New Year, New Me?

img_2712With the start of 2017, there is so much information about resolutions and goals, improvements and changes. How many goals do you have? How will you achieve them? Did you write them down?

I’m a very goal oriented person, and I typically have operated this way, but last year, I didn’t meet all of my goals in running, and it’s disappointing. I know that it’s ok, and there will be plenty of times that will happen in the future, not just with running, but in life. But I was struck by the cover of Runner’s World: New Year, New You. I don’t know why that bugged me, the idea that three easy steps will get you to ____. Don’t get me wrong, I know there’s a ton of room for improvement, but there’s no list to complete or series of steps. It’s a lot of work and time that goes into that journey. Quite frankly, I don’t want a new me…maybe me, just a smidge different… version 1.9, would be ok. It’s all about better choices that will ultimately work toward helping me feel better, right?

With the forced time off from running, I’ve had a LOT of time to think about what I want to do differently in 2017. I’m still unsure of how I will implement all of them and still do things well–that will be a work in progress. There just isn’t enough time in the day, right?!!

An update about my stress fracture: I went back to the doc just after the New Year, and he told me I still need to stay in the boot for a month. Boo! I was pretty shocked to hear that and my jaw probably dropped. The good news is my foot feels a lot better, but I’m definitely not ready for running quite yet. I’m going to give some more time off from running before I jump back in the saddle.

These are some of things I will be working on:

Body:

  • Running (when I’m healthy): I already have some races on the slate, and since I haven’t been running, who knows how they will go, but I’m really looking forward to some new ones. I also have Chicago Marathon in the fall, and I really DON’T want to cancel that, so I’m going to focus on staying healthy for that race.
  • Do more yoga and strength training. Because I can’t do high impact right now, I’ve been getting back to yoga. I really enjoy going to the studio, but with my current work schedule and yoga class schedule, I think I’ll just have to settle for at home practice and being consistent. I’ve also been working a lot more on my upper body. 4d7e6dbe678a7bae253da3cdce431d94
  • Cycling: I really enjoyed cycling last year much more than I thought, so once I can work it back into my schedule I plan on doing that more. I’ve already gone on some bike rides with the kids. I biked 12.5 miles with my oldest to celebrate this 12th birthday. The other two kids bailed after 8 miles, but it was still a great accomplishment for everyone–the longest they’ve ever rode!img_3072img_3080
  • EATING: I’m really trying to be better with planning meals and eating healthier. I generally am a good eater, but when marathon training was in the thick of it and I was so tired, I would make quick rather than healthy choices. I’m also trying to stick to whole foods. Again, we’ll see when things get busy if I can, in fact, keep this up.
  • I also want to work on getting more sleep! Once I start waking up at 4 to go running again, this will be hard! The kids are going to bed later, so it’s challenging juggling that with the need to get up early.

Mind:

Blogging: I shared with you a couple of days ago that I celebrated my 1st blogaversary! I started blogging to give myself an outlet for writing because in my writing job, I don’t have a lot of opportunity to be creative. I’ve really enjoyed it, and will try to keep to at least one post a week, but if I can, a couple of posts every week.

Reading: I’d like to read a book every month. I’m really not into nonfiction, I’ll do it when I have to, but I much prefer reading novels. At the end of last year, I read some great books and would really like to get back to that this year.

Those are things I’m going to work on this year. Still working out specifics, and I hesitate to make things too specific for now.

I’m wrapping up this week with Holly and Trish for the weekly wrap-up! Visit their blogs to show them some love!

Any good book recommendations? Upper body workouts that you think I should try? 

This Boot Was Made for Walkin’

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A lot of fun things happened this week in the Weekly Wrap…but sadly not much running… Why?

