Friday, June 3, 2011

Celebrating every mile!

So, after taking about 6 weeks off from running, I've really learned to appreciate it more!

It's one thing to take off because you need a different exercise or, just need a break. It's a completely different thing to be forced to sit the bench. You hear it all the time. " Just start riding, or just do more yoga, or hop on the eliptical" ......  But it's just not the same. I did pick up more yoga, which I loved. But it's still JUST NOT THE SAME.

So this week was my first "full week" back running. 2 miles on Monday, 3 miles yesterday, and 3 today. It feels great to not only finish a run, but finish with out pain! I've lost about a minute per mile putting me between a 10:00-10:30 "comfortably". I think this is in part with my lack of running, and the increased heat & humidity! It seems like everyone is still acclimating. So not only am I acclimating to running again, but to running with a much higher heart rate, and less air to breathe.

Never the less, I'm ecstatic to be out there again.

I'm still having some therapy done on my lower back, hip flexors, ITband, and hamstrings. I will continue to work on my proper running form, and continue to stretch and get after it with the foam roller.

As for training, I have nothing in mind. I would like to do a few 5ks this summer and fall, but other than that, I think I'll take the rest of the year off from long distance training. I do have my eye on the Disney Marathon- Yes, FULL, in January of 2013.

My plan for now, is to run 3-4 mile runs 3 times during the week, and squeeze in a longer run once a week ranging from 5-8 miles.

I hope everyone is training smart and hydrating in the HEAT! Get those miles in...whether on a dreadmill, or at 5am before the sun gets up. NO EXCUSES right?

Thursday, May 26, 2011


I've run once a week for the past 3 weeks.

Sad, huh?

I've kept it around 3 miles. My IITBand (ITB) has gotten better, but not healed completely. Mentally this has been hard on me.

My diet has suffered.
My legs,back shoulders, everything is stiff and achey.
My brain is idle.

I've been doing yoga 2-4 times a week. This helps- but it's not the same.

Today, I made it to mile 3 before I started hurting. I walk/ran the last mile. I actually wasn't sad that I couldn't finish this run. I was excited b/c my recovery time was amazing!

I got home, took and ib profen, iced. And voila!

I'm still seeing the chiropractor for the A.R.T. therapy. This is helping! So, hopefully, I am back on the road to recovery! I am going to try for a 2nd run in a week on Saturday. I will keep it around 3 miles, since that seems to be an okay distance for me before discomfort sets in.

I have been doing some "kick backs" as part of an exercise routine to help strengthen my weak glutes, and train my hamstrings to fire instead of allowing my lower back to compensate, and become too tight--Which in turn only makes my ITB tighter!

Along with the foam rolling(which hurts like the dickens, but helps so much!), yoga, and exercises, I've also added in some weight training. This was fairly easy for me. Again, strengthening my quads, the muscles behind and around my knee, my hips, and glutes. If nothing else, this gets me to the gym, which is a good opportunity for extra low impact cardio!

So, while I'm on the road to recovery, I'm not out of the woods yet!

Hopefully before too long, I will have some great stories to tell about perfect painless 5 milers.

Run Healthy!!

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

A new dawn....A new day.

In the past 4 weeks I've run twice.

This is one of the hardest things for a runner to do. Is to take time off..... Especially from racing/ training season.

Today, I ran.

It's been 10+ days since I've last tried to run. I was feeling discouraged and a lack of confidence. I wanted to "be a runner" again. I missed sharing my stories on my long runs. I miss being called crazy for waking up at the crack of dawn. I felt like something had been taken away from me!

I am feeling refreshed, and restored! I only ran 3.5 (very cautious) miles, but with the exception to my lack of cardio, and the humidity, I actually felt good! It was 6:30 am, and already 75 and humid. Which only means--- Earlier morning runs ahead of me!

I'm still taking precautions. Stretching, icing, relaxing. I wasn't completely pain free, but I certainly felt good enough for some lighter running. (Which was my plan for summer all along!)

I'm hopeful with some decreased miles, and some occasional weekend 5k's I will be back out there sooner than later!

I know this girl is happy =-)

Run Healthy!!!!

Tuesday, May 3, 2011


Let's go back 2 weeks...  My last training run, was the awesome 8 mile race pace run... I skipped the next (last) week of running to let my tendonitis heal up in my leg. Race week came, and it was feeling great. No pain!

Race day....

