Wednesday, August 31, 2011

hot mess indeed.

SO. It's totally been one of THOSE weeks. You know the kind. Where your car gets broken into, your dog has conjunctivitis, you get charged $60 for an membership you didn't sign up for (yet you did, sneaky marketers and stupid check boxes), your cat keeps vomiting on your new rug, you find out some not-so-great news that causes you to cry for a good two hours of your Saturday morning and bums you out all weekend, you go to physical therapy where your legs are torn up to the point of wicked bruising and it  hurts a LOT when you run, you try and make a certain thing for dinner you've been craving and go to the store only to find out they are of course out of two key ingredients you need to make said dinner, oh and where of course you attempt two early morning runs--both thwarted?

Yerp. That. Is. My. Week. But I refuse to be defeated.

Sigh. Instead I'll show you the killer impressive bruise that is on a 'to remain nameless' part of my body....coughahem.... from physical therapy on Monday. This sucker is spectacular, no?

*i was making dinner monday night talking to the edder and was all, oh man i bet i'm gonna have a bruise where i had PT today, and i pull down my shorts? uhhhhh, yeah. that bruise doesn't look so big in the picture, trust me it's like the size of my fist.*

That is all.

Moving on. Thwarted six-miler this morning. If it wasn't bad enough my car had gotten broken into, my run got ruined. A happy runner this does not make. Livid is a term that comes to mind. Nothing like getting in your car only to realize stuff is strewn about all nimbly-bimbly! It was highly confusing. I sat in my car a good few minutes before I even realized what had happened. Then made the phone call to my running buddy that I needed to deal with it. Then woke the Edder up to tell him. Then called the police. Then I cried. Because that's what girls do. We cry. Man... I have only felt more violated two other times in my life. Such an awful feeling! I've never been robbed before, it kinda sucks! And by kind of, I mean it sucks a big one.

This week is awesome. That is what I keep telling myself. As I rock back and forth in a ball in my office chair. My office-mate is LUCKY. At least I got some pity Starbucks this morning from said office-mate. So there is that. And did manage to squeeze in two (not so painless) miles this morning with Milo (the not so reliable guard dog), who ran off leash most of the time--BOOM.  Considering the morning, I'll call it a success.

And yes, I realize all my problems are very 'first world' issues. Life is not that awful, I realize that my issues are minimal in comparison. But that doesn't mean I can't whine about them every now and again... right? RIGHT?! Just one of those weeks, venting was needed. DONE!


Monday, August 29, 2011

six weeks to prairie fire. let me introduce you to the 'hot mess' and 'china.'

The good, the bad and the ugly. The good? My training for Prairie Fire isn't going to be interrupted by what I'm about to talk about. The bad? I have a strained hip flexor. The ugly? China has returned to my right calf, making the party going on in my left hip strain that much more fun! SQUEEE!

I spent the morning at physical therapy, being poked, prodded, moved around and grimacing in pain when my PT Doug was trying to figure out what the heck is going on with my leggies. Then I got to go through some nice tear inducing deep tissue work on china (i.e. knotted up calf) and on my hip/booty/IT band. To sum, the left side of my leg is a big ol' hot mess. But based on the beating my calf and left leg got? China and the hot mess doesn't stand a chance now. Fun. Stuff.

Even still, the good news is that I get to keep training and my PT is confident I'll be in great shape to run Prairie Fire. Of course my favorite part was that as I was leaving his office I was all "oh, well that's just prairie fire, i haven't told you my other 'm' plans for the rest of the year"... priceless that look I got. Yes, I have big plans for fall marathons (see my side bar if you're curious now), I'm just gonna heap them on while I'm in shape and ready to roll. Since I'll likely be cutting marathons out of my life for awhile starting next year. But that's a different blog post, more to come there.

For now, I ran 18 miles yesterday, not awful, not great. The miles got run, and at a pace that wasn't what I wanted, but was all I could manage. With my good buddies hanging in at my side, despite me trying to shove them off at a faster pace. This is why we are running buddies, they stuck out my rough run with me the entire time. Keeping me going with a smile on my face and a little laughing thrown in.

The main points I am taking away is that I have to change my training for a bit, as in cutting out speedwork, which I'm okay with. I'm happy with my current paces and I think I'll be fine to run the marathon I want to run without bombarding my body with speedwork. Second is that I have to cut out hot yoga for awhile. It's just too intense on my hip, however I plan to keep regular (non-hot) yoga in my life. Along with some strength training. GUHHHHHH, that's my least favorite!  Apparently when you have a weak booty as a runner? It messes things up, so ST it is. Sigh.