Remember that on and off nagging foot pain I’d been writing about. Well, let me clarify, I’ve had PF in my left foot that had been flaring with my increasing Houston marathon training mileage and really didn’t get a break after NYC marathon. I was diligently doing calf and foot exercises, lunges, and squats to keep on top of that nasty bugger of an injury, but way back in October, my right foot had developed the tiniest pain on the top of the foot. I assumed it was tendonitis, checked the mileage on my shoes, did more exercises (HIIT anyone?!?), and that seemed to make it angrier. I took days off and decreased my mileage a little, and it seemed to help a little. It wasn’t a constant pain, so you know? Rehab and such and it’s ok. I had a little bit of that pain when I ran NYC, but again, nothing that would set off alarms. Aches and pains here and there are normal when you’re training for a marathon. Right?
So, if you remember, Sunday I ran my last half marathon of the year, my 13th overall, and was still feeling the high of running with friends.
Monday: Easy 5 miles
Monday, I also got some great news! I got into the Chicago Marathon lottery! Woohoo! I am really excited about running this race.
Tuesday: 3×1 mile intervals with 1 w/u and c/d.
As soon as I slipped my shoes on, I could feel something in my shoe. I had this feeling before, but kind of ignored it and assumed the tendonitis was flaring. This time, the pain wouldn’t go away. I got to the track. Took off my shoes and replaced. Still there.  Then, I did it again. No luck. Well, a quick warmup ought to get rid of that. The warmup did nothing and then I headed into the intervals at a pretty good clip, but the pain only got sharped with increasing speed. I finished two intervals and did the last one at marathon pace, and then ran a mile cooldown and called it quits. I knew it wasn’t tendonitis, and I had to go to the doctor.

So, on Tuesday morning, I got in to see the podiatrist and came out with this.

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Yep, and my suspicions were confirmed. It’s a stress fracture of the metatarsal (the bones connecting to the toes to the foot). Boo. The bad:

  • No running for 4 weeks. I have to walk in this boot for at least 3 weeks.
  • Houston is a failure to launch. I had to cancel.
  • No biking or foot-related exercises for a bit

The good?

  • I caught it early, and it could be much worse.
  • Recovery time is grand: wine and more time for cooking what I want rather than what there’s barely enough time for.

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  • With my last race last weekend, I was READY for the end of the year so to keep training into January was kind of wearing on me when my body was begging for rest. This is God’s way of saying I needed a break! Hubby’s travel and working late has been nonstop since I got off the plane from NYC (I wish I was exaggerating!!), my work has been busy wrapping up end of the year projects, and the SLEW of emails in my inbox at this time of year saying, do this at school and chip in for this, donate to this gift exchange, or make these cupcakes, and craft this….I thought my head was going to pop off. ALL good things, really good things, and I love giving my time and energy, but seriously, more than once I Googled “therapist.”
  • I’ve been sleeping more, and I feel more rested than ever! It was no lie that with more training, I was feeling tired, but I’ve been running on less than 6 hours of sleep. So, I wasn’t giving my body the time it needed to heal!
  • Time to think about new training as this year ends.

So, a whopping 12 miles for the week with biking! 🙂

Believe, me when this boot comes off, I’ll be back out there in no time. In the meantime, I’m doing some core and arms, but taking it easy for the next two weeks to respect the healing process. The doc said, well, you could NOT wear the boot and make this much worse, or you could wear it and be back to running in a shorter amount of time. Um…I choose B.

This week, I got the Runday racerback tank from Getonyourmarq through a giveaway. I was super excited because I hadn’t ever won anything in an IG giveaway. Yay! I’ll wear this someday…just not today when it’s 30 degrees!

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Friday, we had our Runegades end of the year party. I had so much fun, I didn’t take one picture! Honestly, I’m so bad! But, I LOVE our group and all the things we did this year. We had a nice turnout almost 30 people, laughed and chatted for hours, and ate three different tacos (what else?) from one of our favorite taco restaurants: BBQ brisket, chile-rubbed chicken, and portable mushroom. OH MY. They were dee-lish! I loved getting to see everyone in the light and in nice non-workout clothes! It’s been fun getting to know the new people in our group.

And, I Christmas came early! I exchanged gifts with some of my besties and got some fun goodies. I got this wooden sign from Eleventh Street Lettering. Isn’t it pretty? I love it in my office. I’m going to think about the layout of my wall hangings in there before I decide on a permanent home, but for now, I like this spot.  img_2950

So, that’s my week! How was yours?? Any surprises? Did Christmas come early for you?

 I’m wrapping up this week with Holly and Tricia for the Weekly Wrap-up! THANK YOU SO MUCH for hosting this, ladies! I’m very thankful!