We get parked, and begin to walk to the start line of the Oklahoma City Memorial run. It's a run I will never, EVER, forget. I knew the chances of rain were slim, but I didn't care. I was insistent on racing and  finishing.  The rain, began to poor. I was dressed for 50 degrees, and little rain. In other words a tank and shorts.... the wind blew harder, lightening light up the sky, and the cold rain fell. And it fell hard. I was still in high spirits. My leg was still feeling fresh, and painless, so I wrote off the weather.

The start time got pushed back 30 minutes do to severe weather. But my adrenaline held me strong. We found shelter in a local church that was kind enough to open their doors for us to stay warm....

15 minutes to start....

We get out in the windy cold rain, and make our way to the start line. Some how we got stuck in the 5k coral, and NONE of them wanted to let us through. I lost sight of my husband, and just kept pushing ahead... I finally got to the starting line around 9:00 pace group, and walked back to the 9:30 pace group. 1 minute.
I haven't run in 2 weeks. Everything is running through my head right now.

Fast forward to mile 3.....
I'm feeling strong, averaging about a 9-9:15 pace. I felt a little tweaking in my leg, but nothing that I couldn't run through. I ran the rolling hills feeling very confident. I get to around mile 4 and stop for a stinger, and some water and up comes my husband from behind. I was so happy to see him! We ran for about a mile together, and it's still pouring down rain. Creating lots of puddles. We're rounding the corner and there is a massive puddle right in the middle of the corner. I landed on my heal trying to avoid immersing my entire shoe. At that moment, I knew something was wrong. My leg was on FIRE! I couldn't take a step with out wanting to scream... I slowed down in the next mile to about 9:45. I kissed my husband, told him to go on, and stopped to stretch. I spent the next mile looking for a med tent- I was desperate. I finally (somewhere around mile 7) found one. I fought the hardest mental battle I've ever fought. To stop? Or not? I decided that I would stop to at least get some tylenol. When I stopped this time, and took a step, I KNEW that I could no longer run on my aching leg. I begin to melt in tears. I asked where I could get a ride to the start line. They kindly showed me where to find the shuttle buses that were taking the relay participants back and forth. I cried the whole way there. And my body slowly started reminding me that it was 46 and freezing rain. While I was running, I was very pleased with my attire. Now that I was limping slowly around in the rain it only made me sob a little harder.

I am here to tell you that making the decision to continue running and finish, verses stopping and taking a mental beating from yourself, is one of the hardest I've ever had to make. I could have continued in agony, causing more problems in my leg to finish with a terrible time. Or stopped in time to heal for another chance to run sooner. Either way I would have been devastated. I never thought that I would be as depressed as I was. I get down town, and I'm totally lost! I have no idea where we parked,I'm freezing, I'm hurting. So I walked. And I walked, and I walked. A homeless man felt sorry for me, and pointed me in the right direction. I walked a little faster.. And cried a little harder. Eventually I found a section of the marathon course and found a cop. Only to find out that I was really close. About an hour has passed from the time that I decided to drop out of the race. This only meant one thing. My husband should be finishing soon. And I was going to miss it! The thought of this made my tears stream a little faster..... Eventually I found my car, and got 3 extra layers of clothes on and sat in the car to warm up. Thinking of how terrible my experience was. 

Finally my husband comes back to the car. I'm so excited to hear his time of 1:58:54. He not only met his goal of 2 hours, but exceeded it! HOOOORAY! He took a back seat to his celebration to embrace me and tell me that it is okay.

Here I am 2 days later, thinking of it all... Here are the thoughts that are crossing my mind now. " I'm happy that my knee is only tender. It's not excruciating pain." ... " I feel like crying" ... " I want to run" ... " Will I look like a wimp?" ....

I invested so much in this race. Miles, Money,Months. But I know that if I had torn something and kept myself from running 3 months I would have been more devestated!

D.N.F.(Did Not Finish) is by far the best thing I could have done. But the most ego crushing thing I could have done.

I ran so strong all season. I had no injuries. I rested when I needed to. I pushed my limits. I quit making excuses.... All to have an injury the last 2 weeks of my training and not reach any of my 3 set goals.

Now I will use my smarts, and friends advice. Rest, Recover, and Revenge. I will race again.... I WILL get my goal. All of them. If nothing else, I have learned from this. I learned that it isn't going to kill me to bow out of a race. I have learned that I have the best/supportive/wise friends..I have learned that no matter what, it's not the end of the world. OR my racing days. It's one race. I will recover, and come back strong!  I will be a good runner, no matter what pace. I'll be a smart runner-- if that means taking a hit to my pride, to save my body, then so be it.