Week 10 Training:
Monday - Hot Yoga
Tuesday - Rest
Wednesday - 4 Easy Miles
Thursday - 6.5 Miles
Friday - Rest (hip pain)
Saturday - Rest (hip pain)
Sunday - 18 Miles, last two at a faster pace (for the most part)

Cheers to another week of running interwebbers, and to the fact that fall weather is a mere few weeks away. Now THAT really is worth a SQUEEEEEE, IMO.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

seven weeks to prairie fire. back in the game.

BOOM. Three runs and a 16 miler last week and I'm back to feeling like I can tackle that 'm' in October. While my hip and calf are still a bit cranky, they are holding up to my runnings and yogaings. It's bearable. In fact, I had the best 16 miler to date in my running history on Sunday. And that's saying something!

Any run over 14 miles is something I typically dread. I don't like how much time it takes, but I'm finding as my pace and strength have increased, so has my tolerance for long runs. Of course it didn't hurt that it was only 74 degrees during the 16 miler, a pure treat during August in Kansas. Plus my running company wasn't too shabby either! We even managed to negative split the last two miles, something we are working on during long runs to help us through those last miles.

Upon the advisement of my running buddy Shellers, after my 16 miler I went home and took an ice bath (first one since i trained for my first 'm' two years ago), and I even drank some Muscle Milk (it was my first time trying it), then took some Aleve. I felt fantastic afterwards, even yesterday. I won't lie, it's refreshing to finally feel good during and after a run over 14 miles. Big milestone for this girl, and it's giving me a lot of hope about that 'm'. However my hip is back to a painful state this week, but I'm simply running through it and hoping PT works. Fast.

Speaking of, I've changed my goal a bit for the 'm' seeing how I had to take a week off for injury. Whereas I was aiming for a sub-4 goal at the start of training, I'm tweaking that a bit and now shooting for anything under 4:10. Hopefully reaching something more in the 4:05 range. It's not exactly what I wanted, but I am being realistic here, especially considering my training interruptions. Sub 4:10 would still be a pretty decent PR, so I'm satisfied with that.

Week 9 Training:
Monday - Rest cranky hip and calf
Tuesday - Rest cranky hip and calf
Wednesday - Rest cranky hip and calf
Thursday - 4 Miles Easy
Friday - 7 Miles Speedwork, with 3x1 mile @ 7:30
Saturday - Rest
Sunday - 16 Miles with last two at faster pace

Cheers to a fantastic running week fellow interwebbers!!

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

my faves: snuggling meatloaf

As in my dog. Milo. I call him Meatloaf, among a billion other names. Regardless, he is definitely one of my favorite things on the planet, and snuggling up with him on any day beats just about anything in the world. Good day, bad day, a 'lil bit of Milo snuggling makes my world better.

Nothing compares to going home to a happy dog that is thrilled you simply came back. Because yes, I love the instant gratification a dog offers in the form of validation. No shame. Come on, who doesn't love going home to something that is so excited to see you that they nearly pee themselves?!

Plus he is so stinking cute... just look at this sleepy little snugly face!! How could you NOT love?

Thursday, August 18, 2011

best part of my day. rockum-sockums.

A) I got to run again today! And while it wasn't a pretty one, or pain free. Four miles are in the books and that is a fantastic feeling. I get into physical therapy soon-ish, and while my hip is better it's still grumpy.

2) I ran in some new rockum-sockums (i.e. running socks) that the Edder brought home to me on a whim the other night. The socks are amazing, I have no idea what brand they are, but I have already informed him that whatever they are, I need more. Pronto. I think he got them at Backwoods. Regardless, they are wonderful and my new fave.

 *i present to you, my new rockum-sockums! they are even pink. i ran at the gym just in case my hip exploded, didn't want that mess flying around when i'm two miles away from work. i won't lie, i welcomed the treadmill today, 4 miles of air-conditioned, mindless running*

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

8 weeks to prairie fire. HIP!

Well. I don't have a lot of running to report on. After eight stellar weeks of training, I've hit a small training blip in the form of my left hip. It's gone all wonky on me. I haven't been running since last Wednesday, or doing yoga, or going to spin class. It just isn't worth making my hip worse, or causing it to take longer to heal up. I'm just in waiting mode for now, waiting to get into physical therapy, waiting to see how long this issue lasts before I make a decision whether to drop to the half marathon or not.

The good thing in this comes in here. At any other point in my running life, training for an 'm', I would be freaking the stink out right now. But I'm not. Actually, I'm eerily calm about the whole thing. If I have to drop to the half, I will train as hard as I can to snag a PR. If my hip turns out just needing a little deep tissue work and e-stem, I'll keep training hard for the 'm'. Whatever will be, will be.

The fact that I've been good and busy the past week isn't hurting matters, keeping me occupied. Between work, social life and having family in town right now? It would be a struggle to fit running into the past six days anyway.

