesday: 2 miles in 20:17 at 10:09 pace
Wednesday: 6 miles in 55:45 at 9:18 pace (treadmill)
Thursday: 2 miles in 20:00 at 10:00 pace
Friday: 4 miles in 38:49 at 9:42 pace (treadmill)
Saturday: 9 miles in 1:38:43 at 10:58 pace
Sunday:  3 miles in 29:25 at 9:48 pace (treadmill)

Total miles run: 31 (up 5% from last week)
Days streaking:  22

How was your week? 

Did you have any particularly awesome runs?

Did you watch The Walking Dead?