Wednesday, June 27, 2012

best part of my day. little yellow ball.

Thanks to some nagging ankle pain, hip and quad/hamstring pain, I'm taking a running break this week. Just yoga for this girl. My body is protesting. Big time. In every way possible. Yesterday (and still this morning) I have been fighting off what feels like a stomach bug and impending sinus infection. My body is screaming at me for a break. It's been a bit nutty lately, sleep hasn't been a priority, nor has rest. So last night I gave in, skipped donning my track suit for speedwork night, and rested.  I got bored after an hour.... but continued to rest it out.

I have a doctor appointment this morning regarding my little ankle issue. **I wrote this too soon. Just went to the doctor, diagnosis of peroneal tendonitis. Looks like some RICE and PT for this girl. But it's all good, I go on vacation next week anyway!

So, my ankle/leg (obviously now we know my peroneal tendon). It's been nagging at me for about six weeks. It isn't getting worse, which is good, but it isn't getting better. So it was time to get it checked out. X-ray's gave the all clear that it wasn't the dreaded "S" word (stress fx in the tibia). Thank goodness, that was in the back of my mind.

Onto the best part of my day. Since I'm going easy on my body this week (and next, apparently), trying to get rid of pesky knots and aches and pains in my legs; every night I've been foam rolling, sticking and using the tennis ball for trigger point release.


The funny thing is that I had several tennis balls roaming around our house for my trigger use. They kept disappearing. I blamed the Edder, naturally, and went to Target to get a package of new tennis balls.

The mysterious missing tennis ball problem resolved itself last night. After I opened up my new can of awesome (i.e. little yellow balls) and sat on the floor to begin foam rolling, Milo came running into the bedroom. He promptly snorted around, picked up the tennis ball from beside my head after giving me kisses, and trotted off with it in his mouth. How in the.... he could smell the new tennis ball, I guess?!

So that explains that one. Now to find where he's hidden the rest. I let him keep that ball, we decided he was more excited about that new shiny yellow ball than he has been about anything recently. Because he took that ball straight to the Edder to play. Please note: milo doesn't fetch, his preferred method of playing with a ball involves us throwing it high in the air in different locations so he can jump for it. Silly herding dog.

He kept that ball with him the rest of the night.  Clearly. The fluffy toe fur sent me over the edge. He can have as many shiny yellow balls as he wants.

Monday, June 25, 2012

this is probably a bad idea.

Me. Doing a for reals outdoor Triathlon next week. Don't worry, it's all of about 12 people 'competing' in this Tri. I got an exclusive invite thanks to my training buddy. I guess this means I should head to the pool and give swimming a shot for the first time in.... oh, you know.... FIVE MONTHS. Oh, and ride a road bike for more than 20 minutes (did that for the first time yesterday).

This may be a bad idea, I know I'm a slow swimmer, yesterday showed me I'm a very tentative and slow road biker. Mostly because I am not coordinated. I am terrified of falling. Because you can't fall off a bike in the gym.... well that made those indoor tri's much easier.

But this is the real deal. Saturday I will be lining up at 6:30a to swim in a lake, ride a road bike 10 miles and run.

With such a small field of competitors my greatest athletic fear may come to fruition. Which is that I come in last. Yeah, yeah, all that matters is that you finish, blahblahblah. I wish I could think that way, still working on that one.

After my last indoor tri, I am keeping my hopes and goals low. Because that thing was a big 'ol hot mess that sent me into a downward spiral of childish 'I WILL NEVER SWIM IN PUBLIC AGAIN' fits. There may have been a few tears. Mostly just because I cry a lot. That still doesn't mean I'd be happy to come in dead last this weekend. I hate being last in ANYTHING, it's called youngest kid in a big family syndrome.

The only upside here is that I will have my training buddy by my side, and I am far more comfortable in lakes than pools. I think what I discovered is that I like personal space, and in a lake, I can get away from other swimmers (even if i get off course and it slows me down a bit) if needed. Personal SPACE. I like it. A LOT. Unless it involves smothering my dog with snuggles and kisses. He gets no personal space. I mean, his paws smell like Frito's, can't resist smothering that boy.

Off to see if I can manage a 30 minute swim. Because I have no doubt that's how long it will take me to swim 600y in that lake next Saturday.... Floaties blown up, flippers on.... and GO.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

hospital hill half marathon. 12.5 miles of awesome.

And the rest was sort of hellish for my calves.