My attitude is this. Meh! There's nothing I can do but wait. No use getting myself in a funk over it. I'll find something out tomorrow and go from there. In the meantime I may or may not have dipped back into the cheese and sugar. But just momentarily (while family is in town, that's always a good reason, right?) I'll be back on the cheese-free/sugar-free wagon later this week.  That's all I've got on the running front!

In other news, thanks for all the music suggestions, you interwebbers are so killer! While I'm off the running track for a bit here, I plan to work on my running playlists. Giddyup!

Lastly, my runnings last week weren't worth posting since I ran all of two days before calling it quits on the hip. So nothing really to report for week eight of training. But cheers to everyone who is out and running this week, enjoy some miles for me, please.

(see how polite i was about asking for miles? that means you have to now, because i didn't demand you to do it in all caps. polite. this girl!)

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

what's your song.

Although I don't listen to music much anymore when I run (only because i do about one run per week all alone), I plan on putting together a KILLER race playlist for the marathon. Someone suggested in my comments on my post wondering how to get through the middle miles of a marathon that I should put some of my favorite tunes in the middle of the playlist to get me through. Being a huge music lover, I have to agree. That, along with seeing friends/family on the course are the best solutions to help keep me going in the 'dead zone' of miles 14 - 20. Thanks for the suggestions interwebbers!

So, while I have no problems finding fantastic new music to listen to while not running (i'm posting my top five faves here every few weeks actually), I need some inspiration for running tunes here people. Please offer any/all of your favorite running songs, por favor. Especially since I haven't updated my running playlist since May. Sad. Poutsies.

I promise not to threaten you in all caps to get you to help me out here, I'll just send out the pity vibe... you offered your suggestions on how to help me get through the middle miles, now one-up yourself and offer me a song.

That is all. I look forward to your suggestions. HINT... HINTHINTHINTHINTHINTHINT. Okay, fine, I yelled a little there. But I'm a shamelessly desperate runner here, hoping to run the best race of her life in a few months.... I also love to guilt trip. I hope that worked.

Shameless. Guilt tripper.

Monday, August 8, 2011

9 weeks to prairie fire. middle miles advice, pretty please.

Another week of training down. It went fairly well, as well as training in relentless heat can go. MAJOR ALERT: the heat wave finally broke over Wichita today, sweet relief. Although it's a bit telling when 90 degrees feels like massive relief. Even still, I'm looking forward to running outside all this week, I'm pretty excited about it really. Hopefully my runs will improve with the reduced heat/humidity the next few days. Sweet, sweet running relief.

I did have a decent week of training. I got some much needed yoga in, ran four times including a strong tempo and long run, and had a nice balance of working out and spending time with friends and family. Stellar week, really.

The thing that's been on my mind though is focusing on the middle miles of the marathon. I really need to up my mental game in regard to miles 14 - 20. I'm not really sure how to do that though. But for now when the running gets tough and I want to cut it short because of heat or being tired, I keep pushing thinking "this is how I'll feel at mile 18, and you don't want to give up this time." Like I always do in a marathon. When I want to just stop. I lose it mentally and it's over for me. At least until mile 20, but slowing in those middle miles hurt my pace!

The first 14 miles, and the last six miles are always the easiest for me mentally. I may be hurting those last six miles, but something about knowing I only have six miles left somehow puts some fuel back in my tank and pushes me further. It's the same in any race, from a 10K to a half marathon or marathon, for me. The END is my strong suit. I thrive knowing I can push just a little further, I guess my problem is playing it safe, wanting to have that fuel for negative splits at the end.

Suggestions encouraged, blahgeshphere. How do you get through the roughest mental miles in your race? How do you handle your middle miles in a marathon? Do you push the whole race? Give yourself some room? I need to prepare for this 'm' in October to the fullest, and the mental aspect is something that needs the most work right now. So please, suggest! Don't make me beg. It's quite pitiful.

Week 7 Training:
Monday - 6 Miles and Hot Yoga
Tuesday - Rest
Wednesday - 6 Easy Miles
Thursday - 7 Mile Tempo, 1 mile warm up, 5 @ 8:06, 1 mile cool down
Friday - Hot Yoga with THIS GIRL who just moved back 'home.' SQUEEEE!
Saturday - Rest
Sunday - 14 Miles @ 45 seconds faster than goal MP*

Total Miles = 33

*my faithful running partner shelley gets full credit for keeping me going on my long run, it was a rough one for me. thanks shellers, here's to kicking some prairie fire tail together, holding hands, and doing cartwheels across the finish line.

DON'T FORGET TO OFFER YOUR MIDDLE MILES ADVICE! And you know I mean it because I yelled at you in all caps AND bold. DO IT. Because I. Am. Terrifying.

Friday, August 5, 2011

best part of my day.