There you have it. My experience from OKC. I trained 4 months for this. Hopefully I can recover enough to get in one more half this season. IF not, then there will be more later. I know that for the summer, I'll decrease my miles. And just enjoy being a runner... A very early morning runner! I'll also take up extra yoga, and weight training classes. Running will be my "extra" activity for a few months.

Thank you. Thank you all for your continuous support...thank you for listening to me cry about this whole thing. The wisdom that has been passed on to me the last few days is priceless. I'm incredibly thankful for my husband and friends who have all been so amazing.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Creating Unattainable Goals

1. the result or achievement toward which effort is directed; aim; end.

There you have it. The definition of Goal.

If it were something we do, or could do, already, it wouldn't be a goal. SO we have to SET goals. The ones that are unattainable. But, we have to do it with reason, and sense.

My first goal for running was set in January of 2010, to run the Tulsa Run. And finish. That gave me a whole year to start running and increase my distance. Of course if you've read more than 2 of my blogs you know, that that goal just snowballed in to goal after goal-- But my main thing was to set it, in a reasonable amount of time, and just have the goal of finishing!

Now my goals have changed. I would like to run a sub 25 minute 5k. I would like to run a 2 hour half marathon. And one day, FINISH a full marathon. I don't have to do them all RIGHT NOW. But just having that goal, and setting it helps to keep me motivated.

The best thing (for me) to do is take the plunge. To say I'm going to do (or attempt) it. And then register. Yep, figure out what race will be a "goal race" and register. That puts more investment in to the situation. The chances of backing our are slimmer if you've already committed yourself, and your pocket book to it.It's easy to shy away from publicly announcing or committing to your goals, in fear of not reaching it. That's a legit fear. But why let fear hold you back from reaching the goals you want to set for yourself and your life? Instead let the fear of failure be used as a motivator. And really, who cares if you don't get it on the first try? Really. Just keep trying, or reassess the goal.

Set goals with your friends, or spouse.Scott and I are playing with competition. He's faster than me. Period. But this season, I've trained much harder than he has. So, he thinks I might beat him in OKC, and since I've decided that I will try to omit the word can't from my vocabulary, I am sure going to try!

Knock out the pessimism, but keep the realism. I know that I haven't trained to run a 1:35 half marathon. I will not set myself up for failure, injury and defeat, knowing that isn't a realistic goal for me, and my situation! This time next year? Maybe! So my "unattainable" goal for this season is the sub(or really close) 2 hour half marathon. I physically am capable of running that fast. Granted... weather, nutrition, nerves, hydration,,mentality, race day  all play a significant role in achieving this goal. But physically I am where I need to be to do this. I just have to hope and strive to get all the elements together! In all honesty, as long as I'm at or under 2:15 I'll be proud. To shave anything off a previous time is super exciting! I would be beside myself if I can shave at least 13 minutes, which would be about a minute a mile faster than my last half. So, I have my eye on the 2 hour prize, but I know that conditions may make it harder to attain. I also know that I don't HAVE  to get it THIS RACE. There are other halves to race. So I'm certainly giving myself a little window, and wiggle room to allow for un-accounted situations to arise.

"I heard a couple of you discussing race day plans this last weekend and hope everyone has come up with a couple of scenarios for race day:
1 - Goal Time (perfect day)
2- backup goal ( feeling ok)
3 - just finish
I know many of you are hoping for a sub 2:00:00 time and here are a couple other times
2:05:00 - 9:32/ mile 
2:10:00 - 9:55/ mile
2:15:00 - 10:16/mile"

This was from my coaches email that was sent out this week. Great way to put things in a realistic perspective!

Run Real!

Okc training- Week 14

 I now know why we taper before racing.

After almost 4 months of training, I've hit the peak of my intensity! I'm feeling satisfied with my training, especially in comparison to last season's training.

My route 66 half time was 2:20:24. That's a 10:40 pace.