The Hospital Hill half marathon is held in Kansas City, it was the weekend following mine and Edder's 9th anniversary. So I dragged him to KC with me, to watch me run a half marathon for our anniversary. I excel at being a wife. Clearly. Thankfully he was game. There may have been promises of visits to Boulevard Brewery as bribery.

Here is the race breakdown: 
- The weather was much cooler and less humid than I expected, which made for wonderful running conditions.

- This is obviously a hilly course, considering it's called hospital hill, that said, it actually wasn't as hilly as I anticipated. But still hilly.

- I loved this race, it was very well supported and well run. No complaints.

- I wanted to run this in under two hours, considering the hills I held back the entire race. Knowing my calves might seize up and start to hate me. This was a somewhat good call since by mile 12.5 my calves indeed began their full on protest.

-Somewhere after mile 10 I heard someone behind me say "is that fair weather runner?" which clearly got my attention! It turned out to be another runner from Wichita! And not just any runner, but a fellow blogger's dad. I've talked to him at many a race. How awesome to see him and his crew at the end, and at such a large race.

-I stuck with my new found Wichita group for the last few miles, which was really fantastic. It was a morale booster. It helped keep me going and helped distract me.

-Once we hit the last big hill of the race very close the end, my calves had it. They felt shot, I couldn't keep up with the little group anymore. I couldn't continue to push at a 7 minute pace that last half mile. I was bummed. And hurting.

-I finished, in pain, at 1:53. I'll take it! Much better than I had expected considering my training.

I had waited to post this for race pictures. Turns out I didn't need to do that, kind of bummed that the race pictures were less than stellar. As in the photogs were in only two spots on the course. For such a big race, I expected more. Not that I needed more pictures of myself, seeing how I looked like a white sausage stuffed into a casing of lululemon. Even still. It's nice to have race pictures, no matter what. How else can I be expected to remember what NOT to wear on race day?!

 *shuffling into the finish chute (i think).* 

*annnnnnd looking like sausage death. and being scared i wouldn't finish thanks to my calves*

I can live with the pain in my calves. I can grit my teeth through some pain, it's probably one thing I am fairly expert at. I've had my fair share. The thing I couldn't get past was the fear that my calves would seize up (okc marathon 2010 style) and leave me crumpled on the road. Dragged away crying and yelling at medics to let me finish. (DRAMA!!!) So I wimped out. Slowed down and hobbled to the finish, again. Just like I did in Prairie Fire in October.

Maybe someday in the future I will feel that cramping calf pain and be able to lose the fear that seizes me more than the pain, run through it and have a spectacular race. Maybe. I either need to man up and figure out how far I can push them without crumpling to the ground 2010 style or let the fear rule me. I think I'm gonna choose option one. It may end badly in a race, but how will I know how far I can push if I never try again?

Fear is pretty much the thing that gets me in every. single. race. When I try to do well. I hold back, I slow down, I don't push TOO hard. Always out of fear. It's time to lose that.

Thursday, June 14, 2012

i put my track suit on!

So. I still have a race report to write and have gobs of stories to share about my trip. Internetters? I love to blather. So hold on, lots-o-information will be coming your way the next few weeks.

First item of blather. Doing group track workouts. And how it didn't suck! Let's delve in.

Last week I went to a track workout, hosted by a local running store (GoRun). I had some company to go along with me so I didn't feel so very awkward and alone. Just somewhat awkward. Don't you people know me? I am awkward city! Seeing how I was fresh off a hilly half marathon I went into the workout knowing I wouldn't perform at my best.

And I didn't. I quit after half the workout:
FWR DID - warm-up drills, 800, 1200, 1600, rest. stop. hobble home. cry a little. take aleve.
GROUP DID - warm-up drills, 800, 1200, 1600, 1200, 800. 

The good news is that I absolutely loved it. For the most part everyone was so friendly, nice, welcoming and not competitive. Which was a relief. Everyone was there to learn and get better. The coach is pretty steller, I'm a fan. So we decided to head back again this week and drag the running Katie along.

I have to admit, we had a blast. We got WORKED. We loved it. We left. We will return. This week's workout was to do four sets of 400's as many times as you could manage. Our little group (me, this girl and the running katie) decided to stop after two sets. Track workouts are new to us, we will work our way up to more. That's what it's all about. I was pleased with our consistent pace of a 5K effort (about a 7:15 pace). I am giddy over the fact that two of my favorite people in the world, also run my same pace. It's a colliding of awesome in my world.