My little guy is growing up! But I am a proud doggie mommy this week (i see that, you just rolled your eyes, didn't you?). Milo started 'school' this week. After losing his best friend Starla (a black lab) next door earlier this year, his play time and interaction with other dogs has been drastically reduced. In turn, his weight has shot up. 

Since he is a 65-pound, long-hair, black dog, taking him on a walk or running with me when it's 100+ degrees between work/night-night is out of the question. Um, I need to point out that Milo goes to bed on his own at about 10p every night. Whether we do or not. He likes himself some sleepy-time. So if it IS cooled down by 10p you better believe he isn't going on a walk.

Moving on. Milo started school, two afternoons a week at Doggy Day Care. He was thrilled we came back to pick him up on his first day (he is a shelter dog, understandable he had some anxiety) but came home beyond worn out and happy both nights after 'school'. With spectacular report cards to boot.

Seeing his exhausted little face after getting home from work last night? Hands down best part of my day, if not my week...

 *too worn out to get up after school last night*
*milo's report card from day two of school, he even got his paws neatly trimmed by his new friends*

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

setting the cheese down, slowly walking away...

Cheese. It's a beautiful thing. I love it. I eat it all the time. It's my comfort food. Some people need chocolate. I need cheese. It's my go-to. When I'm starving and need a snack before dinner? Cheese quesadilla. Midnight snack when I can't sleep? Cheese quesadilla. When I'm too lazy to cook? Cheese quesadilla. When I'm bored? Cheese quesadilla. When I'm crying that ugly cry you can't stop? You better believe I'm making a cheese quesadilla during that mess. The thought of NOT having cheese in my house? Well that just sends me into cold sweats.

However, me + the cheese isn't helping much in regard to marathon training this time around. While I've been lax in my overall marathon training approach, with 10 weeks to go, I think I got scared into getting my butt into gear. Therefore.... I'm breaking up with cheese. AND typing out a training plan, printing that sucker off and sticking it on my fridge. BAM.

It's perhaps a bit random that cheese is what's sending me into marathon training mode. But as I was shredding some delicious organic sharp cheddar into a nice fat-laden flour tortilla the other night, thinking of how many calories I eat in cheese every week? It hit me. I need to stop. Plus it would probably help my pesky side-fat melt away... maybe. I'll keep you posted on how this goes.

The good news is, it's not just cheese I'm cutting out, I'm working on my overall diet. So far this week = success. Back to tracking nutrition and calories. And the scale is showing it already. Thankfully. Because I'm not a patient person. And while the diet is going well, my legs however are still in protestation mode. But a nice six-miler today helped loosen them up and hopefully some hardcore yoga the rest of the week, along with my running, will whip them back into 'm' training shape! Really I'm blaming the relentless Kansas heat. I'm pretty sure we are on day 739 straight of 100+ degree days here. It's a good time.

Please eat some cheese for me. It will make me happy to know someone out there is still enjoying it! Maybe take a picture of it. And send it to me. Or post it for me. Or mail me the wrapper so I can sniff it. You know... whatever works.

Monday, August 1, 2011

10 weeks to prairie fire. grumpy legs.

Ten weeks to go until my next marathon. It's hard to believe it's been almost a full year since I ran my last one! I keep waiting to get into that intense marathon training mode. And I'm just not. Although starting this week I'm going to start watching what I eat a little better (more on that in another post, lets just say i need to break up with cheese) and as of this morning I have made a triumphant return to morning weekday running. Hopefully that will get my mind a bit more focused on the task at hand. Training well for my next 'm'.

With thanks to the motivation of a co-worker, and the appeal of running in cooler temps at least one more day per week, I ran this morning at 5a followed by an express hot yoga class. The hot yoga studio I go to hosts training runs for the Prairie Fire half marathon a few mornings a week at 5a. What better way to start the week than to run with fellow yogi's and stretch out after? Monday is always my 'recovery/easy' day of just four-five miles. So it works out perfectly.

Besides that, my legs have been protesting lately, but this morning they were feeling almost back to normal. I missed quite a bit of yoga the past two weeks and I notice a direct correlation in the pain in my calves/legs and how much yoga I do. Plain and simple, yoga is vital for my running. And I've slacked with it recently. No good. But I'm back on the wagon this week, back to a regular routine and things are shaking out nicely!

I have to say, despite grudgingly getting myself out of bed, it is satisfying to have a complete day of workouts done by 7a. I'm trying to find that balance between enough sleep and running super early. Because I also get up for early weekend runs. If I haven't mentioned it before, I will mention it here again. Sleep is a new concept for me, and I'm realizing how vital it is for my overall health. I refuse to give up my new-found precious sleep!

Week 6 Training: 
Monday - 5 easy miles
Tuesday - 5 hot and sunburned miles on the hilly route
Friday - 6 tempo-ish miles on the hilly route
Sunday - 14 miles

Total Miles - 30

Cheers to a good running week blahgesphere!