Friday 5 – Favorite Winter Activities

It’s Friday again (thank goodness) and if you’re having a week like I’m having you’re super glad it’s Friday.  The drama, the drama.  Work has been extra crazy this week.  I’ve been training a new girl and she’s awesome but it seems that the change-up in activity in my area has brought out the worst in some of my other coworkers.  Yikes.

Friday is Friday 5 link up time with Courtney at Eat Run Pray DC, Cynthia at You Signed Up for What and Mar at Mar on the Run.  If you’re not reading these blogs, you should be.  This weeks theme is Favorite Winter Activities.  My top 5 (in no particular order) are:

1.  Snow shoeing…The last few years due to the drought in California I haven’t had much of a chance to do any snow shoeing.  Fingers crossed for this year.

snow shoeing

2.  Snow wheeling…My sweetie is right in the middle of building a new Jeep just for this purpose (and some rock crawling in the summer).  I haven’t been able to go the last few years but I’m hoping this year we’ll have a chance if he finishes the Jeep in time.

Snow Wheeling

3.  Running…It’s California.  Even in winter our weather is pretty mild here and running is a year round sport.  If it’s windy I stay home but rain doesn’t bother me.  I figure I’m going to get sweaty anyway so I may as well run.

running

4.  Knitting…when the weather get’s too cold or too windy, I like to settle in with a couple of cute dogs on my lap, a cup of coffee and knit.  I don’t think it should come as a surprise to anyone that I’m an old lady.  I freely admit it.  I go to bed at 9pm and I like knitting.  Whatever.

knitting

5.  Football…I know it’s really more of a fall thing but with college play offs going on in the new year, I’m looking forward to it.  The rivalries have been intense this year and I can’t wait to see what’s going to happen at the bowl games.  *cough* GO Bama!

College Football Playoffs

 

What are your favorite winter activities?

What it isn’t!

I just want to run

Tuesday after work I suited up and tossed on my new Glycerin’s for a test run.  But sadly the run wasn’t to be.  I took about 5 steps and realized the my right shin is still too painful to run on.  It’s causing a limp that’s really pronounced and majorly annoying.  So I decided that after almost 3 weeks of very little running due to the pain, it was time to call the doctor.  I just feel like it’s not healing up very quickly and it’s time to see the doctor.

Some how, against all the odds, I managed to get a doctor’s appointment with my doctor yesterday after work.  The doctor was running about 40 minutes behind schedule when I got there but I decided to wait to see her because of the “super” storm that is supposed to arrive today (so far very disappointing as far as storms go).  After talking to the doctor she sent me for x-rays because she was concerned that it might be a stress fracture.  I was sure it wasn’t for no reason other than I didn’t want it to be that.  And it wasn’t.  The x-rays showed no evidence of a fracture.  Thank you power of positive thinking.  She’s sending me back to the sports medicine doctor and expects him to send me to physical therapy.  Yay.  Not.

I don’t know what it is about physical therapy but it makes me cringe.  I don’t know why other than the fact that I’m extremely lazy and I don’t want to do the work they want me to do.  But I’m going to suck it up and go.  I don’t have an appointment yet but I’m hoping for next week.  In the mean time it’s ice, rest and stretching.  But I guess that I shouldn’t complain since it’s just shin splints and not a fracture.  But I’m tired of being injured this year.  I just want to run.

I think it should be illegal to have brand new running shoes when your injured.  It’s pure torture to know they’re there and not be able to use them.  Soon, my pretties, soon.

Have you every been injured?

How did you deal with not being able to run?

What I Did Instead of Running…

Since I’m not running anywhere near the mileage that I have been in a bid to rest and recharge my batteries I decided to run over to Concord to the closest Road Runner Sports on Saturday.

Road Runner Sports - Concord

It was my first time hitting their store.  Concord is about an hour and 15 minutes from the house and a bit of a slechp since you have to drive out through the delta to get there.  The delta roads are narrow and rough but the views of the Sacramento River delta are totally worth it.

Wave Rider 18's

I picked up a pair of Mizuno Wave Rider 18’s on massive sale from Road Runner Sports on-line the weekend after Thanksgiving but when they arrived I discovered that one of the shoes had the wrong size insole in it and there was a gap between the end of the insole and the toe of the shoe.  My toes don’t really rest there but I could tell that it would drive me crazy and I would end up trying to grip the insole with my toes while running.   So back they went.

In addition to the insole issue, the Wave Rider’s were also way too wide for my foot.  I admit that my feet are narrowish but I was slopping around inside the shoe and it would have been blister city.  I tried the Wave Riders in a smaller size thinking that it might be the fix but they were too short and I could see the potential for black toe nails.  I don’t like black nails unless it’s nail polish.