Runderful: Houston Marathon Training Wk 3

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Believe it or not, we had a chilly week here in TX as much of the rest of the country. The “deep freeze” as they called it in the local paper was one day of temps in the 30s overnight. Brrrr. Yes, I am officially a cold wimp. Hard to believe that after 40+ years of East Coast winters, I shiver when it’s in the 50s. 🙂 But, it’s been fun to un-earth all my cold weather running gear that just a month ago I thought I would have to donate.

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I also registered for another half in February. They had bonanza registration open up at 6 am on Friday starting at $1. So….yes, I had to jump on that. I got in for a $1!!!!

Around here it’s Christmas central as I finally got my holiday decorations up both inside and outside with the hubby’s help. It’s the most wonderful time of year. The kids are excited about the holiday and all my family is coming to visit.

My week of running was pretty good as well. After my 20 miler last Sunday, I woke up on Monday with two sore feet. My PF has been acting up on one foot (same foot as before), and my other foot has developed some tendonitis. I decided to take the day off, and I felt better. I’m still feeling sore with both feet, but it’s manageable. I’m just hoping to get to the Houston marathon in January healthy.

Here’s my week of running:

Monday: off

Tuesday: 1000 m intervals. Was able to hit 6:45/min for some of these, and 7:00 for the others.

Wednesday: yoga

Thursday: 6 miles

Friday: 5 miles

Saturday: 3~ish miles

Sunday: BCS Half marathon

Total miles: 37.5

Sunday was the highlight of my week. The BCS (Bryan College Station) Marathon and Half Marathon is the local race in town that benefits a couple of charities including Mercy Project, an organization that rescues children from slavery in Ghana. Racers get a tech shirt at packet pickup and a finisher’s jacket this year (specific to half or full) plus a nice spread of food (tacos, pizza rolls, strawberry pastries, frozen margaritas, local craft beer, chocolate milk, Gatorade, and more). I really wasn’t that excited about it at first because I’ve been so focused on Houston and how my miles have not been what they should.

But, I got more excited as the week went on about running my last half of the year (#6 this year) and because there were several people in my running group running their first marathon.

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Here’s my BRF and I at the start!
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These are some of the people in my group! A bunch of awesome dedicated runners.

I saw a couple of my friends out on the course cheering for their relatives. I love this picture.

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Temps started in the 50s with a slight breeze and a little drizzle. Not bad at all. My BRF and I weren’t running together because she ran 5 miles before the race to get a long run done. But I ran the race with another friend (above in yellow) who is usually much, MUCH faster than me but is coming back from being injured. We agreed that although a PR would be nice for me, we were just going to have fun. We talked and laughed the whole race.

I had a pretty good race.  I ended with a 1:47. A few minutes off a PR, which I was really hoping for, but it didn’t come together. I still managed to get 2nd place AG.

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After the half marathoners finished, we freshened up a bit and jumped in the car to find our full marathoners we could cheer for. We had a great time and ran with them along various parts of the course. There’s not a lot of cheer support on this course, so every single person cheering helps!

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It was so much fun! Getting to see people reach their goals after all their hard work is the best feeling. I got teary eyed several times just watching all these amazing people.

How are you getting ready for the holidays?

I’m linking with Holly and Tricia for the Weekly Wrap-up!

Houston Marathon Training Wk #2

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Another week of training is in the books. Boy, I was running on tired legs all week, probably because of the Sunday run, but still. Overall, this week has been solid.

Here’s my week:

Monday: 4 miles
Tuesday: 5×1200’s (didn’t hit my paces for all of them, but got sub 7:00 for the first three)
Wednesday: Off
Thursday: 7 mile tempo (good run with 8:14 average and hit my tempo pace of 7:52 for 4 miles)
Friday: 5 miles
Saturday: no run because of thunderstorms. boo!
Sunday: 20 miler

Total running: 44 miles
Total biking: 8 miles

The weather this week in TX was chilly! I had to pull out the long sleeves, gloves and hat. Whoa. People around here pull out the Uggs in 60 degrees. No joke. 🙂 It always makes me laugh because when I lived in Philly, it was below freezing for many, many days and I still went out for a run (or iceskating as I liked to call it).