I look forward to doing track work all summer, and watching my improvement.

Then there was today. I headed out for a five mile lunch run, turned four mile shuffle. That was extremely ugly. C'est la Vie. Those runs happen. My legs were protesting the entire time. The combination of wind, heat, humidity, recent speedwork (in new free 5.0's) and general leg/body fatigue took a toll. But I slugged it out.

And I'm glad I did. Summer running in Kansas.... it's a character builder.

*anticipating said four mile shuffle, not optimistic. but keeping it uber classy with a work bathroom shot.... it's how i roll. pure class.*

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

best part of my day. home.

Eight flights. Two countries. Endless miles walked during the discovery of a new city. Decadent food consumed. French phrases learned. New wines discovered. The Grand Prix in Montreal watched. And six days later I am back home.

I slept nine delicious hours last night and still got up at 6:30 this morning. To a 20 pound cat laying on my chest purring at me and a fluffy dog taking up most of my side of the bed, giving me about two inches of room to myself. Just the way I like it. Mmmmm. Home. Except I forgot to get more coffee while at the store last night. AUGH!

I am ready to be home for the next three weeks. Where I can run when I want. Finish projects around the house. And remember to keep coffee in my cupboard.

In running news. I had some happy new Nike Free's waiting for me when I got home. My shoes! They finally arrived. The most bright and obnoxious lime-like color you have ever seen. You better believe I slapped those puppies on and enjoyed a walk/run with my dog. Despite my exhausted body, spirit and legs. Home. It makes me happy.

*the picture doesn't do the color true justice*

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

hitting pause. and time to whip out my track suit!

For starters. I'm leaving tomorrow. On an aero-plane. To go far, far away. For a week. This is significant only because I was informed by Hospital Hill that race pictures won't be ready until Wednesday. I did not share this because I'm under the impression you care about my travel plans. So the race report will have to wait until next week.

Sadz. I really, really enjoyed that race. And really, really want to blather about it. I want to share it with the WORLDDDDDDDD!! But do so with photograph. So wait I shall.

In other news. I am going to my first ever group track workout tonight. THIS GIRL talked me into it. The thing is this. You know I love myself some speedwork. I am a self professed lover of all things running torture. However, I am also a total hermit when it comes to said torture of tempos and intervals. When I go for speed, I go alone. (giggle all you 12 year olds out there....). Which makes me nervous to go try speedwork with a group of people. Intimidating. For me, anyway.

I think speedwork suits my nature. It's a challenge. I think of nothing else but the task at hand. And I get to be alone, internalize and concentrate. When I do speedwork and when I seriously race, I internalize deeply. I tune out the world, and tune into my little world of running. It's absolutely self-indulgent. And I absolutely love it. Crave it, even. In my best races I can look back and point to the fact that I deeply internalized during that race. I never did that in a marathon. Correlation? Hmmm. I think so.

Clearly this style of speedwork isn't conducive to running with others. But, I am always looking for a running challenge and to grow in my running. Since I'm not a bit interested in doing a billion marathons or ultra marathons, or what have yous; I am focused on getting faster. That said. I am sure this will be a good experience for me, pull me out of my running comfort zone a bit.

There are coaches at the track workouts. Of whom I can pick their speedy little brains for opinions, speed suggestions and workouts for my fall half marathon goals. Even mull my half marathon goals over with. That aspect I am excited about. I would love some outside opinion on what a coach thinks I might be able to pull off. Which will all hopefully tap deeper into my running well over the summer and produce good results this fall.

I'll let you know how ALL of the above pans out next week. Until then, have a great week of runnings. I'll miss reading all about it over the next week!

Monday, June 4, 2012

best part of my day.

Since I'm waiting on pictures from the Hospital Hill half marathon to show up in my inbox, I'll just post a different picture that I was sent over the weekend. At the Zoo LAST weekend with the fam. And a random zookeeper who decided to hang out with us for quite awhile. Which was entertaining.

*my sisters and me, our boys, this girl and her boys, our dad WALKING (remember he broke his leg in february), and the kiddos. heading to see itty bitty baby goats. oh, and the zookeeper. 
who befriended us*

p.s. as a preview: i absolutely loved the hospital hill half marathon, it was way less hilly than i expected! and i made my goal of coming in under two hours with a finish time of 1:53:49. more later!