So instead I exchanged the Wave Riders for Brooks Glycerin 12.  I was a bit disappointed since everyone has been raving about the Wave Riders but I want the right fit not what everyone else is doing.

Brooks Glycerin 12

I would have loved to have the Blue to Pink Omber ones but they didn’t have them in my size so I got the blue ones instead.  If these work out for me I might have to order a second pair in the Omber because they were super cute.  I mean after all I might be the girl who spends more time in running clothes than real clothes but I’m still a girl and girls like cute shoes! (Ignore the sterotype, please)

I wanted to go hog-wild in Road Runner Sports and buy out the store but since it’s close to Christmas I tried to show restraint.  I basically grabbed my new shoes and ran out the door to avoid spending any additional money.  But they did have a ton of really cute running clothes and different fuels.  I could have broken the bank in there.

Starbucks - Holiday Cup

So after the running store, I was headed back to Sacramento when I realized that I would have to pay toll to cross the bridge on 160 from Antioch back toward Rio Vista.  It escaped my mind that the Bay Area will let you in for free but if you want to get out you have to pay.  So I popped into the closest Starbucks for an Americano and some cash back.  This chick never has cash, so I decided to sacrifice (yeah right) and get coffee.  When I changed jobs last year, I gave up having coffee out because I wasn’t commuting anymore.  We don’t even have a Starbucks in my town (but if they’re reading this, I know the perfect spot where they’d get ton’s of business) so getting coffee out is a real treat now.

Antioch-Bridge

This bridge is really high but you get some amazing views as you drive over but $5 to get out-of-town is crazy!  It’s highway robbery, no pun intended.  I was so glad to get out of the Bay Area though.  The roads were so jam-packed even on a Saturday.  I was glad to return to my sleepy little town.

What I did Instead

Since I’m not really running, I spent most of my weekend knitting socks and watching sports (Alabama is in the College Play Offs!!) and movies.  I watched Looper with Bruce Willis and Joseph Gordon Levit, if you haven’t seen this movie you should.  I really enjoyed it.  Joseph Gordon Levit does not look like himself in this movie at all.  I had to google it to see if it really was him.  Emily Blunt is all good in this movie.  I love her in general.

Here’s the weekly recap for last week.

Weekly Recap - 12-1 - 12-7

I hope you didn’t hit your head when you fainted at the low mileage.  That’s right folks, 7.25 miles.  I ran 3 days.  I haven’t run that few days since I started running years ago.  But I’m cool with it.  The shins aren’t going to get any better if I don’t let them heal.  It’s hard but I’m doing what’s best for my body.

I have no specific plans for this week other than to run a few low mileage runs to keep everything ticking a long.  December is now the month of rest.  I’m just doing what I want.  We have storms that are predicted to be pretty bad (for California) coming in later this week and if they’re windy like the last one was, I won’t be running on those days.  Since I’m not in training for anything specific, I’m not going to kill myself to run in bad conditions.  It just makes sense.

Happy Monday!

My most recent race was on November 22 and it did not go well…not at all.  Despite the amazing California weather we’d been having that Saturday dawned cold, rainy and very windy.  I don’t know what the wind speed was but it was enough to rock my car while I was on my way to the race.  It took me over 2 and half hours to finish but I did finish.  I thought several times about just giving up (ususally while running with a headwind).  It was horrible.  Enough said.

This is the face of someone who is very miserable in the first couple of miles.
This is the face of someone who is very miserable in the first couple of miles.

I’ve sat at home and thought about what I wanted to say about this race and other than saying that it was horrible, I couldn’t come up with a single positive thing about it.  I didn’t like the course, I hated that the pacers weren’t marked as to what pace they were running and I hated the weather.  It just wasn’t a good race.  The only up I could think of was that I didn’t quit and I finished.

I'm only smiling becuase I'm done and my mom is stading right at the end of the chute.
I’m only smiling becuase I’m done and my mom is standing right at the end of the chute.

So now I’m without a training plan and no race in sight.  This race was so horrible that I’ve been considering whether or not I want to run half marathons at all anymore.  Not to mention the injuries.  Pulled groin, shin splints and weird aches and pains.  It’s been a hell of year.

For the month of December I will not have a training plan.  I’m running what I want when I want.  It’s December 5th and I’ve only run 7 miles this month.  My shins are still bothering me and I really want to take some time off from running to heal without taking any real time off.  For now it’s a wait and see type thing.

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.