What else happened this week? I may or may not have gotten a slew of packages this week and done a boat load of shopping. 🙂 Thankfully, the packages get delivered when no one else is home, so there’s no evidence when they get home. Someone has to hit the sales, right? I mean, I really can’t let a 40% off sale go untouched, right?!?! One of the things I bought was some new Headsweats visors to add to my collection. Yes, I’ll admit I’ll have a problem. I like visors and I can’t lie. Their visors are so darn comfy and I don’t have to adjust or think about them.

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My BRF Lesley and co-conspirator in training gave me this book this week. I’m excited to read it and learn about a new method of training. I’ve now trained on Hansons’s (my first and second marathons) and a hodgepodge of free online plans like Higdon’s and Nike for my third and soon to be fourth marathon. So I’m curious what this plan has to offer. I’ll write a review as soon as I’m finished.

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Saturday, I woke up early for my run and heard thunder and pouring rain. The rain was no problem, but the radar was lit up like a Christmas tree for the entire morning. Although there were breaks and since we had a 20 miler planned, it wasn’t a good idea to head out in the storms.

I could have run later in the day, but my daughter and I had planned a fun day together. We had lunch and shopping and then dinner together before we headed to local performance of The Nutcracker. Seeing The Nutcracker has been our tradition for the last 6 years. We had a great time and the performance was wonderful!

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We had a great time together!

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Any fun holiday traditions you do? How was your week of running?

I’m linking with Holly and Tricia for the Weekly Wrap-up!

#FAIL: Houston Marathon Training Wk #1

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After last week’s weekly wrap and good recovery period after NYC Marathon, I was ready to tackle Houston Marathon training. I’m not really starting from week 1 because I’ve trained for NYC, but at first, it does seem to feel like starting from scratch.

Sunday night, we had our second kid down with the stomach bug, and I was up all night cleaning. Monday night, my parents were coming into town and boom. My oldest kid and I were both down with it that night.

I had every intention of getting up Wednesday to run, but slept in to catch up on all the sleep I had lost for two nights in a row.

Thanksgiving Day I did not do our local Turkey Trot because it started at 8, and we were having lunch instead of dinner so cooking had to be done early. Instead, I ran 8 miles very early with some friends and felt like things were back on track. Yay!

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Lots of cooking and time on my feet resulted in a delicious meal, but I wasn’t fully recovered, so I didn’t get to enjoy the meal as usual.

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Then everyone (my parents included) went to the football game. I wish the outcome was different, but it was fun to take my parents to their first college football game.

After Friday’s easy miles, I set out to do 18 on Saturday with my BRF–what was going to be the first long run since NYC. I was a little nervous about it, and ate a light breakfast and some coffee and took one gel before I started.  The first few miles felt great, and it was a beautiful day.

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I took a gel around mile 6, and then, somewhere along the way, I started feeling bad with some abdominal cramps and just couldn’t continue after about 9 miles. Normally, these gels don’t bother me, so I can only assume that my stomach wasn’t quite ready to handle stuff after the virus. I walked another mile to get back to the car called it a day. My BRF kept going. Womp womp. #fail. I was really down on myself with all kinds of names floating around in my head. With Houston looming 7 weeks away, how was I going to do this if I couldn’t finish 10 miles??

I normally take Sunday off. It’s kind of sacred to me to have that day as a rest. But, I also didn’t want to ditch the long run completely. So, I thought I could do 8 miles and cumulatively between both days, it would be 18 and be fine. I didn’t want to wake up too early, and I didn’t want to overdo it. All day Saturday, I waffled back and forth about running Sunday, so I thought I would just wing it and see how I felt.

I didn’t make a plan for Sunday. I didn’t have a route in my head or where to start. I got up when I felt like it. Drank a cup of coffee. No breakfast. No gel. Very unlike my usual MO. I headed straight out the door to my usual easy mile route which had a loop of 8, plus 1.5 miles running from my house. So, at a minimum, I was going to do 11 to get back home. I felt pretty good. I didn’t set out to do marathon pace, but just ran what felt comfortable and easy. After one loop of 8, I was at a point where I could have gone home. The wind was starting to pick up, but I forced myself to take another loop to see if I could get a few more miles. There are several turns you can take to make the loop 3, 4, 5, 6  mile loops, so I talked myself out of each turn and ended up doing another 8 mile loop and then turned to go home to get a total of 19. I did it and felt great. So it wasn’t a #fail after all. 🙂
img_2838That’s my week! Let’s hope this next week (which IS off to a good start) is better! Ever have a #fail of a week? 