This weekend I ran 8 miles in 1:13- That's a little over 9:00 mile. And with the exception of my screaming IT band (we'll get there) I was confident that I could have maintained that pace for a measly 5 more miles ... What am I saying? I'm saying do away with boundaries. I just keep thinking this time last year, I hadn't even ran a full 5k with out stopping, and now, I am ready to shave 15-20 minutes off my first half. I'm not "bragging" per-say, but  I'm am proud of all the dedication and hard work that I've put in to wanting this! And if anything I hope that it might one day INSPIRE someone to do away with the "can't" word- and hit unattainable goals for themselves! If you'd told me this time last year as I was huffing and puffing to run 20 minutes straight, that I'd be able to run a sub 8:00 minute mile 5k, I would have laughed and pulled out my "cant card" and flashed it in your face.

So,there ya have it. Don't hold yourself back.

This week was my first real experience with an injury. I started to see Dr. Chuck Zoellner at Zoellner Chiropractic after I started feeling some pings in my lower right back. I was injured there after a car wreck in 05' so I'm thinking it's just "flaring up". I then felt the twinging get stronger and down my leg to the outside of my knee. I took it easy, and got in to see him as soon as I could. He began using the Active Release Technique (A.R.T.) to loosen up my lower back muscles, and manipulate the muscles in my leg as well. He put me on a treadmill to do a gait analysis, and showed me ways to improve my running. Which in turn will actually make me a stronger/faster runner. He started the tread mill at a comfortable 9:30 pace, and I was then put at an 8:00 pace, and with the new running form, felt much easier to maintain! (Someone needs to send my heart the memo)

I have taken this much of the week off so far. I keep having to remind myself that the hard work is DONE. I am allowed to relax, recover and rest my muscles!! I will run our last long run Saturday, and call it good, and hope for the best in OKC.

I'm getting more than stoked for OKC! Everything is set in place, and ready to go. Which will be followed by a - much needed- week long vacation (Thank the Lord!!!!) with my family in Louisiana.

Yesterday was the 16 year anniversary of the bombing of the Murrah Building. I don't think I'll even be able to imagine how awesome it will be running in honor of so many fallen and innocent victims.

It's still so hard to believe that my season is almost over! I guess it's time to set some new goals eh? =) After vacation.

Run Healthy!!!!!

Monday, April 11, 2011

Okc training- Week 13

Less than 3 weeks left until the OKC Memorial Marathon.

This past week was a good training week. I got all off wack with my schedule, but I got in all but one of my runs.

Monday- Recovery 4 miles
Tuesday- skipped
Wednesday-Track speedy 4.5. Yasso! THis was fun, I took my friend Amber to the track for her first time. She hated/loved me. =) But she did amazing!
Thursday- I intended to run this day, but I decided to take off.
Friday- Squeezed in a 2.5 recovery run. I was a little sore from track. This run was so hard. It was a slow run, but the humidity really got me. Didn't know what I was in for on Saturday, in comparison.
Saturday- LongSlowRun.  14 miles. We are suppose to keep our slow pace around 10:10. We didn't. It was under 10 for most of the run. It was hot, humid,and hilly.These combined=HARD. At mile 12, I was cooked. I was noodles. The last mile I started to walk-- I finally got back to a run at a slow pace, and jogged it in. Everyone struggled with this run! The first hot,long run of the season kind of sneaks up on us. Anyways, I felt got Sunday, minimal soreness, and good energy.

I also tried my first Ice bath after this brutal 14 mile run.
I had to really mentally prepare for this. The whole way home, I kept thinking about what the most effective way to do this would be. I got here, turned on the cold water, stuck a toe in and cringed. I stopped the water, and poured my bag of ice in. And got in. Slowly. Once I was in, I had to mentally, and physically relax. IT was hard, but once I stopped tensing up, I felt the ice start to work it's magic. I drank my warm coffee, as my body adjusted. I sat for 10-15 minutes(until ice melts) and got up and bundled up and got in bed to warm up, before taking a warm shower.

I guess it worked, I recovered great, and had no issues the rest of the day, or Sunday! So, now that I know I won't die, I'll probably make this part of my recovery regimen after all of my really hard runs and races.

Well, now, the tapering begins.

I think my shoes are getting a little worn down. I'm starting to feel things that I don't normally feel. This morning on my short recovery run, I felt a dull pain radiating on the outside of my right knee-- I'm not sure if this is due to increased intensity and miles, or if I should have my shoes examined.

I'm going to have it looked at professionally before the race to see what action I need to take. I'm so close to acheiving my goal, and race. I can't have any injuries popping up now! I've been injury free all season. And plan to stay that way!

Run Smart!!!