I’m linking with Holly and Tricia for the Weekly Wrap-up!

Runner Etiquette

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Post-Marathon Week 2 is done. I had 24 miles of running and felt good. A little nagging foot soreness, but nothing too bad. MUCH better than my first marathon recovery last December. I didn’t do any speed work or hills, but tried to do moderate effort on two days to see where I was. Everything felt pretty good. It was a long week of single parenting and really non-stop going right after I got off the plane from NY. I didn’t get much sleep and was really feeling it (and wow, I was cranky and down). I’ve caught up on sleep now, thank goodness.

Here’s my week:

Monday: Easy 5

Tuesday: 5 miles

Thursday: 5 miles

Saturday: 10 miles with 9:00/min average pace.

So a couple of weeks ago, my BRF and I were running, going at a pretty great pace because it was my last run before NYC. We were chatting and enjoying our run on campus, which at that time of the morning is not busy at all. Two women we both know had caught up to us (so clearly going faster than us). After they caught up to us, they keep getting closer to us from behind, but not passing us. I thought it was weird. It was as if we were in a race packed with people and they had no choice. BUT, there were no other people around, no cars, plenty of road and sidewalk room on both sides, and yet they pressed closer to our backs. We kept talking and then one of the women interrupted our conversation with a question to me. My BRF and I had about a person width between us because we don’t like to knock elbows while we run, and this woman ran right in between us. I thought it was odd and rude. What do you think? I conducted an informal poll and people seemed to feel the same way. It irked me, but then eventually, I didn’t think anything of it.

The week after I got back, it wasn’t an issue because I ran by myself.

Then, this week, my BRF and I were running again together and talking, and these same two women caught up to us again but they were with a couple of other people that we know as well. This time, we weren’t striving for any pace, they were going faster or wanted to, so with plenty of road and sidewalk space, I kept waiting for them to pass on one of the sides. Nope. They kept pressing closer and closer (uncomfortably close) and talking loudly right behind us so it was hard for our conversation to continue. Finally, when we reached another road, they passed us (probably because we decided to slow down). The same woman asked me a question.

It really bugged me this time. What do you think?

That’s my week. Houston Marathon training starts tomorrow…gulp.

I’m linking with Holly and Tricia for the Weekly Wrap-up!

Post-Marathon Syndrome (PMS)

 

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This weekly wrap is all about starting over from square one. Any else have PMS–post-marathon (or fill in big race) syndrome? Here are the classic symptoms:

  • Depressed (What’s the point of running anymore? These legs don’t even work. I look like Phoebe from Friends)
  • Crying spells (That dog in the commercial needs to get that treat. ** sniff sniff**)
  • Mood swings and irritability or anger (WHO ATE ALL THE COOKIES?!?!?)
  • Appetite changes and food cravings (Did someone say Halloween candy?)
  • Trouble falling asleep (insomnia) (I should have worn the other sleeveless shirt, better breathability … what do you think honey? ZZZZZZZZZ)
  • Poor concentration (Work? What’s that?? I just ran a marathon…so…)
  • Joint or muscle pain (Who made this $#$%#$ toilet so low?)
  • Fatigue (If I take a little nap right now in the kid pickup line, it’s no biggie)
  • Weight gain related to fluid retention (MUST.eat.all.the.foods.I.couldn’t.eat.before)
  • Abdominal bloating (Why these clothes tight?!)

Feel me on this one? Tell me I’m not alone. Luckily, I have some other races planned, so the real crash probably won’t happen until January after the Houston Marathon in 9 weeks (!). 🙂 In the meantime, I’m trying to honor the recovery process and just run for fun AND run with people I don’t normally get to run with because I usually have to run longer. I have the BCS half marathon Dec. 11, so it will be a good check-in race to see how my legs are recovering. I’m not hoping for much at that race.

 

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This week, I didn’t push the recovery because the roller coaster of emotions was hard core. I ran 4 easy miles Friday and 6.5 miles Saturday. I did lots of walking and stretching a little bit of yoga and some biking to get the littlest one off to school.

And that’s my week. I’m linking with Holly and Tricia for the Weekly Wrap-up!